Sunday, December 9, 2018

Micro Armor Work part 6: Painting Syrian Infantry

It's about time to do a test run of the woodland camo / BDU uniform I'm looking for with these "Syrian" infantry. Let's remember, they are 1/285 and will therefore substitute for other similar armies as well, so it doesn't pay to nit pick! Presently, this is where I am with them:
So how did this come about?

I want a look that will be different from the US new camo, OCP. The below pattern should be discernibly different at a distance, and seems common with Syrian government forces now, and has been used by Iraq and others [probably from US stocks, whether aid or sales].
Syria's General Fahd Jassem al-Freij (C), Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Army and the Armed Forces and Minister of Defense allegedly visiting troops in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. (File)


Another image below - I want the effect of the middle guy with the large brown splotches. i want distinct patterns even if they are similar. But with 6mm or 1/285, I may need to color code the bases, also.




Syrian government army soldiers assist a fellow soldier who was injured in an explosion near Fakhr al-Din al-Maani Citadel


First attempt. Going for something that looks good at about 1-2 feet. So farther away than this. Two on the right have the full test, the rest have the green and the brown / rust.

Bit closer - again the two on the right. I think the black splotches are a bit large.
It has to be remembered that all scaled down painting has to be brighter than the original color. So even if one obtained the exact shade of paint for a ship, tank, whatever, it would still need to be brightened.


That doesn't even go into the lighting conditions of the typical - indoor - wargaming event, which are either poor or mostly white / neon light in large venues like a convention. A very few wargamers have good natural indirect lighting, but they are few and far between.

Bit farther along, below, with the tan splotches. Overall, I'm just using small 3/0 and 5/0 brushes to paint little dots on them. I spread them out a bit, and if the area is a little too dark or bright I hit it accordingly. If a splotch looks too big, the next color is an opportunity to put a spot on the part that's too big. By partially covering previous "dots" of color, you can make it smaller while still progressing with the camo coverage. One should never need to go back and redo a color using this system!
 

This is the whole line of them with the green, brown and buff painted on. Black is next, using the Micron Pen 1.0 but will wait for them to dry overnight.


Below the finish test run for the figures, with the guns painted also. 


To get a better feel, I also painted some brown and sand onto the bases as they'll need to blend in with the basing approach eventually. The dark green spray is a little smooth on the metal, and coverage isn't great, but I got enough on to let me see what the figs will look like. 

They still need the black boots, and a few other touches, but don't consider that to be part of testing the camo! The black is a micron pen - remember to let them dry for a day or so before using the pen, it'll work better.

Overall, very pleased with them.

Paint choices - note how bright the colors are!

At left, Model Master rust and GW Bestial Brown for the brown. Armory Sniper Green and Dun/Buckskin for the green and tan splotches. Polly-S "USSR Topside Green" for the web gear and backpack - sort of a light olive color. The gun metal is GW Boltgun Metal, and the ammo belt is GW Shining Gold.

Below, two Vallejo colors: Orange Brown and Dark Sand look useful for flesh and the bases.

These figures are pretty quick and the effect is cool. I can easily see that it won't be too long to do the whole batch of a 125.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Terminator Genisys Project: 28mm Figure Report p.2 - Humans

Syrian Civil War continues into fall of 2045
Footage reveals Russian endoskeletons and direction of President-for-life Putin's Future Force: expendable, efficient, creepy, and immune to the poisonous gasses they don't use...
Related image

The humans come in four basic bodies on one olive green sprue, as seen in previous post:

Left to right: running man, standing/walking man, kneeling man, leaning woman. NOTE that these could easily be played with as-is or almost as-is, with just a little painted detail. This is intentional and a nice intro for those new to the hobby side of things.

The four poses give quite a bit of variety without modifications, and despite that the arms / shoulders / weapons are interchangeable only within the categories men / woman only. Men have choices of Assault Rifle [AR], Plasma Rifle [PR], PR - pointing [leader type], and all support weapons which include a Rocket Launcher - LAW type - [RL], Grenade Launcher - GW40K type with revolver action - [GL]. Woman has choice of Shotgun or PR.

