So, so far the casual observer of our Apocalypse: Earth battle reports might have thought that it was all just about the Atlantic Alliance vs the evil Holy Soviet Empire.. but that’s a long way from the truth. As anyone (both of you) who has read our fluff will know, the fateful Soviet invasion of February 1954 crashed across the German border with devastating force, catching the League Of European Nations not quite with their pant down, but certainly at half mast!
With Germany winning a Pyrrhic victory in the Great War at the Battle Of Paris in November 1914, and the League of European Nations being set up in the wake up the military coup that toppled the Kaiser two months later, it was German patterned equipment, doctrine and armaments that formed the backbone of LoEN armed forces in the early years of the war..
So with this in mind, it was high time to get the Europeans in the fight. This particular group are WW2 Germans, 30 bought for £1.50 off eBay.
Yes, you heard me right. £1.50. This is why we do 1/72.
So, I started with basing each little guy with a 20mm circular base hole punched from thick card, glued on with tacky glue (basically fast acting PVA, mixed with isopropyl alcohol), and then sprayed them white with cheap £1 car spray primer from my local Bargains 365 – The next step was to wash the whole force with Vallejo Smokey Ink, thinned down with water:
I had a rough idea of how I wanted them to look, mixing the classic field grey that we a;; associate with WW2 Wehrmacht with the three colour “Dunkelgelb” camo pattern that appeared on late war armour – this way, these guys could be fight in either Operation Barbarossa 1954 or Operaton Bagration 1944 (always thinking, y’see, always thinking)- so I went with camo jacket and field grey trousers. NCOs got camo helmets, regular grunts got stuck with feldgrau ones.
So, first stage was the combat jacket – my trusty Crafter’s Choice tan craft paint was the basecoat, thinned down quite heavily for a nice smooth finish. Translucency was mitigated by the white undercoat and Smokey Ink prewash. Next step was to add the camo stripes – Vallejo Russian Green and Americana Light Cinammon provided the green and “rotbrun” respectively.
I washed the jackets with a thinned down Vallejo Brown Ink wash and once that had dried, gave them a very light drybrush of Americana Buttermilk – this a very light cream clour, analoguous to GW’s Zandri Dust.
Once this had all dried, I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t happy with the results – something was missing. I wound up applying a very thin wash, more like a glaze really, of mixed Vallejo Brown Ink and Skin Wash.
For the trousers and grunt helmets (and the Luftwaffe liason officers’ entire uniform) I used Vallejo German Grey, thinned a little with water, which then got a very thin black wash. Highlighting would come later.
Next up, I applied some cheapflesh tone craft paint (as always, thinned), and a dab of thinned Vallejo Skin Wash to the exposed skin areas, and black to the jackboots and metal areas of of weaponry – submachine guns, rifle barrels etc. Metallic areas got Boltgun Metal (well, the craft paint equivalent) and a thin black wash.
Leather loadbearing harnesses and wooden areas like rifle butts were treated with very thin coats of Americana Asphaltum, and given a very precise (well, as precise as I could be after half a bottle of wine) Vallejo Brown Ink wash.
Finally, each model got a very light drybrush of Americana Buttermilk to tie the whole model together – I was really impressed with how well this blended with all the colours.
Basing was a cinch – painted the whole thing brown, slapped some PVA on them and dunked them in my pot of Garage Floor Grit (TM), before adding some flock and touching up the edges. And with that- DONE!
Right, so after all that – pictures!
I’ve organised these chaps one HQ section (6 strong), two rifle squads (7 strong) and two assault squads (5 strong – submachineguns and flamethrowers).
The idea with the League of European Nations forces is for them to be a middle ground of sorts between the highly mobile and flexible Atlantic Alliance and the slow rolling firestorm that is the Holy Soviet Army – these guys are overly specialised with pieces of equipment that are better than anyone at what they do, but equally quite fragile!
Overall, quite pleased with these guys, they’ve turned out well – and a word to the less skinflint amongst you – if you can paint 30 little guys like this at a cost of £1.50, how good is the next Astra Militarum squad you paint going to look? Something to consider…
Anyway, stay tuned for some more LoEN weirdness, stay thrifty out there and see you soon!
