Thursday, 21 May 2020

"Star Wars" 1/270th Space Battle Report: Poe Dameron & Rey Verses Kylo Ren

KYLO REN LAUNCHES A MASS ATTACK AGAINST THE RESISTANCE
This game was played using some homemade rules (M.I.S.S.) in order to allow us to play a quick space-fight utilising many of my long unused "Star Wars: X-Wing" miniatures by "Fantasy Flight Games", and took place upon a 3' x 3' "Hotz Mats" Deep Space Game mat. The battlefield was populated with a variety of asteroids which I bought from a seller on "Ebay" many, many moons ago.

“The story so far… Eager to test out the capabilities of his new TIE/vn space superiority fighter, Kylo Ren has rashly decided to launch a full scale attack against the Resistance fleet. However, Han Solo's son has underestimated the number of X-Wing's Nien Nunb's Blue Squadron can muster, and that the Millennium Falcon isn't just a hunk of junk..."
THE TABLETOP - A REGION OF SPACE POPULATED BY TWO ASTEROID CLUSTERS
The five Resistance spacecraft started along the western edge of the battlefield, and consisted of Poe Dameron, Nien Nunb, Jessika Pava and Temmin “Snap” Wexley flying X-Wings, with Rey in the Millennium Falcon. Some of the pilots more notable special abilities were Poe's "Sharpshooter" expertise [+1 to hit] and "BB-8" [Repair]. In addition all the T-70 X-wing starfighters had "Armour" [a D6 Saving Throw].

Kylo Ren's force started along the eastern edge. It contained Epsilon Leader, Omega Ace and Zeta Ace in three TIE/fo Fighters, Backdraft and Quickdraw in a pair of TIE/sf Fighters, and the master of the Knights of Ren in his TIE Silencer. Some of the TIE Fighters special abilities were "Tight Turn" and "Jink" [a D6 Saving Throw], whilst Ren's "Leadership" skill would provide his fellow First Order pilots one re-roll per turn providing their respective ships were within 12" of him. Owing to advancements since the days of the Empire, all of the TIE Fighters were also equipped with a shield.

The game would last eight turns and was a straightforward head-to-head confrontation, with the victor being the side who had caused the most damage by the end of the skirmish.
BLUE SQUADRON HEAD TOWARDS KYLO REN AS THE FIRST ORDER FLEET APPROACHES
Spotting his hated opponents directly in front of his forces, Kylo Ren flew his TIE Silencer directly west, straight at his foe's vessels. Backdraft turned southwest to join his Supreme Leader. In the middle of the First Order's line, Epsilon Leader leaned his starfighter in the direction of Alpha Cluster, as the other two TIE/fo Fighters and Quickdraw maintained their westerly headings.

In response, Blue Squadron peeled off to the southeast towards Beta Cluster, leaving both Poe Dameron and Rey to continue due east straight into the heart of the First Order's attack.

Kylo Ren and Backdraft flew just south of Beta Cluster, coming within (long) range of Jess Pava's X-Wing. Between them, they swiftly brought down the Resistance pilot's shield and damaged the starfighter. Poe Dameron's vessel also came under attack as Omega Ace and Zeta Ace fired at him with their SJFS L-s9.6 laser cannons for all they were worth. However, no laser blasts found their mark. To the north, Epsilon Leader and Quickdraw continued to approach Alpha Cluster.
KYLO REN AND BLUE SQUADRON BATTLE AROUND BETA CLUSTER
Retaliating against the dastardly attack upon Pava, Blue Squadron turned east in unison, and almost met with disaster as Wexley came face-to-face with Beta Cluster. Nien Nunb too miscalculated his turn, wheeling his X-Wing directly behind Jessika's so the Sullustan had no viable targets to shoot at. Only Pava could fire, and brought down Backdraft's shield with a well-aimed blast from her heavy laser cannons. Poe Dameron and Rey flew straight at the oncoming TIE/fo fighters, bringing down both starfighter's shields.

Sensing an opportunity had arisen to break the back of the First Order line with one swift stroke, both Poe and Rey pressed their attack further. But the Millennium Falcon's pilot failed to connect with any of the Corellian YT-1300f light freighter 's attacks. Luckily, Dameron didn't miss and almost took down Omega Ace with a withering salvo. The First Order pilot's vessel was definitely on its last legs.
THE RESISTANCE DRAW FIRST BLOOD DURING THE BATTLE'S OPENING SKIRMISH
Meanwhile Jess and Nien Nunb disentangled their X-Wings from one another, and both poured their combined firepower into Kylo Ren and Backdraft's starfighters. Pava missed, despite being in almost touching distance of her opponent's TIE Silencer. However, she still cheered as her Resistance colleague gunned down Backdraft and blew his TIE/sf Fighter to smithereens. First blood to General Organa's forces.

