Sci-fi skirmish isn’t something I normally do, but I had the chance to pick up these great little robot figures as part of a Kickstarter I was backing.

Militia Miniatures is a relatively new venture from Leon Pengilley at Pendraken and Minibits. They’ve got a range of modern 28mm mercenaries, and have recently expanded that with a Kickstarter that included these robots. These used to be available through Crossover Miniatures, but the range has been bought and slightly expanded by Leon. I wanted to chuck my hat into the Kickstarter because of some of the other miniatures on offer, and thought these robots looked too cool to pass up.

The command pack has an obvious boss robot type (pointing, natch), a comms/EW robot, and two heavy weapons (an auto grenade launcher and a minigun!). The standard robots have a very Aliens-style rifle. All the robots come with a choice of two heads. You either get a very blank-faced cyberman head or one that looks like a scout trooper from Return of the Jedi. Both good looks, I’ve gone for the scout trooper visor for my rifle and heavy weapon bots, with the “command type” cyberman face for the leader the comms droid.

You could go crazy painting these guys, I’ve deliberately kept it dead simple. They got undercoated, then an all-over spray of AP desert yellow. I did consider doing highlight and shadow, but after carefully lining all the panels and joints in black ink I reckon they actually look quite striking just like that. I also wanted them to look slightly artificial, to show that they are robots and not humans in power armour.

I bought these on a whim without any real plans to use them (something I rarely do), but can mostly see myself dropping them into a “5-minutes from now” scenario for Osprey’s Black Ops skirmish game. The back of the rules do include rules for power armour and some slightly futuristic weapons, as well as things like EW and man-portable miniguns. So you’ve got all the  nuts-and-bolts you need in there to figure out stats and point costs for weird things.

So to represent killer robots in a Black Ops game I’ve gone for classing them as Fanatics with Heavy Armour, Exoskeletons, the Tough upgrade, boosting ACC and dropping CQC. This gives the standard robot ACC: 4, CQC: 6, DED: 3, Save: 2+, and if given a rifle equipped with Penetrator ammo that’ll be 12pts each. Very mean, but not invincible.

That makes them very hard to put down with small arms, but an RPG or anti-materiel rifle will definitely drop them. Their Achilles’ Heel is also that they’re pretty crap at hand-to-hand. Run up to them with a sledge-hammer and you’re likely to survive and if you can beat that save they’ll go down. I considered giving them extra-high DED, but after thinking about it I decided a robot programmed for combat would actually be designed to take sensible self-protective action, so I think having them fail DED rolls due to being hit while all alone or from heavy casualties does actually make sense. It’s just the robot correctly assessing the bad tactical situation and taking self-protective action. So DED 3 makes them pretty stubborn, but certainly not immune to psychology. Being Fanatics though they get the “Merciless” faction ability meaning they’re quite happy shooting civvies, as a bunch of soulless murderbots should be.

The rifle-armed robots are your Jacks, and the heavy weapons are your Kings obviously. Normally I wouldn’t put a man-portable minigun on the table because as an ex-armourer I recognise that the idea is Hollywood bollocks (sorry, Jesse Ventura), but if it’s a robot lugging it around then the weight and power supply issues look solvable. In the game, having the “Exoskeleton” upgrade removes all encumbrance penalties caused by carrying stupidly huge guns. He’s probably got hydraulic rams for arms and legs, after all.

The comms bot can work as either a specialist (Queen) with the Hacking and Jammer specialisms, or with RT and a drone airstrike up his sleeve.

So now I’ll just have to cook up a scenario that’ll get these on the table. Something involving players investigating a mad AI scientist gone rogue perhaps?