Brass Monkey by Guy R Walker

Issue: 27
System: Iron Cow
Publisher: Wessex Games

Brass Monkey
by Guy R Walker

As I sat back and surveyed the assembled masses of my Citadel plastic (mostly inherited - honest!), I decided that I wanted the option of being able to use them with Iron Cow rules. "What about stats and the various modifiers?" I sez. "Are none!" you sez. "Ave to write some!" I sez. "Hurry up!" you sez - and that's quite enough Ork like panto talk if you don't mind. If you are no fan of Games Workshop stuff and have moved on to better things, I would still ask that you cast a critical eye over what follows.

Here are some suggested values for various GW equipment in Iron Cow (shouts of HERETIC! - BURN THE WITCH!!). I have tried to give realistic(?) values but would welcome any debate from other members. I used the NAC stats for comparisons (with the odd peek at the others!). My assumptions are as follows:

Poor designs (ie no torsion suspension systems) receive justifiably poor speed ratings.

Defence Factors may seem on the poor side but take into account size and overall design, not just (apparent) armour thickness.

I ignored all "superheavy" designs such as Baneblade, Shadowsword etc. as I feel they are too OTT. If you want big tanks then go OGRE early and write the Iron Cow superheavy/cybertank supplement for Ragnarok!

Short barrels mean less accuracy so I have reflected this by allocating shorter ranges - sorry, bolter fans!

Only APCs carry troops and it's only 1 squad per vehicle. If you want to squeeze a squad into your Land Raider (like the present day Merkava) then feel free. It doesn't leave a lot of room for ammo in the tank and most grunts would not want to be in there during the inevitable MBT slugfest anyway.

Only the Squat Iron Eagle and the Imperial Thunderhawk qualify as true VTOLs. The other skimmers are more like flying bikes/cars - not tanks. I have created the Lt VTOL class and would recommend their use as recce assets.

The new Heavy Infantry class are all your Devastators, Dark Reapers and other heavy weapons troops. The main differences are a slight movement penalty and a slight increase in weapon effects.

Light Infantry are all forms of jump/assault troops (including Eldar Swooping Hawks and Tyranid Gargoyles BUT NOT Harlequins or Squat Assault troopers). They do not suffer movement penalties for woods, swamp and fordable rivers as they can leap over them, but they must not land IN any of these types to take advantage of this rule. All other terrain types as per the rulebook. I would also suggest that these skirmish troops operate to the Steel Sheep recce rule (from Ragnarok 22) of up to 10cm apart.

Titans have been ignored but small walkers (eg Sentinels, Robots, Dreadnoughts etc) are treated as something between normal infantry and power armour troops. They move a bit quicker and have more endurance than normal troops but their firepower is really only that of heavy infantry. Their defence is less than power armour due to their larger size. There must be someone else out there who would like to give us the Iron Cow mecha supplement to include Titans/Battletech etc. (David Stuckey perhaps?). I have assumed that all robots possess AI and do not needlessly (and expensively) stand and fight to the death or banzai charge into a nuclear fireball. This requires a little thought and I haven't quite worked out all the details. If we follow Asimov's Laws of Robotics, then there are some ethical questions that can only be solved by the use of selective programming. However, we can assume that robots only apply the 3 Laws to their own forces. If your troops are retreating then robots might do likewise. I like Jim Webster's approach to this problem in Hellfire but am still undecided.

Mounted troops are all those on animals ie Rough Riders, Boarboyz etc. and the various kinds of bikes amongst the races. I have reasoned that although they can move much faster than the average grunt, cavalry do not charge everywhere. They do not suffer the terrain penalty of the fordable river.

Space Marines get an extra point for their armour (especially for those shoulder pads!).

Falcon Grav tanks are classed as a heavily armed IFV. Carry 1 squad. They have a fixed barrel and must be static when firing but have 360 degree coverage. They may only fire on the move if the target is directly ahead. Usual modifiers apply.

Ogryns deserve a quick mention. I have assumed that they are quite resilient and strong beings, hence the Defence Factor of 2. The short range is due to the choice of the Ripper Gun. This I have classed as a big auto combat shotgun thingy (!). Not big enough to take out Power Armour Infantry but dangerous to everything else on legs at close quarters.

Melee troops are those armed ONLY with swords, axes, teeth and claws and include Wildboyz, Beastmen, Howling Banshees, Striking Scorpions, Genestealers et al. Please note that I do NOT wish to bring in large amounts of close combat (in the Epic sense) into Iron Cow. No range is given as melee troops must be touching the enemy. Regardless of initiative, melee troops are effective as soon as they touch their target with a figure of 100/3 and ignore ALL hit modifiers. Some may feel these figures are a bit strong but these troops should all be spots of grease on the floor before they reach you. If, by some misfortune, they get amongst you then these angry young men(?) deserve a lucky break!

