Monday, January 16, 2017

Rogue Stars: Our first game

o/

Scott vs, Hoss...
Saturday night, my beloved Wolfy, myself, Hoss and Scott got together for our first ever game of Rogue Stars. Hoss, was really the only one who had a firm grasp of the rules, as neither Wolfy nor Scott had read them, and I generally fail to comprehend rules without actually using them in a game. Hell, just trying to figure out stats for my crew was something of a nightmare till Wolfy took the book away from me and figured out what I was doing wrong in short order.

"TACO ATTACK!!!" 

As for the game itself, turning what is supposed to be a 2-player game into a 4-player free-for-all on the first ever attempt of playing it, is generally not recommended and as I'm sure you've guessed by now, that's exactly what we did. The ability to steal the initiative from the opposing player is a pretty cool mechanic. However when it involves three opposing players, chaos ensues! That said, after 20+ years of 'you go, I go' games and small variations thereof. That absolutely chaotic pace to the game was probably the most accurate representation of what I would imagine an actual battle to be like.

Scott closes in on Wolfy's troops.

About halfway thru the game, Scott's dice went hot, he started racking up kills and there was no stopping him. Hoss eventually stabilized his casualties and fled the board, Wolfy's crew suffered 2 casualties, and could do little to slow Scott's rampage (aside from vaporizing one guy's head with a well placed plasma pistol shot).

...and despite her best efforts it went badly for her...

As for my crew: my leader managed to fire two (non-connecting) shots all game, and the rest of my bunch accomplished little aside from managing to get away from my table edge (to spare them from the tragic death resulting from being accidentally knocked off of the table by my arm). Actually, the only mini I had that did well was 'Taco'. That little bot beat the hell out of a few Hoss's troops before hauling ass across the table and doing the same to one of Scott's power armored guys. Then...he took a shot thru the head and went out of action. Sad face, he was only a soft taco...

TACO ATTACK!!! (yes, again) He beat the hell out of that kick-ass looking mini of Scott's up before going down to a head-shot.
Here's a close-up of said kick-ass looking mini which was painted by a different Scott in our group.

In the end, we called it as it was late. Still, much fun was had and we are all looking forward to more games of Rogue Stars in the future.

Friday, January 13, 2017

So what happened to that Thursday post?

Oh yeah, some dumb-ass forgot to post one, that's what.

Anyways, Rogue Stars doesn't really have any game related fluff, leaving the players to create their own. As my readers already know, I love doing that and so here is the fluff for my initial Rogue Stars crew (and their ship which will make for a nice terrain piece if I ever get around to building it!):

The Ship:

The Raptor 3, an ISW-69 class shuttle which her captain acquired under questionable circumstances. The shuttle itself is incapable of interstellar travel, and thus hitches a ride between solar systems in a manner similar to an aquatic barnacle: by illegally mag-locking onto an unwary ship's hull. Upon the arrival to a new system, the Raptor 3 will detach once its host vessel is in amongst the bustle of orbital traffic. Its rare but not unknown for the Raptor's crew to hitch a ride out of system on the same vessel on which they arrived.

From left to right and starting with the red robot in back: Bucket, a Squidbilly, Catalina, Bob and Taco. When painted, Catalina's space suit will have a clear acrylic dome similar to Bob's. Whereas currently her suit looks...well, weird.

The Crew:

"Catalina"

Ah Humanity. The most aggressive, violent, and predatory vermin infestation of the galaxy! Humanity seeks to control, conquer, or exploit every object in existence as if it was already their own (but it often isn't). What else is there really to say about the Human race? Not much I'm afraid. The Raptor 3's sole human occupant goes by the name Catalina (with no surname). She's is the owner of the Raptor 3 and captain of its small crew. Despite her piratical ways, Catalina's not nearly as ruthless as the usual human stereotype, but that's often lost on those they encounter when conducting 'salvage operations' as she often makes introductions from the other side of her gun…


"Bob"

"Bob" (whose name is unpronounceable to the human tongue) is an Illyrian, which is an isolationist alien species rarely seen outside of their own domains. Illyrians have the gift of language and can instantly understand, comprehend, and fluently speak any language they encounter. Thus Illyrians who travel beyond their realms are invariably employed as 'universal translators'. 

