Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Antares Fiction: Arrival- Part Three

The Command Module was in the center of the installation. It had several wings shooting off of the central hub. Jeanne imagined it looked like a snowflake from above. Aesgir led her into one of the briefing rooms, where the rest of Kilo Squad had already gathered. They leaned against a holo projector with an hologram of Vihera rotating slowly. A tall bald man stood among them, the green light of the hologram illuminating the hard features of his face. Jeanne noticed there was a dark scar across his right eye which seemed to reflect light like a cat’s. Jeanne assumed he was Commander Juywut. 
     “Good, you are all here.” His voice was gruff and gravelly. “You must be the newest member of Kilo Squad,” he barked, looking at her.
     “Yes ser.” Jeanne saluted. 
     “At ease, I’m not fond of protocol, makes me target. Gather round.” Jeanne relaxed and joined her squad mates next to the projector. 
     “I’m sending Kilo Squad up north into the Highlands, to the Gaerlei Valley. We’ve picked up some interference in Grid Sector Alfa-Charlie-Six, and all the scout drones we’ve sent up there have disappeared before they were able to transmit any intel.” Cmdr. Juywut manipulated the hologram and zoomed in on the sector to which he was referring. Jeanne was surprised to see that his left forearm was completely bio-mechanical. 
     “The IP is five-point-six kilometers from the last drone’s last known location. You are to search the area for the drone, recover it, and mark it for pick up. Then you are to scan the area in a five kilometer radius for the source of the interference. Once you complete your sweep, proceed to EZ Alpha for extraction. The SatTopo map will be uploaded to your suits TacNav. Any questions?” Cmdr. Juywut placed his hands behind his back.
     “Will we have any support?” asked Aesgir.
     “In the situation where support would be required, Fire Base Restrepo will be available with gunships and X-gun batteries,” 
     “How will we be inserting?” asked Zephor.

     “The IP is in clearing near a river, the transport will land and dust off as soon as you are clear,”the commander paused, and when no further questions arose he spoke again, “This is just a scouting op, I don’t want any unnecessary risks. You all be careful out there. Who knows what sort of nasty beasts crouch out deep in the bush. Good luck.” Everyone nodded, and filed out of the room.

As soon as they returned to their barrack module everyone pulled off their dusty fatigues and filed into the attached washroom and shower. Jeanne noticed that all of them except for Zephor had numerous tattoos. The water was hot and gave off the scent of various metals. She felt her squad mates eyes watching her as the water washed over her. She had never been particularly shameful of her body, but their stares made her uncomfortable. 

After they had showered they pulled on their under armor body suits. The suits were like a second skin and were made up of nano fibers that were impervious to traditional weapons such as slug throwers and projectile weapons. They were tight but didn’t restrict movement. The outer armor connected to the UABs and added protection from modern weaponry. 

As they suited up Jeanne spotted that each of her squad mates armor had small bits of graffiti drawn over them. Aesgir had a pair of cornix birds painted on both sides of her breast plate. Amkell had written, ‘Kill an Isorain for Mum’ in a heart, on his shoulder, and ‘Fun Here’ on his groin protector. Damari had numerous tally marks on his his arm guards, and ‘KILL ‘EM ALL’ scrawled on his shoulder. Zephor simply had a smiley face drawn on the back of his armor. How can they not be busted for that? 

Once they had suited up, they filed out with their helmets tucked beneath their arms and headed to the armory where they retrieve their plasma carbines, and grenades. Damari was equipped with a Plasma Lance. They then marched to the landing pad. As they approached they were greeted by a spotter drone. 
     “Good morning Kilo Squad,” said the drone, it’s voice was precise and mechanical.
     “Morning Zima,” grinned Zephor, “You ready for a hike?”
     “Affirmative.” Aesgir ordered them to mount up, but stopped Jeanne before she stepped into the troop compartment.
     “Hold up a moment,” she said. 
     “Yes?” asked Jeanne, her stomach clenched.
     “Are you good? ” questioned the SL, her blue eyes staring into Jeanne’s purple.
     “Yeah. I just don’t feel like I fit in with the rest of them,” admitted Jeanne. To her surprise, Aesgir grinned.
     “That’s normal. Don’t take it personally. They’re still getting over Lakan leaving. Damari likes to pretend he’s the biggest baddest motherfucker in the galaxy, but he’s really nice once you get to know him.”
     “What happened to Lakan?” 
     “He got a medical discharge. Seizures.”
     “Don’t worry about them, we’re a team. I would put my life in their hands in any situation. They’re good troopers.”
     “A-a-alright,” stammered Jeanne.
     “You’ll be fine.” Aesgir slapped her shoulder, “Mount up!”

