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.
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Categories: Dozaria Campaign