Monday, 29 December 2014

GZG's MRAP vehicles and a few more PAU troops

My more faithful readers, those sitting the exam, will have noted my surprise with regards to my GZG Yule order.  Jon took 90 minutes from order to posting.  I speculated that such a large delay must mean that he had to cast something.  I was right-.

My order was for a bunch of MRAP series to complement my impulse purchase as listed before.

Here's the catalogue:

Here's what I got.  Please note that I've used Brigades new "Soviet" style crew and their storage, as it's what I had to hand.  I need to add more storage but not yet!  I also got several packs of mortars and machine guns plus yet more command.

 The advantage of the truck is that it's so mutable.  Here's a couple of guns I made, 1 GZG, 1 using spare kneeling figures and basing in my usual method.  The back will take anything based on a UK 2p piece (hence me playing around with a handy Nessie)

And the casting!  A yet to be releases "shortie".  Now what Jon's done here is given us the classic British off-road success the Land Rover or "Landie"  in a near-future mode.  Brigade's just done the Toyota Land Cruiser or "Yute".  But this is as Brit as it gets.

 Proper towing vehicles or what?

HW squads, mortars, HMG's and RPG's.

That's me PAU geared up for Harder Than Steel!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

French vs English larger scale Song of Drums and Tomahawks. Beating the bounds.

A Continental Clash or "let them eat cake", which was nice.  Battle of  Six Cakes?

We've seen several online questions to whit “can I do AWI with these rules. So far we've done small to medium skirmishes. Now here is the big one.

Like all the other games, every troop type is from the book.

Each side has 1 officer, 1 sergeant and 16 infantry. There's no significance to any of these numbers, just what I have available*. Warbases penny bases were used, no doubt they are wrongly spaced, but at least consistent.

There was a choice for secondary troops:
Indian Warleader @92 + 10 Warriors at 30 = 392. Or 12 Warriors @ 360.
British Frontiersmen (there have rifles) 8 x 48 = 384
Coer De Bois 8 x 44 = 352 1 can be upgraded to leader @ 15 making 367.

The game.

I kept the scenery as simple as possible, as I was looking for a simple clash of arms. The carpet represents trees. I'm working on new tree bases, but I didn't get them done in time, see next article!

I had the Brits plus Indians, Tony had French plus Coer De Bois. Initiative decided deployment, starting with the loser, the right and one 4-base in. We are not experts on the tactics of the day, so excuse us for any glaring faults.

I set my braves in a long, long skirmish line, Tony came on in a column with his Bois split in two on each flank.

Tony's party met mine in the woods and I got the worst of it. He also let loose with his front rank on my skirmish line, which knocked it for 6. We guessed that interpenetration would take an action and move a base depth forward.

I got within 1 long move and let go (the officers had exchanged pistol fire to no effect) -this was our main mistake, I think. We should have done an exchange of fire with me leading, rather than just me going bang, although it didn't make any difference to the conclusion. We assumed that the leader will yell “shoot” and everyone would obey as a group action.

I killed his officer, which led to a surprisingly uniform withdraw. I failed to follow up, which allowed the sergeant to rally the troops, finally getting them loaded.

I followed up, slowly, with several fails. I “impacted” on his downed troops, one of which has to be mentioned in dispatches as he held out for 3 fights, knocking one of mine down and pushing back another despite being on the deck and outnumbered. They bought time. My sergeant managed to rally a mishmash of braves and then went forward to take out his opposite number. Despite doing a strong strike, he died. Braves departed in search of the god of good dice rolls.

Tony got his left hand bunch of Bois (the left effective, having a leader present) to sneak up close to my rear, shoot me to bits then retire. Forcing me to turn my right hand in defence, having no braves worth speaking of.  This allowed Tony to leave the field in good order.

Conclusion. These rules don't work for larger battles, although they could be tweaked. You need a leader for every 8 or so. The much larger game we did for Giant Rat of Sumatra worked much better. These rules have an optimum of about 12 figures. Don't get me wrong, they're an excellent addition to our Ganesha collection and will see regular service. Hope you've enjoyed these trial game reports as much as we enjoyed playing them.

* The Reds and Blues do English, revenue and Continental troops vs my pirates. I also have some of Rebel's excellent pirate hunters, from which the officers and sergeants derive, plus my greenjackets and a small “better” blue force. By chance I'd bought a pack of Coer de Bois to fill out the lower ranks of my pirate crews. Indians were bought from Irregular Miniatures as Caribbean natives, Cameroon s and tribal Martians.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Flying Steel, Raptor Raiders from Outer Space. Cops vs Space Raptors. Here be cows.

