In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Painting the Space Force!

I've been bashing on with the SPACE FORCE and made good progress.

For the MMC (Martian Marine Corps), I wanted red. After much pondering and discussion on the 15mm SF Wargaming Facebook Group I decided that in low light in deep space coloured suits wouldn't matter, and red is cool and very Martian. Doing dirty grey or khaki camouflage was just kinda boring, and I had to consciously make an effort to keep this project different from becoming Afghanistan with rayguns.

Initially I outlined all the detail on the suits with black and then painted the panels a dark red. But I decided something had to be easier or it would take forever to get the figures done. So bright primary red suits, black boots, pouches and weapons. Thinned black ink wash and then grey dry brush on black bits. Yellow visors. Came out the same with less effort.

MMC Rifles advance with Support Gunbot

MMC Fireteam in light armour

MMC Fireteam in heavy powered armour

For the UNMC I used some Tamiya NATO Green. It went on thin enough that it acted as a wash and formed natural highlights. So I just went over the bigger panels on the power armour, weapons and back packs with an olive drab to give some contrast.

UNMC Power armour

UNMC Rifles advancing with APC (from RAFM)

I also tried the terrain out for looks too. The ground sheet is some grey fabric I got on sale and then sprayed liberally with all the spray paints I had to give it a mottled effect.

GZG worker with cargo handling claws
The cago containes aren't super, but they're fast and easy. Stenciling logos and ID numbers would be alot of work. I need to finish up the rest of the MMC first and the three more buildlings that are in various stages of painting.

And rules... need rules...

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Marines Have Landed!

The first contingent decided that a South African safari was in order. But Jon at Ground Zero Games quickly dispatched another box who hit my work bench in 7 days.
I've got two forces. One I'm thinking of as my Martian Marine Force and the smaller as the UNMC.
For the Martian Marines I chose GZG Outer Rim Coalition troops. I think they look closest to the suits in The Expanse. 2 packs of riflemen and a pack with squad automatic weapons gives me 24 marines in 8 fireteams. Each 8 figure pack has 4 different sculpt giving you quite a lot of variety. The castings were all very clean and minimal filing or trimming was required. I also like their big round bases.
Although the detail on the SAWs is so subtle that I'll have to mark bases so we know who  the big shooters are.

Supporting them are 18 Marines in heavy power armour. I used the Japanese power armour sculpt.
The arms and jump packs are separate.  For every three suits you have the option to do one with a heavy rotary barreled cannon.
The arms being separate allows some variety in pose as well.
Also in support are 3 gun drones. I will probably paint them fairly neutral so either side can use them. But I'm also thinking adding the sensor drones or pack of grav drones would make cool Patrol Markers or just recce assets.

For armoured support I got thinking that instead of a tank, something like a small shuttle or work pod with missiles and a rail gun would do the job better. The alien Kra'vak range has just the thing in their Strike Skimmer. The sharp, angular Kra'Vak design aesthetic makes me think it looks armoured up and utilizing stealth tech or something.

For the UNMC (United Nations Marine Corps), I picked the slightly older tech looking US Marine troops from GZGs intriguing Moongrunt range. These come in packs of 6. Two packs of riflemen and one pack of heavy support weaons giving me 18 men in 6 fireteams. The large life support backpacks are separate castings.
The riflemen all have automatic rifles with UGLs which is cool. But again the heavy support weapons are pretty subtle and I'll  need to mark the bases.

To support them I chose a pack of the ESU "Black Bear" power armour. Again one figure in 3 can have a big support weapon.

To round things out and look busy on the landing pad etc. I got a pack of Industrial Powered Work Suits. These are heavy vac suits, as big as power armour but the sets of arms come with a tool box, some kind of welding/cutting/drilling tool and pairs of cargo handling clamps. I'm sure they'll look great in dirty safety orange.

