Impressions: Empress Dismounted AFV Crew

When you start to add vehicles to the tabletop, it’s just a matter of time until you need crewman figures thanks to some lucky rebel with an RPG. For light vehicles the standard line infantry will do but as you start to get to the heavier end of the AFV’s available, crewmen start wearing different helmets and vests.

Luckily, Empress have just released some packs to help you out. Available for both the US and the UK armed forces, each nation gets both a mounted and dismounted version. As I haven’t got any vehicles waiting to assemble, I just picked up the dismounted version.

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I then made a fatal mistake. Rather than just relying on unpainted figures, I decided I could get all of my figures painted in a week. WHAT COULD GO WRONG? Well, the delayed posting time on this should tell you all you need to know

US Crew

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The US Crew has a pretty even split weaponwise, with two armed with M4 carbines and two with just pistols. There is some nice variation in the poses although the injured crewman clutching his arm reminds you that this is very much a scenario pack rather than figures for a standing army. The crewman with the pistol has a bandana across his face, similar to images you can find online. As you can also see from the photo above, three of the figures in the pack are multipart using Empress’s usual system of a pin and hole.

There seems to be some variation amongst US Army crewmen as to if they wear coveralls or camo uniforms. To keep things simple, I went with the ACU pattern I used for rest of my troops, relying on the different poses and helmets to distinguish them.

Of course now I really need to paint up an AFV for them to use – the two Strykers I picked up at Salute will be perfect for them to use.

UK Crew

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The British crew is much more ready for a fight, with three soldiers with L22 AFV carbines (a tiny variant of the standard L85) and one with a pistol. Two of the figures have separate arms but it’s only one arm rather than the matched sets. Interestingly, with the right paint job the British Downed Pilot set that Empress do (BRIT07) would fit in perfectly, giving you two additional figures.

When the models first arrived, my initial thoughts was to use the old method of MTP painting. However, Spectre have released their multicam guide so I finally bit the bullet and tried. The process was easy and I’m really happy with the end result. I made a few alterations to the listed method:

  1. Used larger brown areas to give it a browner tinge
  2. The dark brown and white patches were thin lines rather than smaller squares.

I like the scheme enough that there is going to be an interesting part to Monday’s Weekend Warfare.

Outro

Overall these are fantastic models. They are obviously designed to standout on the battlefield. I don’t think you would use these models in every game but they really help to make scenarios standout, giving you something more interesting to defend than just a counter. The fact they match up to their mounted counterparts is even better. If you have any AFVs and there is even a chance that it might need bailed out crew, these models are a must buy.

If you are on the Russian side, Empress already does some Russian AFV crew on foot as part of their Red Star range. I don’t have these models but from looking at them at shows and on other people’s’ blogs

Weekend Warfare 3 – INTEL01 “Thieves in the Night”

Part 3 of Weekend Warfare steps away from the adventures of CGS (don’t worry, more reports are coming soon following those lunatics). Instead we look at a side story, based on events that took place in Bazistan before Commando Global Solutions arrived. These stories are based off Intel requested by officers in the company

Argo Corporation maintains several depots in Bazistan. These depots will often contain Argo made products getting ready for local distribution but can also act as storehouses for Argo Black Ops in the region.

6 months ago, -REDACTED- discovered Argo was stockpiling gear and preparing to move contractors in country. -REDACTED- hired a team of freelance operators to break into a depot and document the hardware that was in place.

The freelance operators chose to break in before the contractors arrived, when the only personnel at the site were an overnight crew not expecting trouble.


The freelance operators comprised of four characters

  • “Hawthorne” – Elite with SMG
  • “Compton” – Elite with silenced SMG
  • “Alameda” – Veteran with assault rifle
  • “Hollywood” – Average with assault rifle

There are two interesting points about these guys – the first is the range of experience. Two are elites ready to roll but the others are less well-trained. I presume they found Hollywood in a bar somewhere. The other thing is the lack of gear. None of the guys are wearing body armour and only one of them is using a silenced weapon. In other words, they are not in the best state for the mission they have signed up for – the plan is to rely on not getting spotted.

Against them are 8 guards. The four with M16s are all fully trained (rated Average) and start off duty in the sight office. The four armed with pistols are renta-cops (either Novices or Average) and begin wandering set paths inside the warehouse.

