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Vanguard: Boarding Actions in the 5th Frontier War

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Vanguard: Boarding Actions in the Fifth Frontier War

A miniatures game featuring exciting boarding actions in the universe of the Traveller RPG, with Imperial Marines battling Zhodani.



Greetings fellow Travellers, and welcome to the Vanguard: Boarding Actions in the Fifth Frontier War Kickstarter project!

This is a project we have been wanting to do for Traveller for a long time now, and we need your help to bring it to light...

Vanguard: Boarding Actions in the Fifth Frontier War is a brand new miniatures game depicting vicious shipboard clashes between Imperial Marines and Zhodani Commandos during one of the mightiest conflicts to occur in Charted Space - the Fifth Frontier War.

This game includes everything you need to engage in these close quarter battles, including full colour deluxe game boards, strategy cards, vital and never-before-seen background covering the Imperium and Zhodani Consulate, and two complete forces ready to fight!


Inside the Box

The Vanguard: Boarding Actions in the Fifth Frontier War box set contains:

  • 16 Imperial Marines
  • 16 Zhodani Commandos, including 2 Warbots
  • Full-colour 64 page Rulebook (download sample pages right HERE!)
  • 40 Unit and Strategy Cards
  • 6 Deluxe Gameboards (11.7 x 16.5 inches each)
  • Thick cardstock counters to mark Wounds, Entry Points, Barricades and Objectives.
  • Free-standing Iris Valves, in both open and closed configurations.

Keep an eye on our Updates, as we will have plenty more previews of the rules, miniatures, and a full battle report of one of the missions!

Playing the Game

We have created a rules set that is very easy to get to grips with (you will have the basic rules memorised within a few minutes of playing) and yet mirrors the core rules of the Traveller RPG closely. All actions, for example, are accomplished by succeeding in an appropriate check (such as a Gun Combat check to shoot an enemy or Computers check to hack a sealed door).


Play begins by selecting a ship to board, such as a Destroyer, Cruiser, or (gulp!) Battleship, and then both players build appropriate forces to attack or defend the vessel. This could be as small as a platoon or an entire company, depending on the type of ship being assaulted.


An initial breach scenario is played and, from there, players will proceed through several scenarios as the two forces battle one another, culminating in either the attacking force reaching a critical objective, such as the power plant or bridge, or the defenders throwing their enemies off the ship altogether!

This campaign-style of game means players have to be careful as to which forces they commit and when, marshalling their best troops for the most important fights.

To complicate matters, both players will acquire Strategy Cards that will allow them to wrong foot their enemy - like turning off the ship's artificial gravity or explosively venting the atmosphere, exposing everyone to the void!

Stretch Goals

The Vanguard: Boarding Actions in the Fifth Frontier War box set contains everything you need to play these exciting battles on the tabletop - but we have the opportunity to give you more for your money and further expand this corner of the Traveller universe.


Taken on the Run
If we reach a total of £60,000, we will include a printed short story written by fan-favourite Martin Dougherty. Taken on the Run begins during the first few minutes of the Fifth Frontier War and will take you through a dangerous boarding action from the point of view of the Imperial Marines.

The Aslan
We do not want the Imperials and Zhodani to have all the fun! If we reach a total of £80,000, we will add both the rules and 16 miniatures for the powerful Aslan, a warrior race who will look forward to boarding the largest enemy warships. The Aslan lack the sophisticated armour of the Imperium, but more than make up for that with lethal weaponry, a penchant for close combat, and sheer predatory ferocity!

The Vargr
Often derided as mere corsairs and pirates, the Vargr have a lot to prove. If we reach a total of £100,000, we will add both the rules and 16 miniatures for a Vargr raiding force. While not known as mighty warriors, the Vargr are exceedingly good at what they do, and many a starship has fallen to their cunning tactics.

Multi-Deck Battles
If we reach a total of £110,000, we will add rules to combine two or more sets of Vanguard: Boarding Actions in the Fifth Frontier War so you can launch multi-deck assaults upon a warship and really keep the defenders on their toes!

After More Traveller?  

Traveller is one of the oldest Roleplaying Games still around, and it has built up a massive amount of background lore. You can explore this universe by adding any of the following to your pledge, simply by increasing the amount you have pledged by the appropriate amount (no need to increase your pledge level, just the pledge amount!). These items will be dispatched to you post free after the surveys for the Kickstarter have been sent out, or when they are available, whichever is soonest.

