Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Tale of 3 (or more) Scales!

I have been expanding my Star Wars capital ships, and have looked at some different scales.  I have several FFG Star Wars Armada ships, but the scale on some of them is horrible, the worst offender being the Corellian Corvette.

So, I have picked up some ships in some different scales.  I already have a lot of the Odyssey Slipways 1/10,000 range which is good for the larger ships, but the smaller ones are tiny, so I have looked at some different options.

Here are two different Lancer Class Frigates.  The top one is a Shapeways creation at 1/7,000.  The bottom is an Odyssey Slipways at 1/10,000 scale.  There is very little difference between them.  The shapeways one is very detailed, but somewhat costly

Here is the aforementioned Corellian Corvettes.  The top is the FFG Armada ship, and it is huge!

Next is a ship from a Halmark Star Destroyer ornament.  The Halmark SD is what I am using for my Star Destroyers.  They fit pretty well at 1/10,000 scale.

Next is a 1/7,000 from Shapeways.  The details are great and the quality is quite good.  This may end up being my ship of choice!

The bottom is an Odyssey Slipways 1/10,000 ship, and it is positively tiny!  The engine comes in 2 parts and is a little tricky to assemble because it is so small.

One last picture here...

This shows the vehicles along with two different X-Wings.  The top one is from FFG Armada, and the bottom is from Studio Bergstrom.

To do fighters at 1/10,000 or  1/7,000 they would be little more than dots, so the Bergstrom is the closest.

Roughly the scale for the FFG is 1/2400.

Scale for the Hallmark is 1/5000ish.  Utar ships makes one at 1/4222, so I think that I might order one of his to see how it works.  However, I am fairly happy with the one from Shapeways.  I think it is actually made by Utar on his Shapeways account.

Anyway, here are links to the various suppliers...

Mel's Miniatures Shapeways
Utar's Shapways
Utar's Ships
Oddyssey Slipways

Hope some of this helps!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Battleground WWII Weird War - Zombie Rush!

This was a quick game that I played vs me!  It was a pretty simple game.  I was using Battleground WWII rules from Easy Eight, which still remains one of my favorite rules.

First - Zombie rules.

Zombies only get one action per turn, however, their movement is faster than infantry.  They move at 6 inches rather than 4 inches.  If a soldier full out runs for two actions, they will outpace the zombies.

Zombies don't suffer any affects of Light Wounds, Suppression or Morale Checks.  A Heavy Wound counts as a Light Wound.  They will only stop if they are KIA or Gory Death.

To start with zombies will move around randomly until they see a person or hear a loud noise.  This attracts them and they move full move towards the person or sound every action.

Zombie attacks:  A zombie attacks in hand to hand as normal.  If they overcome their opponent, they will immediately start feasting on them.

Zombies are attracted to kills.  If they are in line of sight of a fresh kill, they have to take a test against a 10 or less, or go towards the kill to feed.

Feeding will continue for 1D6 rounds.  If a live victim walks into sight, they will take a test vs a 10 or less to attack, or they will keep feeding.

The game

This is the situation.  We are in Sicily just after the US troops have landed.  There has been heavy fighting in the area, but it has moved on.  The company was ordered to hold their ground and get some rest.  This squad of 6 soldiers has settled down in a small barn for the night.  The rest of their platoon is about a half mile down the road.

The squad is as follows...
Sgt Brown is the squad leader - Leadership +1, Morale 14, armed with Thompson
Cpl Davidson is Leadership 0, Morale 12 armed with M1 Carbine
Pvt Green is Morale 11, armed with BAR
Pvt Walters is Morale 11 armed with Garand
Pvt Levi is Morale 11 armed with Garand
Pvt Jones is Morale 11 and armed with Garand

All soldiers except for Green has a single grenade.

It is night, and so sighting distance is doubled, and range is limited to effective (not that it comes into play in this game!)  Fire at effective range is reduces by -2.

Pvt Levi and Pvt Jones are outside of the house stationed on watch.

