Space Crusade – Solo Recon

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Recon

Having some time on my hands on friday evening, I decided to set up and play a solo variation of Space Crusade, using a few rules I had devised to supplement the core rules.

After securing a bridge-head (mission #1) upon the Ork hulk, the Iron Eagles sent a task force, lead by venerable Sgt. Vandorion. Their mission was to secure a foothold in the barracks sector and gauge the strength of the inevitable counter attack on the bridge-head from that quarter.

I used the board from the Execution Force boxed game and Space Hulk bulkhead doors.

Reserves

After the initial space marine deployment, every time a door is opened, D3+1 aliens are generated and deployed in the room or corridor. Aliens are generated by rolling two differently coloured D6 and consulting a chart.

The bell-curve of results you can get from a 2×D6 roll allows for a realistic mix of aliens. For example, a roll that adds up to 7 (which has the most results possible) generates a gretchin, where as a result of 2 (which has the fewest) generates an ork warboss.

This same 2×D6 roll is used for the alien reserve points at the end of each turn too.

Alien command and equipment deck

If at any point an alien generation roll comes up with a double, I took the top card from an ork command and equipment deck.

This deck consisted of the ork equivalents of the command and equipment cards used by the space marines, which were produced in White Dwarf many, many years ago. During the game two doubles were rolled, resulting in two command and equipment cards being drawn:

Battle Frenzy! Which made all the orks better in close combat (rolling an extra 2 red heavy weapons dice in combat)

Bionic Bits which allowed one particular ork warboss to re-roll a single dice in close combat.

This produced an entertaining challenge and created some seriously tough orks who were well at home getting up close and personal!

A series of Unfortunate Events

After an initially good start the fortunes of the Iron Eagles went downhill fast! Overwhelming numbers of green skins flooded in from all sides, roaring and slavering for battle.

The marines deploy and stand ready for the green skin hordes…

Killa-can dreadnoughts provide mobile bunkers for the ork defence…

Brother Kiesel’s heavy bolter spits death until a round jams in the chamber! Clear it, clear it!?.

Too late, a massive green skin brute strikes him a mortal blow..

As the task force is split-up, surrounded and cut down. Suddenly the bulkheads slam shut, cutting the survivors off from each other.

 

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Mission 1 – Bridge-head

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The Space Crusade campaign that I have been planning for sometime was kicked off recently, when I got together with Graham to play the first mission in the ‘cleansing of Spatium Turci’.

Graham took command of the intrepid space marines task force whilst I got in touch with my inner greenskin as Warboss Tinpot to repel the ‘uman invaders!

Mission overview

Your mission is to fight your way in to the ork hulk and secure a beach-head for following forces. You must also take and hold as many egress points to the rest of the hulk as possible.

Objective – The boarding torpedo will strike in the area marked ‘Ingress point’. Once deployed, the space marine forces must engage and cleanse all xenos troops. Any quarters that are clear of enemy ‘filth’ will provide access to other areas of the hulk.

Ork reserves – a random number of reserves (D6) will arrive at any one of the routes from other areas of the hulk (D3) at the end of the aliens turn. Ork, grot and dreadnought reserves only.

Space marine forces 

Brother sergeant Rulf Steiner

6x tactical marines

3x terminators

 The Battle

The boarding torpedo burrowed its way through fifty metres of rock before punching through into the carcass of an ancient imperial vessel. The breacher squad moved out with fluid professionalism, spread out into formation with weapons covering every angle. They were immediately plunged into a deadly fire-fight as the greenskins reacted with bloodthirsty intent.

Securing the bridge-head against the green tide

The marines were beset on all sides as orks and grots attempted to repel their incursion. First company veteran, Heinrich ‘Metallica’ Eckhart, showed particular heroism whilst holding a key corridor junction with his autocannon reaping a terrible toll amongst the encroaching green hordes. Eckhart was finally brought down by a monstrous ork warboss.

Brother Eckhart’s valiant last stand

Even though the breacher squad was reduced to sgt. Steiner, brother Deitz, armed with the  missile launcher, and terminator brother Schnurrbart, they successfully held the beach-head and secured access routes to both the gunnery deck and the barracks.

