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"Looking for a flexible sci-fi 28mm army game" Topic

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885 hits since 18 Jun 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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mikethefish Inactive Member18 Jun 2017 7:20 p.m. PST

So the new release of 40k, it's kind of given me something of a watershed moment (as much as you can have one of those in min wargaming I suppose).

1) I want to play an army-scale sci-fi game of some kind. Skirmishes are all right, but I want my tanks and hovercraft and stuff like that


2) I really hate the 40k universe. I was involved in 40k from 1st through 5th ed or so, and in all that time I could care less about space marines, the emperor, and all that stuff. I dislike most of what 40k is about, and I only stuck with it for as long as I did because that was what most of my friends were playing.

I am not going to go on a rant about all the stuff I dislike about the 40k universe, especially when so many people are so pumped about the new edition (honestly – more power to ya!). But what I would like to do right now is find a game that works for me. I've looked at Warpath and Beyond the Gates of Antares, but those haven't really enticed me to get into them. What I want to find is a rules set that I can build my own armies with independant mo dels, and be a bit creative with. Preferably something without an established universe, but I am flexible

Does anyone know of any good indi-games out there, designed for science fiction gaming? Preferably something that has an army creation system built into the game somehow?

LostPict Supporting Member of TMP18 Jun 2017 7:36 p.m. PST

Hammer's Slammers Crucible.

Allen57 Supporting Member of TMP18 Jun 2017 7:54 p.m. PST

You could try the free version of Strike Legion Planetary Ops. Not too bad a game. Though doing a game at this level usually uses smaller sized miniatures.

link legion&filters=40101_0_40014_0&pto=0&pfrom=0

Lion in the Stars18 Jun 2017 8:16 p.m. PST

Tomorrow's War from Osprey/Ambush Alley

BaldLea18 Jun 2017 9:25 p.m. PST

Try Fireteam Andromeda. It's native to 15mm but ranges are generally similar to 40k so would scale up with no work.

It has an army builder which allows all kinds of force (including the combined arms you mention).

This is the nearest thing to a build your own 40k that I've found but, even then, the activation system is much better (modified alternate activation based on leadership skills).

Wretched Peasant Scum Inactive Member18 Jun 2017 10:10 p.m. PST

Shock Force?

Definitely build-your-own army.

May not go as large as you want.

Has an easily disposed of background.


Toaster18 Jun 2017 10:31 p.m. PST

Star Grunt, free from Ground Zero Games.


nvdoyle19 Jun 2017 4:18 a.m. PST

Tomorrow's War with the alien expansion, By Dagger or Talon. More 'realistic' than most.

Shock Force, if you can find a copy. Crazy and cheerful.

One Page 40K, or whatever it's called now – heard very good things about this one.

boy wundyr x Inactive Member19 Jun 2017 7:29 a.m. PST

28mm figures and army-scale aren't the most compatible things – a lot of rule sets where you have a platoon of infantry on the table do let you still have vehicles too – Gruntz, Blasters and Bulkheads, Strike Legion's Platoon rules, one of Two Hour Wargames' 5150 variants.

Dirtside, Strike Legion and 5150 would also get you go up to a company per side with other versions (Strike Legion's core game, for instance), but again, not really meant for 28mm figures. Either your groundscale would be wonky or everything would be able fire the length of the table.

Oberlindes Sol LIC19 Jun 2017 9:34 a.m. PST

I second the recommendation of StarGrunt. We usually play platoon to company level engagements. It's a fun game, easily adaptable to any universe, and easy to learn. I have heard of it even being used for the Vietnam War. I set my games in the Traveller universe.

Thomas Thomas Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2017 10:13 a.m. PST

Their is a Command Decision variant (by Frank Chadwick), Striker II (Striker I is interesting but unplayable). Uses an earlier version of the Command Decision engine which in general worked a bit better.

I have my own game Future Command (base on naturally Combat Command) and may publish some day…

Scale: 28mm is great for skirmish but a bit large for "real" battles between combined armed commands. I use 20mm (old Blade miniatures and lots of converted mini-tanks) but 15mm has more current commercial options.

