Wednesday 17 July 2019

New beginnings; On edge of imperial space AAR

The edge is very different to the core worlds around Terra. Sure, there are pirates, a general lawlessness and unspeakable horrors, but there is also a degree of freedom and enterprise for the adventurous sort. Rogue traders and mercenaries rub shoulders with aliens and regular folk just trying to get by.

The freedom to strike out on your own and seek your own fortune. The sort of freedom that Caleb Isaacs and his small team was looking for.

After years of war and service to the imperium Isaacs grew disillusioned with the red tape and vagaries of high command, so he decided to strike out on his own when his term was up. Augustus Couley and Ali Yanaga, his former subordinates, decided to join him. Together they form the independant contractor group "Outer Rim Solutions".

Being their own bosses suited the trio, even if it wasn't always easy. For a few months now they hadn't gotten a promising contract and the coffers were starting to look decidedly depleted. But all this could change in a moment, as it had in the past.

One day not long after, a encrypted message came in to the group. It read:


Caleb called his comrades in to his office to review the message. This might just be what they had been waiting for!
After a short discussion they decided that the offer was too good to pass up, even if the amount made them wary of the possible risks involved.
In the end, they couldn't afford to pass on this in any case..

The next day the contract executor contacted them via comms;
  "Greetings. My benefactor is pleased that you chose to accept his contract. I am Mayweather and will be serving as your contact for the duration of the contract."
 "Greetings Mr Mayweather, I'm Caleb Isaacs, leader of ORS. In the message you mentioned further details? Would you let us know so we can ge to work?

 "Certainly. This contract is a non-exclusive, time sensitive one. Other parties have been contracted as well and only the contractee that brings us the stolen object within a standard month will be elligible for the reward. The object in question is a locked plasteel container. It was stolen from my benefactor and we have tracked it to a planet called Luxor IX. I believe it is where you currently are?"
 "I see, we better get started then. Isaacs out."

 "Am I the only one who are worried by the lack of information?" Ali asked the other two as soon as the call ended.
 "Sure am, but what can we do? We need this. I'll start hitting up my contacts and see what we can find out." Augustus looked to his battle brothers before heading for his terminal.
 "I don't doubt this will be tricky Ali, but as Augustus said, we need this. Let's prepare as much as we can, that's all we can do at this point."
 "Right boss, let's get too it."

The next day, Augustus had come through. He had found somebody that claimed to know about this plasteel case that came from off world. A meeting was set up at a local cantina..

The cantina where the meeting was to take place.

 A few houses that surrounds the bar.

 At the end of the street there is a Git Burga, a popular fast food franchise. This makes a good spot for Ali Yanaga to set up his overwatch. 

 Augustus meets up with the contact behind the cantina. His contact belongs to the local gang the green hoods, a group of thugs, criminals and deserters. The contact seem jumpy and keeps looking over his shoulder, as if to see if he was followed.

As Augustus tries to get the information out of the cagey thug, Caleb starts sneaking from the side entrance of the cantina. Across the street he thinks he spots another green hood.

Ali calls his team over coms"There is a bunch of green hoods coming out of the bar, this might get hairy.."

As the comms dies down, Augustus finally presses the green hood contact. Rather than trying to share anything useful, the thug goes for his autogun!
Scrabbling to get to cover behind a close by dumpster, mr Couley aims and fires his plasma gun at the traitorous hoodlum. The superheated plasma rips into the man, his screams slowly fading as he falls to the ground. 

Hot lead slams into Augustus from his flank, finding seams in his armor as blood starts flowing. He grunts and grinds his teeth agaist the pain. This must have been as setup, they seemed ready for the team!

On the other side of the bar two of the green hoods are blasting the barrier that Ali is currently crouching behind. Lucky for him, the aim of the thugs are not good enough to hit the marksman.

Using the advanced scope on his hot-shot lasrifle, Ali send a bolt of death nearly blowing the head off the shooter. 

 With a burst of speed, Caleb Isaacs closes on the hoodlum that shot Augustus. His bolt pistol rips a chunk out of his target, but he keeps coming.

 Smashing into the team leader, the green hood member and Isaacs struggle, locked in close combat.

 Distracted from his wounds and Calebs charge, Augustus is unable to fight off a charging hood member who further injure him!

The battlefield after the second round of combat.

