Frozen Reaches Campaign Notes

The Ork invasion of Damaris is broken up into two main parts. Pursuing the war on the grand scale by assigning units to locations to defend against Ork attacks, and fighting in small-scale engagements either in space or on the ground by becoming personally involved in the war-effort. The Grand Scale of the invasion takes place 1 week at a time, with the Players assigning units against the enemy attacks. These actions are resolved at the end of a 5 day period, during which the Players may become involved in small-scale engagements and other encounters. Small-scale engagements might be things such as; attacking and sabotaging an Ork Rok, protecting VIPs from potential assassinations, rescuing cut-off units, and so on. As the invasion ebbs and flows in strength, certain locations might be lost or rendered unusable. For example: if any of the City Walls are lost then the Orks will be able to attack inner locations, and will most likely push with more ferocity towards these weekend areas, or if both the Sphinx Starport and the Levy Fields are destroyed then transport and fighter sorties will become impossible. Also consider that the more locations which are destroyed, the less the Players stand to make in profit.
Behind the scenes I will be running and crunching the numbers. These numbers are represented through a Strength characteristic which each Location, Unit, and Ork Attack possess. Certain Locations and Units provide unique bonuses to Strength, such as reducing Strength lost after each battle, or increasing Strength if deployed to certain Locations. Even tho a Location might be unmanned, it still may have an allocation of Strength (represented by established gun emplacements, locals helping fight back, exceptionally difficult terrain to assault over). This mechanic is for my eyes only. This is done so as to maintain the illusion of actually running a war, complete with all the stresses, misinformation and setbacks which come with it. At the end of the campaign I will gladly share my notes with you all so you can see just how the situation was resolved. I ask that you please question me for more detail at any time you might feel frustrated or unsure of a situation. This part of the game heavily relies on the GM to give appropriate descriptions of Strengths so as to aid the Players in making the right decisions. The descriptions I have included in the sections below include hints as to how Units and Locations might best be used together in order to mount the strongest possible defence against the Orks.

Invasion Mechanics

  • Resolving Attacks and Fighting the War
    • 1. Players determine where their personal skills might make a difference in the battles.
    • 2. Players assign Units to Space Battle.
    • 3. GM determines how the Space Battle goes and how many Roks make it to the planet surface.
    • 4. Players assign Units to Offensive Operations.
    • 5. GM resolves Offensive Operations, reducing the number of Roks by the appropriate amount and reducing Ork attack Strength.
    • 6. GM Increase the Ork Attack Strength at each Ground Location for each remaining Rok.
    • 7. GM determines the Strength of the Ork Attack in each Ground Location.
    • 8. Players assign Units to Ground Locations.
    • 9. GM resolves the week’s Ground combat at the end of the week (every 5 days).
      • NB. Players will engage in hands-on missions at certain points during the week. These may or may not have an effect on the eventual outcome of the Invasion at large.
  • Additional Rules
    • Since the Players do not know the exact Strength of their own forces or that of their opponents, they need a way to determine if their decisions a the beginning of each phase of the war are tactically sound. Players may roll an Easy (+30) Scholastic Lore (Tactica Imperialis) Test, an Ordinary (+10) Common Lore (War, Imperial Guard, Imperial Navy), Evaluate, Logic, or Forbidden Lore (Xenos) Test, or a Challenging (+0) Command Test to determine the combat effectiveness of Unit deployments. Success grants a rough outline of the Strength of the Ork forces arrayed against them, as well as what allied forces might be suitable to repel them. Multiple success grant more accurate tactical knowledge about the Ork Strength. Players may make any of the above tests a maximum of 5 times per Week. The usual rules for rolling Skill Tests apply here e.g. same Test cannot be rolled on the same Location more than once, Tests may be assisted etc.
    • Players may make a single appropriate Skill Test to aid the Defenders and boost the Strength of a Location (Ground, Space, or Offensive Operation) or Unit. The selected Location or Unit gains Strength for DoS achieved on the Skill Test.
    • Players may combine heavily damaged Units into single Units. A Challenging (+0) Command Test must be rolled, success resulting in the weaker Unit adding its Strength to the stronger Unit. The weaker Unit is absorbed. This may only be done with Units of a similar description e.g. Storm Troopers cannot be merged with Highland Warden Artillery.
    • Players may contribute their ship to Space Battles or Bombardment.
    • Players may field one Unit of House Troopers by reducing their Crew Population by 4.
    • Players may field multiple Units of Mustered Armsmen by reducing their Crew Population by 8 per Unit raised.
    • Players may spend Profit Factor to increase the Strength of Locations and/or Units. For every 1 Profit Factor spent, they may increase the Strength of 1 Unit or Location. Profit Factor is returned as long as the Endeavour is successful. In addition, for every 3 Profit Factor spent, the Players will receive 1 additional Profit Factor as long as the Endeavour is successful. This is to represent their returned investment in Damaris (paying for labour guilds, setting up rush-job mining quarries etc)
    • Players may use ships to perform Orbital Bombardments on Locations. Any ship tasked for Orbital Bombardment cannot be used in the Space Battle for that week. True space-faring ships do significantly more damage than the simple System Ships.

