Your Hobby Needs You!

There are some people in our hobby that put in a hell of a lot because they love it and like to share. Few do more that Pete Jones of Free Wargames Rules (http://www.freewargamesrules.co.uk/).

This is one of the greatest wargames resource sites on the net and has inspired generations of wargames. He has hosted thousands of sets of rules for over a decade now and never asked for anything to support it. Well crunch time is approaching as for personal reasons he won’t be able to do this much longer.

What he needs is somebody, or a group of people, to step forwards and take the burden from his shoulders and continue his work. You can read about this here: http://freewargamesrules.blogspot.co.uk/

Pete is an old friend of mine and I’d hate to see all his hard work just disappear, so if any of you can help please contact him through his blog. I can also pass messages onto him.

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In the Emperor’s Name!

Since its launch only a short while ago In the Emperor’s Name has created an enormous amount of interest amongst people who love the Warhammer 40K universe, but are not so enamoured of the rules that accompany it. We have had over 3,000 downloads from the blog alone.

The quality of feedback, from AAR’s to individual comments on the blog, the Yahoo Group and on other blogs and fora has been excellent. As a result we have been able to create a lot more material for this game as well as improve and clarify the rules.

In short the improvements you will see in the new version include:
– The separation of the Core Rules, Retinues lists and Campaigns rules into three separate booklets. This will make it easier to update in the future as well as saving gamers’ ink on printing things they do not need.
– Complete weapons and armour listings, drawn from all the Retinues.
– A section on light vehicles from the humble ground car all the way up to the Chimera and Rhino.
– Special abilities, old and new, have been gathered together in a single section.
– There have been small changes to the rules of play both to make them clearer and to include simple changes to improve their playability.
– Grit is now costed on a sliding scale, due to its in-game importance.
– Weapons costs have been increased in many cases to take account of their range and the effect of some deadlier weapons on the Grit Roll.
– A swathe of new and improved Retinues have made it into the listings.
– All Retinues have been recosted to take into account the changes in Grit and Weapons’ costs. The base cost for a Retinue is now 200 pts.
– The Campaign rules have been updated to reflect the changes in Core Rules and Retinues, as well as being generally improved.
– Unique cover art from Joseph Urban.

Not all the good ideas that have come forward have been included in this edition. Some will be released individually on the blog, others in new supplements once we have enough material.

There is still a lot of the Warhammer 40K universe to explore, from Enslavers, Dark Eldar and Hive Fleet infiltration units, to new campaigns and dangerous locations. Anyone fancy hunting a Lictor on an Ice Planet or in the depths of the Catachan Jungle? More Psychic Powers and Special Abilities anyone? And who just loves the Assassins and their Temples?

We hope that you enjoy these rules.
The Forge of War Development Group.

In the Emperor’s Name 2nd Edition – Core Rules

In the Emperor’s Name 2nd Edition – Campaign System

In the Emperor’s Name 2nd Edition – Retinues

FUBAR Medieval

A little known fact about the FUBAR Modern/SF Rules for small unit actions is that they have a barbaric cousin – FUBAR Medieval.

These are rules for those who want a quick, yet savagely satisfying game involving a few handpicked warbands in a medieval (i.e. pre-firearms) or fantasy genre.

Below are the core rules:

FUBAR Medieval 2nd Edition

Thanks to Captain Caverne we now have the core rules in French:

FUBAR Medieval in French

We already have three force supplements for these rules.

The first is an exploration of the 9th-11th century in Britain. It involves Vikings, Saxons, Normans, Welsh, Irish and Pictish warbands vying for supremacy in this age of invasions.

FUBAR 1066 and all that 2nd Edition

The second is a delve further back to the chaos that followed the Roman withdrawal and the rise of a Warlord who would be later feted as Arthur, King of the Britons. There are forces for the Roman0-British forces of Arthur, the invading Saxons and the native Welsh and Pictish Kings.

There is also a section to allow you to add some of the mythic elements such as Merlin and Morgana, Excalibur and the grail Knights, as well as Welsh Druids and Pictish Shamen.

FUBAR Artorius Rex 2nd Edition

Next up is a chance to ride with the Seven Samurai. A full set of rules for warfare in medieval Japan. Not always historically accurate, but certainly in keeping with the films of Akiro Kurasawa.

Ever fancied defending a village of peasants with a handful of Ronin and a drunken Warrior Monk against a vengeful Samurai Daimyo and his loyal retainers? Here’s your chance.

FUBAR The Seven Samurai 2nd Edition

And finally, for now at least,  the chance the play Aragorn or Boromir, Gandalf, Theoden or Saruman. FUBAR The War of the Ring allows you to bring your warbands into battle across the latter years of Middle Earth in the mammoth two-page supplement!

FUBAR The War of the Ring 2nd Edition

A couple of scenarios for you.

These scenarios are set in the period from the time of Bilbo’s adventures chronicled in his book ‘There and Back Again’ (better known to us through Tolkien’s translation as ‘The Hobbit’) up until a few years before the events in The Lord of the Rings.

 The Chamber of Mazarbul

King Balin’s reign in the restored kingdom of Khazadum (Moria) is short-lived and upon his death his followers are cornered and make a last stand in the Chamber of Mazarbul, where lies his tomb.

