Sunday, 25 May 2014

15mm Japanese Fantasy size comparisons

15mm Japanese Fantasy size comparison.

First apologies, here's what I did in the day I got them. 'Er in doors wants her camera back (I know! Really-) plus there's another skool holiday coming up that's going to cut of both gaming and painting.

Here is the control group:

GZG special forces ninja

Museum Miniatures Age of War arquebusier & spear

Dixon's from one of their few “mixed bags”.  This range seems to have stopped production/

Eureka Medievals Samurai and Shugenja, follower with Naginata

Dixons 28mm (although I'm sure they were “25mm” when I first bought them) Oni and Naga.

Oni mixed group. I'm so pleased with the new ones, brimming with attitude and fill in the smaller size range nicely.  I can see these being used as a Japanese Hulk!


Tengu. Most pleased with these, as they are smaller than they looked on the website.


Goblin Archers. Three poses, one armoured, two similar unarmoured. Good size, very orc's.


Goblin Polearm. Nice range from unarmoured to similar to a Medieval follower or lightly armed Bushi.

Eurika's Shukenka vs their earlier Samurai

The Schoolgirls - a little larger than I expected, but useful for almost any setting.

Eurika's geisha is very prim in comparison.

Last the Kappa, lovely little figures - great weapons.

A sneak peek. This is sort of where I'm going
Monks vs goblin horde.  Flashing Naginatas Andrea!

 Medieval peasants, a few followers and Bushi cavalry backed by a Shugenja battle the warband of a Dai Oni comprising a good old green goblin horde, his kids and some Tengu.


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Some suggestions for 15mm Battlesworn Japan 1 almost historical

Battlesworn Japan. No fantasy (almost).

Up to the Medieval, Japan was a wild land of thick forests and scattered settlements. Not hard to envisage anything emerging from the forests.

The following have an eye on what is available. A small force like this is a good way to start using a collection without waiting to get everything painted to the “nines”. One advantage of 15mm is that with most ranges, one pack of a given code will give you enough for 2 sides.

Early. The first settlers military kit followed the Chinese model.*

Leader/Warmage shaman-queen (2)
Tank or Brute hero (1)
4 Fighters with either spear or ax (4)
2 Shooters with bow or sling (2)
6 Rabble with pike or spear (3)

Pre-Samurai or Emeshi. Not much has changed, except there's heroes on horses and you are not supposed to shoot anyone of higher status, or with the wrong type of arrow.**

Leader/Tank (2)
Cavalry (2)
4Fighters large shield spear (4)
4 Shooters large shield (4)

Medieval. The Genpei War has about everything you could want in a skirmish setting. I'm not going to list every scenario or faction. The bow was queen of the battlefield, swords were status symbols. Naginata polearms were the close in weapon. All sides were formed of alliances between clans and all styles of organisation can be found in any army. As everyone had similar armour I resisted the urge to add a Tank, let alone Cavalry/Tank/Archer.
(I've just bought a whole load of these, franticly painting.  Not quite the standard 18mm, but stand up well to my GZG SF Japanese, once I get my cops sorted there will be some revolting colonists with a charismatic leader)

There were three distinct styles of fighting:

We are armoured, we have bows, come and get us. Armoured archers behind pavices, heavily armoured horse archers. Few supporters.

Leader Cavalry (3)
Cavalry (2)
4 Bushi fighters (4)
3 Shooters (3)

Fast moving. Lighter infantry, many with naginata rather than bow. More followers and lighter cavalry.

Leader Cavalry (3)
Cavalry (2)
4 Bushi fighters (4)
1 Shooter (1)
4 rabble (2)

Attack! Warrior monks of this period charged into battle without much regard for strategy or tactics. Both sides used monks, so this gives you the menu to pick and mix. Plus you can use the monks and peasants for later periods.

Abbot Leader/Tank, Leader/Rogue or Leader/Brute (2)
Brute (as some monks were retired Samurai) (1)
Rogue/Shooter (or sniper) (2)
4 Fighters (4)
3 Rogues (novices, servants or religious peasants) (3)

Age of War Leaders tend to stay at the back, relying on disciplined or fanatic forces.

Ikko Ikki

Brute (1)
4 Fighter monks/Samurai (4)
4 Arquebusier or rogue (4)
6 Rabble fanatic peasants (3)

4 Cavalry (8)
4 Fights Samurai (4)

New Technology
4 Fighters Samurai (4)
4 Arquebusiers (4)
4 Rogues Ashigaru (4)

Town Militia these were raised to counter the Ikko Ikki
4 Fighters Swordmen (4)
5 Rogues spearmen (5)
6 Rabble (3)

Couldn't resist:

Crazy 88
Leader/Fighter or Leader/Warmage (2)
2 Brutes no.1 bodyguards (2)
4 Fighter bodyguards (4)
Sniper (thrower) (1)
6 Rabble (3)

Village defence force
Leader/Shooter (2)
Brute (1)
4 Fighters (4)
2 Rogues (2)
6 Rabble (3)

Village Attackers
Cavalry Leader (3)
2 Cavalry (4)
Sniper (1)
4 Fighters (4)

for earlier, try:

Leader/Tank (2)
Brute (1)
4 Fighters (4)
2 Shooters (2)
6 Rabble (3)

Suggested layout. A village with a Y shape central road, the top forks with trees either side.

