Crossing The Rubicon Nostalgius Pt. 2 – First Squad Done!

How do folks, hope you’re all staying safe out there – as we hunker down for the second COVID wave, let me brighten your lockdown with some bold primary colours from the grim darkness of the far future… yes, that’s right, despite my diversion into 20mm fantasy, I’ve not forgotten my 90’s Blood Angels and I’ve actually got a squad completed.

Behold the grimdark, in glorious Technicolour.

I’ve already described the painting process in my first post, so I won’t belabour it here, the main additions were the free hand blood drop on the shoulder pad…

There was a mixed level of success with this, my freehand won’t be winning me any Golden Demon trophies.

There was a slight logistical issue with this, as I discovered I dodn’t have any white model or craft paint. However, I spent the first few months of lockdown repainting my house so.. yes, the drops were done with Dulux Jasmine White house paint (albeit thinned with acrylic medium). Heresy? Almost certainly.

You might also notice the decal – I’d been wondering about where to get hold of these until Whittlesey40k (the same chap who very kindly allowed us to link the original photos from White Dwarf on his blog) got in touch with Jim and very kindly sent a set over entirely free of charge! So many thanks Whittlesey, we really appreciate that and if we’re ever in the same postcode I owe you a beer. Check out his blog here, there’s some fantastic stuff.

Thanks Whittlesey!

The last part was the banner – now, you can’t do 90’s 40k without back banners, can you? Back in the late Rogue Trader/ 2nd ed days, anyone who was anyone in the 41st millenium carried around a flag proclaiming them as such. I’d managed to download a PDF of White Dwarf 139 from Scribd, which had the painting guide for the GW studio Blood Angels army in it complete with back banner designs you can print out, “colour in” and cut out, so that’s exactly what I did, trying to match the colour choice and keep to the lines as close. I’m not as deft at it as those chaps were, but they look pretty good from two feet away and they absolutely scream 90s at you.

The banners are mounted on a paperclip that I straightened out and clipped using wire cutters, and then superglued the banners to. The ends got wedged down the back of the power packs and a dab of superglue to keep in place… I suppose I could have drilled something, thinking about it, but I am trying to keep bloodshed to a minimum. That said, I did drill out the missile launcher barrel – check me out!

The lads on patrol – sergeant and veteran marine equipped with banner. Hilariously impractical, but so cool
Moving out on patrol… at least nobody will lose sight of each other.

So there we go, another baby step forward in my vanity project! Second tactical squad up next, then I think the Devastators… I’ll use them to get my eye in a little more before getting to the Terminators and characters. Plus of course getting my Paperhammer on building them some Rhinos (Jim can help with that) – so plenty to be getting on with.

Stay safe, stay thrifty and The Emperor Protect us all!

Grimdark Future Fight Club! Game 1 – Crimson Fists Battle Brothers v The People’s Front of Hazzard Rebel Guerillas

Despite lockdowns worryingly close by, our little corner of Leicestershire is still open for business, and we’ve decided on a little mini-tournament/ league type thing. Using 1000 point armies and the excellent One Page Rules’ Grimdark Future games system, we’ve set up our own little Fight Club!

Right now it’s just GDF, but we will be using this for Future Force Warrior to tidy and develop that system a little, and I dare say 9th and/ or 2nd Ed 40k will be making an appearance. League standings will be posted on the homepage and quite possibly we’ll be doing a Fantasy version – Age Of Fantasy, Age Of Sigmar, and Hyperian Wars.

Back to our first game though – the first rule of Fight Club is “don’t talk about Fight Club”, but the second rule is “everyone who is new, fights”. Seeing as the Crimson Fists were still on the table from The Battle At The Farm the other day, I took them and their papercraft Rhino to make a 1000pt force, and Dan rolled out with the People’s Front Of Hazzard 237th Freedom Brigade.

