Monday, December 28, 2015

Still More 40K (and Forbidden Stars!)

Despite being so close to finishing up the Jungle Fighter Guardsmen, I got working on these over the last week. I spent three days at my folks place over the holidaze “watching” the first six episodes of Star Wars before going to see Force Awakens on Sunday evening – and I took these along to work on while watching said movies. I took these as they required taking along less paints and were a little more straightforward to paint…

Almost all of these guardsmen I picked up used off ebay… some had gobs of paint (or glue) on them already… others were assembled a bit… funny… (some of which I was able to break apart and glue back together is such a way that hands met up with arms, etc… others… not-so-much…)

One complete squad of Imperial Guard. (All of the figures are from Games Workshop. They are © and ™ Games Workshop and painted by myself and posted here entirely without their permission.)

A few odd extras that will see service in assorted platoon command teams (All of the figures are from Games Workshop. They are © and ™ Games Workshop and painted by myself and posted here entirely without their permission.)

While we're talkin' 40K...

We also FINALLY got in a game of Forbidden Stars – a game from Fantasy Flight Games set in the grim dark universe of Warhammer 40,000. I played the Imperium, The Boy played the Orks, The Girl played the Eldar and Amanda played the forces of Chaos.

It took a LONG damned time to set up and sort out the rules… It took even LONGER to play… It was really fun though! There’s a lot going on in this game – I feel like it will take a few played to figure out the various strategies… but at 4+ hours to play… I’m not sure I’m going to get in all that many games!?

… and then there’s this guy… He’s not for 40K. And totally not form Games Workshop. I think he came from Crooked Dice. I have no idea who he’s supposed to be, but how could I pass up a dude in a kilt with an SLR!?

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I did get in a game of Frostgrave on Sunday – hopefully I’ll get a game report of that up sometime this week.

Also we finished Volume Three of Story of the World, so I have another Gaming Our Way Through History post in the works.

You can probably expect the usual look back at the past year and plans for next year posts in the next week or so.

And I have a pile of other stuff on the workbench that just needs a bit of finishing up – Jungle Fighters, etc. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Gaming Our Way Through History… Part 2 the Middle Ages

Back in July I posted Gaming Our Way Through History: Part 1 - an article about… well…  gaming my way though history with my kids as part of their studies in world history using The Story of the World series of books by Susan Wise Bauer (from Peace Hill Press). Gaming Our Way Through History: Part 1 covered the ancient world and corresponded with Volume One of the series of books. This second part corresponds with Volume Two of the series, which covers the medieval world from the fall of Rome to rise of the Renaissance.

To quickly reiterate I was looking for games to supplement and reinforce the readings – preferable with a strong thematic elements, ideally games with maps showing the region, and some way of portraying the dynamics of relationships and interactions between different peoples and cultures, the relationships of power and authority within those various societies, as well as understanding the decision-making processes concerning the distribution of resources, etc…

We actually finished the book months ago but a clever combination of procrastination and hope that I might get to play a few games I’d hoped to play but didn’t at the time we were reading about it kept me from getting this done. As we’re about to finish up the third Volume this afternoon, I thought it best I get to posting this as I’ll have one for Volume Three to finish up shortly!

There wasn’t really any mention of Ireland in the books so far – but Volume Two did start off with Early Britain after the Romans left… and that fairly close…?

The object of this game is to promote your candidates to be the Ard Ri (High King) of all Ireland. This is done by controlling two of the four kingdoms (though for a three player game we only played with three). It's fairly easy to control one kingdom and each player generally controls one by the end of the second round. After that it becomes a bit of a hard, nasty slog as you try to simultaneously try to unseat another king while trying to defend you own. The frustration this caused reduced the kids to tears on a couple of occasions. It may be tricky to talk them into playing this one with me again any time soon... Usually I seem to play new games with the kids and then sometime later in the week we play it again with Amanda in the evening. I played this with the kids in June and still haven’t played it with Amanda…

While most of these games were played at the time we were reading about the relevant period of history, this one was not… it was one of the last ones we actually played and didn’t get to play it until we were well into volume three – this is because the game wasn’t released until late September. The game is  Osprey Publishing's first foray into boardgames. In the game King Arthur (the “historical” King Arthur) has just died and the players represent members of the King's court trying to gain influence among the Welsh, Scots, and Romano-British to unite them against the invading Saxons (and, ultimately, get themselves crowned King – or Queen!).

