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Laserburn is a set of skrimish wargaming / roleplaying rules written by Bryan Ansell in 1980 and published by TTG and illustrated by Tony Yates.

Written for use with 15mm scale, the Laserburn set of rules, is set in a universe where man has reached the stars and the highest pinnacles of technology and is well on his way back to barbarism. It was orignally offered to Games Workshop for publication, which was turned down in favour of the Spacefarers ruleset. Subsequently Bryan set up with TTG to publish the game and miniatures range through Asgard miniatures, while the Spacefarers range were released through Citadel.[1]

The rules were influenced by Mike Blake's Old West Skirmish Rules and Once Upon a Time in the West by John D. Spencer and Ian S. Beck, also published by TTG. Bryan also cites Heavy Metal Magazine, Tony Yates and Philippe Druillet as influences.[2]

Miniatures Range

A range of 15mm metal figures were produced for use with Laserburn and are currently available from []

  • Adventurers & Star Soldiers
  • Starship Crews
  • Imperial Troopers
  • Redemptionist Rebels
  • Mercenaries
  • Vehicles

Rulebook & Supplements

Title Author Illustrator Year Description
Laserburn Bryan Ansell Tony Yates 1980 Core rulebook
Laserburn Record Sheets Chris Elliott and Richard Edwards ??? 1980 Character sheet for Laserburn
Advanced Laserburn & Aliens Tony Ackland ? ? Advanced rules for laserburn and aliens
Imperial Commander Richard Halliwell & Bryan Ansell Tony Yates 1981
Forces of the Imperium Bryan Ansell Tony Yates 1982 ...being details of the organisation, equipment and vehicles of the Emperor and his Lord Knights. Includes Infantry, Black Guard, Scouts, Law Officers & Mercenaries.
Robot Ian Terry Ian Terry 1983 rules for robots
Sea Prison Siege ? ? ? scenario
Tarim Towers Heist Richard Edwards ? ? scenario
Sewerville Shootout David Kelly ? ? scenario
Assault on Bunker 17 Bryan Ansell ? ? Scenario
Scavenger David Kelly ? ? Scenario

Imperial Commander is a mass combat game, rather than skirmish / roleplaying game.

Influence on Warhammer 40,000

Some elements of the Laserburn universe, such as power armoured Space Marines, dreadnought armour, bolt guns and jet cycles were recycled into Warhammer 40,000 by Rick Priestly while at Games Workshop (then owned by Bryan Ansell). The Red Redemptionists originally appear in the comic book series Lone Sloane by Phillipe Drulliette and published in Heavy Metal magazine, and the Redemptionist faction of religious fanatics is a recurring theme though much of Bryan Ansells projects, including Warhammer and Warhammer 40k.


Laserburn was repackaged and published serially in White Dwarf Magazine as Confrontation. Set in the Warhammer 40,000 millieu, focusing on civilian gang conflict in the Hive Worlds of a corrupt and decadent human space Empire. Confrontation uses the core Laserburn task resolution and combat, then added rules for generating specific gang (warband) types and imported many of the weapons from Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader.

White Dwarf 130 Introduction Background to the planet and hives
White Dwarf 131 Necromunda Gangs Background to the hive gangs
White Dwarf 132 Creating a Gang Background and rules for creating a gang including generating equipment, a stash and skills, with a short story
White Dwarf 137 Combat Rules 1 Game rules for characters, group coherency, game sequence, turns phase, actions, visibility, firing and rules for trading equipment
White Dwarf 138 Combat Rules 2 Game rules for hand-to-hand combat, hit locations, damage and injuries
White Dwarf 142 Weapons Game rules, weapon profiles

Despite persistent internet rumour, Necromundas rules are based on Warhammer, and are not a development of Confrontation / Laserburn, despite using the same Hive World background setting.

Links The current publisher of Laserburn