Dwarves [141 pts]

1 Hero [Elite, Heavy Armour, Greataxe @ 15pts]

4 Warbands of 3 Warriors [Veteran, Heavy Armour, Shield, Battleaxe, Crossbow or 2 Throwing Axes @ 14pts]

The Dwarven Hero can fight independently or join one of his Warbands.

Goblins [412 pts]

1 Goblin King  [Veteran, Medium Armour, Two-handed Mace @ 12pts]

8 Warbands of 6 Goblin Warriors [Green, Light Armour, half have Shield & Sword, half have bows @ 8pts]

1 Cave Troll [Veteran, Medium Armour, Two-handed Club. Can take 4 wounds before dying @ 16pts]

The Goblin King can fight independently or join one of his Warbands.

The Cave Troll fights independently

Set-up

Layout the Chamber as you have seen it in the film. Remember the Pillars, the Tomb of Balin, the Well and the Doorway. Alternately you can download floorplans of the chamber here:

http://www.yeoldeinn.com/tiles-shirtz-lotr.php

Scroll down the page to find the download.

Note that the doorway is wide enough for two Dwarves, three Goblins or one Troll. The well will admit Goblins two at a time.

The Dwarves can deploy anywhere in the chamber. The Goblins deploy outside. They must assign which Goblin Warbands will come through the door and which will come up the Well.

If the Well is undefended the Goblins can enter freely. If it is defended then they must fight their way through, but only two Goblins can fight at one time.

The game begins when the door gives way. The Goblins begin with the initiative.

Victory

Victory occurs when either:

1. Dwarven Victory: The Dwarves kill 300 points of the Goblin forces.

2. Goblin Victory: The Dwarves are all slain.

Of course any Dwarven victory only buys them a breathing space before the next assault. Their bones will be found by the Fellowship when they too have to defend this sad place.

It is suggested that you replay this scenario with the players swapping sides, so both of you can experience this stirring last stand.

The Retaking of Osgiliath

Shown in the extended version of the films this scenario shows Boromir’s successful, though short-lived, victory in Osgiliath.

The Scenario features the retaking of the bridge over the Anduin.

The Army of Gondor [454 pts]

Boromir [Elite, Heavy/Medium Armour, Shield, Sword, Bow, The Horn of Gondor @ 20pts]

5 Warbands of  6 Soldiers [Seasoned, Medium Armour, Shield, Spear or Bow, Sword @ 10pts. No more than one third can have bows]

Faramir [Elite, Light Armour, Shield, Sword, Longbow @ 14pts]

2 Warbands of 5 Rangers [Veteran, Light Armour, Shield, Sword, Longbow @ 12pts]

The Army of Minas Morgul [500 pts]

2 Orc Captains  [Veterans, Medium Armour, Shield, Sword or Axe @ 11pts]

7 Warbands of 7 Orc Warriors  [Seasoned, Light Armour, Shield, Spear or Sword, one third have Bows @ 9pts]

2 Mordor Trolls  [Veterans, Heavy Armour, Two-handed Swords/Hammers, Can take four wounds before dying @ 18pts]

Set-up

The Bridge over the Anduin is 24” long and 8” wide.

The Army of Gondor can deploy in the ruined buildings at the western end of the bridge and on the road leading to it.

The Army of Minas Morgul will deploy in the ruined buildings on the eastern riverbank.

Neither side can place forces on the bridge itself.

The Bridge has a parapet along each side that gives moderate cover to anyone on it from troops firing from the riverbanks. Troll do not gain cover from this parapet as they tower above it.

The ruined buildings also give moderate cover.

The Army of Gondor begins with the initiative.

Boromir can blow his Horn once during the battle.

Victory

Victory occurs when either:

1. Gondor Victory: Boromir or Faramir raise the Standard of Gondor at the eastern end of the bridge and keep it aloft for one full turn.

2. Gondor Victory: 400 points of the Bridge’s defenders are slain.

3. Minas Morgul Victory: Both Boromir and Faramir are slain.

4. Minas Morgul Victory: 300 points of the attackers are slain.

FUBAR – one page SF/Modern rules

FUBAR are a set of one page, fast play rules for small unit actions in a modern or SciFi setting.  Since their release in 2010 we have had over 3,500 downloads of the core rules and many more for the variant rules and force supplements.

These rules are simple to learn (usually after about 15 minutes of play) yet have enough tactical complexity to give you a fun and challenging game.

Credit has been given to a number of individual Forge of War (FoW) Yahoo members below, who have contributed to this incredible range of rules and supplements. However, everyone of us is grateful to all the other members of ther group for their ideas, reviews, playtests and support.

And the work has only just begun. We have ideas coming in all the time for supplements and at least three or four in progress. If you want to know more come over to the Group and have a look.

THE CORE RULES
This one page set is all you need to get you playing.

FUBAR Core Rules 4th Edition

Abovee are the latest rules, as released on 11th April 2011.

I’ll leave the previous set below

FUBAR Core Rules 3.0

We also have these in French, Italian and Spanish.

FUBAR French Core Rules 3.0

FUBAR in Spanish

Fubar Regole Principali 3.0 Italiano

For those who like a complex morale system, below is FoW designer Jason’s Alternate Morale Rules.

