Saturday, 26 March 2011

The Future of Table Top Wargaming?

Looking to the far FAR future - you could be playing games with tiny nano-robotic machines that you collect and paint yourself - that could be used to fight actual battles on the table-top using your tactics.

Each "battle" the robots took part in and survived without being "taken out" (I envisage a sort of "laser tag" micro system, with a central computer calculating the hits and damage) - they would learn and improve, with the ones that "died" being returned to play as basic units.

That way you utilize modern and advanced technologies, whilst keeping the "hobby" aspect.

No doubt some of you are thinking "it would cost way too much" - but when you think how much a CD Player cost when they were first introduced to the retail market ($900 in 1982 - as compared to today when you can pick a PORTABLE CD Player up for less than $20 that has more features than the 1982 version LoL) to what you can buy today, I'll bet its not that far fetched given enough time and imagination upon the part of the designers/manufacturers.

What amazes me is the Tech we have today actually (sorry to digress) TAB computers from Star Trek - WE NOW HAVE THEM!!

So, that's what I envision - tiny robots, you collect and paint yourself - that fight battles set up by human players - computer controlled in a table top environment.

Possibilities and Perceived Reality

IMHO ALL Fictional Universes exist somewhere, somehow in our limitless extra-dimensional multi-verse.

Think of any video game that you've played or movie watched. Think of any fiction book you've ever read, or table-top game (both miniatures games and RPG's) you've ever enjoyed.

Those ideas and concepts exist sometime and somewhere in tangible form.

Maybe not on our planet, not in our galaxy or even in our universe but somewhere they do. There's no such thing as fantasy - because space and time (and therefore reality) is infinite.

I'm no sage or scholar (well, I suppose I'm kinda the latter - or so some of my friends insist LoL) but I know deep down this concept has more than a little legitimacy.

I can't prove any of this (by the sheer nature of thought and imagination, such concepts are subjective at best - and other thinkers cannot disprove it either) but I am certain some of you have already though this (or something similar) already.

And yes I have a vivid and overdeveloped imagination, I'm kinda famous for it . . . . . .

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Resin Bases

Everyone knows I base my Pulp City & AE-WWII miniatures on resin bases, but what about other miniatures in my collection.

My Anima Tactics miniatures are based on Fenris Wilderness bases, whereas my Hell Dorado are on Dungeon Style Bases I sculpted myself and cast out of Miliput using greenstuff push molds.

But what about Infinity, Starship Troopers, and Rezolution . . . . 

Originally my Rezolution miniatures were based on the Plastic Rezolution bases - but, to be frank - they are pretty sh*t and ugly for the most part.

Starship Troopers are based on standard sand and gravel bases, although some of my early Skinnie efforts are starting to peel - I'm wondering whether to search out decent desert/ash waste bases to re-base them on at some point.

Infinity Miniatures are pretty, and so are the official bases from Micro Art Studio - but they are very expensive considering you are only buying 5 in a pack for 4.92 Euros - and the shipping is quite steep to the UK (I dread to think what it is to the US) - plus the are soooo priddy, I can see myself spending as much time painting the base as the bloody miniature!!!


I really like these from 616-designs on Ebay -


OK, the painting on the example bases could be a little more dynamic - but they are great looking bases!

Nice looking, great value (at £2.20 for 10), and flat (the vast majority of bases I've looked at are too "lumpy" to successfully base models on all of them).

And though I really REALLY like the official infinity ones - they are DOUBLE the price of one pack of 10 of these, for just a pack of 5 - pricing themselves (in my humble opinion) out of the market for most gamers.

They do several different designs, in both round, square, and the newer Warmachine "lipped" bases - and all are really competitively priced - VERY impressive guys! Especially considering he's been trading on Ebay for 12 Months and has 100% Positive Feedback!

I recommend everyone check them out!

Some of my friends were wondering why I've started using Resin bases for everything (I was actually asked by a mate the other week why I was "all about the resin" with my bases), the reasons are four-fold.

1 - I've found some of my older SST Skinnies the sand is now "peeling" off (No matter HOW carefully you do it, there is a chance your basing could skill peel off/flake).

2 - The official Pulp City Resin Bases turned my head (Almost as much as the miniatures did) - you USED to be able to still get them from http://www.maxmini.eu/ but they have disappeared from their website now.

