Monday, 22 May 2017

Two X-Wing Battles: The Kittens Strike Back


Allan moving his Academy pilot forward at the beginning of the first turn on my new space mat bought from Dark Sphere games.

We played two games of X-Wing this Saturday, which made for a very busy weekend after a morning spent shooting arrow at archery practice, and then shooting again on Sunday in our club Spring Handicap competition.  More on archery here.

Our friend Allan came around to play and have a meal, drink wine, the usual really.  He and his wife Paloma are leaving Britain for sunnier climes, though she couldn't make today because of having to finish her doctorate presentation, which was due Monday.

So, I made up two three-player scenarios, with the kittens playing the opposition and us three humans all working together to foil them, which went about as well as could be expected...

The kittens have destroyed one TIE fighter and are leading the rest on a merry chase through the asteroids.

The first scenario was based on the Millenium Falcon flying out of an asteroid belt and engaging it's stardrive to escape, loosely based on the Empire Strikes Back.  The Falcon had Han and R2 D2 aboard with homing missiles and an upgrade to allow the bucket of bolts to do barrel rolls.

It all got a bit gnarly with ships banging into each other, which worked well for the TIEs in preventing the Falcon's progress.

We each ran two of the Empire's Imperial TIEs with one average and one academy pilot each.  Points wise the Falcon was outmatched, but the kittens still managed to get their very battered and beaten ship off the table.

The kittens on the verge of victory with the TIE players (Susan) insisting the Imperials being allowed one more round of firing on the Falcon as the centre pin wasn't across the edge of the board.  Kittens still escaped though.

The second game features two X-wings escorting a Y-wing off the table.

More asteroids to fly through.

The kittens had Red Leader Garven Dreis, Red 2 Wedge Antilles, and Gold Leader Jon "Dutch" Vander facing the same motley crew of Imperial pilots: one skill four, two skill three and three skill one Academy pilots.

My two TIE fighters are bottom left and centre, and I had to turn my lead to avoid hitting the asteroid.

There was much dodging of asteroids and, the inevitable crashing into one's own ships as the Imperials struggled to gang up on the Y-wing–our victory being dependent on destroying it before it could get off the board.

A TIE fighter about about to go boom after being shot up by the kittens, and the two remaining TIEs failed to inflict any damage when returning fire.

Wedge Antilles is a total killer because his character's special ability is to reduce the enemy agility by one, and TIE fighters are a bit fragile if hit.

The kittens did a reverse turn with the X-wings and lined up on two soon to be ex-TIE fighters, which led to complaints from Susan that I was 'avoiding' the fight.

In a move that couldn't have been staged for more laughs, I managed to crash my Academy pilot into Allan's good pilot, and then crash my good pilot into my own Academy pilot, which caused my two TIE fighters to end up trailing the oncoming X-wing furball.

With the two TIE fighters destroyed the Y-wing slip quietly away after the only TIE that can shoot it fails to destroy it.

Points wise the game was very evenly matched, but the kittens managed to get the slightly battered Y-wing away and beat up the Imperials for their trouble.

Afterwards we ate a lovely roast beef dinner, which Susan had made, drank wine, and then watched Rogue One that Allan hadn't yet seen, which made a perfect end to a perfect day.  I will also say that I enjoyed Rogue One more on the second watch because I was able to just relax and let the story unfold without the niggling question of where and who is that?

NBFor those of you reading this and not understanding the 'kittens' use in the game, they are avatars whose movement and dice are controlled by more than one of the opposition players, either in rotation or individually taking command of one ship,which makes for an interesting game.

PS: Amended title after posting.
   

Friday, 19 May 2017

Walker, Humanoid, Integrated Suit/Pilot, Engagement/Reconnaissance

  


My friend Brandon Keith Fero has launched a Kickstarter for some awesome mecha called Whispers.

You can pledge here.

At five Whispers for $50.00 these are a steal.  I'm going to pledge when I'm paid because this it too good a deal to miss out on.
  

Monday, 15 May 2017

Be Careful What You Wish For



Saturday there was no archery, so I was free to do something else instead of shooting sticks at round things.

Serendipitously, one of my MIB colleagues (Steve Jackson Game Men in Black game demonstrators)  was over from the States.  So, after an exchange of emails and messages on Facebook, we arranged for David to come around and play a game of Ogre/GEV.

I suggested we played my Escalation scenario (now subtitled: be careful what you wish for), which I had demoed around various wargame shows three years ago,.  Yes, it was as long ago as that.  Running the scenario would be a good test of the game as I would be playing against someone who knew the rules rather than introducing new players to the game.  It's a bit ironic really, given I haven't played for nearly two and half years I was a bit rusty and forgetful, but David rocked.

What I learnt is that I'm going to have to think about how I word the victory conditions; mostly down to the fact that the scenario is unbalanced and is not designed to have a clear winner, but rather to demonstrate how the Last War progressed i.e.: how the GEV green map ends up turning into an orange Ogre map.