The goal of the game is for the Operatives to place trackers inside 5 ammo boxes spread throughout the warehouse. Depending on how many are tagged will determine if the Operative succeed in their mission, each tracker placed improves the final roll by 20%. If they need to set off the alarm off to do this task, it doesn’t matter. However, due to a lack of numbers and armour, it would be best to be avoided

The Operatives stack up
Warehouse 1 with the two guards on patrol
Warehouse 2 with the two guards on patrol. The operators were placed inside due to some camera positioning issues

As the game begins, all is quiet with the guards continuing their patrol routes. Hawthorne and Hollywood are the first to enter, sneaking up to the shelving and coming to a halt. Hawthrone, keeping his eyes open for movement ahead of him, finds the first of the ammo cases and cracks it open. Placing a tracker inside, the first part of the objectives are achieved.

Compton, the second in command of this little group, then enters the warehouse. Walking through the half-light of a dark interior, he spots movement and a flashing torch ahead of him on the ground floor. However, his attempts to spot the exact source fail. In contrast, one of the guards (Waters) peers over the gantry and spots someone who doesn’t seem to be wearing a security guard’s uniform. A flash of a torch and Compton has been spotted. All it would take is a radio call and suddenly the rest of the guards would come rushing in.

Sensing his hastily planned mission is about to go awry, Hawthorne now decides time is of the essence. He sprint up the board and runs head long into Jones, another guard. Hawthorne throws his weight and slams Jones backwards. However, Jones isn’t knocked unconscious (instead running back behind a shelf) and the noise of the scuffle sets alarm bells ringing. With the rest of the guards now getting into combat positions, Hollywood finishes placing a tracker, pulls his gun and starts to rock and roll. Spotting Waters up on the gantry, he raises his assault rifle and sends a burst flying down between the shelves. It misses but forces him to duck for cover. This movement attracts Compton’s attention and he also hammers a burst of 9mm rounds up towards the gantry. These rounds hit and cause a lot of damage, knocking Waters unconscious with a Critical wound. One guard is now out of action.

More worryingly, the reaction team begin to enter the warehouse, sprinting for cover (one of them even flips a table over thanks to too many action films) or rushing up onto the gantry. However Alameda, the final operative has also entered the proceedings and rushes to cover near his boss and long time friend.

The guards start attempting to spot the intruders and for a little while the battle turns into a two-way shooting range with both sides trading fire for not much result after everyone dived for cover. There are some close calls (including a shot missing by 1%). The main result is the slow progress of the operatives up the board, with a third tracker placed by Alameda.

On the guards side, one memorable moment is when Baptist (one of the reaction guards) draws a bead on Hawthrone. He spots, aims and shoots. Its unsure what happens next but probably inspired by the action film they had been watching in the hut and maybe related to an unauthorised modification to a trigger sear, but Baptist proceeded to mag dump all 30 rounds into the wall. Even worse, he seemed to have misplaced all his spare magazines and would have to go grab one from one of this buddies (translated: he rolled a 100 which is a fumble in Skirmish Sangin).

Compton rushed up to cover and almost barged into Jones, still recovering from that first melee attack. Compton however quickly responds putting two shots into Jones chest before a final shot to his head to finish him off. However, exposing himself to get there draws the attention of the guards and a hail of fire flies over his head, almost pinning him in place.

Other guards continue to hammer fire at the rest of the operatives. One, by the name of Brown, pulls up his pistol and scores a hit on Hawthorne. It’s only a graze, a light wound. In return, Hawthorne swings around and puts a burst of accurate fire at Brown. The hits pummel Brown and falls unconscious from the shock. This sudden violence shocked many of the other guards letting up the fire slightly.

Hawthorne, watching the clock, realises that it might be time to cut their losses and flee before the rest of the reaction force turns up. Giving clipped orders, the operatives start to peel away with Hollywood taking the lead. Alameda followed, popping off a shot to pin down any pursuit. Compton even managed to brave the fire and begin his own withdrawal. However, before Hawthrone could join them, one of the guards popped out from behind his table and dropped the leader of the operatives with a short burst (the hit was a massive 17 damage on 2D10).

Despite this last act of defiance, the Operatives had managed to fulfil at least part of their objectives and escaped into the night leaving only one of their number behind. Now they just had to hope the trackers were working….


So final count:

  • 3 Guards knocked out of commission
  • 1 Operative KIA and left in the warehouse
  • 3/5 trackers placed giving a 60% chance of the trackers actually working as intended. Rolling the dice I got a 25, meaning that the mission was overall a success and -REDACTED- now know where the Argo mercs are heading. Starting point for a future mission maybe?