Sergeant Steiner stands before the door to the barracks

Welcome to the (new) Man-cave

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My stint in limbo is finally over as me and my fiance have finally moved into our new house! After several exhausting days of getting unpacked and squaring stuff away, I managed to find the time to set up my little piece of hobby paradise.

The painting desk installed and already in use..

Storage solutions are still in the embryonic stage but entertainment is covered with this fantastic hi-fi unit, which was an unexpected present from my fiance Sophie..

A trip to Ikea proved very productive as I picked up this display case.

Obviously I am not quite there yet, my display cabinet is still in storage at my parents and I have yet to sort out a gaming table, but time there will be time enough for that. Until then I can a least get back to exercising the old hobby muscles again.

Going Solo – Space Crusade Campaign

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Whilst me and my fiance are in limbo with the purchase of our new house, I have been living at her’s with my painting paraphernalia lying in storage. I have not been entirely idle though, as I have been assembling my recently purchased space marines for Space Crusade.

WIP – A small selection of marines, double-sided taped to blocks ready for spraying.

I’ve also been putting a lot of thought in to a solo campaign which I would like to undertake, once I’m finally reunited with my wargaming stuff. I have been keenly following Grid based wargaming blog, and have been thoroughly inspired to look at doing more solo gaming in the future.

Campaign Narrative

When the Empyrean spat forth a huge asteroid, which proceeded to change direction and make straight for the agri-world of Ardera IV, Imperial navy pickets stood up and took notice. Not generally known for their ability to change direction at a whim, this particular cosmic body was acting decidedly ‘fishy’.

upon closer inspection, the enormous engines and ramshackle weaponry which adorned the surface of the asteroid could mean only one thing… Orks!!

Was this just a lone vessel, dropped into real space by the random vagaries of the warp, or the vanguard of a large fleet bent on destruction? The question was largely moot, the obdurate belief of the Imperial creed was very particular in such cases, this was an aberration which deserved nothing more than being wiped from the face of the galaxy!!

The local space defense fleet mobilised immediately and, led by Admiral Gruber van Schlessenspiel III, made to intercept the ork asteroid. Van Schlessenspiel was a washed-up void mariner who’s enormous pomposity was coupled with a distinct lack of talent for space conflict. Believing that this “ramshackle space turd” would give his fleet no trouble at all, van Schlessenspiel immediately engaged the ork vessel. His underestimation of the green skins proved to be his folly and in the following battle he lost half his fleet and his flagship, Vexatious Exemplar, was left powerless and adrift.

All seemed lost until the timely and completely unexpected arrival of a battle-barge of the Legiones Astartes. The grey-clad spacecraft, of a chapter unknown to the local Imperial authorities, coasted with stately grace on an intercept course…

Campaign – The cleansing of  ‘Spatium Turci’

The Iron Eagles battle barge the ‘Unendingly Overwrought’ arrived in the Ardera sub-sector to find an enormous ork asteroid hurtling through the void, leaving a broken Imperial navy fleet in its wake.

Commander Fellix Stienner held his ops group on the bridge to outline his plan. The vanguard elements would be launched in boarding torpedoes to secure a beach-head in the less well-protected upper surface of the ork hulk. Once established, it would provide a ‘jumping-off point’ for further operations to cleanse the asteroid of the green skin filth.

Mission 1 – The Beach-head

Objective – The boarding torpedo will strike in the area marked ‘Ingress point’. Once deployed, the space marine forces must engage and cleanse all xenos troops. Any quarters that are clear of enemy ‘filth’ will provide access to other areas of the hulk.

Xenos reserves – a random number of reserves (D6) will arrive at any one of the routes from other areas of the hulk (D3) at the end of the aliens turn. Ork and grot reserves only.

I have yet to decide the strength of the space marines and also still have some work to do on the mechanics for solo play, including making my own event deck, rules of engagement for the green skin forces, etc..

Until then I shall keep my fingers crossed for a quick resolution to our housing situation and continue planning my miniature machinations.

Space Crusaders

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I have mentioned several times in the past of my fondness for the old board game Space Crusade. I have played many hours using both the core game and even making up my own scenarios, including rules for all sorts of other miniatures in my collection.

