New STALKER and Freedom troopers

More on the ZP/STALKER front: a new converted Eureka fig and some old Freedom troopers.

Took a bit more time with this latest STALKER, varying the paint scheme slightly, trying to capture the plastic orange look of those AK mags. I think he came out alright. I have plenty more in my STALKER-related bits box.

You can see him facing down some feral hounds on his own or with some comrades playing Hide-N-Seek with a group of Shufflers.

Next up are some Freedom troopers, converted from The Assault Group’s excellent Modern Russians range. Just add Pig Iron heads and you’re good. I did these a while back – before Lead Adventure put out their excellent Post-Apoc line. I made a set for Clear Sky and Duty. I’ll take pictures of them soon-ish. I think they get the job done. (This reminds me I could use a couple more TAG packs to create Monolith troops)

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Finishing my next novel will be the priority for the next month or so, which means Tuesday night Game Night is board games for a while. (Zombicide anyone?) But I picked up a copy of GW’s Gorechosen online for cheap and should be able to get in some painting time, if only to keep my sanity while I hammer out the final chapters of this draft.  Here’s hoping.

Thanks for looking. Have a great week.

Sosnovy Bor Garrison Run – ZP Test Game

On the western fringe of the Exclusion Zone lies the deserted military garrison, Sosnovy Bor  – Pine Forest. Classified as Threat Level One/Relatively Stable, it is a great training ground for experienced Stalkers to acclimatize new crew members to the hazards of the Zone, as well as a frequent destination for Zone guides to bring their ‘tourists’ in order to give them a taste of danger without too much trouble.

Well scavenged, there is little by way of salvage and equipment, but its proximity to roads and trails make it favorite jumping off point for excursions deeper into the Zone.

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A recent emission prompted four STALKERS – Timur Bok, Vitya Laska, Ilya Nikitovitch, and Sava Urakov – to chance a quick trip in search of possible new artifacts and salvageable gear from any unlucky visitors.

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Slipping under the Cordon fence, the four of them made their way briskly along a well-worn path to the old garrison. Detecting movement, they did a quick radio check then split up and approached the base each from a different corner.

The leader Timur Bok, scanned the grounds with his monocular. “Two bodies,” he said. “With packs and weapons still on the ground beside them. No local distortions that I can detect though. Appears the emission didn’t generate any anomalies. That means no artifacts.”

“But loot, yes?” Vitya responded.  “So I say we pop in.”

Carrying a heavy CETME battle rifle, Ilya Nikitovitch grunted. “For a sack of old gear and a couple surplus AKs? Meh.”

“It’s money laying on the ground,” Vitya protested. “If you’re scared, don’t worry. I have extra med kits in my pack to patch you up. Unless you want to sit this one out, Mr Big Shot. Then we’ll split the money three ways. Right Sava?”

He heard Sava spit. “If there’s anything of value down there, I’ll find it,” the scrounger said. “Besides, I think Olga deserves some extra magazines after she was so good to us on our last outing, no?”

Sava Urakov’s old AK-74 had saved their collective bacon three days past when the four of them had been jumped by a pair of Snorks outside the bus stop on the old south road.

“OK. We go in,” Timur decided. “Eyes up though. I got two Rotters shuffling by that office building and movement behind the garage.”

Ilya sighed and chambered a round in his rifle. “You know, if you see one…”

Vitya jumped to his feet. “…there’s a dozen more you can’t see,” he finished. “Whoo hoo. We’re off to see the wizard.”

***

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GAME SUMMARY

Very straightforward game to test the combat mechanics and the Hostile NPC AI rules. Area had Two Hot Spots (locations with probable loot. And hostiles) and five enemies already visible. The players decided to cooperate rather than compete, coming in from the four corners of the base/mission area.

Timur the leader promptly climbed to the top of a large fuel tank. Vitya the medic skirted the far side of the garage to flank the zombies and approach one of the Hot Spots.   (symbolized by a Dead Stalker scenic) The Scrounger Sava ducked and weaved his way past the ConEx containers toward a truck, while Ilya lugged his battle rifle around the fuel depot at the rear of the base.