Cursing, Kylo Ren turned northwest, flying directly under the incoming X-Wings. Omega Ace and Zeta Ace both managed to raise their respective shields, before curving southwards and bringing down Nien Nunb's shield in a deadly manoeuver. To the north, Quickdraw and Epsilon Leader negotiated Alpha Cluster, planning to outflank the Millennium Falcon just as soon as they had passed through the rocks around them. The battle was far from over.

To be continued...

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

"Time's Rambler" - The Graphic Novel

+++ A Blatant Advertisement Sponsored By "Mooretoons Publishing" +++

"TIME'S RAMBLER" - THE GRAPHIC NOVEL
Besides painting miniatures and playing wargames, I've also spent the past forty years producing cartoon scripts involving all manner of superheroes, time travellers, horrific monsters and extra-terrestrials. These initially started as hand-drawn characters scribbled onto blank paper with a black pen, and then later evolved into computer-printed panelled pages, word bubbles and even a splash of colour. Now however, everything is digitally drawn, compiled and lettered using a computer graphics package, and can be sent to a professional printing company for publication.

As a result I'm absolutely delighted to announce that I've received some more stock of my graphic novel, "Time's Rambler", and opened the "Mooretoons Publishing" Webstore for those interested in purchasing a copy of my book. Please do come and pay me a visit, even if you're not planning on buying my book, as I'd like people to test it out and let me know their thoughts - good and bad.

What's The Book About..?
THE CAST OF CHARACTERS AND THEIR FIRST FOUR ADVENTURES
In the far reaches of outer space, the planet Beorge wages its eternal struggle against a mysterious, extra-terrestrial super-power known only as "The Enemy" to ensure the universe maintains its smooth flow time."

This intergalactic confrontation is so large that it takes place across a thousand worlds, with one such battlefield being the Earth. There, a single human being, empowered by the Beorge to act as their agent, desperately attempts to fend off the deadly machinations of the enemy's own chaotic operative in a never-ending game of cat and mouse across multiple time zones...

What's The Book Consist Of And Where Can I Buy It..?
THE OPENING PAGES TO "THE HILVERSUM HEIST" AND "THE BEES OF MARS"
This first volume of "Time's Rambler" contains four adventures based upon the earliest exploits of the Beorge's latest Earth Time Agent; A man who suddenly appears within a large jeweller's vault in the Netherlands in the year 2002 A.D. without any explanation, and after a brief brawl with a local crime lord, whisks the jewellery store's owner off into a further series of time-travelling escapades.

The book is a full-colour, 36 page A4 (210mm x 297mm) saddle stitched publication, sporting a 300gsm Silk finish cover, and 200gsm Silk finish interior pages. It'll be mailed First Class (Recorded), and be package in a padded bubble envelope.

"Time's Rambler" is available from the "Mooretoons Publishing" webstore.

Saturday, 16 May 2020

"My Javelin Was Forged From Purest Plandanium!"

"I would trust it in battle 'gainst Galactus himself!"
This 28mm scale plastic model of Javelin is produced by “Wizkids” and is miniature number 019a from their Marvel “Heroclix” Avengers Infinity range. "Famous for his spear throwing skills", Darin would help his fellow Spaceknights defeat the herald Terrax during Galactus' attempt to consume the planet Galador, and was created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema for "Marvel Comics" January 1982 issue of "Rom".

The (First Generation) Spaceknight was initially cut from his 'clicky' base and permanently attached to a 25mm circular base using some super-glue and a little green-stuff so as to better position the model's pose. Owing to my dislike of sculpted energy beams, I then applied my cutters to the end of his plandanium hand-weapon and nonchalantly snipped off the model's translucent yellow weapon discharge.
"Fantasy Flight Games" WIPs - Two Fleet Troopers and their Commanding Officer
Unfortunately, this then made me realise just how close to the dart-shooting staff's end, Darin's left hand actually was, and how silly the figure looked without the aforementioned sculpted beam being in place. As a result I decided to significantly add to the length of the Spaceknight's javelin, courtesy of a spare "Gale Force Nine" piece I had left over after assembling the vehicles from the "Tanks" World War II skirmish game.

The tank gun was drilled out and pinned into place using a small piece of metal wire. I then primed the entire ensemble "Citadel" Abaddon Black and applied two layers of "Vallejo" Gunmetal Blue. The miniature was subsequently shaded using "Citadel" Drakenhof Nightshade and dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Gunmetal Blue. Finally, I carefully applied some "Citadel" Abaddon Black to the inside of the Spaceknight's visor so as to significantly darken its interior.
"Star Wars" WIPs - A Heavy Weapons Fleet Trooper, a Commander, and a DH-17 blaster pistol-carrying comrade
I may well purchase a second Javelin model in the future, as despite much preferring the all-blue metallic colour scheme of Darin's original Galadorian Spaceknight armour, I am aware that this palette later changed to a green and silver one when his successor (Darin the Younger) took up the mantle. To make the figure stand out even more on the tabletop, as well as save myself the pain of hollowing out and pinning another tank gun in place, I might even simply just paint the javelin's energy blast too.