I also have a copy of the White Dwarf supplement which introduces rules with different races to replace the space marine squads. As I have always liked orks, I decided to collect a mob of Blood Axe Kommandos to send in to the hulk.

The first batch of blood axe kommandos, including an original metal kommando on the left.

Also, inspired by a recent post on Azazel’s Bitz Box, I painted up two old-school metal marines that I have had lying around for some time.

Space marine apothecary

Although apothecaries are usually bedecked in all white livery I decided that, in a galaxy that doesn’t recognise the Geneva Convention, it would be rather reckless to present oneself as such an easy target and so I gave him the basic Iron Eagles livery, with white and red shoulder pads.

Space marine veteran sergeant

I really like this old veteran sergeant model and hope that, as he is holding an auspex device, he might help me to remember to use the ‘Scanner’ equipment card which allows you to look at face-down blips. It’s a really useful card if you’re on an assassination mission and need to find a particular alien to kill, or if you just want to find out what’s in the next room without blundering in there, unfortunately I constantly forget to use it!!

My hobby activities will be slowing down next month as I am moving in with my fiance next week until our new house is ready and my hobby stuff will be put in storage, I have put together a small ‘portable nerding kit’, so I can keep on with some model assembly but the paint shop has been shut-down for the time being.

Space Hulk

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“A spiral of kaleidoscopic colours coalesced in the void, a violent outburst of warp energies exploding forth into real space. It grew with surprising rapidity until vomiting out a monolithic conglomeration of spaceships of varying origins, some of human construction, many more of a distinctly xenos design and all fused together by the insane vagaries of the immaterium. With the warp rift closing behind and multi-coloured tendrils of impossible light bleeding from its surface, it drifted silently amongst the stars with anything but stately grace.

Panic took hold of the whole sub-sector as the space hulk, codenamed ‘Lugubrious Ruin’, gravitated toward the human inhabited planets. Desperate calls for aid were sent by astropathic communication, pleading for assistance from the administratum. The first sign that any notice had been taken of these petitions came in the form of a sleek and deadly battlebarge, bedecked in the grey and gold livery of the Iron Eagles space marines.

The astartes vessel, the ‘Unendingly Overwrought’, made straight for the hulk and launched boarding torpedoes. Interred within, veterans of the 1st Company clad in the few rare and revered tactical dreadnought armour suits possessed by the legion, sat ready for action… “

It has been a long time coming, as I’ve had these models assembled and undercoated for quite a few years but never got around to painting them. I made a commitment to myself to get my Space Hulk collection painted by the end of 2017 and I have been doing the marines in small batches throughout the year. I’ve only got the librarian and another basic terminator to do before I take on the chitinous hordes of genestealers!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, these are not the original miniatures (except the deceased marine of course), but I was never a big fan of the minis from the boxed set anyway and prefer my own personalised ones.

 

Hell’s Bells!

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“From a realm of chaos and madness they came, aberrations and madmen, vomited forth from hell with nothing upon their insidious minds but slaughter and desecration. They were legion and no mortal force could stand in their way…”

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I procured a copy of Warhammer Quest: Shadows Over Hammerhal and I have been merrily beavering away over the summer, glueing them together. I’ve also been painting them up in small batches and here is the first wave.

Viscount Bubo Spittlesucker III, lord of the blight. He of the sticky armpits.

Galgore the bloody-handed and his band of Khornate reivers

Trontek the inscrutable and his acolytes are blessed with the presence of a child of Tzeentch, a chittering Tzaangor.

 

board of wargaming?

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Over the past few months I have found myself wandering away from table-top wargames, toward miniature board-games. This has been due mainly to the ease by which games like Space Crusade can be set-up and played, within a single gaming session, rather than the two or three sessions it takes to play out Epic battles.

I have made mention before of my adventures in Space Crusade, Lost Patrol and Dreadball, so I thought I would talk a little more about some of the projects, both old and new that have been at the vanguard of my hobby activities of late…

Space Hulk

Out in the deep black no-one can hear you scream!.. This fast-paced and tense game of blazing storm-bolters and scything talons, is always an absolute blast to play!

