Archive for Tomorrow’s War

2012! Go!

Posted in Blather, Minis with tags , , , , on January 2, 2012 by stingersix

Ah, a new year and a fresh start for gaming in 2012! I plan on painting and gaming like crazy all year!

Last year I got into 40K after a decades long absence, mostly because I love the minis and I’ve been deep into running the 40K RPGs (Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, Deathwatch). My collection of Space Marines continues to grow and I’m making a New Year’s resolution out of this. Basically, I’m going to try and paint one unit, vehicle or character per month until I feel I’m done. Even if I don’t hit this goal, working toward it will keep me busy.

In fact I’m already working on a unit of Sternguard. I have five of the metal models and I made five more out of Tactical Marines and a bunch of bits.

I finished this guy today (base isn't painted but the model itself is done). Pretty happy with how this came out.

The mon on the banner is the personal insignia of this veteran sergeant.

These are the plastic ones. The combi-meltas and combi-flamer are converted from bolt guns, storm bolter magazines and flamer and melta bits. Extra purity seals, Terminator honors and other little bits help add to the bling.

Combi-melta and combi-flamer. Turned the exposure all the way up since these are only primed at the moment.

All the arms are magnetized so I can switch things around. For example, this guy can now carry a heavy flamer. Apologies for the lousy focus, but at least you can see what was done.

I keep putting off building and painting a Predator tank. Given how often they appear in my list, I really need to do this.

And I had another game of Tomorrow’s War last week. It was another learning game and I indeed learned a lot. It’s got some of Stargrunt’s DNA, but it’s not Stargrunt. Battles between forces with a disparity in troop quality can seem pretty one-sided, but can actually be pretty balanced depending on the mission objectives. I played the basic scenario out of the book with Chris R. and my handful of mercs were thrashing and smashing the Altairian rebels.  But even so, just one good round of fire from the rebels and I would definitely have lost. For the rebel player with the crappy troops, it can be frustrating to fire and fire and just get smacked by overwatch fire from superior troops, and this could be a sticking point with many players. Until you understand and get on board with the idea that this is what the game intends to show, it might be a bit hard to swallow.

At any rate, we discovered (near the end of the game) that we were forgetting a pretty important rule (suppressive fire), which will probably change things a lot when we implement it properly next time. The action-reaction chain got a little tricky too, especially when overwatch is used, so we’ll probably need another couple of games to get this one all figured out. I’m looking forward to it though!

So, here’s to 2012!

Tomorrow’s War – Contact Front!

Posted in Games with tags , on December 16, 2011 by stingersix

Finally got a learning game of Ambush Alley’s Tomorrow’s War in last night. Although I’m sure Chris and I missed a few things and lingering memories of Stargrunt may have caused a few hiccups, I really love this game!

I mention Stargrunt because TW really is the spiritual successor to that game – unit effectiveness based on troop quality and morale is the heart of the game. The point is, a poorly trained conscript with an advanced combat rifle is dangerous, sure, but I’d rather face him than a Delta Force operator armed with a spear. In TW, what this means is better quality troops are probably going to kick nine kinds of hell out of lesser quality troops unless that difference is made up with numbers. Weapons and technology can provide an edge but it’s not a huge advantage overall.

In play, when a unit opens fire you roll a dice pool and look for 4+, and the dice you roll are based on troop quality;. Regulars roll a d8. Green troops get a d6. You roll one die per figure in the unit and add dice for other factors. For example, my 4-man fire team gets a base of 4d8 (1d8 per guy). The SAW gunner adds an additional d8 and the rocket launcher adds another 2d8 for a total of 7d8. If my troops’ Tech Level is higher than my opponent’s, I add another die for the difference (TL3 v TL2 would give me +1). So when I open fire, I roll all those dice and look for rolls of 4+ (successes).

There is no range measuring, which is nice – if you have an unblocked LOS you can shoot it. If you’re within Optimum range (8″ for Regular troops) you can add another Firepower die to your roll.

Against this the defender also rolls Troop Quality dice, one per figure in the squad, plus dice for armor, cover and other factors. A 6-man team with hard armor (2d) in cover (1d) would roll 9 dice, also looking for 4+. Then the defender tries to equal or exceed the attacker’s successes with his dice, and any that aren’t beaten indicate casualties. In play, this went surprisingly quick once we’d done it a few times. There are no pluses or minuses to figure out, only adding or taking away dice from your pool.

But the real beauty of the game is the Action/Reaction system. If I do an action with a unit in LOS of your unit, you can try to react and interrupt me. We roll off Troop Quality to see who goes first. This system can set off complicated chains of reactions but it definitely works and definitely gives the game a constant level of action. You can set units on Overwatch to try to interrupt enemy Reactions. It takes a lot to explain perhaps, but in play, it makes a lot of sense. The result is a very fluid game with a lot of back and forth and player involvement.