Assets and Alliances

Ground Assets

  • House Troop Company: [Allied: 3x Companies from Orleans, Blitz and Lazarus]
    • Comprised of roughly 200 men, House Troops are loyal, well-trained veterans, and are equipped adequately for combat. They are however still a light-infantry unit without heavy armour or anti-tank weapons, and cannot hold positions unaided for long. Such is their loyalty that House Troops will always fight to the absolute last man, spilling gallons of blood for each backward step, and often seem to return from the direst of situations. Bloodied. Battered. But unbroken. Each Rogue Trader can raise one company of House Troops.
  • Mustered Armsmen Battalion: [Allied: 4x Battalions, 1 from Orleans, 2 from Blitz, 1 from Lazarus]
    • Poorly armed and armoured, these men are not trained to fight in a ground war, and their attrition rate is likely to be high. A light infantry unit, Mustered Armsmen Battalions consist of approximately 1000 men, are equipped with simple weapons, and are completely unsuited to prolonged engagements with men prone to abandoning their posts in the face of overwhelming odds. Their strength lies soley in their numbers. In dire times Rogue Traders can empty their holds of all but the most essential crew in order to wage war.
  • 2nd Platoon, 8th Calixian Storm Trooper Company: [Allied: 1 Platoon from Locke] KIA
    • There are less than 40 of these highly-trained veterans under Locke’s command, but their effectiveness should not be understated. They are equipped with Valkyrie Assault Carriers and two Vulture Gunships. Capable of holding the line when needed, they are better suited with offensive raids where they can dish-out a great deal of damage before slipping away. These veterans are best described as tenacious and implacable, seemingly able to survive the worst that can be thrown at them and shrugging off grievous injuries like mere flesh wounds.
  • 1st and 2nd Damaris Levy Regiments: [Allied: 8 Battalions from Dante]
    • Each regiment is split into four Battalions of 500 men. They are trained and equipped to the same level of Imperial Guard, and come with the support of light armour and light artillery, as well as the numbers to absorb heavy casualties. The 3rd and 4th regiments have been deployed to the city walls and outlying settlements already, and cannot be redistributed. The Levy Regiments are lacking in experience, having not ever been engaged in open warfare. Out of all the units available to the defenders, they make up a substantial portion of the ground strength of Damaris.
  • Sphinx Heavy Guard: [Allied: 2 Regiments from Dante] KIA
    • The only dedicated tank unit on the world. Equipped with a core of 40 Leman Russ-pattern tanks and supported by 8 Demolishers and a dozen Sentinels, it is Damaris’ only real option for offensive attacks. Their strength would likely be wasted simply holding ground.
  • Highland Wardens: [Allied: 2 Regiments from Dante]
    • This is Damaris’ sole concession to mobile artillery, as the planet has had little need of it until now. The Wardens are equipped with 20 Basilisk tanks mounting the fearsome long-range Earthshaker cannons, and have 3 Griffons with short-range mortars. Their output of firepower is breathtaking to behold. Obviously, this unit is incredibly unsuited to offensive attacks and will quickly be overrun without infantry support.
  • Magistratum Enforce Cadres: [Allied: 2 Cadres from Thrace] KIA
    • Officers are hardly equipped to fight a full-scale war, but armed with shotguns, riot shields and a small number of heavy stubbers, they can give a good accounting of themselves in urban locations. Currently Marshall Thrace can support two Enforcer Cadres of several hundred officers each.
  • Magistratum Supression Cadre: [Allied: 1 Cadre from Thrace]
    • The Suppression Cadre is a small unit intended for special operations and counter-cult activities. Consisting of about 100 well-trained officers, it is equipped with Rhino and Repressor tanks, giving it a surprisingly powerful punch. Like other Magistratum units, it is best deployed to defend urban areas.
  • Skitarii Cohorts: [Allied: 2 Cohorts from Shard]
    • Shard has only two company-level units of these fearsome warriors at his disposal, but their augemented frames and powerful Mechanicus weaponry means they are quite effective no matter the task. Thanks to the Skitarii Reclamation Bays at the Forge, Skitarii are able to be quickly repaired and revitalised when defending their home.
  • Fraternis Militia: [Allied: 1 Free Company from Arint]
    • A militant rabble, more brawlers than real soldiers. What they lack in training and tactics they more than make up for in zeal and fervour. Their faith can have the most curious effect on those around them, causing allies to fight on despite grievous wounds, and hold ground against the most overwhelming odds. Bishop Arint has a cohort of roughly 500 men and women who fight in the name of St. Drusus.
  • Astropathic Choir: [Allied: some 20 Astropaths from Stasys]
    • While they will not engage in open warfare, Astropathic Choirs can be a great boon to their allies by probing the skeins of fate to predict the outcomes of uncertain events and the maneuvers of enemy forces, as well as provide enhanced communication capabilities. Many lives have been saved thanks to the timely foresight of the Astratelepathica, and any Commander who disregards these warp touched individuals may find it to be to his detriment.
  • Fighter Wings: [Allied: 1 Wing from Reynolds] KIA
    • Damaris does not boast a particularly extensive airforce, but its half a dozen Thunderbolt Pattern fighter bombers and several Halo barges perform the necessary actions such as bombing and troop/supply transport. Units assigned alongside the Fighter Wing are significantly bolstered in their strength as the planes overhead deploy much needed supplies and perform targeted strikes against enemy positions.

