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 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, resource caches, and unique artifakts 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
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 (or sometimes just all sides) 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.
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.
C.2 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.
Elements shown: LEGO
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.
Glory 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.
Sacrifice 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, 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 be given 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.
The Alert Level
There 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' great new ideas for a hundred 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.
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. Glory and Sacrifice costs scale upward as a campaign progresses, and 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.