3 - I'm lazy - if you prepare your own base texture its time consuming
  • Undercoat the miniature (you have to undercoat first, PVA being water based hates plastic bases)
  • PVA the base
  • Put your little "random" rocks on
  • Finish the rest of the base with sand
  • Wait for it to dry
  • Seal it with more watered down PVA
  • Wait for that to dry
ONLY THEN can you start painting - 7 stages with waiting in between - FFS!

4 - I'm impatient
  • Clip/trim tags
  • Drill holes
  • Glue to base
  • Undercoat 
Then you can paint, very little fuss, 4 stages with VERY little waiting/drying time!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Pretty Army Rosters

I like everything to look pretty, a strange word to use I suppose - but its true.

I like tatting with editing software and such - so its no surprise my Rosters generally look really good.

I keep my Rosters for a game in a Folder, to look back on - or to use again at a later date.

My A.R.P.A. Experimental Detachment Roster is no exception.


Click on the Image to go to the Download for the Roster (so you can see properly).

I'm of the mind just because something is functional, doesn't mean it shouldn't look good!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

American Experimental Detachment

After finally re-basing all my Yanks on Fenris Resin Bases (so they match my Pulp City Miniatures) I have COMPLETELY run out of Resin Bases now LoL!

So, here is my American Experimental Detachment - now undercoated and ready to paint (god knows how long that is going to take with my hands LoL)

1 Elite Selection
Oss Agent (Elite Infantry - Hero/Individual)
Doctor Anthony Wolf Jr.
Hero Type - Brute (Going for a "Doc Savage" feel)

1 Veteran Selection
Buffalo Power Armour (Veteran Tesla Device – Individual)
Sergeant Kyle "Crazy Horse" Kowalski

3 Regular Selections
2 US Airborne (Regular Infantry – Squad)
Privates Smith and Jones
2 US Rocket Troops (Regular Tesla Device – Squad)
Privates Gordon and Rogers
2 US Airborne Tesla Electrical Gun Team (Regular Tesla Device – Squad)
Corporal Zarkov & Private Wade

2 Green Selections
3 Robot Troopers (Green Tesla Device – Squad)
Robot Troopers - I, II, & III
3 Robot Troopers (Green Tesla Device – Squad)
Robot Troopers - IV, V, & VI

Special Orders
Coordinated Attack

Now I just need to plan out my Germans properly.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Games I Play . . . . .

I've not bought a lot recently, many factors there -and everyone who know's me is aware of my love of two Dead Systems - Vor and Starship Troopers. But what about Games actually in print.

Pulp City is perhaps my favourite Skirmish Miniatures game of all time, but I do have other games/miniatures in my collection.

Anima Tactics is a wicked set of fantasy skirmish rules if you like the Manga look to your Models (Soda Pop are doing their own Sci Fi based ruleset soon and they have a Manga look too - kinda interested to see what they come up with). I have a nice selection of Anima Tactics miniatures, I like the look of them and the game-play is solid.

AE-WWII is a fantastic game if you like your War "Weird" - the models are much nicer than Secrets of the Third Reich, and the rules flow better during play (plus its got points-free force organization). Plus, not fricking Zombies - I'm sick of seeing these sort of games with bloody Zombies in.

Pulp City - THE Superhero Skirmish game, has not long now released their very sexy Rulebook. The rules are sleek, the game-play is great fun and the Miniatures are Gorgeous (if you go back through the posts on here you can see some of my work). Slick gameplay, options for using other models you fancy as "minions" (side-kicks for the Supremes - thats what the call their Super Powered Beings) plus its set in the 1980's - what more could you want!

Spinespur is a Horror Game, based more on the slasher movies of the 70's & 80's - the minis are quirky, but given the subject matter that's a good thing - y'know? The real drawback with Spinespur is that you have to print out your own reference cards, its a real pain tbh. A good Spinepur strong point is terrain choice as the environments of the Spinespur "world" are very varied - you have a lot of choice for terrain set-ups, enabling you to use terrain from other Wargames quite happily. Bombed out Buildings, Modern Streets, Scrap Yards, Monolithic Ruins - all is pretty much possible in Spinespur.

Malifaux hasn't struck a lot of people - even though I like the look of the miniatures and the game world. I have found its like that for a lot of people - they either love it or aren't overly keen. Its an "all or nothing" sort of situation. Its a weird setting to be honest, but refreshing too. I can say the rules are excellent, very playable - though sometimes I find things can get a little bogged down, as a LOT of miniatures in the game have special (and fairly unique) rules.

Hell Dorado has been on my list for a while, and its really coming into its own now - especially with the English rules release. Really really worth looking at. Interesting Factions, Gorgeous Miniatures, Unique Setting, and good solid game play.

