OPR – Grimdark Future Gangfight games

A bit of background for this post. Although I like the 40k background and have a load of novels (and figs) for that as an example, I have not played 40K as a game since the first edition (Rogue Trader). I was an avid player at that point. I have a collection of models and toys for the background though. I’m also a fan of Necromunda and although have not painted any of the new models I have a most of them in the to do lead/plastic mountain.

That said Games Workshop rules rarely really do it for me these days – although I am not really against them. For example I am a fan of Warcry. I tried the new Necromunda rules but they were quite fiddly and complex. A friend described the 40k rules as full of rules bloat and as poor on balance as ever they were, which I think explains my avoidance of those rules well. Each model having it’s own custom rules etc and a high learning curve appeals to some but just turns me off. The latest published rules also having to be the best and forces mean things are poorly balanced as well.

But liking the figs and the background I keep a look out for different skirmish rules especially ones which may better suit my aims and needs. I came across across One Page Rules (OPR) Grimdark Future Gangfight a while back. They are created to allow people like me to use the GW toys and play games without having to use their rules. This last week was the first time I have tried them on the table. The games are my Chaos Marines vs. Davids Necrons. So I thought I would do a quick review writeup and a couple of quick game reports. I have separated out those into the different headings below.

Quick review

Grimdark Future Gangfight is one of the games from One Page Rules (OPR). This is a skirmish game and I believe follows a similar style as many of their rules. Generally, there is a free version of the rules (with free army lists) and there is a paid verion – which we used, which adds more options. Overall, the rules are in my opinion written for people very much like me. They are not intro level rules but are for people who have played GW games but are looking for more balanced and less fussy games.

The actions a model can do when activated are too: recover from being stunned; move 6″ and then shoot; rush 12″; or charge 12″ and then fight in melee. Fast models move further and slow ones move less. The rules cover the basics and as per many games the combat mechanic is one or more D6 vs. the acting models quality to succeed/hit. Then the defender rolls to save using their stat again a single D6 per hit. Modifiers effect both the to hit (like cover) and saves (usually the power of the weapon). As this is skirmish gaming a hit figure is just wounded and the player rolls to see the effect. A single die roll with the number of wounds added indicates whether they are either stunned or taken out of action. Stunned figs are at high risk if they are attacked again and get to remove the stun effect in their next activation i.e. to stand back up and get back into the game. All the rules are summarized on a single sheet of paper – so the name.

Overall this is a simple no fills type thing. Generally I’m for that and its a simple mechanic which works. That said the main rules have a lot of options to add which really make a difference in the final game experience. For example in our game rather than alternating actions (I go u go etc.) we used a bag and pulled tokens (die in our case) to decide which side moved a model. Just like Bolt Action etc. That simple change adds more tension to the game. We also used a random turn ending. So after 4 turns we rolled to see if there was an additional turn – vs. just having a 4 turn game. There are loads of these types of things and it allows players to ‘customize’ if you like the game to what hey want to do. An another example, there are a few more advanced actions if you want to include them in the game, Experienced players can do this with any rules, but it’s nice to have examples and things which work included as options in the rules set.

Added to this, the community/authors have done force lists (without infringing upon IP’s) for all the GW and Mantic model lines. These add character and special abilities for models but without changing the core rules. They add flavour without adding a huge amount of complexity. For example, the Necrons in our game had a second regeneration save of 5+ on a D6. This reflects their repair nature in the background and saved several of their figs in our games.

The authors also have published (on the patreon paid level) the points calculator so you can make any model that you want with any stats etc – at a price. This allows people to start playing and using the all the models we have but also if you really want to have a specific model you can build it and pay the cost for it. To me that’s a huge plus and works if someone really wants say all Chaos Marines to have multiple wounds they can do it. Another example is that there is a force for Warmachine models produced – allowing people owning those figs to play this game vs. the again complex and ever changing published rules for them by Privateer Press.

So in summary these rules ‘do what it says on the tin’. The rules are clear and not that fussy. It is easy to add the optional rules you want to tweak the game to be a better match for the complexity you want. There are a lot of examples/options for you to do that in the rules – for example there is an option for command points which we did not use in the our games. That said unless you add lots of these optional rules (because you like them), they do not get bogged down in too many details. But with the various options and abilities in the pre-created force lists – such as fast units moving further or extra saves factions can have lots of character and play differently than each other.

If anything the only negative I would have is that as not professionally proofread. That means that some of the rules are a little open to interpretation. Again that is easy to deal with if you are reasonable and experienced gamer, but a rules lawyer ultra completive gamer would likely find that annoying/a problem. But those players are no really likely to want to play these games I suspect anyway.

So for the price – either a month plus on the patreon, or just downloading from an online location the main rules I think are great. For those looking for casual gaming there is loads of free content to use as well. They are complex enough to give a god tactical game with loads of decision points without getting bogged down in details. The wide variety of forces and not being locked into a single figure range are added bonuses. I will be playing the game again for sure.