FUBAR Alternate Morale Rules

VARIANTS & SUPPLEMENTS

FUBAR SciFi

Boarding Actions – FUBAR Beta Playtest

For many players of Warhammer 40K their first experience of the universe that would come to dominate their lives was through the board games Space Hulk and Space Crusade.

This supplement draws upon that ‘forbidden love’, the FUBAR Core Rules and an as yet unreleased FPS version of FUBAR called ‘Rooms & Corridors’ by Chris Knowles.

It all begins with an ancient Hulk emerging from the warp on the edge of an Imperial system…

These are the playtest rules, not the final ones. Once I have some feedback in from here and the Forge of War Yahoo Group team I will release a First Edition.

FUBAR 40K Boarding Actions! – Rules of Play

FUBAR 40K Boarding Actions! – Boarding Parties

FUBAR 40K Boarding Actions! – Denizens of the Hulk

Generic SciFi
These allow you to games across a range of popular SciFi settings and genres from Aliens to Terminator and Predator.

FUBAR Generic Sci-Fi

Stargate

We have two force supplements for Stargate by my own gaming group and myself.

FUBAR SG1 2nd Edition

This covers the popular TV program with all the forces and characters from the original series.

The Gauntlet – A scenario for FUBAR Stargate One

Wheres Daniel – A scenario for FUBAR Stargate One

FUBAR SG1895 v0.2 (2)
This is a variant that expands on what could have happened if the British had found the Egyptian Stargate in the late Victorian Period.

Star Wars

We have two force supplements here. The first covers the original three films, and the second covers the Clone Wars as shown in the CGI Cartoon series. These rules are by FoW designer Eric.

FUBAR Star Wars 1.05
FUBAR Clone Wars 2.06

In addition John and the guys from the Southern Maryland Wargames Club have produced a range of beautiful reference cards for each troop type, as well as chits for the Battle of Hoth.

SW Clone Wars Cards
SW Hoth Cards
SW Misc Cards
HothChits

Starship Troopers

The classic confrontation on Klendathu between the Roughnecks of the Mobile Infantry and the hordes of the Bug Empire can now be played thanks to John and the guys from the Southern Maryland Wargames Club.

In addition there is my original SST Force Supplement.

FUBAR Starship Troopers
Troopers

Bugs

Steampunk

This is for those of you that like weird science in the 19th century by Fow designer Lanse.

Victorian Sci-Fi FUBAR 2

Warhammer 40K

Admit it, most of us play or have played 40K, and many of us have GW figures in our collections. This supplement allows you to play 40K but without a 300 page rulebook and a 100 page army book at your side.

We’ve even created a very simple points calculator with all the troops listed in the Force Supplement already worked out.

FUBAR 40K 3rd Edition

Points Calculator Fubar 40K

An alternative to my stripped down approach has been produced by FoW designer Chris. This has more detail and aims to do one page codexes.

WarFUBAR 40,000 – Imperial Guard
WarFUBAR 40,000 – Space Marines (with draft army list)

Warzone

Force list for Warzone from FoW designer Jason which includes Imperial, Bauhaus, Capitol, Cybertronic, Miashma, Dark Legion and Cartel factions.

FUBAR Warzone Force List Draft 2

Hammers Slammers

An oft overlooked, but much beloved subgenre of SciFi wargaming by FoW designer Adam.

FUBAR – Hammer’s Slammers

Imperial Commander

These are based on a much older game than many shown here, but FoW designer Lee Barnes has put a shedload of work into getting FUBAR to make these forces work.

IC Imperial Commander Rules

IC CRIMSON REBEL Army Sheet

Classic Enemies of the Empire of Man

IC Empire Army Sheet
Empire of Man

IC K’Kree Army Sheet
Traveller K’Kree Enmies of Vargar

IC Vargar ARMY SHEET
Traveller Vargar Ancient Enemies of K’Kree

IC KRA’VAK Army Sheet
Predator Aliens

IC Orksis Army Sheet
Classic Orks In Space

IC REPLICANS Army Sheet
Terminators from HOF

IC Spug Army Sheet
Space Bugs

FUBAR 15mm SciFi
For those who like this scale for their SciFi from FoW designer Chris.

FUBAR 15mm Sci-Fi – Khurasan Miniatures
Stats and rules for Khurasan Minis 15mm Sci-Fi minis

FUBAR 15mm Sci-Fi – Rebel Minis
Rules and stats for Rebel Minis 15mm Sci-Fi Range

We also have rules for use with 15mm SciFi AFV’s such as those produced by Top Gun Marketing and other manufacturers.

Grav Armor Rules for Fubar
Grav Armor Ratings for Fubar

Micro FUBAR
A lot of people started asking if we could produce a version of FUBAR suitable for the increasingly popular 6mm scale.  Here is the development draft of what we have done so far.

Micro-FUBAR Core Rules 0.1

FUBAR Modern

Vietnam
Still in development, but still a whole lot of fun, here are the Nam rules from FoW designer Thomas.

Fubar Vietnam Rough Draft 0.08
FUBAR Vietnam USMC Rough Draft 0.08
FUBAR Vietnam Viet Cong Rough Draft 0.08

WW2
Another one that is still under development.

