Wednesday 7 October 2020


I should stop giving my games stupid joke names that end up being impossible to shake. 

GRIMLITE is clearly a nod to wanting a rules-lite version of certain Grim Dark games. I was experimenting with the name Husk 28 as a nod to some other inspirations but I'm starting to think I should accept that GRIMLITE might be here to stay for the time being.

But despite that, I feel like I have a stronger sense of the game's identity after continued testing and getting carried away with building warbands and horrors. More specifically, I feel like the identity of the game is informing the identity of the world. 

The game started as an excuse to kitbash 40k miniatures with other lines and bring some of that Inq28 feel to a very simple, fast game. Now I feel like I can go further than "40k with the serial numbers filed off". I could avoid all reference to 40k and pretend the influence isn't there, but I'd rather highlight the differences while embracing that initial inspiration.

My settings are always going to reflect the reality of what happens at the table, and in this case that reality is moulded by both the game table and the modelling table. 

As with Into the Odd and Electric Bastionland, this isn't a game that will ever come with pages of lore. I want a setting infused into the actual content of the game. This is more of a style-guide, equally intended for myself and anybody else that wants to explore the game.

Inconsistent Technology

Blending sci-fi and medieval elements is past cliché at this point, but it works and I love it.

It might vary among the factions, but as a rule-of-thumb I like giving my Leader and their favoured followers more of a sci-fi look, while keeping the grunts of the warband in more of a medieval light. Remember, this world is forgotten. The Company brought peace, but that's a slice of sci-fi sandwiched between two more grimy periods: the faded legacy of the pre-Company world, and the neo dark age abandonment of today.

Of course it's all an excuse to mix 40k accessories in with the Frostgrave plastic sets, kit out some Skitarii like feudal knights, and throw those creations against each other.

Modest Scale

Warbands, not armies. Chapels, not cathedrals. Today, not ten thousand years of lore. This forgotten world, not an unknowable galaxy. 

Even the most formidable opponent can be brought down with a piercer shot and have their throat cut as they lie on the ground. 

They might be robots, mutants, or aliens, but there's a certain modesty implied here compared to towering Primaris super-soldiers. My Paragon (4+, Tough) is basically a bulky bloke with chain and plate armour. Even my leaders have a certain fragility to them, with oversized power-fists and plasma-guns looking slightly out of scale next to their very mortal bodies. 

Personal Focus

You are not a nameless individual among a billion humans, doomed to die a pointless death. Even your most humble followers will likely stick with you through multiple battles. Name them, watch them grow, and remember their deeds. 

Likewise, even though your warbands will be one of four types, the term "Faction" is misleading. There's no grand council of the Inheritors, no centralised Welder government, and no Splicer Queen. Think, instead, of these warbands options are more of a "best fit" for your particular group of individuals. They don't really owe allegiance to any higher power than your Leader. It's small-scale feudalism in a fractured world. 

The Company abandoned us, so why pledge loyalty to any besides your closest companions? Why trust a name on a piece of paper when you can trust the one person you know that has a machinegun?

The campaign is more likely to be a personal vendetta or quest rather than some chain of missions in service of a planet-wide operation. Your world is firmly rooted in the 5-9 models that you've built and brought to the table.

If you've been exploring your own version of GRIMLITE, be sure to let me know, and if you're curious then you can watch live gameplay on Twitch and catch up on Youtube.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds interesting enough that I have saved a copy of the rules to peruse later, thanks!

    Skirmish games are my favourite, but I could never quite get into Necromunda.