Monday, April 29, 2013

Sci Fi Concepts Part II

After a day of assembling Swedish furniture I'm beat and my hands are blistered beyond recognition.  That being said, I'm not too sore where I couldn't snap a few pics of my Sci Fi concept troopers.

The weapon team and the individual trooper are completed, along with some more troops and models that will supplement any future force.

Again, the team has a neat, neo-soviet look to them but they will serve as rebel forces on a distant, cold planet.  The heavy man-packed laser taken off of an ambushed vehicle convoy of some sorts.
The trooper has a nice, "corporate" look to him as sort of a security force for a mining settlement, not quite a "drop trooper" but not quite militia either.  He holds either a solid-shot assault rifle or some sort of small laser rifle.









The next round are unpainted concepts to be tried out.  First up are a completely new concept for a historical guy like myself - walkers.  While the idea of drones are completely mainstream now, walkers are an idea that is right around the corner by a generation or so.  Practically all-terrain and almost perfect support platform to carry heavy support.  These walkers fit into the 20mm realm nicely and are automated machines, and do NOT contain a human being.  They will fill a scout role on the battlefield - dropping in and advancing until they make contact with enemy forces.  They also fulfill a myriad of security details as well.  Cheap, effective, and highly mobile - I'm designating them the Stalker M485 Mk I and Mk II.  The Mk II is armed with a light plasma cannon and capable of engaging large walkers, or AFVs.  The Mk I is simply a scout armed with light missiles and a light laser weapon.
M485 Stalker Mk I Scout.  Actually a "Heavy Gear - Ferret" model.  

Next to a human infantryman for scale.  Stalkers will fulfill a variety of scout , reconnaissance and security missions on the battlefields of the future.

The Stalker Mk II with plasma cannon and missiles.  The Mk II's job is to engage larger vehicles with its plasma cannon and light targets with its mini missiles.

Both Stalkers for scale.

Finally my next batch of troopers, more heavily armed.  These are regular infantrymen of the future.  All armed with laser type weapons (which look suspiciously like FN SCARS to me..) they wear ballistic helmets with visors for Heads Up Displays.  Their armor is still humble and designed to protect primarily vulnerable areas from small arms, shrapnel and very light laser fire.


Assault trooper.

Targeting reticle for smart munitions.

Without the HUD on the helmet, he sports a standard M8 Laser Rifle.  

Chop off the ends of a modern SCAR and you have effectively have an "assault laser" which would be carried by shock troops.


I am planning on using a myriad of rules to support Sci Fi battles to include Future War Commander and FUBAR to name a few.  Maybe I will even write my own.  Right now am waiting on a few APCs to be delivered to the house but will be building some French APCs along with some US Strykers to serve as futuristic APCs.  Also going to be buying a few tanks to support.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

20mm Sci Fi Concepts

Sorry for the hiatus!  In the process of moving...That's right - SOUND OFFICERS CALL is going to get some permanent digs!

Ordered some Dark Dreams Studios 20mm "Space Battles" troopers and got to thinking about doctoring up some of my own 20mm troops for some "hard" sci fi battles using FUBAR or a home grown rules set, strictly human against human battles.  That, and most of my minis are either packed up or at the new house and these guys were all I could scrounge up.

The weapons team is a 28mm support weapon that was affixed to a 1:72 Russian trooper.  Cool as they have that kind of neo-Soviet, planetary defense force, or rebel look about them.
The individual is an Israeli soldier with just a few modifications to his weapon and some widgets glued to his helmet.
Russian troopers from the winter troops, Atlantic set I think.  The support weapon is from the UAMC Defiance Games Troops.  Can be a heavy laser, or heavy machine gun.


other side.  didn't think they needed any helmets as it gives them more of a rabble look about them.






