Archive for the ‘Tomorrow’s War’ Category

I haven’t posted in a few weeks…the reason is that I broke my arm on February 3. And yes, that was my birthday. Long story, but in essence for my 50th I decided to take a nose dive directly into a sidewalk. I fractured the upper end of my radius in my left arm, right where it joins the elbow. As with all medical situations, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that I don’t need a cast and should recover in 4-5 weeks total. A cast does not help with healing this kind of injury and would simply mean that the arm would atrophy. The bad news is that I am not in a cast, meaning I am less comfortable and that any slight arm rotation or jar sets off a string of curses. As the orthopedic surgeon said, “if you can man up, you’ll heal quicker.”

One week after the fall and the swelling has gone down enough for me to be able to wear my wedding ring again. Last night I actually was able to hold and file some 28mm miniatures without too much discomfort, so hopefully I’ll get back to painting soon. One thing I can’t do is lift anything with my left arm more than a coffee cup in weight, so it will be some time before I’m running demos or setting up games. In the meantime, here’s a picture of a Tomorrow’s War game we ran at Games Plus as a test of the new points system.

Defenders of the Crystal Processing Factory

 

We’ll be following up our successful game from two weeks ago with a series of smaller Tomorrow’s War games at Games Plus this Sunday, starting around 1 PM. Why the smaller games? We’re play testing a draft of a points system that Shawn Carpenter and I have been working on to answer the many requests we’ve received. I’ll be mostly floating from game to game and observing, taking notes, asking questions, etc.

Hope to see you there…

Given my crazy weekend (tons of errands, snow shoveling, massive cleaning in the house and band rehearsal), I didn’t get a chance to organize before heading over to Games Plus on Sunday afternoon to run a Tomorrow’s War demo. Looking through the figures I brought and that Zach had on hand, we decided on an assault by a Neo-Soviet force against a US Army defensive position comprised of a small settlement surrounding an industrial area.

The Neo-Soviet attackers were a large force consisting of a company of 9 Pegasus III tanks, moderately armored and gunned; a platoon of mechanized infantry in hover APCs; another platoon of VDV troops in tracked APCs and wearing TL2 Power Armor; and a tracked tank hunter attached to the VDV forces. All troops were TQ:D8/Morale:D8, except for the VDV, who were TQ:D10/Morale:D10. The Neo-Soviets set up second and had initiative for the first turn.

The US defenders comprised 3 Patton Heavy Tanks (also known as the Khurasan Siler tanks), 3 Ramirez IFVs, two squads of infantry and a weapons squad with 2 AT teams. All troops were TQ:D8/Morale:D10. We also gave the US tech level 3 and plasma weapons (negate one die of armor) to give them a better chance at holding off the Neo-Soviets. The US players had to set up first.

The village provided 1 extra die of cover in each building, 2 extra dice in the industrial buildings. The scenario objective was simple. Add up the number of buildings controlled by each side when time expires and the highest total = the winner.

The settlement...the US players set up to the left of the road, the Neo-Soviets came in from the right.

I should have known things would not go as I thought from the first turn. The Neo’s pushed one flank hard right from the start, using one platoon of hover tanks to fire smoke (pretty ineffectually, I might add) and then pushed forward a second platoon who drew reaction fire from two of the Pattons. That’s when things went…weird.

The Neo-Soviet advance at the end of Turn One

The first thing that happened was a Patton fired a round into a Pegasus for a quick kill. During the subsequent turn, another Patton rolled into view, and lost the draw with the surviving two Pegasi. One missed, but the second one rolled two hits with 2D8s. The frontal armor for the Patton is normally 5D12, but it was up to 6D12 because of the lower tech level of the Pegasus. Guess what? A hit, and one that proved critical: main gun knocked out. My son Steve (commanding the Pegasus in question) let out a whoop of glee! A second Patton rolled out to engage the platoon firing smoke. Moments later, the unthinkable happened again. The Patton lost the draw, but this time the return fire from a Pegasus knocked out the vehicle entirely. Harlow (commanding this Pegasus) had trumped my son’s achievement!

One burning, one main gun knocked out...one weird day!

Paying the price for the Pattons

After this, the US players hunkered down and kept in cover. The wounded Patton decided to fire at APCs and infantry targets, while the sole remaining intact Patton stayed in cover for the most part, waiting for the Neo-Soviets to close. The Neo-Soviets did just that, but at incredible cost. The AT teams, along with the Ramirez APCs, played hell with the Neo-Soviet APCs, brewing up many and causing casualties among the dismounting infantry. On the Neo-Soviet extreme right flank, the VDV dismounted and advanced rapidly to take the first row of buildings, taking fire and light casualties, but putting it to the US defenders.

APCs burning bright from expert US gunnery

The VDV advance next to the burning hulks of many of the Neo-Soviet APCs

It was at this point that time ran out with the issue very much in balance. From a “buildings occupied” perspective, the US players were in the lead, but the VDV were chewing up the US infantry and not taking much in return.