The Atlantic Alliance won the initiative and opted to move first.
A Silverbug gunship leapt from cover, skimming over the treetops to hover inside the ruins of the church, securing Objective 6 and sending a terrifying volley of fire at the Soviet superheavies – two Stinger/TOW missiles rocketed towards the Colossus and a burst of deadly Rosewellium tipped shells from the Avenger cannon pattered lightly of the Rampager’s incredibly thick armour. In return, the Colossus stomped forward, lightning launcher and machineguns failing to damage the second Silverbug, who managed to blow out a sensitive knee joint with it’s Avenger cannon. The pride of the Holy Soviet Army, slumped against the ruined wall, immobilised but still very much in the fight!
On the other side of the field, the crew of the SU-152, (their resolve hardened by a “Take Aim” Order Card) prepared to fire their first shot in anger… the massive artillery shell arced straight and true, landing square on the top armour of an M60A3 Centurion.
Which promptly exploded.
Cue much fist bumping amongst the Soviet artillery crew, reinforced when the SU rolled onto Objective 1, and cue loud swearing from the Allied side as one of their most powerful assets was demolished without firing a shot..
The M42 Stealth Tank and the Rocketeers manouevred their way through the woods and hills in front and below the SU-152 and it’s frantically high-fiving crew while the Soviet Artillery Observation team (who were feeling a little redundant by this point, it has to be said) followed the assault gun up the hill to consolidate Objective 1. Meanwhile, on the Soviet right flank, the Rampager ground forwards, it’s twin 140mm cannons and multiple machineguns spraying a wall of lead at the lead Silverbug but the damnable Alliance contraption bobbed and weaved in a physics defying fashion to deny the Soviet behemoth a hit.
Realising they had better get their remaining Centurions into play quickly, the central Allied MBT advanced forwards, 120mm cannon and Stinger/TOW systems entirely failing to miss the Soviet Elektra tank, but was rewarded with at least downing a Siberian.
Elsewhere along the frontline, the Holy Mystic struggled, beads of sweat on his forehead as he desperately tried to summon forth the psychic energies around the battlefield- to no avail. Meanwhile, the Stinger/TOW equipped Humvee missed the SU-152 and the Cherno Alfa, a Soviet T-48, immobilised the Stealth Tank before it could cloak and Cherno Brava took down the railgun-equipped Humvee with a single shot!
Rushing toward Objective 3 in the centre, the Soviet Shock Drones took position to prepare a lethal ambush for the Allied infantry, but an M113 with a 20mm cannon took down the first, also killing a rifleman from Soviet HQ in the process, while the Allied Dreadnaught squad paused on the low hill to take aim with a Stinger/TOW and with a beautiful shot brewed up Cherno Troika!
Inspired by their example, Charlie Squad and support M85 ‘bot try the same on the Cherno Brava and Cherno Draka, but their missiles fall short. More range time, gentlemen (and robot)!
This was not without cost though, as Ghost 7 dug in on Objective 5 drew a bead and sent a 7.62mm round straight through the forehead of a Soviet heavy machine gun crewman.
The Atlantic Alliance won the initiative and decided to move first. Bobbing up and down serenely in the ruined church that was objective 6, the first Silverbug gunship unleashed two volleys of fire at the Soviet Colossus – a dozen Roswellium tipped armour piercing rounds, and no less than FOUR Stinger/TOW missiles crashed into and around the massive mech…. but at the end, it still stood firm, albeit with a second knee joint blown out. So all we had accomplished was immobilising an already immobilised target. Great. And that was one of the most powerful Allied assets!
Stompy Uncle Joe was displeased. With Lightning Launcher, heavy flamethrower and heavy anti air machineguns, he did vent his wrath on the Silverbug squadron…
Two gunships destroyed and one VERY worried Atlantic Alliance commander! Did I mention one of those Silverbugs was holding Objective 6?
Meanwhile Elektra led the Soviet advance into the gulley to assault Objective 3, Lightning launcher firing wild but machine guns downing a member of Bravo 2.