With the latest addition to my "Wizkids" Galadorian fighting force complete, I have been making some progress on my "Star Wars: Legion" Fleet Troopers by "Fantasy Flight Games". I'm currently trying to batch paint the five-man squad, so have slowly been working my way up each model, starting with their boots.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

"I Am Ikon, Of The Spaceknights."

"There is nothing inappropriate about combat."
This 28mm scale plastic model of Ikon is produced by “Wizkids” and is miniature number 009b from their Marvel “Heroclix” Guardians of the Galaxy range. An Alpha Class Galadorian Spaceknight, she was chosen by her people to join Star-Lord's team of "the most powerful and formidable warriors in the galaxy" and was created by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Miguel Sepulveda for the March 2011 issue of "Thanos Imperative: Devastation" by "Marvel Comics".

"Presenting herself as Greatest living spaceknight", the figure was cut from her 'clicky' base and super-glued to a 25mm circular base. I then applied two coats of "Vallejo" Silver over the model's pre-paint job, including the Galadorian's bright pink Poleaxe, shaded her with "Citadel" Nuln Oil and dry-brushed the entire miniature with (more) "Vallejo" Silver.
"Heroclix" WIPs - Darin has been primed, shaded and dry-brushed
Later I 'picked out' the Spaceknight's eyes with a couple of dots of "Vallejo" Heavy Red, and carefully washed them with a drop or two of "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson, before tidying them up with a dab (more) "Vallejo" Silver. I did consider both trying to straighten the expert combatant's somewhat bendy hand-weapon, and also painting it's energy-laden 'spear-head' with some "Vallejo" Squid Pink and perhaps a smidgen of "Citadel" Flesh Tearers Red.

However, cutting, straightening or even potentially replacing the somewhat thin-looking weapon's shaft looked like a lot of work, plus I also didn't want to show the weapon actually 'firing', but simply at the 'ready' to discharge its fearsome force. As a result, I left Ikon's Poleaxe with the selfsame colour scheme as her Plandanium Armor (Third Generation), and even managed to ignore an urge to pick out some of her side-plating with "Citadel" Abaddon Black, as is occasionally depicted in some of the comic books.
"Adeptus Titanicus" WIPs - The Warhound Titan has had all its metallic areas layered and shaded
Sticking with Spaceknights I have also been working on a "Heroclix" miniature of Darin too. I was hoping, not unlike Ikon, that this would be a rather straightforward paint-job, and provide me with some additional time to focus on other hobby-related projects. No such luck though, as having removed the figure's annoying blast effect from the end of his plandanium javelin, I thought the model looked silly simply holding onto the very end of his hand-weapon. Needless to say that lead to me sourcing an extension, some drilling, pinning and much frustration...

Fortunately, despite these minor irritations, I have made some progress on my two Warhound Titans for "Adeptus Titanicus" by "Games Workshop". I'm currently focusing my efforts on getting all the metalwork layered, shaded and dry-brushed on the warmachines' upper bodies, so I can then start working on all their intricate details as a whole over two or three painting sessions.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

"Star Wars" 1/270th Space Battle Report: Poe Dameron & Rey Verses The First Order

 POE DAMERON LEADS AN ATTACK AGAINST THE FIRST ORDER 
This game was played using some homemade rules (M.I.S.S.) in order to allow us to play a quick space-fight utilising many of my long unused "Star Wars: X-Wing" miniatures by "Fantasy Flight Games", and took place upon a 3' x 3' "Hotz Mats" Deep Space Game mat. The battlefield was populated with a variety of asteroids which I bought from a seller on "Ebay" many, many moons ago.

“The story so far… Determined to throw off General Armitage Hux's continous pursuit of the retreating Resistance fleet, Poe Dameron decides to intercept a squadron of marauding First Order TIE Fighters. However, despite being accompanied by Nien Nunb and Rey, the X-Wing pilot soon discovers that he'll be facing a rather specialised version of the TIE/fo space superiority fighter..."
THE TABLETOP - A REGION OF SPACE POPULATED BY TWO ASTEROID CLUSTERS
The three Resistance spacecraft started along the western edge of the battlefield, and consisted of Poe Dameron and Nien Nunb flying X-Wings, with Rey in the Millennium Falcon. Some of their more notable special abilities were the Starfighter Corps Commander's "Sharpshooter" expertise [+1 to hit] and "BB-8" [Repair]. In addition the T-70 X-wing starfighters both had "Armour" [a D6 Saving Throw].

The First Order force started along the eastern edge and contained Epsilon Leader, Omega Ace and Zeta Ace in three TIE/fo Fighters, along with Backdraft and Quickdraw in a pair of TIE/sf Fighters. Some of the TIE Fighters special abilities were "Tight Turn" and "Jink" [a D6 Saving Throw]. Owing to advancements since the days of the Empire, all of the starfighters were also equipped with a shield.
THE RESISTANCE X-WINGS FACE A WALL OF FIRST ORDER TIE-FIGHTERS
The game would last six turns and was a straightforward head-to-head confrontation, with the victor being the side who had caused the most damage by the end of the skirmish.

