Shortly before Christmas Stephen issued a challenge, throughout the rest of December post pictures on our members groups.io page of famous scenes from military history, or myth, or fiction. Fantasy or sci fi, film or whatever, but using models from our collections.
Our last meeting of the year saw three “periods” in progress:
First up, our FOG contingent (John, Paul and Mark) ran a couple of games of Early Carthaginians vs Dominate Romans.
Next up Alan ran a game of Fief, France 1429, a game of dynastic ambition. You can probably guess where and when it is set. Boardgames are not unknown at the Society, but they are not that commonly played either. Alan, Marcus, Dave, Chris, Peter and Mike were the contenders for the control of France.
Alan and Peter formed an alliance and had a narrow lead at the end of the game, so they are claiming victory. Mike, Marcus, Dave & Chris wouldn’t necessarily agree with that assessment though
Finally, Tony & Phil combined their efforts to put on a 15mm Star Wars game, using slightly adapted Stargrave rules. Jeremey and Phil each took a squad of Stormtroopers, while Stephen and Andy had a squad of Rebels. Both sides were searching the village for a pair of droids who had concealed plans to a top secret Imperial Weapon System (the Death Star). Tony ran the unaligned Jawas and was in charge of resolving the players searches and random events.
Club member Jeremey takes us through building and painting his modern take on the classic earth Elemental.
While I certainly wouldn’t consider myself to be a professional sculptor, I have made a number of miniatures over the years. This miniature, the Concremental came out of an idea to create a modern version of the very familiar Earth Elemental. I was lucky enough for this miniature to be cast and so here is my attempt to paint it.
The miniature is currently being sold by Fenris Games and comes in several parts as shown. Therefore the first thing to do was to glue the parts together. The miniature is made of resin but I found superglue worked very well in sticking it together.
The miniature fit quite well on a 50mm round base and I stuck the spare bits of concrete that came with the miniature to the base.
I then added some milliput to the base to provide a texture to match the miniature.
Once the milliput was dry I sprayed the whole thing with Halfords grey primer. It was at this point that I first thought how on earth I was going to paint it. After all, concrete is grey so do I just put a black wash over the miniature and leave it at that or do something else.
I decided to try something different and painted the various concrete blocks in different shades of grey. I then dry brushed the miniature with lighter shades, before finally adding a very watered down black wash.
I then painted the traffic light pole silver and the steel reinforced bars as rusted metal. The traffic lights I did in yellow, I didn’t actually sculpt the traffic lights and they are clearly in the American style that I’ve seen in yellow.
Once all that was done I felt the miniature needed something else, so thinking the miniature would be made of modern street materials I painted road markings on the flat parts of the miniature.
The miniature started to look much better with the markings but they were too clean and bright, to remedy this I actually took a file to the whole miniature to distress the markings. This worked really well and gave the whole model a nice worn look.
Now all I need to do is find a game to put the Concremental in.
The Society has been busy this weekend jut passed, a small contingent ventured to ExCeL for the delayed Salute 2020 (or 2021?) whilst others attended the normal society meeting. First up, Salute. Andy’s thoughts with pictures by John, Mark and Andy.
Five of the membership, John, Brian, Mark, Marcus and Andy, attended Salute putting on Marcus’ Pulp participation game “Biggles and the Island at the Top of the World“.
The theme for the show was the Battle of Britain. The 2020 show was intended to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the battle. Centrally displayed in the hall were a replica Spitfire and Hurricane, with some RAF reenactors making an appearance after the photo was taken.
I got the impression that Salute hired more of ExCeL than usual, to space us out more, although I also understand there were fewer games and traders scheduled to attend than in “normal” years; and there were a few “no shows” in both categories.
In Marcus’ game Biggles is searching a lost Artic island for a missing Professor and the strange artefacts he was studying.
His party discover a secret labyrinth, with ever changing chambers and passages.
However he was not alone, a party of Nazis with unworldly weapons were also trying to recover the Professor.
The Russians had also sent an NKVD team to prevent the Nazis securing their objective.
And finally, a lost tribe of Vikings were hellbent on preventing anyone from leaving the island with the Ragnarok Stones, the phenomena the Professor had been studying.
We ran several games throughout the day, with up to four members of the public taking control of one of the four parties.
A selection of photos from the games:
We are pleased to announce that the game won the Jim Clarke Memorial Award for the Best Science Fiction / Fantasy game at Salute.
Meanwhile, back at the regular Society meeting, other members were running a series of games. Photos courtesy of Mark J and Stephen.