Elsewhere the momentum was starting to turn… The surviving Soviet Shock Drone leapt on an M113, ripping off it’s main weapon before being destroyed an M60 Centurion..
..which went on to slaughter five Soviet infantrymen and brew up yet another T-48!
Elsewhere in the centre the Soviet APC managed a lucky shot, killing a member of Charlie Two and suppressing the rest of the fireteam, whilst in return an M113 managed to kill a Soviet Lightning Storm trooper, also suppressing the Soviet elite troops.
(By this point, victory points had kind of gone out of the window – we were just enjoying the epic slugfest! The battlefield itself looked truly apocalyptic, blast markers blazing everywhere- check out this video on our Facebook page)
The Atlantic Alliance won the initiative and went first.
Fresh from capturing both Objective 2 and the entire No. 4 Soviet Support Squad, the Rocketeers decided to take a gamble, given the relative paucity of Holy Soviet forces in this area of the battlefield. Jet packs roared into life and submachineguns delivered death from above as the Holy Mystic was riddled with 9mm rounds before he could summon up his supernatural powers!
Meanwhile, a turretless but still game Elektra forced her way onto Objective 3, ramming an M113 in the process as the battle in the centre hotted up.
To the Soviet right the Lightning Storm Squad shook off their suppression and marched doggedly forward, but it would be another turn before their lethal Lightning Launcher would be in range, whilst in the centre an M113 advanced up insupport of the Humvee and immobilised the Soviet APC with it’s .50 calibre heavy machinegun.
Further back the shamefaced bodyguards of the Soviet Mystic vent fury on the Rocketeers, filling the air with lead from their submachineguns and downing one of their number – checking morale, the Rocketeers were rewarded with Frenzy, which allowed them to instantly vault back to Objective 2!
Vasily the Noble Sniper drew a bead and picked off a member of fireteam Alfa 2, suppressing them, while chaos erupted in the centre as a vicious grenade battle raged between Soviet and Allied infantry:
By this point we had completely forgotten about victory points and were just in it for the sheer love of the game – would the Soviets pierce the thinning Allied lines? Because if the Rampager completed it’s flanking manoeuvre, it would all be over….
The Atlantic Alliance won the initiative and went first.
With that, it pretty much seemed like game over for the Holy Soviet army – all their heavy weapons and armour were destroyed, but Commissar Kuryakin was not going to go down without a fight! He lead his HQ into the gulley, guns blazing and grenades flying, but to no avail…
And with that, Dan had to concede defeat. The Lightning Storm squad (suppressed), the surviving members of the Mystic bodyguard and the immobilised form of the Colossus were all that remained, whereas most of the Allied infantry fireteams were still intact, along with the Dreadnaught squad an M113 and an M60.
It was a close one, and props once again for Dan for being a hard but fair opponent, but the Atlantic Alliance held just long enough and got just lucky enough to pull this one off. But it could so easily have gone differently….
The Holy Soviet Army:
CURSES! I’m starting to feel like the Jervis Johnson to Jim’s Andy Chambers (’90’s White Dwarf readers will know what I’m on about). I could blame the dice, but we both had good and bad luck – yes, I lost the initiative each turn, but that’s how the Soviets roll.. big and slow, but when they get you you’re in trouble!
Where did I go wrong… I think my big mistake was not holding Elektra and Inferna back (and the Shock Drones too) until my infantry were ready to close assault, if I’d have concentrated them together that would have enabled me to break through the gulley and slaughter those capitalist running dogs. Instead I let them get destroyed piecemeal going after targets of opportunity. Next time, next time… Other than that, the lads all gave a good account of themselves, particularly my SU-152, and Stompy Uncle Joe – two Silverbugs in one turn!
So, enjoy a well won victory, Jim lad – because next time it’s going to be the clenched fist of Holy Soviet fury, infantry and tanks and Siberians and drones all in one go, let’s see how you imperialists like that!
