Tuesday 24 March 2015

House Steiner Battle Armour

Though I've posted these pictures before I thought it worth putting them together into one post to show my House Steiner forces all under one tag. Above are MechWarrior Clix Gray Death Legion heavy battle armour.

MechWarrior Clix Grey Death Legion Scout battle armour.

Sunday 15 March 2015

Walking Together


I first met Terry Pratchett at a games convention.  I think it was one of the UniCons, probably CamCon in 1986.  I'm not entirely certain, because I didn't write anything down, and this was in the days before the internet, blogging, FaceBook and Twitter.  We had bulletin boards, but dial up modems – if you've never had to dial up to connect to a service using a modem be grateful.  I know I am.

If I remember correctly, usual caveats apply (see above), I cycled to Cambridge from Southend-on-Sea in Essex, which caused a bit of a stir, because who'd be crazy enough to cycle 60 miles to go to a convention, stay overnight and then cycle back 60 miles?  That would've been me.  I was young then, and fitter than a fit thing.

Terry was a fan, you can read my friend Jaine's blog that nicely captures this here.  When I met Terry The Colour of Magic had been out in paperback for a year, and Light Fantastic had just arrived on the scene as a hardback, with the paperback due out later that year.  He'd also had Strata published in 1981 under his belt, and unknown to me at the time The Carpet People.  So not really a big name author, but someone breaking out.

I had been invited to be on a panel by Marcus Rowland and was introduced to Terry.  We talked about role playing games and stuff like the luggage having come from an RPG campaign Terry had been involved in.  I can't recall if he was the GM or a player.  Sorry for my  lack of clarity, but the one thing I want to point out here is that Terry played Dungeons & Dragons, and how cool is that?  Cooler than a cool thing.

Also Terry would talk to fellow RPG players, as recounted here by my friend Kari.  So my piece here is to just tell the world that Sir Terry Pratchett was a game-player, something that seems likely to be overlooked in all the mainstream obituaries. 

My Godson, his sister, mother and Sir Terry Pratchett; MAY HE REST IN PEACE.


Tuesday 10 March 2015

Weekend Games

For a change we weren't playing board-games with our plush toy kittens, who were left behind to sulk in the bedroom, as we went to visit our friends John and Rita on Saturday, and hang out with their friends.  This meant drinking Ginger Beer and snacking on finger foods, and chocolate cake for dessert.  All rather fabby.

The first game we played was Cthulhu Wars from Petersen Games written by Sandy Petersen, which is a board-game where the Great Old Ones vie for dominance over the Earth.

To say the game looks lush is a bit of an understatement as the miniatures are quite breathtaking, asking to be painted level of detail.  In fact John had bought a second set of figures to do this very thing himself.  The game plays well enough, but the map reminded me of Risk, but with different rules.  Most of those rules are very good, but I have a particular dislike for games where players are forced to make decisions on a countdown timer.  Call me an old fusspot if you like, but I'd prefer to roll dice against an attack than squabble with players over what is a fair allocation of points to be lost.

Apart from that minor quibble, which I would house rule, we had a fun game.  I lost, coming last, and Susan won, which was nice for her.

After finishing we played a quick card game, and then went onto to set-up A Study in Emerald from Treefrog Games, based off a short story by Neil Gaiman of the same name.  Joanna knew the rules for the game and explained them to us, and by the end of her explanations all of us were feeling like our heads were about to explode.  However, once play started and we got past the first round the play was very straightforward, with some nice nuances of play.  In the game one doesn't necessarily know who is on one's side, and this means decisions become more complex as a result.  I lost, but was on the winning side – the Restorationist's i.e: the humans who want to restore the world to the way it was before the Old Ones took over.

Friday 6 March 2015

The Fleet from Above

On their first showing I received a request to show the ships from above.  I'm happy to now be able to do so.  Hopefully this will enable people to see the shapes of the ships more clearly, despite being cunningly photographed on a green cutting map where their camouflage colours break up their shape.

As a reminder the four long slim ships are part of my cruiser squadron, the two big ships with drive pods are my main battleships, the fleet tender and the two smaller corvettes  are representatives from the supply squadron and destroyer squadron.  I've still got to get around to refurbishing the other six models of this fleet, which is delayed because I'm busy re-writing my novel the progress of which you can follow here.

Today also saw the arrival of my desert mat from Monty's Wargaming World.  It's lovely, and now I'll be not only able to do desert conflicts, but have a cunning plan that will allow me to use the mat for towns too.  No photo of the mat, because I need to find the time to clear the table off and get some models out and take some pictures.  I will also add that the friendly service of the Desert Rat is second to none.  All round good chap, what, what!

Tuesday 3 March 2015


I'm making up more combat armour for my Highlanders 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Company.  This is a WIP shot of my current Dream Pod 9 conversions of Heavy Gear Jagers into CASE-2X Dogs.  The picture shows some of the alternative weapon load-outs that the Dogs can carry.  These Dogs are going to numbered as being from Alpha Squad 4th Platoon.

From the glossary in my novel:
CASE-2X    Combat Armour System Environment Dash (Mark) 2 Extreme that is driven by its operator.  It can operate up to three days before needing to be refueled; see FM51-CASES and TO-2051-16-02-1U for further details.  Command variant CASE-2XC has enhanced C4 suite.

The combat armour on the left carries:
M21A8    A 20 mm recoilless gauss rifle with an eight round cassette magazine/powerpack.

While the combat armour on the right  carries the standard load-out I've shown before, but the addition of a shoulder mounted missile pack:
M41    The Global Dynamics M41 AC230 is a long-recoil auto-cannon that fires a 20 x 170 mm round with a range of 5 kilometres, and it has an inbuilt Mk 30 40 x 53 mm under-barrel grenade launcher effective out to 1 kilometre.  The M41 standard load-out is four-magazines each holding ten armour piercing tungsten-steel penetrators, and two-magazines each with ten High Explosive Air Burst (HEAB) warheads, and five rounds of High Velocity Canister Cartridge (HVCC) for the grenade launcher.

There's still a bit of what I call fuss work to get these ready for painting.  My workbench has three more models waiting for me to finish.

NB: Edited 25.03.15 to reflect changes in the background material & again 24.04.15 due to evolving definitions of weapon capabalities.