Thursday, 28 July 2016

Jungle Foliage and other bits

I have been able to have hobby time every evening for the past week. It is a brilliant feeling. I managed to play a game of Starport Scum (review is coming), have primed a number of small mecha/powered armour suits, and took the plunge and made some foliage stands.

Below we can see my seven alien planet jungle stands. I will likely need many more of them, but these were more of an experiment than anything. I will probably still flock them before I call them finished. They are based on CDs, and the plants are aquarium plants ordered on ebay years ago. It was simply a case of taking the aquarium plants apart to varying degrees, smooshing up some Green Stuff (bought six years ago for customizing Star Wars Miniatures) that I have not used very much at all, wrapping a blob around the bottom end of the plant and putting it on the CD. Once dry I textured the base with Vallejo base texture, painted and drybrushed.

 You can also see my yellow resin buildings, I think from Demonscape on ebay. I ordered them back before Christmas to see what they would be like. You can also see a small field in the centre, and experimental bar furnishings made from pennies, the edge of Pringles lids, and a table made of a square of card and a blob of Green Stuff.

The roads/urban base areas are linoleum tiles bought from Poundland: 4 for £1. For the road sections I cut the tiles, conveniently along the pattern, removed the adhesive protection, sprayed the sticky side black, then drybrushed white. It has a small hexagonal pattern. The large square sections, I just sprayed the patterned side and drybrushed white. I might take some more pictures for another blog entry.

Coming up on this blog: some more P1/P2 mecha that are actually 10mm Power Armour from Ironwind Miniatures, I think. This was inspired by the Delta Vector blog.

I also intend to create more jungle stands, some more hills, and work out how to make actual terrain boards/mats that are easy to store.

The conclusion of the Rhoro Tharik story will be coming soon, as will other adventures, a Starport Scum review, and possibly some Horizon Wars action, as I have found (through this blog) someone to actually play with.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Tales of Rhoro Tharik part 4: Taking out the trash.

Just beyond the abandoned Meehua settlement lies another. This nameless village is still populated, although by the looks of things the people there were not the original colonists. Even though the Helveka system is too far out of the way to be profitable, it is still possible to eek out an existence farming and salvaging. 

Surveying the scene, Rhoro does not like it. There is some civilian activity, but there is a new building that does not fit in. The remaining red-armoured gang members fled in this direction...maybe they are here?

Approaching stealthily, Flint mentions to Rhoro that it might be worth engaging some of the civilians to see what is going on.

The former Quansec operatives advance, taking some high ground. They also remain out of sight.

Flint gets spotted in the open! Luckily for him the goons up on the hill fail to report their sighting. A helmet malfunction means they have to take another action.

 The gunshots from the top of the hill bounce around Flint, but nothing enough to worry him.

 With their stealthy approach blown, our heroes make a dash to talk to the civilians.

 Rhoro reaches some of them, and successfully manages to convince them to take up arms. The civilians pick up their weapons and resolve themselves to take on the gang that has arrived and messed up their status quo.

 Gang members on the hill lay down fire at Flint, wounding him. He backs up behind some rocks to allow the triage unit in his armour to do its work.

 The Quansec operatives advance and cover the hilltop in fire, pinning one of the gang members down.

 With the alarm sounded, guards at the door open fire on the villagers, sending two of them scrabbling for cover behind one of the buildings. A remaining villager runs up and fires at the guards on the hill. A lucky shot bursts through the armour, mortally wounding the guard.

 Fire is returned and one of the villagers crumples to the ground. With his last breath, he regrets his decision to leave the core worlds.

 Rhoro charges towards the guards sending one sprawling to the ground in a pool of blood.

 The Quansec guards break cover and shoot down the remaining sentry on the hill. He topples over, clutching the holes in his armour, trying to hold the blood in.

 A pinned villager manages to fire into the new complex, pinning down one of the guards.

 Lem, fired up to find his family, runs across and sends another guard into the afterlife. With many of their number down, the guards will be forced to check morale. They pass the test, remaining resolute to hold these attackers off.

 Rhoro manages to connect to their coms and explains the situation. The building is being surrounded, and they probably won't make it out alive. Anyone who wants to surrender will be allowed to leave. Two guards decide to take him up on the offer and come out of the building. They are allowed to go their way.
 With the building surrounded, Rhoro gives the remaining members of the gang the chance to surrender. All they want to know is where the people are being held. Unfortunately for Rhoro, they did not realise they had The Buzzard in custody. He explained to our heroes that all of the sentients kept in this facility had been sold and were on their way out of the Helveka system. If he was lucky, he might be able to catch them on the Quansec research station before they were shipped to who knows where.