I also need to add another howitzer to the nominal attackers side, perhaps even some more infantry, and I think change the GEV mobile command post to a slower tracked mobile command post, as I think it would add more tension to the game.


And courtesy of David a picture of the start of the scenario, before things got all gnarly.

  

Friday, 5 May 2017

RAFM Even More Reinforcements



And just when you think you have enough, along comes the chance to buy more!  I couldn't resist these, especially as the bundle included spare weapon packs, which will mean I can play about with the weapon loadouts on my collection of Heavy Gears.

What's interesting, and therefore exciting, is the options this opens up to me when I assemble the next batch of Gears.  And, furthermore once I've taken a picture of it, I have one broken bazooka that has snapped in half, which is not something you see everyday.  Still, it has got me thinking about repairing it and making it into large missile launchers.

Beside that there's the two tanks, which means that I now have tanks for both my Northern Guard and Southern Milicia forces too.  Given that I didn't go to Salute again this year, this and the other eBay haul have salved my need to spend money on wargaming paraphernalia.

Enjoy.
    

Friday, 28 April 2017

Southern Army Assembles



I have scored seven Southern Jagers and one more Northern Hunter off eBay.  I've gone from not having enough models for a full squad to being able to make up two squads, which means I now have a Southern Milicia force to face my Northern Guard.  I can't begin to tell you all how insanely happy this makes me, and here I was thinking I'd never get into Heavy Gear, what with being the old BattleTech grognard that I am.

And here are the other pictures from the RAFM catalogue of Southern Gears I found online, with a list of all the models issued.  Again, those listed in bold are those I've managed to get hold of.



Jager 1300
Blitz Jager 130 


(I have two)
Black Mamba 1302
Long Fang Black Mamba 1303


Iguana 1304
Blitz Iguana 1305
Spitting Cobra 1306
Striking Cobra 1307


Stone Mason 1308

Fire Jager 1309
 


(I have two)
Snakeye Black Mamba 1310
 


(I have one coming)
Support Cobra 1311



RazorFang Black Mamba 1312

King Cobra 1313
Light Artillery 1314

Number apparently not used 1315
Standard Infantry 1316 


(not shown)
Heavy Infantry 1317 

(not shown)

Recon Infantry 1318



Sniper Infantry 1319
Chameleon 1322  

(not shown)
Barbed Fang 1323  

(not shown)
Black Box Iguana 1324 

(not shown)

Jager Recon 1325 

(not shown, but I have six)
Artillery Cobra 1326 

(not shown, but I have one)

Lidded Iguana 1327 
 

(not shown)
Spitting Mamba 1328 
 

(not shown)
Armored Jager 1329 

(not shown, but I have one)

"Azure Devils" Box 2051
 

(not shown)
Naga Strider 2054
 

(not shown)
Hun Tanks 2056 

(not shown)

So as before, I have a plan, which is to finish painting my Northern Guard before moving on to make up a squad of Southern Gears.  After that I'm thinking of going back and making up my Grizzly, Jaguar Firestarter and Mammoth Northern Gears.  I now have a box full of old RAFM Gears, a veritable lead mountain, stashed away for a rainy day.
  

Thursday, 20 April 2017

On My Workbench WIP

  

Just a picture to show people that I am working on painting and making stuff and not just buying all the shiny off eBay that I can find.

As you can see the Visigoth tank from here has been primed and now has a coat of paint.  The three RAFM Gears are slowly being painted, while in front of them are the Dream Pod 9 Gears that I went back and slightly modified, setting back their completion.

In front are two unpainted Gears that I now have the parts to complete so they can be primed, and in centre place is my stripped and being rebuilt custom Ogre that is going to be made up as a Pan European Federation Vulcan.  Below is a close-up of my revised autocannon model for my Bad Dog Universe setting, the original long version can be seen here.

Close-up shots are brutal for showing defects.
  

Monday, 17 April 2017

RAFM More Reinforcements



I've done a bit of blitz on acquiring RAFM Heavy Gear miniatures, and these three Gears were acquired through the kindness of wargaming friends: Godfrey Sherridan for the two Recon Jagers and some essential spare parts I needed that he was willing to part with, and Adam Harrision for parting with the Flame Jager he had acquired as part of another lot.

What can I say, but thank you again guys.

Now I have one question for those who read my blog and know more about these Gears than me.


What on Earth is this spade/pole thing?
   

Friday, 14 April 2017

Mammoth WIP



So this is what my recently acquired Mammoth looks like when stripped back to bare metal.

I'm missing one of the small rotary cannon and the foot-pad, both of which will have to have replacements fabricated.  The large rotary cannon is a lovely example of a well sculpted/made master.  Whoever made the masters for the RAFM Heavy Gear line deserves praise for doing some very nice work.

I have one question though, I've seen this model with one missile arm and one gun arm, but mine has two gun arms.  Do I need to rebuild one into a missile version?
   

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