What’s cooler than big robots kicking the living oil out of one another? When those robots have weird and wacky personalities, unique designs and display the ever-irreverent dark humour of the 2000 AD comics! War robots designed to withstand Atomic, Bacterial and Chemical warfare, the ABC Warriors have a long, and storied history.
The new game and miniature range is very much based on The Volgan War Volumes 1-4, running between 2007 and 2010 in 2000 AD and the subsequent Fallout arc (2000 AD 2061-2072, 2017-2018), which effectively serves as an epilogue to the tale. These issues are written by Pat Mills, with the trademark 2000 AD tongue-in-cheek socio-political satire on full display. These books are gorgeously illustrated by Clint Langley, who uses fully painted art with digital enhancements that perfectly capture both grand carnage and moments of quiet intimacy, with full-page spreads evocatively displaying late 21st century battlefields, Martian landscapes and dystopian otherworldly cities with stunning clarity and detail, not to mention the idiosyncratic designs of the characters themselves.
The Volgan Wars
During a mission on Mars to rescue an erstwhile ally and recruit him to their ranks, the various members of the team reminisce about their experiences of the Volgan War, a fictional invasion of a fascistic Russia (but with an obvious Soviet aesthetic) started by the United States under the pretence of liberation but with the actual purpose of securing dwindling oil reserves, leading to the war’s unofficial designation as the Fourth Oil War. To limit human casualties, War droids were introduced on Russian and European battlefields, to which, inevitably, the Volgans countered with more and more robots of their own, led by the tyrannical Volkhan, Ikon of Ikons – blessed with a high rank, autonomy, and a horde of powerful robots. The Volgans were eventually defeated, but at great cost and with many an ethical quandary on the road to eventual victory.
Each of the ABC Warriors’ tales of the war gives us a real glimpse into each of their individual personalities, their psyches and their surprising humanity (ofttimes displaying more than the flesh and blood human characters), and each serves as a connective origin as to how each of these disparate and unique designs of warbot first came to encounter one another. The new starter set, Increase the Peace, gives life to the tale of Sergeant Hammerstein on a wargaming tabletop, pitting him and three Hammerstein Mk Is (his boys!), against Volkhan and a trio of Volgan AK47s.
Sergeant Hammerstein & The Hammerstein MkIs
Armed with a signature hammer, Sergeant Hammerstein was one of the first models of the combat droids that would later be designated ABC warriors. Unlike Volgan war droids, ABC warriors lacked autonomy and were designed to obey all human commands at the cost of self-preservation. However, as the first Mk III war prototype, the Sergeant’s artificial brain was so sophisticated that he grew beyond these parameters, developing his own moral code, although he was not able to directly contradict orders.
Witnessing heroism and atrocities alike, Hammerstein became symbolic of the United States war effort, and for his deeds, he earned the Iron Cross, 1st class. As a result, following his promotion to Sergeant, he began to feel responsible for his ‘boys’, the ABC Warriors under his command, who were destined to sacrifice themselves at the whim of their human masters, should that be deemed necessary.
Hammerstein himself would go on to have many adventures beyond the Volgan Wars, and despite apathy to his cause, seeks to continue to ‘Increase the Peace’ both on Earth and far beyond.
Volkhan, Ikon of Ikons & the Volgan AK47s
The Volgan War series updates the appearance of the Volgans to a more overtly Soviet-inspired design, adorned with hammers, sickles and Red Stars. There is none who epitomises this look more than the supreme commander of the Volgan military than Volkhan. He brandishes the sacred symbols of the blacksmith’s arts, acting as a Kommisar to the Volgan war droids, driving them to greater acts of battlefield valour, going so far as to execute ABC warriors upon his anvil, beating, beating, and beating again, as a means of inspiration.
Volkhan was named after the legendary Russian warrior-wizard Volkh who was transformed into a living ‘man of steel’. His followers display an almost religious zeal, for he is far more than just a sentient machine – he can call upon the power of Perun and Chernobog, and upon spells from the Bellum Gothikum.
Increase the Peace
Limited Time Offer – Signed Rulebooks
ABC Warriors The Miniatures Game has been penned by industry stalwarts Andy Chambers (Warhammer, Warhammer 40K, Battlefleet Gothic, Blood Red Skies, Judge Dredd) and Gav Thorpe (Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, Inquisitor, Judge Dredd).
Pre-order the Increase the Peace starter game, the ABC Warriors rulebook or the ABC Warriors All In Launch Collection during the month of November 2023, and your copy of the rulebook will be signed by both authors!
This starter set contains scenery, tokens, Tarot cards, character & auxiliary cards and all the rules you need to play, including rules for combat missions, an immersive campaign system and profile lists to create your forces as you take control of the ABC Warriors or their Volgan counterparts. Will Volkhan, Ikon of Ikons obliterate all in his path or will the ABC Warriors, led by Hammerstein, succeed in standing firm during the chaos of the Volgan War?
The ABC warriors starter set also includes an exclusive Warlord Resin miniature of ‘Mr Ten Per Cent’ himself, Howard Quartz! At one time human, Quartz was the CEO of Quartz Industries and drove forward the production of the first war droids despite them struggling to tell friend from foe. A terrorist incident involving a rogue Hammerstein resulted in the destruction of 90% of Quartz’s body, and he had himself reconstructed as a robot-cyborg in order to continue his rapacious business practices for centuries to come.
The Increase the Peace starter set is the only way to get a hold of this special miniature!
ABC Warriors: Mongrol & Robo-paratrooper
An ABC robo paratrooper leader, Mongrol was the lone survivor of a botched drop over Vilnius in Volga. After the battle, his head was salvaged by Lara, the daughter of rebel robotsmiths, and he was rebuilt using a mishmash of robot parts. However, Lara was killed by the Volgans before she could fully activate him. During torture by Volkhan, Mongrol was inadvertently reactivated, but reduced to an almost bestial state. His infamous battle cry “Mongrol Smush!” is a prelude to a devastating assault with his massive power paws.
Volgan War Droids: Blackblood, Ghengiz & Raz-Putin
The Volgan war criminal General Blackblood is a sadistic killer with a penchant for drinking the oil of fallen ABC Warriors. Reprogrammed and recruited into the ABC Warriors, Blackblood’s inherent treachery would not be suppressed for long and he escaped to join Volkhan at the first chance.
A Volgan experiment to rival Deadlock’s Knight Martial, Raz-Putin is reputed to be even more advanced in the mystic arts than his ABC Warrior counterpart.
A product of the same assembly line as the first Volgan war droid ‘Old Horny’, Ghengiz wields two energised blades capable of projecting energy bolts.
Volgan war droids with powerful flight capability, Yaks are a vital component of the Volgan war machine, providing essential air cover as they streak overhead causing mayhem for enemies on the ground or in the air.
In addition to the more numerous versions of the Yak armed with the ubiquitous PPRK ‘Burp’ gun are the Yak interceptors which carry stripped-down aircraft weaponry such as the Berezin microcannon in place of functional arms.