First off Mark J and Pete ran a game of Fields of Glory, pitching Mark’s Hundred Years War English against Pete’s Hungarians.
The first battle was won by the English, the Hungarian Knights couldn’t cope with longbows and stakes. The Hungarians won the second battle by focusing on the men at arms and drawing the longbow fire away from the knights. So, honours even.
Alan ran a Star Wars X-Wing game.
And finally Stephen ran a Stargrave game – A Hive of Scum and Villainy:
Stephen reports on a recent Sci Fi solo game using Black Ops
Since it was a wet weekend I thought I just fancied a game of something. Since I hadn’t played Black Ops for a while I thought that’s what I’d do.
I went with a simple meeting engagement. Each side had 100 points each. The human squad had two fireteams of five men – in the first was the leader, heavy weapons support, a technical expert, and two troopers. In the second was another heavy weapons support, a sniper, and three troopers. The droids had three fireteams of five, each consisting of a heavy weapon support and four troopers.
The idea behind the scenario is that the droid army has captured a human communications station and the human squad has to go in, recapture it, and get it online. They have seven turns to do that and get to safety.
Black Ops is a card activation system. Each troop type has two cards in the deck and when they are drawn a model can take one action (e.g. the human Specialist card is drawn – the technical expert and sniper can each take an action). In addition, the leader gets a bonus third card which can be used to activate a third time or he can order a model within 6” to take a third action. Simple enough.
On the first turn it seemed like there were only droid cards in the deck, all the droids had taken one action, and the droid troopers had taken their second, before one of the human cards came up. This allowed the droids to make a quick advance and move up to halfway across the board (I was using my smaller 2’x3’ board). This put the humans on a back foot, particularly the sniper (private Urek Ricci) who I had wanted to move up to an advantageous position but this was now denied because the droids, ZX81 and CPC464, had moved so far forward.
The human leader, Sergeant Waylan Gomez, led his team up through some cargo containers. Urek Ricci advanced on another position and took a quick snapshot with his rifle at ZX81 – he missed. I’d made the terrain nice and close, to eliminate too many long-range avenues of fire that could dominate, so models had to move carefully to ensure they couldn’t be seen. The droids well and truly moved into the comms relay station area and crossed it safely to cover the approach of the humans.
The humans had to get a move on. Private Yan Obrand, with his M77 plasma gun, saw the droids Dragon 32 and HP85 moving around the back of the comms relay. He let rip, but missed. He then took a second burst and this time both droids went down! First kill to the humans. Urek also had a go with his sniper rifle at the droids in the station compound, this time with a steady hand and good rest for his weapon. But he missed again! Close to Urek was private Cove Longstern and he moved up to put some suppressive fire down. The droids responded by moving an entire squad against Ricci and Longstern. They opened up but failed to hit anything. Sergeant Gomez with specialist Sorel Marsden and private Dorian Zenward continued to sidle through the containers trying to find a way to the relay station.
Again, Urek Ricci took a shot and again he missed! Some sniper he was turning out to be. That would be his last shot though, because ZX81 returned fire and he went down. Two of the droids moved up to occupy his position where they would be able to make a flanking attack on the rest of the human squad. Private Longstern gave fire and a droid went down. But then C64 took a shot and it was bad news for Cove Longstern – it was the end of his game.
The droids sought to consolidate their position and see if they could exploit the flank they’d opened up. More droids moved up. Another pair of droids, one armed with a heavy kinetic lance, tried to counter the advance of Yan, Sorel Marsden, and Dorian Zenward. These three had advanced to the side of the comms station, but were waiting for the right moment to break cover and make a dash for the doors. Sergeant Gomez took private Uriah West to shore up the weakened flank left vulnerable after Ricci and Longstern had been taken down.
With not much time left it was obvious the humans had to get a move on. It was already looking extremely unlikely they would have time to re-enable the relay station and get off board so if they were to they would have to get moving. With that in mind, Yan, Sorel, and Dorian moved up to the station. Immediately the droids opened up and took Dorian Zenward out. But on their second activation Yan put down some suppressive fire and Marsden managed to unlock the station and get it back online. First part of the mission complete!
Last turn syndrome – go for it! So the station was working but could they get away? It pretty much happened how you think it would – the humans made a dash for the table edge and the droids opened up where they could.
In the end none of the humans escaped. The station had been reactivated but they hadn’t quite got away. Human loses were four models, and droid loses were six – so a pretty even ratio. The humans could claim a partial success.
Andy tells the story of the Fenris mission from a different perspective.
Following the limited success of the first mission to Denides, Captain Ash de Vere set about recruiting replacements for the losses incurred, Eric Olsen, the First Mate and Sam Fleet, a pathfinder had both died during the mission.
