Thursday, 16 February 2012

Into the Heart of things

Right, i'm getting to the point now where I have based up all my minis and have painted quite a few, got some terrain made up etc but i'm at a bit of a crossroads as to where to head of to next? Do I keep painting up war-bands for skirmish or start to pull in new elements and begin building up some forces for larger scale combats..I think i'm going to start pulling in some more troops and armour to match up with what I've already painted up and to hopefully start to get some cohesive paint schemes together.

Terrain wise I still need plenty more! I realized what I was missing during my last game and that's some kind of sense of height/verticle perspective with buildings etc, I want to start off with a north African or mudisley esque set of buildings so this week I have been researching these from buying pre painted through to casting my own.

Painting this week has been pretty good, managed to finish off all the GZG Mercenaries, love these sculpts so painting them was no chore. I think i'm going to use these at a couple of squads of Guln/Nerg for Gruntz as they fit the fluff pretty well. Definitely going to pick up the other Mercenary pack GZG sell as well to bolster this lot up.

To paint these I used the following for the basecoat (over black spray):

Skin: Enchanted Blue
Boots: Scorched Brown
Armour: Boltgun Metal
Leather: Bestial Brown
Trousers: Adeptus Battlegrey

Then washed the skin using Leviathan Purple and the rest of the model with Devlan Mud.
To highlight I mixed some bleached bone with the base colours and used some Mithril silver for the armour plates.
It's a pretty basic scheme but it was fairly quick to paint and I think it looks pretty effective, if I was going to change anything I wouldn't have used quite such a heavy mud wash on them as they dried quite dark.

Had a bit of a bargain turn up in the post this week from ebay :

A mixture of 12 Tom CATS and Wild CATS along with 16 Bio Soldiers from Rebel Minis, they need a little bit of work and I have started to re-base them but they should provide a substantial force! :)

Also this week to stop me getting too drained with the painting I got a bit of time to update the Fubar Mech one page rules with a few small changes such as:

- removed the mount points limits.
- removed limit on jump packs.
- Added restriction to Evasive actions for Heavy Mechs.
- Added some additional modifiers to the Damage charts depending on Mech class.
- Edited the layout of the document to provide more space for further work.

With some great input from Chris from the Basement Gaming Bunker (these changes were his ideas and I agree they fit well), the latest version can be found here. Hoping to get some play testing on this under way in the next few weeks once I have finished painting up some of these Mechs on my table.

Got cracking making some new pics of my mini's ready to create some cards for Gruntz, I used Gimp to format the images and then Inkscape to read in the PDF templates and alter the details. Looking pretty good so far, will get these printed/carded and ready to roll soon. :)

All in all a fairly productive week, got some travelling to do next week but it's pay day as well so I am eyeing up some big hitters! Enjoy. :)

Saturday, 11 February 2012

This weeks show is sponsored by the color red.

Really productive this week! the cold weather still meant I can't get to the garage but...I created a super small paint tray out of an old place mat and brought my lamp up to sit on the edge of the sofa and hey presto, way more time to get painting. My pics are a little dark this week at I took my mini's down to the garage where my photo setup was only to discover it had vanished! My father in law had mistaken my empty box light box as an empty box and had promptly folded it up and thrown it away, apparently he did find it odd that a lamp was poking inside it....

On the left is one of the Chronotopia mechs I picked up earlier that I want to use as a droid attachment for skirmish games, the other two are EM4 miniature plastic Mechs, the green one I am a little unsure about, I like the scheme but I think it needs a spot color somewhere? .I got a box of 5 for £2.50 and to be honest they are great, once based and painted they look good on the table. I based them on two penny pieces to give them more weight and I have no complaints with any soft details etc, they look good after a coat and wash.

A couple of the Mechs I finished a few weeks ago but this week I managed to paint up 20 cultists, painting them all in one go in a kind of production line I was able to get them all finished for the tabletop pretty quick but still need to do some extra details to single out leaders. Really like these, the sculpts have just enough detail (some of the hands and feet are a little flat) but are still easy to paint.

These pics made me realize that i'm probably using way too much red in my minis, so hands off it for a while. I'm painting up some GZG Mercenary aliens at the mo so plenty of blue :).

I also bought and printed a copy of the Gruntz rules this week, really liking what i've read so far and I'm planning to get a few plays in before reviewing it fully but in the meantime it has got me in the mood for some armour so i'm scouting to pick up some sci fi tank minis. :)

Saturday, 4 February 2012

You are the aggressor, move, now your on your own....

...these are all the rules you need, now go, make war.