Opening round.

Lookout at barn

A Few zombies

A Few More

I didn't use cards for this game.  I rolled a die.  High the US acts first.  Low the Zombies do.  Also, if the US goes first, they take 1 action each THEN the zombies move before the second US action,

During this turn, the zombies milled around a bit, but Levi or Jones didn't notice them.  I used random movement for the zombies.

Round 2.

Zombies move second and continue random movement.  One of them comes within possible range of sight.

Levi and Jones both hear a sound across the road.    (They needed a 12 or less to see.  Both rolled under) They look and see a German soldier emerging from the trees.  Levi shouts for him to surrender.  Jones isn't as nice and takes a shot.  It is in effective range and he moves.
Fire and miss!

Round 3

US acts first.  I make a "guts" Test for the soldiers sleeping in the barn.
Sgt Brown rolls 2 and is instantly alerted by the sounds.
Davidson rolls a 9 and also is awake and alert
Green rolls a 15.  He awakes, but is unaware of what is going on.
Walter rolls a 19 and sleeps through the whole thing.

Outside Levi and Jones realize that there are more than one German, and they both open fire.  Jones fires two shots, and he can tell that both hit, but the stupid German won't drop (Neither are aware that they are facing zombies yet!)
Levi also lets fire with two shots, and is happy to see that one of the Germans drop when he pops it in the head!

The zombies now move, and there are several appearing now.  They move close enough that both Levi and Jones gets a good look.  They see that they are bloody, and have horrible wounds.  They should be dead.  Both soldiers then have to make a morale check.  Both fail by less than 5 (House rule for this game - fail by less than five means they are stunned and can't act, but don't flee)

Shaken soldiers, dead (again)zombie, and others coming out!

For the second action of the US, the Levi and Jones are looking around trying to figure out what they are seeing.  On the inside, the Sarge gets up and starts shouting orders.  Green and Walter are both now awake.  Sgt Brown and Davidson run outside to see what is going on.  They get out in time to see what looks like Germans heading towards them

Round 4

Zombies roll and get to move first.  This is a bad thing at first, but allows US to take 2 actions in a row later, and possibly more if they roll first the next round.

Unfortunately for Levi and Jones two of the zombies are close enough to rush them.  One attacks each.  The zombies are at -1 because both Jones and Levi are shaken.  It doesn't matter though, because on both rolls the zombies easily win.  Sgt Brown and Davidson are stunned as they see two of the Germans rush Levi and Jones and pull them down and start tearing at their flesh as Levi and Jones both scream in terror.

Brown and Davidson both make morale checks and pass.

Now the US finally get to act.  Sgt Brown sees another one closing on them.  He fires a burst of three and all three hit.  The zombie drops, but it is still moving (Heavy Wound)

Cpl Davidson fires at the zombie attacking Jones.  He hits, but it doesn't even affect them!

US second action.  Brown and Walter now reach the door and see what is going on.  Brown fails a morale check and freezes.  Walter fires at one of the zombies closing on the barn but completely misses.

Sgt Brown unloads again on the wounded zombie, and this time is rewarded by a limp creature.
Cpl takes a step closer to Jones and fires one shot at each zombie, and both go down.  One takes a round in the head, and the other in the middle of the back!
Feasting on Levi and Jones - Cpl Davidson takes out 2 zombies!

Round 5

US gets to act first this round.

Sgt Brown now focuses on those who are attacking Pvt Levi.  He fires a burst into one of the zombies, and all 3 shots hit.  In fact he severs part of the arm of the creature, but it simply keeps eating at Levi!

Cpl Davidson sees more coming in from the north and he opens fire missing all of them.

However Pvt Green has seen where he was shooting and turns his BAR on the first zombie he sees.  Three rounds strike into the creature, one of which is a roll of 1 and the zombie's head is vaporized!

Pvt Walters comes out also and fires, but misses with everything.