Thomas J. Thomas
Fame and Glory Games

Dentatus Fezian19 Jun 2017 10:23 a.m. PST

On that note – I always figured the larger the scale of battle, the smaller the scale of figs. (Unless you've got deep pockets and a basketball court for a table.) If I were to go for combined arms/"army scale" battles, I'd definitely look at 15mm GZG ranges, the Spartan Games' Planetstorm, or even DropZone Commander.

boggler19 Jun 2017 11:02 a.m. PST

No Stars in Sight from Nordic Weasel or his Fivecore Company Commander in space variant.

John Leahy19 Jun 2017 11:15 a.m. PST

I know folks are fans of their fav set. however, if you want really big games with vehicles and loads of troops, Stargrunt and Tomorrow's War are out. They are both set at Platoon or lower per side. Company level games would require LOTS of time.

Fubar would work. I run 15mm and 18mm games using 200 figs and 20-30 vehicles per side in 2.5 to 3.5 hours.




Personal logo Ed the Two Hour Wargames guy Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Jun 2017 12:33 p.m. PST

5150 Battalion Commander – Here are some Bat Reps.


Smaller scale Bat Reps to show the mechanics. Can handle large number of units.

Idaho Wargamer19 Jun 2017 4:40 p.m. PST

Warpath by Mantic Games should be given a look. They have Free starter rules available that should give a excellent idea how they play. Also their universe IMHO is much much better than the grim dark 40K stuff.

Look over at the right side of this page for the free starter rules pdf. Note, "Firefight" is a skirmish/company level game and "Warpath" is for the big battles.


billthecat19 Jun 2017 7:23 p.m. PST

Check out 'NO LIMITS'…. free, complete rules, available as PDF/s… design your own troops, vehicles, weapons, armies, etc… use any miniatures/universe you like. essentially an open version of the long OOP 'VOR the Maelstrom' game by FASA
(d10 based). I have dabbled with many such games (and eventually settled on more skirmish scale combat for 28mm, for various reasons…) and found that 'NO LIMITS' was the most complete and all inclusive set of rules. probably breaks down after 200 models/10 units per side, but describes the scale of battle desired by most '28mm SF' gamers IMHO, due to heavy 40K influences on the concept… So many options…. the only real barrier is getting your regular group into the fray: Sometimes a rule set far removed from the '40K battle of the golf course' is an attractive refresher (in which case, see STARGRUNT or FAD, etc…) Best of luck!

Personal logo Dasher Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member20 Jun 2017 10:53 a.m. PST

West End Games' "Star Wars Miniatures Battles".
A scratchforce unit-building system that lets you run anything you have the minis for, allowing you to build your forces from the boots up.
Ditto for vehicle design. Both design systems simple, robust and playable.
And if you want, you can even play Star Wars battles. :-)
"VOR: The Maelstrom" is also quite good, though the scratchforce design system in the rules isn't nearly as complete.
And finally, there's "Starguard". The oldest sci-fi miniatures combat system around, still in print after forty-seven (47!) years, full line of minis, great universe color, and compared to everything else out there, the best bargain around. The minis are crude, but there's a wonderful retro charm to them, and the game plays very well.

Capt Flash20 Jun 2017 1:54 p.m. PST

FUBAR, Fast And Dirty, No Stars In sight, Rogue Planet, and the 1Page 40K rules…

Brother Jim22 Jun 2017 12:40 p.m. PST

mj12 games Defiance: Vital Ground.

Demo Rules (Note that these are the full game rules, but do not include the 'build your own' rules).
PDF link

Army Demos (These are inspired by armies from a game set in the 41st millennium).
PDF link

Lion in the Stars22 Jun 2017 2:22 p.m. PST

Tomorrow's War can handle company-per-side engagements, though they do work better with two platoons of vehicles and a platoon or two of troops. Wouldn't want to do 4 platoons of infantry in TW, it'd be slooooooow.

Dirtside could work, though shifting from 6mm minis to 28mm would be interesting.

Lion in the Stars23 Jun 2017 12:46 p.m. PST

And honestly, at 28mm, I'm not sure that you should have more than 1-2 vehicles on the table. Even with Stargrunt's 1"=10m groundscale, a single 155mm arty shell has a CEP of about 200m/20" (so 50% of shells fired will land within 200m of target point), and a blast radius of about 100m/10".

Spread out and live, huddle together and die.

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