Catching Up

Posted in 40K, Blather, Dropzone Commander, Games, Minis with tags , , , , , , , on September 23, 2015 by stingersix

Wow, I have been slack here. No new posts since February. But I have done a ton of painting and completed several projects, not least of which is my Tallarn army for 40K. This is basically going to be a big photo dump of all the things I’ve been working on since then, with a few comments about what you’re seeing.

 

First of all, I finished my Tallarn army! I’m really happy with the way this army turned out. The detail and character on the minis is great and the theme (LRDG) fits it perfectly. The Rough Riders are the centerpiece models. Unfortunately, their in-game performance does not match how awesome they look, but whatever!RR_1 RR_2 RR_3 RR_4 RR_5 RR_WIP_1 Sentinel_top Sentinels T_1 T_2 T_3 T_4 T_5 T_6 T_7 T_8

I have had a couple games with my Tallarn. So far, I have lost every single time. Heh! But again, oh well. It’s 40K so what do you expect? These pics are from a fun narrative scenario where the Tallarn were accompanying an Inquisitor on a doomed archeological dig. The Tallarn defended their outpost to the last against the Necrons (who pretty much just plowed them under).

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Now, if there is any game that I have played a lot of this year, it’s the excellent Dropzone Commander. I can count the number of games of 40K I’ve played on both hands. I’ve lost count of how much DZC I have played! The game has really taken off at the store and the community is vibrant and growing. We’ve expanded our games beyond the default urban setting as you can see. My UCM army is big and getting bigger! I love the UCM air power! Dropzone Commander scratches an itch for me that was once fulfilled by Epic Space Marine. It seems to be doing the same for a number of other folks.

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Round about when I finished my Tallarn, I started painting some of the Knight Models Batman miniatures. Still haven’t played yet but I love these figures. Since it’s a true skirmish game, I’ve tried to do my best on these models and make them look as good as I can get them.

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In the summer, I started playing Bolt Action. This game is super fun and I’m hoping to play more of it in the future! I’ve had an American infantry force sitting around for a while, so it was good to finally play!

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And pretty much the last thing I’ve done recently is paint up the ships for the HALO Fleet Battles game! Spaceships are super easy and fast to paint. I knocked two fleets out in a week! The game is fun too!

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That’s what I’ve been up to since February! There’s much more to come!

WIP Tallarn Rough Riders

Posted in 40K, Minis, WIP with tags , , , , on February 2, 2015 by stingersix

Disassembled, old primer stripped, much cleaning (including time in an ultrasonic cleaner), re-based, new primer (Dupli-Color). I took pictures of each one before I pulled them apart, so I can put them back together the way Greg originally had them. Now for paint!10959476_889345107763164_4016361094226974168_n

Tallarn Valkyrie/Vendetta

Posted in 40K, Uncategorized, WIP with tags , , , , on January 23, 2015 by stingersix

Well, here’s a great big photo dump showing the start to finish WIP on the Valkyrie/Vendetta I built for my Tallarn.

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The cockpit was fully painted before being put into the fuselage and then masked off, to prime the rest of the model. I also painted the interior of the passenger compartment. You can’t see much in there on the finished model, but it is all done.

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Flight stand and textured base from Secret Weapon Minatures.

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Dry fitted for priming. Then pre-shaded.

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Basecoat laid on. The top is Vallejo Model Air Middlestone, the bottom is Minitaire Skull White. I used my Patriot 105 airbrush for this and it got the job done super quick. The Middlestone paint was a bit thin right out of the bottle though and it needed two or three coats.

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Moved on to washing in the panel lines and some initial weathering. I laid on a really light dusting of Middlestone mixed with some Skull White to give the panels a sun faded look.2 1

 

To finish it off I added some paint chipping – not much – this thing is kept in good operational condition! I also added decals from several different old model airplane decal sheets, and some rub-on transfers. Painted up the base and done!