FUBAR WW2 – Infantry Platoons

FUBAR Afghanistan
FoW designer Rich has produced a ISAF/Taliban force supplement for Afghanistan and a set of scenarios.

FUBAR-Afghanistan
FUBAR-Afghanistan missions

HORROR
For Halloween we produced a force supplement to cover skirmishes in a small, midwestern US town between the towns people and the usual suspects (Vampires, Zombies etc…).

FUBAR – Something Wicked this way comes

FoW designer Brian made up a set of unit cards for this supplement.

SWTWC Unit Cards

In Mortem Pace.

“Frakk-Frakk-Frakk-Frakk-Frakk!” screamed Valos as he dived into a smoking shell hole and a beam of green light swept the doorway he had just left. Shards of shrapnel, sticking out like grass from the sides of the hole, tore at his trousers as he slid to the bottom. Next to him was the metallic skull of one of the enemy. Valos swung his left arm in a vicious arc and sank his bayonet into the skull’s eyesocket. He grunted with satisfaction as the green light in the other eye faded to black.

He waited and after a few seconds of silence realised that the enemy probably thought him vapourised by the beam. He could afford a moment to take stock. Fifteen years service in the Force Recon company had made him quick to recover even from as big a shock as watching thirty metallic skeletons materialise in the middle of their position. He was proud of the fact that his men had also recovered quickly, hitting the things with krak grenades, stubbers and even entrenching spades. In under a minute half of the things were down, but so was half the company. He had watched as men were flayed alive by the green beams, screaming as their very molecular structure was disintegrated layer by agonising layer.

It was then he remembered his right arm. There was no need to rip the sleeve away to see the wound, that and his flak jacket had both disintegrated. Luckily it looked like only the top layer of his skin had been burned away. Carrick, his platoon vox operator, had taken the full force of the beam and Valos had only been singed as he ducked under his Sphinx APC.

He would miss Carrick. Though only a young woman she had a knack for knowing what he would ask her to do and was often sending messages before he finished voicing them. She had probably saved all their lives with that last call, the one that kept her by the vox on the Sphinx that second too long. He could hear her now, her sharp tones snapping out…

“Fire mission one alpha our position. Enemy inside the perimeter. Authorisation twelve-delta-gamma-one-five”.

Fifteen seconds later the mortar shells arrived. His entire encampment in the ancient ruins was swept with shrapnel and EMP bomblets. The men knew what to do when they heard the whistling tune of the shells arrival, dropping into any piece of cover they could. The enemy though stayed erect and paid for it. Those that were not cut apart by the flying frag shards attracted the magnetic bomblets.

Valos had watched as a skeletal warrior had been hit by seven of them. They clicked onto his surface plates and as he reached up with his free hand to detach one they all exploded. Small explosions, but ones that held a deadly payload. Each one discharging 400 amps of shocking death.

He blessed the armourers of Mars as the warrior crumpled to the ground. The barrage didn’t get all of the enemy though and with the Vox destroyed there would be no opportunity to send another message. The fight then became desperate, but at least it was a fight that the Jagers could possibly win. Throughout the ruins small teams of Jagers went into their hunting tactica. Distracting the remaining enemy with false calls and baited firezones, one by one the last few enemy were channelled and dispatched. Not without loss though. At least one and sometimes two Jagers paid for every enemy sent back to hell.

Valos tore a small cannister from his belt, shook it and then sprayed his arm with synthiskin. Slowly he flexed the arm, gritting his teeth against the pain that made his whole body shake. If he didn’t flex it the synthiskin would tighten and leave his arm useless. Soon the morphos in the spray took away the pain and he found he could move it reasonably well, if a little stiffly.

From a few hundred meters away he could hear the dull crump of grenades and the hissing sound of return fire. ‘Good’ he thought ‘some of the lads are keeping the bastards busy’. Right, time to get stuck in. He checked his belt, three frag and one krak grenade still hung there. His stubber was gone, and his bayonet wedged in the metal skull. So he was down to ‘Old Faithful’.

Pulling his ancient plasma pistol from her holster he muttered the Prayer of Activation and flicking up the switch cover pressed the plasma initiator. A blue glow began in the plasma chamber and grew steadily. It was slow to start but since he did that deal with that rogue trader’s pet Tau, Old Faithful had never bit him back, not once.

Now he was armed he decided it was time to risk a look out of his hole. From his position he could only see the dead, then around the corner of the Sphinx strode a tall metallic skeleton. This one looked different from the others. Instead of those damned beam guns it held a staff that was topped with a bar of pure emerald light, and around its shoulders hung a tattered cloak of golden chains that seemed to sway in an unearthly breeze.

Valos ducked down and placing his burnt fingers in his mouth let out a sharp, staccato whistle. Quickly and from three sides of the small square where they had parked the Sphinxes came back other whistles. He listened carefully. Reading the number and pattern of the whistles he determined he had three men from the first platoon, one with a flamer and two from the second, one of whom was walking wounded. Only five left from forty who had sat down in their foxholes that morning to eat their rations. ‘Never mind’ he thought, ‘there’s still a job to do’

He risked another look. The enemy was standing still, right up against the nearest Sphinx its head rotating as if attempting to lock onto the whistles as they echoed around the stones. Valos knew that that would be useless as the Jagers would each have changed their positions by at least five meters as soon as they whistled.