Space Assets

  • Starweaver: [Allied: Orleans]
    • Elizabeth’s ship is a Tempest-class Strike Frigate. Although it is a relatively small vessel compared to Blitz’s Ordained Destiny, Elizabeth uses her ship with cunning and skill. The Starweaver is a war-vessel through and through.
  • Ordained Destiny: [Allied: Blitz]
    • Blitz’s vessel is a cruiser bristling with broadsides, but its combat effectiveness was significantly reduced prior to his ownership. The ostentatious and gilded hull makes her hard to steer in a fight, and Blitz is somewhat reluctant to commit to situations which might see him killed. Nevertheless her broadsides are nothing short of legendary in the Expanse, able to split vessels of equal measure into fragments with a single salvo.
  • Aegis: [Allied: Locke]
    • A Dauntless Light Cruiser, Locke’s vessel is every inch an Imperial Navy ship. Combined with her decades of theoretical and practical experience, it is easily the most deadly ship in the system.
  • System Ships; Avalon, Proximo, Merkava, Ravana: [Allied: Reynolds] KIA
    • 4 transport vessels with some retrofitted macrocannons, these are no match for true warships. Together they might mount a decent offensive as they harry and worry at enemy vessels like a pack of dogs, but they are best used in a supporting role.
  • Bulwark: [Allied: Reynolds]
    • The Bulwark is extremely powerful and deadly. However, being an orbital installation it cannot move under its own power, it must wait for enemy ships to come into range of its guns. Its effectiveness is somewhat limited by this drawback.
    • Investments: 2 PF in the form of armaments for Bulwark defence forces and the infrastructure to manage repairs on larger ships.
  • Lazarus: [Allied]
    • An even-handed vessel riding the mid-ground between the outright warship qualities of the Starweaver and the profit-seeking Ordained Destiny.

