Category Archives: science fiction

X-Wing again…

Today, Richard (Herkybird) at the Tyneside Club said they would be playing X-Wing again. My lad Zach has been asking to go down the club for a while for a ‘proper’ game. Saturday is a bad day in some ways: football and swimming (him not me!) so we weren’t able to get down until 2.30. However, Richard was kind enough to hold off the X-Wing until we got there. It ended up with myself, Zach and Richard playing against Lawrence and Alex. They took a couple of TFA X-Wings and myself and Richard took a TIE/fo with Zach grabbing a TIE/sf – something he had not played before. Nothing fancy, face off and fight!The X-Wings veered left and an TIE/fo and the TIE/sf headed to intercept while my TIE/fo headed to swing round the back. Richards TIE/fo almost came a cropper as both X-Wings attacked.But survived and mine and Zach’s fighters entered the fray. This was the first time Zach had really used locks and it was to prove quite useful.The X-Wings re-grouped… And things started to hot up! The rear arc of the TIE/sf was rather useful and Zach was able to get in a few shots from his rear arc.Unfortunately, Alex was to be the first victim. Losing his shields to Zach and then Richard was able to finish him off! We were then able to turn our attention to Lawrence who manoeuvred well and did some damage to Richard. And although we tried to get shots in they just weren’t telling and then Lawrence got a fine attack in on Richard and put an end to him! With locks on and shields gone it was only a matter of time before myself and Zach combined our attacks and then that was Lawrence gone! It was a good simple little game. Nothing fancy in terms of cards and upgrades but proves how well the game works in even its most basic form! And yet again Richard showed his generous side. He gave me a HWK-950 and an original Millenium Falcon as a thanks for sorting a website for his various rules and a Po Dameron X-Wing for Zach as a welcome to the club! Many thanks!

A pleasant end to the afternoon.

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Fire and Fury in Whitley Bay!

And a second game in one month! This week the Whitley Bay 3D Gamers club were meeting on Wednesday rather than Tuesday. Tuesdays are currently slightly problematic due to my wife’s hectic Pilates schedule! 🙂 but finishing work slightly early and having access to the car makes the odd Wednesday possible. There were four games being played last night:

A large Bolt Action game:A 15mm AWI rules playtest:And a WW2 boardgame:

And a large’ish 15mm ACW Fire and Fury game laid on again by Andy Oliver. Three players aside it was basically a meeting engagement with three divisions aside and the various hills being the objectives for victory points. I took a Union division of three decent size brigades and a battery and set up next to the wooded enclosure with the two hill to my front being the targets. Over the far right the troops were in action straightaway with Andy’s division again assailed by two divisions!My troops prepare to advance.Although my first brigade faltered and forced the supporting brigade to pass through!To my left, Rod started a rather cautious advance alongside the road…The Rebels (Lawrence) advanced to the central hill but seemed hesitant.And on the left their large brigade prepare for the onslaught of Rod’s division!While Lawrence’s other brigade and guns set to hold the hill!
With a possible threat to my right I held back my brigade and battery and finally advanced on the far hill. Meanwhile on the far right Andy was having a few problems…And the other hill the Union had secured prepared to defend it.With the threat to my right gone as those brigades shifted their target my brigade began a long round of combats with the Rebels facing them.Finally my central attack drove home as both brigades went in with great enthusiasm!Sweeping the brigade from the field and crashing into the guns behind!While my other brigade was pushed back again!

Having driven the guns back as well my brigades took the hill but the supporting brigade became a little confused, refused to re-deploy and after some enfilade fire was hit in the flank by a rapidly moving brigade.And to my left Rod’s division, having ‘secured’ a hill and only fired a few shots from the battery sat and observed… As my enfiladed brigade was swept away and my forward brigade faced rebels to front and rear!And that was it really. I had gained a hill and lost it! On the right, Rebels, despite suffering badly still managed to hold ‘their’ hill and in the centre drove the Union off another. It was looking a poor show for the Union… at least where they fought! 🙂

A nice, quickly set up and played game that was good fun. A couple of players hadn’t played before but in most circumstances the rules are pretty straightforward. Thanks again to Andy for organising it.

And in other news… at the weekend I managed another short game of X-Wing with Zach. This time his sister (Hannah) wanted to play (she’s 11). For a change he too two X-Wings with decent pilots and I took a TIE and Interceptor and Hannah two TIEs. The game didn’t last long. We got lucky and managed Hannah’s TIEs hitting on X-Wing and stripping the shields. As I tried to get shots on my target I ended up getting a long range shot at the already damaged ship. Two hits. One a critical causing two damage! Scratch one X-Wing! Luckily tea was ready as Zach was none too pleased! Good to be playing stuff anyway!

