Friday, October 20, 2017

Scourge Battlecruiser

For the upcoming Dropfleet tournament at Onslaught on Saturday, I painted up the all-resin version of the Scourge battle cruiser, the Akuma.

It has the same paint scheme as all my other capital ships, and will replace the model I've been using as a proxy.

The ship actually looks quite different from other Scourge vessels, having a nose with a style that doesn't match any of the existing ships. The large "wings" are from the battleship though, so there is some commonality of design.

Because there is an option for two types of battle cruisers, of course I magnetized the ship to be either. This is the alternative head with close range plasma weapons instead of the normal occulus beams.

When you put it next to the Basilisk, the resin/plastic combination model from the Kickstarter with exactly the same stats, the newer ship looks much larger.

Even here, next to the battleship, the Akuma looks like it's the same length, just quite a bit thinner.
It's a really nice looking model, and I hope it will be lucky in the tournament.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Fallcon 2017

Following my annual tradition, I went to Fallcon in Calgary this past weekend.
This year, Fallcon was moved to a different venue, the SAIT campus, from the original Commonwealth Centre location. The new place caused some issues, mainly with parking, since the SAIT parking lot was less convenient and cost money compared to the original. It didn't seem to reduce attendance though.

Friday night, I ran an expanded version of my Imperial Skies game with 4 players.
I painted up some of Brigade Models' excellent small scale scenery as British industrial buildings on Mars. They were targets for attacking German aether ships.

Here, the German players entered the map in two groups, making straight for their targets.

The British player (we had one player show up at the start and another join in later) initially positioned his ships to take advantage of their broadsides, and they sat around waiting for their opponents.
As the Germans came closer, both British players sent their destroyers forward to harass their opponents and kept the bigger ships back.

This resulted in British destroyer casualties as the first blood of the game.

As the game went on, treachery! A band of Irish adventurers staged an attack on the British rear area with their ship, the Fenian Ram. However, the British revealed their own hidden forts protecting the factories. At this point though, we ran out of time, and the game was called. I probably need to reduce the size of the scenario, especially with 4 new players playing it.

The Forge, a Western Martial Arts group in Calgary staged sword-fighting demos at Fallcon, something I hadn't seen there before. It turned out one of the guys in the group was the host at the bed and breakfast where I stayed, and he trained with the same WMA instructor that I did when I was practicing swordsmanship. Small world! I'm glad that WMA/HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) is becoming more widespread and better known.

I was quite sick Friday night and Saturday morning, and I missed some events. However, I did feel better later that day and went to the auction. At the auction, they presented awards for amateur game design, and members of the 501st Imperial Legion in Calgary showed up to provide some atmosphere!

On Sunday, I joined a game of Chain of Command run by Stu from Calgary. This is a Too Fat Lardies ruleset used for 15mm WWII games.

I really liked the interesting although very abstract initial reconnaissance mechanic, where the two sides placed markers to control and limit each other's deployment. Here our side (the Germans) managed to sneak into the town at the centre of the table.

From that point on, since the Germans had a deployment location in town with a lot of heavy cover, they were well protected against any British attack and were able to play aggressively.

Here, the Germans on the right attacked the British position near their side of the board. This ended up being the decisive part of the game. Despite heavy casualties, the Germans overran the British position, and the game was called. The game had interesting mechanics, although some of it felt a little clunky and unnecessary.

This year, I had a great time again, despite being sick for a part of it. We'll see if the SAIT location will be used again next year.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Mayday 2017

On Saturday, I went to this year's Mayday convention held here in the Edmonton area. Jonathan, the organizer, found an excellent community center in St. Albert that served as a new location for us, and we managed to gather a decent crowd.

This time, I ran a game of Imperial Skies. This is a steampunk Victorian flying battleships game created by Brigade Models. For the miniatures, rather than Brigade Models products, I used ship models from an unrelated board game called Leviathans, an interesting product that unfortunately didn't do well commercially.

Newcomer (to EWG but not to gaming) Derek and long-time EWG member Dan played my game, which involved German battleships attempting to destroy British forts on Mars. Derek played the British fleet and Dan the German.
Dan sent his German warships on board in several columns, with Derek's smaller British fleet attempting to maneuver and cross the Germans' "T".

Initially, the Germans did some damage to the British fleet, destroying a destroyer and a cruiser that wandered too close to the German columns by themselves, while the British did relatively little damage, mainly owing to Derek's dice initially performing badly. However, Derek finally managed to get his battleship into position, and blasted one of the two German battleships at close range. "Crossing the T" is quite nasty in this game.

The battle descended into a swirling melee where generally the British managed to cross the T more and did more damage over time.

Dan finally got his remaining battleship close to the British forts and demolished one of them. However, the forts were heavily dug-in and proved hard to destroy, while the British blasted the German ships one by one. At the end, we called the game at the time limit and Germans were not getting any farther. Both player enjoyed the game quite a bit though.

