Saturday, 3 May 2014

Chain of Command is my new 40k

Its a sort of weird title but it feels just like that.

I spent my formative war gaming years playing 40k Rogue Trader. Back then the game was just that, a game with some nice miniatures and the setting captured the imagination of my 12 year old mind very well.   Back then GW was a fraction of its current size and the game was a lot smaller in scope and size.  

My memories of playing 40k back then were of choosing a core of troops and adding in a few nice toys to add a bit of flavour to the game. This was usually a few dreadnoughts, or a some buggies and jetbikes. Then we added in a few Rhino's and perhaps a Land Raider. It made for a good fun game but at the core of the forces were always the various troops and their variations.  Back then the most common choice was a tactical squad of Space Marines, with a few added Assault Marines and Devastator Marines. Orks were similar, with a sea of troops, some leaders and loads of buggies and bikes. Eldar was mostly troops, with lots of Dreadnoughts and War Walkers, mostly as that was basically all that was available at that time.  We had great fun playing  these games, and list selection and min maxing was not really of any concern, you just picked what you liked and could afford!  Nowaday I still enjoy the setting, but more through the slightly more interesting and balanced mediums of the novels, although they can be variable in quality.  I am still a huge fan of Epic as well, and feel that 40k these days is increasingly being played in the wrong scale and would be a lot more fun done in 6mm.

40k has a bit of a kitchen sink feel to it now, with the constant desire to chase profits and sales meaning that GW are constantly looking for new ways to shoehorn new toys into the game regardless of how they effect the feel.  I did not play much 40k 2nd edition as that was my drinking and going out phase, and when I came back to it 3rd edition was just not the same game, although it is pretty playable if you only use the rules and lists in the main rulebook.

Fast forward quite a few years and I have played few other skirmish level games, most notably Void and Urban War.  Unfortunately Sci-fi skirmish gaming has been on the back burner for a long time as I played Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Lord of the Rings and Impetus.  

What has all this to do with Chain of Command?  Well to cut a long story short of all the games that I have played since I have been gaming for the last ten years Chain of Command feels the most like the 40k I used to play.  It is a core of infantry squads with a few added elements of support, all tied up in a very nice set of rules.  It is the fact that the heart of the game is the infantry, with a few elements of support to add flavour and a bit of unpredictability.  It is probably about as far from 40k in terms of setting and aesthetic as it is possible to be, but in terms of how the game feels to play I find it reminds of my early 40k gaming a lot. That probably explains why I am so fond of the game, which is especially surprising as I have never really taken to WW2 gaming before.   

That turned into a bit of a wall of text, but I hope is not to boring to read.  I have a large pile of Rogue Trader Orks in my loft waiting to get painted and I find myself sitting when I get a moment and wondering how the Chain of Command rules could be applied to the 40k setting. I'm sure it could be done quite easily.............


  1. Kevin, don't despair Rich Clarke keeps promising to develop a rule set for "Space Pixies" some day. So you may get your wish. Meantime you could try Rob Avery's "Quadrant 13" rules which TFL publish though there focus is on company level rather than skirmish action.

  2. I've had the same thought... which led me here. Late but not TOO late.