Overall it was a fun game. The testing of stealth rules was rumbled by a valid detection and instead it turned into the test of fighting through the TTCombat Warehouse. There were a few places where I was struggling to fit my chunky gamer hands but it’s a great place for just a simple battle through it if you don’t fancy laying out an entire board. The multiple levels and bays, as well as the shelves you get in the kit. The only downside is that there are limited chances to flank without exposing yourself. Having smoke grenades or adding a small outside area would help solve the issue.

Additionally, the lack of people with body armour led to much more cautious play, sticking to cover and using suppression. However, when someone got hit they normally dropped down hard. A 1D10 pistol becomes a lot more horrifying when there isn’t body armour to block it.

I also really like Skirmish Sangin for such a small game – each character feels like a separate person with their own skill level. For example, Hollywood’s rifle skill in this was almost as good as Alameda but Hollywood did suffer from a lower morale due to being Average rather than Veteran meaning he was more likely. In your mind’s eye, Hollywood becomes the skilled new guy who may be more likely to run away than the seasoned old-timer Alameda.

I’m coming to the end of a few things, and hopefully with have my terrain boards back so expect more Weekend Warfare soon!

Wargaming Week 22/05/2017

Let’s start, covering the 15th of May through to the 20th of May.

BLOG STUFF

This week’s post is up, looking at Sarissa’s industrial buildings. Little terrifying to notice that Sarissa actually reposted it on their Facebook page. Thanks to them, Saturday hit some record numbers for views though and I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the blog.

Speaking of posts, if you want to know the best time to check the site for new posts, it’s midday Monday (for wargaming week) and midday Saturday for the post of the week. I’m going to try to stick with this pattern although additional posts may pop up. For example, Weekend Warfare installments will probably go up pretty quick and outside the usual pattern.

Upcoming posts! I’ll be looking at some scatter terrain and smaller terrain elements over the next few weekends and TTCombat’s depot should be turning up. There will also be upcoming impressions on some figures as well, just need to decide who to look at first.

Also more plugging of the facebook page. Share it with your friends (as long as those friends enjoy wargaming)! The page is getting quite a lot of activity during the week as I’m posting a lot of the images (such as WIPs or finished models) there rather than on my personal profile.

GAMING

Still no gaming and I’m starting to have withdrawal. However, writing on the book is going really well – getting great feedback on the new rules and the scenarios are cracking along. I’m also still trying to work through the details of CGS Episode 3 for weekend warfare

PURCHASES

Nothing purchased (shocking I know). Too busy building and painting the stuff I have. Also I keep trying to avoid getting into Napoleonics.

HOBBY

Lots of hobby work this week! Despite being in the middle of crazy work time, I got a fair amount of stuff done.

In regards to the demo board I started building the C130. I knew it was big but dang, this thing is huge! The plan is to build it in subassemblies, apply a basic paint job, assembly fully, take a saw to it and then apply the final weathering. The cool thing with working in 1:48 is there are much fewer tiny pieces than back when I was making airsoft kits.

I also started and did some painting. A few friends that used to live in the frozen north have now moved to Edinburgh and wanted to start painting all their Dark Souls figures. We ended up hanging out for most of the day and did some painting which might turn into a biweekly thing. It’s cool to have some other people in the room while painting, it really helps to keep me focused. Thanks to this, I finished off these five Spectre Insurgents. They are some really cool figures, rolling Western guns rather the usual AKs and looking semi professional. My plan is to use them as a snatch squad for the militia, grabbing VIPs from the streets of Bazi City or turning up to militia fights as the ace in the hole.

After having started them at the painting session, I finished off these three contractors as the weekend finished. These guys are Empress US SF in Light Kit and I’ve already finished one of their number for the first Weekend Warfare. Painting the rest was great fun, especially as I tried not painting them with the same hair colour as everyone else. The ginger was especially fun to paint and should be distinctive on the board. These guys will also be playing roles in the Weekend Warfare as other members of Commando Global Solutions.


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

Impressions: Evil Bear Wargames Foxhound

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Image from http://www.themanufacturer.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Foxhound.jpg

The War on Terror has seen a massive rise in the use of IEDs against conventional forces and as such, there was a much greater interest in the development and purchasing of mine resistant vehicles. The British Army purchased a whole fleet of vehicles designed for different roles, including a replacement for the Snatch Land Rover. Named the Foxhound, this vehicle is currently in British service.

