Friday, January 31, 2014

Firespray Repaint for X-Wing

I got a second Firespray model as a gift last Christmas, so it was necessary to give this one an alternate paint job.  I liked the color scheme on the Krassis Trelix card, so that is the basis of my repaint.  Here are a few photos, including the stock Slave I model for comparison.

Friday, October 19, 2012

X-Wings Among the Asteroids

So after playing Fantasy Flight's new Star Wars X-Wing game with a friend's miniatures a bunch, my stuff finally arrived and I got to take them for a spin.  My sons graciously allowed me to play the Rebel side for a change and we decided to try out Mission #2: Asteroid Run.  Here is a rundown of the fleet builds, each totaling 100 points:

Rebel Force
  1. X-Wing - Wedge Antilles (29)
    • R5 Astromech (1)
    • Swarm Tactics (2) 
  2. X-Wing - Rookie Pilot (21)
  3. X-Wing - Rookie Pilot (21) 
  4. Y-Wing - Gray Squadron Pilot (20)
    • R2 Astromech (1)
    • Ion Cannon (5)

Imperial Force
  1. TIE Advanced - Darth Vader (29)
    • Marksmanship (3)
    • Concussion Missiles (4)
  2. TIE Fighter - Black Squadron Pilot (14)
    • Determination (1)
  3. TIE Advanced - Tempest Squadron Pilot (21)
    • Concussion Missiles (4)
  4. TIE Fighter - Academy Pilot (12)
  5. TIE Fighter - Academy Pilot (12)
In this mission, one of your ships is carrying important intelligence, but has been damaged and can only move distances of 1 or 2 for the first four turns of the game.  To win, the Rebels must keep the damaged ship alive and get it off the one of the Imperial board edges after the start of turn 5.  I chose my Y-Wing for this role as it can absorb three more hits than an X-Wing.

The Imperials chose to split their forces with Lord Vader and the Black Squadron Pilot on one edge, the Tempest Squadron Pilot and the two Academy Pilots on the opposite.  I set up my Y-Wing to head towards one of the Academy Pilots and aimed my X-Wing squadron at the other two Imperial ships on that side.

My plan was to (hopefully) take out a couple of the Imperial ships in the early rounds which, though they would come back as Academy Pilots with the reinforcement rules, would give a bit of respite to my Y-Wing.  This did not work out at all.  I lined up some good combined fire on the TIEs on turn 1, but nearly all my hits were blocked.  I did catch a break on turn 2, when the TIE Fighter that had passed by my Y-Wing tried a Koiogran Turn that ended slightly off the board edge.  However, I failed to make good guesses as to where the TIEs were moving and ended up with two ships without targets to shoot at on turn 2.  Here's the position at the end of turn 2:

You can see above two of my X-Wings were out of position, while the Imperial ships were zeroing in on their objective.  On turn 3 the Y-Wing found itself in the crossfire of both TIE Advanced ships and the newly arrived TIE Fighter reinforcement.  The Y-Wing was blown apart and the Imperials took the victory.   Below is a photo of the final position:

While the Imperials certainly had some luck on turn 1 with the dice and I maneuvered poorly in turn 2, I think the biggest mistake I made was in my force composition.  I really underestimated how hard it was going to be for my Y-Wing to stand up to the Imperial onslaught.  I need pilots that will help me more defensively.  To that end, I have devised a new force composition to try out.

Rebel Force Redux
  1. X-Wing - Biggs Darklighter (28)
    • R5-D8 (3)
  2. X-Wing - Garven Dreis (26)
  3. X-Wing - Rookie Pilot (21)
  4. Y-Wing - Gray Squadron Pilot (20)
    • R2-D2 (4)
I dropped the Ion Cannon for R2-D2 who can help the Y-Wing regenerate shield points.  Biggs Darlighter's special ability is to force enemies to target him instead of other ships within range 1 of him, so he'll fly in close formation with the Y-Wing for added protection.  Biggs will be flying with R5-D8 who can help him repair hits.  Finally, I'll take Garven Dreis who can give a spent Focus token to any friendly ship within range 2.  That can also be used to add to the Y-Wing's defenses.

