Thursday 23 February 2017

Jovian Wars KickStarter

I told myself I wasn't going to get into another project and resisted making a pledge with the new Dream Pod 9 Jovian Wars.  I really can't afford it: time more than money, but also money: it's a thing, right?

Anyway, I failed my resist new shiny roll.

So now I have a pledge in for the basic four capital ships and a pack of exo-armors and fighters.  Given the KS ends in the middle of next month I may be able to add a couple more ships to my pledge.  We shall see, but how could I resist Gundam!  Sorry, I mean Jovian Wars cough Gundam really cough.

The latest blog on how to make a fleet for a basic skirmish game.
Jovian Wars is about building a strategy when selecting your fleet and then using that fleet to achieve your objectives in a game, usually by out maneuvering your opponent and defeating in combat.

The Jovian Wars Kickstarter has new ship designs available so let’s look at how you might go about building a fleet.
And here's the link to the full text.  And the KS is already fully funded with extras unlocked, so it looks like a good deal is there to be had, and those spaceships are gorgeous.

NB: Edit, to add link to the Jovian fleet link.  And, a picture of all the lovely little Exo-armors.


Wednesday 22 February 2017

Latest Russian Walker Conversion

The plastic Ammon from the Dream Pod 9 KickStarter is for me the most disappointing Caprice model.  Primarily because it doesn't match the size of the resin and white-metal version they produce.  As you can see from the picture the legs of the resin and white-metal model are larger.

If one can accept the resulting lower height, from using the legs from the standard walkers, then the model makes up very nicely.  As is my wont, I ended up converting it to make it a bit different, but not sure I like the arrangement of the weapons on their makeshift turret.

I'm not convinced I can live with the conversion because I prefer the taller model, as it looks slightly more elegant to my eye.  As a result I went and ordered another Ammon, and a few other bits & pieces from Dream Pod 9 (though annoyingly I forgot to order extra machine guns I needed, sigh).

However, I must finish off the painting and put the custom decals I've got on to finish it off.

Saturday 18 February 2017

Heavy Gear Cobra One

I think I mentioned that I managed to find a RAFM Artillery Cobra, and it arrived today.  The box was incredibly tatty, but this is my first pristine out of the box Gear, and it's a beast.  Just look at the sprue!  They don't make them like that anymore.

So had to take a picture and post it.  And now I have five Southern Gears.

Friday 17 February 2017

Heavy Gear Force Awakens

It's the kindness of friends that makes life fun.  Thanks to Sitzkrieg for expanding my Southern Gear collection.  Left to right: Mamba Brawler, Jager Blitz and Armored Jager.

For a long time there was no hints or signs that I would ever get into Heavy Gear, such things were musings or mad thoughts of un-sane Elder Gods from another dimension waiting for the stars to be right.

These six Northern faction RAFM Gears mark the start of my slide into insanity and downfall.  Top left to right: Bricklayer, Fire Jaguar, and Jaguar. Bottom left to right: Hunter Commando, Hunter, and Assault Hunter.

Then a chance find in non-euclidian space, called eBay, there were six RAFM Gears that merited a token bid.  And then the stars turned, and I became the owner of the basis for a Northern Heavy Gear squad.  From there, further searching, and with the help of kind friends, I have doubled my haul.  In the process I've also acquired some incomplete models that will be good for spare parts.

And another three RAFM Gears did appear.  Left to right: Southern Iguana, Northern Desert Sharks Hunter, and a Cheetah.

This means I now have eight Northern and four Southern RAFM era Gears.

Now the madness has taken hold, I want a Kodiak to round out my Northern Gear squad.  For my Southern squad another Jager, Mamba, and a Cobra would be nice to have too.  Then I could then make up two squads for games.

So now all of the new acquisitions are in the process of having their paint stripped in Nitromors, and you can all expect to see progress reports, like this one, as I assemble and paint them in the months ahead.

Traveller: Martian Metals K'Kree

There is rare, and then there is rare as rocking horse pooh or chicken's teeth, the latter not being as rare as you think–genetics being what it is and all.  I bought these models on a trip to Toronto back in 1984 from a shop on Yonge Street.

Yes, they've been sitting in a box for 33 years waiting for me to paint them up ever since.

Equally surprising is that fact that despite all the things I've gone through over the years I managed to keep hold of them.  What provoked me to get them out, clean off the white oxidation and base them was assembling the Clear Horizon figures, because I thought what the heck, three more 15mm figures is no big deal.

So here they are ready to be primed.

By now the news of Loren Wiseman's death has broken out on the internet. He along with Frank Chadwick, Marc Miller and Rich Banner were the founders of Game Designers' Workshop who published the Traveller RPG. Though I had played D&D before going to university, it was playing Traveller that made me go and buy the rules (little black books), and start running games.

So many happy memories.

So now I have another good reason to paint these because time is fleeting, and there are not enough hours in the day to do everything one wants to do, so best to do those things that are meaningful while one has time.

Tuesday 14 February 2017

Visigoth Tank

When I got the Visigoth Khan from Dream Pod 9 my first thought had been it looks very Russian, but when got to thinking about playing games I felt that my Russian walkers would look better with air support, as in a helicopter gunship.  Given that the Chinese pretty much copy everything the Russians do it wasn't hard to imagine this tank as a futuristic Democratic People's Republic of China vehicle; what China has morphed into in my future setting of 2072.

But you may remember I posted an earlier picture of this model, with an Abrams tank, and decided that it was too large for my Bad Dog 12mm project.  Therefore I did a small conversion to the main hatch to accommodate visual clues to this tank being a 1/100th scale or 15mm size vehicle.  This of course means means that I'm going to do a 15mm Heavy Gear force as well as my 12mm Bad Dog universe force. 

