Sunday, June 22, 2014

Painting a Khurusasn APC and Rebel Miniatures Titan gunship

Just to prove I'm not totally slacking off the last two weeks, here are a few pictures showing the - admittedly slow - progress I'm making toward getting some new units ready for the table. I've had both the Khurusan wheeled APC and the Rebel Miniatures Titan gunship for at least a year now, but progress stalled after I'd assembled and primed the models. But no more! Progress must be made and here's the proof it's starting to happen.

The current state of the painting table.

The painting work space is a little crowded right now with CMG grav vehicles, 28mm Sikhs, armored cars (Rebel Mini's and Matchbox) and the big APC and gunship models all competing for space.

Okay, not so maybe I have a few too many irons in the fire right now. But on with the show!

The Khurusan APC. Just looking for a few good Marines to check out the colony.

 The Khurusan APC is a BIG casting. The picture does not do it justice, but it's both broad and long. It's like a cross between an IFV and an RV. Those marines could live in this thing for a while if they had to do so. I've got a base coat of Olive Grey paint down. It's a good green base for 'army' type vehicles.

The Titan Gunship
Next up the "Flying Kaytusha" that is Rebel Miniatures Titan gunship. A good sized troop compartment is paired up with four fix forward medium cannon and up to SIX rocket pods (four under the wing and two - not pictured - mounted ABOVE the wing) to deliver a devastating salvo on enemy troop concentrations. The base coat here is again Vallejo Olive Gray. (Olive Gray is a theme color for this force. It gives the various VTOL a "Vietnam/Avatar" vibe and helps visually pull the models together into a sense of team.

Matchbox - Oshkosh MATV
I've mentioned the M-ATV before. It makes a nice sci-fi scout car/light APC. This one's been repainted in it's 'national colors of Olive Gray (again!) and light gray camoflague. I used a dremel tool to open up the gun shield and mounted a spare support weapon (I thing from a CMG model) in the turret. These MATV are some of the best I've seen from Matchbox for sci-fi gaming. 

I've got another model in progress that might get a spare tank gun and become the Fire Support variant with a low-velocity gun and no passenger ability. Have to see how that fits. If I don't like it, I see a missile launcher variant in it's place.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

"Klytus, I'm bored....

What plaything can you offer me today?"
                                  - With apologies to  Emperor Ming "The Merciless"

Over the past week, I've been struck by a sense of ennui regarding my recent choices of sci-fi rules. Mostly this stems from two decades of playing GDW's old game "Command Decision". That game left me with the desire to model more 'grand-tactical' level games. I don't want to push a squad (or even a platoon) around the table - I want that mid-level of command - something at the Battalion / Regiment.

But wait - there's MORE!

I also want a game that is (wait for it...)
  • Simple - The rules need to be straightforward and uncomplicated.
  • Fast Moving - Speed of play should be king. Players should get to do stuff and often!
  • Easy to pick up - I want to be able to run this at conventions with people that have never played before.
  • Does not require boat loads of charts - I don't want to spend a lot of time looking up unit data to result combat.
  • No cardboard landfill! - It does not result a 'table clutter' from a plethora of markers
  • Does not take all day - Ideally it can be finished in a 4-6 hour gaming session. Most of my compadres don't have 8+ hours they can spare for the mega-gaming sessions of our youth.

Does such a thing exist? Is this a fool's errand?

I dunno, While at Cincycon this year, I had a wacky thought about a "Road Warrior" type game that would be based on a popular Horse and Musket set. The key would be capturing the flavor of the period without bogging the game down in the details. That train of thought is leading me toward a similar concept but for the sci-fi type game. Generic basing, but tweak the movement and combat effectiveness  to reflect the following;

  • smallest unit is the fire team ( I struggle with this. I think it should be at the squad level, but in many cases I think the team is the smallest element to represent, be it a fireteam, a weapons team or a command team.)
  • Unit's have an effective range, but can generally shoot at anything they can see. This covers the typically gaming table experience.  (At low tech end this get's modified for infantry systems?)AT the higher end, "Effective range" is anything you can see.
  • Troop quality must be reflected.  It could be some combination of 'morale rating' or even better fire dice (d8 versus, d6, etc.)
  • Command Control must be reflected - and it must reflect the flexibility that high-tech networking brings to the battlefield. That high-tech unit invariably gets thinned out over a greater frontage as command control allows it. 
  • Diverse units must be reflected - anything from ground pounders through ground vehciles to helo's/VSTOL through grav tanks and assault landers.

So....I don't much much, do I. The creative side of me want's to start cobbling rules together and playtest some of these ideas. The slacker in me says "why are you trying to reinvent the wheel?" Just work with something that's already on the market.

What say you? Any interest in such an idea? Should I go dig out my old prototype Command Decision: Striker modifications that I wrote in the 90's (before Striker II hit the market). Or boldly strike out and try to create something new and different?