Archive for June, 2010


Posted in Blather, Games, WIP with tags , , on June 20, 2010 by stingersix

Today was Free RPG Day. I got myself a copy of “Final Sanction” the free intro adventure to the upcoming Deathwatch RPG from Fantasy Flight Games.

Finally, finally, finally, gamers have what they’ve wanting for over 20 years – an RPG focused on being a Space Marine! Hoo-ah!

Anyway, it has four pre-generated characters. A Dark Angel Assault Marine, A Blood Angel Devastator Marine, A Space Wolves Tactical Marine, and an Ultramarines Apothecary. The scenario itself has planetary defense forces, rebels and yay, Genestealers. This has become my new project!

When I run this (and I will run it) I’ll use my trusty Pig Iron Heavy Infantry as the PDF, my Pig Iron Kolony troops as the rebels, and my Space Hulk Genestealers. For the Marines, I got the individual Marines I needed from a friend. I needed to do a bit of converting, particularly for the Space Wolves guy. But when I’m done, they’ll all look pretty much like the artwork of the characters in the adventure booklet.

The paint schemes should be easy to execute. The Deathwatch are drawn from various Space Marine Chapters, and the basic armor color is black, so I get to practice highlighting with greys. Seems like their left arm and shoulder pads are a metallic color, like steel. They also wear their original chapter color and insignia on their right shoulder pad and knee pads.

Will post pics once I have them painted of course!

These specimens are harmless!

Posted in Games, Minis, Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 14, 2010 by stingersix

Finished the scientists for our next game, which is going to be a good ol’ fashioned bug hunt! Our esteemed colleagues are:

Dr. Krank, xeno-archaeologist

Dr. Lint, xeno-biologist

Dr. Schmutz, xeno-technologist

These scientist minis were given to me to paint so I don’t know who makes them. Can anyone ID these guys?

Edit: These fellows are made by Zombiesmith!

Stargrunt Battle Chronicle

Posted in Battle Report, Games with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2010 by stingersix

I’ve made a list of all the Stargrunt battles we’ve played. Looking at them this way, you can see the story that is emerging from our games.

We’ve created a setting for our games that all the players have contributed to. Each of us has made a few factions, building and incorporating ideas from each other into the background. The big conflict is the one between the United Democratic Socialist Systems, an alliance of star systems that have broken away from the yoke of corporate oppression and Old Terra national entities, and the Interstellar Corporate Commission a huge conglomeration of colonial interests funded by Earth’s mega-corporations.

But there are other things going that we haven’t even touched on yet – pirates, frontier skirmishes, territorial power grabs, the death throes of old Terran national blocs, local civil wars. It’s a big setting and there is still lots of stuff we can do!

Here’s a list of all the SG battle reports that I have, in the order the games were played. Some are posts on TMP, with links to pics on Flickr, others are links to my minis blog.

For our very first game, my opponent Jonathan and I did a simple platoon vs. platoon fight to learn the rules. Minis are Pig Iron Heavy Infantry and FASA VOR Union (now available through Ironwind).

This was our second game. UDSS Militia vs. CEU Panzergrenadiers. It was a quick assault scenario and we tried out the sniper rules, which in SG are pretty interesting. Minis are Pig Iron’s Kolony Militia, FASA’s Vor Union, and Heavy Gear power suits.

In the next game, Altairian Regulars (UDSS) vs. Ramstar Mercs. The Ramstar troops were trying to rescue a kidnapped hostage. They failed and this set up a later game. Minis are once again Pig Iron and Vor Union. Of special interest are the Pig Iron APC and the paper dropship model.

Chris (Irate Squirrel) and Michael Miller were the players in the next game which I refereed. CEU Foreign Legion vs. UDSS Regulars. This was a supply convoy ambush scenario. Pig Iron minis on both sides, with an assortment of different vehicles.

Jonathan Breese and I played again when we did a big city fight game. UDSS Guards vs. Ramstar Mercs. Pig Iron minis again, plus powered armor from EM-4, with AT-43 Red Blok troopers.

And the most recent game, Operation Icepick, which was the follow-on to the first hostage rescue scenario above. Ramstar Strikers (Special Forces) vs. Altairian Nightshade Commandos (Special Forces). Minis are the old Metal Magic Spacelords Cybertech Bunkerbreakers from the 80’s, now available from EM-4, and Mongoose Starship Troopers M.I. This time, the Ramstar corporate mercs succeeded.

