OOC: How to play the game
Version 3.3 The Rules in Messy Format
So you have created a Legion and Primarch. This will produce the Majority of your "Character sheet" there are also a number of other stats attached to your Legion that are not widely known. The GM may indicate to you the status of these but this will usually be vague unless the number is extreme or obvious. It is also possible to have hidden traits that may have to be discovered in play.
Examples of these Traits include the Opinions held on your Legion by every Imperial Institution, God, Xenos Faction, Prominent Individual and Planet you are in contact with (Primarchs make their own mind up ofc). Your actions and interactions will affect all these numbers, positively or negatively.
Of note is the Influence of the Legions upon each other. Fighting alongside is the most common way to increase this but there are other ways. A High Influence will make the two Legions more effective fighting together and will represent familiarity and friendships between Legions. Disasters and Betrayals will reduce it. Traits from both sides will often cross over between Legions with very high ratings.
These Traits are in a way the XP of the game.
Initiative and Turn order:
With the Imperium Ascendant and on Crusade the Legions will move and act first in a given turn, usually simultaneously. If a tie break is needed, your traits (And potentially hidden stats) and a random factor will decide. Once the Legions are finished, other forces that may be abroad will act.
If a Rebellion or conflict erupts amongst the Legions, Initiative of the Sides will be determined at the outset and maintained unless something momentous occurs to recalculate it.
Each Turn is approximately 6 months Terran Standard.
Each Legion will have several Numbered Expeditionary fleets (Henceforth just Fleet!)available for use, based on Legion size and Influenced by Logistical Efficiency and Favour with some factions. An "Average" legion will support 3 Fleets. A Fleet can gain traits in its own right (Though rare) and is made up of a number of Astartes and any supporting Assets for game purposes. The Fleet will also contain huge numbers of Imperial Army troops and other support troops as well as a large number of Warships and transports but these are below the abstraction layer.
Fleets combat readiness and effectiveness will be shown as a Percentage. The Exact number of Astartes in the fleet is merely a rough estimate. To Form a larger armada players can simply move two or more fleets together.
Forming new fleets is possible, usually this will be a granted Asset from another faction or an opportunity rather than a case of splitting a fleet or hording reinforcements.
Joint Expeditionary Fleets: The Emperor is keen to encourage joint ventures between his sons and is often willing to grant further charters to such endeavours. These have a supreme commander (Who chooses their orders) from one Legion but benefit from all traits from both forces making them potentially highly effective. Both Players will receive a full report of the Fleets actions and either party can withdraw from the Fleet at any time, forcing the fleet to undertake a Reinforce Action to do so. If you wish to form a new Joint fleet, contact the GM.
Each turn every Fleet will perform one of the following actions:
Move: Move Fleets one Sector, or to a Legion Hub in the same segmentum.
Desperate Jump: Move a fleet to another Segmentum Nominate your target Sector but be aware this is subject to the tides of the warp, and is unlikely to be accurate or timely.
Attack: The Fleet attacks a hostile force or planet. Choose a target from amongst the Uncompliant or Hostile forces in your current sector. You must detail your Fleets plans and intentions in the Order (Or the GM will decide them). Performing according to your traits will grant bonuses.The Defender will also describe their Actions (Or the GM will decide) and these will combine to determine combat advantage and results.
Explore: Fleets Explore their Current Sector, finding planets and other points of interest. Typically this should bring up a couple of attackable planets in detail, plus any oddities or enemy forces operating in the area, If there is nothing more to discover (Unlikely) your force will be informed of this and benefit from a reduced Reinforce Order.
Reinforce: The Fleet pauses to Recruit, Reorganise and rearm at a Legion Hub. Recruits from the homeworld reserves may join the fleet and Legion Assets/Troops may be added or reassigned (To move Assets/Troops between fleets, both must Reinforce). A Fleet will gain a temporary bonus to represent its fresh state, conversely going too long without reinforcing will erode Morale as well as fighting strength. Repeated Reinforce orders can be used to represent the Rare Large Legion Garrisons, this is however not the Primary purpose of an Expeditionary Fleet and their Traits and reputation may suffer if deployed too long.
Logistics: The Fleet prepares positions on a selected planet. When played on a fleet it will establish a Legion Hub in its current sector (On a designated planet/system). The Strength, nature and capabilities of the position will vary based on fleet size, traits and other factors and players desire. These positions are fortified and a key element in the Legions supply chain, they will allow reinforce actions, give bonuses to the host planet and are quick to travel to for friendly fleets. Homeworlds are essentially very good Legion hubs. It is possible to further develop a Hub into a Subject world trait (Discuss with GM).
