Monday, 20 April 2015

Marked for Death?

Hello people,

As shocking as it might be I've actually completed a hobby project that doesn't involve X-Wing!
Behold 24 custom made pin markers for my Brit Commandos and yes I do indeed expect to get shot that much ;) As I'm sure you've noticed they're little piles of British helmets which were spare on the sprue as the vast majority of my "geezers" are instead wearing thier fabled green berets. 

The whole idea just fitted well. Six Painting Points for the lot and they should see some action tomorrow night against Damien's rank and file tommies. A "training exercise" apparently though I've never had a problem with that sort of thing. I'm sure I can be Brandenburgers if push comes to shove ;)

I've also picked up a ticket for Salute on Saturday. I wasn't going to go as there's nothing you can't order online these days and between entry, travel and refreshments it's far from a cheap day out these days. 

However, Shaun is going anyway to see several men about figures and ill catch up with a load of old gaming and GW cronies that I wouldn't see otherwise. Chuck in the chance to play a couple of games of To the Strongest with the author and I was persuaded.

Many moons ago shows were a standard monthly event but far rarer these days. Even buying my ticket has gone virtual with a VR bar-code sent direct to my phone.

I do NEED some replacement Order Dice and will definitely browse KR while I noticed the other day that Crooked Dice will be releasing some cleverly named classic cylons. Otherwise we'll see what happens though I fancy a decent squizz at the painting competition and continue to live in hope of winning the prize draw.

Now that I'm going boots on the ground I'm determined to get the best from the day. Possibly a lesson in there somewhere :p

Meanwhile some of the Pulp City has found an undercoat and the smoke markers need some consideration.

Let's see what Saturday brings!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Yankee Zulus

Hello people,

Something of a phonetic reference as I've finished up my Scum Y-Wings and Z95s. Keeping with the crimson, bone and check scheme was easy enough and hopefully they don't look too busy for it.

My Scum roster currnetly stands at two Firesprays, two HWKs, two Y-Wings and 4 Z95s which is plenty to be flying with or a while at least up until the club's Scum & Villany Event Day.

Pretty happy with them and six Painting Point on the scoreboard, plus another two for the last couple of TIEs but it's all about what comes next!

I did start putting my Pulp City stuff together but found my files and pin drill in dire need of replacement. The fact that I hadn't noticed tells me a lot about where my hobby has been recently.
As such I've decided that I must complete two non X-Wing projects before releasing any more Scum for use. The Bolt Action pin and smoke markers are a definite while I also still need to replace the MIA order dice. They are first on the Salute shopping list :)

Pulp City is highly likely to be project #2 and at that all of it. There's a purpose to this and otherwise I'm just cheating myself.

Just because I've worked out a scheme for the IGs doesn't count......much......honestly ;)

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

To INFINITY and Beyond?

Hello people,

Last Wednesday night Jon came over and brought Operation Icestorm with him.

I have an admission to make. I've been immensely tempted by ININITY for a number of years but haven't done anything about it. Other than the time / money issues I've been most put off by getting enough games. I'd also heard that the mechanics were a bit fiddly and potentially rather gamey. A couple of years ago at Salute I almost cracked to the point of picking up the 2nd Edition rulebook and two starter sets at a startling good price. I eventually them down again!

I've always really liked the aesthetic of the game, the figures, the races, the setting....everything. It feels very Blade-Runner to me and I've always loved that. I very nearly pre-ordered Op Icestorm but was put off by the paper play-mat and then I spent the money elsewhere.

So back at Wednesday night we ran through the five beginner missions in the box that run along the narrative of a raid by a Nomad strike-force on a PanOceania facility. Starting with three grunts vs three grunts a figure / unit is added each mission along with thier additional abilites / rules / actions. Pretty straight forward but well thought out none the less.
 As or mechanics it's a skirmish game. You get one activation token per figure on the table at the beginning of the turn. You spend one activation token to give a figure two ativations from Move, Shoot, Close Combat Attack, Dodge and Special which you can take in any order. I you have a Leutenant you get a bonus activation token, only usable by them. You can spend multiple tokens on the same figure OTHER than if your Leutenant has just bought it. The turn after individual figures can only spend the activation tokens that they generate.