The weapons selection only allows the Vendetta configuration. I didn’t want to splash out $40 for the Forge World conversion kit so I did it myself with some spare Razorback lascannons. Cut off the muzzles and rotated them 180 degrees, then cut off part of the lower cabling and added a small plasticard plate for the gun mount. All the weapon options are magnetized.

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Pretty happy with how this came out.

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All Quiet on the Martian Front – First games!

Posted in Battle Report, Games, Uncategorized with tags , , on December 25, 2014 by stingersix

Finally got to play this tonight with my friend Stephen. We decided to do the intro scenario, where you basically just beat each other senseless without the fancy rules for hidden movement and ambushes and whatnot.

The board has some Flames of War buildings on it. Not quite in scale but not too far off – all good.image

In this scenario, you just fight until the other guy loses half his units and breaks. The humans and Martians went at it hammer and tongs!

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This tripod scooted up the road and then showed why it’s a good idea to spread out and avoid the nasty sweep template of the Martian heat ray!

 

 

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Despite their power and durability, the tripods can only take so much. This guy is steadily losing his armor and taking more and more damage. Critical hits had him moving out of control and losing control of his weapons, and the game has a fun way of handling this (you dice off with your opponent).

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The Doughboys are most effective against the Martians in assault, but this is also the most dangerous way to attack the aliens! A squad hurls itself into action!

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They knocked off a couple more points of armor, and the ‘Pod actually retreated! But on it’s next movement, Stephen won the roll to control it, and the Martian warmachine staggered back in among a horde of enemies! Both infantry squads in the picture there assaulted (after the MG squad and the tank softened it up a bit more. However, if you roll well enough when you damage a Tripod, it can explode…

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Before…

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After…

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Yes, the explosion of the destroyed ‘pod’s reactor took out all of the human units around it (everything within 6″ takes hits)! This actually broke both our forces at the same time! The humans and Martians both pulled back from the carnage with a bloody tie!

For the second game we got a little more involved and the Martians had to cross the board lengthwise and exit as many pods as they could off the opposite table edge. The humans had to stop them. This time we tried hidden movement, ambushes and some Martian special weaponry (Green Gas). Stephen deployed almost all his infantry hidden in the farm compound. His MG squad is in ambush, somewhere in his deployment zone. His MkIII tanks are in reserve.

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The Martians have at most, seven turns to get across the board, most likely six. Moving their full distance every turn, they could just make it if they didn’t slow down for anything or spend too much time picking their way through difficult terrain. They reached the road as the human tanks fired away and the infantry scrambled to redploy to the center. The Rough Rider motorcyclists are moving in.

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Just as the humans’ best armor is lining up their shots, Martian heat rays deal out death, routing tanks and infantry moving in to assault.

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As the terrified infantry flees for the rear, the human MG team waiting in ambush in the cornfield finally opens up at nearly point blank range…and destroys a Tripod with a lucky shot! The alien machine crashes to the ground.

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The humans mount a desperate last-ditch assault, but fail to stop the Tripod, which routs and destroys them, and then does the same to the retreating MkIII unit.

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We called it there, as the human army had been broken. But, had the game continued, I would not have been able to get more than one Tripod off the board, even had the game gone to Turn 6.

Overall, I enjoyed the game a lot. It played better than I thought it would. I first thought the Martians would easily sweep aside the humans but that was not the case. I can see that with some shrewd tactics and effective use of the weapons available, the U.S. Army can definitely turn back the Martian tide. There is some complexity, but the basic die rolling mechanics are very simple and go really fast. There is little to no chart referencing during play, and once you get the basic systems down, I can see where this game plays quickly compared to many other minis games.

I really want to get some of the Forlorn Hope minis for the U.S. Army – they’re a couple of figures dangling from a rope and you can hook them on to a Tripod so it looks like they’re climbing up. The Forlorn Hope is an upgrade for infantry squads and they pop out when assaulting Tripods, climbing up to plant TNT and grenades. They’re a one use thing (they’re assumed to die in the assault) but they give a hefty bonus to the infantry’s assault roll.