As these are plastics, modifications are pretty easy, and some head swaps and torso swaps should be no problem for any modeler with a little experience. The easiest ways to do this I believe would be to do some cutting and swapping with my Mongoose Publishing plastic Judge Dredd gangers, or the new Warlord World War Z line. Still, a little creative thought and the WWII plastics could also be useful for retro state militias or national guard types.

The models assemble very easily since there are no small parts - only the shoulder/arms/weapons need to be attached. One quick tip:


  • Trim the mold lines on the humans before assembling them! 

As you can see below, it's not that hard to work with what's on offering. This is four sprues of 4 figures, with a bit of variety in weapons. 

  • 4th row is standing man, 2x AR, one PR, one PR pointing [my Officer],
  • 3rd row is running man, 2x AR, 2x PR,
  • 2nd row is leaning woman, 2x Shotgun, 2x PR,
  • Front row is kneeling man with RL, GL, PR, and PR pointing.
Even in neat little rows, you can see the potential here for variety with little effort.
 

Standing man closeup, 2x AR, one PR, one PR pointing [my Officer], he has an interesting head being bald with pony-tail, beard and comlink. Nice figure!



Kneeling man closeup - RL, GL, PR, and PR pointing [NCO - has sense to stay low!]

I modified the kneeling leader by cutting and repositioning the PR so it isn't wildly swinging in the air [not a Warrior's way of handling a weapon, anyway]. The RL is naturally posed to have the weapon slightly lowered and be looking over the tube - a cool pose, makes it look like he's just spotted a target. I also worked a bit to get the GL pointed up a bit.


Leaning woman closeup, including back view: 2x Shotgun, 2x PR. Smaller physique, body armor, pony tail, make her obviously female but without obnoxious and unrealistic body shape sculpted by men who don't go out much. She's even fully dressed for battle! As a Soldier, I find this a lot more palatable than the silly job on a lot of women warrior minis... and I am by no means an idealogical feminist or something. 
Hey, let's just be realistic and respectful, how about that??

Running man closeup, with back view: 2x AR, 2x PR. Again,  nice head / face, looks like he's shouting - or breathing hard on the run - and the rock under his left foot makes him durable but could be cut off for a bit more drama.


I think these are great modern plastics to add to any near-future or contemporary force [obviously, not wielding the Plasma Rifles as-is!] or a bit farther into the future of sci-fi. At the crazy price of $2.50 U.S. a sprue, you're getting plastic Soldiers at 80 cents a piece. For $10 you'd have enough for a nice skirmish force, as-is.


Next up - prepping and priming the Endos!


Monday, September 17, 2018

Terminator Genisys Project: 28mm Figure Report p.1

Sculpting Wars: the styles of GW v. TG v. Empress v. OG

Terminator Genisys: The Miniatures Game [hereafter referred to as TG] comes with 31 figures: more are easily and inexpensively obtained [for now].

BLUF: both versions of the box set contain 10 posable Endoskeletons and 5 Endo Crawlers in a metallic grey plastic. To fight them are 16 Resistance Soldiers in medium olive green plastic. These have several weapon choices - attached to arms - but are not really posable. The plastic's colors allow you to spend little to no time painting them up - you could just do flesh for the people, black for the weapons, and beady red eyes for the Endos, and you're done. I plan to do more than that, which is part of the fun! A few more interesting facts:
  • Sculptors are Michael Perry and Bob Naismith
  • All but the crawlers have a base sculpted on - it's the right size and I won't redo them.
  • All the figures are Perry plastic 28mm [not Heroic GW], but don't believe me...
Frontloaded Figure Scale Comparison [cause I know you wanted it]

L to R: GW IG Catachan, Terminator Genisys Resistance Soldier then Endoskeleon, Empress Taliban x2, Old Glory medieval, GW Necron Warrior with Gauss Flayer.

