A Firefight In The Grimdark Future

Here in dear old Blighty the foul weather continues, and so therefore does our temporary tactical withdrawal from the gaming shed and into the centrally heated sanctuary of my living room.. which means, skirmish games!

The other week we pulled out a forgotten classic from the 90’s, Alternative Armies “Firefight”  –

Firefight
Mmm, nostalgia… 😉

-and tweaked it to run with 3D scenery and no squares, but for this week we returned to the folks at onepagerules.com to check out their skirmish level adaptation of Grimdark Future – Grimdark Future Firefight.

Now, straightaway there’s not really much difference between the two, aside for rules where models are wounded and may revive, it’s basically the same game. That said, the mission statement is One Page Rules – the whole point is for it to be easy to play, not weighted down with complication. So this shouldn’t be taken as criticism!

We rolled out the 2nd Ed 40k plastics again, Dan taking a Battle Brother team and me a force of Orc Marauders:

Battle Brothers:

Captain – Quality 3+ Defence 2+, Fearless, Hero, Relentless, Tough (3)

Advanced Tactics, War Chant, Storm Rifle, Destroyer Armour (Tough +3)

3 Battle Brothers – Quality 3+, Defence 2+, Fearless, Veteran Infantry, Storm Rifle

Battle Brother – Quality 3+, Defence 2+, Fearless, Veteran Infantry, Heavy Machine Gun

Orc Marauders

Warlord – Quality 3+, Defence 4+, Heavy Armour, Cyborg Body, War!!!, Ultra Axe, Bad Shot, Furious, Hero, Tough (3)

3 x Goblin Herd – Quality 6+, Defence 6+, Good Shot, Pistol

6 x Orc – Quality 4+, Defence 5+, Carbine, Bad Shot, Furious

4 x Orc – Quality 4+, Defence 5+, Heavy Machine Gun, Bad Shot, Furious

 

So as you can see, pretty different approaches, very much an elites v horde approach! My plan was to use the HMG equipped boyz and Goblins to provide enough covering fire/ meat shield (respectively) to advance my boyz into melee, particularly my Warlord who should be absolutely lethal! Dan simply planned to gun down as many of my ladz as possible before cleaning up the stragglers in melee.

We figured that should provide a good cinematic scuffle, so pulled out the small urban board, decorated it with some appropriately grimdark scenery, and set to business.

The battlefield, with 5 objective markers laid out as per the deployment rules

The Boyz take to the field.. Dan wondering a little about his list at this point, as quantity does have a quality of it’s own!
A target rich environment for the Battle Brothers!
“Right Brothers, our Veteran status and skills mean we hit on a 2+! Ohhh…”
Orc Marauders move up, Gretchin functioning as a walking shield – Dan’s lads have managed to wound my Warboss (in power armour in the centre)
The fallen on Turn 1! 1 Gretchin but two of my ladz…
Turn 2 and the boyz get stuck in! Orc Marauder attacks the Battle Brothers captain, distracting him all sneaky like.. so the Warboss piles round the back of him to krump him dead ‘ard when he’s not looking, putting two wounds on him!
Elsewhere, Battle Brother fire downs another Orc and Gretchin mob, while a solitary Brother prepares to defend Objective 3
Captain downs the Orc, but  that Warboss is krumpin’ pretty hard now, that’s 3 wounds on the Brothers’ leader!
WAAAAGH! First Brother falls in melee, and the Orcs take Objective 3!
Dakka fills the air as the Captain and another Brother are embroiled in melee..
The Captain falls to the Warboss! A Brother charges in to avenge the loss…
Turn 4 comes to an end with the Captain and a Brother dead, two more in melee and Orcs in possession of four of the five objectives. We figured at this point the Battle Brother with the heavy machinegun would cover his comrades to help them disengage and make a tactical withdrawal..

So there we go, pretty solid Orc victory but at quite a price and given a little more luck with the dice Dan’s Battle Brothers might well have handed my my arse fair and square!

Thoughts on the game itself – tricky one really. There’s nothing about it that makes you go “wow, that’s so cool”, and certainly it didn’t feel terribly pacy or perilous… but there again, it’s incredibly intuitive and it just works. 5-10 minutes reading the rules and you’re away – 40k can’t seem to manage that, with endless codexes and Chapter Approved and FAQs.. but there again, if you’re a big company, you have to provide “support” to your player base… and support means new stuff, and new stuff means added complexity..  I don’t know. What I do know is that the One Page Rules guys have a really solid system here, well worth checking out. My only bugbear is one that seems to plague pretty much every ruleset we try – why oh why oh why oh why  must I move and then shoot? Why can’t I shoot then move? Well, maybe I’m an outlier in this regard!

Anyway, winter draws on, so that means lots more skirmishing to try, and next up we’ll be taking our Black Ops system out for a trial run as Atlantic Alliance Special Forces go hunting aliens! See you there, and stay thrifty out there..

YET MOAR Hairy Japanese Bastards – Virum Nascii reinforcements!

The Totally-Not-Skaven return, and in strength! This project has been rumbling along for the last few (18 to be exact) months, gaining and losing momentum since summer 2018 when we bought – apparently – the last four boxes of these Miniknight Ratmen in existence!

We’ve covered the initial tranches of slaves and warriors, and the lads have seen combat in the Mortal Realms, as well as the world of Hyperia and wherever Age Of Fantasy is set, and have given pretty good accounts of themselves. We’ve got Plague Monks, Poison Wind Grenadiers and elites to add variety, and with the latest haul we’ve added a Seer, a Death Master and a unit each of Night Runners and Gutter Runners to provide skirmishing capabilities. Obviously we’ll have to rename them for Hyperian Wars, but they’ll do just fine for Age Of Fantasy, Age Of Sigmar and what the hell, we may even dig up good ol’ Warhammer Fantasy herself to throw down retro style!

Meanwhile, of course… pics!

 

Grey seer, converted to wield a staff rather than a blade – staff is a straightened out paper clip, and I bodged a lump of greenstuff to be some kind of armoured gauntlet.. I think the best you can say is you don’t really notice form two feet away!
Went for a pastel look – the blue grey areas were actually painted with Wilkinsons own brand Duck Egg Blue house paint! As usual, went with the strategy of start light and washing down. Actually tried zenithal highlighting – primed grey and dusted white. I get the theory, but I’m not sure I see a difference… I’ll keep trying!
Death Master! He got the sword I chopped off the Seer and replaced with a staff. 
Rat-Ninja!
They could almost be brothers.. 
Night Runner light skirmishers
Gutter Runner elite skirmishers
The new additions!

I really think Miniknight are onto a winner here, 20mm is a great scale for fantasy, enough to let detail on the models stand out, the models are dirt cheap and they look great racked up into regiments, you get more manoeuvre room on the table top -there are undead, orcs, goblins, dwarves from Caesar, Miniknight and Dark Alliance to check out and each of these races will have a place in the Hyperian Wars canon!

Still to come are conversions for the heavy weapons teams, and of course there’s some war machines on the horizon! We’ll be making a Doomwheels, and a Screaming Bell.. and basically everything over the next few (18?) months and everything will be rolling out on the tabletop in due course, so stay tuned!