Monday, November 16, 2015

Antares Fiction: Arrival- Part Two

     “Hey! Cherry! Wake up!” 
Jeanne rolled over in her cot. She was having such a good dream. She had been at home, she and her brother were hanging out in the family pool. Her mother was sunbathing on the beach chair nearby and her father was grilling burgers. She smiled. It had been so long since they’d been all together.
     “HEY! Greenie! Wake the fuck up!” Someone kicked her bunk, and she jolted awake. Damari stood over her, his arms crossed with a sour look across his face.
     “What the fuck is wrong with you!?” she shouted.
     “It’s wake up time!” he growled. Jeanne groaned, and swung her feet over the rack and stretched.
     “What time is it?” she yawned.
     “0500,” replied Damari, “The rest of the squad already left for the mess.” She heard the woosh of the door as he left. 0500? Damn. She still was recovering from jump-lag. She drowsily pulled on her trousers and boots, stepped outside. She was blinded by the bright morning light. There is no way it’s 0500. He must have lied. She wandered in a daze to the module marked ‘Mess Hall’. 

The food was the usual military issue stuff, though this had a distinct metallic taste to it. She sat with her new squad and ate quietly while the rest of them talked amongst themselves freely. 
     “Hey, top?”
     “Hmmm?” groaned the SL.
     “Have you heard what’s the next patrol schedule like?” 
     “Amkell, I just woke up. At least let me have my coffee please, until then, shut up!”
     “You don’t have to be a bitch Liz,” chuckled Zephor. Jeanne looked up, unsure of who he was referring too.
     “You know I’m not a morning person…” grumbled Aesgir into her mug, "To answer your question, Amkell. No." 
Jeanne returned to her tray and toyed with her food. Her thoughts drifted back to her dream. Suddenly she couldn’t remember her brother’s face. She racked her memory, trying to conjure an image. Unable to, she tried to retrieve the image from her pocket, but realized she had left in in the barracks. She swore silently and finished her meal. She got up, deposited her tray in the receptacle and hurried back to the barracks module, hoping to get a few moments of rest before she was beset upon by Damari or one of the other members of the squad.

She sat on her rack and pulled out the image. She didn’t know why but she wished even more to be home than here. I’ve never had felt homesick before. Serving the Pan-Human Concord is something I’ve wanted to do as long as I can remember. Something about this place…
Her thoughts were interrupted as SL Aesgir poked her head inside the barracks.
     “I thought you would be here. Come on, we need to get to the command module for briefing.”  

Jeanne tucked the image back into her jacket and pulled it on. She followed Aesgir through the rows of barracks. Drones and other troopers milled about doing their tasks. No one paid her much attention, though she felt as if everyone knew that she had just arrived.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Antares Fiction: Arrival- Part One

The humid heat of Vihera hit Jeanne like an asteroid smashing into a planet’s surface, as the transport’s ramp lowered. Her uniform clung to her as sweat poured from her brow and trickled down her nose. Her chestnut bangs were plastered to her forehead. She pulled her duffle and armor crate down the ramp onto the tarmac. She was momentarily blinded by the double suns, high in the reddish sky. Heat waves made the surrounding drab buildings look shiny and distorted.  She and her fellow troopers were immediately beset upon by a dog faced sergeant who barked at them to maneuver of the tarmac and to the staging area. They double timed it and filed into a neat line. The dog-faced sergeant called for an equally gruff-looking clerk with a datapad. A pair of Interceptor bikes sped past kicking up an orangish cloud in their wake, which flew into the trooper’s faces. Jeanne resisted the urge to wipe her eyes. The sergeant stood in front of the rank and glared at them.
     “Listen up! Welcome to Fort Kyllan! Contrary to what you’ve heard, this deployment is not going to be an ice cream social! Unfortunately this post isn’t on the frontline, but we are still at war! There will be no fucking about!” he shouted over the roar of the transport lifting off, kicking up more debris.
     “Junior Sergeant Rispoli will give you your squad assignments and you will report to your Strike Leader! Rispoli if you would please!” The clerk stepped forward and began to call out names and assignments. 

