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"Replacement for 40K?" Topic

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Action Log

11 Jul 2012 3:47 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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4,085 hits since 11 Jul 2012
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Entweasel Inactive Member11 Jul 2012 2:11 a.m. PST

Right, so after all these years of getting bitter and twisted with price rises and unneeded updates, I have kicked my GW addiction to the kerb. Im getting the new Kings of War for fantasy replacement, but I need something for scifi. Im looking for a balanced, points-based system that doesnt require an umpire and has lists for common scifi-trope-races, so that I can convince other 40k players in my club to give it a try without having to buy a new army.

So, does this game exist, or will I have to go and write it myself? :)

thabear11 Jul 2012 2:18 a.m. PST

Your reference to Kings of War leads me straight away to suggest Warpath by Mantic . Its free to download and it plays more or less the same as KoW so you'd have the basic s understood already.
The Forgefathers easily stat the same as Space Marines and the Corpration match Imperial Guard, Marauders for Orks .
There are quite a few fan made lists that work as well .
Give it a go you cant beat the price (free).
Ive played quite a few games using the Corpration list( my old Imperial Guard are perfect for this ) , it doesnt give me everything i want in an army list but i guess its only in its infancy , i am looking forward to when it is officially released and the lists are a little more fleshed out.
cheers Tom

I have left the building Inactive Member11 Jul 2012 2:26 a.m. PST


I went through this a few years ago and found a few games out there which allowed me to use my existing figures in games

have a look at Forge of war or In the Emperors name by Gawd 'elp us games, both are free and are fun to play


Angel Barracks Inactive Member11 Jul 2012 2:42 a.m. PST

If you have 40k already can't you just use the points system there?

Your knowledge of the 40k game should enable you to adjust the other game systems stats if needed to get orks so they are like orks, squats so they are like squats etc..

The once you have jigged the stats about a bit you can simply use the 40k points system I should have thought..


Entweasel Inactive Member11 Jul 2012 2:44 a.m. PST

Thanks guys. I have looked at Warpath, and like the system, but Im looking for something a bit more fleshed out, so I can just dump the book on the table and say "right fellas, grab your minis and lets go!", without arguing about fanmade lists etc. :)
Ill look up those Gawd elp us games, thanks Mike :)

tnjrp11 Jul 2012 2:44 a.m. PST

Entweasel 11 Jul 2012 2:11 a.m. PST:

Im looking for a balanced, points-based system that doesnt require an umpire and has lists for common scifi-trope-races, so that I can convince other 40k players in my club to give it a try without having to buy a new army
I should think most generic/open scifi games have something done for GW models, as do a fair number of nongeneric ones for that matter usually within a week or two of the publication of any game whatsover somebody comes around asking for Wh40k conversions (-:)

I'll take the opportunity to trot out my usual hobby horse Defiance: Vital Ground from Majestic 12 Games. More info and sample GW conversions through here
or directly from here (should you want the semi-official GW-inspired lists only)
PDF link

It should be noted that D:VG is a very different beast from Wh40k, which brings us to the following:

So, does this game exist, or will I have to go and write it myself? :)
If you are specifically looking for "Wh40k, only better" then I can't really help you there as I've had no interest to look for one really. I do know some such exist of course, In The Emperor's Name mentioned above is one fairly recent IIRC example.

Mick A Inactive Member11 Jul 2012 3:26 a.m. PST

Why not just play whichever version of 40k you liked best?


David Gray Inactive Member11 Jul 2012 3:49 a.m. PST


BaldLea11 Jul 2012 4:01 a.m. PST

Yeah. Just play an older version of 40k and use someone else's cheaper minis.

Why try to reinvent the wheel when you are fed up with GW for constantly tinkering with the wheel?

Aksakal Inactive Member11 Jul 2012 4:10 a.m. PST

and you keep using the models, codex and units that you like

yorkie o1 Inactive Member11 Jul 2012 4:40 a.m. PST

i still play wh40k 3rd edition occasionally, i have all the codex's i need, and the painted armies. GW can re-release everything as much as they like, im not too interested.

Having said that, i quite like the look of the new 40k book, but im not convinced by the price tag.


Mr Elmo11 Jul 2012 5:15 a.m. PST

I've never found a satisfactory replacement for 40K.

You'll always have that hollow and empty feeling in your heart so; buy the 6th edition rulebook and play the game you love.

earthad Inactive Member11 Jul 2012 5:47 a.m. PST

or realise there are way better systems that don't charge $50 USD a figure…..(guy riding a woof -i almost laughed/cried)

you could always try forge of war, fubar, stargrunt 2, if you want free.

