Kings of the Hills

Over the course of a friendly King of the Hill battle in BrikVerse #2,009, a series of perfectly reasonable countermeasures and Hill-wrecking nuclear armageddons resulted in a dimension of infinitely replicating Hill duplicates. With no way of identifying the one true Hill, the Dutch warrior (and suspected horse) Rody retired from the eternal battle to forge a mighty Hilltop tavern from indestructible Orange Transparent bricks.

The Hill Dimension's unique properties place it outside the cycle of universal destruction and Rekonstruktion, making the Four Rums the only location in the BrikVerse with both a consistent chronological spacetime and a hard-won license to serve the Immortal Empire's psychosis-inducing Maniac Beer. Minifigs and creatures from all Retkons and Rekonstruktions gather in this interdimensional social hub, free from their usual continuities, to share Orange-tinted views of the eternal campaign raging outside and to fondly monologue about their ongoing plans to exterminate each other.
Wiki entry: The Four Rums

An empire whose fate can be decided in a single battle is missing the whole point of being an empire. To get the most out of its delusions of grandeur, a proper minifig civilization should commit to a campaign of strategic twists and dramatic reversals to give a sense of purpose to the otherwise-meaningless military adventures it was already going to pursue in any case.

In a BrikWars campaign, actions on the battlefield take on lasting consequences beyond simple victory or loss. Armies adapt over time as they mobilize, take casualties, and receive reinforcements and upgrades. The spoils gained after one battle are used to develop strategic infrastructure and assets before the next. These in turn become the physical features and target objectives of subsequent battlefields, in the form of territory, production facilities, and resource caches for enemies to conquer, raid, or destroy.

Staging a campaign requires a greater ongoing commitment from Human players than one-off battles, and the players will have to be comfortable making up stats and ad hoc rulings for the unplanned physical details and dramatic twists that arise from emergent campaign continuity.

C.1: Campaign Overview
Creating a Faction
It can be tempting to make a noble Faction based on inspiring principles and glorious legacies, but neither minifig culture nor the Human history it apes have ever had room for good guys.

No sooner does a minifig Faction show the slightest virtue than it's twisted into its own caricature. Minifigs turn benevolence into condescenscion, bravery into recklessness, productivity into rapaciousness, and purity into intolerance, almost as instantly and automatically as their Human masters do. BrikWars Factions are easily created by taking any "normal" organization to its comedic extreme, treating its enemies' worst accusations as canon, and letting them abandon all non-violent methods for achieving their goals.

More important than its defining moral and philosophical shortcomings, a Faction should have a consistent visual style to differentiate its constructions and units from those of other Factions on the battlefield. A Faction can distinguish itself by color (white versus blue versus red-and-black-and-gray), genre (pirate versus ninja versus robotic space cowboy), or even toy brand (construction bricks versus plastic army men versus stuffed dinosaurs). Whatever style players choose, it should leave no room for uncertainty about which Faction a unit belongs to.
Where battles are won or lost by minifigs, campaigning is the business of Factions. Any group of minifigs with a shared agenda of violence is a Faction. Factions can be of any size and organized around any principle, whether galaxy-spanning star empires, continent-spanning medieval kingdoms, or street-corner-spanning rival hamburger chains.

In a BrikWars campaign, each player takes control of one such Factions, developing its strategic Battlefield locations and directing its Army in a series of offensives to gain the advantage against rival Factions.

A Faction's victories and losses in battle translate into Glory and Sacrifice that fuel its ever-escalating commitment of Budget and Production until all sides but one (and sometimes including the one) are destroyed in glorious mutual phyrric annihilation - or, failing that, drained of resources and manpower in a less-glorious but still brutally satisfying grind of attrition.

Campaign Glossary
Campaigning adds a new dramatic and strategic envelope to regular BrikWars battles, and introduces a number of new attributes and concepts.

  • A Faction is a group of minifigs pursing a violent agenda in the campaign, along with whatever forces and infrastructure they've dedicated to it.
  • A campaign round is a single turn at the strategic level of the campaign, focused on one Faction and its strategic Offensive. (C.1: Campaign Overview)

  • A Faction awards Glory Glory bricks to enemies who inflict casualties on them. It can spend Glory to mobilize offensive efforts, gain territory, and increase Production capacity. (C.2: Glory and Sacrifice)
  • A Faction earns Sacrifice Sacrifice bricks by losing units in battle. It can spend Sacrifice to mobilize defensive efforts, strengthen Fortifications, and raise the Alert level.
  • A Faction's Alert Alert level reflects its escalating focus and commitment to the campaign. The Alert level limits the number of Glory and Sacrifice bricks the Faction can spend on strategic actions.