Pretty clearly, these are 28mm with realistic proportions that fit into the Perry ethos of plastic sculpts, unsurprising since Michael Perry was involved. These should fit nicely with any comparable range. My own plan is to get some Empress 28mm Rangers to represent my elite Resistance Soldiers [and well, be Rangers, too! Someone has to fight the above Empress Taliban].

Of great interest should be the oversize Catachen and Necron sculpts. They are a bit cartoonish but very easy to see and paint - great table presence! Note that the TG and Empress are much more realistically proportioned than the other two brands, and the Old Glory has the exaggerated head and hands for easy painting and popping appearance. All a matter of taste!

ENDOSKELETONS
Easy Assembly. The parts snap or flex together without glue [altho the arms will fall off when handling if not glued]. Endo upper bodies rotate on the spine for easy posing.

Each sprue has 3 figs, 2 Endos and 1 crawler. The Endos have two lower body types [left foot forward or right foot forward], one trunk type, two arm / plasma gun types [left hand forward or right hand forward. Endoskeletons are ambidextrous, of course!]. This makes for a wide variety of poses that far exceeds one expectations.


Each Resistance Soldier Sprue has four figs: 3 Men - running, standing and kneeling, 1 Woman - braced to shoot.

Weapon guide for Resistance Soldier sprue


RESISTANCE SOLDIERS
Easy assembly - bodies are one piece, only the arms need to be attached. This allows for five choices of weaponry, but the arms tend to fall off when handled, so plan to glue them anyway. As the plasma and assault rifles are pretty similar looking and are the basic weapons, it's not a big deal. Should be noted that the female Soldier only has two choices - shotgun or plasma rifle b/c her proportions are smaller. I'm just grateful she isn't some half-naked Amazonian she-warrior wearing high heels and tottering off-balance from her cleavage!

Working with the figures
The Endoskeletons are very easy to work with and are posable - the torso rotates 360 around the circular spine and the arms/weapon swing quite far up and down. The two leg sets give a surprising amount of variety. They assembled rapidly:

and are durable enough to be bent and shaped [I glue to reinforce if bending, usually the head which does not rotate and is molded to the trunk]

The only mold line I filed was on the base edge [it would be visible after flocking]:


Five of leg pose 1: I rotated torsos in relation to the feet and have one firing down into the foxhole of a cowering human [#1], and two firing up into your bedroom window [#2 & 5]!

Five of leg pose 2.


Endoskeleton Verdict: 9/10 for sculpting details, ease of labor, details, character [inasmuchas mindless killer 'bots can have character!] and PRICE PRICE PRICE! At $1.50 for 2 standing and 1 crawler, the price just can't be beat!

Get a bunch of these sprues if you've any interest in 28mm historical scale killer bots for Terminator, Heresy Warhammer 40K Necrons, Weird War 2, whatever. Maybe your Walking Dead characters would like a break from killing zombies? Perhaps insane Nazi scientists survive to 2029 in Brazil to wreak havoc on coffee exports? Only your imagination is the limit!

Next up: assembling the Humans, priming, cleaning, etc.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Terminator Genisys Project: 28mm sci-fi

With lead figs, they make their own Fate...the little boogers! No fate but whatever http://terminator.wikia.com/wiki/There%27s_no_fate_but_what_we_make_for_ourselves.


Thought I was done with 28mm but their Fate was "not what I would Make." groan...

Terminator Genisys reminded me that 28mm is a good scale for skirmish battles, or larger battles on larger tables [the classic 6x4' and bigger]. I could also do multi-player battles with the same big-battle system I use for my One-Hour Wargames scenarios, which is basically to "lane" players against each other until they've completely defeated their opponent and are then able to help their neighbor. 

Best of all, this game with 10-20 pieces per player is certainly a "one-hour wargame" and easily fits into a busy life. Also, skirmish always has a stronger narrative context than farther up into the Unit level. TG can easily be used as a fun sci-fi game, switching effortlessly to zombies or whatever, or be used from WWI to contemporary warfare. The TG world doesn't always make for a perfect movie, but it has lots of appealing qualities for gaming.

