Sunday 30 March 2014

Games I'd love to play...

... but probably never will!

Ah the possibilities!

I've been mulling over the many projects I have on the go at the moment - Return of the Magnificent Sven, my Goblinoid horde, Trolltooth Wars (must get started on this one), Dr Who, Dalek Civil War, getting a game of Warhammer Siege in with my two Mighty Fortresses, finishing off my Undead hored, Warmaster, Man O War, Battle of the Five Armies (yep managed to score a right bargain there!), Mighty Empires and my latest obsession with 2nd ed. Space Marine (epic).

Phew! And I'm sure I've forgotten one or two minor ones amongst that lot. It's a familiar situation for many of you I'm sure - too many miniatures, too many ideas and grand visions but not enough time to get them finished, or even started in some cases.

However, this parlous state of affairs still doesn't stop me envisaging even more outlandish and unattainable gaming ideas. Having been laid low with Nurgle's Rot this past week and work sapping all vitality and life out of me I've been idly dreaming of impossible games. Here's a few of my most recent flights of fantasy...

1. Ulysses 31 - I'm a massive fan of this old 80's cartoon - The setting, story, and mostly the mood and music are very evocative. I'd love to pit the crew of the Odyssey against Zeus' Sharkmen legions - Deep Space battles against squadrons of Tridents and a whole host of worlds for the crew of the Odyssey to liberate.

Obstacles to getting this on the table - I haven't really looked but I imagine finding suitable miniatures for Ulysses and his children, the Sharkmen and other distinctive characters could prove tricky/expensive or very time consuming in conversions.

However, apparently there were Ulysses toys made which I was previously unaware of! Also the small number of characters could prove tricky - main character death would have to be avoided in some satisfactory way...

2. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind - another Japanese animation that is very close to my heart.

Again it's the mood as well as the epic sweep of the story that speaks to me here. Plus it'd be easier to play a more orthodox war game with the various factions fighting it out in the story - the Tolmekian attack on Pejite or the Valley of the Wind, the creeping advance of the Fukai, the toxic jungle that has spread across the planet after the apocalyptic events of the Seven Days of Fire and the stampede of the maddened herds of Ohmu.

Obstacles - again it's got to be suitable models! There's a very specific aesthetic although I'm sure with time, patience and some nifty conversion skills it'd be possible. There is an Ohmu model although I suspect it'd cost a bob or two to get enough together for a stampede!

3. Godzilla/Gamera!

Hmm, seems to be a Japanese theme emerging here...

What's not to like here though - Giant Monsters, hordes of tanks and jet fighters, lasers, radio-active breath and carnage on a city-wide scale! I defy anyone to not succumb to this very persuasive "advert" done by the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 crew.

Happily, bringing Godzilla and chums to the gaming table shouldn't be that difficult. There are loads of Godzilla toys of varying scales and amassing large numbers of 6mm, 10mm or even 15mm soldiers, tanks and jet fighters would be simple enough. I suppose the only slight barrier would be building a table-wide city scape for the monsters to frolic in!

So there's my top three Would-like-to-play-but-will-probably-never-get-round-to-it-or-would-never-afford-or-be-able-to-source-the-miniatures-for-it games.

How about you, dear Readers - do you have any unachievable ambitions to bring a favoured setting or story to life in miniature?

Tuesday 11 March 2014

A Legion of my finest troops...

Or at least a full Tactical Company of the Executioners Chapter!

Yes I have opened up another front in the war against unpainted minis in my collection and started yet another scale - 6mm this time!

Thanks to my old buddy Ollie over at the Second Founding, who has enticed me into 6mm sci fi gaming, I have dusted off my battered old box of 2nd edition Space Marine (Epic) and begun piecing together the mighty armies of the Imperium once more. Looks like I might have some Tau-esque Xeno scum to exterminate before long if Ollie's painting table is anything to go by.

I loved Epic back in the day and seem to remember getting it for Christmas not long after I had drooled all over the preview pics in WD141. Like a typical unimaginative teenager I daubed up some of my Space Marines as Blood Angels and my Eldar had to come from the Alaitoc Craftworld to match the studio armies in White Dwarf.

Me and my brother played quite a few games together, especially after I got a couple of the boxed sets containing the more exotic troop types to bolster the ranks of the armies that came with the game.

This time around I've gone for an even more old school look for my Marines and have picked the Executioners Chapters - mainly because I love the camo colour scheme and because I have painted up their bigger 28mm cousins this way already. They also have a great back story through their part in the Badab War.

Courtesy of WD101 we get a brief history from the pages of the Index Astartes which detail The rebellion of the Tiger Claws Chapter, under the leadership of their mentally unstable Master, Lufgt Huron - the Tyrant of Badab. What I particularly like about the story is that it's not your usual common or garden Chaos incursion - instead the roots of the rebellion lie in the Adeptus Mechanicus' displeasure at the Tiger Claws' tardiness in submitting gene-seed for routine inspection and the large debt of planetary tithes Huron had built up.

Once the Imperium moved against Huron's Marines the whole mess erupted into a large scale rebellion. Huron himself was suspected of being an Alien Shape-changer or at least under alien mind domination of some kind.

Soon three other chapters, including the Executioners, Mantis Warriors and Lamenters, joined the rebellion. In response the Fire Hawks and Marines Errant were called in to protect Imperial shipping in the area and they were soon joined by the Red Scorpions and the Minotaurs. As the threat to shipping receded, the Scorpions and Fire Hawks were recalled to other duties and replaced by the Novamarines and Howling Griffons.

Meanwhile yet another Chapter, the Star Phantoms, laid siege to Badab while the Home Planets of the Lamenters and Executioners were investigated by other Chapters.

The Lamenters were ambushed and forced to surrender after a bloody space battle with the Minotaurs. This was a great blow to the Tyrant of Badab and the rest of the war became a series of close sieges, culminating in the fall of Badab and the final defeat of the Tiger Claws.

With the war over (not before the Exorcists, Fire Angels, Salamanders, Space Sharks and Sons of Medusa had been involved at one time or another!) forgiveness was granted to the Mantis Legion, Executioners and Mantis Warriors, subject to them undertaking a hundred year Crusade. Their Home Planets were gifted to the Space Sharks and Star Phantoms for their part in the war.

As for Huron and his Tiger Claws? They were all but destroyed - only a contingent of about two hundred fought their way clear of the blockade. They escaped into deep space and have not been heard of since...

I also turned to old copies of WD for the Rhino colour scheme - WD103 this time. Again, purely based on which ever colour scheme pleased my eye I went for the Imperial Guard's "Fighting 9th" Regiment. The camo scheme used to blend into the Ammonia Salt Plains during the Assault on Tsunami Reef provides a bit of a contrast to the mottled blues of the Marine armour. I'm sure the Imperial Guard won't mind sharing that particular camo scheme! Especially as when I get round to my Imperial Guard forces I'll be painting them up as the "Lucky Sevens" - again, to fit in with their larger 28mm brothers.

Command section - might have to go back in with a smaller brush and a steady hand to attempt the Executioner's axe motif in the centre of the red circle on the Commander's banner - you can just make it out on the side of his command Rhino.

Didn't fancy trying it on all these shoulder pads though!

Whilst we're on the topic of Epic, I was quite chuffed to see that the random box of Squat stuff I bought a while back produced this little lot! 

Right - onwards to finish off the Mk1 Landraider Squadron I'm in the middle of...