Monday, September 4, 2017

All Units Engage - Preview

My long-time internet buddy Thomas Robson of the Peabody Here! has been writing a set of skirmish rules called All Units Engage (AUE).  This originated from him and his regular gaming buddies basically wanting a simple set of rules to play an odd assortment of game types.  For example, Fallout 4, with it's post-apocalyptic setting.  So why bring this up?  WELL, because he's getting close to finally releasing the finished product and he's put a FREE introduction to the game on Wargame Vault.

For the record, he didn't ask me to advertise this for him, but since he made it known on his Facebook group and some other groups I decided to help out and spread the word in the Blog-o-sphere.  I jumped on as a play-tester a little while ago and been trying out some different features of the game. So far, they have become my "go to" rules for Sci-Fi gaming.  As for the setting I'd say they will work well from anything around WWII and later.

So Rod, what's it like?
Well, they are Skirmish rules.  I'd say a Beer & Pretzel style game, but with those really tasty pretzels with the spicy mustard.  The rules are fairly simple and don't require you spend a lot of time with your head in the charts.  BUT, all the ground work is there to add any complexity you need to spice up your game.

Number of units?
Eventually you'll get more options for building your forces, but with the intro scenario has 5 troops per side.  Later with the rules you'll be able to add squads and vehicles.

Figure size?
I think you could use them for any size figures (typically individually based), but the measurements are written with 28mm and 15mm in mind.  I have been playing these rules with 15mm.

Table size?
Well, for the scenario in the preview it recommends 3'x3'.  Obviously you'll be able to go larger than that.

Game play?
Why are you still reading my ramblings?  Just go try them yourself.  They're free after all...

Sunday, August 20, 2017

A Fairy and Her Garden

My wife, Alla, has a green thumb.  She has an impressive collection of Japanese orchids and African Violets (some pretty rare).  She puts a lot of hard work into it and our house always has a variety of plants in bloom.  Here lately she decided she wanted to display some of her micro violets in a display as a fairy garden.  She found some stuff online and most of it arrived looking pretty good.  Only thing that was really lacking was the paint job on the fairy she ordered.  So, she asked me to repaint it.

BEFORE PICTURE:
Basically most of it was like someone just did an ink wash over the clay...

Here's how it turned out after the repaint (mostly).  I was still working on the raccoon when she stole it to take her pictures so it still looks a bit plain.  Anyway, I think you'll see that she did a really awesome job on putting together her Fairy Garden.  I'm quite proud!





Cheers!

Rod

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

On the Fringe of 15mm Space

Hi friends, once again I'm playing around with one of my old, but never forgotten projects.  These folks have been sitting in the lead pile for some time and I finally just said, "Let's paint!"  Well, really I painted and the little miniatures made giggling noises as I rubbed paint on them with the brush.

One of my plans for 15mm Sci-Fi was to have a setting on the fringe of space in a colony pretty far from everything modern.  Think of it has kind of a "Firefly" TV show setting.  The Wild West in space.  Luckily, Darkest Star Games has a lot of figures that match this setting with their "Colony 15" miniature line.  First up, I'm adding some more colonist...




And then there are the primitive inhabitants of the land.  Traded older equipment and weapons for access to their lands.  But sometimes, they don't like seeing what the colonists are doing... or perhaps jealousy and the need to grab more technology is their motivation?  Who knows?  But sometimes they get aggressive and attack weak gatherings of colonist.

Inspired by several projects people are doing with the French & Indian Wars, I took that same idea when I started painting the Zonii.  I thought bright and flashy colors with nothing to give them a real uniform look like the old North American Indians.  Here's how the Zonii warband turned out...







What's next?  I'm not sure.  I have enough 15mm to play some fun games now.  So either I'll add some more terrain for this game.  Maybe some more Infinity?  Whatever the case, I'm happy to say I will be starting a new job on September 5th.  So I have a few weeks of unemployment to actually get some painting done!

Cheers!
Rod

Sunday, August 13, 2017

15mm Vehicles for Sci-Fi

Recently I got in the mood to put the brush to some of my 15mm Sci-Fi toys.  Both of these vehicles come from Darkest Star Games.  Really not much to say, so just enjoy!

Fuel Truck




I really liked this retro-style tank.  Really had a Studio Ghibli feel to it.  :)

Light Hover Tank



More 15mm Sci-Fi posts coming this week.

