Helldivers 2 On The Tabletop – Wargames Atlantic Has The Miniatures Sorted!

March 2, 2024 by brennon

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Unless you've been living under a rock (or you just don't follow video games), you'll probably have heard about Helldivers 2. If you haven't, make sure to check out the trailer below which showcases the second game in this Starship Troopers-esque battle against bugs and automatons.

Helldivers 2 - Official Trailer

The natural question is then, how do we get more of this and could you easily replicate the action of the video game on the tabletop without too much hassle? Well, I think that Wargames Atlantic has us pretty much sorted, at least for the Helldivers themselves and the bugs you'll be facing, the Terminids.

The Helldivers

The initial thought would be to use the miniatures from the Ooh Rah box set...

Ooh Rah Miniatures #1

This set comes with some excellent "Starship Troopers" for use in galactic conquest and the eradication of bugs. They are a great set of miniatures with loads of interesting weapon options and ways to build them in different poses.

Ooh Rah Miniatures #2

It also helps that the set looks freckin' cool and should probably be in many people's collections anyway. If you're looking to cover a lot of the different weapons that you can get access to in Helldivers then this set comes with those. You've got your assault rifles, machine guns, shotguns, flamers and support weapons.

Ooh Rah Miniatures Group

The problem that arises with this set is that it's great for those looking to nail a little more of that Starship Troopers vibe but it doesn't quite match the slightly more elite nature of the characters that you play as in Helldivers. You tend to be more heavily armoured in Helldivers and wear closed helmets rather than the open ones that you see here. That's when I remembered that Wargames Atlantic does another range that seems like it would be perfect for the job.

The Eisenkern from the old Dreamforge range are an excellent plastic kit that got revamped by Wargames Atlantic a few years ago and it seems like these miniatures might fit the bill.

Eisenkern Urban new image

This set offers up heavier armour that matches the look of a typical Helldivers soldier and you've got a good mix of weapons throughout the set as well. You have regular rifles, machine guns, flamers and a few other support weapons. You could even use this kit and the Ooh Rah one to do a bit of kitbashing, using some of the weapons from the miniatures we first looked at to supplement what you don't have access to with the Eisenkern.

Eisenkern Natural

Paint these miniatures black rather than the grey that you see here and add some yellow accents to their armour and you've got some pretty good-looking Helldivers to throw into the heart of a bug nest or two. The only thing you're missing from this point is the excellent (and incredibly impractical) capes that your Helldivers wear when they pass their basic training.

Now, capes are one of the easier things for you to start sculpting from scratch. You can use greenstuff or some similar material to start sculpting cloaks and capes to suit your miniatures, especially if you want them to be a bit more close-fitting and matched to the pose of your miniatures. There are alternatives though which are equally viable.

I know a lot of folks who have started to use masking tape to craft capes and cloaks for their miniatures. It's a lot cheaper, especially for working at scale, and you can do a lot of work with the flow of the cape to make it feel suitably heroic. Give it a good slap with PVA glue to seal it in place and it should take a good coat of paint afterwards as well. You could either go with the classic yellow and black designs or go a bit wilder and explore some of the designs that you can unlock over time in the video game.

So, I think that has us sorted for the Helldivers. You've got some great miniatures there in the Eisenkern and with a bit of tinkering and a bit of kitbashing, you could easily cover the different options you need for making your elite soldiers of the far future (that definitely won't be killed by friendly fire).

The Bugs!

There are currently two sets of foes that you can battle in Helldivers 2. You can either come up against the Automatons (think Necrons!) or you can clash with the deadly Terminids (think Tyranids and the bugs from Starship Troopers). Whilst it would be ace to come up with some ideas for the Automatons, I just haven't found anything that would work very well for them right now but Wargames Atlantic does do a great range of miniatures that would be perfect for the Terminids.

Bugs #1 new image

This set of Harvester Alien Bugs is just perfect for Helldivers and the Terminids. You get a whole bunch of miniatures in the set with enough components to make twenty of the larger bugs and ten of the smaller ones. As well as the scything talons and brutal, toothy maws, you can also get a bunch of bioweapons for shooting at your Helldivers from range and coating them in sticky, burning goo.

Bugs #2

The miniatures just work and there's very little that you'd have to do to these to make them fit. Match the colour schemes to the Terminids from Helldivers and you're good to go. They look big, menacing and incredibly brutal. You also get enough of them in the set at a reasonable price to make lots and lots of them, allowing you to flood the tabletop.

Bugs #3 new image

You can use the smaller bugs to represent some of the lesser creatures that you run into during your scenarios and then the bigger bugs become the likes of chargers, hunters and stalkers that you can paint in interesting ways to make them stand out from the rest of the miniatures.

If anyone has any ideas as to what other miniatures out there would be good for Terminids and the Automatons then please let me know in the comments below. It would be neat to see what's out there and perhaps you're even considering doing something similar to this yourself with your wargaming group.

So You Have The Miniatures - What Now?

Well, the next logical step is to come up with some rules for playing your games of Helldivers. There are plenty of rules out there for battling bugs like those from the Starship Troopers Miniatures Game and there was this set of rules I found online too.

Xenos Rampant - Osprey Games new image

I think your best bet might be to try something new like Xenos Rampant though from Daniel Mersey and Osprey Games. It already comes with a good mixture of different rules for making classic Sci-Fi armies and works off a solid set of mechanics as well. It wouldn't take much to tweak some of the rules within to match what you want from bugs and elite "space marines" diving into a neverending battle.

The rules are diverse and deep enough for you to create exactly what you need. There might also be something to be said for a quick and easy set of rules made up using homebrew mechanics, perhaps in the style of a convention game that you might see at the likes of Salute.

I feel like Helldivers would be very well suited to that style of game. You set up a fun tabletop covered in bug nests and randomly spawning objectives that change throughout the day. People who turn up to your table get to drop in with a pre-made Helldiver (or squad of Helldivers) and then get thrown into the action. That means you could have a constantly changing and evolving game throughout the day and at the end of the event, you could post whether or not the soldiers of Super Earth have been able to contain the Terminid menace or if the planet has been overrun.

I think this sounds like a good opportunity for a follow-up article in the future exploring the potential for this!

What do you make of these Helldivers tabletop ideas?

"The Eisenkern from the old Dreamforge range are an excellent plastic kit..."

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"This set of Harvester Alien Bugs is just perfect for Helldivers and the Terminids..."

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