I also like the look of the Martian Scout Tripods, and I’d like to get some Lobototons (lobotomized human captives made into mindless slaves for the Martians).

So far, I haven’t seen anything about All Quiet on the Martian Front I don’t like. I have a couple more games planned next week and I’m looking forward to them!

Tallarn Veterans

Posted in 40K, Minis, WIP with tags , , , , , on November 28, 2014 by stingersix

I have finished the core infantry squads of my Tallarn force. Three squads of Veterans and a Command Squad. I still need to build out three more Tauroxes for their transport, then it’s on to the supporting units. Much more to come!

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Tallarn Taurox

Posted in Uncategorized on October 18, 2014 by stingersix

I realize I have not posted pics of the finished model here!

Voila!

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Tallarn!

Posted in 40K, Minis, WIP with tags , , , , on September 12, 2014 by stingersix

Here’s a nice big photo dump of my first few Tallarn minis. I am finally starting in on my long-standing desire to build a Tallarn Desert Raider force. They are going to be a light, fast raiding force, modeled on the historical British Army Long Range Desert Group in WW2. The infantry will all be veterans packing as many special weapons as I can on to them. Like their historical counterparts, they will roll in trucks. In 40K terms, I’m mounting them up in the Taurox, converted into 4WD with some Zinge Industries wheels. I plan to fill the FA slots with Sentinels and a squad of Rough Riders – these are some amazing conversions done by the guy I bought the minis from. He put the riders on WFB Cold Ones and they look fantastic. All this is going to take me a while, but hell my Space Marines took 2 years and my Daemons almost the same. I’m not in a rush either.2014-09-01 20.07.31 2014-09-01 20.07.31 2014-09-01 20.08.59 2014-09-01 20.09.16 2014-09-01 20.09.34 2014-09-01 20.11.47 2014-09-01 20.14.30 2014-09-01 20.14.54 2014-09-10 20.15.54 2014-09-10 20.16.28 2014-09-10 20.16.57 2014-09-10 20.30.36 2014-09-10 20.33.07 2014-09-10 20.34.04

All Quiet on the Martian Front…but not for long!

Posted in Minis with tags , , , , on August 22, 2014 by stingersix

I have finished painting all the minis in the AQotMF starter set! Yay! The Tripods came out pretty nice. I just need to hit them with the semi-gloss.

As you can see , the Tripods can switch weapons, so I can equip the Black Dust launcher and the Green Gas grenades to flush the pesky humans out of their fortifications.

Looking forward to playing now!

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Dropzone Commander Battle Report – Operation Cyan Rapier: Phase 2

Posted in Battle Report, Dropzone Commander, Games with tags , , on August 15, 2014 by stingersix

My buddy Stephen and I played our second game of the campaign we have going “Operation Cyan Rapier.” I’ll talk about Phase (game) 1 later, but today’s game was the follow-on from that game in which the UCM managed to successfully extract a Praetorian insertion team that had gone into enemy territory to link up with local Resistance forces. The mission was (barely) successful and victory was won at great cost to the UCM Praetorians. So, here is the preamble to Phase 2:

Operation Cyan Rapier – Phase 2 – Decapitation

After the successful (but costly) recovery of the Praetorian insertion teams from Estrella del Mar, UCM command gives the go-ahead for Phase 2, a strike at the Scourge command elements in the area of operations. With the Praetorians taken out of the line to recover, UCM General Magday reluctantly decides to commit his heavy assets, hoping to deal the Scourge a knockout blow before the main landing operation. This is a risky and controversial strategy, as the relatively small UCM task force assigned to this operation cannot afford many losses. Nevertheless, the UCM forces once again prepare for battle.

Unbeknownst to the UCM planners, the Scourge have more reserves than originally thought, and have managed to keep them hidden even from the Resistance spies. As a result, their defenses near their headquarters complex will be at full strength to face the coming assault!