On paper, it looks like a pretty respectable victory – I still had a coherent force of infantry and vehicles to hunt down any Soviet survivors while Dan was reduced to a few scattered survivors but it could so easily have gone differently. Had we not won the initiative on the last turn, that Rampager would have got into the Alliance rear areas and caught everyone out in the open, slaughtering them. Once that was out of the game, we were safe, and when my last running M113 captured his rifle squad, that was it.
The Silverbugs were a bit of a disappointment, clearly rather more vulnerable than I’d thought they were going to be! Lightning Launchers are clearly very effective anti-air weapons, so Stompy Uncle Joe will have to be dealt with by other means in future. I also had a weird time trying to get the infantry into a place where they could accomplish something without being fried, so most of them spent the battle hiding behind the gulley. Maybe a freak of terrain placement, we’ll see what happens next time!
Meantime, we’re planning a scenario game based on Operation IRON HEART – those of you familiar with the fluff will know that this was the moment when the Atlantic Alliance entered the Great War – as the Holy Soviet Army crashed into northern Germany, the 1st (Allied) Air Cavalry Division mounted a heli- and saucer-borne attack into a large Soviet logistics base near the German coastline on February 14th, 1954.
If you want to get in on the action, pick up a copy of the rules here or click below:
Apocalypse: Earth Miniature Wargame Rulebook
And we’ll leave you with this rather haunting shot showing the blast markers we made (thanks for the tutorial, The Terrain Tutor)!
Stay tuned, stay thrifty, we’ll see you again soon!
Dan here – I wasn’t going to do a post on this (going to wait to the Grand Unveiling of my new look Holy Soviet Army) but Jim saw it and I thought he was going to shit out a lung – he convinced me it deserved a blog post in it’s own right.
So I began with a Steam Mech papercraft template that I downloaded from http://www.toposolitario.com a couple of years ago (although sadly it doesn’t seem to be there anymore). I built up the main sections of the hull and legs and wound up with this:
As you can see, I’ve added a few bits – rivets are cardboard using a 1/8″ hole puncher like this which as an essential in doing this kind of stuff. I cut out a couple of bits of cereal box card for extra plating, around the feet, built a Lightning Launcher from card, greenstuff and cocktail stick and one of those ring pull inserts you get in milk cartons and sauce bottles became the anti aircraft radar dish and gun mount.
In these you can see the powerfist/flamethrower arm built from drinking straws, a piece of scrap foamboard for the fist with the fingers built from cocktail sticks chopped down to 1cm ish lengths, snapped in half and the break sealed with superglue. I’ve also added more armour plate, hatches, and HUNDREDS OF BLOODY RIVETS.
Primed with £1 black spray paint and based with Vallejo Russian Green.
Washed with Army Painter Green Tone.
From there, I drybrushed with Russian Green which I lightened with tan craft paint, then a pin wash of Vallejo Brown ink around the hatches and the HUNDREDS OF BLOODY RIVETS, before weathering . This was sponge chipping, first black and then Vallejo German Grey, and I went HEAVY on this, I like a grungy look for my forces. Then I gave the legs, arms etc a drybrush of Burnt Umber dark brown, which I highlighted with a final drybrush of a mid brown tone.
Stompy Uncle Joe leading the Holy Soviet Army to inevitable victory! Za Rodina!
Side note – the template was designed with 28mm in mind, I believe – in 1/72 it’s MASSIVE, we’re talking Imperial Knight size. Jim lad, prepare to be crushed beneath Emperor Stalin’s iron fist!
The ARPANet alarm barked in Lt. Grant’s Humvee, jarring the tired officer from a much needed nap. Code Red. Urgent. He swore softly and lit a cigarette as the dashboard communications panel pulsed into life.
The news was unwelcome. Heavy Soviet activity in his sector – no mistaking the signs. Ivan was preparing a major attack and the forward logistics/ R & D installation Grant and his command had been assigned to secure was almost certainly the target. Grant cursed the Soviet remote viewers who had penetrated the most sophisticated Allied shielding to learn of this facility’s location. He clicked his communicator.
“All units, this is Sunray. Say again, this is Sunray. Stand to. Maximum alert. Prepare to evacuate scientific personnel. All units to their stations. The Russians are coming.”
