Friday, April 26, 2024

Artizan Miniatures Frontier Scouts

As part of my new Space Frontier obsession, courtesy of Five Parsecs From Home and Star Wars threads on Lead Adventure (the most dangerous website to visit, even more than Ebay), I bought a few new figures.  I got the brand new Artizan Miniatures Frontier Scouts (FSF002) which were just released a couple of weeks ago as part of a small new line of figures (just the two packs).  Since they are so new, I have not seen any pictures of them anywhere, so thought I would take a couple of comparisons to show them off.

Artizan Miniatures Frontier Scouts against Stargrave body

Picture 1 shows one of the figures against a Stargrave plastic crew person body, and you can see that he is much taller, and thinner. (look for a more comprehensive review of the Stargrave crew I box in the future)

Artizan Miniatures Frontier Scouts compared to various miniatures

Comparison shot against a grab bag of figures I pulled out of a few drawers.  Left to right we have: Copplestone back of beyond, GW Stormtrooper (old), the three Frontier Scouts, the Rogue Stars Rogue, an old WoTC Star Wars figure, and oldest of all a Necromunda Scum figure.   As you can see the Frontier figures fit in pretty well here, but are tall and thin, with more realistic proportions compared to many figures. 

Artizan Miniatures Frontier Scouts height

Over all I really like the figures, as they have sort of a retro 70's Scifi look that is a bit rare, and their relatively low level of equipment presents more of a blank slate for imagination/additions than many figures these days.  Two of the figures have pistols (which look as if they could either be machine pistols or laser pistols), and one is unarmed, which is unusual for these sort of figures. They are a bit tall at 32mm+, but overall I think an interesting development for Artizan, and I would like to see more of them.  Listed for £6.60 they are not too expensive per figure either. 

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Starmada: It is full of Stars.... and madas?

The most excellent Stewart of the blog A Terrible Loss of Lead and Wealth, came round this weekend for a game of TNG era Starmada.  He brought his lovely 1/7000 ships, the mat and the rules, all I provided was lunch and a venue (as well as an escape from relatives...).

As it was just the two of us Stew looked up a scenario from the rulebook, and we set out some fleets.  I ended up with the noble Klingons, and Stew took the cowardly and weak Federation. As usual we got caught up in the game and I failed to take as many pictures as I should have, but here are some. 

Now, fortunately for the noble Klingons, they have ambushed, er gloriously engaged in battle with only HALF the Federation fleet, the other half to arrive later as a rescue.  The Federation fleet started with a Galaxy Class, and two Excelsiors. Klingons has two Vor'Cha class cruisers, a Vor'Cha with a torpedo module, a D7 analog, a warbird, and the Tsanenn, a heavy command cruiser. 

Close range disruptor practice on the appropriately named "Fearless"

This next picture shows what happens when two wings of your fleet cross on the location of a weaker opponent's ship.  Starmada utilizes written orders for movement, so usually we would futilely drift past each other, or end up with the business end of the ship facing away from the action, but a couple of times it all came together nicely.  This is also a nice closeup of the ships.  Look how pretty they are! 

After the unfortunate end of the Fearless the other half of the Federation fleet entered the board, and an Ambassador, as Akira, and a Defiant class ship warped in to join the fun.  The Akira has a whole mess of torpedo tubes and a pretty healthy phaser array so it was rather worrying.  The Defiant class is a slippery little thing with too many guns, but fortunately it spent most of the game moving past targets, or pointing those guns away from my ships! 

Two Vor'Cha ships uselessly pointing away from the Endeavor

Since the Tsanenn's guns all face forward, the Hardrov is in for a bad day

Keeping your ship squadrons intact when one or more of them take engine hits is complicated, particularly as they drift further apart and make several turns. The two Vor'Cha class cruisers on the bottom right of the picture were supposed to be staying together, but it was not working very well by this point. 

