Wednesday 30 May 2012

Scuffle on Eta Bootie IV - Urban War Report

We finally got around to playing Urban War last night and a good time was had by all. UW is one of those games that we keep talking about playing more because it is good fun, but for a variety of reasons we don't play it enough. Anyway, last month we painted up Urban War figures as our monthly project so this month we threw them down on the table and set to.

I had my beloved Syntha, robot masterminds, versus Steve's Junkers, sort of Roman spods with a penchant for blowing themselves up. The scenario was the basic Scuffle scenario with a 50% strategic withdrawal level and 8 turn limit. Strategic withdrawal basically means that after you hit the limit you have to make command tests every time you take a casualty. If you fail, your force routs.

The start of the battle
The battle was set up around a shuttle repair facility. My Syntha set up on the left in the above pic, while the Junkers set up on the right. I deployed my troops in a skirmish line across the set-up area with my melee troops hiding behind the mech bay, waiting to spring out and slice-and-dice the enemy. I also placed my T-synth with its Mini MLRS in cover. My plan was to use its indirect fire capability along with the spotting ability of my Artemis and Artemis Alpha to place area fire where needed. Steve tried to control his right flank with a crew-served chaingun and a few troops. The rest of his force was set up to move through the repair facility and bring the fight to me.
Sniping across the landing pad
The game developed in much the way we expected. The Androsynths moved into covering fire positions on the landing pad. The Hercules biomechs moved into the repair bay to take the fight to the enemy. The Pyro Cyclosynth and T-synth laid down fire on the crewed chaingun and the troops with it. All my shots missed. Yes, that's about as expected. After that though, things heated up and I forgot to take many more pictures! I did manage to get some hits in and the action on my left flank was more in my favour than in Steve's as casualties racked up over there.
Close combat, CLAU to CLAU (if you look closely you can see the head of the Junkers Duckurion)
In the repair bay, my Hercules biomechs charged the enemy CLAU and completely failed to hit it before getting cut into pieces. My Talon Cyclosynth then went in and had an appalling round of combat versus the enemy CLAU. Two hits, two sets of critical damage versus no hits on the enemy at all to start with. It managed to get a hit in before getting cut into pieces but the fight was totally one-sided, despite both figures having substantially the same stats.

Elsewhere on the battlefield the Junkers were taking casualties and we were both closing in on our strategic withdrawal limits. I was one figure away, Steve reached the limit but kept passing the command checks. Then it happened.
CLAU down
The Junkers CLAU advanced into close combat with an Androsynth, destroyed it and one of my Pyro Cyclosynths got a good shot in right after. For about the first time in the game I hit the target with my plasma cannon and the resultant damage took the Junkers CLAU down. This was the last straw for the Junkers force and the rest of the troops ran. Game over.

It was a close victory for me but it could have gone either way. We both agreed that it was great fun. We really should play Urban War more, you know.

Thursday 24 May 2012

The world according to Ruarightania

His Most Beneficent Majesty, King Roderick I of Ruarightania, by the Grace of God most enlightened Monarch of our great Nation and Foe of all Unrighteous, commissioned a map of the worlde. His Royal Cartographer, Erik Duncan, has now completed this map and presents it to the ladies and gentlemen of the court.

I cobbled this map together as an overview map for our Lacepunk campaign, which will stagger slowly along until we get distracted by something shinier. I plan to do an improved version of it at a later date with added detail, but I thought I would show what I can do in Campaign Cartographer now. For the campaign I shall need to add area detail maps too, especially for Gateway City in Pacifica and wherever we place our imagi-nations. On that last point, I am tempted to place them in the Caribbean so that I can include units of pirates as conscript militia in my Maurice army. I am also very tempted to use my Black Hat Martians as a native army somewhere on this map. Hmm ...

Click the image for a larger version.