5150, tomorrows war,

if you want something similar, you could get


Caesar Inactive Member11 Jul 2012 6:18 a.m. PST

Supersystem for skirmish.

PapaSync Inactive Member11 Jul 2012 6:19 a.m. PST

Try "No Limits". It have a very gw feel to it. Stats are almost similar to 40k. They have list for all the 40k races and even Squats. It to is also FREE.

They also have a Fantasy version called No Quarter.


kallman11 Jul 2012 6:24 a.m. PST

Entweasle, I understand your frustration. I do concur with others that you can just play the early editions and not worry about the current flavor, or bite the bullet to paraphrase Mr. Elmo and just go with it. However, while this may not meet your desired request I agree with earthad that Forge of War is a good substitute and is free and the group has taken the time to work up compatible lists. I personally have had great success with just using Tomorrow's War which is a scenario driven system that is easy to learn and you can pretty much tweak things to reflect every race and weapon in 40K. While I have not played 5150 it is by Ed at Two Hour War Games and I have heard nothing but good about the system and it is very affordable.

tauwarlord196 Inactive Member11 Jul 2012 6:38 a.m. PST

Play Tomorrows War. Space Marines will actually be legendary there

Or maybe Stargrunt

Norrins11 Jul 2012 6:47 a.m. PST

5150 for me.

ThorLongus Inactive Member11 Jul 2012 7:23 a.m. PST

i don't know… it would be hard to find a suitable game as broken as 40k
but seriously try the free forge of war
or fubar

chuck05 Fezian11 Jul 2012 7:46 a.m. PST

Warengine. Its free to boot.

ancientsgamer11 Jul 2012 9:04 a.m. PST

It is my understanding that the latest edition of 40K does balance some things somewhat. I don't play the game but this is food for thought.

What Mick A says is very true. If you are happy, don't jump to a new edition of the rules.

I know plenty of folks that still play 3rd edition and Rogue Trader for example. Nothing wrong with this. The only negative is that new gamers will want the latest flavor and if you do want to go to a GW event of some type.

There was quite a crowd that stuck with WRG 6th Edition and didn't move on. Many still play the game 30 years on now.

I will say that it is my understanding that a cheaper version of the rules will come out. You can always be patient and wait till then or buy on the used market too.

Space Monkey11 Jul 2012 9:57 a.m. PST

The OP doesn't seem to have much issue with the rules themselves so I'd agree that sticking with the 40K version you have and enjoy is going to be the easiest sell to yourself and your friends.
A lot of the recommendations are great games, Stargrunt and 5150 are favorites of mine… but they are their own things… they're never going to 'feel' like 40K.

Playing an older version does set you up for a bit of a disconnect… especially if you are going to the stores and seeing the new books, people playing the new games. That is the club you'd be resigning from and emotionally it might be easier to just drop 40K altogether… but only you would know that.

blacksmith Inactive Member11 Jul 2012 12:29 p.m. PST

Chain Reaction is free to try it and there is a mod for 40K. See a 40K campaign here using CR 3.0: link

Tim White11 Jul 2012 1:41 p.m. PST

Lots of great suggestions here. Its not out yet (only a WWII version right now) but eventually there will be a generic sci-fi version of Victory Decision.

I might also suggest "Gruntz 15mm". Easily playable at 28mm.


Mako11 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member11 Jul 2012 2:19 p.m. PST

FUBAR rules and 15mm figs.

I think there is even a 40K-ish set of rules, and they are free.

For the price of one figure from GW, you can get 30 40 troops.

Entweasel Inactive Member11 Jul 2012 5:42 p.m. PST

Thanks for all the great replies, guys. You've given me a lot of options! I'm trying to move away from Games Workshop completely (and take some other people with me!), so the early editions of Warhammer 40000 don't really work for me. Plus I live in New Zealand (down on the bottom of the world), so buying old codexes and the like from ebay raises the issue of quite ridiculous shipping costs :)

I have been considering Tomorrows War and also 5150, so I'll look into those. Also keen to check out a couple of the free ones mentioned. Again, thanks!

Attila The Hun Inactive Member11 Jul 2012 6:23 p.m. PST

Infinity is very popular at my store, but it is a skirmish system. Around the same scale as Necromunda.
It is very affordable to get started.

kyoteblue Inactive Member11 Jul 2012 8:38 p.m. PST


Wolfprophet Inactive Member11 Jul 2012 8:45 p.m. PST

Starship Troopers/Battlefield Evolution.

It's easy to shoehorn all units into that and over on the Mongoose forum Arkon400 came up with some initial stats and points for marines at least and I playtested them several times for him.

tmason11 Jul 2012 9:44 p.m. PST

I use stargrunt (wih house rules), partly because I can use any miniature or even mix different backgrounds. I have done a reasonably comprehensive 40k conversion, but there is no points list etc.

