Monday, 14 December 2015

[15mm Fantasy] Army Building - Painting Progress

The Army of the Unseelie Court - as of mid-December
My Army of the Unseelie Courts is slowly taking shape. At the moment I have more Orcs and Goblinoids painted than Dark Elves, so the army is more an Orc Army with Dark Elf allies.

My latest unit completed is a regiment of Man-Orc pike from Eureka Miniatures.
Man-Orc Pike
These are great figures and very reminiscent of Saruman's army at the battle of  Helm's Deep in the Two Towers movie.
Orc Legion with Shaman and archers plus Dark Elf troop and archers
 These Orcs are from Splintered Light Miniatures - Orcs with great axes at the rear and Orc Shaman and archers at the front. The Dark Elves are from Ral Partha Europe and are essentially the figure mix from the Blighthaven company pack (with an extra archer).

Ogres, Orcs, Goblins, and Dwarves
A pair of Ogres from Splintered Light; Goblin and Orc Archers, also from Splintered Light; an Orc Regiment from Splintered Light; three Dwarves from Splintered Light; and an Orc Shaman from Eureka Miniatures.
The Witch King leading his Orcish Hosts
From, a Wraith Lord (or Witch-King) on his fell-beast, leading his Orc hosts.

The Queen of Air and Darkness, ruler of the Autumn Courts
The Queen of Air and Darkness, an Elf Queen from,

Dark Elves
And some of her subjects, from Ral Partha Europe.

[15mm Fantasy] Army Building - the Host of the Unseelie Court

As I painted and based more fantasy figures, a clearer idea of the army I'm building has emerged - the Host of the Unseelie Court.

The Witch King of the Winter Court
Wanting a Fantasy army that didn't follow the usual tropes, and fascinated by the RPE Dark Elf figures with their asiatic-style armour, I cast around and came across references to the Unseelie Court -
The Unseelie Court consists of the darkly-inclined fairies. Unlike the Seelie Court, no offense is necessary to bring down their assaults. As a group (or "host"), they appear at night and assault travelers, often carrying them through the air, beating them, and forcing them to commit such acts as shooting at cattle. - Wikipedia
So, Dark Elves without the Warhammer silliness, plus I could use Orcs, Ogres, Trolls and Goblins as the lesser denizens of the Unseelie realm.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

[15mm Fantasy] Kings of War Battle #1

My friend Jonathan and I had our first battle using the Kings of War rules from Mantic Games tonight.

Of course I forgot to take a camera.

We decided to play a 1000 point game, using 15mm figures, on a 2' x 2' table.

Jonathan opted for an Elvish Army and selected: 1 Hero/Elf King; 1 Elf Spellcaster; 1 Elf Cavalry Regiment; 2 Elf Cavalry Troops; 1 Elf Archer Troop; 1 Elf Regiment of Guard. All his troops were Veterans (which meant that any "to hit" dice that rolled a '1' could be re-rolled.

I opted for an Orc/Evil Men Alliance (where I picked units from several lists), selecting: an Orc Hero; an Orc Spellcaster; a Human Spearman Phalanx Regiment; a Human Knight Regiment; an Ogre regiment; 2 Goblin Archer Troops; a Bugbear Regiment. The Bugbears were statted as a Troll Regiment, but couldn't regenerate.

The Game looked nice and played a lot like a big battle version of DBA or HoTT. Getting the 1st charge often proved decisive. I rather enjoyed the game - my first wargame in over a year - even though I lost. It was quite a near-run thing and could have gone either way into the last turn.

Downsides: IGOUGO can be a little frustrating if you're watching your clock being cleaned. There seems little incentive to take any troop type other than Heavy Cavalry with Thunderous Charge (2). First charge is often decisive.

Upsides: Fast play - we finished the game in under 2 hours, including working out army lists. The magic system is quite fun. Unit special abilities are a fun addition.

I would play again, but I think Jonathan sees it as a "play if nothing else available" - he would like something a little more complex. I would like to try 1000 points on a larger table where you can't line the field wall to wall - forcing manoeuvre tactics and a greater consideration of flanks.

Monday, 26 October 2015

[15mm Fantasy] Enter, the Bugbear

As those who follow my Modeling Log will be aware, for the last couple of months I've been working on 25mm Science Fiction figures for my Traveller game. This little diversion was born out of a desire to have some suitable figures to hand for use when my players get themselves into the sort of trouble that requires a tactical map. Needless to say, with close to 50 figures now painted, I think that this little project is getting close to its end.

