Sunday, August 29, 2010

Norman Army for DBA... In 15mm

For a local gaming campaign with the DBA group here in town, I painted up a West Frankish/Norman army in 15mm. This was my first foray into painting 15mm, and it wasn't as bad as I thought. Generally I've disliked 15mm because of the poor proportions, but the Essex miniatures I have are not too bad, especially the knights.

Here is a shot of the whole army with all options.

Here are a couple of closeups of the general element:
The general is a knight element, so the figures are armoured similarly to the other knights.

Here are all the knights together, the main striking power of the army.
Some closeups of the knights:
Note the charging horsemen with the round shields in the top picture. These guys have older and poorer equipment, but they are charging like knights and in fact they must be knights to fill up the needed knight slots for this DBA army, so I'm assuming they're poorer relations. :)

Here are the less glamourous cavalry and light horse, but important nevertheless.
Some closeups of the cavalry:
I really like Essex's sculpts here. They have a lot of detail, although the faces are rather caricatured, something that seems unavoidable in metals, especially 15mm. Note the round-shield armoured guys, even poorer relatives of the round-shield knights from above?

Now for the less socially important (but not in the game) components of the army, the foot soldiers:
Unfortunately the archers and crossbow psiloi turned out rather blurry. They're actually very nice looking models, however the foot soldiers seem to have much worse proportions (big-headitis) than the cavalrymen.

The campaign is coming up soon, so I'll see how well a knight-heavy army will do. It helps that most of the opposition are blades or warband. :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

1/72 Romans for DBA/HOTT

I've finished painting the DBA Marian Roman army using 1/72 miniatures. This can also be used for Hordes of the Things pretty much as is. Well, maybe I'll figure out some mythological elements to add to it.

Here are the general and cavalry elements. The general and the standard bearer are from HaT's Roman command set, and the rest are HaT's Celtic cavalry, representing this Roman general's mercenaries. (At this period in time the Romans' own equestrian class was pretty much gone.)
A close-up of the general element.

These are the two psiloi elements for the army. They are from HaT's Alexander's light infantry box and represent generic ancient Greek archers.

These are the blade elements, the backbone of this army. All the miniatures are Caesar's Republican Romans. They are nicer miniatures than HaT, but I don't think they're up to the standards of the best Caesar has done. There are 8 blade elements in total, and they are some of the most powerful units in the game.

Close-ups of two pila-armed units, in the previous pictures they were hiding in the back.

Finally the Roman camp, which I built hastily and is still unfinished. I'm going for a palisade march camp type of thing, maybe with some more content in the middle. This is meant to be a DBA camp, but I'll use it as a HoTT stronghold until I can think of something better.

I had a lot of fun painting for DBA, and I'll be doing more of them in both 1/72 and 15mm.

Monday, August 2, 2010

I'm Alive, Really

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I've actually been refocusing my efforts to DBA, both in 15mm (no!) and 1/72 scale. I've finally come to the conclusion that DBA is better to play than Basic Impetus, and I'm going to base everything for DBA instead. Currently, I'm working on a 1/72 scale Marian Roman army that can be used for both DBA and HotT. Photos to come...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mayday Game

On Saturday, I hosted an Ambush Alley: Force on Force sci-fi scenario for Mayday, a local gaming convention here in Edmonton. I mainly used the Force on Force rules, but with an adapted original Ambush Alley scenario, "Sweep and Clear".

The scenario, set in my sci-fi campaign universe, now consists of regulars from the San Carlos Colonial Legion, with a human command section and two units of alien Fir (GZG 15mm Ixx) warriors, trying to clear a town held by Anarchist partisans.

The map is based on the original "Sweep and Clear".
Because of a change in the objective to neutralizing all the hot spots instead of three of five, I allowed the regulars to draw an asset card at the beginning of the game. The three regular players (I let the four players go three vs. one) got really lucky and drew an armoured car, which greatly increased their options.
The regular units at the starting line. Each alien Fir (Ixx) unit had five warriors, with one heavy weapon. The human command section had four men with one SAW.
The regular players went for a plan of sweeping one side of the table with all their infantry units supporting each other, while the armoured car blocked any partisan attacks from the other side. The partisan player placed most of his hot spots inside buildings for the cover bonus. However, since all of the said buildings were in line of sight, this turned out to not be a good idea.
The armoured car engaging a partisan unit.
The start of the sweep, with a Fir unit moving behind cover and firing, then eliminating the partisan unit behind the building cluster.
And the command section moved up to support them.
The regulars then moved forward some more, while the armoured car covered their flank.
A Fir unit moved up and fired into the partisan unit guarding one of the hot spots. The regular players were extremely lucky with their reaction rolls. They managed to beat the partisans and fire first almost every single time, with very bad results for the partisan units.
One interesting moment occurred when a partisan unit from a nearby building fired on the armoured car and hit the unbuttoned commander. However, on the medical roll the regular player rolled a 6 and he was okay!
The partisan player also did badly with his reinforcement rolls. He rolled 6 twice and didn't get any reinforcements, then he rolled a SAW gunner only a couple of other times. He was never able to build a good enough force to whittle down the regulars. He also had very poor luck with getting anti-tank weapons, and had a lot of trouble handling the armoured car. The above was one of the rare times when he did have a nice shot. He had an RPG gunner with a good line of fire, but only got a "ping" result against the front of the vehicle.
In the end, the regulars swept through all the hot spots, eliminating most of the partisan units along the way. Here a Fir unit moved in to finish off a shaken partisan unit.