Well... that's the fluff anyway... It had a nice map showing historical political regions of the period.  While I thought the game was really interesting, the play itself was quite a bit more abstract that I was expecting from Osprey. The decisions being made weren’t decisions a noble member of a royal court would be making, they were about which card to play when to get the most coloured cubes in an area.

This game tied in nicely with our reading about the Eastern Roman/Byzantine Empire and how Constatninople surpassed Rome and for a time became the most prominent centre of trade and culture in the West at the beginning of the time period we were covering. The players are merchants in Constantinople that win, ultimately, through gaining victory point which can be gathered through different means – building stuff, shipping goods, donating stuff to the government… There are a lot of different ways to win and lots of options and ways to spend money in an effort to produce more goods and make more money…  

We played it a few times.

The game itself seems fairly deterministic – there is very little randomness (other than the draw of shipping cards) and very little player interaction – you never trade with each other and there is virtually no way to mess with what other players are doing – other than scooping up limited properties before other players can. Everyone starts with the exact same stuff and just tries to gather as many victory points as they can before the game ends. While we’ve played it a few times and been able to try out different strategies, I feel eventually one would figure out the best way to do it and there would be little else one could do.

I would have loved to have tracked down a copy of  Justinian to try out while we were reading about Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire (as an entire par tof a chapter was devoted to Justinian and Empress Theodora … alas, I was unable to…

Samarkand: Routes to Riches

This is ostensibly another merchant/trading game but not like other trading games – like Parthenon or Ostia or Constantinopoilis (all of which we had played previously) where there is a lot of actual trading going on either between players or within the game and managing money and stuff… this is more about area control (building “trade routes” to sources of material goods) and marrying into the right families…


Still… had a great map of the middle east and gave a sense of the relative location of different peoples and the trade routes that were developed to carry goods back and forth and that the people of the middle ages DID do a lot of trading back and forth (and weren’t always fighting WARS!)

Knights of Charlemagne

Thematically pretty light… but I had the game (picked it up for $5 years ago), and we did read a chapter on Charlemagne… There were some names of actual French Cities and castles on some of the cards…? Play is fairly abstract – as with most Reiner Knizia games. (I’m not saying abstract games aren’t good – I did enjoy playing this game – as I do most Knizia games – but there wasn’t a lot of history to be learned from it…)

There are cities and fortresses with numbers and colours associated with them. Players have a handful of cards with a colour and number associated with each. They take turns playing these cards, deciding whether they want to play it on the associated city or fortress. The player (or side – as in a four player game there are simply two sides) with the most cards on the city or fortress wins it and claims the points for them. The player (or side) with the most points wins…

In addition to the chapter on Charlemagne, we’d read Charlemagne and the Paladins - one of Osprey Publishing’s Myths and Legends books – which do a pretty good job of looking at various versions of the legends they cover and tying them into the actual historical events that may have inspired them.

Tales of the Arabian Nights

While not at all historical we did read about the Tales of the Arabian Nights in The Story of the World - when we read about Abu Bakr and the spread of Islam and Bagdad becoming the center of the Islamic Empire. It was a very LONG game in which we each took on the role of one of the Heroes or Heroines of the tales and went on adventures around the world that was known to the traders and explorers from  the middle east. We played it in the summer and I made no notes at the time - I remember it being fun, but taking a LONG time to play. You had to gain a certain number of some sort of points before returning to Bagdad... I remember thinking we could have played to half the number of points and it still would have been a fun and challenging game, but wouldn't have taken so dang long!

King Arthur: the Card Game

As with Knights of Charlemagne this was thematically pretty light and fairly abstract… based more on legend than anything historical, really - but we did read about King Arthur in The Story of the World, so....  It is a card game where you take turns playing cards in sets of matching colours of a number equal to or greater than the foe you want to beat (many of the foes are mythical creatures – Dragons, etc…). once you have defeated foes you can use them to gain trophies, which get you victory points, which determines the winner at the end of the game.

Not every game I break out to play with the family is a winner... Yeah... that's my kids crying...