The 6mm Traveller campaign is still ticking over - I have been working out the Order of Battle for both the defenders and the attackers on the colony world of Auru, which has meant that I have had to look at Imperial and Geithurian Republic Star Fleets.The background design work is almost complete, and gives me the option to fight out fleet encounters as well as dirtside operations. I'm even looking at possibly using the Classic Traveller High Guard combat rules with the Trillion Credit Squadron updates for this side of the campaign.

Bugbear Shaman or Spellcaster
One of the members of the Facebook 15mm Fantasy Wargames Group posted some photos of a recent battle using the Kings of War rules from Mantic Games, but with 15mm figures. It looked like fun, the core rules are free, I have some Medieval/Renaissance 15mm armies that have been sitting in a box for too long, and a friend who is up for a game.

Bugbears and Human Warrior (also from Splintered Light)
The game is set for next weekend but, as it was a long weekend here this weekend, I cracked on with a party pack of Bugbears I bought from Splintered Light about a year ago. While 20mm scale from Splintered Light's small 20mm Fantasy range, the figures work well as large goblinoids in 15mm (I have not seen the current Bugbear pack in the Dungeon Crawl: Warbands range to compare sizes, but the 20mm figures definitely look large and chunky in comparison).

The 20mm Bugbears appear to have been on-sold to CP Models in the UK.

The players trialing Kings of War in 15mm are using WRG style basing (40mm x 20mm for Infantry, 40mm x 30mm for Cavalry) so they can use either historical figures, or figures based up for Hordes of the Things (WRG's Fantasy rules). With that in mind, I based up my 12 Bugbear warriors as four elements (3 figures to the element) of Infantry - the first basing I've done in this style for many years - and I was pleasantly pleased with the result.
Bugbear Warband with Shaman/Spell Caster
As the Shaman/Spellcaster is a Specialist, I decided to leave him on his round base.

The Kings of War rules look pretty straight forward, after one read through - the people using them say that there are a lot of tactical subtleties which, I guess, will come out in play.

The Army Lists have a very Warhammerish feel about them which makes me go slightly "meh", but them seem reasonably easy to customize. Currently, I'm thinking of a sort of Evil Alliance, led by a Sorcerer, with Dark Elves and Orcs. Support being provided by allies or mercenaries, such as the Bugbears, a band of Gnolls I still have to paint, some trolls and some Ogres. As I have more than enough single mounted figures for Dungeons and Dragons or Skirmish Gaming, I will quite enjoy basing up the rest on element bases.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

[6mm Science Fiction] Imperial Marine Battalion Combat Team Part 2

As thoughts of TO&Es danced in my head, I turned my attention to how the vehicles and infantry I had painted could be "statted up" under my rules-of-choice, Dirtside II from Ground Zero Games. I realized that I could do it by hand, make my own Excel spreadsheet, or stand upon the shoulders of Giants and use this vehicle builder that Javelin98 has on his Dirtside II page - I decided to use Javelin's hard work as the output looks really nice.

For the Imperial Marine Combat Team, the Infantry consist of three Power Armoured (PA) platoons of four squads each, with an attached APSW (Anti-Personal Support Weapon - VRF Gauss Guns in Traveller terms) squad and GMS/L (Light Missile System - TacMissiles in Traveller) squad. A grav APC is assigned per squad.Also attached is a platoon of three Main Battle Grav Tanks and a Scout Platoon of four Medium Grav Tanks. The Headquarters Platoon consists of a Command APC, two MBTs, an ADS (air defence) Grav APC, and a Forward Observer team in a Grav APC. Artillery support is provided by the ships of the Marine Expeditionary Force, coordinated by the Forward Observer team.

The Marine Combat Team is intended to be a fast, hard-hitting, assault force, punching holes that the following Unified Army units exploit.

The Amalsulii Medium Grav Tank is the standard Imperial Grav Tank assigned to Reconnaissance Battalions with both the Imperial Marines and the Imperial Unified Army. An average sized vehicle, the Amalsulii's signature is reduced by advanced form and electronic countermeasures. Primary armament is a Direct Fire Fusion Gun and a co-axial heavy missile launcher.

The Ashiruggurlii Main Battle Tank is the standard Imperial Battle tank assigned to Imperial Marine and Imperial Unified Army armoured battalions. Mounting twin Direct Fire Fusion Guns in the turret, as well as a superior Point Defence System, the Ashiruggurlii is a hard-hitting, well protected, assault platform.

Currently only available in limited numbers, the Ashirugurlii-D is a rearmed Ashirugurlii mounting a single, long range, Direct Fire Fusion Gun. Current Imperial Defence budgets plan to systematically upgrade all Marine and Imperial Unified Army Ashirugurlii Main Battle Tank units to Ashirugurlii-D's over the next 10 years.

