Saturday 7 March 2015

Battle of the Oldhammer Rogue Trader Battle At The Farm Battle Reports!

The Top 10 Oldhammer Rogue Trader, Battle at the Farm Battle Reports that every Oldhammerer and Rouge Trader must know!

We've scientifically ranked many Rogue Trader battle reports of the Battle at the Farm by correlating the total Victory Points of each game against the chances of Ed Grundy successfully taking over Grange Farm, dividing by 2 and adding 1d6:

11. The Privates Eternal

Models: Kenner Star Wars

A late entry, which, believe it or not was prompted by this very blog-post. I slightly bemoaned the fact that everyone was using mostly using GW figures to play the scenario (not a bad thing in itself you understand). When  Private W. jumps up, out into the garden, for a quick skirmish using classic Star Wars action figures. Now that's more like it!  Unfortunately, rain stopped play, which leaves the outcome of the battle somewhat undecided, but not before Han Solo bounds in on his Tauntaun to whisk away Princess Leia.

Victors: Han Solo

10. 6 Iron Spikes

Models: 2nd Ed Tyranids vs. Classic RTB01 Marines

6 Iron Spikes dive in with some true impro gaming. No scenery? Use cardboard boxes and carrier bags. No orks? Use Tyranids. The orks managed to call for reinforcements and only 2 marines survived. Good play through.

Victors: The Marines

9. Cigar Box Battle

Models: Modern GW Orks & Modern GW Marines

Ran using 5th edition, and the Battle of the Farm ended prematurely, but not before most of the orcs were mown down.

Victors: The Marines

Cigar Box Battle at the Farm

8. Fawcett Avenue Conscripts

Battle at the Farm | Fawcett Ave.

Models: Space Ork Raiders Boxed Set vs. Classic RTB01 Marines

A fun report which captures much of the flavour of the scenario. The Orks actually managing to call for reinforcements really kicked off the motivated play, with both players working to achieve their victory conditions.

Victors: The Marines (just)

Fawcett Avenue Conscripts Battle at the Farm

7. Oldhammer 40k

Battle at the Farm | Oldhammer 40k

Models: Sisters of Battle & Modern Space Marines

In a creative, satirical,  and wholeheartedly Oldhammerist take, LegioCustodes' Orks were replaced by the forces of Imperial Governess Margareet Thatchot. Pretty much a draw, but good stuff, but really getting into the swing of things using the objectives and characterisation. Nice.

Victors: Draw

Classic Astartes Battle at the Farm

6. Toms Toy Soldiers

Battle at the Farm | TTS

Models: Modern Plastic Orcs and Modern Plastic Marines

After throwing his entire collection of 80s Warhammer into a skip, Tom was left with no choice but to play the modified Battle on the Farm from some unspecified triple-digit issue of White Dwarf, poor chap.  Orcs charged, got massacred, Thrugg got into hand to hand and killed Cantor. Tom didn't really seem to engage with the scenario and I suspect the redacted version may have had simpler objectives.

Victors: The Marines

Toms Toy Soldiers Battle at the Farm

5. Old School Workshop

Battle at the Farm | Old School Workshop
Models: Vintage Space Orks vs Vintage Marines

Suber and Miguel have a quick game of suicidal  Orcs running towards the farm and getting killed - blamed largely on putting too much space between deployment zones, and ending with the commanders going toe-to-toe in classic 80s action-movie style. A good time had by all, but these guys aren't taking it as a serious military exercise in the first place. Great!

Victors: The Marines.

Old School Workshop Battle at the Farm

4. Fighting Fantasist

Battle at the Farm | Fighting Fantasist

Models: Vintage Paper tokens out of the back of Rogue Trader

It's great to see that the game can be played as a game without endless weeks of collecting, painting modelling and prepwork. The game is the thing. The graphic charm of the original counters are not without merit. Not much in the way of tactical information, but it's all dressed up in Coops enthusiastic style.

Victors: The Marines.

Fighting Fantasist Battle at the Farm

4.1. Fighting Fantasist

Battle at the Farm | Fighting Fantasist

Models: Modern Orks and Modernish Space Marines

As Coop reminded us he's actually played Battle at the Farm more times than he's had hot dinners. Nicely accurate (to the map) terrain placement, Orks using the Orchard for cover. Some interesting observations about down-shifting from later editions.

Victors: Marines

Fighting Fantasis Battle at the Farm

3. Iron Dog Studios

Battle at the Farm | Iron Dog Studios

Models: Modern Orcs vs Modern Marines

Can't actually find the battle report, but can find the modelling preparations with lots of corrugated cardboard and masking tape.

Victors: unknown.

Iron Dog Studios Battle at the Farm

2. Somewhere the Tea's Getting Cold

Battle at the Farm | Somewhere the Tea's Getting Cold

Models: RTB13 Space Orks vs RTB01 Marines

Thantants plays Battle at the Farm, on an actual farm! So this game scores a gazillion post-modern points for that. A nice write up, and some terrain modifications to try to give the Orks a little more of a chance - not that it worked, they still ended up cooked.

