In 1982 I went to a wargames convention in Oldham Lancashire, called
Northern Militaire. Whilst browsing the main hall, I found myself
at stall occupied by a company called Tabletop Games (TTG for short).
They had a huge range of figures and rules but the one that caught my eye,
was a set of rules called Laserburn. Written by Bryan Ansell they
provided an amazing sc-fi universe in which to game. I still remember
avidly reading the rules from front to back as we drove back home that
day. I was hooked !!. The Laserburn rules covered role playing
and small skirmish gaming and I had many enjoyable games at the Harrogate
Wargames Club. Shortly afterwards I purchased another set of rules, set
within the same universe by Richard Halliwell & Bryan Ansell called
IMPERIAL COMMANDER. These were designed for 15mm figure mass combat,
hundreds of troops per side slugging it out. The opening page set
the scene, and here is a quote from it:
|"When you first start using the rules it is suggested that only small
forces are used, but once you are familiar with the rule mechanics, then
Lead fanatic hordes of Redemptionist to cleanse, purify and generally obliterate everything and everyone in the very heart of the Imperium.
Ride the massive 2500cc Powerbike at the head of a grim entourage to the greatest and bloodiest drugs bust of all time.
Teleport down into the merciless maelstrom of a relentless assault on the desert outpost of the Red Redemption.
Hate people a lot."
This simple set of rules has provided hundreds and hundreds of hours
of enjoyment, and introduced many people into the wargaming hobby.
This site hopes to give you a flavour of what it is all about.
BACKGROUND TO THE IMPERIAL COMMANDER UNIVERSE
Our adventures and battles take place in the far-flung future.
Man has reached the stars and the highest pinnacles of science and civil-isation,
and is now well on his way down the long bloody slide back to barbarism.
Earth and its neighbouring systems form the 'Inner Worlds', long since drained of natural resources, they rely on the outer 'Frontier Worlds' for the continued survival of their huge, continent spanning Megacities, built in great mile-high blocks and deep burrow-ing tunnels.
Earth houses the nerve centre of Humanity's lords and masters, the High Lords of the Imperium. The Imperium must use all its power to ensure that the frontier continues to be sucked dry, feeding and clothing the teeming, drone-like megacity populations. The most feared instrument of Imperial power is the Inquisition; only barely a religious organ-isation, they are the official upholders and enforcers of Imperialism, a creed which preaches the suppression of the individuals persona interest in favour of those of the Imperium as a whole, as embodied in the persons of the High Lords themselves. The furtherance of complete understanding and observance of Imper-ialism has been known to involve the razing of entire planets, and the Inquisition are known to be liberal, if not over-enthusiastic, in the use of their armies and fleets.
The Inquisition provides all the candidates for High Lord-ship, and a good proportion. of the Imperium's Lord Knights, its ranks supply a dedicated, even fanatic, cadre around which the ordinary armed and security forces are built. Inquisition H.Q. on Earth is notorious for its Gothic horrors, here the Lord Torturer has brought his art to a screaming pitch of subtlety and terror
Individual continents and worlds of the Imperium are ruled by the Lord Knights. One favoured man is given the care of a land mass, or sometimes, a whole planet. Each Knight has a detachment of Imperial Marines apportioned to him, but many raise additional units, either raising and equipping units. themselves, often with fanciful or archaic uniforms, or else hiring motley bands of mercenaries; killers who hire their skills to the highest bidder.
The Lord Knights jostle amongst themselves for power and advantage; continual bickering and skirmishing which some-times breaks out into local wars.
The greatest threat to the power of the Imperium lies on the fringe of the Inner worlds, here lies a scattered belt of systems colonised mainly by African &
Near-Eastern groups. These so called ‘Dark Worlds’ claim independence from the Imperium, and from them gas sprung a new religion: the Red Redemption’.
The Redemption was originally created by the Afro Asian revolutionary forces as an artificial force, to better unify their people against the Imperium. It parallels Imperialism exactly, merely substituting the interests of Allah as embodied in his chosen people, The Red Redemptionists, for those of the Imperium High Lords. The adoption of the Redemption by the common masses has given it a life of its own, and taken it out of the hands of its creators, giving birth to its own prophets and messiahs.
The force of the Red Redemption, both regular military units, and the fanatical civilian hordes follow the cry for a holy war, are led, both militarily and spirit-ually by the Brothers and Masters of the inner circle. These rabid fanatics have their flesh flayed from them and replaced with a metal carapace. They're pretty tough hombres, but their unique condition tends to warp their view of life, morality, and the universe in general, considerably.
The Redemptionists devote themselves to Allah, Lord of the fiery hells, and to his mouth-piece on the Dark Worlds, the Prophet Zandrig. Zandrig moves from world to world, trying to unite the various Redemptionist groups for a final push against the Imperium, but though the individual groups are fanatically loyal to his person, petty squabbles between the various ethnic groups and the followers of innumerable self-appointed prophets continue to thwart his best efforts
Out on the Frontier Worlds, the Imperium maintains only minimal garrisons, though massive reinforcements are always available to combat any serious unrest or rebellion. The instruments Of Imperial power on the frontier are the Merchant Barons.
Each Baron is given a section of a frontier to exploit, all the High Lords ask is that he should ship his quota of goods or raw materials back to the Inner Worlds, his methods are his own concern.
In an emergency the merchants can depend on Imperial garrison troops
for support, but most maintain private forces of their own; not usually
on the scale of the armies of the Lord Knights, but compact, high quality
bodyguard units, well armed and trained fighting machines. The politics
and disposition of the many Merchant Barons varies wildly; they may sympathise
with rebel groups from the frontier, be secret Redemptionists, or in the
pocket of the Inquisition. Some are little more than Pirates, it matters
little to the Imperium, just so long as they meet their quota.
THE LORD KNIGHTS
The IC Universe is huge. Hundreds of Lord Knights exist. The SUC Quadrant of the NYORKS Sector is populated by a number who seem to be constantly warring. Click here to investigate the Lord Knights involved.
Click here for a recent battle report from the SUC Quadrant: The Battle Of Club Head
Click here for an update on future planned battle: 'A Day Up North'
Click here for the history and current status of the long running Pig Wars.