Playing EPIC in 28mm.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Frustrating lack of progress.

OK. I got four revel BMP2s. So the 13th Mech can now mech up. I got three of the LRMBT accessory sprues - these include the hull (not much of an accessory, more of a neccessity, IMO). I've got plasticard for the sides, so these will be wolverines as soon as I can find 24 suitable wheels from somewhere. And another ten cadians (who will doubtless become Bloodcoats).

Somewhere north of here I have Valks and more LRMBT to pick up. So my plastic crack mountain is just getting bigger. As you can tell by the mere fact that I am posting, my laptop is better. And the IT guys saved Army Builder for me - hurrah for the IT guys.

I've attracted another follower - welcome. I really hope that I'll be able to post some form of WIP before you die of boredom waiting for me to do something.

I've been in the garage this morning - I was going to do a bit of scenery (twigs and picture wire barricades on hard board basing) but it is too damn cold in there. I'm looking forward to finally firing up the airbrush I bought myself for my birthday. It's raining quite hard, so that's another thing to have to wait until it's both drier and warmer.

Once I've got the senior dog back from the vet this afternoon I may do a little painting. I can do that at least whilst she-who-believes-she-is-in-charge is out.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Devos IV map

I do have maps, honest I do ! I've even found them. On my (own) laptop. But they are in campaign cartographer and blogger doesn't want to load them.

I'll work on that. I should be seeing AD and CNJ over Christmas. If they can't make it work...

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Whether the weather be hot, or whether the weather be cold.

Well, the snow in the Eastern USA has made the news. The family I stayed with in Kent during the summer have been snowed in twice in a week. Here the merest dusting of snow mostly went and then it rained at dusk and then froze over night. Not a nice Sunday morning.

The grand Christmas raffle has been drawn at my employer's client's offices (half an hour from where I live). Tommorrow (Tue 22 Dec 09) or Wednesday I'll take my company's winnings to our offices (two hours plus north of where I live). I'm not expecting an easy journey. I might buy a shovel on the way home.

As well as delivering the winnings of the raffle, I hope to pick up my fixed/cured/rebuilt work laptop. I copied everything for work off of it on to a little red USB stick which I now appear to have misplaced. And also, my only copy of Army Builder (with all the attendant files to prove that I have bought and paid for it) is on that computer. So I'm hoping that when I get it back, Army Builder is still on it. Although it does depend what the IT service provider's brief is. I hope to find out in the next few days.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Ravenor and the consequences of contemplation on the Devos IV campaign.

I did wonder about my =I= list. WH without battle sisters. I was thinking that IST were more fluffy, despite the fact that the Adpeta Sororitas were more capable. I was quite happy building my list around a Lady Inquistrix and another Inquistrix (ie her interrogatrix) and their respective retinues. Certainly not the sort of thing to win a competitive battle, but characterful and multi talented enough to be worth fielding in a themed game against some heretics and a bunch of witches.

And of course there are the repentia, death cult assassins and zealots. All good stuff.

Having now read Mr Abnett's Ravenor omnibus I am if anything more content with my =I= list. It fits the Devos IV campaign well. Lady Josephine will be the glue that holds the Imperial forces together. Without her firm direction, I'm sure the DKK would be tempted to make no discrimination between the Loyal (to the emperor) 2nd PDF Regt and the Loyal (to their homeworld) 13th Mech Regt and 99th PDF Regt.

That could provide an interesting possibility. Perhaps the Imperial side has to spend points on having either the Lady Inquisitrix or her Interrogatrix in their force - to keep them in the campaign. If the rebels kill or capture both of them, then the Imperial side is gripped with interia as the commanders of the various forces disagree. I like this idea, but it is a little un military. I'm quite sure that the Departmento Munitorium would make sure that there was a definate command structure in place before even launching their planning phase. I might be able to weave it in as a one game idea somewhere:

There would be a composite force made up of elements of most if not all of the IG/PDF consituant units. And the Interrogatrix would be the glue holding them all together. If the rebel player somehow nutralises the Interrogatrix, the IG player must make an immediate moral check for each force element to represent the units prediliction to follow its own agenda once the imperative of the =I= is removed.

