Hobby Roundup (Week 3)

Again, far too little hobby actually getting done at the moment!  But lots of interesting stuff going on in the hobby community.

Bit disappointed by Shieldwolf Miniatures cancelling their shield maiden vs orcs kickstarter.  They had over the £30,000 funding they were aiming for 7 days in, so to pull out because they wouldn’t have enough is really bad planning – if their target wasn’t high enough to cover the project, they hadn’t planned right.  Great looking minis, but I think I’ll steer clear of them going forward.

Some really cracking stuff coming out at the moment – the new Fyreslayers for AoS have been getting very favourable mentions.  Too high magic for me in theme, but amazing craftsmanship.

Seeing lots of enthusiasm for Guildball, and judging by event sales, its continuing to grow. I’m eying up a union team at the moment, but I’m trying to be good, given a plastic mountain taking up lots of crates.    I really feel that its a good game to try though, so hoping to sneak in some vassalball.

It looks like the next week will just be sorting hobby stuff rather than painting, but hopefully will get back to the point that I’ll start actually using a brush again – I need models sorted out and primed to sneak in a few minutes here and there!

Hobby Roundup (Week 2)

Well, still no real hobby so far this year!  Fascinating stuff happening in the hobby world within the #warmongers community though – Frostgrave and Of Gods and Mortals go from strength to strength, Dropzone Commander seems to be making a bit of a resurgence, and Kings of War seems to be proving massively popular as a ruleset, though acceptance of Mantic miniatures seems a way off yet.  Star Wars Armada enthusiasm seems to be settling back down until the next wave of releases, but X-Wing enthusiasm , especially with the Force Awakens tie-in, seems off the chart.

Horus Heresy stuff is still the hot ticket on my social media feeds though!  The original legions, in all their glory, boosted by the Battle for Calth plastics, are probably a good 50% of my vicarious hobby fun at the moment.

Personally, I’m really looking forward to painting some Imperial Assault stuff, especially some of the main characters that pop back up the in the new movie.  Just awesome!   2016 is looking like a great year for hobby!

Unfinished Business

I was sorting out some bits the other day and I came across this in my DE drawer:-

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I’ve always liked the Vect model, It’s nice to see that at least one general in the Warhammer world knows how to PARTY!!

one day I must complete it!

Oh! one of the ‘Young Ladies’ is not original.

Struggle for the Galactic Empire (played)

Just completed a game of SGE, absolutely brill!

In short this is how it played out:-

I chose scenario 1, Over the Edge, basically the Empire is about to collapse!

The game starts with all sectors that contain system symbols occupied by Empire systems and the player places a number of empire units, 20 in all the chaos index is set at 80!

Turn one starts with the random drawing of chaos event chits, the number is usually governed by the level of the chaos index, in the case of 80 this should be 8, but in THIS scenario for turn one only it is 24!

In short I spent the first 3 game turns fire-fighting and the easiest way to do that is the spend income, now luckily when you buy a new fleet you can put it in any imperial controlled system limited by the system resource value, value of 1 only one new fleet can be placed, 2=2 etc, irrespective of the purchase cost of the fleet. Great for getting forces to where they need to be.

Needless to say I ran out of ‘money’, and that causes its own problems but, by the start of turn 4 I was ready to start the build up for the fight back, planned for turn 5.

Turn 5, The Empire Strikes Back (almost) SGE-GT5I had very clear goals for turn 5, Reduce the chaos index by 15 points, convert 3 rebellious systems back to imperial control and convert 2 Independent Empires back to  imperial control, I failed to convert the 2 Independents and only reduced the chaos index by 8 🙁

To make matters worse one of the fleets that I had assembled the deal with things was taken over by a Usurper and started to move towards the core!

By game turn 8 I was once again ready to strike, the Usurper was defeated and his/her fleet was destroyed, bit of a shame as I’d spent quite a lot putting it together but, needs must :).

The 2 Independents were converted, all was ready for the big push in the last two game turns.

I’ll just comment on Aliens are abstract, they are not the humanoid aliens of Sci-Fi rather more ‘effects’, in SGE Aliens get in the way, they can stop you and chaos doing things or completely wipe everything out in a system, real pain in the arse types.

So in spite of Aliens, Rebellions Usurpers and other unforeseen events I made it through to the end of GT 10 and in spite of the chaos index edging to 97 during the early part of the game I had managed to bring the Empire back from the brink!!!

