Impressions: One-Page 40K

So, after a short hiatus from fiddling about with nonfunctional printers, I thought it was high time to do another game review, this time for a system that is only a week or two old, but is already fantastic and showing great promise: One-Page 40K.

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By Shwig

The Game:

It’s a d6-based Skirmish wargame, based on the FUBAR rules, and designed for easy use with Warhammer 40K models. It plays very quickly and tightly, getting a game done in under an hour and a half.

First Thoughts:

Don’t let the name deceive you; There’s an army list for every 40K list currently offered (One page each), the main rules fit on both sides of a sheet of standard 8.5×11 paper (So one page for the main rules, and one page for your army of choice. Even space marines in a wide variety of chapter flavors!), and they have offerings for Kill Team, as well as fan supplements like Squats and Warhammer Fantasy rules in the works.

Mechanical Analysis:

While I haven’t had a chance to use the main 40K rules, I did get to play Kill Team using the rules (More on that below), and the rules are based off of FUBAR, one of my favorite skirmish rulesets. It has been tweaked, however, to play a larger game more quickly, but still has a very tight combat system and a deceptive depth of tactical options. In general, gameplay is alternating activations, where models can hold and fire (Getting a bonus to their shot), move and fire, double-move, or double-move and attack in melee. Plus you can do nothing and enter Overwatch (Recently renamed ‘Guard,’ for reasons I don’t understand), and true overwatch (Fire at enemy on their turn if they enter your field of view) instead of the silly shoot-at-enemy-charger version 40K 6th edition has.

Every model only has 1 main stat, apart from their weapons and special rules: Their Quality, a 2+-6+ value. To hit an enemy, roll the number of firepower dice the ranged weapon or melee weapon indicates, and any that roll your Quality or better are hits. Then the enemy rolls that many dice (Sometimes with extra dice from Armor) and each that is their Quality or better is a block. Subtract Blocks from the Hits, and leftover Hits cause wounds, removing models or injuring Tough models. Tough models can take 3 hits before dying, nicely addressing multiwound models like Crisis Suits, Tyranid Warriors, and the plethora of heroes.

One interesting note that I didn’t pick up on the first time I played was that while most models can only fire one ranged weapon when activated, a model that attacks in melee uses all of their melee weapons. This means that most melee-specialist models, equipped with multiple weapons or bonuses, or both, hit like freight trains if they make it across the board and into close combat. I didn’t realize this when I was using Mawlocs the first time, as with sufficient upgrades they can hit with 14-15 dice in melee, comparable to an entire quite-large enemy squad.

Warhammer-40k-eternal-battle[1]

I played using the Kill Team rules, which feel like a nice, natural adaptation of the full rules. In a nutshell, you use single models or very small groups of models rather than larger squads, and when a model takes a wound, instead of being removed outright you roll for the wound result: 1-2 is dead and removed, 3-4 is stunned, and 5-6 is knocked back 2″and stunned on a 4+.

Stunned is a fantastic mechanic, as  a Stunned model dies automatically if wounded (No rolls needed), and has to waste their entire activation getting to their feet (Or they can crawl 3″ iirc). It made for a really delicious choice, as you had to weigh essentially wasting a turn to get a guy to stand back up, against the possibility that he might get wounded and auto-killed while lying helpless.

The games I played were Tyranid against Grey Knights. In the first game, I decided to load up on 3 Mawlocs, topping off my Tyranids with two Genestealers and a Tyranid Prime. My opponent ran with a Jokaero w/ Multimelta, a Vindicaire assassin, an Inquisitor with a plasma pistol, and a dreadnought with Ironclad, flamethrowers, and an Assault cannon I think. The game was Relic Hunt, basically a control objectives mission.

Throughout the game, my Genestealers were killed early because I foolishly tried to control the objectives early (Pointless, as determining who controlled them was only done at the end of the game), leaving them in the low ground area with little cover. My Mawlocs were obstinate, with only one of the three arriving the entire game, and getting killed in a close fight with the Dreadnought. The vindicaire managed to get a bead on my nearly-perfectly hidden Prime, and the game was a 2-0 win.

