Monday, 7 August 2017

Shaltari Painting Challenge

Well, I bought the Shaltari starter set for Dropfleet Commander. I thought they'd be a bit of a challenge to get painted and I was right. They are very weird models with lots of tiny little nodes and knobs that need attention. And I'm talkin' hundreds on each of the large models (large being relative at about 4" long).

That said, I rose to the challenge and finished them after a couple of weeks of painting. I'm not 100% happy with my results but they look okay ad are quite striking in the flesh. I do like the idea of making a larger fleet of these things but I don't relish having to go through all that application of tiny dots over and over again. Not at all!

Anyway here are some shots that I took. As usual, my photography is sub-par and is only marginally saved by photoshop. As I said they are quite striking but I can't quite capture the detail in the photos.

Here they are:

Emerald Class Mothership

Voidgates (for dropping ground troops)
To me they look like some kind of fruit salad.

Amber Class Cruiser

Obsidian Class Heavy Cruiser

Jade Class Frigates

Topaz Class Frigates

Sunday, 6 August 2017

NWA Games Day Display Test

On Friday evening I tested out my set up for our Nunawading Wargames Assoc. Games Day 2017. This will be the last Games Day at our long standing venue (Croydon Uniting Church), whilst they rebuild their community hall over the next two years.

I'll be putting on a display for Firefight and I've been building a nice looking sci-fi city for the event. Some of the pieces aren't finished yet but I wanted to see the set up so I could determine how to lay out of the various pieces and to see if I needed more. And, while it was set up we had a quick game.

I'm pretty happy with the set up and I think that I have enough pieces (I still have several smaller items that I haven't yet built). The pieces are, in the main, from Miniature Scenery from Melbourne with a few other pieces from other producers of Infinity terrain. There are also a couple of nice landing pads from Knights of Dice (another Melbourne business).


Game wise, It was a bit of a whitewash. I used my new 1500pt Asterian list and they completely dominated and totally wiped my opponent, Brent's Forge Fathers, off the table in 3 turns. That was unintentional and I don't think that the list is over-powered. But, I must admit, I did use orders and cover a lot better than my opponent who relied too heavily on his tough armour. Also, my large unit of Marionettes proved to be capable of laying down a mass of firepower (24 dice if they were unharmed). But likewise, they proved very vulnerable to a dedicated assault unit.

So, here are some pics. I'm pretty happy with the set up and it should look great when all the pieces are finished.

Monday, 31 July 2017

In Space, No One Can Hear The Dice Clatter

I played my second game of Dropfleet Commander on the weekend. I don't think I posted anything about my first game - I won that one (somehow). My second try was not quite as successful but there was plenty of orbital destruction as spacecraft, large and small, exploded, burned, and fell out of the sky.

I played with Peter from NWA and we played the starter game from the starter box set. We also played this scenario last time but because we're starting out we haven't become too familiar with it yet.

We played the same teams. Peter: UHR and Me: the Scourge. Last time I rushed in and just tried to kill stuff whilst landing troops. In retrospect, that seems like the best way to play Scourge. In this weeks game I decided to try and be a bit more subtle and I suffered for it.

I had the opening move and decided to rush in using a Max Thrust order. This added a minor spike to my Gargoyle strike carriers which proved t be a mistake because it increased their signature which, in turn, made them a bigger target. The result of that being that the central carrier was blasted into scrap on the first turn.

By turns end we had everything on the table with my Scourge dominating the western side and the UHR the East. I managed to land some troops onto one cluster which was good but the loss of my other carrier was noticeable.

Turn two was bad for the Scourge. the UHR Seattle Class fleet carrier moved up in the cover of a debris field, declared: Weapons Free and went to work on my two Harpy Frigates that were leading the assult...

Nuff Said!

The battle wasn't all one sided though. In the Center the Scourge Shenlong heavy cruiser put some serious hurt on the UHR Berlin class cruiser in the center and also took out a Toulon frigate.