While I was tempted to try GW's new "Kill Team" rules, the Terminator Genisys rules are very solid and have me shelving that idea for now. The Kill Team rules appear to offer a lot more detailed development of individual "characters" / figures to get it to almost role-playing, but working with TG is more than enough for now.

TG also has me revisiting my decision to rid myself of all 28mm sci-fi and switch to 15mm. Interestingly, 15mm sci-fi figs are often nearly as expensive in the market place as 28mm sci-fi. And sometimes the 28mm are cheaper, especially the plastics. For example, the Endo and Resistance sprues are $1.50 each, coming to 75 cents for an Endo and half that for a Resistance Soldier! As plastics, they are easy to work with to modify, also, and that is fun, too. Finally, 15mm as a "project" isn't cheaper b/c it will need vehicles and more figures, which puts it into a higher price point than buying 20-30 15mm figs and using them for a skirmish game.

So, to summarize:
  1. TG is a great set of skirmish rules for any modern / firepower period.
  2. Play is clean and quick, definitely a 1-Hour Wargame!
  3. Skirmish forces paint up quickly.
  4. Skirmish gaming has a strong narrative side to it that makes for great campaigns.
  5. 15mm sci-fi isn't really any cheaper than 28mm sci-fi unless you really just play small skirmish games out - but then they're hard to see! 
With all these pluses, I went ahead and ordered a few more TG items, mostly b/c I want to game some of the characters from the films. I haven't even seen all the films and TV series, but some of the images are pretty laughable - one actress looks like she should be holding a teddy bear, not a plasma rifle, and the thought of her telling Kyle Reese "Come with me if you want to live!" is enough to have me spit my coffee. Anyway, aiming to rectify this thru my local library system which does have Salvation, Genisys and the Sarah Connor Chronicles season 1.

To me the first couple of films are the classics, especially "The Terminator" which is still an amazing film to watch. So after checking around on the internet, I broke down and bought some of the pricier figs that look like the film characters:
  • Terminator 1984: Pops [with damaged face firing shotgun], Sarah, Kyle, T-1000 [in LA Cop guise], and 3 Cops w' revolver, shotgun and assault rifle respectively.
  • 1984 Sarah and Guardian: pops with shotgun, Sarah with unidentified long weapon.
  • Guardian on Bike: Pops on a Harley w'shotgun.
  • 10 sprues ea of Endos and Resistance Soldiers [too cheap to resist!] for a total of 20 more Endos and 40 more Resistance Soldiers.
This will give me plenty of fodder for both narrative and other scenarios. With the upcoming Terminator games being released by River Horse, I'll end up with a number of 28mm figures including some classic ones like the infiltrator model from "The Terminator" flashback sequence, a pile of hunter-killer droids, John Connor and his Lieutenants, and more.

Meanwhile, I'm also reading about the modern wars in the 'Stan and Iraq, and have some thoughts about that, also. Something about going "real" that makes one think different about a game design, or a game mechanic, for that matter. That alone is interesting and worth another post!

Overall, this is developing into a set of rules I can live with in lots of ways.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Modern Skirmish: Terminator Genisys, Batrep #2

I AM BACK.


https://thepropstop.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/the-terminator-a-rare-opportunity-taken-to-acquire-stuff-that-everybody-missed/


Couldn't stay away from this game for long. Dying to try out the command rules and some alternative weapon schemes. Been having lots of thoughts on small rule mods that will make this mechanically solid modern skirmish set perfect for other periods and genres. However, it still took several days longer to get this post up than I thought!