Stem (of Y) has fields one side, with small wall or barricade, other wooded hill. Bottom of Y is a river ford protected by hedges and short barrier.

Suggested deployment. Defenders are split into 4, rabble, fighters and rogues at each junction and the command team in the centre. Attackers can choose any edge to come on.

*I can envisage a clan turning up at Troy. The placement clerk says “Name?” Blank stares. He sighs, shrugs and points “YOU-GO-LEFT—THERE, OK?” Makes note. “Watch out with those sticks, the other lot have JAVA-LINS, JA-VA-LINS! “Never mind, you'll get the point.” “Ah ladies, welcome, I've got a job for you if you're interested?

**I can see most battles like this. The place is agreed, servants on both sides set up the shields and quivers at about maximum range. The participants would wander in, after a nice cup of green tea.

They'd start shooting at each other, accompanied by the occasional “oh good shot” from the other side. Then the local hotheads start calling names, then go out in the middle and have a scrap. Everyone else stops to watch, get rid of the tea. Now the main event, the chiefs, heroes or champions go out and have a scrap. The losing side decides to go for more tea, leaving the other side and servants to scrap over any left kit. Most people go home having had an exciting day and get on with the serious business of farming.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

A.R.E.A. 51 Skaro, new Imperial squad Heavy Weapon Dalek test series

A.R.E.A 51* Skaro

Wait, wait – 3 Rels exactly.

Patoom. Trial subject 007**, production prototype squad level Heavy Weapon Dalek.

Advances in enemy (and rebel) technology has promoted the adoption of a new squad level support Dalek. Although the Uber-Dalek project has fulfilled most requirements, slow and limited production coupled with a tendency for their override to self destruct provided a cap on numbers.

The new model uses off the shelf components with drone genotypes chosen for stability. As with any high energy weapon system, heat dissipation is a major problem. A basic gas cooled gatling laser plus walker configuration*** provides a cost effective solution.

Although similar to the rebel conquest model, those use an advanced travel machine that recycles waste heat as a motive power source. Plus, rebel HW are selected from combat veterans who are transferred to standard travel machines between assignments

Test Force

Vehicle Q4, C1, Medium armoured +3, gyro stabilised, “off road” vehicle = 88

Heavy Weapons standard weapon anti-personnel Gatling version AP, auto-fire, lethal vs soft targets, long range, spread C4

Section of 5 Imperial drones

Q4, C3, body armour, eager, lethal vs soft targets, range max 3 medium. 45x5= 225

Force total 313.

Patoom. Observers present Dalek Supreme (Area controller) Chief Scientist, General Paiyn (1st Guards senior, combat assessor) assorted science and technical support.

Patoom. Test one. Human squad strength, urban area. Support, one standard squad.

Sergeant Q4 C3 72points  Leader, Reluctant, Submachine gun, Commo, Pistol 3 Troopers Q4 C2, @ 44points, Submachine gun, grenades

LMG Team Q4 C2 65 points, crewed LMG, steady under fire

APC with heavy MG fitted.

Mention in dispatches.  MG team ran forward under the guns, set up and dispatched 2 Daleks knocked down by grenades.

Tony used drones to distract the humans, leaving the HW to pick targets.

The APC was twice stunned until destroyed by a mis-thrown gredade

Patoom. Test two. Mechanoid Hive Shard, large mine chamber. Support, one standard squad****.

Mechanoid Q3 C1, Medium, Mook, Flamethrower, poor shot, commo 84

Controller +hero = 99

Any successful close assault results in a grapple. 4 Mechanoid drones Total 336

Daleks got lucky and gained the high ground.
Again Tony used the drones to herd the Mechanoids into a shooting solution, taking out 2, disrupting 2 by group shooting.

Keeping to the upper level, the HW had a  couple of close hits, but was able to line up effective firing solutions.

Could have been a different game if I'd used the open terrain I'd originally planned.

Patoom. Test three. Rebel model Storm, blasted open area. Support, 1 drone. Total 133

Storm HW Dalek

Q3, C4, Body armour, crack shot, elite, steady under fire, commo, long move, Total 134

Storm took and kept the initiative, zooming from cover to cover.

The drone went down early.

When it came to the showdown the HW took advantage of a reaction to kill Storm, the lesser armour giving way to the obscene beauty of coherent light sleeting from the barrels of the gatling.

*Advanced Reality Enhancement Area, a facility where Daleks create and dream.

** Prototype 1-3 used direct installation via transmat for fast deployment. These went mad due to pain, stress and rapid heat exhaustion.