Friday 18 May 2012

A quick and simple Viking camp for Impetus

I needed a Viking camp for my 6mm Viking army, so I bought the Viking settlement from Irregular and then contemplated how best to produce a camp. In the end I opted for the layout below. It is simple, uses only one house from the set, along with the tree, the hedges and the looting pillagers that came with the set. The pillagers are obviously warming up in anticipation of their army's victory. I shall make one or two built-up areas from the remaining buildings in the set but that can wait for another day.
I reckon this is the home team's camp, so I shall also need to construct an away team camp for when the Vikings are visiting their neighbours. What would suit that? A burning church with monks fleeing and Vikings chasing? The more traditional longship on the shore look? A trading camp (would involve scratch-building tents. Boo!)? All of the above for use according to my mood? Probably this last, I suppose.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Bwendi Aerospace Patrol commissioned and ready for action

Figures: Brigade Models SAC spaceships

The Bwendi Aerospace Patrol is tasked with protecting Bwendi-controlled planets from foreign incursions. By this we usually mean attack by the Albion Defence Force or pirates given letters of marque by the ADF. Curiously, most Bwendi neighbours are largely peaceful and it is only the overweaning arrogance of the ADF that disturbs the attempts of peaceful Bwendi citizens to pursue life and happiness.

I bought two fleet packs from Brigade as the basis for my Bwendi Aerospace Patrol. Each fleet pack amounts to about 1000 points for Starmada X: Brigade. Direct conversion to Starmada: Admiralty Edition gives about 2200 points. A standard battle in both is about 1000 points, so I have plenty of options for my games and can even conduct training manoeuvres with what I have.

My plan was to paint 1000 points of ships in May, but I managed to get all my ships painted because they really were very quick to paint. Ease of painting was aided by my decision not to add running lights, portholes, etc to my ships. I have seen some examples of painted ships that look phenomenal with all the extra detail but I started thinking too hard about spaceship design philosophy and came to the conclusion that it will probably be more like submarine design than surface ship design. Therefore, Bwendi combat vessels have no portholes and only a minimum number of any type of hole that could be a weakness in battle. It also occurred to me that the use of visual signals would probably be redundant because combat will be conducted at such long ranges that the human eye will not be much use. Therefore, complex camouflage schemes, identification numbers and other insignia have not been added to these ships. To do so would be a waste of valuable resources. The only concession to camouflage is the basic design that has been added in a bid to help against space fighters, which might well rely as much on the Mk1 eyeball as they do sensor technology. Also, the blue and grey of the Ztumsian Ear Frog, one of the deadliest savannah frogs in the Bwendi homeland, is a visual signal to planetary inhabitants that the BAP is in orbit and that they should behave themselves. Ok, enough rambling. Here is the new and complete Bwendi Aerospace Patrol:

(Click the pics for larger images. The captions link to the specific items in the Brigade catalogue)
BAP Taskforce prabhaGga

BAP Taskforce AghAta
The M1-class Battleships 'Leicester Forest East' and 'Newport Pagnell' on patrol
The News-class Strike Carrier 'Huffington Post' with an escort of Tabloid class Fighters
A group of five Shipping Forecast-class Heavy Cruisers. Here we see the Dogger Bank, Cromarty, North Utsire, Forth and Forties on patrol.
The Radio 4 class Light Cruisers 'Jenny Murray', 'Brian Redhead' and 'Charlotte Green'
Three Cricket-class Destroyers: 'The Oval', 'Edgbaston' and 'Lords'

The Estate-class Frigates 'Orchard Park, 'Bransholme' and 'Longhill'
The School-class Lancers 'Roedean', 'Harrow' and 'Hymers'
The BAP has also recently commissioned an experimental dropship launcher. Initial trials suggest that it is a solid design and more will follow when the commissioners approve budget expenditure:
The Stobart-class Dropship Launcher 'Katy Ann'

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Camp Ztumsia - May progress update

This is some of my progress to date with the 15mm sci-fi figures.
Javelot Dune Buggy by Brigade Models
Cougar MBTs, Bulldog truck and infantry by GZG
Civilians by TTG (now and Citadel (now RAFM, I think)