Deep in the heart of Central Germany, a forward Allied R & D/ logistics hub is about to be attacked by an overwhelming Holy Soviet Army force. Buffalo 2-7 have to hold the line against an Endless Horde (more on that in a moment) long enough for the scientists and their research to be evacuated.
Evacuation – there are 20+ scientists (I never did count them!)
Each turn, D6+ Turn Number would be evacuated, so on Turn 1 D6+1, Turn 2 D6+2 and so on.
Now, this Endless Horde – every time a Holy Soviet unit (vehicle or infantry squad) was completely destroyed, it would respawn in it’s deployment zone, which would stretch 10cm further forward each turn). Infantry squads would rush forward to maintain their platoon coherency, representing reinforcements rushing forward to find their officer, and then behave normally.
We deployed along the narrow table edge, the Soviets having to run the gauntlet of Alliance fire to capture the scientists for their own nefarious purposes…
The Red Tide!
The Soviets ready to storm the station..
The Red Tide approaches…
The Allies hunker down…
(sorry for the lack of Turn 4 pics, we were quite busy drinking)
Wow. That was close. Dan’s hordes had almost completely wiped out plucky little Bffalo 2-7.. I had a grand total of 3 infantry models and one APC capable of moving. Everything else – everything else – was dead or destroyed. And yet.. we made it.
Fundamentally, the plan was sound, although my big mistake was in deployment – a mostly anti-infantry force held the right flank, anti-tank on the left… and Dan came at me the other way around! was a hell of a blast though, reminded me of the climactic battle at the end of Platoon with the Alliance positions crumbling under the endless hordes of Soviets and their lethal artillery.
In this instance though, Dan agreed that he played it too much like a conventional game and focused on destroying my forces, gaining tactical advantages etc, when in fact he should have just piled everything forward and gone for it. Too clever for his own good this time! It has to be said, the lack of a fast mobile unit for the Holy Soviet Army really hurt them this time – the implacable wall of steel rolled forward, with it’s firestorm of death and destruction, but just not quite fast enough.
Still, a hell of a game – and a great way to shoot my previous rant in the foot. This may well not have been realistic, but it was loads of fun. Dan wants to build a giant Soviet robot for the next one, and I want to let him – I’m going to build an Avrocar gunship! Screw the statistics, let’s play 🙂
Following the Roswell UFO crash of 1947, ARPA worked feverishly to engineer new technologies based on their discoveries.Not all their experiments would prove successful, however, and the 1949 Philadelphia Experiment – originally conceived as a means to “cloak” a ship – was a horrific failure. An offshoot of the program carried on developing the principles of teleportation that had been inadvertently discovered, and although a couple of early catastrophic failures in testing proved that organic living tissue could not use these machines, they were fine for inanimate objects and machines. At a stroke, the Atlantic Alliance’s logistics corps was revolutionised, and each theatre of the Apocalypse War is equipped with tele-logistics nodes such as this one in the town of Kessenburg, central Germany.
The original installation fell victim to an artillery and psychic bombardment from Holy Soviet Empire forces on a sector wide offensive, and Allied X Corps Command ordered a rescue detachment to the area to prevent the Soviets capturing the node and it’s advanced technology.
Victory conditions – to control the node, the player must have unsuppressed troops within 5cm of the outer edge and no unsuppressed enemy forces within the same distance.Your objective is to control the node for three uninterrupted turns allowing the auto evacuation mechanism time to lock on to the nearest homing signal and teleport to safety.
So, following the trip to Warhammer World last week, I was raring to go and get a game in, and on Sunday evening Dan rolled up with a crate of Carling in one hand and his Holy Soviet Army in the other – game on!
I had a few new toys to try out, so we cranked up the fire support allowance for Dan, and we both tried out the new Command Cards idea – basically, to make your CO and XO extra valuable, they can force extra actions, prioritise fire support, benefit morale etc. As it turned out, neither that or Fortunes Of War had any impact on things but it was a great game nonetheless!
