Friday Night Firefight

As any resident of the UK who has ventured outside recently has realised, it’s getting bloody cold out there! So on Friday, we abandoned the gaming shed and moved indoors for a skirmish.

Some of you will remember the foldaway urban skirmish board we knocked up from the back of a shelving unit last year – although storage had not been entirely kind to this, it was still looking in pretty good fettle, so that gave us a roughly 3’x3′ surface to scrap on.

For rules, we used the classic small scale skirmish ruleset “Firefight” from Alternative Armies – the current version can be acquired here: https://www.alternative-armies.com/products/firefight-2-0-28mm-ion-age-wargame-rules , but we were using the original from the early 90s. With one small tweak, that is – the original used tiles with squares, no 3D scenery, so we bodged some cover rules and decided that we would substitute 1″ distance for 1 square. We’d fancied doing “open plan” Firefight for a while, so time to put miniature to board and give it a try!

Firefight
The original and classic!

We laid the table thick with sci fi/ industrial scatter scenery and put the DIY Ork Dread in the centre as a downed objective of sorts. Using the forces detailed in the first scenario in the Firefight rulebook, Jim took three Levy troopers and a Crusader NCO (FF equivalent of three Guardsmen with a Space Marine NCO-  budgetary restrictions meant these would be represented by our Deathwatch Space Marines) and I took the Shia Khan forces – two Infiltrators with Eggtimer rifles (represented by Orks), two Goblins with Eggtimers (Gretchin with red tipped autoguns) and two Goblins with Popcorn pistols (Gretchin with regular painted autoguns).

The forces manoeuvre cautiously toward each other
Judicious use of cover in the opening phases
Troops close to engage – who’s ambushing who?!?
Both sides open up!  Note the dice by each figure- this represents the accumulated “Dodge” points each figure has available, a neat little mechanic when you get used to it
Gutter fighting around the downed Dreadnought – a Levy trooper falls, as do a Goblin and an Infiltrator!
Crusader sergeant engages the Shia Khan at point blank range!
Up close and personal…
He drops the Infiltrator but a Goblin blindsides him with a point blank pistol shot!
Goblin with Eggtimer rifle and a good stack of accumulated Dodges secures the objectve
His two surviving team mates catch the remaining human trooper in a crossfire and bring him down – Shia Khan win!

After a slow couple of first turns with both sides manoeuvring through cover, the action exploded at point blank range and was absolutely lethal! Once you wrap your head around it the concept of the Action Dice and Dodges is really fun and innovative – armour doesn’t play a part (as far as we can tell), the Crusader has power armour but this doesn’t seem to have any bearing, but I guess the designers figured that nothing is going to stop a .50 calibre explosive bullet at a range of a few feet..

Firefight contains a campaign system and I think we’ll definitely be revisiting this, whether “open” or using the tiles provided.

Next on the list to try – Grimdark Future Firefight! Till then, stay thrifty out there and we’ll see you soon.

Epic Showdown on Hazzard Prime!

Damn, when you get old, time goes FAST. Can you really believe it was December 2017 when we last threw down the Epic armies of WAAAAAGH BOZZHOG and the Redeemers Marine Chapter?

Nope, neither could we.

So it was high time to break out the wee tiny fellas, scatter some scenery and get ready to do some serious krumpin’

This time the Imperial forces would be bolstered not just by the home made Leviathan, but also by a squadron of home made Vindicators – the first inklings of a DIY Epic Imperial Guard army! Whilst the greenskins… they got BIG RED.

 Preparation:

The armies hit the board! Objectives laid, armies deployed – Big Red anchors the Ork left flank along with the Goff Skullhamma, while the Slasher leads the Goffs and Evil Sunz assault force and the Bad Moons prepare to provide fire support. Meanwhile, the Devastators anchor the Imperial right, while the Veterans make ready to assault forwards in the centre supported by the Land Raider company, Warlord Titan, Leviathan and Vindicator squadron.

Ork Plan:

The basic plan with WAAGH BOZZHOG has pretty much always been use the Evil Sunz to charge forward and pin the enemy in place until the Goffs arrive to batter them senseless, while the Bad Moons throw fire support downrange. Meanwhile Big Red would occupy the objective in the gulley to the left, backed up by the Skullhamma and the Slasher would either cause calamities with it’s belly gun or rush forward to demolish the opposition with it’s chainfist, we’d play that one by ear!

Imperial Plan:

Looking at the terrain, it seemed a slam dunk to have the Devastators to deploy up the steep hill onto the objective on the Imperial right, which would also give a great field of fire across the battlefield. However, there was a tempting objective in the town slightly toward the centre, so I split off one detachment to occupy that. Meanwhile, the veterans of 1st Company would hurl themselves forward into the teeth of the ork horde and try and hold the town in the face of the Evil Sunz assault while the Land Raider company moved up in support behind them (with their mortal cousins in the Imperial Guard Vindicator squadron alongside them) and the Warlord and Leviathan adding their weight of firepower to the mix.

Turn 1:

Orks get the initiative and force the Marines to move first. Devastators take positions on the hill and in the town, while No. 1 company veterans deploy into the buildings facing the Ork horde!
Hurtling forward, pedal to the metal, the Evil Sunz crash into the veterans of No. 1 company and the Nobz warbikes demolish a squadron of Land Raiders.
Carnage!!!!
As turn 1 ends, the orks have broken the Veteran and Land Raider companies in exchange for the Evil Sunz and the Skullhamma but superior Imperial manoeuvrability means  more Imperial held objectives – Imperials lead 36 VPs to 26.