1st Game write up – aka Chaos Marines Can’t jump

So a quick write up of the games. I played Chaos Marines and David used Necrons. With a standard 250 point force I had 7 Chaos Marines one with a flamer and another was a hero commander (who could take multiple wounds before being taken out of action). David had 9 Necrons, 2 being hand to hand specialists and 1 being a bunch of machine bugs – scarabs I think they are called!

The first game we rolled was a ‘king of the hill’ type scenario. The target was placed in the top of a platform – the black square in the top right big platform in picture below. We both had secondary objectives of having a fig in each quarter of the board as well as keeping the opponent out of our deployment zones. we deployed our figs and we started the game. The Necrons were in a better position to get the objective as they could start on the same level as it, but that was ok I had a plan…

I moved up my Marines in the first turn and of course in the first exchange of fire one of the Necrons hit a Chaos Marine in one of the central crane towers and I failed to saved the hit. Still he was just stunned – and luckily no other Necrons could get a bead on him while he was down. So, the next turn I was lucky and got the first activation which allowed him to recover. A close call so early in the game and my idea for using this crane tower as fire support was not working out well so far.

On the other side of the table my Chaos Marines rushed towards the objective. There were few Necron targets in sight anyway. Two of my figs climbed a tower to get up to the objective. Meanwhile the slow and steady mechanical nature of the Necrons meant that they moved towards the objective and kept firing at my running Chaos Marines. In the game many Necron troops have a shorter move than others reflecting their mechanical and slow nature.

Back in the center around the crane tower the same Chaos Marine got hit again – without scoring a shot in reply. He was stunned again… <sigh> I guess the Chaos powers wanted him to suffer pain but at least he was again just stunned vs. been taken out of action. However, with 2 wounds now the risk of him staying in the game if hit again was getting low.

In the photo below you can see one of my Marines trying to from the crane around the some pipes to outflank the Necron’s. Unfortunately, the Sarabs – the only non slow thing in the Necron army came racing out of the building in the opposite direction.

Those Scarabs turned out to be nasty in close combat as they charged that Chaos Marine. The swarm of robot bugs engulfed the Chaos Marine and he was stunned without him getting to hit back. Not a good day to be that Chaos Marine as his armour did not save him… Unfortunately, for that Chaos Marine there were Necrons in the surrounding buildings that got to move first and shot him while he was stunned – taking him out of the game for good before he could recover. So first blood to the Necrons.

Back on the other side after looking up things in the rules I realsied my grand plan had a major problem. The tower my Chaos Marines had climbed was more than 1″ away from the platform where the object was. So they needed to jump to it and roll to see if they made it.

Well lets just say the results of the 2 actions and jumps was that my ‘strike force’ had struck the floor 5″ below the platform and neither had made the actual target platform… This stunned one and put a wound on the Chaos hero. So much for that move and now my strike force was now on the ground and out of position. Things were not looking good.

To add insult to injury the Necrons took the opportunity given and shot the fallen stunned Chaos Marine so that was a second casualty -things were not going well.

Meanwhile the Scarabs continued their success and charged another of the Chaos Marines. This one at the foot of the Crane tower, Again they were successful and stunned that one as well. Luckily it was nearly the end of the turn and there were only shot to try to take this sunned guy out of the game missed. But on the top of the platform 3 Necrons secured the objective, making it look very secure for my now out of place strike force.

The next turn started with Necon’s moving first and the screams of the Chaos Marine was heard around the board as the Scarab’s ate into him as he had not been abled to recover from the stun. So now 3 Chaos marines down to no Necrons… Note, I had been hitting them but they had this nasty habit of recovering the wound from their regeneration ability.

The Chaos Marine hero did not like this though and used his power claws to charge the Necron hand to hand robot close by wounding and stunning it. Later that turn one of the other Marines gave the robot the coup de grace. So at least one robot was down as they moved under the platform to get to a ladder close to the objective.

At the start of turn 4 though the 4 Chaos Marines (out of starting 7) still on the table were no where near the objective. They ran to get close and the flamer drenched a Necron in flames which it walked through -saving most of the hits and then regenerating the rest! However, the Chaos Marines were too far away from the objective even then to get close.

At the end of turn 4 we decided to call it and not even roll for an extra turn. The Necrons had scoredf the major objective and one of the secondary ones – having a unit in each quarter of the table. I had lost 3 of 7 Chaos Marines and even if there was a 5th turn I would only have got 1 fig close to the objective – which was still secured by 3 Necrons. However, this whole game had taken about an hour of play.

2nd Game write up – aka the Grab and Run game

We used the same forces and terrain layout, but this time we rolled a 3 objective game where they could be picked up and carried. This time we deployed in the corners of the 4 x 4 foot table vs. the side edge and the open secondary objectives were again to have a figure in each quarter and kill more than 50% of the opposition.

