Saturday, 16 September 2017

Zephyr mechs, combat walkers and a NTC new unit

While I have been awaiting the arrival of some new mechs, I decided to paint up some things from my not insignificant lead mountain.

First we have some mech reinforcement for the Zyphyr megacorp:

I've had these Mecha Front mechs since I received them after the kickstarter concluded, not sure how to fit them into my games. I finally decided to intergrate them into the Zephyr ranks after seeing a nice Battletech paintjob with their colors.



The Roc mechs. Armed with paired missile launchers/DEWs and dual paired DEWs respectivly, the heavies are the biggest of the new Zephyr forces. The NTC infantry for scale.  


The Goshawk medium mechs. This trio have one each of the available loadouts, missiles/railgun, missiles/cannons and dual paired cannons. Slightly lighter than the Roc, the Goshawk are nontheless heavily armored for their size and therefore not much faster.
 The NTC infantry for scale.


Last of the new reinforcements are the Raptor Mk II. The lightest of the three, they are a radical re-design of the smaller raptor mech. Armed with either a paired missile/DEWs, dual paired DEWs or dual railgun, the Mk IIs are packing a mean punch for their size. Less heavily armored and smaller than the rest, the Mk IIs are faster and more agile than their companions.  
 The NTC infantry for scale.


The Critical Mass (now Ral Partha Europe) arc fleet combat walkers is another set of minis I've had for quite a while, but never got around to doing anything with. During the summer I had the idea to make them into smaller mercenary mech companies for various games.
 

The full combat walker lance of the as of yet unnamed unit.


 
The heavy support mech. With dual energy cannons in the arm mount and a energy repeater/auto-cannon chin-mount as well as a pintle-mounted machinegun, the support mech can lay down devastating amounts of fire. The mech also have jump-jets to quickly be able to reposition itself.
Again, the NTC infantry for scale.


The remaining three units are all of the same loadout. With a dual-barrelled autocannon in each hardpoint and dual chainguns in the chin mount, they are quite well-rounded even if a potential weakness is their need for ammunition unlike their support mech.


A second set of Critical Mass mechs, from their Mercenaries range.  


Also a full lance, these mechs are part of the Warg Industries merc company. There haven't been much seen or heard from them since the NIJA decided to step into most of their conflicts directly rather than keeping the mercs on payroll. But now they are back, in stompy robot glory no less!



The Vanguard is a frontline mech carrying a lot direct fire weapons, with heavy lasers in both arms, a pair of rotary cannons in the torso as well as a shoulder mounted linear cannons. This allows the mech to put impressive amounts for fire down range in a short amount of time and keep that pressure up. Again, the NTC infantry for scale.


The Blackguard class is a classic fire support mech. Two missile pods give it long range indirect fire capability, while the arm mounted energy cannons allow the Blackguard to effectivly deliver direct fire on targets.


The last pair of mechs are both of the Ravager assault class. A close combat fighter, these mechs are equipped with jumpjets to close with the enemy. Once there the powerclaw and flamer will burn and rend any unlucky targets.



Last but not least (even if they are indeed the smallest) the NTC new arrivals, the Warrior Guardian mech:

After encountering the SADU EX-01, the NTC realized that they needed to increase the staying-power to better counter the new units. The Guardian is a slightly modified Warrior mech meant to solve that problem, the biggest difference is the newly developed ballistic shield.

Coated with energy-absoring and deflecting layers on top of several layers of composite and metal, the shield helps defend not only the mech itself, but possibly a close by comrade as well by drawing fire away from them.

With these additions and modifications, the Guardian is slightly slower than the average Warrior but otherwise is tougher and pack as much of a punch as it's standard model.


That's the bunch for this time!

I have just receieved the hunter mechs from Maelstroms edge and will be posting some pics as I put some together. I have an idea to make a more personalized mech of one of the hunters, to serve as a main character in a short campaign I've been thinking about.

Til next time!

