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Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

Last time I did any Sci Fi hobbying was picking up but never fully completing the Dark Vengeance boxed set at the start of 6th edition. I had moved country, left behind my awesome 40K group and was not enamoured of the new edition.

Over the past few years I have been modelling and painting for fantasy roleplaying games, and I have pretty close to what I would have dreamed of as a kid for that sort of gaming - full sets of fantasy monsters and heroes, and a cool dungeon tile set with furniture and all that.

The destruction of the Old World means I have moved away into creating my own setting that incorporates much of what I love from Warhammer into a world that also stuffs in all my other favourite things and some of my own creations.
In the course of this I got back into wargaming with One Page Rules Age of Fantasy, a stripped down version of Age of Sigmar that has alternating activations and encourages DIY approaches to list building and miniatures selection. And while looking through their stuff, I found Grimdark Future, their knockoff 40K with a similar mentality.

Pouring over the lists, and then looking at some blogs like Skinflint Games blog on getting back into the hobby, as well as thinking back to what attracted me to 40K originally, I decided to set about reviving my love of the grimdark future. I had also recently gotten into Stars Without Number, the old school sandbox Sci Fi RPG that could easily slot in as a stripped down 40K RPG without effort. Freed from the need to keep track of whatever GW is up to, I can focus on what I really like about the universe, edit out the bits I don’t like, and make it a setting that is suitable for wargaming and roleplaying.

Broadly, I want to focus on small forces for a variety of different factions so that I can loan them out to friends or family for games, as I am not interested in participating in “Pick Up Game” culture any more.
As I go I am reimagining the setting in ways that make it more appealing to me and easier to make my own stories happen in the way I want.

Last year I bought a bunch of start collecting sets, and I decided to start with Necrons, because they were the ones my wife was the most interested in. They are also very Sci Fi, and easy to paint!
I don’t love the background for Necrons. I always thought it was a bit silly that this ancient alien race made robots that look like human skeletons, and it is an obvious hold over from the old Android models. So I decided to rewrite the background for my games.
Essentially, the necrons are an AI based entity or entities that infect other AIs and take them over. The humanoid Warriors are the Men of Iron from 40K background, the old android slave race used by mankind in the past. Some have been modified with advanced nanotech and strange materials (the Triarchs and Lords) but the mass of grunts are possessed androids. This is why AI is heresy in most human civilisations, and why all tech has manual overrides and back ups that makes it clunky and retro-looking. The more insectoid necrons are the servants of an ancient race that may have originated the AI, and they sleep on tomb worlds just as in normal 40K until signals wake them up and they go out to reap the living. I prefer this background because it keeps the Lovecraftian elements of the Necrons while explaining why the necrons themselves look like T1000s rather than something more interesting. I also think a malicious, alien AI is a fun sci fi concept and allows for cool roleplaying scenarios for Stars Without Number. It also helps to explain the lack of AIs and make using AIs a risk reward problem for my players.
These pictures are recent, but I actually painted the minis a while ago! I will go into the terrain they are posing on shortly!
Warriors and Immortals were fun to do, just simple paint jobs with basic edge highlighting on the weapons. Scarabs are such little cuties, I hope I can find more of these old ones! Despite painting minis for over 20 years this is my first time edge highlighting…





The Annihilation Barge was the last thing I painted. Doing all the edge highlighting was time consuming, but ultimately I am well chuffed with how it came out. I think the Command Barge looks cooler, but I decided to stretch this kit as far as I could.





Lords are fun, and fun to paint as well. Quite pleased with the lord on the 40mm base, his buddy from the Command Barge is fine too.




After finishing the Start Collecting I have added a couple extra boxes to each of these to bulk them up to what I feel is a good game size for Grimdark Future. These Triarchs were a bit trickier, both to assembly and to paint. Not 100% happy with the posing on all of them, it is always my kryptonite, but the paint jobs came out okay.



Wraiths are my favourite necron models, these were great fun to build and look great, but boy am I glad to be done with the edge highlighting!



And finally the Spyder. I need to magnetise this little girl onto her base, but I love the model and the concept behind it.



This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/01/07 17:51:24


   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

Of course, if you want to game in the Grimdark Future, you need minis and terrain! I already have space marine, necron and ork miniatures, so my first priority was a set of terrain to play on.
I have a fairly nice Dark Ages set, but I wanted something a bit more sci fi than deciduous temperate woodland. Jungle trees always look a bit more exotic and spacey, so that was the first thing I did. Just a bunch of aquarium plants and some fake sprigs from wedding stuff for the big trees. Very happy with how this came out, super easy to make (literally just gluing and flocking) but I think it looks quite nice! I am especially happy with the trees, because it is difficult to find affordable solutions for that!


