Wednesday 17 May 2023

Xenos Rampant

I finally managed to try out Xenos Rampant which I've had since Xmas.  The game should actually have taken place several weeks ago but a combination of work being really busy and an assortment of bugs meant it kept getting postponed.

The rules use more or less the same format as the other Dan Mersey 'Rampant' rules... units are generally 5 or 10 strong and have 10 attack dice until they drop to half strength.  Each unit has an Armour rating and casualties need to reach a multiple of that number before they take effect.  If a unit is successfully shot at (even if there are no casualties) they need to test for morale.  All very simple and dead easy to pick up.

Imperial troops

The real strength of the rules is in the huge range of special characteristics which you can give the different troop types... these really let you customise the game and give it the flavour of your favourite setting whether it's a galaxy far, far away or a grimdark future where there is only war etc.  The downside of this is that it's easy to get carried away and end up with lots of special rules and modifiers which are easy to forget in the heat of battle.  It's always really frustrating to get a long way into the game and then remember something critical which could have made areal change to the outcome 


As this was our first game I only added a couple of upgrades and special rules... one unit had armour piercing weapons and one of the vehicles had indirect fire etc.  This, along with a simple encounter scenario may have made it a bit uninspiring. 

I used my old Laserburn figures, upgraded with some new ones from the excellent ranges at Alternative Armies.  Purely for the nostalgia value we went with the Imperial and Red Redemptionist forces from the original Laserburn rules 

Because I'd kept it simple and had matched the forces quite closely, this did give a bit of a bland feel to the game and I think I would definitely make more of a distinction between each side to give more flavour to the game next time.

The other mistake was having quite a lot of buildings on the table.  I should have guessed that it would quickly end up with lots of units holed up inside buildings and proving very difficult to damage. One suggestion in the rules is to simply agree that no one can enter the buildings which is a bit weird but would prevent the problem.

On the plus side the game was very easy and intuitive to pick up and we were quickly playing with minimal reference to the book which is definitely a good thing.

We'll give them another go bit with a bit more thought on my part about designing the forces more carefully and thinking about the terrain. 

As to the result, my Redemptionists were eventually whittled down... especially when I tried charging my Light infantry across the open ground to see what would happen... the result was exactly what you'd expect!!

The victorious Imperial tank which won the vehicle duel.


  1. I have these rules but not tried them out yet , this may inspire me to do so .

  2. Glad you finally got a game of XR played. Sounds like a good time was had by all. I look forward to hearing more…
    Alan Tradgardland