Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dreamation Shockforce Game from 1/27/2008

What follows is a battle report from a recent game of Shockforce, aka WarEngine. I ran this at a local game convention called Dreamation this past weekend. I also plan to have the highlights of an earlier run Weird War II battle for posting tomorrow.

This particular scenario was designed to be a multi-sided game, however in this instance we had a match up between two forces, the Human Pirate Skummers and New Eden Militia. The Human Pirate Skum force was comprised of figures from the following sources- Gangs of MegaCity:One plastic gangers, Necromunda plastic Goliaths, GW/Citadel Confrontation Skavvies, GW/Citadel Rogue Trader Space Pirates, Grenadier Future War (now EM-4 Future Skirmishes) Savages & Scavengers, and a Void Junkers Desert Marauder Dune Buggy. Not many of those figures still available but they gave the force the very motley character they deserved. The New Eden Militia force was comprised solely of JC Figures miniatures sold through Victory Force.

The Human Skummers were an unsavory band of space pirates, vagabonds, and malcontents. They were arranged into 3 squads, each armed primarily with laser rifles, shotguns, or a brace of pistols. The Skum leader was armed with a handgun and sword. The most powerful weapon in the arsenal was a fast off road dune buggy with heavy rotary cannon.

The New Eden Militia was in sharp contrast to the outcasts. In the background of my games, New Eden is a thought police style dystopia with psychically endowed females. The N.E.M. is the military arm. In this engagement there was a mission commander with two handguns and a psychic power to see the future, a squad of light riflemen, a squad of heavy armor riflemen, and Special Agent 69. SA69 is not only a government sanctioned operative but also an efficient killing machine. In addition to infiltrating into the conflict she possessed a powerful ability to short out machinery with an electrical burst of psychic power.

The reason for this chance encounter was the discovery of weapons grade diamonds on an isolated off world mining colony. The Squat miners had disappeared from their outpost for unknown reasons and the remaining cache of precious gems lay in one of two durable transportation boxes within the confines of the facility.

Entering from opposite ends of the facility, Agent 69 had the advantage of an infiltrated deployment. She quickly moved in the opening turns of the encounter to the first possible location of the special diamonds. Women are apparently drawn to diamonds as the die roll indicated that this was indeed the proper container and not the decoy.

Now the pressure was on the Space Pirates to get to Agent 69 and give her a licking. The Off-road Dune Buggy raced ahead of the advancing gangs right into view of Agent 69. They fired at her twice but some close die rolls and the use of hero points kept Agent 69 standing and ready to do them in. She launched her mental attack which failed to shutdown the vehicle’s systems but then she fired one well placed shot into the vehicle with her big handgun and it was immediately destroyed.

While the violent encounter of both sides’ “heavies” was occurring, both players were moving up their squads and force leaders. Before Agent 69 could be joined by her own forces, the Goliath gang crested the top of the base’s landing pad and began shooting their shotguns at her as they entered the central courtyard. She fell in a hail of combined gunfire having used her hero points earlier to escape death.

Now the contest would be decided by quantity or quality. The N.E.M. light infantry advanced past the fallen Agent 69 and began a withering fire into the Goliaths. They would soon be gone. The N.E.M. heavy infantry advanced more cautiously and crossed the perimeter fence taking up a position among some storage drums.

The Pirates advanced on either side of the perimeter fence, one unit entering a habitation dome on the other side of the militia.

A firefight from doorway to doorway and a counterattack by the Pirates led to many of the light infantry getting killed.

Meanwhile the Pirate Force Leader was shot down advancing on the heavy armor riflemen. However, they were soon taking fire on their flank from the laser rifle squad of Pirates. One trooper and the sergeant went down and with a horrible morale roll at the end of that turn the remainder of the squad ran away leaving the New Eden force leader, the light infantry sergeant, and one trooper against two pirates from one squad and 5 from another. The larger pirate squad quickly took out the New Eden leaders’ final squad and she was left alone trying to get the cache of diamonds off the table.

Her two pursuers from the first habitation dome were killed in a quick firefight as she tried to escape through the second dome. The remaining pirates gave hot pursuit across the courtyard.

In her haste to flee the situation with her treasure the New Eden leader ignored firing upon her pursuers. They missed her initially but in their very last chance to take her out before exiting the mining colony she was brought down by another combined fire action. The Pirates would have the diamonds and the squad leader of the remaining 3 laser rifle armed pirates raised his own meltagun high above his head and declared himself the new pirate leader..

Friday, January 11, 2008

January Plans and More..

I'm getting ambitious this year, or at least somewhat more goal minded.

I've noticed that the urge to keep this space occupied with new material is helping to spur on my miniature painting. As I sit typing this I can feel the cold stares from at least a hundred unpainted figures behind me and the silent cries of the many more hundreds languishing in storage.

So far we're two weeks into this new year and I've painted two sets of figures. That's pretty darn good by my speed. I'm hoping to maintain that momentum by challenging myself to painting something each week, taking a picture and posting it here.