Now the zombies are on the move.  One zombie is close enough to reach Cpl Davidson, and the others are drawing even closer.  Cpl Davidson tries to push the zombie away, but he is overwhelmed (Davidson rolled a 19 and the zombie rolled a 15 - Bad die for Davidson).  Davidson goes down screaming as a zombie starts tearing at his flesh!
Davidson for lunch

The US now takes their second action.  Green sees more coming around the barn.  He opens fire and sees one fall, but it is still moving!  Walter fires on the one who is attacking Davidson.  At this close range it is hard to miss, and both rounds strike home, but the zombie just ignores them (two light wounds!)

Sgt Brown sees a whole mess of them coming around the building.  He quickly snatches his one grenade and tosses it.  He lands it at the feet of one zombie, and when it explodes, the zombie is virtually vaporized.  Three other zombies are in the range of effect.  Two of them simply ignore the shrapnel showering them, but one sees one of it's legs ripped to shreds!

Grenade attack!

Round 6

US goes first again (thank goodness!)

Sgt Brown sees that they are about to be overrun and yells to fall back into the barn.  The three remaining solders flee with zombies close behind.

Fall Back!

Now the zombies take action.  I roll for all of the zombies, and most start feeding on the wounded and dead soldiers.  Only four follow the soldiers into the barn.

US second action.
As they run in, Walters grabs his grenade and tosses it out the door.  It bounces and rolls right to where four zombies are feeding on Levi.  If Levi wasn't dead yet, he is now as the grenade explodes.  in the mass of bodies.  One zombie is torn to bits by the shrapnel and another one has both legs mangled.  Two others are knocked over, but get back up and start feeding again.

Green sees one coming in the door, and fires a burst from the BAR.  The first round strikes it in the face, easily finishing it, but he also rolled a double jam!  Disaster!

Sgt Brown was about to fire when he saw the zombie go down, but from where he is, he can't see any other targets.  He looks at the two frightened young soldiers, and wonders if they will get out of this!

Round 7

US goes first again.
Sgt Brown moves to the window to get a view of what is happening outside.
Pvt Green hammers away at his BAR to clear the jam.
Pvt Walters can see a zombie outside of the door.  He fires a couple of rounds, but in the gloomy light misses bot shots.

Then the zombies come moving on.  Most of the rest of the zombies start chowing down, but four of them are moving towards the barn doors!

"Dead" zombie can be seen inside.  Lots of mutilated zombies and soldiers around!
Walters sees the first one come through the doors and levels his gun at the face of the zombie.  Two shots at point blank range virtually removes the creatures head.

Sgt Walters sticks his gun out the window and fires at the zombies heading for the door.  Two rounds smacks home on the closest one and it drops.

Pvt Green finally gets the stuck bullet out of his BAR and is ready to join the fight again!

Round 8

Bad news for the GIs.  The zombies go first.
Three zombies immediately enter.  One rushes Green and another rushes Walters.  Green rolls a great roll.  A 2.  The only way the zombie can win is with a...  Oh crap, he rolled a 1!  Green is bowled over by the zombie!
Melee in the barn!
Green is dead!

Walters finally gets a win for the US though.  He takes his rifle and bashes the head of the zombie rushing him  (Walters rolled an 8 vs a 15)!  He takes the zombie down.
1st Hand to Hand victory goes to Pvt Walters (right)

US 1st action.
Walters is now out of his mind with rage.  He sees the other zombie rushing, and pops two rounds into it's face.

Sgt is still at the window and fires into the horde of zombies there.  Unfortunately at that moment, his faithful Tommy gun jams without even hitting anything!

US 2nd action
Lots of feasting going on outside!
Sgt Green quickly expels the stuck round and realizes he is on his last mag.  He is horrified to see that Green is now being feasted on by one of the zombies.  He looks to Walters and shouts, "We've got to get out of here!"

Walter nods as he fires at the zombie feeding on Green.  He hits, but it just keeps eating.  He is ready to run also!

