Wargaming Week 31/07/2017

Let’s start, covering the 24th of July through to the 30th.

BLOG STUFF + GAMING

The report on my holiday game of Spectre is now up! Even though we mis-read a rule or two and there were lots of tribesmen running around, it was still a really fun game. Once again, Spectre is brutal once the rounds start hitting and I’m looking forward to playing a weekend of it.

As this is going up I’ll be winding my way back home after a weekend of Spectre in Cardiff. There will be a post covering the weekend this Saturday which will include details of the event as a whole and hopefully some nice pictures. I’m actually writing this on Thursday 27th as I frantically get stuff together so I have no idea how the weekend will have gone.

PURCHASES

My Empress purchases I mentioned last week turned up. I haven’t yet had a chance to assemble them due to the mad rush for Cardiff but I took a quick look.

The list is

  • British Army O Group (two men with radio)
  • British Army Drone Team (two men prone controlling a small UAV)
  • British Army Fireteam and Para berets (four more guys to make a section ready for patrolling)
  • USMC Counter-IED team (two guys with counter-IED gear and a female dog handler and a new model of dog)
  • SAS/SBS Dog Handler with another new model of dog

Overall opinion, all the figures look cool. It’s a shame the O Group have built-in head so any tweaks would need a bit of saw work but everyone else is spot on. As always, the detail on Empress figures are especially cool. I particularly like the SAS/SBS dog handler, both for the pose and for the fact you can now field an 8 man team where no one is prone; A vital fact for a skirmish game!

An interesting observation is that the style of base has changed. The new releases don’t have the usual thick square/rectangular bases. Instead, the bases are more irregularly shaped, similar to the style used by other figure ranges. This is great news for me as it means there is less need to trim the bases down and send chunks of white metal pinging round the room.

HOBBY

This is really a hobby week as I tried to get more figures ready for Cardiff. I didn’t get as much done as I would have in an ideal world but it was a fun time.

First up, Spectre’s US Army Rangers in multicam. These guys have been sat in my pile for a while and are the perfect group for painting in multicam. They are also covered in gucci gear, from the fast helmet and plate carriers to the tactical rifles. I think I went a little overboard on the Agrax so they are darker than intended but still look super cool. There is another Ranger waiting to be painted but he has a missing barrel that needs repair so joined the pile of figures needing triage (occupied by a breacher needing an AA12 barrel replaced).

The second set finished was the group I was working on during my holiday, the SAS Patrol. As I mentioned last week these guys had just been stripped and were repainted in a scheme more appropriate for Bazistan. Multicam was once again a common theme amongst all of them but I also mixed up the colours. Three figures have DDPM (or an attempt at it) and the rest have solid colours. Again, happy with this lot.

Deciding that sleep was for the weak, I then made up the silly plan of getting operators ready for Cardiff the night before I set off. It took me most of the evening but the picture above shows my finished group. Not as many carbines as I would like but a nice selection ready to go. I was very happy I managed to get them painted in full camo without rushing too much so that I don’t feel the need to strip them just after the last wash goes on. I also finished off the last .50cal for my technicals and a better equipped leader from my militia forces. Overall, a fun set to paint and glad to get them ready in time.


That’s it for this time, expect more updates next week!

Battle Report: CGS009 “Dawn Raid” : Spectre Operations

(Seeing as I’ll be too busy on Saturday playing Spectre to do the social media blitz I like to do when a post goes up, enjoy this early battle report!)

To get ready for the Spectre weekend in Cardiff (an event I’ll be on my way to when this post goes live), I decided to spend the first evening of my holiday over in York, playing a game of Spectre. Seeing as my opponent is part of the inspiration behind fictional band of contractors, we decided it was only far to add to the plot. A sneaky dawn raid to snatch a HVT should be an interesting challenge which couldn’t possibly go wrong.


After the Bazi City and Argo Affair, Commando Global Solutions was banned from operating inside of Bazistan. While the head of the Aden office was in Bazi City trying to re-negotiate their license, the acting operations chief (formerly in charge of the Bazi City team) was approached by the Aden Government to perform a dawn raid to snatch a troublesome tribal leader from the badlands that cross the Aden-Bazistan border. Seeing as the CGS A-Team was resting after the events of the Argo Affair, CGS B-Team were deployed into the hills, procedding to hike through the night to reach the target.

