Saturday, 19 June 2021

Battletech - Dragon's Fury

 Another Battletech Alpha Strike update, 2 days, 8 mech's painted up as the Dark Age Dragon's Fury faction!

My camera isn't exactly liking the red and has somehow lost a bit of depth in the grey as well but you can get the general idea - I'll try and work out some better lighting next time...

Firstly, a group shot of the force, can be used to mix and match two lances:

So, in the pic above, back row: Wolverine, Griffin, Warhammer, Rifleman; Front row: Valkyrie, Wasp, Phoenix Hawk & lastly a Stinger.

After painting them up, have to say that I'm really happy with the way they look as a unit, I had originally planned to just have the left arm red and the rest grey but it did look a little bland to be honest, hence the addition of the red on the right lower legs.

A closer shot of the Warhammer:

The Rifleman:

Finally, the Phoenix Hawk:

As per usual I've seen a few spots I need to clean up on the paint jobs after taking pictures of them so I'll go back and tidy them up at some point.  The cockpit colour will probably end up being a jewelled blue (dark through to light) but I'm so out of practice at the moment I'm keeping that until my confidence is back up a bit.

With all that being said, I now have the decent sized forces for Alpha Strike, all from the Dark Age/Republic era: Swordsworn, Steel Wolves & now Dragon's Fury.

In addition to the above, I have the camo lance which can act as a planetary force so can drop into any of the above as needed.

On to some games next I think!

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Battletech - Alpha Strike

 An old favourite, with renewed interest!

I've been a fan of the Battletech universe since my brother bought me a second hand copy of the second book in the Blood of Kerensky trilogy in my early teens.

I read that book over and over again, never knowing the start of the story or the end but being completely enthralled regardless.  As time went on, Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries and Mechcommander on the PC expanded my love for the universe, followed by the sequels to both games.

My early miniature gaming was primarily Warhammer 40k & Fantasy, I had no real interest in Battletech as a miniature game when I was younger but that changed with the release of Mechwarrior: Dark Age by Wizkids in my early 20's.  I know a lot of Classic Battletech (as it has been known since) players didn't like the direction Wizkids took the game - it was completely different from the game they played and loved, the fiction had been given a time jump, new characters replaced old favourites and generally left a bad taste in their mouths.

Personally, I loved it.  I had a great group of people to game with, I was invested in the new lore just as much as the old and it was just fantastic to get so involved with the universe in a way I hadn't before.

Were there things I didn't like? Yes of course.  Blind boosters were annoying but almost everything was at least usable.  Some game balance issues were clearly evident especially in those first few waves of releases - Fire for Effect introduced artillery and that threw people for a right spin.  There were some really strange interactions that could be used that made no sense in real life but worked too well in game.

For all its faults, I still loved MW:DA and I do still play from time to time, just for a nostalgia kick!

Move on some number of years since MW:DA was cancelled, I got the urge to look into Battletech again, picking up some mechs from Ral Partha Europe and throwing a bit of paint on them with no real intention of getting into Classic Battletech with any serious thought, just maybe play the odd game or two.

Enter Alpha Strike.  I'd seen mention of this on the Battletech forums and had absolutely no idea what this was, so after a bit of digging about for information it appeared to be exactly what I was after - a quick, easy to play version of Battletech.

I timed it really well, with the release of the "A Game of Armoured Combat" and the Introductory boxed sets, plastic rather than metal mechs (I've never liked metal minis) I was hooked.  Picked up the Alpha Strike pdf, found resources such as the Master Unit List and I'm all on board.

I've played a few test games so far, and with the release of the Clan Invasion boxed set and some expansions have a nice little force being built up now.

So far, most of the mechs I've painted are from MW:DA factions - it's the era I first gamed in, and the one that I'm most invested in.

So my first set of mechs from the Introductory & AGoAC box sets have mostly been painted in Swordsworn colours:

I choose to go for the lighter green seen on the Swordsworn Thor that was in MW:DA (Gary Metcalfe I think was the unit in question) purely because I just wanted them to be my own take on them rather than the much darker green used in the MW:DA game.  I'm happy with them and it's a nice mix of units that I can form a few different types of lance from as well.