Locations

  • Enforcer Magistratum Fortress:Inner
    • Situated within the city walls, the Fortress of the local Magistratum is vital to the stability of the city in a time of crisis. As befits an essential wartime institution, the Fortress is equipped for extended siege and houses hundreds of Enforcers.
  • Damaris City Walls:Outer
    • Damaris city is surrounded by thick, heavy walls. Unfortunately they have not been put to the test since their installation, and it is unknown if they can withstand an all-out Ork assault. Sections of the walls have recessed cannons and batteries imbedded in them, but these haven’t been tested for almost 300 years. The walls themselves are roughly 30m thick and 30m high with bunkers and storerooms inside of them - tapering towards the top until they are about 10m thick. Defensive emplacements are spaced out at uneven intervals from a few hundred metres to well over a few kilometres. Each emplacement houses a half-dozen heavy bolter and Autocannon turrets, two twin-linked lascannon sentry turrets, and a trio of artillery pieces. Should the walls of the city be breached, the Orks will spill into the city and begin attacking the inner locations. Each of the four quadrants which make up the city walls have troops already stationed there, providing a solid defensive base. Low-grade void shields placed upon the walls serve as great protection for the men stationed there, and will surely reduce casualties in the coming war.
  • Daedalus Command Bunker:Inner
    • This is where the command staff directs the war on the ground. It is situated beneath the Governor’s Gubernational Palace and is considered to be nigh-impregnable. Inside are a variety of command and control systems, cogitators, and data-looms for coordinating a ground war. The armoured shaft leading to the Command Bunker is blocked by 4 adamantine bulkhead doors, each a metre thick. There is a secure transmitter that allows real-time communications between the bunker and any ships in the system inside. The bunker has enough supplies to last for more than a month, and has been built to resist intensive attacks.
  • Industrial Infrastructure:Inner and Outer
    • Various mines and refineries scattered around the countryside and city serve to maintain Damaris’ industrial economy. The majority of the mineral wealth pulled from the ground is sent back to the Imperium, but some of it is distributed throughout the Koronus Expanse with the aid of various Charter Captains and Rogue Traders. Refineries are located both inside and outside the city walls, and to lose any of them would greatly affect the profit-making abilities of the planet. The Orks may target these locations in order to turn them towards their own war-effort, and if unmanned are essentially defenceless.
  • Sphinx Landing Starport:Inner
    • A most important asset for the defenders of Damaris. Aside from the Levy Training Fields, it’s the only place that the Levy fighters can take off and land from, and the only location where the Flotilla’s space fighters can stage from the on the surface. The Starport is protected by several defence batteries to fend off any raiders who manage to bypass the Bulwark, and will greatly aid any who take position defending the Starport.
  • Levy Bunkers and Outposts:Outer Overrun
    • Situated around the main settlements and countryside, the Levy has established numerous bunkers and outposts in anticipation of an attack. Modelled after the standard Imperial Guard bunker, these are equipped with gun-ports, firing arcs, and enough food and supplies to sustain a platoon for several weeks. Each is connected to the city by a network of underground tunnels constructed centuries ago. As such, this location is prime for providing a solid defence against the Orks by channelling their attacks and sapping their strength before they reach the walls.
    • Investments: 1 PF in the form of demolitions set up in the tunnels of the Levy outposts, set to detonate if the area is overrun, denying the Orks the asset.
  • Levy Training Fields:Inner
    • This is where the bulk of the Levy troops are trained and housed. The perimeter is protected by numerous defence batteries and emplacements, and will provide the defenders with an assured advantage over any aggressors should they assault the city proper.
  • Planetary Infrastructure:Inner and Outer
    • An abstract representation of the numerous water treatment, power plants, electrical grids, transport hubs, and medical facilities needed to run a city the size of Damaris. Loosing these assets would impact the civilian population greatly, as water dries up and medicine becomes scarce. These services and facilities can be located both inside, and outside, the city proper. Much like the Industrial Infrastructure, this location has little in the way of viable defence, despite its importance to the world.
  • Shard’s Forge:Outer
    • Situated outside the city on a small island, the Forge provides much of Damaris City’s technology and research, as well at provided the bulk of its power from the deep-water power-station underneath the Forge. The power is vital to keeping both the voidshields and the gun emplacements of the city walls operational. Luckily the Forge is heavily fortified, as expected of an institute of the Adeptus Mechanicus, but not impenetrable.
    • Investments: 3 PF in the form of an Enginseer workforce from the Lazarus to help secure the area, as well as enhancing the output of the generator to take into account its additional wartime uses.
  • Shrine of St. Drusus:Inner Sabotaged and Destroyed
    • This holy temple, dedicated to Saint Drusus of the Angevin Crusades and constructed of steel-reinforced ferocrete, is one of the cornerstones of the Ecclesiarchy’s hold within this region of the Koronus. If the temple fell, it would be a major blow to the Imperial Creed in the area. Housed within the temple is the ancient reliquary, a legendary artefact belonging to St. Drusus himself, and some 500 Fraternis Militia tasked with protecting it.
  • Offensive Operations:Special
    • Off. Ops. represents units being detailed to strike back against Ork positions outside the city and surrounding locations, conduct spoiler assaults, sabotage Roks which have made planet-fall, and eventually destroy the Ork foothold on Damaris.
  • Space:Special
    • That big black thing full of all the shiny lights in the sky. Warships go here and shoot each other.