 

The game itself unfolded swiftly and without surprises: seeing Timur on the fuel tank, the zombies promptly lurched forward, allowing Vitya and Ilya to approach unnoticed. Sava made the first kills of the game, dropping the two office zombies before they knew he was around.

Jealous, Timur lobbed a grenade at the shuffling trio, only to miss and tear up the cab of a nearby Ural 4320. The zombies pressed ahead, coming within 4″ of the second Hot Spot and triggering a pack of feral dogs, who ran to the fuel tanks rear ladder and began barking.

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With this distraction as cover, Vitya tossed a bolt to trigger the Hot Spot directly in front of him. (Two Bandits!) Meanwhile, Sava gave Olga a quick kiss on the bolt cover and sidled over to the barricades and began picking off the distant zombies. Ilya ran to help Timur, who was prepping another grenade.

Timur dropped the grenade on the dogs. (“Puppy burgers over the camp fire tonight, comrades!”) Sava took down the last of the zombies which allowed Ilya to climb on top of the damaged Ural and dispatch the two Bandits before they could turn on Vitya.

 

All threats dispatched, the Hot Spots were clear for salvage. Sava, being a Scrounger, can check each location twice, virtually guaranteeing the STALKERs a decent haul for their effort. Game over.

THOUGHTS

Only Two Hot Spots, a few Shufflers, some Dogs, and a pair of Bandits, players cooperating and coordinating their moves, the game went smoothly with no drama at all.

Nail-biting it wasn’t but as a test game for the rules? I’d say it Passed. I’ll be tweaking the ZP rules to get the conclusions on paper this weekend and that’ll be another step toward the finish line.

Thanks for reading.  Have a great day.

 

Another Zona Perestrelki crew

The 4th of July weekend is upon us so this is a short post.

Another squad for ZP. I painted up five more Eureka Soviets with Pig Iron heads. A simple modification that’s easy and works well to provide loads of appropriate looking Zone denizens is no time. This squad can be unaffiliated STALKERS, a rival crew, perhaps even successful Bandits out to rob players of their hard-earned salvage and artifacts.

The old VOR Union Power Armor Commander makes for a good random event for those missions deep in the Zone. He could be an enemy or an ally – it all depends on how the players react once he appears on the board.

Speaking of which… Each ZP mission can be played at one of three Threat Levels: Blue, Yellow, or Red. (TL 1, 2 and 3 respectively) Lower level areas are more secure with fewer hostiles but offer less salvage. Sure, you can scrape out a living pecking around the relative safety of the perimeter areas, but it’s only when you risk a Red/TL 3 well inside the Cordon that you come across truly valuable gear and artifacts. But beware! Mercenaries, Bandits, and Mutants guard those areas and would gladly kill any who trespass on their territories. A player will want solid experience under their belt, a fair-sized crew with decent gear before venturing too far in.

But as they say in Russia – кто не рискует, тот не пьет шампанское.

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Breech and Clear an abandoned building
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RPK Support
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Cheeki Breeki, baby
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Military Power Armor. Very rare, expensive to maintain, but absolute top-of-the-line for scavenging the Zone

ZP Squad 2

More soldiers for our STALKER-style games. This time it’s a 5-man Zone Security team that includes a heavy-duty exo-suit.

I also picked up some of Eureka’s Modern Russians and started more individual STALKERS using old Pig Iron heads. They’re turning out well. Pictures when I finish a few more.

For now, here’s the Zone Enforcement. With the holidays fast approaching, our game schedule will be spotty until the new year, but I think these boys will be able to deploy tomorrow evening against a marauding bandit crew. (and perhaps a swarm of Ragers)

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Big Dog Support for MOUT Force

So I am not posting pix of the previous two game nights because my D10s are traitorous little plastic polyhedrals. It’s as if they instinctively know to roll the exact opposite of whatever target number I need in a particular situation. *5 or less? How’s three 10s hit ya? Muwahahahahahha* Bastards have left my forces strewn in inept, bloody chunks across the battlefield two weeks in a row now. The phrase ‘Never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity’ sums up my tactical acumen.