The game is supposedly set in the 1265 (Second) Baron's War where a number of Barons led by Simon de Montfort rose up against the King of England in an attempt to reassert the Magna Carta.

In the game player's play a Baron and their retinue and basically try to kill their opponents and control cities around Evesham to gain victory points... the board is modular (and thus could be different every time you play – which might be great for replayability, but not great for learning historical geography) and theme is pretty weak and there's this totally random, plan-wrecking, plague/fog phase that utterly frustrated everyone.

When the plague or fog wrecked the plan I had had at the beginning of a turn I would just sit back and go "well... how to I minimize THIS disaster..."and moved forward - and very quickly I came to realize that you can plan all you want in the strategy phase, but half the time that plan will be wrecked by the plague/fog phase and you just had to roll with it... The kids spent so much time planning in the strategy phase and would have their plan all sorted out... and when the plague wrecked that plan they just couldn't see past that and readjust their plan to lessen the impact of the utterly craptastic situation they then found themselves in...


One of our most played games this year was Dominion. I've included it here because we played it while we were reading about medieval times and it has a medieval theme... sort of... you are supposed to be a monarch and trying to gain control over lands and titles.

But the history-learning value of the game is just about zero. it's about drafting cards for their effect in the game and ultimately gaining vicotory point  cards to win the game - while the cards are called "Estates" and "Duchies" and "Provinces" and all the other cards are ostensibly improvements you can make to your kingdom "Villages", "Markets", etc. They could easily be named anything else and be just as playable...

Great game - played it lots - not much history there. 

Looking to the east we read a bit about the Ming. This was a fairly abstract game Where you had to draft cards you would then use to move your diplomat around the kindgom trying to gain influence in towns and regions. 

San Gimignano - playing the heads of aristocratic families trying to build the most towers in the medieval town of San Gimignano... (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site).
The game plays super quick - so we played it twice! This, our second game, was much higher scoring and much closer – The Boy eked out a win with 8 towers to the 7 towers that both The Girl and I managed to build. The theme was pretty weak and the game really just a fairly abstract strategy game involving area control through placement of tokens representing the families influence in the guilds and building of towers when you have influence in four different connecting guild areas.

I’d posted this picture on facebook and my sister commented that she’d actually BEEN to San Gimignano during her trip to Italy a few years ago – they apparently have really good Gellato there…?

This we ended up playing a little later – long after we were done reading about the period. Amanda and The Girl didn’t get to play this one as they were at dance class the afternoon I got around to organizing a game.

The game isn’t tied to a specific historical event or location. It takes place in a non-specified kingdom in which the king has died leaving no clear heir and the players represent the houses of various noble families within the kingdom with a claim to the throne – which is something that happened and we read about. While the Kingdom isn’t named, the map looks somewhat like Northwestern Europe and has names that sound like they could be French-ish cities… and the overseas areas you can send troops on crusades to (Constantinople, Syracuse, Acre, Jerusalem, etc) and place you can send expeditions to (Ceylon, Spice Islands, China) are all historical locations.

In the game you have to end up controlling half the cities in the kingdom or have the most Influence points at the end of a set number of turns or when the influence pool runs out. Influence is gained mainly through controlling cities, but I have a feeling it could be gained elsewhere (it’s been a month since we played…). While there is a strong military component – gathering resources through taxation, building armies and trying to conquer cities, there is also a strong political element where players vie for various titles within the realm at the assembly of Barons – where various laws and titles are voted on by the players, which then have an affect on the game. Being the head of the Assemble – or the Head of the Church have considerable advantages.

Playing out the Hundred Years war with Joan of Arc. The Girl was France, The Boy played England and I Had Burgundy.

It can be played with up to six with the additional players being Flanders, Brittany, and Navarre - which would be a really fun game!! The long game (10 turns) with six players would be an all day event... but it would be wicked fun!

We played the short game and The Girl utterly crushed us! She had 31 Pretender Points at the end, The Boy had 30 and I had 20!? I took a large chunk out of Flanders in the last turn, but there was no way to catch up to the points The Girl had accumulated throughout the game holding Paris as long as she did....

Basically worker placement and influence gathering with a fairly strong 15th century theme... Henry V trying to consolidate power in England and go fight in France to win back lands lost earlier in the Hundred Years War.