All of a sudden I can see snipers becoming important. Snipers to hunt independant characters and snipers to hunt the other side's snipers (at the minute the Cadian 144th have two special weapon squads of snipers. The 13th Mech have two individuals). I can see that an increase in snipers is on the cards.

So back to Dan Abnett's work - I might be tempted to try Eisenhorn and/or the Gaunt's Ghosts books. I've been through Gunheads, Ice guard, Eldar prophecy and Dark Millenium. All OK. And Sandy Michell's Cain is a hoot. I liked that so much I bought a copy for a chrimbo prezzie for someone.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Dan Abnett owes me four hours of sleep

I picked this of off my bookshelf at the weekend. Last night I lost four hours when I'd normally be asleep. Today I have a mild headache and huge dark rings around my eyes. Curse you, Dan Abnett !

OBTW, the book is excellent.

Friday, 11 December 2009

From WD 232

The key strategic point in the Leighrid sector is the world of Berrima Prime. A staging point for trans sector commerce and the main arms manufacturer for the sectors forces. It's fall to a massed raiding fleet struck a devistating blow to imperial operations in the area. The imperial response, led by the Blood Angels Commander Dante, arrived to find Chaos and Dark Eldar forces fighting over the spoils. Seizing the moment, he led two full companies of Blood Angels to spearhead the reclaimation campaign.

Sounds interesting, as everyone knows that the Adeptus Astartes would attack at some randomly selected point with overwhelming force, alerting the Chaos and Dark Eldar, drawing their reinforcements to the region. At which point the Astartes Commander would dust himself off, declare his work done and remove his 7' tall powerarmoured rainbow warriors back to their galactic love nest. So the IG could 'mop up' more of the enemy than were there when the Astartes arrived in the first place.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Pick a side (or not)

FW Death Spinner. Template weapons for the Eldar !

Ok then, this is obviously going to proceed in an escalation campaign manner. We now have (in the previous two posts) games specifically to advance the story line.

The battle for the Promethium refinary will see if the PLA get the resources they need to take on the Imperial Guard.

There will be a 'running the gauntlet' type senario to see if the Iggies get the resources they need to take on the PLA.

There will be two points for a win, one for a draw and none for a loose. These might well translate into extra strategy points (allowing that side to seize the initative more easily) or apocalypse stategy card thingies (Apocalypse strategic assets ?).

So, scoring the armies wins, draws and defeats seems straight forward enough.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Imancipation of Taple

Dracite Taple was captured by the Tigers. Her capture by Capt Choo and his reporting of Maj Gen Firth's whereabouts is what got him promoted.

The Kabal of the Broken Teaspoon want Dacite Taple back. If the Kabal of the Broken Teaspoon liberate their unhinged and bloodthirsty Dacite, then for them it is a return to business as normal. The Kabal will persist in harassing anyone who takes their fancy, indulging their predilection for hit and run raids, getting in people’s way and upsetting their carefully laid plans.

The Army of Chaux Na M'rrsee begin anywhere that is more than 12" away from any table edge. The DE come on from any table edge, after the Heretics and/or renegades have set up.

It is night fighting for 1D6 turns.

Dacite Taple must remain in base to base contact with one of the Heretic/renegade HQ choice models. It does not matter which one and it can change from turn to turn. (Dacite Taple is Shackled [which she likes] and can only move as her leash holder moves and may not shoot, assault or use fancy wargear). If the DE player can get a figure (ie an infantry model, rather than a vehicle) in base to base contact with Dacite Taple then she is freed and the DE player has won an idealogical victory. ie the DE have won, even if Dacite Taple is subsequently killed by the mon-keigh, at least snuffed it as a free evil space elf, not as a prisoner. If the DE player gets a figure in base to base contact with Dacite Taple, then she re-enters play under the control of the DE player and may move and shoot normally.

If the Army of Chaux Na M'rrsee keep their prisoner for the entire game, then they have won and the demoralised kabal will have to return to Commorrragh without their favourite Dacite, to face the ridicule and good natured jibes of their fellow evil space elves. Perhaps....

