Tuesday, 21 September 2021

WIP Big Little Wars

Another progress report. There has been progress. I've reached 14,843 words and I'm now down in the weeds.

By that I mean I've now have movement and combat resolution mechanisms that float my boat. I'm just at that stage where I'm working through the chapters making sure I'm not contradicting myself, and that everything is where it is supposed to be.

Keep finding things missing though.

I'm checking the construction rules, where there are still some gaps from equipment not yet covered, and checking the section that describes model attributes, and cross referencing to the movement and combat rules, and came across an oopsie.

As in, I thought I'd described what the game allows players to play with on the table, you know robots, tanks, power armour, and mecha etc but, oops not stated clearly in the introduction that these units are what the rules cover.

It's not a big oops. But it is an oops. One where one finds one has described a bunch of rules, but not which models have access to said rules.

And then I remembered last night, while semi-awake, between dreams, that autonomous vehicles and robots will have a variant of the activation rules to make them feel different. This also ties in with the solo play and group play rules that Big Little Wars aspires to deliver.

Extrapolating how future science and technology affects war. You know, to make the rules not just another SF recreation of WW2 or Vietnam.

Important stuff. Not just fluff, but the flavour of meaty goodness that comes from giving players significant choices to make with different benefits versus costs, which creates the feeling on involvement in the game.

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Shiny from Khurasan

Huntarr Zenegg IFV and Sseventur AFV
I saw the above Khurasan models, while browsing the Facebook 15mm group, and I thought they were awesome. They arrived and the resin castings are stunningly good. Someone might now say, "Ashley, I thought you were against anti-gravity vehicles in your games?"

Even though I'm not a big fan of anti-gravity tanks, because the science nerd in me equate anti-gravity with perpetual motion machines (courtesy of Isaac Asimov), but advance repulsors that don't break the way the universe works are another matter (courtesy of Sabine Hossenfelder and Isaac Arthur).

Besides, Arthur C. Clarke pointed out that the existence of technology that is currently beyond our ability is always a possibility. Repulsor fields certainly fit in the Clarketech paradigm. 

And they're shiny. Must have the shiny.

I also ordered a bunch of 15mm figures too, which I will get around to sorting out pictures of at some point, as follows:

Five Corsair Battlesuits, which are a bit smaller than I thought they'd be, but that's better than being too large.

A pair of Downed Flyer or Mecha Pilots/Operators because, well just because.

Two Toyota Land Cruisers, with a ZSU-23-2 to add-on one Technical, for my insurgent force.

On top of that, I got a bunch of Tah-sig and Stikk aliens. An assortment of each, enough to assemble a platoon with support elements.

Yes, aliens. Because, aliens are a thing in the Gate Walker universe. I just haven't written the stories featuring the dangerous ones.

Thursday, 26 August 2021

Alpha Echo Romeo Tango Two

Three 15mm robots off the workbench ready to be varnished.

The android and Big Dog is the robot explorer team Alpha Echo Romeo Tango Two. The second team sent by the Magnetic Anomaly Project that got lost in the Pillar network, as mentioned in my novel Strike Dog.

And below is a commercial robot loader.

That's as much as I've managed to finish, though my two Ape combat armor suits are nearing completion. Just in the process of paneling with a pin wash and weathering.

Saturday, 14 August 2021

Big Little Wars

WIP on two CAS-3-Mod 1 Apes.

Progress on everything has ground to a halt for the reason that I made the decision to take the rules to places I hadn't thought of after doing some research on the rules currently out on the market. And there are a lot of very good rules on the market covering near future warfare with or without mechs.

Having read a few I thought that there was something missing that would make mine standout as offering something different.

Hence very little progress. Not none, as I'm up to 10,224 words.

I recall that while I wrote the first draft of OHMU War Machine in a month, it took much longer to play-test and fix wonky rules. And even then we still had to do a FAQ to clarify some parts and and errata sheet for all the missing words and typos that got through the editing process.

So it is what it is. Given my funk I've done good.

Anyway, I've changed the working title to Big Little Wars, which is thematically congruent with the Gate Walker setting where have major powers fight small proxy wars.

Therefore the rules must be able to keep both players interested where asymmetrical warfare means one side is outmatched by the other. Not just Vietnam in space, but something truly science fictional with alien aliens.

If only because that while I haven't introduced technological aliens into my universes setting (yet), it seems to me that the key to having interesting games between human forces facing an alien race whose technology is far superior is the key to science fictionally interesting games.

The problem is how the rules allow players to enjoy the experience of being outmatched in one area is balanced by game mechanics that still allow for a victory? I'm doing my homework by researching all the rules that have attempted this.

And just to remind readers, I will also be stealing the best ideas for solo play/group against the game mechanics running the opposition rules too.

It's a tall order, but I'm having fun, which is the important part, right?

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Scatter Terrain and Robots


First up is some Gale Force 9 Badland Tors, which I repainted because I wanted more variation in the colour pallet. And I think these turned out pretty good.

For good measure I painted my Stone Heads from Dream Pod 9. Nine seeming to be the number that manufacturers name their companies. Just a coincidence, but like adding an X to a name makes it sound cool.

I did a lot of shading with glazes, filter, drybrushing to get that weathered craggy look. And finally, three 15mm robots and a jump-off point for using with my variant of the Chain-of-Command rules I'm still working on.

I need to matt varnish all of these before using them, but just felt the need to show some proof of life.

Stay safe, and I'll catch you all on the bounce.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

More Insurgents

I've been spending a lot of time at my workbench with only this handful of finished miniatures to show for it. I can only conclude I'm as slow as snail snot. Or some thing?! I'm pretty sure that when I was young I could paint whole armies in a week (30 plus figures). 

Now, it seems to take me forever to do this third section to complete my insurgent platoon and some support units. 

But here they are. The three Toyota Technicals below having had their gunners repainted to match my new standard paint job.

The green truck is new. I based the camo scheme on a half-remembered photo I saw, which funnily enough I found again.

To no ones surprise, my interpretation of said scheme is different to the original. Mostly down to the fact that I was painting my model to look nice, whereas the rebels just sprayed some blotches on their battered old truck.

I also worked on the red trucks highlights and shadow, and yes that was probably unnecessary, but I did it anyway. The yellow truck I mucked up whist doing so, and guess what?

Yep. You got it. 

I ended stripping and repainting it, but I think I did a better job on the tiger stripes. You can compare the previous paint job here.

And finally, two Nakamura Robotics Oshiguruma SDR (Search and Delivery Robots), converted for the insurgents as Highly Improvised Combat Armor aka Gunstriders.

Of course, I now need to varnish them. I've run out of Testors Dullcote and no one has any, and it may no longer be being made too. In further bad news, my other preferred matt varnish from Windsor & Newton is also out of stock.

Cést la vie.