Sunday, January 14, 2018

Tell Skynet We're Coming!.. played a large Terminator battle

I sat down with my friend Jim today to finally try out Terminator Genisys: The Miniatures game by River Horse Games.

The Genisys movie was crap unfortunately, and I hear James Cameron is making a sequel to T2 that will ignore all the other crappy Terminator movies since then.

Regardless of the game's unfortunate Genisys name, the miniature game has all the stats that you saw in the first Terminator movie as well as T2, so it sounded promising and I got it awhile back,. It was designed by the famous Alessio Cavatore, who is well known for Warhammer 40K, Kings of War, Mordheim, Bolt Action, name it.

I must have bought it from Warlord's website, as I have the rule book autographed by Cavatore, which is a nice touch.

The game rules seem to be an easy but fun post-apocalypse skirmish game. The official plastic minis though, are crap, and I refused to paint them and chose instead to paint 20 of Copplestone's Castings robots to do the Skynet Endoskeletons, as discussed here.

However, I did like the crawlers that come with the game, and kept them on hand as they may be needed as when a Skynet Endoskeleton takes damage, it may still become a crawler, per the rules.

It was a roughly 900 point battle, with the forces of Skynet having a 5% lead in points over the Human infestati ... the Human Rebels. It was the best I could do as I didn't have too many modern troopers painted up for Jim who was to play the Rebels. I had to substitute troops with wasteland scavengers using my biker minis and armed vehicles.

I had to forego using the T-1000 I converted with greenstuff and a spear bit and painted up just yesterday, as it was over 200 points and could not offset anything more on Jim's side with minis to balance the battle. 

Jim has Rebel troopers in grey that carry plasma rifles, as well as troopers in green that carry assault rifles.  In addition, there was an NCO, a Captain and a soldier with a rocket launcher.

He also has wasteland scavengers represented by my biker minis as I said as well as 2 reprogrammed T-800s, in the same vein as you saw in the TV show Terminator: The Sarah Connor chronicles, which I surprisingly liked.


Lastly, Jim got pre-Judgement Day wheels armed with plasma guns and an HMG. I spent the last day or so creating them by the way from kid's die cast car toys.

I had 11 of my 20 Endoskeletons, an HK gunship that I assembled and painted up (as discussed here)....

and a die cast Cinemachine HK Tank that I bought..

Shortly before Jim arrived, I assembled the 6' x 4' battlefield..

The scenario was one of simple annihilation just so we can get a feel for the rules.. There are lots of scenarios in the rule book though, and some of them look interesting (free the prisoners, infiltration, etc).

In our scenario, the only additional scenario rule was that 1 vehicle only can be brought on the battlefield for that turn.

We started off 6 inches from each our of respective sides and tally-ho'd forward.

On my left flank, Jim brought up a car and infantry along side the "road", while I brought up my HK Tank and Aerial Gunship.

I easily destroyed the car..

but I was worried about Jim's infantry near my tank with sticky bombs

so I retreated my tank to allow my infantry to support me and clear those Humans out first.

Some infantry Endoskeletons thus on my left flank ran to catch up..

On my right flank, Jim was moving his heavily armed trucks toward me, and I hastily moved my aerial HK to the right to counter-act it, while my infantry on my right were coming up.

Just as some of my infantry were near the enemy about to engage in hand to hand, Jim's trucks tried to run some of my Endoskeletons over on my right..

My aerial HK however was such a nuisance to Jim that I was dancing all over the sky wreaking havoc on him.. Jim fired everything he got but missed something like a dozen rolls to hit my flying HK, even when my aerial HK was caught in between his two trucks armed with heavy plasma guns and HMGs.

Eventually, my HK gunship went down..

but it was unbelievable how much bad luck Jim was having trying to shoot it down, moving his trucks here and there to stay in arc, using his trooper with the rocket launcher, etc.  Nada.. it was still standing after many turns, while my double heavy plasma guns shot down quite a bit of the Rebel Humans and vehicles. Going down after using up a lot of the enemy resources, the HK Gunship did more than it's fair share.

