Here in dear old Blighty the foul weather continues, and so therefore does our temporary tactical withdrawal from the gaming shed and into the centrally heated sanctuary of my living room.. which means, skirmish games!
-and tweaked it to run with 3D scenery and no squares, but for this week we returned to the folks at onepagerules.com to check out their skirmish level adaptation of Grimdark Future – Grimdark Future Firefight.
Now, straightaway there’s not really much difference between the two, aside for rules where models are wounded and may revive, it’s basically the same game. That said, the mission statement is One Page Rules – the whole point is for it to be easy to play, not weighted down with complication. So this shouldn’t be taken as criticism!
Warlord – Quality 3+, Defence 4+, Heavy Armour, Cyborg Body, War!!!, Ultra Axe, Bad Shot, Furious, Hero, Tough (3)
3 x Goblin Herd – Quality 6+, Defence 6+, Good Shot, Pistol
6 x Orc – Quality 4+, Defence 5+, Carbine, Bad Shot, Furious
4 x Orc – Quality 4+, Defence 5+, Heavy Machine Gun, Bad Shot, Furious
So as you can see, pretty different approaches, very much an elites v horde approach! My plan was to use the HMG equipped boyz and Goblins to provide enough covering fire/ meat shield (respectively) to advance my boyz into melee, particularly my Warlord who should be absolutely lethal! Dan simply planned to gun down as many of my ladz as possible before cleaning up the stragglers in melee.
So there we go, pretty solid Orc victory but at quite a price and given a little more luck with the dice Dan’s Battle Brothers might well have handed my my arse fair and square!
Thoughts on the game itself – tricky one really. There’s nothing about it that makes you go “wow, that’s so cool”, and certainly it didn’t feel terribly pacy or perilous… but there again, it’s incredibly intuitive and it just works. 5-10 minutes reading the rules and you’re away – 40k can’t seem to manage that, with endless codexes and Chapter Approved and FAQs.. but there again, if you’re a big company, you have to provide “support” to your player base… and support means new stuff, and new stuffmeans added complexity.. I don’t know. What I do know is that the One Page Rules guys have a really solid system here, well worth checking out. My only bugbear is one that seems to plague pretty much every ruleset we try – why oh why oh why oh why must I move and then shoot? Why can’t I shoot then move? Well, maybe I’m an outlier in this regard!
Anyway, winter draws on, so that means lots more skirmishing to try, and next up we’ll be taking our Black Ops system out for a trial run as Atlantic Alliance Special Forces go hunting aliens! See you there, and stay thrifty out there..
The dust of broken glass ground underfoot, and the smoke of a million corpse-fires fouled the air. Boss Bludguzzla WarBastard IV took to his feet and breathed deeply of the Armageddon stench. Beautiful.
He belched, cocked a leg and let go an insouciant, musical fart. “I luvz da smell of roastin’ humiez in da morning”.
Turning to the motley assortment of Orks gathered in the shell crater before him, he waved a hand toward the biggest ruin on the horizon.
“Dat’s where they are, ladz! Sneaky gitz holed up in dat temple wiv a missile launcher. We’s got to splat dem so we can bring da Dread around and get da boyz ready to kick some proper humie arse. Cumlicka!”
One of the larger Orks cocked an ear.
“You takes your ladz up da front. Keep shootin’, keep their heads down. Ratbollock!”
A second oversized Ork shuffled to attention,
“You ladz folla mine, we’s going to get round da side of ’em, chuck da stikkbomz, and go feth ’em up, up close and personal like”
WarBastard jammed a magazine into his bolt pistol.
“Dat concludes da breefin’. Let’s go feth it up! WAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!!!!”
“WAAAAAAAAAAARGGGGHHH” rose from more throats than an Ork could count (somewhere between 8 and 20) – and the Boyz rolled to war once again…
Welcome to Mission 2 from the 2nd Edition Scenario Booklet – High Ground! After a close fought first round (no spoilers here), and some frenzied painting on my part after a a couple of lucky eBay wins fleshed out my Ork forces to full strength, Dan and I warmed up the shed and got busy deploying Ork and Marine alike for the next round.
Turn 1 kicked off with the Marines gaining the initiative – no point in breaking cover yet, and no one in range, so they elected to hunker down and blast a frag missile into the densely packed boyz mobs facing them..
