Xeno: All Out War the story so far

Tyranids with conversions from the collection of Mcfonz

Good morning folks, this post is a bit of an unplanned one in the sense that it’s just gone 8am on a crisp August 4th morning, and having been awake for an hour, I hadn’t even contemplated a blog post.

Sipping on a cup of coffee trying to brink my brain into some state of functionality I was catching up on the usual web based interactions. Twitter – check, emails – check, forum – check, news – check, facebook – check, WAIT! Facebook. And there it was.

The last year has been tough, both in terms of work as a front line care worker and on the home front with various costly issues at mcfonz towers as well as the direct impact of the pandemic on my close family including the death of my father. It really hasn’t been easy and if honest, I think I am only just starting to “feel it”.

Anyway, back to the present. There I am. Hound at my feet. Warming my consciousness into activity with a caffeine hit thrown in for kicks. And I find I have been tagged in a post on both the Core Space and Mantic’s Walking Dead facebook groups.

Facebook post by JD Atreyu

What spurred me on to post about this? Well, it picked me up out of my malaise and made me look back at a project that I still have a lot of energy for. It cheered me to think that a game I had essentially made a ‘skin’ for had been seen and played at home by a fellow hobbyist.

I started work on this project back in 2017 having read rules for Mantic’s Walking Dead: All Out War and considering that the mechanics are brilliant for any scenario you wanted a level of threat or tension for along with providing possibilities for roleplaying, co-op and Vs gaming. Though light on the RPG front I thought it would be brilliant for simple campaigns and one shots.

Oscar, Brooke and Pvt. Chapman secure a cargo crawler to help them escape

The initial plan for the rules was to be for a participation game at the Salute wargames convention – something that has become somewhat traditional for the Random Platypus crew to do. With everyone coming together, pooling ideas, resources and materials. The thread on the forum can be seen to reflect that.

One of the main benefits is that you have real motivation to see a project through to completion, to have a completed table with enough miniatures to play the game of your choice and to make it appealing to the masses of people that walk by.

The adventurers used for the participation games.

It’s rare that I am often so into a game that I keep working on it as a project for this long. For me that says a lot about the system. It’s fun and is incredibly well suited to co-op. It’s easy to mess around with, butcher, add to, take away from, stat things up for. So much so that I think it goes greatly underrated in wargaming circles, and perhaps to an extent even by Mantic.

From a personal perspective, it’s ideal for all sorts of games from sci fi dungeon crawlers to rogue trader-esque old school battles in space. I wonder if with a bit of a repackage and some promotion, that it could become that still. This is all said without having seen the new Walking Dead: Call to Arms rules that Mantic have released for larger faction battles with a different walker rules. I have been meaning to get hold of those for a while…

A light in the dark, Brooke cuts a lonely figure… but she hides a lethal secret!

All of this has inspired me to get back on with adding more to the ongoing project. Although we haven’t played in some time, I have been running a campaign for my wife which is in it’s early stages. She has picked models from my collection and named them. We had run some basic missions to introduce her to the game system and I am now looking at my lead pile to create some adversaries to throw into the mix as well as the xenos.

Her adventurers are forming as a crew that need to get off planet due to infestation… unbeknownst to them, the xeno’s have spread through their system. Lawlessness spreads as a result, pirates, scrap merchants, black marketeers and other xeno races taking advantage of a situation are all things they’ll have to contend with.

Kev clears a path to escape for Billie.

Really, at the end of the day, I wanted to say thanks. Thank you to JD Atreyu for sharing the fun he had with the rules I had shared – though I probably need to ask Mantic if I can share everything I did for them, and will do for them. I also need to say thanks to all of you that came and played in our participation game at Salute and Diceni in 2018.

I’ll try to reflect on the project more here as I progress. From selecting and painting miniatures and terrain to game reports.

Once again, thank you all, and really do celebrate the hobby and the things you enjoy in it. You never quite know who and how it may help. Being kind is being cool.

Mcfonz – Aka Matt

Xeno – All Out War at Diceni, Norwich, May 2018.