Commando Global Solutions were rolling with the following force. All had personal medical kits, pistols, close combat equipment, frag and stun grenades and radios.

Team 1

  • 1-1: Professional Squad Leader: Carbine (scope and red dot), specialist close combat
  • 1-2: Professional: Cabine (scope and red dot), Battlefield Trauma Kit
  • 1-3: Professional: Compact LMG
  • 1-4: Professional: Carbine (scope, red dot and laser), Breaching tools

Team 2

  • 2-1: Professional Squad Leader: Carbine (scope and red dot) and UGL
  • 2-2: Professional: Carbine (scope and red dot) and UGL, Battlefield Trauma Kit
  • 2-3:Professional: LMG
  • 2-4:Professional: Carbine and Light Anti-Tank weapon

Sniper Team:

  • S-1:Professional: Light sniper rifle (suppressor, subsonic ammo)
  • S-2:Professional: Carbine (scope and red dot) and UGL, Battlefield Trauma Kit

Design Notes: Overall, a pretty powerful array of firepower and useful gear. Team 1 is setup for the close assault, team 2 for mid-range fire support and the sniper team for backup. Interesting to note, the team is not wearing body armour, using silencers or carrying night vision goggles. Blame poor corporate spending or making the equipment match the models.

Arrayed against them there was a massive force of trained tribesman. These guys started unalert, with the vast majority off board. However, once the alarm was raised, the commander can start calling in backup (including a squad asleep in the buildings) and one random unit a turn will appear automatically. As long as the commander keeps being successful with his Command rolls, large amount of bad guys will appear from the village just down the road.

Initial Force:

  • Professional Commander – Assault Rifle, Radio (HVT)
  • Trained Soldier, 4x Assault Rifle, 1x MMG, all with radios (sentries)
  • Trained Soldier, 1x HMG, 1x Assault Rifle (HMG team)

Reinforcements:

Main Force – split into 8 man groups

  • Trained Squad Leader – 2x assault rifle
  • Trained Soldier – 4x RPGs, 4x MMGs, 1x LMGs, 15x Assault rifle

Support

  • Professional Soldier, 1x Light Sniper Rifle, 1x DMR
  • 2x Technicals – Random weapons

Design Notes: This was basically me getting as much of my Taliban force on the board and then adding some technicals for the fun of it. The main idea? You don’t want to get stuck in a slogging match with this lot. If the commander is able to get up and get on the radio, CGS B-Team will be in trouble.

The battlefield was arrayed as you can see above, with the road appearing from the north edge. The HVT was located in one of the two main buildings (rolled off when the game started). The rest of the tribesmen were deployed in logical positions – two on the tallest hill, three close to the vehicles and the heavy weapon team on the roof of the main building. CGS deployed on the north-west corner of the board. The sniper team found a good overwatch point while the main bulk of the force was hidden behind the hill. As mentioned before, all the tribesmen on the board begun the game unalert, with the target fast asleep.

The first two turns took place in the last stages of dawn and the operators took full advantage of this, sprinting down the flank well out of line of sight of any of the sentries. However, as the third turn began, PKM sentry and his friend spotted the last man in the team getting behind a hill.

Luckily, the sniper team saw the beginnings of an alarm cry and sprung into action deciding to go kinetic. The marksman dropped the larger threat (the MMG) but his spotter whiffed the shot. The other sentry saw his mate take a hit and so dived to the ground suppressed. Back in the village, the sentries broke up their meeting with one heading for a rooftop, blissfully unaware that a squad of operators was fast approaching his position.

As the next turn started, the sniper team changed his target to the .50cal gunner sat on the building top. Again, one shot, one kill. The LAW gunner in team 2 resisted the urge to drop a rocket on the village and instead engaged the rooftop sentry with his assault rifle and dropped him. Closer in, team 1 wiped the rest of the sentries and continued sneaking around the flank of the village. At this point, all that was left of the tribesmen was two trained fighters lying in cover with their squadmates suppression on them instead at different positions on the board.