Light artillery covers all those not mounted on AFV chassis. This includes Mole Mortars, Thudd Guns etc. I never liked the mole mortar concept so all of these weapons lob their rounds into the air. Also short ranged like todays mortars/howitzers. Mole mortars may fire OR move but not both in a game turn.

Chaplains, Librarians, medics, commissars, warlocks etc etc. and all other dubious characters - HAH! (nuff said).

The Imperial and Eldar forces were simple to cater for as they use fairly specific equipment. The Orks proved a little more troublesome. I have deliberately ignored the clan structure for specific equipment. Considering the Orky abiliteez (sic) in "bodging it", I have divided the orks by weapon and vehicle type. Defence Factors are another problem as ork vehicles look like hunks of junk. Despite this the DF should have a suggestion of orky toughness. Put your own stats together for your particular vehicles if mine offend. It may simplify your efforts if you create a force along Blood Axe lines - Orcs that use Rhino APCs and other "conventional" AFVs.

As I have classed all Orks as one large clan, I've also ignored rules for Goffs and Snakebites etc. I feel it is worth keeping the general Ork command rule as it emphasises their difference from other troops. It also gives us some unique tactical problems to overcome.

I have totally ignored Chaos forces as I don't like the whole concept. Some figures may be of use but all should fall into one of the above categories eg. Flying disks of Tzeentch = lt VTOL. If you must use Trolls and Minotaurs, I would suggest they are melee troops but have defence factor 2 and speed of 200. Chaos Marines might look good as wildly dressed mercenaries but treat as heavy infantry.

Proposed Generic Types
TypeSpeed (mm)Ranges (mm) %/PenetrationDefence FactorAA Factor
Lt VTOL45080/1060/840/620/4--222-
Hvy Infantry100 70/10 65/8 35/4 20/4--1112
Lt Infantry250 80/8 65/6 - - --1111
Walkers200 70/8 55/6 40/4 20/2--3332
Mounted Inf 170 70/8 45/6 30/4 - --1110
Melee troops 120 immediate 100/3 if touching1110
Lt Arty 50 45/12 65/12 65/12 45/12--1110
There is also the question of initiative modifiers:
Imperial Forces :+4 (good but only human!)
Eldar :+5 (forward thinking dudes)
Squats :+3 (stubborn, inflexible minds)
Orks :+5 (hard core warriors taking the fight onwards!)
Morale modifiers below and as in the Iron Cow rulebook:
Imperial Forces : +4 (we're as good as the Emperor says - aren't we?)
Eldar : +5 (let's sort this and get back to the Craftworld!)
Squats : +3 (oh no! - will I ever taste real ale again?)
For ambush modifiers I decided on the following:
Imperial Forces : +2 (calm, skilled troopers)
Eldar : +1 (half thinking of their original chosen Path)
Squats : 0 (totally NFI with waiting in this long grass!)
Orks : +1 (well agressive but far too excitable!)

I am still considering values for Tyranids. Steve Blease's "No prayer for the dying" from Ragnarok 18 covered the Kra'vak, so somebody else out there write the Xenomorph supplement. Good scope to replay parts of Heinlein's Starship Troopers (oh god! - rules for underground... etc., etc).

Imperial Forces
TypeSpeed (mm)Ranges (mm) %/PenetrationDefence FactorAA Factor
Land Raider 130 80/18 70/16 55/14 40/12 30/10 10/8 14 12 10 1
Leman Russ 130 80/16 65/14 45/12 30/10 15/8 5/6 14 12 10 1
Rhino 280 60/2 25/2 - - - - 6 6 4 1
Predator 280 80/12 60/10 45/8 25/6 15/4 - 6 6 4 1
Whirlwind 280 stats as for Missile Support Vehicle 6 6 4 1
Vindicator 120 stats as for Armoured Engineer Tank 18 14 10 0
Ld Speeder see stats for Lt VTOL
Basilisk 130 15/16 45/16 65/16 65/16 50/16 45/16 12 10 8 0
Bombard 130 - 70/18 70/18 70/18 60/18 50/18 12 10 8 0
Manticore 130 stats as for Missile Support Vehicle 12 10 8 0
Bike/Riders see stats for Mounted Inf
Support Pod - 70/16 55/14 40/12 - - - 4 4 4 0
Deathwind - - 80/10 - - - - 4 4 4 0
Thunderhawk 450 80/16 60/14 40/12 20/10 - - 6 4 4 -
Dreadnought see stats for Walkers
Robot see stats for Walkers
Sentinel see stats for Walkers
Mole Mortar see stats for Lt Arty (can only move OR fire)
Thudd Gun see stats for Lt Arty
Terminators stats as for Power Armour Infantry
Ass Marines see stats for Lt Infantry
Dev Marines see stats for Hvy Infantry
Tac Marines 120 70/8 45/6 30/4 - - - 2 2 2 2
Ass Impl Gd see stats for Lt Infantry
Spt Impl Gd see stats for Hvy Infantry
Tac Impl Gd 120 70/8 45/6 30/4 10/2 - - 1 1 1 2
Ogryns 120 90/3 75/3 - - - - 2 2 2 1
Beastmen see stats for Melee troops

Note: Scouts and Veterans count as Tac Marines.