Jeanne was assigned to Barracks No. 53 and Kilo Squad. She struggled to pull her crate across the dirt paths and streets that made up the installation. Her fatigues were soaked, and covered in dust, by the time she found her barracks. Pausing to take a breather, she wiped her brow with her sleeve; leaving a rusty streak across her forehead. She hit the door control and with a swoosh the entrance slid open. She tugged her crates inside, and let her eyes adjust to the artificial light. 
There were four troopers sitting around a table that looked up as she entered. She blinked and took in her surroundings. The barracks were nothing like what they had at her previous post. They were plain and mostly unadorned, save for the few pictures the troopers had pined up. The bunks were basically glorified cots. She became aware of the looks that were boring into her.
     “A greenie?” asked one of the troopers. The one who had spoke was barrel-chested and had a bandanna tied around his mellon. 
     “I guess,” shrugged a thin man with hair that matched the dust that had coated Jeanne’s uniform. A blonde woman sporting a buzzcut got up from the table and stepped up to her.
     “I’m Strike Leader Aesgir,” she introduced herself, “You must be the replacement for Lakan?”
     “Uh… I-I-I guess, ser,” she stammered. A rumble of laughter erupted from the three still seated. Aesgir cracked a smile.
     “I’m not a Ser,” she stated. What’s your name?”
     “Jeanne Lankford,” Jeanne had to force herself to not add Ser at the end.
     “Your bunk is over there.” She pointed. “Unpack and get your armor stowed.” Jeanne nodded and dragged her kit to her assigned bunk. As she unpacked she overheard the others muttering to each other.
     “She’s a cutie isn’t she?” asked the one with a square jaw and tousled hair.
     “If you say so Amkell,” grunted the one sporting the bandana, “I just see another sack of meat we are going to have to take care of in the bush.”
     “Will you bet please?” cried the Strike Leader. Jeanne heard the shuffle of cards and the clack of plastic being tossed onto the table. The redhead cursed and folded. Jeanne filled her footlocker with her effects and then moved to the armor rack and began to place her suit inside. There was an uproar as something happened at the table. 
     “How the fuck do you always win top?” shrieked Amkell.
     “Because I’m amazing,” chuckled Aesgir. 
     “But you’ve won five hands in a row!” complained the man with the bandana.
     “It’s not my fault that you have an obvious tell Damari,” grinned the SL.
     “She’s gotta be cheating. Counting cards or something,” suggested the redhead.
     “Nah, You see Zephor, she’s got a marked deck,” said Damari.
     “Well if you want to play with your deck I’ll still kick your ass,” shot Aesgir.
     “I’m broke!” complained Damari, “You got all my cash!”
     “Alright! We finished then?” grinned the SL. There was a scraping of chairs against the floor and the bustle of movement. Jeanne sat on her bed and sighed. She felt so out of place. She pulled a image of her family from her breast pocket. It was of the last time they had all been together, before her mother was deployed. Her brother left the day after that, then she was given her orders to report to training. She looked at her father’s broad grin. He had lost his arm during a accident, and it was replaced with a bionic one. Jaeson, her brother took after their father, sharing the same nose and broad grin. She smiled, remember the terrible jokes that they would share. They usually made her and her mother groan. She took after her mum. Most people thought they were sisters at first.  They had the same chestnut hair and purple eyes.
     “Hey, you got any smokes?” came a voice. Jeanne ignored it, assuming they weren’t talking to her.
     “Hey cherry!” She jumped as someone kicked the bunk.
     “Hey!” she turned to see who kicked her bunk. Damari stood at the end of her bed. 
     “Are you deaf or something?” he growled.
     “Then why didn’t you answer?” 
     “I, uh… thought you weren’t talking to me.”
     “Sure. Do you got any smokes?”
     “No. I don’t smoke.”
     “Damn shame.”

     “Oi! Damari! Leave her alone!” called Amkell, “I got a new carton over here. Jeez!” Damari stepped away, leaving her be. She heard him mutter something, but she couldn’t make it out. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Review: Beyond the Gates of Antares- Strike Vector One: The Xilos Horizon

Yes I still have my Star Wars Comforter.
Minor Damage
November 7th marked the release of Warlord Games' newest game, "Beyond the Gates of Antares" from the mind of the amazing Rick Priestley (notice me senpai!). I had preordered the starter box "Strike Vector One: The Xilos Horizon", which arrived today!

The box arrived in good condition, though the book had some slight wear around the binding, but nothing major. Before I delved into the contents of the box I cracked open the book and was greeted by that wonderful new book smell. The artwork is absolutely fabulous, as one would expect from Warlord Games book. It's well put together and easy to read, but it doesn't include an index... Not sure why, I remember hearing once that British publishing companies don't include indexes. But from my quick flip through the book seems to be so well laid out that an index shouldn't be necessary.

