Tuesday 28 February 2012

AAR: Old West game at the Warlords

I went down to Dulwich Village earlier this evening and took part in one of the South London Warlord's monday night participation games. It was the first ime I've attended the club and I was very pleased with how friendly the atmosphere and players were, overall I felt very welcome! 

This game was set in the old west and used the Warhammer Historical rules named the same. The basic mechanics come from GW's LOTR SBG and as I played this many years ago I was fairly familiar with the mechanics and it didn't take long to get into the game. There were around 12 players, each with their own warband of either Indians, Lawmen or Desperadoes and each group had their own objectives such as robbing the bank, the train or protecting them. I and another guy were the Indians, a bit of a wild card, and our mission was to steal the women scattered about the map and raid the saloon to steal 'firewater'. As it turned out we completely failed at both of these objectives (but we were so close!).

I took a few pictures but didn't really keep up as I was too busy playing, I'll give you a bit of an overview of what happened:

The Game

This was my Indian warband, 4 Braves with bows, a medicine man, a chief (with rifle), 2 youngbloods and two mounted braves. The train moved throughout the game and my tactic was to shadow it and use it as cover to move up the map towards the saloon and women.

Here you can see the wider situation - The saloon is the white facaded building on the middle right and my main opponents in the games were the two Desperado bands just behind the saloon.

This is a few turns in. The train had moved up and I'd started clambering over it. Luckily no-one was killed despite it still moving. The Brave on the ground rolled 3 1s in a row and so didn't get over the train in the whole game! However, the other injuns were like ninjas (ninjuns?) and leapt over no problem.  You can see my two horsemen on the top left heading off in an encirclement to get the women in the town.

Indian bows proved spectacularly ineffective at taking out the deparado (wearing blue trousers) standing by the station. He later used the nearby old man as a hostage, by moving into base-to base, so I decided to close for the kill and take some scalps.

This is just after I charged him, won the fight and killed him with my horde. Return fire from the two outlaws up the street hiding behind a table failed to do any damage thanks to my medicine mans 'run with the shadows' ability which made all indians within 3" count as being in cover. However an outlaw in the saloon 'fanned' his revolver, rolling 6 dice to hit (needing sixes) and managed to waste a Brave (the one behind the barrel).

Here you can see my Indian ally charging a group of outlaws just up the street in an attempt to seize the two women they were using as hostages against the lawmen. Just out of picture to the bottom left are my indians invading the saloon to take the 'firewater'. A desperate outlaw managed to shoot the one indian I got into the building (whilst aiming through the doorway at another and missing). You can just see my two horseman in the top center hunting down the woman in pink on the top right.

Unfortunately the game ended here, on about turn 5, as due to the huge number of players we ran out of time. The Indians had no victory points but we were one turn away from seizing 3 women and flooding into the saloon, so close!

Further up the huge board a group of outlaws had managed to break into the bank and steal the safe. However, another band had turned on them after their success and a deadly shootout ensued, the other band making off with the stolen safe in a devastating betrayal. The lawmen could do little more than look on and take long range pot shots (including a few rounds at my indian horsemen thundering through the main square).

Overall the game was good fun, a little slow, but thats was due to the number of players. The figures I borrowed were excellently painted by Lawrence, who ran the game, and most of the top quality terrain was his also. The game looked fantastic and the players were easy going and friendly. Next week I have a 10mm Blitzkrieg Commander game lined up so that should be good, I'm considering using Future War Commander for my 15mm so it'll be good to try out the system.

Saturday 25 February 2012

15mm GZG Spider Bots

A quick update with some completed Spider Bots from GZG. I used the same painting techniques and colour palette as in this earlier post. Overall I was extremely happy with how they came out, even given my questionable camera skills and the inevitable close-ups, I think they hold up pretty well.

EDIT: The missile launcher was added with plasticard.

I plan to base them on warbase.co.uk's medium not-FOW bases so there should be a little room left on the bases for some points of interest. I've ordered some alien looking aquarium plants so this could end up looking pretty cool.

Friday 24 February 2012

Progress on 15mm project: CMG phaseshifters and RAL infantry + others on the way

Here's the 15mm Sci-Fi update I meant to do a few days ago but never did, I was too busy to take the pictures in daylight. As you can see, natural light seems the way to go.

I painted the customary test figure (one of the CMG RAL infantry) and after only one repaint was pretty happy with the look I was getting and had a crack at 6 of the CMG 'Phaseshifters'.

The painting techniques were pretty standard - I'm aiming for a decent tabletop quality for 'arms-length' viewing so some of these pictures are a little cruel.

I didn't do a lot to these figures - they had little flash apart from the shoulder pieces and were in great condition, well done CMG!
All I did was add a short length of wire to the right-hand gauntlet to represent some kind of inbuilt smg type weapon. These robots are meant for close assault but I still thought some kind of limited ranged capability would make sense.

These were the not-FOW bases from warbases.co.uk and I can't say anything bad about them. Well priced, quickly delivered, smoothly cut and generally all you could want from a base! I plan to do these unit's bases in a dusty, arid style with scattered tufts.

For those who are interested I used a GW snakebite leather base-coat drybrushed with vallejo green ochre mixed with snakebite leather 50:50 and then a lighter drybrush of pure green ochre. This was then washed with Snakebite leather to 'brown' the tone and prevent it looking too yellow. A final highlight of green ochre was applied. The claws were basecoated GW boltgun metal and then highlighted with GW mithril silver. Some of the darker recesses of the armour like the back of the head and some of the joints were painted German Grey and highlighted with German Grey andwhite 50:50 for contrast. The whole thing was then dipped (well, brushed with) Army Painter Strong Tone in a thin coat. Further highlights were added with Green ochre. The lenses were painted using Vallejo Crimson, vermilion and white. The shoulder 'gems' (these were added as a point of interest, I have no real reason for them being painted such...) were done using GW regal blue with progressive increments of white added.

