Wednesday, 27 July 2022


Last club Saturday gameday was a brilliant Aliens inspired game using some house rules developed by Dave, Mick and Paul at the club, inspired by Force on Force, Space Hulk and Zombicide.  A distress call had been recieved from colonists on a mining world and a squad of marines was despatched to effect a rescue.  Preliminary satellite images showed no recent activity in the industrial plant!

Hastily erected sand bag defences were thrown up around parts of the landing pad, with early images suggesting they were manned, but later images suggesting no sign of human activity.  (Dropship and figures added for eye candy).

More eye candy - Dave was working on this until the wee hours, getting it ready for the game.

The control centre, equally deserted in this oblique aerial approach shot.

All power appeared to be out, as no lights were on, so the squad I was part of were assigned to restore power and comms.  The dropship hit the pad and the apc rolled off, swinging towards the camera to drop my squad off.  Our mission, to restore power at the building on the right just beyond the red electical substation and realign the colony radio dish just off table near right.  Then cross to the central comms area and establish comms (two storey building next to the landing pad).

Power lifter, lovely model.

The team dismount the APC, me (Hudson) at the back, Mick (Apone) in front of me, Little Si (Vasquez) on the right and Paul (?Dietrich) in front.  Mick and I had pulse rifles, Little Si the Smart gun and Paul a flamer. 

As we move towardsw the power plant, the apc trundles off carrying the other squad (Dennis, Will, Ryder, Phil and Nathan) to look for the colonists.

We reach the power plant controls without incident, although motion trackers are showing scattered long range blips.

Mick and Little Si overwatch as Paul and I try to get the power back on.

Shadowy movement in the darkness.

The first blip comes into view and an alien is chewed up by overwatch fire while another goes down stunned.

They don't seem very happy.

Our team trying to look in every direction at once and feeling decidedly jumpy.

More aliens appear as we move towards the radio dish, Paul fries them.

An alien ambushes Little Si, who's able to sidestep and allow team mates to deal with the threat.

Once the dish is realigned, the squad moves towards the comms centre, right into the path of a host of advancing movement blips.  We have to move fast as there are even more blips coming from the left of the building.

The squads weapons deal with the oncoming hordes as we inch forwards, trying to keep out of sight of the oncoming aliens to our left, who will charge if they see us.

We get around the corner and arrive at the Comms Centre, fighting off aliens in front and behind, but a raft of alien ambushes trigger a crisis point for the squad with Little Si, Mick and I all threatened with aliens springing out behind us.

Some nifty footwork and good shooting kill or stun the alien ambushers, buying us some time to head off towards our final objective (the grey building top left).  Once again, pursuing blips come into view as a horde of aliens come rushing towards us.

Fire from my three squad mates enables me to make a dash for the next objective, although I fail my tech test to activate this turn (I'm out of sight behind the red building). 

There was some hectic action at this point as aliens poured out of the objective building and headed in my direction.  I pulled back out of charge range and my team mates eventually dealt with them, allowing me back to the control panel to activate the objective and establish comms with the drop ship, the other squad and orbitals.  The other squad were heading back to the landing pad with some rescued colonists, with a massive comet-like tail of movement blips strung out behind them.  The drop ship was called to rendezvous and we headed back to the landing zone as fast as we could.  As we moved off, huge clanging and banging noises erupted from a building at the edge of the landing zone and a huge four-legged, alien warrior emerged, along with several of the more regular aliens.  Our squad stuggled to reach the improvised defences on the edge of the landing strip and opened fire on the oncoming aliens.  Sadly, Little Si managed to jam his smart gun and then wreck it in an attempt to clear it, but grabbed a nearby pulse rifle and opened up with that instead. 

The other squad had, by this time made it to the refueling depot and attached a pipeline to the dropship, which was running low.  Aliens were appearing all around them and the multiple movement blips in the distance were getting closer and closer.

The big picture, our squad on the left confronting the huge warrior, the other squad taking on the oncoming aliend hordes, plus an alien queen emerging from a nearby warehose (off picture to the right).

After much gunfire and alien lunges, the other squad lost a colonist and Ryders character, but retired with the other survivors.  Our squad despatched the warrior, but Paul was put down by an alien charge and then grabbed by the alien.  In close combat, Mick stunned the alien and then tried to pull him by his webbing towards the drop ship, eventually passing him to me to finish the last distance on to the drop ship ramp and we were able to close hatches and lift off.

 A great days gaming, loads of fun and the randomness of alien appearance points, quantities and ambushes kept us entertained through a full 7-8 hours of gaming.  A huge thanks to Dave for laying on most of the terrain and all of the scenario ideas and for playing the aliens so effectively throughout the day.  Emphasis was on team play, with each squad covering each others backs and then both squads covering each other to deal with multiple aliens coming in from every direction around the drop ship.  Thanks to Mick, Paul and Little Si for providing such good team mates and to Will, Nathan, Ryder, Phil and Dennis for such entertaining chaos at their end of the table.  All great fun.