Next up, I wanted to attempt some camouflage mechs, to be used as a planetary militia:

The Wolverine shown below was the test mini for the scheme:

Again, I'm quite happy with the way they've turned out and I can easily use them to augment the Swordsworn unit above, or act as third force if required.

Lastly for now, my Clan based mechs, this time fro the Steel Wolves faction from MW:DA:

I wanted these to have a more metallic look than the original Steel Wolves, so replaced the usual matt brown with a contrast paint (Gore Grunta Fur) over a Leadbelcher base.  Again I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, and the mechs have a nice overall theme which looks like they're part of the same unit without being identical.  I'm particularly happy with the Thor in the centre of the last picture, reversing the colour scheme will help signify it as the Star's lead mech in games.

Next up will be my Dragon's Fury mechs, but I'm going to get a couple of games in with the above first as I've not actually used them yet.

Hopefully, I'll be posting a bit more content again, between Battletech and the newly released Star Trek Attack Wing Alliance: Dominion War Campaign, I can get back into the swing of things!

Anyway, until next time!

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Attack Wing - Update & Randoms

Hi all, just a quick update regarding the state of the game - there have been no official OP events in my local store for some time, so instead we've been playing games with a random mission generator that I've come up with - basically you get one main objective and one secondary each one allocating you a number of victory points.

So, just running though some action shots from one of last years most memorable games (and I'm sorry I've been mega quiet, just had no time to update anything):

This game was a three way battle between TMP era Klingons, TMP era Federation & my Xindi force.

The Klingons had the "Move the asteroid off the board" condition, in which they can spend an action to tractor beam an asteroid towards the edge of the board, if they get it off before it reaches the far side they get the points.

The Federation had "Kill the opposing flagship", in which they must destroy the most expensive ship from each fleet.

The Xindi ended up with "Research raid", so attack the planet (which is shielded) then spend an action to transport a research token onto their ships.

The secondary objectives were two "Turnabout Intruders", which are an objective that can be moved a random speed (D6) in any straight line by whichever player rolls the highest, then at the beginning of the attack phase, they attack each ship with 3 red dice, no mods - if it kills a ship on a turn you moved it, you gain points for the kill.

The last one is "Countdown to extinction", so essentially, from turn 6 onwards each ship rolls a red die and takes any damage from it - last ship standing gains the points.

I'm just going to throw the pics down and you can see the chaos!


The closing & first shots fired:

Federation fleet getting stuck in:

Xindi fleet suffering heavy losses:

A turn later and the Intruders and the Xindi wreak havoc:

 To the last:

 Both ships reduced to one hull left, playing the time game:

First turn of the "Countdown to extinction" and both ships suffer damage which destroys them both!

Overall, an excellent game, chaotic and brutal - just how we like it!

Next up, X-Wing games!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

40k - Grey Knights

Ok, something a little different this week - 40k 8th Edition.

Now this is only my second game of 40k and no doubt we're getting little things incorrect here and there and as this is a friendly game we're not too fussy!

Anyway, army-wise I've always liked the look of the Grey Knights and I've had some lying around for a few years, never really finished painting them so when we decided to have a game it was either them or my Imperial Fists.

The first game used the Fists but even though I pulled out a win by the skin of my teeth I felt the Grey Knights offered me more choice and as my opponent was using Space Marines as well, it would at least not end up being a clone war!

So, we decided to use power values as opposed to points, using everything I had we ended up with 78 power.

On my side this consisted of a 10-man Interceptor squad, a 5-man Terminator squad, a 3-man Paladin squad, a Nemesis Dreadknight, a GK Librarian, a Brother-Captain and a Grand Master:

My opponents force consisted of 3x 10-man Devastator squads, 2x 10-man Tactical squads, a 10-man Scout squad, 2x Captains and a Tech-Marine with a cannon.

So with my opponent having rolled for the game type etc, it ended up that I would place first and start first (no idea how, I just went with it).

After placing the 4 objectives and deciding board sides, deployment ended up looking like this:

My Paladins and Librarian were as far in towards the centre as possible, the Interceptors over on the left hand side and the remaining forces held in teleport pods ready to drop in (we realise there was the 50% rule but erred on the side of model count)

 My opponent deployed as follows:
This meant that my opponent would have control of two objectives barring nothing untoward happening, whereas I would have to advance forward as I'd placed my two more centrally on the board.