So… here’s some posed shots of my Pig Iron MOUT force with ‘Big Dog/Pitbull’ support droid. It’s a Reaper CAV ‘Simba’ I found on eBay. A bit big, but seeing as it’s a futuristic variant with light weapons support, it works fine.

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Big Dog/Pitbull D:PLS. Droid- Portage and Light Support. “Deeples”. Paint him red and call him Clifford.
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At the electrical junction box bunker.
Infantry with Zandris IV battle suit. Get one - You know  want to.
Infantry with Zandris IV battle suit. Get one – You know want to.
MOUT Team Rhino. Smile when you say that.
MOUT Team Gator. Smile when you say that.

Our next game is slated to be a ‘seize the high ground terrain in ruined city’. My worthy opponent will deploy some Infinity Combined Army figs while I’m considering Reaper Chronoscope IMEF Marines with an old SST Grizzly suit. Pictures if I win.

Or at least tie.

Take Care.

oh yeah…

Sniper: they call him 'The Finger of God.'
Sniper: they call him ‘The Finger of God.’

Victory in New Burnham – Part 2

“In what Coalition commanders are calling ‘a stunning victory’ over rebel forces in the Trenovat Province, soldiers from the Prata Armed Forces have taken the town of New Burnham. They say occupying this critical junction of Highways 17 and  39 will seriously disrupt PLF movement and supply, and could possibly mark a turning point in the bitter conflict that has plagued this once-beautiful region. Following is actual footage from yesterday’s fierce battle.”

Coalition Support Specialist Tremont is credited with single-handedly capturing an enemy weapons cache.
Coalition Support Specialist Tremont is credited with single-handedly capturing an enemy weapons cache.
Rebels in cover on Coalition right.
Rebels in cover on Coalition right.
FAT Boy advances and fires on rebel squad.
FAT Boy advances and fires on rebel squad.
Specialist Tremont at enemy cache
Specialist Tremont at enemy cache
Rebels in the ruins exchanging fire with Coalition FAT Boy
Rebels in the ruins exchanging fire with Coalition FAT Boy
Rebels defend cache 2.
Rebels defend cache 2.
Not for long. Coalition forces fire and advance.
Not for long. Coalition forces fire and advance.
Fireteam Bravo advances cautiously up the center street after RL team destroys  rebel heavy weapon drone.
Fireteam Bravo advances cautiously up the center street after RL team destroys rebel heavy weapon drone.
Under the command of Master Sgt Fuhs, the RL team poured accurate, devastating fire on rebel assets.
Under the command of Master Sgt Fuhs, the RL team poured accurate, devastating fire on rebel assets.

At the conclusion of his briefing, Commander Smythe-Howard stated this victory proves the PLF’s rabid fanaticism was no match for the superior discipline and firepower of the Coalition’s professional armed forces. ‘New Burnham sends a message to the extremist PLF terrorist leaders. When we fight, we win. And our troops will continue the fight to preserve our nation and way of life. The so called Prata Liberation Front is a losing cause, all that waits for PLF extremists and rebels is death. The Coalition will prevail and our great nation will be united once again.’

Gator Team: Pig Iron MOUT force

As promised, shots of my latest ‘skirmish set’: two squads, FAT-Man Exo suits (Full Armor- Tactical) and IFV transport. (courtesy of Old Crow) Re-watching the battle scene in Ralph Feinnes’ ‘Coriolanus’ inspired me to try Urban Camo. Still hunting for a suitable gun-sled drone to round this set out. I’m thinking the upcoming Khurasan grav-stuff might fill the bill.

FAT-Man suits courtesy of ZandrisIV
FAT-Man suits courtesy of ZandrisIV
Gator One
Gator One
Gator Two
Gator Two
Ken "Snuff" Koda - sniper
Ken “Snuff” Koda – sniper
IFV  - the mighty 'Thunder Weasel' rides again.
IFV – the mighty ‘Thunder Weasel’ rides again.
Increased lethality for the modern urban combat environment.
Increased lethality for the modern urban combat environment.
Rubble Rats with fangs.
Rubble Rats with fangs.
Gator Team -  suited, booted, smooth  and strapped.
Gator Team – suited, booted, smooth and strapped.