Miniatures and Dice
Now to the contents. Since I preordered the box set I received a print of the cover artwork signed by Rick (which I plan to donate to the FLGS), and the Exclusive launch figure, "Fartok: Leader of Battlegroup Nine"; which is a nice model. I don't really want to go into a review of the sculpts of the figures, but I am always impressed by the Warlord sculpts. I also received the Transmat Station pre-order bonus. I honestly didn't think I would receive the Transmat station, due to it being a limited offer(?).

The box also came with a set of dice, and Order Dice in the colours of the Ghar and Concord (the two factions included). The black die is a "Distort Dice", whose mechanic's I'm not so sure about just yet. But I know that the Ghar have technology to mess with Space-Time. One of the most interesting things that were included were clear red plastic pin markers with a dial, that denotes how many pins a unit has on it. There is also a set of Template and Shot tokens in clear-blue plastic.
Pin Markers

Over all I am very impressed with the contents of the Starter Box and look forward to running demos at the FLGS! I'll post an article with my thoughts on the universe and mechanics when I get to have a closer look! But so far the thing's I've read are very exciting! This all coming from the person who when asked by Warlord if I wanted to demo the Beta Rules, I said no. At first glance it looked too much like Warhammer 40k, and I wasn't interested. But now that I've seen more and more of the universe I've fallen in love!
Template and Shot Tokens 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Tutorial/Painting Guide: Galen's Wehrmacht- Early & Late War- Part Two

<<< Part One
 Step Nine: Highlight the raised uniform areas with the appropriate Colours. The Early War Soldat (Left), has a German Tkcr. I (Feldgrau) for the Tunic and Russian Tankcrew I for his trousers. The Late War Soldat has the German Tkcr. II (Feldgrau) afor the whole uniform.
Step Ten: Highlight the Field Gear.

 Step Eleven: Paint the Flesh tone Highlights. I used Ryn Flesh (P3)
 Step Twelve: Highlight the wood. For these I used Bloodstone (P3) and Gun Corps Brown (P3) Respectively.

 Step Thirteen: Paint the Suspenders and Belt...

And Finished!
Don't forget to add the appropriate Waffenfarbe to their Shoulder boards! These Soldaten are Infantry. Now they are ready to be based.

Tutorial/Painting Guide: Galen's Wehrmacht- Early & Late War- Part One

So, Some people on the Bolt Action International group over on Facey-Space asked for some photos of my Germans using the Painting guide I posted a couple days ago. Upon examining my figures I realized I had modified the painting guide as I acquired more paints and they didn't quite match. So Here I am painting two new figures I found in my Assorted Mini Box to showcase the colours and style I use.

 Step One: Prime in Black. I use the Army Painter Black Primer

 Step Two: I paint the flesh tone base using Idrian Flesh (P3) and the helmet using Great Coat Grey (P3)
 Step Three: I paint the uniform using German Tckr. II as a base for the Early War (Left), and German Tckr. I for the base of the Late War (Right)
 Step Four: Then I move on to the Field Gear. The only major colour difference between Late War and Early war that I can find is the shovel covers. Early war is Black, and Late war is a sort of Olive Drab.

Here you can see the different shovel cover colours.
 Step Five: Paint all the wood bits the rifle and the shovel handle. I use Umbral Umber (P3) as a base for all wood.
 Step Six: Paint the Gun Metal, and buckles. I prefer Cold Steel (P3), as my go to metal colour because it makes the metal pop on a table.

Step Seven: Hit the miniature with your favorite Wash/Ink solution. I prefer Agrax Earthshade (Citadel) 

Step Eight: Wait for the Wash to dry.

Note: I chose to paint the Webbing after the highlights are finished.

Painting Guide: Galen's Luftwaffe Waffenfarbe (Corps Colours)

Waffenfarbe translates to " Corps Colour" and is used to distinguish different corps of a military branch.  It is usually displayed on the collar and shoulder boards of the M41 Tunic. Here I will be listing the colours I used to distinguish my troops.

Shoulder Board Colour: Grey Green

  • Generals (White): White Scar (Citadel)
  • Artillery (Red): Evil Sun Scarlett (Citadel)
  • General Staff (Wine Red): Sanguine Base (P3)
  • Military Judical (Dark Purple): Beaten Purple (P3)
  • Field Chaplins (Purple): Genestealer Purple (Citadel)* 
  • Engineer (Pink): Pink Horror (Citadel)
  • Pilots & Ground Forces (Yellow): Sulferic Yellow (P3)
  • Radar & Air Traffic Control (Bright Green): Wurm Green (P3)
  • Fallshirmjager (Green): German Tckr. I (Feldgrau)
  • Administration (Dark Green): Gnarls Green (P3)
  • Transport & Reserve (Light Blue): Meridus Blue (P3)*
  • Medical (Blue): Cygnar Blue Base (P3)
  • Air Comms (Brown): Bloodtracker Brown (P3)

* These colours I have not yet used. They were picked out from the paint swatches at the FLGS.