Looking at my opponents placement and knowing I had the initiative for the first turn I had some interesting choices to make.  I'd not faced the Techmarine or the Scouts with sniper rifles before so made them a priority target.  This would have the added benefit of making the objective obtainable, if not immediately then a turn or two in.  So now it was a case of selecting which units would teleport where... My Interceptors jumped towards the mass of Tactical and Devastators on the right of the picture above.  My Dreadknight and Brother-Captain teleported in next to them.

On the other side, my Terminators and Grand Master teleported in.  During the psychic phase, my Librarian used Gate of Inifnity to teleport my Paladins in, supporting the Grand Master and Terminators.

During the rest of this phase, my units used Smite to remove a couple of Scouts and some Tactical Marines.

The shooting phase began, with the Interceptor's Storm Bolters decimating the frontmost tactical squad, the Brother-Captain finished them off. The Psilencers killed a few of the Scouts.

The Dreadknight had range on the middle Devastator squad and opened up on them, killing most of them.

On the left side, the Terminators killed the Techmarine and the Paladins reduced the Scouts to 5-men.

The assault phase saw my Interceptors charge the rear-most Devastator squad, the Dreadknight charge the middle Devastator squad and my Paladins succeed in charging the Captain.

What followed was an absolute slaughter - the Devastator squad was reduced to just the Sargeant by the Dreadknight, the Interceptors reduced the Devastators to three men (the opposing Captain joined the fray at this point) and lost only three in return.

The Paladins killed the Captain on the left and consolidated into combat with the last Tactical squad:

So, after Grey Knights turn one, the casualties on both sides looked like this:

Overall, I was more than suprised as to how effective this round has been for me.  Considering how outnumbered I had been, I was now in a decent position.

First up a quick close-up shot of some of the action:

Onto Space Marines turn 1...

Not much happened in the movement phase at all, during the shooting phase the Scouts and the last Devastator squad managed to kill the Brother-Captain (some really bad rolls did not help me here).

In the assault phase, the Scouts rallied to the defence of the Tactical squad against the Paladins but were utterly wiped out by them.  On the other side, the Devastators and Captain engaged with the Interceptors reduced them to 2 survivors, in return they managed to kill off the remnants of the Devastator squad.

The power fist Sargeant managed to damage the Dreadknight further and the last Devastator squad moved into close combat with the Dreadknight.  The hammered it, reducing it to 3 wounds.  The Dreadknight finished off the Sargeant but was now in poor shape.

So after all was said and done, in turn 1, the Space Marines gained 1 victory point from having uncontested control of one of the objectives.  The Interceptors failed thier leadership test so fled the battlefield.

The kills at this point in the game looked like this:

The Interceptors were gone along with the Brother-Captain.

On the flip side, the Scouts, one Tactical squad, two Devastator squads, one Captain and the Techmarine were gone.

Grey Knights turn 2!

The view from the field of battle:

My Terminators and Grand Master moved towards the fray, my Librarian moved into range of one of the objectives.

During the psychic phase my Grand Master rolled perils of the warp twice, rolling 3 mortal wounds twice, killing himself.  Epic fail.

The rest of the units Smited for a few kills in total, then during the assault phase the Terminators moved into base contact with the Tactical squad.  They then proceeded with the Paladins to wipe them out, consolidating towards the final opposing forces (the last Devastator squad and the Captain).

The Dreadknight attacked the Devastator squad, causing little damage.

During my opponents turn, the Dreadknight is eliminated:

I score 2 vp's and my opponent scores 1, bringing us to 2 each.

Current casualties:

Grey Knights turn 3:

It starts like this:

I move my Teminators and Paladins into close range and open up with everything.  I manage to kill some of the marines, during the psychic phase another falls and then I charge in - the Terminators go for the Captain and the Paladins for the last remaining members of the Devastators.  The Paladins reduce the Devastators to three men and the Terminators manage to do one wound to the Captain.

During the Space Marine turn, the Devastators manage to kill one othe Paladins and wound both of the others.  They are finished off in return.

The Captain is unable to harm the Terminators... I claim 2 more VPs.