However, thanks to the situation escalating, the next turn began with a group of reinforcements coming onto the board. An 8 man group of fighters (including an RPG and an MMG) moved down the road. Additionally, the commander shouted down the radio and a technical with .50cal responded. However, they did managed to roll onto the board at precisely the wrong place. While the rest of his team was on overwatch for enemies appearing from the village, Operator 2-1 saw an opportunity. He turned, aimed his UGL and popped off a round. It landed squarely on the bonnet and with a dull “krump” shredded the engine (a M-Kill) and both the crew members.

The Sniper’s Spotter then turned round and delivered a 40mm round straight into the heart of the new group of enemies that had appeared. By the end of the operators turn, the reinforcements were almost decimated, with only 3 very suppressed tribesmen left in any sort of effective combat state.

The other member of the HMG team on the roof ran to grab the spade grips and start hammering away at the attackers. However, the sniper once again earned his pay dropping the new gunner before he could even get a shot off. This shot however had an unfortunate side effect. Finally drawing a bead on the sniper team, the last remaining sentry fired off a burst of AK fire. One round found its target and suddenly the operators were one fighter down. What was left of the reinforcements also opened fire, putting some suppression points down.

That last burst of fire was important – for the first time, the initiative swung to the tribesmen as they started to be the louder party in the firefight. The Tribal Leader managed to roll spectacularly well, bringing on two squads of infantry (one from the collection of buildings and a weapon heavy squad from down the road) and a technical packing a heavy recoilless rifle. Perhaps the most worrying, the two-man sniper team crept onto the board, waiting to ambush the operators if they managed to snatch the target. The infantry in the buildings started out of coercion, needing time to form up.

This delay was an issue for them as Team 1 came busting in, stun grenades landing first before being taken out for a blast of close range shots. The operators were now within spitting distance of the target.

At the other end of the table, Team 2 and the Spotter were about to get lit up. An overwatch had dropped a few of the oncoming squad but the rest were now in a position to open fire. With a hail of MMG fire, Team 2 were cut down – unfortunately their position was lacking in cover and left them exposed. The final three fighters from the other squad put 9 rounds onto spotter. Only one hit but it started him bleeding out.

Unfortunately we ran out of time at this point. CGS had lost its sniper team and most of team 2. They had taken out a large number of tribesmen but unfortunately the survivors were about to get overrun. I think it’s safe to say that the CGS B-Team was up a creek without a paddle. The next operation into the tribal lands could be very interesting.

Design Notes: I think I made this scenario a little on the hard side for a second game of Spectre. Next time I would tone down the reinforcements, limit it to one a turn or add a delay.


“Let me get this straight. You embarked on a cross border operation, into a nation we have no right to be operating in, into a valley filled with hostile fighters, with no air support. And now the team is either dead or captured?”

The boss closed his eyes; it had been a long week negotiating with the Bazi Interior Ministry and this was the last thing he wanted to do. With a resigned sigh, he opened a cabinet and pulled out a plate carrier.

“Okay, here is a new plan. I’m going to call in a few favours and then we are going to take a little trip. Get the A-Team together and talk to the quartermaster about some gucci gear. When we get back we can have a talk about biting off more than you can chew”

The Action will continue in CGS010. Coming soon!

Wargaming Week 24/07/2017

Let’s start, covering 17th of July to the 23rd of July.

BLOG STUFF

I took the week off so there isn’t much blog wise to talk about. I did take a look into some longer posts more focused on adding new rules and tools for play

I’m also starting to think about the next part of the rules comparison article that brought a ton of people to the site. I hit most of the big ones the first time around so now I’m back to look at stuff I may have missed out on.

GAMING

I managed to get a game of Spectre in on the first day of my holiday against my usual York based opponent. Really fun game with the operators sneaking around until they raised the alarm and the rest of the village turned up. There were a few rules misremembered but now I’m really excited for this weekend in Cardiff.

The battle report should be up this weekend once I get it finished off.

PURCHASES

Empress has a pile of new releases. More news next week once they arrive but I hope you like Brits.

HOBBY

Figure painting wise, less than expected. Mainly because I was too busy building my boards! They are not 100% finished by when I left them they were textured and had sand applied. Its been a great project so far, so very close to the point when I can start playing on them.

In what little time I’ve actually been painting figures, I’ve been working on a repaint of my SAS squad. Seeing as I’m basing most of my games in desert regions, I realised the jungle camo didn’t make much sense. Instead, I’m going for a mix of multicam, DDPM and plain camo using the same idea of limited palette to tie them all together. I’m also working on my first attempt at painting non-caucaisan skin. I’m really looking forward to getting these models ready for Cardiff.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 17/07/2017

Let’s start, covering the 10th of July through to the 16th of July.