Spotting some enemy blips on their radar scanners, the three TIE/fo Fighters maintained their heading west, desperate to close with the oncoming Resistance vessels. Quickdraw moved his specialised northwest just behind them, whilst Backdraft continued moving west, but at a slower speed than his eager First Order compatriots. In response, General Organa's entire attack squadron hurtled east straight at their hated enemies.

Closing upon the Resistance spacecraft, the three TIE/fo Fighters fully opened up their SJFS L-s9.6 laser cannons upon the Millennium Falcon. Both of the  YT-1300 Corellian light freighter's shields immediately went down and its hull shook with some additional damage. First blood to the First Order. Despite moving slower than his fellow pilots, Backdraft also found himself able to shoot at the Resistance vessel, albeit at long range. Disappointingly for the "fiery fanatic" his attack missed.
THE NUMEROUS TIE-FIGHTERS SWIRL ABOUT THE RESISTANCE HEROES
With a roar of defiance Chewbacca was able to get one of the Millennium Falcon's shields straight back up. Rey, eager to gain ground on Backdraft turned the ship northeast, and disastrously clipped one of the rocks in Cluster Alpha, damaging the light freighter in the process. Poe and Nien Nunb meanwhile turned towards the wall of TIE/fo Fighters dead ahead of them, bringing down the shields of Omega Ace and Zeta Ace, and additionally damaging Zeta Ace's starfighter to boot.

Realising just how reckless the pilot of the Millennium Falcon could be, Backdraft turned north, impressively flying under the damaged freighter and in between the deadly rocks Cluster Alpha. Zeta Ace was also stung into action, reactivating his shield and facing Poe Dameron's X-Wing at close range. The Resistance vessel's shield was shattered and its commander shook as his ship took more damage.

Epsilon Leader and Omega Ace sped west towards Nien Nunb and at close range fired for the glory of the First Order. The X-Wing's shield dropped and it too shuddered under the impact of it taking physical damage. Everything seemed to be going in the favour of General Hux's patrol, and to add insult to injury Quickdraw completed a tight turn to bear down on the stalled Millennium Falcon and successfully saw one of its laser cannons penetrate the light freighter's Duralloy plating, adding to Rey's increasing woes.
POE DAMERON GETS HIMSELF INTO POSITION TO RAKE THE TIE-FIGHTERS
Fortunately, Chewbacca was able to get one of the vessel's shields operational. Whilst BB-8 managed to repair the damage to Poe's X-Wing. Dameron's shield was still down but the Resistance Commander turned north to rake Epsilon Leader at close range (and potentially break the First Order's hold on their battle). Incredibly however, despite his "Sharpshooter" ability, all four shots missed their target. To make matters worse Nien Nunb attempted to fly his blue X-Wing under the TIE/fo Fighters and clipped Quickfire, damaging both starfighters and bringing them close to destruction.

It was now crucial that the Resistance seized the initiative if they ever hoped to win the day. So Rey began to loop the battered Millennium Falcon southeast behind the First Order forces. But Poe was now out of position, and with his shield still down headed northwest past the TIE/fo Fighters. Whilst Nien Nunb was forced to turn south simply to avoid clattering into another enemy starfighter and blowing up.
THE MILLENNIUM FALCON RECOVERS FROM ITS COLLISION AS POE BATTLES ON
It was definitely the moment the First Order had been waiting for. Zeta Ace turned northwest with Dameron in his sights and fired. The pilot missed his target. However he grimly noted that Backdraft, having successfully flown straight through Cluster Alpha had now turned west and so had Poe trapped in a pincer movement at close range. The Resistance starfighter was struck twice, badly damaging the vessel. With 'blood in the water' Epsilon Leader turned north to get right up behind Dameron's flailing X-Wing so they were almost touching, and he too put another shot into the starfighter's hull. The commander's ship was a flaming mess of sparks and internal fires. It would only take one more hit before it was destroyed.

Elsewhere, Quickdraw, despite its damage, completed a tight turn east and faced the exposed flank of the Millennium Falcon. The light freighter's shields were taken down once again. Chewbacca quickly managed to repair one of them, but as Rey turned the vessel south, the Wookie realised they still had no-one to shoot at. Niem Numb's astromech tooted in triumph that it had got the Sullustan's shield back up, and then disintegrated as the already badly damaged blue X-Wing attempted to loop east under one of the rocks of Cluster Beta and fatally stuck another. Boom.
THE RESISTANCE FAIL IN THEIR ATTEMPT TO ERADICATE THE FIRST ORDER
With BB-8's shrill chirp that he too had successfully got his master's shield working reverberating in his headset, Poe set about to destroy the First Order patrol without his wing-man. However, the X-Wing was still in very poor shape, and whilst manoeuvring north, Dameron's starfighter collided with Backdraft's TIE/sf Fighter, causing the Resistance Commander's vessel to blow up. The First Order had clearly won the day, and all Rey could do was steer a course back to General Organa's secret location...