Dan won the roll off and opted for the wooded side of the table – quite thematic, the rebel scum lurking in the forests – while my Battle Brothers deployed as I planned to use them, one squad in the ruins with the missile launcher (the Brothers’ only heavy weapon) while the main body of the force deployed in their Rhino transport ready to punch forward and engage the puny guerillas in melee, led by Commander Pedro Cantor with his jump pack and power fist.

The battlefield
Battle brothers missile launcher squad positioned to cover as much board as possible – in GDF you alternate deployment, and Dan, the clever bastard, made use of his numerical superiority to make sure I’d put these guys down BEFORE he deployed his tank… well played, sir 😉
Rebels lurk in the woods, Dan shielding his close combat Strikers and HQ with the more disposable Rebels
Snipers positioned on the bluffs on the Rebel extreme right
Since we didn’t have objective markers as such, we used civilians – rather thematic in a way, these could be scientists fleeing the Imperium, or rushing to flee from a corrupted Rebellion!
The Colonel hiself, hiding out in the ruins of a Hazzard KFC franchise..

With the objectives all placed, it was time to rock & roll! Under GDF rules, whoever finished deploying first also got the option of going first or second (although with an alternating activation mechanic, this is not such a big deal).

The Battle Brothers rushed forward, intending to overwhelm the poorer quality rebel infantry in close combat and trusting to their hardy power armour (represented by good Defence rolls) and went aggressive – while one squad (the one armed with the missile launcher) stayed in cover (kinda – more on that in a minute) deploying the two combat squads out from their APC, while the jump-pack equipped Commander got ready to put the rebels to the sword!

But things didn’t quite pan out that way. Rebel snipers took down my missile launcher which I’d left more exposed than I realised and from there it went downhill as Dan handled the Rebels like a pro, keeping his distance and ensuring my Battle Brothers died the death of a thousand cuts, whittled away at by Rebel fire… and of course, with my sole heavy weapon cut down in the first turn without even firing a shot I had no answer to the Rebel tank with it’s lethal main weapon easily able to vapourise my poor Brothers.

We got our licks in where we could, but on turn 4 the Rebels counter attacked, having saved their Striker close combat elites to overwhelm my Commander and what Brothers had managed to make it into combat. The Rebels died to a man, but so did the Brothers and the Commander was wounded, making him easy meat for the Rebel commander and his Simian Champion… the Simian’s mighty fists beat through the weary and wounded Commander’s defences, and the last thing he saw was the face of his hated Rebel foe administering the coup de grace with his pistol at point blank range!

Right, pics:

Battle Brother support squad comes under fire early in turn one – bye bye, missile launcher..
Return fire! 3+ to hit, you say?
Battle Brothers debus from their APC to engage the foe
Farmhouse objective secured
Commander secures another objective in the church ruins
Having whittled the Brothers’ numbers down, the Rebels strike back, advancing on the farmhouse..
Rebel tank….
…and consequences!
In one of the few instances of being useful, one of the Rebel psychics conjures up a firestorm that immolates two Brothers
In desperation, the APC crew open up on the Rebel sorcerers hiding in the woods!
Sole surviving Battle Brother in the farmhouse prepares to sell his life dearly…
Beset on all sides, the Brothers’ commander is wounded…
.. and falls under the deluge of gun butts, Simian fists and power sword!
Pretty much sums up my dice rolling with that game!

So that’s 1 win to the Hazzard People’s Front (People’s Front Of Hazzard?), and a big fat loss to the Battle Brothers! I could lament my appalling dice rolls but the simple fact is my plan sucked and my execution was poor, leaving my sole heavy weapon stupidly exposed and trying to spread my forces too thin. Dan, on the other hand realised that it doesn’t matter how many objectives you hold on turn 1, it’s how many you hold when the game ends, so he suckered me in to get my forces chopped up while hoarding his best troops to unleash on me when my guys had been whittled away! Very cunning, my worthy foe…

So – winner stays on, and next up will be the Hazzard 1977th PDF to face the Rebels.. can the Guard win where the Marines failed? We’ll see!

Stay safe out there and stay thifty, see you soon!