The first order of business was to recruit a new First Mate, by a stroke of fate the best candidate Ash could find was also called Eric, Eric Bamburgh. After some reflection Ash decided the crew really ought to have the services of a medic, and fortunately the new first mate knew of a good man called Dan McIntyre who was looking for a new berth.
As the two new crewmen were settling in Patina dZuk, one of the Runners Ash had engaged for the last mission, popped in and asked Ash if he could stump up 20 credits to get her the kit needed to become a Chisler. As there was just enough credit remaining after hiring Dan, Ash agreed.
So, with the crew back up to full strength Ash set about looking for a new mission to bolster the funds. An information broker Ash knew, Germy, had heard some rumours that Fenris, site of one of the major battles in the Robot Wars, was awash with loot and knew of potential buyers for any physical loot that Ash could find. What Germy didn’t say was how many robots remained active on the surface of Fenris…
Ash and Eric tried to lay some groundwork for the mission, Ash tried his usual sources for some high impact ammunition, but none was to be found. Eric tried greasing some palms to get possible rival crews to look the other way at an opportune moment, but there were no takers.
As Ash set the shuttle down on Fenris he briefed his crew. He would lead one team with Charlie, Jen and Patina. Eric would lead a second team with Skel, Honu and Offler. Bren, who hadn’t fully recovered from the injuries sustained on Denides, and the new medic Dan would be the reserve.
As the teams approached the ruins of a town movement could be seen, several of the Fenris incident robots were moving around the town.
In addition, more than one other crew were in the town, no doubt searching for the same loot Ash was after.
Ash led his team towards Tony’s crew, an ex-military group judging by their uniforms, activating his Energy Shield as he moved through the ruins.
Ash’s team took up positions behind some rocks while Patina got out her lock picks and set to opening a promising looking crate. Success, unlocked!
As Patina checked the contents of the crate she came under fire from Tony’s crew, presumably trying to take her out so they could steal the loot.
Ash and the rest of the team returned fire at Tony’s crew, giving the wounded Patina the chance to fall back with the loot behind some rocks to take her out of the line of fire. Ash told Patina to get back to the Troubadour with the loot as fast as she could; he and the rest of the team would cover her retreat.
In the ensuing firefight Jen was knocked down, and as Ash and Charlie were both hit before they pulled back. As did Tony’s crew, perhaps they realised they weren’t going to be able to catch Patina.
Meanwhile, Eric’s team had moved into a different part of the ruins searching for more loot.
As they advanced a clanking sound was heard behind them, one of the Fenris Robots had appeared from the ruins and opened fire, wounding Skel.
Bren and Dan came to Skel’s aid, Bren taking out the robot, and Dan treating Skel’s injuries.
Honu took up a position to guard the right flank, hunkering down amid the ruins. Good job too as another Robot moved up, firing on and wounding Honu. In returning fire Honu managed to put the Robot down.
While Honu dealt with the robot, Eric and Offler advanced through the ruins, finding another crate.
As they examined the crate they came under fire from Stephen’s crew, who seemed to be concentrating their fire on Offler. She was knocked down, and after returning fire Eric pulled back to some cover, with Bren coming up to support.
For some unknown reason the crew that had shot Offler then fell back, giving Eric the chance to go back and unlock the loot.
With Bren and Honu covering, Eric grabbed the loot and headed back toward the ship, only for yet another robot to appear! Luckily for the crew the combined fire of Bren, Honu and Eric managed to take down the robot, although Bren’s carbine jammed part way through the firefight.
With the robot down Eric’s team made good their escape, with Eric wondering why they had been robot magnets.
Once the Troubadour had left orbit, Dan took Jen and Offler into the sick bay to treat their wounds. Jen was remarkably uninjured after all, it must have been just a glancing blow, but Offler was in worse condition. Dan managed to patch her up, but she would not be back to full strength for a while.
Back at the Grand Market, Ash decided not to fence the loot through Germy, he hadn’t forgiven Germy for the bad intel on the robots. After some haggling, he found buyers for the Trade Goods and Alien Artefact they had recovered, netting 250 and 400 credits respectively. Ash would have to think on how to spend the hard-earned credits.
The crew gained 135 experience from the mission, enabling Eric to advance a level.
On another club outing with Stargrave Jeremey ran a game set on the legendary planet of Fenris, with Stephen providing a dramatic write up of the game …
The game was set up in the ruins of a city with the robots of Fenris on patrol throughout the region. The crews of four ships arrive to search for loot.
