Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Noble Armada battle report

Well I had the intention of taking some photos of my Noble Armada game last night at my local games club G3. However I managed to completely forget, so instead thought I'd do a quick text description.

We agreed to play 750pts, as we hadn't played for quite some time, and wanted to break back into it, only having played limited times before that.

My fleet, representing the noble House Hawkwood comprised:

2 x Griffin Destroyers
1 x Darius Galliot
2 x Hornet Frigates
1 x Wayfarer Explorers

While my opponent, fielding the decadent and depraved House Decados selected a fleet comprising:

2 x Tupok'Ta Destroyers
1 x Lucrezia Galliot
2 x Mantis Frigates
1 x Reaper Raiders

So pretty similar fleets, in fact apart from a few traits and different weapon load outs exactly the same in terms of actual choices. The fleets of the Noble Houses are very similar points wise admittedly.

The board comprised of a 6' x 4' board, with a large asteroid field dominating the right hand side, with a large planet and associated moon on the left. 

To begin with we rolled for set-up, having just decided to do an engagement (or, having a fight in space). I lost. A trend that was soon to become apparent, and so having set up my fleet spread apart, allowed my opponent to set up. He went for something a bit different and split his fleet into two, with the 2 destroyers and the raider on my right, and the galliot and 2 frigates on my left.

Turn 1

We rolled for initiative, and even though the Decados fleet has a +1 modifier (for being generally sneaky), this was counterbalanced by my explorer, which has scout, which if you have more of these ships than your opponent you also get +1, so it was even. It didn't matter, I lost. See told you a trend was developing.

I advanced towards the centre of the board, while his destroyers moved towards me, while his other forces circled the planet. His raider braved the asteroid field and managed not to get smashed to bits.

Some punitive fire was exchanged, knocking down shields and scoring a few points of damage, but not much.

Turn 2

I lost initiative, again, so once again he got the drop on me. His destroyers advanced further, effectively beginning to cross the T (as most of the weapons are on the port/starboard sides, an important idea), while I began to turn my ships to bring my port side batteries to bear.

I began to focus fire on one of his destroyers, hoping to damage it heavily. Due to some not great dice rolls, some damage was caused, which while not as much as I had hoped was still a start. He in turn also began raking my lead destroyer with EM guns and slug guns. For every hit these get, they generate 3, so needless to say his return fire was more effective.

Turn 3

I lost intiative again. We closed ranges and battle was fully joined. Unfortunately I'd made a bit of a blunder, some of my ships hadn't turned far enough, leaving his destroyers sitting outside the arcs of their full broadside guns. I focused what fire I had, but it wasn't enough to cause significant damage on his ships. His return fire however crippled one of my destroyers, reducing it to half speed and allowed to fire one weapon system a turn, and a rake of criticals on it as well, with fluctuating shields, a now slightly shot up reactor and wonky targeting on the weapons.

Turn 4

The gods of initiative weren't with me, as I lost yet again.

Last turn his ships had begun to emerge from the side of the planet, and now they had fully emerged to add their weapons to the battle. During movement both of us declared a boarding action. His frigate moved to grapple my non-crippled destroyer while my galliot moved to board one of his destroyers. Both were successful in this move. However until you are moved into contact in the boarding phase you can still be fired at. Oh Dear!!

I once again tried to even the odds, focusing fire on the damaged destroyer, but again failed to do much, while his slug guns, with the addition of the maximum firepower special order crippled my remaining destroyer.

In the end neither of us got to board either as I managed to destroyer his frigate with my destroyer (before it was crippled) and he destroyer my galliot with more of his deadly slug guns. At this point my fleet being heavily outmatched due to having two severly reduced cruisers and missing a galliot decided to try and retreat in good order, and left this sector of space to the Decados.

We both agreed that we enjoyed the game, and we're looking at trying to get some more games in. There are a few other players at the club, so hopefully they'll also join in with some games.

Next time I'll try and take pictures, and may make this a bit of a feature of the weekly battle report. That way everybody can learn from my losses, and my occasional victories.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Critical Mass Arc Fleet troops

Well time for some stuff that I've actually painted. As said in the description, I am the slowest painter in the world, and I partly started this blog to hopefully inspire me to do a bit more painting by showing it off.

I bought these figures from Critical Mass Games, when they attended a local show called Carronade in Falkirk, at least a year ago, and until now haven't really touched them. I experimented with colour schemes with a few, but was unhappy, so until I finally came up with something suitable they sat on the shelf, in bags, awaiting the caressing touch of the hairy sticks.

