Friday, April 22, 2016

My Current Kickstarter Pledges

I have been lucky thus far, I have backed four Kickstarter projects which have all delivered on their promises.  My buy-in was small, usually at the lower levels, that way any potential loss would be fairly minimal, but still giving the projects some support.  The three gaming Kickstarters I supported all delivered, albeit with some delays, but the communication across the board cases was great and the products were excellent (Armies Army 15mm sci-fi British, Topside Minis World War I, and Fatal Choices for the naval Battles of Coronel and Falkands for the Great War).

My two current pledges are for more 15mm sci-fi figures.  The first is from SLAP Miniatures for some Global Defence Forces.  I have no need for additional sci-fi figures, but honestly I like the look of the GDF, a hard sci-fi, near future feel (think colonial marines ala Aliens).  I only pledged for a combat patrol (ten riflemen and six specialists) which will give great flexibility in fireteam and squad creation.

The second pledge I jumped on because of the XCOM look of the proposed range - Astagar Snakemen from Critical Mass Games, which look a lot like the snakemen from XCOM.  In this case I only pledged enough to get me access to additional buys, as I doubt I will ever get to a snakemen XCOM project (I already have stand ins for Sectoids and really that should be plenty).

So, while I have heard about some issues with some gaming Kickstarter campaigns, my experience has been very positive.  For my two current backings the companies have done a great job communicating the status of their respective campaigns.  Hopefully I will be six for six once these two have completed their projects!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

DEVGRU, Round Two

Photo from Evil Bear Wargames website
So I have these nice 15mm DEVGRU figures I bought painted from Jason at Micropanzer, and I need to get them on the gaming table to go after some bad men, and soon.  It has been far too long since I have pulled out the 15mm terrain and gamed some Force on Force.  But something is missing from my DEVGRU collection, and that is transport.  I have been looking at the Evil Bear Wargames Panther, a command and control vehicle for the British Army, but one that has a cool look and can hold a fire team, plus it has a GPMG or an HMG for support.  But it is British and not really ideal for an American spec ops unit, right?

I posted on The Wargames Website (one of my new homes for gaming chatter) about vehicles suitable for the DEVGRU, and of course I overlooked the obvious...the DEVGRU are a Navy ops unit, so would either use amphibious vehicles or helicopters for transport.  But those Evil Bear Panthers are so cool and I want a couple!

Okay, so it is my gaming table and I can field whatever I like, right?  Why not do a little of both, have ground transport if I so desire for non-DEVGRU actions (still using the DEVGRU figures), and also have correct helicopter transport when using the figs as true DEVGRU?  Looks like I can.  Italeri make an MH-X Silent Hawk in 1/100th scale, just like Seal Team Six used for the raid on Bin Laden.  High tech stealth, holds a couple of fire teams, perfect!  It is die cast, ready to use, and decently priced.  Perhaps a change of the stand to a more realistic flight stand and BAM, there solves the DEVGRU's transportation woes!  All that is left is to go place a couple of orders!

Found this website that covers the DEVGRU's choices of weaponry.  No mention of the Mk. 14 EBR, but the HK-416, and Mk. 46 are mentioned.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Blatant Attempt to Steal Another's Work

The Greek battle cruiser Averof
Some months ago I picked up some 1/3000th scale ships to recreate the Battle of Lemnos (Greeks vs. Turks during the First Balkans War) from a chap on The Miniatures Page.  He in turn gave me info to contact another gamer to obtain some rules that would cover the period, simple enough to run at conventions, yet with enough historical flair to give the battle a period feel.  Those ships are still in their baggies, waiting to be mounted on stands and painted.  Living in a condo with limited gaming space, air and naval games appeal more and more to me.  So I believe it is time to start focusing on some of the naval actions I have collected ships for but have never progressed past the purchase phase.

In this particular case, in doing a bit of research, I came across this website, linked from the Battle of Lemnos WikiPedia page.  Thomo the Lost has done a great job with his work on Lemnos, I am not certain there is much more for me to do other than to steal his thoughts and get my ships painted!

Navwar Greek ships are HERE and their Turkish ships are HERE.

More on this as I pull the ships out, mount them to bases, and start to get them painted!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Rating Aphids for Tomorrow's War

Hmmm, now that I have these bloody Aphids, what to do with them?

My last post was a brief entry on how I purchased some nicely painted Zombiesmith Aphids from javelin98 from an ad he had posted on The Miniatures Page.  As mentioned in that post, the Aphids are not quite as hard sci-fi as I might normally like in a figure, but these could be a humorous force to throw on the table to go against really any OPFOR I may want to use.

I have decided to rate the Aphids as follows, based on the unit attributes found both in Tomorrow's War and By Dagger or Talon.  I have also decided to add one vehicle trait is not normally used for non-vehicular units, but one in the case I think melds well with my perception of the Aphid race.

Aphids - (German slang Die Frösche (The Frogs) - Humankind does not know much about these amphibian-like aliens, other than they seem to be a different sort of threat than the Darghaur.  Where the Darghaur are ruthless, powerful, and bent on violent destruction of any worlds and races it may encounter, the Aphids are dangerous for other reasons.  When they move onto a planet's surface, they gorge on any type of flora and hence completely destroy any plant life, rendering a planet desolate.  Second, they reproduce in vast numbers, which allows them to not only destroy plant life in a rapid manner, but also accept incredible amounts of casualties in combat before breaking.  