Each crew was given a random mission brief providing additional bonuses to be had based on those missions. Stephen ended up with a mission that allowed the crew to pick a rival crew and gain extra credits for any kills against that crew.
The Seedy Dive Space Bar
“100 Credits!? You gotta be kidding me. I want 200.” Kersh Wilson banged his fist on the table for emphasis.
His opposite number leaned forward. Only now did Kersh get an idea of his features in the half-light of the smoke-filled room – the flattened nose, the red skin and ritual scarring. Kersh was dealing with a Creduxian.
“I’ll tell you what I’ll do, Kid,” said the Creduxian. “What I’ll do for you is make it 150 credits for a kill. Just 75 for a hit. Do we have a deal?”
Kersh leaned back, trying to recover his composure, remember the calm and measure he’d been taught as a young student by his masters.
“150 for a kill, huh? Yeah, OK – we got a deal.”
“Good. Good. I’ve made it easy for you. The hit’s name is Offler dZuk – she killed my kinsman. She’s a crew member on a ship called The Troubadour. The captain’s name is Ash de Vere. I’ve had one of my cronies slip Ash some information about some ruins on Fenris. Told him there was money to be made. So I’ve got ‘em off-planet for ya’, somewhere quiet, somewhere away from the eyes of the lawmen. Who knows, maybe you can make some extra loot out of it yourself…”
Kersh and his crew, as well as trying to collect loot tokens, had a special mission – extra money for taking an opposing player’s crew down to zero Health.
Fenris was an area of ruins and covered in undergrowth. Also present were some battle droids, so they’d have to take it careful. I had to choose which player I would have to try and shoot. It would have to be either Andy or Phil, as they were either side of me. I looked at where the loot tokens were and I reckoned that I was more likely to bump into Andy, so it would make sense to have him as my target since there was every chance we’d exchange gunfire anyway. Where I deployed there were two tokens that shouldn’t be too difficult to grab. I pretty much split my force in three – crew Captain Kersh Wilson (a mystic) led a couple of his crew after one token. Shoggoth (a biomorph), the first mate, led some crew after another. I had two raw recruits who I decided I’d send after the furthest away, but also with an eye on the possibility of taking a pop at Andy’s crew if the opportunity presented itself.
Oh yeah, I also had a pathfinder and used his extra speed to lead the way, draw any fire, see what droids were about etc.
I took the first token without too much difficulty. At that point Phil rolled a bad initiative roll (any roll of 4 or under meant a random droid would appear – Phil proved good at rolling low…) and a droid appeared near my crew. Kersh took out his lightsabre (sorry, ‘void blade’ *ahem*). The droid took a shot and Kersh deflected the shots with his blade. He then concentrated carefully and caused psionic flames to shoot from his hand and engulf the droid. Didn’t do too much. So he drew his blaster pistol and let off a couple of shots. Down went the droid.
The two recruits – a robot called 2B-55 and a pale-skinned alien called Ronnock Crowder – advanced through the ruins. Not too far behind was Shoggoth and Yammet Lament, an ex-commando. TwoBee and Ronnock by-passed a loot token, leaving it for Shoggoth, and took position behind some ruins. Because on the opposite side of the road two of Andy’s crew could be seen trying to unlock a loot token.
Both TwoBee and Ronnock drew their pistols and started shooting. Down went one of Andy’s crew – Offler dZuk. She was only wounded, so on Andy’s activation he decided to pull her back. But TwoBee and Ronnock let rip again, and this time she wouldn’t get up – down to zero health. But was it a kill?
With three loot tokens, and having successfully completed their special mission, I decided discretion was the better part of valour and got my crew off with all their loot.
It had been a very successful first mission for Kersh and his crew.
Or was it? The story will to Return to Fenris for a different perspective …
Stephen gives us step by step guide to painting a Sci Fi villain.
For an upcoming game of Stargrave I wanted a baddie. The Big Boss. I looked at the models I had and none of them were really suitable.
So I decided I would buy something. I knew how I wanted the model to be armed, and knew my chances of finding something exactly like that was virtually zero, so it had to be something that could be modified.
Since I intended to order some bits from Ral Partha I thought I’d have a look there.
And lo and behold, I found just the thing – a Neo Soviet Handler from their Vor range (specifically, code 40-412):
I trimmed off the knuckle-duster thing in his left hand and in its place went a blaster pistol from the spares bag. His main armament was going to be a void blade. And when I saw this model, and what he had in his right hand, I couldn’t believe my luck. This would make the perfect handle for a lightsaber (sorry, void blade). I trimmed it down a bit, but I liked the flared ending so kept that. A hole was drilled and a piece of 1.5mm styrene rod was glued in. The model was then stuck to a 25mm plastic base and the base built up with filler. And then it was given a brown undercoat:
Now, in this write-up I am just going to give generic colours rather than specific names and codes for a brand. I use from more than one range of paints and I am sure everyone else does as well.