He gave the signal ‘Firebird One’ and rolled out of the shellhole and behind the low rubble of a shattered wall. Above the enemy and to its left he spotted a shadow, made indistinct by cameleoline, detach from the side of a building. A large muzzle emerged from under the cloak and he could make out a small blue igniter flame.

Giving out a whistle of three short pips he rose into a kneeling potion and raised his plasma pistol. There was a roar from the flamer as an arc of promethium engulfed the the enemy warrior. Heavy stubber fire erupted from its right, joined by a patter of ordinary stubber shells, from close by. But Valos did not fire, instead he stared open mouthed as all the shells and promethium stopped dead a meter from the gleaming flanks of the skeletal form.

‘Frakk! A refractor field’ he thought as he hit the deck and crawled as fast as he could into the cover of a sandbagged gun emplacement. Lying across the bodies of two of his men he snapped the periscope of the wrecked autocannon from its mounting and used it to survey the square. He winced as he watched a ball of blue light streak from the enemy’s staff and immolate the flamer crew and exploding their promethium tanks.

The enemy stepped around the side of the Sphinx shielding itself from further fire from the heavy stubber.  As he watched the golden figure pulled a globe from under its cloak and pressed a series of studs. The refractor field flickered and went out, and  the light blade on the staff ceased. A sighing sound made Valos tear his gaze from the square. In his right hand the plasma pistol, Old Faithful, deactivated.

‘Oh sweet Macharius and Dorn’, he thought, ‘the bastard has an EMP generator of its own’. Looking around him he could see the ready lights go out on the stubber magazines of his dead men, his grenades went into safety lockdown with an audible click, and his comm link hissed for second before dying too.

He picked up a track-wrench and hefted it. ‘Heavy enough to crush a man’s skull’ he thought, ‘perhaps I should bash my own head in and save that thing the trouble’. Then he shook himself and returned to the periscope. He was damned if he was going to give in yet, the thing had made itself vulnerable too.

Knocking the periscope a little to one side with his stiff fingers he found himself focused on the open side hatch of the Sphinx APC and looking into a single blue human eye in a mostly blackened face. The tousled blond hair hanging down over the mess of her blasted cheeks identified it as Carrick. ‘She’s alive!’ he thought, and indeed as he stared the eye winked at him.

He realised that the girl was just a couple of meters from the enemy and that she was starting to move. ‘Oh Frakk!’. He cast about him quickly and finding a discarded helmet he hefted it across the square away from the Sphinx. The enemy’s head swung around and it took a step towards the helmet as it hit the ground and then sat spinning in the morning light.

Valos looked back towards Carrick, this time his head above the gunshield of the autocannon. She was now kneeling in the hatchway, her left arm and side a charred mess, she seemed to be struggling with a canvas bag with her right hand. Whatever she was doing the enemy had heard it. It swung about and strode back to the APC.

The next moment remained seared in Valos’s memory for the rest of his life and would bring him awake in the night screaming again and again, “Leah! No! No!”

As the thing reached the hatch, and its sharp metal fingers fixed about her throat, Leading Jager Leah Carrick smiled through cracked lips and pulled the cord on the demolition charge.
————————-

The medics said it was probably the gunshield of the autocannon that had saved his life, if not his left hand. His remaining men had dug him out of the rubble just before the evac Lighter had arrived.

Two days later, held upright between the regimental Commissar and one of his Jagers, First Sgt.Valos attended the ceremony in which Leah Carrick became the third woman in her family to postumously receive the Honorifica Imperialis. She had never told him about her sister and her mother, though it made sense now. 

What he would remember most though was the peaceful look in her blue, blue eyes, and her smile, as she pulled the cord…

Green on Green

First Sergeant Valos of the 121st Carrenian Jaegers dared a quick look out of his hidden rifle pit. Across the river the Orks were wandering through the ruins of the camp hunting for survivors and removing teeth from their own dead.

He slumped back down into the fetid pool of rainwater at his feet and wiped the sweat from his eyes with the edge of his cameoline cape. Only a few hours ago he had dug his platoon in, safe in the knowledge that he was under the protection of the barrels of the Assamti Royal Dragoons mighty Leman Russ Tanks.

It was at dawn that the com units had begun to pick up a steady chant so far down it was practically infrasound. Private Delacroix had immediately translated it. Del was a survivor of the Battle of Helspont and had spent a few weeks in an Ork slave gang before being liberated by the 121st. Only his obvious head wound had saved him from Commissar Rankin’s accusation of cowardice. Now he turned grimly from the com unit and relayed the chant to his Sergeant, “Kill to live, live to kill”.

It was also Del who had identified the Orks that had seemed to almost materialise out of bushes, ditches and the smallest scrap of cover and overrun the Dragoons’ camp. They were Blood Axe Kommandos.

The engagement was over so fast the 121st hadn’t even time to load their Heavy Stubbers or break out the Rifle grenades. Lieutenant Jevais and Commissar Rankin told the men there was nothing they could do and they should remain in the pits, concealed from the enemy. Valos had been allowed to send a databurst containing the engagement report to the regiment’s HQ some thirty clicks to the rear. HQ had confirmed reception of the signal and sent back Standing Order 21 – “Watch and wait for reinforcements, do not engage”.