It should be noted that Orders will not always go to plan, Circumstance, Enemy Action and Issues within your Legion may sometimes cause them to go Awry.
Fleets may encounter Special opportunities which will cause their Controller to make choices, the GM will contact you if that is the case. In rare circumstances, forces without a Character or Primarch will have to make a decision themselves urgently and will do so based on their Traits.
Much of the combat details are concealed to encourage Roleplay over Rollplay (I know, madness from Porridge right?) Every Soldier effectively has a combat value though this will almost always be a tiny fraction and will vary by race. For example an Astartes may be worth a Dozen ordinary humans. The Approximate worth of various Soldiers will be listed on an IC wiki page. (And therefore may be unreliable...)
Generally the total number of soldiers is abstracted somewhat and a Fleet is given a percentage effectiveness rating. Any given player fleet will have the same combat strength. Enemy fleets will be rated on the same scale to avoid confusion (Though bear in mind the quality of your Intelligence!).
The total Combat value of an army is then modified by any relevant Traits and Assets based on the Army's orders. This gives a total which will show which force is dominant in this turns combats and will in turn establish victory or defeat and casualties for both sides alongside a random factor.
Results may then get tweaked for drama or brevity, (Large forces will smash planets in a turn for example) and the final dispositions of the two forces will be listed. Sometimes Players will be given choices to be made in the aftermath, particularly when the Primarchs (Or Legion Characters) themselves are involved.
Segmenta are marked in Red, Sectors in green. Terra is technically its own Segmentum for mechanical reasons. The Eastern Fringe is a segmentum mechanically separate due to its great size! Some Sectors are instead Purple Circles representing known huge navigational hazards, Left to Right, The Eye of Terror, Galactic Core, The Maelstrom and The Damolces Gulf. The Perils are great but the rewards?
As the Game Progresses Various Key worlds will be revealed. These will be placed on the map along a sector border. If this is planet is controlled by a hostile force you are unable to cross that line without capturing the planet or performing a desperate jump order. Not all sectors have Key worlds
Expedition Fleets should be marked by a Fleet Number. Legion Homeworlds and Hubs shall be marked with a Legion Symbol.
Players can name newly discovered Sectors (Subject to Imperial Veto ;) )
Side Maps (Battlezones)
Sometimes a battlefront (Or Even Sector) will be so Huge, so vital, that the usual Map and Combat systems would be insufficient. If these Instances a Smaller Side map (Known as a Battlezone) will be created and fleets will instead be assigned orders on that instead of the Galactic Map (Unless they choose to withdraw).
A Battlezone will generally consist of one Planetary system and thus Movement is between Planets and Points of Interest rather than Sectors. Explore Actions are often unnecessary depending on the providence of the Battlezone but may provide useful Intelligence.
Generally Battlezones will follow the same rules as the main map though in some special cases exceptions may be made. Commonly fleets may be subdivided down into Taskforces to attain multiple goals or forces held specifically in reserve so these rules are covered here.
Taskforces: A Fleet must remain entirely within the Battlezone or entirely off of it. Within a battlezone it is often possible to divide the greater fleet into "Taskforces". These Taskforces will be listed as an Approximate number of Astartes involved and henceforth act like a smaller fleet, following the same system. As per Fleets, joint Taskforces are possible to a degree, but both players must contribute an equal number of troops. Taskforces can rejoin their parent Fleets as a Reinforce action.
Reserves: When a Fleet splits into smaller Taskforces, the Core of the Fleet forms a Temporary Legion hub known as Reserves. this will still be listed as a Percentage of the Total Fleet and troops from Reserves will remain on guard unless ordered to do otherwise or their traits demand Otherwise. The Reserves will always perform a special Reserves action which should include specific circumstances in which they will be deployed. If the reserves are not called upon they will send reinforcements to any applicable Taskforces.
Things proceed much as the last game tbh, though generally things are less constrained by pure maths but rather GM'ed. (Though the maths are still there...) thats a major philosophical change behind the scenes, things will be less crunchy and predictable and there should be more roleplay, the more defined your character is in discussions and arguments on the boards as well as actions, the more toys you get... (I will distribute toys like the Chaos gods, Spawn are awesome :P ).
Consider it the power of Narrative, the more you add to the game with talking on the forum IC, stories, cool Legion pages, battle reports, planetary descriptions and notable characters/events the better the game is. If you are adding to the game, the game is going to reward you! If you sit there in grim silence and add nothing at all, why are you even playing? :P That said its a valid choice just not one that is going to earn you toys.
On that note, if you are having private conversations/conspiracies you should endeavour to include the GM so i can be witness (And if needed clarifier).