40K Black Ops – Overview


A while back, I picked up Osprey Games’ Black Ops.  It’s a game that covers games like Zero Dark Thirty and Metal Gear Solid: modern (or five-minutes-in-the-future) skirmishes with a strong emphasis on attacker vs. defender and stealth. Like most Osprey Games it looks like it’s probably perfect for a convention-style game that probably wouldn’t hold up to extended, concentrated play.  A solid basis for the sort of game it set out to be.

I really dug the idea of a stealth game, but I’m not interested in trying to recreate contemporary conflicts that are actually getting actual people killed actually right now.

Fortunately, I had a fix for that: I love 40K, of course, but as should be obvious around here I haven’t wanted to play the game in a long time.  40K’s a complex setting, and even though the tabletop game’s become about The Big (sometimes you’d think it was a skirmish game at 5½ ” scale), there’s still a lot of room for the sort of smaller scale engagements that are analogous to the ones Black Ops intends to serve.

Now, I don’t have an opinion about the Black Ops game.  I haven’t played it.  I could immediately tell that it wasn’t going to work, though: it covers humans fighting humans using modern equipment: not humans fighting orks fighting daemons with microwave and laser guns. In the end, I ended up mashing together a whole mess of rules that I described in the initial game pitch as “It’s like 40K talked Bolt Action into having a three-way with Infinity, but Bolt Action and Infinity are kind of really into each other and neglect the hell out of 40K and now 40K just feels miserable and awkward and alone.”

I noodled on it for a long while, then finally decided: actually execute on the dang game: schedule it, build and paint for it, then run the damned thing.  That happened over the past weekend.

This is what’s occupied most of my hobby time over the past two months and, because I wanted things to be a surprise, that’s why I’ve been so quiet around here.  I’ve been busy… just not able to post about it.

I’ll break this across a couple of posts: this overview, a link to and a discussion of the rules, the models I painted, and some game photos.