This go around, which is the second post, but the eighth time or so I've played, things are a little different; I'm still following the basic rulebook and following the designers intent. This is one of my rules, that before I mess around with a system I really try and understand how it works. One of the most common errors I see in the wargaming community is people who mess with rules they don't understand, often to fit their notions of what is "real" when they don't know much about that either - and I don't want to do that:

MARK IT ZERO, DUDE.
http://www.bostonbikepolo.us/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Rules_zpsbee3ab8e.jpg

Anyway, the forces are a little more complex than before as I play Scenario 2 "Hold Your Ground" at half size. Humans have eight Resistance Soldiers; one is a CPL with a Command [1] special rule, one has a Rocket Launcher. Endos are the same but there's 5 of them, for almost 2-1 odds in favor of the Resistance. It should be noted that the point lists in the main rules give just over a 2-1 advantage to Resistance Soldiers [w'Plasma Rifles] v. Endos, at 20 to 45 pts respectively.

Should also be noted that the Command [1] ability allows the CPL to remove one additional Done Marker from a friend at the end of the turn - however, this didn't come up as the Humans were usually dead, not "Done" or the CPL was out of Command Control Range [the Walk Template, or 5"]. 
So, playtests of this bigger game were great fun, BUT:

  1. Forgot that Targets at Long Range always get a Cover Save - even if not in cover. This represents "micro-terrain", or terrain that is only visible to you when you're in it - especially helpful for infantry. Oddly, I forgot this rule despite the fact that I designed it for myself in my own spin on the Wargaming: An Introduction skirmish rules!
  2. Missed that Endos have a Resolution dice of d20, not d8 - must read the QRS better!
  3. Keep forgetting to do Resolution Tests for Resistance Soldiers for some reason! Probably because they are usually dead.
Since I messed up on three key rules, I'm decided to re-do this, focusing especially on the decisions the mechanics present to the player. This contributed to my delay in posting.

Tactics - mutually opposed: stay back with the Endos, close in with the Humans! The game mat provides an Endo retreat limit; we assume Skynet demands the Endos hold the Human patrol at bay to protect a key network node off the table map North.


Game Start. I rolled off then alternated setting up each figure, starting with the Humans. Decisions: keep Resistance together at center - they could then shift left / right to cut off and overwhelm stray Endos. The Endos spread out to keep the Humans under continuous long-range fire. where the chance to hit is .375 to .17, more than double in Endos favor; BUT this is mostly cancelled due to the fact that 50% of all Hits are lost to the Human cover save while Endos are "Mindless" and never receive cover. So the tactic is to walk Endos to unobstructed fire angles at Close Range [11", same as Run Template] where there's not only no Cover Save, but your misses auto-Hit any additional Targets under your template.


Resistance Soldiers had one Plasma Rifle, the Rocket Launcher and a Corporal [CPL] with Command [1] left at the end - they outnumbered the Endos. I put the Plasma Rifle [PR] to the right, but the CPL and Rocket Launcher [RL]...I'm not sure. Choice? hide them for survival's sake or expose them hoping to get the first shot? It's a 50-50, basically.




After getting them whacked quickly the last game, Decision is to try out the second row, behind the first line of guys, using them as meat shields...statistically this works at Long Range but isn't a good idea within Short Range as a miss on a guy in front results in an auto-hit on the guy behind [It does reduce any inclination to bunch up, but it seems a bit to much to give an auto-hit. Still...].

Turn 1. Impulse 1/1. Skynet rolls FATE. Of course.



Impulse 1/2. Resistance rolls a '2', Activates the RL and CPL who uses his Command [1] to Activate an additional Soldier. Decision Choice is to either hold the CPL's Command [1] for later or use it right away. As survival is difficult in this environment, I'm "using it before I lose it". As they can't quite reach the Barrier, and the Endos to left will get a counter-move this turn [and possibly act first next turn], I decide to advance aggressively but out of LoS. Decision is to use them aggressively next turn by moving them into the Dense Terrain and be able to see / shoot out with a Cover Save. This can be countered, but I'm still thinking "closer is better" for Humans.



Impulse 1/3. Skynet is grateful to roll a '1', so moves aggressively from the right out of LoS also. My tactics tend to mirror each other, I'm realizing.



Impulse 1/4. Humans roll FATE. Oh well...better at the beginning of the game.



Impulse 1/5. Skynet continues the advance from the right.