Camp Ztumsia
In ancient days before the first Colonel Throckmorton P. Gladiolus united Ztumsia, the ancestral Bwendi tribal lands were an untamed wilderness filled with all manner of dangers. Life was hard for the Bwendi tribespeople, for your ancestors, who struggled to carve a living from the unforgiving veldt of their homeland. They were beset on all sides by unfriendly tribes, colonial powers with no sensitivity towards local tradition and the dreaded, carnivorous Ngifte Savannah Toad. Now, hundreds of years after the unification of Ztumsia, you too, loyal Bwendi citizen, may experience life as the ancient Bwendi experienced it. Yes, right here on Banasdan, thirteen parsecs from our ancient dwelling places, Gladcorp has recreated a part of our inheritence and now you may enjoy that experience. Camp Ztumsia, in the middle of the Banasdan wilderness lies in the perfect position to give you the rich sense of belonging that only a true understanding of your history can convey. Come to Camp Ztumsia and you too can learn how the ancient Bwendi lived and you too can enjoy the total lack of facilities of life in the wilderness safely in the company of our professional tour guides. While here in Camp Ztumsia, you will get to:
  • LIVE in mud huts, just like your ancestors;
  • LEARN how to light fires by rubbing two boy scouts together;
  • HUNT deadly but delicious frogs with spear and bow; and
  • MUCH much more.
Does this all sound too much for you? Well, if the experience is too intense, you can take a quick break in the fully modern facilities of the Camp Ztumsia annexe. This part of the camp has all mod cons and the latest in medical engineering, so you need fear nothing, not even the hostile native Banasdan wildlife. Just relax, work hard and learn, while you enjoy your holiday. To book now, go to
(Click the pics for larger images)
Camp Ztumsia with the modern facilities in the left background and the tourist huts in the right foreground
The Colonel himself stands in the doorway of the modern barracks building waiting to greet the first truckload of tourists
Disclaimer: the camp lies in the middle of the training grounds for the 23rd Fast Reaction Team. Your holiday may occasionally be disturbed by military manoeuvres. But do not worry, the 23rd FaRT are the reason why there is no hostile native Banasdan wildlife in the area.

23rd Fast Reaction Team
23rd FaRT is a mechanised brigade that was put together as a rapid deployment force. They are the first in and last out, which has lead to their nickname of the Flaky Boys because they are FILO. This nickname might also be a result of their troops being a bit twitchy as a result of their higher-than-normal combat experience. Here we see them on manoeuvres at Camp Ztumsia.
An armoured troop of the 23rd FaRT moves down a dry river bed with infantry in support
A 23rd FaRT infantry company commander and his first sergeant monitor events from the camp.
A Gauss MG team provides support from one of the guard towers at Camp Ztumsia
An infantry section comprising three fire teams advances through the undergrowth
An infantry fire team advances behind the tanks down a dry river bed while the platoon leader and his section advances through the undergrowth. In the background the company RAFRAM Mortar teams stand ready to provide fire support.
An aerial shot of the advance

Wednesday 2 May 2012

May Objective

I have two objectives for May. The first is to complete at least two platoons of my 15mm sci-fi force so that we can begin a small Tomorrow's War mini-campaign. The second is to complete at least 1000 points of spaceships for a Starmada: Admiralty Edition game. Both forces will become important when we eventually kick off our unfeasibly large galaxy-spanning science fiction campaign, although I suspect that getting all the details in place will take until we are both in our dotage. I have no secondary objective this month, but if I complete both objectives and my current eBay sales go well then I shall treat myself to another fleet pack from Brigade Models and some more IFVs for the Bwendi army, so that I can field a full company of infantry.

Faith in the Machine- April Objective Achieved

My April objective was to complete all my Syntha for Urban War, while maintaining progress on my 15mm sci-fi figures. This obective was achieved with just hours to spare as paint went onto the last of my figures on the 30th. Progress was also made on the 15mm sci-fi stuff, but they are not complete enough to post yet. The problem with them was that my progress was hampered by an unkind gift of more Syntha from my regular gaming buddy, Steve. He gave me eight or so new figures and I somehow got it into my head that I needed to finish them for the April objective to have been completed. So, without further ado, here are the goings on in the mech shed from April:
Artemis Alpha checks the new Talon Cyclosynth before sending it on its first mission
Two Pyro Cyclosynths are checked out in the mech bay

Pyros moving along the production line
 Prometheus macrosynth and an HK2800 Grav Bike
A Nyx assassin practises her balancing exercises in preparation for a night out
An Artemis biomech and her team of Androsynths muster before battle
Top row: Tactical Teratosynth, Achilles Biomech, Pointman. Bottom row: Two Hercules close combat biomechs
Meanwhile on the Koralon sporeship, the twisted wreck of a human being that is now known as Devi is called to the command centre and to be given orders for her next mission.