Prototype 4 used an enhanced travel machine. The occupant was broiled by its own weapon.

Prototype 5 used a sub-commander genotype that proved incapable (or unwilling) of semi independent action without causing disruption and large body count.

Prototype 6 used a low level drone genotype with enhanced computer support. This model went catatonic after observing itself in a reflective surface.

***Multiple legs provide both stability and large heat dissipation surfaces.

****General Paiyn remembered asteroid mine 4444gh. Mechanoids can adapt to their environment. Most of those encountered had an outer shell of superdense ice, others vat grown diamond over a carbon core fitted with drilling laser. It was there that he lost his original travel machine (as did most of command) before getting installed in a customised HW travel machine. Rumours that the troops call him hoppy remain groundless.
Early Skaro War version of HW Dalek
All the usual subjects:
New HW
PAU SAW team
Imperial Drone
Uber Dalek next generation HW Dalek. 
Note shield generator used to protect Dalek from heat of own weapon.
You can just see the MG team in the ruin getting set up.

I'm so pleased with this, all scraps made in 30 minutes.

The base is the reverse of my urban sections.


Take the high ground!

How's this for stealth?


Mechanoids, Robots and Drones for Flying Lead

Mechanoids, Dr Who version  (  not the Khurasan late-comers. Mechanoids were sent out by Earth as an early colonisation effort. Their MOO can be summed up as Exploit, Adapt, Construct. Piles of mined material and partially finished colonies can be found throughout a broad area of space, needing only the correct code to access. Mere robots at the start, smart programming led some hives to become self aware particularly after contact with other intelligent species. Hives adapted, absorbing or even enslaving less involved hives. The twin focus for change was the spread of UN backed human colonisation coupled with conflict with Daleks. Rather than attempt to control the Mechanoids, the Daleks responded with (even for them) extreme xenophopia.

I made some from blank D20's and some beads. Not as good as the not-mechanoid available from Ansty but these cost about 20p each and get used once a year or so. They do what we call a proper job.  Want more information?  Goto Area 51.

Each Mechanoid is equipped with either a flame thrower or mining laser, depending on their environment. Basic programming allowed for an effective anti Dalek (or other intruder) is to use tool to frighten off, if that fails grapple with its pincers, hold the intruder and use tool at point blank until it is ordered to release or falls apart. This may be the reason for Dalek's reaction as the grapple is usually fatal for both parties. Although the Dalek weapon can penetrate, the effect will not remove the grapples and often result in the Mechanoid brewing up. The Mechanoids weapon cannot damage a Dalek's casing but it will cause rapid overheating that leads to a particularly slow and unpleasant death.

Suggested play.

Each hive has a number of Controllers. These can be considered focal points in a hive mind rather than a self aware entity. Each can be considered a Hero. It can use each activation to change the orders of any number of drones. EW success can negate an activation.

Drones carry out SOP when faced with an intruder. When faced with a human it will request an authorisation code. If none is forthcoming it will grapple until a Controller is available. If met with force it will carry out SOP.

Mechanoid Q3 C1, Medium, Flamethrower  For effect, see AREA 51

Any successful close assault results in a grapple.

Robots. Most are effectively normal infantry who will MIRROR (SOP) the activation or reaction of its parent unit. Loss has the same morale effect due to loss of asset.

A hit that has a non penetrating hit represents an impact that causes loss of unit integrity, a bit like losing your wifi on the move.

Exception 1) in the case of a withdraw, a robot unit will always take the rear position.

Exception 2) a robot can be ordered to seek and destroy (i.e. against a sniper) without regard to own safety.

Exception 3) a robot vehicle benefits from end-of-move free movement like any other unit. Unmirrored robot infantry do not.

Exception 4) only one activation is required to go on overwatch.

Exception 5) no test needed to close assault, can be programmed to close assault as a reaction.

Drones. Scout and/or electronic warfare (EW) asset, from shell delivered to grav AI's. EW can be built into any vehicle or robot. Here is a use for those plastic covers on CD's as its area of influence. Use as seems logical. For instance in a built up area a drones effectiveness is greatly reduced.

Drones are replaceable small targets. Any wheeled or tracked counts as in soft cover, any flying as hard to represent random evasion movement and small size. Q will represent tech level and sophistication. Most drones are unarmed. Any armed drone loses cover advantage above. Armament could be a tazer on a police model, shotgun on a bomb disposal or light MG on a recce by fire model.

Here's my suggestions:


EW attack, 2dice Q test. If passed any unit in area cannot make aimed shot due to disrupted electronics.

Or command radius reduced to Short.

Or target vehicle(s) (including robots or Mechanoids) lose 1 activation, which counts towards switch-over.

Target has revealed itself and is painted, if successful 2dice Q test any shot against will count as +1. This lasts until drone is destroyed or end of turn.

We will try these out soon as our schedule will allow.