 It was a modified version of the Decapitation scenario in the main rulebook. 1750 points for both of us, and Stephen got an extra 350 point battle group to represent the unknown reserves (which would start rolling for entry on turn 3). I do a lot of my own scenario design and a favorite method is to take an existing scenario and tweak it in interesting ways. You’ll see more of this when I talk about the Snipers a bit later on.

In this campaign I am also making an effort to do more rural and less heavily urban terrain. This scenario thus featured fully half the board as hills and wooded areas, and the other half a mostly open landing field. It makes for a very different feel than the usual tight cityscape we most often play in.

So, was the UCM able to take out the Scourge Overseer? Read on!

Here’s the battlefield. Pretty long sight lines. In that regard it favors the UCM, but, the UCM has to attack and close the distance in this mission and the Scourge has to defend, so perhaps both sides’ favored roles are switched up? Definitely a challenge for us both. The idea was the UCM was attacking the local Scourge command base, which was established in an old air/spaceport (you can see the runway there). The walled off area was the command center, and there are two bunkers. A string of fighting positions lined the edge of the airfield. Off in the rough, there are a couple of wooded hills, some abandoned huts and a few fading craters leftover from the Scourge invasion centuries ago.

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In the Decapitation scenario, the Defender sets up inside a fortified area. The Scourge used the old human terminal as their base. Each wall section and turret is Hardened with 10DP. Steve had a bit of trouble figuring out his list and didn’t have enough AA initially (extremely important in this scenario since keeping his Command unit alive was the key to victory), but we re-jiggered his list a bit and got it straightened out. Here, his Reapers form up around the Overseer (UCM codename: Broken Tower) with a squad of Hunters ready to burst out of the gate. Warriors line the parapets.

Taking out Broken Tower was my objective. Steve’s objective was avoid losing his Commander, or at least make any UCM victory as costly as possible. This position seems a tough nut to crack – indeed although I had 2 squads of 2 Archangels each, going into that AA bubble was a frightening prospect!photo 4

A bit hard to see here but there are 5 Possible Objective markers. These represented possible hidden locations of my Praetorian Sniper squad. Until the actual squad was revealed, these markers all had the Scout ability, representing remote sensing equipment and digital ghillies set up by the Snipers who had infiltrated the are before the battle. If fired at, they could only be hit on a natural 6 but if the snipers were actually there, they would take damage, otherwise the marker would be removed. If a Scourge unit moved into base contact, they would also be instantly removed and the snipers revealed if they were there. I borrowed on the Infiltration rule from 40K, allowing me to place a marker in cover as close as 12″ from an enemy, and no closer than 24″ if out in the open.photo 5

At the end of T1, the UCM forces are surging on to the battlefield. I have a big tank blob of 6 Sabers and 3 Rapiers in the Albatross. You can see my Longbows down and deployed near the huts. The Ferrum has launched its flight of drones and the Legionnaires and Heavy Ordnance battle groups are going in. My command Kodiak is out of the frame at the bottom left. Steve has raced forward with a squad of Hunters, driving them into one of the fighting positions with the use of a Command Card (Overdrive??) I lucked out and got one squad of Archangels out of Reserve on T1, but they failed to arrive for an attack run. No biggie.photo 6 photo 7

Warriors deploy into the bunker on the right.photo 8 photo 9

Turn 2 action: Scourge Corsairs sweep in on an attack run against the fully loaded Albatross, the big fat transport making a terrific target! I committed both my FM squads to intercept. The flight leader went in screaming “EARF!” at the top of his lungs but in his excitement he and his wingman both missed! The second squad zoomed in from the opposite vector and managed to splash one Corsair, but only one! The survivor opened up on the Albatross but missed, his aim disturbed, no doubt, by his over-enthusiastic enemies! After this, the Albatross pilot moved forward as close as he dared and dropped the tanks into the fray!photo 10

 

