This week I marked a milestone here at Comrade’s Wargaming — my first miniatures game played since relocating to Oregon six months ago. It was a game of In the Emperor’s Name, the fast-playing skirmish game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, and my opponent was Findlay, proprietor of the most excellent Barbarian Painting blog.
As a bit of background: I’ve spent months exploring the many and varied game groups in the area. There’s a healthy group of historical gamers up in Salem, and Warhammer 40k has a solid following in Corvallis. Perhaps not surprisingly, no one particular group aligns perfectly with my interests, but there’s plenty of overlap. In short: I’ll be fine, folks.
Anyway, on with the battle report. In the Emperor’s Name (ITEN) doesn’t share any mechanical similarities with Warhammer 40k, but it’s still fast to pick up and play. Findlay hosted on a table full of gorgeous painted terrain, and he fielded a squad from his Scottish Highlander-inspired Imperial Guard army — complete with the bagpiper!
We played an assassination scenario, where we were both tasked with taking out the opposing leaders. We spent the game maneuvering around the battlefield, with my guys mostly trying to stay out of sight of Findlay’s brutal snipers (he admitted during the game that he had inadvertently supercharged their stats).
Here are my guys scurrying around, trying to find cover.
That bare-assed mutant in the foreground is from the game Dark Age…I have a number of figures from that line. They make fantastic mutants, chaos spawn and other dire beasties.
Anyway, the Imperial Guard seized the starport and were preparing to use it as a firebase to punish my team…
…but I had a trump card to play. My force commander had “warpsight,” a psyker power that allowed him to take a shot and ignore cover. He got in range, drew a bead on the opposing commissar, and (apparently) vaporized him in a single shot. Assassination complete!
We quickly shuffled up the terrain and started a second game. (The beauty of ITEN is that it’s easy to squeeze in two or even three games in an evening.)
Our next game was a scenario in which a lethal orbital bombardment was coming, and both warbands were racing to get into a single central bunker in the middle of the of the table.
This game came down to a mighty brawl high atop the bunker complex. In the end, Findlay’s commissar slew my force commander mere minutes before the orbital bombardment began (with my guys stuck out in the ash wastes and his guys snuggled up safe inside). Such is life!
In conclusion: the games were fun, and the terrain and models on both sides of the table were awesome. We agreed to try a short mini-campaign (3 linked scenarios, maybe, with knock-on effects for each subsequent game?).
One last note: we played ITEN v2.0 (PDF), which in my mind is the only truly complete version of the game. Version 3.0 came out several years ago, and while the rules were solid, the supplemental material (retinue lists, equipment roster) seemed to be lacking in some key areas. That’s a shame, as the project itself is a great way to have fun with 40k figures for a few hours on a weeknight. Here’s hoping it hasn’t been completely abandoned.
Stay tuned — doubtless we’ll play this one again soon!