Thankfully my command team had had their coffee so the Atlantic Alliance won for deployment:
The game started with both sides jostling for position and few shots being fired. My infantry deployed straight from their APCs onto the objective, securing it in Turn 1 – I noticed Dan hadn’t put his assault troops in the Soviet APC, as last two games, it’s been hit before it could be activated and his badass Siberian psychopaths have been barbecued..
Turn 2 was where it all hit the fan, the Soviet assault got its momentum and my right flank was a mass of blazing armour! However a lucky shot from a machinegunner had taken down the Soviet RTO which meant no fire support calls – lucky for me, as I was losing infantry hand over fist.. and I didn’t have many to begin with!
Unfortunately (depending on your point of view) they couldn’t quite carry the momentum – the Beastmen slaughtered Delta Squad but were blown to pieces by the heavy machineguns and cannon on the APCs.
So there we have it – Alliance victory, although only just, I literally had about three infantry left, plus the ‘bots and one operational APC. Had Dan been able to successfully call fire support, we’d have had it. Damn it was fun though! And the Charge of Lt. Polikarpov – Dan, you paint a medal on that guy!
A couple of thoughts – the Tesla troopers actually got some licks in and fried a pair of tanks, but my Dreadnaughts couldn’t do a damn thing – I think we’ll up the minigun penetration just a touch so they at least have a slim chance. The BEastmen need to be tougher too, I suggest scrap the 6+ save and go for an armour rating maybe 9, plus some kind of resurrection rule – fits the fluff better.
Anyway, more new toys to come, plus our fantasy setting – “Hyperian Wars” – stay tuned!
I’ve always had a soft spot for the M113 – lurching, unwieldy aluminium deathtrap that the thing almost certainly was! And given the nature of the Atlantic Alliance force as having late 60’s/ early 70’s level tech in a mid-1950’s World War scenario (thank you, Roswell), it was inevitable that sooner or later I’d have to get myself a few…
A bit of Google Fu later (papercraftsquare.com) and I had me a rather nice M113 papercraft template which I printed out straight onto cardstock. Now, I did botch the first one a bit – leading to a low slung “sports APC” look, but the addition of spacers covered by some armoured skirts seemed to do the trick, and had the bonus of giving it a more “sci-fi” look.
I’ve gone for the “ACAV” Vietnam-style look and I think it fits rather well – each mounts a heavy weapon in the forward turret and a light machinegun in the flank turrets. Eagle eyed observes will note this is missing on two of the machines – I need to do another Sgts Mess order…
From left to right – mounting Mk 19 grenade launcher, M2 .50 calibre heavy machine gun and 20mm autocannon – lots of yummy firepower to back up the dismounts!
Like these guys!
Some of you might notice a bit of a change in painting style – I’d gone for a heavily weathered BAOR type look previously, but after checking out this guy’s blog I just had to try my hand at some digital camo! It’s based on the 1970s DualTex scheme, and it’s just the kind of thing I can imagine UNIVAC coming up with – a kind of primitive-retro sci-fi idea, perfect for Apocalypse: Earth!
I also rather liked his way of doing headlights – so in my own cackhanded way, I copied that, too…
Looking forward to getting these guys on the tabletop and deploying Buffalo 2-7 as an armoured cavalry force!
So we’ve been kicking around the idea of a real small unit skirmish/ RPG game in the mold of the classics like Space Crusade, Necromunda and video games like Laser Squad, UFO and so on. Still set in the terrifying world of Apocalypse Earth, where Uncle Joe Stalin is trying to crush the soul of every man, woman and child on the planet with his nightmarish technological and biological contraptions, this is going to focus on the adventures of a small Special Forces team from the Atlantic Alliance as they are drawn into a conspiracy that threatens all humanity…
Still working on the nuances of the rules, but we need some pretty looking toys to test them with, and so I’ve painted up a four man fireteam to represent the AA’s best of the best. Each soldier has a slightly different paint scheme as these are individual operators – I’m thinking the guys from “Predator” here!
So let me introduce:
Lt. Hunt – sporting an M15 assault rifle with underslung grenade launcher, and rocking the US Rangers-in-Vietnam tiger stripe camouflage.