The game ended up being an overwhelming victory for the regulars, with the partisan player complaining that the scenario was rather unbalanced against the partisans. However, when we playtested the game the partisans won easily. A lot of bad luck was involved this time.

A unit of partisans hiding behind a building.
Partisans gathering around a hot spot.

All in all, it was a great game. I'm thinking of balancing out the chance appearance of armoured vehicles by giving the irregulars some sort of anti-tank unit bonus for their reinforcement rolls. That may make things a bit better.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Painted Resin

Well, I managed to paint the resin vehicles to a gaming level pretty quickly. The resin material seems to have taken Gesso (which I use to prime) and paint fairly well.
Here is the AMX-10RC from its left, rear, and right. I used the same camouflage pattern as the Sagaies and the APCs. The vehicle is a very solid piece of resin, quite a bit heavier than plastic kits. I hope the paint job will hold up well against bumps and bruises. The vehicle is in 20mm (1/76) scale, but looks fine enough compared to the 1/72 plastic kits, and is suitably intimidating.
Here are the VBLs. I painted the windows a dark blue colour to represent the glass, since this is what I've seen other people do for solid resin vehicles. The effect seems fine enough.
Here's a close-up of one of the VBLs. The kit is quite functional, probably with less detail than a plastic kit would have, but it's good enough for me and builds up a lot faster. Hopefully it will also turn out to be more durable in gaming.

Overall, this is has been a very positive experience for me. I'll definitely be getting more resin vehicles for gaming.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Into the Unknown

Frustrated with plastic kits that have too many parts, I recently purchased some resin vehicle miniatures from S&S models. These are designed for wargaming and have very few pieces. Although marketed as 20mm (1/76) scale, they seem close enough to fit well with 1/72s too. Since I've never worked with or painted resin models before, I'm in unknown territory.

These resin models have flash and excess bits that need to be trimmed, but because of the very few parts, the overall preparation time was far less than plastic models.

I bought 2 VBL models. As you can see, these are a combination of resin and metal, but they do seem to take super glue well enough. I'm thinking of making removable upper torsos of crewmen for all my vehicles to indicate buttoned/unbuttoned status in Ambush Alley games.

This is an uparmoured AMX-10RC, and it will be the heavy hitter in my games. It's got the same resin/metal combination as the VBLs. I'll have to see how well these materials take paint.

Well, on to priming.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Even More Partisans and Some Terrain

I've been doing more painting and building in the last while, mainly for the upcoming Mayday Ambush Alley game I'll be running. I've done up more partisans and some terrain.

I've painted up some more partisans from Caesar's first WWII partisans box. This set has a different group of poses, including an interesting man with an explosive detonator. In addition, I painted some more Caesar modern insurgents, for the RPG and SAW support.

Another interesting figure is an Orion modern Chechen fighter I painted up, for use as a Person of Interest in games. The Orion sets are not as detailed as Caesar, but match up fairly well in size, as can be seen in this comparison with the Caesar nun.
I've also made some simple mud walls from styrofoam. These are just strips of foam with drywall compound texture and a simple painting scheme. They are low walls that offer cover.
Also, I painted some Liberation Miniatures DShK heavy machine guns. These are generic enough that I can use them for several settings. Here, some partisans are reloading theirs.

I finally managed to base the GZG Ixx miniatures properly, and now they look quite a bit better. I'm getting to like them more and more, since they fit so well with 1/72s.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Squadron Strike!

I recently bought the starship combat game Squadron Strike. This is a fast-play, beer-and-pretzels game from a company called Ad Astra Games. It's meant to capture all the cool space combat you see in the movies, with no regard to newtonian physics or actual science at all. Sounds like a lot of fun!

I plan on kitbashing a lot of 1/72 scale space craft miniatures and bringing them to the Tuesday games. (It's a board game, but miniatures can be used on the hex board) The rules are fast and simple, so games shouldn't take longer than 30 minutes. Whole tournaments can probably be done in the Tuesday night time frame.

Hey, I should check out Squadron Strike's even simpler cousin - Attack Vector: Tactical.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Gribblies and Suits

I went to a major sale at a local hobby shop recently, and they had some Confrontation pre-painted miniatures marked at half price. I'm not a player of any Rackham game, but some of the miniatures interested me. There was a box of "Scorpion Phemera Omega" miniatures for $15, so I bought those.
There are 8 in the box, and these creatures remind me of hormagaunts from Warhammer 40k, but in a size appropriate for 1/72 miniatures. For pre-paints these are not bad, although they have rather large bases that I may have to replace.
As you can see in this comparison, they are a decent size to go with modern 1/72 miniatures.
Another angle shows some of their detail. You can easily imagine a horde of these attacking.

I'll probably look around for more sales to buy more of these creatures. It seems appropriate for them to come in a large group.

Also, inspired by Eric at 1/72 Multiverse, I bought some reduced-price AT-43 Red Blok battlesuits from the War Store. These are nice miniatures, especially at their price of $13US for a box of 3.
This shot shows the type with a machine gun and a flame thrower next to a 1/72 scale VAB. These are meant to be powered armour in 28 mm scale, but they seem to fit nicely as battlesuits or mini-mechs in 1/72.
Another shot with one next to a Sagaie.
Two of them next to a Caesar 1/72 scale nun. They are suitably imposing compared to 1/72 scale humans, and should put a good sci-fi element into games when mixed with moderns. I may repaint these to a colour scheme more appropriate to my setting.