Sunday 26 December 2021

Deadzone: 30 Year Gift

30 odd years ago when we first dabbled in sci-fi we must have travelled to a Games Workshop and bought some models. When I returned to wargaming a few years back Mr T gifted me a box of GW Squats from 1989. Now that I've drawn him deep enough back into playing that he's even enjoying sci-fi it seemed appropriate to gift those models back with enough extras to make up a Strike Team for Deadzone.

Fortunately Deadzone has a space Dwarf faction called the Forge Fathers. These are a race of tough little fighters who are happy to mix up in ranged or close combat. They generally have high armour and good saves of 4+. The downside to the good survivability and widely available AP is that they tend to be an elite faction so you won't be swarming the board with models.

The Forge Guard are the elite of the elite with Armour 2 as standard and AP weapons on every model. With 4+ for every stat they can fight as well as they shoot and are going to be hard to kill. You won't get many in a 200 point list but they will never let you down.

Steel Warrior's are the middle ground FF option, decent armour, a good save & shoot and effective in melee. Again they aren't cheap but they can be relied on to hang around and lay down the hurt.

The Militia are made up of some of the old GW models which I think work really well with the Mantic models, they certainly scale very well. Cheap (for Dwarfs) and sporting a 4+ save, they won't set the world alight but they will be very solid.

The Brokkr are the sci-fi berserkers of the Forge Father faction and again use some of the old GW models. These chaps love to get stuck in to melee but also bring some technical know-how to the strike team.

Which means they can un-lock a bomb-bot to use. At 6 points this is the cheapest troop choice in the list and it's death gives no victory points away. It is a once use only model as it's BOOM! rule sees it blow up either on command or when it reaches zero HP. The model is made up of some Anvil Industries bits and shows that the FF's are happy to use the young of their enemies against them. The rat has been trained to guide itself back into enemy ranks before it explodes.

The Iron Ancestor is the toughest walker in the game with Armour 4 and 5 hit points it can take an incredible amount of punishment. That (as with many FF's) means it isn't a cheap option to field with the most expensive version coming in at 57 points with the smoke launchers, best not to lose that early on in a game!

This was a fun project to paint up and it was really nice to be able to give something to Mr T that has some history behind it.

Merry Christmas, ho, ho, ho.

Sunday 19 December 2021

Napoleonic's: British Centre Companies

After a few weeks of concerted effort I've managed to paint up 32 British centre company infantry to complete the infantry options for the Anglo-Spanish force. I've now just got the foot officers and mounted troops to go.

I'd not been looking forward to painting these up but once I got into a rhythm they flowed off the painting table pretty quickly. I would claim them to be my best ever work but they are completed and look reasonable in a group so job done. 

In terms of game stats the British 'normal' line infantryman is slightly better at shooting than his French counter-part (5+ rather than 6+) but otherwise they are the same. The rules do include some national characteristics which are performed via commands from officers, so these emphasise the differences in military thinking between the nations.

Once I've complete the British foot officers then I will be looking to get the troops onto the table to try out the rules. With Christmas looming then that may be the perfect time to try them out and see how they play.

Saturday 11 December 2021

Deadzone: Raising the Base

When I first started looking into playing Deadzone it was obvious that the terrain that makes up the playing board acts as a third player in the battles, such is it's importance. I also was caught by a video I watched on Andy 2D6's channel in which he had a pre-built board with trenches below the ground level of the map. That looked like an excellent idea but as it was a fixed battle board it also lacked the flexibility I look for in my terrain, I presume it also took up a fair bit of storage space.
The idea stayed with me and I thought about a way to give the same upgrade in interest to my board but with greater flexibility. With the announcement of Deadzone v3 I decided this was the spur I needed to bring the dream to reality. 

Having used Warbases before for a custom job I sent them an email with my initial design and asked them if it could be made up in MDF. The initial design had a series of grooves around the edge of each piece and to mark out the 3 inch squares to help the buildings sit in place but as these could not be cut we eventually agreed on a more simple design and after a few delays due to Covid I received the kits last week. 

After gluing them together I put a mix of Polyfilla & paint around the edge, I'd designed in an overhang to allow for a textured wall and the ability for the pieces to still align up next to each other. I then set about the pieces with some craft paints to add some colour. I will probably come back to them once we hit spring and the weather is warmer so I can work outside with spray paints.