Specialist Hill – DPM camouflage with M15
Specialist Moss – a recent transfer from the infantry, Moss is more comfortable with olive green fatigues and a camo pattern helmet.
Specialist Stewart – seconded from the elite SWAT elements of the Metropolitan Police, he is painted in a prototype digital camouflage pattern suit modelled on the real world Dualtex pattern from the 1970s (thanks to Tacobat over at Modern Warfare for turning me on to this).
I’ve tried to be a bit more creative with the basing – still 20mm cardstock squares, but this time I’ve textured them and layered drybrushing on the basing before adding dabs of flock.
These guys will be battling all sorts and we’re planning to have a full story campaign in the game.. we’re aiming for the feel of “Call Of Duty” with miniatures, as the guys get more skills and equipment as they complete more missions and face more and more dangerous opponents as the story unfolds… It’s a LONG way from completion, but we’re having a lot of fun playtesting!
So we rolled out with everything a couple of weeks back, testing out the new Rampager, Elektra, Inferna and Siberian units on the Holy Soviet Empire side, and letting the Atlantic Alliance give their M85 Autonomous Combat Platforms and M60A3 Centurion squadron a maiden airing. The full after action report will be published in our new (free, digital, available for download here and Wargames Vault)) magazine just as soon as we can get it all written up, photographed and DTP’d, but meantime there are a few fine tuning details we can take away from what was a hard fought, close run and hugely fun game!
Dan, your snipers are way too expensive.L’il ol’ Vasily accomplished precisely squat despite being twice the cost of a rifle squad! Yes he’s hard to hit, but what’s the point of he just sits there? I suggest we halve his points cost and give him an “Infiltrate” skill to ensure he can deploy somewhere he can get shooting straight away. For fairness, we should give my Ghost 7 team the same skill, of course!
Spotting for indirect fire – let’s clear this up. For off table support, I think we can let that be targeted anywhere (“Sir, Zaplinsky reports enemy tanks on the ridgeline!”) but for on-table indirect fire such as mortars,someone in the squad needs to be able to see the target (“Rogers, shift your fire, 10 meters bearing five two!”). Although it pains me to say it after what happened to my HQ, “speculative fire” actually does make sense – “Drop a few rounds behind those bunkers, Corporal, lets flush out anything that might be hiding” – so after much soul searching I’m turned around on this one.
Objectives – For all the fun, the game still turned into a bit of a kill-point-slug-fest by the end. I suggest making each objective 45 vps rather than 40. It still means a bit of a scuffle in smaller games (you can’t win a 500pt match without some shots being fired) but it does encourage more manueuvre. As we saw, you can’t really capture all 4 objectives in a 2000pt game anyway unless the other guy collapses so there’ll still be plenty of carnage!
This is actually a positive but I loved the way the tank fights played out! LOTS of maneuvering to get a better shot through weaker armour, the open spaces on the table east edge were a whirling knife fight between my M60s and Dan’s T-48 and Rampager!
So courtesy of dakkadakka.com I stumbled across what looks to be a very promising Kickstarter skirmish game, “This Is Not A Test”. I checked out the blog and the first entry was about being “miniature neutral” – how you can use any type of miniature to play the game. Very laudable, and it got me thinking.
I designed Apocalypse: Earth with the intent of creating a fun, fast paced game which would be simple to learn but difficult to master, and to keep the associated costs down by using 1/72 scale plastic soldiers. Latterly our gaming and development group has stumbled across the medium of papercraft, which has enabled us to field a raft of vehicles built at practically no cost.
The connection? A:E does not feature prescriptive miniatures, and we positively encourage conversions and creations through the player’s own ingenuity. There is a whole planet, tearing itself apart through a bloody conflict involving many strange and unnatural technologies!