Evil Bear Wargames have previously released another vehicle from the late 2000’s refresh (The Panther) and I was very impressed with it. Lots of detail, hot swappable weapons  and super easy to assemble and paint. They have since expanded the range by adding another vehicle, the Foxhound. Although I purchased mine second-hand, it was basically fresh out the box.

The Foxhound model is comprised of resin and metal pieces. The core hull, unlike many wargaming vehicles, is actually two parts –  the base plate and nose are one piece, the crew compartment the other. As well as hinting at the possibility of future variants (as shown on the Evil Bear facebook page) it also does a fantastic of covering up any marks from the casting process.  There is a banding texture to the resin but it should be easily covered by an undercoat.The wheel assembly is very similar to the Panther (metal central structure and two resin wheels) allowing for a great deal of detail around the axle. Most of the metal details do not have any form of mounting slots or guide positions. However, this can be a benefit if you wish to skip certain elements (such as the rear mounted boxes) and reference images are easy to find. The GPMGs on the top of the cab do have mounting guides and the top hatches can be mounted either open or closed (the hinge is attached to the hatch). There is also a good depth underneath each hatch so crew figures (such as Evil Bear’s Virtus or Empress’s British figures) can easily be mounted.

Assembly is super easy. Attach the two body parts, assemble the wheel units and attach and then add details. As I mention above, I recommend doing it with plenty of reference to make sure everything goes in the right place. Once built, it’s an impressive beast. As you’ll see below, it maybe on the smaller side of Mine Resistant vehicles but it’s still huge.

The completed vehicle all good to go.

Some of the texture is visible here, expect an update once painting begins.


Seen here next to some of Empress’s SAS figures. It’s a real monster.

Empress US Ranger and Spectre Task Force Operators to show the height of this thing.

Next to its little brother in the series, the Panther. Looking forward to these two rolling round the board together.

Next to the Spectre buggy and Technical Alpha. Shows just how tiny the buggy is.

Finally, the Foxhound next to a Spectre Civilian Car. Expect to see the Foxhound doing a monster truck impression when the bullets start flying in a crowded street.


So overall, what do I think? Once again, I’m consistently impressed with Evil Bear’s output. The Foxhound, despite its very minor flaws, is lovely to build and great to look at once constructed. I am seriously thinking about getting a second one for larger games and to add to any convoy I might need. Additionally, it’s generic enough to work as a protected vehicle for any contractors needing a protected patrol vehicle.

Wanting one of your own? Evil Bear has two version in stock – a vehicle by itself (at £31.50) and a version with two crew figures in the British Army’s new body armour (at £33.50). There is also an offer comprised of two teams of infantry and two Foxhounds for £75.

Wargaming Week 08/05/2017

BLOG STUFF

One post, covering some generic scenarios I’ve had sat in my drafts box for a while.

A little thing relating to the blog I thought I should mention – I’ve added some adsense units to the sidebar and footer as well as a donate link in the sidebar. The idea behind this is to provide a little bit of income for all the stuff that appears here (and a way of offloading the costs of buying all the tiny men). I’m planning on ramping up content later this year and I’m always a fan of giving stuff away for free. So, if you’re reading this, please add the site to your adblocker’s whitelist so I can keep writing more things.

GAMING

No gaming – combination of hard week at work and into a tough patch of book writing.

PURCHASES

No purchases this week – too busy recovering from last week’s stuff.

PAINTING

More bases, more base colours of camo. Been a bit busy to do much else

Modern Scenario Starting Points

A downloadable version of this article is available here

With most of the modern games I play (such as Skirmish Sangin or Spectre), a good scenario is key to your enjoyment. It can paper over any cracks with the dreaded points system and make for something that feels less like a game and more like a story or a recreation of a real life event. That said, sometimes you just want to get some figures on the board and play. Games Workshop does a pretty good job of this with their scenario selection but they also rely heavily on carefully matched points and knowing the local meta.

The idea is that these templates are game agnostic and should be considered guidelines or inspirations as a jumping off point. For this reason, many of the rules are generic. They are primarily designed for squad level games but some of the themes could easily be scaled up. The details may seem familiar if you’ve played other wargames or spent some time in online FPS games over the years – why not work from what you’ve got! In addition, I’ve included some variations and modifiers to tweak up how you play. You need to pick a variation but can run multiple modifiers. You can pick your scenario and tweaks or use the tables at the bottom. After that, tweak it to hearts content, select your forces and then play!

