Monday, 17 November 2014

Graffam Sci-Fi

If you have been glancing at this blog for a wee while you'll know that I'm a big fan of the products of Dave Graffam. I have numerous Ruin and Fantasy card terrain kits of his (some are even built!) but I've never ventured any of his small Sci-Fi collection. Why? Well they've never really grabbed me on the website the way the other kits do. However, the pictures of that some other fans\clients have put up on his Facebook page had me re-evaluating this stance, and as he has a sale on for November I took the plunge and bought a few kits.

I have started with a partial build of the Watchstation - it is too basic a change of the original to call it a "kitbash". All I've done is built the ground floor and stick the top roof to the ground floor overhang section\first floor floor (if that makes any sense!)

So what do  I think now? Well really I like the textures and design. The colour options are distinct and varied enough for different feels (I've gone for a basic cold grey future example here). One option I would have liked would have been to have the choice of whether to have a side "blister" or not, much like Dave does with the Dormer Windows on his fantasy designs. The buttresses give some extra cover than just a usual flat fronted building with is nice.

I think my greatest hesitation is the size of the door-  it's huge. However, two counters to this opinion: Firstly the guide does recommend printing at 95% for 28mm figures (which these are) and I lazily didn't bother resizing ..And secondly, why not have a big door? You may be the most puny race using it, don't be so selfish!

Friday, 14 November 2014

IHMN - Cyberman Hunt in Obsession

A long overdue trip up to MacSver's battle happened the last week to try a kickstart "In Her Majesty's Name" back onto the gaming agenda. We had given the rules a quick game back at the start of the year but hadn't managed to progress past that. For a variety of reasons though the gaming agenda has cleared for this to come in now, at last.

The scenario was a basic treasure hunt. There were rumours in the Wild West town of Obsession that  the remains of a strange automaton were located in the centre of town (the middle 4 buildings of the table). MacSver's hastily assembled Wild West Company were out to investigate, whilst a section of UNIT, led my their Scientific Advisor The Doctor were also in the area to stop the technology falling into the wrong hands.

The Tardis had materialised at the South end of the main street. The Doctor and companions started near the Tardis, whilst the main UNIT force made their way to the street centre.

Wild West Show came in from the North. Mountain Man Jeramiah held the Main street in his sights with his long range Hunting Rifle.

Part of the group advanced up the street under his cover

Whilst the remainder flanked round the West side of buildings.

Outgunned in the street the Doctor led half the UNIT group through the cover of Rogan's Bar.

Whilst the other half cut through the safety of the Undertakers.

With the street empty of targets, Jeremiah took the opportunity to duck into the first suspect house, but his searching brought no result.

The Doctor also made his way to the first available building, the Sheriffs Office, where he stumbled upon the deactivated Cyberman he had been seeking.

Outside though the shooting had started as the forces had all found range and cover from each other.

Ironjaw and Wild Bill Dooley flanked round the back of the Sheriff's Office to cut off the Doctor, but they were met by the K9 and a UNIT soldier, who ran Ironjaw through with his bayonet.

With the building starting to be surrounded by the opposition, Amy moved to cover  the Doctor, ready to swing her nightstick at anyone who came through the door.

Not that it was likely to do her much good as Outlaw Eddie was sneaking up to the door, laden with explosive grenades. A sharp eyed UNIT trooper, however, had a vantage point down the alley from the other side of the street and gunned Eddie down before he could put a pin.

This drew attention to the Troopers in the construction zone, and an Outlaw opened fire from a first floor window.

The shot missed and with his position given away, a second trooper drew a bead a cleared the danger.

With their prize in hand, The Doctor and Amy started to hurry back to the TARDIS.

Meanwhile the UNIT soldier tried to stop Wild Bill from pursuing, but the experienced gunslinger easily side stepped the advance, positioned himself and fired both his pistols, one at each enemy. Unfortunately his bullets didn't find their mark, bullets ricocheting off the strange robotic hound's metal hide, and he was taken out by K9's nose mounted arc fire.

Down the street Jeremiah was trying to draw a bead on the escaping Doctor. A trooper rushed in to spoil his aim, but soon found himself outnumbered. There was a bit of a melee on the sidewalk, the result being the mountain man succumbing to the sharpened british steel of the bayonet.

This was enough to allow the Doctor space and time to get to the TARDIS and secure the artefact.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Targe 2014

Saturday saw Arabiansquire and myself drive up to Kirriemuir, birthplace of J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan), Bon Scott (AC\DC) and the site of one of the most bawdy dances in history (if you believe the song!).
Arabiansquire looks down as his Tiger wrecks
my Sherman.
Kirriemuir Wargaming Club host a much more family friendly affair, Targe, every year. I managed to attend many years ago, and they have since moved from the Town Hall to the local High School, giving much more space. there were a good collection of traders in the main hall with quite a few handsome tables set out. Another large room down another corridor housed some more games.

