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!

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Attack of the Drones!

A snowy, headachey,  stay in my PJs because I might be fighting a cold, sort of day today. Which meant I could have a solo game of Xenos Rampant while Mrs. Rabbitman read a mystery book.

A few objectives with this game. Try out new terrain pieces. Try out new drone units. Try out tank rules.

My OPA force mustered 33 points.

1x heavy infantry team (with commander)

2x heavy infantry with anti-tank 

1x support team 

3x local force OPA light infantry with Special Insertion 

2x drone swarms, Lesser Xenos with Mechanoid, Skimmer and heavy weapons

Kopeng ere belék, OPA insurgents 

My Martian infantry sections are organized into 2x 5 man fireteams per section. A Team is just rifles, UGLs, and SAWs. B Team has a shoulder fired rocket launcher for heavy support. 

So 3x sections. 1 section has the Commander with Fire Support

Also included are 2 tanks. Big MBT has Artillery, because I think that massive rail gun should get 48" range.
Small LAV is light armour and anti-personnel specialist because of the smaller gun.

9 platoon, 3rd Martian Marine Infantry 

The objective, secure the crashed transport 

OPA won the die roll to pick deployment area. Each side set up within 12" of opposite corners. 

Armour leading, infantry deployed 2 up 1 back. 

The Local Force OPA stayed off table, hoping to use the Special Insertion later. Drones on the flanks.

Drones maneuver to engage Martian armour

So many failed activation rolls! Martian advance getting spread out. 

LAV secures left flank

Drones skirmish with LAV 

Local force OPA arrive beside objective and get shot up for their troubles 

Martians secure crash site but take fire from drones and local force team

LAV moves and shoots, blasting OPA team threatening the objective 

Martian fire team rallies and the objective is still secure 

As the clock ran out (rolled a 6 on turn 8!) the Martians had a good hold on the objective with 2 teams plus more of their force close enough to give fire support. The OPA had lost their drones and 2x teams and the rest of the force was too far back (or still off table!) and scattered to seriously threaten the Martians. 

MMC should have put their command team up front to use the +1 bonus and that expensive Fire Support option. 

Belters should have deployed the local force OPA on table and used their free move to rush forward with the drones. I should give the drones Anti-tank too, if the Martians are going to have armoured support.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Drones for Xenos Rampant


Recent wars have certainly demonstrated how drones are quickly becoming a Force Multiplier on the battlefield. 

My Belter OPA insurgents are rather stretched to put more than 24 points on the table unless they get some upgrades that would be out of keeping with the background. But rather than buy them some more fireteams of light infantry I had the brain wave to make some drones. An insurgency would be stretched for bodies and using drones would be a way to increase their presence in the battlespace without trying to find more fighters. The improvisational nature of the Belters as portrayed in The Expanse and watching Real World examples of battlefield improvisation in the war in Ukraine inspired me to scratch build a few units. I figure the Belters would be converting civilian survey drones or just making their own from scavenged parts.

I had originally thought about using buttons as the drone bodies, but I couldn't find Mrs. Rabbitman's box of old buttons, so I settled on cutting pieces from sprues where they joined in a nice X or Y. If there was a bump at the intersection all the better. I armed them with spare weapons (a cut down Soviet anti-tank gun, an MG42 and some Browning .30 cals) plus other bits that I could make to look like weapons. 

I then dressed them up with "Bling Stickers" which you can find in the scrap booking section of your local craft store.
Bling Stickers

The bases were made from small pieces of bark hot glued to mdf disks from the Sarissa church domes that I replaced. For some I used thin wire, but for some of the smaller ones I used nylon broom bristles since I didn't want to use up all my nice spear wire.

Big drone with "rocket pods"

I then spray painted them and touched up with a brush to match my rocky terrain.

Unit 1

Unit 2

With some figures for scale

These will be Lesser Xenos with MechanoidRanged attack and Skimmer. Possibly with Area Effect and/or Armour Piercing since the two big drones look like they're carrying rockets or a grenade launcher/cannon.

Monday, March 6, 2023

An Unexpected Army -Part 2 First Hobbits Finished

Seeing as William Hupp of Thistle & Rose was so nice to send me these samples, I thought that it behooved me to move them to the front of the painting queue.

Irregulars are always a challenge, trying to get variety in the clothing without driving yourself crazy. After getting confused and stalled by cycling through tunics, trousers, cloaks all at once, I just concentrated on getting the cloaks looking right with some highlights because they are the major part of the figure and will grab the eye.



After that everything else fell into place and I got them done in a couple of hours painting session with Patrick and Mikey.

I kept the palette simple and muted. These are scouts and skirmishers and archers, so mostly browns and greys, a few greens, and the occasional dark blue cloak or shirt. The three leader figures (from the original Vendel halfing adventurer pack) have red or yellow shirts, because JRRT mentions in his essay "Concerning Hobbits" that they like yellow. If you're trying to sneak up on some orcs, you can pull your cloak around to cover your yellow shirt after all. Also I figure the leaders would be from the more well to do families and have better clothes.

With the delicate separate weapon hands on the spear hobbits and villagers I decided early on that multi-figure basing would be required with these chaps, so I'm doing all of them that way to keep the army looking cohesive. This also allows for some dramatic basing with ferny undergrowth (dried moss actually).

I'm following the scheme I worked out with my Medieval armies; 40mm x 40mm bases, 2 skirmishers, or 3 light infantry, or 4 heavy infantry per base.

So first up two 6 figure units of rock throwing skirmisher/scouts.

One 12 figure unit of light missiles.

Adding in the captain figures will give me some spares, which I will gather into another scout unit with a mix of bows, rocks and spears.