While Boss Cumlicka and his boyz died to an Ork taking the Marines on in place, Bludguzzla and Ratbollock led their boyz in a kunnin’ flanking manouvre, hurling frag stikkbomz onto the hated humiez
And there we are, and Ork victory, but what a game! Right from the off the Marines were on the back foot, their most potent weapon blowing itself up – but what says 40k more than the last stand of Marine Sergeant Taddeus, surrounded by Ork corpses? Brilliant fun, despite 40ks inherent limitations, very cinematic – the game really wrote it’s own story, and isn’t that exactly why we play these things?
Next up, a truly epic battle as 20 marines face a dreadnought, 20 Orks and 40 Gretchin as our campaign reaches its conclusion! Stay tuned, stay thrifty, we’ll see you soon 😉
Now, as some of you may recall, we screwed the maths up a little last time out, so we were determined that this time we were going to get things right, so army cards were checked, double checked and checked again for good measure – this time before the beers came out. For WAAAGH-BOZZHOG, Dan was able to bring out all three of his painted up Ork clans, plus the mighty Slasher that had wrought so much carnage last time out:
We rolled up a health mix of terrain, including several towns – too many, in fact for the buildings we had supplied in the box so we broke out some of the home made sci-fi terrain we made earlier on in the year (which never made the blog- might have to remedy that) to fill in the gaps. This worked out quite nicely – the Orks would be rushing to loot the vast giga-storehouses of Hazzard’s finest export moonshine, certainly a mission which would require the Redeemer’s immediate attention!
For what seems like the first time in living memory, Dan won the deployment roll off and opted for the southern table edge with a greater concentration of objectives, leaving the Redeemers slightly on the back foot – but not to worry, the Emperor’s finest would save the day and ensure that Imperial liquor cabinets would not run dry on this most festive of occasions! First to 50 Victory Points would be the winner…
Imperial Deployment & Plan
Bugger, I wanted that side! Right, never mind, a Marine is nothing if not adaptable.. looking at the terrain and bearing in mind the experience of the previous game, my rough plan was to get the Leviathan, Devastators, Warlord and Whirlwinds into position and firing as quickly as possible to whittle down the Ork numbers and counterattack with the Veterans and Terminators when the time was right. Scouts would sit on the backfield objective and protect the Whirlwinds while the Land Raiders would act as a fire brigade.
To this end, I placed the armour and the Leviathan covering the open ground on the right flank, Devastators would advance to capture objectives 2 and 3 and plaster fire into the oncoming hordes. I debated what to do with my Veterans and Terminators and eventually decided on something audacious – Veterans would charge forward onto Objective 6 and use that either to springboard an assault or pull back in a fighting retreat onto the Devastator’s guns, while the Terminators would ambush any unwary stragglers. With this rough plan in mind, the Redeemers and the PDF crew of the Leviathan finished their final weapons checks and turned to face the enemy..
Ork Deployment & Plan:
Haha, for once the dice gods favour me! Right, my basic strategy with this army was three pronged – Evil Sunz would loop around and charge in, pinning the main enemy unit in close combat, before pulling out and leaving the central column of heavier but slower moving Goffs to finish them off. Meanwhile the Bad Moons and the Slasher wold provide covering fire and if any close combat targets of opportunity presented themselves, the Slasher would take care of them. Following this, Bad Moons deployed onto the hill with orders to advance onto objective 7 and 5, while the Goffs would charge “hey diddle diddle, straight up the middle” with the intent of pulverising any Imperial unit foolish enough to stand in our way, and the Evil Sunz would secure Objectives 2 and 3. From there – we’d see what happened..
The Imperials won the initiative and forced the Orks to move first. This was somewhat intimdating as the Bad Moons and Slasher grabbed three objectives on the Ork right, while the Evil Sunz floored their throttles and hurtled toward the towering peaks of Objective 3, and the Goffs bellowed a mighty WAAAAAAGH, charging through the buildings in the centre towards the hated humiez!
The turn began with a mighty WAAAAGH and the roar of greenskin V8s as the Orks won the initiative and opted to move first. A wave of red and green engulfed the Devastators on the commanding heights of Objective 3 – hunkered down on First Fire orders, the Marines grimly zeroed their sights, waiting until they saw reds of their enemies’ eyes..
The initiative stayed with the Orks for this one, who opted to move first. The Evil Sunz assault had been a costly failure, but with unexpected good fortune on the other flank – wiping out an entire company of valuable Redeemer veterans – would we be able to refocus and redeploy to take advantage?