Note: Thunderhawk VTOL can carry 2 squads.

Note: Deathwind fires once only on landing (using all ammo) at ALL enemy in range bracket (360 degree coverage). Dice for each target.

TypeSpeed (mm)Ranges (mm) %/PenetrationDefence FactorAA Factor
Tempest MBT 180 80/24 70/20 65/16 50/14 40/12 20/10 18 1410 2
Falcon 280 80/12 65/10 45/8 25/6 10/4 - 8 8 4 1
Jet Bike see stats for Mounted Inf
Vyper see stats for Mounted Inf
Dreadnought see stats for Walkers
Wraithguard see stats for Walkers
Guardians 120 80/8 60/6 45/4 20/2 - - 1 1 1 2
Swp Hawks see stats for Lt Infantry
D Avengers 120 80/8 60/6 45/4 20/2 - - 1 1 1 2
Dk Reapers see stats for Hvy Infantry
Fr Dragons 120 80/8 60/6 45/4 20/2 - - 1 1 1 2
H Banshees see stats for Melee troops
S Scorpions see stats for Melee troops
Exarchs stats as for Power Armour Infantry
Harlequins 120 80/8 60/6 - - - - 1 1 1 1
Scouts 120 80/8 60/6 45/4 20/2 - - 1 1 1 2
Lascannon 100 80/10 65/8 50/6 35/4 25/2 - 1 1 1 0
Vibrocannon 100 80/10 70/8 60/8 60/6 40/6 40/4 1 1 1 0

Note: Guardians armed with heavy weapons must use stats for Hvy Infantry.

Note: The Vibrocannon penetration score is cumulative with other vibro cannons firing on same target eg. A Land Raider is hit on its front by 2 vibrocannon, 1 at 280mm and 1 at 310mm. Both hit the target but the hits are combined for a total of 16 against a Defence Factor of 14. No limits to number of cannon combining.

TypeSpeed (mm)Ranges (mm) %/PenetrationDefence FactorAA Factor
Iron Eagle 500 80/12 60/10 40/8 20/6 - - 8 6 4 -
Bike/Trike see stats for Mounted Inf
Mole mortar see stats for Lt Arty (can only move OR fire)
Thudd Gun see stats for Lt Arty
Sq Warriors 80 70/8 45/6 30/4 20/2 - - 1 1 1 2
Sq Ass Trps 80 80/8 65/6 - - - - 1 1 1 1
Sq Hvy Inf 80 70/10 65/8 35/4 20/4 - - 1 1 1 2

Note: Squat Heavy Infantry consist of missile launchers/heavy bolters. No movement penalty due to natural strength of such doughty warriors!

Note: Hearthguard and Exo-armoured Squats have been ignored due to their monstrous beer bellies!

TypeSpeed (mm)Ranges (mm) %/PenetrationDefence FactorAA Factor
Gretchin 100 80/2 60/1 - - - - 1 1 1 0
Ork Boyz 100 70/8 45/6 30/4 - - - 1 1 1 2
Bikeboyz see stats for Mounted Inf
Boarboyz see stats for Mounted Inf
Madboyz see stats for Melee troops
Nobz stats as per Power Armour Infantry
Dreadnought see stats for Walkers
Shokk Guns see stats for Lt Arty

Note: Freebooterz, Stormboyz, Madboyz count as Orkboyz.

Note: Orkboyz with heavy weapons use Hvy Infantry stats.

Vehicle weapons are varied with Orks so I have just listed a few of those in main use (ie Space Marine rulebook):

TypeSpeed (mm)Ranges (mm) %/PenetrationDefence FactorAA Factor
Scorcher - 80/10 - - - - -----
Autocannon - 80/12 65/10 50/8 35/6 10/4 -----
Battlecannon - 80/16 60/14 50/12 30/10 15/8 5/6----
Braincrusha - 80/36 70/24 65/18 55/14 45/10 35/8----

Ork vehicles fall into the following classes (speed in brackets): All wheeled (250), half tracked (200) and fully tracked (180). Vehicles with Deathroller count as half tracks. All have AA factor of 2.

Ork vehicle defence factors are low due to vagaries of construction, vital pipes outside the armour etc. I suggest that all armoured vehicles get 10 on all sides. Unarmoured vehicles get 1 all round.

Yes, this is a large cop out but all you "Mekboyz" out there will be quite happy producing your own stats (you sad, sad people).

Ed Note: Iron Cow is a 6mm (Epic) SF Armour rules system produced by Wessex Games and was reviewed in Ragnarok 19. A revised edition, Iron Cow 2103AD, was reviewed in Ragnaraok 39. For further details regarding price and availability, send an SSAE to Wessex Games, 4 Old Acre Road, Whitchurch, Bristol, BS14 0HN.