The big difference with Ininity is Automatic  Reaction Orders, AROs. Once a figure has performed an action all enemy figures that can draw line of sight get an ARO and can Shoot (single shot), Move, Dodge as a "Face Off" reaction. It's basically a built in Overwatch, similar to the NUTS WWII ruleset. As such tactical movement and activation is key, if you go charging in you'll get shot and combat in this game is BRUTAL.
Five quick games in it feels like grown up Necromunda, which is a good thing, a VERY good thing. The game is also very well supported by a very slick Website from which you can download a free set of the core rules, browse the fluff and make use of the Army Builder.

The figures are just as grown up as the game itself. Being true 30mm scale and multi-part pewter they're not novice friendly but they look awesome. In someways pretty cheap to get into with starter sets at about £35 you will need PLENTY of scenery and then a bit more!

As I'm sure you've realised I'm VERY keen to invest. I really fancy the Combined Army, especially the Morat and Shasvastii. Something about the alien jackboot seems to call to me :)

I have to admit that it's bonus to me that this ISN'T yet another Kick-Starter, but that's another story!!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Angel Interceptor

Hello people,

Another weekend, another X-Wing event. This time it was five rounds of relatively casual play organised by Scott Wilson up in Dunstable. Other than a minor issue over byes it was a good day out.
As is my recent habit I took a new list and placed mid table, one place ahead of Mr C, with two wins, a match win (draw) and two losses.

As much as I'd threatened to run 8 Academy TIEs I'd tried it out a bit in the week and realised that I'd really struggle with arc dodgers and possibly have some for of mental short circuit.

As such I borrowed a variation on one of Nigel's lists that he'd had good success with;
TIE Interceptor - Soontir Fel - Push the Limit - Autothrusters
TIE Fighter - Howlrunner
TIE Fighter - Academy x 4

Coming in at 98 points I was making a 2 point bid for intiative over any other swarm but when faced with other Pilot Skill 9s happily gave it away to move last to maximise manoeuvre, which surprised a couple of people. As I flew against two Fels and a Tycho this was well worth it.

In short when I flew Soontir well I did well and when I didn't I didn't. The third game, just after lunch which seems to be an issue for me, I flew like a chimp and got roundly spanked. Otherwise I competed well and had some excellent games.

I can see this being a go to list for a while as it's flexible but still challenging to fly. I'm decent with the mini swarm with enough brain space left for Soontir. Get better with him and the rest should follow.

For now with the Enfield Gamers Scum event on the horizon that's where my efforts will be focused for the foreseeable. 

Mmmmm Firesprays ; )

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Permission to Land

Hello people,

Just back from a day of casual flying up at Lost Ark. Five of us in the car made a good day out and half the field. I'd decided to give Project Lambda a proper run out and flew the ollowing;

Omicron Group Pilot - Heavy Laser Cannon - Fire Control System - Anti Pursuit Lasers
Omicron Group Pilot - Heavy Laser Cannon - Fire Control System - Anti Pursuit Lasers
Soonir Fel - Push the Limit - Royal Gaurd TIE - Stealth Device - Autothrusters

In short I won two of four games, most of which were pretty tight affairs........except the first one against Mr C's triple TIE Interceptor list. I honestly thought it would be the worst list I could face but he engaged me head on, lost Carnor Jax, and then ran off. After a while I hunted him down and his Soontir flew of the table.

Second game Dave T gave me another good game, and thrashing, though the score on the doors didn't really relect how the game went. Running a Decimator / Doomshuttle / Interceptor I dithered and then got clobbered by our regular dice bias. The final two games of the day were both hard fought, tense affairs, one of which edged my way, one the other.