So there they sat for four stinking hours as the sun climbed high over the scene of carnage.

“Sergeant!” came a hoarse whisper from a private in one of the forward foxholes down near the river bank. Valos poked his head over the parapet and moving a frond of Knife-grass to one side focused his Monocular on the camp. Looking at where the private was pointing he saw a slight movement under the belly of one of the Leman Russ’s closest to the river.

Oh no, he thought, stay down lad, stay down. He willed the young dragoon to remain where he was inside the track bay on the port side of the steel behemoth. But the young man obviously thought he had seen his chance.

Like a Carrenian ferret he crawled his way from beneath the tank and between a couple of his dead compatriots. He froze in a pose resembling that of a man dead and baking in the sun. Two Gretchin wandered past arguing over the thighbone of another. Good lad, thought Valos, if he gets away we will have to think about taking him into the Recon Company.

Once they had gone by, the lad slipped silently on his belly between scattered ammo crates and under a ramshackle Ork buggy. The driver, snoozing with his feet over the side didn’t stir and the lad slithered on.

All along the line of the Jaeger platoon’s rifle pits men stared across the river. Even the Commissar watched, leaning forwards muttering what Valos could only guess was the Imperial Prayer. The whole platoon held its breath at every twist and turn of the lad’s slow journey across the broken camp and towards the river.

When he reached a clump of reeds on the water’s edge, the Jaegers began to grin. All he had to do now was to quietly swim under the water to the other bank, the river wasn’t that wide, a child could do it. Corporal Balkos began to pay out credits to a couple of cheerful comrades in his pit who had obviously backed the right horse.

For several minutes the lad remained hidden in the reeds, seemingly trying to make sense of the Orkish sentry movements. Valos was beginning to like this boy. There was a pattern to the sentries, it was difficult to decipher but Valos hadn’t risen to First Sergeant of a Recon Company without being able to spot such as this.

At what must have seemed to be the right moment to the lad, he pushed off from the bank. As he submerged the Buggy driver suddenly sat up, pushed back his cap and stared at the river. Valos almost panicked. What had the driver heard? The boy had been quiet as an otter. Then he saw it, the bloody heron. It was moving along the bank and had suddenly turned away from its stalking when the boy emerged from the reeds. Emperor’s mercy these Kommandos were sharp he thought. They may be hulking brutes, but they obviously knew their trade. He made a mental note not to express this thought in front of the Commissar.

The Buggy Driver clambered on the top of his cab and cocked his crude assault rifle while scanning the river and the far bank. The platoon ducked back into their pits as one. Only Valos and the two snipers, secure in their cameoline, remained on watch.

Oh damn! Valos almost swore out loud as the lad surfaced mid-river. Valos glanced down the line and saw Commissar Rankin squatting behind Jonas, the platoon’s master marksman. He couldn’t be serious could he? Please be to the Emperor, let him be telling Jonas to hold his fire.

Back across the river Valos saw the Ork raising his rifle. As he cocked it he suddenly stopped and stared down at his chest. He seemed to try and wipe the small specks of blood off his filthy camouflage tunic as if confused at where they could have come from. Valos knew what they were. The poisoned flechettes of a Jaeger sniper round were now dissolving into the Ork’s bloodstream. The neurotoxins, harvested by the treemen of Arborus half a galaxy away, were already shutting down his major organs. His muscles would be tightening in spasm and his airways filling with thick, black blood as every capillary exploded under the enormous pressure of his frantically beating heart.

As the lad hoisted himself out on the bank, the buggy driver dropped like a stone. Bouncing off the bonnet of the vehicle his fingers spasmed on the trigger firing off the entire magazine of the rifle in one continuous stream of thunder.

Then there was silence. The lad stopped and glanced back at the camp as every Ork in the  camp turned and looked towards the river.

The fool! Valos glared at the Commissar who only now realised what he had done. The young officer actually looked shocked, though he quickly regained his academy stern composure. All along the line the platoon’s veteran Jaegers, cocked their weapons, ripped open ammo boxes and fixed bayonets. Valos was proud of them at that moment. Many men would have tried to flee, use the cover of the high grass behind them to elude the wave of Orks that now tensed ready to spring upon them. Not the 121st Recon though, they knew their enemy and knew it was better to fight and die here than spend days being hunted down like weasels in a bucket.

The two snipers were already plying their trade. Ork after Ork was cut down as they scrambled for their weapons and buggies. It wouldn’t be enough though. Valos had counted over three hundred Kommandos and Emperor only knows how many Gretchin in the shattered remains of the Dragoons’ camp.

The Lieutenant hadn’t given the order for general engagement though. Valos could see why, the Orks weren’t firing back, just taking cover. Commissar Rankin snapped at Jevais demanding he engage. Jevais explained in a low, curt snarl that the Orks were spotting our positions by our fire. If we engaged before they advanced they would pin us down with their heavy weapons and just walk right over us. The sniper rifles had fire suppressors on them and were devilishly hard to spot, our Jaeger stubbers’ muzzle flash would locate us all in seconds.