A great game that I thoroughly enjoyed!

Struggle for the Galactic Empire (SGE)

Is a board-game, but it’s a Sci-Fi board-game so I thought I’d post here.

SGEI’ll start with why I was drawn to the game, 1. its about ’empire’ empires have always fascinated me, their rise, fall and influence. 2. Its a solo game

Struggle for the Galactic Empire is designed by Joseph Miranda and is published be Decision Games, the link will give you  a brief description.

The counters are 5/8″ square and the map is uncluttered even with a lot of counters on it, the map also contains most of the charts and tables you will need during the game.

The goal of the game is to save the Empire! Your success (or failure!) is given as a rating in each scenario ranging from Collapse  to Galactic! This is measured by how many systems the Empire controls at the end and how high the ‘Chaos Index’ is (more on that a little later).

The game could be said to be resource driven, every imperial system will produce a between 1 and 4 resource points, you collect them, spend them maintaining current units or buying new ones (best keep a ‘slush fund’ back for emergencies though). It’s a simple system that doesn’t consume too much time or effort in the game.

The core of the system are the chaos chits, not the 40k type of Chaos , this is the generic chaos of your average Galactic Empire, Rebellion, Insurrection, Alien Invasion et al. Chaos chits make up approx. half the counter mix and are drawn at random at the start of each turn, the higher the chaos index the more chits you draw. Each chit drawn represents an event that could be good but more than likely bad for the Empire!

Once the chaos chits have been drawn and acted upon its the turn of any chaos forces on the map to move/attack, this is governed by die rolls, but in general chaos will be drawn to the galactic core and the seat of galactic power.

There are two forms of combat, Military – where units are destroyed or Morphogenic – where units are converted to the winners side (counters are double sided Empire on one and chaos on the other).

The chaos index is affected by the results of combat, it goes down when the Empire wins and up when it loses – if it passes 100 instant death for the Empire.

Once you get into it the game flows well and keeps your interest, its easy to run a turn and leave it for a while.

For me I had two overall questions about the game, 1. Is it good Sci-Fi, well that sort of thing is all in ones head but for me Yeah, its not Starship Troopers or StarFleet Space Battles, it’s mega strategic and it gives a passing nod to most classic themes in Sci-Fi, but it does have a good feel about it. 2. Is it a good solo game, ok what makes a good solo game? A system that can’t be predicted but is not completely random, SGE balances the two, the chaos chits ARE random but once a rebellion has started or a Usurper has appeared for example their actions do conform to a general plan.

So Yeah I would say it’s a good solo game and even though I’m loosing the current game I have a plan and will fight to save the Empire till turn 10.

 

Useful Tool

I have a Minicraft mains powered mini-drill and most of the time its OK, unless you only need to drill one hole or its in soft plastic, I find that the Minicraft is too fast even on low speed for soft plastics – it tends to melt them!, so its back to the old hand drill or it was, enter the Tamiya Electric Handy Drill.

Actually it’s battery powered, works at a relatively slow speed, is light and easy to control.

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What I didn’t realize when I ordered it wasDSCF0118It was a kit 😀

15 or so minutes with screwdriver and pliers got it up and running, a lot easier and more accurate than the hand drill!

Bit expensive at just under 15 quid but I wouldn’t be without it now 🙂

DE Wyches

Just completed 4 ‘production’ DE Wyches, I’ve changed the paint job slightly from the prototype (the last in the set below) in that I’ve brought the Red Armour to the fore and made the hair brighter, I felt the original paint job was too dark against the warriors.

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Priorities

Earlier this year as the weather got hotter and drier I once again turned on the watering systems and fixed the various problems, blockages, kinks in the pipes and a number of leaks. One of the hose runs takes the mains water from the front of the property to a pressure reduction valve to water the vegetable patch, a run of almost 50 meters (stay with me here we’ll get to gaming soon!). Well the aforementioned hose  was springing a leak almost every week and I decided that the only thing to do was to move the pressure reduction valve to the front of the property and lay a new (low pressure) hose all the way. To that end when we took my Brother, Cousin and their wives back to the airport in mid June we went to the store and got 50 meters of low pressure hose and I undertook to lay the hose as soon as the time was right.