Hey, so this is my holiday week so not going to spend much of it on blog stuff. For that reason, I’m not posting anything this Saturday – going to be spending it enjoying a little time away.

That said, I’m still doing

So updates from last week?

  • Big news regarding the writing project – it’s reached a very exciting point and how much I can actually work on has dropped giving me more free time!
  • Big thing last week was Razor week – it was a cool idea and people seem to have enjoyed it
  • I managed to play some Spectre Operations – full report coming soon. Was a good game – the operators managed to almost get to the objective before the hordes of locals turned up. After that practise session, I’m ready for Cardiff.
  • Not much hobby stuff – I spent most of the week getting ready for holiday. All I’ve managed to finish is Deniable Operators. Really happy I managed to get them finished, especially as they actually use colours other than brown and green.

And that’s it for this week, full update and posts coming week commencing 24/07/2017

Tactics: Razors on the Battlefield

Photo from Spectre Miniatures

So now you’ve got your Razor, built it up to how you want and found the rules for your system of choice, how should you actually use them on the tabletop? I’m going to primarily look at their use in Spectre Operations, in particular, analysing the rules that the team at Spectre have released. However, many of the concepts are applicable across multiple games.

Fast Attack

The first thing about the Razor is it’s really, REALLY fast – a move value of 16″ means it’s almost the fastest thing on the board (just in behind the motorbike). In addition, it’s also All Terrain so rough ground barely slows it down. It also has the rule Agile, making it able to turn on a dime; great for getting out of harm’s way in cramped and crowded streets. Finally on the positives, the rule Muffled Engine let’s the Razor get even closer before the alarm is raised, a great addition for stealth games.

The downside is that it has no armour with one of the lowest  DC values in the game. This isn’t an AFV, it’s a taxi designed to get you from A to B quickly and over rough terrain.

So as a high-speed, all terrain vehicle it can be great when you need to make a quick getaway or extract a VIP from the hot zone. Just remember you can only board a stationary vehicle and it can’t move in the same turn passengers embark. On the plus side, it’s open-topped nature means the rear passengers can easily put down fire as you race away.

Fire Support

Photo from Spectre Miniatures

By default, the Razor’s only weapon is the commander’s machine gun. This arm mounted weapon can be a compact LMG up to a 7.62 firing minigun (the current kit and crew come with a MMG with scope and suppressor). If the Razor only has this, then it’s mainly in place for self-defence or suppressing the bad guys during the final run into the drop off/exfil – the range of these weapons is going to put you right under the nose of the bad guys and you are in danger of biting off more than you can chew. Additionally, the arm only has a limited field of fire, so it can’t engage targets on the other side of the vehicle or behind it – this is where your passengers come in handy.

The Razor can also take a roll bar mounted weapon system. The weapon in this slot is limited by being Move or Fire (something the unarmoured but quick vehicle would probably prefer not to have) but the options for this slot are much more destructive, including HMGs and auto grenade launchers. Having both slots filled with weapons turns the Razor into something similar to a WMIK, perfect for forming a fast-moving base of fire for your main assault. Take advantage of the range of these systems to stay away from incoming fire and keep moving to the best locations, bearing in mind a vehicle mounted HMG doesn’t need to pack and then unpack when relocating.

Supply Point

Photo from Spectre Miniatures

The Razor also has another bonus to it – the fact it can carry additional gear. I can see this ability being underestimated by many players but it could actually be something very important for a small force. If you max out each character with multiple weapon systems (using the rules in the book for max equipment carried), then additional launchers and items for specific uses can be stored in a moving supply point. It’s conceivable that when a team of operators assaults a town, a character could use a sniper rifle outside the town to take advantage of the large range intervals before swapping it out for a shotgun as the fight gets up close and personal.

Stowing kit in a vehicle also means weapons that include the encumbering rule (such as MMGs) can be stowed until close to the fighting, removing that modifier to agility and allowing them to move at the same speed as their team (when sprinting or tactically moving) before grabbing a bigger gun when needing to form a fire position. The other items (long-range comns and medical gear) let you have access to this important kit with a certain character being stuck in the role as the game begins. Instead, as soon as the first casualty happens, any figure close to the Razor can grab what’s needed and then rush to begin triage.