We'll see how this does for me. Later, adding some Command to the Martians and perhaps some more support weapon drones might be an option or they have kinda cool jet bikes. But since I'm imagining fighting in fairly low gravity, indirect fire weapons don't seem like an option.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Hyperion Station

I have finished the Aifix Coastal Battery for my 15mm Firefly in the Expanse project. I used some scrap plastic to make doors on the bunkers and fashioned a gauss gun from a spare PSC Soviet AT gun barrel and bits of sprue glued to a flat head screw. I wanted to turn the radio shack into something more modern and had a long think. The safety cap to an insulin injector fit nicely over the air ventilator. I then drilled a hole and glued a length of steel wire in place. To this I glued some plastic panels from my bits box. To keep it from falling off mid game I had to glue the antenna in place over the air ventilator.

Painting was straight forward: black spray paint to prime then shades of grey dry brushed on in a dabbing swirling motion to give a blotchy effect. I continued the shading over the lips of the trenches to soften their outline.

The missile launcher and gun both rotate. Both bunkers are still removable. Even the hatch opens.

The ground cloth is a piece of grey fabric liberally spray painted with black, brown, grey, tan and cream spray paints.

Some dramatic lighting. Realistic, but not practical for a game I suppose.

The Eagle transporter is also done now.
I'm still waiting for my troops from Ground Zero Games but have had a think about rules. May try something solo this weekend.

For terrain I just need to knock up some rocky areas and a landing pad and finish painting the six buildings.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Fighting Around a Siege

I finally got to try an idea I've had to play multiple scenarios simultaneously all involving operations around the siege of a small castle.
Face it; every medieval wargamer worth his or her dice wants a castle and naturally one wants to lay siege to it.
But sieges are really boring. They're an exercise in engineering, supply management and not getting cholera.

However, with the scenarios in Lion Rampant I thought many of them could take place around a besieged castle.
I had 5 friends coming over so I split my table in three. At one end the garrison of a castle was making a sortie to destroy the bombard ("Defend the Indefensible").

In the middle a column of supplies for the besieging force was being intercepted by a relief force ("The Convoy").
At the other end a foraging column was looting a village and being stopped by another relief force ("Sausages and Mustard").

I had all the French retinue activate simultaneously and then all the English to keep it moving and to allow retinues to influence the battles going on beside them. I found it worked pretty good and would make for a different multi-player or convention game from the usual battle.
The Sortie, after some initial reverses, stormed my siege lines (I must have run out of arrows since my longbowmen failed to shoot) and destroyed the bombard. Then assisted by some cavalry from over the river they also overran my camp. The supply convoy got beaten up and lost a wagon. The foragers did best, defeating the French in front of them and looting half the village.
While packing up I took the opportunity to give my old friends a bit of TLC (a crossbowman needed reattaching at the ankles and so many broken lances needed reattaching!) and a reorg. I'd previously had them boxed by nationality, but decided that it was much easier to group them by troop type. Hopefully, this will make setting up a game a bit easier in future.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Starship Troopers

Since I have a bunch of power armoured marines and other space suited troopers coming to me from Ground Zero Games, I thought I should do some research and reread the classic military SF novel Starship Troopers.

Ground Zero Games Japanese power armoured infantry
I read it a couple of times in high school (so 40? years ago now) and thought it was pretty cool.
Now it's "man, can Heinlein get any preachier?" How did this long winded diatribe about 'kids these days' become a 'classic?'
I basically remembered the first chapter and the last two, and then some hazy stuff about how tough the training was in between. But I'd forgotten all the no-action philosophical lectures about why we should beat our children and execute criminals, because otherwise Western civilization is going to collapse.
Mostly however, the novel is a love letter to the infantry and how iron fisted drill sergeants make the world a better place.
So it didn't really give me any ideas for rules.
I think I'll just adapt FUBAR and my Afghanistan rules to skirmishimg on frozen moons.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Aaaa-ROO! Who's a Good Doggy?

Finished the shields for my wolf riders today and got them under some better light for better pictures.