Cheers!

Rod

Friday, July 28, 2017

Daktari

Today we venture a hundred and seventy-five years into the future for some more Infinity related content.  Today's subject is the Nomads field doctor called a Daktari.  The word Daktari actually means "doctor" in Swahili.




Doctors and medics play a very handy role in Infinity.  Since they are labeled as Specialist they can capture mission objectives, whether its a console, terminal, signal antennae, etc.  Also, some of the cards you can draw from your classified objective deck specifically relate to Doctors doing some kind of medical skill.  So it's always to your advantage to have one or more in your army list.

Their other key role is they use a medical kit to get unconscious figures back into the action.  When a figure takes a number of hits equal to their wound stat then they go unconscious.  From this state they can be revived.  Only if they take more hits than their wound stat are they killed and completely removed from the table.  So a good doctor running around the battlefield can get some of your troops back in action quick.


This Daktari obviously comes from the Nomad starship Bakunin, where body modifications and just about anything else can be accomplish if you got the money to spend.  If you want to be a Cat Girl... you can get that done on Bakunin!


You can certainly see the Japanese anime influence on Infinity when you see figures like this.  I have to admit that's one of the things I like about the game too.

Have a good weekend friends!

Rod

Monday, July 24, 2017

The White Wolf

One of my favorite series here lately has been "The Witcher" by Andrzej Sapkowski.  My wife introduced me to the book series as well as the video games back when we were dating.  Sadly the books have not been completely translated into English so I have not had the chance to finish reading them yet.  My wife, on the other hand, completed the series years ago because they were translated into Russian a long time ago.  Part of my wife educating me in the Witcher universe, was also watching the Polish series Wiedźmin staring Michal Zebrowski as Geralt of Rivia.




So needless to say I am a Witcher fan.  About a year or so ago I started thinking about how to play the Witcher in miniature.  It was my search for potential rules that actually had me end up supporting the "Open Combat" kickstarter.  Then it was the search for miniatures.  It was in the Darksword Game of Thrones miniature range that I found a figure I liked for Geralt.  Then it kind of stalled...  But now there is a lot of new hype since Netflix has decided to do their own live action version.  This of course got me motivated to make some progress on my own designs.

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Geralt of Rivia was taken from his family at an early age to the stronghold Kaer Morhen to under-go the training to become a Witcher.  Part of the training involves the Trial of Grasses were the trainees are subjected to harsh toxins and chemicals that cause genetic mutation.



There is a very high mortality rate among the trainees, but those who survive will be better equipped for fighting against monsters.  The results give them super human strength and agility.  Learning some magic spells also enhances their arsenal of weapons and defenses.



Geralt was very resistant to the Trial of Grasses and so was able to be subjected to even harsher doses making him quite the exceptional Witcher. The results have made him one of the best and most successful Witchers. The side-effect of these extra trials was the loss of pigmentation in his body causing him to have pale skin and white hair.



Because of his pale complexion he is known in the Elder Speech as "Gwynbleidd", the White Wolf. There are several schools of Witchers, but Kaer Morhen is the Wolf school.  Each Witcher has a wolf medallion he wears to signify his position, but it also vibrates to let the Witcher know when magic is nearby.


From Kaer Morhen, Geralt goes out into the world to become a full-fledged monster hunter.  Being a Witcher doesn't pay well and he finds he is not well liked or trusted by the humans he seeks to protect.



But when monsters appear and start killing people or livestock, then everyone wants to have a Witcher in their town.


Once the monster is slain, he gets paid and often finds he is not wanted in town any longer.  Thus continues the trek to the next town in need for our hero.  Sometimes the monsters turn out to be the good and helpful kind, while the humans turn out to be the evil and true monsters.  The tales of Geralt are always interesting and thought provoking.

Even Witchers have bad days...
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I have some allies to paint to join Geralt's adventures... and need some more monsters.  I welcome any suggestions for strigas, etc.  Thanks for stopping by friends.

Rod

Friday, July 21, 2017

Take Me to the Church...

This is another little break from painting Infinity figures as I do some terrain.  My wife bought this for me as part of a village for Christmas to go along with my Napoleonics and other period gaming.  I find painting terrain less difficult than miniatures because I don't put a lot of effort into it.  I try, but I don't find it incredibly exciting.  I do realize that it can really make for an awesome looking table so I tend to go back and forth on how to do it and make it look great.  Months later I'm still going... "I need to get to that some day."

