The Men/Orks/Squats Who Would Be Kings/Nobz/Hearthguard


Colonial wargaming in the grim darkness of the far future.

P Biddy (an old friend and gaming buddy, not to be confused with PB, who is also an old friend and gaming buddy) and I got in touch a few months ago and we decided that we want to play toy soldiers again.  With a pretty clean slate we had a think about what sort of games would suit us.

We thought about scale, setting, availability of existing models and terrain, lead time, achievable goals and general influences.  Believe it or not, despite how that sentence looks, it was a fun process narrowing those options down a little.

Blend those factors together, sieve out the currently incompatible lumps and serve on a 6×4′ plate with booze and pretzels and it looks a bit like this:

Orks of the Bigdogz tribe repel the colonial invaders from the lands of their sporefathers.

Although P Biddy and I have a long history of 6mm gaming, for now we are focusing on 28mm.  I have very many painted miniatures in this scale already painted and even more crucially, I have lots of suitable terrain too.

In terms of setting and influences, P Biddy likes horses (snore) and I like robots (yeah!).
Excluding that stumbling block, we were in agreement on the following media summing up the vibes that should come through in the first toy soldier games that we have played together this century.

Zulu (1964)

Starship Troopers (1997)
Samurai Jack (2001 – present)

Akira Kurasawa Samurai Cinema

Elric of Melniboné
The Imperium of Man (the Warhammer 40k universe)

There were many more influences discussed of course (Bladerunner, Harry Harrison, Azumi, Adventure Time, Aliens, Lone Wolf and Cub, Minder etc etc) but the list above covers what we will aim for in the medium term I expect.  Starting with this:

Combining Zulu, Starship Troopers, the Imperium of Man and rules writers with pedigree led us to The Men Who Would Be Kings.
P Biddy and I decided that we would prep forces for TMWWBK, but with a 40k angle.

Last Stand at Glazers Creek from White Dwarf #222, June 1998

This plan is a lot like the Praetorian Imperial Guard versus Feral Orks “The Last Stand at Glazers Creek” batrep way back in 1998, White Dwarf UK #222, itself a 40k game with direct reference to “Zulu” (1964).

Last Stand at Glazers Creek from White Dwarf #222, June 1998

As I have been painting a number of post-apocalyptic orks this year and P Biddy has acquired a number of Praetorian Imperial Guard figures, its a pretty good fit.

As prepping dedicated forces for games like this takes a little time, we tried out the rules in a couple of games using my existing Bigdogz ork tribe and using my Ursa Miner space dwarf force in the role of colonial invaders.

Tribal Gretchin charge Ursa Miner Regulars

Fierce Tribal orks begin to surround Ursa Miner Regulars

As expected from Daniel Mersey rule sets, the rules in TMWWBK were clear, simple and fun.  Im very much looking forward to getting a short campaign or three played in a fleshed out campaign setting.

“Sixty! We dropped at least sixty, wouldn’t you say?”


14 Responses

  1. Looks great mate! I adore ‘Last Stand at Glazer’s Creek’, so anything that whiffs of that gets a big thumbs up from me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hoho, so cool! But we need more pics!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I only got a few that were worth showing this time Suber, as it was in many respects a test game. There are some old photos of most of the terrain elements used in the “Standard Falls” tag in the cloud on the right.

      I will take some more photos when we start playing “properly” 🙂


  3. Looks like an excellent board set up. I, too, would love more pictures of the terrain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks daggerandbrush.

      See my reply to Subers post above for a link to more photos of the terrain in various earlier posts.


  4. Great choice of influences as usual, Zulu and similar last stand style films have always been my favourite kind! Never knew (or had forgotten) your 6mm history, what was that all about?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have several 6mm “Epic” armies Mikko. There were the first armies that I ever painted to completion, with a subset of one of them winning best army at a GW Grand Tournament in 1997, getting my name in White Dwarf, which was fun.

      My Epic Eldar and Orks played in many games against PB2s Imperial Guard and Blood Angels back in the very early 1990s. PB2 was my first regular gaming opponent.

      Last stands are paradoxically romantic and they make great scenarios for gaming. I would always rather lose a hard fought game than win a crushing defeat.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Looking forward to more. Last Stand at Glazers Creek is one of my favourite battle-reports, perhaps because it really told a story and was so different to the green jungle battles that usually featured in WD. Even now I paint my orks with desert bases in homage to this, even though all my other 40K stuff is on green jungle bases….

    Liked by 1 person

    • LSaGC was indeed one of if not the best battle reports that I read. Im not a huge fan of reading battle reports to be honest, unless I have some vested interest, but Glazers Creek had civilians and walking wounded and very strong narrative, which makes it very memorable.

      Oddly enough, like many siege games I expect that many of the turns played were essentially dice fests: very little movement by the defenders followed by throwing as many dice as possible to shoot the invaders. Regardless, the strong narrative carries it, turning it from chunking handfuls of chance cubes into a tooth and nail struggle for survival.

      I very much hope that we can generate some of that in our games.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You know my love for campaigns. Can’t wait to see this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your campaigns are always an inspiration Will. I plan to flesh out the setting for this a bit, without painting myself into a corner with too many maps and the like.

      Justifying why the Guard are there in relatively small numbers is important to me. Im also keen to present the orks are the victims, the natives that are being shoved out by colonials, to show them in a (homicidal, savage, feudal, post apocalyptic) somewhat heroic and sympathetic light.

      Im looking forward to that 🙂


  7. Looks like fun so far, and like it will be rather excellent to see it play out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It wont be up and running for a while yet, but it is something that I am thoroughly looking forward to. Watching as named pieces of metal gradually become characters with their own histories, experiences and reputations is very rewarding.

      I hope that we will be able to convey some of that with our records.

      Liked by 1 person

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