Round 9

US acts first
1st action.
Both soldiers run outside, and start running south, keeping as far from the feasting zombies as they could!
"Shhhh.  Let them feast (I removed the "dead" zombies.)

Zombies action.
I rolled for each zombie, and none of them wanted to leave their place at the buffet.  (I forgot to roll for how long the feast would continue - which was a good thing for the US)

US second action.

They continue to run towards the road, now putting some distance between themselves and the GI buffet.  They could see there were a few more zombies closing in on them!
Not free and clear yet!

Round 10

US gets to act first again!

Walters fires at the closest zombie.  He hits once with no effect.
Sgt Brown fires at the same zombie, and gets two hits, but also fails to kill it! (or re-kill it)

Zombies act.

Swarming Walters

2 zombies are in range of Walters.  Both rush him and it looks like good night for Walters.  They both get a -4 for multiple attackers.  The first zombie rolls a 10 for a modified 6, but Walter rolls a 3.  He swings his rifle like a bat and smashes it's skull.  The second rolls a 14 for a modified 10.  Walters rolls a 9 and barely wins, screaming in rage as he smashes yet another zombie!
Walters strikes again - 3 kills in melee!
US second action.

Walters then turns his rifle and fires on the remaining zombie which is closing fast!  He hits twice, but the stupid thing doesn't even flinch!

However Sgt Green comes to the rescue.  He fires a burst at the zombie, and hits with two rounds.  He rolls a 2 and 3 on the effects table.  -1 for Thompson SMG, and -2 for point blank.  The zombie's head explodes!
Last zombie goes down


Run baby run!
The road before them is clear, and Sgt Green and Pvt Walters don't stop running until they see the campfires of the rest of their platoon.

At first no one believes their report, but soon news comes in that other units are being attacked by Germans that they had killed just a day before.

No one can figure out what is going on.  It looks like the liberation of Europe might be in jeopardy!

Monday, December 19, 2016

WEG Star Wars RPG vs Age of Rebellion RPG

I have been a long time fan of the older WEG Star Wars RPG.  I thought it was a great game system and enjoyed it.  Unfortunately it is long OOP.

Enter Fantasy Flight Games.  They now have the license for most of the Star Wars games.  They have created an RPG system that originally started with Edge of The Empire, and has sense expanded.  I have recently picked up Age of Rebellion RPG and wanted to offer a comparison...

(I know that there was a D20 Star Wars game, but never played that because I simply didn't like the idea of D&D modified for Star Wars!)


The first thing that I have to say is that I have played WEG Star Wars several times, but I haven't played Age of Rebellion yet, just read through the rules (and did a couple of play test fights against myself)

Simple Comparison

What I like most about Age of Rebellion is their dice system.  In essence it is a dice pool vs a target number.  However, the target number is determined by the dice.  Also, the dice aren't simple numbers, but rather they are icons.

Below are the dice and their icons (plus there is a conversion table for using "normal" dice.

So, let's say you wanted to do a skill test.  You insert however many dice the governing ability is - usually 2-4.  Then you would insert any proficiency dice which represents advancement in that particular skill.  If the GM determines that there are any advantageous circumstances, then you may get a boost dice (or even more than one!).  The GM then sets the difficulty of the action by adding difficulty dice, and if it is very hard a challenge die or two.  Possibly some setback dice based upon the situation.

You then roll the pull, and you are looking for successes vs failures.  If you get more successes than failures you succeed.  You many also get Advantages or Threats which indicate special successes or failures.  You can also get a triumph or Despair which are extraordinary successes or failures.  In order for those to apply you must have more of one than the other (i.e., more Advantages than Threats)  It is possible to succeed at a task, but also have a threat or even a despair.  This is then up the the GM to determine possible outcomes.

 (For instance you are hacking a computer and you succeed, but with a Threat.  So the GM says that you get the info you need, but manage to set off an alarm while doing it)

Combat uses the same mechanics as skill tests, which is a good thing.

