Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Boxed Games and 30k - alternative ways to play

Howdy Guys and Girls =)

Today I want to do something different - a little overview of ways to play with your 30k models besides the "standard" AoD game. Basically there are 3 big groups - boxed games from GW that can be adepted, different gaming modes within the Age of Darkness rulesframe, and specialist games. Today I want to talk about the first two - the time for Specialist Games will come once FW released new versions of them. That said - I can see Inquisitor, Necromunda or Gothic used for games set during 30k.

Victory is Vengeance and Kill Team:

Kaelo's Raven Guard sneeks their way through the ruins - they will get their revenge ...

The Victory is Vengeance Campaign Expansion can be found within the HH Book III - Extermination. It's basically a narrative driven, campaign based kill team mode.

Intended for two or more players, one side represents warbands of the Shattered Legions, the other Traitor Forces unleashed by Horus to hunt them down. That said - you can use the rules to also represent other battles and forces.

Core changes is that your army isn't build around a Force Organisation Chart, but a group of character models, aswell as individual Marines chosen from the army list rather than full squads. You also have ressources and action points for your campaign, and your characters can level up and get new special rules.

I think this game mode is especially great if you are currently creating a new force - you can play with your newly painted models even if you don't have enough for a normal 30k game.

An alternative to this (especially if you don't want to do a campaign) would be Kill Team. Kaelo had some fun with it in the past weeks. You can buy the 40k Kill Team rules as ebook too, in case you aren't a fan of Tau and Mark VII:

Zone Mortalis:

Ok, many readers will already know it - I love Zone Mortalis. Deadly fights within a battle ship or bunker system - yep, that's awesome. You can find the 30k rules for it in the first and third black book - the first has the normal rules for bunker fights under Istvaan III, the third an expansion for "Blood in the Void" - ship to ship combat, including some cool strategems like ship crew and murder servitors.

Zone Mortalis games are usualy played on boards between 2'x2' or 4'x4', with 500-1000 points per side. You can't use dedicated transports, and all miniatures must fit within the hallways.

Of course Forgeworld has released their own tiles for ZM games - but if you are worried about the price, there are some alternatives out there. From scratchbuild stuff to Space Hulk tiles - infact my first ZM game was played using said tiles.

Here you can also download the basic rules from the FW site:

Boxed Games:

When you think about boxed games, you will probably have Betrayal at Calth in mind. I only tried a few scenarios so far, but it's a great game to introduce someone to the hobby, and it also has some depth. Most of you will already have it, so if you didn't try the game itself yet - do it! GW also published some new rules for daemons and alternate forces via the White Dwarf magazine.

Of course you don't have to use a 30k specific game to play it in the Horus Heresy setting - a good example for this would be Assassinorum: Execution Force - another game that plays fast, is great for introduction and also got some additional rules support already (you now can use daemons in your games!).

Now you may ask - but how to make it more 30k friendly? Well, I plan to use my Word Bearers for the Chaos side - but you could also use other Legions, or even whole other factions instead. What's with some Mechanicum units, representing a traitor Magus who tries to awake an army of forbidden AI-controlled Robots? You could easily use Tech Thralls instead of Cultists, and Skitarii instead of Chaos Space Marines. This goes for most of the recent and future boxed games - use your fantasy, and you may detect a new way to play 30k.

I hope you enjoyed this little article, and maybe you found some inspiration for your own games, out of big 2k points battles ^.^

Lady Atia


  1. These are quite frankly some Awesome ideas Asia, I know a lot of folks that have the boxed games sitting on shelves collecting dust and this is a great way to get in some added fun, and could make for some great Campaign scenarios too I'd imagine!

    1. Urge Atia damn auto correct! *shakes fist*

    2. Haha no problem :)

      Yeah, I think you can use everything and add it to a bigger campaign. This will only get better with some of the upcoming Specialist Games stuff - especially Battlefleet and Adeptus Titanicus <3

      I also forgot to add the p&p RPG's - each of them can easily modified to represent the 30k era. Just sad they are stopping to produce them :(

    3. I'm hoping someone buys the rights up and gets to keep/reprint the existing products and expand them rather than replacing them from the ground up.
      Expanding would mean we could get a 30k game, we could get the Deathwatch updated to add the new gear from the recent codex, properly have genestealer cults as enemies (it is clear from the free rpg intro scenario they wanted to but were constrained)and especially all the new Mechanicus stuff (the Lathe Worlds book was superb, all the new stuff added in would be so much fun!).

  2. ... Space Hulk? Yes, no?

    Oh, there needs to be some Battlefleet Gothic on this blog. I'm sure you guys can figure something out.

    1. We are definitely looking forward to it. I think it is something to speak to FW about again at the next event, see if we can get us an update.

    2. I actually had an idea of using Space Hulk, but with Ur-Ghuls instead of Genestealers :)

      And yes, I think both we bunnies and the FW team are really hyped for some Primarch battleships :P

  3. Throne there are so many good ways to get your hobby fix. I do feel I should stop and smell the roses from time to time, but with so much to paint and plan for I just feel I need to keep my head down and plough on. So much to paint and so little time. Betrayal at Calth we had a bash with too, but never sat down and mowed through it sadly.
    All Specialist games are awesome in my opinion. need to play more.

    1. Yep!

      I originally wanted to paint the BaC contents "next" - hence my Word Bearers. I will use my first RG models for the "good site" now in the future once they are done. And I really need to paint cultists and the Assassins for Execution Force :)

  4. Painting up some EC Recon marines to be slaughtered by Laer in a "Lost Patrol" twist.

    1. Oh yeah, that's the spirit! Also, the latest WD had rules for using Terminators in LP ;)

    2. That would be awesome to see!

  5. Great article atia, would love to see the combined 30k, epic, BFG and ZM campaigns again.

    You missed out the line up troops and shout pew pew pew play style...

    1. Yeah, just imagine something like this:

      - Campaign phase one - Inquisitor28 and/or Necromunda rules, representing cult activities/followers of Horus starting a rebellion.
      - Campaign phase two - Traitors arrive. Battlefleet and Zone Mortalis games.
      - Campaign phase three - normal games, ViV mini campaign to sabotage traitor camps. End it up with Adeptus Titanicus for the big battle.


    2. Oh shiney!

      - phase 2b - Kill team, kill the enemy VIP games to influence final battles
      - Phase four - defeated fleet has to escape war zone with what's left of their fleet! BFG...

      Tauros is still my favourite book because of this...

    3. Shiney! Good to see another Browncoat!

  6. Pretty curious how Burning of Prospero will play.

    It's definitely a different battlefield from the arcologies of Calth.

    Wildly different forces, too.