Painting Guide: Galen's Waffen-SS Waffenfarbe (Corps Colours)

Waffenfarbe translates to " Corps Colour" and is used to distinguish different corps of a military branch.  It is usually displayed on the collar and shoulder boards of the M41 Tunic. Here I will be listing the colours I used to distinguish my troops.

Shoulder Board Colour: Cryx Bane Base (P3)

  • Artillery (Red): Evil Sun Scarlett (Citadel)
  • Veterinary (Crimson): Skorne Red (P3)
  • Armour (Pink): Pink Horror (Citadel)
  • Replacement Services & Engineer (Orange): Troll Slayer Orange (Citadel)
  • Signal & Propaganda (Bright Yellow): Sulferic Yellow (P3)
  • Cavalry/ Motorized Recon (Golden Yellow): Averland Sunset (Citadel)*
  • Mountain/Light Infantry (Light Green) : Iosan Green (P3)
  • SS Police Rifle Division: Yellow Olive
  • Infantry (White): White Scar (Citadel)
  • Supply and Technical (Light Blue): Meridus Blue (P3)*
  • Medical (Blue): Cygnar Blue Base (P3)
  • General Officers (Light Grey): Cryx Bane Highlight (P3)
  • Concentration Camp Guards (Brown): Bloodtracker Brown (P3)
  • Administration (Bright Blue): ????*
  • Recruitment (Dark Green): Gnarls Green (P3)
  • Security (Bright Olive): Highlight Italian Tkcr.

* These colours I have not yet used. They were picked out from the paint swatches at the FLGS.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Painting Guide: Galen's Wehrmacht Waffenfarbe (Corps Colours)

Waffenfarbe translates to " Corps Colour" and is used to distinguish different corps of a military branch.  It is usually displayed on the collar and shoulder boards of the M41 Tunic. Here I will be listing the colours I used to distinguish my troops.

Shoulder Board Colour: Olive Grey
  • Artillery (Red): Evil Sun Scarlett (Citadel)
  • Veterinary (Crimson): Skorne Red (P3)
  • Armour (Pink): Pink Horror (Citadel)
  • Military Police (Orange): Troll Slayer Orange (Citadel)
  • Field Chaplins (Purple): Genestealer Purple (Citadel)*
  • Specialist Service (Wine Red): Khorne Red (Citadel)*
  • Signal Corp (Bright Yellow): Sulferic Yellow (P3)
  • Recon/Cavalry (Golden Yellow): Averland Sunset (Citadel)*
  • Mountain/Light Infantry (Light Green) : Iosan Green (P3)
  • Armoured Infantry (Meadow Green): Wurm Green (P3)
  • Infantry (White): White Scar (Citadel)
  • Transport and Supply (Light Blue): Meridus Blue (P3)*
  • Medical (Blue): Cygnar Blue Base (P3)
  • Engineer (Black): Black
  • Specialist Officer: Russian Tankcrew I
  • Propaganda: Cryx Bane Highlight (P3)

* These colours I have not yet used. They were picked out from the paint swatches at the FLGS.

Painting Guide: Galen's German Camouflage

Germany was the first country to actively develop and supply their troops with camouflage. If I'm not mistaken the modern German Army still uses a derivative of the Rauchtarnmuster camouflage. I didn't include the Erbsenmuster pattern because I have yet to be satisfied with the result I have achieved. I also chose to not include the Liebermuster pattern because of it's limited issue. The pattern images are included to provide reference for painting.

Splittermuster 31
Splittermuster 31 (1932-1945)
Used by Heer, Luftwaffe, Fallschirmjager

  • Base: Greatcoat Grey (P3)//Cryx Bane Highlight (P3)
  • Colour 1: Gnarls Green (P3)
  • Colour 2: Sanguine Base (P3)

Spumfmuster 43
Spumfmuster 43 (1943-1945)
Used by Heer, Luftwaffe, Fallshirmjager

  • Base: Khaki Grey// Highlight Ge. II (Feldgrau)
  • Base (Fallshirmjager Variant)*: Khaki Grey// Middlestone
  • Colour 1: Traitor Green (P3)
  • Colour 2: Bloodtracker Brown (P3)

Spumfmuster 44
Spumfmuster 44 (1944-1945)
Used by Heer, Luftwaffe, Fallshirmjager