It was here that Jim and I realized how much in-theme this game is.. the Human Endoskeleton troops were mindless and did not take cover saves to dodge any damage, but they were so heavily armoured, that Jim's soldiers armed with shotguns and assault rifles were rarely slowing them down. The most that those guys could do was to try and trigger a failed resolution test on the Endoskeletons to cause them to lose a move,or at best leave the battlefield, but that was few and far between as the Endos had a very very high resolution stat that saved them time and time again.

It is hard to criticize this fact as that is exactly what it's like in the movies.. the Endoskeletons at best were slowed down by regular gunfire in the movies, and this game recreates that.. On the other hand, as a player playing the Humans, you might find this a tough slog every time you play.

We did realize a tactic though, was that if you can double pin them down (have 2 red "Done" markers on them), then it would be relatively easy to administer the coup de grace on them even with pop-gun regular assault rifles and shotguns using something in the game rules called "Hasta la vista" action.

With Jim throwing all his big guns on my aerial HK (and missing all the time), my Endoskeletons on the right flank closed to Hand-to-Hand combat range, where the Humans were poorly mismatched against them, I applied lots of pressure.  However, I was unnecessarily delayed in my hand-to-hand at one point as a lone Human was holding up my advance on my left flank for about 2 turns, causing a Dice Hall of Shame moment.

Eventually, I pushed them back  and hand to hand melee fighting broke out inside the rubble on the right flank, with one of my Endoskeletons meeting his erstwhile reprogrammed brother Terminator fighting for the Humans. It was more of an even fistfight between the two.

However, against the other humans in the rubble, they were really no match for melee and I eventually broke through on the right flank and behind him, even after I finally had my HK shotdown. I got into Jim's rear right flank and started to head left to support my tank which was getting into trouble.

On my left flank, there was quite a bit of drama, as first Jim tried several throw a sticky-bomb suicide attacks to slow down my HK Tank.. He managed to not destroy it however despite several attempts, but stall it twice with 2 red "Done" markers. Unfortunately, he didn't have enough guys afterward to finish off my tank with the Hasta La Vista action, though he did take some of my infantry in the explosion.

Realizing that I was breaking through on my right flank regardless, Jim sent his reprogrammed cyborgs and the trooper with the rocket launcher from my right flank to the left to destroy the tank. Luckily for me, after surviving some sticky bomb attacks, those attacks too missed me several times as well.... I was forced to back up my HK tank to use my guns in arc at first as I felt my tank was very vulnerable to attacks from all sides...

While my tank backed up, there was some cyborg-to-cyborg and eventual cyborg-to-crawler hand-to-hand combat with both sides not being able for two turns to finish off the other.. which again, is like in the movies and TV show as you see extended scenes of cyborgs fighting and not destroying each other..

I even tried to run over the enemy cyborg with my HK tank but failed. 

Eventually, with my Endoskeletons from my right flank shifting leftward, even Jim's last remaining Cyborg, which he jokingly dubbed Woody, went down and he was finished.

We found the scenario very enjoyable and the game points seems balanced. It was close at the end after I lost my HK gunship and came very very close to losing my tank. If Jim's luck held just a bit, it would have been down to his 2 cyborgs and rocket launcher trooper vs just my remaining 4 Endoskeletons. The points system in the game seem to be working.

All in all, had a great time with the game and enjoyed how it meshed well with the bleak Terminator theme. I am thinking of using the system for other sci-fi universes, and I see that someone on boardgamegeek has already made some preliminary Star Wars stats with these rules.

Thumbs up.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Kitbash preparation for a Fantasy variant of Osprey's Gaslands Part 1/2

Shortly before the New Year, I played Oprey's post-apocalyptic vehicle combat game Gaslands with my friend Jim (as discussed here), and then a couple of days later, with my other gaming buddy, Jeff.

