If you have a collection of Warhammer models but can’t stomach a 300 page rulebook, consider Sword Weirdos by Garske Games. Launched in PDF form on May 10 via Wargames Vault after a successful Kickstarter campaign, the whole game fits into a 24 page zine, and lets you battle with warbands of fantasy or historical warriors.
Sword Weirdos is the work of Casey Garske, an indie game designer. He describes it as “inspired by things like Heroquest” and “any RPG, like AD&D or Palladium games, that has a huge list of weapons in the equipment chapter. I wanted that, but I didn’t want them to all be the same. I wanted mechanical differences between using a scimitar or a longsword, or halberd and bill-hook. Otherwise what’s the point of having a big list?”
If you’re a fan of Gary Gygax’s wild lists of different polearms in classic DND, or DnD Classes like the 5e Fighter that go to town on exotic weapons and specialist feats, Sword Weirdos might have you covered. There are 54 weapons and other pieces of equipment, on top of 26 classes.
As is standard for an indie wargame, Sword Weirdos is miniature agnostic, so you can take any models from your Age of Sigmar armies or DnD miniatures collection and plonk them onto the tabletop. The game is pretty light on rules, and Garske says that “alternating activations, opposed rolls, Maneuver Points, and random tables mean everyone is involved and rolling dice all the time”.
The “weirdness” comes in from those random tables. “It is possible for a successful attack to turn into disaster. I love hearing stories where a sniper shot allows the target a shot back and kills the attacker, or results in a chain of shooting back and forth with no one actually killing anyone. These wild results are what Weirdos games are all about”, Garske says.
Sword Weirdos is an evolution of an earlier design, Space Weirdos, which Garske created during the pandemic. “Space Weirdos has exceeded all expectations I had for it”, he says, adding “It’s now a mithral best seller on Wargame Vault”. He credits several other people with that success: Łukasz Kowalczuk for the distinctive cover art, Szymon Gosek for design and layout, and Adam from the Tabletop Minions YouTube channel for championing the game in his videos.
Garske says Sword Weirdos came about because “fans of Space Weirdos kept asking: When are you doing a fantasy version?” He adds: “It took me a little while to figure out an angle that wasn’t just a reskin”. He says that more Weirdo games and expansions are guaranteed, “but I’ve got other games I want to work on as well”.
Sword Weirdos is available in PDF from Wargames Vault for $4.99.