Friday, 19 December 2014

Games I've never played but own anyway...

I have quite a few games sitting on the bookcase in the Back Bedroom. Some of these I've played at one time or another (another blog post perhaps?) but an awful lot of them were bought on impulse or on the cheap or for reasons that escape me now (usually Kickstarter). Some of them might be undiscovered classics,  some of them might be awful - hopefully you can let me know in the comments!  One of my goals for next year is to play as many of them as possible...

Across a Dead Earth

This was a game that I backed on Kickstarter earlier this year after it was plugged by a friend of mine who knows the author. I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic settings (okay, I'm a sucker for Necromunda...) and the models were really nice. At present they are sitting in my "to paint box" and are unlikely to even be undercoated in the near future...

The game is set in a post-apocalyptic version of the UK and features a lot of artwork depicting a ruined Birmingham (some people might suggest this would be an improvement). I've read the rules and it looks pretty good. It has an interesting class system that is missing from Necromunda but doesn't have a great campaign system from the look of it. The creators have talked about extra books to expand into new bits of the game world in 2015.

A Fistful of King Fi

The first of Osprey's games that I bought. It's a skirmish level game based on the John Woo/Jackie Chan/Bruce Lee type films. It uses around a dozen figures a side and has a wonderful free form style of list creation - you can either use the existing rules for figures in the book or it has a section on writing your own so you can use whatever figures you own.

I bought this because I was intrigued by the fact it was a rule set not tied to any particular figures style let alone range. It looks really interesting and is one of the game I really want to play.


This was written by Gav Thorpe of GW fame and is a game designed to go with Black Scorpion's range of fantasy pirate figures. The models are absolutely stunning - the elves in particular are a lovely range of dashing, graceful fighters.

It as, as previously mentioned, a Gav Thorpe creation but I can only assume he had some bills to pay or something. The rules don't look especially exciting - it's 40K with tricorns and a range of dice types to indicate skill (D4 up to D12). Now Bolt Action is 2nd ed 40K but the different armies have a different feel to them because of the national rules and varying troop qualities. Cutlass! has five races that are all basically the same..

I'm not really rushing to play this and only still own it because it's failed to sell on eBay three times.

Deadman's Hand

This is Great Escape Game's cinematic cowboy game. It's a really simple set of rules that emphasises storytelling over a tight set of rules - but that is alright. There is an expansion that introduces a campaign system too which sounds pretty cool.

Each game is a scenario based on a famous western that is broken down into three acts that play in order - usually an intro with two or three figures, an escalation with 5 or 6 and an ending with 10 or so. The winner of the previous act gets a bonus in the next act (extra cards from the event deck, slightly bigger deployment zones etc.)

This is another game I'm keen to play soon - I think I'll probably use my guild Malifaux figures for this (which will probably encourage me to get some paint on them!)

De Bellus Multitudinis

I'm not entirely sure where I picked this up... It's a proper beardy historical game for periods between 3000 BC and 1500 AD. I don't expect to play this anytime soon :)

While I'm interested in starting playing some historic games this isn't really my style. It's very old school - all charts and details with little flavour. Maybe this comes from me not being very into ancient history,  I'm not sure.

Flames of War

Flames of War is a 15mm WW2 game from Battlefront (another company made up of ex-GW staffers who wrote a game strongly inspired by 40K).

I like the idea of the scale of 15mm gaming but didn't take to the rules in the way I did with Bolt Action. It also seems to have the 40K mentality of being about throwing as many tanks on the table in defiance of history...

Future Wars

Future Wars is another game designed to support a figure range,  in this case Copplestone Castings lovely Future Wars range of Sci-Fi troopers.  It's another game that encourages you to use any models you have - it's got rules for military,  civilian militia, alien buga,  predators and cyborgs (did you guess it's a early 2000's game?).

I bought this in a fit of nostalgia because I'd played an earler edition when I was younger.  The rules look pretty good and are a lot of fun from what I remember.  Worth a look if you fancy some squad level Sci - Fi gaming and can find a copy - it looks out of print...


Another Kickstarter, this time plugged by the lovely chaps on Fools Daily...

It's a medieval football game that looks like a cross between rugby, Blood Bowl and Warmachine. There are preview rules and paper pieces on the website that backers can test the game with (though I've yet to do this). I'm not sure I know anyone else who backed this so I don't know if I'll play it anytime soon. It might end up being one to either sell on or try at a gaming club.  I'm not entirely sure when it's due but we have been promised it will hit it's deadline.


Hordes (and it's sister game Warmachine) is something I've been aware of for years but never played. It was sold as having the tightest rules in the industry so I finally caved and bought the Hordes book. I've no idea which faction I'll buy - I like The Legion of Everblight and the Circle in Hordes as well as Cryx and Menoth in Warmachine...

So I don't know what I'll do. It might depend if I can drop on anything cheap on ebay or a forum. I should read the rules and have a test game first!

In Her Majesty's Name

The second Osprey game I picked up. This one is a steampunk skirmish pitting the dashing heroes of the Empire against the dastardly Huns. Again, the rules look tight and it allows for flexible list customisation but I'm not sure I have anything suitable for the setting.  Maybe one for the future?


The final Osprey game, this time set in feudal Japan. I've only really flicked through this one (I got it cheap) but I like the idea of doing something with samurai in it.

Years ago I played The Legend of the Five Rings Clan War game at a convention and really enjoyed it - if you can find the figures now they are pretty cheap and would make lovely character models for this. Also it's pretty low model count so pretty easy to bug others in playing!

Spinespur: Threshold

Okay, a confession - I bought this after hearing the rumours of how tasteless it was. Apparently it was a Kickstarter by a US firm called Comfy Chair games that never really took off.

After reading it the game looks like it could be a dirt cover gem. At least as far as the core rules go. The figures are ugly, the background is in *awful* taste without having the redeeming feature of being well written and the whole thing comes off as childish schlock.  That said, if you took the rules and stripped out the dross you could you'd have a reasonable skirmish game that you could transplant into a less awful setting. I suggest picking it up only if you have an academic interest in game rules or you thought Manhunt was high culture...

That concludes the trip through the darker recesses of the back bedroom.  Hopefully it was interesting - if you've played any of these and want to sing their praises I'd love to hear from you! Equally if you spot a stinker in there please worn me...

The next post will probably be a rambling account of a day of festive gaming I'm holding tomorrow...


  1. Future Wars is by Chris Peers, whose work I generally like -- it was originally a variant of his skirmish game At Close Quarters. I've always wanted to play it, since I have a vast collection of Post-Apocalyptic miniatures.

    If DBM is too complex, try its sister games, De Bellis Antiquitatis (although the rulebook is gibberish) or the fantasy variant, Hordes of the Things, which is really very good.

  2. Oh, is it similar to HotT? I've heard good things about that...

    The thing with DBM is more of a style thing than an actual complexity issue I think. It doesn't appeal so I've never persevered with it. You've played it I assume?

    1. Play HOTT!

      I easily have enough Warhammer models to build two forces. Hell, I could probably supply a tournaments worth.

    2. I have some Mantic ones from a gift box, but doubt enough for a force.

      I can do HElves, DElves, and Skaven quite easily. I may have bits and pieces for other forces but probably nothing coherent.

    3. Hmm, there are only really orcs and undead that grab me for fantasy...

      You send me a link to the rules ages ago, any chance you could resend it over Facebook so I can open it on my tablet? I can't remember what medium you used previously!

    4. I have played DBM, but only once or twice many years ago. I have played a lot of DBA and HotT; I am currently putting together armies using cheap 1/72 plastics.