A while ago, some of you might remember we started a series of Battle Reports here on the site dubbed “Arena of War”. The idea was simple. To bring you a bunch of smaller pointed battle reports for Warhammer 40,000, showing off Combat Patrols with armies from fellow hobbyists and content creators. I hoped to make it a monthly fixture to our wargaming content and was in the middle of trying to source opponents to take part in the first few games. Unfortunately, that has not happened.
With the global pandemic once again forcing a lot of countries (including over here in the UK) to increase restrictions on travel and mixing of households, I have been unable to bring you any of the battle reports I had planned. And it looks like I will be unable to get out and play with anyone else IRL for the foreseeable future. So, we had to go back to the drawing board and work out how we were going to continue with Arena of War in the immediate future.
Luckily, I think we have found an answer.
For the next couple of months, we will be bringing you a series of games in the form of a Narrative Campaign, played out between the forces of the Adeptus Custodes and the followers of the Plague God Nurgle. This campaign that we are calling “The Carnes Incrementum”, will be played out with my two lockdown army projects, with each force been commanded by someone in my own household so that we are sticking to social distance guidelines. The games will be a mix of Combat Patrol and Incursion sized games, with a mix of rules from both the Crusade Narrative system and the more rigged Match Play format.
The idea is to use this campaign to tell and story, that is both engaging to read and fun to play. As a result, the games will be a little looser on rules, with the emphasis been on rule of cool rather than competitive play. Think of it as a sort of cross between an RPG and a tabletop miniature game. The result of each game will have a direct impact of the next instalment, leading to what we hope will be a pretty epic conclusion.
The campaign we start next month, once we are able to get our hands on the new Codex Death Guard (or if the Codex comes out closer to Christmas early in January). I am very excited to bring you this story, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed planning it. There is only one think left to talk about. What is the Carnes Incrementum?
Manastus glazed at the cell before him. In the near total darkness of the vault, it would have been almost impossible to for a mortal man to see anything but the blackness of the void. But then, Manastus was no mere mortal. His eyes narrowed as he took in the sight with his gene enhanced vision. The rune etched ceremite doors, once bound together with chains and symbols of holy warding, now lay sundered from the stone walls of the vault. They had stood for over a millennia, constructed during the latter days of the Unification Wars, when the Emperor himself had sealed them before the onset of the Great Crusade They had stood firm during the assault of the Arch-Traitor at the height of the heresy, through the Wars of the Beast and numerous other threats to the home world. But now they lay splintered on the ground like kindling, and the cell beyond lay empty. Manastus clenched his jaw in frustration. When the army of Neverborn had assailed the Lions Gate, he and his brothers had rushed to defend the palace, leaving only a handful of his Shield Host to guard the Dark Cells. Lytanus had remained behind, reassuring Manastus that he would make sure their charges would remain secure. Lytanus had been relatively new to their Host, only recently joining their number. That was not to say he was inexperienced. Lytanus had served as one of the ten thousand for well over three centuries before his elevation to their order, earning many names and honours during that time. He was a fine warrior, but an even better scholar. Manastus supposed was a contributing factor in his elevation to the Shadow Keepers.
Manastus still recalled the sight of the young warriors broken body as they had rushed back to the cells, discovering many of them now broken and empty. All evidence suggested Lytanus had put up a brave fight, as any of their kind would have. But still it had not been enough, and his form had been torn asunder. There were many of his brothers that had shared similar fates when the cells had been opened. Many honoured dead that had given their lives to hold back the forces they had once imprisoned. But Manastus’ thoughts kept returning to Lytanus. He had been the one to stay behind so Manastus could answer the call. He had been the one that guarded Manastus cell so he could do his duty. He had been the one that had died in Manastus place. “It should have been me” he thought to himself. “I should have stayed”. He knew the thoughts were ridiculous. No matter which one of them had remained behind it would not have made a difference. He knew he had done his duty and accounted for himself with great distinction. But despite himself he felt a sense of regret. That he had abandonesd his post, and Lytanus had paid the price.
He heard footsteps coming behind him. “Lamination doesn’t suit you brother”. Manastus turned to face the new arrival. “Tristaen. What news?”. The Warden removed his helm and gazed past Manastus at the wreckage of the cell door, continuing as if he hadn’t heard his brothers’ question. “Lytanus would not want us to morn his passing. In fact, I expect he would have found the notion utterly pointless”. He turned to face Manastus. “Do not blame yourself for what happened”. “If I had been here instead of Lytanus…”, “Then I would be telling him the exact same thing. No matter who stayed behind, it wouldn’t have changed anything. Lytanus give his life as we all would have”. Manastus turned to face the empty cell. He knew Tristaen was right. He knew that whichever of them had remained would have faced certain death. He knew that no blame lay at his feet, and that he had done his duty. Still, he couldn’t help but wonder. He turned to face his fellow Warden. “Do you have any news?” Manastus asked. Tristaen grinned. “We have a lead. Come, the Shield-Captain is expecting us.” he said as he placed his helm back over his head and made to leave. Manastus nodded and followed. He might not have been able to stop its escape. He might not have been able to save Lytanus. But he would make sure that they would retrieve their charge or failing that, destroy it once and for all. The Carnes Incrementum would not, and could not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands.
I hope you have enjoyed this preview of of narrative campaign. If you don’t want to miss the start of the campaign, then make sure you subscribe to keep up to date with all we do over here at Master of Magics. If you want to give us feedback on this or any other article, you can leave a comment below or contact me via twitter @TenguPlaysGames. If you have enjoyed todays article, please like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics. Until next time though remember, “The Emperor Protects!”