With the Warlord down, the Imperial left flank was reduced to a few stands of Terminators, but equally the Ork left had crumbled and the Bad Moons had taken heavy casualties to the point where they were perilously close to breaking – even at this stage, it was anyone’s game!
The Orks won the initiative and opted for a bold, aggressive strategy..
The Imperial side won the initiative and opted to go first – with the remaining Orks running wild, only an equally aggressive strategy could pull things back!
What a game! Right until the end it could have gone either way, especially after the Warlord disintegrated (as he seems wont to do every game).. and the ballsy charge of the Goffs and the Slasher almost swung it. Had the Evil Sunz assault gone better it would have been all over for the Marines, but Dan admitted to getting to unfocused, trying to capture Objective 2 as well as carry the assault. A bit more concentration of force would have enveloped the Devastators and most likely annihilated them. And what the hell was I thinking putting my entire Veteran company in the warehouse?? I may as well have left them at home!
The Goffs are a weird bunch, clumping infantry and tanks together means something very hard hitting but at the same time hard to position right, and it was only really Turn 4 when they were in position to do something significant – and by then they’d suffered enough casualties to have broken. Dan’s going to try mounting them in Battlewagons next time… ulp.
Most Valued Player for Dan was undoubtedly the Slasher, 600 pts but chewed it’s way through 1850 pts of Marines and Titan – nearly half my force! For me, I was impressed by the Leviathan, it’s long range cannon let me put the hurt on the Bad Moons from the opposite end of the table, and in the end that helped push us over the line.
So while we mourn our Veteran brethren and Warlord (and Scouts.. and Whirlwinds.. and Dan managed to kill a stand of Terminators to break them too..) the Leviathan leads a battered taskforce of Land Raiders and Devastators to secure the remaining precious stocks of Luna Luceat liquor. The Imperial Festive Season must go on!
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!
But then something mighty shook the ground below –
Oh Help! Oh No! It’s Stompy Uncle Joe!
Stompy Uncle Joe? Who’s Stompy Uncle Joe?
Stompy Uncle Joe? Why, didn’t you know?
He’s fifty feet tall, with a terrible roar
And a terrible flamethrower on his terrible claw
He can fire lightning into the air – his antiaircraft machine guns have our Rocketeers scared!
Where his he headed?He’s on our left flank –
AND HIS FAVOURITE FOOD IS CENTURION TANK!!!!!
(thank you Julia Donaldson)
New board. Newterrain. Newandimprovedarmies. After a summer of repainting and terrain building, Dan and I are champing at the bit to get this game underway and try out all our new toys, and this is going to be a BIG post. So big, in fact, we’ve decided to split it into two parts. This week, we’ll cover the army lists, deployment and strategies, and once the dust has settled and the empties cleared away, we’ll take a look at how the battle unfolded.
We decided to flip the narrative for once – the Atlantic Alliance would be the attacking party, striking deep into formerly Polish territory to try and secure the strategically vital village of Kubica Pass (yes, named for the racing driver.. we’re both rooting for you and hope to see you back on the F1 grid in 2018!) while the Holy Soviet Army would be trying to hold them back and protect this newly acquired slice of Motherland.
There were six objectives on the board, each worth 30VPs each – the central gulley and various hills and buildings around the battlefield. We reckoned each force chimed in at roughly 3000 points, so it should give us a good balance of manoeuvre and flat out slaughter!
The board (Soviets nearest the bottom) – objective 1 just out of shot extreme left Soviet flank, objective 2 the rocky hill next to it, objective 3 the central gulley, objective 4 the ruined department store to it’s right, objective 5 the hill near the Allies, objective 6 the ruined church
Holy Soviet Army – Task Force Polikarpov, 63rd Guards Tank Division
Platoon Headquarters : Lt, Commissar, RTO, Standard Bearer, 3 x Riflemen
M60A3 Platoon (3 x M60A3 including 1 command tank)
M42 Stealth Tank
Humvee – Minigun
Humvee – Railgun, targeter
Humvee – Stinger/TOW launcher
M113 – HMG, 2x LMG
M113 – Light Autocannon, 2x LMG
M113 – Automatic Grenade Launcher, 2 x LMG
Avrocar squadron – 2 x Avrocar Silverbugs w/ 2x Stinger/TOW launchers, targeter and Avenger cannon
Trying to read the terrain to best advantage, I stuck the SU-152 on the far left with the Artillery Observation team, with the intent of capturing and securing Objective 1, which looked safe enough and would also function well as a firebase with cover and plenty of views over the battlefield. Over on the right, I anchored the superheavies – the IS-6 Rampager and Stompy Uncle Joe, the Colossus, as they could command the open ground and the layout of the village streets gave the Rampager crew a nice field of fire for their twin 140mm cannons…
Objective 2 looked within reach and would provide a nice firebase, so I earmarked No. 4 (Support) squad to take that, and they would be led over the top by the T-48 platoon as I suspected we might see some allied vehicle activity in that area of the table. Once it was secure, No. 4 squad could sit on 30 VPs of territory, sweep the board with heavy machinegun fire and lightning blasts, as well as dropping mortars wherever we felt like.