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Live field test, beware the EX-01; A Horizon Wars AAR

Happy with the way the first attempt at modified damage allocation went, I decided to run another game, this time including something I've been looking at since the release of HW; Super Heavy units.

A Super Heavy unit is basically any unit with a P of 4 or more. These powerfull elements are sure to change things up a bit and in the rulebook it's suggested that whenever used the scenarios should revolve around them since they are such potent units. I decided to forgo using any of the traits exclusive to the SH elements, trying out the SADU's prototype EX-01 mech as a P4 unit.

With several EX-01 prototypes completed and run through all the tests possible in the lab, it was now time for the first real field test beyond the one proof of concept use some months before.

A suitable target had been chosen; A small NTC outpost not too far from then last stalemate fought in the desert. Eager for a quick victory and a chance to prove the new designs worth in actual combat conditions, the SADU deployed..

The NTC base was quiet, one squad was on patrol and the other inside the compound.

The defenders currently in the camp consists of two Bazooka Warriors and two regular Warrior mechs, the Warrior with the brown base is the CHQ for the NTC. The patrol, currently off table, consist of three Warriors and one Bazooka warrior mech. 

The attacking SADU force consists of five Turtle-class mechs, a Beetle-class and the EX-01.
As they enter the rocky area leading up to the outpost one of the NTC's sensor arrays is triggered, they know that company is coming!

One overly brave SADU pilot moves his mech up fast, opting to stay in the open to reach his target quicker. This turns out to be something of a mistake, as one of the NTC Bazooka mechs move up to some nearby rocks and open fire. The heavy round hits, blowing chunks out of the stricken mech, but it remains standing.

Eager to try out the new unit, the pilot of the EX-01 fires his thrusters and starts a targeting lock on the only visible enemy, lining up his twin auto cannons..

..And he scores a series of devastating hits, blowing his target apart in a ferocious explosion!

Meanwhile the bulk of the SADU mechs have gone right, stacking up behind the rocks there to begin their assault. The pilot of the Beetle mech pops out a bit early to take a shot at the lone buildings outside the base and manage to cause some superficial damage. It does however expose him to a counter attack from a NTC Warrior mech and the autocannon rounds tear into the machines legs and armor, rending them.

The start of the second turn. The SADU is strongly positioned to attack the unshielded buildings, but the NTC reinforcements could arrive at any moment..

Returning fire at point blank range, the Beetle pilot has better luck than his opponent, and the Warrior mech grinds to a halt, toppling over.

On the other side of the rocky line, another Warrior pilot engages the already wounded Turtle-class mecha in a firefight. Both mechs take a pounding..

..But the Turtle gets the better of the Bazooka Warrior in the end and the defeated mech crashes into the sand.

It's not looking good for the NTC defenders, the commander is forced to retreat after a short firefight with the EX-01, both units take some damage, but the NTC mecha is clearly the looser and falls back inside the protective walls. At the same time the first of the patrol mechs return in time to engage the attacking Beetle mech.

Soon another of the patrol's number joins the fight, and a well-placed bazooka round knocks the Beetle out of the fight.

The mechs keep returning and engages the attackers with fierce determination, but it's all a little too little a little too late, and the buildings outside the walls crumble under the onslaught of the SADU assault!

Braving fire from the new experimental unit as well as it's companions, the commander charges into one of the Turtles at full speed, thoughly wrecking both his own and the enemy mech. The Ex-01's pilot is told over secure comms that SADUCOM has all the data they need and the remaining units are to fall back at their best speed, the mission is accomplished.

The remaining NTC pilots starts chasing after the retreating enemy, trying to take out and capture as many units as it can before they slip away. short-range auto-cannon fire takes care of one Turtle close to the patrol..

While two others hunt down and cripple another. While it could still fight back, it's legs and locomotive systems were damaged enough that the pilot chose to surrender rather than be shot to pieces as he was a sitting duck anyhow.