The Razor 4 also has the ability to transport a crew served missile launcher, making the Razor a great vehicle to carry a tank hunter team when fighting armoured opposition. Just remember to shoot and scoot, seeing as your armour is not particularly thick.

Conclusion

Overall the Razor provides some new capabilities on the Spectre battlefields. When all of its functionality is being used, it provides a unique vehicle with multiple benefits. There are some roles it should not be used in (frontal assaults across minefields for example) but for the ones it’s suitable in I can’t see it disappointing the player in charge.

The main thing to remember is to play to its strengths : keep moving, don’t get pinned in place, think about your loadout carefully before the game begins. Apart from that, it’s a cool model to have on the tabletop and I look forward to seeing them crop up in battle reports.

Additional Rules: Razor In Other Games

Spectre have released their Razor model and alongside it brought out some rather cool rules to include it in their Spectre Operations game.

The Razor has a few key characteristics that separate it from other vehicles. These are

  1. High speed even over rough terrain
  2. Small size, light weight and lacking in armour
  3. Carrying capacity
  4. Weapon carrying

Using this set of ideas as a starting point, I donned the writing helmet and delved into my pile of rules (covered in great detail here). The first issue that came up was OSC and Danger Close. Both these rule sets currently lack rules for vehicles (although OSC is getting its rules in the next update). In those games, a Razor would be sited just off the board to act as a resupply or MG position and provide support. This left three rulesets to take a look at. Spectre’s rules does include the Razor 4 variant, different to the model that is released, but for now we will focus on the smaller Razor 2.

These rules are in their very early stages and so may be slightly unbalanced. If in doubt, talk them through with your opponents and tweak if needed. Think of these as guidelines.

Black Ops

Black Ops is a cool system that is super easy to get into and great fun to play. It’s rare that you will bring your own vehicles to the party (relying on stealth and all that) but for the Razor we can make an exception.

Razor 2 Stats

NameFrontSideRearCardEquipmentCrew (Passengers)Points
Razor 2000KingLMG (commander's)Driver, Commander (2)6

Rules

  • Razors count as man-sized targets when shooting at them (like bikes). When hit, they use the car row in the hit location table.
  • The Razor, as you can see in the stats, has no armour. You’ll want to drive very quickly.
  • Razors are fast: Cautious Move is 7″, Advance is 14″ and Run is 22″
  • The front machine gun always counts as stationary (so you always gain the additional shot)
  • The Razor has a quiet engine. It does not immediately raise the alarm, instead it generates a noise counter every turn it moves. This is increased to two noise counters if it Advances or three if it Runs

Options

  • The commander LMG can be upgraded to a GPMG for 1pt or a minigun for 4pts
  • The roof slot can be fitted with a heavy weapon. This turns one of the passengers into a gunner. The weapons available are: LMG 2pts, GPMG 3pts, HMG 4pts, AGL 5pts
  • The vehicle can carry two additional weapons (bought from those available to its faction) that can be used by character. Additionally, including a Razor allows the squad to take an additional squad upgrade for the usual points cost.

 

Force on Force

So Force on Force isn’t my favourite game and I haven’t used a ton of vehicles in it. However, looking around, it seems like many of the stat lines are standardised and anything on the small side will look pretty similar. I’m basing this off the Chenworth DPV with a few small tweaks. I was tempted by Deathtrap as an attribute but I think it would be a negative too far. Instead Technical makes it a less effective gun platform.

For weapon stats, check the rulebook.

NameClassTypeFirepowerGun RatingMGsFrontSideRearDeckCrewAttributes
Razor 2SW (Optional)
M2HB
or
Mk19
or
M240
(optional)M240 (3D)1d61d61d61d62+2Technical

Skirmish Sangin

Skirmish Sangin provides me with a problem as there are two ways to implement the Razor – treat it as a vehicle or use something similar to the motorcycle rules covered in Dispatches 2. I prefer the second option due to its increased detail but in case you don’t have a copy of Dispatches 2 I’ll present both options.

