So we tried Osprey’s/Robey Jenkin’s excellent new ‘Horizon Wars’ rules.
If Carlsberg did sci-fi wargaming rules, well…
Somehow, an Eagle Transporter from Space 1999 managed to become a shuttle.
You see I like hard sci fi in the Traveller, Hammer Slammers and Aliens mould.
…that’s hard sci-fi, with ‘blower’ tanks maybe, and a definite military bent…
…that’s hard sci-fi, with a military bent, ermmm…with mecha, but not those daft mecha from the way out Japanese Anime with their swords and goth emo pilots, but sensible mecha – well as sensible as a bloody 30 foot tall robot can be!
Ok, that’s so many qualifiers that it would be literally impossible to find me a set of rules I’d like, right? I want infantry, tanks and sensible mecha. Years ago I tried designing my own rules based on Runequest (yes, Runequest – with hit locations for mecha), but they were a disaster (yeah, you could’ve told me that right?)
The fact is that here’s a set of rules that suits my particular penchant for sci-fi, my preference for something original, and my predilection for something simple.
These are really good, with a great feel, and many original concepts. To be honest I think the recent review/interview on Meeples & Miniatures wasn’t fair to this book.
Oh yeah, and there are no damned space marines ™. Wait, am I allowed to say space marines? …bleuchh.
- Presence – governs points values and effectiveness in assault/ melee.
- Movement, firepower and armour/agility can all be ground down in combat – sometimes quickly, and a lucky strike that you can’t match can do significant damage.
- Firepower dice (d12s) vs defence dices (d12s and look for matches) really give a wide spectrum of results – but it seems to suit the genre. You can chip away at long range, close to engage and match your specialities, or have units that are good at long range fire (extended range weapon upgrades – I’m looking at you here !)
- Mecha can have upgrades and design particulars, which seems Warhammer-esque when you first read them, but they really work. I loved how rather than assign extras (boring) hit points or something, you can hone the design of your giant stompy manned robot and make it original (before somebody else’s blows it away that is).
- Check your range, add opponent’s armour/agility (no, this works – and it degrades), there may be mods for targeting upgrades – roll your firepower and determine how many multiples of the difficulty you get vs defenders matches. It sounds complicated, but it really flows quite well.
- Action and Reaction is neatly done with two opportunities per turn. Spend your reaction too early and you lose the opportunity later. You can act tactically here - though granted, we need to play this a lot more to get the hang of its nuances.
- (There are also instructional videos on youtube).
There are options for hidden deployment/drop zones, Ace pilots, infantry specialisms, guided fire and aircraft – also a nice ‘adventures’ section and campaigns should be really easy to run.
Oh yeah, close assault really hurts.
All I was looking for really. More to follow I hope…and you know what? The rules could be hacked for WWII ;)
Imperial Federal forces, clearly here to end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.
'Kinda concerned about getting stepped on Sarge!?!'
Colonial units move toward the spaceport buildings.
But they gave good return.
...though, their Tac missiles finished off the last of the last of the colonial light mechs.
Satellite picture shows the final stages of battle. One federal mech remains, and the colonials have lost theirs, but their mobile infantry holds the spaceport.