Saturday 26 November 2022

A Xenos Rampant game

During the week a copy of Xeno Rampant rules arrived in the post and I have been waiting for the weekend to setup a game. It also gave me the opportunity to get the sci-fi themed backboard out again, which I finished a week or two ago.

A assault between Genestealers and Space Marines

The rule book has 194 pages and contains:

  • Building Detachment
  • Battle Rules
  • The game uses the same mechanisms as Lion Rampant 
  • Xeno Rules
  • Scenarios
  • Campaigns Rules
  • A series of scenario campaign settings
  • Appendicies - rule quick reference and detachment roster sheets

The rule set

Part of the game's preparation is building the detachments and unit profiles. The unit profiles are similar to other Rampant rulesets. The differences are units have strength points and quite a few options to tailor a unit's capabilities. Included in these options are ability to increase the units size from the standard 5 strength points to 10 or 15 strength points. This is particularly useful for units with minimal armour strength is it makes them more resilliant. Depending on the unit type, some get free actions to shoot, move or attack. Elite units get a couple of free actions to reflect the level of training and experience.

Unit profile sheets at the back of the rules are very helpful

Both detachments were setup ready for an encounter game. The Space Marine force consisted of:

  • 5-man Tactical squad (with commander)
  • 5-man Tactical squad with heavy weapon
  • 5-man Assault squad with jetpacks (flyer)

The Tyranid detachment consisted of:

  • 2 x Termagants 10-creatures with short range weapons
  • Genestealers 10-creatures
  • Broodlord with Genestealers 10-creatures
As this was my first game using the rules I opted not to include any commander traits.

Space Marine Detachment

Tyranid Detachment

The encounter battle has both detachments arriving from the tabletop edge. The Space Marines have the shooting capabilities and will be sitting back and taking aim as the Tyranids advance towards them to engage in close combat.

Game setup

On to the game report...

Tyranid units advance towards the Space Marines

The Space Marine squad with heavy weapons prove very effective in causing casualties, but the Tyranid units keep moving forward with their free moves. On the right Assault Marines and Genestealers clash repeatedly with neither gaining an advantage.

While the Assault Marines are forced back by the Genestealers, the combined firepower of the tactical squads eliminate the Broodlord and the benefits of the "hive-mind" option.

The Genestealers are finally eliminated, the heavy weapon option proving very useful again.

Thoughts on my first game using the rules:

  • I liked the different sized units They give lighter armoured a better level of resilience, especially as units that have list more than half their strength points halve the number of dice they roll.
  • The free actions work well reducing the likelihood of failing an activation and ending a player's turn.
  • I enjoyed building the unit profiles with the options, including quite an extensive list of Xeno Rules to further add the a unit's options. These include flyer, hive mind, psychic, and number about 35 in all.
  • The firefight rule allows units shot at to return fire. However, I forgot about the rule during the game. This would have benefited the Space Marines if I had remembered.
  • Writing up the profile cards helped speed up the game. The core rule mechanics of activations are quickly remembered.


  1. I have been wondering about converting some of the Osprey rules for use with Star Wars. Maybe Xenos is the solution?

    1. The building detachment rules would certainly cater for Star Wars themed forces.

  2. So finally these rules have been released, after what has been a long gestation IIRC. They look very similar to Dragon Rampant and if I was a Sci-Fi gamer, I would certainly give them a look see. A fine game there Peter and your backboard works a treat:).

    1. They are similar to Dragon Rampant for the most part, and its the unit profiles which give the sci-fi theme.

  3. A very nice set up Peter- your new backdrop looks good and I do like your Ultra-Space all looks great- well done! Cheers. KEV.

    1. Thanks KEV, the backdrop helps me set the scene.

  4. A nice little game Peter…
    Although I tend not to play Sci-Fi… I am a big fan of the Rampant school of rules so I may pick this up myself.

    All the best. Aly

    1. An enjoyable game to play. Similar core rules supported by lots of options.

  5. Nice game! It looks like every day in summer on our allotment swarming to get at the soft fruit before we do :-)

    Regards, Chris.

    1. Thanks. The vegetation is made from painted gum-nuts.

  6. I might need to try this. An online friend is very enamoured of One-Page Rules, though.

    1. It has been a long while since I tried the one-page rules, I suspect they have developed quite a bit since I played.