Going on Campaign is an unofficial rulebook and source guide for campaigns in Games Workshops Warhammer 40k. If it's your first time here, then please read the Preface first, if you're coming back, then check the Project log to see what's new.

Unbalanced Raid Scenario - Paint it up

Paint it up .....

In preparation for the impending planetary invasion, the infiltration teams dropped across the planet to mark up vital installations that had be destroyed before assault force could make it's landings. Alpha team had been one of the first, and within an hour, had moved stealthily towards the missile silo....

This a an unbalanced raid scenario based on the idea of a small squad infiltrating enemy objective, marking it up for a future bombing raid and then exfiltrating without alerting the enemy.


The game is played longways (short edge to short edge) across a 6' x 4' table. The defender must deploy a scenery piece to act as the objective within 12" of a short table edge. The attackers forces enter play via the other table edge at the start of turn 1. The defender must deploy his sentries no closer than 18" to the attackers table edge.


Attacker - 1 Infantry Squad, maximum 200pts, no bikes or vehicles. The unit has target markers and night vision, so is immune to night fighting rules.

Defender - 1 Troop choice, maximum 10 models (Sentries), 2 Troop choices & 1 HQ choice held in reserve. Other than the sentries, all the defenders force are held in reserve and deploy once the alarm has been raised.

Scenario Special Rules

Sentries - as described in W40K 4ED.
Night fighting - the entire game is played using night fighting rules, this only affects the defender as the attacker has night vision equipment.
Sssssh - to avoid detection, the attacker may not use jump packs, fleet or run until the alarm is raised.
Target markers - a range 12" weapon that targets the objective for a future strike carried by each member of the attackers unit. Firing it does not raise the alarm.

Mission Objective

Attacker major victory - marking up the objective and then all extracting off their own table edge.
Attacker minor victory - marking up the objective but not extracting the full unit off their own table edge.
Defender major victory - preventing some of the attackers unit from extracting and also preventing them from marking up the objective.
Defender minor victory - preventing some of the attackers unit from extracting.


The defenders reserves enter play at a rate of 1 unit per turn determined randomly from a point on any table edge as determined by a scatter dice.

Game Length

The game continues until all of the attackers forces are dead or off the table.

Design notes - I'm looking at this one as a sort of chess game to start off with, that has the potential at any dice roll to suddenly become a very fast and furious game. I'm planning to setup quite a lot of terrain on the table to restrict LOS (we still play 4ed rules on area terrain and LOS) but you don't have to as ranges are restricted by the nightfighting rules. On the win conditions, there were two factors I thought were important. The first being marking up the objective and the second was casualties. Alarms could be raised at any point for any reason including tripping over and letting a round off by accident but actual dead enemy troops bodies outside a base is going to get command on their toes. You need to sit down and work out what troops best suit the roles of the infiltrators, sentries and general soldiers.

Creator - ColCorbane

Did you like this scenario? anything you'd suggest or change? let us know what you think, add it in the comments.

Scenario submission guidelines

If you'd like to submit a scenario for addition in the sample scenarios appendix, please make sure it follows the following format. This is to make sure that all the scenarios submitted are complete and have all the important information and follow a standard format for ease of use.

Just a simple title that sums up your scenario.

Fluff (optional)
A bit of creative writing that sets the mood for your campaign.

A bit of text that describes what's going on in the scenario, it could be a raid against bunkers, hostage rescue or even a full blown tank battle. Include what type of mission it is, eg raid where there's an attacker and defender or a straight battle, also include if it's balanced or not.

Some text that describes how the forces and table should be setup, include things like table edges, who deploys or goes first, terrain etc. Feel free to include a map if you want to.

Forces (optional)
If your scenario has any force changes such as extra FOC slots, unequal points, unit restrictions, special reserves, add them in this section.

Scenario Special Rules (optional)
If your scenario uses any custom rules such as environmental effects, night fighting or any rules that just applies for this scenario, add them to this section.

Mission Objective
Add your scenarios victory conditions here, include any bonus victory points or kill points for custom scenarios.

If your scenario has any special reserve rules such as delayed reserves etc, add them here. If not, just say standard reserves.

Game Length
Add any modifications to the length of the game here, if there's no modifications, just say standard game length.

Design notes (optional)
This is where what you were thinking when you created the scenario. What forces, if any, you had planned to use. Any alterations you think might be interesting. Basically, it's anything you want to say 'about' the scenario. 