I though the game was fun and there were lots of choices and potential paths to victory. I started out really slow - but gathered up lots of friendly nobles, built up my knights and castle - all of which counted for HUGE points in the final tally... though it looked like I was trailing for the longest time because I wasn't going after quick points for fighting in France.

We also have the Lancaster: Henry V expansion, but haven’ had a chance to play it yet. I’d like to play just the base game a few more times before adding to it.

This was a fairly complex (but fun!) game of planning, resource management, influence gathering and area control set during the Wars of the Roses. So much going on!

Cards were drawn at the beginning of the game to determine who everyone would be. Amanda and I were Lancasters and the kids ended up being the Yorks (I think I was King Henry VI and his followers, I forget who everyone else was... Edwards or Richards, I suppose...). So you kind of end up playing on a team, but points are tracked individually and there can be only one winner.

Though, technically, a Lancaster was king at the end of the game in 1500 (Henry Tudor, I guess?), the kids crushed us in the points race - Finnegan was miles ahead of everyone, Keira also had over 100 points and Amanda and I were back in the 80-90 range (me, being dead last)!?

There was a clever system of resource allocation - which was done on an individual player board behind a screen so your foes could not see what you were up to.

It’s been a couple months since we played it, but I recall the combat seemed a little deterministic. If I recall correctly it was basically who ever had the most stuff in the area won. While I despise combat mechanisms that seem completely random, I do like a bit of chance and randomness built into a system. There have been plenty of historical examples of smaller forces beating much larger forces through some combination of good leadership, guile, bravado, well-drilled troops able to execute precise maneuvers, and blind, dumb luck!

This was a fun game of building roads and cities and temples in Peru prior the Spanish invasion. The box description may be a bit off - it said it should take 1.5-2 hours to play... took us closer to 3.5... I realize it was our first game and stuff and it takes more time when learning a game... but after the first round everyone pretty much knew what they were doing and I can't imagine getting it down 1.5 hours!? It was fun enough to keep us all up to 11pm to finish it off!

What was really neat was the very same day we were reading about the Inca, a fellow whose blog I follow posted about his trip to Ollantaytambo - which was pretty cool to see! I never cease to be blown away by the feats of engineering and manpower ancient civilizations managed!

In The New Science we played scientists in the 17th Century competing to gain the most Prestige points to become the first President of the Royal Society. It's a very strategic game as you have to research and experiment areas of science to make discoveries - then you need to decide when to publish - publishing gains you prestige points needed to win the game, but also makes the information/technology available to other players who can then use it to further their own endeavors. And if others are researching the same field they might publish before you and then all that work was for naught as they get the Prestige Points... I played Gottfried Leibniz, The Girl played Johannes Kepler, Amanda played Gallileo Galilei, and The Boy played Athanasius Kircher.

I liked it a lot. Each scientist has three "energy" points each turn and decides how they want to spend their energy - researching new areas, experimenting/testing areas already researched, writing up and publishing findings, gaining influence in four areas (Religion, Government, Enterprise, and Science - publishing findings for certain things requires some influence in these areas - for example to publish Heliocentrism you need to have 3 influence in religion - because otherwise you'll be excommunicated and forced to recant your findings - like Gallileo was). Moving on to other levels of research required knowledge of lover levels - either through having researched and experimented yourself or other people publishing it.

More importantly My partner Amanda - BSc (Honors, biology), Msc (Toxicology) and a research administrator at the University of Saskatchewan - liked it and thought it was a fairly accurate representation of how research works...

The only odd this, historically speaking, is some of the scientists weren’t actually contemporaries; Galileo Gallilei and Isaac Newton are two of the scientists that can be played – Isaac Newton was born the same year that Galileo died!  But it was a fun game that captured the essence of what was going on and had lots of things we could discuss – about how the printing press and the ability to publish findings really made all this scientific advancement possible.