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First proper game of X-Wing

Last night I finally freed up some time to play some proper X-Wing with my lad, Zach. We still stuck to the Core Set and basic ships just to get the basics down. Again, I took the lone x-wing against the two TIEs. This time we remembered to put the shields on the TIEs! Just using the standard pilots.First couple of moves saw us rush headlong and gave me the chance to pop at the slower pilot. There then followed a bit of dog-fighting where I caught the slow pilot again but the better guy was closing in and stripping off my shields. However, a couple Critical Hits on my main target finally let me take him out.And left me facing the tough guy!This got very close in and dirty with some quite good manoeuvring from Zach!As we prepared for yet another run past we were both down to one Hull left. I evaded his one hit (using my focus) and had three attacks on him…Which didn’t go as planned! Another couple of turns and we were still battling! A final run. He missed. I got the hit I needed!

Good fun and the lad did well. More importantly he didn’t strop when I beat him and wants to play again! 🙂

Couple of things came up:

Assume that if your stress goes after your green manoeuvre you are then free to do an Action?

And the vinyl mat – the ships slide very easily on it. Is there a solution to this? Does someone do the bases with a non-slip bottom to them? It’s not a big problem if careful but we knocked the mat once or twice and the ships slid around!

All in all, good fun and looking forward to the next game in which Zach is desperate to try some new ships! Of which we have a few! Richard (aka Herkybird) at the Tyneside Club very generously gave us a selection of his ships that were surplus to his requirements so we have the following to choose from:

  • 1 Tie Defender
  • 1 Z-95 Headhunter
  • 1 Starviper
  • 1 E-Wing
  • 1 M3-A Interceptor
  • 1 Tie Phantom
  • 1 VT-49 Decimator
  • 1 YT-2400 Freighter
  • 1 IG-2000
Thanks again, Richard! Richard has a set of solo mechanisms for playing the game and I’m tempted to give those ago with the lad so we can plan the actions together. The rules are available here: X-Wing Solo Rules.
I actually played a big 15mm ACW Fire and Fury game at the club on Saturday so the write up for that is coming soon!
 
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Von Don Corp. Air Support

Many moons ago (2011!!) I decided to re-use some random 1/300 SF models to recreate the Savage Swans (my ImagiNation force which started in the C18th) as the military arm of VonDon Corporation (von Donovan being the family name of the original commander of the Swans) and relocate them to the not too distant future! http://blog.belisarius.org.uk/2011/09/fubar-vondon-corp-complete.html Although I re-painted a Red Dwarf Starbug as a basic transport vessel I’ve never added any combat craft… until now…

Although I’ve been focused on X-Wing the last week I’ve also prepped a few things to paint for a little LAW painting challenge and for Ayton. And as I’ve been prepping stuff for use in Horizon Wars I thought I’d paint a few ships that I got off my mate Slugbalancer a few years ago! These are from an old Star War range that I’ve not really seen anywhere else but found this pic online:

So as I wanted these for VonDon Corp. they needed to be in the standard buff and green colour scheme. I’d forgotten I did the other stuff green and then added the buff but the other way round seems to work OK as well. So here we have the VDC Combat Air Support.

One Ganymede Fighter and two Burt Assault Support Ships (know by the troops as the Burt Big Ass).

Quite pleased with them really. Wasn’t sure how to do the canopy glass but it doesn’t look too bad painted. The planned X-Wing tonight didn’t happen. Party as the lad was a total nightmare this morning so we are each in each others bad books, and partly he had a friend over to play.May have to wait until the weekend now…

A

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A first try at X-Wing

My lad wanted to try the new game out ASAP so despite waiting still for the star game mat I laid out a couple of other mats, punched the components and we started the intro game. He took the bad guys!

I managed to inflict damage on one TIE and he took out some of my shields. We were both getting the hang of the movement and also of not knocking the ships out of position! We managed half a dozen or more turns before Cubs beckoned! The mat has now arrived but I need to flatten it out a bit and find a bigger playing surface for the 3ft square! Might need to grab a bit of 4×2 MDF as I have a spare piece anyway…

Good fun. And needles to say I have additional bits on the way!

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Plan? What plan?