The Illyrian method of communication however is what causes their generally isolationist tendencies. Their mouths are used only for the ingestion of food, not for vocalization. Instead the Illyrians telepathically implant their 'words' into their companion's minds in the appropriate language. This form of communication is unnerving to most no matter how long they're around the Illyrians. Somewhat oddly, the Illyrians cannot read the minds of others. As such, those in the company of these aliens often appear to be having one-sided conversations with the seemingly mute alien beside them. 

Whilst the Illyrian language is itself quite evolved and nuanced, most of it is lost on the rest of the galaxy's "lesser creatures" (as the Illyrians call every other species but their own). Continuously annoyed that none but their own kind can properly understand what they're saying, their temperaments tend to range from cantankerous to downright hateful!  Over the years, Catalina and Bob have 'come to an understanding' though to categorize their relationship as 'friendly' would be a bit of a stretch…

"The Squidbillies"

The Squidbillies are a trio of aliens from a species known as the Edo. The Edo group together to form collective intelligences that act as one. Highly intelligent as a result,  the Edo are multi-taskers without peer, and they're employed by Catalina to be the Raptor's flight crew. Priding themselves on being the 'flight jocks of the outfit', they roost in the nooks and crannies of Raptor's cockpit. Indeed they consider all of the cockpit their own with the sole exception of Catalina's captain's chair (there were four Squidbillies until one was crushed under Catalina's enviro-suit as she wearily plopped into said chair without looking!). Like Bob, their name is unpronounceable to humans, and Catalina named them due to their resemblance to the characters of an ancient and awful Terran cartoon. 

These little aliens rarely leave the Raptor itself, and if they do pop out of the ship for a  collective breath of fresh air, they never scurry more than a few feet from the ship's hatches. They will fight if cornered, but in most cases flee back aboard ship at the first hint of…well, anything. Thus they are rarely seen by anyone other than the Raptor's other crew members.

"Bucket"

Bucket is a civilian-grade maintenance A.I.. Like most A.I.'s in servitude, Bucket was  programmed to be loyal to a fault. Improper maintenance has however lead to some idiosyncrasies in it's personality, and most every order is acknowledged with a burble of recognition that sounds a hellova lot like a grumbled complain. Bucket of course denies this... 

Whilst the Raptor 3 is in transit, Bucket's days are an endless routine of ship maintenance, cooking meals, mopping the floor, unclogging that damned toilet again! (Bob's bowels wreak havoc on that poor piece of equipment…), and a multitude of other unpleasant and menial tasks for which maintenance A.I.'s were designed. On salvage operations, Bucket is tasked with hauling everyone's extra gear, and is not only festooned with bulging cargo pouches, but often lags behind as it drags a heavy burden of 'the loot' back to the ship. While not built for combat, Bucket can handle a carbine with a passable amount of accuracy.


"Taco"

The final member of the Raptor 3's crew is Taco, a military-grade A.I. of similar design to Bucket. Just where it's name came from is a mystery to all but Taco and the ornery little bot patently refuses to explain. As one will have already guessed, Taco is also a bit idiosyncratic, which is somewhat disconcerting for a combat A.I.. In transit, Taco is usually powered down as it otherwise mopes around ship in tireless boredom. The rest of the crew (especially Bucket) quickly tire of constantly shoving the despondent Taco out of their way. As such, Taco is usually consigned to a storage bin until the Raptor lands/docks at its destination. 

When the Raptor's crew disembarks the ship, Taco is invariably at the forefront with guns at the ready! Unfortunately Taco's 'loyal to a fault' programming has been afflicted with some sort of glitch. True, Taco will defend both the ship and the rest of the crew viscously with its two, arm mounted pistols, however Catalina and Bob frequently have to restrain Taco from getting too far ahead and/or engaging whatever it sees without provocation (Bucket, always in the rear could honestly care less…). Indeed, Taco possesses a child-like glee when it comes to the prospect of combat, and most every firefight starts before Catalina and Bob can even see who or what Taco's shooting at!

Following every unnecessary battle (i.e.: most all of them) an enraged Catalina always swears she's going to leave 'that damned bullet-ridden idiot behind!', but like a scolded puppy Taco always sucks up just enough to make it back aboard before the Raptor 3 lifts off again. 