So that's it, no excuse to ever visit a Games Workshop again LMAO!

None of the aforementioned Games are for Kids to be frank, some of the miniatures in their ranges require moderate to advanced hobby skills.

You can either buy them direct, the stores are easily found from the links I've provided - or use a FLGS if they stock them (start nagging them now) or I've found FRP Games to be an excellent online supplier in the USA.

Here in the UK I generally use either Arcane Miniatures (I can't recommend Arcane Miniatures strongly enough) or Maelstrom Games (who can be quick, but I've found have problems with stock levels - meaning delays sometimes). Wayland Games have recently started stocking more than just Bloody Warhammer and 40k - and are worth looking at as well.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Starship Troopers 3 - The Bombardier Bug

The Bombardier Bug

Yet another new type of bug first encountered on Roku San, the Bombardier Bug was a soon feared enemy of the Mobile Infantry. A tiny insect no bigger than a basketball, it launched itself over the complex’s walls during an attack and detonated, killing many Troopers. More and more of these silent killers arrived by the minute, each doing more damage than the last - until the battle finally ended.


Bombardier Bug - 35pts

The Number of Bombardier Bugs depends on your Priority Level -

PL1 - None
PL2 - 0-5 Units
PL3 - 0-10 Units

Type - Bombardier Bug
Cost - 35
Size - 1
Move - 2"
Close Combat - D6-2
Target - 4+
Armour - 5+
Kill - 6+
Traits - Jump/20"

Unit - 1 Bombardier Bug
Weapons and Equipment - Self Destruct

Weapon - Self Destruct
Range - Special
Damage - 3xD10+2
Type - Internal
Traits - LZ (4"), Killshot

Self Destruct - When a Bombardier Bug is destroyed or when the Arachnid player wants it to, it may Self Destruct, you may automatically place a LZ (4”) template centering the bombardier bug. Remove the bombardier bug after all damage dice have been rolled.

Friday, 11 March 2011

The TW-105E Tactical Shotgun

 TW-105E Tactical Shotgun


The TW-105E Tactical Shotgun was a move from the Morita Weapons available to the mobile infantry; it contained a large and powerful explosive shell which would almost wipe out an Arachnid warrior bug in one shot. Dubbed the Puncher for its ability to literally punch holes in test subjects, the TW-105E is a powerful weapon indeed.

Weapon - TW-105E Tactical Shotgun
Range - 15"   
Damage - D10+1  
Type - Pack
Traits - Piercing/2, LZ (1”)

The TW-105E Tactical Shotgun is an addition to the mobile infantry arsenal and not yet used in full by all forces in the MI. Any Power Suit Squad, Light Armoured Squad or Pathfinder Squad may purchase a TW-105E Tactical Shotgun, the Shotgun counts towards the Special Weapons limit the squad may have. The TW-105E Tactical Shotgun cost +10pts per model.

Starship Troopers 3 - Scorpion Bug

Found some "bits" on Google -

The Scorpion Bug

So nicknamed by the Mobile Infantry because of its appearance, it sports a Bug Plasma emitter in its tail rather than having a venomous stinger. Seen only on Roku San, the Scorpion Bug was a deadly threat to the Mobile Infantry during the conflict on that planet. During an attack by the Arachnid Warriors, a massive Scorpion broke through a bunker wall and began to unleashing its Bug Plasma on the Troops within. Colonel Rico managed to hit the beast’s tail with a grenade launcher, but the attack still commenced even after its destruction.



Scorpion Bug - 110pts

The Number of Scorpion bugs depends on your Priority Level - PL1- 0-1 Units, PL2- 0-3 Units, PL3- Unlimited.

Type - Scorpion Bug
Cost - 60
Size - 3
Move - 7"
Close Combat - 2xD6+1 or D10+2
Target - 6+
Armour - 3+
Kill - 8+
Traits - Hits/3, Piercing/2, Retaliate

Unit - 2 Scorpion Bugs
Weapons and Equipment - Scorpion Bug Plasma (see below)

Weapon - Scorpion Bug Plasma
Range - 15"
Damage - 2xD6+2
Type - Internal
Traits - Piercing/1, Persistent

The best Miniature for these is the Bob Ridolfi Giant Scorpion from Reaper Miniatures, it only really needs the "sting" converting.


http://www.reapermini.com/Miniatures/animal/latest/02182

I do not know who did these rules, so if you read this or are on Face Book - PLEASE get in touch!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Starship Troopers III - Marauder Suits

UGLY as the are, I reckon I can happily convert a couple of these to be SST 3 Marauder Suits!

