Hail, warriors! It has been some time since we last spoke, eh?
In a normal year, the changing seasons would herald the arrival of the Animosity Weekender. Those of you who played in The Hallowed Necropolis last year are already familiar with the format: three days of hard rolling, playing as many games as you can to try and sway the outcome in your favor, pushing models and sharing meals with your friends.
Alas, this is hardly a normal year.
In lieu of the 2020 Animosity Weekender, it is instead my pleasure to announce The Root of All Evil, a one-week, one-turn, one-shot campaign set in and around the twon of Bolyany in the aftermath of the Burning Winter. In keeping with spooky All Hallow’s Eve traditions the world over, The Root of All Evil will take place over the course of a single night: Mallusnacht, where the fiery red core of the World-That-Was appears in the sky above Lake Bykaal as a twin-tailed turnip… and all manner of strange and terrible things stalk the shadows by its malign light.
The Root of All Evil will begin Wednesday, October 21st, and run until the 28th. Players will be allowed to submit up to 3 Reports each from the existing 5 Report categories. We recommend depicting lower-ranking characters because, in place of the army actions of The Burning WInter, players will instead be leading patrols, scouting parties, single characters, and other groupings of Warcry warband size or smaller- and we can’t promise you’ll all survive the night…
So, yeah! That’s what we have going on. Please watch the #updates channel on our Discord as we continue to roll things out over the next few days.
Oh, wow. Just… wow. What a campaign. In a couple more days, it’ll be exactly two months since we began this journey together, and what a journey it has been. In that time, we’ve built a robust, inclusive and welcoming narrative play community from all over the world, told hundreds of stories together, and forged memories that won’t quickly fade. With the admin UI changes WordPress sprung on us halfway thru the campaign, updating the website has become a nightmare, so until we get that sorted out you can read all 60 pages of the Unfolding Narrative Epilogue right HERE… and we’re not quite done, either!
During our WHFB days, Team Animosity would recognize a handful of MVP categories. With the Burning Winter, we decided to bring this tradition back. Each and every award was so hotly contested that we dropped “Honorable Mentions” entirely because they were getting out of hand, and as There Can Only Be One…
This player just barely squeezed out a three-way tie for 2nd place to claim the top spot by a single report! We give you…
Lord of War – The player who submitted the most Reports
Although certain angry Saurus diplomats *were* incredibly loyal to their frog dad, not everyone remained loyal to their Figureheads after they died… considering some of you killed your own figureheads, after all.
True Friend and Ally – The player who did the most to support a single Figurehead
We received 68 Peerless General nominations, but ultimately, one name rose above the rest. I’ll let one of the notes we received speak for him…
“I highly doubt I’m the only one that nominated this guy, and that alone should indicate how indispensable he has been. What a legend. Not only does he pour dozens of hours a week into TTS maps, but he also spends just as long behind the scenes conducting diplomacy, which I have had the honour of helping him with. He’s adept at communicating with both potential foes and his own Perpetual fam, and talking with him generally leaves us all feeling better (and indeed more certain of what we are doing) than before. He’s working a massively difficult job at the same time and from what I can see he must dedicate the entirety of his scant free time to have made such an impact on us all. His diplomacy skills are *chef’s kiss*. Someone get this man an award.”
Peerless General – The player considered most valuable by peer nominations
Some among you came in after the campaign had begun, and we salute you for your courage! None had it harder than coming in literally only an hour after the Expedition learned that the Pilgrimage had betrayed them and blown up their diplomats. From that rocky start, this player consistently delivered a really interesting, creative narrative and proved themselves to be a great teammate.
Youngblood – The player who put in the best showing as a first-time participant
Only a few players made the jump over from Animosity I’s tabletop-heavy format, and among them only one kept the same character. Ser Baldaflax, you are a legend in more than just your own maggot-infested mind!