Objective 5 looked safely in the Allied zone so I decided to focus on 3 and 4 – this would be the main body of the infantry assault who would use the buildings for cover and get close enough to flush out any deployed Allied infantry with Molotov cocktails and vodka fuelled violence! I deployed the Siberians, Elektra and Inferna to support the HQ and squads 1, 2 & 3 in the centre. This would be my hammer blow, and the Shock Drones went with them to soften up anything foolish enough to get in their way.
By this point I was running out of space in my deployment zone! Vasily the sniper took up position in the ruined tenement block and the Lightnng Storm squad took Uncle Joe’s back as these slow moving but rugged troops would cause carnage when they got in range.. finally, the Holy Mystic and his bodyguard found themselves a nice little ruined shop to take refuge in and plot their evil deeds…
The stage was set. Za Rodina!
I found myself with a bit of a mental block trying to form a plan, so I decided to deploy my most powerful assets first and build around them. First up was the flight of Avrocar Silverbug gunships – these chaps packed a pair of Stinger/TOW launchers each as well as a potent rapid fire Avenger cannon (essentially an A-10 in B-movie sci-fi clothing). I stuck them out on the far left where I could see the opportunity to pull off a flanking manouevre and quickly secure Objective 6.
The Stealth Tank simply HAD to go in the woods where he would best be able to utilise his ability to transform into a tree, so that solved that conundrum, and I decided that since that looked like a good area of tank country, most of my anti-tank units would go there – Charlie Squad, two of the Humvees and the Dreadnaughts all took position.
The Rocketeers would be a mobile fire brigade, so I kept them fairly central with the intent of having them close up and slaughter vulnerable Soviet infantry, and hopefully the Mystic, and the main grunt of the armour went where I figured the Soviet armour wouldn’t be – the Holy Soviet Empire has little conventional antitank capability, preferring to drown the enemy in T-48s and if that fails get their Mystic to start chucking tanks around like tennis balls. This meand that if you catch them out, they have no answer to the powerful Allied main battle tank. So, 3 M60A3s and 3 M113s formed the central punch, supported by Alfa, Bravo and Delta squads, as well as platoon HQ in order to ensure unit coherency. We would punch through the gulley and secure Objective 3, maybe 4 too. Ghost 7 deployed forward onto Objective 5, the craggy hilltop giving a fine view of the battlefield.
That was the plan. Now to see if the enemy would co operate…
Next time out – battle is joined! How will all our new toys acquit themselves? Stay tuned, stay thrifty, see you soon 😉
A shining beacon of light in a world plunged into the darkness of war. The Atlantic Alliance fights for the noblest of causes – liberty. Sworn to defend freedom against tyranny in all its forms, the courageous soldiers, sailors and airmen sally forth from all corners of the British Commonwealth and the United States Of America to throw back the forces of totalitarianism and preserve liberty, freedom and apple pie for all!
The Atlantic Alliance is unique among the nation power blocs in that its armies are an entirely volunteer force, from the elite Special Forces commandos of the SAS and Delta Force right down to the reservist Territorial formations, the courageous men and women of the Atlantic Alliance have gathered to defend their freedoms without coercion. Their forces are highly trained, well equipped and well motivated and each soldier – whether they fight in the European, Pacific, Alaskan or Central American theatres -has the incomparable advantage of believing in the cause he or she is fighting for.
That said, because of the reluctance amongst Alliance governments to impose the draft, believing it would compromise their moral stance on defending freedom, the Atlantic Alliance almost always finds itself outnumbered in the field and must make use of every one of its training and technology advantages.