By the end, the Federation had to retreat, and the Klingons got to celebrate their victory with some bloodwine.  Another lovely game with Stew and all of that has prompted some more interest in getting through the TNG/DS9 era Cardassians I started last year, and I printed off a few more Galors of various sub-types, a small group of Netels (an obsolete destroyer), and a pair of Keldons.  I also struggled my way through the Starmada ship calculator, which is really not that bad, once you realize that not every ship can do it all.  So hopefully another game in the near-ish future with a new fleet! 

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Holidaze 2024

Well hello again. 

Happy New year and Merry Christmas to you my dear reader(s)! 

Hopefully everyone is well, and you got what you wanted from Santa.

As for myself, my family was very generous, and I got a few gaming related items.
Dark Reapers are nearly built, just need to magnetize the Exarch's gun options

Santa brought the family a Nintendo Switch, and I am not sure if that is a good idea or not... the kid got enough Space Marines to be a whole new army AND an Imperial Knight kit, which is just too much.  I will have to get some more brightlances out to compensate.  Maybe a Fireprism is needed?

Inbetween early November and now I have played a couple of games, both thanks to the local library:
Godzilla Tokyo Clash! (obligatory exclamation point)


Neither was something that we needed to own, although Flamecraft was an interesting cooperative engine builder that I could see being fun to play more.  The "board" was a neoprene mat, which was cool, and certainly easier to put away. 

I also managed to squeeze in a couple of short D&D sessions with the kids and their cousins, which was great, except that now the level 3 party is left between sessions facing down a green dragon... TPK for the new year?

As for upcoming projects, I have a lot more Eldar in various stages of completion, a couple of updated D&D character figures, and as I mentioned LAST year, I would like to get back to my WWII Normandy stuff... we will see what actually gets accomplished.

What about you?  What are you planning on working on this year?

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Jump off to Joppa part 3

 In part 2 of this series, I discussed how I hosted a game at my house.

Unfortunately we had run out of time, and Stew and P had to depart.  The kid was convinced that we ought to keep playing, so rather than wrap things up where they were, we played on!  (and on and on).

This is how I felt after the game...
Since we only completed the shooting phase of the turn, the kid decided to take over the FWL invaders, and I took over command of both lances of Capellans. Finishing out the turn, the Highlander swatted the Wasp out from behind it, causing it to crash to the ground, and the FWl Crusader overheated, failed a shutdown check [rolled a 3 on 2d6!], and fell to the ground. 

The next turn the Highlander unloaded into the Crusader, the now fleeing Quickdraw, and then stomped the Wasp to death.  In the middle of the board the Battlemaster tried to evade the AC20 of the Huncback, and on the right side the various lights maneuvered around.  The Hermes II destroyed another Wasp.
Four Wasps enter, and three are burning wreckage

On the left the Highlander and the quickdraw-crusader duo fight it out rather inconclusively, as with a mighty +4 to the target number to hit the Highlander was missing nearly all its shots.  Near the middle everything seems to be trying to batter down the Battlemaster while the other FWL 'mechs tried to prevent that.  That pretty much defines the rest of the game. 

More of the same, although now the Crusader is fleeing from the Highlander which is following very very slowly at one or two hexes a turn.  Maneuvering for a shot at the Battlemaster, the Phoenix Hawk is unceremoniously shoved off a cliff, but manages to land on its feet.  Then it overheats.  I realized here that the Highlander had the range to the Battlemaster with its LRM20, and that the Stinger could spot for it... indirect fire followed. 

Different lighting suggests that this game is going on for a long time, and that is so!  The Quickdraw decides to jump over to the action in the center, hoping to get a shot at the rear of the Capellan Crusader.  The Locust gives up on trying to kick things and charges the Gladiator, but misses. (good thing too, as it ran something like 8 hexes for the charge)  The last of the Wasps is killed. 

Final action: 
The Battlemaster rather belatedly flees the action, but is shot to death, losing 3 of four limbs.  The Quickdraw, which had been leaping about with a damaged leg for most of the game finally goes down.

Closeup of the demise of the Battlemaster
The Battlemaster finally goes down! 

