Campaigns have a tendency to focus on goals and exclude the story element. With a Purpose has a more granular scope, focusing on a commodore instead of a supreme commander. Instead of an open ended campaign, players are working to achieve victory points. This is done by defining the major objectives given to the players from their central government. Additionally, players will receive high priority missions that need to be completed. Campaign Moderators will have more freedom to explore the motivations of an empire, becoming a true 5x game (eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate, eXplore, and eXplain). With A Purpose supports a number of players and team play for those players who wish to try cooperative campaign games.
Since players represent low level commanders than a typical Victory by Any Means campaign, the scope of the degree is altered. Campaign turns represent shorter periods of time and each ship and ground unit is all the more precious to pull off the work given from their central command. The area will simply have more territory to explore as these campaigns include more minor systems that may exist between all the important campaign worlds in a normal game. Players must be ever vigilant of their actions and careful to control the amount of tension in the region.
Players are assigned goals by their empires for the next 24 campaign turns. There are ten major assignment groups, with 6 possible objectives per category:
1) Economic Development
5) Situational (Diplomatic)
For example, a player could roll 1 and 4.
Now, we would roll a d6 for the Economic Development and Control categories
For Economic Development, we roll a 3 and Control we roll a 1. We now have 2 objectives for the player which define their major objectives for the upcoming turns.
3) New Productivity: Any system to go from 0 to 1 Productivity this cycle will yield two VP.
1) Colonize: We need more worlds and putting out new colonies is how we intend to do it. Each new colony created is worth two VP.
Players also may receive high priority orders, which they are expected to achieve. There are hundreds of these mission in With A Purpose alone, with more expected with future supplements. As with major objectives, the CM will roll to determine the mission category and then again to generate the specific mission.
The same player above may receive a high priority message from central command. In this example let’s assume the player has two outstanding orders. These are in addition to any major objectives handed down from the player’s superiors. We have rolled a mission for a factory and an operative within our sphere of control:
Factory (Big Bio Clean Up): A recent production disaster has left the area heavily polluted, requiring an advanced starship to aid in clean up. We need 1 Hospital 10 total Turns.
Duration: Start within 2d6 Turns
Location: Randomly determined friendly System
Reward: 2 VP
So on one of our planets we have a significant disaster, enough so that the central government has ordered use to divert a hospital ship to help clean up the mess. The player needs to locate such a ship and attempt to help the citizens of the planet.
Operative (Neutral Space Recovery): After some trouble we learned that our operative ejected into neutral space, probably for some reason I am sure the intelligence service will never tell us about. Unfortunately, we don’t know where that is. One random determined neutral System will have the operative. We will require 2 Scout or 2 Explorer to locate the operatives escape pod. Life support won’t hold out longer than the mission duration.
Duration: d3+3 Turns
Location: Randomly determined neutral System.
Reward: 3 VP
In this case we have an urgent mission to recover an operative in neutral territory. Chances are the resource to find the operative will be scarce so players will have to act fast before things turn south. And in neutral territory, there is no telling who or what the players may encounter.
With a Purpose creates a story narrative to drive a campaign and adds nearly infinite combination of missions that will only improve as we exlpore the variety of mission possibilities and scenarios available. Coupled with an excellent tactical system, With a Purpose promises to deliver an excellent gaming experience.
Many future Victory by Any Means products will include support for With a Purpose by offering additional missions. Players who invest in new material will receive new missions or objectives, and future scenarios can have very clear objectives defined within the context of that universe.