The Shrengor family of Grav vehicles are built around the same basic hull type with mission specific equipment loadouts added as required. The Shrengor Grav APC is configured to provide battle field transport for Battledress (PA) Infantry squads and, as such, is heavily used by the Imperial Marines.

The Shrengor-A Grav ADS is armed with a radar/LIDAR guided twin VRF Gauss Gun mount to provide Air Defence support for both Marine and Imperial Unified Army units.

The Shrengor-C Command Vehicle provides a heavily armoured and well armed mobile command center for Battalion Combat Teams on deployment.

Assuming I have done this correctly, then it appears that an Imperial Marine Battalion Combat Team costs about 11,600 points. I notice that I originally only had three vehicles assigned to the MBT platoon. Having painted up a couple more tanks, I now have the option of adding another unit to the platoon for another 398 points - so about 12,000 points all up.

With the Marines pointed up, I am quite curious to see how much a similar sized Imperial Unified Army BCT and a Geithurian Republic/Outworld Alliance cost, points-wise.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

[6mm Science Fiction] Imperial Marine Battalion Combat Team Part 1

Followers of my Modeling and Painting log will be aware that I have been steadily plugging away at my 6mm Science Fiction forces. The goal is for me to be able to field ground forces for my Traveller campaign.

Imperial Heavy and Medium Tanks and Imperial Marine Company
I have pretty much completed my Imperial Marine and Imperial Army forces as per a rough TO&E I had worked up for the Imperial Marines and the Imperial Unified Army, have made progress on the Geithurian Republic and Huiha Esoyatre forces, and have made a start on the Kalar-Wi, Vargr and the Ssra'Ka Aissr - a  Reptilian race.

And, after a lot of consideration, I'm looking at using Dirtside II from Ground Zero Games for my basic army building and for combat rules, with bits of 5150 Battalion Commander from Two Hour Wargames for set-up and solo play.

The basic premise I have been following is that all forces used off-world in my Traveller campaign range from Tech Level 12 to Tech Level 15. All vehicles are Grav vehicles and troops are equipped with either Combat Armour (from Tech Level 12) or Battledress (Tech Level 15) - what Dirtside II classifies as Powered Armour - though TL15 troops can also have Combat Armour.
Imperial Marine Company (red Body Armour) with
Imperial Unified Army Company in the background
Imperial armoured units favour energy weapons (plasma and fusion guns in Traveller and Direct Fire Fusion Guns - DFFG - in Dirtside II). These design limitations posed a bit of a challenge under the Dirtside II vehicle design rules and resulted in a few compromises that I hadn't anticipated. To reflect their access to higher technology, I designed my Imperial vehicles with two Levels of Stealth, which makes them harder to hit in combat.

Having painted up a reasonable number of infantry stands, tanks and other vehicles, I began to get a feel for how a Battalion Combat Team might look on the table, and with some vehicles and basic units constructed as per the rules, I then began to play around with organisations to work out what "sized" game I might get from the units I had created. I just could not envision what sort of bang I was going to get for my buck.
Imperial Unified Army Company and Armour
I wanted to create an optimum TO&E to show what I might expect, points-wise, from a unit at full strength. Now, I know that some folks loath army points, believing that scenarios and TO&Es should drive game play. Having never played Dirtside II, I had no real idea of the relationship between various sized units and the technology that they could deploy. If a Marine unit, for example, is so effective, it might be prudent to deploy a company rather than a battalion, as the other companies of the battalion might be deployed usefully elsewhere. Points wise, the effectiveness of the Marine Company should be reflected in its points cost - you might only be able to afford the points for a company, but that company might be able to successfully stand off a battalion of "lesser troops" in a straight up fight.

After some preliminary tinkering, I created an Imperial Heavy and Medium Tank, a Command APC, a general purpose APC and an ADC (Air Defence) vehicle for my Marine Force.

Next: Marine Vehicles and TO&Es

Sunday, 15 February 2015

[6mm Science Fiction] [IHMN] A delayed New Year's Painting Update

A bit of a mixture, this time. An Italeri fountain for In Her Majesty's Name, a scratch-build dome building that could work for either 6mm or 15mm, and some more 6mm Science Fiction. Photo essay on my website.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

[6mm Science Fiction] An update for the end of the year

Boxcar VTOLs from Ground Zero Games (with a little help from MSPaint)
Another productive month where I have probably finally finished off the APCs and Scouting forces for my 6mm Imperial Force, and made progress on their heavy armour, as well as discovered my choice of vehicles for the Aslan.

A full update is on my modelling blog and I hope to start getting some games in soon. On my Traveller blog, I have been exploring the organisation of the Aslan ground forces.

All the best for 2015.