In the end, with only one 'mech remaining relatively unharmed, the FWL surrendered and negotiated to get their surviving pilots back.  The Capellans gained quite a lot of salvage... unfortunately most of it pretty wrecked! 

Lessons learned from all of this:

  • Battletech is fun!
  • Battletech is slow!
  • Hosting games is fun! 
  • Hosting games is also a lot of work!

Stay tuned for part 4, where I discuss some of the rules issues we had, and a few other general thoughts about the game.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Jump off to Joppa part 2

 As mentioned in part 1, I actually hosted a Battletech game at my house last month.

On a Saturday morning, I was joined by Stew and P, and my kid joined as well to give a total of four players. I had set the terrain (Grasslands 2 and 3 with printed hills, some buildings, and unfortunately no 3D trees), and P brought along a couple of pre-painted buildings from Gale Force 9.  Both Stew and P had played Battletech before, but in colleges, which is a fair ways behind us now!  The kid and I had played a few practice games, but nothing nearly as large and complicated as this, so there was a lot of looking up rule interactions. 

Here is the initial set up, with three lances prepared for each side. 

Record sheets take up a lot of room

We looked over the figures, and decide to take a light and heavy lance per side, rather than mix them up.   In retrospect we should have taken the mediums instead for a faster game. 

The Capellan Confederation ended up taking a light lance made up of two Wasps (WSP-1A and 1L) a Phoenix Hawk, and a Stinger, and a heavy lance made up of a Hunchback, Gladiator (3R), Crusader (CRD-3L), and a Highlander.  The Free Worlds League had a light lance of two Wasp 1As, a Locust, and a Hermes II, and a heavy lance of a Crusader, Battlemaster, Quickdraw, and and Orion.  Battle Value wise, the Capellans had 7520 and the FWL had 7441.  I took the Capellan heavies, and the kid took the lights, while across the table Stew took the heavies and P the lights. 

Turn 1

(Worth clicking to make the picture larger)
Turn one we maneuvered our units onto the board.  There was a pretty heavy concentration of units on the right side of the map, with 6 Capellans and 5 FWL 'mechs on that side.  However, the Highlander is perfectly able to hold onto the left side map by itself...

Turn 2 the kid declared a DFA attack on with a Wasp on a Locust, so I spent some time looking up the rules for that.  The Wasp missed, and then I had I look up fall damage for the poor Wasp.  I was too distracted to take a shot of that turn, but here is the Capellan light lance trying to box in the speedy Locust.  The kid also learned that the Phoenix hawk can effectively move OR shoot... 10 heat sinks on the standard model is just not enough! 

 Turn 3
In this turn the Highlander starts to take (and handout) a beating of the left side, while the Hunchback emerges from the city to shoot the Battlemaster in the chest.  AC20 is delightful. Well, to shoot it is delightful, not so much to be hit with.  The Gladiator punches the FWL Wasp in the face, and puts it out of the game, killing the pilot.  The FWL Crusader learns than dipping in level -1 water when you have no leg heat sinks and leg mounted SRM6 is just not a great idea. 

Hold still so I can punch you with 90 tons of mass

Turn 4

The Hunchback ran around to shoot the Battlemaster in the back, while the Crusader on the hill retreats after missing most of its alpha strike. (and got very very hot).  On the left the Highlander mauls the Quickdraw, and takes about half the missiles from the FWL Crusader.  The FWL Wasp does what Wasps do and runs around behind the Highlander and shoots.  And hits.  And hits it in the head.  And scores two critical hits destroying both sets of sensors so that all future shooting from the Highlander will be at a +4, but at least it did not kill the pilot!  

As you might expect with two new players, and two who had not played in 15-20 years, the game did not play to conclusion!  Stew and P had to leave to spend part of their Saturday with their actual families, so stay tuned for part 3 and the conclusion where the kid took over the FWL and we continued on. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Jump off to Joppa part 1

Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Joppa, where we lay our scene, from ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. 