Last night and this morning I had a productive little session prepping some Norman crossbowmen for Ayton, some plastic SF fighter type things to use with the 1/300 chaps, and finally varnished the Altefritzenburgers I painted last year and which I still have half the unit to do. I then popped into town and nipped into the Tyneside Club to confirm arrangements for an ACW game next week. Wherein, Richard, Lawrence and Phil (and Alex) were playing Star Wars X-Wing. I’ve avoided even trying this in the past as the system didn’t appeal. But Phil, (and I blame him entirely!) convinced me to take control of a X-Wing for a turn or two. What a bloody stupid idea!! It’s a rather fun system! I managed to inflict a little damage, take none, a fly unintentionally rather will in formation with Phil’s craft!

I then had to go but couldn’t resist nipping in to Forbidden Planet/Travelling Man. The Core sets were a little pricey there so I checked Amazon. Much cheaper.  I then had a pang of common sense and thought I would wait a couple of days to be sure. Then on a Facebook boardgame group someone offered up the Star Trek Attack Wing core set. A quick Google confirmed it was the same basic system and apparently a decent game. So it’s on its way… I’ll try this with my lad and if he likes it get the Star Wars anyway!

A

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6mm SF Dropship

I have lots of figures I need to get painted for my 28mm games in May so it seemed sensible to concentrate on a dropship for my 6mm SF forces! I’ve had the models for these for a few months and cannot take credit for the idea. I think I saw them on a blog (sorry, can’t remember which one) linked to from either The Wargames Website or Angel Barracks forums and managed to pick a couple up cheap on eBay.

2015-02-11 12.09.39They have been suggested on other forums as suitable for 6mm/15mm games but the Disney Tron diecast models (from the recent film) are very useful and I reckoned the Clu’s Command Ship model was ideal for a dropship. The model is pretty basic:

2015-02-11 14.26.11So I wanted to add a few bits on. The infantry I am using for this ‘faction’ in my SF force are Foundationists from Microworld Games. Steven from Microworld was kind enough to send a few samples of some of the MBTs so I fixed a few turrets and a chassis to give the model a bit more definition. And painted it in the grey/blue scheme for my NAC Corp – North American Commonwealth Corporation. I’ve still to decide how I’m going to ‘base’ it so it’s still on it’s ‘stick’ for painting!

2015-02-11 11.17.44 2015-02-11 11.17.36 2015-02-11 11.15.06 2015-02-11 11.14.41And here it is with some of the troops for scale:

2015-02-11 12.16.53 2015-02-11 12.17.14 2015-02-11 12.17.36I think a small strong magnet on the base and a stand will allow it to hover over the table in support. I’ve got another one to do which will be slightly different as I have different turrets etc.

Now, back on to the urgent stuff!

A

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An update at last! A bit of everything…

Since the Ayton game in May I’ve been right off painting. Distinct lack of mojo. I think the regular annual stress of getting everything painted for the weekend was a little too much. Always worth it for the game but it can be hard to get back into the painting routine afterwards. And it has taken a while. But as ever, a deadline has provided the spur!

This coming weekend sees a gathering of some of the Ayton gamers and members of the Loose Association of Wargamers forum gather in Framlingham, Suffolk for a weekend of gaming, beer and good company. There are a number of games planned (which I’ll report on next week) but for once I didn’t need to paint anything. Which of course, meant I had to do SOMETHING! And as my plan for the Saturday was to take part in a 20mm WSS game being run by Iain Burt (Essex Boy) this seemed the obvious chance to do the Savage Swans in another scale and period! I had hoped to do a small brigade but, as you’ll see below, I was working on other stuff as well so in the end just did the main unit and an officer.

The figures are Les Higgins 20mm customised by Iain Burt and are done in the traditional buff and green of the Swans.

swans20mm01 swans20mm02 swans20mm03 swans20mm04 swans20mm05I have to admit I found the 20mm quite hard to paint. The techniques I use on my 15mm and smaller didn’t quite work, and the 28mm style seemed overkill. But they got there in the end.

Long terms plan is to do the dragoon contingent and a couple of units of Altefritzenburgers

So, having done those, what else?

Well, following the pummeling my troops took from the massed enemy guns at Ayton I decide the Swans needed their own artillery battery so to start that I present Die Große Eingelegte!

swansgun02 swansgun03 swansgun01The gun is a Fife and Drum 12lb Vallieres generously given to me by Jim Purky in my last order. It is a lovely big model! I have a two horse F&D limber to do at some point but for now the limber is an Irregular Miniature model. The figures are RSM. For my other guns I had done the marching figures fixed to the gun ‘base’ but have decided single figure basing is better. The curved base done especially for me by Martin at Warbases.