It was here that we played our first game of the day, Dambusters. We'd seen this being played at the other shows this year, carefully and enthusiastically set up by the Leuchar's Veteran's club (formerly RAF Leuchars Wargaming club). A big board documenting the various runs made all day was next to a Dam. 3 crew members (pilot, bomb aimer, and front gunner) were required to climb into the Lancaster cockpit (yes, they had built a 3 seat camouflaged cockpit setup complete with dials) pull on flight helmets (yes they had rubber flight helmets for the crew to wear) and with simple guided rules try and fly a successful bombing run to take out a Dam (to the background Dambusters soundtrack).

The table centre tank scrap yard acquires stock at a rapid rate. 
A trip across the room had us at a second game, a hybrid of Flames of War and the World of Tanks video game (rules downloadable here ). As there were only 2 of us to play at that point it was a straight off battle over a single objective point. All good fun with Arabiansquire coming a slightly manipulated first (not that I'm bitter). I suspect that this could be a lot of fun with a decent number of players so will have to look into it in the future.

For the last bit of dice rolling action at the end of our visit Arabiansquire sat down to re-play a Pegasus Bridge assault game that we'd enjoyed at Claymore earlier in the year. Whether his previous experience helped more than the poor shooting from the German forces I don't know, but the young lad  ran out winner and walked away with a 6th Airborne Pegasus Bridge patch as a trophy.

And did I buy anything? Well with Crooked Dice and Studio Miniatures both in attendance I was more hard pushed to choose what not to buy! In the end Crooked Dice supplied me with some figures for Dr Who (their Rose Tyler, Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint and Strax) and the Ghostbusters. After some deliberation I plumped for Studio miniatures Tiny Terrors pack (6 child zombies) and a Walking Dead Michonne figure (complete with chastened undead pets). The Bring and Buy also threw up a bargain pack of 14 zeds from a few manufacturers for £4. So happy shiny time.

A good day out. Thanks to the club for hosting and all the clubs and traders in attendance for making the effort to be there at the end of a long show season. The only down part of the day is that I didn't have to to buy a proper Bridie (they don't stray much further away from Forfar than the 7 miles to Kirriemuir!). Next time...

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

IHMN - Dr Who Unit Expeditionary Force

I've been looking to play "In Her Majesty's Name" more, but have stalled in getting my Grenadier Guards finished to accompany Her Royal Empress an House staff. However it did occur to me that with a little effort I was closer to levering in a Doctor Who themed company.

First missing component was to get a bit more Whovian flavouring. What better (and as importantly quicker) than K9, so I happly managed to get him painted on Sunday evening.

Next up were some Unit soldiers. Back in the dim and distant past (when I was Space 1889 roleplaying) I had picked up some ready painted British Soldiers (picture on the left). I have no idea if thay had come already dipped, or if it was me, but with a little of post (ie 7 years) highlighting and rebasing they are table worthy enough.

And so to the assembled company.

The Unit Soldiers have Tartan Trews as they are garrisoned in the Highlands of Scotland at Blair Castle under the guise of the Duke of Atholl's own private army The Atholl Higlanders. This is the only legal private army in Europe (and now you know why!). Now and again they set out on missions with their special consultant scientific expert, known only as "The Doctor", and his assistant.

Unit Expeditionary Force 246pts
  • The Doctor: Pluck 2+/ FV +1/ SV 0/ Speed +1/ Points 56;
    Leadership +2, Engineer, Erudite Wit, Inspirational; Magneto-static Waistcoat, Sonic Screwdriver(*)
  • Amy Pond: Pluck 4+/ FV 0/ SV 0/ Speed +1/ Points 30; Intervention, Unearthly Beauty; Brigandine, Nightstick 
  • K9: Pluck 5+/FV 0/ SV +2/ Speed 0 Points 20; Tough; Steel Armour, Arc Pistol 
  • Unit Captain Stewart: Pluck 3+/ FV +4/ SV +4/ Speed +1/ Points 40; Leadership +1; Brigandine, Pistol, Sabre  
  • Unit Rifleman x 5: Pluck 5+/ FV +2/ SV +2/ Speed 0/ Points 20;; Brigandine, Bayonet, Military Rifle
* Sonic Screwdriver: 10pts (Costed as Mystical Power) 6" range, no pluck roll. Causes weapon to jam (one shooting phase to clear)

> I was going to originally cast K9 as a Clockwork Dog from the rulebook, but on reading the description it was most un-K9-like, so I have taken the base Clockwork Dog stats and worked round that. I had similar problems trying to bring in a sonic screwdriver, but figured that effect I was looking for (temporarily jamming weapons) sounded more like a mystical power than a weapon, so I had a bash costing it as such.