Hopefully I'll get a chance soon to see if I can redeem the Rebel's reputation.  Or at least keep my Y-Wing alive a couple more turns...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tyranian Star Empire Shock Troops

The Tyranian system was one of the first colonies founded by the Great Diaspora from Old Earth to discover hyperspace travel.  They used their technological advantage to dominate nearby star systems, quickly developing an intergalactic empire.  On subject worlds, Imperial Shock Troops are garrisoned to discourage notions of rebellion.

Troop Quality: D8-D10
Morale: D8-D10
Confidence Level: Confident to High
Supply Quality Level: Normal to Abundant
Overall Tech Level: 2
On Grid? Yes
Body Armor: TL2, Hard (2D)

  • Forward Observer
  • Terminal Air Controller
  • Medic
  • Despised

Laser Combat Rifle (LCR): A compact, maintenance-free energy weapon powered with high-efficiency batteries.
X-10 Missile Launcher: A small-tubed launcher that trades accuracy for range; can be equipped for both anti-armor and anti-personnel roles.
Laser Support Weapon (LSW): An upscaled version of the LCR with a sustained fire mode for armor penetration and a rapid blast mode for suppression fire.


Imperial Shock Troops Fireteam
1x Team Leader w/LCR
1x Trooper w/X-10 Missile Launcher
(Med. ABW AP:2/AT:2 (M)
1x Trooper w/LSW
(Med. LWS AP:2/AT:2 (M)
1x Trooper w/LCR

Imperial Shock Troops Squad
1x Squad Leader w/LCR
2x Shock Troops Fireteams

Imperial Shock Troops Platoon HQ Squad
1x Platoon Leader w/LCR
1x Platoon Sgt. w/LCR
1x Medic w/LCR
1x Grid Specialist w/LCR
1x Trooper w/LCR

Imperial Shock Troops Platoon
1x Imperial Shock Troops Platoon HQ Squad
3x Imperial Shock Troops Squads 

These figures are from Irregular Miniatures 15mm Sci-Fi Star Marines range.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kimeran Defense Forces

The colony planet of Kimera is notable for having successfully freed themselves from the rule of the Tyranian Star Empire.  The outbreak of interstellar war between the Empire and the Independent Systems Alliance proved to be the opportune moment for the Kimerans to launch their rebellion.  The bulk of the Kimeran Defense Force ground troops that fought in that conflict were rifle platoons organized along the following lines.

Troop Quality: D8-D10
Morale: D8-D10
Confidence Level: Confident to High
Supply Quality Level: Normal to Abundant
Overall Tech Level: 2
On Grid? No
Body Armor: TL2, Hard (2D)

  • Forward Observer
  • Terminal Air Controller
  • Medic
PA3 Advanced Combat Rifle: The standard assault rifle of the Kimeran Defense Force.
PA17 Squad Automatic Weapon: (Lt. AP:1) Uses the same caliber ammo as the PA3, but in large assault pack magazines.
Multi-role RPG: (Med. AP:2/AT:2(M) With its flexible armament, this grenade launcher support weapon is adaptable to either an anti-personnel or anti-vehicle role.
PA45 Sniper Rifle (Med. AP:2/AT:1 (L)  A heavy sniper rifle capable of firing light armor-piercing explosive rounds.

KDF Rifle Fireteam
1x Team Leader w/PA3 ACR
1x Grenadier w/MRPG (Med. AP:2/AT:2 (M)
1x Gunner w/PA17 SAW (Lt. AP:1)
2x Rifleman w/PA3 ACR

KDF Rifle Squad
1x Squad Leader w/PA3 ACR
2x KDF Rifle Fireteams

KDF Rifle Platoon HQ Squad
1x Platoon Leader w/PA3 ACR
1x Platoon Sgt. w/PA3 ACR
1x Medic w/PA3 ACR
1x Sniper w/PA45 Sniper Rifle (Med. AP:2/AT:1 (L)
1x Spotter w/PA3 ACR

KDF Rifle Platoon
1x KDF Rifle Platoon HQ Squad
3x KDF Rifle Squads 

These 15mm miniatures are from the now-defunct Force XXI Miniatures line.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Contracting Trouble