I decided his robes, gloves, and gimp mask were going to be black. So I slapped it on, letting it get into any awkward gaps in case I couldn’t get a brush in there later so it would act as a deep shade.
Right, this is just my own personal philosophy on black. But I never highlight black with just grey. No. Black is seldom that helpful. Look at any black clothes you may have. I bet they’re all slightly different shades – it depends on age, what the material is, what dye was used. Lots of variables. So try to keep that in mind when highlighting your blacks. The black for the robes had a bit of blue added, then white added to that for successive highlights. The gloves and mask had a blob of red added, then white added to that for successive highlights. You can see the slight difference in ‘black’ here:
Next up, I decided to do the bits that would get a dark brown (OK, OK, GW’s Agrax Earthshade) wash – the boots, pouches, bracers, and metallic bits. These received the same base brown colour. The metals had a steel base colour. Once dried, on goes the wash.
And when that’s dried the pieces are painted up. Like black (and most colours, to be honest) it helps if you vary what you use to highlight your base colours. It’s tempting to add white to lighten it. But maybe yellow might give a different shade to the base colour, or a pale grey. This is a good thing to keep in mind, especially if you have two uses of the same colour next to each other. That said, I did use white to highlight the brown. The metal bits were touched up with the base steel colour, and then highlighted with silver. I ummed and ahhed about what colour to do the lenses on the eyepieces. Blue or green were the first choices that came to mind. But then I thought, orange. So orange it was, highlighted with a dot of yellow.
Next up I decided to do his weapons. There’s a good reason for this – I just couldn’t make up my mind what colour to do his armour. Normally I would have left the weapons to last because they stick out and there’s every chance they could get knocked or rubbed as I did other bits. But I just couldn’t make up my mind. I had thought about green, but I had also decided that his blade was going to be green, and if there was too much green then I may have to re-paint the armour. With that, I decided to do the weapons first, and once that was done maybe the armour colour would be obvious. The handgun had a base colour that was a mix of steel and black to make a gun metal colour, then highlighted with the steel. A red laser sight was also dotted in. I knew from the outset I was going to do a green blade. I have a nice rich green colour, so I went with that. It’s hard to paint a 3D object like it is lit from inside, so I chose to just highlight the base and tip of the blade. I used white to highlight this time.
I looked at it. You know what, I thought, I reckon green would look OK. So I went with green for the armour, but a different shade of green. I gave all the armour panels a thin coating (not really a wash, but not really thick paint either) of the base green mixed with a blob of dark brown (again, you don’t have to darken colours with just black). Once dry I then painted in the panels with the base colour, which was highlighted by adding yellow to the green to create a more vibrant green, but also so it didn’t have the same tonal value as the green on the blade. The edges of the armour were based in dark yellow, and then picked out with a flat yellow.
And that’s the end of the painting for Doctor Moreau. Once finished, I thought the 25mm base looked a little small on what was a chunky model. So I pried the model off the base (and, inevitably, had to touch up a few knocks and chips) and glued him to a 30mm wooden base. Flocking was my standard recipe – a mix of railway ballasts first, and then some spots of static grass:
And that’s Doctor Moreau done, ready to be pestered and set upon by a group of ne’er do wells and freeloaders.
A brief picture album of the third meeting back, still operating under members only rules.
Four games in play today, in chronological order:
First up a FOG Ancients game by Colin & Paul, we only have one picture of this unfortunately.
Moving on to the 17th Century we had a FOG Renaissance game with Brett, Pete, John and Mark, the Scots involvement in the English Civil War.
Moving on a couple of Centuries we move to Mexico in the 1860’s, with the French Intervention played by Alan and Mike using Zouave II rules.
Finally we have a couple of games of Stargrave.
The first game was run by Stephen, with Eric, Marcus, Jeremey and Andy sending their crews to investigate Dr Moreau’s House of Pain.
We had to cut the first game short as Stephen had to leave, so we then played a second game which Jeremey had devised. As Andy’s crew had to disband after his Captain was killed in the first game he ran the second game enabling Jeremey to play.
A ship had crashed, leaving a trail of cargo and potential loot in its wake. Jeremey, Eric and Marcus’s crews came looking for loot, with indigenous interference run by Andy.