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Five wargames weirder than Warhammer 40k

We've plundered the vaults for wargames past and present that deliver on one simple premise - they're way weirder than Warhammer 40k.

Five wargames weirder than Warhammer - a shocked emoji flanked by a bloody unicorn, a fairy eating an arm, and a spaceship toy

There’s no doubt that Warhammer 40k and Age of Sigmar are the cornerstone of the contemporary wargaming hobby; Warhammer figures are sold everywhere, supported by clubs, conventions, and tournaments. But sometimes you have an itch to play something different. Something new. Something weird. Well, good news – we’ve got just the games for you.

These aren’t necessarily the best miniature wargames, no. But each one has something about it that will make you grin, gasp, or scratch your head in confusion.

When the idea of adding another Warhammer 40k faction to your collection leaves you cold, and painting Space Marines is giving you headaches, a weirdo wargame may be just the ticket to drive away that hobby burnout.

Here are five wargames wierder than Warhammer 40k:

  1. The Doomed – Grimdark skirmish with powerfully chaotic energy
  2. Snap Ships Tactics – toy powered spaceship combat
  3. Fairy Meat – a 1:1 scale wargame about flesh-eating fairies
  4. Turnip28 – tuber-obsessed warfare
  5. Fanticide – Ex-Warhammer designers get very silly indeed.

Converted bizarre miniatures from The Doomed, a wargame weirder than Warhammer with a focus on post-apocalyptic horror hunting

1. The Doomed

Grimdark skirmish with powerfully chaotic energy

The Doomed is a skirmish wargame set on a post-apocalyptic world overrun by monsters. Our The Doomed review gives you a full-fat rundown of the rules. The game has a punk, kit-bash attitude, which encourages you to make absolutely anything you can think of and put it on the table as a warrior, or one of the nightmare monsters you’re hunting.

Each scenario in The Doomed uses one of 36 Horrors, which you and your opponent will hunt cooperatively. You’ll also be facing one of 36 challenges, which put you in competition. The result is guaranteed chaos. In one memorable game my opponent and I were hunting a witch who was possessing our warband members. Every turn was a riot of about-faces, pratfalls, and betrayals.

Complicating things further, the mission’s other objective meant that everything on the board outside a small, central extraction zone would explode as soon as the witch died. I have yet to finish a game of The Doomed without saying “That was brilliant, but what the hell happened?”

A model spaceship built from a construction toy in the wargame Snap Ships Tactics, weirder than Warhammer

2. Snap Ships Tactics

Toy powered spaceship combat

Snap Ships Tactics looks like a gimmick but plays an absolute treat. Instead of miniatures, players use the Snap Ships construction toy to build gnarly space fighters, then duke it out across between gas clouds and asteroid belts.

The wargame is absolutely rock solid, the rulebook is well written, and the replayability is amazing right out of the box – there’s many ways to rebuild your ships, offering different combat loadouts. See our Snap Ship Tactics review for full thoughts.

The cover art for Fairy Meat, a wargame weirder than Warhammer - a butterfly winged fairy sits on a mushroom eating the arm of another fairy

3. Fairy Meat

A 1:1 scale wargame about flesh-eating fairies

There’s so much weird about Fairy Meat. It’s a lifesize wargame – the figures of fairies you’re using are exactly the same size as actual fairies, after all – which means you don’t have to use terrain. If the minis are fighting over a pile of books on your coffee table, that’s what’s really happening.

We should also mention that the fairies are cannibals who are trying to eat one another. You can still buy the rules for Fairy Meat from Kenzer and Company, though to find the original miniatures you’ll need to scour eBay.

Official models from Turnip28, a wargame weirder than Warhammer with an obsession for root vegetables

4. Turnip28

Dark and dirty, tuber-obsessed warfare

Turnip28 asks the important question: “What if the Napoleonic war featured a weird amount of root vegetables?” This indie ruleset has generated quite a cult following, with fans uprooting their own units of vegetative infantry and converting the rancid nobles who lead them.

You can find the rules free online, or support the creator Max Fitzgerald via his Patreon. There are official miniatures and conversion bits for popular napoleonic kits, though they’re sold as digital files for 3D printers.

Models for The Creeps, cyclopean pink monsters, from Fanticide, a wargame weirder than Warhammer

5. Fanticide

A dream team of ex-Warhammer designers get very silly indeed.

What happens when legendary wargame designers Alessio Cavatore, Andy Chambers, and father of Warhammer Rick Priestley, get together after leaving Games Workshop? A profoundly silly wargame called Fanticide.

This is an open-ended ruleset suitable for any miniatures, but the starting warbands are centaurs, fae, ‘creeps’, and ‘the flying monkeys from the Land of Od’. Random events can include a battlefield invasion of homicidal unicorns, or plummeting manticore poop.

Sadly Fanticide is currently out of print, as its original publisher Alien Dungeon went under. Alien Dungeon’s IP was sold to Ironclad Games, which in turn folded. At least one Alien Dungeon IP was sold to Abby Normal Media, as it’s just Kickstarted a new edition of All Quiet on the Martian Front. You’ll need to scour eBay for the rules.

If you’re still looking for the absolute opposite of Warhammer, check out our deep-dive into the NonCombatTabletop scene, a community  community that makes free, pacifist miniature games.

Alternatively, marvel at the best of the best, with the Wargamer team’s personal games of the year, plus our awards for the best tabletop games of 2023, and the best videogames of 2023.