Friday, 9 August 2019

It's All Ruined Now!

Recently I signed up to Terrain Time, a terrain building project during August. Details can be found at Deadly Dick's Tavern. The basics are to simply complete one piece of terrain, and although I'm planning to do more, here's my first piece.

I've been very slowly working on a terrain board for the next Board in Brum 7TV day in September. I'm aiming for something that can work for Lost World Pulp games or an alien planet such as Eternia. I'd already done three pieces of jungle terrain, so I thought a ruin would add a little bit of variety.

The base ruin is something I've had for a very long time and came from the original Fellowship of the Ring starter set from GW, which I've given a brush up. The walls are actually too thin and the reverse side has issues, but I feel that the jungle additions help hide some of the limitations of the piece.

I'd actually run out of the purple tinged leaves I'd used on the other terrain pieces and hadn't been able to find more of them. So I spent I little time removing some from my other terrain, and replaced them with some of the livid green fronds I picked up from a pound shop. This means I now have enough to give a few more terrain pieces a consistent feel.

Sadly, a piece like this still only counts as one model, however it's all progress.

Acquired: 158
Painted: 121

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

"I, for one, welcome our new parasitic alien overlords."

I've started a new army. A Scourge army for Dropzone Commander.

Yes, I know I made a new year's resolution to work on what I have, but I'd like to point out that it isn't for a new game and really is just an expansion of my Dropfleet Commander force, and given that the Battle For Earth book included rules for running a campaign across both systems, I was really given no option.

Yes, they're small.

This is the infantry contingent of a starter box I picked up cheap on Ebay. They form one of the core units required in any army.

In terms of painting, on figures this small washes reall come to your rescue, and I've not done anything fancy except the eyes, which are dots of white with a wash of Hexwraith Flame over them. This gives them a glow which reminds me of night vision goggles.

I've done the packs dark red to tie the infantry with the main colour I'll be using for the vehicles, but I'll talk more about that in a future post.

Importantly, however, getting these chaps done has a massive impact on my painting tally. I counted them as individual models when I bought them, so I can count them as individuals now they're painted.

My only purchase this week was a ridiculously cheap Lifthawk for my Resistance force that I stumbled across in Wargames Emporium, my flgs, and so the scales have balance up somewhat.

Acquired: 158
Painted: 120

Saturday, 3 August 2019

The Least Effective Guards In The Universe

One of the things that has struck me in my nostalgia trips back to Eternia is that the Palace Guards really are useless.

They have one job, to guard the palace, and this is a job that they singularly fail to do in every episode where it us relevant, relying on He-Man and chums to actually deal with any threats to the royal family.

What's more, their captain, Teela, regularly abandons her post to nag off on adventures which usually involve getting herself captured.

Naturally, when the opportunity to get hold of some of these 'elites' came about, I jumped at it.

The Palace Guards are from the same source as the Horde Troopers, and as with them, I will probably pick up more when they become available again.

I've used the same colour scheme as I did for Man-At-Arms, and it was very straightforward to do. As with the Horde Troopers, Filmation did not waste animation detail on background characters and so there were no fiddly bits to paint.

In games of 7TV these guys are destined to be used as Native Guards (I think) from the 7TV: Pulp set. It's occurred to me that the Pulp profiles are more than suitable for Masters of the Universe as He-Man's adventures on Eternia bear more than a passing resemblance to Flash Gordon's escapades on Mongo, and John Carter's tribulations on Mars.

Another two added to the painted pot has that total creeping towards the magic 100 for the year.

Acquired: 157
Painted: 92

Friday, 2 August 2019

Two's Company, Three's A Horde

I promised some painted models, and here they are, Horde Troopers to confront She-Ra and the Great Rebellion.

I wanted to get something simple done after the chore of painting the Gun Technicals for Dropzone, and one of the big advantages of sculpts based on the Filmation cartoons is that simplicity is the name of the game.

They are, as you might guess, custom sculpts, and I only bought three for now...not really a horde. However, there should be another opportunity to get a few more in the future, and so I'm likely to add to their numbers.

However, three is a good number as often in the cartoons you only saw three troopers at a time due to 'cost effective' animation standards.

In game terms, I've moved away from making custom 7TV profiles for every character as the sheer volume of profiles available now pretty much ensures that there is something suitable. Horde Troopers easily fit into the minion category which there are versions of in every iteration of the game.

Three models painted counteracts my holiday purchases nicely, moving things in the right direction again.

Acquired: 157
Painted: 90

Next up, some good guys...

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Channelling Cheaphammer

Sorry for the brief hiatus, but I've been on my holidays to Jersey.

As ever, part of my holiday was spent looking at things with a wargamer's eye and I thought I'd share some good spots for the game should you find yourself in Jersey.

First on the list for a historical or fantasy gamer is the frankly fantastic Mont Orgueil castle in Gorey.

This Norman castle is a brilliant place to wander about and is a textbook lesson in how much medieval builders knew about building death traps.

Whilst we're on the subject of castles, Elizabeth Castle opposite St Helier is well worth a visit as a demonstration of how fortifications developed over time. Built during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, this fort has been added to continuously, even by the German occupiers in WW2.

In fact, as Jersey was part of the Atlantic Wall but was never attacked, there are lots of intact WW2 defences to explore, including the War Tunnels, bunkers and command posts.