Valos cradled his stubber and switched off the safety. From bitter experience against the Orks on a dozen worlds the Jaegers had learnt that anything but a head shot from a Lasgun would just annoy an Ork. Their stubbers were loaded with explosive rounds that would leave a ragged hole straight through an Ork the size of a dinner plate. The Recon platoon had modified their stubbers with a double width magazine, it made the stubber a lot heavier but the extra thirty rounds came in mighty handy at the ranges they generally engaged the enemy.

He suddenly remembered the lad. He risked a glance down at the bank. The boy was still staring open-mouthed at the camp as if unwilling to believe his luck had gone so sour. As Valos watched the gunner on an Ork buggy let loose with his scorcher. The lad saw it coming and turned as if to run. The raw promethium ignited as it met the air and the stream of fire danced almost lazily across the river before immolating him. A raw, primal scream erupted from his throat before the hungry flames consumed his twitching body and he fell back into the water.

Valos closed his eyes and muttering the Chant for the Glorious Dead slumped back down into the rifle pit. He opened them to see Del gesticulating at him.

“It had better be news of the GravCav coming to pull us out Del” he said.  Del, holding one of the headphones tight to his head replied.

“No Sarge. It’s strange, spooky even.” Said Del, his voice was quavering almost as if the sound on his com unit was worse than the hornet’s nest across the river.

“Well spit it our man! I haven’t got time for your theories about voices in the empyrean!” said Valos sharply. The other three men in the pit jumped at his tone.

“Its the Ork chant Sarge” said Del. “its being jammed and another chant has replaced it.” He thrust the headphones at Valos who waved them away.

“You know I can only speak three words of Ork and you are going to hear all of them if you don’t get on with it!”.

Across the river he could hear buggy engines firing up. Obviously the sniper fire wasn’t proving as effective a suppressant as he had hoped. They had perhaps a minute before the Orks crossed the river and rolled over them in a frenzy of blood and choppers.
 
“The chant Sarge, the chant has changed to ‘Eat the Ork'” said Del as he pressed his right ear back against the phones and began to repeat the words again and again. Cradling the stubber across his lap Valos rubbed his ears.

“Say that again Del. Eat the Ork?” said Valos. He looked at the com unit operator who was now rocking back and forth on his heels in time to the chant. “Are you sure?”

He didn’t need to hear the answer. He stood up in the pit and stared across the river. All around the camp the Orks were looking at each other in confusion. They were even ignoring the continued patter of fire from the snipers. One or two were rubbing their ears.

Far above him, Valos could hear a growing whining sound. Oh Hel, not again! He turned to face the Lieutenant. Their eyes met. Only Jevais and Valos were old enough to remember Gros Point. As one they began bellowing for the men to take cover! The cry of “Incoming!” leapt along the line and thirty-two men began to try and crawl through the bottom their rifle pits. Only the Commissar remained erect.

Valos screamed at him, trying to overcome the growing whine from above.

“Get down, get down!”

The Commissar glanced at him. “Why?” he mouthed. Valos couldn’t believe the Commissar didn’t recognise the sound. What did they teach them at the Academy, except how to execute a shell-shocked guardsman?

It was too late; Valos dived for cover as the first Drop Pod hit the ground to the right of the camp. Valos counted nine more impacts before there was a moment of grumbling quiet. The platoon were showered in flaming debris and dirt, almost burying them in their own little graves. Jaeger Crebbs began to uncurl and made as if to look out of the pit.

“Get down lad, its only just about to start!” Valos said. “Don’t move until I give you the order, understand!”.

The Jaeger nodded and burrowed deeper into the collapsing wall of the pit. Despite his own words Valos had to watch this and carefully raised his own head above the parapet.

All the platoon’s cover was gone, blown away by the drop pods’ landing. In its stead were the glowing forms of the pods. As one the explosive bolts of the ramps cracked the melted seals and they fell with an ear-numbing crash. Almost before they had landed giant, green armoured forms were sprinting out and forming into firing lines around the pods.

From one pod an enormous figure ducked through the doorway and lumbered down the ramp. A dreadnought thought Valos. He had never seen one before but he had heard of them. His old captain had called them ‘walking coffins’ and explained they each held the remains of a great hero of the Imperium. Even death shall not claim them, thought Valos, remembering one of the chants he learnt at boot camp.

Valos regained his senses and had barely hit the pit bottom when the whole camp seemed to disintegrate as the pod’s deathwind missile launchers fired their payloads and cleared the LZ of every unarmoured figure. It was then that Valos remembered the Commissar. As the explosions ceased he risked a glance at where he had last seen Rankin. He was in time to see the Commissar’s legs standing alone on the edge of his rifle pit, no body, no head, just the legs. As he watched they slowly crumpled and fell on top of the huddled Jaegers below.

While not attached to the reckless fool, he still muttered a simple blessing on the passing of his soul to the Emperor’s grace. After all he had tried to save the hapless dragoon, even if he might have got the whole platoon killed doing it.

Tracking his eyes back across the river to the camp he could see that the only things still upright were the seven Dragoon tanks, the Marines and a group of Ork Bosses in their thick armour. All about them were the mangled corpses of Ork and dragoon, mingled with the wreckage of a dozen buggies and the Dragoons’ support vehicles.