As we’d read about Magellan’s journey around the world and Vasco Da Gama’s voyage to India and the opening of the East to sea trade I thought this game might fit right in. ostensibly it is supposed to be a game of up to four rival European trading companies vying to control the trade in an extended (fictional) archipelago in the Southwest  Pacific. Once I opened it I discovered it was supposed to be taking place in the 1800s… ah well, it’s a fictional archipelago – we can just as easily pretend it was taking place in the 16th century!? The theme was pretty weak and the game really just another fairly abstract strategy game involving area control through placement of towers determined by drawn cards… It wasn’t terrible. I didn’t go out and buy this one specifically for this history program (this was yet another of my $5 ebay finds from a number of years back which were generally bought with the idea of using games as part of a future homeschooling plan…).

A medieval-themed game of tile-laying where you build cites and roads and score points for the completion of said cities and roads. A fun game and great for developing an ability to see patterns and find the most optimal use for a tile that you draw on a turn. But of limited history-teaching value.

In this game players represent one of our powerful families in late medieval/early renaissance Italy. In our first game I played the Medicis, The Boy played Gonzaga, and the Girl played Este (The Visconti are the other option).

Multiple paths to victory – simply taking tiles and expanding your territory worked out really well for The Girl gaining her a considerable resource base while the Boy and I were building armies – though somewhat conservatively and not making much use of them – other than to hold onto them for defence. 

The combat seemed a little deterministic. There was a strict procedure to follow and you could tell before entering a battle if you would win by looking at what your opponent had there.

I think the game’s meant to be played considerably more aggressively than we played it.

This is a quick little card game where players take in the role of a rich family in a late medieval/early renaissance (fictional) European city of Tempest (I imagine it in Italy…) vying for prestige by being the biggest patron of the arts, science, religion, and exploration… (I like any game where patronizing the arts is a good thing!) I thought it fit with our medieval/renaissance theme…  The play is a fairly abstract and involves collecting of little coloured wooden cubes (which represents “accomplishments”) and cards (which represent “protégés” or fame gained through accomplishments?) which provide varying amounts of victory points which are tallied at the end of the game to determine the winner.

The ones we didn’t quite get to…

Lion rampant is a great tactical miniature game of medieval combat. I had really hoped we’d get in a game or two while reading about the medieval period. I spent a fair bit of time painting up forces to use (Here’s one: Under the Bunny Rampant Banner) we just didn’t get to sitting down for a game (for whatever reason…).

We did play the game BEFORE we started reading about the medieval period – to try it out when I first got it: Lion Rampant – First Game. Hopefully we’ll get to playing it again sometime.

(Also a new game from the same author called Dragon Rampant has just been released this week. I pre-oredered it and expect it should be arriving shortly. It includes fantastical units – orcs, elves dwarves, dragons, etc.)

It would also have been fun to get some smaller scale skirmish games in using Song of Arthur and Merlin or A Song of Blades and Heroes - or larger scale ones using De Bellis Antiquitatis, but again… we just didn’t get to it…

Set in 1338, you apparently start out playing peasants and work your way up to being par of a rich trading family. It looked interesting. We sat down to play it one afternoon but didn’t end up having time to play it. We didn’t even end up reading all the rules. It felt very much like they were written in some other language first and maybe something was lost in the translation. I’d like to have a go at it sometime, we just haven’t had a chance yet.

Another game I have that I've wanted to play for some time but we just didn’t get to. It’s a two player game, so… not so useful when there are three players... 

I also would really have liked to find a game about the conquests of the Mongols or one about medieval India... 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

More 40K: Chimera and Cultists

I haven’t been doing as much painting this last week. I did finish up these couple items for 40K.

(All of the figures pictured in this post are from Games Workshop. They are © and ™ Games Workshop and painted by myself and posted here entirely without their permission.)

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

Chaos Cultists.

I picked these up from Dragon’s Den Games my Friendly Local Game Store a week or so ago for giggles. At $12 for 5 guys they seem a relative bargain compared to most 40K stuff… During the Fantasy Flight Games I picked up the Black Crusade RPG core rule book and I had that in mind when I picked them up (Player Characters!) – they could also be baddies in a Only War or Rogue Trader game…? Well… that’s how I justified them to myself when I picked them up.

An Imperial Guard Chimera IFV that I picked up used off ebay a few years back that I’ve finally gotten around to repainting.

One is kind of useless… I do have a second one. Should I get to the point when I have enough troops that I could mechanize a whole platoon I should start looking for a couple more on ebay.

Troops debussed from their armoured transport and advancing with some more heavy support.

