TheGM: A fanatic, a buffoon, a madman—whatever you think of his Holiness, Confessor Guidonis Bernard, this infamously unpopular member of the Ecclesiarchy will be at the center of my next three-battle, “mini” campaign on the Chaos-plagued world of Dozaria.
Having alienated, denigrated, and condemned many of his fellow priests in years past, Bernard was “encouraged” by senior officials in the Ecclesiarchy to take his unique “zeal” for the Imperial Creed to the backwater Corvus Cluster. Once there, he was quickly drawn to the fighting on Dozaria.
After all, what greater test of faith exists than facing down traitors and heretics?
To no one’s surprise, Bernard arrival to the war zone quickly raised hackles. Suggesting that heretics and traitors were everywhere, promulgating a variety of conspiracy theories, questioning the loyalty and competence of Imperial officers, and unintentionally inciting civil unrest, he inflamed growing hostility towards himself when he suggested that the military subject the planet to Exterminatus.
Despite his immense flaws, Bernard’s fiery oration garnered him much support among the suffering citizenry, and it was deemed by some Imperial authorities as unwise for a very visible member of the Ecclesiarchy to suffer an “accident.” It was decided, then, to play to Bernard’s ego and suggest that his inspirational leadership was a potent weapon to wield against the enemies of the God-Emperor.
Perhaps he could raise a regiment of true believers to smite the enemy in battle . . . with him leading from the front?
That sounded like a brilliant idea to Bernard, who easily convinced himself that this was a sign from the Emperor. Alas, the confessor’s oratory wasn’t quite able to recruit an entire regiment. He managed to raise a company-sized mob of conscripts, which have become known as Bernard’s Battle Brethren.
In the upcoming campaign, this Brethren will be at the heart of Imperial forces that fight the next three battles on Dozaria. The unit has been assigned to the 44th Dozarian PDF Regiment, much to horror of the regiment’s senior officers.
The campaign will revolve around the efforts of the 44th Regiment to counter a march by forces of the Death Guard and the Tainted Souls Cult, led by Chaos Champion Ghaz Tak. His goal is to destroy still-functioning farms in the Pattoa Flats, an agricultural region in the western half of the Lorca Basin.
The campaign will revolve around the efforts of the 44th Regiment to counter a march by forces of the Death Guard and the the Tainted Souls Cult, led by Chaos Champion Ghaz Tak, to destroy still-functioning farms in the Pattoa Flats, an agricultural region in the western half of the Lorca Basin.
As noted in the recent Rumors of the Underhive (3 850 740.M41), there is a growing food shortage on Dozaria. A lot of farmland has fallen to the Death Guard and, behind Imperial lines, more cropland is being eaten and contaminated by billions of starving victims of the Kassig Plague (known as “zombies”).
Ghaz Tak sees an opportunity to weaken the Imperial defenses by targeting the Imperials’ remaining croplands. His goal is to cross the Lorca Basin and lay waste to every farm he can find. Starvation, after all, makes the human body more susceptible to disease.
Thus I kill several birds with one stone with this campaign. I bring two important characters (Ghaz Tau and Bernard) to the forefront of the events on Dozaria, and I can advance the “history” of what’s happening on the planet.
I see Ghaz Tak as a typical Chaos lord—ambitious, evil, cunning, decadent, and a typical, dastardly bad guy. I’m just going to use the stats for a Chaos lord.
For Bernard, there’s a bit more complexity planned. He’s technically under the command of the regimental commander. But as the confessor is a nut job, and incredibly egotistical, I’m going to treat him as a Commissar. Why not? A commissar’s higher leadership reflects Bernard’s sincere, if bizarre, leadership of his breathern.
I’m also going to give him a bit of a fanatical flavor. Every turn, if he fails a Leadership roll, his unit will advance toward the enemy—irregardless of whether that’s tactically sound or such an advance follows the orders he’s been given.
(If he goes forward, the commanding officer can use an order to try to rein him in.)
I think all of this will be a hoot. The idea that Bernard could screw up badly on the tabletop (although not statistically likely) is just fun. And, who knows, his fanatical leadership and foolish aggression could actually turn the tide of battle?
I think good ol’ Bernard will bring some wonderful color to this little campaign.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi-fi universe of Games Workshop.
Categories: Dozaria Campaign
Honestly seems really cool and we all gotta root just a little for the poor folks on Dozaria….just hopefully the priest bites it once it’s all done or I get a bad feeling that Dozaria might end up going a bit shrine-worldly of dear Binards persuasion.
Will you balance off Bernards flaw with a rare to activate virtue? Maybe give the unit hatred if they are rushing forward for no good reason….
It feels like Bernard could have a bodyguard of super-loyalists, the men/women who not only drank the Kool-Aid but are busy brewing up the next batch.
Maybe a unit of Veterans? Or a Command Squad?
You should give Bernard an invincible save!! Is it faith? Is it dumb luck? The universe being perverse to punish those around him? There will be arguments decades from now.
For some reason I thought of hero-hammer era felix and gotrek. They had some stupidly good saves around luck/divine will/whatever.
I love the idea of giving Bernard an Invul save. Although I think any of the Ecclesiarchy that knows Bernard will want him dead, those that have only heard him speak would pull strings to get him a Rosarius.
I hope the first battle of Bernard’s Wars will hint at some virtuous qualities. But, let’s be honest, he’s a bit of a fanatical nut.
I don’t assume everyone reads everything I write, so I’ll share this little nugget from Bernard’s bio: Reverse the confessor’s name (to Bernard Guidonis), and you have the name of a French Inquisitor who served in the Middle Ages. You may find it interesting that Guidonis was considered more lenient than many Inquisitors. Also, he was fictionalized in several novels, including the best seller, The Name of the Rose.