18 May 2016

Horizon Wars - First impression & shopping for a British Battlegroup

I just bought Horizon Wars...

The rules seem promising and I actually have other interested parties in my gaming group. 

One thing I like very much is that the small scale hasn't lead to an explosion of mini count.   

In most games, the smaller the scale the larger the scope: 28mm is for platoonish games, 15mm for company-sized games, 6mm for battalion and so on... Table size, number of elements (bases with either a single or several minis on) and game duration remain more or less constant around 4' to 6' by 4' (120cm to 18cm by 120cm), 30 to 50 elements and 2 to 3 hours a game.

After having been exposed to games like Mordheim and more recently X-Wing, I've come to appreciate games with a limited number of elements (a dozen) and short games (around one hour, allowing for two or three games on ), but have been missing the miniature diversity (infantry, ground vehicles, "air"-crafts all together on a table) of larger scope "combined arms" types of games...

Horizon Wars goes for a more "skirmish" (from a number of elements point of view) approach which should allow to enjoy varied "combined arms" miniatures while remaining in the realm of fast paced "skirmish" games... 
Pictures from the author collection... "A 'typical' Horizon Wars force (less airframes), it has a mix of infantry, armour and mechs; and elements can be dropped to create smaller lists or manipulated to create a list up to ~30 points, what I consider to be a large game that would take about 2 hours to play out."
The other think I'm excited about is that army selection is done from a limited list of archetypal units (from memory: Infantry, Power Armour, Mobile Infantry*, Airborne Infantry, Special Forces, Recon, Light Tanks, Heavy Tanks, Field Artillery & Self Propelled Artillery, I might forget one or two; plus mechs and flyers that both come in three sizes that can be custom designed) a bit like in Alien Squad Leader...

I love having such a framework army to build on by just selecting the miniatures I want to use... I find it both inspiring and liberating: limited choices mean you can plan a decent army after having just read the book and without having to consider each tiny option (and ideally having already played the games a dozen time to try your ideas before committing to buy the minis out of fear of buying "useless" minis that don't work with the game and/or your playing style)!
Another shot from the author collection... A armoured battlegroup: 6 times Heavy Tanks ("heavy cavalry"), 3 times Mobile Infantry (the APC) and a free HQ! All of them with the "grav" option.
The background in the book sketches four different "milieus":
  • The world as we know it spiral into war after the Brits (for no apparent reason, although mad cow disease horse lasagna, over-exposure to Reality Television and perhaps insular consanguinity is hinted at) invade France; most of the world watches and consider the French had it coming, except Spain and Argentina who promptly invade Gibraltar and the Falklands to "support" France...
  • Milieus 2 and 3 are both about Martian and Venusian Megacorps fighting eachother while Earth watches mechs gladiator games (milieu 2) or has been destroyed (milieu 3)...
  • In milieu 4, Humanity colonize the stars and the setting goes all space opera!
I have been thinking about doing a French Foreign Legion forces that could defend France against the British invasion and double duty in the Tomorrow's War setting as French expeditionary forces allied with the Republic of Arden against the evil Democratic People Republic of Glory, but ended up wanting to to a British Battlegroup instead!
And another "typical" Horizon Wars battleground, from the author's collection once more!

So I promptly ordered:
  • Light Infantry: Ground Zero Games NAC Infantry
  • Heavy Infantry: GZG NAC Power Armour
  • Mobile Infantry: GZG NAC Skimmers
  • Light Cavalry: Brigade Models British (ONESS) Apollo MBT
  • Heavy Cavalry: Brigade Models British Hermes Light Tanks
  • Light Artillery: Brigade Models generic Mortars with GZG NAC Infantry
  • Armoured Artillery: Brigade Models British Prometheus SPG
  • Recon: Brigade Models French (EuroFed) Musaraigne Observer Car
  • Airframe: Brigade Models British Hestia Attack VTOL
I'm still on the fence about mechs... But this should give me a good pool of units to try the shit of Horizon Wars!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the enthusiasm. It's nice to see the game's smaller "scope" is attractive to some people, as I so often hear people asking about Battalion+ level games and I have to say "yeah, you can do that, but it's not really what I designed it for..."