I kind of feel like I should have done some more weathering and included some tactical signs or something… I guess I could add that later. The tactical signs can wait until I actually have a unit of them, I suppose…?

I also have a Leman Russ tank that I recently picked up off ebay that I’ve primed over and kind of feel like painting… but I should probably finish up the last few jungle fighters.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

More 40K stuff likely. I have the last few Jungle Fighters on the workbench along with the aforementioned Leman Russ. But I also have a few eldar and tau and other odd and assorted bits… who knows?! If the order I placed with  Wargames Foundry shows up there could very well be a bunch of assorted swashbuckler-types showing up here in preparation for the immanent release of En Garde! 

Saturday, December 12, 2015


A while back when The Boy first showed interest in 40K a friend offered to sell him some Space Marines he’d picked up at a garage sale for $5. Later The Boy realized he wasn’t that interested in Space Marines and was far more interested in ORKS! So I offered to trade the Orks I had for the handful of Space Marines, not really having a plan for them… maybe they could show up as an ally or something…? Or show up as the “cavalry” to save player characters from a desperate situation in a game of Only War… Then they sat in a drawer for a year or so… Then another friend and his sons showed some interest in 40K and the dad was planning a Space Marine force! So I thought I’d paint these up to kind of jump start his small force of Ultramarines…

(and at this point I really hope he’s not regularly reading my blog – as they were meant to be a bit of a surprise…)

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

One Tactical Squad of Ultramarines from the 3rd (Battle) Company.

(All of the figures pictured in the picture above are from Games Workshop. They are © and ™ Games Workshop and painted by myself and posted here entirely without their permission.)

Of the remaining marines I got in the lot I think there’s enough for one more tactical squad (of 10) and a Bike Squad (of 3) and a mish-mash of other stuff… I’ll probably paint them up as member of a Chapter of my own design to use as an allied contingent from time to time for giggles…

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Oh, more of the same, I suppose… There are some vehicles on the workbench (a chimera APC and a Leman Russ tank), but I suppose I should put my nose to the proverbial grindstone and get the last few of the Jungle Fightin’ Imperial Guard types done… 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Just a Quick Update – More 40K, etc.

I had hoped to get some Seven Years War stuff painted as we approached the period in my history reading with the kids… but we just blew past the Chapter that covered the Seven Years War this past week (which also covered the later wars of Louis XIV, The War of the Spanish Succession and the War of the Austrian Succession…) Last Monday we started in on the American War of Independence (it seems there were TWO chapters covering that…?!) and ended the week with the French Revolution. This week we’ve started with Steam and Coal in England and the Rise of Napoleon… I think we end the week with the Downfall of Napoleon and the War of 1812.

I’d like to have lingered in the 18th Century a bit longer, but I’m on a mission to finish this volume before the New Year. We will return to the period – and others we didn’t get to explore thoroughly enough – when we finish up the general survey of history.

What I HAVE been working on is more 40K stuff…

(All of the figures pictured in this post are from Games Workshop. They are © and ™ Games Workshop and painted by myself and posted here entirely without their permission.)

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

A few more Jungle Fightin’ Imperial Guardsmen; one squad plus a few extras for Other squads and Special Weapon teams.

Two not-so-jungle-fighter Imperial Guard platoon commanders.

I’m not a fan of plastic slotta bases. A look around this blog will tell you I base most of my (individually-based) figures on washers. What these guys are commanding, however, are hoards of plastic Imperial Guardsmen on plastic bases. If I put them on a washer – like I do with most other metal 28mm figures – they would be considerable shorter than the troops they command!?

Two Imperial Guard Crewmen. I did one in the jungle camo in case I ever wanted to have a Sentinel crewman dismount and run about.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

More of the same – the last of the Jungle Fightin’ Imperial Guard…. Other Not-So-Jungle-Fighter Imperial Guard stuff… maybe even some Eldar, Chaos, Space Marine and Orky stuff!?

It’d be nice to get in a game or two as well… 

Monday, November 30, 2015

40K – First Contact

I have not played Warhammer 40000 in… oh… 25 years? Last time I played it said “Rogue Trader” on the cover (and I will forever kick myself for selling my copy when I decided I’d had enough with Games Workshop and walked away).