Next, I played in Dennis' DBA tournament, where each player had three games against different opponents.
I played using one of Dennis' armies, the Anglo-Irish, against Rob and Don from Calgary, and Dave from right here in Edmonton. Things went poorly for me due to die rolling in the first two games, and I lost them both. However, in the third game, Dave's dice were even worse than mine, and I managed to win. It really reinforced the view that DBA is very dependent on single die rolls, leading to a lot of player frustration.

Later that night, Dennis ran a big-battle DBA game of the Battle of Ilipa, between Romans and Carthaginians. I think I like the big-battle version quite a bit more, since there are more die rolls for PIPs (i.e. action points), and so the game is less dependent on single die rolls. Also, more miniatures are involved and the whole thing looks a lot more like a large battle.

All in all, this was another great Mayday, and I hope we can stay at the new location, which proved to be a very nice one indeed.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

More Dropfleet

For the upcoming Dropfleet League game tomorrow, I painted up some more Scourge ships.

This game is going to be another skirmish, at 750 points. I heard that the Basilisk battlecruiser is quite good, so I painted up the one from the last post. Plus, I painted up a troop transport module and attached it to one of my cruisers to make a Chimera troop transport.

Even though the game will be too small for a battleship, I like the Scourge model so much that I painted it up. It will definitely be making an appearance for the following game, which will be larger. Of course, as I showed in the last post, the head weapons are magnetized. The above is the Daemon configuration.

This is the Dragon configuration for the same ship, with fighter/torpedo launchers instead of occulus weapons arrays.

This shows the relative sizes of the battlecruiser and the battleship.

Unrelated to Dropfleet, for the upcoming Tuesday night game, I'm going to run a game of Imperial Skies, with steampunk flying battleships on Mars. The miniatures are from a boardgame called Leviathans, which unfortunately is no longer supported.

In this game, German battleships are trying to take on British ships and forts. The above are British ships flying above their forts.

These are some of the attacking German ships.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

First Dropfleet Game

I finally managed to paint around 500 points worth of Dropfleet Commander ships, just in time for a game organized in St. Albert on Sunday.

I painted four of the magnetized frigates from the previous post.
Here are a couple of Djinns armed with plasma weapons and a Gargoyle, a troop carrier. I decided on a fairly simple colour scheme of purple outlines with some green tinges over a metallic surface.

This is the second Gargoyle, painted to the same scheme.

I also figured out how to magnetize the cruisers so the wings, cheek weapons, and the "crown" of the heavy cruiser are all removable. Here are the two I painted for the game, an Ifrit on top, and a Shenlong on the bottom. These are all convertible to other ship classes.

I also kit-bashed some Nickar corvettes, which don't have released models yet. These are just made from left-over weapons wings and painted in the same scheme. They are quite useful as troop carrier killers in the game.
Trevor from St. Albert organized the game on Sunday, and it was a blast. He brought out orbital gaming mats that really provided the proper atmosphere (pun intended) for the game. There were quite a few tables, mostly new players learning the game. This was my first time playing and I got hooked!

Carrying on, I'm building the next batch of ships right now. Here is a Basilisk battlecruiser, which I hear is quite good in the game. It's assembled with magnetized cheek weapons, and ready to be painted.

I also got hold of a battleship, which is quite a big hunk of resin. Again, I magnetized the head weapons so they can be swapped. This is the Daemon configuration with beam weapons.

This is the Dragon configuration with launch bays on the sides of the head instead.

I can't wait for next month's game, and I'll be bringing some new ships to it.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Dropfleet Kickstarter!

Last year, I bought into the Dropfleet Commander kickstarter created by Hawk Wargames. This is a starship combat game based on their Dropzone Commander universe. I ordered a basic starter set from both the UCM and Scourge, two of the main factions, along with a bunch of freebies (mainly extra ships) given as a part of the kickstarter.

Last Friday, I finally received my package.

Even though it's a relatively low level pledge, it still has a ton of stuff packed in there, with all the basics needed to play, along with extra ships from all existing faction.

I started building the Scourge faction right away, since I like their bio-mechanical design.
Both types of ships in the starter set, frigates and cruisers, have a variety of build options. This just begs for magnetization. The Scourge frigate is fairly straight-forward, with a common central body and several optional pairs of wings. I built up three types of wings (there are a couple more I haven't built) for four frigates, as seen in the picture above.

Here's the same frigate with the three options I have so far. The Djinn, a close-range attack craft, the Gargoyle, a troop carrier, and the Harpy, the basic ranged frigate.

Here are all four frigates with a typical fleet configuration - two Harpies and two Gargoyles. Unfortunately each sprue of four frigates only allows you to build two copies of each option.

I've built up the base of a cruiser (I have four total), but the cruiser's options are much more complex, and some of the places, like the mouth, are hard to magnetize for all the options. I'll have to think about how to do this properly.

All the factions also have resin-only battleships. I don't have any yet, but here is a size comparison of a Desolator from Dropzone Commander with the Scourge cruiser. It fits the description of Scourge battleships as being around the same length as cruisers but much wider and thicker. I may proxy the Desolator as a battleship in games before deciding on whether to splurge on battleships.

I can't wait to start painting these!