Grizzled Veteran – The player who put in the best showing as a returning participant
We had several people jump into the breach and spread the word, and many of you found Animosity II because of them. None, however, had the sheer bubbly energy and relentless, shameless NAAC plugging as this fellow…
NEO of Note – The player who did the most community rabble-rousing
The huge role Tabletop Simulator played in The Burning Winter took us by surprise, but it was great to see. We also saw multiple Soulbound groups crop up, and none more prolific than this player’s. An alumni from Animosity I, this player used projections over models in a darkened room to really spectacular effect.
Master and Commander – Favorite Gaming Reports
It was our genuine pleasure to see a number of folks use our campaign not only to get into the hobby, but to return to it. Coming from the depths of Animosity’s own pre-history, a veteran of the original Animosity 2 in 2007, this player jumped into Age of Sigmar with both feet this past month and, even with hobby titans like Ricki and Shadowclaimer in our midst, cooked up a player character conversion that’s right up there with the very best of them.
The Burning Winter saw a lot of great hobby, from Ambassadress Eola’s feature on WHTV to Hilmar Thunderstruck’s epic Gorkamorka Knight-Vexillor, but there stood one who balanced sharp conversions with both quality AND quantity, painting an entire army in the time most of us finish maybe, like, a unit? At best? Give it up for…
We certainly saw some neat scenery over the course of the campaign, but these “freshly cut” craft stick wooden barricades managed to balance setting, gaming practicality, simplicity and cost effectiveness, and just plain looking pretty cool.
Somebody said early on that they didn’t relish the task of naming this award, and they were right: it’s impossible! With the outpouring of absolutely brilliant stories, we’ve decided to retire this award in lieu of establishing a better version next year.
Master Wordsmith – Favorite Written Narrative
Each and every one of you
The Storytelling category inspired an incredible amount of creativity, but taking the cake for originality and, honestly, just plain fun, was this players comic-book styled presentations.
Perhaps even more than Storytelling, Arts & Crafts brought out some truly unique takes on how to interact with our campaign setting as well as some gorgeous illustrations. This player combined art with teamwork, helping to bring together one of the many tight-knit Coalitions we had the joy of working with this time around.
Master Interpreter – Favorite Arts & Crafts Reports
An award we didn’t anticipate adding, but which became increasingly obvious needed to be. Although the likes of Tarascon and Tectonic Dan made some beautiful food themselves, beating a slice of Kraft cheese on white bread with a hammer is simply timeless.
Master of Turnips – Favorite meal prep
Sir Cai Leonas
Although Cai Leonas made an audacious attempt to win his own namesake award, there was another player who pushed the envelope early, often and ultimately, with the help of his Coalition, dove gutplate deep into the metaplot in the final round and still found time to try and and get some frog legs for supper.
The Sir Cai Leonas Award – The player with the most daring and ambitious narrative (Audacity!)
Although Tarlen himself would likely be disappointed that this award didn’t go to either Torag or Ricki for blowing things up, only one player changed the face of the map itself in the most memorable hijink of the whole campaign. #DrainTheLake, ya’ll.
The Tarlen da Foeburna Award – The player with the most creative problem-solving in their narrative
More than most, this player works a certain humanity into their characters, a relatability and touch of sadness that can’t help but make you empathize with them when you write about their lieutenants getting their legs smashed off by the Pilgrimage.
The Unbrok Stonebeard Award – The player who suffered the worst setbacks (but kept on going anyway)
We’d also like to take a moment to recognizeNarrativeLabsfor four weeks of interactive and endlessly creative Animosity-based live streams; if you haven’t paid them a visit already, we highly recommend you do!
On that note, check out Tectonic Craft Studios and their incredible Animosity II Coalition-themed objective tokens. Pick up a set and have something to show your grandkids when you tell ‘em about that time you fought the Nemesis under a flaming Ur-Whale…
Finally, we’d like to thank our own Katie H. for drawing the wonderful campaign map which served as a touchstone for us all… and putting up with many late nights of writing Unfolding Narrative!
A roadmap for what’s next
If you don’t already follow our Twitter account @AnimosityCmpgns, we’ll be retweeting the best Age of Sigmar narrative content on the platform all year ‘round in addition to YOUR hobby projects.