For the second, I switched it up and ran with 6 Biovores and a Lictor, while my opponent ran with 4 Inquisitors in Terminator Armor and Sniper Rifles, and an Arco-Flagellant. Normally you can only run with 1 Hero in an army (Like an Inquisitor or a Tyranid Prime), but he had missed that and we decided to roll with it when we realized it halfway through the second turn. This mission was a breakthrough, where the Grey Knights needed to get 25% of their starting force into my deployment zone.

The poor Lictor died very quickly to sniper fire and a finishing blow by the Arco-Flagellant, but the Biovores (Who were ridiculously hard to kill thanks to Tough) did good work and their Spore Mines managed to corral most of his forces, and punish him when he managed to get units past their lines. On the last turn he managed to get three different units into my deployment zone, requiring me to kill 2 of the three to win. Luckily, the mines managed to finish off a heavily wounded inquisitor and the nearby arco-flagellant, securing me a win.

Remember when you had different kinds of Spore Mines you could purchase, like Frag, Krak, and Bio-Acid? Pepperidge Farms remembers…

I’d like to go on a bit of a side tangent about the Biovores, and how awesome they are in these rules. In regular 40K (5th edition codex. Not sure about 6e Nids, but afaik the Biovores have remained pretty much unchanged), Biovores are a sort of guaranteed mortar. Their Spore Mine shot packs a decent kick (S4/5, AP4/5, something in that range, Large Blast), and if they scatter and miss, you still get some mines nearby that the enemy has to shoot to avoid getting tagged with.

However they’re mediocre at best against vehicles, easy to kill since they don’t get to move until your next turn (Likely after the enemy army’s batch of firing), and really have a hard time doing more than tickling stuff like Marines and Terminators.

Contrast this with them in the One-Page rules. In these, you basically spawn a unit of them identical to how you Deepstrike models in the One-Page rules (Brilliant rules for Deepstriking, btw): Place the models anywhere on the table outside of 6″ from the enemy models (Normal deepstrike has to be outside of 12″). Then roll a die: on a 2+, you’re golden, but on a 1 the enemy places the models anywhere within 12″ of the original position.

This makes for an interesting dynamic, as they can’t directly attack the enemy, but rather act as superb area denial (Perfect for, say, a breakthrough mission as the defender!). You have to plan ahead, as moving the spore mine their 6″ drift (They don’t move the normal 6 or 12″, just 6″ and 6″ only) means the enemy can sprint past you, so layering in waves of them is key. However, they are far, far more dangerous than their regular 40K counterparts, as they inflict D3 hits per mine (And the Biovore spawns D3 of them per attack. Hope you brought enough minis!), or one automatic hit on side armor for a vehicle (Also really good, far superior to regular 40K mines). So on average you’re getting 4 hits per cluster of mines, which is comparable to a Space Marine with a lascannon (Quality 3+ and a Firepower 6 weapon). In addition, due to alternating activation this means the pressure a cluster of mines within their 6″ charge range are far more dangerous and pressing of a priority, as they can typically move on your very next activation instead of on your next turn. Overall it creates a fantastic dynamic where you can use Spore Mines to herd enemies towards the bulk of your army (A tactic I plan on using with Hormagaunts and Trygons with great gusto!)

Final Verdict:

This ruleset looks fantastic, plays wonderfully, and seems to show no sign of slowing. The author has expressed interest in doing rulesets for Warhammer Fantasy, Mordheim, Necromunda, as well as for other settings like Titanfall. If you are looking for a good wargaming ruleset, or if you’re looking to get back to using your old 40K models without buying a massive and hopelessly complex tome of rules, give One-Page 40K a shot!

Let me know in the contents what games you’ve played with this ruleset, and what you think of it!

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