Several years ago a friend of mine had the idea of buying a copy of the game components on eBay, along with a couple of boxes of genestealers and ask if I’d want collect a set of terminators to go with it. The project was eventually left with me and I have played many of the scenarios from the book over the years.

Betrayal at Calth

Going under-ground… In the Arcologies of Calth, Roboute Guilliman’s indomitable Ultramarines fight bitter subterranean battles with Lorgar Aurelian’s arch-betrayers, the Word Bearers.

Another project idea, this time from the ubiquitous Graham. The components for this game can be found at a very reasonable price on eBay and using our collected Space Crusade minis, we have played all but the last scenario from the rule book.

All in all, this is a very simple game with quite a lot of depth. I really like the tactical options created by the consolidation rules, which allow you to separate and link up troops within hexes, allowing you to create ad hoc fire-teams. Each force has their own set of cards which can be used during play and give a distinct ‘flavour’ to each (I love the foul desecration and meat shield cards, which are used by the Word Bearers!)

Warhammer Quest: Shadows over Hammerhal

Whatever you do, don’t split the party!.. Dungeon dwellers unite in this revamp of an old classic.

Last but by no means least, my newest acquisition is Warhammer Quest: Shadows over Hammerhal. I looked at both this and Silver Tower, but decided that I rather liked the possibilities presented by a GM lead game, rather than cooperative play.

Being that I lack any competitive edge and enjoy creating fun and interesting games, playing the GM would suit me rather well, along with the fact that I much prefer to play the nefarious bad guys than the doughty heroes of course!

I have read through the short story, found in the ‘getting started’ book, but have yet to play. Hopefully I shall be putting the dungeoneers through their paces very soon…

AoS: Death & Destruction

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Sat in his lair, Orruck warlord Naythorn Pain of the Ootribe was not at all content with the general lack of violence and debauchery of late. It had been a slow year and sitting around twiddling his thumbs sat ill with him, there were foes to best and land to pillage, yet none would take on the challenge!

He would have fallen to misery, followed by rage and finally the wholesale slaughter of the entire tribe, had his scouts not come thundering into the settlement with news of a great cloud upon the horizon, an army on the march for sure! With the eagerness only the greenskins can show for war, they mobilized to meet the threat…

As the Orrucks deploy their battleline, the impetuous charioteers charge forward.

Orruck ‘Ard boyz prowl through the ‘mythical menhirs’

Whooping their bestial war cries, the Orrucks thunder toward the Khemri phalanx, upon the backs of their monstrous porcine mounts.

As the boar riders smash into the Undead front rank, splintering shields and femurs alike, they are suddenly engulfed by the shambling horde.

As the greenskin cavalry is beset by skeleton legions, the Orruck ‘ard boyz clash with the Ushabti constructs.

The Orruck’s savagery is no match for the Ushabti’s near limitless resilience.

Whilst most of the wargaming folk of this fair Isle made their way to the great city of Londinium, to the spend all their hard-earned guineas at Salute 2017, my good friend Pancake Payne and I decided to get together for some gaming goodness.

He was very eager to learn to play Age of Sigmar, so we threw down some models and terrain, and got down to some dice rolling. Being a training game we dispensed with a scenario and simply got down to the basics, which is great for learning (or indeed reminding one’s self of) how to play the game, but it does lack the interest factor that a good scenario would provide.

I wrote a post reviewing my first encounter with Age of Sigmar, which can be found here, and although I stand by my initial thoughts, I do feel that this game can be let down by the amount of dice rolling that is required. That being said, getting together with Pancake is always good fun and although I did manage to gain the upper-hand over his greenskins, they were definitely tough enough to make it a hard-fought victory for the legions of Khemri.

Beware the Shaggoth!

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At the border of the manling domain of Sylea, where the verdant land is pierced by the jagged peaks of the Dracos Tooth mountain range, the gateway to the Dead Lands.

Many foul beasts make their lair within the mountains, but none are more abhorrent than the loathsome Shaggoth! This abberation is said to be part ogre, part dragon and wields a mighty axe which can cleave a horse in twain.

Since the manlings first settled in these lands, they have been blighted by the Shaggoth’s penchant for pillage and slaughter. Many a hero has rode into the mountains to slay the beast, none has ever returned…