Tuesday 25 June 2024

What's the Point of a Campaign?

One-off battles are fun in MAC Attack, but what if you want a campaign?

Before writing anything resembling a campaign system I wanted to think about campaigns. I mean, what's the point in them?

For me I look for a few things out of a campaign:

  • Battle 6 should feel significantly different to Battle 1
  • There should be opportunities for fun between the battles
  • Losing the first few games shouldn't kill my fun for the rest of the campaign

So here's what I have for MAC Attack as it stands.


A series of battles can be linked together to form a campaign. The most straightforward way of doing this is to agree to play an increasingly large series of battles (say starting with 40pts and adding 12pts each battle) and agree that the first player to win a number of battles (i.e. 3) wins the Campaign.

The individual battles can be planned out ahead of time or generated using the Scenario Generator, with the winner of the previous battle playing as the Red Force. Randomise this for the first battle.


Bespoke battles can be designed with specific forces, battlefields, deployment rules and objectives.

They can use combinations of the variant rules provided and new rules created by the scenario designer.

As a guideline, the player who designed the scenario should explain their creation to the other player and then allow them to choose which side to play as, or agree to play the scenario twice, swapping sides between games.


Oh yeah, and there's this.

Much like I did with The Doomed I wanted to reward the winner with more options, while keeping the overall power levels of each force equal.

Of course, there's also a much more old-fashioned option.


Another way to play the game is to have one player act as the Gamemaster, essentially a neutral referee or host.

The Gamemaster is free to concentrate on managing the rules of the game, the specific scenario, and the ongoing campaign. They can create bespoke scenarios and make immediate judgements to modify things as events unfold.

For some battles the Gamemaster may take control of neutral units that exist outside of the players’ forces. They have a responsibly to use these units in the manner that feels most realistic to their type and current situation.

When there is doubt the Referee can roll a die to decide between different courses of action that a unit might take.

In running the game the Gamemaster should ensure they are acting impartially. They want the players to have fun, but owe them no favours.


Yeah so this is a bit of a toolbox approach, especially when combined with the various "other ways to play" in MAC Attack. You've got Profit Mode, Scrapheap Mode, Blip Mode, Hazardous Worlds, Battle Events... It's definitely a toolkit.

I talked about wanting the campaign to have fun that happens between battles. Of course part of that is tweaking your Force, building new MACs, but why not enjoy the experience of planning the next battle with your opponent? Of course there's a random scenario creator, but I want players to use the "you cut I choose" system to make more bespoke matchups.

And yeah... I'd love to see more people play this with a GM. If you haven't played a wargame with a GM before then I wholeheartedly recommend giving it a try. You might be surprised how much fun it is for both player and GM.


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  1. Mr McDowall, how may I contact you? Thank you.

    1. You can email me at bastionlandpress@gmail.com