Impulse 1/6. Endos run up on Left  and center - hoping to get the jump on the Humans and shoot down their line of figs on the open [at Close Range] next turn. I'm starting to realize that moving first in a firepower game may not be an advantage.  Impulse 1/7. Resistance keeps moving up to cover's edge [note they can't enter the Dense Terrain as they've moved too far - only a Walk is permitted if moving into or out of Dense Terrain].



Impulse 1/8. Endos move up the last Endo to left - this was a good Decision by Skynet. Resistance no longer has to dice, they mark remaining 3 figs "Green!" and Activate.

Armed with a "counter-move", I run all three to right - Decision was between running them all LEFT to get overwhelming force on the two Endos there, BUT they were already flanking the cover. On the RIGHT, I'd be fighting two Endo's from cover. So the Decision to aggressively run the left Endos paid off, flanking the five Soldier's Cover, pushing the overwhelming human numbers to right and spreading them out more.


Turn 2. Forgot to pick up the red "done" markers, but...Endos win Tactical Roll-off.  I'm now cheerfully looking forward to blasting the Soldiers on the right, or even better, the line of Soldiers including the RL and CPL on the left - either is a good DecisionUnfortunately, as Impulse 1 begins, they roll ANOTHER FATE! But will the Resistance do the same??


Impulse 2/2. No! Resistance rolls a '2'! With the vulnerability of a LINE of 5 Soldiers, including the RL and CPL, the Decision must be to Activate on the left before the Soldiers on the right. As both groups are vulnerable to Skynet Activations, it can only be concluded that I wasn't thinking properly about formations as I moved. Even the Endos are too linear in their grouping. Must keep this in mind!



Impulse 2/2. The end Plasma Rifle and the CPL Activate - the CPL Activates the RL with his Command [1]. The PR gets a Hit but Endo rolls '7' passing Resolution test. The CPL just plain misses, despite having lined up two Endos in the open - some example he's setting.

Below, the RL hits with HE [needs the 5] but doesn't destroy either [needs 8+ on a D10 but rolls 1 & 4]. I jack up the Resolution rolls - they are supposed to be a d20 for Endos, down a level to d12 b/c of the "Heavy Weapon" rule [RL is Power d10]. I forget and roll d8s...

...then change to d20s and both pass [the average with d12s would be that one fails - almost]. Might make a difference as to who wins, but not with this post as a play example!


Impulse 2/3. Endos roll a '1', Activate nearest Endo who advances and gets two Hits on the RL, defeats his armor with first roll, an '8' [needs 4+] - DEAD! Should've been in Cover...Note - if the Endo had missed with one or both shots, it'd have auto-Hit the guys lined up behind the RL, out of cover [dice if more than one]. "Don't bunch up!"

Impulse 2/4. Resistance rolls a '2', Activates two Soldiers on the right, hoping to destroy or at least Reel one Endo. First joker misses, second gets two Hits, no Destroy, AND no Reeling - drat! They'll probably be killed and serves'em right!

Impulse 2/5. Endos Activate one, Close Combat Soldiers in front, get Hit [no Cover save at CC Range] but totally fail the Power roll with a d10! This soldier's too tough! Soldier passes Resolution Test [6+] with a 7 on d8, and why not? Endo just failed to pound him to a pulp!

Impulse 2/6. Resistance Activates one, he moves into Cover and misses both shots.

Impulse 2/7. One Endo Activates, advances, guns down last Soldier in the open.

Impulse 2/8. Last two Endos Activate. One on right misses both shots. One in center moves left and guns for CPL. It Hits twice...
...CPL fails both Cover Saves, and both Power dice kill him - messy death.

Impulse 2/9. Last Soldier on right Activates, and Reels right-most Endo - great, but with no Soldier left to exploit it, it'll lose one Done and its next turn, but not be "HLVB!". 
End of Turn 2, Resistance has lost the CPL, RL and a Soldier. Endos have lost nothing, but they do have one Endo who'll lose a turn with three Resistance Soldier's nearby, so...