In a lot of ways this is somewhat similar to the old WEG game.  The new dice mechanics though add a good change.

With the old WEG system skills were a dice pool of D6s.  The greater your skills are, the more you have.  The problem with that approach is that after a while the benefits of increasing your skills start to diminish.  The more dice you have, the less likely you are to get an extreme result, so the more average your rolls become.  A character with 10D skill isn't much better than one with 8D.


Combat is pretty good with a couple of minor issues (in my opinion)

Damage is basically a hit point based system.  Weapons do a certain amount of damage. The damage is modified by extra success dice.  (for instance a blaster may do 9 damage, plus 1 for every success dice that isn't canceled by a Failure dice)  Damaged is then reduced by a "soak" value, which is a combination of armor and physical "toughness".  The total is reduced from your hit points (called Wound Threshold)

In addition, weapons can generate critical affects if they do a certain number of excess Advantages.  The number needed is set by the weapon.  2-4 is the most common range.  So, if you hit, AND you have enough Advantages left over, then you can also do a critical.

Now, most of the critical hits are kind of geared to be used against PCs or named enemies because for the most part they deal long term injuries rather than just extra damage.

In WEG system damage is dealt by D6.  Like a good blaster will do 4D6 damage.  Roll 4 dice and then compare it to the victim's Strength (Usually 2D6-4D6).  If the blaster roll is higher than the Strength roll, then you do damage.  While Age of Empire uses "Wound Threshold"  WEG uses actual wound levels.  You can be "stunned", "wounded", "incapacitated", or "mortally wounded"

I kind of like the WEG approach to injuries better.  I have never liked hit point based systems.
 However the Age of Rebellion system doesn't use a ton of hit points, and they aren't constantly increasing like in D20 games, so combat is still dangerous.  Also for most simple bad guys they have "minions" which are characters with only a few HP, so a good hit will usually kill them.

Both systems handle space combat similarly to ground combat which is great because you don't have to use two different systems to play.  Both systems scale damage to the area of play so that you don't have to use massive amounts of dice to do space battles.  The damage ranges are basically the same as those in character battles, but both give a way to represent the larger guns if they attack characters.
FFG says to add 10 to the damage done by vehicle blasters against people.  WEG adds extra damage dice.

Combat flaws...

The one area that I don't like in combat is that ranges and movement are abstracted.  You have some basic range bands, and movement is basically closing from one range band to another.  It works pretty well for most things, but the one area that I find a flaw in, is the location of characters and enemies within relationship to each other.  

Ranges are "engaged", "short", "medium", "long", "extreme".  Some weapons will only fire to short, or medium, while others can fire even longer.  The problem is with grenade weapons.  They affect everyone within "engaged" range of the blast area.  So it is always up to the GM to determine who is within the blast radius.  The game really doesn't support using miniatures to represent the battlefield very well.  However, you can still use them to give an idea of the picture, so it isn't a major concern.

Another flaw

This isn't really a flaw, just a concern.  The Fantasy Flight Game can be VERY expensive to get into. You can buy a boxed set that has the basics of the game, but to really play it, you need the core rule book.  However, there are three core games.  There is Edge of Empire, Age of Rebellion and Force and Destiny.  The core rulebooks all cost $60.00.  Now you don't have to have them all, you can use only one, but each one gives a different area of play.  For instance, if you wanted to play a group like those in "A New Hope", you would need Edge of Empire for Han and Chewie, Age of Rebellion because of the rebels involved, and probably Force and Destiny, because the other two don't have a ton of info on the force.

Which is better

That is hard to say.  There are a lot of great aspects about both systems.  The one thing I like about WEG is the ability to use WEG Star Wars Miniatures Battles with the system.  It converts over solidly for when you want to do bigger battles.

However the FFG system has some other great advantages with them. The dice system is great, offers a little more variety than just simple dots on a dice.  

Monday, November 21, 2016

Recent Painting Flurry

I've been a bit quiet because I just don't have enough time recently to game or paint, however, over the last few weeks I have had a little time here and there, so here are my latest results!

How do you know when you have to many different eras going on?  This is getting close!

15mm  US 57mm ATG

Captain America and the Human Torch for 15mm Weird War II

Goblins from Battle Valor Games.  My favorite 15mm Goblins yet!

A couple of Battle Valor orcs.  These are also great!

Battle Valor Dwarf Hero

Battle Valor Rangers - Some of the best I have seen.  I love the fact that they have a lot of variants!

15mm ACW from Blue Moon.  This one frustrated me.  I had about 30 of these painted and when I was going to seal them with Dull Coat, I dropped them, thus there are a lot of places where the paint was chipped.  Didn't feel like touching up now!

Battle Valor Dwarves

Monday, August 22, 2016

Battle Valor Games - 15mm Goblins

Battle Valor Games is a relatively new company, but they are rolling out a lot of figures.  I have already compared the Orcians, Dwarians, and Legian Rangers.  Now I have some goblins from them.

Basic review.

I love the quality of these guys.  My pictures (and painting) doesn't do them justice.  The sculpting detail is very good.  The faces have a lot of character for 15mm.  That is pretty rare.

The only thing I'm not excited about is the number of variants.  The ones that I have are from the swordsmen pack and there are 6 variants in that pack.  That is quite good, but all of the other ones have 3 or 4 variants.  If you order the 35 pack you will end up with about 10 of each pose.  The only reason that I complain is that many of the other packs have as many as 10 variants.

Still, they are great figures, and I will get more.

With an orc from Khurasan Miniatures.  These are some great figures also!

One of the Orcians from BVG

One of the Legian Rangers - My favorite figs to date from them!

This is with a Splintered Light Miniatures - Splintered Land Goblin

This is one of the Dwarians from BVG.
Well, I hope that helps!  I am hoping to get a little better camera to get some better looking pictures.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Battle Valor Games - Rangers reviewed

I just got my last batch of Battle Valor Games miniatures.

These are from their Legian range of figures.  They make some great looking rangers.  They will be perfect for Faramir and his rangers.

I have ben very impressed with the BVR range so far, and I have fallen in love with these guys.  The details are very good (which you can't tell from my painting or my pics).  There is a large variety of poses which I very much am happy for!  Most of their ranges have several poses, though there are some that only have 3 or 4 different variants.  Their website has good pictures of the figures available in the packs, so you can see which ones have only limited poses.

The faces are clearly detailed with hair and beards on some.  There are even a couple of bald guys.  I had very little casting problems.  There was a little stub on the bottom of most bases, and most of the guys had the little stubs from the air holes in a few places.  A quick scrape with an Exacto Knife took care of those.

Here is a link to the range

The big question though is how do they mix with other figures.  Here are some comparison shots.
Left - Copplestone, center Splintered Light, right - Old Glory and Black Raven Foundry

Black Raven Foundry looks like they mix well, but I don't think they look quite as good together on the battlefield.

Copplestone Castings.  Some of the best detailed 15mm figs I have ever seen!  The BVG figs are slightly larger, but not bad.

 Old Glory 15s.  Old Glory has a great range of 15mm medieval and dark age figures.  They mix well.  Old Glory isn't quite as detailed though.

Splintered Light has a great range of adventurers.  Possibly one of the largest in 15mm.  They are constantly growing.  The BVG figs are a bit larger, and have a little better detail, but they still work well together.

 Demonworld has a great range of figures (Now produced by Ral Partha Europe)  This is a witch from one of their ranges.  They mix very well together in style and size. 
 This is another historical range.  It is Legio Heroica range.  They make good figs.  I didn't pose this well because his spear is blocking his face.  However you can still see that they mix pretty well.
 Another Copplestone fig.  Still smaller...
This is a figure from the old TSR Battlesystem range.  Unfortunately OOP and almost impossible to get hold of.  Still, if you do, it is a good fit!