Friday, January 8, 2010

Gearing up for Galactic War

A sad, little battlefield with no battle...

Keeping true to my "resolutions for 2010" I am focusing on just two projects right now, 15mm sci-fi, and vikings. This week was failed attempt number two at sitting down and playtesting the work-in-progress Galactic War I rules by Scott Pyle.

Galactic War I looks like it will be a pretty solid rules set, and unlike the individual hero style of Pyle's SuperSystem, or the small retinue warbands of his "Chaos in..." series, GWI focuses on large scale formations of troops and vehicles. That's the great thing about 15mm though, even with fifty troops, plus vehicles, on each side of the table you can still get by with a 3x3 or 4x4 table, oh, and you're not painting for months on end!

x1 CE, x1 IAE, and x1 LWE

You'll need lots of troops, that's for sure! Oh, and some vehicles too, more than likely walkers. GWI is all about the elements of your army. You start with a single command element (CE) that has your command squad with your CiC in it, plus anywhere between two and five additional squads attached to it. This is your CE.

Then you will add at least one, but probably more infantry attack elements (IAE) to your army. This will consist of anywhere between two to six squads in each IAE. Each squad is considered a fire team with 3-8 models. An IAE will have one squad as a regular commander (think platoon leader) with the rest completing the IAE.

There's a lot of other types of elements to add, but the above two will most likely be your compulsory choices. You can add light or heavy walker elements (LWE's have four walkers, and HWE's have two walkers), grav artillery elements, anti-walker elements, and of course my personal favorite, the ALE's, or alien levy element.

In the end you are going to have a lot of choices on how to build your army, and once built, it's going to look pretty impressive. The basing conventions are going to be Flames of War style, with multiple figures per base. My troops are already individually based, so I will continue to do that in the future, I may make magnet stands.

a smaller, more elite force with heavy walkers

a couple of cheat sheets prepped for the game

You know, as I write this I don't know what I can write about really! I didn't sign a non-disclosure agreement or anything, but these are playtest rules in the end. Plus, they are more than likely to change in scope and scale. Years ago, Andy, Oz, and I were play testers for a dozen or so books for the Legend of the Five Rings roleplaying game, and in that case, yeah, we signed forms and the whole nine yards.

That being the case, I'll leave this 'review' rather light, more like a 'preview' I guess. Needless to say, we will be using these rules in the immediate future and I'll be reporting on future games and my thoughts on how the rules facilitated them, even if I leave out all the crunchy, juicy tidbits of the rules mechanics themselves.


  1. I always love a new sci fi ruleset. Ah I remember LoTR. Great system. You guys did well in your recommendations I assume as the game turned out really well IMHO. I particularly enjoyed the different spin on the ninjas.

  2. Sounds fun. Why the preference for walkers? Is the universe a mecha-centric setting?

    L5R was great. Loved it, but sold my army off eventually. I really enjoyed the tactical deck system as it seems to really capture the "fortune of battle" feel. You never knew exactly when you would be able to pull a trick out of your pocket and neither did your enemy. The fates came down to more than just dice.

  3. When in doubt, Mik, just ask the writer what he's comfortable with you disclosing.

    Interesting concept for the unit organizations. Not a fan of walkers though. They make almost no sense militarily. I prefer a Hammer's Slammers / SM Striling approach with futuristic versions of wheel/track/hover vehicles. Low siloutettes and easy on the logistics train

  4. I like these reviews. Please keep it up, I'd like to see an actual battle of GW1.

  5. @ACGen and Eli: Yeah, we're listed in all of the "Secrets of..." sourcebooks and a few "Magic of...", it was a great game and a great genre.

    @Eli and Brian: I guess walkers look cool, regardless of their practicality. In the fluff (a surprising amount of fluff for playtest rules) they mention walkers are cheap and maneuverable.

    @Brian: Always the voice of reason, I email him...

    @MstrDarksol: Thanks! You're not the only one who wants to see a game in action, I do too!