Israeli trooper with a Gemran Fallschirmjaeger helmet added.  Weapon is modded up to look more "futuristic" lol



kit added to his helmet.  batteries?  comms unit?  targeting device?  battery pack?  whatever.

the infantrymen of the far future still face the same challenges we have today.   carrying heavy loads and tired feet.  the future hasn't made it any easier.

going to paint him "corporation" grey  or maybe an urban camo scheme.

Friday, April 5, 2013

15mm Command Decision T-80 Main Battle Tank

In anticipation of Zvezda releasing their "Hot War" 15mm modern minis "sometime this summer" I have begun slowly amassing my 15mm moderns.  This is the Quality Castings/Command Decision T-80 with no reactive armor, and I think, unlike the T-62A, it looks pretty good.  Again, this is a drab paint with tan drybrush over and I have not yet added the matte finish.

This is part of a Soviet tank Battalion in the Group of Soviet Forces-Germany force I'll be amassing.  Most of my frontline tanks will be T-72s however and I'll have to substitute them for T-80s or the other way around.  Looking to field 2 tank battalions, 2 infantry battalions (1 BMP and 1 BTR-70), Air Defense, Command & Control, Artillery, and Recon.  Everything a Soviet Armour Brigade or advanced mobile detachment would need.  Anyone have suggestions for 15mm Soviet engineer equipment?  I guess QRF would be my only solution for 1/100...

Also have the Modern Russian infantry in bags waiting to be painted however I'll definitely need to paint up those pesky North Vietnamese Troopers who have been waiting patiently forever...







Had to resist the urge to paint camo on this beast.


The tan dry brushing really does the trick!

I like the detail on this tank versus the T62 for sure.  I left a few items off but will include for the next one that comes in.

with 15mm .30 cal gunner and a 15mm ACW Zouave for scale..
Back to the infantry next, whom I've been neglecting.  I think I've cracked the code for German SS paint schemes, at least for 1 particular season.  Also have my American paras to finish and photograph, as well as start my US ACW Zuoaves of Cutler's Brigade (14th Brooklyn) as it is ACW Season starting soon!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Seek Out, Close With, & Destroy: Sci-Fi - Four-Zero-Kilo"ish" AAR

Greetings All,
Played a very down and dirty game of Seek Out, Close With & Destroy Sci Fi this afternoon with some makeshift rules and values for Disposable Heroes/SOCWAD games set in the "grim, dark nightmare of the [far future] millenium."

Game featured a small action between 2 patrols, a Guardsmen patrol and a "Sanguine" Pact patrol to reconnoiter a station outpost on a far, distant planet.  I had a whole story line developed, but this post is long enough as it is...

No large support in the way of artillery, air, or vehicles.  Just straight up infantry teams going at it.  The Guardsmen did have a "heavy" crew served weapon with them, as well as light support weapons with each fireteam.  The Pact troopers had light support weapons and a flamer to use.  The ending will surprise you.

Pact troopers (Wargames Factory Greatcoat Troopers) advance towards the outpost.

Anxious Guard fireteam moves out to contact.

Pact Light Support Weapon


Guard Heavy Weapons Team in cover.  Scanning the outpost grounds for targets.

The command bunker was reached!

Pact team crests the hill overlooking the complex.  

 Game started out with both sides advancing from their starting positions.  The Guard lucked out and started in close proximity to all the buildings and the good cover.  The Pact did have the advantage of higher ground but no weapons that could range the Guardsmen yet...

Pact troopers advance into a defile and find the generator turbines intact.  This information is quickly radioed back to their command post via the 'caster.
Guard team behind the command bunker, as of yet, unpainted.  By the way, the painting trays at home depot are about $1.79 and look awesome for 28mm sci fi.

Pact team

Guard heavy weapons opens fire on a Pact team as it crests the hill.  The battle is on!  2 Pact down.  

and eventually 3 pact down...Team lost!


The pact is in a bad way, as their movement is under almost constant observation.  Not their style at all...

what's left of the pact left squad advances and reaches the barracks.  Solid cover and much harder to hit inside!