  • Base: Khaki// Highlight Afrika Korps
  • Colour 1: Traitor Green (P3)
  • Colour 2: Bloodtracker Brown (P3)

Oakleaf Summer
Eichenlaubmuster (Oak-Leaf): Summer (1941-1945)
Used by Waffen-SS

  • Base: Bloodtracker Brown (P3)// Gun Corps Brown (P3)
  • Colour 1: Umbral Umber (P3)
  • Colour 2: Wurm Green (P3)

Eichenlaubmuster (Oak-Leaf): Autum (1941-1945)
Used by Waffen-SS

  • Base: Bloodtracker Brown (P3)// Gun Corps Brown (P3)
  • Colour 1: Umbral Umber (P3)
  • Colour 2: Troll Slayer Orange (Citadel)

Telo Mimetico
Telo Mimetico (Italian Camo) (1943-1945)
Used by Waffen-SS, Hitler Youth, Police Forces

  • Base: Russian Tank Crew II
  • Colour 1: Bloodtracker Brown (P3)
  • Colour 2: Highlight Japan Tckr.

* I like to paint different forces in different colours so that they can easily be identified on a table or during a game.

Painting Guide: Galen's German Military (1939-1945)

EDIT: Due to people asking for pictures, I have Included some of my models.

This is the painting guide I have developed for my own German Army. Is it completely historically accurate? No. But it's close enough! For those of you that have an issue with non-historical accuracy for miniatures I'd like to direct you to this article on Warlord Games's site.

All paints listed are Vallejo, unless otherwise noted. The base and highlight are divided with "//".


  • Webgear: Black
  • Breadbag: Russian Uniform WWII//Afrika Korp Tankcrew
  • Shovel Cover (Early-Mid): Black// Highlight German Black
  • Shovel Cover (Mid-Late): Russian Uniform WWII// Afrika Korp Tankcrew
  • Gaskmask Tin: Olive Grey// Battledress Green (P3)
  • Canteen Cover (Early): Gun Corps Brown (P3)// Bootstrap Leather (P3)
  • Canteen Cover (Mid-Late): Gun Corps Brown (P3)// Bloodtracker Brown (P3)
  • Mess Tin: Olive Grey// Battledress Green (P3)
  • Ammo Pouches: Black
  • Ammo Pouch (Variant #1): Yellow Green// Traitor Green (P3)
  • Ammo Pouch (Variant #2): Highlight Japan Tkcr.// Highlight Afrika Korps
  • Anklets/Gaiters: Yellow Green// Traitor Green (P3)
  • Anklets/Gaiters (Variant): Khaki// Highlight Ge. II

Wehrmacht Uniform

  • Helmet: Greatcoat Grey (P3)
  • Uniform: German Tkcr. I (Feldgrau)// German Tkcr. II (Feldgrau)
  • Uniform (Variant): German Tkcr. II (Feldgrau)// German Tkcr. 1 (Feldgrau)
  • Trousers (Early-Mid): German Tkcr. II (Feldgrau)// Russian Tankcrew I
  • Greatcoat: Greatcoat Grey (P3)// German Tkcr. II (Feldgrau)
  • Undershirt: Cryx Bane Base Highlight (P3)// German Tckr. Highlight (Feldgrau)

Uniform Note: Mix German Tkcr. II (Feldgrau) w/ Greatcoat Grey or Traitor Green or Umbral Umber  for Late War.

Luftwaffe Uniform
Luftwaffe Ground Forces

  • Uniform: 2 parts Regal Blue/Kantor Blue (Citadel)+ 1 part German Tkcr. II (Feldgrau)// Russian Tankcrew I
  • Belt: Bloodtracker Brown (P3)

Kreigsmarine Uniform:

  • Uniform: Regal Blue/Kantor Blue (Citadel)
Panzer Korps
  • Uniform: Black// Highlight German Black
  • Early War Vehicle Base: Ironhull Grey (P3)
  • Late War Vehicle Base: Rucksack Tan (P3)
  • Painted Metal: Rucksack Tan (P3)
  • Painted Metal (Variant): Traitor Green (P3)
  • Painted Metal (Variant #2): Yellow Olive
  • Painted Metal (Variant #3): Middlestone

Friday, October 30, 2015

Homebrew Rules: Close Quarters Combat

Most of the Wargamers I know are notorious for homebrewing* and modifying rulesets. As much as I love the Bolt Action Ruleset, one of the things I dislike about the rules is how Close Quarters/Assaulting works.

After a few games with the local group, we had a few things to say about the rules (not including the lack of grenades). Out of the discussions the biggest topic was how Close Quarters worked. As written they seem out of place considering how the Order Dice Activation System, that makes Bolt Action unique, effects gameplay.