 

The basic shape is the same, leave the hands off - fitting the weapons directly on the wrists. Using plasticard to make an enclosed cabin!

I have to say though, I would never use these as intended - they are terrible IMHO - put me RIGHT OFF the only 40k Army that might have tempted me back!

Monday, 7 March 2011

VOR - The Maelstrom

Anyone remember VOR - The Maelstrom?

Prior to Starship Troopers is was the Wargame I played the most (outside of Work, I was working for GW at the time).

VOR was a science fiction wargame, set in the 22nd century - Earth had been sucked into a Black Hole - somehow surviving it found all sorts of weird races and environments in there. 

VOR was the Maelstrom's name - it was actually an intelligent entity. It was sort of a Bermuda Triangle/Sargasso Sea in space - leading to a pocket universe. Within this "space" were all sorts of wierd and wonderful races.

The Union
The North American Union is the unification of all North American nations, they possess advanced technology and superior tactics. The Union are the "norms" of the Game.

Neo-Soviets
Resurgent communist Russian forces, with crude but powerful weapons and mutated animals. The Neo-Soviet Empire cares for the nation as a whole and not any one citizen. It employs chemical and radiation weapons at will. The "human wave" tactic is the most common strategy used.

Growlers
The Growlers are primate-like monsters directed by the pack's collective packmind, strong and adaptable, and the main enemies of the Zykhee. With four main breeds.

Razorbacks
The razorback breed inhabits areas of high metallic ore concentrations. Their spines and teeth are heavily imbedded with metal on a genetic level..

Bluefangs 
The bluefangs inhabit any lush jungle or forest they can find. As ambush hunters they will sit and wait for prey, but tend to graze their area as well, making them bloated by the sheer volume of food taken in.

Fireguts 
These growlers have actually used heat to release the energy of their food rather than chemical reactions. They inhabit areas of volcanic activity and have the ability to spit lava.

Whitetusks
The most intelligent of growlers, the Whitetusks are the best coordinated of all the breeds. Identified by their white fur and large tusks coming from their heads they make up the smallest of the growler breeds.

There are rules for mixed breed "tribes" and of course your own Growler breeds are possible using the Custom Force rules (more on the Custom Force rules later).

Zykhee
Vaguely humanoid aliens with advanced technology, powerful melee weapons and spiritual abilities. Alien Ninja/Jedi basically.

Shard
The Shard are a race of lifeforms who have transcended physical form and have become pure energy. Upon entering the Maelstrom they found the need to encase said energy/essence in crystalline forms. Vaguely humanoid in shape, the Shard have an extreme hatred for 'carbons' (carbon-based lifeforms), and stop at nothing to wipe them out. I really like the Shard, they remind me of the Vorlons from Babylon 5.

Pharon
The Pharon are a dead race. Formerly mummified, similar to the mummies of Ancient Egypt the strange energies of the Maelstrom have reanimated them. They attack other races for their life-giving fluids and parts. The Pharon often reanimate their enemies to serve as slaves until such time as the slaves fall apart. AWESOME army, I had to wait a while for these to come out - then the game ended way before the really interesting stuff came out (such as the Slayer suits). I'm STILL working on my Pharons LoL!

Mashers
The Mashers are very primitive creatures, yet they can 'mash' (meld) with technology. They are a race of scavengers, and bear a physical similarity to Neandertals. The Mashers didnt have an Army List - though there is now a Sneak Peek over at the official VOR 2.0 Forums. There are two Masher miniatures available over at Iron Wind Metals.

Golem
These solid creatures wear power armour. They are actually two creatures - a mindless host and an intelligent parasite, who enslave and conquer worlds. Again, no official Army list - there are only 3 different Miniatures available for the Golem (over at Iron Wind Metals) - a Prototype, a "Pounder", and a Slaver.

Ceru
The Ceru are a race of blue, gnomish beings who were enslaved by the Golem, but broke free when the Golem's homeworld (where the Ceru happened to be at the time) got sucked into the Maelstrom. They specialize in vehicles and are constantly on the move. Nothing beyond some interesting ideas and artwork was ever done for the Ceru - its a shame, they are really interesting. Little Blue Bikers that they are.

Vor was published by FASA in 1999, but was discontinued when FASA closed its doors in 2001. You could USE ANY MINIATURES with it, because there were custom force rules built into the ruleset.