Grey Knights turn 4:

During the psychic phase, the Librarian finally manages to Gate into range - all units cast smite on the Captain, reducing him to one wound:

The Terminators attack, eventually the Justicar with the Daemon Hammer manages to score the final blow, killing the Captain and winning the day for the Grey Knights!

So, final thoughts having discussed some of this with my opponent - the fact I went first and the placement that my opponent used made it so as soon as I managed to get into close-combat I could just keep on consolidating through and steamrolling his forces.  If they had been more spread out I would have had a harder time I think.

The unit of the game for me were the Interceptors.  The speed and the amount of pure firepower and close combat damage they can throw out is horrific.

The Dreadknight I probably shouldn't have charged into close combat...  In retrospect with the weapon loadout (Gatling Psilencer/Heavy Incinerator) I should have stayed out and used it to throw as many attacks in as possible but live and learn!

Epic fail rolling of the day was the Grand Master... two perils in a row and 3 damage each time... unbelievable.

We definitely missed out on a few things, both forgetting things that would have helped but we are still learning after all!

Anyway, if you've read through all of that, thank you very much & I hoped you enjoyed it!

Monday, 31 July 2017

X-Wing Store Championships...

Ok, so this happened last weekend - the X-Wing store championship at the always awesome Gamer's Emporium in Swansea...

As you may well be aware, my record with X-Wing is not exactly stellar by any means so with great trepidation I headed into this at least wanting to destroy one ship.  Just one. Unlike the last time.  Where nothing wanted to blow up.  At all.

Having now run two Rebel lists and a Scum list I wanted to give something different a try - Imperials.

Now as far as selection goes I think the problem I'm having overall is that I can't throw enough red dice at things - nothing wants to blow up.  So, to counter my awful red dice rolling I've decided to maximise my odds by throwing as many dice as possible - two TIE Defenders with the TIE/D title and ion cannons.

So, which ones to take?  Countess Ryad is, for me at least, an auto-include.  The ability to perform a green k-turn at any speed is just too good to pass up.

The second Defender will have to be Vessery - picking up the more or less free target lock added to the focus that I will inevitably take has really good potential to enable me to hit something.

The third ship was where the big choice was going to be made.  I wanted to take a TIE of some description that could hurt something.

With only 24 points available I had the option of taking a TIE/Fo (which I prefer over the normal TIE's due to that shield) or a TIE Bomber with some shenanigans...

In the end I went for "Omega Ace" as it can, in the right circumstances, hurt something.

So, the full list is as follows:

Countess Ryad, TIE/D title, Ion Cannon, Veteran Instincts - 38 points, PS7

Colonel Vessary, TIE/D title, Ion Cannon, Adaptability - 38 points, PS7

Omega Ace, Push the Limit - 23 points, PS7

99 points in total.

This does give me the advantage of being able to mix and match which of my ships move and fire first - having a little flexability always helps...

Onto the actual games!

Round 1 vs Tony (Imperials)

An almost identical list, Tony was using Ryad with a tractor beam and the TIE/D title, Vessery with the TIE/x7 title and Omega Leader.

Unfortunately my memory card on my phone had a bit of a pout with me here and it didn't take any of the photos.  Hmph.

Anyway, it went a little like this - a joust to begin with  with neither squadron inflicting a massive amount of damage on the other, but ions being thrown around a bit which managed to get me into position on his Ryad allowing me to finish her off.  I then lost Vessary but not before Omega Ace got off the critical effect attack on Omega Leader.  Ryad then finished off Vessary for the win.

100 - 38, my first tournament game win in some time!

Round 2 vs Andre (S&V)

Andre was running Fenn, a Contracted Scout and a Mandalorian Mercenary.  Photos this time!

The initial setup:
Fenn was being placed on the far side of the table in this photo.

My squadron stuck together like glue in this match, I made a choice early on to just ignore Fenn and take out the others first - there was a lot of barrel rolling going on on the other side of the table and I had decided that the first target would be the Mandalorian Mercenary:
As you can see - I was starting to get Ion tokens on the Firespray at long range, and with Fenn too far out to hit me I knew I had to get it off the board quickly.

The following turn I made more progress on hunting down the Firespray:
Another Ion token on the Firespray and I knew exactly where it was going next turn - my best chance to finish it before having to deal with Fenn, who was by now in range and starting to hit Vessery.

