Antares game at Warlord

To celebrate the site working again, here’s a quick post. Rowan and I went to Warlord HQ last night and had another game of Antares. 1000 points this time – Concord vs Rebel Ghar.

I  fielded Concord with:

  • 1 Command Squad
  • 4 Standard Squads
  • 2 Squads of 2 Light Support Drones with Batter Drones

Rebel Ghar fielded

  • Fartok with 2 battlesuits
  • Battlesuit Assault Squad
  • Tectorists
  • 1 Squad of Outcasts
  • 1 Disruptor Cannon
  • 3 Black Guard Squads

I didn’t deploy particularly well – I put the Command Squad on one flank where I wasted the group activations. The Ghar got their dice early in the first couple of turns and concentrated on knocking out the support drones. Their

Ghar advance on pinned Concord

With the support drones out of action, the remaining Concord could do little to stop the battlesuits advancing – I concentrated on trying to knock out the basic Ghar squads in the hope of destroying enough command dice to break them. My most successful squad on the left flank took the Disruptor Cannon out, and then another Black Guard squad towards the end of the game, but other than that it was a disaster. Fartok lost one of his squad, but using his double activation dice stormed through the middle and wiped out a full Concord squad in one go. All that was left in my centre was the battered remnants of two squads. Desperately they shot at Fartok and his accompanying battlesuit in the hope of a lucky hit, and they got one. The battlesuit died and Fartok failed his break test. Their reprieve didn’t last long – bearing down on my right flank was a wall of Ghar, co-ordinated by a Command Squad, that advanced steadily and shot them to pieces, ending the game with a strong Ghar victory (again).

Site is fixed

As mysteriously as it broke, this WordPress site has fixed itself again. I got an email saying it had automatically upgraded, and I went to look at it, and other than the debug messages I had turned on, it was working again. I didn’t get round to investigating it much, but some of the logging implied there was a duplicate ID in the wp-options table (two rows in a database should never, ever share the same ID). Sort of implies an error in the MySQL, because the database engine shouldn’t really allow those rows to be created, whatever the calling code tries to do. Anyway, perhaps something in the update caused a regeneration of the tables at a level that cured it (even though database repairs in both WordPress and MySQL hadn’t worked).

Better take a backup right now!

Helsreach jet bike race

Inspired by the classic Carl Critchlow artwork in Rogue Trader (see below), Curtis and I are planning to hold a big jet bike race through the streets of Helsreach, Logan’s World at BOYL 2017.

Jet bike race test game – models from the Ramshackle kickstarter

We finally had the first test game on Sunday, where we changed the rules as we went along, until we felt it was running right. We tried it with 12 jet bikes (most of which sadly still unpainted), so it had to be simple fast and furious. Initially we were thinking along the lines of X-wing manoeuvre templates, but soon abandoned that as being far too slow and laying out templates was actually pretty inaccurate. These are machines with a maximum move of 300″ per turn in the original rules, so they needed to cover some serious distance.

It has turned into a much sleeker rule set where the riders have to size up what’s ahead of them on the course, and decide just how much risk they want to take each turn. Great moments as one rider with a lucky roll of 6 burned his way up through the pack to catch up with the leaders, while another rolled a 1 and disintegrated against the concrete boundary wall.

Jet bikes have jumped to the front of the painting queue (serious loss of discipline there, but hey), and I’m now really looking forward to the next test game.

Jet bikes race through Helsreach streets in the Rogue Trader rulebook

Sci-fi Vampire sculpt

After a bit of a break, I’ve picked up my sculpting tools again, partly spurred on by the Oldhammer Chaos Pig contest. I’ve also been finishing off some long run WIP in with a view to getting another casting run done.

Space Vampire sculpt

My recent sculpts are a bit of a mixed bag, but one of the themes is sci-fi undead. Vampires appear in the original 40K, but a suitable model is hard to find. Most models are very firmly fantasy, and would look a bit odd taking on some marines, so I did this much more minimalist rendition. The original sketch had his hands open, but I soon found that this was almost impossible to sculpt, and probably hard to cast too, so I went for fists – he’s calling down some psychic wrath on someone. I think he would also make a suitable chaos sorcerer, or something for your players to hunt in an Inq28 game.

Ornithopter with WIP wings

I’m building another ornithopter, which will be fitted with solid wings. It’s a resin model moulded for me by Curtis of Ramshackle games. Now all I have to do is finish the wings, which are well underway, as you can see below.

Ornithopter

The original model had insect style wings, which Curtis made for me last summer when I ran out of time to finish the solid wings that I was originally planning. It was also unarmed – I’m building this next one as a gunship, with twin rocket pods and a chin mounted cannon.  Read how it was built in this previous post.

Original ornithopter at BOYL

 

Office Block

At the start of the month, I posted a photo from a battle with this building dominating the centre. Here’s a bit more about how it was built.

Large building scenery

Roof

It all started about 15 years ago with the roof, which is a base for a pair of ERTL tie fighters. I based them up separately, which left this big plastic rectangle covered in interesting detail. Hmm, I thought, that would make a great element for a building. At the time I was into the idea of Cyberpunk era skirmishing, so I decided to do a generic modern building. I built the

Walls

Foamboard corners

The walls are all built from 5mm foamboard. The regular sizes of the columns made it very quick – just slice it up with a metal ruler and a scalpel. To make the corners neat, cut one piece 5mm ‘too big’, so it overlaps the other, then cut a strip off the back so just the outer skin remains. This will then cover up the cut edge of the other piece. From the top, it should look like this diagram.

