Thursday, 9 May 2013

Imperial Commander, 1981, Richard Halliwell and Bryan Ansell

Here is a bit of nostalgia for you, the 1981 'Imperial Commander' by Messrs Ansell and Halliwell.




It is somewhat well used and has the occasional scribble or stain but is nevertheless an important historical document for us 40k fans. With it's Imperium and Bolters Imperial Commander starts to bridge the gap between earlier, Star Wars inspired games like Combat 3000 (1979) or Laserburn (1980) and the more developed and distinct Rogue Trader (1987).

I am having a game soon using some lovely 15mm minis from Critical Mass Games which have been languishing in the WIP dungeon for a few years. I will let you know how it goes, with perhaps a photo or two.

Thanks for stopping by!

15 comments:

  1. Nice post. I'll enjoy reading the rules.

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    1. Good stuff, glad you are interested. having read through a couple of times my favourite bit is still the first page though, the reason for playing the game. Very 80's!

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  2. Good stuff was this not part of laserburn?
    Peace James

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    1. Kinda-ish. Laserburn was Bryan Ansell, no Halliwell I don't think, and came out only a year before Imperial Commander. There are rules to convert heroes across from Laserburn to this, it is very similar but not fully integrated. Though the rules were quite recognisable lots of new background came out with each progression too, Combat 3000, Laserburn, Imperial Commader all led to Rogue Trader.

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  3. Stop it! you will get me rooting out my Laserburn miniatures, cracking post dude, I never did own this one it's nice to read, thanks
    J

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    1. Pleasure is all mine, glad you liked it. No harm in painting up a couple of Laserburn minis by the way, they are only very small and won't take long... ;)

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  4. Yeah! Imperial Commander!! Imperial Commander is a blast! Of all those early games, I still feel that Imperial Commander is the most playable and the most fun. Love the ammo and Close Combat rules. I even prefer it to Rogue Trader. Too bad it didn't have any photos, though.

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    1. Great to hear your views, I am looking forward to getting some games in even more now. Visually it is a bit sparse (definitely not the sumptuous feast Rogue Trader turned out to be) but I like what they achieved even so. It is a bit 'Fighting Fantasy' with the simple black and white artwork.

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  5. Before my time, but looks a blast - those power armoured troopers look a lot like Sontarans!

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  6. Agreed Thantsants. The Sontarans appeared in the Doctor Who serial 'Time Warrior' in the 11th season which spanned 1973-74 and returned in the 15th season for the serial 'The Invasion of Time' in 1978. No doubt they were an influence!

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  7. Tony Yates, who did the illustrations, also sculpted some figures. Bryan Ansell has quite a few:

    http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n77/bridgend_steve/Bryan%20Ansell/Picture171_zps30809f45.jpg

    Some of the "Sontarans" can be seen here.

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    1. Those minis are great, thanks very much for the link! Such an eclectic mix, I want my RT games to have this sort of feel.

      Beyond Doctor Who I am sure I can spot one or two other contemporary sci-fi influences in there too.

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  8. The illustrations in this are great, like something doodled on some school book in the 80s alongside Iron Maidens Eddie and some Robert Smith-esque stuff. Not-Luke on page 9 made me laugh :D

    By any chance do fancy adding a "subscribe via email" option to your blog do you? Wordpress and Blogspot are not on speaking terms (and if they are then nobody told me about it) and all the FB and Google+ stuff wears me out. A simple old fashioned automatic email sent whenever you add content would be great.

    No pressure mind :)

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    1. It should be the 6th gadget down on the right? If that's not working for you let me know and I will try adding something else.

      The rulebook is loads of fun to look through, so chock full of 70's vibes it's unbelievable. I actually managed to play a game a week ago! I will be blogging about it shortly.

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    2. Oops, I missed that. Nothing to see here..

      An Imperial Commander battle report is about as retro as sci-fi miniature wargaming gets. Im looking forward to it.


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