For those of you unfamiliar with Bolt Action's Activation system; Each unit has an Order Dice, all of which are put into a bag or cup and drawn individually. This adds a level of unpredictability to the game which is common in real-life combat. To quote Helmuth von Moltke, "No plan survives contact with the enemy."

Here is how Close Quarters works as written:
1. Declare target
2. Target reacts
3. Measure move distance and move assaulting models
4. Fight first round of close quarters
     a. Attackers roll to damage
     b. Defenders take casualties
     c. Defenders roll to damage
     d. Attackers take casualties
     e. Loser surrenders and is destroyed
5. Resolve draws – further rounds of close quarters
6. Winner regroups

Now the Close Quarters rules don't seem to reflect this. They have one side attack and deal casualties, and then the other side goes. This seems silly to me. In what situation would a soldier just let himself get bayonetted? The answer is, under no situation would that happen.

So we decided that combat should be simultaneous.

Modified Close Quarters Rules:
1. Declare target
2. Target reacts
3. Measure move distance and move assaulting models
4. Fight first round of close quarters
     a. Both sides tally up the dice to be used in the combat
     b. Each player rolls their dice pool at the same time.
     c. Each side inflicts Casualties.
     d. Remove the appropriate dice from the pool
          i. If one or both sides loose more than half of their unit, roll morale check per base rules.
     e. Continue until one side is wiped out.
5. Winner regroups

I find that this allows for the possibility of either squad to come out on top and again adds chaos into the game.

* Homebrew (v.)- refers to a group/players making or 'brewing' his or her unique set of rules. The term 'Homebrew' can describe anything from customizing an existing commercial product (by adding or changing a few minor rules), to creating an entire standalone system.

Tutorial: Galen's Artillery Strike Markers

So I'm not a huge fan of using markers on a table. I use glass beads for pin markers, but that's really it. So I decided to make Mortar and Artillery strike markers to use on the table that blend in to the scenery.  So I thought I would share my process.

  • 60mm Bases
  • 17ga Wire
  • Stuffing (Poly-Fil)
  • Super glue
  • PVA Glue/ Modge Podge
  • Washers/Coins
  • Spray Paint
  • Hair Spray
  • Aerosol sealant

I had some old Warmachine/Hordes bases sitting around, the Warjacks have fallen off so they were pretty useless for basing support weapons for Bolt Action. So I decided to use them to build my Artillery markers. I found out that when you spray paint stuffing it stiffens the material. I use the same method to make destroyed tank markers.

Step 1:
Take a length of wire and fold it in half begin to twist it around itself. make sure you leave a loop at the bottom. This will be what you glue to the base. Bend the wire so that you have a base and then glue it to your base. I then glued about 75 cents onto the base to give it some weight.

The smaller base in the background is one I'm using for Mortars
Step 2:
Add armatures to the central wire by additional strands around the central bit (technical turn) and glue those in place. I used 4-5 additional arms, but you could do as many as you want.

Step 3:
Take your stuffing and roll it into a cylindrical shape.

Step 4:  Coat the wires with your favorite brand of white glue or PVA; I use
Modge Podge, and dress the wires with the stuffing. You could also use super glue if you're impatient like me. but you will have stuffing fiber get stuck to your hands.

Optional: Spray it down with Hair Spray.

Step 5:
Take your marker outside or to your spray station, and spray paint it black. I used a generic brand from Wally-World. Make sure you get all of it painted, so you don't get a grey look.

These are the paints I used.
Step 6:
Spray paint it Brown and then Khaki. I used Rust-oleum American Accents Primer Brown, and Rust-oleum Camoflauge Tan.

Step 7:
Coat it in clear sealant, which stiffens the material further.

Step 8 (Optional)
You can take White Spray Paint to make it look snowy. You could also switch up the other colours for different terrain types.

Gandalf for scale.
You might not want to make them as large as mine, the taller one is about 11 inches tall.

This whole thing took me like 10 minutes to make the frame work and glue the stuffing and like 10 minutes to paint them. You could also use clump foam if you wanted too. I also have scaled it down to make Mortar Strike markers, taking care to leave a space for a d6 on the base, for zeroing in.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Scarefest- Outskirts of Stalingrad: Weird War (AAR)

This weekend I attended a local convention, Scarefest AVL. It was put on by the local Pathfinder Society Lodge, and I was the only Wargaming Event. I played the first two turns as the Russian Commander, and then turned the reigns over to another player so the report becomes more detailed.
There were about 2000 points on each side and each side had a Weird War Unit.