Flying Lead “Sheriff, them there Southpaws's back-”

A while ago I gave some thoughts on designing aliens. Looking at the Space Raptors Tony and I have made up a sort of backstory that suits us. And a name, as we and the Raptors are all natural Southpaws-. So, we have a social carnivore that is organised in loose social organisations based on the “family business”, living in towers come factories/warehouses. The bottom floors look like a drive-in carpark but are in fact for fast food deliveries.

 We wanted something different than the usual Kzin/Samurai clones. What we came up with was more Italian Renaissance.

Can you imagine the equivalent to a chicken franchise? All the mums, youngsters running all over the place. Then the food is delivered and the place is full of flying feathers. After a while the sprinklers come on. Mums (older sisters? Nannies?) are happy, youngsters have had fun, socialised and she doesn't have to get someone to tidy up.

Now lets move on to any other fast food merchant. They have found cows, samples have been taken and audience response is positive. The only problem is that they aren't quite fast enough. Now the family could go through legitimate channels, buy breeding stock. But that doesn't make a very interesting game does it?

So a bunch of good ol' Raptors come-a-calling one quiet day. But they are seen. It's bad enough an alien landing and not digging, at least they have the common sense to park some miles away.

The Game.

Sheriff has set up a road block by the old man Kent's place just outside of Southpark. This basically left me with nothing to do until something came within range. All my stats can be found in Cops, coats and aliens post dated

Tony had, but note that these are not combat troops, they're the equivalent of armed sailors. Think the crew in King Kong:

Herders (unarmed Raptor specialists, the taser = cattle prod)

Points 59 Quality 4+ Combat 2
Special Rules -Taser, Acrobat, Dashing, Green, Light/Bushwacker, Long Move, Specialist

Security detatchment, 4 armed Raptors

Points 89 Quality 4+ Combat 2
Special Rules -Assault Rifle, Acrobat, Dashing, Light/Bushwacker, Long Move

Leader armed Raptor

Points 148 Quality 3+ Combat 2
Special Rules -Assault Rifle, Acrobat, Dashing, Leader, Light/Bushwacker, Long Move

We changed the normal reaction moves into a cow-moovment phase. We have experience in our rural youth of moving cows along a road, so can call on this experience. Would a cow be more troubled by a Raptor than a Human? Probably not, until they moved very fast-. Buffalo aren't too bothered by Komodo dragons
A cow(s) reacted to loss of control (missed activations) or Raptor movement (movement designed to control). This was done by common sense and consent. Proper Job.

So Tony gets the moos-a-moving slowly down the road like so many cats. My sniper, well he bottles it. Three times he shoots, all he does is get the leader aggravated. Meanstwhile, the dog* is straining to go, I've been rolling Q check for him. Eventually he fails and goes off. The handler makes his way along the hedge and manages to shoot one down, but not out. The dog starts threatening the leader. A Raptor comes out of the herd and takes out the dog. The leader's getting fed up with being shot at, so he shoots the dog handler dead. A 6:1 gory death (head explodes in a gory spray).

Morale check. The 2 specialists get 3 fails, so I work out that they take a car (an American on foot? Come on!) and retreat to update their facebook status. Four others (including the Sheriff) head 2 moves (morale fails) backwards, just by the rear car.

The Raptor leader gets the cows herded into a convenient field, then its hunting time. Raptors have a natural affinity with car bonnets. Not sure why?

Rallying his troopers** back to the barricade, but its too late. One jumps up and he's down and dead. That sends the remaining guys running. One female trooper jumps into the car (2 fail, right beside it-yes?) and goes into reverse. She recovers, and attempts to run over the 2 in front of her, one gets out of the way, the other is knocked aside, but otherwise uninjured. He hops onto the bonnet (again!) attacking the windscreen. His mate comes in from the other side. Windscreen gone, bullets peppering the doors, she goes into reverse all the way home.

I lose again, but a good game, good game.

I think more body-armoured raptors should lose the acrobat and have long-medium-medium move.

The weapon looks the equivalent of a modern rifle, possibly caseless rounds using a binary propellant. The optics suggest good sights compensating for poor shots. The shape suggests an intregal axe as opposed to a bayonet. Larger versions similar to an LMG, possibly stabilised.

Tony's initial selection is similar in size to my UNSC LI collection, so I'm happy to say that this is the contingent of a CL or similar, low on heavy weapons but high in specialists and special forces.

Watch this space for Harder Than Steel, when these come out again facing my Pan African Union troops in the ultramodern test.

*Another thing I decided to test. A dog is essentially a biological drone. See my post May14.

He can disrupt the leader by attacking him or threatening by barking a lot, thus disrupting communication or causing loss of activation. Yes? I thought this worked quite well.

**These are small town cops, not super troopers.  The stats for these can be found in my post Feb14.