Victors: The Marines

Teas Getting Cold Battle at the Farm

1. Hubbabubba on LAF

Midnight at the Oasis | Hubbabubba

Models: RT02 Space Orcs vs RT101 Space Marines

A great battle report, well written, nice photography, love the scenery. Super!  Good strategy from the Orks, including flanking and use of cover and keeps the play report interesting.

Victors: The Marines (just)

Hubba Bubba Battle at the Farm


OK I hate Listicles and blog-posts where the author just copy-pastes stuff other people wrote and makes inane comments about it, and generally find reading play summaries dull (I did read an incredibly witty, strategic and erudite game of Scrabble once) but I'm prepping to run the scenario and wanted to see what other gamers made of it first - and there are some really great games out there.

It's clear that in the first Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader scenario, Battle at the Farm, the Ork player is dealt a difficult hand. The Orks greed and reluctance to call for backup combined with their sub-standard military ability makes it tough for them to survive, let alone earn victory points. It's all too easy for the Space Marine player to get entrenched into the farm complex and just pick off the invaders as they approach.

Battle at the Farm | Maps vs. Photography

The original scenario is accompanied by a map and a photograph of some terrain, and they don't quite match - the map is not the territory - some players opt for set-ups that are truer to one than the other, notably in the farm building layout, and the maps Orchard is significantly larger than the photographs one. The subtleties of terrain placement do seem to make a big difference to the ork players strategies and all close victories appear to use both the larger orchard and smaller relative overall playing area as indicated by the map. Old School Workshop game particularly commenting on aspects of this, and Teas Getting Cold going some way to mitigate the disadvantage the Orks have by geoforming the landscape a little.

There is an even split between classic and new Games Workshop models being used, from vintage 1987 lead to modern plastics, and of course the original Rogue Trader card tokens just pushing the archeogaming into the lead (see what I did there?). It doesn't seem that people are jumping en-mass into Rogue Trader with their Ion Age Space Knights or Britains Space Force figures.

Overall I think it's great that The Battle of the Farm still gets played, and if taken in its original intention, as an intro with a few figures and objective motivated play, it does stand up. Still, some elite strategist out there needs to discover a way to get those Orkses to achieve their dreams...

Missing in action If you've run a game of Battle at the Farm, or know of an online batrep that I've missed, please do drop a link in the comments, especially if it led to a greenskin victory!


  1. Played this a couple of years back with my partner in crime, he posted a "thorough" batrep over on his blog shortly after it took place.

    Not sure if it's worth mentioning this battle report or not, it's quite embarrassing to see our efforts only a few years ago. We've both gotten a lot better at this blogging thing since then :)


    1. Oh that's great, lots of impro scenery! RT Nids and RT Blood Angels fighting over an abandoned church in a municipal waste dump. I'll add it in to the main post when I get a few minutes.

  2. I played this (well GM'ed it) mid last year using old figures - unfortunately most of the photos I took were pretty crappy. The marines won easily as the Ork player (my wife who was 8 months pregnant at the time!) played to the spirit of the game and tried to get the loot. And that is pretty darn hard with the forces (and specifically the lack of numbers given they are attacking a defended position) that the Orks have...

    1. You're a brave man! I'd have to let Mrs. Zhu play the marines under those conditions, cause droids don't pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose! While I'm dropping the space-fantasy references, perhaps the Battle at the Farm represents some kind of Kobayashi Maru of Orkdom.

      Just noticed none of the others listed so far have used a GM, which is kind of interesting.

  3. Shhh, Zhu, please don't say anything about the Britains' Space Force Figs...Hush, hush, and mum's the word and all that... : - )

    1. Whoops! Better not mention Airfix Space Warriors or the Crescent Dan Dare for some classic Treen on Space Patrol battle action.

    2. Yikes, Zhu, all these suggestions of fun and goodness are making me delirious with excitement!!! Bring on the Crescent Dan Dare!! And sorry about the above hush-hush comment over the Britains - I'm just trying to finish putting a collection of those guys together and suddenly I had nightmare images of their prices going through the roof thanks to your mighty influence on our little community. Anway, great post, it is making me want to have a Battle At The Farm with Star Wars action figures. Perhaps later in the week...

    3. lol! Have no fear private w. as most oldhammerers are determined OOP citadel collectors, despite efforts to broaden their horizons. I'll keep my eyes out for Britians Space force during the forthcoming carbooting season, though I think I might have missed the "chucking them out" window on them, which would have been the early-mid 1990s. Look forward to what you do with yours. There's a nice clutch of period-correct rulesets, Traveller perhaps or Laserburn, Spacefarers, Combat 3000 to keep it British! The price of the Dan Dare stuff has gone into proper collectors market, antiques road show and out of my league for silly toys. Sill, Crooked Dice could do wonders with the licence.