Your name as you want it credited on the scenario and the contributors page. This can be a nickname like ColCorbane or your real name.

It may seem a little daunting at first, but once you've got the basic idea of the scenario, you'll find it's pretty easy to write it down following the heads above. If you'd like to see some samples, check the scenarios appendix. Once you've written your scenario, email it to me at colcorbane@gmail.com along with any maps as jpeg images. If it's part of a custom campaign that you're submitting, include it in the same email as the campaign so that I can keep them all together while I get them online.

Ladder campaign guidelines

If you'd like to submit a sample ladder campaign for addition to the samples already list here, then first read through these guidelines.


Fluff (optional)
A bit of creative writing to set the scene of the campaign, it's only a ladder campaign, so nothing to long.

A few lines of writing about what the campaign is about.

Victory conditions
A bit of text telling players how the campaign victor is worked out, eg cp's, vp's, weighted or climatic.

Force notes (optional)
Any force restrictions that apply across the whole campaign.

You need list the scenarios in the order of play. It needs to be a minimum of 2 scenarios to be a ladder campaign but I'd prefer 3 or 4 scenarios to a campaign for editing's stake.

For each scenario, you need a title, how it fits into the campaign, you need to let players know where they can get them, eg, the 40k rulebook p65. I'm only accepting references to scenarios from printed GW publications like the rulebook/White Dwarf or custom written ones. Please don't use references to scenarios listed online as I can't guarantee they'll always be there and that'll cause problems in the long run.

It's ok to make modifications to existing scenarios, such as changing the force levels, terrain, setups, objective, giving forces special rules etc. You can also add any campaign scoring such as scenario weighting etc. If it's a scenario you've written, then just add them after the title. If you're using ongoing effects to give an advantage or disadvantage to players in the next scenario, add them after special rules or scoring for the scenario.

So, for each scenario we need ...
  • Title
  • How it fits into the campaign.
  • Where it can be found / custom written
  • Any modifications to the scenario or scenario special rules
  • Any ongoing effects the scenario has on the campaign
  • Any campaign scoring notes
On submitting your own custom scenarios, just add them on the end of the campaign details. They'll be added separately in the scenarios section and linked to from your campaign. Check the scenario submission guidelines page for how to lay them out.

Designers notes (optional)
A bit of text describing what your thoughts are about the campaign and how it's supposed to be played. Anything from your inspiration or ideas for changing things.

Creator (optional)
Your name as you want it credited on the campaign and contributors page.This can be a nickname such as ColCorbane or your real name.

If you're not quite sure about any of the above, have a look at Preparing to strike, an example campaign that highlights all the points above. It may seem a bit complicated at first but when you get down to it, it's surprisingly simple.

Once you've got it together, email it to me at colcorbane@gmail.com along with any custom scenarios. Please put ladder campaign in the subject box.

Submission guidelines

Going on campaign is a living rulebook and source guide, and by that I mean that I welcome your suggestions for narratives, rules, campaigns etc. I want the project to grow over time, rather than jump about randomly, so at the moment, I'm only accepting submissions for the sections already completed or being prepared. If you have any ideas for future sections or sub sections, feel free to add them in the comments.

If you'd like to comment on individual pages with rules etc, just add them in the comments on that page. If you'd like to submit large sections of material, then please email me colcorbane@gmail.com first with a rough idea of what you want to submit, just in case it's not suitable. I'd hate for you to spend hours putting something together for it not to be suitable. On that, as long as it's in line with what I'm doing here, then it should be fine but I do reserve the right to modify or not publish submitted material for obvious reasons.

At the moment, I'm only accepting custom written scenarios and ladder campaigns.

I want to standardise the sample campaigns and scenarios that get added to the project so that it's well formatted and easy to follow, it'll also make it easier to convert into a pdf as a future project.

If you'd like to add a custom written scenario to the scenario appendix, please check the scenario submission guidelines before you send them in.

If you'd like to submit your own ladder campaign then please follow the ladder campaign guidelines.

I'm also after pics of campaign maps, campaign markers / army markers etc for a future showcase section. So, if you've got anything suitable, drop me a line. I'd prefer them photographed on the map, or a blank piece of paper, but if not, don't worry, just send them  to colcorbane@gmail.com anyway.

