AAR: Grimdark Gaming in Two Scales

A much delayed report....

On May 7th we gathered for gaming in our own corner of the Warhammer 40k universe in two different scales. Being CSW, we didn't use Games Workshop rules for either, opting instead for Grimdark Future for the 28mm game and our own slight modification of the "Panzer 8 Sci-FI" rules for those gaming in 6mm.


On the Panzer side we didn't get too many pictures, but it was great to see classic Epic 40k figures on the battlefield as formations of Dark Angel Space Marines faced off against the Ork Hordes and their Gargants. Panzer 8 Sci-Fi is a free simple rules system that we have used in the past. We have our own slightly tweaked version that makes a couple of rules modifications and adds a bunch of units (per the rules unit creation mechanics) to the force list.

In the end, the Panzer 8 players reported having a good time but seemed to feel that Panzer 8 (literally a 2 page ruleset) was just a bit too simple for the game they were after. The free online version of Epic40k is being considered for future battles.



On the Grimdark future side of the table we had an interesting 3 player battle. At first it was a simple seize and hold battle of objectives between Tyranids and Quar (heretically using Imperial Guard stats). However, complicating things was the invasion of a flanking Imperial Guard (non-heretical) Armored Column driving through the battle with the objective of making sure neither force gains the upper hand by trying to force a tie between the Tyranids and Quar.

Grimdark Future continues to provide great tames. It was a lot of fun and the Imperial Guard Armored Column was able to win the day by just barely forcing the Tyranids and Quar into a tied number of held objectives. The hardy tanks (high tough value) Imperial Armored Column proved to be a very effective force and hard to kill (maybe too hard???). In Grimdark future tanks are quite hardy and even the lowly sentinel is tough enough to be useful.

Making the third player's victory entirely dependent on forcing a tie proved to be a very functional way of adding a third player to a scenario and is something we will probably try again. Not having the third player vying for objectives cut down on the rugby-scrum crowding of units trying to seize objectives while still providing very clear criteria for winning. While the third player is still technically a spoiler to the other two player, giving them the victory condition of forcing a tie keeps their attention on both players and creates some very interesting tactical situations for all involve. It also means that regardless of outcome, there will always be a winner in the scenario as it is impossible to have a draw result.

All in all a good couple of games... Though we really don't have patience for the Games-Workshop-Rules-Carousel-Money-Vacuum, most of the club has very fond feelings around the lore, art and miniatures of the Warhammer 40k universe. Grimdark Future especially has proved repeatedly to provide a playing experience that feels like the 40k universe yet requiring a tiny fraction of the rules.

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