40k Campaign Creator


Upon digging around in my external hard drive, I found this from AGES ago. Back in 5th or even 4th edition…Before Planetstrike, before Spearhead. Before the planetary empires box came out and made mapmaking easy, I tried to make a campaign creator thing. I’ve copied it here verbatim, so will need a tad of updating to run it now. If anyone gets anything useful out of this, I’ll be happy. So, without further ado:

Warhammer 40K:

Planetary Assault.

Fighting Campaigns in the 41st Millennia.

Planetary Assault aims to bring together the different rules and expansions in 40k in order to make it easier for hopeful designers to create their own campaigns and fight them. The rules presented in this article mainly deal with:

  • Cities of Death
  • Desert Fighting (from White Dwarf 316)
  • Jungle Fighting (from Codex: Catachans)
  • And ‘normal’ 40k

But the Apocalypse expansion is easily added into this list, but this would require extra planning from the designer.

As you may have guessed already, this is not going to be a ‘here is my campaign, fit yourselves around it’ but it is, in stead, a set of rules to help you design your own campaign.

So, how can these four gaming types (excluding Apocalypse) different terrain and gaming types lend themselves to a campaign?

Simple, make a map!














planetary tiles key



‘Normal’ 40k





Each tile represents a board for 40k.

How do we use the map?

Well! First, the players create a map between them that they are both happy with, (or one person can design it on their own, for it to represent their planet) missing out any elements that they don’t want. Then, dice off to see who places their army first; the other player then places his as far away as possible to his opponent.


Players A and B have just diced off to place their armies, player A wins and places his army in the tile above marked ‘A’. B then places his in the one marked ‘B’.

The objective is this: get to the other players starting tile, and wipe their base off the face of the planet! Sound simple? I don’t think so!

Movement on Map.

Before we get into this bit, it must be noted that each player may have more than one army on the map (and therefore in the campaign).

In Planetary Assault every player may move:

  1. All of his armies 1 tile

  2. One of his armies as many tiles as there are in his force OR

  3. Any mixture of the above.


2 players have four armies each, on the ‘Global’ turn both may;

1. Move all 4 armies 1 tile

2. Move any ONE of their armies 4 tiles*

3. Move 1 army 3 tiles*; another, 1; and the other two none


*But this is hazardous; don’t worry, we’ll get onto that later.

Campaign Play.

Going back to the example map on page 1, players A and B only have one army each; A rolled highest to set up his army, and so he chooses who goes first. He opts for himself, and can move into either tile 1 or 2, not to tile X as movement can only take place between to tiles that have a face touching. Hence B can go into tile 3, 4 or 5, but not either of the X’s

Footprints and labelling bases.

As mentioned above on this page the only way (in this style of campaign) to win is to make it to your opponents starting tile, make an attack and hopefully remove their threat on this planet…if only for now. So it is worthwhile making a marker to represent each player’s base. A drawing pin with ‘B’ on it; or a drawing on the tile can show where it is.

Every time one of your armies moves a tile, it leaves a ‘footprint’ on the tile it left (all of the way back to your base tile). This serves to show; the lands that you have conquered, the supply lines that your forces no doubt need, temporary bases etc.

Going back to our example on pg1, it is the start of the third global turn*, player A is representing his forces with red pins and B with blue. A’s army is in tile 6 and B’s in 7; from the footprint rules above, they have left pins in tiles:

A 2 6

B 4 7

For players A and B respectively. Tiles A and B have pins labelled ‘B’ in them for base.

* So called, as these are the turns you play over the planet, not over a game of 40k.


A battle can take place in one of three ways:

1: Between two armies head on.

2: Between one army and another’s supply line.

3: Between one army and another’s base.

Where the resultant fight is resolved in the style of 40k that the tile represents. Going back to the example on pg1, if A wanted to assault B’s base then the fight would take place in a Cities of Death game. Whereas if B were to do the same to A, then a ‘normal’ game of 40k would ensue.

Assaulting Footprints and Bases.


As stated just above, you can assault enemy supply lines. In fact it may be advantageous to do so! So, what happens when you do?

After the board has been sorted, the attacker and defender have chosen their board edges; the attacker places his full army on the table, but the defender only puts down a 400pts combat patrol force. However reinforcements are on their way! At the very end of turn three, the rest off the difference in points arrives; these models are able to start moving on turn four. The reserves plus the original defenders MUST make a legal army (2 troops and 1 HQ)


Remember: the total points cost of defender = total points cost of attacker!

