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!

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.