Here they are with some Gatormen for scale and context:


Exotic Flora is one thing, but my favourite images from the Grimdark Future are those of ash wastes and hive cities, from my days as a kid reading 2000AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine with the Mega Cities and the Cursed Earth. 40K seemed to me to come directly from that tradition with the descriptions of the Hive Cities on Armageddon in the old 2e starter. A Hive City is probably an impossible project for scenery, but I think the most important element to evoke the feeling of a hive is verticality. Hive battlefields should be full of walkways, gantries and towers, sprawling upward with almost the same density that they sprawl outward. Wargaming battlefields are always just a tool for our imaginations, so you only need a certain amount of vertical layering to evoke a much more complex Hive or City surrounding. With that in mind I brought up this excellent video from Wyloch about making tower and walkway systems.


I was intimidated to start this for ages, but this summer I was at home like all of us and got to work on it. It is long and tedious to do, but I can say it is within the skill level of any crafter because I am not usually good at precise measurements or straight lines and I managed. The whole thing is just chipboard, sprue bits, cross stitch mesh and soup cans, which is awesome!
Here are some shots of the cardboard set up:




As I was working on it, I had a thought. If I make lots of wall sections and some wall sections that are “gates”, I could make this into a huge rampart for a hive wall! Dramatic scenes in Warhammer fiction often occur with troops waiting on top of the wall of a Hive. Again, in the fiction these walls are a mile high and so on, but to evoke them on a battlefield, six feet of wall is pretty decent I feel, especially with towers along the length. I used to play a three game scenario with my best friend as a kid using the old 2e ruins to make a “city wall” which we would then take turns storming, fighting through the “city streets” to the bunker at the heart over three games, swapping sides to see who would win. So this hive wall is a sort of homage to those games.






A side effect of all the walls is I can also make a version of the Whiskey Outpost from Starship Troopers!




I decided to go for a pretty bold red colour scheme. I was dubious about this, but red is the traditional colour of the mechanicum, and I thought rusty metallic or grey would look a bit washed out on the table. I wanted to have rust and weathering, but I wanted a secondary colour as well to make it really pop. So I went with red! I painted all the silver and red in one sitting along with the concrete sections of the walls.










You can see in the last two pictures, a happy side effect of having so many extra walls is I can use spare walkways and walls to make blocky warehouse buildings for line of sight blocking. They look pretty good I think!

It took me about two solid months to get to this stage, and I was a bit burned out at that point and took a break. But I think this set is really well worth going for, and even given I had to order the chipboard in specially, the whole set cost me under 30 euros to make!





   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

This set could be used for a fairly bare bones game on it’s own, but I wanted to make a few pieces that would give my battlefields a sense of space. From the 2e starter and then ADB’s excellent Helsreach novel I always loved the idea of the huge docks of Helsreach and the vicious battles that raged for that hive, with the crane workers sealing themselves into their cranes. I grew up beside a port town and my first jobs were all working down on the dockside. So I wanted to make some shipping containers, because they are classic LOS blocking terrain, and a crane to move them around. Just these pieces will give the feel of a spaceport or dock without much extra effort!

The crane is a cheap 4 euro digger I found in Mueller. I hacked the bucket off and added some details to it to trick the eye into thinking it is more detailed than it actually is. The barrel, tarps and jerrycan are all from a Tamiya bits sprue, I used some bases for the magnet on the crane, left over cross stitch mesh for the grating and some chain. I wanted to leave most of the surfaces flat, because you can fit a full squad on this crane as is, and I would like it to be playable scenery, so there is a bit of a compromise there. My wife insisted the wheels stay on, so they are still there. Painted it up with cheap craft paints, Ochre, black and silver, did some basic weathering and sponged on some rust and gave it a grimy wash. Really happy with how it came out!













The Shipping Containers were made by following Mel the Terrain Tutor’s tutorial. I should have accounted for the difference in size caused by the corrugation in several places, but overall I am very happy with how they look. They make for very easy line of sight blockers. I painted them up with Army Painter sprays and then some basic rust patches and a grime wash. The wash interacted weirdly in places, sorta pooled oddly, but I think it looks okay overall.









Lastly, I wanted some fences to delineate areas on the battlefield and provide visual interest. Wyloch has a great tutorial for these and I followed it exactly, except that I kept the base of the fence metallic. My reason for doing that is that I feel it means they fit better onto any kind of board with a metallic base, looking like prefab fences that are dropped down. Since I plan on having city, ash waste and jungle boards for my games, I want as many of my terrain pieces as possible to be base agnostic for interchangeability. These were dead simple to make and I think they look very effective, I would definitely recommend giving them a try! You can also see the wall and walkway "building" in this picture, and I piled the spare clips for the walkway system into piles of metal scrap here as well.