Friday, 8 May 2020

"Star Wars" 1/270th Space Battle Report: Boba Fett Verses Luke Skywalker

LUKE SKYWALKER ATTEMPTS TO INTERCEPT BOBA FETT AND RESCUE HAN SOLO
This game was played using some homemade rules (M.I.S.S.) in order to allow us to play a quick space-fight utilising many of my long unused "Star Wars: X-Wing" miniatures by "Fantasy Flight Games", and took place upon a 3' x 3' "Hotz Mats" Deep Space Game mat. The battlefield was populated with a variety of asteroids which I bought from a seller on "Ebay" many, many moons ago.

“The story so far… Han Solo has been frozen inside solidified carbonite and is en route from Cloud City back to Jabba The Hutt's Palace on Tatooine. Desperate to intercept Boba Fett's modified Firespray-31-class craft, Slave-1, Luke Skywalker, Biggs Darklighter and Captain Jon "Dutch" Vander set off in hot pursuit. But the Bounty Hunter isn't flying alone, as Darth Vader has ordered two TIE-Fighters to escort him safely to his destination..."
THE TABLETOP - A REGION OF SPACE POPULATED BY FOUR ASTEROID CLUSTERS
The three Rebel spacecraft started along the eastern edge of the battlefield, and consisted of Luke Skywalker and Biggs Darklighter flying X-Wings and Captain Vanders in a Y-Wing. Some of their more notable special abilities were the young Jedi's "Sharpshooter" expertise [+1 to hit] and "R2-D2" [Repair], whilst the Rebel officer's "Leadership" skill would provide his fellow Alliance pilots one re-roll per turn providing their respective ships were within 12" of "Dutch".

The Imperial force started along the western edge and contained Mauler Mithel and Dark Curse in two TIE Fighters, along with Boba Fett in Slave-1. Some of the starfighter's special abilities were "Tight Turn" and "Jink" [a D6 Saving Throw]. In contrast the Bounty Hunter had "Sharpshooter" [+1 to hit] and "Armour" [a D6 Saving Throw].

The game would last six turns. To win the Rebels had to disable Slave-1. The Imperials would win if by the end of the confrontation Boba Fett's vessel was still intact.
BIGGS DARKLIGHTER AND "DUTCH" VANDER SQUARE-OFF AGAINST BOBA FETT
Seizing the initiative Mauler Mithel and Dark Curse swung southeast with Mauler taking the lead past Cluster Alpha. Slave-1 meanwhile moved east, tight to the southern edge of Cluster Alpha. In response, Biggs Darklighter and "Dutch" Vander gunned their starfighter's west, with the X-Wing protecting the slightly more vulnerable bomber. Luke Skywalker also flew west, eager to intercept the two TIE Fighters before they fell upon his friends.

As soon as Darklighter's X-Wing came within range of his blaster cannons Boba Fett opened up and immediately took down the Rebel's shields. Sensing an opportunity to remove one of their opponents quickly, Dark Curse and Mauler Mithel flew southeast straight at Cluster Omega in the hope of shooting Biggs through the rocks. However, the pair of TIE Fighters were still out of range of their starfighters' weapons.
BOBA FETT AND HIS TIE-FIGHTER ESCORT BEGIN TO LOCK HORNS WITH THE REBELS
Darklighter meanwhile managed to get his X-Wing's shields back up and engaged Slave-1 at close range. Disappointingly, the human pilot missed his target completely. Behind him, "Dutch" fired upon the Bounty Hunter's vessel too, his Ion cannons bypassing Boba Fett's shields but failing to penetrate the ship's armour. Realising his friends were struggling to take down their prize, Luke Skywalker curved southwest near the Cluster Omega and fired upon Dark Curse. The Imperial's TIE-Fighter was partially-damaged.

Eager to avoid the oncoming Rebel ships, Boba Fett turned south straight into Cluster Sigma and inadvertently damaged Slave-1. The Bounty Hunter's escort demonstrated their ships' agility by tightly turning to face Luke at close range. Dark Curse fired first and took down the Alliance pilot's shields. Mauler Mithel attacked second, partially prevented from seeing his target by an asteroid. However, the Imperial trooper still managed to partially damage Skywalker's X-Wing.
SLAVE-1 SMASHES INTO CLUSTER SIGMA, WHILST BIGGS AND "DUTCH" ATTACK ITS FLANK
Fortunately, R2-D2 fixed the Rebel starfighter's hull damage, and beeped as Luke made a hard right turn so his X-Wing was facing northwest away from his attackers. Biggs meanwhile turned into the rear of Slave-1, and firing his Taim & Bak KX9 laser cannons tore down both Slave-1's shields and caused some additional damage to its hull. "Dutch" Vander headed south in a wider turn and cursed as his Y-Wing's weaponry missed their target.