Turn 3 and the game develops! The Armor battle group rolls forward, hammering shots into the base fortifications. If I could take down a wall, I could possibly start picking off Reapers and clear the way for some Archangel runs on the Desolater. But I couldn’t bring the wall down. Steve began to threaten my Kodiak with his Prowlers and Reavers so I loosed off a hail of fire with my Rapiers, downing a fully loaded Invader and a Reaver. The Prowlers survived the crash, and with a mass of tanks nearby, turned their attention to a more inviting target. They couldn’t attack this turn, but if Steve won the next Initiative roll, my tanks were in trouble!photo 11 photo 12 photo 13

My Archangels squads had until now been busy elsewhere on the battlefield. This turn it was up to my drones to try and crack the AA bubble and get some fire on the Desolater. The drones swarmed in and the Reapers began reaction firing. The dice did not go the Scourge’s way – even with the Reaction Fire penalty, he should have been hitting half the time. Even the Warriors on the walls blasted away to no effect. In the end, I lost only 2 drones out of 8. They lined up on the Desolator and did 4 points of damage! With the Scourge AA Reaction Fire exhausted, the Archangel squads rolled in on the Desolator and blew it out of the sky! Mission accomplished?photo 14

I revealed the Snipers’ position. The Scourge Warriors in that bunker downrange were definitely scoring hits! An earlier volley of AA fire from the troops on the walls had destroyed an inbound Condor and a mounted squad of Legionnaires. The Praetorians synched their cybernetic ballistic targeting computers together and ranged in on the Warriors in the bunker. Their combined fire sounded like one single shot…photo 15

Seven points of damage on the Warriors! The Snipers managed one more shot later in the game, resulting in a total wipe-out of the Warriors!

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The Scourge have lost their Overseer, and now enraged, seek to do as much damage to the humans as they can before they escape. As the UCM frantically tries to withdraw from the fight, the Prowlers leap onto the Sabers and Rapiers for a hot plasma injection!photo 17 photo 18

Not much left of my armor! The tanks slam into reverse and pull back, shaking off a few Prowlers. Hoping to both pick up its tanks and kill their tormentors, the Albatross swings around bringing all its guns to bear! The tanks also unleash heavy machine gun fire at the walkers, while also taking down the fortress wall with a few shots from their railguns.photo 19

The fight on the runway has been close and deadly, leaving the field covered in burning wrecks! photo 21

With an untouched Scourge battle group now entering the fight, the UCM forces mount up and firewall their throttles to escape!

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Final positions at the end of Turn 6. Most of my units have exited the board. Steve made a desperate push to catch up and was closing in on the Ferrum. The Legionnaire-carrying Condor was shot down, but the Bear and the troops inside survived the crash, but were still on the board. The Praetorian Snipers, their mission complete, activated their therm-optic camouflage and crept carefully away from their hide-site. They knew they would be walking home…photo 24

In the end, a Strategic Victory for the UCM. In our next game and for the rest of the campaign, the Scourge cannot have a Commander higher than an Overlord (Lvl5) since Broken Tower was killed. We took a look at UCM losses to see at what cost victory was won for the UCM – I lost my entire armor battle group except the Albatross, plus a few other units, but it all came out to about 25% of my force. Acceptable losses.

It was a great game. Had Steve’s dice been better when he was rolling for Reaction Fire against the drones it could have been a much different game – I would have had to risk the Reaper AA bubble with the Archangels.

So now we’re talking about where our campaign goes next. In Phase 1, the UCM recovered vital info on the Scourge, allowing them to progress to Phase 2, which was a strike against the Scourge command. With success for the UCM so far, we think General Magaday is going to commit his forces to an operation to establish a secure beachhead, so we’re looking at a straight-up clash of forces, probably with the Bridgehead scenario. Focal point missions are always a scrum!

Thanks to Steve for a great game!

Martian Tripod – The Original Xenos

Posted in Minis, Uncategorized, WIP with tags , , , on August 14, 2014 by stingersix

Finished my first Martian Tripod for AQ. Very easy to do, and now that I have the paint scheme down, I should be able to bust the other two out quickly. Then it’s game time!

Just sayin’ ‘Hi!’

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Before…

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After…

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