I have a REALLY diverse Collection - AE-WWII, Pulp City, Starship Troopers - but with a little effort, ALL is possible in Vor - The Maelstrom. I've played games where Mobile Infantry face off against Necron Raiders, and hoards of Rocket Men face of against Chaos Marines. 

THE ONLY real problem with VOR was within the custom force rules themselves - they math was a Little out.

The Force Structure, Unit Creation Rules, and other such options stay the same. Only the Points costs need to be amended.

This unfortunately, will mean the points costs being worked out (sometimes) as a fraction of a point (I’ve kept it as % to make it easier) with the final number being rounded off.


MEDIUM/SMALL SIZED UNIT STATISTIC COST TABLE
Statistics
Cost to increase/decrease 1 point
MP (Move Points)
+/- 2.25 Points
CC (Close Combat)
+/- 0.55 Points
RC (Ranged Combat)
+/- 1.10 Points
POW (Power)
+/- ?? Points
BOD (Body)
+/- ?? Points
BRN (Brains)
+/- ?? Points
GUT (Guts)
+/- ?? Points
LIF (Life Force)
+/- ?? Points
AR (Armour Rating)
+/- ?? Points


Using the custom force builder in the book it comes to - 23 points for the Stats, 17 points for the Pitbul (and the MP's are wrong), & 12 Points for the Pug Pistol = 52 Points which is roughly half (well, divide by 1.86)

The Books and Miniatures are still available quite Cheaply, I suggest you check VOR out - you won't be dissapointed.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

More Starship Troopers Thoughts

Its a shame SST never got to "evolve" (and I don't mean the crappy Battlefield Evolution proposed re-vamp either) - but certain ideas that never made it into the Game as a whole.

The experimental Sniper Rules from Signs and Portents were quicte excellent, and surpisingly balanced for a first Draft.

The Forth would have been a fantastic and unique Army, and though Mecha inspired totally unlike any other Force on the market currently (no, NOT even the bloody Tau).

The Coven were a B-Movie inspired evil babes Army - with imasculated male slave troops - a superb idea!

I had even started working and play-testing my own rules for Hybrid Platoons - so you could "mix and match" your troops more easily, putting them in a more competitive position play-wise with other Sci Fi Wargames.

All the wonderful potential for the game got "canned" when Mongoose Dropped SST like a hot coal (and yes I am bloody bitter about it) with no real satisfying reason why (more than one was offered up, not seemed particularly believable or logical).

So, for those who don't have access to the aforementioned rules and ideas - I've uploaded them and they are provided here for completeness - and are not intended as an infringement on anyone's copy-right.

The Forth and the Coven Rules are provided in their original raw format. The Veteran Squad Rules, The Sniper Rules, and my Rules/Ideas for Hybrid Platoons/Forces are formatted to look like the Core Rulebooks.

The Forth

The Coven

Veteran Squads

Snipers

Hybrid Forces

C'mon you Apes - D'you wanna Live Forever!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Starship Troopers

Did anyone else Play Starship Troopers - I recently found all my Miniatures thrown in a Box (not by me I must add) completely wrecking the few I actually had painted.

The worst casualties were - 25 Light Mobile Infantry, the Roughnecks, 30 Bugs, 2 Skinnie Light Speeders, a Skinnie Heavy Speeder, and a Tanker.

Now the Light Mobile Infantry (being metal) are easily stripped and re-painted, though I am changing the way I painted them this time - going for a grey Undercoat and using citadel foundation paints and glazes. So, its all good in a way as far as the Light Mobile Infantry are concerned.

The Tanker will need re-painting, as its broken in several places - interesting point, you CAN strip the SST plastic using (in the UK at least) the Mr Muscle Oven Cleaner spray . . . .

The Skinnie speeders are fubar, they need stripping right back properly - the biggest issue with them is theres a couple of components missing, so I've got to fabricate the missing bits now.

Lastly - the Warrior bugs are pretty much f***ed up - I can only make 16 complete ones out of the wreckage - putting me down to just 36 Arachnid Warriors out of the 50 I had. Oh well, endless tide it is.

I didn't always us the SST rules either, anyone remember VOR - The Maelstrom? Vor was one of my favourite games, loved the Universe and the Rules (shame FASA got liquidated) - I have copiuos notes for SST VOR somewhere, I might post them on here when (and if LoL) I find them.

Oh well, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger" - Friedrich Nietzsche - Or in the case of wrecked miniatures - just PI**ES YOU OFF!