I've been taking a peruse through my assorted rulebooks to see what ruleset I fancy taking a bash at for some microscale goodness featuring my Squats versus Ultramarines and have settled on Gruntz.
I purchased the PDF a while back but never really got chance to delve into it but a month or two ago, the author Robin Fitton kindly sent me over a copy to review and I am going to have a bit of a bash at doing so now as the more I read in the book, the more I like it and the more ideas I get for games which is always dangerous!
The book itself is A4 size and runs to 136 pages and is gorgeously illustrated throughout with lots of superbly painted figures and amazing gaming tables. Print quality is good and the book itself is nice and sturdy (none of those page falling out issues that some other rulebooks tend to have!)
The rules themselves run to 40 pages and are extremely well laid out and easy to follow. I do like how explanations are done with small diagram boxes and minimal text resulting in a very visual but easy to follow set of rules.
To make things even better, the author presents flowcharts of how a turn, shooting, close combat and everything else works:
I've not seen a similar simple way of showcasing how to run through a turn or shooting or whatever in any other ruleset I own and it's a brilliant idea allowing you to run through the basics really quickly without having to wade through lots of text to get to what you are looking for!
The rules themselves seem very solid and I look forward to playing them. Squads (or Gruntz) are the core of any army and have two actions per turn while the use of Commanders gives you more tactical flexibility, allowing extra movement of squads and they act like a commander should act, giving orders and boosting morale.
40 pages may seem like quite a lot but it covers everything from the basics to artillery, close combat and electronic warfare and there are lots of handy tips, diagrams and flowcharts to simplify the whole procedure.
There are also lots of design notes provided that explain why some things work the way they do. For example, ranges for weapons are really short with most infantry weapons shooting about 8-10 inches while even big guns max out at about 20 inches this has been explained as it encourages players to get stuck in rather than lurking at table edges and sniping. Yes its not too realistic but will result in more exciting games which is far more fun!
The next 50 or so pages gives you a force creator unlike anything I have ever seen before. Its simple, straight forward and looks like it can cater to pretty much any infantry, mech, vehicle, monster, flyer or superheavy that you could think of with ease!
To make things even more handy, you can go onto GRUNTOMATIC, a website which allows you to not only create forces but will also put together pre-built reference cards which contains all your troops info in a very straight forward and visually pleasing manner!
The next section of the book contains optional rules covering different methods of basing, activation and a plethora of other quirks including small scale skirmishes that gives you all sorts of flexibility to tweak the game and play it the way you want to play it rather than having to just play one way which reminds me of Rogue Trader to some extent.
I do like the fact you can base figures individually or multibase and the rules have you covered!
Next up there's a handy little scenario section which also gives you some idea as to the size of forces you will be fielding. 100 points gives you a small skirmish with a commander and a couple of squads while 1000 points gives you a large battle.
Lastly there's a sample background which gives you information on a setting, forces and organisations to get you started. Having taken a quick peruse through it, there's some interesting stuff which I may have to pinch for my alternative Imperium!
All in all, I must admit that Gruntz is looking like its got some fantastic possibilities for gaming and I am exploring it for use with my 15mm sci-fi and 6mm Epic stuff too. It also has some interesting possibilities for use with my assorted fantasy stuff too which is rather exciting as Aeroth requires some different rules than just traditional fantasy!
I do highly recommend folks take a look at the rules which are available HERE and are currently only £5.87 which is an utter bargain!
I've taken a bit of a look at my Squat force and have currently got about 200 points worth of stuff painted up for Gruntz which gives me a decent sized skirmish force:
I do want to add a couple of heavier vehicles in and a commander on foot rather than my Exotrike but I hope to try it out with a game or two against my Ultramarines at some point this weekend!
Hopefully the battle report will include a better idea of the rules and how the game plays in 6mm scale and once I have a decent sized table sorted out, I will try one at 15mm scale too and I may even give my Mercenaries a bit of attention too as they've been languishing for some time now:
Ah but then there's my Chaos Squats....
This low level conflict between a platoon or so of troops with a bit of armoured support is just the sort of scale I want to play and at 6mm scale it's also really cheap (15mm scale too for that matter!)
Who knows, I may end up with lots of little warbands blasting each other on the tabletop!
All the best!