Horizon Wars

So it started about 18 months ago when I had the sudden urge to play a game where I could have big mech’s dwarfing infantry and tanks while ripping chunks from each other. However I have an issue with most mech’s on the market.

The issues I tend to have are:

  1. It’s something very 40k.(not a problem but 40k like aesthetics tend to make it harder for me to get into the imagery of a game that isn’t 40k)
  2. The mech looks like it could do a quadruple back flip over 12 buildings and head shot everyone it flips over. (Again not always an issue but i think a mech should look heavy. Like if it gets thrown back the building it hits collapses, not that its insane agility allows it to avoid hitting something)
  3. The mech looks like a rock with guns. (The mech looks like it couldn’t move even if its life depended on it or if it could it would face plant the second it takes a step.)

Now with me being very fussy about my mechs it leaves a small niche of mechs that I like the aesthetic of. (Think Pacific rim. They can run, the weight in the mech can be felt in the hits and their look matches this.) When I manage to spot a small company called White Dragon Miniatures. Their mechs fit my taste. They look heavy and that they are actually carrying their weight, but they also look like they could move at a decent pace if they needed.


Now with these mechs I bought quite a few 15mm infantry models as well. My thinking was I’m going to find a game for the mechs I’m sure I’ll be able to use the infantry as well.

Then the great guys at Castle Gaming showed me the basics of horizon wars at Chillcon. Well that was me hooked. I found the game I needed. Big Mechs, Tanks and infantry, plus plenty of scope to expand with more models and the daft ideas our club is well known for.

This all got forgot about as us wargamers tend to do…. Until last week when I stumbled across the Castle Gaming page on facebook. I managed to get down there on wednesday for a ‘demo’ game of Horizon Wars again.

Great game. Each unit has its presence value (how imposing it is on the battlefield) which allows you to spend a certain amount of points on skills and attributes.

The main attributes of a unit in Horizon wars are:

  • Armour (how good your unit is at taking damage)
  • Firepower (how many shots you have when you fire your weapons
  • Movement (How fast you can move)
  • Defence (Different to armour. This is how many dice you roll to defend against attacks. either by shields or point defence against missiles. However you want to make it work in your fluff)

Each unit has 2 activation’s in which it can move, move shoot, shoot (plus a couple of others).

The shooting mechanic in Horizon Wars is a different one to what I’m used to but is really simple and quite intuitive once you understand it. If you wish to shoot at an enemy you take the amount of 12 sided dice equal to your firepower (half firepower if you move shoot). Take the distance between the firing unit and the target and add the targets armour. (eg. 12″ away and armour 4 = 16). This is the target number you need.

Now you roll your dice. for example lets roll 5 d12’s, but how do you get a 16 on a d12, the answer is you don’t. So I roll 5 dice and get: 4,11,8,5,12. your opponent can then roll defence dice equal to their defence stat (eg. 3 defence, they roll 3 dice and get 1, 6, 5.) For each dice your opponent rolls you remove one of your firing dice of the same value. So here your opponent has rolled a 5 so you remove one of your dice showing a 5. Leaving you with 4,11,8,12.

You then group these dice together to get 16 or more. Here I group 4+12 = 16, 11+8 = 19. That is 2 hits on your target. Which your opponent allocates to their units stats. reducing a stat of their choice by 1 for each hit. (eg. -1 from movement and -1 from firepower). However one of our hits contained a roll of 12. This is a critical hit. Which gets allocated by the attacking player instead of the defending player.

A unit is destroyed when their Armour is reduced to 0. So in this example I would choose to allocate the crit to the defenders armour to try and reduce it to 0 and remove it from the game.


As I said above I bought alot of 15mm models to try and find a game to play. After talking some of the other HoG’s we are leaning towards 6-10mm scale as some of us already own dropzone commander and epic miniatures. This way we only have to buy the mechs to suit our taste to play. (or not, this is a game where you can use any models you have. A space marine could be a mech if you wanted it to be.)

With this said there will be more posts as I attempt to show the other HoG’s how to play and we muster our forces for giant robot wrecking battles. For now however enjoy photos from my game on wednesday.

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