Well, that time has arrived.  I recently painted a figure that I'm excited to show you guys, but first I wanted to give him a nice backdrop.  So here's a church!


At one point I was going to try to give the windows a stained glass look, but all the mess from casting there wasn't enough flat surfaces to do a good job.  I honestly tried.  Second though was to cut out some plastic and paint them to look like stained glass and insert them into the windows.  But, all the windows are different sizes so that would have been a lot of work.  Like I said, I get a bit lazy with terrain.  :)


This is the Medieval Parish Church from Magister Militum.


Next post is a White Wolf.  Can ya guess?

Cheers!
Rod

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Battle of Shady Hill

The Hill Dwarf General stared at the huge skeletal catapult in the gap between the forest and hills.  
Scouts had spotted the Undead army and he knew they were arrayed for battle on the other side of the forest.  He knew his troops have to drive hard and fast to avoid being constantly pounded by the Vampire Lord's catapults.


The wooden rectangles were marking deployment areas.  Should have removed them before taking the pictures.  D'oh!

I packed up my Warband stuff and took it over to my friend Darby's house and we got in a game Saturday night.  He played the Undead and I played the Hill Dwarfs.  These were 500 pt armies.

Undead Army
Vampire Lord (Good)
Necromancer (Average)
Skeletal Crossbows
Skeletal Riders
Skeletal Warriors x 3
Undead Catapults

Hill Dwarf Army
General (Exceptional)
Spell Crafter (Average)
Handgunners
Warriors x 3
Noble Riders
Artillery

During terrain placement I of course placed hills because they do not hamper movement for Hill Dwarfs if you give them the "Hill Walkers" ability, which I did.  Darby placed forests to hamper my movement as a counter measure. Below is the placement of units before the battle began.  I have my Noble Riders [NR] and Handgunners [HG] on the left.  My goal was to run around the hill and hit the left flank with my riders and move the Handgunners up on the hill to fire down from the cover of trees.  Darby placed his skeletal riders [SC] on his right as a counter to my cavalry.  Darby placed his artillery in the middle of his army to have them immediately available to start pounding the Dwarfs during their approach.


After several turns the Hill Dwarfs have had some motivation issues and not made much progress in the advance.  The Noble Riders have made the flank and one unit of Warriors has made the hill on the right flank.  This has made them a prime target for the catapults and they have suffered some hits after reaching the top of the hill.


Fast forward several more turns and the bulk of both armies are engaged in a melee.  The Noble Riders and Skeletal Cavalry are locked in a stalemate on the left.  Darby managed to advance some Warriors on top of the forested hill making my Handgunners retreat and unable to take any shots.  In the middle 2 units of Warriors are engaged with the Skeletal Warriors and Vampire Lord.  The Necromancer and Skeletal Archers have both joined the large melee to provide flanking attacks on the Dwarfs.  On the right Warriors from both armies are locked in melee.  At this point both armies' artillery sit silently waiting for targets.


As the melees continued for several more turns both sides see progress.  On the left, the Noble Riders have routed and the Handgunners are engaged before they even get to fire a volley.  The Undead are winning on the left.  Both sides artillery moved into position to start a duel.  The Dwarf Artillery forced the Undead Catapults off the board, but not before they could route the Dwarf Spell Caster and put some wounds on the Dwarf Artillery.  With the right flank still in a deadlock the major change takes place in the center.  The second unit of Skeletal Warriors have been destroy and both the Vampire Lord and Necromancer are pushed back.  The Dwarf Warriors 1 was also routed, but rallied after running past their General.

Next turn the Hill Dwarfs' left looks really bleak as the Handgunners are hit in the rear by the Skeletal Cavalry.  Hill Dwarf sandwich anyone?


Luckily for the Handgunners they don't have to survive long because the next turn the Hill Dwarf General charges into the Vampire Lord and forces him off the table.  At this point the Undead have lost over half their army points and break off the engagement.