Summoning strenght to fight off his attacker, Augustus knocks back the thug and fires several shots. The green hood member goes down hard.  

Mr Yanaga ducks down after his shot, sneaking behind the barrier to get a better shot at his final attacker. Popping up again, his lasgun fires and silences his enemy.

 His chainblade whirring, Caleb cuts into the struggling thug. With the rest of his members down or dead, the last thug throws down his weapon in surrender.

 "I give up,ok! I'll give you what you want, don't kill me!" the gang member cried out as he was dragged to a barrier behind the bar as the team gather around him.
 "Speak." Isaacs spoke, his tone low and dangerous. "Alright, alright! If you go into the desert west of here, after about 30 minutes there is a small rock next to some bushes. You can't miss it, there isn't any other vegetation for a klick from it!"
"See, that wasn't so hard, was it?" His pain evident, Augustus put on a brave face until the green hood had turned and run.

After having his wounds tended to, Augustus and the team starts the trek into the western desert to find their prize..

But it seems somebody else already beat them to it!
 "I knew it wouldn't be this easy, not for that many credits.." Ali shook his head.
"Hey, what's that?" Augustus asked as he bent down at the edge of the dug up mound of earth.

There was a small metal pin, with a design he didn't recognize.
It might be nothing, but it's the only clue they have at the moment..

I hope you liked the first part of this series!

Til next time!

Thursday 11 July 2019

Playing around with some of the big boys; Sci-fi Rpg inspired project

Like a lot of us I got introduced to the wargaming hobby through Warhammer. Say what you want about the rules, but the minis will always have a place in my heart.
That said, I haven't painted a citadel miniature in years, I've managed to steer clear of 28mm miniatures since I stopped playing Warmachine and Infinity a few years back.

First 15mm, and then 6mm have saved me a lot of space and allowed for many interesting projects over the years. But lately I've felt the pull of 28/32mm again, particularly for more character focused games. Being able to more easily identify characters on the table and having more characterful miniatures made me decide to make my next project a  28mm one.

Channeling the old-school RT and Laserburn, we'll see a team of freelance former Imperial Guard mixing it up on the edges of known space:

Our protagonists. After years in imperial service these three decided to try their luck plying their skills in the less controlled parts of the imperium, seeking their fortune.

 Caleb Isaacs, the leader of the team. Formerly a captain, two of his former subordinates decided to join their battle-brother and commander in his quest for fortune. Isaacs prefer up close and personal combat, leading from the front with his trusty bolt pistol.

Augustus Couley, heavy weapons trooper and demolitions enthusiast. He loves nothing better than blowing stuff up, and getting paid for it makes it that much sweeter. Hot-tempered but good-natured, Augustus followed Caleb without a second thought when the opportunity presented itself. 

 Ali Yanaga, marksman and scrounger extraordinaire. Calm and composed, Ali was chosen for sniper training right out of boot camp. With a talent for finding just what he needs on and off the battlefield, he is a man that it pays to be friends with.

So these three are the team we will be following in the campaign I'm working on!

When it comes to potential opposition I'm really spoilt for choice, but I want to start with something a bit more traditional and we'll see if the madness-inducing creatures of the warp wants to come out to play later in the campaign..

 The green hoods, a local group of thugs, deserters and all-around lowlifes. Just like most worlds far from the light of terra, the lack of imperial presence leaves room for all sorts to fight it out to be the de-facto rulers. 

 Since I haven't played much of anything 28mm outside of the FLGS, I had to get some buildings and such. Thankfully much of the natural terrain like rocks and trees I have enough scale-neutral ones to last me.

 The local bar in the city where we find our protagonists. Somewhat of a dive bar, run down and full of questionable characters.

 A large dwelling, maybe the home of somebody important enough to afford something larger than the cramped hovels that are the norm out here.

One of the aforementioned hovels. While they were designed as single resident habs, most of these units fit as many occupants as they can. This helps the poor souls save what meager credits they can by craming themselves in and sharing the costs with other unfortunates.

Git Burga, one of the planets most popular fast-food franchises. Of questionable nutritional value but affordable and easy to eat, Git Burga is still the go to for most people on the go.

 These barricades are put up by business and whatever thugs run the town at the moment, in equal parts to protect themselves and the residents from the firefights that will inevitably break out at any time.