Sunday, 24 July 2022

Joy of 6 terrain purchases

I picked up two 6mm Battlescale Miniatures buildings from the Scotia stand at Jo6 (thanks Mr P).

First up, a little walled farm with detached stable, eminently suitable for 19th to 21st century tabletop action.

Slates are intermediate blue, washed with Nuln oil and individual slates flicked with original colour.  Walls are deck tan, with prominent stones on light sea grey.  Cobbles or stone grey with an Agrax Earthshade wash and dry brush of stone grey.  Unpainted wood is flat brown dry brushed new wood, while windows are black grey with white frames.

Second purchase was this stone church.  I'm going to do a little terrain piece with this on a little rise surrounded by a churchyard.

Slates are intermediate blue as before, stonework is neutral grey, washed with Nuln oil, then drybrushed, with the odd stone picked out in light sea grey.  Coping stones, archways window surrounds and the corner stones are light sea grey.  Lead flashing on the tower is oily steel.

I'm pleased with how they turned out and I'm looking forward to making the churchyard terrain piece for the stone church.

Thanks for looking. 

Saturday, 16 July 2022

Phalanx Lance and Longbow Participation Game

 I had a lot of fun with the Lance and Longbow Society at Phalanx in St Helens last month.  Their participation game was lifting the Ottoman siege of Buda.  The walls of Buda can just be seen in the photo below on the far left, as well as the parallel siege lines of the Ottomans.  Imperial forces are arrayed in the foreground and the Ottomans at the far end of the table.

Imperialist gendarmes awaiting their chance to launch themselves at the Ottoman horde.  Due to so apalling dice rolling, the second rank of gendarmes, including the commander, flatly refused to move during the opening moves.

Horse archers and hussars try to take the fight to the enemy, unaware of just how tough the Ottaman Janissaries would prove to be.

Pike blocks in the Imperial centre.

The Imperial left wing.

Slow and steady advance.

At this point in the game, things hotted up on the right flank and I no longer had the luxury of pausing to take photos.  Cutting a long and sad story short, my gendarmes, hussars and horse archers were no match for the opposing Ottomans and whole units dissolved with little to show in return.  The centre and left flanks fared much better and the Imperialists carried the day there.  It was a fun game, with some interesting challenges, not least the toughness of some of the Turkish troops.  Thanks to Steve and Dave for laying the game on and to Will, Bob and three other players whose names I didn't catch.  Rules are modified Lion Rampant for quick play based on a single playsheet and excellent umpiring by Steve and Dave.

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Cold War Commanders at Joy of 6 2022

 Last Sunday was the Joy of 6 show at Sheffield Hallam University.  We had an early start, crossing the Pennines in the clouds, but descending into a much sunnier Sheffield at 8am.  Set up the table and found a quick bacon bap before 10am opening time.

The table, using the lovely terrain of Richard Phillips.

Looking in the opposite direction.  The table at this end was left deliberately open to encourage visitors to roll some dice and get to grips with the rule system for Cold War Commander 2.

Over on the far left, my British deployed a pair of Lynx attack helicopters and a mixed company/troop of Chieftains and infantry.

In the centre, another mixed company awaits the Soviet horde.

On the right, a Chieftain troop is hiding at the edge of the BUA, ready to deploy into the woods lining the canal when the Soviets get in range.

A pair of Milan firing posts at the bend in the canal cover it to left and right.  An engineer depot is set up at the road junction.

In support three batteries of M109s (actually off table), with a supply dump on the edge of town.

The field hospital is deployed on the edge of town, ready to deal with anticipated casualties.

The CO group deployed on the edge of a wood.

The Harrier hide and resupply area, with a pair of Harrier GR3s about to head off on a mission.

On the far right of the table, an East German tank regiment (bottom) are advancing on a West German mixed tank and infantry battalion group (top). 

More shots of the Harriers.

The tunnel mouth, blocked at the far end by concrete obstacles, behind which a British Scimitar recce sits observing the oncoming Soviets.

Lynx attack helicopters make great deterrents for Soviet tanks and apcs moving in the open.

Not a lot of action at this end of the table.  The Soviet player was deterred by the high density of terrain, which would have greatly slowed his progress.  Instead, we spent a lot of time chatting with visitors to the table about cold war gaming, the rules specifically and the models and terrain making (referring most to Richard Phillips on the Scotia stand for his modelling tips).

All in all a fun day.  Nice to catch up with Heroics and Ros and Andy and Ian looked to be busy, but still have time for a chat, and it was great to see all the old favorites from the 6mm trader world, although it was a pity Leven Miniatures didn't manage to attend.

My own haul for the day was some Battlegroup chits, a pair of Skyraiders and another pair of Thunderchiefs, aircraft weapons loads for Soviets and NATO, a couple of Battlescale buildings and a book on painting miniatures for WW2 desert forces.  Quite restrained really.

Thanks for looking.