A squad of US Army figures from Rebel Minis recently made their way onto my painting table, so that meant I had appropriate figures for the Contracting Trouble scenario from the Force on Force rulebook.  I was able to play this scenario twice, once from each side, with a friend a few days ago.  Here's a shot of my US Army squad:

I set up the board for the scenario.  I didn't have any hot spot markers made, so I just used piles of little stones in the number corresponding to the number of the hot spot to mark their positions.  My buildings tend to be bigger than those shown in the maps in the book, but I can usually get a pretty similar set up, making sure I have the same relative open areas and blocking terrain.  Here is an overview of my board for Contracting Trouble:

And a close up of the contractors that need rescuing, taking cover next to their wrecked SUV:

I was playing the insurgents.  I could not catch a break with the reaction tests; it seemed every time the regulars failed a test, so did the insurgents.  My opponent had one squad make a rapid move up to the corner of a stone wall, close to the center of the board and took out both RPG-wielding figures in hot spots 3 & 5.  Here they are at the end of their move:

Then the other squad made a rapid move to the the walled area on the other side of the street.  They took fire from the insurgents at hot spot 1, but took out one of them with no hits in return.  When they moved into the line of sight of the insurgents at hot spot 4, they again won the reaction test for the round of fire and wiped them out.  Here they are in their final position:

With the firepower of that squad dwindling, I thought maybe I could sneak a leader out of the alley towards the insurgent group at hot spot 1, but they mowed him down anyway.  Then I tried to send one to hot spot 2 and he was taken out by the other squad.  Enough of that!  I rolled for reinforcements and got 2 insurgents with small arms (no leader) added to hot spot 1 and 5 insurgents with small arms added to hot spot 2.  Here is how things stood at the end of the first turn, note how the left side of the board is now completely empty of insurgents:

My opponent starts turn two by putting one of his squads on overwatch, then the US squad closest to the SUV starts the second turn by making a rapid move to pick up the contractors and start heading towards the west edge of the board down the street.  My two insurgent groups were out of line of sight, so no reactions were made to this move.

My first non-initiative unit action is to move the insurgent group into the building from hot spot 2 and then firing on the squad with the contractors.  The overwatch unit shoots and I choose not to return fire, so they can fire at their original target.  My group takes 2 casualties and passes their morale test.  They then lose the reaction test to their main target, who also inflict two casualties.  The insurgents pass their morale test again, but whittled down to 3 figures, only inflict one casualty on the US squad.

My other insurgent unit can only see the US squad that was placed on overwatch, so they fire at them.  The regulars lose a reaction test for the first time!  But I can't manage any casualties and the US squad inflicts 3 kills on the insurgent group with their return fire.

I roll for reinforcements and get 4 figures at hot spot 2 and 3 figures at hot spot 1.   Here is how things look at the end of turn two:

At the start of turn three, my opponent rolls his first aid check and the soldier is dead.  The squad passes their morale test and can act normally.  He places the other squad on overwatch again.  The US squad goes to move off the west board edge with the contractors for their first action.  I react with fire from the building near hot spot 2, take fire from the overwatch squad and lose 3 figures.  I decide to return fire on the overwatch squad, hoping to keep them from firing at my other unit later.  I inflict one casualty, but they pass their morale test.  As the US squad continues its move towards the board edge, they become visible to the insurgent group at hot spot 1 down a narrow alley.  The overwatch squad loses the reaction test, so that fire will occur last.  The insurgents lose the reaction test with the other squad and take two casualties, then return fire without getting any hits.  Here they are about to leave the board:

So the contractors are rescued.  The insurgents lose a couple more figures to fire from the overwatch squad's fire.  Reinforcements are rolled and a small group appears at hot spot 2, behind the building where they can't see the US squad left on the table.  The first aid check shows that the casualty is dead.  The US squad passes its morale test and can act normally.  My opponent orders the squad to move off the south board edge.  I react with fire from the group at hot spot 1, but fail to inflict any casualties and they easily escape.