DS6151 Inactive Member12 Jul 2012 8:20 a.m. PST

Just play 40k like you obviously want to, but <GASP> use different figures!

If you like the rules, play them.
You don't need to buy and use the figures they tell you to.

mechaphile Inactive Member12 Jul 2012 5:05 p.m. PST

anyone ever tried warzone?

Mako11 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member12 Jul 2012 6:42 p.m. PST

If you like 25mm figs, Eureka produces a couple of nice sets of troops from Denizen, e.g. the Ventaurans and the Feds, which are quite nice, for skirmish gaming in that scale.

Eureka also produces a lot of resin vehicles that are compatible with them.

chromedog12 Jul 2012 9:26 p.m. PST

Not any more they don't.

They stopped doing resin vehicles last year at the request of GZG (the only ones they still do are their own properties, and not licenced GZG models). now do the stargrunt vehicles instead.

tnjrp12 Jul 2012 9:41 p.m. PST

mechaphile 12 Jul 2012 5:05 p.m. PST:

anyone ever tried warzone?

I think someone did some GW conversions for the 1st ed which could possibly still be found somewhere so that kinda sorta makes that game relevant and quite a few other games as well if you are inclined to do serious digging. I remember a Yahoo group for converting Wh40k to VOID for example.

Not sure if there's anything of the sort the OP is asking for from this millennium for Wz as in, for the Ultimate Warzone rules tho. The points system for UWZ was reportedly not reverse-engineerable but that doesn't mean it really and/or nobody has tried to do a conversion or three anyways.

Lampyridae Inactive Member12 Jul 2012 11:00 p.m. PST

or realise there are way better systems that don't charge $50 USD USD a figure…..(guy riding a woof -i almost laughed/cried)

Watch out for the Dark Eldar jumping a Shark…

Entweasel Inactive Member13 Jul 2012 3:20 p.m. PST

@DS6151 – the reason I play 40k is because its the most popular sci-fi ruleset where I am, and its easy to find other gamers. I do really like the background, but the rules themselves arent the reason I like to play it. I already do use other figures, but theres only one company that makes the army books……
After having a good look around, I think I will save up and get the Warpath Fate of the Forgestar set. This should give me a solid base to get other people interested (with two different forces) and also give me enough minis to run Tomorrows War scenarios and try out some of the other rules that you guys have talked about without too much extra work. And who knows, after Mantics kickstarter success with KoW, a full alpha release of Warpath may not be to far away…..

Sir Samuel Vimes Inactive Member09 Sep 2012 11:26 a.m. PST

Workshop is a lot like McDonalds The products never "taste" as good as they look. But, it is EVERYWHERE. That seems to be the excuse for 40k and WHFB surviving despite a down economy and stupendous price hikes.

For me, there is still a hard to define draw about the 40k universe(I quite playing 11 years ago) and the look of the setting which is hard to let go, even when you are disgusted by the prices and practices of GW

I've gone with 5150, The old Shock Force rules(now free)and plan to use U.S.E.M.E. Sci fi (15mm) with all ranges doubled. You are not alone in chasing a good and playable rule set which will allow you to capture the elusive "soul" of the 40k you used to know.

Good luck,I hope you find the right game for you and a crew ready to jump ship from "the hobby". My experience is that you are going to feel a bit like Martin Luther and meet with the same initial success from the establishment. Still, it is and has been your cash, your time, and your hobby. Take it back and make it work for you.

My advice, go indy, or small press. Things at that level are not perfect, but they are a labor of love by people who are not making money hand over fist but do what they do out of passion and a desire to create the game they want and not what will sell the greatest volume of models.

Defiance Games Inactive Member09 Sep 2012 11:51 a.m. PST

Alien War is designed for 28mm figures and the 30 page beta rules are available free here: link

Lion in the Stars09 Sep 2012 3:06 p.m. PST

What size game do you want to play?

10ish models per side, with a crapton of terrain required, doing special ops missions straight out of Tom Clancy or Metal Gear video games? You want to play Infinity.

For a platoon per side game, I'd look at Tomorrow's War. Only caveat is that TW doesn't have army lists, you're expected to come up with your own TO&Es (it does have some example TO&Es). If you've got a big table, you could probably play a company-scale game, but there's no advantages for having upper command echelons on the table like there are in Stargrunt.

Stargrunt can handle up to a company per side, but that's the upper limit. Also expects you to write your own TO&Es.