  • A Battlefield is a site of strategic interest to the campaign. (Chapter 11: Battlefields)
  • A Headquarters is a Battlefield that houses a Faction's command structure and Budget reserves.
  • A Faction can mobilize a Battlefield's Mobilization Production to increase the types of Military units and Fortifications it can build.
  • A Faction can strengthen a Battlefield's Fortification Fortification to add defensive structures against enemy attacks.

  • An Army is the physical assembly of fighting units and equipment a Faction has committed to the campaign. (Chapter 12: Armies)
  • A Faction's Budget is the reserve stash of Unit Inches Unit Inches that a Faction can spend to develop and maintain its Army units.
The Campaign Round
A BrikWars campaign takes place over a series of campaign rounds.

Each round begins with a new player acting as the Offensive player and taking the strategic initiative, in whatever order the players decide. When each surviving player has been Offensive for a round, the cycle begins again, repeating until the campaign reaches a conclusion.

  • Taking the Offensive
    A campaign round begins with a Faction taking the Offensive to direct the course of events for the campaign round. If it has enough Sacrifice bricks, it can spend them to raise its Alert by one level.

    The Faction declares its Offensive for the round - sending units from its Army either to Assault an enemy Battlefield or to support one of its Heroes on a Heroic Escapade.
  • Staging the Battle
    Players construct the physical Battlefield and select units to send from their Armies, swapping equipment and weapon loadouts if necessary. If they're revisiting a previously constructed Battlefield site or throwing together an environment out of ready-built elements, this can happen right away. If not, players will take a break at this stage and roll up their sleeves to build a setting worth fighting in.

    When the Battlefield is ready, players deploy their chosen units and stage the battle.

    It should go without saying that battles are the most important part of any BrikWars campaign. All the clever strategies, fascinating backstories, and compelling dramatic arcs mean nothing if they aren't driving compelling combat experiences.
  • Collecting Spoils
    Once the battle is over, whether because one side achieves victory or because players agree that the interesting part of the fight is complete, the Factions claim their spoils. These can include immediate material goods like seized territory, captured Heroes, and stolen equipment and resources, but the most important spoils aren't physical. Factions gather Sacrifice for their lost casualties and award Glory to their enemies for inflicting them, giving their leaders the political capital to whip the population into ever-greater commitments of blood and labor for the campaign.
  • Development
    At the end of the Offensive, all surviving Factions can engage in Development, spending their Budget, Glory, and Sacrifice to augment their strategic assets and abilities.

    Factions can spend their Glory bricks to bring new Battlefields into the campaign sphere and mobilize Production, and they can spend Sacrifice bricks to strengthen their Fortifications. They can spend the Unit Inches in their campaign Budget to recruit, repair, and retrofit units in their Army based on their Production abilities.

    Battlefield improvements are permanently attached to their Battlefields, although they can be damaged, destroyed, or seized by conquest.

    Any Budget, Glory, and Sacrifice left unspent are saved for later campaign rounds.

    When all Factions have finished their Development, a new Faction takes the Offensive and the next campaign round begins.

C.2: Glory and Sacrifice
Glory and Sacrifice
More than lands or wealth or strength of arms, Glory and Sacrifice are the true currency of a campaign. It's these that leaders can use to bamboozle gullible minifigs into fighting and dying for their latest scheme of self-aggrandizement.

Glory is amassed in whatever brightly-colored bricks players have most available, while Sacrifice bricks are dark and bloody. Vigilant leaders know that Glory and Sacrifice are necessary in equal measure for the prevention of peace and understanding in any form.

