Grimdark Future Strategy

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This is designed as a guide for players who have played a couple of games of Grimdark Future and are interested in understanding some of the deeper principles of the game. As such, this guide will assume players are familiar with the rules and general play style of the game, but won't delve too deeply into the math.


In a basic GF game, Seizing Objectives is how you win. It is possible to remove every enemy model from the table and still lose, if you haven't grabbed the objectives. In a relatively short and quick game like GF, this is critical to keep in mind as the game progresses: destroying enemy units becomes less important than holding or contesting objectives.

In Round 4, your focus should be entirely on taking and holding objectives. Remember, once a unit has activated this round, it will not be able to move again in the game: at this stage, you may often be better off using vulnerable ranged units to make a rush movement and contest an objective rather than shooting an opponent's unit near the objective. Meanwhile, Melee units become particularly valuable here as they can move a full 12'' (or 16'') inches onto an objective and still attack an enemy unit. A charge move is also likely to either rout an enemy unit (removing them from the game) or pin them (preventing them from contesting an objective).

In Round 3, you want to start thinking about positioning yourself for the next round: ensure your units are in range to rush or charge towards any objectives you need and that your own objectives are well protected. If you and your opponent are following competitive rules, this is also the last round that units using Ambush can be deployed if they are to grab objectives.

In armies that rely on shooting, abilities like Fast, Scout and Ambush are key to grabbing objectives. You will want to be smart about when to skip a round of shooting to rush-- early on, this can be important to grab good vantage points, while late in the game, this will be necessary to contest objectives. The fast paced nature of GF though makes this a difficult decision however as any round spent not shooting will mean the unit's damage output is effectively reduced by 25% since any given unit only gets 4 activations.

In armies that rely more heavily on melee, it is important to make use of cover and line of sight to minimize casualties. Using rush actions to quickly grab objectives and put pressure on your opponent can force them to fight more on your terms or risk losing the game on objectives.

Unit Types

GF features a number of unit archetypes, sometimes reflected in a unit's name (ex. Tank, Bike, Walker) which will generally reflect in the unit's stats. In this article, we'll be covering the most basic ones: Infantry, Heavy Infantry and Vehicles.

Each of these can be upgraded with different weapons to help them counter different types of units as well; Infantry with Deadly Weapons can counter Vehicles and Heavy Infantry, while Vehicles with Flamers might be best at removing infantry.


Hordes are models deployed in units of 10 which can be deployed in larger groups. These units usually have a Quality and Defence of 5+ or 6+. Their high number of wounds means that they are difficult to kill, but they can be quite vulnerable to routing due to morale loss if not combined with a Hero or special rule.

They are most vulnerable to a high quantity of attacks, such as against Flamers or weapons with the Blast or Poison rule. They are also particularly vulnerable to routing when charged.


Infantry are models with 4+ to 5+ Quality and Defence. These are the cheapest option in points to put a model on a table and as a result, they are often the first models to be removed from the table. They can help fill out lists, grab objectives and block enemy light of sight, ambushes or charges towards more valuable units.

They are most vulnerable to a high quantity of attacks, such as against Flamers or weapons with the Blast or Poison rule.

Elite Infantry

Various "Brothers" armies (Havoc, Custodian, Battle, Prime) have models with High Defence (3+ or 2+) and Regeneration but without the Toughness rule. These models fall between Heavy Infantry and Regular Infantry. These models are more durable than regular infantry, but usually cost a lot more. These troops usually have less damage output per point than cheaper infantry squads. Upgrading them with special weapons can help solve this, but makes the units even more expensive to field...

They are best countered with High AP attacks and Rending.

Heavy Infantry

Heavy Infantry are models with 3+ to 4+ Defence (and usually Quality) and Toughness 3. These are middle option between Infantry and Vehicles, as they are less vulnerable to basic attacks than Infantry and less vulnerable to melee than vehicles. This makes them very valuable for contesting objectives on your opponent's side of the board as they can be difficult to remove and force your opponent to draw fight power away from the rest of your army to deal with them.

These units are vulnerable to high AP, Rending and Deadly Weapons.


Vehicles usually have 2+ Def and at least Toughness 6. Generally these models are vulnerable to melee, most will have no attacks if they are charged and so they can be pinned, or even routed, by any unit that charges them which was lucky enough to score a wound. This means that vehicles usually serve a support role-- tanks shouldn't be grabbing objectives but should be used to destroy or pin enemy units to prevent them from taking objectives.