"Well I guess we need to make it up to the Research Station before they leave" suggested Flint.
"I need to be there. I need to find my family" replied Lem.
"Don't worry, we will find them" Rhoro calmed Lem down.

With that decided, our team moved out. They needed to get back to the seldom used landing port to take back off and hopefully catch up the transport ship.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Starport Scum Characters

With school winding down, I found I had quite a lot to do. I got a couple of quick games in, but did not make a huge amount of progress on painting and populating my worlds. I had a bunch of Angel Barracks civilians and ruffians to paint, but because they aren't in uniform, trying to decide what colours to paint them proved difficult. Last night I just said screw it, got out some blue, yellow, light brown and went for it. Here are the characters:
 I can't decide whether these are going to be Rhoro Tharik's crew without armour, or if I will just make a new crew. They might be NPCs. I also have an unfinished woman of darker complexion, with a gun.

 Various civilians. It will just be nice to have people to get in the way, and interract with.


 Colonists armed to defend their village? Gang members?

 Civilian for scale. Do not mess with this person.
Lawmen. Colonial defence force? Perhaps Freehold New Charon Militia.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Flying Lead.

Last night, after sorting out some school admin, putting my daughter to bed and saying good night to the boss, I picked up my copy of Flying Lead. I remember having a lot of fun with it two Christmases ago, and feel that I could just rename a bunch of the abilities and weapons to give them a more sci fi feel to them. I almost wrote up some squads to have a fight, but didn't in the end, because I want to have a few more factions painted before playing a different set of rules. I also need to get Rhoro et al. to a place where I can pause the story. Lem needs to find his family, or at least discover what has happened to them.

I have had very little motivation this past week, even though I have had plenty of time, to paint my miniatures or decide on a new scenario.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Feeling reflective.

I am just over 2 weeks away from finishing my first year of teaching. I have successfully passed and am a fully qualified teacher. Ironically even though this year has been harder and busier than last year (my PGCE), I have somehow managed to find more time for my hobby. Go figure. I have played 6 wargames in the last few months. That is more than I have played in the entire time previous to that while blogging. I have always been leading up to playing a game...just need more scenery...just finish that tank... Maybe I needed to find a genre I love, or a rule set I love. Maybe I just needed more time?

As it happens the whole 6mm sci fi journey has been going on for nine months, and I have accomplished more with this than my WW2 wargaming (four games since Feb 2013) and my Song of Blades and Heroes gaming (zero games).

Last night I started reading through my copy of Clash on the Fringe and think I will try setting up a game or two of that over the summer.

In all, I think time pressure and focus has led me to make good progress with my hobby.

Starport Scum: Meehua Colony

Meehua Colony. Helveka III.

In the initial excitement to expand the unknown, some planets were colonized that, as time went on, it became clear had little to no economic value. Even planets such as Helveka III, planets fairly similar to Earth in it's heyday, that would usually be a fantastic place to begin a colony, fell by the wayside. The Helveka system is too far out of the way to be part of a major trade route, and its natural resources are are too niche to support large scale colonization. In addition to these problems, the system lies near to the systems of the Collective, who attract the attention of the UCS, and also cause problems themselves. The only reason Quansec maintains a presence in this system is because of the gas giant Helveka V, and the research and development opportunities to be found.

Meehua Colony. Abandoned 50 years ago, it still stands...mostly. The occasional ship crew will stop here for a while, just to be planetside for a time, but they always move on in search of actual profit making ventures.

Lem, Rhoro, Jarek and Flint advance up into the settlement. This is where Lem believes his wife is being held by goodness knows who. From the west, what looks like Quansec security operatives approach, their intentions unknown. Signs of life and occupancy exist in the village.

Throwing caution to the wind, Rhoro and Lem approach the outskirts, only to take fire. Lem dives for cover, bullets whipping past his head, while Rhoro returns fire, pinning the mysterious figure down.

Hearing the shots ring out, and knowing that his shotgun is near useless at this range, Flint makes a mad dash towards the colony buildings. The "run you fools" rule allows me to add 2D6 to his normal amount (3D6) dice for his movement roll, AND add 3'' to the score. In addition to his trait that allows for +1'' anyway, Flint manages to advance 10'' but at the cost of not being able to fire and becoming pinned (hiding, catching his breath).

