Friday, February 21, 2014

Splintered Light Adventurers I

A thanks to David from Splintered Light Miniatures for putting together a few adventurer parties for me.  He was great about meeting my request, and the miniatures arrived in just a few days.  They were a lot of fun to paint.  In addition to providing me with the fighters, thieves, priests, mages, dwarves and elves (I had requested a few of each), he added a pair of halflings and a pair of gnomes that were unreleased at the time.  Here is my first party, a human ranger, a gnome fighter, a elven mage, and a halfling rogue.  The gnomes and halflings are excellent.  I hope that they do more of the gnomes especially.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Running the Gauntlet - 15mm ARR using FUBAR with a tweak

Ameos cursed inside his helmet.  The Riavaui had laid a perfect trap, attacking the colony, hiding their true numbers until his unit had fully deployed, scattered across the area, and were saddled with hundreds of helpless colonists to protect.  Now the fleet was fully engaged, and there was no ticket off this rock, and the Riavaui were swarming all over the place.  

He could hear the captain's orders coming over his headset, and could see the feed from the recon drones on his retinal display.  "All right men, change of plans.  We've got multiple hostiles coming from all directions. Time for a fighting withdraw." 

This game was played with the 4th edition of the FUBAR rules, with one change.  The activation rules were replaced with what I call the Keep Your Cool check.  Every unit activates every turn, regardless if they pass their activation roll.  But if they fall, their actions were randomly determined using the following table and a D6 roll:

1. Fire if nearest enemy unit is in range and LOS, otherwise move 6 toward objective
2. Assault nearest enemy if within 8, otherwise run 12 toward objective
3. Duck & Weave toward object
4. On Guard
5. Gone to Ground
6. Hesitate - does nothing this turn

The forces were:
 2 Squads of 5 Veteran Marines, Heavy Armor (3+), Assault Rifles

3 Squads of 5 Seasoned Raivaui Thralls, Tough Skin (5+), Assault Rifles
1 Squad of Raivaui Hounds, (Used rules for Bugs from FUBAR Sci Fi)

 The Marines were trying to escape off the far side of the board.  The Raivaui deployed on the board edges to either side of them.
 Both squads of marines duck and wove their way forward staying in cover.  Two of the Raivaui squads opened fire on the lead squad of marines, while the third entered the stream as they moved into a firing position.  The hounds ran toward the closest marines.
 The hounds moved first in the next turn and attacked, resulting in a vicious melee.  The other 3 squads of Raivaui all poured fire onto the other marines, failing to kill any, but the heavy barrage of fire caused them to lose their cool and Hesitate, losing their turn. The melee, lasted several turns until finally the hounds had been killed, taking two marines with them.  The first squad regained their cool, and continued forward under heavy fire.  Their armor and the cover provided by the terrain prevented them from taking causalities.

Then one of the Raivaui lost its cool and assaulted the first squad.  Following suit another squad assaulted the second.  Although the Raivaui shooting had suppressed the marines, it was not effective at killing them.  Maybe up-close and personal it would be different. 
 The brutal close combat lasted a couple of turns, with the third Raivaui squad standing by on guard to see the outcome.  The marines came out on top, with four men left in the first squad, and only one in the second.  Wasting no time, the remaining Raivaui opened fire, and suppressing the lead marines and causing them to lose their cool two turns in a row.  They cautiously crossed the stream under fire, and then sprinted to safety off the board, leaving the sole survivor of the second squad behind.

 Weighing his choices, and having killed four Raivaui already, he decided to make straight for safety.  The Raivaui moved to cut him off, opening up with withering fire.

Moving forward under the cover of the rock formations, he sprinted across the stream and into the woods to safety, while the Raivaui bullets simply bounced off his armor.

Half the marines made it to safety in the end, their superior training and armor really making them difficult to kill. Although the Raivaui were effective in suppressing them, and making the marines lose their cool, it was almost impossible to kill them with firing.  Close combat proved to be more lethal, eliminating the advantage of soaking up damage by opting to be suppressed.  Over all I think the random actions generated when failing the activation/keeping your cool check did a good job of simulating units forgetting their training, ignoring orders, panicking etc.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Have battlefield, will travel

So there is a company out there that makes that makes terrain called "Battlefield in a Box".  It is really nice looking stuff, but it is very expensive and not really what we would consider a "battlefield" here at TBT. So we decided to try making our own, a complete battlefield in a neat, easy to transport package.

Here is the box:
        Drawing inspiration from Tiny Solitary Soldiers, and War in a Box, we wanted something that was small, modular, and capable of a wide variety of sit-ups.  The box above is 13" x 13" and about 3 inches tall.  That is a 15mm mini from Khurasan in the picture for scale.