Overall another good day out and I feel that running a pair of shuttles can be a decent, valid list. No-one expects it and the shock value goes a long way. Manouvre is crucial, get a bogey on your tail and it's all over. Soonitr works as well to tie ships up as much as shoot them down and is a huge amount of fun to fly well. Autothrusters used right are FECKING AWESOME.

Next week I'll be running the spectrum in the other direction and running an 8 TIE swarm.....

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Back on the Brush

Hello people,
 
It may not have escaped your notice that I haven't painted anything in a while. There are a number of reasons including time but mainly it's been opportunity and inclination. In short I haven't needed to be painting anything up for anything that I've been playing for a while and I've rather got out of the habit.

For a while I haven't really missed it but I'm getting the itch again and having been looking to get myself organised. This has been a pincer attack on two fronts to decide what I'm going to playing and as such painting for the foreseeable.

X-Wing is a given but I want to vary myself here. I've got a pair of TIEs, a pair of Scum Y-Wings and a quad of Z95s "earnt" but it's not as simple as that. I want to be playing what I'm painting and vice versa. Bolt Action needs to hit the table, while some 10mm Dacians need to catch some paint.
Pulpy goodness......
As a longer term prestige project Pulp City fits the bill particularly well. They're lovely "proper" figures that I can put some real time and effort into. Infinity could also have hit that mark but PC is already with me and my real limit is time, mainly to play rather than anything else.
Very tempting....but no ;]
So as much as I've had an enjoyable day playing Attack Wing and a first game of Armada they aren't going to be mainstream for me. The odd bit of time spent on them but no money.

That's the plan..... Deja Vu? ;)

Friday, 27 March 2015

Small Margins

Hello people.

Not been saying too much recently but that's because there hasn't been too much to say except more of the same, which isn't really my style.

This week has featured a bit more To the Strongest on Tuesday down at Enfield Gamers. This time I cracked out my 10mm Ancient Britons and ran them at Shaun's Imperial Romans.
Correcting a few things we'd been getting wrong with attached Generals we also forgot Strategm Cards. The latter wasn't a big thing, the first more so.

As you would expect my unwashed mass was rather unwieldy and ill disciplined. They were however rather more durable than Julius' lads. Marching up the field the lines joined and started the rather inevitable grind. On taking a hit a unit becomes Disordered and hits in combat on an 8 rather than a 6, which is huge. As such Rally as a priority became an obvious first Activation. Along with the vaguries of opposed card draws seemed to mean that not a lot happened too quickly.

Though Shaun went about winning the Cav battle I had enveloped his line and he had very little prospect of inflicting the 3 hits to destroy my lads. It kind of became a case of waiting for me to get the 2 hits I needed so that I could start to roll his line. Catching onto the mechanism it seemed to become much more about stats than tactics to find the bonus modifiers to get the killing blows in. 

We may well have got bits wrong and there's still plenty of obvious potential there. We're hoping to get the author down fairly soon who can undoubtedly show us a thing or two.

Meanwhile last night at Dark Sphere Project Lambda finally took flight with two games against a pair of Agressors.

I went with;
Omicron - Fire Control System - HLC - Anti Pursuit Lasers
Omicron - Fire Control System - Mangler - Vader - Anti Pursuit Lasers
Soontir Fel - Royal Gaurd - Stealth - Auto-thrusters
First game the IGs flew straight at me and failed to roll any even half decent Evade dice and which point I gobbled them up. Second game was a bit of a reverse as I had to chase with poor red dice and some lucky long-range fire on Fel.

However, the list and tactics are valid, both just needing some modification. I have a number of options available and will persist.

Meanwhile Jon dropped off my Pulp City KS stuff, more than I remember pledging for, no argument there. Lovely cast figures they give me something else to work which is very welcome.

First up, Bolt Action pin and smoke markers. I hadn't forgotten ; )