This article is super WIP and will be updated as I go along. Feel free to use this for your own games and I look forward to what people end up playing because of it.


FireFight

A meeting engagement, a brawl in the street. Two teams enter, one team leaves.

Teams: Nothing Special
Map: Standard layout – no special scenery required
Deployment: Split the board into quarters, teams deploy in opposite corners (we recommend in cover).
Time: Play until one team is annihilated or you run out of time
Victory Conditions: Last standing team wins! Otherwise, work out the points. The team that claimed the most points from kills wins

Variant – Kill Confirmed
Either HQ wants the body count or you want gear off the dead, you need to confirm casualties.
After a model is killed, leave it in place. If a model on the same team as it reaches it, the enemy haven’t been able to confirm and gain no points from that kill. If an enemy model reaches it, the victory points are added to the running total.

Modifier- Scattered Deployment
Maybe it was the storm, maybe it was poor planning, maybe it was the layout of this place. Somehow, we’ve been split up and the enemy is close at hand.
Instead of splitting the board into quarters, split it into 8ths and number each from 2 to 9. Separate your force into four groups and roll a D10 for each group. On a 1, your opponent picks that groups starting section. On 10, you pick your starting section. Otherwise, that group starts in the section specified by the dice roll. Multiple groups can spawn in the same section. If a group from each side is in the same section, they must start with plenty of cover between them (no first turn reenactments of the Valentine’s Day Massacre)


VIP Escort

A captured prisoner, an injured friendly agent, the criminal snitch on the way to the courthouse. One team needs to get a VIP from A to B and the other team wants to stop that happening.

Teams: The Attacker gains a VIP character (feel free to add gear and weapons)
Map: Standard layout – no special scenery required
Deployment: Attacking team begins on the board edge, Defenders take position in the remaining 1/2 of the board
Time: Play until one team is annihilated, the VIP leaves the board via the opposite edge or time runs out
Victory Conditions: Attackers win if the VIP escapes, Defenders win if the VIP is killed or does not leave the board.

Variant – All Capture, No Kill
Turns out we’re not the only one who wants this guy. OPFOR want’s him alive
The VIP must now be captured alive. Both teams lose if the VIP is killed. It’s up to you to work out how the VIP can be captured.

Modifier- Unwilling VIP
The Doctor stopped complaining after two hours. By the fourth hour we could see him waiting to escape. At the fifth hour Davis sat on him to prevent any attempts.
The VIP will only move when accompanied by another attacker. In the event of them becoming separated, the VIP falls under the defender’s control. An Unwilling VIP can be targeted.

Modifier- Squad VIP
O’Malley should have known better than insulting the Sheikh. Now we had gunmen chasing after us – after all, honour demanded it.
No VIP character is added to the attacking team. Instead one of the attacking is considered the VIP. The squad VIP can either be:
– Known to both players
– Known to only the attacking player
– Known to only the defending player
– Known only to the GM

Modifier- Multiple VIP
It was ’89 and we were rushing four scientists to the border…
There are now multiple VIPs that must be extracted. For ultimate hard mode, all of them must be extracted. The exact number should be decided by the players or by rolling a dice (D3 or D6 recommend)

Modifier- Vehicle VIP
Boar Fighter was their target but it had to get through no matter what.
The VIP is a vehicle. This may require some terrain and force tweaks.

Modifier- We’re all VIPs now
The heist had failed and now we were rushing through the streets to get to the van…
No VIP character is added to the Attackers. Instead, the Attackers gain points for figures moved off the board while defenders gain points for attackers killed or still on the board at the end of the game.

 


Search and Destroy

A series of arms caches, remnants of a downed cargo plane or an enemy leader. One team needs to find and destroy objectives while the other defends.

Teams: No special additions
Map: D6 objectives are placed on the map. Players can take turns or place them and then scatter.
Deployment: Attacking team begins on the board edge, Defenders take position in the remaining 1/2 of the board.
Time: Play until all objectives are interacted with, one team is annihilated or you run out of time
Victory Conditions: Gain points for each objective interacted with.