I have to say it was a fun game and look forward to playing it again.  I'll need to take another read through the rules to make sure I have everything correct this time, but overall, I thought this one went much smoother.  I have been pretty focused on Infinity here lately, but I'm already wanting to start another army for Warband.  :)

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Midnight Sun Analyst (HVT)

Midnight Sun is an intelligence agency based in the Nomad nation.  Midnight Sun encourages competition between their own analysts, so these intelligence gathers will often be found in the thick of the action.  For the opponents of the Nomad nation, these Midnight Sun analyst are highly valuable targets to capture.


Infinity is a scenario based game, so you'll always have main objectives you are trying to achieve in each game.  There are also secondary objectives that you can go for to gain more points.  Usually you will draw 1-2 cards for "Classified" objectives.  Only you will know what these objectives are and they are only revealed to your opponent when successfully completed.  Also, each player will put a HVT (High Value Target) in the middle of the table.  You want to try to capture the opponents HVT while protecting your own.  HVT's serve another purpose in that some of the classified objectives involve interaction with your opponents HVT.


So, if the previous paragraph didn't make sense, then here's the gist.  Each game you have to place a non-combatant on the table and try to protect them from capture.  This dude is mine!

Cheers!

Rod

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Crazy...er...Caring Koalas?

Hey friends!  Time for yet another Infinity post.  This time I will introduce you to Crazy Koalas.  One of the weapons available in the Nomad's arsenal is a little robot called the Crazy Koala.  The Crazy Koala is a proximity weapon.  It follows along with it's controller and can be anywhere within the controller's Zone of Control (ZOC).  The ZOC in Infinity is 8" and does not require line-of-sight.  After all, this is the future and they have electronics and all kinds of detection gear at their disposal.  What a proximity weapon does is during the other player's turn it will sit in a idle state until an enemy enters their ZOC and it will charge them until it reaches base to base contact... and EXPLODE.  Now that's just good fun folks!

Now as I was pondering the paint job for my Crazy Koalas I just kept thinking about the Care Bears. If you're not familiar with these cartoon characters well they are oriented towards younger children.  In my sinister twisted mind I decided I'd paint my little suicide koalas as these friendly childhood characters.  Why not??  I'm playing it off as it provides a few seconds of confusion for the friend/foe recognition software of my enemies.  It could work...

Anyway, here they are!  The Crazy... I mean... Caring Koalas!




Since the models come in pairs, I didn't want them to be duplicates so for the one below I was going to sculpt him on a different base.  But the pose just screamed SURF BOARD or HOVER BOARD, you choose.  Either way that's what the green stuff turned into when I was done.  :)
 
And for this one I got the idea that it would be cool if he was running through a smoke grenade in the processing of just beginning to spread out it's smoke.

Hope you all are having a good weekend.

Rod

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

TOMCATS, Engineer and a ZondCat

TOMCATS are specialist Nomad troops that hail from the starship Corregidor.  The more highly skilled TOMCATS are doctors and engineers.  The TOMCATS enter the battle field by parachute drop in planetary environments, but also have training in Zero-G.  They can also be accompanied by a ZondCat.  ZondCat are robot remotes that can perform all the skills as the doctor or engineer they accompany.

TOMCATS - Engineer

ZondCat


Well, they sound pretty neat.  BUT, how do they work in the game you ask?  At the beginning of the game you can either start them on the board in your deployment area... OR you split the board up into sectors and determine which sector they will enter the board (as long as it's not your opponents deployment area).  The opponent doesn't get to know where they will come in... or even that you have one.  Seriously, they don't even get included on the courtesy list if you provide one.  One of the great things about Infinity is how the players have to trust each other and work together to make the game work.  As a courtesy you could take a picture of the location the unit will enter... or just write it down.  Most players will just trust you though.

So, on your turn you spend an order to bring the TOMCATS specialist (and their ZondCat, if you added one to your list) onto the table in your pre-planned drop sector.  If you pass the skill roll then they are placed on the edge of the table anywhere in that sector.  If you fail the roll, then they have to be placed in your deployment area.  What is nice is if you wait until the second turn you might be able to drop in behind some enemies in cover and catch them clustered together behind cover.  The engineers and doctors come equipped with Lt. Flamethrowers which can really be nasty in the right situation!!


(Pictures taken by my wife Alla)

Doctors are important for reviving unconscious figures on your team.  Engineers are for useful for fixing damaged equipment and repairing damaged robots.  So both are valuable skills, but also as specialist they have the ability to capture specific objectives on the game board depending on the scenario.

Hope you are having a good week friends!
Rod