Thursday, May 31, 2012

On long range scan ...

Although the approaching squadron of starships resembles an Entomalian fleet, it's actually a Hishen task force on wargames maneuvers.
It took part in mock battle against another group of Hishen vessels that were identical in every respect except for their resemblance to Carnivoran starships.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Scratchbuilt escape pods

The other day, my lovely wife came up to me and out of the blue mentioned that some of the beads she buys to make necklaces would also make great escape pods for my spaceship games.  One of the many reasons I adore her--she enables my hobbies!
She gave me a handful of beads to play with, and here's the process I came up with:
For singles, I took some nails and glued them head-down onto some small wooden discs.  For multiple groups of escape pods, I glued nails onto 3/4-inch washers.  To vary the level of each pod, I shortened some of the nails with wire cutters.
Then I glued them on.  Because these beads have holes in them, getting them onto an intact nail was pretty easy.  But since cutting the nail meant losing the point, it was problematic getting the beads onto the shortened nails.  I'm too cheap to buy shorter nails just for this project, so I'm gonna have to make the rest of them all the same height.
As you can see, they're a little large, but fit in pretty nicely with my existing ships like this Terran galactic battlecruiser.  Again, my thanks to my wonderful spouse.  Anyone else have a spouse that helps you game, even if she (or he) doesn't?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Starship identified

Last week, I asked if anyone knew the make of this starship that belongs to Ed the Two Hour Wargames guy.  Thanks to the fine contributors to this thread at The Miniatures Page, we now know the ID of the miniature.  It's a Dominion Star Destroyer Escort from the GaLakTik TakTik line (their capitalization, not mine) by Pewtercraft:
Photo from Tom's Spaceship Miniature/Game Lists.
The flight stand it's mounted on is an old Full Thrust flight stand/turning dial made by Geo Hex:
Photo from Tom's Spaceship Miniature/Game Lists.
I saw that Pewtercraft produced quite a few models in this line.  Does anyone else have any of the old GaLakTik TakTik spaceship minis?  If so, what do you use them for?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Another ebay purchase

I bought this prepainted to expand my Surtr and the Sons of Muspel army for Hordes of the Things.  This is a Heroclix figure based on a comic book character called Magma.  I plan on using her along with some Horrorclix and D&D Minis to make some lurkers or hordes elements to add to the fire army (stamp out one hotspot, and another flares up somewhere else).

Fantasy and sci-fi gamers often overlook the superhero minis, but those four-color characters can be a great resource for dungeon monsters or robot guardians in role-playing games, as well as for use in other games like HotT or Song of Blades and Heroes.  Does anyone else find themselves browsing through pictures of Clix minis thinking, "I could use that"?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Starships: More Entomalians

I finished up the remainder of the Entomalian ships that Da Baron gave me this spring (you can see the carrier and fighters here).
Sorry that the colors appear so washed out in these photos--I think it was the camera flash. 
These ships are a pair of Hornet-class stellar cruisers along with a Sting-class starbomber.
I'm gonna try to get the Swarm-class super galactic dreadnought finished this holiday weekend.  After that, it's time to design the scenario for Operation: Bug Tussle!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Work in progress: Ento SGDN

I've primed the Swarm-class super galactic dreadnought for my Entomalian fleet.  Now I just need to paint it.  As you can see, this model has a huge wealth of detail--and this is a photo of the underside of the model.  The top looks just as good. 
Because of all the real estate I'll have to cover in pigment, I can be a little more creative than with the smaller vessels in the bug forces.  I'm looking forward to painting this bad boy.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Today's gaming find brought to you by HPB

Another score from Half-Price Books: Mutants and Death Ray Guns, a post-apocalyptic skirmish game based using the versatile Song of Blades and Heroes game engine from Ganesha Games.  If the fantasy game SoBaH is analogous to Dungeons & Dragons, then MDRG's related to Gamma World
It's got mutants, androids, hi-tech, and, of course ray guns.  It also has a campaign system that can be completed in one setting, since a single battle can be done in about half-an-hour to 45 minutes.  Fun stuff!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What ship is this?

Ed the Two Hour Wargames Guy broke out the spaceships this week. He got them from Black Widow Pilot on TMP.  They're some cool ships with some great paint jobs.
I need some help identifying one of the minis.  The silver cylindrical spaceship is a Star Frontiers pirate frigate (a model with which I am familiar), but I have no idea where the blue triangle ship came from.
Here they are together, so you can get a sense of scale.    Does anyone recognize the blue miniature?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mount up!

