Primaris Marines and Vedros Objectives

A root canal and a light work schedule for a couple days gave me some time at the painting desk.

First, here’s my take GW’s new super-sized Primaris Marines. Stock color schemes, I have to say they paint up easily and make a table top quality painter like myself look good. Blue with darker shoulder pads for the line troops, stealth blue/black for the Reivers, add a Command type and they’ll make a nice little recon force to face the Space Hulk genestealers I picked up off eBay.  Time to break out my Interior Boards.

Next are some fast-n-easy Objective markers for my grandsons’ Battle for Vedros set. A tarted up Ork glyph and UM banner swiped from the internet, they’re basically plastic sprue, cardboard, and a few bitz on 50mm bases. It’s ‘Capture the Flag’ time now, fellas. That should introduce more fun plus a hint of tactical thinking to our slugfests. They came out alright and should stand up to repeated use.

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That’s it for now. Have a great day.

Battle for Vedros armies

Recruiting the next generation of wargamers

 

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40 years wargaming and playing with toy soldiers, I’m still not a WH/40K tabletop player. I tried several times and it never took. But when Grandsons 1 and 2 caught me playing the PC game “Warhammer 40,000 : Armageddon”, they were so taken by the epic battles between Space Marines and Orks, I seized the opportunity and grabbed the “Battle for Vedros” starter game to see if I couldn’t channel some of that interest from the screen to the game table.

Well it worked. We’ve been playing very simple slugfests when they visit and they love it. They split command of the mighty Space Marines while I Warboss my way into their fields of fire and lose with all the appropriate sound effects and over-dramatized anguish.

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All things considered, the Battle for Vedros set is the perfect starter for something like this: decent price point (especially if you find it on sale) a good amount of easy-assemble models, dice, a simple rule book. Terrain would have been helpful, but hey… The models have nice detail but are robust enough to stand up to rough play by 6 and 7-year old boys. Now of course I had to ‘reinforce’ the box armies, which meant a Killa Kan and an Attack Bike for sheer coolness quotient. Then a few more infantry to round out the foot sloggers. But that’s just me…

There’s lots to be said about getting kids to play a table top or board game: it gets them away from a screen, interacting with other actual people. They learn about fair play, taking chances, planning moves, accepting loss when the dice don’t roll their way, being gracious when they win, and most of all, having a blast with friends and family over little army men. They’re already leafing through the booklet, pouring over the pictures, and lobbying for more reinforcements. (“Grandpa, that tank looks cool.”)

Yes it does. It does indeed.

But I better buy some decent terrain first. Something cool looking but simple and robust, without fiddly bits that break easily. I’m open to suggestions here.

Anyway, Hats off to Games Workshop for a great little starter set. The Battle for Vedros made my grandsons quite happy.

 

Nal-Rog of the Nine Hills

We had a new guy with us last Tuesday night, so we did a quick one-of scenario for ASOBH. John is an old hand at RPGs but fairly new to TTGs. One of the many things I appreciate about the ASOBH system is how easy it is to teach newcomers.

Matt, Derek, and John each had a pair of heroes, all of whom banded together to chase the Iron Jaw Orcs and the infamous giant, Nal-Rog of the Nine Hills from the ruins of Gray Maarten’s Tower, near the rune stones locally called the Four Sisters.

Real slugfest. Heroes for the win. No AAR but here are some pictures.

Painted up two new Shadowrun-type crews, so ‘Song of Mirrorshades and Shadows’ on the docket for tomorrow night.

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Gray Maarten’s Tower and the Four Sisters – the field of battle.
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Chain Fighter Piotr Nevsky faces Nal-Rog. Bold move. 
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Cleric Lazarus Sturn goes to meet the Orc Warchief. 
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Barda, War-Priest of Numor faces the Orc Brutes. His faith is strong, his sword sharp and fast. 
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Brawl around Gray Maarten’s Tower
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Quinn of Montfort grabs the treasure. 
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Hrodor and Brynar at the Four Sisters.
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Iron Jaws advance!

 

Oldie but Goodie

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Last Tues’ ASOBH AAR was cancelled due to an imminent remodeling project in the Game Room. (new windows) Everything had to be tidied up by 8 a.m. sharp the next morning. I am pleased to report that while more than half my men were slaughtered by the end of Turn 3, my trio of evil barbarians pulled glorious victory from the jaws of humiliating defeat. They rallied and swiftly sent Matt and Derek’s warbands to Valhilla. (we have a habit of placing slain models on out-of-the-way hilltops) I fondly recall  one particularly nice Gruesome Kill made by Nekhar the Red against an Elven Mage. Interesting game all around. Matt and Derek  will nonetheless resume their quest for the Liche King’s crypt in two weeks.