Variant – Race to the Prize
We’re not the only ones after that gold…
Both teams are out for the prizes. Deployment is changed so both start at the board edge and must move on the targets. The winner is the one with the most objectives destroyed/captured

Modifier – Find and Recover
Rather than letting us just blow the cargo up, HQ wants us to recover it.
Objectives can now be moved by a character (it’s up to you and your rules for how objectives should be handled). Objectives only count if still held by the attackers at the end of the game or if they were taken off the attackers side of the map.

Modifier- Spoof Objectives
Got a lot of pings on the scanner. Wish the tech heads would make this thing a bit more accurate.
Replace the objectives with numbered markers. Ask another player to put the markers  down, noting which markers are actual objectives and which are spoofs. When the marker is interacted with, reveal what kind it is.


King of the Hill

An extraction site, a downed satellite, a meth lab out in the sticks. One team needs to hold an area while the enemy team tries to clear them out.

Teams: No special additions
Map: Central zone should be clearly marked to all players.
Deployment: Attacking team begins on the board edge, Defenders take position in the remaining 1/2 of the board.
Time: Play until one team is annihilated or you run out of time
Victory Conditions: If  the attackers still hold the zone (enemies outnumbered in the area) at the end of the game they win!

Variant – Defend
It’s alright lads, we just need to hold out until help arrives
Deployment changes: Attackers begin in the Zone while the defenders can enter from any board edge

Variant – Take the Hill
The compound in the middle of the village was vital for both forces.
Deployment changes: Both Attackers and Defenders start on opposite board edges and must advance on the central zone.

Modifier- Multiple Locations
Keep hold of these locations is like spinning plates
There are multiple zones to keep track of and keep clean.

Modifier – Gradual Points Increase
We had to set up our tools at the target location – we couldn’t just stroll in at the last-minute
Every turn a zone is held gives the holding it points.

Modifier – Clear Zone
Apparently the fly birds won’t land until the area is completely clean of bad dudes
The zone only counts as being held if it is entirely clear of enemies.

 


Delivery

A bomb site, a pile of money, a scientist to defuse the chemical weapons. One team needs to carry equipment to a zone on the map while the other team tries to stop them.

Teams: Attackers have one model or squad carrying The Object.
Map: D6 Target Zones should be visible on the board and clearly marked for all players. Placement location and method are up to the players.
Deployment: Attacking team begins on the board edge, Defenders take position in the remaining 1/2 of the board.
Time: Play until all zones have been visited by an object, one team is annihilated or you run out of time
Victory Conditions: Attackers need to visit all the required zones with a character carrying the object.

Variant – Only One Zone is Needed
If in doubt, Rush B
There may be multiple zones but only one is needed. Randomly determine it either by a dice or using another player. The defender should not know which zone is required

Modifier- Limited Info
Intel was a big vague where exactly they wanted us to place the giant bomb
There may be multiple zones but some don’t actually need your attention. Randomly select which zones are not needed once they have been placed. Do not tell the attacker.

Modifier- Object is a VIP
The Agent was adamant she was coming with us – she wanted to check the sites herself.
There are multiple zones to keep track of and keep clean.

Modifier- One Use Items
You’ve all been given demo charges. We have a lot of ground to cover and we need every hand we can get.
Everyone in the team has an object they can use in the zone. However, each object can only be used once.

 


More scenarios coming soon but for now, here is the generation table. I recommend a D10 when generating.

Core Type

RollType
1-2Firefight
3-4VIP Escort
5-6Search and Destroy
7-8King of the Hill
9-10Delivery

Wargaming Week 02/05/2017

Let’s start, covering the 24th of April through to the 1st of May.

BLOG POSTS

One big post this week – part 3 of my demo game being assembled. Its the longest post so far and lots of pictures.

GAMING

No gaming – lots of writing instead.

PURCHASES

For the big thing, go see my post on the demo board.

However, on the smaller side I picked up an Evil Bear Foxhound second hand. I’ve been wanting one of these for a while and seeing it being sold off by a friend, well I just had to grab it. It will be pulling double duty for the Brits and as a Protected Patrol vehicle for various contractors (both Argo and Commando Global Solutions).

PAINTING

More bases, more base colours of camo. I grabbed some paints and will be trying the Spectre method of multicam on my Empress Rangers.

Demo Games Planning: Part 3 – Building Boards and Buying Planes

If you are wanting to stay informed about this build, the best way is to follow my blog using it’s RSS feed or sign up to email updates using the box at the top of the sidebar.