That said, being set in an alternate 1950s allows the base of WW2 tech – helpfully, the most well catered for time period of all! To give you an idea of what’s in our studio armies – the Holy Soviet Empire are represented by WW2 Red Army, with the T-48 workhorse a conversion of a T-54 papercraft, the League Of European Nations represented by WW2 Germans (Cougar MBT is a converted King Tiger papercraft). The Atlantic Alliance have received a tech level boost from the Roswell crash so I’ve used Vietnam War US infantry to represent them, but the background is flexible enough to conceivably include WW2 US, WW2 Brits, 1970s/80s/ Present day Brits, and their workhorse MBT is the M60A3 Centurion – armour enthusiasts will recognise a portmanteau of two iconic cold war tanks.
Taking things to the extreme, the Holy Soviet Empire has it’s elite, genetically modified “Strong Men” Siberian assault troops – represented in the game by Caesar fantasy Orcs, while the Atlantic Alliance elite Dreadnaught squad are US Vietnam infantry converted with greenstuff and cardboard… I look forward to seeing what more skilled modellers than me can achieve!
Over the weekend I found myself with some unexpected free time and with a fair few new models cooked up for both the Holy Soviet Empire and Atlantic Alliance armies, organising a pick up game to let these new toys loose on the tabletop seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up!
We set up both factions with a fairly simple scenario – the Atlantic Alliance forces had a communications relay bunker close to their deployment zone which they had to move forward and secure. Dan’s freshly painted Holy Soviet Empire forces had to take it from them.
We set up on the 6′ x 4′ table with both forces on opposing long table edges as per standard deployment in the rulebook. The bunker was roughly two move actions (24cm) from the southern edge deployment zone where the Atlantic Alliance set up, while it would take two or three turns for the Soviet horde to reach it from the north.
Seeing as we weren’t running a strictly point based game we didn’t bother with fire support, and because we forgot (!) we didn’t run Fortunes Of War either…
Platoon Command Element
Alpha Squad – Rifles
Bravo Squad – Rifles
Charlie Squad – Stinger/ TOW Missile Launcher
Delta Squad – Light Machinegun
Dreadnought squad – Flamethrower, 2 x minigun, Stinger/ TOW Missile Launcher
Ghost 7 – Stealth Sniper Team
Warhawk 4/9 – Rocketeer squad
3 x M60A3 Centurions
Humvee – Minigun
Humvee – Light Railgun
Holy Soviet Empire:
No.1 Squad – Rifles
No. 2 Squad – Rifles
No. 3 Squad – Rifles
No. 4 Squad – Heavy Weapons (2 Mortars, 2 Heavy Machineguns)
Holy Mystic and Entourage (Mind Control and Telekinesis powers)
Lightning Storm Squad
Strong Men Assault Squad in BTR-166 APC
3 x T-48
Rampager Super Heavy tank
T-48 “Elektra” variant with Lightning Launcher
T-48 “Inferna” variant with assault blade and heavy flamethrower
The armour faced off in the relatively open ground to the east, while the bulk of the infantry used the denser cover in the west and central sections of the board.
I’ll spare you the gory details (some of you may have caught the tweets of the best bits), but it was a BLAST! Particular highlights – swirling armour melee on the eastern part as the Allied armour desperately tried to outmanoeuvre the monstrous Rampager which finally succumbed to a point blank shot to the rear.. the Soviet Holy Mystic up to his usual tricks, hurling a Centurion and a Humvee at the Dreadnought squad.. the charge of the Inferna, sawing a Humvee in half with its massive assault blade and incinerating Bravo squad.. the final desperate counterattack led by the Allied Command Element hurling frag grenades.. great fun!
Suffice it to say the Alliance held the day, but only just! A VERY lucky opening shot from the Railgun equipped Humvee took out the APC containing the hideous “Siberian” Strong Men close assault troops before they got a chance to do their stuff – had these made it to Allied lines, they would have caused serious problems for the defenders.
There’s a couple more units still to add – I’ve got some anti-tank Robots to add to the Alliance, and Dan wants to add a Forward Observation team to the Soviets to better spot for their artillery (when we next use it..) He’s also found a papercraft of a Steam Mecha which just looks too good not to use!
We’re going to upgrade some more scenery and get a bit of practice taking better photos, so look for a full battle report in the next couple of months. Til then, enjoy these cellphone snaps!