The Vehicle Option

The Razor 2 in Skirmish Sangin is generated the standard way depending on the crew experience level. The important information is the following:

VehicleArmourIED ProtectionPrimary WeaponSecondary WeaponCrewCost Morale ModCapacity
Razor 200None (Can be replaced with MMG, HMG, GMG)MMG (can be replaced with LMG)2 + 2
(3+1 if primary weapon is bought)
100 (not including weapons)04

The Razor can be used to carry additional gear. Players before the game can pay points values to store weapons and hand grenades in the vehicle. It takes 2AP to collect an item from the vehicle. I recommend limiting it to a small number of grenades and between 2 and 4 long arms. Mention your loadout to your opponent before the game starts and keep track of which character has which weapon by using a token. 

 

THE BIKE-ISH OPTION

The other way of showing off the Razor is to treat it like the motorbikes in Dispatches 2 (page 61) but with some minor tweaks due to it being a slightly larger and more stable platform. I’d use the following changes:

  • A Razor is bought as a vehicle using the profile above but without crew. It is instead crewed by four other figures bought as normal. These use their Drive skill. As ISAF troops would be more used to driving motorised vehicles, they get the skill for free. It is generated the same way – BODY x experience level.
  • A Razor has 4 crew positions – Driver, Commander and two rear passengers.
    • The Driver’s Drive skill is used for all tests involving the vehicle moving.
    • The Commander uses the commander seat’s weapon (their own weapon has been stashed away) and using their heavy weapon skill. The firing arc is from the forward position to the 4 o’clock position
    • The rear passengers can only shoot backwards and use their own weapons. They can only fire pistols, SMGs, Assault Rifles, Shotguns, grenade launchers, LMGs or MMGs while in that seat and only in the rear arc.
    • If a heavy weapon has been purchased it is mounted on the roll bars. One of the rear passengers is now the gunner. They can only fire in a forward arc, must use their heavy weapon skill and only shoot when the vehicle is stationary.
  • If a Razor collides with a character, it does not inflict damage on the crew. However, it does force a morale test.
  • If the Razor crashes, the crew take 1D10 damage. However, the vehicle can then move on after the crew members take a morale test.
  • If you attempt to ram a vehicle with the Razor, the other vehicle takes 1D10 damage. The crew of the Razor take 2D10 and must then take a morale test.
  • The team on board operates as a fireteam, with all crew members using the driver’s activation phases. They each get 3AP to use on the table on page 61 of Dispatches 2 but act in a random order.
  • When shooting, the crew take the modifier for shooting on the move. The driver does not shoot – his hands are on the wheel.
  • The Razor moves the full distance of 40 metres no matter how many crew it is carrying.
  • If a crewman is hit, they do not need to take a drive test to remain in the vehicle. However if the driver is hit while moving, the vehicle will move forward half its move distance in the next turn. If it impacts difficult terrain, it crashes.
  • The Razor provides light cover to anyone on foot behind it.
  • When disembarked, the Razor’s commander weapon can be used by a model standing close to it. It takes 1AP to begin using the weapon and 1AP to disengage from it. The firing arc is from the front of the vehicle to the rear of the vehicle as long as it does not clip through the Razor’s body.
  • The Razor can still carry gear using the rule mentioned above in the vehicle section.

That’s it for now. I hope more people will take a look at these cool vehicles and see that can be used everywhere, providing a new set of capabilities in any fire fight. Try out the rules, see what works and I look forward to your feedback!

Wargaming Week 10/07/2017

Let’s start, covering the 3rd of July through to the 9th of July.

BLOG STUFF

Razor week has begun! It was a rush to the finish and to get the two posts out (Part 2 of the Razor impressions and impressions on the new stowage). However, I’m getting some good responses on it. I was trying to get the vehicles painted up before release but it hit 5pm and decided to go with what I had. Good news, I finished off the vehicles and you can see them below.

There are two more articles coming out this week on the Razor so stick around for more details on the adorable little things.

GAMING

So there was going to be something in this slot but unfortunately my buddy had to drop out and get ready for his holiday. However, this chance to run a demo game did lead me to write up a new scenario designed to get into the action quickly and show off what can happen. It’s also going to be a second part to the INTEL series, so we can finally see what happened to all those trackers.