My final recommendation has nothing to do with wargaming and is a little off the beaten track. La Hougue Bie features an eclectic mix of historical artefacts and buildings all on the same site.

A neolithic passage grave (which you can enter) is topped with a Norman chapel where fake miracles were performed. Nearby is a WW2 German command bunker which has become a memorial to the forced labourers brought to the island. There is also a museum displaying a Celtic treasure hoard found in a field down the road and tells the story if the site, including the point where Victorians turned the chapel into a Githic fairytale tower. This is all topped off with a replica neolithic building to explore.

A brilliant place.

As you may expect, I also had my eyes open for potential gaming supplies.

A 30p plastic snake from Jersey Zoo, which is destined for my 7TV: Pulp games.

A slightly battered 1910 Renault I picked up in a model train store, which either needs the lamps replacing, or will get some armour plates for use VBCW or Operation Sealion games of Bolt Action.

Finally, and most surprisingly, is a Mars Attacks flying saucer that was half price in Toymaster of all places. I was on the verge of selling my Martians, but I'm now happy that I can add a centrepiece like this to what will become a new cast for 7TV.

Three more models are only a minor bit of digging in the hole I'm already in:

Acquired: 157
Painted: 87

The next post will include painted models. I promise.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Let's Get Technical

Another six models done of my Dropzone Commander Resistance backlog. This time it's the awesome firepower of a squad of Gun Technicals.

In a game of tanks, dropships, battlemech style walkers and giant alien craft that spit plasma,  these are exactly what they look like: cars with a gun strapped to the back and a few extra metal plates screwed on the side. As such, they aren't going to be immensely resilient to enemy fire, especially as they have no countermeasures and so can pretty much be shot at from anywhere on the board.

They do have a few advantages though. Firstly, they are a cheap way of getting some more AA fire into the army - they can even focus their fire to potentially damage larger target. Secondly, they can enter play from the Breaching Drill I painted last week, and so can pop up behind enemy lines to harass weak points. Finally, they are scouts, which means they can provide line of sight for indirect fire weapons and allow command cards to affect units some distance from my commander.

In terms of painting they were fiddly buggers to do. Not only are they small and difficult to handle without rubbing paint off, but there are loads of tiny details. The sculpting of DZC miniatures is excellent, but Dave Lewis (the game designer) has such attention to detail that even bits that will never get seen are detailed and demand to be painted properly.

As with previous units, I've moved away from my main scheme to create a more ramshackle look to the unit. This has the added bonus of making it easier to work out which units have countermeasures and which don't.

Pete and I have now had three games using the new rules and we're thoroughly enjoying them. The game is much faster and frenetic, whereas it used to be laboriously tactical (although still fun).

Our game last night was a straight up kill fest and so it gave Pete a chance to break out his laser tanks (these are actually a thing) and, although the Gun Technicals weren't finished, for me to give my other new units a run out.

My Hellhogs were able to to complete a couple of attack runs, blowing up tanks and transports as they went. However, they were met head on by Pete's Archangel Interceptors which took down one of the Hogs before the first run was complete.

The Breaching Drill allowed my Freeriders to pop up behind Pete's lines and harass his tanks. Although they didn't kill a lot, they did draw a lot of fire away from the main lines and tenaciously clung on until the final turn.

The game ended in a narrow win to me, but if a couple of dice rolls on the last turn had gone differently, the result would have been reversed. It was close enough that we really had no idea who had won until we totalled up the kill points.

This would be a good week for the tallies if it weren't for the fact that Wargames Illustrated showed up with another free sprue of six plastic Crimean Russian infantry (God only knows what I'm going to do with them):

Acquired: 154
Painted: 87

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Underground, overground, wanting to be free...

After a long gap, I've recently started adding to my Dropzone Commander Resistance army again.

This return to Dropzone Commander has been prompted by the release of the second edition of the game in the 'Battle For Earth' sourcebook.

So far, Pete and I have had two games using the new rules and are really enjoying them. I'm particularly enjoying the fact that my Alexander command tank is no longer a points sink of single shot ineffectuality.

The first new addition to the army is a second Hellhog fast attack craft. In the new rules, these have lost the ability to hover, but having experimented with one last night, I have discovered that they are more than capable of ripping enemy tanks to shreds.

This model is actually a special character sculpt of Resistance commander Karl Foley, and as such has more armour plates and larger weapons than the standard Hellhog.

Special characters aren't actually useable in the new rules yet, I suspect they'll be added when the faction specific command cards are released. For now, this will serve as a second Hellhog in larger games, or might even get proxied as a Strikehawk Tiltrotor transport.

Speaking of transports, the other model is a Breaching Drill, which allows smaller units such as Free Riders or Technicals to pop up behind enemy lines and hopefully wreak havoc.

Additionally, the Breaching Drill also forms a defacto board edge for some of my units, allowing for easier extraction of objectives. This, I can imagine, will cause it to draw a lot of fire if I don't place it properly when it surfaces.

Only two models painted, and three more arrived through the post, so things aren't looking any healthier, however these two have been a bit of a blockage on my paint table for the past couple of weeks, so maybe I can start to make some inroads into the backlog soon:

Acquired: 148
Painted: 81