Turn 3, Impulse 3/1. Resistance wins the TRo - a good start. Soldier on right Activates, closes in and Hasta La Vista, Baby! to the Reeling Endo, BUT this is actually a mistake, as a fig with one Done marker is no longer Reeling - 2+ Done Markers is reeling. Oops.
Would've been smarter to try and Reel the other Endo first - this would allow me to make two attacks with the Plasma Rifle instead of one CC attack. 
Impulse 3/1 continues. Other Soldier Activates, gets two Hits, no Destroy and Endo passes both Resolution Tests. They absolutely, positively will not stop until you are DEAD!

Impulse 3/2. Endos get 1. With situation on the left seeming stable, the Decision is to Activate the remaining Endo on the right, looking to reduce its vulnerability by killing / reeling a Soldier that hasn't Activated. Endo shoots, two Hits, one Cover Save, one Power roll defeats Armor...DEAD Soldier. With the other two Activated, no threats remain over here - this Turn, anyway. Outnumbered 2-1 close up, this Endo should pull back, really.

Impulse 3/3. Resistance rolls '1', Decision is to pull right, where there's few Endos and try to knock out a couple more. Ergo, Soldier move out of LoS to the far side of the Dense Terrain, then shoot an Endo. Soldier gets zero hits, needing 4+. *sigh*

Impulse 3/4. Endos roll '2'. They shift both the left Endos right, getting a Hit each. One is saved by Cover, the other isn't but fails to Damage and Resolution Roll was a '7' - passed!

Impulse 3/5. Resistance rolls '1' and the lone Soldier pulls right, takes a snap-shot at the center Endo and gets a Hit. He then rolls an '8' defeating its Armor and terminates it!

End of Turn 3. Three Endos v. four Soldiers - the Resistance needs to get smart! Decision for them is to keep pulling to the right - destroying the center Endo gives them an opportunity to go around the Dense Terrain and pile drive the remaining Endo to right 4-1.


BUT Endos win the TRo and in Impulse 4/1 Activate the right Endo. Decision is to pull it left out of Point Blank Range of the Soldier behind the Barrier, then shoot the Soldier in the Open at Point Blank Range. Taking him out would leave the odds - for the Turn - at 3-1...
...and it does, rolling one Hit and a defeating his Armor with a 6 [only needed a 4+].


Impulse 4/2. Resistance rolls a '2', Activates a Soldier who Hits but fails to Damage and the Endo passes its Resolution Test with an '8'....
In the Center, I lose sight of my goal of taking on the one Endo to right and Activate down, Reeling one Endo [note that if it had been the right Endo, I'd be in a position to HLVB! it].

Impulse 4/2. Endos roll '1', Activate an Endo who gets two Hits, one Cover Saved, put easily defeats the Soldier's Armor with an '8' needing just a 4+. Take that, Human!

Impulse 4/3. Resistance gets a '1', moves Soldier just into Close Combat Range and its Hasta La Vista, Baby! for it! as the Soldier rolls a '6' to Hit and a '17' to Damage [needing 8+ to defeat the hyper-alloy combat chassis of the Endo]. Take that, Skeletor!

Impulse 4/4, the downed Endo that wasn't HLVB! uses the "I'll be Back" rule and rolls a '6' [needing a 5+] to come back as a Crawler. I accordingly crawls at the nearest Soldier.

End of Turn 4. The Humans are 1-1 with the Endos, and spread out. Due to personal time constraints, I start rolling for end of game a turn early, needing a 4+ on a d4. I get it.
Still very close, but I think the Endos have the edge, with 1-1 odds, and the Soldier who HLVB! the Endo to bottom is out in the open, with no cover, so if they don't win the Tactical Roll-off, he's almost certainly dead. 

Tactics. It is very important for the Resistance to set themselves up to HLVB! Endos by working in teams to Reel the Endo then close in to destroy it. Spreading out is certainly doom for the humans. This will be a serious problem when the Endos have Area effect weapons, as they will in the future.