R2-D2 finally managed to get Luke's shields back up, whirring his approval as Skywalker's X-Wing started to loop around east, heading towards Cluster Alpha. Ducking under Cluster Sigma, Darklighter turned his X-Wing to face west. However, "Dutch" Vander was determined to stop Boba Fett, so turned as close to Cluster Sigma until his Y-Wing was almost touching Slave-1. The Rebel officer fired his Ion Cannons and watched in satisfaction as the Bounty Hunter's hull was further damaged.
DARK CURSE AND MAULER MITHEL SPLIT UP TO BATTLE THE ALLIANCE FIGHTERS
Rattled by the increasing damage to his vessel, Boba Fett tried to turn southeast out of Cluster Sigma. But the manouvere caused even more damage to his badly ailing spacecraft [by hitting the southern table edge]. Realising that Slave-1 was in danger of being disabled, the TIE-Fighters split up with Mauler Mithel turning northwest away from Cluster Omega after Skywalker. Whilst Dark Curse headed southeast.

Luke Skywalker dived in between the rocks of Cluster Alpha, noting that "Dutch" Vander had negotiated Cluster Sigma but was facing away from their target. Luckily Biggs Darklighter was able to turn south and possibly close the gap on Boba Fett's Firespray-31-class craft before it managed to reach the safety of hyperspace.
BOBA FETT LOOKS SET TO MAKE AN ESCAPE AS LUKE SKYWALKER CIRCLES AROUND
But the Force was clearly not going to be with the Alliance on this day, with Dark Curse tightly turning south onto the tail of Vander's Y-Wing. Firing at long distance with some rocks in the way, DS-61-4 still managed to strip "Dutch" of his shields. To the north, Mauler Mithel made a similar difficult turn to just get within striking distance of Skywalker. However, the "TIE pilot specially trained to be Darth Vader's left wingman" missed his target.

Unfortunately for the Rebels though, Boba Fett was able to gun Slave-1 east and into open space. There was no catching the Bounty Hunter's spacecraft now. Jabba The Hutt would have his prize...

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

"-- You're Sanctioned To Employ Lethal Force!"

"By the numbers, team, attack pattern echo!"
These two 28mm scale pre-painted plastic models of Mandroid Armor were produced by “Wizkids” and are both miniature number 009 from their Marvel “Heroclix” Clobberin' Time range. Initially built under Tony Stark's direct, supervision, the battle-suits "were put into mass production" following Stane International taking over Stark's company, and were created by Roy Thomas, Neal Adams, and John Buscema for the December 1971 issue of "Avengers" by "Marvel Comics".

Streamlined and devoid of any Stark technology following the "Armor Wars", the Mandroids were clipped from their 'clicky' bases and permanently placed upon a pair of 25mm circular bases. I then undercoated them with a double layer of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, before applying a coat or three of Gold.
Mandroid Armour WIPs - "Vallejo" Gold layer, followed by shade and dry-brush
The figures were subsequently washed in "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade before being thoroughly dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Gold. Finally, I took a page out of "Wizkids" book by simply picking out their visors using some slightly watered down "Citadel" Abaddon Black, as opposed to trying to 'sketch' a visible face inside the helmet as depicted in the majority of comic books. 

Having finished the latest couple of "Heroclix" models I need before I can revisit the Marvel Super Heroes: The Heroic Role-Playing Game by "TSR", I have turned my attention to painting five of the figures found inside the Fleet Troopers Unit Expansion. I don't currently have any intention of actually playing "Star Wars: Legion", but instead plan to use the "Fantasy Flight Games" miniatures as Rebel reinforcements for Chewbacca's forces in my ongoing campaign using some homemade rules.
"STar Wars: Legion" WIPs - A Fleet Trooper, Captain Antilles and a Fleet Trooper carrying an MPL-57 
Originally I had intended to simply get five Rebel soldiers armed with DH-17 blaster pistols ready for the tabletop, but have since swapped one of these figures out for a Fleet Trooper carrying the Merr-Sonn Munitions Incorporated MPL-57 instead. According to "Wookiepedia", this grenade launcher can "fire three grenades with a short delay fuse in rapid succession", so it should provide my rather close-combat orientated Rebellion units with some formidable firepower.

In addition, I have 'dug out' my second box of Fleet Troopers and assembled them, just in case I decide to add even more of the close-quarters combat-trained soldiers to my Alliance army. I am not however, entirely sure what to do with the Alderaanian consular security unit's (second) commander though, as I currently only envisage needing the one to proxy Captain Raymus Antilles. Perhaps a bit of converting is in order...