In order to give the required flexibility in use I had four sets of pieces made each consisting of four pieces in the sizes 9" * 9", 6" * 6", 3" * 6", & 3" * 3". This is enough when all used together to completely cover a standard 24" square Deadzone mat. Well it would be if Deadzone used 3" squares, in fact it uses 7.5cm squares. But my custom mat I had made uses 3" squares so these fit perfectly on that mat and the slightly large area of the pieces allows the Deadzone buildings to sit securely on them.

On a standard board size you could easily create some trenches by removing a few of the small pieces and leaving the rest in situ.

You could also pile them up to make the basis for boards with extra height, much higher than you would normally put the buildings together to achieve.

Overall I'm really happy with these, they do exactly what I'd wanted which is to give a flexible way to add some interest to the Deadzone battlefield and they should help spice up my games for many many years to come.

In fact these have worked so well I've been laying down ideas for a Stalingrad battle board based on this design but with extra slots which would allow buildings to be attached direct onto the base pieces. I think this would be easier & cheaper to do if I owned a laser cutter so certainly not something I will be doing anytime soon.

Thursday 2 December 2021

Napoleonic's: Spanish Guerrilla Part 2

 This week we have another eight Spaniards ready to join the cause against the occupying French.

Again these are from Perry Miniatures and as before I've decked them out in an array of colourful clothes. I don't think these chaps will be very good at hiding behind bushes.

This brings their numbers up to sixteen with just the leader left to paint up, I will do him along with the other officers after I've completed the centre company men.

Saturday 27 November 2021

Napoleonic's: Spanish Guerrilla

Adding to my growing Peninsular campaign forces this week are some Spanish Guerrilla's. As with the other models these are from the Perry range but this time in metal.
Being irregular troops I've gone for a mixed approach on their clothes with no effort made to make them uniform, this has been a nice release after the previous British uniforms and hopefully will help cleanse my painting spirits before I start on the British centre companies foot.

I've got eight more Guerrilla's and an officer to paint up so in theory could form 4 units of them but it seems more likely they will be fielded in units of 8.

Strictly speaking the British shouldn't be able to field this unit in Shakos & Bayonets but as it's a skirmish game it feels appropriate that the British would be working with local Spanish Guerrilla's. It also gives the British an extra troop type (Irregular) that they can then gain activation cards for which should help balance out the foot Dragoons on the French side.

As you'd expect unit starts off as a pretty basic skirmishing style unit but you can buff them up to be decent troops at an extra 12 points a unit, another good reason to take larger units.

As I plan to do all the leaders at the end before I start on the cavalry I have another eight of these chaps to paint and then onto the British centre company infantry.

Saturday 20 November 2021

Napoleonic's: British Light Infantry

I completed some more British Napoleonic's this week with the British Light infantry being added to the force. With the way the Perry box is made up I only had enough of the flank company arms to make up eight of these but with the twelve Riflemen that should give plenty of British skirmishers.

As with the Grenadiers I've given them the yellow facings of the 28th North Glos Regiment and the green plumes of the light company. 

The rules allow you to field the light infantry in one of two ways, either as the flank company of a line regiment or as the men of a specialist light infantry regiment.

Using them as a flank company gives you the option of fielding in units up to 12 (well it would if I had enough models) and a better Defence stat for when they get into melee. The specialist light regiment option means you can gain the sharpshooters trait which allows you to re-roll some missed shots whilst coming in units of 4 - 8. It's worth noting that the flank company version activate on a Line Infantry card whilst the specialists activate on a Light Infantry card.

With these completed I've now started on the Spanish Guerrillas to ally into the British force, these are from the Perry metal range and sport a variety of clothes which should make from a nice change from the British uniforms. 

Saturday 13 November 2021

Napoleonic's: British Riflemen

 Having completed the grenadiers I have moved onto some light troops for my British force, namele riflemen. Drawing again from the Battle of Albuera I have painted these chaps as members of the 5th Battalion 60th Royal American Regiment. Armed with Baker rifles they served in the Peninsular campaign and despite the name mostly came from German States. 

They had the same green uniform as the more famous 95th but with red facings which make them a little more interesting on the eye. You get four of these per box of Perry British Line so I've ended up with twelve altogether. This I think should be more than enough.

Looking at the rules we can see they are available in units of 4 - 8 models and are better at shooting than fighting. The special rules mean they can spend an action to Aim which gives them an extra +2 to hit (on top of the base +1 for rifles), however the rifles take 2 actions to reload rather than the normal 1 so the benefit of an accurate shot must be weighed against the slow rate of fire.

Here's a couple of shots of the Grenadiers for the 28th, I've included a back of the head shot to show the extra badge I painted on to represent the custom of wearing a second badge.

Next up are a few Light company men and then some Spanish Guerrilla's.