I am a real believer that wargames with a strong RPG heritage such as Rogue Trader and its ilk are ideally suited for facilitating the play of large scale campaigns over the course of two, three or even more battles. The skirmish nature of the game and the narrative tools intrinsic to its design are extremely useful for any potential Games Master hoping to create a coherent and enjoyable campaign.
Personally I am doing this myself at the moment and have just managed to fight the second battle in what I am hoping will be a wide and interesting story arc for those involved.
This second battle was great fun and involved one of the key protagonists, my partner's character Inquisitor Athena
travelling to a remote Sisters of Battle outpost in the hope of securing some support in a conflict against an emergent Genestealer Cult on the Imperial World of Logan's Bluff. Unfortunately the insidious aliens are one step ahead of her and upon her arrival she finds that the Battle Sisters are already besieged by the hideous Genestealer Forces, and so she deploys her Imperial Storm Troopers in an effort to break the siege and rescue the female warriors.
At the start of the battle the lead Battle Sister; Sister-Superior Schwazernegger is actually situated in one of the main buildings huddled around a briefing table and explaining her plan to her retinue.
Meanwhile the rest of her force of power armour wearing, boltgun wielding nuns are scattered around the large preceptory complex.
On the right flank of the battlefield a large force of aliens is fast encroaching towards the Sisters' outpost, they are a swift moving foe that is making good use of terrain and foliage to conceal their approach. The alien force consists of a large number of poorly equipped brood brothers augmented by the agile and terrifying forms of both purestrain and hybrid Genestealers.
Far out on the left flank the relief force of Inquisitor Athena arrives on the field of battle, it consists of the Inquisitor herself and two squads of six Inquisitorial Storm Troopers clad in carapace armour and armed with laser rifles.
The aliens realise that it would be easiest to fight these two Imperial Forces separately and so move quickly to try and overwhelm the Sisters' facility before the forces of the Inquisition can move to impede them. The Genesetealers ably demonstrate their callous nature by pushing the human brood brothers ahead of them as an improvised meat shield to weather the enemy's fire. This is a highly effective (though morally dubious) tactic and the humans absorb a large amount of the fire that was aimed at the Genestealers.
Meanwhile a small force of aliens breaks off from the main advance in order to try and stall the arrival of the Inquisitor's forces. This is a token effort and is merely designed to act as a speed bump to hold up the Inquisitor.
The main alien force then conducts a desperate Forlorn Hope against the central access route to the facility and despite incurring a hideous amount of casualties they are able to slay the Battle Sister sentries and force their way into the outpost. The Sororitas Forces do not take this incursion lightly and move swiftly to repel their assailants with accurate volleys of mass-reactive bolt rounds.
Once the distance had been closed the Battle Sisters were able to bring their short range weapons such as flamers and bolt pistols to bear on the advancing foe, and these potent weapon systems took a great toll, which was fortunate as once the Genestealers enter close combat proper they are nigh on unstoppable.
The slaughter was epic in its proportions and both forces were decimated until only a handful of survivors were left skulking around the ruined battleground. However when it was all said and done it was apparent that the Inquisitor's forces had (narrowly) emerged victorious, though in truth this was a Pyrrhic victory in campaign terms as the majority of her soldiery had perished during the conflict.
Overall this was a really enjoyable game, and I have to say the bespoke scenery that I made for the battle (including an entire Gothic-style preceptory) really added to the atmosphere and provided an interesting backdrop. The forces were diametrically opposed with the fast-moving assault oriented Genestealers facing off against the more 'shooty'
Imperial soldiers and this made for a very challenging but rewarding encounter.
Rogue Trader is an amazing set of rules for these small scale battles and every time we play with them we have a great game. I really would encourage people to dig out these old rules and give them a go, they hold up pretty well for a 29 year old system!
There is a much more comprehensive battle report with a lot more photographs on my blog at:http://classicastartes.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/rogue-trader-inquisitors-adventure_6.html