Monday, 4 May 2020

"Star Wars" 1/270th Space Battle Report: Darth Vader Verses Han Solo

HAN SOLO AND "DUTCH" VANDERS BATTLE THE EVIL LORD OF THE SITH
This game was played using some homemade rules (M.I.S.S.) in order to allow us to play a quick space-fight utilising many of my long unused "Star Wars: X-Wing" miniatures by "Fantasy Flight Games", and took place upon a 3' x 3' "Hotz Mats" Deep Space Game mat. The battlefield was populated with a variety of asteroids which I bought from a seller on "Ebay" many, many moons ago.

“The story so far… Whilst on a Reconnaissance Mission searching for the exact location of the mysterious Death Star, the Millennium Falcon encounters a squadron of marauding Imperial TIE fighters led by none other that the Sith Lord himself, Darth Vader. Accompanied by Captain Jon "Dutch" Vander in his  BTL Y-wing light bomber, Han Solo decides to show the Empire just what his YT-1300 Corellian light freighter can do..."
THE TABLETOP - A REGION OF SPACE POPULATED BY THREE ASTEROID CLUSTERS
The two Rebel spacecraft started along the eastern edge of the battlefield, and consisted of Han Solo in the Millennium Falcon and Captain Vanders in a Y-Wing. Some of their more notable special abilities were the Corellian's "Sharpshooter" expertise [+1 to hit], and the Rebel officer's "Leadership" skill, which provided Han Solo one re-roll per turn providing his ship was within 12" of "Dutch".

The Imperial force started along the western edge and contained Mauler Mithel and Dark Curse in two TIE Fighters, along with Darth Vader in his Advanced TIE Fighter. Some of this factions special abilities were "Tight Turn" and "Jink" [a D6 Saving Throw]. In addition the Lord Of The Sith had "Sharpshooter" [+1 to hit] and "Intimidate", meaning there was always the chance an enemy would be too fearful of his reputation to attack him. The 
THE EVIL DARTH VADER PREPARES TO LAUNCH AN ATTACK AGAINST HAN SOLO
The game would last six turns and was a straightforward head-to-head confrontation, with the victor being the side who had caused the most damage by the end of the skirmish.

Winning the initiative, Darth Vader and Dark Curse speed east straight towards the "Rebel scum". Whilst Mauler Mithel swung northeast towards Asteroids Alpha. Taking up the Sith Lord's challenge, Han Solo pointed the Millennium Falcon directly at the oncoming two Imperial TIE fighters, closing the gap between them with every par-sec. "Dutch" meanwhile, peeled southwest towards the Asteroids Omega.
HAN SOLO AND DARTH VADER ENGAGE IN A GAME OF "CHICKEN"
Keeping his western heading, Han Solo soon drew within range of Vader's Advanced TIE Fighter and summoned up the courage to fire at the Lord Of The Sith. Without shields or armour, the Imperial vessel was struck twice of the Millennium Falcon's quad-bolt cannons, and was already down to half-strength before the battle had barely begun. Believing there was a good chance of besting the Empire early on, "Dutch" turned his Y-Wing so it was also facing due West and fired his ion cannons at Dark Curse. Unfortunately, the Captain was just out of range.

In retaliation for the failed attack, Dark Curse swung southeast past Asteroids Beta and locked onto Vander's spacecraft. Firing his laser cannons, the Imperial pilot noted that the Y-Wing's shield had dropped. The Rebel fighter was defenceless. Pleased with his underling's performance against "Dutch", Darth Vader plough straight on towards the Millennium Falcon and was almost within touching distance when he finally fired at the Corellian light freighter. 
DARK CURSE LOCKS ON TO "DUTCH", WHILST HAN SOLO AND DARTH VADER GO -HEAD-TO-HEAD
At such a close range it was almost impossible for the Lord Of The Sith to miss, especially with his "Sharpshooter" ability, so it came as no surprise that the shields on Han Solo's vessel immediately went down. However, the hunk of junk's duralloy plating protected it from any lasting damage. Realising that the large spacecraft was vulnerable to attack Mauler Mithel, tightly turned to the right and also blasted away at the Falcon. But Vader's left wingman missed...