What's in store for the rest of January:

Next week- I hope to paint some more Cryx for my Warmachine faction. We'll see if I can get Skarre, Captain Rengrave, and a unit of Satyxis Raiders in time to meet that goal. It will be a stretch. While I'm waiting I think I'm going to fiddle around with some quick terrain. To add to the pressure I've got two nights of gaming ahead. Wednesday promises to be lots of fun. Rich Johnson, creator of .45 Adventure is running what promises to be a very fun dinosaur hunt game on Wednesday night at one of our local stores, TOGIT. Thursday night is the first week of the store Warmachine league and my Cryx drew 14th place in the 16 player league. That's actually a good thing because a victory against a higher ranked opponent is worth more victory points. Not that victory points matter. I'm in it for the social aspect of seeing some of my gaming buddies regularly and all the fun trash talk. Finally if my D&D group is still interested, I'm hoping to jolt us back into activity after a 2 month holiday lull. The group is all around 6th or 7th level now. We left off with them investigating a flooded Dwarven strip mine located in a territory they were bestowed by the local Duchy. Now that they are land owners in a somewhat feudal system it is presenting additional challenges like building bridges and ridding the area of bandits. If the group is reading this (I know someone will eventually)- hint: Bandits are like rats and cockroaches. You can never be fully rid of them..

Week 4- Well I'm going to have to prepare to run some games the week of the 24th-27th at a very fun local convention, called Dreamation. I'm running a Shockforce game on Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Saturday I'll be running a Weird WWII game using my own home rules. Now that I'm thinking of it I should get some of the Darkson Designs figures I purchased back in August at GenCon done up for this game. I'll also be using plenty of Victory Force figures I already have done, including some N.E.W. War Germans.

I did end the title of this with "and More". However, I think what I added above is more than enough to think about. :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Drantakhs painted this past week

I like a bit of variety in my Sci-Fi skirmish games. One of my smaller forces is my Drantakh mercenary force. Regiment Games makes Drantakhs. Unfortunately the company is on temporary hiatus until April, I hope just temporarily. I started off with 8 of the heavier armored figures when they were first released and picked up additional figures this past year. Including the half figure vehicle crew, I have a total of 20 Drantakhs. You might notice that on the Regiment Games site they say Drantak. That was a name change. I still prefer the original name with the silent "h".

I painted up the 12 newer figures this past week on Thursday night and again last night. I wasn't sure how to use the upper body crewmen until I was placing the figures for the group shot. I went through some vehicles I had laying around and found the Tau craft I'd been using as a Mobile Infantry UAV for Starship Troopers.

My Drantakh background is simple. They are a lower tech race from a galactic backwater arid planet with sulphur deserts and acid rain. They trade minerals and labor for technology from other more advanced races. The Drantakhs also export themselves as mercenaries armed with this more advanced equipment. Some of their more recent homeworld manufactured weapons are made with or coated with an unknown Osmium alloy. This dark blue metallic alloy is very durable and helps protect the most important Drantakh equipment in the very harsh conditions of their home planet. Vehicles, robots, and drones in use by the Drantakhs are most often purchased from alien races or captured in battle.

Here is my Drantakh force:

The Tau fast attack craft on the left just has the crew models placed inside for the picture. I still need to do some work on this.

Here is a closer picture of the ground troops emerging from a world portal, aka stargate. (click for larger pic)

My Drantakh mercenary force consists of the following:
Platoon Leader, shown in the back of the formation in the Stargate.

Assistant Platoon Leader, shown standing next to a Drone Operator.

The Drone Operator, holding a control module. I'll be adding some Tau drones or other drones in the future.

A Platoon Scout/Sniper, shown in the foreground.

Two Squads of Drantakhs. The Squad on the left has a heavy laser trooper. The rest of the squad is armed with automatic slug rifles and a squad leader with a prized higher tech Particle Pistol. The slug rifles use ammmunition tipped with very heavy alloys. This gives them a hard punch but they are not very accurate weapons. The Particle Pistol functions similar to a disruptor and is useful on a variety of soft and hard targets. The squad on the right includes a laser guided missile launcher and an extra ammo carrier armed with a laser designator. The small missiles launched from the launcher can be set to follow the laser from the second crewman. This is beneficial by allowing the heavy weapon trooper to stay out of direct view of the enemy and launch his warhead into the laser path where it will be directed to the target. The laser designator trooper can often be concealed in this mode of fire if the enemy does not have countermeasures for detecting the laser signature.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Got some Cryx painted tonight

I was able to get in gear for the new year and paint some figures. Tomorrow is a Warmachine game night at one of the local games stores. I really prefer to use my own figures for army build type games, so I've been working at getting my Cryx faction built up and painted as quickly as possible. I started some figures earlier today and finished them this evening. Finished in this case meaning good enough for the game table. I have to return to finish up the Sea Witch and all the figures will need some base beautification and a top coat of matte acrylic. Here they are:

Back row left to right are Reaver Helljack, Brute Thrall, Helljack wreck, Bonejack wreck. Bottom left to right are the Revenant Unit and the Sea Witch.

Unless I get something done on the weekend I think this may be the only painting I get done this week.