So apologies for no pictures.

BUT…

I do offer this little gem: a flash fiction that captures the two main wargame schools of thought. Now I lean toward the Realistic rather than Space Fantasy myself. Although call it whatever you want, I’m still just playing with Toy Soldiers.

That said, I present “Ground Zero” by Tom Sullivan.

***

Ground Zero

By TOM SULLIVAN

“Christ,” whispered Pugh, “It looks like someone slapped a set of treads onto a dumpster!”

Kemmerman snorted his agreement. “And check out Buck Rogers there! Sticking his big, ugly ol’ head outta the hatch, and not even bothering to stick a helmet on it! Think he’s got a ‘Shoot Me’ sign on his back, too?”

“Cut it,” snapped the sergeant, “We’ve got work to do here. Sorenson, have you got a lock yet?”

“Yessir,” he replied, his gaze remaining fixed on the Scorpion’s display. “Ready when you are, sir.”

Nodding, the sergeant tapped at his com unit. “Jessup? You ready?” He nodded again at the reply. “All right then, on my mark…NOW!!”

There was a sudden sharp crack, and the enemy officer’s head vanished, replaced by a rapidly dispersing red mist. This sound was followed a heartbeat later with a loud “Crump!” as the Scorpion rocket penetrated the side of the APC. The vehicle skewed sideways, smoke and flame billowing from the hole in its side, as the second rocket hit, this time impacting at the rear.

The APC exploded with a satisfying roar, scattering pieces of men and metal across the field.

“That,” Pugh said with feeling, “was abso-fuckin-lutely beautiful. You know that? That’s a goddamn piece of art right there, Billy! You should get down there and sign it, you know?”

Sorenson shrugged as he repositioned himself, targeting the second APC. “It’s eighty percent inspiration, ten percent perspiration, and one hundred and ten percent detonation, my man.”

The APC shuddered, and obligingly lost a tread, as the rocket hit it.

“It’s a damned good thing that you can shoot, buddy,” Pugh said, ’cause you sure as shit can’t add.” He shook his head, waving at the men spilling out of the crippled vehicle. “Now look at that! Bright red armor? What are they, color-blind? Or just stupid?”

“Neither,” interrupted the sergeant, “they’re arrogant and very well armored. Now, shut up and shoot.”

“Yessir,” Pugh muttered, shouldering his rifle, “shooting away, sir. Doesn’t seem to be doing much good, sir.”

“When I want your opinion, Pugh, I’ll be sure to tell you what it is, understand? Just keep firing. And Sorenson, wait for my command, dammit!”

The armored men seemed largely indifferent to the rifle fire, only a few even bothering to return it.

Miller shook his head as he sprayed bullets down the hill. “Jesus, what the fuck are they firing? Howitzers? Those are the biggest goddamn rifles I’ve ever seen!”

Pugh snorted. “Yeah, but do think they can actually hit anything with ’em? Might as well just throw the damned things at us for all the good they’re doing!” He yelped, jerking back as a crater was blasted into the ground a foot away from his head. “Yeah, yeah…fuck you too, Murphy!”

“You know,” Pugh noted after a moment, “they really don’t seem very happy, sir. In fact,” he added, as he changed clips, “they seem downright pissed. Sir.”

The sergant ignored him. “Jessup? There’s a guy down there with a very big gun. Yeah, the one painted yellow. Eliminate him for me, would you?”

There was a flash, a bang, and one of the men at the bottom of the hill collapsed, a neat little hole visible in the side of his helmet. Pugh made an approving noise. “Very nice, Jessup! You and Sorenson, you’re like the…the..Boticellis of the battlefield, you know? Fuckin’ artistes, I tell ya!”

“‘Boticellis of the battlefield’, Pugh? What are you on, anyway?”

“It’s called culture, buddy. Give it a try sometime. You’ll like eating with a fork, I just know it!”

“Um, sir?” Miller said, abruptly, “Sir? They appear to be charging, sir. Up the hill, sir.”

“Yeah,” the sergant replied with satisfaction, “Yeah, they certainly are, aren’t they? The big bastards are nothing if not predictable. Just keep firing, private. Williams, Cook? Be ready.”

“My God,” Pugh marveled, “the guy in front has a sword! A goddamn sword! What’s in his other pocket, a flint fucking spear?”

They did, he had to admit to himself, certainly look impressive. Each stood at least seven feel tall, and their brilliant red armor made them look even bigger. “Kind of a shame they’re such morons,” he muttered.

Two of the charging men fell, neither making it even halfway up the hill, but the remaining seven kept coming, firing, apparently at random,as they did.

“Now!” the sergant shouted. “Now, dammit!”