Traveller Starter Set (everything you need to start playing the Traveller RPG): £50
The Element Class Cruisers Ship Builder's Blueprints (explore the inner workings of an Imperial warship): £50
The Pirates of Drinax (a massive sandbox campaign to throw you into the Traveller universe): £70

Ties to the RPG?

One question we have already been asked is whether you can take Travellers from the RPG and use them in Vanguard...

We will not be producing 'adventurer' miniatures at this time, but we will be taking steps to ensure miniatures produced for future games are compatible with Vanguard. However, if you already have some suitable miniatures, it is an easy step to import them into Vanguard, as the important skills will translate across directly. After that, it is just a matter of worrying about the equipment.


If you have characters you would like to see in Vanguard, drop us a line in the comments and we will go through them, walking you through the process to convert them!

Risks and challenges

We have always delivered on our Kickstarter projects and if you were to ask one of our previous backers of, say, the new Paranoia or previous Traveller project Element Cruisers Blueprints box set, we believe you would hear that the quality of our Kickstarter projects is always worth it.

That said, we have taken steps to ensure Vanguard does not overrun its projected completion date.

For a start, while tweaks will continue throughout the Kickstarter process, all Imperial and Zhodani miniatures are complete (you can see painted prototypes above!), the game boards are finished, and the core rules written and undergoing continual playtests.

For the production of both the box set and miniatures, we are using a factory that we have used many times in the past, including the recent Traveller box sets, Paranoia supplements, and (a blast from the past!) the award-winning Starship Troopers miniatures game.

This company is highly reliable and consistently produces good work on time.

Mongoose Publishing announced the start date of the KS for their Traveller 28mm skirmish game as Nov 14th. 


Edited by kristof65
KS went live
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  • kristof65 changed the title to Vanguard: Boarding Actions in the 5th Frontier War

I am a bit concerned about their not showing any images of  the core Imperial/Zhodani miniatures, tbh. I mean, if you want to drum up pre-launch hype for a miniatures game, you show miniatures, right?


So why aren't they? I'm worried thosee will be somewhat uninspired generic sci-fi troopers in full body suits now :(

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17 minutes ago, Arkady said:

I am a bit concerned about their not showing any images of  the core Imperial/Zhodani miniatures, tbh. I mean, if you want to drum up pre-launch hype for a miniatures game, you show miniatures, right?


So why aren't they? I'm worried thosee will be somewhat uninspired generic sci-fi troopers in full body suits now :(

There is an image of renders of an Aslan, a Zhodani trooper, an Imperial Marine and a Vargr at the bottom of the blog. 

Since it's based on the Traveller RPG, the renders are about exactly what I would expect for the Imperial and Zhodani minis. Which is going to be sci-fi troopers in full body suits, but they're adhering to the aesthetics of decades of Traveller art depicting them

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58 minutes ago, Darsc Zacal said:

Click on any of the words above the green pledge now tab in the first post.

ie. campaign, FAQ, updates, comments, community.

Ah.  I had to ask because with how it's coded, it... It needs to be re-coded for mobile readers... 




Not the most readable for the first half atm ^_^;;;;


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1990654819/vanguard-boarding-actions-in-the-fifth-frontier-wa/description for actual link :) 

Edited by WhiteWulfe
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8 hours ago, WhiteWulfe said:

  I had to ask because with how it's coded, it... It needs to be re-coded for mobile readers... 


I’m a mobile reader too, but it’s not as messed up on my screen as it is on yours. :huh:

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10 hours ago, WhiteWulfe said:

Ah.  I had to ask because with how it's coded, it... It needs to be re-coded for mobile readers... 

You just don't get their bold, post-modernist design decision ::P:


EDIT: Also, now I'm pretty sure the sculpts must be a bit much generic sci-fi troppers in body suits, because even the campaign doesn't bother showing single figures at a decent size.


Which is really weird, too; for a 16 a side skirmish game, I'd expect at least a "character" miniature or two per faction.

Edited by Arkady
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5 hours ago, Darsc Zacal said:

I’m a mobile reader too, but it’s not as messed up on my screen as it is on yours. :huh:

I probably should have mentioned I'm using Chrome, and it's the first post on the thread here - the Kickstarter page is perfectly fine both in my mobile Chrome, plus the Kickstarter app. Probably something with the coding that got copied into the initial post I'm guessing ^_^

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