Both "Dutch" and Chewbacca desperately tried to get their shields back up. However neither Rebel ship had any luck. They'd be as vulnerable to attack as the Imperial TIE Fighters for the time being. Soaring past Darth Vader, Han Solo attempted a tight manoeuvre around Asteroids Beta and savagely struck one of its rocks, causing some damage. Realising he needed to cover the Corellian's exposed flank, Captain Vander turned northwest to face down Dark Curse at close range. But once again the Rebel officer's ion cannons missed their target.
DARTH VADER LOCKS ON TO "DUTCH" VANDER AS THE MILLENNIUM FALCON CRASHES
Laughing at his opponent's poor aim and the sight of a battered Millennium Falcon, Dark Curse made a hard turn southwest around Asteroids Beta. Meanwhile, Darth Vader steered his Advanced TIE Fighter into sight of the Rebel's Y-Wing. All five of the Sith Lord's laser cannons struck home, blasting "Dutch" to smithereens. Inspired by his commander's destructive success, Mauler Mithel manoeuvred himself right behind Han Solo's stranded vessel and pounded it mercilessly. Despite its "Armour" [D6 Save], the light freighter took more damage.
THE IMPERIAL FIGHTERS CIRCLE A STRANDED MILLENNIUM FALCON
Dark Curse continued to safely steer around Asteroids Beta, whilst fearing a potential crash with the Corellian Light Freighter, Mauler Mithel broke off his attack and headed northwest. Darth Vader however, wanted to get Han Solo's vessel in his sights, so sped southwest and struck the Millennium Falcon with a glancing blow. Fortunately for the smuggler though, his Wookie co-pilot finally managed to get one of the spacecraft's shields back up, and he was able to slowly skirt around Asteroids Beta.

Somewhat cornered, and unable to get his ship's remaining shield working, Han Solo had to settle for steering the Falcon past Asteroids Beta. Sensing his foe was ripe for the kill Darth Vader attempted to squeeze his TIE Fighter in between some of the rocks of Asteroids Beta. Meanwhile Mauler Mithel headed southwest in a lazy curve to ensure he'd soon be behind the Corellian's partially stranded spacecraft.
HAN SOLO TRIES TO ESCAPE BUT DARTH VADER HAS OTHER PLANS FOR THE SMUGGLER
Finally bringing the Millennium Falcon's shields back up to full strength, and completing his navigation of Asteroids Beta, Han Solo turned his Corellian Light Freighter due east and headed straight for the safety of the stars. Behind him Dark Curse continued his manoeuvre northwest away from Asteroids Beta, whilst Mauler Mithel managed to just get within range of the fast-departing Rebel vessel and fired off a frustratingly poor last salvo.

However, despite having already won a crushing victory over Han Solo, Darth Vader was not finished yet. He masterfully finished threading his Advanced TIE Fighter through the rocks of Asteroids Beta, and blazed away at the Millennium Falcon. The Light Freighter's shields, so recently restored, were stripped away in the attack, and only the smuggling vessel's "Armour" protected it from further damage. The Rebel may well have escaped, but Han Solo would not forget this day's battle in a hurry...

Saturday, 2 May 2020

(Lead) Mountain Musings - "Star Wars: Legion" May 2020

"Star Wars: Legion" WIPs - Some Rebel Fleet Troopers primed and ready for basecoating
This month's themed attempt to reduce my mountain of metal, plastic and resin models will primarily focus upon five miniatures taken from the Fleet Troopers Unit Expansion for "Star Wars: Legion" by "Fantasy Flight Games". These figures have rather embarrassingly been sat on my painting table for the past eighteen months, having initially been assembled and based in preparation to be one of my submissions for the Ninth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge (AHPC).

The set's box actually contains seven close-quarters combat specialists, including two heavy weapons experts carrying an MPL-57 and a deadly scatter gun, so should I make some prodigious progress on my opening five models I definitely plan on adding some extra Fleet Troopers to my tally. For now though I'm sticking with the squad's leader, Captain Raymus Antilles, and a quartet of DH-17 blaster pistol-carrying soldiers.
"Heroclix" WIPs - Captain Marvel, Mandroid armour and an innocent bystander
In addition to these defenders of Princess Organa’s starship, as well as cracking on with last month's unsuccessful goal of two Warhound Titans from the Adeptus Titanicus: The Horus Heresy starter set by "Games Workshop", I'm also hoping to make some progress on my plans to paint up enough "Heroclix" miniatures to play some Marvel Super Heroes: The Heroic Role-Playing Game by "TSR". I intend to dive straight in with the original starter set's introductory adventure "Day Of The Octopus", which features Spider-Man, The Thing, Captain America and Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau) as the main super-heroes.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a model of Rambeau's definitive Captain Marvel, so have been waiting these past weeks for a figure of her to reach me from across the Pond. The early fights also feature at least one civilian victim and the potential for some Mandroid armour to be stolen, so I've re-based some of these miniatures from my collection as well.
March 2020 - "Wizkids" continue to dominate my painting output despite a highly unproductive month
Productivity wise, the past four weeks have disappointingly been one of my least successful stints ever, due to some significant burn-out following the Tenth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge and a brief period of disillusionment regarding just how few games I'm playing in comparison to my persistent painting output. Indeed, I haven't had such a barren period in my hobby for almost six years.

Happily however, I did still manage to complete the last of my Gotham Police Department flatfoots using a couple of "Wizkids" plastic sculpts, and am now ready to get my twelve-man strong force for law and order on the tabletop. The New Jersey-based company have already dominated my painting queue this year, and with a consignment of Spaceknights, super-heroes and squirrels currently being assembled for future projects, I doubt they'll be toppled from being my favourite miniature company any time soon...