    4. Hi Zhu,

      Oh, you lucky English guys and your carboot sales!!! How I fantasize about carboot sales! Best of luck with the Britains Space Force, and please let us know what you've found. As for the other sets you mentioned, I've given Laserburn and Combat 3000 a go. I like the retro-aspect of both, and I prefer Laserburn as a game, but I would much rather play Imperial Commander. And hey Zhu, I've just posted the Star Wars Action figure version of The Battle At The Fun. It was fun getting the guys out even if the actual battle was cut at the end by some heavy rain.

    5. What about those Yard Sales full of AD&D hardbacks you guys keep having? All I managed to get last year were some 1960s Airfix WW2 americans and germans, but then I wasn't really looking for knobbly green spaceships, so might have been blind to them. Lot's of Ben 10 action figures tho, so really should be kicking out the nostalgia angle and thinking of something to do with those.

      But wait, what's this, a late entry? Battle at the Skywalker Moisture Farm on Tatooine using Kenner Star Wars action figures (although they were Palitoy where I come from) outside, a la Garden Wars? Gammorean Guard as Orks, Imperial Stormtroopers as Marines! Great stuff. Will have to get that added to the list.

    6. Hey, thanks, Zhu! Now I must run of to my next door neighbour's yardsale...mmm, what are all those hardbacks he's moving out of the rain?...

  4. We did it in two forms - with the counters as you mentioned above but the week before that we played it with proper little mans and everything -

  5. How did I miss that? Thanks for the pointer. Looks like one of the most accurate to the map terrain seen yet. No amount of gloss varnish is going to disguise those post 1990 marines tho! Another victory for the Imperial forces.

  6. Wow, thanks for the mention! I recall that particular game as truly fun, trying to remember the rules and stuff. That was my first RT game in so many years!
    Great compilation you made here, thank you very much! Really put me in the mood of playing it back again!

    1. Cheers Suber! The fun aspect really comes through on yours - thanks for sharing it on the interwebs ;-) makes me want to get Battle on the Farm going on!

  7. Wow, I made the Top Ten!
    Thanks for the link.

    Irritatingly GW have now got rid of the .pdf that contained all the rules for this game (as part of a wider Rynns World campaign).
    I can't find it on my hard drive either but if it turns up I'll mail you a copy. :(

    The scenery was simpler and the Orks had an expanded deployment area IIRC to enable them to actually get into combat before the marines hosed the lot of them.
    Marines had some of the newer snazzier Van/Sternguard and the Orks had burners and a Dredd which they may not have had in the original.

    My two boys have just got into 40K, so maybe it's time to replay this scenario and see if i can't get better pictures.


    1. Found the PDF:


    2. Hey - good stuff Tom! It was in White Dwarf 338 - thanks for the PDF I'll have a look - have you seen the original version of the scenario? Interesting that they upped the cost of entry by adding an Ork Dreadnought (don't think those even existed when the original was done!) I'm guessing they're also bit different around how the objectives work, the Orks calling for backup etc, just because of the general playstyle of later editions - and your play report not mentioning them :-).

      Look forward to seeing you giving it another go with your boys.

  8. I remember this game, it was great fun! I have played the scenario so many times with different forces! I'll be honest the only reason it was so close this time was because the crappy Ork foot soldiers were replaced with heavily armoured battle sisters, that extra durability makes a real difference! I might play it again soon!
    thanks for the mention, I'm proud to have made the list!

    1. Yeah, it looked really fun. Hmm. I'd failed to notice you'd upgraded the Orks to Sisters (rather than just proxy the models), so that makes a lot more sense of the outcome.

      Going to play it 'straight' for the first time, but those Ork boys really need some help. Got all the troops in place, just need to decide what to do with the terrain.

    2. If you play it straight it is really hard for the ork player to approach success. I once GM'd it with three players, two on the ork side. They took,the sub plot seriously and started fighting amongst themselves...that was a fun game!

  9. Just for the record, (we're one year after the original post) I've played BatF last week end and I think a smaller board is an advantage for the ork player :

  10. Oh wow! I've been trying to place those Britains Space Force Figures for years! I had one or two as avery small child and LOVED them. Very fond memories but I'd never seen them again until I followed your link not knowing what to expect. Nostalgia overload!

    1. They are extremely nostalgic for me also. Never had any myself, but friends had boxloads of them. Still keep a lookout for them whilst hunting second-hand marketplaces, still not found any. Still, like Private W. said, keep them under your hat, don't want to start a collectors frenzy driving up prices eh!

    2. What a blast from the past! I had those Britain's Space figures as a child! I don't know what happened to them, though, as I don't have them anymore. They'd be great for Rogue Trader.

    3. Yep. One day I'll do Battle at the Farm with Space ForceGuards vs. Star Raiders!

    4. You've half-tempted me to try the same thing.

  11. Better late than never I say. Here's our take on The Battle At the Farm down in Melbourne Australia. We didn't actually use W40k rules, rather Rogue Planet (#RoguePlanet) from Bombshell Games - I've stat'ed up much of the W40k world so we can play our favourite setting using my favourite rules. Here's the link to the game: