Wednesday, 23 September 2015

United Nations Space Command and my backstory

United Nations Space Command Troops and my backstory.

This is one of forces I've built up over the last couple of years ready for Harder Than Steel. They are better suited to a larger game than Flying Lead, but I allowed for smaller forces in my lettering method. Each squad is identified by a letter and the position on base denotes its zone of influence. By picking figures from different units I can have a smaller force with individual lettered troopers.

Firebase 54's CO was fuming. He'd asked for a regiment to sweep his perimeter for snipers and all he'd received was a bland promise of UN help. Two hours later his perimeter was rocked by a series of groundbursts. Then smaller smoke rounds. Nothing, no call, no information!

The UN turn up. Not a regiment but one small vehicle. It comes in loud and proud, opened up with the crew clearly visible, stops two meters above the strip and the crew starts waving. Then there's the music, bagpipes played loud. By now the command team are having fits.

A call, incoming prisoners at the front gate. Well, this is something they can relate to and they move like a herd of cats with a single purpose. What they see strikes them, for once, dumb. A gaggle of green around the gills civilians lead by a mature woman screaming insults, each pushing a green domestic rubbish bin. Behind them come two sniper teams each comprising the sniper, his second and a little robot.

The UN Sergeant is a very short woman with the look of a mahogany caged panther. “Here's your snipers. Civilian volunteers with low powered hunting rifles and a bin. They dug them in around your perimeter, lived in them, fairly safe from AP mortar shells (unless a direct hit) and detection.” She waits patiently. “I'll hand the rest over to the civilian authorities, but the leader (nods to the woman who is still educating the troops with local invective) is ours, took a lot of planning ability to get this handful to contain your forces.” She looks around and smiles. “I need to borrow a truck and driver”.

I got into 15mm (from 6mm) SF due to Hammers Slammers. But I drifted off due to the emphasis on the sexy mercenary units while ignoring the indigenous forces. I'd prefer to do the locals with some support.

Having a backstory is great, but why are they there? How did they get there? Extraction? Resupply? Support?

I have sort of a miss-mash of a backstory:

Dr Who, covers my Daleks. In the official history following the Morvellan plague the Daleks split between the Rebel or Faction Daleks and the Empire restored by Davros. These factions fought human colonist. The first contact was in the 1950's with two time travelling factions pitted against a special force raised from the Royal Air Force Regiment*, that later formed the core of the British contingent of the United Nations Intelligence Unit.

Ground Zero Games, the “Tuffyverse” as used in Jon's rules. Here is the Pan African Union, Japanese Corporate forces and the United Nations Space Command. There's no big leap to see these as the colonists under attack by Dalek forces. The (GZG) alien mercenaries do service as Ogron (Dalek allies) pirates and the Ixx (with Khurasan mounts) are my “elder race”.

Khurasan Miniatures, everything comes with an excellent backstory. The Llurgs are my most used alien, cropping up everywhere starting from Medieval Japan (so far), rural America to any colony.

The Felid not-Kzin as Kzin, go figure. The Exterminators do service as my not-Daleks. are providing some interesting aliens and animals, plus cultists and the Space Raptors who are “the new kids on the block”.

I'm a long time Larry Niven fan, so his Known Space and Man/Kzin wars are always in the back of my mind. Perhaps I should include some Goldskins.

So in summary, we have

Two Dalek factions on the border of known space. Plus their Ogron pirate allies.
Ixx, an elder race.
Kzin in conflict with human forces.
Pan African Union and Japanese colonial forces.
Alien races of varied technological level.

Holding them all together is the concept of United Nations troops and/or Space Command (UNSC)

GZG makes two ranges of UN troops. Light(er) infantry UNLI. Heavier infantry with jump packs. UNHI.  I also add Brigade Models power armour as Super-heavy Starship Trooper (book) proxies. UNSHI

Getting Them There

The force I have made is that capable of being delivered by a light cruiser (CL) in the Full Thrust Tuffyverse, being a reinforced platoon either an all-infantry force or a mechanised force. Considering the jobs a CL gets (go and have a look over there, escort this) the bulk of my force is light infantry. Jon has been very generous and provided a large range of figures. Mission specific forces may be different. This is where the heavier and ultraheavy infantry comes in with jump-packs and possible orbital insertion.

SAW team with MANTIS.

Light infantry is a relative term for well protected and equipped infantry, usually above the standard of any human opponent. Which leads into their role. Dropped and supported by ships boats, I see them in a security, police action, low to medium conflict in support of local forces (as above) or against. Avoiding costly urban conflicts unless with the proper support. Hunting Llurg in the boonies or Ogron pirates. Robots are used as a force multiplier.

Armour Piercing Sniper team with its FLEA.

4x 4 man squads each augmented by robotic elements. A squad double SAW element and a micro missile launcher as standard.

One squad can be upgraded to an anti-vehicle by equipping the infantry with buzzbombs, an armour piercing sniper rifle and a light missile launcher teams.

2 light scout/IFV vehicles provide transport for specialist teams or spotters.

I have several specialist, command and spotter teams that allow for a wide range of missions.

Mantis Frog and Flea
Robots. For the moment these also double up with my Japanese until I find some suitable replacements.

Mantis 2 heavy SAW weapons used as a direct support asset slaved to a trooper or SAW no.2 usually provides flank support or point. This a mix of a 2mm Germy walker and spider drone.

Flea a small robot mounting a grenade launcher usually slaved to a sniper's no.2, designed to deliver indirect fire support, anti-armour or smoke marking. A larger version the Frog is available primarily used as an anti vehicle role. Both from Germy via GZG.

 Beetle is the slowest robot, armoured it carries a top mounted plasma launcher for close in support, it is an upgraded version of the ultraheavies flamer. Usually slaved to a trooper or officer. One of Brigade Models excellent 6mm range. Designed by guess who?

UNHI The adoption of a lift pack dispenses with the need for APC type vehicles and the heavier support/special forces suits take the role of other main battlefield weapons.

UNHI and UNLI officers

The weapon is much heavier than the light infantry version as they are supposed to be very advanced power armour. As well as packing a punch it looks like it has a grenade launcher. I see these as a match for a Kzin, hold their own against Imperial Dalek drones but not conquest army veterans. I have included a separate urban conflict team for when the big stuff starts flying.
2x4 HI squad plus specialist sniper and micromissile launcher teams.

Same urban specialist task force.

I have yet to do robotic support, which needs to be more mobile than the LI's walkers.
UNHI team
Ultraheavy, note the relatively small main weapon. This tempts me back to Traveller, Starship Trooper and the Flamer. A relatively vicious close range weapon intended to inspire fear. These are the force to stand up to a Dalek conquest army in all it's heavy metal glory.

2x3 plus specialist missile launchers and SAW. Repeated urban specialists. I see the ultraheavy as being able to take on, and fulfilling the role of, armoured vehicles in conjunction with their lesser armoured brethren.

United Nations Intelligence Teams. Reconnaissance Unit. This is a specialist squad tasked with investigating the aspirations of alien races and stopping them. In game terms having a super powerful unit is boring, it either wins instantly or falls apart due to lack of numbers. I would give such a unit a difficult series of tasks such as capturing specific equipment or personne

* The Royal Air Force Regiment in not an army unit, it is funded by the RAF to provide base security.

I'm showing the urban troops as they show up better.

UNHI  and UNSHI officers

UNLI and UNHI missile teams the latter have removed their jump packs

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Flying Lead. The Detective Sergeant's Last Day. Being a VSF Adventure

All lined up and ready to go
Or, never give a psychopathic cultist a cunning plan and a flamethrower. There are a thousand stories in this city. Give me time.

Never has your humble chronicler had a more solemn duty to perform than to report the incidents leading to the death of Mrs Ethel Quatts of Pewters Lodge, Mons and her young family. British citizens unlawfully and cruelly cut down by cunning cultist on the streets of Tokyo. 

 Regular readers will remember this same lady survived the strange affair of the Venusian Godzillasaur's rampage at the Tokyo Municipal Spaceport as reported by your blogger.

Detective Samurai Omatu of the Tokyo Police was on his last day of duty. He'd been given a young burnt out Detective as his partner for the last month and he'd hated every day.

Following a post in A Fistful of Kung Fu (which we will get, eventually) regarding car chases I've been wanting to try out my ideas. Back to Tokyo after the last in our Godzillasaurus series very nearly ended up in one. But now I have the vehicles to do it. Ok, I haven't painted or based them. Just pretend not to notice.

This will be a 2-parter as I've a new piece of scenery I want to use. I must apologise for the quality of the pictures, everything conspired against us this day including the death of my wife's mother – and still she put up with us wargaming, a process that turns our flat upside down.

The Players. All have been here before so I'm being very lazy, or organised, delete as preferred.

The Chou family convoy in front, a fast (Long) car of toughs, a second with Fu and Su and a lorry with a machine gun hidden in the back.

The The Cult of Mothra Mechanica. Grey cultists that have played the supporting role before, got, painted but not used in the Giant Rat of Sumatra series. Flamethrower and leader in the lead car, another flame thrower in the second plus a lorry doing a period version of a transit in the Sweeney*.

The Tokyo Police, last seen, bought for, painted and used in the finale of Godzillasaurus. These caroom around in fast cars and are mostly sword and big pistol merchants who shoot or chop first (as it saves on the paperwork and interrogations) shouting the Japanese equivalent of “you're nicked” and “'ave it” rather than “'allo, 'allo wotsallthis-then?” or “are we in an 'urry sir?”.

*For our colonial brothers bereft of a proper TV education, a load of narks doin' a blag would drive up in a transit, jump out all tooled up and precipitous like and engage in the old ultraviolence. Never did us any harm.

The Game. I ended up with the Chou's (first time!) proceeding in an orderly manner. The cultists gave chase, cutting up a lorry that crashed into an oncoming vehicle (we did the activations, the yellow got 1 and slowed but the other failed all-). Fu realised they are being chased and pulls over to debus.

(For each section of road I did a quick D6 roll to see how many other road-users and on which side, these proceeded at a medium. What I didn't do wax take into account all the flames and shooting would have had on the horses. Silly sod.)

Pulling level with the van the flamethrower gives 'em a tickle, killing the driver and tragic anti-hero Lin Chou, out of control, the van smashes into a building but the gun team escape. In response to the crash the area car turns up from the side road and start to viciously direct traffic.

Fu's party start to debus and exchange shots with the police. One bodyguard drops, a 6:1 grisly death. They then depart. The cultists van had been idling along (if not activated vehicles in motion go 1 Medium), runs over the dead Chou and is diverted up the side road.
The other car, fed up with being blocked in, drives up on the curb working around the crash before mercilessly running over Mrs Quatts. This alerts the ever vigilant police, the cultists debus and they start shooting at the police, who are also distracted by the machine gun team. At whom a few well aimed shots, and being hemmed in by the wreckage, makes them escape into the buildings.

The cultists wound one officer. The flamethrower decides to finish him off, but the lorry is the path. This time the driver keeps control and the vehicle comes to a halt. Then we roll for casualties – 6 out of 8 perish, so that will be the petrol tank, an enclosed wooden vehicle and wearing long robes.

At the accident scene the rest of the police turn up and start doing the right things. When the lorry goes up they are blocked in and have to get another lorry to reverse before the middle car can investigate. It pulls around the crash and the flamethrower has another go. This time it's worse, a triple, so the car brews up something nasty. That effectively blocked the main body of the cops.