Although dazed the Orks had begun to clunk slowly towards the nearest drop pod. Heavy weapons fire from the Bosses spattered across the marines’ armour although only one fell, his legs torn apart through his ceramite plating. Valos was just beginning to wonder when the marines would return fire when the sound level increased exponentially.

The armoured Bosses were bathed in flamer fire, which only served to silhouette them and drew the bolter fire from the massed ranks of marines. This seemed to have little effect, just chipping off loose pieces of plating.

The bolter fire stopped. The Orks sensing some small victory roared their crude challenges and advanced as fast as their piston-enhanced legs would carry them. The lead Ork had almost reached the marine line when he suddenly stopped. A hole the size of a truck tire had appeared in his chest. He toppled slowly forwards still waving his huge power claw in the air. In the next few seconds five more bosses were sliced to pieces by unerring lascannon and meltagun fire.

Then all that was left was the Kommando Warboss. His armour glowing under the impact of a dozen lascannon strikes he was still upright and defiant.

“Humies!” He roared. “I am Dagon da Bloody-Clawed! I am death, fear me.”

From behind him came a quiet, yet penetrating, vox-carried voice.

“I know who you are Dagon.”

The Warboss whirled around. Valos was stunned at the speed the armoured behemoth could move. Twenty paces away was the dreadnought.

“I am Hieros of the first company of the Emperor’s loyal Jagged Edge Marines and we have met before.” Said the vox on the dreadnought’s shoulder.

The Warboss hesitated, his two power-claws clicking open and shut as if impatient to get to work.

“I don’t know any humie called Hieros, you are no-one!” he said.

“Yes you do. I have been following you since the day you took my arm at Kalados.” Came back the metallic voice. “And now it ends!”

Before the Warboss could reply the dreadnought opened fire with its Autocannon. Where the lascannons had merely seemed to scratch the Warboss’s foot thick plate the autocannon hit the same spot, just above the breastplate again and again and again.

Valos couldn’t believe the rate of fire. The Warboss though quickly recovered from the shock of being hit and began to move forwards against the constant hammering of the autocannon shells. He leaned into the fire and foot by foot he advanced, power claws swinging wide of his body as if to help him balance.

Valos glanced at Hieros. Behind his hulking form three marines moved forwards and replaced spent ammo packs with rhythmic precision.

Still the Warboss advanced, and still the constant stream of shells hammered into his neck plating. Dagon had to lean precariously forward now to advance.

Just as he came within range of the dreadnought the autocannon fell silent. Flailing wildly the Warboss was unable to remain upright and slammed into the ground at Hieros feet. The dreadnought leapt forwards onto the prone Ork’s back.

Before Dagon could react Hieros ripped off the Ork’s power plant and backplate with one sweep of the dreadnought’s powerfist. The Ork roared and bucked his entire body, but just wasn’t strong enough to lift his own armoured bulk and that of the dreadnought, not even with his titanic muscles.

Slowly Hieros swung his autocannon around, pointed it between his feet and emptied the entire magazine into the Warboss’s unprotected back.

Stepping down Hieros wrenched the Ork’s head from his body and held it aloft, a grim trophy to a great victory. Turning slowly so that all the assembled marines could see the head he spoke.

” I am Hieros of the clan Gehenna! Master of the Slith Spear, hunter of the Jagged Edge! Hear me my Emperor and be proud!”

“Be proud!” Came back the cry from ninety marines.

With that they turned and began clearing the fringes of the camp.

“Thank the Emperor, it is over” said Valos as he took off his helmet, leaned his stubber against the pit wall and reached for his canteen. His men began to poke their heads up and clear their pits of debris.

Suddenly a tall green armoured figure stood up from beneath a scorched clump of Knife-grass not six feet from Valos’s rifle pit. Behind it several more figures, in lighter armour but with the same savage heraldry, got to their feet. Valos dropped his canteen and could do nothing but stare like a slack-jawed recruit. The green giant turned to him.

“It is never over my son. This planet is still tainted by the Ork and you may well yet find peace in the Emperor’s service.” said the giant and he turned to the others. “Eat the Ork!”.

“Eat the Ork!” they replied, and moved off towards the camp.
© Craig Cartmell Page 1 1/13/2009

Indomitable RPG

Each of the players is represented by a young Gaul who is just starting out in a certain unconquered and indomitable Gaulish Village. They are nephews and nieces of Vitalstatistix, Getafix, Fullyautomatix, Unhygienix, Cacofonix, Geriatrix, Asterix and Obelix (but not Dogmatix).

In this RPG the characters are young Gauls who aspire to become like their famous uncles. Each adventure normally begins with them being offered a chance to carry out a mission for Vitalstatistix the Chief, or Getafix the Druid. Occasionally adventures might come from other famous characters.

Initially these adventures will be close to home. Local towns, the Roman Encampments, the sacred woods  and shores of their homeland are all ripe for low-level adventures. Later adventures will take them further afield. Such places as the wet shores of Brittania, the gloomy woods of Germania, the glory of Imperial Rome and the exotic River Nile all beckon to ambitious young Gauls.

This is a strictly tongue-in-cheek set of roleplaying rules which are fun to play – especially if you’ve had some red wine and maybe a boar ot two…

The full Rules are here: Indomitable