October 23, 2012

How Can I Play "Weird" World War II Games?

When I started testing the Kulten beta rules I thought it would be fun to put together a "Weird War" style list using some Nazi troopers, a mad scientist and some zombies. I had already picked up a really cool squad of Nazi Gestapo troopers and a leader from Bob Murch's Pulp Figures line. The leader came in a pack with a scientist figure, and I had dozens of zombie miniatures floating around so in reality I was already all set to go.

I used the Strange Aeons rules for human cultists to equip my troopers and their leader. The resulting six profiles were a nice even 25 points. The mad scientist and his batch of test zombies worked out perfectly at 15 points to round out the 40 points starting cult size. Since these models weren't properly painted, I only used them once in a test game. They won that game and the list was a lot of fun to play, so I've been itching to use them again ever since. I do hope to finish painting them shortly after Halloween, which is the main reason they haven't seen any further action yet.

There are lots of rule sets out there that cover WW2 combat, and many of those also contain or have supplements to add the "weird" element like zombies, vampires, mummies, magical powers and all that great stuff. So I set about looking at a bunch of them with the helpful suggestions of many of the folks over at the LAF forums. Secrets of the Third Reich, AE: WWII, Savage Worlds Weird War and others were all lobbied for. One of the first posters suggested the Song of Blades and Heroes system sets (Flying Lead, Fear and Faith and Mutants and Death Ray Guns) by Ganesha Games, which I had never heard of before. Their products do look really interesting and I have already posted up a review of the revised edition of SoBH..

Everyone was quick to make suggestions and comments about the different rules and figures available, but none of the rule sets immediately jumped out at me as something I just needed to buy, although I am very temped to pick up more of the Ganesha Games books. For most of the different books I'd have to drop even more money on rules, in some cases (such as Secrets of the Third Reich) quite a bit of it in order to get the requisite books and expansions being recommended as best-case. I've already spent a substantial sum on little soldiers and rule books this year, so I'd really like to stop the bleeding from my bank account if at all possible.

Then it hit me: why not just use the Strange Aeons / Kulten rule sets to do what I wanted?! I'm comfortable with the rules and they cover off most of what I want in terms of equipment, magic and monsters already! Using Threshold vs Lurkers isn't quite what I want though, since the number of points I wanted to run would be higher than most Threshold lists could ever really achieve. So that essentially brings me to cult-vs-cult. I could just play the Kulten rules. I'll have to make another list to suit my other 'cult': Canadian/British soldiers and see if will prove a satisfying experience. There are dozens of manufacturers that produce lines of British WW2 soldiers so I'll be taking my time trying to find figures that are exactly what I want...and quite likely I won't do so before year's end.

I'd eventually like to add some more thematic zombies to my Nazi squad, perhaps using some of WestWind Productions cool Nazi zombie figures, or other items from a similar range. If I don't end up with something that scratches the itch in the right spot, I will revisit my list here and maybe make an investment in yet another book.

One thing I haven't quite figured out how to handle out yet are vehicles. It'd be spiffy to have a tank or some kind of steam (or magic) powered battle suit on the field with my little toy soldiers. Maybe I'll have to talk to Uncle Mike and see what he can come up with for vehicle rules...


Brummie said...

Great Idea, I was going to suggest using existing rules with new figs

Obsidian3D said...

In reality the toughest thing isn't the rules, it comes down to finding people that want to play. With the Strangr Aeons rules, at least I know a few other folks who know them and will actually sit down for a few games. When I have to introduce new rules every time it seriously limits the number of people I can talk into gaming with me.