AT-43 The Rulebook — Review

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AT-43 RulebookWith the free rules preview having been out for a few months now you would not think the actual rulebook would hold any surprises. You would be wrong. The AT-43 rulebook is a 127 page, full-color, softbound book. The feel is more like a magazine because the paper, including the cover, is thin with high gloss. There is color on almost every page and the layout is well done. Overall the look is very professional.

In addition to pages 46-77 included in the free rules download, the full rulebook includes an introduction to the AT-43 universe, i.e. ‘fluff’, as well as an introduction to the four starter races, the White Stars, Therians, Red Blok, and Karmans. This section includes some really great full-color artwork, photos of the miniatures, as well as black and white concept sketches.

The latter portion of the book includes a section on unit composition, missions, using terrain, a battle report, a glossary, and starter army lists. There are six full missions included: Seek & Destroy, Bridgehead, Hold the position, Skirmish, Landing, and Extraction. This section of the rulebook is also liberally sprinkled with more full-color artwork, photos of the miniatures, as well as black and white concept sketches.

The full rules expand considerably on the intro rules provided in the Operation Damocles Initiation Set. Striders now divide their structure points among frame, propulsion, and weapons as indicated by the white boxes on the unit cards. The best part of AT-43 is certainly the activation sequence. This was included, in a simpler form, in the OD rules. Basically you use the unit cards to decide on the order you will activate your units. You can then spend leadership points to modify the activation sequence during play. For example, you can spend two leadership points to delay the activation of a unit. This is a far more exciting turn sequence game mechanic than the traditional ‘I Go U Go’ system and highlights leader abilities well.

Also new are Combat Drills that include Knee to the ground, Overwatch, Take Cover, and Split Fire. Overwatch is probably the most interesting as it is a feature often missing in modern miniature games. Overwatch allows a designated unit to do nothing during the player’s turn but be eligible to fire on any moving targets in the opponent’s next turn. AT-43 also includes rules for indirect and area fire, close combat, morale, and heroes. Indirect fire includes artillery type attacks as well as template attacks such as flamers. Units are required to take morale checks under certain conditions and leaders have a direct effect on a unit’s morale.

Overall Rackham has done an excellent job with the rules. The rules provide enough depth to keep play interesting but are streamlined enough to not be difficult to learn. The activation sequence and Combat Drills keep suspense high and mean no two games will ever really play the same. Best of all, with the free rules preview gamers can judge for themselves before buying.

Remember to get the FAQ and do not miss our AT-43 Tips and Tactics.


20 thoughts on “AT-43 The Rulebook — Review

    […] Sci-Fi  The first AT-43 army books is for the U.N.A. The quality and layout is similar to the main rulebook but the cover seems a tad thicker. The book is 64 pages long. A smaller error slipped past and the […]

    inrepose said:
    11Jun07 at 0805

    Thanks for an excellent review. I am now very tempted to start a collection and one of my local group has already purchased the start set. Looks like fun!

    The View from the Turret said:
    20Jul07 at 1315

    […] 20 Jul 2007 Posted by tanker under AT-43 , Miniature Wargames , Sci-Fi  The AT-43 Therian Army Book is now available. The quality and layout is the same as the U.N.A. Army Book. The […]

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    […] Posted by tanker under AT-43, Miniature Wargames, Sci-Fi   You have probably noticed that our AT-43 coverage of the Karmans has been very light. We just decided to skip them and wait to see what […]

    […] sheet for its AT-43 sci-fi miniatures game. It is two pages long and includes corrections to the AT-43 Rulebook, U.N.A. Army Book, Therian Army Book, RedBlok Army Book, and Karmans Army Book.. […]

    […] Posted by tanker under AT-43, Sci-Fi   Rackham released a number of new figures for AT-43. Most of them seem to be for the upcoming Operation Frostbite expansion. The Red Blok got two […]

    […] with the Operation Damocles Initiation Set) is one of the latest campaign books for Rackham’s AT-43 sci-fi miniatures game. Physically the book is the same as the other AT-43 books. It is a 61-page […]

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    […] AT-43 [Rackham] – 2008 saw some excellent AT-43 releases and then the implosion of Rackham. Supposedly their problems are sorted out now and with luck 2009 will see more AT-43 goodness. The Cogs are the new race we should see for this year. […]

    […] really like the AT-43 rule system and much of the design aesthetic but without consistent releases including more supporting material […]

    […] AT-43 [Rackham] – 2009 saw two new armies released (the Cogs and ONI) with some very nice, and not so nice, models.  There are rumors of another new army for 2010. But with nothing happening on rules/campaign front we are much less excited than we once were. […]

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