 Whereever lots of humanoids gather, there will be lots of waste. Garbage bags and discarded boxes usually fill alleys behind various establishments in the town. 

Large dumpsters like these are not all that uncommon, but you need a contract with whoever is in charge of sanitation. That might be why you often find piles of garbage in the alleys behind homes and small businesses even though these dumpsters are technically available.

So this is my big project for this summer. I'll be using a home-brew version of OSR rules to play these games, as I feel a RPG ruleset works better for what I want the focus to be rather than pure wargames rules.

I hope you'll like it, more is coming soon!

Til next time! 

All the things completed up until my vacation-post

For a few weeks leading up to my vacation I have been all over the place, having a hard time deciding on what to do next hobby-wise. So before making the post of what I settled on, I feel I should share what I managed to finish:

First out we have the retro-future sculpts from my last post, all painted up and ready for battle:

They didn't turn out as nice as I had hoped, with the moulds losing some detail and issues with air bubbles on the infantry. I might add a few disel-punk/retro future pieces, but over all I think they are serviceable.

For a little while I felt like I might want to move my character driven sci-fi games up to 15mm for the added recognizability at the larger scale. So I painted up this lightly armored strike team and some grav speeders in case I felt like having a few adventures with them later on.

Not content to stay with an idea for more than a few days at most, I painted up this team of adventurers and started re-basing some of my 6mm single figures to smaller bases as well.
Seeing as I ususally come back to 6mm soon enough it feels like it was worth the effort even if I don't think these chaps will be making the fringe less safe right now..

Finally we have a 15mm adventurer from alternative armies that I decided to re-sculpt some armor on. It turned out ok, he might even join my desert fantasy games when/if I get back to it!

That's all I've been up to as of last week. I have a project in the pipeline that I will share some details of soon, just need to go through some notes and photos before I post that.

Til next time!

Saturday 8 June 2019

Retro-future WiP

Interested in trying something new I have been thinking of some different 6mm projects that I've had for some time. I first started prepping some GZG infantry for some small-scale corporate merc fighting before I saw a few interesting posts on the wargames website.

Being a long-time fan of SF3D/m.ak. I decided to try my hand at sculpting some retro-scifi armored vehicles, not for the first time. While they aren't done yet, these two have some potential I feel.

I haven't managed to make a turret design I like as of yet for the vehicle on the left, while the right-hand one needs another option or two for the turret hardpoints on either side of the vehicle.

 After I got started I sort of knew I'd like to sculpt at least one type of infantry, in some sort of hardsuit of course!
It has been quite some time since I tried my hand at using GS to sculpt anything other than small adjustments and mods to existing minis after a few disastrous attempts at making some from scratch.

This attempts have so far gone better than I hoped! I don't know if my skills have improved or if I just did something wrong earlier, but nevertheless these attempts came out quite ok I think.
I'm not sure if I need to make any more additions to these, but I will revisit that after I manage to finish the last bits for the vehicles.

With the sort-of success I feel encouraged to try my hand at a few more things unrelated to this project, but we'll see when and what that ends up being.

That's all for now, til next time!

Friday 10 May 2019

Save the scout! A Horizon Wars AAR

The Udouu system is technically part of Unity, as all human settlements in explored space. But like many systems on the fringe it's payed little attention by the core worlds. Add to that the fact that it's an unsanctioned colony with no offical Unity presence, you can begin to understand how the sqaubbling of these single-system powers have escaped notice.

With fewer than a dozen inhabitable planets and moons, Udouu isn't a poor system by any stretch, but it's too far away for most of the mega corps to involve themselves.

This has led to there being a few local powers fighting with what would be considered obsolete tech, even from many fringers prespective. Without wide-spread access to Unity tech there is little fusion tech on Udouu prime, the largest habitable planet in the system. As you go down in size and importance, the technological resources available to the locals decrease as well.

Necessity being the mother of all invention, the inhabitants have managed to create surprisingly efficient combustion engines, able to run on virtually any fuel. The lack of advanced armor materials and shielding have caused their warmachines to emphasize speed and manuverability over heavy armor, leading to the almost universal use of small bipedal mecha.
These suits are straddling the line between armored suits and true mecha, allowing for pilots to be trained quickly as it's operation is little different from using their own body. 