However the first rolls of the game – things felt familiar. A Chaos Marine down was shot and failed his save and luckily was only stunned by a first Necron shot in the game… Further shots rang out but the second Necron missed him. This was some luck as a hit while stunned would have sent him out of action straight away. I got the next initiative move out of the bag after this and so as he had not gone he could recover straight away. But that wasted his move for the turn and he started the game with a wound. Not an auspicious start from the Chaos gods…

The first turn again had a lot of movement from my Chaos Marines. A quick race up the platform on this side of the board had one Chaos Marine closing in on the objective. He was supported by two other Chaos Marines securing the underneath, as there were a couple of Necrons moving under and around that platform on the other side. I planned to use my extra speed in the Necrons to grab the two objectives within easy reach and then defend then figs carrying them off.

On the other side of the board 2 Chaos Marines – including the ‘hero’ ran forward and grabbed another objective just before the swarm of Necron’s could close in on them. However, they knew the Necrons were coming and on this side, including their Sacab robot swarm.

The 3td objective was on top of the platform where the objective in the first game was. I knew that it would be slog to get to that so really did not try to contest it at this point. That allowed the Necrons up there to move for that… As it was far away for my chaos Marines to do much about that I hoped to shoot the figure who got the objective if I could.

Back around the red objective the Scarab attacked my Chaos Marine with the objective – who fought it off and damaged it in return. That figure then moved back and shot (at a much lower skill level as he had already fought in hand to hand), but that kept him out of charge range of most of the Necrons for now. The other two Chaos Marine figs also helped face off the incoming Necrons. Like anything being outnumbered did not look great and so I concentrated fire on the Robot Scarab as that was nasty in hand to hand in the pervious game, and fast as well.

The Scarab kept coming though and the next turn it again charged the Chaos Marine with the objective. Luckily again it fought off the Robot swarm. However, there were now multiple wounds on the Scarab and so the Chaos Marines hero charged in to took it out in hand to hand combat. So the Scarab was dealt with. In response the Necrons kept moving up and shooting but their shots were wild. Obviously, the destruction of the Scarab swarm had affected their aim…

Keeping the focus on this side, the death of the robot swarm gave me hope that I could fight off the larger numbers of Necrons. So when I got the first action of the next turn, the Chaos Marine hero with power claws went on the offense. He charged the hand to hand robot of the Necrons which was getting close and stunned it, (taking it out of action would have been better). But that was good enough As I got the initiative again from the dice bag (the random order really makes a difference in these cases), which allowed another Marine to come up and dispatch that Necron as well before it could recover from the stun. So two Newton close combat nasties taken down on this side of the board in quick succession.

Across the board a game of dodge and weave was happening on the other side under the low platform. My Chaos Marines were fighting and shoot it out with the Necrons. There were casualties on both sides and the Chaos Karine with the objective was making sure he was in as much cover as possible. Still the Chaos Marine who took the wound at the start of the game got hit again but managed to avoid getting killed (rolling low helps some times). Still a close combat robot was getting close to my objective holder. So this was looking tight at the end of turn 4.

On the other flank things looked ok for the Chaos Marines. The Necrons were now outnumbered and my Hero was still unwounded. The objective holder was also keeping to cover as much as possible.

The last thing to mention is that while those fights were going on I either side in the center I had my flamer Armed Chaos Marine keep moving up. He had already killed one Necron trying to help the fight around the platform.

As the Necron with the objective was now retreating away he followed on the floor. Unfortunately, that Necron shot him and stunned him. Arg I had hoped if we got a turn 5 to use the flamer to kill this Necron and deny them this objective. Even if not his presence here would have given me the secondary objective of the figure in each quarter of the table.win with the flamer – and getting shot for the effort.

No turn 5 occurred though as the roll for the game to continue failed. So that meant a Chaos Marine win. 2 objectives to 1 no secondaries – as neither sides managed those,

About mellis1644

A painter and gamer who has no illusions about being the best painter but likes to play with decently painted toys and have fun gaming
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4 Responses to OPR – Grimdark Future Gangfight games

  1. Looks and sounds a good set of rules, Mark! Minis and games look good as well! I got a bit hacked off with the Warmachine rules when they brought out the second edition – the points system changed as did some of the abilities of troops I had, mostly not for the better!

    • mellis1644 says:

      Yes I am the same way with Warmahordes. I love many of the models but the rules were just a bit too complex for what I like and then all the points and card changes turned moist people off that game. But if I can use those in a game like this then all the better. This allows me to play 40k/sci-fi skirmish games which is great.

  2. Argentbadger says:

    Nice write up, I’ve heard many good things about One Page Rules and I’m glad that you found them fun. These games seem to be more along the lines of a skirmish with individual actions; do you think you would also try the platoon level rules which I assume are more like regular 40k?

    • mellis1644 says:

      Thanks and I would recommend having a look if you like this type of thing. I believe they have a ‘non gangfight’ version which I believe uses platoons and has vehicles as well. But I have not looked into that really. They have fantasy versions as well.

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