Unit Total Casualties: Week 1 Total Casualties: Week 2 Total Casualties: Week 3
Orleans House Troops 20% 37% 62%
Blitz House Troops 20% 50% 75%
Lazarus House Troops 20% 37% 75%
Orleans Mustered Armsmen 25% 50% 100% [Unit Destroyed]
Blitz Mustered Armsmen 25% 50% 85%
Blitz Mustered Armsmen 25% 60% 79%
Lazarus Mustered Armsmen 25% 60% 93%
Storm Troopers 100% [Unit Destroyed] X X
1st Damaris 1st Battalion Minor Losses Minor Losses 25%
1st Damaris 2nd Battalion Minor Losses Minor Losses 5%
1st Damaris 3rd Battalion Minor Losses 5% 19%
1st Damaris 4th Battalion Minor Losses 5% 19%
2nd Damaris 1st Battalion Minor Losses 5% 19%
2nd Damaris 2nd Battalion Minor Losses 5% 62%
2nd Damaris 3rd Battalion Minor Losses 5% 62%
2nd Damaris 4th Battalion 5% 20% 81%
1st Sphinx Heavy Guard 100% [Unit Destroyed] X X
2nd Sphinx Heavy Guard 100% [Unit Destroyed] X X
1st Highland Wardens 10% 20% 70%
2nd Highland Wardens 10% 20% 30%
Magistratum Enforcers Alpha - 25% 100% [Unit Destroyed]
Magistratum Enforcers Bravo - 25% 100% [Unit Destroyed]
Magistratum Supressors 33% 33% 33%
Skitarii Cohort Epsilon 10% 20% 40%
Skitarii Cohort Omega 10% 20% 40%
Frateris Militia 15% 37% 37%
Fighter Wing 100% [Unit Destroyed] X X
Astropathic Choir - - -

Notable Persons Alignment Chart

NPC Disposition towards Players Personal Goals Agreements with Players
Lady Orleans Positive+ Secure trade agreements, removal of Ecchlesiarchy control, keeping Kapak in power Allied to secure trade agreements and make mutual profit. Has committed both ship and soldiers to the war-effort
Lord-Captain Locke Positive+ Defend Damaris to the death if necessary Allied to protect Damaris. Has committed both ship and soldiers to the war-effort
General Dante Opposed Secure Governorship of Damaris, removal of the Kapak family line, removal of Imperial or outside influence Has committed military to war-effort in exchange for the Lazarus staying out of Damaris politics post-war. After the disastrous first week of engagement and the loss of his armoured divisions, Dante has demanded that he be granted the final say in the deployment of his forces.
Captain Blitz Positive+ To make that paper rain Allied to secure trade agreements and make mutual profit. Has committed both ship and soldiers to the war-effort
Governor Kapak Positive Damaris saved from the invasion, Dante reduced in power Agreed to secure trading rights and infrastructure to the Lazarus once the war is over
Commander Reynolds Positive Dismantle old ruling families of Damaris, instate military as new leaders Agreed to commit the Bulwark and System Ships to war-effort in exchange for the Lazarus staying out of Damaris politics post-war
Enginseer Shard Positive+ Protection of forge and research assets Agreed to supply Skitarii in exchange for a greater degree of aerial and ground protection
Bishop Arint Positive Protection of artefact and Drusian temple Agreed to commit Frateris Militia to the war-effort in exchange for a greater degree of protection
Marshall Thrace Positive Safety of the people of Damaris, prosecution of Dante and Kapak for sedition and narcotics abuse respectively Agreed to assist with Enforcer Cadres on the proviso the Lazarus help investigate Dante post-war
Astropath Stasys Neutral Safety of himself and his choir Agreed to earmark a shuttle prepped to take Stasys off world should Damaris fall

Running Mass Combat

We will be utilizing the simple method for all Mass Combat as detailed on pg 292 of the Rogue Trader Core Book.

  • If Mass Combat is called for, the PCs will first describe how they are effecting the battle at large. In doing so they will choose an appropriate skill test to roll upon. For example, a character might describe themselves as leading a charge and getting stuck in the thick of things, and subsequently choose a Weapon Skill test to roll. A character might also describe themselves as repairing damaged armour assets like tanks and artillery, choosing to roll on Tech-Use or Trade (Armourer).
  • These skill tests are opposed to the enemy attempting to do the same thing. An enemy Leader might roll Command, whereas an enemy Assassin might roll Stealth.
  • The GM will set a required number of successes in order for the PCs to have an impact on the battle. For example, 10 successes are needed to sweep away your enemies in a tidal wave of blood and fire, whereas 5 successes means the players only just scrape through with a victory, and 0 successes sees them reach a tense stalemate. Subsequently, failures would result in the PCs taking additional wounds (recommended 1 wound per DoF) as their attacks are rebuffed and countered.
  • The total DoS or DoF rolled on these checks can effect the subsequent personal encounters the players engage in. If the players achieve a resounding success, they may only need to fight against 2-3 similarly capable enemies. If the players only just scrape through with a victory, they may need to fight 4 similarly capable enemies, and an Elite-level enemy too. A horrific defeat might see them face off against a Master-level enemy, or other suitable challenging prospect.
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