Note that the goblin blowing the horn is on the howling wolf.

I decided on the red hoods because of a vague memory of a goblin in folk lore named Red Cap. Also Sauron seems to like wolves so these guys get a somewhat elite status (and well deserved from their first outing- see previous post).
I also wanted a spiffy flag for them other than yet another Red Eye. Thinking of Late Roman shields I hit on the idea of red wolves leaping around The Eye and then carried those motifs onto the shields.
I got the figures second hand from a chap on Lead Adventure Forum and Pete picked them up when visiting his parents this year. They came with little square wicker shields that I don't like, so I replaced them with some plastic shields from Victrix German and Numidian infantry. The original owner had already based them and did a nice job with putty and sand. Easy enough to quickly paint, drybrush and add a few tufts.
I've also heard on the interweb that the Vendel fantasy range has been sold to some one in the U.S. so hopefully it will be in production and up for sale again soon.
In Dragon Rampant I'm classing these as Light Riders with short range missiles for 3 points.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Thundering Dice in Barrie

This past weekend the Mad Padre and I were finally able to get together for our first Thundering Dice weekend of the year. So I packed up my legions of Angmar (including a shiny new unit of wolf riders who had some shields added the night before the trip) and took a scenic drive up to Barrie.
Tea was made. Burgers were grilled. Wine was drunk. Indian take out was eaten. Dice were rolled. So generally a Good Time was had by all.
First up was our usual Dragon Rampant grudge match for who held onto Smoochie, plush Dragon of Mordor. The Padre is transitioning to new digs, so we used the dinner table and only fielded 60 point forces on some basic terrain.
My wolf riders performed admirably in their first outing. They got annihilated of course (the New Unit rule naturally), but they skirmished aggressively all game and were generally annoying to the Riders of Rohan while passing all of their courage tests. The last wolf rider, instead of evading a charge by Theoden and his elite riders, stood his ground to protect the flank of some goblins.
On the other flank, I did drive off the Padre's head-hunting elf maiden skirmish units but Aragorn and an ent charged in and sent trolls and goblins running. Pippin and some Gondor foot fought me off in the centre. Rohirrim charging everywhere. It was a disaster.  I'm going to have to rethink my Order of Battle a bit.
Some pictures :

Opening set up. Evil on the left, Good on the right

New wolf riders!

Passing their first courage test

Notice there are only 2 wolf riders now, far ahead annoying the flank of the Good army

Trolls get the jump on Elf babes

Riders of Rohan vs. Men of Carn Dum

Aragorn runs about slaughtering Orcs

Pippin and men of Gondor

Who's a Good Doggy? Last wolf dies hard.

Towards game end.

After dinner was trying a new board game, which seemed to involve my space ships getting lost in hazardous regions of space and trying to build colonies.
Sunday, after a satisfying fry up and chin wag at a local diner, we settled upon Sharp Practice . We found his ACW terrain, but no figures or tokens, so we got out his long neglected SYW armies instead and used numbered slips of paper to draw out of a hat.
The Padre commanded the Russians and I took the Turks, making up things as we went along. I had twice the cavalry but the Russians had twice the infantry.

Padre's new Hussars

Miniature Fr. Petrovich blesses the troops


Russian lights and grenadiers

Ottomans having a traffic jam at the deployment point
I had trouble getting elbow room and ended up fighting the Russians piecemeal. My light cavalry initially bundled the Russian dragoons and hussars back with some losses, but then got blasted away by some volleys from the musketeers. The sipahis attacked and again got blasted losing their Big Man. Axe wielding levy troops fought Grenadiers in the wood with the expected outcome. The Janissaries finally managed to finally get their front clear of trees and cavalry to start shooting at the Russian infantry but by this time they were outnumbered in the firefight (the Russian infantry having dealt with every other target) and their heavy gun never got into it. So my Force Morale was down to 1 and it was time for some lunch and the journey home.

A good start to the summer.