Friday, 15 October 2021

The Veteran Podcast


I've been interviewed and talked about Japanese mecha, science fiction and warfare in the shape of mecha and wargames.

Hear me speak in Episode 72: Mech Mania is live!

And, having listened to myself yack on, I can authoritatively say the word of the day is Absolutely.

I use it so often in the podcast that one could turn it into a drinking game.

If anyone does, please let me know what happened so I can add the number for that totally authentic Sesame Street vibe.

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Proof of Life

Work in progress of the two Ape suits, glossed and ready to have decals applied in due course. Next to a Dog with decals and matt varnished for comparison.

I may be some time.

And after much faffing, a quick touch up of the paint that turned into the nightmare of effectively becoming a repaint, I've finally varnished my 15mm insurgents.

And in breaking news, I sat down with Jay Arnold of The Veteran Podcast to talk about all thing giant stompy robot. I'll post links as and when he puts the podcast up.

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?