On Udouu Prime, or just Prime (as the locals usually refer to it), there are two major factions:
The Northern Alliance and the Confederation of Southern states.
As the names indicate they hold roughly half of the planets single continent each, with a strip of uninhabitable desert and a great lake forming the natural boundry between the powers. The remainder of the planets landmass is spread out in small island chains dotted around the great sea.

The Alliance and the Confederation are in an almost constant conflict that sometimes blossoms into full-blown war, but for the most part there are little more than border skirmishes and raids followed by political condemnation and finally attempts at reaching a lasting peace that inevitably seems to break down. And so the wheel keeps turning.

A scout had failed to report in at a stretch of the border that was recently in dispute between the Alliance and the Confederation. The local Alliance commander was feeling the pressure, so he sent out the newly formed Red Cap squad and a sniper team to investigate:

Red Caps, distinguishable by their red heads and white shoulder stripe. The sniper can be seen sporting a orange fin on his head while the spotter has no distinguishing marks.

In the distance the Alliance pilots can see a pillar of smoke rising. It doesn't bode well for their mission..

They all advance together, taking up whatever defensible positions they can.

The smoke is indeed coming from the downed scout mech! The sniper team spotter moves closer to try and see if the pilot made it. As he approaches, a voice comes over his local comms: "I have important information for Alliance command, you need to get me to them!"
Suddenly all of the Alliance mechs sensors go off, it's an ambush!

The Confederate mechs must have been in low-power mode, waiting to spring the trap. A mech comes barreling out from behind some ruins, it's rotary gun chewing chunks of armor out of the spotter's mech!

With quick reflexes, the pilot of the Red Cap's heavy mech pivots and fire his auto-cannon. The large shells strike the enemy mech head-on, blowing out the reactor and stopping it dead. 

The spotter begins to drag the wounded mech to safety when he realizes that the pilot is stuck inside. They'll have tools back at the hangar to cut him out of there, if he can only get that far!
Another of the Red Caps cause some damage as his bazooka shot cracks open a fair bit of the armor of a mech hiding in the ruins.

With his agressor out of reach, the wounded confederate pilot targets another of the squad, his shots messing up one of the leg actuators on his target.

Returning fire with limited success, the Red Cap squad member seeks shelter in some ruins as well.

Explosive shots blow sand and rock into the air as the last of the Red Caps narrowly avoids some bazooka fire from a mech speeding towards him.

He takes careful aim with his own rifle and sends a stream of penetrator rounds through both the legs and cockpit of the offending mech, bringing it down!

Feeling lucky, he then takes aim at the already damaged mech hiding in the ruins. Most of the shots ricochet harmlessly off the ruins, but some find their mark and the mech topples over, defeated.

Seeking to stop the enemy from recovering their downed pilot, one of the few remaining Confederate pilots charge towards the Alliance line. Hitting a scout mech is hard given their size and made no easier by having to dodge incoming fire. As he dodges and weaves, the Alliance sniper adds his deadly precision fire to the barrage, bringing the mech to permanent stop.

With little opposition left, the Red Cap heavy moves forward, his auto cannon stitching a pattern into the ruins as well as the mech trying to hug it for cover.

Hoping to take down the enemy heavy, the mech zooms between cover, laying down a hail of fire. The bullets rip through the tracks on one of the Red Cap mech's leg, shredding them!

Finally the last Confederate mech reveals itself! As it charges out of it's hiding place, the pilot opens up with both cannon and rockets, blasting most of the armor off of the unsuspecting Red Cap mech!

Eager to help his squad-mate, the bazooka-wielding mech sends a explosive shot right at the Confederate heavy, almost blowing it's arm off!

The heavy mech disengages from the remaining Confederate light mech to support his squad and fires a few shots into the leg actuators of the heavy mech.

Realizing that they cant stop the scout's pilot from being rescued, the Confederate commanders give the order to pull back, they have lost enough good pilots today!

Both remaining mechs fire suppresive fire and deploy smoke grenades to cover their retreat. Alliance command orders their pilots to bring back the scout pilot, pursuit is not a priority.

A slightly better picture of the mechs of Red Cap squad. You might be seeing more of these guys in the future!

That was an overwhelming victory for the Alliance, the dice really wasn't with the Confederate pilots!

I hope you have enjoyed this little report, I have a few ideas for future scenarios and there might even be some RPG-lite campaign focused around the members of Red Cap squad coming up!

Til next time!