If the Army of Chaux Na M’rrsee manage to retain her, then Chaux Na herself will possibly persuade Dacite Taple that their interests lie together. Which could well see Kabal assets pouncing on the rearward formations of the IG – they were likely to do this anyway, but such an alliance would make this a certainty and remove the possibility of balancing raids being carried out on the Heretic and Renegade forces of Chaux Na M’rrsee.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Senario for the campaign

The Imperium of Man needs Maj Gen Marcus Firth III, the former planetary governor, as head of state once the rebellion is quashed. He is their best chance for a success with a government of unity and hence a return to normal production of the vital foodstuffs for industrial worlds elsewhere in this sector. If the Imperial forces commit him to battle then his local knowledge, combined with his professional knowledge as a former IG general, could spell disaster for the rebellion.

2nd Regt player begins within 6" of one short table edge. Army of Chaux Na M'rrsee sets up anywhere further than 18" away from a 2nd Regt unit. If Maj Gen Marcus Firth III makes it to the other short table edge, the Imperial player wins.

Any other result means that the Army of Chaux Na M'rrsee has captured the Planetary Govenor. If the Army of Chaux Na M’rrsee capture the General, then they could use him as some sort of sacrifice to their thirsting god, as a puppet leader for their own government, just remove him from the equation altogether or as a bait to lure the expeditionary force into a trap.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

White Dwarf

There was a time, when GW was snugly ensconced in Sumbeam Rd, that WD was a good buy. Critical Mass, the book review by (I think) Dave Langford, was always good; even then I used to wonder how he read so many books in a month ('cause he did it full time - doh !). We had Treasure Chest and the Fiend Factory to feed our D&D addiction. There were regular features for RuneQuest and Traveller. Heavy Metal reviewed ALL of the miniatures available on the market* There articles about Carwars, Judge Dredd, Star Trek, Paranoia and a host of others. I don't remember seeing one for 'Toons' but that's by the by.

WD's letters page (a function now superseeded by the internet) was a useful gauge of opinion and forum for debate. And unlike the interweb, was edited down to provide the reader with the salient points. Moreover, WD itself was not above critical criticism of GW games, at least at first.

Even when the first accusations of becoming a 'house magazine' appeared on the letters page, the content was still largely relevant and worth the money. But the readership did not appear to want to loose the editorial independance that WD had previously enjoyed. It wasn't that change was not accepted, but that WD had been a platform of editorial independance since it began and so the creeping 'house magazine' maisma that began after the purchase of Citadel Miniatures and the relocation to Nottingham left a gap. The RPG players had lost their voice. I stopped buying it at about WD 130ish.

"Returning to the hobby" a couple of years ago and WD had changed out of all recognition. There is no coverage of non-GW stuff and GW itself appears to support only WH,WH40K and LotR in its comic. They still do Space Marine (now called 'Epic'. A much better name - they should have called it epic in the first place), Necromundia, Mordhiem, and the 40K space fleet thingy as well as something called WH Historical. They have ceased to cover any of what they now call 'specialist games' in the pages of WD. Fair enough, most of the material can cross over easily, given the imagination of the players. It appears to be the players of these games that are keeping them alive, without their constant pressure and input, I'm quite sure that GW would let them slip into the darkness along with the JDRPG, Rouge Trooper board game and that one about saving New York in 60 minutes (why bother ?), Dark Future and all the rest.

I know that I'm harking back to an age when the incredible plethora of games that GW produced were better than frogger and pac man and that games these days are played on 'puters, not on boards. I know that GW is no longer run by a 'hey, what if...' attitude, but according to a business plan - to stay in the market and feed its employees. Fair enough, we've all got to eat. The world has changed a little bit since the Falklands War. But. And I think it's a valid but - I've just handed over the thick end of £5 for something that is mostly adverts. There are pages and pages of DPS that are either use nor ornament, being mostly 'buy me !' pages of unashamed advertising aimed at kids who are going to badger their parents with it.

GW, your monthly house mag is not worth the money to me. And is likely to either bankrupt parents or break some kid's heart on Christmas day when he gets what they could afford.

*and in a good way, not just the "he's wearing a hat and waving a sword in his left hand with his other hand down his trousers" type descriptions that some hobby magazines feel the need to produce.