A Ramirez IFV waits for the final push

All in all, it was a fun game with plenty of momentum shifts and thrilling moments. It just goes to show you that what looks like a balanced scenario can go to hell in one turn. But unlike other games, Tomorrow’s War doesn’t necessarily stay that way, as the US forces did a very effective job of turning the situation around and making it a very close game, despite the early losses.

Late breaking announcement: I’ll be running a game of Tomorrow’s War at Games Plus in Mt. Prospect, IL this Sunday afternoon. I plan on being there at 12 PM with game time somewhere around 1 PM. I haven’t decided what exactly it is that I’m running yet, but most likely it will be the Bugs in the Reactor scenario from the main rulebook. Rett will also be running a game, so we should be able to accommodate plenty of players. Hope to see you there!

I picked up a few packs of the O8 Space Worms from Pico Armor at Legends two weeks ago and promised John that I would paint them up before Christmas, so he could post a few photos on his website. The O8 Space Worms are a fun group of sculpts, more pulp in flavor than most of the 15mm releases these days, with a lot of character.

Oddzial's Space Worms (crawling soon from a hole near you)

The castings were pretty clean, with the exception of a few minor mold lines that had to be filed. The alloy used is a little harder than most, so make sure your files are up to it. That being said, I cleaned up all 18 in about 20 minutes. The detail is very crisp and lends itself well to stain painting or drybrushing.

A closer view of the Space Worms

I wanted a fairly clean look for the painted models, so I basecoated them with a thinned down coat of Vallejo Beige, then washed them with Vallejo Fleshtone Wash. I coated the red and metal areas with a layer of Vallejo Maroon, followed by Vallejo Flat Red, Bronze and Gunmetal Gray. Basing was done with Vallejo Dark Brown basing medium (my newest love), static grass and a few clumps of vegetation and rocks. As for the variety of poses, here are a few pictures.

From left to right, Leader, Grunt 1, Grunt 2, Grunt 3, Heavy 1 and Heavy 2 poses (my names, not O8's)

The Leader (or as I say, the Khan of Worms)

The Grunts (who give a whole new meaning to Bore Sighting)

Heavy 1 (bait and sinker?)

Heavy 2 ("try carrying this around with no arms")

As you can see, Space Worms paint up quite well and can add a fun element to any science fiction battlefield. My own thoughts on a background are as follows. I see them as biological weapons of another race, controlled through the helmet and used in a subterranean envelopment role (“Death from Below”), so definitely tunnelers. I organized my Space Worms in “Segments” of nine figures: 2 Worm Teams of four figures each (3 Grunts and 1 Heavy) and a Segment Leader (Khan of Worms).

A Worm Segment, including the Khan of Worms

I heartily recommend these figures to anyone looking for something quirky to put on the science fiction table.

Another busy weekend, but I found time to paint up some excellent vehicles from Scotty at Combat Wombat. I purchased these at Fall Recruits this year with my Neo-Soviet VDV force in mind. First up is the fantastic assault gun model with one of the new drilled metal barrels Scotty is offering:

Fire support for the troops, Neo-Soviet style!

Ssssh---we're hunting Silers! Heheheheheheh.

Alternate angle shot of this beast.

Next up are three IFVs, Combat Wombat style:

Command vehicle for the IFVs.

Alternate view.

The full platoon transport.

VDV troopers dismounted from their rides.

Closer shot of the VDV troops and their mounts.

A few comments on the photos. The “brighter” photos were taken with my new iPhone 4S camera which is absolutely amazing in terms of quality, even with macro photos. The “darker” ones were my usual Canon PowerShot Digital Elph. I may just stick with my iPhone!

As for painting, I airbrushed all the vehicles with Vallejo Flat Tan, then German Black-Gray stripes, followed by German Camo-Brown within the Black-Gray stripes. I then washed the vehicles with Vallejo Black Wash, then washed the treads and wheels with Vallejo Sepia wash mixed with some Vallejo rust pigment. I finished with a light drybrush of Khaki Grey, followed by the same mixed with Ivory. I am quite pleased with the results and can’t wait to put the entire force on the table at the upcoming Legends in the Fall convention next weekend.

Mark your calendars for the weekend of November 19-20 for this year’s Legends in the Fall convention in Mundelein, IL. This is the first year that we are doing a two day event. We’re also offering two wonderful Saturday night dinner/tournament events. I will be attending as a vendor this year, representing Ambush Alley Games. I will be running games most of the weekend at the booth.

Games that I know of so far include Starship Troopers (with TW rules), Star Wars (TW), a “not” 40K game (with TW) and a Force on Force game (the Bala Baluk scenario from the OEF book). If I get enough stuff painted, we will also run a game or two of Ambush Valley (Vietnam) and the forthcoming Cold War Gone Hot book. There are also a ton on non-AAG games planned from some of Chicagoland’s top game masters.

Skip Peterson is the convention organizer and always puts on a world-class show. We’d love to see you at the event and get you into a game! For more information, check out http://legends-in-time.com/WordPress/?page_id=2.