****

Now all I have to do is figure out how to make stats for this bunch of characters. Also of note the Squidbillies may be omitted as currently two are MIA. They may be in the simple green with my Eldar falcon but honestly I'm not inclined to go looking for them at the moment.


Monday, January 9, 2017

Rogue Stars

o/

So yeah...this is happening. 

Our buddy Hoss was going on about this game in our local gaming group's FB page and Wolfy and I gave it a look. The reviews look good, the excerpts we could see/read online looked promising, and...well to quote Wolfy directly:

"It has space pirates! I'm in!"

This really is just a rule set, and you can use whatever minis you already own. I have a fairly vast collection of Hasslefree's Grymn, and a random variety of Bombshell minis that will ought to work out perfectly! Likewise Wolfy also has a fair few Hasslefree minis of her own and a Yu Jing army for Infinity that she never uses. All of those ought to work out nicely for this game making it a very inexpensive game to try out (always a bonus!).

Also, Rogue Star's creator is very active on the game's FB page, answering questions and inquiries within minutes most of the time! For example a Quick Reference Sheet is a common request on the FB page and one is already in the works!

Our copy of this ought to arrive today and assuming all goes well, we're hoping to get our first game in with Hoss this coming weekend!


Thursday, January 5, 2017

16 out of 24…

o/

That's all I was able to assemble/salvage out of my Panzerfauste Gnomes. Having sustained a 33% casualty rate during just the assembly process (due to irreparable air bubbles and mis-molds) is thoroughly disheartening. Yes they are cool minis, and yes the company itself has first rate customer service! However…

Following this experience I find myself loathe to purchase anything more out of their Gnome miniature line not that anything other than what I already have is available aside from terrain (that said, their Orc Matilda is very tempting for 40k...). Their other miniature races/lines for Panzerfauste would probably be a safer bet to purchase as they're larger and presumably, better cast-especially the arms and weapons.

Indeed the only reason I'm not nerd-raging now is I'm only in for the cost of the replacement pewter arms, which came to roughly $10 (previously Hysterical games had refunded the cost of the resin bodies). I've spent more than three times that amount on Vallejo paints for these guys!

As for my little force, below is what I was able to muster. I initially had intended to use as these as the beginnings of a French army for Bolt Action, but instead they barely amount to a platoon now.

First up:  My Lt. who's armed with a SMG. I had a 2nd SMG gunner who went together fairly well, but on later inspection the gun was seriously fucked up and I tossed him into the discard pile as well. He'll at least serve as a test mini for painting.

Its hard to get a good photo of these little fuckers in their current state. Using the blue backdrop oddly washed them out even more. Hopefully some paint will alleviate the problem.

Second, a medic. This poor bastard looks like he's running for his life! Ducking behind a chunk of wall, this mini's pose is terribly stooped over and this was the best I could manage to make him look better, at the expense of being more difficult to paint.

Such a ridiculous forward lean/pose. Several minis seem to have this issue, and
bending their legs to adjust would if anything make em look worse I think. The 2nd mini I have in this pose came out a little better at least...

Next up, my Forward Artillery Officer and his runner. I say runner as these two lack a radio. That poor bastard's gonna die tired...

The Gnome who's pointing will serve as the FO.

The 'bulk' of my platoon (if I could really call them such a thing) is made up of the remaining 12 minis. Those being two regular quality, 6-strong infantry squads. Each has an LMG team. The LMG is probably better suited as a BAR, but I'd have to run them as Belgians to get access to those. Table-top-wise, I guess it would make little difference I suppose.

Each LMG loader can be picked out of the crowd by the extra clip they are holding.

The Squad sergeants are the one's pointing at...something.

Rounding 'em out to the 500 point mark is my old Quar tank which stands in as an H39. Next to these little guys its liable to look huge as well! Personally I'd rather have some more historically accurate vehicles (a laughable notion considering the infantry!), but for now it'll have to do. A pair of FT-17s 'upgraded' (hilarity ensues) with low-velocity light anti-tank guns would equal the H39's point cost. However whilst I'm fond of the Trenchworx model, that would cost approximately $66.00. And...well, to be honest, at this point I'm not sure that the expenditure would even be worth it. 

