Great Minds Think Alike

I write this post with my tongue somehwat in my cheek, and a wry grin upon my face….. but I just couldn’t resist 😉

We’ve treatised (is that a word?) in these pages before about games design, but this is something a little different. In this recent post about the new Kill Team set, (great trailer, by the way), GW revealed the basic mechanic that propels the game, lauding it as very different from 40k with it’s IGO UGO system, strictly defined turn phases and so forth. KT will instead be largely alternate activation, with models having a set number of action points to spend to do things like shoot, move, plant explosives etc.

This will, we are told, make games more flexible, more tactical and reactive.

And it will.

Because it’s exactly the same as Apocalypse: Earth.

Alternating activations? Check.

Action points? Check.

No set move or fire phase? Check.

Imitation, they say, is the greatest form of flattery…. 😉

They’ve even given the base guys – Guardsmen, Orks and so forth – 2 action points (as we have), whilst Space Marines – both vanilla and spiky – get 3. Which was – is – exactly what we plan to be the Greys thing when we eventually figure out what we’re doing with them.

Now, before everyone in the comments tells me how wrong I am for thinking that Dan & I came up with this concept, I know it’s present in other things – I think Space Hulk works that way (although I’ve ever actually played it), and Betrayal At Calth has something similar. A good idea is a good idea and it’s perfectly possible for people to have the same idea independently of each other.

I guess the point of this post is twofold – 1) GW, if you see our system and think we’re copying you, check the dates – we got you beat by 7 years! – 2) If you’re planning on springing for Kill Team (and we are pretty tempted, it must be said), maybe put a fiver aside and give our system a try….

We’ve also been toying with the idea of a “One Page” take on Apocalypse: Earth – a pared down version with just combat rules on a single A4 sheet. Let me know in the comments if you’re interested, and stay safe and thrifty out there!

Jager March! New units for the League Of European Nations…

It’s good to get back to your roots. With all the 40k and granny grating shenanigans that have been going on of late, you’d be forgiven for thinking that we’d forgotten about our first love – our own game, “Apocalypse: Earth” set in an alternate WW2 in the 1950s between the West and the Holy Soviet Empire that is not at all inspired by a popular computer game from the late 90s.

I’ve had custody of the “goodies”, the Atlantic Alliance – UK, US & Commonwealth – while Dan has been commanding the Holy Soviet Empire forever, but in the last couple of years I’ve been investigating the League Of European Nations… short version, Germany (sort of) wins WWI, sets up a proto-EU, the UK doesn’t bankrupt itself in WWI and as a result the Commonwealth and US go into partnership more or less as equals.

In the original rulebook (from 2014!!) I made reference to a League unit called a Panzerjager, which is basically a walking light tank/ power armour suit, but at that time I had no idea how I might go about making one…

Fast (fast?) forward seven years, and I am SO much older and wiser. So, allow me to walk you through the construction process… you’ll need foamboard, cardboard, a straw, a coffee strawer and a kebab skewer… and yeah, a bit of granny grating, and some sprue.

Here’s where we start – 5mm thick foamcore, 20 x 25mm wide – we’re going to glue these on top of each other to create 3 lots of 2 foamcore bodies. These form the core of the models.
Now we taper the upper layer – 5mm off either edge.
Next we encase the main torso in thin cardboard – this is just cheap stuff from The Works, but cereal box or even printer paper should do the job just as well
Cardstock covering the foamboard torso, next a 4.5cm chunk of coffee stirrer to provide the “shoulders” (the black marks on the centre are there to ensure accurate alignment)

Now, full disclosure, I built these while watching the England – Denmark game, which meant that my attention did wander at times… as a result, the next few steps didn’t get documented…..

Legs from kebab skewers, broken in the middle and sealed with superglue… laser cannon cut from drinking straw, machinegun from (you guessed it) granny grating, and exhaust pipes on the back clipped from sprue and superglued on. Rivets are blobs of PVA dabbed on with a cocktail stick.
Out to the shed for priming…
Based with two coats of Crafter’s Choice tan…
Camo patterns added with Vallejo Russian Green
And Americana Light Cinammon craft paint
Washed with (very) thin Vallejo Brown Ink
Pin wash of neat Vallejo Smokey Ink
Drybrushed with bone craft paint (Americana Buttermilk)…
And done! Bases were painted chocolate brown then added sand and flock… I superglued a piece of gravel to each base partly for scenic reasons and partly to impart some weight to these models, as being simply cardboard, foamboard and straw for the most part they had a tendency to fall over when someone nearby coughed (although you could make the case for that being a COVID early warning system)
Taking the field (in this case Bose Cliff) with some friends….

Why have I built these? Well, as COVID restrictions are lifting and the Great Plague of 2020-21 goes into remission… probably…. we’re planning our Great Summer Smackdown once again! Now Dan & I are both double jabbed and so are our other halves, we can start to plan some big games again… and believe me, we are!

If you’re interested in the rules for these Panzerjagers, they’re in the Apocalypse: Earth rulebook, but because we love you all (Pete, John, Subedai, IRO, Roger, Whittlesey and all of you) here they are again, updated to represent these models:

Panzerjager Squadron – 250pts

Independent unit

Leader – Panzerjager suit equipped with Laser Designator, SS-10 “Cobra” ATGM, Heavy Machine Gun

2 Troopers – Panzerjager suit equipped with SS-10 “Cobra” ATGM & Heavy Machine Gun

Special Rule – the Panzerjager suits each allow the wearer to mount heavy weapons without suffering any movement penalties. It protects it’s wearer with an armour value of 12.

Heavy Machine Gun – range 100cm, ROF 8, Penetration 6+2D6

SS-10 “Cobra” ATGM – range 100cm, ROF 1, Penetration 15+2D6, +1 to hit on designated target

Laser Designator – the player chooses a target to be designated, all other unit members get +1 to hit with their Cobra ATGM launchers.

And if you fancy having a crack yourself, here’s the rulebook and fluff on Wargames Vault: Apocalypse: Earth

Stay safe and thrifty out there, and a BIG fight coming soon!