On the other side, in an attempt to break out from the turbine defilade, the pact send the flamer forward.  He kills a trooper before he is cut down from fire in the command bunker.
The game was a turkey shoot so far for the Guard.  Any time a Pact trooper showed himself he was treated to a fusilade of heavy bolt fire or lasrifle fire.  The left most squads started to withdraw under the pressure.  Then the Guard broke from cover to attempt to hunt them down.  By now most of the pact was in cover of their own - a whole new game at this point!
blood pact Radio operator watches the flamer go up in flames...

Guard support weapon operator knocks down the flamer and puts fire into the turbine defilade.

meanwhile, the rest of the left squads pact teams are consolidating towards the barracks.  They catch a nice little surprise...the imperial command team and a fireteam moving to the barracks!  and the light stubber was in the lead!  Good pact shooting fells 3 troopers...


The officer and squad leader NCO are all that remains of the movement group and are quickly pinned...

The lone pact trooper joins in the firing.

"this is bad, sergeant this is very bad"

Then the sergeant is killed...
 The reversal of fortune at the barracks was staggering.  Unbelievably, the Guard officer loses his morale check again and breaks for cover - with another Guard fireteam coming up to assault the barracks.  The pact troopers move to the rear of the building.  It's gonna be a long day...

Guard team assaulting the barracks!
 They pass the morale test to close assault the barracks but are all wiped out either in snap fire or close combat.  3 successive assaults on the barracks are beaten back, with 1 pact fireteam holding the barracks along with their evil, fanatical officer.
unsung heroes.  "even a man who has nothing can still offer his life"
What a reversal of fortune.  Seems that the force who stays hunkered down in cover has a great chance of staying alive.  That was the guard at first - but then they had to root out the enemy, switching the roles around.  The officer actually failed all of his morale checks and ran off into the desert.  I hope the heat kills him before the commissars find him...

LESSONS LEARNED:

Well this was an experimental battle testing out my SOCWAD Sci Fi tweaks against the rules set and they worked out well.  I have already played some very, very small battles with my "Galactic" Marine troopers and, true to form, and all the damn 40k books I've read, they are able to mesh with the DH system nicely.

Not too dominant, but a very, very dangerous opponent.  In other games, 5 marines, split into 2 fireteams, were able to hold their own against about 20 pact troopers.  Granted they were wiped out completely, but, like I said, it "feels" right.  Now onto the tactics!

Suppress the Enemy:  This mantra of the modern military professional holds true in DH, and, as it turns out, the "grim darkness of the far future where there is only [Disposable Heroes]"  3 and 4 man fireteams are efficient especially if you have a light support weapon, but if you can't combine your firepower with quick, aggressive action, you've relegated the battle to 2 sides taking pot-shots at each other until someone wins.
When 1 team suppresses for a turn or 2, send another team around their flank or in their general direction.  Their teams will inevitably fire on your advance unless you can cover the ground quickly, with supporting fire.

My rule of thumb would be to have the entire squad (2 teams) fire for 1 turn, then send a team in next turn.  I'll have to try that next game.

Go Big, Go Fast, Go Early: My blood pact troopers in little teams were no match for a heavy crew served weapon with a ROF of 5 and a morale modifier of -3.  Moving out with the entire squad not only increases your assault chance for success in the advance, but ensures you have enough bodies for the inevitable close combat to follow.

Assign Cover Values right away: More for scenario design and a good rule of thumb for any gamer/scenario designer.  I kept forgetting what the cover values were for each building, bunker, etc.  Would have been nice to have written down but I was in a hurry...

Next time I play this, I will most likely incorporate artillery, air, and of course vehicles and more troops into the fray.  had there been a commissar present, he could have shot the officer and taken over but it wasnt to be.  I need to paint up more marines and scouts, as well as a huge host of greenskins and see how I can work them in as well.  Not to mention more pact troopers.