Now I have two gaming tables each 6 feet by four feet (I told you we’d get to gaming, now just wait to link it to above!). The two tables fit together in a variety of configurations and are very useful, when not in use they reside behind my desk/workbench. Unfortunately its not straightforward to get the tables, or table out, especially if the workbench is full of ‘in-progress’, also its a bit overkill to get out a 6 foot by 4 foot table to play a game that only requires a ‘standard size map’ 34 inches by 22 inches!

I got a small fold-up table from Lidl and although it is not big enough to play a 34×22 map it was very useful.

So this morning we decided to go into town early as Sue wanted to go to the market and I decided to go to the wood shop and get a top to fit over the Lidl plastic table to take ‘standard’ size map. Now when I say ‘wood shop’ I’m not talking B&Q depot or some other mega store, this is a guy who does woodworking and sells wood. The shop has all the power tools required to work wood in an industrial capacity has a reasonable stock of wood and has absolutely piles and piles of off-cuts, that means if you only want a small piece it doesn’t cost a lot!!!

I wanted a piece 60cm x 90cm and after rummaging round various piles in various rooms and discussing (as well as we could as my technical Greek is non-existent and the proprietor speaks little English) I settled for 16mm MDF. The piece was cut and all four sides trimmed to razor sharp edges and exact size for the grand some of 6 euros.

Now within an hour of arriving home I had lightly sanded the MDF and had applied the first coat of varnish to the top and sides, I took an hour because I stopped for coffee and to scan through this months Wargames Illustrated that I picked up from the post office while in town. So two coats of varnish on each side and plenty of time for the varnish to harden off and the new gaming table top should be ready to use over the weekend!

The Hose? well that’s top of my list and will be done as soon as the time is right.

Priorities you see 😉

The Battle of Penn Valley

After K’Tesh the Imperials retreated but were hotly pursued by 3 rat infantry columns, to give the shattered Imperial army time to get away a force lead by Marcus the Red made a stand in a small valley called ‘Penn’.

 

The Valley runs north to south with a small river in the centre and a small settlement on the east bank, small wooded areas dot the valley floor together with some rocky outcrops. A road follows the river in the centre of the valley and crosses it approx. 1/3 of the way up from the south with a small stone bridge. The river is swollen by some heavy rain further north and is only crossable at the bridge or two hidden fords, the locals, now long gone, are the only ones who know the position of the fords others will have to search, one ford is to the north of the bridge the other to the south. To search a unit must remain stationary next to the river, for each unit searching, on the first stationary turn the ford is found on a d6 roll of 1 add one to the die roll each successive turn until the ford is found or the search abandoned.

 

The Rats win by exiting a unit off the eastern edge of the table the Empire win if they can prevent the Rat win. The level of Rat victory would be determined by how many units exit the table.

 

Turn’s 1 to 4 saw the 3 rat columns move forward and units move up into position next to the river ready to search for a ford.

The Rat Guard Muskets and Imperial Crossbow on the south of the field traded shots with the Imperials coming of worse!

The Imperial artillery targeted the Ogres on the bridge and routed them; the Rat force in the south discovered a ford and prepared to cross!

 

Turns 4 to 7 saw the Rat’s discovering  the second ford and partially remove the barricade on the bridge and move a unit over the southern ford covered by the Guard Musketeers!

 

Turn 9 saw a unit of Men-at-Arms charge and halt the rat musketeers, while the Rat guard on the bridge cleared the last of the barricade but halted in disorder blocking the bridge.

 

Turns 10-13

Saw fierce hand to hand combat on both flanks with the Imperial Heavy Cav. Forcing the Rat Spear back across the river through the Rat Guard Musketeers disordering them but the cavalry had to withdraw to recover. The rats in the centre remained stalled while the empire forces have temporarily halted the rats in the north at the price of being left exhausted!

 

Turns 14-20

Although the Empire forces were in poor order and pulling back by turn 16 it was obvious that the Rats were in almost as bad shape and could not win by turn 20 so I declared the Empire the winners gaining desperately needed time for the Emperor to reorganise and re-arm!

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K’Tesh – The Aftermath

Following the Empire defeat at K’Tesh where a large part of the elite empire forces were destroyed, the Rats consolidated their position in the south, the Elves declared Elfhall independant and the Dwarves declared a ‘Dwarven Homeland’

The Empire is fragmented……