WordPress threw us for a loop by completely overhauling their Admin UI in the middle of the campaign, but we will finish the Unfolding + Community pages over the coming month and the site will remain up as-is through the holidays. Sometime in January or February, however, both the site pages and the Discord coalition and diplomacy channels will be erased to make space for Animosity III, so if there’s anything you would like to go back and save, you have a few months to do so. We’re also still compiling statistics from the last 5 weeks, and will release some interesting numbers in the next week or so as well.
Another project we’re excited to bring you sometime this Fall is what we’re calling the “Player’s Guide to Amasya & Lake Bykaal”. This will revisit our favorite Animosity warzones some time after things have settled down, providing you with a great way to explore your post-campaign narratives, play Soulbound adventures, and get ready for Animosity III if you plan to carry over the same character.
Finally, there is the matter of the Animosity II Omnibus, which we expect to be split into two volumes- the campaign setting and the unfolding narrative in one, and player contributions in the other. We don’t have a timeframe on this yet, but presumably sometime before the holidays so that we can go into the new year with a clean slate. The Omnibus will include 100% of everything related to Animosity II by both the GMs and the players, and will be permanently available for download on the About page.
Now, a special announcement…
With Animosity II wrapping up and the Team taking a welcome rest before we dive into Animosity III’s development in earnest after the holidays, Alex Polimeni is launching something that he’s had in the works for two years now. He’s calling it The Little Soldier, and it’ll be exploring narrative play all day, every day, in Games Workshop’s universes and beyond across YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, Facebook, Podbean & Twitter.
To kick things off, The Little Soldier’s premiere programming will be “A Tale of One Warlord, x4”, a Path to Glory campaign following four army projects through building, painting and playing in the aftermath of Animosity II using the afore-mentioned Player’s Guide to Amasya & Lake Bykaal- and featuring some familiar faces too, including a distant relative of Valeo Valencia, the Pale Saint’s equally pale offspring, and the turnip-toting Bolyany Irregulars!
There’s a lot more on the way, so make sure to follow Alex Polimeni and The Little Soldier on which-ever social media platforms work best for you!
Woof. This was… a big turn in so many ways. We-the-campaign-team are definitely learning a lot- and so are you guys.
I expect you guys are going to have a ton of questions in the morning, and please, hit us with them. To preempt something I know is going to be an issue…
The last couple of turns have provided great demonstrations of where Animosity’s mechanics meet our storytelling. The degree to which your Narrative Paths succeed or fail depends on opposed weight of reports. So, you may attempt something tricky and devious- but if the weight of reports falls far enough against you, they won’t work out, even if the enemy Coalition didn’t specifically know about your plans.
So, yes, be creative- but be aware that nothing is ever guaranteed in an Animosity Campaign… and that’s a design feature, not a bug.
We’ve done it, folks! Today is officially the halfway mark of the Animosity II. Before I get into the patch notes, I’d just like to take a moment on behalf of Team Animosity to thank everybody who’s come along on this incredible journey. It’s been a blast, and we’re super excited for you to see what we have in store for you these final couple of turns.
Jumping right into it …
This past update was a mess, and we own that. Learning from last turn, we attempted to implement a new processing strategy meant to save time and effort, which ended up taking longer and a lot more work. We’ve re-assessed our methodology, and…
… we’re moving to a 3-day update period. We hate to keep you guys waiting, but it’s going to make a better experience for us and for you. So, turns will now start at 12am EST Thursday and, of course, still end 11:59pm EST Sunday.
Furthermore, one of the things we tried in this past Unfolding Narrative was featuring player stories verbatim. Although this was neat, it also made the Narrative much, much longer. We know not all our players have as much time as they’d like to invest in this, so instead of excerpts, we’re simply going to begin linking to the stories we reference.
We also noticed something else that cost us a lot of time: a number of players have been crossing the narratives and/or sending secondary characters to participate in multiple narratives. That’s great, we love to see it, but please keep in mind while you’re doing it, that’s not how our mechanics were designed to be used, and we have to manually parse out these threads and sort them into the narrative breakdown we work from.