I’d like to start this blog post off with a salute to Tacobat – painter and modeller extraordinaire! Seriously, if you’re a fan of the art of miniature painting, go visit his site. Right now. I’ll wait.
Now in particular, I’d like to turn your attention to the tutorial posts, because these had a big influence in how I went about this project. Now, Tacobat is an airbrush guy, and I don’t expect to be owning one of those lovely gadgets anytime soon (Santa doesn’t seem to believe I’m good enough), but I found many of his insights very useful nonetheless. I’ve been frequenting his site, along with a few others for quite some time and started to get miniature envy…you know the feeling- “Why don’t my minis look that good?”
In our case it’s somewhat obviated by the fact that these guys are painting hundreds of pounds worth of intricately designed models whereas me and Dan just dig stuff out of the recycling and glue it together with varying levels of enthusiasm and sobriety, but still – I wanted to make good ol’ Buffalo 2-7 look goooooooooood (or at least, better).
First thing we needed was an overall pattern to keep the force looking homogenised, and I decided on a variant of the Dualtex camo pattern that I discovered on Tacobats’s site and had already had a crack at. I went with a four colour pattern – basing with Vallejo Olive Drab, then squares from tan, Burnt Umber and Black paint. I tried a new approach for the metallics, going with a silver coat which I then washed with black ink. I’ll give you a rough guide, and then it’ll be on to pretty pictures:
Prime – used cheap £1 shop spray paint for this, did the job a treat.
Basecoat – Vallejo Olive Drab, thinned a little – usually went with two thinned coat.
Wash – thinned black ink wash in the corners and details, outlining elements of interest. In the case of infantry I just washed the whole model.
Highlight 1 – Drybrush with the original Olive Drab
Highlight 2 – mix a little white into the Olive Drab and drybrush again
Highlight 3 – as above, with a little more white
Tan squares – tried making templates for these but wound up just doing them freehand
Brown squares – as above, using Burnt Umbe
Black – camo squares, plus any detailing (rifles etc)
Detailing – flesh and wash, cockpit lens affects wtc.
Sponge chipping – used boltgun metal equivalent for this.
Texture paste – made from PVA, Burnt Umber acrylic and sand and grit from the garage floor! Apply with a cocktail stick.
Final VERY light drybrush with a white/tan blend
I also rebased the infantry with hole punched 20mm circular cardboard bases using a mix of sand/garage floor grit and flock, edged in Olive Drab to tie the whole force together.
The boys pose for their beauty shots….
Silverbug close air support flight
M85 Autonomous Combat platforms – remodelled for more dynamic poses! Love the assault saw ‘bot…. “Gon’ f**k you up, bro!”
Airborne infantry squadron, Warhawk 4-9.. now with wings! And yellow “Air Cav” scarves, as a nod to Cap. Kilgore from “Apocalypse Now”
Humvees – left to right, mounting minigun, laser cannon and Stinger/TOW missile launcher
M60A3 Centurion platoon – now featuring the missile launchers, machine guns and targeters the rules give them!
I really like how this force has turned out, it’s recognisably close to a real world military but also “other” at the same time… and my God I’ve painted alot of squares!!! Whatever I paint next will have wiggly lines, I swear…
Stay tuned for a batrep – I wonder, what happens to the curse of the newly painted model when EVERYTHING is newly painted? I see Dan rubbing his hands together with mailicous glee…
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 🙂
The hive world of Hazzard, deep in the galactic south. A friendly and hospitable place, kept prosperous by it’s trade in lethally potent liquor to keep Imperial citizens in a state of blissful stupor.. and home to the Redeemers chapter of the Space Marines.
In the depths of winter, the world celebrates Emperor’s Mass – an ancient custom venerating the day that The Emperor (referred to in ancient Terran texts as Jesus, Santa Claus and Charlie Sheen) was born. Legend has it that on the Eve of this holy day, angels of the Imperium bestow gifts on every pious boy and girl…
But this year something wicked and evil grins on the horizon – licking it’s lips at juicy prey. The vanguard of a mighty Ork invasion force, WAAAGH-BOZZHOG, has made planetfall and an elite Redeemers strike force rushes to meet it…
(yep, straight away – in retrospect neither of us can drink, wargame and add up!)