My kids (and some of their friends) have shown an interst in playing so I dug out some Imperial guard I’ve been collecting up over the years for various purposes (Assorted skirmish games and role-playing games – and more recently for the Only War and Rogue Trader role-playing games from FFG that I’ve been wanting to try out. I set the kids up with a few figures I had from the forces they were interested in playing (Orks for The Boy, Eldar for The Girl) and picked up a few other things to fill out the beginnings of a force and we’ve all been working away on our respective forces.

The Boy and I have had enough stuff ready for a while but a combination of being busy and flagging interest have kept us from getting the toys on the table. I’m not sure what got us on this again… Probably because a friend expressed an interest in playing Rogue Trader a few weeks back and that got me reading the fluff again… and I’m sure Millsy’s Mad Mega-post of the Astra Militarum’s Military Might had at least a little to do with it (got me painting this guys again and thinking about it….).


The situation on Kleeglass has been dire. A highly populated planet with considerable resources (promethium and archeotech being the most prominent) has recently (in the past decade) seen invasion forces of numerous species of Xenos – Orks, primarily, but there has been rumours of a Tyranid hiveship landing, and even Eldar craft have been sighted flitting about the system. The Imperial Administratum have finally wakened to the situation and started sending Guard their way. One of the first regiments to arrive was the newly raised 222nd Guaiacan Commando Regiment. This would be their baptism of fire.

The regiment made a fairly quiet and easy planetfall and has established a base on the main continent of Bralwarn near where most of the fighting has been taking place between the Orks and the Planetary Defence Forces. In the past weeks they have been expanding their operational area into a heavily forested area where one of the Ork Warhosts have been operating. Recconaisance patrols have been sent out to make contact with the enemy.


We played a pretty bog-standard Purge the Xeno Scenario – with a minimum of special rules and such – just to try out the system.

We played with forces that were about 300 points each.


5 Troop, #1 Commando, 222nd Guaiacan Commando Regiment

Troop Headquarters (30 Points)
Lieutenant Proxnaz (Powerfist and Bolt Gun +17 points)
Sergeant Rozchance (Sniper rifle +5 points)
Corporal Bitterind (Heavy Flamer +20 points)
Troopers Malwax and Conway (Autocannon + 10)

First Section (50 Points)
Sergeant Fury (Bolt Pistol and Chainsword +2 points)
Trooper Rentworth (Flamer +5 points)
Troopers Thorn and Volnair (Missile Launcher +15)
6 Troopers with Lasgun

Second Section (50 Points)
Sergeant Squath (Laspistol and Chainsword)
Trooper Festunal (Grenade launcher +5 points)
Troopers Morgan and Baird (Missile Launcher +15)
6 Troopers with Lasgun

Third Section (50 Points)
Sergeant Narduar (Bolt Pistol and Chainsword +2 points)
Trooper Withnail (Grenade launcher +5 points)
Troopers  Bogstrop and Fairweather (Missile Launcher +15)
6 Troopers with Lasgun

Dossgoff’s Clawz

Warboss Dossgoff (Powerclaw, Shoota, ‘eavy Armour, Stickbomz) 90 points

4 Lootas (Deffgun) 60 points
Lootamek (Kustom Megabalsta, Meks toolz) 15

Ork Nob (Slugga, Powerklaw) 41 points
12 Orkboyz (Slugga and Choppa) 72 points
Orkboy (Big Shoota and Choppa) 11 points


The Boy wanted to play his Orks all on his own, so Amanda and The Girl joined my side, each taking one section of Imperial Guardsmen.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

We set things up and then the Guard went first…


The Boy and his Boyz

All the Guard moved up through the cover of small stands of trees, consolidated their positions, and had a look out for the enemy.

Sergeant Squath’s Second Section (played by Amanda). I’m not sure why everyone but the Missile Launcher team was deployed in the woods… Maybe they figured it might be a better firing position out in the open…?

Squath’s Section, on the right flank, spotted some heavily armed Xenos to their front and lit them up!

A stream of deadly lasgun fire and a couple of dead-on shot from the Grenadier took out three of the Lootas and sent the remaining two fleeing off the table and out of the area of operations.

(As it turned out the Missile Team could spot no targets from their position and were unable to fire…)

This was a good first contact for the Guard. Things were looking up indeed!

