Wednesday, 29 February 2012

March Objective - 15mm WW2 and SciFi

My primary objective for March is to paint my late war British troops for a forthcoming game or three of USEME WW2 from I only have a couple of sections plus a few extras to paint, because that is all the figures I actually have and I don't really need many more. If I achieve all of this quickly then I shall move on to my LRDG forces for the western desert. I have more of those, but Steve wanted to do late war because that is what he has figures for. I might have to give him my Afrika Korps figures and force him to paint them for a Rat Patrol style game. Now that sounds like a nicely evil plan!

My secondary objective  for February was to paint some of my 15mm sci-fi stuff for our forthcoming campaign. I managed to slap some paint on some of my troops but did not make much progress really, so I shall continue with this is my secondary objective for March too. My plan is to put together a small battlegroup comprising a battalion of mechanised infantry, an armoured squadron and a scout troop. I don't actually have all the figures needed to complete the infantry battalion but I do have the rest. The infantry currently lack APCs for one company and for the command team. If I complete my objectives for this month then I shall treat myself to the required vehicles.
Bwendi Mechanised Battlegroup

The BMB (I really need a better acronym for this lot) is organised as follows:
Infantry Platoon
  • 1 command fireteam (1 platoon commander, 1 LAW operator, 1 sniper and 1 spotter)
  • 4 infantry fireteams (1 team leader, 2 riflemen and 1 SAW gunner)
  • 1 IFV with 75mm hypervelocity cannon carrying the command fireteam
  • 2 IFVs with 20mm autocannon carrying two fireteams each

Infantry Company
  • 1 command group (1 company commander, 1 Autocannon with three crew)
  • 1 IFV with 20mm autocannon and AT missile launcher carrying the command group
  • 2 infantry platoons
Infantry Battalion
  • 1 battalion command group (battalion commander and his driver/ADC)
  • 1 light scout vehicle with twin HMG carrying the battalion command group
  • 2 RAM mortars each with two crew
  • 1 IFV with 20mm autocannon and AT missile launcher carrying the mortar teams

Scout Troop
  • 2 light scout vehicles with twin HMG
  • 1 light scout vehicle with triple missile launcher
The scouts may dismount as two man teams

Tank Troop
  • 1 command MBT with hi-energy laser cannon
  • 2 MBTs with 120mm hypervelocity cannon
 Tank Squadron
  • 1 command MBT with hi-energy laser cannon
  • 1 skysweeper anti-aircraft unit on MBT chassis
  • 2 tank troops

Infantry: Ground Zero Games New Israelis
APCs: QRF modern South African Ratels with bits from GZG models added
Tanks: GZG Cougar MBT
Scout vehicles: Brigade Models Javelot dune buggy

Primary Objective Achieved - More Vikings

So, I managed to achieve my pitifully small objective for February. Yup, I have added five more stands of Vikings to the army, thus making it possible to field a 300 point Impetus army. Getting painting this month has proven difficult for any number of reasons that I shall not enumerate here. Suffice to say that it was a miracle I found any time to paint at all, and I have not played a single game this month either, which is most disappointing. Click the pics below for larger images.

The New Vikings
The new Vikings comprise three stands of Baccus armoured spearmen and two stands of armoured axemen. I have used some of the mounted Vikings from the character pack to make these two stands of axement distinctive, because I intend to use them as guard huskarls, of which I am allowed two stands. This makes the stands more distinctive and adds a bit of character, as well as making it easier to differentiate the different stand types. Guard have a couple of mounted generals on them; veteran are just axemen; and run-of-the-mill huskarls are armoured spearmen. When I get around to painting the unarmoured spearmen, they will be the hird, as they are called in the lists (Don't get me started on that one!).

A 300 point Viking army for Impetus

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

More fun with CC3

As I mentioned in my last post, the more I use CC3, the more I like it. This post covers my use of Cosmographer 3, the space add-on.

Our science fiction campaign will hopefully involve space battles at some point. After all, I have a Brigade Models SAC fleet or two sitting in the ULP, awaiting the addition of paint. Our fleets should be fairly small, given the small budgets available to our Pocket Empires, so we plan to use Starmada: Admiralty Edition for our games. Starmada is geared towards hex-grid play and they recommend a playing area of something like 22 hexes by 24 or so. For our purposes, the hexes need to be about 40-50mm across. We could just set up a space mat and play counting each hex as 2" on the table and measuring turns in increments of up to 60 degrees. I have a CorSec Engineering mat for this that I bought as a pdf and printed out. It is nice, but I suddenly got to thinking about how I might do this for myself in CC3 using Cosmographer. Hey presto, a couple of hours later I had a battle mat that I can print out for our games. It has a 2" hex grid and measures approximately 44" by 44". It still needs some fettling, but here is the Mk1 version for your delectation and edification (Click the image for a larger version):
I can't wait to start playing games on this, but first I need to buy some more ink! :-) I have also noticed that the more I work with CC3, the more I want to play with it and produce more maps. Perhaps I should give up wargaming as a hobby and take up map-making instead!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Battlemats in CC3

I have been experimenting with making battlemats in Campaign Cartographer 3. The more I use this program, the more I like it. My first efforts were for a Labyrinth Lord game that I ran over the past couple of weeks. I'm a figure gamer at heart so I decided to try printing out the dungeon floorplans from CC3. To my surprise, it worked really well. All I had to do was print the dungeon plan onto 160gsm card, cut out the elements and tape them together as the adventure progressed. Marvellous. CC3's facility for scaling and tiling the dungeon plan worked beautifully. Had I been willing to do so and had more time, I could have cut out each room and glued it to foamboard to make a more permanent set. I chose not to for reasons of expense and utility. The rooms are quite specific to that particular dungeon so reusability is limited. Still, it is an option for another time, when I have more time to think through the best way to do this. Of course, to 'save' money, what I really want now is a table with a rear projection unit built in so that I can just project the floorplans onto the table and save ink!

This is the ground floor of the castle that the players were evicting unwanted tenants from (Click the pics for larger images):
 Here are some photos from the session, showing the battlemat in use:
You'll always find the party in the kitchen
The party leaves a dead giant snake in the storeroom

An encounter with a cleric in the castle's chapel
Massacring defenceless goblins

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

February is ... More Vikings!

Primary Objective: add 100 points of Vikings to my Viking army.
Secondary Objective: begin work on remodelling the 15mm Bwendi army for our forthcoming sci-fi campaign.

After discussion with Steve, we have concluded that February will be another month of Vikings, because he wants to paint more of his Saxons. I had considered moving the Norman army to the painting desk, but Vikings it shall be for this month. We shall play Impetus using the small armies this month as part of the overall project and my goal will be to expand my Viking army so that we can play larger games next month once we have a better grasp of the rules.

My secondary objective will only be engaged if I meet the primary objective early enough. I do not hold out any great hope of that because Real Life(tm) is going to impinge even more on my gaming time this month, a problem that is compounded by it being a slightly shorter month. For our forthcoming sci-fi campaign, we are both preparing our forces. I have a version of the Bwendi army for the Laserburn universe, but it is not suitable for a Traveller-esque setting, so I bought some GZG New Israelis in the sale last year. These are part-painted and I plan to complete at least a platoon's worth plus transport for forthcoming Tomorrow's War games. The platoon transport is provided by QRF Ratel 20s, which seem suitable for the background of the army and the near future setting of our initial games. I have modified them slightly with bits from the GZG packs, but overall I think they look right regardless. If this objective is not achieved this month, it will become the March objective instead.