Turn 2:

The second wave hits! Goffs assault the buildings held by the remains of the veteran company whilst the few surviving Evil Sunz add their firepower in support. Meanwhile the Slasher lines up the Warlord and the surviving Imperial armour moves up in the centre.
Guard Vindicators pour their fire into the murderous close quarter battle in the streets as the Marine veterans fight desperate hand to hand combats in the buildings!
Devastator fire blows up the Skullhamma but Big Red watches on, impervious… (note the building reduced to rubble by a ball round, taking most of a Devastator detachment with it!)
Destruction up close and personal!

This turn broke the Devastators on top of the Veterans and Land Raiders, but the Goffs were teetering on the brink after the spectacularly bloody battle for the town that had also shattered the Evil Sunz, the Slasher and the Warlord  had both taken chunks out of each other and both sides were teetering on the edge of collapse…

Turn 3:

 

With the last veterans massacred by rampaging Goffs, Whirlwind artillery fire, combined with the barrage weapons on the Leviathan and Warlord, collapses the building they captured. Meanwhile, a lucky volcano cannon shot from the Warlord causes a flashback to the magazine, destroying the Slasher!
With the Slasher gone (and Big Red on the other flank damaged by fire from the Devastators), the Goffs now broken, the battered Imperial forces stand bloodied but victorious! 58-44 to the Redeemers with their Hazzard PDF allies – WAAAGH-BOZZHOG is denied once again…

Epilogue:

Whew, that was close – had I not got lucky with the Warlord’s volcano cannon in turn 3, that could have gone very differently.. I’ve also realised how ineptly I handled the veterans, rushing them forward to take on the Ork horde in close combat whilst moving support up behind them – what I should have done is kept them in their transports in reserve and allow the Orks to face long range fire from whatever Devastators I could spare from sparring with the Gargant, let the Whirlwinds and the barrage weapons on the Titan do their thing and then unleashed the elite close combat troops. And I should group the Terminators with them, as they accomplished squat where they were, until they were largely squashed by a ball round… must remember, it’s not how many points you have at the start of the game, it’s how many you have on the last turn that count!

___________________

 

Zog it! Well, I stuck to the plan – so maybe that’s the problem.. I’m thinking of putting the Goffs in battlewagons to keep up with the Sunz and maybe paint up a Death Skull warband to best use the Goff armour. That way the assault wave can hit all at once for truly devastating effect.. hmm.. either way, we definitely have escalation!

Till next time, stay thrifty out there!

Another Epic Scratchbuild – Imperial Guard Vindicator Company

Presenting just the CUTEST scratchbuild ever!

I always had a thing for the Imperial Guard as a wee youngling, and it often occurred to me that it was very wrong the way they were portrayed as almost a “fringe” army in 40k – after all, it was the teeming trillions of plain old GI Joes and Janes that held the line against the countless horrors of the 41st millenium, amirite?

But it was always the Space Marines who got included in the boxes…

I always fancied having a Guard army for Epic- the idea of massed tank and infantry suited the Guard absolutely perfectly! But then the cost – GW ain’t, never has been, and most likely never will be, cheap.

So, if I was going to make this idea happen, I was clearly going to have to MAKE it happen, if you catch my drift.

Yup, scratchbuild time again.

Normally I’d go in all all guns blazing and try and build something like a company of Stormhammer super heavy tanks out of cardboard, Blu-Tack and straws with nothing but blind faith in the God Emperor guiding my hand, but we’ve done that sort of thing before and this time I had an idea I wanted to try. I started with the idea of a Vindicator company – back in the early 90s, the Guard could take them, and Predators – and although the model itself got a bit of stick for looking blocky and cartoonish,  it was those very properties that appealed to me for ease of building. If the original model looked like it had been carved out of foamboard and cardboard by a cretin, it should be easy for a cretin to build one out of foamboard and cardboard!

Let us begin:

We begin two blacks of foamboard – I measured an old Epic Rhino to get the dimensions right and came up with 24mm by 11mm
Next, trim these to form a parallelogram – 6mm back from the front and back to create the slopes, again copied from the Epic Rhino I used as my template.
Now we turn to cardboard – or chipboard, for our friends across the pond (looking at you, Wyloch!)
Note the measurements in millimetres – these would form the first layer of the sides and track units.
Another shot of the side units, cut out and showing their shape
Next layer of side armour – again, note measurements in millimetres
Rear hatch cut from cardboard – 12mm wide by 10mm tall rectangle
12mm by 12mm square for front glacis plate
Front glacis plate with edges trimmed
And installed – that 2+ save doesn’t come out of nowhere!
Measuring out the side and top panels on thin modelling cardstock
And applied, bulking out the classic Rhino silhouette into something more intimidating..

 

Ain’t no Vindicator without the unfeasibly big gun! Drinking straw filled with tacky glue…
Glued in place on the front glacis plate. Hatches punched from chipboard with hole punch.
Final detailing! cylinders cut from granny grating to represent the side exhausts
And DONE! ready for priming….

Next up, painting – and that’s still a WIP so right now you’ll have to make do with this for now 🙂 Stay thrifty out there, we’ll see you soon!