Thanks for helping Going on campaign grow.

Narrative suggestions

Narratives are an important element of campaigns and feature heavily in them: whether they are driving the scenarios of a ladder or tree campaign or being created by the ongoing events in a map campaign, you can't get away from them. If you are new to campaigning and need a little inspiration to design your own, have a look at these narrative suggestions and see if you plan a campaign around one of them.

Tainted trade war - a trade war has started between two rival hives, but few suspect that chaos is driving the conflict.

Behind the lines - a strike force has to infiltrate into enemy territory to take out a supply depot / radar station / missile silo and then make their way back to their own lines.

Assassinate - a small band of elite forces has to track down and kill and enemy commander

Convoy - a mech force has to make it's way through no man's land to recover a vital artifact.

The break out - a force has been cut off and surrounded by enemy forces and desperately need to break out before their supplies run out.

These are just a few ideas that you can base your narrative on and then pick or write the scenarios that suit the story. Give it a go, it can be great fun just working these campaigns out with your mates.

Do you have an idea for a narrative to add to these? Please add it in the comments.

Ladder campaigns

Ladder campaigns are the simplest of all the different campaigns. They're a simple set of linked games where each scenario follows the ongoing narrative. It can be anything from two games to twenty but three or four games are the most common. In the main, they tend to be for two players, often friends who want to add a little narrative to their regular gaming.

It's quite possible you've already played a ladder campaign with a friend without even realising it. Any time you sat down with you mate after a game, thought about what would happen next and planned the next scenario around that idea, you've been playing a ladder campaign. The only difference is that a proper ladder campaign the scenarios are planned before the games are played, rather than after them.

In the example above, the narrative follows a strike force heading into enemy territory to take out a an enemy comms station or something similar. First, they have to move in and scout the target, then sabotage it without being detected and then evacuate their forces safely. All of a sudden, they'll no longer pick up game but part of a mission that pulls you in.

It's important to note that all the games don't have to be the same size in points or even the same game system. It's fine for the games to start with 500pts a side, escalating upto 1500pts across the three games, or for one of the games to be run with Necromunda rules or even Aeronautic Imperialis rules Can you imagine how much fun it would be to play a couple of small scale sabotage scenarios in preparation for a large AI bombing raid? Don't be scared to give these things a go, campaigns are supposed to be liberating remember ;-)

The example makes it perfectly clear what a ladder campaign is, but it's missing the key element that makes campaigns interesting, the idea of on going effect. It makes no reference to how succeeding or failing at a mission effects the campaign overall. Ladder campaigns are quite restrictive in this aspect, as the next scenario is set by the narrative and not dictated by the results of the previous game or the tactical decisions of the players.

Ladder campaigns are a great way for friends to add a bit of fun to their games and can really help with coming up with interesting scenarios to play rather than the standard three. If you're looking for a more dynamic narrative, then tree campaigns often just that.

I hope that this gives you an insight into Ladder campaigns and what they can offer regular gaming buddies. If you've got any ideas, additions or experiences you'd like to share on this, then add them in the comments below.

Types of campaigns

Campaign can be as simple or as complex as you like. Some can be played in a day, some can take years. It all depends on what you want out of your campaign and how much effort you want to put into planning and running it. Campaigns come in all different designs, but generally they fit into two broad types, narrative and map based campaigns.

Narrative campaigns are simply a collection of linked scenarios which are driven by a storyline. The simplest form of this is the Ladder campaign which is set of linked games where the outcome of a battle can effect the next battle, the campaign overall or both. The other version is a Tree campaign which are normally designed to run a few games where the results of the battle decided what scenario is played in the next battle.

Map based campaigns come in many different forms, all based on a map of some kind. The simplest type of map campaign is a territory campaign where sections on the map represent how well a player is doing in the campaign. Node campaigns are a very simplified map campaign where players battle over nodes that are interlinked, often superimposed over a normal map to give the campaign a narrative. Each new node taken represents the forces pushing the front line and the map shows the overall warzone without having to worry about army movements etc. Finally, the true map campaign, the most complicated of all campaigns, the map campaign gives the players control over their armies movement and battles giving them a whole new level of strategic gaming.

All these campaigns offer a new level to 40k but demand effort in return. For the simpler ones, these can easily be designed and run by friends, but for the more complicated map campaigns, it's better to have a dedicated games master who isn't playing in the campaign to co-ordinate things.