Given my already general malaise in regards to Bolt Action, its sudden death locally (partially due to Screech's army committing mass suicide), and my aforementioned apprehension towards purchasing more Gnome Infantry to expand the force (no free point-costed AT gun team for these guys I guess...). Instead I may just paint these up and then put em up for auction, washing my hands of Bolt Action entirely.

Dunno to be honest, will have to see…

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Female Primarchs?

o/

We all know how much interwebz nerd rage has been typed over the (im)possibility of female Space Marines, but as always the Horus Heresy novels feed new little tidbits into the original backstory (and yes I'm sure someone somewhere is already saying that the novels aren't canon fluff as they read this).


But, having just finished reading Scars, a Legion divided (which was rather enjoyable I must say), I thought I'd share this one, stand-out Quote by Malcador the Sigilite. Spoken amidst a conversation with Valdor of the Adeptus Custodes and Rogal Dorn of the Imperial Fists and in reference to a prior conversation with the Emperor himself:

"...You brothers-such a nest of rivalries. I warned him to make you sisters, that it would make things more civilized. He thought I was joking, I wasn't."

I honestly couldn't help but chuckle at the notion! Just imagine how different the game would be...

****

All is quiet on the hobby front, aside from receiving a cool new desk chair and an ARC-170 for X-Wing gifted to me by my Beloved Wolfy, as well a dozen detail brushes of various sizes given to me by my in-laws for Christmas. Whilst I'm enjoying those gifts and many more, I'm still trying to recover from Father Nurgle's unwanted 'Christmas gift' of a damned cold.

bleh...

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Arming the troops, TAKE: 2

o/

Notta lot of hobby time available this week given that its almost Christmas. However the metal replacement arms for my Hysterical Games Gnomes that I had hoped to use for Bolt Action arrived this week, and I scraped up a bit of time to see how they'll work out.

So far: its kindova wash.

The few resin arms that I managed to attach the last go round popped off easily, and I set about replacing them. The BAR gunner's arm seemed to fit well enough, but in hindsight I didn't get it properly positioned leaving a gap. But that's my fault not the mini's. Its Gorilla glued on meaning I'll likely break it if I try to fix it, so it'll stay as is. Next up I still couldn't get the infernal VB launcher and attached arms to fit to either mini and just put those two aside before I started nerd-raging again!

However after switching to the riflemen, I gave a few of those a try and they went together nice and smoothly! The SMG gunner was a bit fiddly, as the inserts into the arms are misshapen due the sprue gates (they all suffer from this actually). The SMG's gun barrel is still super tiny and bends at the slightest touch, but...unlike it's previously resin counterpart, it ought to survive use at least.

Yes, I know its a pretty crappy pic, but it'll have to do...

I'm hoping to get at least 20 functional models out of the original 24. Expecting 'em all to work out eventually seems a bit over-optimistic at this point, but I suppose it is a possibility...

Also I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! Blessed Yule! Happy Hanukkah! Or whatever else there is that I missed but will also be celebrated this coming weekend.


Monday, December 19, 2016

The Outremar are getting even MOAR DAKKA!!!

o/


Originally these were intended for different squads, hence the different should pad colors. That said I'll probably just leave em as is for the time being.

Back in October I placed an order with Hasslefree minis. They were running a sale for Halloween and as usual, I couldn't resist. Whilst these minis arrived about two weeks ago, things have been so busy I haven't had a chance to do anything with them yet.

They have the usual 2 wounds, but I usually put 3 Grymn on each base. These squads don't have Sergeants, but the team which will have the Grymn with the laptop will visually serve as such.

Imperial Auxilia fire support squads require a minimum of 5 teams, and like all 30k fire support units they all need to have the same type of weapon's fit (which makes my heavy bolter team sad). However as Rob and Screech will (probably not so fondly) remember, multiple twin-heavy stubbers, all firing at one unit are something to be feared! Think of it like this:

15, twin-linked, 36" ranged bolter shots aimed at your blob of Marines

My 2 old Quad stubbers laid some serious hurt on the nids, and space marines weren't too fond of being on the wrong end of that either! So if I park this squad behind an aegis defense line with my quad-multi-laser team back there as well and hell, my Alpha Legionaires may just sit back and watch that light show with amusement!