Strategic Action Costs
Strategic Action Cost Amount Limit
Increasing the Alert level
Increasing the Faction Alert Alert level by one Sacrifice Sacrifice current Alert Alert level once each time
taking the Offensive
Engaging in Combat (Chapter 13: Assaults and Escapades)
Sending units on an Assault or Heroic Escapade Glory Glory Size Size inches of largest unit sent current
Alert Alert level
Sending units to defend against an Assault or Heroic Escapade Sacrifice Sacrifice
Introducing a new Hero in an Escapade Unit Inches Budget 2 Unit Inches none
Re-introducing a defeated Hero in an Escapade 1 Unit Inches
Defending a Battlefield with garrisoned units Free, with maximum garrisoned unit Size Sizes equal to the Battlefield's Fortification Fortification level
Developing Battlefields (Chapter 11: Battlefields)
Spotlighting a new Battlefield Glory Glory the number of Battlefields
the Faction already controls
Alert Alert level
Adding a level of Mobilization Production to a Battlefield the Battlefield's new Mobilization Production level
Adding a level of Fortification Fortification to a Battlefield Sacrifice Sacrifice the Battlefield's new Fortification Fortification level
Army Maintenance (12.1: Military Development)
Adding a unit to the Army Unit Inches Budget Unit Inches value of unit added final Unit Inches value of unit cannot
exceed current Alert Alert level
Upgrading a unit in the Army amount of Unit Inches value increase to unit
Repairing a unit in the Army Unit Inches value of Effective Size inches repaired
Downgrading,disbanding, or giving away Army units Free

Strategic-level actions have costs, and those costs escalate as the campaign progresses. Holding the attention of large numbers of minifigs requires an ever greater expenditure of blood and explosions.

Minifigs will jump into casual individual-level violence at the drop of a hat, but it takes special motivation to get them to maintain their focus in between battles. The real fuels that drive a campaign forward are the Glory and Sacrifice that inspire minifigs to escalating levels of homicidal coordination.
Dead Soldiers
Living soldiers are great for causing damage, but they're a liability in the long run, constantly demanding food, payment, and retirement options. Worse, they tend to be too well-armed for the leaders to ignore out of hand.

Dead soldiers, on the other hand, are a motivational treasure worth their weight in political grandstands. Effective minifig leaders deliberately set up embarrassing defeats and mass atrocities in order to milk and fetishize the Sacrifice afterwards, just like Human politicians do.

GloryGlory comes from killing enemies. Killing enemies fills minifigs with overconfidence and ambition, and they get ideas about the only thing they love more than killing enemies: killing even more enemies.

Glory gives minifigs the inspiration to work, mobilize, and strike out. A Faction spends its Glory bricks to mobilize assets, stage adventures, and launch attacks. The more Glory a Faction wins in battle, the more offensive options it gains.

SacrificeSacrifice comes from getting killed by enemies. Getting killed gives minifigs their first subtle clue that enemies might pose a threat.

Sacrifice gives minifigs the rare ability to take danger seriously. A Faction spends its Sacrifice bricks to bolster defenses, thwart enemy plans, and raise its Alert level. The more Sacrifice a Faction suffers in battle, the more defensive options it gains.

Glory and Sacrifice points are represented by piles of bricks. Glory bricks are traditionally bright and colorful, while Sacrifice bricks are muted and dour, but players can use whatever colors they have readily available as long as everyone at the table knows which is which.

Taking Sacrifice and Awarding Glory
Before every battle, each Faction tallies up the Unit Inch value of its Army units deployed to the Battlefield to determine which sides have the advantage and which receive underdog Bennies (13.3: Staging the Battle).

When the battle ends, each Faction tallies up the value of its survivors to see how many Unit Inches it lost. The Faction gains a number of Sacrifice bricks equal to the lost Unit Inches.

Only the Faction's starting units in the battle are included in the count, whether deployed on the field or placed in reserve. New units gained over the course of battle by capture, Construction Actions, or a Commander's Reinforcement ability are not included. Surviving units are counted whether still on the Battlefield (except in a Suicide Run (MC.5: Endgames)), successfully evacuated, or still waiting in the reserves like a bunch of chumps. The value of damaged units is based on their Effective Size rather than their actual Size.

Glory can only be received from enemies. For every new brick of Sacrifice a Faction takes, it must award a corresponding new brick of Glory to an enemy Faction in the battle. Glory can go to the enemy or enemies most responsible for the Faction's casualties, or to the enemies who comported themselves most Gloriously in the battle, as judged by the Faction's player. They're free to award all the Glory bricks to a single opponent or to divide it between multiple worthy foes.

The harder a Faction fights, the more Glory and Sacrifice it will receive, but the faster its Budget will be depleted as it's forced to replace its lost units.