Going on campaign

Mention the world 'campaign' to any grey haired long toothed vet, and their eyes will close and their faces take on a serene half smiling look as the old grey matter pulls out various memories of battles, sieges and all round backstabbery.

So, why do these veteran gamers love campaigns so much. Well, it's because they give our games a context, a narrative, a setting and a meaning. Campaigns are a way of linking together games to tell a story. Quite often, the next battle is often influenced by the previous one, giving a value to the games you play. This way, games become more than just games, they have an effect on the whole campaign. If you you can hold that bridge this game, then next game you relief force will arrive and you can push back the enemy, if you can't, they'll be at your city gates in the next battle. Now doesn't that sound more fun than just playing off against your mates?

Campaigns can challenge you in completely different ways to normal games. You can be an ubber general on the tabletop, sweeping all aside, but if you can't make sure you forces are well supplied, supported and in the chain of command, you'll soon find them dying quickly. Remember, transports are only good if you've got fuel to make them go. Campaigns test you skills as a general on the battlefield and a general in the command bunker.

Campaigns can be competitive, with a strict ruleset, it's quite possible to run a competitive campaign but they're best run co-operatively for fun. Who wins the campaign is just a bit of bragging rights, it's how they got there that makes the campaign worth playing.

Campaigns also free you from the normal constraints of W40k where you turn up with a standard force of X points and play a standard scenario against another standard army. Campaigns can throw that convention out of the window. If your forces have taken a battering and you've only got 1000 points worth of troops left holding the bridge against your friends 2000 point force - tough! Welcome to the real world where generals never fight in equal battles and the consequence of losing a battle can be far more reaching than in a pick up game.

Campaigns can also widen the game systems you play, incorporating Epic for large battles, or Aeronautic Imperialis for air supremacy runs and even Necromunda or 40k in 40mins for small scale sabotage and scout games. Campaigns are only limited by the imagination and commitment of the players involved in them.

Before you start a campaign, you'll need some regular players who are committed to playing the campaign. Just one player not bothering to play the games they need to can ruin the campaign for the other players. The more complex the campaign, the more commitment you need to see it through to the end.

Campaign come in all different shapes and sizes, from the simple escalation or ladder campaigns to the world wide territorial campaigns run by GW. In the next section, we'll be looking at the different types of campaigns and what they offer gamers.

Table of Contents

1. - Preface
1.1 - Table of contents
1.2 - Project log
1.3 - Submission guidelines
1.3.1 - Scenario guidelines
1.3.2 - Ladder campaign guidelines
1.4 - List of contributors

2. - Going on Campaign
2.1 - Types of campaigns
2.2 - Campaign practicalities
2.3 - Campaign aids
2.4 - Newsletters and Diaries 

3. - Narrative Campaigns
3.1 - Ladder campaigns
3.2 - Tree Campaigns 
3.3 - Scoring narratives
3.4 - Ongoing effects
3.5 - Suggested narratives

4. - Map campaigns
4.1 - Territorial campaigns 
4.2 - Node campaigns 
4.3 - True map campaigns
4.4 - Types of maps
4.5 - Detailing maps
4.6 - Types of map details
4.7 - Starting positions
4.8 - Initial forces
4.9 - Ending the campaign

5. - Campaign phase
5.1 - Turn order and Initiative

Showcase - Maps

Appendix A - Scenarios
Appendix B - Maps
Appendix C - Campaigns
Appendix D - Player aids


Below you'll find a list of various contributors who have helped Going on campaign grow.

ColCorbane - Founder and general dogsbody.
Admiral Drax - Chief wordy guy.

Campaigns - Timythener, Sovietspace (Astronomicon)

Maps - Jay Biga (Bols), Tokkan (Freebootaz), Quantem Fear (Freebootaz), Broadsword (Freebootaz), Regnir (Freebootaz), John (Plastic legions), Alessio (BlackRed Studio), Fox (FoxPhoenix135), Paolo Bertoncini (Grande Maestro), Sovietspace (Astronomicon), Gewaltatron, GK (Citizen Nick Hobby Center)

Scenarios - Sunflame

Player aids - Broadsword (Freebootaz)

Project log

On this page, you'll links to all the latest updates. As this project is a living one, I recommend that you check this page periodically to make sure you haven't missed any updates to previous sections.

