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Ex Warhammer 40k legend takes lead on WW2 game Konflikt ‘47

Konflikt ‘47 blends World War 2 wargame Bolt Action with weird science, and shares game design DNA with Warhammer 40k third edition.

Ex Warhammer 40k designer Andy Chambers, a middle-aged man with black spectacles and shot grey hair, presented against an image of a robot and a werewolf

Andy Chambers, a lead Warhammer 40k designer at Games Workshop during the ‘90s and ‘00s, is now the head developer for Weird World War two wargame Konflikt ‘47. Publisher Warlord Games announced the new appointment on Monday, which will see Chambers “developing and guiding the evolving in-game universe, including rules, background, and much more”.

Chambers is a veteran designer in the miniature wargame industry. While at Games Workshop he was a co-developer on Warhammer 40k second, third, and fourth edition, and the lead developer for beloved spin-offs Necromunda and Battlefleet Gothic.

Since leaving the firm he’s made some excellent games, starting with Starship Troopers for Mongoose Publishing, and more recently the Judge Dredd and Blood Red Skies wargames for Warlord Games.

Nachtjagers, vampiric batlike humanoids from the wargame Konflikt 47

Konflikt ‘47 is a spin-off of Bolt Action, the most popular and arguably best WW2 game system for 28mm scale wargaming. It follows an alternate history that sees WW2 continue into 1947, turbo charged by weird science.

As such the forces involved are a mixture of late war real world militaries, and sci-fi inventions, including mechs, tesla cannons, werewolves, robots, and zombies. It’s pulp fun layered on top of Bolt Action’s very solid core. This video, by YouTubers MiniWargaming, gives you a good sense of the kind of thing to expect from it.

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In Warlord Games’ announcement, Chambers says he’s “looking forward to pushing forward the Konflikt ’47 universe, particularly ramping up that ‘weird’ factor”. He adds that he’s “in the process of pulling together a fantastic team to help”, and thanks the Konflikt ‘47 community for their suggestions so far.

Konflikt ‘47 isn’t just set in an alternate timeline, it feels like it’s from an alternate timeline, where Warhammer 40k fourth edition was rebuilt from the ground up instead of simply extending third edition. As noted above, the bones of Konflict ‘47 are taken from Bolt Action, which was designed by another Games Workshop alumnus, Alessio Cavatore.

Konflikt 47 US starter army, featuring twenty regular US troopers, five in power armor, a tank with a tesla cannon, and a small mech

There are recognisable systems in Bolt Action that originate in Warhammer 40k 3rd edition, such as units lacking unique movement stats, or the armor penetration system for vehicles.

However, because Bolt Action is focused on a terrestrial war, it strips out many systems needed to represent the diverse Warhammer 40k factions: there are no stats for the strength of small arms, unit toughness, or armor saves, since a bullet is a bullet and khakis won’t save you from it.

Nor are there weapon skill or ballistic skill stats. Units have a level of training, from green to veteran, which reflects their ability to hit an enemy and duck out of the way of incoming fire.

It’s not a simpler system overall, it just puts its focus into different areas, like an interesting activation system, fantastic rules for training in indirect fire weapons, and better rules for suppression and morale.

British Automata and power-amored soldiers from Konflikt 47

On top of this foundation, Konflict ‘47 adds in rules for all kinds of sci-fi nonsense, from power armor to jetpacks to super soldiers. The result is a game system that can handle all the supernatural weirdness you find in Warhammer 40k, but built on a totally different foundation.

Suffice to say we’re excited, particularly to learn who is going to be on Chambers’ new dream team of designers. We’re also intrigued how this will fit alongside Warlord’s recently announced plans for Bolt Action third edition – the latest we’ve heard is that the first new army list will be for Germany, and it’s arriving in the first quarter of next year.

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