There is only one exception to this; if the supply line supplies a smaller army than the attacking force, then the entire difference cannot be made up! If a 1000pts force attacks a 750pts supply line then only 350pts will turn up at the end of turn 3!


When an army is attacking an enemy base;

The defender’s army = the attackers + (2d6 x 10pts)

Player B is assaulting A’s base with 1000pts, lets say that A rolls luckily and gets 12, he now has an extra 12×10 = 120pts to defend with!

As you can see, B has got a hard slog ahead of him!

Damage to Armies and The Effects of Assaulting Bases and Footprints

In a simple campaign its easy (and probably best) to say that once the enemy’s base is destroyed the campaign is over. However, it is perfectly reasonable to have to mop up any leftover resistance. (Covered later)

Resolving Damage incurred from battling.

So, after a game has been played, how do we represent it?

Well, the winner loses d6x10pts and the looser 2d6x10pts from their respective armies. Take off models that total this number. The models that are taken off must EQUAL OR BEAT the amount of points that your roll has specified must be taken off.

Supply lines.

Unbroken supply lines grant d6x10pts of reinforcements each Global Turn to their owning army.

Broken supply lines only grant d6x5pts worth of reinforcements each global turn, these areas are looking to their own defence.

Movement along friendly supply lines is very easy, as any broken down vehicles (etc) can be fixed/replaced very quickly. As such you may move d3 tiles along a supply line each global turn.

As you may have seen from this last passage; winning a fight against an enemy supply line doesn’t drive your enemy back, it makes it harder for them to advance as reinforcements seem less likely. Hence it is up to the owning player to decide weather it is worth carrying onwards or not.

Forced Movement

It was said on page two (and mentioned just above) that an army could move more than one tile in a turn. There are only two ways an army may do this;

  1. It may move d3 tiles along its own supply line.

  2. If there is more than one army available to move, and the owning player wishes to keep one of them stationary in order to move another.

If the army is moving under condition 2 this is considered Forced movement and results in damage being incurred upon said army.

The damage is equal to d6x10pts for each extra tile moved. This represents tanks stalling, men suffering fatigue etc. Be warned! It is entirely possible to march an army into the ground!

Attacking Broken Supply Lines.

Broken supply lines cannot defend themselves as well as unbroken ones; and as such, the reinforcements that arrive at the end of turn 3 will equal d6x50pts. Remember, the defender’s force cannot beat the attacker’s, and the reinforcements + the defensive forces cannot be greater than the points cost than the supply line’s army!

More Complex Campaigns.

  • It is perfectly reasonable to have more than two players take part in the campaigns; it’ll probably be more interesting if there are!

  • The campaign map given on pg1 is VERY simplistic. The only reason why squares were used is that they are easy to ‘draw’ on a computer! I have also purposely stopped myself from referring to them as squares for that purpose. Hexagons would be good! Octagons and squares paired together would make for an interesting map!

  • The rules given here deal mainly with 1 army per player, with little references given about guidance for more than one per player. You may find it rewarding to have more, like 3; a 400 combat patrol, a 750 and a 1000pts (‘legal’ armies) or even more!

  • In the above context of more than one army per player, it is perfectly reasonable to move two armies together in the same tile, but the only thing that the owning player gets is the ‘Meat Grinder’ rules, but BOTH armies take losses after the battle!

  • If both forces meet like this, play the ‘Meat Grinder’ mission

  • Make the level of games make sense! Don’t play an omega level city-fight if you’re only in a settlement! Looking at pg1 again, tiles 3, 4 and 5 would be Alpha-level city-fights, and B would be Gamma or Omega, for example.

  • Mountains are a good way of making it a bit harder by impeding movement. Say that they cannot be scaled, or that they use up an extra movement. (Which would make them dangerous to scale)

Alternate Objectives

  • 1 tile on board must be reached?

  • Assassinate other forces (’s) Commander. (This is HQ slot of enemy army. In case if IG it would be the command squad of command platoon)

  • Assassinate the planet’s Governor where he gets a 1000pts army of either; Space Marines, IG, or Chaos depending on the reason why he should be assassinated. Use the IG Senior Heroic Officer’s profile (including bodyguard-maybe psykers) to represent governor. He must get to a city (or other suitable tile) on map to use a spaceport to flee/to sacrifice some pathetic creatures to the Gods etc. This character and his force are played by another player-as in there are going to be at least three people playing the campaign.

  • Give special rules to armies that are in control of certain tiles. Like 1 extra movement granted to whatever army the owning player wants. Or maybe an extra die is rolled when reinforcing army. Really go to town!

The most important rule:

Have Fun! Any problems, talk them over with your opponent!


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