Illustration from the Zombiesmith site
First encountered by a German deep exploration team on Grüne (later derisively called Fröschwelt), in the year 2311, the team was surprised to meet these rather frog-like aliens (wielding photon weapons, in huge numbers, in a marsh-like environment) as previous scans of Grüne did not indicate any advanced lifeforms.  It has now been posited that the Aphids reached Grüne shortly after the last scan had been completed, just a few months before the team set foot on Grüne.  Based on the numbers encountered, it is difficult for humans to imagine that any ship or fleet of ships could have brought such a large population, especially as there did not appear to be any constructed habitats on Grüne.  But it was noticed that the Aphid population continued to grow and expand while leaving a path of desolation in their wake, much like a swarm of locusts (leading to another German term - Die Heuschrecken).

"töten alles, was Sie wollen, werden sie mehr machen"

Encounters with the aliens were hostile from the start and any attempts to show friendly intent were met with blasts of photon energy.  The security squad attached to the exploration team reported that the Aphids could jump great distances, could stay in water for long periods of time, and were numerous but ineffective fighters except in ambush.  Their photon weapons, while packing a punch, were not very accurate, and the security squad mowed down the Aphids in droves before they finally broke contact.  

With the ability to reproduce seemingly at will and the effective denuding of any planetary fauna, the Aphids are definitely a threat to humankind.

Organization - Roughly twelve Aphids make up a combat unit with a leader armed with a photon pistol, two medium photon gunners, two scout craft with heavy photon guns, and seven soldiers armed with photon rifles.  Three groups of twelve make up an army, with a leader and a bodyguard in the command element.

Tactics (as known) - The medium photon gunners are usually deployed on either flank to provide crossing fields of fire, and do not move from position unless necessary (and do not count as jump troops for movement).  The two scout craft are used to test the enemy's strength or to threaten an enemy's flank, while the remaining eight Aphids move rapidly towards the enemy to engage within optimum range.

Three groups of twelve make up an army, with a leader and a bodyguard in the command element.

Weapons:
Photon Pistol - AP:1/AT:0.  May only be fired up to optimum range.
Photon Rifle - AP:1/AT:1.
Medium Photon Gun - AP:2/AT:1.
Heavy Photon Gun - AP:3/AT:2.

All Aphids fire at one class lower than their troop quality rating.  Therefore, a D8 rated unit will fire as if their troop quality were a D6.

Aphids do not take morale checks if they have incurred equal or greater casualties during the game.  Once they have suffered a greater number of total casualties then their opponent, they take morale checks, but at one level higher than their normal morale rating.  Therefore an Aphid force, rated as D8 for morale, will not take any morale checks until they have sustained more casualties than their opponents, and once they have, they will take checks as if they were D10 morale.

Aphids - D8 initiative, D8-D10 troop quality, D8-D10 morale, Confident, Abundant supply quality, 1D body armor, tech level 2, not on the grid. Typical attributes: Elusive, Jump Troops, Amphibious, Adapted to Hostile Environment, Berserkers (Involuntary), and Small Target.

For some unknown reason, when Darghaur face the Aphids, they suffer from the Intimating attribute and the Aphids add the Fearless attribute.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Aphids

Just a short post about a recent purchase I made from a chap (javelin98) on The Miniatures Page for some 15mm Zombiesmith Aphids.  I have looked at these on the Zombiesmith site a few times, but would never have bought them as they do not look enough hard sci-fi for my tastes, but it was a very good deal on some nicely painted figures, and while I might adjust some of the weapons and backpacks in terms of colors, all that is needed at this point it to finish the bases and I have 38 sci-fi frogs to go hunt and for a very small investment!

Pictures from javelin98.



Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Aliens!

I have always enjoyed the James Cameron follow on to the iconic Alien movie with his own classic Aliens film.  I was able to get the director's cut of Aliens for Christmas and watched that version for the first time last week.  The additional scenes add so much more to the story - we get a few more quips from Hudson and the scenes with the remote sentry guns are very cool.

LET'S ROOOCK! - picture from the Khurasan website
Being a gamer, I have always wanted to put something together in an Aliens setting.  years ago I did own the old FreiKorps15 versions of the aliens (which are pretty decent castings), but never found a suitable Colonial Marine contingent.  But Khurasan Miniatures changed all that a couple of years ago when they released their own *non* Aliens figures, calling the xenomorphs demons and the Colonial Marines the Federal Defense Force, but anyone who knows anything about the movie can see the direct tie in the figures to the film.

I have ordered twice from Khurasan for this project (besides other orders I have placed with them).  The first time I was keeping it simple, just basic grunts for the Marines, but then I decided I needed sentry guns, more aliens, and more specialist types for the Marines.  

For rules, I have Tomorrow's War with its ability to customize alien races (particularly with the By Dagger or Talon supplement) and within Force on Force there is a xenomorph scenario that is definitely Aliens influenced.  I am also looking about for other rules that folks have come up for Aliens-inspired gaming, including the old Leading Edge Games Aliens boardgame and/or RPG.

Of course, like everything else I get into, there will be more on this in the future!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Revisiting the Mogadishu Terrain

I was going through some old emails in an effort to do a bit of clean up, and came across some work in progress pictures sent to me by David Glenn, who built an Olympic Hotel, a mosque, and some shanties, along with a couple of extra pieces, in a trade for some unpainted 20mm figures I had.  I still think I came out the winner in the deal, as the buildings I received are not only visually impressive, but also great wargaming pieces with lift off roofs as well as removable floors.  I just wanted to get all of these pictures posted here on the blog as a placeholder, as well as something others might enjoy.

First, the mosque:






Now the hotel:

Showing first floor

Second floor

Third floor

Fourth floor

Roof added







I think mine is more impressive than the real one!

And the shanties:





And lastly a couple of battlefield pieces:




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