Archives for July 2007

BLACK SCORPION (miniatures)

I recently ordered some figures from Black Scorpion. You may have heard of this company. The sculpts are amazing. I ordered their entire collection of “Marines” (also usable for US Army) and each one is a little work of art. It looks like they are a good fit with the DDD miniatures I already have.

I also ordered some of their Tombstone figures. I’ve enjoyed many a Desperado game in the past but I haven’t done much with the Wild West in probably 7 or 8 years. I am interested now in the Warhammer Historical’s Legends of the Old West (LotOW) rules. These are similar to Necromunda and Mordheim in that it is a skirmish campaign based game where you build up your posse and develop it over the course of several games. You don’t need a lot of figures to get started. I think it would be pretty easy to find others to get involved in an ongoing campaign. What I don’t have right now are appropriate buildings. That can be easily solved though.

The above picture is of one of the packs I got. I wouldn’t mess with them, would you?

First Video Blog

Well this is my first video blog. I talk about my latest miniatures project and the things I accomplished this weekend. One thing that will be of interest to many people is my technique for painting ACU camo. I am not sure how well you will be able to discern the results from the video but once I get a complete squad done I’ll take a digital still which will offer much better clarity. So check it out and let me know what you think.

AT-43 Game AAR

AT-43 Home Page

This week I got to play another game of AT-43. I have the basic set plus a few extras like a Fire Toad and some more UNA troops. A fellow with the Track and Hull club that meets every other Tuesday in Hermitage has a much more developed collection. We played a game where the UNA was on the defensive. It was quite fun! I am getting more endeared to the rules as time goes on. This was only my third game but I am definitely enjoying the division between strategy (turn management, initiative management) and the tactics of play.

In the game we had a set of defensive layers involving a set of barricades and a fort. The fort contained the Therian objective. One tactic that I wanted to use was keeping an infantry squad with a missile launcher held back in the fort without any exposure and let the Steel Tacarms laser designate particular targets. The beauty of this would be that the weapon would be untouchable and it is capable of non-line of site targetting so long as the target is designated.

It was a great idea but the Steel Tacarms had some serious competition! They took losses right out the gate and the ability, while used wasn’t as useful as one would have hoped in this particular game. I think that from seeing the results I would have kept them further back thus letting long distance aid their survivability.

One thing I have been playing wrong is allowing striders to use the “Take Cover” combat drill. This is incorrect as it is only for infantry. It makes the large striders less scary and enhances the Tacarms greatly – as well as other well armored infantry units.

During this game it became clear that as the defender managing initiative was critical when I needed to get units into overwatch. The management of the activation cards is also critical. One feature of the game that involves delaying activation (which in turn can allow double activation) is interesting but the point cost is so high (4 LP when all is said and done) I can’t figure out why anyone would use it excepts in very special cases.

Overall great fun. I am definitely enjoying this system.

Halo 3 Live Action Video

Another run of Descent

The above photo is one I found where someone painted their miniatures that come with the game. Fantastic job!

Through the power of the internet, a mailing list serving Mid-South gamers and some luck I found 3 players for Descent who were willing to give the game the 10 scenario run I’ve wanted to do: run through all 10 scenarios at a rate of 1 every 2 weeks.

None of the gamers had tried Descent before. 2 of them had played Runebound before so were familiar with the background story. All of them were veteran gamers. The game was to go off around 5 or 5:30 but various things kept us from starting until 7. This is a late hour to get Descent off and running. However I managed to teach them the system through 2/3rds of the game before we quit. We got to the a stopping point around 10. I am sure they would have finished it off with another hour. I expect we will blow through this scenario for real in a second playing in about 2 hours.

I did a lot of things that really made life simple for setup and take down. In fact set up was only about 20 minutes with take down being in the 15 minute range. I got a Plano style box for most of the game play bits and then plastic bags for all the minis and board pieces. It was great to see some planning ahead really work out. I originally intended on just using the basic game but decided that since I did have the two expansions that are out I ought to combine them. This was great – it added a lot of flexibility and variety to the game. It certainly added a lot more color to the game than would have been there with just the basic set. It was a Master Dark Priest that gave me my first kill!

Overall I LOVE this game. After just 3 playings it has become one of my favoirtes. I’ll report more on how Scenario 1 goes on it’s second pass with the new crew.

Damn Dirty Apes!

I have a lot to blog about so I’ll divide my news up into a couple of entries today. I missed a bunch of gaming in the past 6 weeks due to work and a vacation I took. At least I got a nice tan! However gaming has come back on strong.

My first bit of news is I have started a new miniatures project. I’ve got about 40 28mm infantry and 6 vehicles to paint up. I also have to make a zoo! I am combining my Devil Dog Design marines and my Eureka Boiler Suit Apes to creat a project currently entitled “Zoo Insurgency.” Expect a catchier name to follow. Basically the story is this: Reservists get the call that there is terrorist activity at the city zoo. Mystified that terrorism has hit our shores but ready to lock and load a convoy of soldiers races to the zoo. Unfortunately the zoo is no more.

“You damn dirty apes, you blew it up!”

–Lt. Taylor

So it is up to the intrepid Reservists to save the day by discovering the simian plot, capture or kill its leadership and discover the horrible truth behind the days events. It should be an interesting scenario to say the least. I am thinking about playing all of the apes myself as GM and letting the players figure out how to best defeat the monkey threat! I am looking forward to putting it together. I bought some new paints and set myself up on Sunday and started to paint the vehicles to get back into the feel of things. I put some BS camo on the hummers and the Track (aka an M113 since the Bradley’s would be left in Iraq). I am trying to find some more modern 28mm modern soldiers so I can go with a more modern TO&E. The old 4 man teams are no longer in vogue. 5 man teams with an extra SAW are more common. In some cases there is even an additional M203! That is a lot of firepower.

I am writing rules for this as well. There are certain aspects of MOUT (Mobility Operations on Urban Terrain) that I want highly modeled. I want to encourage proper tactics. I’ll let the system enforce them. The keys will be Cover – Manuever – Ammo. You need cover to stay alive. You must manuever to find the enemies unprotected sides. You must expend ammo to fix the enemy in place (via pinning from superior fire) and once you get an element flanking the enemy, eliminate them.

My biggest problem right now is I don’t have enough 28mm modern infantry. I am researching options and will report here what I come up with.