It's been some time since our characters in the tabletop version of the Hill Cantons D&D campaign acquired some mounts.  We've had a couple of mules (named Eleven and Other) for what seems like forever, but we usually had to proxy them with a couple of 12-sided dice.  This weekend, I finally found some approximately 28mm horses/ponies for use with our figures.
Here you see them with a 30-32mm Roman archer from the Heroscape game.  It's been quite a while since I've seen a horse up close and personal, so I don't know if these equestrians are exactly the right size, but they're close enough for our gaming needs.  Not only that, but they were prepainted.  The best part is that they were cheap--65 cents each at the toy store in Gruene.  Time to ride!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Starships: Swarm size comparison

I rediscovered my Entomalian Swarm-class super galactic dreadnought, which had been obscured by a box of Warhammer skeletons.  This big ship is the model I ordered from Monday Knight Productions several years back.  Here you can see the SGDN next to a pair of Superior Models-era Hornet-class stellar cruisers and a Louse-class star armored pursuit ship, which I recently stripped of their previous paint jobs.  The pewter casting of the capital ship is a lot brighter than the lead escorts next to it.

I need to get these painted so I can devise a scenario to use for them.  I've already thought of a title: Operation Bug Tussle.  Now that I remember I have a super galactic dreadnought for the bugs, it's going into the scenario.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Douchiest comment this month

This one.  In response to Grognardia mentioning his second article on the history of D&D for Wizards of the Coast.

Getting paid by WotC is like working for the KKK?  Really?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

GEV battle report

My interest renewed by the Steve Jackson Games Kickstarter project, I broke out my OGRE/GEV gear when I visited my brother last weekend.  I talked him into a quick game, and we decided on the basic "Raid" "Breakthrough" scenario from the GEV rules (no OGREs involved).
I took the standard 12 GEVs, while he took a howitzer, two light artillery drones, and four light GEVs, along with the standard infantry allotment.
That howitzer inside the ruined town was gonna be a problem, so I decided to avoid it and concentrate on the other side of the map.
The first few turns I was unmolested, and my opponent didn't move or shoot since I was out of range.
However, once in range of the LADs, they started disabling my GEVs.
Combined with infantry support, this was enough to knock them out of the fight one turn and destroy them the next, if they didn't get a kill the first time.
I did take out one of his LGEVs, but I was only able to get four (of twelve) of my units off the board.  It was a marginal victory for the defense.
Looking back, I should have been willing to sacrifice some of my lead elements and take out one artillery piece, then move the rest of my forces through the gap.  How 'bout a rematch?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Kill Radius now on SCN

I see my homebrew starship combat game Kill Radius has made it onto the list of Web Games at that wonderful resource for SF tabletop gamers, Starship Combat News

I'm honored to find my rules listed with such notable games as GOBS and A Sky Full of Ships.  My thanks to SCN's proprietor, Dean Gunderson, for sharing the link to my game with visitors to his site and for offering spaceship gamers such a great resource. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Congrats to SJ Games

The project started with a funding target of $20,000 to get the OGRE Designer's Edition (a/k/a OGRE6e) off the ground, and it ended up with a total of $923,680 and a product much more elaborate than fans and the publisher could have known at the beginning.

Yes, it will cost $100, but you get a lot of game for that price.  Not only that, but the Kickstarter was successful enough for SJ Games to promise supplements, minis, a computer game, and a pocket version of OGRE.

I'm looking forward to new scenarios and new units, and I can't wait to see this game in the fall!  Who else will be playing some OGRE come November?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mal & Zoe in Area 51

This week, I got to help Ed the Two Hour Wargames Guy test his post-apocalyptic After the Horsemen.  The game took place amid this abandoned(?) government research complex (some great looking terrain).
My two characters were two attendees at a science fiction convention who ended up stuck in the costumes they were wearing for the event
After picking up a tag-along and entering one of the buildings, my typical dice rolling gave the characters a roomful of foes who weren't in the mood for talking.
Mayhem ensued, and when the smoke cleared, the good guys were left standing.
Once again, my thanks to Ed for letting me help playtest all his games.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

In the days before dice

The version of the Holmes basic Dungeons & Dragons boxed set I received as a kid was missing a crucial component--dice.  Because of the Great Polyhedron Shortage of the late 1970s, some printings of the game didn't include the 4-, 6-, 8-, 12-, and 20-siders needed to play the game.  So instead TSR included a crappy set of numbered chits you had to cut out and draw from a cup to generate random numbers.  And it even came with instructions! (Draw them from a cup? Really?)
They did give you a coupon for dice, either from your local game store or via mail order.  I was unable to obtain the dice the first few months I had the game, but I did liberate the three red attack dice from our family copy of Risk so I could roll up characters without conducting a raffle drawing.  Anyone else get stuck with the chits instead of dice?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New monster for Holmes basic: Aquarian

This post rounds out the factions in the Starfleet Wars universe adopted for use with Dungeons & Dragons (the Holmes basic/blue book version) and my starship megadungeon (or is that megadungeon starship?) project.

Move: 120 feet/turn
Hit Dice: 1+1
Armor Class: 5
Treasure Type: Q
Alignment: any
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1-6 or special

As their name suggests, Aquarians are able to function in water as well as in air, and their gills act as filtration systems that give them a +2 save vs. poison gas.  Their breastplates give them protection equivalent to chainmail.  In addition to daggers and swords, Aquarians carry laser pistols similar to Terrans’, but will only use them if attacked.  In close combat, an Aquarian can attack with its tail; a successful hit means the target is knocked off its feet.  Aquarians prefer heat but dislike cold, and are not usually found in arctic environments.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New monster for Holmes basic: Avarian

Next, we have the fourth of my adaptations of each species of the Five Powers for Holmes basic D&D (and my starship megadungeon project).