We had a good time, I like the fact that this Flightpath-ish game does away with all the deck building crap of say, Attack Wing. It's a light but fun game that requires decision-making every turn, such as whether to keep going faster or risk the probability of a wipeout.

I remember discussing the author's brief passage at the end about adopting Gaslands to other genres. Jeff brought up flying carpets and such for a fantasy-variant.

Intrigued, I went back and got some animal and dinosaur themed Hot Wheels cars given how cheap they are and decided to convert some for an upcoming fantasy-variant battle of Gaslands.

Conversion would be hard if I stuck to clockpunk or steampunk gears and such, as the Hot Wheels scale is too small for all the steampunk bits out for sale.

Besides, I don't want steampunk.. I want fantasy..

An easy solution that is more in line with the fantasy genre is to have the vehicles propelled by magic.. It should be easy to sculpt magic effects using greenstuff anyway.. and I don't want to paint horses especially as there are no rules I think for animals.

I plan to build 6 vehicles so we can have a 3 vehicle-fight each like last time.

The first 3 vehicles have been converted..

A flamethrowing vehicle using flame magic
A nautical vehicle using water magic (work with me)
A snow magic vehicle..

Perhaps I should say construct to go in line with the genre, but the rules require having crewmen.

As usual, the dollar stores have been very helpful with cheap materials and toys to kitbash with.

1. Fantasy Flamethrower vehicle

This dragon-looking Dino Riders Hot Wheels dino rider suited my needs perfectly..

I took it apart to get rid of all that unnecessary metal chassis at the bottom..

I primed it light brown as I plan to put a golden colour on it to emphasis it's a machine.. and I sculpted smoke balls coming from the bottom. This would give the impression it is jet-like and thus it would make sense for it to swerve and slip and such.

I then took the tip of a Crazy glue tube and greenstuffed belching flame coming from the mouth. The paint job afterward was fairly straightforward.

Painting at 10 to 15 mm is so much easier.. Tempted to switch if it was not for so much of my terrain is for 25-28mm..

2 Nautical-themed vehicle

Now that I did a flamethrowing magic vehicle, how better to thematically offset it with a vehicle using water magic.

I did not plan it this way, but immediately decided once I saw this shark "street beast" Hot Wheel

It is supposed to be fantasy though, and classic fantasy has that medieval look.. I could not ignore how modern this shark vehicle looks, so I greenstuffed wooden tiles on it to un-modernize it... make it 500 years retro-ish..

I then added magical effects on it, adding glass and copper wires.. the glass turned out to be not that helpful, but it is a good learning experience as I've never tried this before..

I then painted both the wooden paneling and the water magic effects using inks only.

The dollar store had these seashells for something like $1.25 or so, so I used it as a magic gun on wooden rails. I also got some rhinestone stickers from the dollar store as well, and painted over a cockpit to emphasize this vehicle is manned.

I got this webbing from a cheap Spider-man toy, and I was done for this one.

3. Snow-themed vehicle..

We got flame magic, we got water magic, the fantasy theme continues with snow magic..

I picked up this Hot Wheels Steg..

It would make a fine rammer in the game... I was thinking to use a conventional medieval ram, but then I saw this toy at the dollar store, and knew I found my ram by what the doll is holding. I bought it and cut it off.

I originally was going to give the Steg some dirt effects to go with the Earth- Wind- Water-Fire thing, but I noticed that the doll had an interesting base, so I took it apart..

I could paint ice on those triangles, and decided to make this Steg vehicle to use snow magic.

I greenstuffed the triangles on the side, and put in wire support for the back. I wanted to see if I could pull off the blowing snow look, which as a Canadian, I am familiar with passing every driveway.

I thus stretched-out greenstuff and made it almost paper-thin and put it on the wires..

After that, I panted the ice and snow, as well as the yellow spine, and attached the magic gun/ battering ram on.

I am halfway done and will finish off the other 3 in part 2.