Years ago when I was a kid my next door neighbor and I would meet t his house and wargame, his older brother had painted up a number of lead mini's including a large cyclops, the awesome mini crossbow gnome (who everyone wanted to be?), the warrior and a stack of evil enemies, I think they were the old Ral partha draconians and a few buildings. These were all we needed, battles were fought, roles were met and scenarios were conceived all before any one of us had seen a role play book or a rulebook.

Step to now, I have bookshelves full of books of rules, maps, counters, devices to allow adults to meet one other across a table and play out a game using the same figures as what happened to the above old days of just playing it out, making it up?

As we developed from those early days a natural competitiveness built in and we needed to define, among these "games" who was the victor, who the loser, someone had to be the bad guy and as we grew older there had to be a defined state of rules as to who was who, how they can interact, how victory would be defined...and so the rules came about, battles became edged and most sense of imagination was pushed back, those were my first real taste of role playing and wargaming and almost my last.

Years later here I sit, surrounded by books and pamplets from the simple (USE ME) to the complex (ASL) of wargaming and I understand many of my friends and fellow wargamers to do the same, we all orbit our own small worlds pulling in and engulfing the latest rules, defining our standpoints, our goals.

But what if we met and things were different. "You are the aggressor, move, now your on your own" and this was it, the rules. As a group of friends we could begin, knowing what we know, many rulesets, action phases, charts to memory, could we not just start gaming? ok my guys are moving across rough ground so there move is going to be this? what do you think? and then they are going to try and shoot those troops there, I think with their weaponry the range is ok but what do you think I need to roll to hit?

I think it would need a lot of trust between the players, but it could potentially turn up new mechanics. i.e this is not working fairly so lets try.... it could also bring back the role play that many recent rulesets have tried to pull in, if the players are fully in control of the rules and want to play then any scenarios possible. Many of us with experience have knowledge of a number of rulesets etc, so why not apply that democratically within a group? i.e in this situation my troops can see you men on the hill, it a high shot and they are in cover so I think the could hit on a........and so on.

I feel that sometimes by trying to define a "method" of play, of accepting the written rule we deny ourselves the true involvement of goup gaming.

15mm to me is a step towards this abstract, yes there are rules, yes there are miniature manufacturers but the rules are very different here, models can be interchanged between manufactures at a whim and rulesets can be defined without models available, so with a shelf of mini's and a mind to play why not pluck a few onto the table and just "play"?

Friday, 3 February 2012

Taking it all for a spin

Aaargghh! Hobby time has slowed down yet again the last few weeks with working abroad and the fact that it's -3c in my garage! I've spend the time in the warmth basing up the rest of my mini's and spraying a few bits up.

I did manage to get a couple more mini mechs painted up, pics coming soon and I got in a quick skirmish game using the completed terrain and the USE Me rules, the lighting in the room was not that great so the pics were a little off.

The basic premise was an asteroid had landed in the middle of a nearby industrial base so troops were called out to investigate whereupon they meet a group of the local natives attracted by the impact.....

The alien side had a squad of 5 drones with a heavy weapon and another squad of 8 warriors with side weapons and grenades.
The troops consist of 8 with superior rifles, 1 light spider bot and 1 heavy strider walker.

Points wise the alien troops came out over 20 points more, which starts to show a small flaw in the points system as we will see.

During the first turn the strider took a pot shot at the distant drones that went wide of the mark while the rest of the alien warriors moved up.

By the end of turn 2 both sides had moved into combat positions but the squad of drones got caught out in the open and pounded by the striders cannons leaving only the drone leader with his heavy weapon to hold the flank.....

Over the next couple of turns the lone drone stared down the strider but had little chance to damage it even after scoring a number of hits, the strider eventually wiping the drone off the map with a double cannon hit.

On the other flank the alien warriors ran out from behind cover to attack the spider bot at close range and promptly missed every single return the spider bot opened up it's automatic weapons and ripped the warrior squad in half.

In the next turn the warriors plowed into the troop squad (who had yet to land a hit as well) and struck down two, hitting back the troop squad struck down the rest of the warriors, only the warrior leader was left standing....

After a couple of turns of combat in which the alien leader managed to wing/strike down/kill most of the troop squad (I took a little license here with the rules to allow the leader to take each of the troops on, it made a more cinematic end to the game!) but was eventually cut down.

Overall it was an ok game, the points system did not really add up with the vehicles coming in really low value compared to the troops (with EV4). Combat wise there's only a very low probability of any troop weapons damaging a vehicle so I might change the rules slightly for heavy weapons to even it out a little. I did like it though, it was quick and the rules were easy to remember after a couple of turns but the best thing is the feeling of playing on a finished borad/terrain and mini's :). I think next time i'm going to take the FUBAR rules for a spin. Now with the weather so cold i'm going to have to bring my mini's inside to paint, got a pile of's Cultists here I can't wait to get stuck in to!