Inside we have a variety of hills made from cork board.  The larger ones have a flat edge allowing them to be butted together to form a single large hill, or to be placed along the board edge as separate hills. Most of the smaller hills sit nicely atop the big ones to add additional relief when desired.

 In addition to the hills, we've got four 12 x 12 tiles that form our skirmish board.  As you can see each tiles has a section of a stream on it, and they can be rotated to make different combinations.

 In addition the back of each tile is also finished, allowing us to flip the tiles to create a large variety of different playing surfaces.  I've coated each tile in several layers of PVA glue to create a tough finish.  We also have gotten some scrap fabric that goes in between the tiles when they are in the box.

 To finish off what is in the set at the moment, there is a small bag of shrubs and other vegetation.  Hopefully this will make a nice board for small 15mm sci-fi and fantasy skirmishes, as well as our board for some 6mm MechaWar.  Altogether this was about $35 USD, including the plastic box to carry everything in.  So there it is, let us know what you think! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Catching up

So my brother tells me I'm slacking off and should be posting any progress I'm making in our hobbies. Well on the 15mm front I've been trying to get some help for my Ground Zero Games (GZG) New Israeli Army. I decided to use some of Combat Wombat's excellent Grizzly APCs and Lancer Tanks.

Hopefully these will perform admirably in our future games of FUBAR.
I also have been pretty busy painting up some GZG Phalon for Full Thrust. I got a starter fleet with my post Xmas discount. (Thanks GZG!). I still need to finish my frigates and scouts for this fleet.

Mat by Hotz Mats
I also have been slowly converting my FSE, UNSC, and WC ships over to Corsec Engineering bases. I have found these to help not just with establishing firing arcs, but they also save space for storage.Which  means I have more room for more ships! I have found that the flush mounts fit most of my human ships better. I've got almost all of my FSE converted except a few escorts.
I ran out of flush mounts after I got a few of my UNSC Capitol ships done.

Looking forward I'm going to try to finish up my escorts for all three fleets. Then move on to some 15mm fantasy my brother gave me months ago to paint up.

Outside of miniatures I've been playing lots of Warhammer Quest, Ascension, and Lords of Waterdeep on my iPad. I've also been reading the Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

From the murky depths emerges...

From the murky depths of my painting desk emerges ... band of Salamen! 

Well, er, at least part of a band!Here is the start of my 15mm Salamander men from Khurasan.  These minis have a lot of character, and were really fun to paint. I've got another 9 almost done, so hopefully this weekend I will be ready to play a couple skirmish games.  We tried Song of Blades and Heroes last time, I am not sure if we will stick with that or try something different. It is very much a push-your-luck mechanic, which my brother really liked. For these guys one thing I've thought about is that instead of giving them tail-slap or similar abilities, it might make a fun game where if they end their turn in water, you replace the model with a pair of counters/blips, one representing the actual model and the other a dummy.  They would be revealed only when the model moves out of the water... has anyone tried this sort of mechanic before? It would give a very different feel to the way they play and the strategy could be totally different than a normal skirmish.  I see these guys coming out of the water, sniping their opponents, and then slipping back under the water's murky surface.

Which brings me to another project that I've been working on that is almost done: another 2x2 skirmish board.  This one will again be modular, but will represent a landscape with a river running through it.  The linear water feature might make it challenging to guess where those salamanders are swimming!

Here is the start, again they will be a type of cork tile glued to a 12x12 commercial vinyl tile.  The commercial tiles are 1/8 of an inch thick and way more rigid than a normal tile.  Armstrong is the brand I've been using, they are $0.60 each at the hardware store.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Khurasan Power Armor

Well I had a bit of a set back during the holidays, when most of my paints accidentally were left outside and froze.  Some were unaffected, but others were completely ruined.  So I had to wait for some new paints to arrive before I could start on my next project: painting some 15mm humans for skirmish games.

Here are some power armored soldiers I've been working on.  When I am done there will be 15 men altogether.

These are some great figures that paint up really nice.  I had started them before the "Paint Incident" and I think they are turning out OK.  I've really been inspired lately to play small scale skirmish.  One reason are the excellent 2x2 boards that Spacejacker has been making over at Tiny Solitary Soldiers.  They look great, and in addition to taking up less space, being less expensive etc, having the small board, I like that you can make boards fairly quickly and have a wider variety of themes.

  I've also been thinking a lot about the excellent PC game that was kicking around for a while, Laser Squad Nemesis.  It was similar to X-COM, a turn-based tactical game where each player had a squad troops.  It was a lot of fun, and had a lot of depth, despite having only 8 or so troop types/options for each faction.  I would like my skirmishes to have a similar feel, and I will be focusing on painting up a couple factions each with only half a dozen troop options.   It seems like most mini rule sets get bogged down in details and special rules.  Really good scenarios and interesting terrain make up a huge part of a game, IMHO. So we will see if we can come up with some of those as well.