PURCHASES

Okay, so that isn’t an ultramodern figure above. I’m a keen fan of Warhammer 40k and although I don’t have an army, there are a few characters that I love. One of which is Cypher, the leader of the Fallen who is on a mysterious quest and keep evading capture. I particularly like the new version and seeing a friend was seeing him I just had to pick it up. This is the most recent GW model I’ve pick up and it’s interesting to see the changes to both the sculpting and assembly method. It’s packed full of detail, such as the fine detail on the gauntlets and especially on the sword. Additionally, the mechanic of assembling is very different to the old Space Marines; the largest piece is comprised of elements from the leg, body and arm. It’s simple to assemble and almost guaranteed to give you the same pose every time with little chance of slippage after assembly.

HOBBY

So the Razors are now finished. I really like them as model – there is a great weight to them and they were a fun project to build. I’m still not a fan of assembling crew off the model, getting them painted and then re-attached. Now they are ready, I look forward to them zooming around the tabletop.

I also finally got all my models stripped. Took me an evening of scrubbing with a toothbrush but a big chunk of my completed figures are now ready to be repainted in an improved scheme. I also managed to tweak a few of the British models, fixing a duff pose or three that had happened the first time I built them.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Impressions: Spectre’s Vehicle Stowage Alfa

Alongside the release of the Razor, Spectre also released a set of vehicle stowage. Designed to let you personalise and add detail to any form of hobby project, the stowage kit comes with a pile of things to weigh down your vehicle of choice. It also hopefully points to future plans from Spectre which are exciting for anyone with a pile of Humvees or objectives that need some extra detail to them.

So for your £7.50, what do you get? According to the site description:

  • 1 each of large, medium and small cooler/storage box
  • 1 x long gun Pelican case.
  • 2 x mid-size Pelican cases.
  • 1  x laptop Pelican case.
  • 2 x ammo boxes
  • 4 x NATO Jerry cans
  • 1 x SatCom Antenna
  • 2 x Sand Boards
  • 2 x Multi-Barrelled Smoke Grenade Dischargers (MBSGD)
  • 1 x AT-4
  • 4 x Light Antitank Weapon (LAW)
  • 4 x packs

The models arrive in a small plastic bag and, apart from a quick trim of some flash, are good to go. Most things are pretty obvious, the only sticking point being the ammo boxes – for a while I couldn’t work out the second one but it’s a smaller one (more designed for grenades) as opposed to the more common design.

For highlights, I really like the AT-4 and the LAW; they are a really simple way of adding some AT firepower to any squad while still looking really cool. The MBSGDs are also really clever with the perfect shape to fit under the bull bars of an SUV. There are also some nice variations in the rucksacks, giving you everything from a daysack up to something bergen sized. Finally, there are the pelican cases – not great for your militia forces but that long gun case might have a nasty surprise in it when on the back of an SF Pickup.

So what did I use them for? Well, the first order of the day was fixing a mistake I made way back in the early days of my collection. I picked up the SAS Recce Patrol support back when the Spectre webstore started (consisting of a LMG gunner and a marksman) and then didn’t use their bergens. This was so the figures could pull double duties with the SAS Low Profile team (the packs themselves ended up in the hands of several British squaddies). Having just stripped the early paint job, now seemed a great time to give them an upgrade.

The LMG gunner took the biggest pack while the marksman  got a smaller pack put a pair of LAWs ready to knock out tanks (and to cover the joins). The packs have two parts of the strap at the top and, although they don’t fit as well as the original, they do look pretty effective. Even better, they work well with the rest of the squad making them look as heavily laden as their buddies.

The other first use is adding some detail to my 2nd Razor. I cover this in the second Razor post but it went into place very easily, requiring almost no clean up while making it look like it latched over the top of the frame.

For the future? Some of the boxes will be going on my existing weapon teams to give them somewhere to store the ammo while others will be saved to really laden down a few upcoming releases. I’m also looking at getting the plasticard out and making some fillers for the truck bed covered in gear – perfect for supply vehicles or objectives.

In the end, I think this stowage pack is one of the best on the market. There are lots of bits you would end up using and its a worthwhile purchase for anyone wanting to add a little extra to their vehicles, soldiers or terrain. When combined with the ammo boxes already out, it will be easy to give everything the right level of clutter.

If you’re wanting some stowage for yourself, you can find it on the Spectre Webstore at https://www.spectreminiatures.com/products/stowage-alfa for £7.50