Alert Levels and Escalation
The depth and complexity of the early campaign rounds are dictated by the slow rise of the Factions' Alert levels. With some special exceptions, the following are all limited by Alert level:
  • The Size of the largest Army units and equipment the Faction can build, recruit, repair, and send into battle
  • The number of Battlefields the Faction can introduce
  • The strength of industrial materials the Faction can mobilize for Production
  • How many types of Production a Faction can mobilize on a single Battlefield
  • The strength of the Fortifications the Faction can build

These limits only apply to the Faction's ability to develop and utilize assets once the campaign is underway. A Faction can start the campaign with assets that exceed these limits, and no limits apply to assets seized from enemies through conquest or capture.

The Alert Level
AlertThere are no toys more afraid of commitment than construction toys. No matter how magnificent a Creation they're built into, they're already looking ahead to how they'll next get blown up or torn to pieces and built into something else. Commitment brings to mind nightmares of model glue and the Dark Ages of years spent as a shelf display piece, never to be played with or smashed apart again.

A Faction's natural inclination is to resist committing too quickly to a campaign. Its leaders will deny that the campaign's a big deal, predict it'll all be finished by the Manly Santa holidays, and assure the minifigs that everything will blow over before any of them have the chance to enjoy any personal inconvenience or discomfort. Only piles of mounting casualties have the power to convince minifigs to take a campaign seriously, letting their leaders raise the Faction-wide Alert level to a point where they're willing to get their hands dirty.

Factions begin a campaign at Alert level 1, where only a scattering of Faction members might even acknowledge that a campaign is underway at all. As the Alert level climbs, the Faction sets aside its other distractions and commits fully to the destruction of all enemies, regardless of the cost.

A Faction can only spend as many Glory or Sacrifice bricks on a single strategic action as its current Alert level. A Faction with Alert level 3 can take as many one-, two-, and three-Glory and three-Sacrifice actions as it can afford, but it can't take a single action costing four Glory or four Sacrifice until it reaches Alert level 4.

At the beginning of each campaign round, the Offensive Faction can spend a number of Sacrifice bricks equal to its current Alert level to increase its Alert level by one. In addition, a Faction's Alert level automatically increases by one whenever it loses a Battlefield it controls.

C.3: The Campaign Budget
The ultimate scope and scale of a campaign are determined by how closely the Humans' ambitions line up with their schedules, brick supplies, and attention spans. But as far as the minifigs know, the size and length of a campaign is determined by the amount of Budget they have to throw at it. Assuming their plans aren't interrupted three battles into the campaign by the Humans' seventeen great new ideas for three hundred twenty-four completely unrelated storylines, the campaign will expand to match whatever Budget is available for its consumption.

A Faction's Budget determines the total amount of units it will be able to purchase and field over the course of the campaign. Heroes can slow a Budget's decline by raiding for treasure, but it will inevitably run out, and when the Faction's remaining forces are wiped out it will be defeated. Campaign victory is a matter of making sure all enemy Factions run out of their units first.

When setting their starting Budgets, players can start by estimating how large they'd like their battles to be and multiplying that number by how many battles they want in their campaign. If they expect to field individual forces worth twenty unit inches and they'd like the campaign to last for five battles, then they can set the starting Budgets at one hundred Unit Inches. Factions shouldn't expect to lose all twenty Unit Inches worth of units in every battle unless they're playing extremely correctly, but natural combat escalation towards the end of the campaign tends to take care of any leftovers.

Cost Milestones
Alert Level Total Cost
to Reach
Battlefield Development Total Cost
to Reach
Alert 1 Sacrifice 0 1 Battlefield with Mobilization 1 and Fortification 1 Glory 1 Sacrifice 1
Alert 2 Sacrifice 1 2 Battlefields with Mobilization 2 and Fortification 2 Glory 7 Sacrifice 6
Alert 3 Sacrifice 3 3 Battlefields with Mobilization 3 and Fortification 3 Glory 21 Sacrifice 18
Alert 4 Sacrifice 6 4 Battlefields with Mobilization 4 and Fortification 4 Glory 46 Sacrifice 40
Alert 5 Sacrifice 10 5 Battlefields with Mobilization 5 and Fortification 5 Glory 85 Sacrifice 75
Alert 6 Sacrifice 15 6 Battlefields with Mobilization 6 and Fortification 6 Glory 141 Sacrifice 126

The total value of units in a campaign also determines the amounts of Glory and Sacrifice bricks that will become available as those units are smashed to bits, along with everything that those bricks can purchase. Because the Glory and Sacrifice costs of developing Battlefields and raising the Alert level scale upward as a campaign progresses, the initial Budgets can help the players predict which scales of warfare they'll reach over the course of the campaign, and how many minifigs have to die in order to reach them.