A couple of  weekends I hosted my first ever game. 

I have been very busy in the last month, with the printer running pretty much non-stop generating terrain, markers, needed figures, and everything else in-between.

Additionally, I have managed to successfully use an airbrush, painted two company sized units of 'Mechs for Battletech, and read through the introductory, and Total Warfare rulebooks, as well as a whole host of online material, and I had open basically all day.  I have a bunch of posts stacked up regarding all this, as well as other more general hobby catch up posts. 

Lots more to come! 

Monday, October 23, 2023

Battletech: Gift completed

 A while back, I mentioned that I had descended into madness with regards to Battletech, and had bought a game set for my friend and his son, and then printed off some 3d terrain to give to them.

Well, my kid pointed out that the trees I had painted were insufficient for the basic maps, and so I needed to print more... and paint them.  I threw in a few more buildings and a power generator as an objective. 

Then, I thought, well, who wants to play with carboard standees (as nice as they are) when you can have mechs instead?  So I printed and primed enough mechs to have a both sides equal sort of battle  (which with basic rules would play out pretty strangely).  So, I added two locusts, a griffon and a wolverine to go with the ones in the boxed set, and two thunderbolts which took a ton of time, being larger and more complicated figures.  I also converted a Phoenix hawk from a misprinted Wasp and painted it up in classic Skull Squadron colors from Robotech (painting the tiny skull and crossbones was a challenge for sure!  However my buddy is a Robotech fan so it had to be done (here is a previously published crap picture).

Now, any sensible person would have stopped here, and not you know, printed a ton more stuff for a game they have not really played, and have no regular opponent for.  As you know by now, I am not sensible, and mistakes were made... lots of them.  More to come. 

Friday, October 20, 2023

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Starmada - back in action

This past weekend, Stew, of the excellent blog A Terrible Loss of Lead and Wealth, again invited a couple of fellows and myself over for a large game of Starmada- TNG style.  As with the last game, Stew provided the space to play in, a lovely star mat, ship stats. a QRF, lunch, and drinks.  And of course two extremely well painted fleets (seriously, look at those ships!). 

This time we got to pick our fleets by victory points, and I decided to bring out the big guns and selected the Sovereign class Atlantic, backed up with three comparatively obsolete Excelsior class ships.  Stew selected the Galaxy class Freitag (which was portrayed by the Galaxy class Endeavor half way through the game after a magnet failure), as well as a Defiant class, an Akira class, and another Excelsior.  The dastardly Klingons went with a fleet that utilized all the available Vor'Cha models.  In game terms, this meant that the Federation had two big battlewagons, a cruiser,  and what amounted to heavy destroyers, which the Klingons had all cruisers (and a couple of warbirds that barely figured in the game). 

As is typical, I did not take as many pictures as I could have, but here are a few. 

Federation fleet selection

First turn, as the fleets are probing for advantage

The big ships make their appearance

Excelsior classes take a pounding  The flat hex is a cloaked ship

Battlewagons eliminate everything between then (two Klingons cloaked to retreat, er tactically redeploy)

Federation victory, and another great game!

Since Stew indicated that he was running out of ships to paint, and needed another very large project, I printed something to bring along for him...

(In the event that you are not a Trek fan, that is a 1/7000 scale model of DS9 printed in two halves, which I primed before I brought it over.  A bit over 200mm wide)

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Marching forward

I have been quite busy lately with dealing with my uncle's estate issues, so I have had little time for painting and other hobby activities.

I did recently receive a very generous gift from Dai, a whole British platoon for Chain of Command, painted and with extras. (such as the MMG teams in the bag on the right).  With just a bit of work on the bases they will match up with my Americans and Germans very nicely, and since I have a pack of Motorized British somewhere, I can add a few more extra items.

So you would think that painting more figures for Chain of Command and its related terrain would be in the forefront of my mind, and indeed it has been largely so.

However, I also recently got this for a hefty discount...

Yet more Eldar (and chaos bound for Ebay)