Jarek advances, more cautiously, although it appears to have been pointless. mysterious figures fire at long range, sending him to the ground, seeking cover. To the west, the Quansec operatives advance slowly, keeping squad cohesion.

As there were no casualties, no morale checks were needed. Initiative went to the mysterious occupiers of the settlement and they unsuccessfully attempted to bring fire down on Flint.

Jarek, deciding he needs to close range, sprints past Flint, but becomes pinned to catch his breath.

Rhoro takes a long shot at the pinned figure, killing him under a hail of fire. Because the figure is just a Goon, and was already pinned, a second pin makes him "down" (kills him). Bruisers, Aces and Heroes ignore second pinnings, as the rules currently stand.

Flint moves westwards and fires at the red-armoured men, missing them, but making his presence known.

The turn ends with the occupiers spreading, attempting to flank our heroes. The Quansec operatives are still advancing. Because they took a casualty, the defenders need to take a morale test, but because their leader has a leadership trait it cancels out the -1 from the figure being down.

Flint gets the drop on the defenders and unloads shot after shot, the two most forward defenders going down in a hideous fashion under a hail of shells and blood. One death was horrible which will effect the morale roll even more next turn.

Jarek advances and pins the leader of the defenders, who had been hanging back, organising things.

Lem and a Quansec operative exchange fire, pinning each other. Rhoro fires at the surprise attacker, killing him.
The leader of the defenders shoots at Jarek with his Gallet Rifle. This has the trait "piercing" which means it ignores armour rolls. He scores 3 hits, sending Jarek (a hero) down. However, I forgot that the leader is pinned, and should have only had 2D6 against Jarek, so while Jarek is out of the game, he might be just wounded and return at some point. The leader then advances to try and get a better shot at the others.

Enraged, Flint charges at the boss, pulling out his blade and trying to fight. His opponent was well matched and managed to evade, retreating a short distance, as one of his subordinates opens fire at Flint "wounding" him. I am not entirely sure what "wounding" does as it does not specify this in the rules yet (Or I have completely overlooked them, which is probably the most likely scenario). I am treating it as "double pinned" meaning Flint has -2D6 to his action rolls, and can recover 1 pinned marker each turn.
The defender on the hill pins Lem down, and his buddy tries to finish him off from the lower ground.

With Lem pinned, Jarek off comms and Flint under heavy fire, his suit giving him triage, Rhoro charges the defender on the hill, pinning him with a blow to the gut.

The Quansec team advance quickly around the flank of our heroes. They are in a bad spot right now. The turn ends and morale checks are made. The heroes pass theirs, and the defenders become rattled. However, with their leader's trait, they can fail one morale test while rattled and not have it count.

Rhoro takes down another defender.

Flint recovers slightly and exchanges fire with the Quansec operatives behind him.

While the heroes are distracted with the Quansec forces, the leader of the defenders and one of his team escape into the distance. Our heroes consider chasing after them, but need to search the buildings for Lem's family and deal with this Quansec threat. As the operatives advance in the new turn, Rhoro connects to their comms with a successful roll, and opens communication.

Apologizing for taking one of the operatives out, an agreement is made. The Quansec squad are the remnants of a group that went rogue when they discovered that the Sector Commander of Quansec was dealing with the gang defending the village. They are people smugglers, which is considered a crime in this sector. Not wanting to be involved with that, this team waited until it was their rotation to sweep Helveka III for pirates and then never went back. This team no longer exist and are considered dead. They remained to hunt down and take out the gang of people smugglers run by a man known as The Buzzard.

"How would you like to combine resources?" asked Rhoro of the squad leader.
"It would be a waste not to."

After sweeping the buildings for survivors, none were found. However, this is not the only settlement that comprises the Meehua colony, and the Quansec team had come across other concentrations of this red-armoured gang.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Starport Scum: The Escape

"Anything you need to tell me can wait until we get off this station!"

Those were the words said by Rhoro to Lem, the "bounty" who turned out to actually be a Collective sniper in the process of defecting. After a slightly messier bounty collection than anticipated, the station was on high alert and the remaining Quansec security team had gathered to bar the airlock and force Rhoro and team to give up arms. If bounty hunters were being sent to collect this prisoner, then he must be worth something.