I won the deployment roll and decided for the southern edge – that allowed me to deploy the Whirlwinds straight into the ruins of the Emperor Ascendant and onto objective 3. A task group comprising the Terminators and Land Raider company would take and hold the Astropath tower (objective 8). Two detachments of the Devastator company would deploy into the town front and centre, securing objective 2, while HQ and the third (Blue) detachment would rush forward and secure objective 4. The Warlord would deploy in between with the idea of supporting both groups and capturing the relay station (objective 1)
Stuck with the northern table edge, I had slimmer pickings, so I decided to abide by the great Orky concept of concentration of force! Seeing as I had basically three manoeuvre units – the Sunz, the Goffs and the Slasher I kept things simple, massing my force on the western side of the table.
With their huge speed, the Evil Sunz would loop round the town and charge the astropath tower (objective 8), while the Slasher and the Goffs would pound up the middle, capturing objectives 1, 6 and 7 in the process and then administering the coup de grace to whatever Imperial forces were unlucky enough to survive the Sunz onslaught!
Orks won the initiative, surging forward like a green tode. The Evil Sunz gunned their engines and raced forward, a motley collection vehicles enveloping the town in a flanking movement and making for the Astropath tower, while the Goffs uttered an almighty WAAAAGH and hurtled forward waving bolt pistols and knives in a furious onslaught. The Slasher moved forward in a somewhat more considered fashion, positioning itself strategically to cover objectives 6 & 7.
On the southern edge, Land Raiders gunned their engines and rolled forward to secure objective 8. Hulking Terminators leapt from the transports into cover while their Devastator brethren deployed in perfect formation from their Rhino transports to grab objectives 2 and 4.
Meanwhile, the Warlord lumbered into position between the two task groups
Ineffectual firing from both sides took out a few Evil Sunz battlewagons and the Mekboy Dragster, but nowhere near enough to make a dent. The Imperials hunkered down for the inevitable onslaught next turn..
Marines won the initiative and with pretty much the entire force on First Fire orders, we hunkered down and let the green tide come on..
For the most part, turn 2 concentrated on the Ork rush, Evil Sunz orks engulfing objective 8 causing heavy casualties to the Land Raiders and Terminators. Elsewhere, the Devastators picked off a couple of Goff lead tanks, the Whirlwinds stripped a power field off the Slasher and the Warlord and Slasher engaged in a fairly ineffective exchange of fire.
At the end of Turn 2, Orks lead 24VPs to 21.
We issued orders before checking initiative, having possibly gone A Beer Too Far – I banked on getting initiative and managing an orderly withdrawal, inflicting casualties on the Evil Sunz and luring the Goffs onto the guns of the Devastators and Warlord. Objectove 8 would fall, but we would regain it later.
That was the plan.
Then Dan won the initiative.
The Slasher, on First Fire orders, pivoted and fired a ball round into the Devastator detachment holding objective 2:
As their infantry engulfed the defenders on the Astropath tower, the Evil Sunz battlewagons charged the Warlord!
The Orks now held Objectives 1, 6, 7 & 8, as well as breaking the Terminators and the Land Raiders, putting them on 29VPs, but incredibly, the Devastators and the Warlord had caused enough damage to the Goffs to break them and the defenders of objective 8 had sold their lives dearly enough to break the Evil Sunz.. the Marines were on 39! 1 more and it would be an Imperial victory!
Things were going to the wire this turn. A sole surviving Rhino sped off from the ruins of objective 2 to claim the empty objective 5 while the Orks were forced to swing their offensive to the left. The shattered remains of the Goffs moved to close assault the Warlord while the Evil Sunz regrouped and gave fire support and the Slasher loosed another ball round at the Devastators on objective 4.
Amazingly enough, however, my quick thinking Rhino crew had saved the day, taking me up to 44 VPs – despite the enormous casualties he’d inflicted, gutting my force, Dan could only muster up 37. An Imperial victory!
But to the sole surviving Devastator detachment and Whirlwind battery, as they faced the remains of two ork clans and an undamaged Slasher, I’m sure it didn’t feel that way…
A great game all round, kudos to Dan for playing Orks like they were meant to be played and damn near pulling off a win despite our poor maths! After a brief reflection and a deep resonant belch, Dan declared he accepted the result but felt he’d earned a moral victory, and frankly, I have to agree with him. The pride of Hazzard was well and truly mauled, with only three Whirlwinds, four Rhinos and seven infantry stands remaining against four stands of Nobz, five of boyz and a fully functioning Slasher. The Redeemer’s PR department have their work cut on this one!
Tune in again soon for more of our Epic tomfoolery, and here’s wishing you all a very happy Christmas and New Year!