The final victory totals are 15 points for the US army and 4 for the insurgents, so a decisive victory for the US player.  I think we both made pretty good decisions in the game, but I had the misfortune of only winning a couple of reaction tests the whole game and my opponent had both his casualties result in death, which ironically is a better outcome than seriously wounded, as long as they pass the resulting morale test.  A serious wound means the unit may only react to fire for the next turn, which would have slowed him down and allowed time for me to get more reinforcements and take more shots at him.

We reset the board and switched sides for a second play.  Things were going even better for me than they had for my friend as the US player.  I got the contractors off-board during turn four with no casualties suffered on my side.  At the end of that turn, my friend rolled a large group of reinforcements for hot spot 1, the group ended up being 11 figures.  When my remaining squad went to leave the board, they were engaged by a round of fire from that large group of insurgents.  I won the reaction test, but only caused a couple casualties.  The return fire, with the maximum of ten dice (they had an RPG and an RPK), wiped out my unit completely!  We assumed with the other squad gone that the insurgents could easily capture them, so we didn't play any further and just rolled a first aid test for the captured unit.  The result was two dead and two POWs.  That made the final score 14 points for the insurgents and just 10 for the US side.  An indecisive result according to the scenario victory table, thought nearly a marginal victory for the insurgents.

So in the end, I was unable to taste the sweet nectar of victory playing either side, but I had a great time.  I'm looking forward to getting more of my US army figures painted and playing more scenarios.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The Big Muddy

The first scenario I've worked up for Tomorrow's War is an adaptation of one of the scenarios from the rulebook.  I had all the troops on hand, and with my newly finished buildings I was ready to go.

Landara Province, Kimera, 04.05.2258

As Imperial forces advanced on the Kimeran capital city of Daiman during the Rebellion, operations were temporarily halted by severe weather on May 2nd & 3rd. The heavy spring rains transformed the rich soil of Landara Province into a muddy mess that made travel difficult for days afterward.

When operations were continued, two squads of Imperial Shock Troops were assigned to secure a power generator facility, believed to be only lightly guarded, that supplied power to a suburban area of Daiman where the Imperial forces planned to station their headquarters during the final advance on the capital. On the afternoon of May 4th, they rolled into the area in their Strike Transport APCs expecting only token resistance. However, while the Imperial surveillance drones were grounded during the storms, a platoon of veteran Kimeran Defense Force troops had occupied the facility. The Imperials found themselves unexpectedly engaged in an intense firefight for control of the power generator.

Duration of game: 6 turns
Initiative: Imperial for turn 1, test thereafter.
Special Conditions: Muddy Ground (see Special Rules below).
Fog of War: Generated normally by Reaction Tests.
Table Size: 2' x 2'

Note: Kimeran forces set up anywhere on the board outside of the Imperial deployment zone and may begin the game Hidden.

All structures are Average buildings of Quality construction (6D10).  If the power generator facility is destroyed by fire from the Imperial vehicles, then it doesn't count for Imperial victory points as described below.

The objective is the main power generator building. It's important to do as little damage as possible to the facility, so that the generator can supply power to the Imperial Battalion HQ when it is established. Only use the anti-tank weapons as absolutely necessary! And be careful driving off-road in the “Big Muddy”...

Victory Points
  • For each Imperial infantry unit at half strength or better within 6” of the power generator building at the end of turn six: 5 points
  • For each KDF infantry unit reduced below half strength: 1 point
  • For each vehicle that fires its main gun at a building: -1 point
Imperial Shock Troops Assault Force
Basic Attributes
Confidence: High
Supply Quality: Normal
Overall Tech Level: 2
On Grid? No
Body Armor: TL2, Hard (2D)
Troop Quality/Morale: D8/D10

Fireteam Alpha
1x Squad Leader w/Laser Rifle
1x Grenadier w/Grenade Launcher (Lt. AP:1)
1x Gunner w/Rapid Fire Laser Support Weapon (Lt. AP:1)
1x Trooper w/Laser Rifle

Fireteam Bravo
1x Team Leader w/Laser Rifle
1x Grenadier w/Grenade Launcher (Lt. AP:1)
1x Gunner w/Rapid Fire Laser Support Weapon (LWS, Lt. AP:1)
1x Trooper w/Laser Rifle