I have two ways of deploying the gun. Using a large textured base (idea stolen from World2Dave!) I can slot the figures in and have spare slots for markers, barrels, cannon balls etc.

swansgun08 swansgun07 swansgun06 swansgun05 swansgun04The alternative is to just use a loose gun and single based figures:

swansgun09 swansgun10 swansgun11The gun crew are Fife and Drum Continental gunners. I have all my gunners and engineer types with read waistcoats and trousers. The others have black leggings which tempers this a bit but these chaps are going for the whole red leg look! And it is great news that Fife and Drum and an increasing number of the Minden range are now available in the UK from Crann Tara Miniatures

I will add a second gun (smaller) and eventually use this limber for that and the big limber for the 12lb’er

And that is not all!

I’ve recently just finished reading two novels and two novellas by Marko Kloos which fired up my 6mm SF interest. And while searching for 6mm figures I came across Microworld Games and after contacting owner Steven Salotti ordered some sample packs of their Foundationist infantry. Steven kindly threw in some vehicle samples as well. They are lovely little figures. A little smaller than my existing ex-Adler Dark(est) Star but the right style I wanted.

I’ve only painted a couple of squads and some support but will be doing others and I have plans for a couple of dropships to go with them. Painting was simple. Mid-grey undercoat, black wash, lighter grey dry brush and weapons. I’ve painted each squad with a different colour shoulder pad to help ID on the table.

naccorp01 naccorp02 naccorp03 naccorp04 naccorp05My 6mm SF is based around powerful corporations and these represent the NACCorp – North American Commonwealth Corporation.

So I’m quite pleased with that lot and looking forward to this weekend where I hope I will take lots of pictures!

Cheers

Andy

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FUBAR – SDF and SovCorp done!

Having finally amended my Painting Plan I thought I would have a little burst of effort and get the pretty well final batch of models done for this stage of my FUBAR project.

First up are the Sikkara Defence Force (SDF). I’ve used Adler vehicles with Dark Realm Miniatures(DRM) buggies and Federation Mid-tech infantry. These are the colonists on the defensive. They will likely be defending positions with occasional hit and run with the buggies. As yet I have no APCs for them as I envisage them riding on tanks or buggies. There are two eight man squads and a five man command team (yes, I know there are six in the pic but I misplaced a normal chap!). I’ve also done a couple of resin bunkers as the plan is for most of their facilities to be underground and these the connected entrances to them.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Although VonDon Corp. are the main high tech force there is interest from other corporations. Although ostensibly there to support the colonists, the SovCorp contingent may also have ulterior motives. These are DRM vehicles for the tanks and APCs. The command trio are Reiver Castings. Infantry are Adler Venurians. I’ve gone for five man squads here to match the VonDon ones. The small DRM tanks at the front are a lot smaller than I expected and I’m thinking of classing these as remote controlled AFVs, unmanned and controlled from the command APC at the back.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

So there we have the three main protagonists! I need some scenery (desert type tiles) and ‘stuff’ to fill it so I can plan out the first games. I have a few more GZG tanks I MAY do for VonDon and I may do a couple of APCs for the SDF but for now, that is it! 🙂

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FUBAR – VonDon Corp. – complete

Well, after a few grabbed sessions over the last few days I’ve finally finished (for now) my VonDon Corp. contingent for FUBAR. This gives me enough for a viable little game so all I need now is some opposition, of which more anon. On to the Swans in Space…

The whole contingent looks like this:

I’ve added the Command Team with (from right cockwise), Cpt Lamm, medic, ATGW team, Lt. Schneider:

The contingent can still call on the heavy weapons if needed:

The Recon Team, with their Combat Walkers and prototype power armour:

There are 4 teams, each with their own IFV. Yellow Team:

White Team:

Red Team:

Blue Team are the rapid response team, either in their ARV (Airmobile Recon Vehicle):

Which enables team to deploy with support from the ARV HMG:

Or with their standard IFV:

Any of the Teams can be deployed further afield with the OSTV (Orbit-Surface Transport Vessel):

 

And yes, it is Starbug!

So there we are. Enought to be going on with. I have a small EarthGov monitoring team nearly done and have planned out the colonists and a rival corporation. And I have some Dark Realm Miniatures coming as well.

That will do for now…

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