The man in the lead, the one waving the sword, was cut almost in half by the incoming plasma bolt. Those behind him stopped sort, caught in the crossfire as William’s and Cook’s squads opened fire. Sorenson fired the Scorpion, catching one man squarely in the center of his chest. The result was, while interesting, far from pretty.

The concentrated fire of fifteen men proved sufficient. Almost. Only one man made it to the top of the hill, his armor cracked and pitted with innumerable bullet holes. Moving with remarkable speed for such a large man, he surged forward, grabbing the sergant by the throat before the rest of the squad could react.

“Now,” the man rasped, his voice distorted by his helmet, “you shall die, in the Emperor’s….”

*BLAM*

He stopped.

Looked down.

Saw the smoke rising from the barrel of the pistol pressed firmly against his stomach.

And fell, gently, to the ground.

The sergant stepped back, rubbing gingerly at his throat. “He was a tough bastard, I’ll give him that much,” he said, hoarsely. He prodded at the corpse with his toe, dislodging the man’s helmet with a sudden fierce kick.

“Jesus, what did they do?” asked Pugh, “Shave an ape?” The man’s features were grotesquely exaggerated, almost to the point of caricature.

“That,” said the sergant, “is what happens when you combine several centuries of extensive genetic and bionic engineering with being raised from birth to worship an immortal psychopath. Makes you understand the Promixa Covenant, doesn’t it?”

He sighed. “Stupid goddamned fanatics. They think they entire universe should play by their rules. Well, fuck that. We’re gonna show ’em how a war is supposed to be fought. Space Marines, my ass!” He kicked the corpse again, not gently. “How do you like life at ground zero, asshole?”

***

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Demo set – Part 1

Posted previously about the opportunity to run an “after-school enrichment class” on table top gaming. I’m scheduled to make a presentation and run a demo for interested students in early December, so that’s very cool. Figured I’d run a straight up Bug Hunt for the demo game. Here are some shots of the first phase of the Demo Set. Reaper Chronoscope Bones marines, a GW pilot from the BfM set to act as the Scientist, and a Mantic Games piloted armored suit for Heavy Support. All from eBay.

Section Five Rapid Intervention Team. "Sorrel's Stompers"
Section Five Rapid Intervention Team. “Sorrel’s Stompers”

Made the mistake of spray priming the Chronoscope Bones figs. Lost some detail but they’re OK for demo purposes and rough handling.

In the ruins of the Xenos-biogen  facility. "Damage looks self-inflicted. What happened here?"
In the ruins of the Xenos-biogen facility. “Damage looks self-inflicted. What happened here?”

Nov2014 004

Mantic and GW comparison shot. Tiny soldier piloting that thing?
Mantic and GW comparison shot. Tiny soldier piloting that thing?
Terrain so far. Some bought at clearance, some scratch built, some combo. The Heroquest hive thing was only $8.
Terrain so far. Some bought at clearance, some scratch built, some combo. The Heroquest hive thing was only $8.
Close up of some of the boys.
Close up of some of the boys.

Xenos forces coming next. Slow but sure and on a budget. Wish me luck.

Battlesuit Comparisons

Hobby-time has been scarce lately, but the arrival of Zandris IV’s new Satria Battlesuits inspired me enough to A. assemble them, then B. take some comparison shots for any one interested in such things. Pix below. Ask questions as needed. Hope they help.

L-R: Metal Dread, Plastic SM,  SST Grizzly Suit
L-R: Metal Dread, Plastic SM, SST Grizzly Suit
L-R: GW Dread, Z4 Pendekar Suit, SST Grizzly
L-R: GW Dread, Z4 Pendekar Suit, SST Grizzly
L-R: Z4 Satria, Infinity fig, Z4 Pendekar
L-R: Z4 Satria, Infinity fig, Z4 Pendekar
L-R: old VOR Neo-Sov Ursa suit, Infinity fig, Z4 Pendekar
L-R: old VOR Neo-Sov Ursa suit, Infinity fig, Z4 Pendekar
L-R: old scale HG mech, Infinity fig, Z4 Satria
L-R: old scale HG mech, Infinity fig, Z4 Satria
L-R: Z4 Satria, Infinity fig, Z4 Pendekar
L-R: Z4 Satria, Infinity fig, Z4 Pendekar

Spring Cleaning!

ITEMS FOR SALE
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Cleaning up the game room. These are either collecting dust and need to be transferred to a new commander to see action, or are leftovers from previous projects. Prices include USPS Shipping in the ConUS. If you’re interested and overseas, please contact me so I can calculate exact postage to your door. PAYPAL ONLY.

More coming. Thanks.
ITEMS FOR SALE HERE