Move: 150 feet/turn
Hit Dice: 1-1
Armor Class: 5
Treasure Type: none
Alignment: any
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1-6 points each

Avarians are birdlike aliens who cannot fly unassisted.  Slightly smaller than humans, they wear armor that will deflect stun beams (+5 to saves) and carry a laserblade equivalent to a +2 dagger.  Avarians’ ranged weapons include a grenade rocket pack (six charges) capable of delivering a 100-yard blast equal to a 12-dice fireball out to a range of one mile (roll to hit as with a giant throwing a rock) and a wide dispersion blaster that does 1-10 points damage to any three targets within 5’ of one another.

Monday, May 7, 2012

New monster for Holmes basic: Carnivoran

Another new D&D monster adapted from the Starfleet Wars setting for my starship megadungeon.  Like the Terrans and the Entomalians, this creature was created for the Holmes version of basic Dungeons & Dragons


Move: 120 feet/turn
Hit Dice: 2
Armor Class: 8
Treasure Type: Q
Alignment: any
Attacks: 1 or 2
Damage: 1-6 points or 1-4/1-4

Sometimes called Kzin, Aslani, or Cats, these barbaric felinoids can grow to more than 6 feet in height and prefer close combat to ranged attacks.  Although strong, Carnivorans are not very agile (maximum 12 DEX).  They wear no armor except for a helmet and various pieces of decorative jewelry.  In the heat of melee battle, there is a 35% chance a Carnivoran will discard his mace/ax and instead bite for 1-4 points and rake his claws for 1-4 points.  Carnivorans also carry stun guns that can knock humanoid targets senseless for 1-4 rounds (save vs. Death Ray to avoid).

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Starships: Babylon 5 ship plans

Browsing the clearance section of Half-Price Books, I came across Mongoose Publishing's ship plans for the Narn battlecruiser from the Babylon 5 television series.
Inside front cover
I like B5, even though I'm not that big a fan of the TV show; I started watching it on Netflix but it got removed because of licensing issues before I could get past the third season.
Background booklet
Still, this package looked interesting, and it was marked down to $1 from its original price of $19.95, so how could I say no?
Poster with deck plans
If nothing else, I thought the plans might provide some inspiration for my starship megadungeon.
Other side of poster
They're really not detailed enough to be of any use, but when I'm just out some change from the cupholder in my car, I can't complain too much.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

OGRE keeps on rolling

Exciting times for OGRE/GEV fans!  Take a look at the OGRE Kickstarter page: as of this posting (Saturday morning Texas time), the OGRE Designer's Edition was close to breaking $550,000 in pledges--far beyond Steve Jackson Games' original goal of twenty grand.  Although I'm gonna get my copy from my friendly local game store instead of through Kickstarter, I'm still thrilled by all the interest shown in this project, from new and old fans alike.

Here's a quick breakdown of what the standard (non-Kickstarter) box will contain (taken from this KS update):
  • Containers:
    • The outer shipping carton - about 22" x 18" x 4"?
    • The game box. Currently 21.5” by 17.625” by at least 3.5”.
    • Cardboard counter tray insert / “Ogre garage”
  • Maps:
    • Ogre map (2 pieces )
    • GEV type maps G1, G2, S1, S2 (2 pieces each)
  • Counter/overlay sheets (about 11 x 17, printed 4/4, diecut):
    • Combine 2D units (2 identical sheets, about 65 units each, 1.5 mm)
    • Paneuropean 2D units (2 identical sheets, about 70 units each, 1.5 mm)
    • Basic map overlay sheet (3 identical sheets, 1.5 mm)
    • Stretch overlay sheet (1.5 mm)
    • Assorted Ogres and buildings (3 different sheets, 2 mm)
    • Sponsored sheets for $3,000 supporters (5 different, some 1.5, some 2 mm)
      • “Mercenary” sheets - two, using Combine units
      • Maaaybe one w/ hidden buildings. Under discussion.
      • One with a whole troop of Ogres in a new color.
      • One, probably, with a new color of Paneuro units.
  • Booklets and other paper:
    • Rulebook - 24 pages?
    • Scenario book - 12 pp?
    • Reference sheets with CRTs, unit lists, and so on (2 copies)
    • Ogre Record Sheet masters (2 copies, black only)
    • Blueprint poster
    • "How to Build the Ogres" flyer
  • Two 19mm acrylic dice
Outside the box, there has been enough support to reach various stretch goals including new scenarios, a future expansion, a tiny version of the game resembling the pocket format in which it debuted in 1977, and even an OGRE computer game.  Best of all, they're bringing back the miniatures line!  With six more days to go in the fundraising period, they're also close to hiring someone to work on the line full-time and not too far from rereleasing the OGRE Miniatures rulebook. 

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm looking forward to all this.