To hide the most prominent cut edges, I used mounting board rectangles for all the window cills. To add a bit of interest I stuck corrugated card on the panels between the windows (you can get this from craft shop – unlike cardboard boxes, it only has a ‘skin’ on one side of the wavy bit.

After I had built the walls, there was then a pause of a decade or more until a few weeks ago when I decided that I’d really like to see it finished.

Railings

This is 10mm mesh – you can get it from building suppliers like Wickes. You’ll need a strong pair of sidecutters to cut the heavier gauge like this. It also makes great ladders if cut in a single strip. I’m a big fan of balconies on buildings as they make them much more interesting when used in a battle.

Inside building

Inside

The main body of building has a removable floor. This makes it accessible and also means that it can have more scenery stored inside it (I’m always looking for ways to make scenery pack down. The floor is also foamboard with mounting board edging around the central hole.

Stairs

These stairs are free standing, so they can also be used with platforms etc. The landing is just large enough for a 25mm base, and they are made from foamboard and mounting board. These were the fiddliest part. The stairs themselves have a foamboard ‘ramp’ underneath, then I folded a strip of heavy gauge paper (thinner than card) in a concertina style and stuck it on with PVA, smearing it the full length of each ‘ridge’ so that it was held very firmly to the foamboard underneath. This was much quicker and neater than making separate steps.

Painting

The concrete parts of the building were all painted with a textured emulsion. This has a lot of body to it, so it’s good for covering cracks, and it also gives a much more substantial look when painted. Everything was painted with emulsion – colours used were black, very pale cream, brown, turquoise (used on the stairs and interior floor). Emulsion is much, much cheaper than acrylic, and for something like this is just as good.

I didn’t add much detailing – signs etc because I was trying to stick to the bare essentials. and also it makes it more generic. This could serve for pretty much any period from WW2, to post-apocalyptic, to Necromunda. Here survivors deal with a typical zombie infestation. Figures from left to right are: 2 Wargames Factory zombies, 2 Copplestone Castings zombies, a converted GW Delaque ganger and an engineer from my Warfactory range.

Woodcutter’s son

“Make the boy see sense”, she turned to her husband in desperation. “I just want to make something of myself, that’s all”, her son retorted “that Tom from Top Farm bought Betsy ribbons at the fayre. Where am I going to get money like that if I stay here?”.

“At least trees won’t fight you back, or take your fingers with the cold. And Frank’s brother came back, but he’s not been right in the head since. Doesn’t sleep all night or say a word that a person can understand”

Woodcutter’s son

Sometimes when you are painting a model, a story comes into your head, and it was definitely the case with this one. He’s from the Frostgrave soldiers box, and I love this head with the woolly hat – it’s so basic and so real. He’ll serve as a Thug (doesn’t really seem the right term for him). I imagine him in the inn with the hard bitten veterans, trying to keep up with the drinking and waking up with a sore head.

Romans and Goths

Couple of units of Romans with some Gothic cavalry. The spearmen with the spoked shields have been done for ages but they finally got their rear rank of archers. The other unit is newer – don’t think I fancy painting another 70-odd faces for 36 figures! Started these before getting some LBM shield transfers. Think I’ll use those next time. Romans are a mix of Foundry, Gripping Beast and a few West Wind. I have padded the bases to disguise the difference in stature between the manufacturers.

 

Adventurers

After a lazy few months – health not so good – thought I would finish off a few figures that have been sitting around with a few daubs for some time. I think they are Reaper figures, but could be wrong. Guy with the mace is a bit awkwardly posed – although that could be because he thinks he’s going to trip over the book I’ve put in front of him! Favourite is probably the Half-Orc druid – the tattoo comes from a 4th edition D&D idea, so it shows how long that has been waiting to be finished. Dried green tea leaves make good litter, and the toadstools are made of cocktail sticks and milliput.

Bloodletters

My painting rules for 2017 have been bent a little (see New Year post here), in that I’ve been painting a load of Antares stuff for Rowan, that isn’t in the tray.  But I have also finished this unit which was in the tray at New Year. They too belong to Rowan and were a combined effort in that he did three and I did the rest, and to his credit, it’s not easy to spot which his three were, even close up.

Bloodletter Unit

These are from the current Games Workshop kit, which was an impulse buy from a little toy and gift shop called Dizzyware in Bingham (I’m sure they could do with your custom if you live that side of Nottingham). I’m not keen on a lot of the current GW ranges, but there’s a lot to like about these, specifically:

  • They aren’t burdened with enormous guns, massive helmets, skull ornaments etc etc.
  • They aren’t hugely over-muscled, but lithe and swift looking.
  • They have a standard bearer and musician (that one on the right is carrying a big wiggly horn – it doesn’t seem to have any valves, so I don’t think he produces music in the normal sense of the word).

Bloodletter Command Group

The banner is based on the Donnie Darko rabbit – after a sarcastic suggestion that I should paint a ‘bunny’ on it. Well, will a Satanic rabbit do? The film one has characters making up the face, which I replaced with generic faces and a skull, otherwise it’s more or less a direct copy, although I wasn’t as successful as making the faces part of the head as I wanted. Probably a lot easier in Photoshop…

More Bloodletters

They are quite similar models, so to give them some variety and stop a Chaos unit looking too orderly, they were painted in a good range of skin tones, from the almost black one at the front to the brighter reds at the back. Their upper body is covered in small lumps, and these were painted in different colours on different models, some bright red, some the same tone as the surrounded skin and some in a sort of bone colour. The glistening red which you can see on some of the hands and weapons is translucent red paint for glass, which is conveniently water based and gives a much more realistic blood look than ordinary red paint. I’ve tried not to go to mad, with just a few dribbles on the weapon blades etc.