Despite giving myself an extra project to paint, I'm quite pleased with this, and may well buy another because one is good, two must be better!

Friday 10 February 2017

X-Wing Battle

First turn of the game: my X-wing with Wedge piloting it is at the back as it is going around one of the asteroids while Poe Dameron's X-wing is closing with Darth Vader and Dylan's A-wing has come over to help.

Last weekend we did the fourth Frostbite archery competition and then went to Brighton to see our godchildren.  On Sunday we had a game, with some asteroids to make the playing area interesting.  I had also sorted out some spare pilot cards for both the kids, as they didn't have Wedge Antilles and Garven Dreis: that's Red 2 and Red Leader.  Wedge is a pretty hot pilot with a special ability to reduce a defenders agility, which pleased Dylan.

The mission was one we made up: effectively head hunting a specific target on the opposite side.  I was playing Rebels with Dylan and we had to get Darth Vader: Chloe's ship.  Susan and Chloe were the Imperials bringing law and order to the galaxy, and had to get Dylan's B-wing.

Chloe's Darth Vader has bumped into the rear of Poe Dameron's X-wing as I move Wedge Antilles into position to target the TIE fighter that is sitting between us, which would result in said TIE fighter going boom.

At the end of the second turn both forces had closed the gap and were in the middle of the asteroid field.  This rather limited the range of manoeuvres that were possible.

The TIE fighter between the two X-wings is about to go boom.

The battle split into two halves.  Dylan sent his A-wing over to attack his sister's ship  While on the other side of the table Susan's Imperial squadron has ganged up on Dylan's B-wing.

B-wing lays on a target lock on the pesky Imperial Interceptor TIE.

The third turn saw Darth Vader again bump into the rear of Poe Dameron's X-wing due to me choosing to only move forward one and Chloe deciding to do the same thing, which resulted in change in our relative positions.  Had I been playing Darth this would have been the time to have done a longer move and reverse turn.

Darth and Poe juggle the not hitting each other while Wedge comes up and lays down some hurt on the Sith Lord with a bonus target lock for fun.

Then the right flank turned towards the centre of the asteroid field with the left flank doing some very fancy manoeuvring that resulted in the Imperials reversing direction at the same time as Dylan's B-wing so that everyone was in the middle of a furball.

Then everything turned into a fast and furious furball.

Then the shooting started, with both sides concentrating their fire on the two targets of the scenario.

And the last turn of the game saw both Dylan's B-wing and Chloe's Darth Vader go down in a blaze of firing as both sides concentrated on their scenario victory conditions.  A Pyrrhic victory for both sides.

I had forgotten how much fun it is to play X-Wing and I really need to play more games.

Thursday 9 February 2017

Heavy Gear Mods

After fixing my RAFM Hunter Commando I was looking at my Hunter conversion I made to represent Sergeant Espera's APE suit, from my second novel, and thought I can do better than that.  Such is the burden of being self-critical.  Below is the original conversion.

I think my rearranging of the weapons loadout and replacing the boxy rifle looks better.  While it's a pain to rebuild models when they're in the process of being painted, I wasn't going to be happy with it until I did.

Monday 6 February 2017

More BattleTech Alpha Strike Pictures

These are a selection of the pictures that were not used in Miniature Wargames magazine the other month for the Alpha Strike article.  Atlas versus Locusts is in my mind the classic BattleTech what if fight.

I supplied a lot of duplicate shots for the article, as in featuring the same mechs, but from a different angle to the pictures shown here.  These are I think the best versions.  House Steiner quads moving into a flank attack.

Though I can see why the picture above wasn't used, because it doesn't have a central focus to the action, it catches the swirling mech-on-mech action that Alpha Strike can deliver.

However, I really liked the picture of the two Locusts advancing, even if there isn't really a lot else going on in the picture.  So now I get my chance to show it.

Again this picture composition is a bit lacking, but House Steiner and industrial mechs with infantry milling around their feet says BattleTech.  I hope you all have enjoyed this small peak into the assignment I undertook, and thank you for taking the time to look.

And that's all folks.

Thursday 2 February 2017

RAFM Hunter Commando


I can see why old Heavy Gear grognards lament the passing of the large Gears.  This is a lovely model, full of character, even if the casting quality is not a patch on current Dream Pod 9 products, which are far better as evidenced by the miscast ammo box on the rear of the bazooka.

Oh lucky me what a shiny frabjous joy, joy acquisition...

I bid on six RAFM era Gears on eBay and won.  This was probably down to the fact they were partly painted and assembled and there was a high chance that parts were missing, which wasn't a problem for me as I have an ample amount of Nitromors on hand, and missing parts can always be fabricated from my spare parts box.

I got one of each of the following: Hunter Commando, a standard Hunter, an Assault Hunter, a Bricklayer, a Fire Jaguar, and a standard Jaguar.

Surprisingly, only one model was missing a part, the Bricklayer has no claw.  But, I have spare claws from MechWarrior construction mechs that will work.  And, as can be seen in the above picture, the Hunter Commando's bazooka is mis-moulded.  But, for me at least, this an easy fix because I can use a part from the current Heavy Gear large bazooka.

I'm tempted to play Heavy Gear using these models, but as a semi-RPG squad level game.

It seems a shame to me that Dream Pod 9 hasn't considered re-issuing these Gears as resin and pewter models as they're no larger than the Gear Striders they already sell.  I imagine this would please an awful lot of players of the game and would go a long way to mending a few fences in the Heavy Gear world too.  Besides which, it would make them money and allow them to diversify the game.  Blitz for large games, heroic scale for small actions.

Now I'm scrabbling around for a couple of Southern Mambas and Jagers to go with these.