So, you’re still welcome to do it, but please clearly describe what you intend to be happening. Since the update went live we’ve found a couple of stories that slipped through the cracks because they weren’t allocated correctly.
In other news, yesterday was a largely successful test run of Figurehead Friday. Although you’re still welcome to ping the @Figureheads whenever, we’re going to set time aside on Friday the next two turns specifically to roleplay with players as their Figureheads. So, if you want to ask them for guidance or favors, get your questions ready and hit us with them Friday morning.
Furthermore, we’re aware we’ve fallen behind on the Community page, and are working to get caught up on it. Watch this space.
Our Discord community has taken campaign-themed their Tabletop Simulator assets above the next level to infinity and beyond. If you play TTS or are interested in trying it, seriously, check it out.
And that’s all for now! Stay safe, take care, and get those reports in.
TURN 3 IS GOING ON NOW! LEARN HOW TO PARTICIPATE!
Turn 3 Ends Sunday, August 9th @ 11:59pm EST.
Turn 4 Begins Wednesday, August 12th at 12:00pm EST.
Whew, what a turn! We saw more than a 20% increase in volume over Turn 1 (easily breaking the 200 reports threshold) and our turn breakdown document clocked in at a whopping 56 pages. You folks have gone above and beyond the call of duty- literally, in the case of you 5-report people- to make Animosity II a success beyond anything Team Animosity had dared hope it could be.
With the start of Turn 3, we’re officially halfway through the campaign- just three more short weeks until this war comes to its epic conclusion. It’s gonna be a wild ride.
For Your Information: This will be another rolling update as we format the Unfolding Narrative from our google doc into the webpage. We’ll tweet + post to the #updates channel each time more is published.
Furthermore, the Turn 3 report form + new Narrative Paths will not go live until 11:59pm Wedsnay night. Because we deliberately didn’t release an After-Action Report this turn, the delay is intended to give players a chance to catch up on last turn’s events before you jump into planning.
Animosity Campaigns is pleased to announce that we’ve partnered with the guys over at NarrativeLabs to bring you The Burning Winter streamed LIVE on Twitch in a match where YOU control the narrative. Will the Blades of Khorne of the Undivided mash aside the Perpetual‘s Seraphon defending the Cathedral of the Mariner? Viewer votes control for whom the bell tolls and its effects on the battlefield.
So, set up your device of choice and come join the Team Animosity watch party on twitch.tv/narrativelabs at 7pm BST (2pm EST) while you hobby on a lazy Sunday evening/afternoon, and we’ll see you all there!
That’s right folks, courtesy of Tectonic Craft Studios Dan Cotrupe- whom you may be familiar with in our Discord as the Expedition’s own Valeo Valencia- you can commemorate your participation in #AnimosityII with custom Coalition Objective Markers made special for The Burning Winter! Submit an extra Arts & Crafts report next turn by painting up a set, or just rep your Coalition pride when you can finally get back to your local game store. Available in a matched set of 6 or a variety pack.
It’s worth noting that Tectonic Craft will also be doing our prize support, so if you aren’t familiar with what awards we’re handing out at the end of the campaign, take a minute to check them out…
Just a head’s up, but player TOGII_U_LATER in generously offered to host a Tabletop Simulator demo in our #tts_streaming channel in the Animosity Discord server today @ 7pm CST. If you’re interested in playing TTS or just want to watch folks throw down on stream, stop on by.
Diplomacy, the Soulmuncherz way. Arts & Crafts report courtesy of @froggy_BB
Whoa, what an update. You guys swamped us with your reports, above and beyond anything we could have imagined. I’m sorry to say that I haven’t been able to reference even half the player narratives I wanted to, but Peter and I will be working hard in future turns to make sure you’re represented in the Unfolding Narrative. We hope you enjoy the ride regardless, and Team Animosity is excited to be on this incredible journey with you.
Furthermore, we received so many amazing pictures from you guys that, in lieu of our customary Games Workshop battletome illustrations, we have decided to populate the Unfolding Narrative with your photos, drawings, and more. Keep ’em coming, folks.