The next game we’re planning is a bug hunt! A research team in an alien jungle is about to make a very nasty discovery! The Arachnids from SST will make an appearance as “xenocrabs” trying to rip Chris’ planetary landing party (converted AT-43 Red Blok) into tiny bits. But the humans have a few surprises up their sleeves. Should be a hot one!

Backed off the GW splurge

Posted in Blather, Games with tags , , , on June 9, 2010 by stingersix

I mentioned that I had backed off of going all-in on a 40K force. It’s true. I was this close to splashing out three or four hundred bucks on a 1500pt Space Marine force, and even pick up a hardcopy of the rulebook. Then I a) looked at my discretionary budget, b) played Stargrunt last Saturday, and finally c) thought about the two or three other, different platoon sized forces I could create with the same amount of money spent.

I wanted to do the Space Marines with the intention of actually playing at some point. I really like the minis and I like painting them, and I suppose I may build up a collection over time now, but I’m not going whole hog. I’d like to try the 5th edition 40K rules sometime, since I’ve never played it, but I do know that I like Stargrunt. A lot. And I know that it gives me a lot of what I want from a minis game. So I’m sticking with Stargrunt and spending my money on the indie sci-fi minis that I like. I still may buy the hardcover, because I like the 40K setting and I am a total art whore.

RIght now, I’m working up a good old fashioned bug hunt that pits my SST bugs against Chris’ ship-based marines in an alien temple complex (in the jungle). Woot!

Stargrunt AAR – Operation Icepick

Posted in Battle Report, Games with tags , , , , on June 6, 2010 by stingersix

Yesterday, Chris and I played an epic game of Stargrunt at Endgame on one of their big minis tables. Our set-up got some attention from the 40K players surrounding us, who all seemed somewhat amused with all the non-GW minis on display. They did think it was cool though! Only one or two of the grognards there had even heard of Stargrunt of course.

The scenario was a follow-on from one we played a little over a year ago, in which the Kryton Corporation heiress Liselle Theron had been kidnapped during a raid. The Altairians have been holding her secretly on a remote moonbase in orbit around a gas giant. But certain political maneuverings have the UDSS council making a secret agreement with the Kryton Corporation allowing them to mount a rescue attempt, and hanging the Altairians out to dry. Now a special team of the elite Ramstar Strikers is about to mount a surprise raid on the moonbase to attempt to rescue the heiress.

The overall concept for this game was two elite forces fighting on an airless moon. We had some interesting rules in place for this. First, outside the sealed moonbase it was vacuum of course, so wounding hits were counted as kills. Second, the low gravity meant combat moves were x3 (rather than x2) but troops that used this risked falling on grounding. In a nod to Joe Haldeman’s classic The Forever War, troops that fell risked killing themselves as their heat exchangers contacted the frozen methane ice surface and exploded (I lost three troopers to this effect!). Also, any weapons with an Impact die of d10 or higher could cause a breach inside the moonbase.

The Altairians (played by me) had to prevent the Ramstar Strikers (played by Chris) from rescuing Liselle and getting away, by calling in orbital interdiction (which essentially set a time limit on the game). Ramstar simply had to get Liselle to the landing pad alive and call for dustoff. If the hostage were killed it would be considered a loss for both sides.

The minis used were an eclectic mix that turned out looking really good on the table.

Altairian Nightshade Commandos – These are obviously Starship Troopers minis. The troopers are Elite quality, armed with Advanced Assault Rifles and wearing full light armor. The big Marauder I classed as a size 3 walker, armed with two HELs. The Heavy Armor Suits (Mongoose Grizzly) were classed as size 2 walkers and armed with GMS (guided missile system), RFACs (rapid-fire autocannon) and a HKP (hyper-kinetic penetrator). All the walkers were treated as individual vehicles of either Veteran or Regular quality.

Ramstar Strikers – These are the old Spacelords Cybertech Bunkerbreakers, originally done in the 80’s by Metal Magic and currently available from EM4. As Elite quality assault troops they wear Combat Power Suits. The two entry teams are armed with SMG’s (close range only), and the perimeter security team carries gauss rifles. The Gun Walkers (AT-43 Fire Toads) are size 2 walkers – one with twin DFFGs (direct fire fusion guns) and two with twin RFACs. Not in the photo is a Warthog gun jeep model from the HALO toy series.

The Sterope Moonbase – For the terrain we used Endgame’s GW ice terrain boards. Yes, those room tiles for the interior of the moonbase are from my original Space Hulk set! The antenna on the hill at the bottom of the picture is the moonbase comms relay, Ramstar’s secondary objective.