Now the remaining original 3 cops find themselves surrounded on 3 sides by small groups of cultists unable to get any cover. One does the over-the-bonnet roll to avoid a flamethrower, but fails. Another gets behind a cart and takes a pot shot at the cultist leader wounding him. The results weren't too bad but they were scattered, so we presumed, as the cops were beginning to creep closer, that they scattered.

So who won? The Chou's lost 3, 2 scattered, but they got away. The cultists lost 6 and 1 wounded leader, they failed to catch the Chou's. The cops lost 5 and failed to stop carnage.

Fu parked is overtaken by his doomed lorry
The machine gun and Fu's crew face off the cops as the cultists zoom by

Fu being hotly pursued by the area car
The 2 survivors out of 8, being fanatics, they carry on
The cop car goes up, all killed
Add caption

This cop did the bonnet roll, but it didn't save him.  The lorry is burnt to a crisp.
Harrods is a well known Chinese laundry in Tokyo

A view to a kill.  This is the cultist wot did it - repeatedly

Monday, 7 September 2015

Flying Lead A few Sheyang more. Part 2 The Walker Tank - bigger guns

The driver trotted to a point in the seemingly featureless field, calling his vehicles name. Deep underground the MBT responded and reversed out of its bay. With a curt nod the driver reversed his course and it followed like a well trained dog. Joining the rest of the crew they reviewed the status plot before boarding. The commander was first, taking the front nacelle tactical seat as opposed to the turret post which was filled by the drone handler and his charge. The two scouts would run alongside for most of the journey. A few short Rels later (50 Rels = 1 earth Minute or 2 Southpaw Aaw's) they moved off.

Once they got close the drone is flown and the scouts latched onto the rear, riding as their ancestors once rode giant sauropods to war.

Drone. I decided to invoke the Drone rules I wrote after the first use of the Southpaws.

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:
Move Long
EW attack, 2dice Q test. If passed any unit in area cannot make aimed shot due to disrupted electronics.  
Or target command radius reduced to Short.  

Reaction (only)
Move Long.
Or, 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.

Walker Tank, Points 81, Quality 4+ Combat 4 Armoured +3 (Medium), Gyro Stabilization, Off-Road, Vehicle Chain gun as above 49 Main gun caseless HEAP, Points:27, Anti-Tank 4, Move & Shoot, Range: Long, Stable Missiles AA, Points:41, Armour Piercing, Combat +4, High Tech Ammo, Move & Shoot, Range: Long, Stable

The Game. As per usual, nothing worked out as planned, which was nice. The main use of the drone was to allow me to know the Sheyang's location. As last time, Tony set up far back then moved forward. I started with my riders and drone moving up fairly sharpish, then brought on the tank.

Tony, for some reason, took care to keep under cover of the tank, my right flanker did exchange fire, but was thrown back, threatened with outflanking. My left scout did a blinding run to take 'em in the rear with a dash of fire. I had hoped to flush 'em, but it didn't work and a grenade finished him. If I could've knocked them down they would die. Doh!

Once at close Tony rained grenades on the front armour of the tank, getting repeated stuns. The crew were forced to bail out, then forced to the rear or the shelter of the legs. I did get a chaingun shot at the leader but failed by 1!

The tank finally rebooted long enough to get the commander aboard. I surmised that one crew was enough to move it, but not enough to operate the weapons. The tank went a-hunting. First target was Dancer, living up to his name, hopped over the fence putting him in a good position to blow away the remaining 2 crew. Next was the leader, who failed to dodge, but they kept equalling! We reasoned that he hung on to the leg for grim life-. Eventually he got 3 fails then a pushback, so he went flying! Bad result though, as it allowed them to poor shots into its belly until it was disabled.

Well it was different. I had toyed with a sniper team and drone combination. I would have won, but I'm not too sure it would have been so interesting a game? If we had a troop of those nice walkers that would make a great variant. But no force has all or the best TOE, this is a militia! I will toy with adding more anti-personnel weapons to the tank, but I hadn't seen a solo operation away from the APC's. Perhaps something like a rifle grenade for the infantry? Sticky bomb's an idea-.