Fireteam Charlie
1x Squad Leader w/Laser Rifle
1x Grenadier w/Grenade Launcher (Lt. AP:1)
1x Gunner w/Rapid Fire Laser Support Weapon (LWS, Lt. AP:1)
1x Trooper w/Laser Rifle

Fireteam Delta
1x Team Leader w/Laser Rifle
1x Grenadier w/Grenade Launcher (Lt. AP:1)
1x Gunner w/Rapid Fire Laser Support Weapon (LWS, Lt. AP:1)
1x Trooper w/Laser Rifle

2x Strike Transport (ST-II) APCs

Imperial ST-II APCs
Class: Medium
Type: Tracked
Basic TL: 2
Weapon TL: 2
Armor TL: 2
Sensor TL: 2
Front Armor: 3D8
Side Armor: 2D8
Rear Armor: 2D6
Deck Amor: 1D6
Main Gun: Heavy Laser (TL2, LWS, AP:4/AT:2(L)
Crew MGs: TL2, Lt. AP:4
Secondary Weapon: n/a
Attributes & Notes:
TL2 Detonation Field

The Imperials are obviously here to take control of the power generator facility. They have a couple vehicles, but luckily we have a couple RPGs. We have to hold the facility and drive off the Imperial assault force.

Victory Points
  • For each Imperial trooper killed or seriously wounded: 1 point
  • For each Imperial APC immobilized or destroyed: 3 points
Kimeran Defense Forces
Basic Attributes
Confidence: High
Supply Quality: Normal
Overall Tech Level: 2
On Grid? No
Body Armor: TL2, Light (1D)
Troop Quality/Morale: D8/D10

Platoon HQ Squad
1x Platoon Leader w/Gauss ACR
1x Platoon Sgt. w/Gauss SAW (Lt. AP:1)
1x Gunner w/ RPG (TL2, Med. AP:2/AT2(M)
1x Trooper w/ Gauss ACR

Squad 1
Fireteam 1A
1x Squad Leader w/Gauss ACR
3x Troopers w/Gauss ACR

Fireteam 1B
1x Team Leader w/Gauss ACR
3x Troopers w/Gauss ACR

Squad 2
Fireteam 2A
1x Squad Leader w/Gauss ACR
1x Gunner w/RPG (TL2, Med. AP:2/AT2(M)
2x Troopers w/Gauss ACR

Fireteam 2B
1x Team Leader w/Gauss ACR
3x Troopers w/Gauss ACR

The Big Muddy
Two days of drenching rain have left the ground a swampy mess, making driving off-road difficult and occasionally deadly, as what appears to be a big puddle may disguise a deep sink-hole. Any time a vehicle moves off-road, it must take a Troop Quality check. A failed check indicates some sort of mishap. Consult the following chart:

Roll 1D6
Mud covers the crew's vision screens, so the must rely on sensors alone. The vehicle suffers a -1 to Reaction Test rolls.
The vehicle is bogged down in deep mud. It may only move at half tactical speed this turn.
The vehicle drives into a deep pit – it is stuck where it is and counts as Immobilized for victory conditions. Each crewman/passenger must pass a Troop Quality check to avoid becoming a casualty.
The vehicle drives into an apparently bottomless sinkhole, disappearing in a splash of muddy water. Vehicle, crew and passengers count as Destroyed/KIA for victory conditions.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sci Fi Buildings in 15mm

I've been gearing up for some Tomorrow's War action and I needed to make some 15mm buildings for sci fi games.  I'd seen some other folks do buildings using electrical boxes and I thought that looked like a good idea.  So a took a trip to the lumber yard and for a little under $10 I had the start of six buildings.  I glued on some shapes cut from styrene, mat board, cereal box card stock and a few other bits from my recycled junk box.  You can see the results in the picture below, just before I primed them for painting.
The seventh, black building in the picture above was a frozen entree container I had saved quite a few years ago with just such a future project in mind.  After priming I painted them with acrylic craft paints and sealed them with a clear matte spray varnish.  I was pretty pleased with the results.

I wrote up a scenario that would use these buildings and the figures I currently have painted, based loosely on one of the scenarios from the rulebook.  More about that in a future post...