NB Dragon always was a house mag. No quarter - house mag. If WD hadn't started out as it did, perhaps I wouldn't feel quite so cheesed off. But those first ten years of AD&D, Traveller and RM. Pure magic, at times - thank you. I'm not heartbroken that WD is what it is today. But I am dissappointed, it could be better. It could have a bit of depth, it could look beyond its self imposed horizon, stick it's neck out a bit and so on - Jervis writes thousands of words on that very theme nearly every month and then they fill it up with adverts !

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

escalation tactics

Just in case you are paying attention; The three posts of escalation army lists, whilst thrown together based on the available models and what I hope to be able to finish before the weather turns nice again, are built around some tactical principals based on their fluff.

Share and enjoy -

The Bloodcoats list is two firebases; one of nine mortars and one of nine auto cannons. This force is designed to sit still and ensure that by the time their opponent reaches their lines, there is nothing left of them. Additionally, there are enough infantry squads to provide both blubblewrap for the heavy weapons and also a manoeuvre force. The rouge (primaries) psyker is just a bit of fun.

Set the mortar teams up near your own table edge behind cover. Set the auto cannon up somewhere in your own deployment zone with clear fields of fire. The bubble wrap squads (and perhaps one platoon command squad) need to be near to the heavy weapons to get in the way of infiltrators or other assault troops. The majority of the infantry squads, led by their commanders should set off for any distant objectives and hope for the best.

The Tigers have gone for manoeuvre assets; there are two tanks and full squadron of sentinels. If the multilaser sentinel can keep other threats away from the sentinels for long enough, then they should be able to get into flamer range. There are scoring infantry there, but not a huge amount. One idea might be to move the tanks slowly down the middle of the board, with the sentinels hiding behind them as a counter attacking or sudden blow type force.

The Disciples of (Xyphon) Chaux Na Mrr’see infiltrate to near as they can get to an objective. The tanks advance up in support, with the rest of the force making best use of cover (including the tanks themselves) to protect their advance.

The Emperor’s Children, if they get painted in time, can dominate the centre of the board; the lash prince can feed enemy units to the defiler. The Predators and noise marines have enough firepower to keep the daemon price and the defiler safe.

If they do well enough the defiler and daemon prince can just rampage through the enemy lines whilst the predators stand off in support.

The 2nd Regt force is peppered with enough anti tank to take on a mechanised enemy. Their line up also includes a laser destroyer. They are led by a Lord Commissar to make sure that no one runs away (or that anyone who does so does not get very far) and a pskyer battle squad.

Each platoon has a healthy fire base and just enough squads to provide bubble wrap. With the laser destroyer as chief bullet catcher, they should be able to hold a line.

The Kado (Valhallan) force is based around well equipped platoons, one with an anti tank detachment from the Armageddon Steel Legion and the force as a whole is supported by a Legion armoured anti tank sentinel detachment.

Their strength is in platoons of four squads. Possibly enough to press home an assault against the right foe; certainly a lot of firepower at rapid firing range.

The Inquistorial force contains a number of reasonable Close Combat units, a light infantry platoon and of course the inquitrix’s team itself. Witches beware.

The Inquisitorial Storm Troopers could be deployed either to buff up the infantry platoon or to provide a little ranged capability to the Inquisitorial squads. The infantry platoon’s sniper detachment needs to pin enemy assets prior to assault by either the death cult assassins or the Sisters Repentia.

The Bel Tain Sacred Guard force should be deployed as a fire base of reapers and rangers. The rest come on from reserve in a bunch and charge up one flank. As reserves are rolled for one unit at a time they will have to wait until there enough of them are there to make it worth advancing. Get the wraithlords on the table, in cover and start shooting. When the assault force is there, the Avengers are there to shoot anything before the seer council and wraithlords hit it.

The Elui strike force is designed to fly about in their tanks, 24” for the 4+ cover save and deliver the hard hitting contents to bring max pressure to bear on one enemy flank. The scorpions should precede the armour by attacking from their infiltrated position. The whole force should hit one side of the enemy line, leaving the rangers to cover them from a distance.

The Kabal’s HQ Raider is equipped with a torture amp to enable it to tank shock into the enemy. The Dracon, Incubi master and incubi should then be able to tie down one flank on their own. The ravager must stand off and shoot at opposing armour. The other raiders shoot tanks with their dark lances and then deposit 30 DE warriors 5 ½ “ away from the opposition. Shoot and charge.