 

Since the last time I wrote about my demo game plans a fair amount has happened. I’m going to split it up into a few sections but there has been a lot of progress

The Plan

The initial plan was to run the demo game at two shows (Leeds and York), with Leeds being the starting point and York being the big focus on getting it right. However, after some thoughts I’m extending the trip the board is going on. Rather than the first trip being in October, I’ve changed up the target dates. These are entirely unconfirmed so they can and will change.

  • August – Claymore, Edinburgh,
  • October – Fiasco, Leeds
  • February – Vapnartak, York
  • March – Hammerhead, Newark
  • April – Salute, London

Yep, that last one is Salute. Having been there again this year, I would be really interested in helping to expand the games there and bring something that I missed this year – a board showing off ultramodern rulesets. Having four events before it gives me plenty of time to test out, tweak and balance. Rapid iteration of any tweaks will be the aim of the game.

The Scenario

The basic scenario idea is down – two teams clashing over a downed cargo plane in an attempt to take control of it. However, I’m still working out the exact details. Should it be two roughly symmetrical teams (two groups of elites) or embrace the asymmetry and have one team comprised of elites and the other team being numerically larger but with lower skill or with an additional form of support (such as a technical or two).

I also realised in my first post I said the words “three way fight”. After having more a thought about this, I decided that only having two teams made more sense. It’s a simpler setup for players to jump in on and also means there will not be a GM controlled side. It also means less people are need to get a game going!

Once the style is worked out, I can then start rolling up the stats and assembling the force sheets. Inspired by Tiny Terrain‘s board at Colours, I think I’ll be getting some top trumps cards ordered (probably multiple sets as a just in case). Having a card that contains a character’s details and what they look like is easier to use than a normal character sheet. I’ll also be doing an activation sheet for me (as the GM) to have – reminding me who goes when rather than having to keep referring back on forth.

I’ll also need, once selected, to get all the figures painted up and good to go. Luckily I have a few months to work on it.

The Base

As you can see the boards are well on their way thanks to a full day of work on Easter Saturday alongside my dad. All the woodworking has been done (combining the 2′ x 2′ pieces with the wood battens) and the base layer of foam is in place. So far, only the test board has had a thin layer of filler applied to it. This was down a misbuying on my part – I bought pre-mixed filler rather the powder need to mix up a pourable amount. I spent an evening using half a pot before realising the mistake I’d made.

The boards are still at my parent’s house and so I can only carry on working when I go visit them. My next trip is in June and I intend to take some extra time off to apply the filler and then get a chance to paint it before having to shove it in the back of my car. The plan is then to drill dowel holes to increase stability when assembled. The test board will hopefully become my photography base; I can use the dowel holes to mount a background on and the textured surface should be more interesting than whatever is on my desk.

The Centre Piece

Of all the things I’m terrified of doing as part of this whole demoing game process, building the centre piece is pretty high up the list. The reasoning is two fold: the model I’m using as the wreck was very expensive and it will make or break the board as a whole. If the plane takes up too much space it ruins the balance and playability of the demo. If I paint it up terribly then it doesn’t tie the board together and it will catch attention for the wrong reasons. If I make a terrible mistake while assembling it, it might be doomed from the start.

However, I have a plan. I’ll build the plane as if I intended to keep it fully assembled, making sure the interior is decorated (at least in base colours). Then once finished, I’ll take a razor saw to it and cut it up into sections. The exact proportion of each section will be inspired by the Modern Warfare map I took the idea from. Each of these sections will be mounted onto MDF bases. The bases will then be enhanced with additional bits of terrain such as piles of sand the plane has dug into or cargo that has been forcibly ejected from the downed plane. Then they will be painted up and weathering applied.

The look I’m aiming for is of an aircraft that was shot down, the fires have gone out and the weather has started to affect it. So less raging fires and more sand.

The Scenery

My original plan was to use Sarissa’s excellent factory model as part of the table but after looking at the size of it, I think it might end up overpowering the table. Instead, I’m thinking of going for a more open look, with a few rocky outcrops made from leftover foam and maybe two of the Knights of Dice buildings. One of the teams will probably start close to some of Spectre’s SUVs, to represent how they arrived in the area. From their, it will be a case of playing around with layouts until I find the way that works and looks the best.

Conclusion

Overall its gone from “not doing much” to “oh god do everything”. Getting the boards started was a big help but there is still a long way to go. I’m still unsure about the decision to bring the first show forward but we shall see. Hopefully the next update will start showing more of what I’m up to.