The next turn:
This was the end for the Firespray.  Taken down in the end by Ryad this put me in a good position going forward.  Unfortunately Fenn was hammering Vessery by this point and he was in bad shape...

Shortly afterwards Fenn took a couple of hits but managed to finish off Vessery.

Two turns later, Omega Ace had focussed and target locked the Contracted Scout at range one, using its effect rolled three critical hits on the Scout to take it off the board.

This left the board looking a little like this:
Fenn went hunting for Omega Ace but it took time getting behind him and when Omega Ace eventually went down Ryad had managed to get a side-on Ion hit on Fenn, now down to one hull and without a return shot.  The next turn Ryad had free reign to take on an out of position Fenn - the Ion shot went through eliminating Fenn!

My second win of the day, 100-61.

So far so good... However, all good things...

Round 3 vs Chris (Rebels)

Dash and Nym.  This was just an epic failure on my part.  I landed Ryad on a rock and it just exploded without firing a shot.  Omega Ace followed shortly afterwards which left Vessery up against an undamaged Dash and a hardly damaged Nym:
Nym kept dropping bomblets and I kept landing on them!  I did manage to keep Dash at range one for a few turns but I just couldn't escape the bombs in the end...  a loss, 100-0!

Last round vs Steve (S&V)

Dengar and Nym... Hmm... Nym...
So, here we go... aim of the day - kill Nym first worry about Dengar later.  Joust in, didn't realise Nym had autoblasters and accurancy correcter, three turns in and Omega Ace was gone.  In retaliation Ryad and Vessery wiped Nym off the board but Dengar was in position to smash Vessery, taking all his shields off and leaving me in a bad shape.  I managed to block Dengar for a turn but an excellent 5 hit shot with torpedos on Ryad basically finished me off in this one.  Next turn Ryad was gone and Vessery was running for his life, unfortunately I just couldn't run fast enough or hit hard enough to outfly Dengar - the higher pilot skill made it really difficult to outmanouver and in the end I couldn't get it done.  A loss but with half points from Dengar - 100-68.

11th place overall, although postitions 11-6 were all 2-2 on the day, points scored being the decider.

I was really happy with my games on the day, with the exception of the third game where some really silly decisions lost me the game before I even started.

To sum up, my best X-Wing performance to date and I have found a new favourite ship - the TIE Defender is awesome. 

I may also need to get my team shirt re-done as for once it was incorrect:
Anyway, until next time, hope you enjoyed the read!

Friday, 21 July 2017

Rebel Assault...

Another quick report, Star Wars Armada again, this time with a couple of added ships!

300 Point Rebel vs Imperial, the Rebel fleet has received the support of the MC80 "Defiance" and the Imperial fleet is being led by the "Interdictor"...

After the first turn, the fleets start lining up for their attack runs:
After the first round of combat, the Interdictor has taken some hull damage and one of the CR-90's has no shields left at all.

During the start of the third round the fleets started off in the following position:
The Rebel fleet activated first, which meant the "Defiance" had a point-blank Ackbar enhanced volley at the now defenceless side arc of the "Interdictor"...

Seven hits and two Accuracy results later, the "Interdictor" was floating debris:
The second shot went into the front of the Victory Star Destroyer, reducing the shields to nothing and causing slight hull damage.

The very next turn, the "Defiance" and the VSD ended up in perfect broadside position of each other:
Again the "Defiance" activated first and hammered the VSD with an Ackbar enhanced attack reducing it to a single hull point remaining.  The "Defiance" then moved outside of the VSD's front arc, which limited the amount of damage that could be done to it in return.  It took a shot from the side arc and from the rear arc which reduced it to three hull points remaining.

Unfortunately for the VSD, it was unable to move far enough to miss the debris field - this gave it two damage directly to the hull which was enough to destroy the ship:
So in the end, a clear victory for the Rebel fleet.  I've skipped a lot of the squadron action here but the X-Wings were instrumental in tearing down the shields of the "Interdictor" early on which allowed the "Defiance" to finish it off.

A quick shot of the surviving fleet:

The MC-80 "Defiance":

The "Interdictor":

So, until next time, hope you enjoyed this quick little report and thanks for taking a look!