As mentioned twice previously, any kind of Melee weapon with AP (or even just a unit with the "Fear" rule) can seriously ruin a Vehicle's day, if it's not one of the rare melee oriented ones. Otherwise, you will want to rely on weapons with the Deadly rule, especially those with high AP.

  • Units with the Aircraft rule are Vehicles with a number of unique rules. They are unable to be charged and difficult to hit with short ranged weapons, but are unable to seize objectives. They are very difficult to kill, but are not usually a good idea for low point games due to their inability to take objectives.

Weapon Types

There are a variety of different weapon rules in OPR which are all designed to counter particular threats. If you are designing a list to face any potential opponent, your army should have some access to all of these weapons.

This is designed as a quick walk run through on each weapon type and how they weigh up against different unit types.

  • Blast: Best against Infantry and Hordes, somewhat effective against Heavy Infantry.
  • Deadly: Best against Vehicles, Heavy Infantry and Heroes.
  • Poison: Generally most effective against Infantry and Hordes, it is still effective against smaller units. It can be treated as an upgrade of Blast, however it is not available to every army.
  • Rending: A counter to regenerating units, it combines well with a high quality of attacks. It is a fairly balanced weapon, though it won't do as much damage against Vehicles as deadly.
  • Sniper: A counter to units with attached Infantry Heroes and upgraded models. It can be a useful inclusion in a list but it's not as vital as others.

Niche Weapons

Some weapons are not designed to counter a particular unit type. As with sniper, these are useful options to have in large games to counter niche cases, but are less likely to be useful in smaller game sizes

  • Indirect: These weapons are great on terrain dense boards where you might otherwise have trouble using long range weapons. The penalty for moving means the unit will either have to commit to a single position on the board or sacrifice accuracy.
  • Lock-On: These weapons are useful against aircraft, units with the [Stealth] rule and on boards where your opponent will be getting a lot of cover.

Melee or Ranged

Unlike in certain other games, combat in OPR is resolved immediately. If you fail to route or pin an enemy unit, the surviving models can immediately shoot you back and so can any enemy units in range.

This makes Melee combat into a high risk, high reward situation-- if you win a combat, there's a good chance that your opponent will either lose their next activation or their entire unit if they fail a morale check. However, your opponent's surviving models also have a chance to fight back and if you fail to seriously damage them (or worse, lose the fight that you started!) then your own unit may be destroyed before its next activation.

Against low Quality units, it can sometimes be worth going into a risky combat for the sake of forcing them to take a morale test. A Qua 5+ Infantry or Tank could very easily get pinned or even routed by your opponent's unlucky role.

Against high Quality units (especially Fearless ones!), you will want to be more strategic and ensure that you can seriously weaken or even destroy the unit entirely before it gets the chance to activate again.

A similar calculation is worth doing for models with 12'' or 6'' range. A unit with 6'' range is very similar to a melee unit: your model can, like a charging unit, only target models within 12'' of it on activation and is just as vulnerable to a counter attack afterwards.

By contrast, models with longer ranges usually have a lower damage output for their cost; a unit with 30'' range and 1 attack will cost more than a unit with a 12'' range and 2 attacks.

Army Composition

As laid out in Unit Roles above, GF has a Rock-Paper-Scissors element with unit types-- You want to bring Deadly weapons against armies that have a lot of Toughness, AP against Armies with High Defence and Blast against Armies with lots of Wounds. If you don't know your opponent or the board lay out, it's usually best to bring a mix of different models to the table-- try to balance your points spent evenly between Infantry, Heavy Infantry and Vehicles while making sure that you are able to counter these same different unit roles in your opponent's army in a variety of different ways.

  • A Balanced Army should have around three quarters of the allowed activation/unit count. If you drop below half of the allowed activation/unit count, the game is very likely to be lobsided. You'll be at a significant disadvantage for claiming objectives and your force is probably overspecialized and easily countered by an opponent who knows what you are using.
    • To avoid over specialization, 1000 points or less, you shouldn't include any Vehicles with a toughness higher than [6]. "Titans" will cause similar issues in matches under 3000 points.
  • Be sure your army has good balance of Blast, Deadly and units with a high quantity of attacks, also high AP with medium attack value is also good. A3, AP(2) is a good all-rounder
  • Build the core of your force around units with [5] models mixed with units of [3] models with Toughness (3). Once you have a solid core of these units, you can start including Hordes of 10 models or more and Vehicles with Def 2+ and Tough 6+ or more.

Sample Lists

Please feel free to include some lists build according to these guidelines with a quick explanation.


If you wish to understand a few relevant strategic points these links can help to understand better how unit roles impact the gameplay to understand better which are the most important things to consider while playing