Landing Pad – This is the terrain feature I slapped together the day before yesterday. If the Ramstar Strikers could manage to find and rescue Liselle, they would have to get her back here to the landing pad. The dropship on the pad is one of the excellent paper models available free from Toposolitario.

Ready – This is a shot of the board with all the terrain and obstacles placed. Went into the AT-43 stuff for the containers and barricades. You can see the layout of the moonbase more clearly here too.

Strikers Deploy – The Strikers set their entry squads one move away from one of the three base airlocks. The gun walkers and the security team set up in the landing pad area. I had already set up my troops – one squad within the base (hidden, guarding the hostage) and the rest would arrive as reinforcements from off-board.

At the north airlock

At the south airlock

Landing field perimeter

Execute! One the first turn, the Ramstar entry teams went through the airlocks. At the south airlock, a hidden Altairian commando opened fire point blank on the entry team, killing two Strikers and wounding another! But as this played out over the next turn, the Strikers returned fire, suppressing the Altarian. The Strikers used their plasma gun and the close range fire caused a hull breach! The section now in vacuum, the wounded Striker was killed. The survivors charged the Altairian and took him down in bloody hand-to-hand combat.

At the north airlock, much the same happened, only the Altairian commando watching the door was not as lucky, failing to neither suppress or kill or wound any of the attackers, who quickly mobbed him and took him out.

With the entry areas cleared, the Strikers move into the base and start searching the rooms for the hostage. The surprised and separated Altairians try to stay hidden. Meanwhile a call is made for reinforcements to return to the base from their perimeter patrols. Help is on the way!

Monitoring the radio traffic, the Striker commander hears the call for reinforcements go out. He knows the Altairians will be calling for orbital interdiction next to prevent their escape. A Gun Walker is ordered to blow up the comms relay. It moves into position and takes a shot with its DFFGs. After another volley to get the range, the comms tower is blasted to junk. Unfortunately for the pilot of Gun Walker 01, the big Altairian Marauder that was out on the perimeter reaches the base and cores GW01 with its powerful lasers, destroying it.

Seeing GW01 blown to bits, the pilot of GW02 moves to engage the Marauder. They blaze away at each other over the slagged down remains of GW01 until a solid volley of 30mm RFAC rounds disables the Marauder and it’s out of the game.

More Altairan reinforcements arrive as the first of the Heavy Armor Suit squad shows up on the north side of the base. But its volley of missiles goes wide of its target, Gun Walker 03.

The first Heavy Armor Suit is followed by two more jumping in. The Ramstar gun jeeps scurries for cover, but gets flayed into junk by a Heavy Suit’s twin RFACs. The Strikers rushed to move GW02 and GW03 to address the new threat from the rear. GW03 causes a systems failure in the missile-armed HAS with a burst of fire, but the third HAS destroys GW03 with a shot from its hyper-kinetic penetrator railgun and moves up.

While all that was happening outside, inside the base, the Altairian commander managed to get a call through to the ships on high guard. But they were pretty far away (the game would now end in D6+4 turns – I rolled a 5, so 9 turns! Gah!) As he finished the call, Ramstar Strikers charged into the room. Seeing these huge armored figures coming for him, and trying to hang onto their hostage, the two Nightshade commandos retreated to the mess hall. Hot on their heels, the Strikers kept charging forward. Again, the Nightshade commandos retreated (I blew my morale check again, and the squad broke), abandoning Liselle and retreating to the entry hall!. The Strikers had secured the hostage, but now they had to get out of there alive! With the Altairian Heavy Suits moving in, things were getting sticky!

Whoosh! Thunk! Grrrr! DAK DAK DAK! The Heavy Suit got it’s systems restarted then I tried a combat move with one of my Heavy Suits (since it would be x3) but I rolled a 12! The maximum! I had to use it all, and I’d planned on trying to get closer to the Gun Walker on the north side of the base, but I got too close! The HAS fired its jump jets, skimming over the landing field and landing just short of GW02! On his next activation, Chris swung the Gun Walker around and blasted the HAS pointblank, taking it out!

Upon seeing his buddy get blasted, one of the other HAS leapt forward into the landing field landing right behind the Striker security team dug in behind a barricade and spun up its RFAC to mow down the Strikers. GW02 quickly moved to engage – if the Altairian Heavy Suits could take out the last Gun Walker, the Striker teams in the base would never make it to the landing pad with Liselle! A volley of fire from GW02 drives the Heavy Suit pilot to jump back behind the dropship for cover.