Meanwhile the UHR strike carriers had reached the eastern cluster and dropped two lots of troops and securing two sectors.

The UHR released some assets and did minor damage to the Scourge Ifrit cruiser and the Berlin moved up & gave it a blast. But it was the Seattle once again, after braving the debris field (taking minor damage), that came out and blasted the Ifrit into fiery pieces.

Things moved and more happened... The Seattle tried to take out my remaining Gargoyle as it moved into low orbit but it was unsuccessful and the gargoyle shot back causing minor damage. The Berlin and remaining Toulon frigate took on the Shenlong. The Scourge heavy cruiser declared Weapons Free and took out the Toulon and damaged the Berlin but it was itself destroyed in turn by the UHR Moscow heavy cruiser.

So, things were looking grim for the Scourge and I was going to admit defeat but I still had a trick up my sleeve. My Wyvern cruiser had been pottering along on Silent Running orders and now took a left turn bringing into range of both the Seattle and Berlin. Once again declaring Weapons Free the Wyvern took on both of the damaged UHR ships and destroyed the pair in a devastating display of firepower.

That made things look a whole lot better but there was the little problem of the Moscow which was also undamaged and was coming up on the flank of the Wyven.

At this stage we called the game (end of Turn 4). I couldn't win even though I did manage to get troops into the central cluster. But the UHR had two New Orleans strike carriers just outside the cluster capable of landing multiple troops.

All in all it was a great game and I look forward to playing more games. I'm currently busy building the starter sets of the other two factions. Here are the first few ship of my Shaltari fleet. These are a real challenge to paint.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

African Bush Wars

Some guys at my club (NWA) decided earlier in the year to start doing a low-spend, budget type of wargaming. The idea was to each create an imagi-nations type African country and make a 20mm / 1:72 scale army using polyurethane plastic figures and various vehicles. There was no rules system to start with, just a build up of forces.

As a result various countries were invented and, as more people joined in, the idea grew. Countries ranged from tin-pot dictatorships to Soviet backed insurgent forces and established post colonial nations. All set to a mid 70's to early 80's background.

Expanding on my other Imagi-Nation: The Hemmingsaetic League, I decided that the League expanded into Africa sometime in the mid 19th Century prior to German unification. I had a box of British Parra's (Revell/Matchbox) figures so I decided that the colony became a British protectorate following WWI so that I could use these obvious later day British troops.

So was born the Democratic Republic of Hembabwe, following a civil war for independence in the 1950's - 60's. It's a very conservative, right wing place with many blonde haired, blue eyed folk of Germanic origin. Think: German Rhodesia. They use NATO equipment mostly of British and U.S. origin.

Anyway a couple of guys decided to use Force on Force as a set of rules and played a few games. And today, I taken through my first game by my friend Mike - totally, 100% ignorant of the rules. At first I was less than impressed with the rules as they seemed a bit 40k-ish with the IGO-UGO thing. But as things were shaken out and the "Reaction" system was worked out, I started to enjoy them and I think they'll work well.

My troops are the Special Hembabwean Independent Territorial Emergency Force (SHITE FORCE). Small mobile units designed for quick deployment and tasked with defending the countries' borders.

So, here are a few photo's of today's game by me and a whole bunch by other NWA members. I look forward to more games and escalating to vehicles and air support.

You'll note that the figures are painted in a very basic style. This is intentional in order to represent the cheap & easy, early wargaming flavour. Even mold lines have not really been totally expunged and stand proud in all their polyurethanic glory!

Note the compulsory 1970's moustache on the officer.

The enemy. Mike's troops from neighboring Umgawaland.
Made from ye olde Airfix British Paratroops.

SHITE FORCE - How they appear in 2017

And how they would have appeared in a 1970's wargaming magazine.

Unexpected observers arrived... Unexpectedly.

The figure laying down in the top left was the first ever Hembabwean casualty.

More of those pesky Umgawalandian's.

The only good Umgawalandian is a dead one!