SUMMARYI like this game a lot. As it is both well-written and tightly written, it neither forces you to spend time looking up vague rules nor tempts you to figure out how you can manipulate the game mechanics for your advantage. It is a medium complexity game, and it takes several play-thrus to remember each step, OR one can carefully follow along the well-organized QRS...but why would we do that??

This is a TRUE skirmish game in that you are very involved in making "in the moment" decisions for your side, mostly having to do with which figs to Activate and what to do with them. Also, where figures are in the pauses between Impulses matters - I've been using formations that are way too linear, and I need to spread figs out more.

The single most important factor for deciding Activations for me is "which figs have a chance to Reel an enemy fig that hasn't yet had a chance to act?" because pre-empting a figs chance to act can make a difference. This is a bit "gamey" in the sense that it doesn't replicate how we think in small unit actions. In fact, it is MORE likely that an active Soldier  will attract enemy fire than one which is laying low, whether busy or suppressed. 

The classic challenge of Quantity over Quality is in these forces. Usually the Humans get to move a few pieces last, sort of a "counter-move". However, altho they act last, if they are left vulnerable they've a 50% chance of being caught out as the Endos win the TRo and Activate first [assuming they don't blow their FATE roll].


Meat Shields...use'em for important models, BUT:
  • friendly figs block friendly LoS and act as Cover, 
  • are auto-Hit when firer has multiple Targets in his Template within Close Range.
Should be noted that the Command [1] ability allows the CPL to remove one additional Done Marker from a friend at the end of the turn - however, this didn't come up as the Humans were usually dead, not "Reeling"!

Forgot to roll some Resolutions tests for the Humans, which they'd likely fail. I like the Resolution Test [morale test] since it is easy to remember and one can play with the dice up or down to reflect Soldier quality. 

Hope these detailed batreps are of use to both players and those who contemplate purchasing the game, which is now on sale. It has SOOOOO much potential as a solid, generic modern set of rules, that it's really a no-brainer to buy it, discounted or not. In any event, let me know if I've missed or overlooked something, and I'll correct it. Thanks!

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CHANGES? Few if any needed to play the game according to its design purposes. A few that have to do with making it a bit more "realistic" do come to mind, however, and I'll be tracking them here for want of anywhere else. I'm not saying these should be done, just that they're some thoughts as I contemplate modern "reality" more than a movie genre.
  • more advantage for not moving and shooting? There is some w an advanced rule.
    • reverse could be true - penalty for Moving and Shooting?
  • no fast move for Exos - doesn't seem in character for them to move fast. It also usually isn't a help, since moving closer is a disadvantage for them.
  • Cover save for Exos when Cover obstructs shot? Can be argued either way, e.g. that they're so oblivious to Cover that a Human can always get a clear shot, OR that sometimes you accidentally find yourself "Covered" despite your stupidity.
  • 2 Close Combat attacks for Exos seems more in character for the movies. If their hyper-alloy combat chassis can take most firepower damage, then it should be more dangerous up close than just a bigger dice. OTOH, they have a gun in one hand...
  • Tie TRo? Could be my much-loved "Tactical Pause" rule: All pieces lose one Done Marker, no other Actions allowed [except unstoppable things from off-board like Air and Artillery attacks], then the Turn ends.
  • Weapons. As is often the case with this type of rule set, there's lots of weapon load-outs available - especially the Resistance in this case. Some of these don't appear to be quite cross-referenced or balanced in the point lists. Not a big deal.
  • Remove the auto-hit for penetrating shots on the same template?
  • Enhanced Save for figs that are Reeling? But they should also have no LoS?
I will hold off on any changes for now, after all, just getting started after all and trying to remember basic game mechanics!

Meanwhile, thinking of movie genres makes me think of Arnold [even tho the T-1000 was an amazing Terminator, too]. So here's a link about the 25 worst ways for Ah-nold to kill you:
http://www.vulture.com/2015/07/25-worst-ways-killed-arnold-schwarzenegger/slideshow/25/