German Army:
x1 Oberleutnant w/ 2 men
x1 Pioneer Squad
x1 Veteran Heer Grenadiers
x1 Heer Grenadiers
x1 Heer Soldaten
x1 81cm Medium Army
x1 Veteran Sniper Team
x3 StuG III Assault Guns
x1 Panzer IV Ausf. A
x1 Sdfkz 250/1 Hanomag
x1 Sdfkz 222 Armoured Car.
x1 Wulfen-SS Unit

Russian Army
x1 Lieutenant w/ 2 men
x3 Red Guard Squads
x2 Infantry Squads
x1 Conscript Squad
x2 T-34/86 tanks
x1 KV-1
x1 Medium Mortar
x1 Veteran Sniper Team
x1 Artillery Observer
x1 BA-8 Armoured Car
x1 Genetically Modified Ape

Scenario: Top Secret w/ Secondary Objectives.

The Objective: A German Spy
Turn One:

The first shots were fired by the German Sniper, Otto, taking a shot at the Russian Sniper in the building across the  courtyard. The Russian Sniper is noticed a Pioneer squad advancing under Otto's covering fire. He poked his head out and took out the Flamethrower in the Pioneer squad!

Sgt. Chekov and his squad advance toward the Objective
A Russian T-34 "Soturi" advanced up a road and took a pot shot from around a building at the command StuG 121 "Anna". The shot impacted the StuG's Schüzen but the crew's superior training kept them active! 

A squad of Heer Grenadiers advanced and took control of the Crashed Foo Fighter (Objective) while Srgt. Chekov's Guard squad advanced towards the restaurant his family used to operate from before the war. They froze as StuG 122 "Tanja" appeared on the far side. Tanja took a shot with it's cannon and MG. Shrapnel and lead tore through the ruins and inflicting a few casualties to the Russians.
StuG 122 attacks!

Turn Two:
Soviet Artillery reigned down on the Grenadiers holding the Foo Fighter Crash Site! Fortunately the Germans suffered no casualties!

The Germans capture the Foo Fighter!
Mortars reigned down on both snipers positions, forcing them to scramble for cover! The Russian General calls for the KV-1 to advance to support the infantry, but the transmission was scrambled!

The Commander of T-34 Soturi spots StuG Tanja and arks a shot over StuG Anna. StuG Tanja's schürzen does nothing to stop the round tearing through the hull and knocking it out!
Panzer IV Ausf. A 321 advances through the ruins and fires an HE shell through the restaurant windows, obliterating Srgt. Chekov's Squad. Srgt Chekov miraculously survives!
Chekov lives!
A German panzerfaust team advances towards Soturi and the round destroys the tank's track.

Turn Three
T-34 #2 advanced through a forest and fired a shot at Halftrack 131 which promptly caught on fire. But the crew quickly got the fire out and were able to continue. Srgt Chekov meanwhile captured the German Spy.

"Let's get the monkey in play!" The Russian commander brings on his genetically modified ape!
Pnzer 321 fires at a squad in the courtyard but the shell sails harmlessly over head. The Russian commander's transmission finally got through and the giant KV-1 appears on the table! And advances up a road to flank the German push towards the objective but is hammered by four Panzerfausts from the nearby church!
KV-1 shortly before destruction
"UFO Rave Party" The Conscript squad assaults the German position at the Foo Fighter, but the German Squad prevails, but due to casualties they retreat off the table to a safer position.

UFO Rave Party!
Panzer 321 fires at Srgt. Chekov, who still holds the objective.
Russian Commander, "He's shooting at the Objective. Can he do that?"
Me, "Yes."
Russian Commander, "Won't that kill the spy?"
Me, "No, She's just an objective marker."

The German Armoured car advances on a Russian squad across the frozen lake. The squad attempts to activate but gets confused and fires on the mortar team spotter. FUBAR!

Turn Four:
Otto takes a shot at Sgt. Chekov, but again Sgt. Chekov evades death! He promptly withdraws and passes off the objective to a nearby squad. Another tank shell flies towards Chekov and he refuses to meet the Grim Reaper! T-34 #2 finally takes out the Hanomag as StuG 123 "Freyja" takes a shot at the Ape, killing it's handler  "Tank beats monkey"
Furious the ape charges Freyja and proceeds to pound it's fists on the top, trying to get to the crew inside! The Wulfen SS Finally draws blood tearing into a Russian Squad!

Turn Five: 
The Russians get the objective off the table on the fourth dice and Chekov takes another barrage of bullets and shrapnel and still survives!

Advancing through the ruins.