That’s what really sells it for me. I really dislike the Igo-Ugo sequence of play in 40K. Standing there doing nothing while an enemy waltzes right up to you is silly. Plus there’s a lot of down time while you just watch your opponent moving around and you can do nothing to react until he’s all done. Charging an unsuppressed and active enemy pretty much equals suicide, so you do end up having to employ more realistic tactics to reach your objectives. TW makes every move a potential turning point.

TW does have some issues – some rules aren’t entirely clear or even somewhat contradictory, and the organization of the rules is kind of scattered (why is it always like this?) Leaders are present but don’t seem to have nearly the impact they do in Stargrunt (and I still love how SG leaders can reactivate finished units). But just on one play I can see this is a game I can really sink my teeth into. Some more time with the rulebook and a couple more games and I’ll be deep into Tomorrow’s War!

I’ll get some pics of the game up soon!

Game pics from 40K, plus Tomorrow’s War

Posted in 40K, Battle Report with tags , , on November 6, 2011 by stingersix

Played 40K again last Thursday. Got whupped but kinda expected it. I blame my dice and general muddleheaded-ness trying to learn the rules. I put a whole load of pictures up on Flicker, which you can check out at this link. To whet your appetite, here are a few good ones from the game.

Rising Sun Chapter

Chaplain, Dreadnought and Captain

A better shot of the Dreadnought's banners

Scary view!

One vs. many

This is what happens when you don't pay attention to detail!

There is a writeup over on the 40K Fight Club forums too.

In other new, I picked up a copy of Tomorrow’s War at last. I’ve only just started getting into it, but already I can say this is the successor to Stargrunt. TW has Stargrunt’s DNA all over it – effectiveness based on troop quality instead of weapons, real leadership effects, and a brilliant action-reaction sequence of play that keeps you involved at all times. I have fun with 40K, but to be honest I really dislike the Igo-Ugo turn sequence which I find artificial and primitive. But everything about TW is pushing minis rules in the direction I want them to go.

I’m really looking forward to getting the Pig Iron minis on the table again, and getting deep into Tomorrow’s War! Expect more on this before the end of the year!

40K and Me

Posted in 40K, Games with tags , , , on August 6, 2011 by stingersix

I have pretty much always liked GW’s 40K miniatures, which I can’t say for the game itself. I played the original WH40K: Rogue Trader quite a lot back in the day, and had lots of fun with it – all I had at the time were the plastic Space Marines (30 for $20!!) and metal Space Ork Raiders, lots of conversions, scratchbuilt stuff and other odds and ends (zoats, funky Ork rockers, etc).

After that I was very heavy into Epic scale Space Marine (later Epic Armageddon). But by that time my interest in the 28mm game had waned. Still I always liked the minis, even if I didn’t buy or paint them.

Since last year, I have drifted slowly back toward 40K, buying some Marines (since I have always liked Space Marines) and painting them up. Now I actually have a game of 5th ed 40K on my calendar for next week – my first game of 40K in 20 years. I have no illusions that I will win. I’m 100% sure I will have my ass handed to me.

I’m doing this because I simply want to give the game a try. I’ve read the rules and have found many things that I don’t like about them, some things that I think are just outright stupid, but I want to play it and see for myself – the proof is in the pudding.

I have a feeling it won’t float my boat. As heavily geared as it is for tournament play, I can’t see myself liking it that much. I have no interest in tournament play whatsoever. But I’ll at least be able to base my judgment on experience.

I still really like the minis and I’ll keep buying and painting them. To actually game with them, I can’t say how much I’m looking forward to the release of Tomorrow’s War from Ambush Alley Games in September. I’m sure 40K players who see me using GW minis to play Tomorrow’s War will either stare in confusion or try to burn me for a heretic, but I don’t care.

New Year’s Resolution and looking ahead

Posted in Blather with tags , , , on January 2, 2011 by stingersix

Happy New Year!

Decided to make a New Year’s resolution with regard to minis (no, I’m not going to quit)!

This year, I’m going to keep better track of my projects and my output.The at the end of the year, I’ll tally it all up and see what it looks like.

The only project I have going currently is my jungle pyramid, but soon I’ll be doing a painting challenge with some of the guys I play Stargrunt with.

For the challenge, I plan on doing a squad of Pig Iron’s System Troopers. If they come out nice, I may turn them into a whole platoon.

I also have the urge to paint some more Space Marines, and I may get another squad or two. I have no desire to play 40K though, since every time I look at the rules to that game I end up rolling my eyes.

I’m still a devotee of Stargrunt, though I am seriously looking forward to Tomorrow’s War from Ambush Alley Games, slated to come out from Osprey later this year. I haven’t found set of minis rules I liked more than Stargrunt, but the old ‘Grunt does have plenty of flaws. Since Tomorrow’s War seems to be the spiritual successor to Stargrunt, I’m definitely on board.

So, lots to look forward to!