Another craft has docked. Four men in armour similar to Lem disembark. Armed to the teeth, they intend to find their lost brother and bring him home to repent and make amends for his sins. Desertion was one of the greatest sins, an affront to the gods.

The station, looking like it has been cobbled together from different parts of different stations. Rhoro's crew are on the left and need to get to the airlock on the right. Two squads of Quansec guards are positioning themselves to defend, while a Collective strike team get into position. The Collective soldiers will not activate until Rhoro's team move into the third section of the station.

The guards begin advancing in order to guard the door. I used squad moves here, which was nice and no hassle. The issue is I don't know if they are allowed to fire afterwards or anything.

Rhoro's team begin making their way to the airlock. Guns locked and loaded, they are ready for trouble. Lem is armed with a gun he picked up from one of the unfortunate Quansec guards left bleeding out on the detention level.

Flint Church arrives at a doorway, spots the advancing squad and fires some shells towards them. It was done to great effect as one guard dives for cover and another crumples in a pool of blood. The guards look at each other and resolve to take revenge.

More shots are exchanged, but body armour does its job.

Rhoro pulls out his Raptor pistol and fires through the window, finding his target who falls back with a thud. His partner is still pinned, but the other guards open fire.

Bullets rattle around the window and ping off Rhoro's armour. He ducks down to take his breath. That was close!

The pinned guard pulls himself together enough to advance to the hatch and let a stream of bullets loose in Flint's direction, pinning him down and sending him scampering.

The other squad advances up the centre, while the Collective strike team begins to advance in an attempt to flank our heroes.

Aware that they need to reach the airlock, Flint charges in and fires his powerful shotgun into the squad. Miraculously only one guard dives for cover (although now I think about it, I think he should actually move 2 inches towards cover as he was pinned in the open).

Jarek also advances, not having much luck with his shots. A brave Quansec guard charges Flint with his P-Blade. Flint manages to evade the attack, but is forced to back up a little. Jarek looks over...this might be more difficult than expected.

With Rhoro in cover, a guard charges, but Lem returns fire, quickly dispatching the would-be-hero.

The guards pass their morale test again, but lose the initiative. Flint fires into the squad, this time pinning and killing over half of them. Two guards find themselves unscathed...

...only to be charged down by Jarek. His knife finds a gap in the Quansec armour and blood gushes out, staining his orange glove a darker, browner shade.

Rhoro charges another guard, again finding a sweet spot just under the armpit.

Another brave guard opens fire on Rhoro, pinning him yet again. He needs to be more careful.

The remaining Quansec guards fire on Jarek, pinning him down, but no bullets find their way through his armour.

The Collective strike team are about to show their stuff.

Charging Flint, one of the Collective soldiers manages to knock him down and keep him pinned.

At the end of the turn, the Quansec guards give up the fight. With only three remaining of the ten, they lay down arms and realise they don't get paid enough for this...
Rhoro and Lem have decided it is time to go. Jarek and Flint charge for the airlock.

Flint turns around on his way to the airlock and blasts a collective soldier away, his armour shredded to bits.

Jarek runs up, then turns to pop off a shot, pinning one of the collective soldiers.

Flint gets to the airlock, pinned down from other shooting, and he successfully unlocks the airlock.

Rhoro and Lem get into the airlock room, and Rhoro turns to fire off another Raptor round, penetrating the faceplate of the Collective soldier. He collapses.

As the airlock opens with a hiss, a Collective soldier tries to shoot at our heroes, but is dispatched by Rhoro. The team pile into the pressure chamber as the door closes behind them. They had made it, and could fly away into the proverbial sunset.

Collapsing into pressure couches, as the ship departs, discussion opens up about exactly why Lem defected and what he wants.

"I need to return. I was found on Helveka III in the abandoned colony of Meehua...things were happening there. It was meant to be abandoned, but there is too much activity going on"

"Why is that any of our business?" asked Rhoro.
"We don't need to get involved in random things like that. Maybe bounty hunting is not for us," added Jarek.

" family is there. Or at least I think they are. In the Collective if you do not comply, you family can be taken and sold into slavery. I have been searching for them for five years now and believe they have ended up on Helveka III in an abandoned colony for some reason. Please help me...I can't do it alone."

"I always was a sucker for a sob story" replied Flint.
"Yeah, me too. And I haven't been planetside for too long. Would be nice to have some steady ground under my boots for a while" said Jarek.
"I guess we are going" finished Rhoro, "tell us everything we need to know."