20 Feb - Added Turn order and Initiative to the campaign phase section.
7 Feb - Added the Campaign phase section.
4 Feb 2011 - Narrative Campaigns PDF published.

12 Dec - Added more maps to the Maps showcase.
1 Dec - Added another map to the Maps showcase.
27 Nov - Added Ending the campaign to the Maps campaign section.
23 Nov - Added Initial forces to the Maps campaign section.
17 Nov - Added Starting positions to the Maps campaign section.
7 May - Added Types of map details to the Maps campaign section.
28 Apr - Added Detailing maps to the Maps campaign section.
15 Feb - Added Types of maps to the Maps campaign section.
12 Jan - Added Kentack VII to the campaigns section and the Kentack VII map to the Maps showcase
1 Jan 2010 - Added Fighting withdrawal to the scenarios appendix

16 Dec - Added Faaris IV to the maps appendix
14 Dec - Added Tainted rebellion to the campaign appendix
12 Dec - Removed some content at the request of GW legal, but added another map to the Maps showcase and a new ice world campaign map.
24 Nov - Added Breakout to the scenarios appendix.
23 Nov - Added another map to Maps showcase and added Banner markers to Player aids
20 Nov - Added Resource markers to Player aids.
19 Nov - Added Hex maps to Player aids and the scenario Ambushed and Betrayed to the scenarios appendix.
18 Nov - Added more maps to the Maps showcase, also started working through all the submitted content.
15 Nov - Added Maps showcase and added map pics to various pages in the maps section.
14 Nov - Added True map campaigns.
13 Nov - Added a bit of text to Territorial campaigns and added Node campaigns
11 Nov - Added Territorial campaigns
10 Nov - Added Map campaigns and updated the Narratives section with Drax's literary suggestions. It reads much better now.
9 Nov - Added Newsletters & diaries and the Player aids appendix.
7 Nov - Project launched, no going back now.
5 Nov - Finished up the Narratives section for now by adding Tree campaigns, Narrative scoring and Ongoing effects sections.
4 Nov - Worked on the Narratives section, reworked the Types of campaign and added the Campaign appendix.
3 Nov - Added Campaign aids, Maps appendix and the Ta'Lar mountains node based campaign map.
2 Nov - Added Campaign practicalities.
1 Nov - Added Scenarios index, Scenario submission guidelines, Column ambush scenario and the Preparing to strike ladder campaign.
31 Oct - Added Ladder campaign guidelines, Sample ladder campaigns and Paint it up scenario. Worked on sample ladder campaigns and sample scenarios and scenario submission guidelines. Also added the Disqus commenting system to the project. Hopefully, this will help encourage discussion of rules suggestions etc.
30 Oct - Added Submission guidelines, updated the Preface and most importantly, welcomed aboard Admiral Drax as the projects chief wordy guy, he's going to be the projects proof reader and online editor. He'll be making my ramblings and your suggestions clearer with his ubber English skills.
29 Oct - Added Suggested narratives, worked on interlinking the pages and added a header.
28 Oct - Added Ladder campaigns.
26 Oct - Added contributors and table of contents, Going on campaign and Types of campaigns pages.
25 Oct 2009 - The Going on Campaign living rule book is launched.

Welcome to the world of campaigning

So, what's this all about then? Well, I've always loved campaigns, ever since I first picked up Mighty Empires 17 years ago. I loved it so much, I'm still playing it, and yes, I've still got the tiles, two sets to be precise. Anyway, I digress a little, back to the blog.

Inspired by the most excellent out of production Generals Compendium for WFB, I decided to build this blog as a long term project dedicated to campaigning in the 40k world. Over time, I hope to build this into a living rule book and source guide to 40k campaigns, covering everything from the essentials to the obscure. I'm hoping to bring you all sorts of campaigns for you to try and rules to make you games more interesting.

On that, this is a living project, so I actively encourage you to add your thoughts, your rule suggestions, your experiences and your campaigns, check out the submission guidelines for my information. Periodically, I'll update the various sections and make sure you get credited for your contribution.

This project isn't designed to give you a complete set of rules, rather a guide to the possible ways you can run a campaign and a collection of possible rules, campaigns, scenarios that you can pick from or modify for your own campaigns. So, feel free to use what you like and change what you don't, as long as it brings you some fun.

Here's hoping we can build something great together.

All the best