Finally one day a paint scheme just kinda popped into my head, while looking at sci-fi art and I just thought "Yeah, that could work". So they were broken out, the ones with paint on them were put in Pinesol to strip and the rest got to work on.

These aren't the only ones I've painted, but thought I would show a few of each type that I'd painted as brief examples of what I've done.

Arc Fleet Augment suits with laser cannons.

Arc Fleet Augment suit command. Also painted up some of the regular troops.

Arc Fleet regular infantry NCO troops.

I've got more Augment suits sitting waiting to get painted, and some more regular infantry. I've started work on one of the vehicles, after figuring out how much blue/grey it's getting, and it's now sitting awaiting shading.

These guys obviously aren't based. I'm going to get them all painted first, then base them once I work out what I'm putting on what bases. Also the commanders are going to get something to distinguish them, I'm thinking a white shoulder pad and white helmet or helmet stripe.

And yes, I'm a bit of a rubbish photographer. Any tips are always appreciated.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Giant robot games and "The Oath"

Well as mentioned there would in fact be giant robots in this blog, cause ever since I saw my first episode of Robotech many moons ago, I've had a soft spot in my heart for them. Eventually I found Battletech and enjoyed it for a time, but I found the rules too complicated, with the mechs being likened the titans they were meant to be and taking an age to fell. Also I was never entirely sold on the design aesthetic of the miniatures, being too boxy and clunky looking for my tastes.

Then one day, upon a visit to my FLGS I happened upon the Heavy Gear rulebook. I saved up my money, bought it and never looked back.

Set in the far future, on the colony world of Terra Nova, Heavy Gear pits two polar nations, The Confederated Northern City States and the Southern Republic (or North and South) against each other, along with several independant city states. To add something else into the mix the Colonial Expeditionary Force from Earth has come forth, wanting to reclaim Earth's formerly abandoned colony worlds for the resources they hold.

Produced by Dream Pod 9 I feel it's a game worth a look. While 12mm in scale, I shall admit it's more expensive than you may think, due to the price of the miniatures which are slightly higher than average, and also the fact it concentrates on Gears (the slang name for the giant robots, developed on Terra Nova initially for labour purposes), therefore you end up playing a 12mm game with effectively 28mm miniatures. Still I feel they would work well for other things, I intend to shoehorn them in as large scale powered armour suits along with some GZG troops I intend to buy for Tomorrow's war.

At the same time, DP9 have recently come out with a nice range of game specific scenery as seen below

Badlands outpost

Wind turbine

 These, along with various others in their range allow you to assemble small settlements that are typically found in the badlands, the equatorial desert no-mans land that separates the two powers. And since DP9 are currently doing offers right now I might pick some up. Again some due to having doors etc are specific to a 12mm setting, while others such as the wind turbine are probably more useful for well any setting. It could be a massive turbine in 6mm to a small rooftop turbine in 28mm. They also do a good line of stone heads in an Easter Island style.

And now on to the other part of this post. The Oath. Myself and 3 other members of my local gaming club are travelling to Salute this year, and we've all taken an oath to work our way through our backlog of miniatures and not to buy anymore figures till then. So far I've managed quite nicely. I'll have a bit of catching up to do but I'm thinking of getting some of this scenery as they're currently doing an offer. So really my opinion is that scenery doesn't count as figures. It's used to enhance the game. At least that's what I'll tell myself to quiet my conscience.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

It all has to start somewhere

So I'm trying to think of something to write. Do I write a "Hello everyone" post, or a "Here's everything you ever wanted to know about me" post or what?

In the end I couldn't be bothered with that, the people who follow this initially probably already know me, and I probably over estimate how exciting my life is so I'm not going to put it up for all the internet to see.

So lets start with some gaming then. I play a good few games, though the current ones doing the rounds are Bushido by GCT Studios (Link), Infinity by Corvus Belli (Link) and recently I've been starting work on a force of Arc Fleet from Critical Mass Games (Link), which do some very nice 15mm stuff.

Along with that I've just had my Noble Armada fleet returned to me by my friend who runs Lead Legion Painting Services. And as you can see from the pictures below, he's done a cracking job.

 Hawkwood cruiser and two Hawkwood galliots
A Hawkwood cruiser and two Hawkwood destroyers

I'm very pleased with how they've turned out, and have arranged a game with them at my local gaming club Glasgow Games Group (G3) soon so that I can test them out. Hopefully now that they're painted they will perform better.