By now, some of the Altairian foot patrols are reaching the fight. One squad comes in way out of position and gets fired up by the Striker security squad. As this is happening, the HAS that dropped back destroys GW02 – the Strikers now have no more Gun Walker heavy weapon platforms! I was cackling with glee but the fight was far from over.

Inside the base, the Strikers kept the pressure on the retreating Altairian commando HQ, finally routing them and chasing them out of the base. Not expecting the Altairians to come out first, the HAS watching the airlock was distracted seeing the HQ team hightailing it for cover, followed by the Striker HQ team. The plasma gunner snapped off a quick shot and took out the HAS! My worst armor roll of the game (I got a 6 or something crappy like that, he got an 18!)

With Liselle firmly in tow, the Strikers get her into a pressure suit and get ready to clear the base.

On the northeast side of the base, another squad of Altairian troopers rushes to the fight. I tried a combat move (which only got them 6″) and one of them slipped and fell on the dangerous methane ice, skidding into a container where his heat exchanger made contact with the ice and blew him to bits. Crap!

The Altairian commando HQ made it to cover and desperately tried to rally, but the Strikers kept the pressure on, blowing them all away with a volley of fire from their submachineguns! Oh, the horror!

The remaining Altarians approaching from the northeast reach the landing pad, taking cover behind it and the wreckage of the last Altairian Heavy Suit, which has been disabled by a shot from the Striker security teams Anti-vehicle rocket! These guys are all that’s left between the Strikers and the dropship.

The landing field is littered with the wrecks of Ramstar Gun Walkers and Altairian Heavy Armor Suits!

With the threat of the HASs gone, the Strikers consolidate their forces. A few exchanges of fire suppresses or drops more of the remaining Altairian troops.

With the last Altairian trooper down, the Strikers clear the landing pad and call for dustoff!

Mission complete! Liselle boards the dropship and it blasts away! A clear victory for Ramstar!

Whew! Although I lost, this game was easily the most fun I have had playing Stargrunt! The combination of unit types, the mission and the game itself were all a lot of fun! For me, the battle between the Gun Walkers and the Heavy Armor Suits was the deciding factor. The swirling melee at the landing field was intense as they took each other out. Once I’d taken out Chris’ last Gun Walker I thought there was no way he was getting out of there, since all I had to do was gun down his troopers. But bad timing and good dice saw my two Heavy Suits taken out and my remaining infantry was too spread out and out of position to have any effect.

Congrats and thanks to Chris for a well-played and fun game!

So the campaign continues! With its bargaining chip lost, and political support gone, Altair is left to fend for itself against the oncoming might of the Interstellar Corporate Authority! Can the Altairians maintain their freedom or will they fall under the oppressive boot of the Kryton Corporation?

And somewhere on the frontier of human space, a research team exploring alien ruins makes a terrifying discovery…

Scratchbuilt landing pad in 2 hours!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 5, 2010 by stingersix

A landing pad features in the Stargrunt scenario I’m playing tomorrow. This morning I was sitting here thinking how to mark the landing pad’s location on the board. Then my eyes fell on a square piece of cardboard I had from a leftover box. I use these to prime minis on. Then the lightbulb went on – I’ll make a landing pad, toot sweet!

I cut the corners off the square and fashioned them into supports for the pad and a loading ramp. Glued it all together, stuck some toothpicks in for landing lights, sprayed it all grey, masked off the lines, white paint, blobs of red for the lights, done!

Just reminded myself…

Posted in Blather with tags , on June 2, 2010 by stingersix

…why I haven’t played much GW for so long. I priced out that 1500 point Space Marine force I’ve been thinking about, and as the numbers added up, found myself rolling my eyes. If I bought it all at full retail, plus shipping and taxes, it’s just over $400. This is for a small force too.

There’s no way I can buy all this in one go, not without my wife strangling me with my own guts. If I bought it all at once I’d never finish painting it either, so eBay here I come!

Stargrunt Saturday

Posted in Blather, Games with tags , on June 1, 2010 by stingersix

I’ll be playing Stargrunt this coming Saturday. It’s been a while but I’m looking forward to it. There will be a lot of mix and match on the table – SST minis, the Cybertech Bunkerbreakers, some AT-43, and even a HALO toy (the ubiquitous Warthog jeep – so glad I picked that up) and I’m using some room tiles from my Space Hulk set for the interior of a moonbase. But I think this will work. The units are relatively small and the color schemes match for the most part.

Will post pics afterward!