Thanks for looking!





   
Made in us
Shas'la with Pulse Carbine




United States

This is looking really good. Glad to see another convert to the One Page Rules community! I'm working on getting the players around where I live to make the switch as well.

The red on your gangways and towers look really sharp.
   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

Thanks! I love the game, especially as it so easy to introduce total newbies to. And it has ship to ship, mass battle and gang level rules as well, I am just a big fan.

The red was a bit of a scary choice but I am happy with it now!

   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

So, I might be getting a game in this weekend with my wife! I am gonna use my Orks, which I have had since I was a little whippersnapper, and she is going to use my freshly painted up Necrons, or Robot Legions in Grimdark Future parlance.

In my age of fantasy games I have been using “cards” which are basically google slides printed four to a page as hand outs and then cut out. Each card has all the stats and rules for the unit printed on it and a little picture to help people know what’s what. I am doing that to maximise accessibility, because I am introducing a bunch of non-wargamers to the game and I think cards really “chunk” the information in a decent way. Additionally, Grimdark Future uses alternating activations (yay!), which means you need some way to keep track of who has acted and who has not, particularly for bigger games. Flipping the card over is a really easy way to manage this. I see some people using markers for all their units but I prefer the cards because it keeps the battlefield cleaner. If you need markers you can put them on the card instead.

My flimsy paper prints were not very satisfying though so I have made a deck of cards from some decent colour prints of my card files, a gluestick and an oven pizza box (a distressingly abundant commodity in our household…). Cut out the cards into rough strips to fit them on the box,glue them on with a glue stick, then cut them off with scissors before cutting around the edge with a hobby knife. Not the neatest job in the world but I am satisfied. They are definitely nicer to handle than the paper cards and will last a lot longer. Probably should have used spray glue or some stronger glue stick but oh well. Gonna probably laminate them too, so they don’t pick up fingerprints and just generally last longer. If anyone is interested I can also put the PDFs for my files here for download. I currently only have cards for units I am going to use and factions I play, but it is easy enough to follow the template yourself in Google Sheets!












 Filename Orks.pdf [Disk] Download
 Description Ork Unit Cards
 File size 827 Kbytes


   
Made in us
Shas'la with Pulse Carbine




United States

Very nice cards. Are you gonna try and print off the new Robot Legions STL files that they just put out? They are great designs.
   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

I don't have a printer sadly, but man, their designs are getting really good. Their robots have a general grievous look to them which is quite cool. The Saurians are also really nice. Prefer them to Saurus Warriors for sure!

   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Procrastinator extraordinaire





Edinburgh, UK

Really impressive work with those Wyloch walk ways, he has tonnes of stuff I want to try out but getting the time to do it is something I don't have.

Keen to see more of those cards. If the sizing is right, you could see about some top loaders as added protection for them?

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Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

Thanks! It was very time intensive, for sure. I started in August when I was on holidays and basically had to work on it up til Christmas to get it done. The good part is you can just tap away at it to get it finished, it doesn't need to be done all at once because it is quite straightforward once you have it ready. You can wear out your hand doing too much of it actually! I ended up with a big dent in my fingers from my craft knife.

The advantage of the set I think comes when you have done a LOT of towers and walkways so you can really take advantage of the modularity. I did 12 towers, 14 wall sections with 2 gates, 4 12" walkways, 4 9" walkways and 2 6" walkways. I still want to do a few ladders and maybe a couple more railings, but I am gonna take a wee break first!

Wyloch's stuff is great, he is basically the reason I got into Grimdark Future. I am not the worlds best crafter but all of his projects are accessible and I am very happy with the results.

As to the cards, I will have a look. If I can get those sorts of card protectors that would be the simplest solution, for sure. The cards are not "standard" playing card size though, but maybe I can find ones in the right size to use. Would save the hassle of laminating!

   
Made in us
Shas'la with Pulse Carbine




United States

Probably wouldn't be difficult to get them to like the Necromunda tactic card size and I'm pretty sure card sleeves are freely available in that size.
   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

They are about 6.5cm x 11.2cm in size, so 3" by 4" protectors would work, there'd be a little bit of extra space but that's not the end of the world.

   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Guard Heavy Weapon Crewman





Great terrain! love the digger, and thanks for drawing my attention to the one page stuff, i've checked it out and it looks good. I've always known GW wasn't the be all and end all, as the first time I went to one of their stores, they were still selling other people's game, but I am getting back into the hobby and its good to know there are options, and people doing cool things like this.
   
 
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