The lenses vary in quality. The left ones pretty good, the right... not so much. I'll touch them up sometime. 

Robot on the left gives some suppressive fire with his in-built plasma smg.

I'm not sure what these backpacks were in the original CMG rules but i play to use them as either teleporters or jumpacks. 
I'm very happy with the shoulder 'gems'. 

Here's some photos of the test figure I did, he was painted in the same fashion as the phaseshifters.

A comparison picture just to give you an idea of scale. I plan to use the phaseshifters as power armoured infantry and I think this holds true when you put them side-by-side with a grunt who has roughly human proportions. 

Work in Progress

I was inspired by Spaceman Spiff's awesome 'special effects' on his mechs and plan to do something similar on some of my units. I decided to make my own (rather than use armorcast's) as it really didn't look hard, just a few minutes with some green stuff and some short lengths of pin. The results not too bad, altho I'm gonna need to practice Object Source Lighting painting techniques to get these to look any good. 

Here's the next unit on the way - two spider drones. I've added a small missile launcher made from plasticard to the side of the turrets on these and plan to stat them up as power armour/light armour snipers with guided missiles for taking down tougher opposition.

Drone units are also on the way although I haven't decided whether to add additional weapons or stick with what could be interpreted as multiple rocket pods on small stub wings. Perhaps I'll use them as micro-missile launchers?

I'm really pleased with all the models I picked up from GZG and CMG, they all came without too much flash and very cleanly cast on the whole. I can't wait to start getting them all painted and based up!

As you can see this project is starting to move along, although I have a work intense period coming up in the next few weeks so progress will probably stall big-time around then.

Monday 20 February 2012

Reinforcements have arrived! 15mm Sci-Fi

I've wanted to pick up some 15mm sci-fi ever since I started frequenting TMP and saw the awesome figs being released by khurasan miniatures, rebel minins, GZG, Micropanzer and Critical Mass Games. I gave into the bug a week or so ago, it was my birthday so a perfect opportunity to spend some dough and get a new (number 5 now) project on the go.

I decided to invent my own race/faction because well... Its more fun that way and decided that the first one would be a robotic force - everyone loves homicidal robots from the future, right? So I trawled through all the 15mm sci-fi ranges I knew, a process I always enjoy immensely as its almost creative, and came up with a ton of units I thought were both cool and compatible. I sent off an order to GZG and CMG for the first wave of minis and to warbases.co.uk for the stands (Basically cheaper FOW bases). Below is a collection of the miniatures I plan to get for the force, I think ultimately, when painted in one scheme, they should look pretty cohesive, not to mention awesome!
Standard Infantry
Power Armoured Infantry
Heavy sniper drone/light tank
Drone sqaudron
Command/observation/shield drones
Heavy spider drones/light tanks

VTOL Gunship

Light/medium Mechs
Heavy Mech
I've decided to base these up on group bases because a) 15mm are tiny, having them individually based seems kinda silly and fiddly to me, b) on group bases you can make cool dioramas and c) I want to play company sized battles or bigger which would be hard/time consuming on individual bases. I may need to come up with my own rules for this eventually as 15mm company scale sci-fi is a hole in the rules market covered only scantily by FWC, CMG and the upcoming TFL Tentacles.

I'm still settling on a name for the faction but I'm playing around with the CMG range's name, Praesentia, and might change it to something a little more machinesque like autosentia, mechasentia etc.

Pictures of the first painted miniatures on the way tomorrow!

Monday 13 February 2012

Finished BFG Chaos Cruiser and Frigate

Here's the chaos cruiser I assembled and magnetised in this post with a lick of paint. I also finished off the idolator I've had half-finished for a while. As ever I'm hopeless with a camera (and amazon still haven't delivered my damn lamp) so I've had to overexpose these a bit so you can see the details. However, this has washed out the red - in reality the red is much deeper and contains a brownish hue. 

The ships were undercoated black then drybrushed with a mix of chocolate brown and crimson red (3:1, 2:1, 1:1 1:3) progressively more lightly until they were given a final highlight of pure crimson red (none of this is really conveyed in the pictures... sigh). The ornamentation was picked out in brass (mixed with a little flat earth) and highlighted with pure brass. The silver details were painted boltgun metal and then highlighted with mithril silver. The bridge and engine exhausts were painted with regal blue mixed with white in increasing increments. 

I realised whilst painting that the bridge is on the wrong way round; it came this way from ebay. 

Tuesday 7 February 2012

15mm FOW Scratchbuilt MG Bunker

I saw the great results the guy at 20mm and then some had with scratchbuilding bunkers so I thought I'd have a go at one in 15mm using roughly the same method. You can see the results below, I didn't quite get the wood to look as I would have liked; it turned out to close to the soil colour. Otherwise I was fairly happy with it.  I'll probably do a couple more in the future but these will be lower (I'll use cocktail sticks) and will have more earth covering the roof.

The construction was fairly simple; I built the basic hollow shape out of cut up bits of sprue glued onto a medium base; cut up barbecue skewers and glued then together to make the front and roof; used pieces of wire (I had no cocktail sticks) to make the reinforcing stakes; and covered the whole thing generously in polyfiller and sand before painting and adding sillflor tufts and static grass.

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