Halting momentarily, trying to decide if he could take out the remaining Warrior mechs and rescue the SADU pilots by himself, the EX-01's comm system insistently tell it's pilot to fall back, to do his duty. The pilot finally turns to follow his retreating comrades, swearing to come back to rescue his fellows or to avenge them them if that proves impossible.

A decisive SADU win, and a great first run for the EX-01's production model!

With hindsight I realize that I should probably have set the bar for mission completion on the SADU's part a bit higher, either by increasing the hp of the buildings or just having them destroy at least two of them to make things a bit more even. There was a fair bit of crits being rolled on both sides however the early double crit from the EX-01 gave the whole thing an explosive start!

I'm currently thinking about producing some more terrain for both my 6mm mechs and some for 3mm games and with a few new mechs coming my way during the next week or so I think I'll have some more things to share before too long. There is also a few mecha front minis on my painting desk that I hope to finish up before the new arrivals get here.

Til next time!

Friday, 1 September 2017

Not all giant robots are created equal


I was recently asked a few questions about the new plastic heavy gear models I wrote about in my last post, so I'll endeavour to answer them, along with some photos comparing them to some of the other models from various ranges I have.

I'll start with the easiest to answer; Where did I get them and what was the damage?

Heavy Gear has been around for some time, but for reasons unfathomable to me, it hasn't really got the traction you'd expect from such a long-running line of models. I ordered my 2-player starter box from the company website (link to store page) since the only other option I could find was ebay and that option was no more or less expensive.

The box itself is 90 USD, one of the more expensive single purchases I've made since turning away from 40K and Warmachine/Hordes. But for that price you do get 27 mechs (14 northern and 13 southern as well as 3 drones for the south) and also the Heavy Gear Blitz rulebook. Each mech comes a selection of weapons and extras and most of them exept for the heavy mechs can be posed either standing or moving thanks to some extra leg parts.
 The drones will most likely come in handy somehow and the rulebook is a nicely produced soft cover for my rules collection, even though I'm not sure if I will ever actually play it.
Good value for your money anyhow, with the average cost per mech being 3,3 USD and that's not including the rulebook and the remotes.

Living in Sweden means that shipping from the US is a mixed bag, some companies have pretty good flat-rate charges, while other are quite expensive. DP9 sadly falls in the latter category, with the S&H charges ending up at 33.95 USD for the shipping to Sweden.

While it feels a bit excessive, the average cost per mech is still only 4,6 USD even with the S&H included. That means they are still quite a bit cheaper than a lot of other offerings and they look great to boot!

That being said I'd probably never place another order unless I was getting more than a few mechs, to offset the high shipping charges.


Now to the next query, how they look next to models from other ranges. The heavy Gear mechs are 10mm models, or about 1/144 scale. I scrounged up some models for some comparison shots, the non Heavy Gear models will have manufacturer as well as their intended scale listed

Left to right we have: GZG Japanese infantry (6mm), HG Spitting Cobra heavy mech and an Onslaught Hellborn Cultist(6mm).

 Left to right we have: GZG Japanese infantry (6mm), HG Jager and an Onslaught Hellborn Cultist(6mm).

 Left to right we have: HG Spitting Cobra, HG Jager, GZG Hound dog(6mm) and an Onslaught OTC Oni Close Assault Rig(6mm).

 Left to right we have: HG Spitting Cobra, HG Jager, GW Space Marine Terminator(28mm) and a EM-4 Mech(not sure about the scale on this one).

  Left to right we have: HG Spitting Cobra, HG Jager next to a Reaper Cav Halbeard (10mm).

 Left to right we have: HG Spitting Cobra, HG Jager and a Critical Mass Arc Fleet Combat Walker (15mm).

 Left to right we have: HG Spitting Cobra, HG Jager, Brigade Models Neo-Soviet Bizon MBT (6mm) and an Angel Barracks Junker "Thor" Hovertank (6mm).

Finally we have a shot of all the mechs( + the terminator) arranged by height.


I hope this helps anybody that were wondering about the HG Mechs, if you have any more questions I'll try to answer them as well!

Til next time!