Over on the other flank Sergeant Narduar’s Third Section spotted a rather HUGE Xeno cresting a hill followed by a horde of other angry looking beasties. The squad rained down fire upon them – but despite some direct hits on the big one… the shots only seemed to make him angrier.

Unchecked by the fire from the Guard, the Orks storm over the hill and the Warboss and Big Shoota laid down some withering fire at the run. Troopers Withnail, Bogstrop and Fairweather (the Grenadier and Missile Launcher Team!) were wounded by the fire and taken out of action.

Guard Troop Headquarters commanded by Lieutenant Proxnaz held a position on a low rise and from there directed the actions against the Xeno enemy.

Section One and Three shared a position in a stand of jungle trees. (this is before Third Section took their initial casualties)


First and Second Sections move out! First section advanced towards the cover of the woods to their front while Second Section began a flanking maneuver – having determined the Xenos threat to their immediate front had been neutralized.

Third section consolidated their position in the woods and spread out to the area vacated by First Section’s departure, and cleared their wounded comrades from their firing positions.

Third Section’s Missile Team got a shot off and blew an Ork to bitz.

Third Section and the Ork Mob exchanged wild ineffective shots. The Orks attempted an assault – but it failed as they couldn’t close the distance.


Amanda commanding Third Squad pours fire down on the Orks before they disappear from view behind the woods.

First squad consolidates it’s position in the woods, but doesn’t want to move to the front of the woods lest they be assaulted. They stayed on at the back side of the woods hoping to pour flanking fire on the Orks should they assault Third Section’s position.

The Troop Headquarters Autocannon pumped a few shots into the mob, but failed take any down. And Sergeant Rozchance… y’know, with the Sniper Rifle… turns out he’s a pretty piss-poor shot… (he should probably leave the sniping to the abhuman Ratlings…)

Third Section ineffectively fired on the Orks. The Orks returned fire and took down another two guardsmen.

And then the Orks assaulted Third Section’s position… and wiped them out! The Guard were a little shaken by this turn of events!

The Orks then consolidated their position in the woods, hoping to turn around and assault their way through the rest of the troop…


Five of the Orks died in a storm of fire from the two remaining Sections and the HQ team… First Section’s flamer doing most of the work, but a well placed missile from Third Section did it’s fair share of the work…

The Orks returned fire and prepared to assault First section – THREE MORE Orks were taken down in Overwatch fire and then their assault FAILED (I think The Boy rolled snake-eyes for their assault distance!)


The remaining Orks die in a repeat of the previous turn’s fury of fire…

When the firing from the woods the Orks occupied stopped Lieutenant Proxnaz called for his guardsmen to cease firing. First section was ordered into the woods and they stormed into the position – finishing off wounded Orks and checking for survivors among Third Section - though there was no sign of the hulking mamoth of a Xeno that had been leading them. There was a blood trail... but no one seemed to anxious to go chasing off after it when there was wounded to deal with.

Third Section was gutted, four were killed in action (including the grenadier loader for the missile launcher team) Two others had to be evacuated to the hospital facilities in the rear and will need extensive cybernetic replacement parts if they’re to fight again. Sergeant Narduar and the three other survivors, though wounded, refused to be evacuated. Instead they were patched up and finished the patrol. The Section, with it’s heavy losses will likely be rotated out of the line and have to work up some new replacements from the Reserve Commandos.

For the most part everyone seemed to have fun. The rules are wildly different from the other miniature systems we have played together as a family (Savage Worlds, Force on Force, Ambush Z, all the “Song of…” games, Frostgrave, etc). Most are a bit more dynamic – play going back and forth between players more quickly. Even in Hordes of the Things/DBA – which is the most U-go-I-go-ish type game we’ve played – there’s still an element of activation and the possibility of elements NOT doing anything on any given turn. The idea that ALL units on one side move, and then ALL those same units can fire, and then all those same units that are close enough could do ANOTHER move and fight in a close assault seemed CrAzY to these guys… But I think we’ll be playing it again – especially when their friends get some of their forces together.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Last of the Jungle Fighter Infantry coming up… Then a couple of Heavy Bolter teams and a Sentinel Walker and that force will be complete…