For the record, I tend to play around the platoon per side scale with Tomorrows War (or Force on Force for moderns), with 15mm figures.

Lampyridae Inactive Member10 Sep 2012 6:02 a.m. PST

If you're going to quit 40K, you may as well go cold turkey rather than string yourself along on substitutes.

For a game system that is constantly rewarding and enjoyable and fluff that is at least compelling and deep (and more consistent than 40K), it's hard to go wrong with Infinity. I haven't looked back. Not even for 6th Ed.

billthecat10 Sep 2012 11:00 a.m. PST

Lots and lots of options, many mentioned above. All you have to do is DO IT! Be free!

BlackWidowPilot Supporting Member of TMP Fezian10 Sep 2012 11:50 a.m. PST

In no particular order here's my suggestions for some excellent alternatives to "Womblehammer 40K-bonus-in-the-CEO's-wallet" "hobby" (and your WH40K figures can even be recycled for these systems with minimal effort IMHO):

*Tomorrow's War from Ambush Alley (Orks can be the ultimate asymmetric warfare opponents)

*5150 from Two Hour Wargames (Look up the "4DK project" for WH40K universe troop stats for 5150)

*Stargrunt II from Ground Zero Games (GZG) (troops behave like real troops under fire; you win *despite* the shenanigans of your rank-and-file, and command figures really matter!)

*Starguard from Reviresco. THE granddaddy of all sci-fi miniature ground combat systems, you can adapt this one to 28mm by tripling all weapon ranges, and doubling the movement values. Warning: powered armour suits in this game are absolutely deadly opponents, including in hand-to-hand combat, but then again, the rules *were* inspired by Starship Troopers THE BOOK among other sci-fi military classics, so the melee auto-kill rule for powered armour smacking a non-powered armour opponent is to be expected…evil grin

Hope this helps!evil grin

Leland R. Erickson
Metal Express

freecloud10 Sep 2012 4:13 p.m. PST

"Im looking for a balanced, points-based system that doesnt require an umpire and has lists for common scifi-trope-races, so that I can convince other 40k players in my club to give it a try without having to buy a new army"

I think the 40K rules are pretty good for the scale of game (ie c 100 models a side), haven't seen any markedly better in 28mm anyway most of the others mentioned above are squad/platoon level – and lots of opponents can play 40K. One option is to use different figure manufacturers for your models.

Fwiw everyone who has bought the Dark Vengeance set (rules plus models) says the figures are stunning, thats how I plan to buy my rules.

Entweasel Inactive Member22 Sep 2012 8:12 p.m. PST

Hey guys, just thought I'd give an update. Thank you all for your suggestions – I've managed to pick up a copy of Fate of the Forgestar for about half-price (which I am quietly stoked about), so I'll give Warpath a whirl and see how that goes. It's also given me 2 very different forces to try out Tomorrow's War (I've had the rulebook sitting around for a while), and all the cool, free rules that I have been put onto through this thread. Infinity is also one I'm looking at quite seriously – there is now a NZ-based online stockist of it (slave to, so hopefully this will lead to a bit of a following. To all the guys who suggested 15mm, I appreciate the comments, but all my terrain is for 28mm, so would take quite habit of effort to change scales :-)

Gorkathustra Inactive Member23 Sep 2012 12:20 p.m. PST

Ive been in the same boat, recovering Games Workshop addict here… my hack and slash urges have been taken up by Historicals, but my sci-fi urge is still there… really looking into Dystopian Legions by Spartan Games, I've found all the "ship" games they make pretty darn fun, and something about the previews for their new 28s just get me super hyped.

Entweasel Inactive Member24 Sep 2012 11:17 p.m. PST

hey Tezdal, that Dystopian Legions does look very good – thats one Im looking forward to. My other main area of interest is WW II, and Ive heard some good reviews of Secrets of the Third Reich. Might pick that up to play with my WWII toy soldiers (been using operation squad and nuts up to now), and introduce the sci-fi and horror element. So many projects, so little time!

WeaselFierce Inactive Member24 Sep 2012 11:18 p.m. PST

Where are you in NZ, Entweasel? I'm in Auckland and have been looking for another rule set to use with my many 40k armies. If you're local, let me know if you'd like a game sometime.

Entweasel Inactive Member25 Sep 2012 2:39 a.m. PST

Sorry man, I am down in the Wairarapa. Check out our club blog ( – I post on there occasionally, most of the time it's our club secretary. If you're ever down this way, drop me a line and we can line something up :-)

CptKremmen25 Sep 2012 3:34 a.m. PST

I am going to use "Gruntz". Although it is sold as a 15mm sci fi game i believe it works fine with 28mm if you just multiply all distances by 1.5


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