Friday, 20 November 2015

Airfix Wargame for 2016


For those of us of a certain age Airfix was a thing.  They made kits of what seemed like everything and anything, ranging from tractors and sailing ships through to aircraft and tanks.  And of course plastic toy soldiers in many sizes.

I just found out they are now entering the wargame market with their own set of rules.  How cool is that?  Ice cool!  Link for more details.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Saturday's News

Saturday is the day I back up my work for the week.  Depending on how much work I've done this can range from ten minutes to about half an hour of fiddling around copying files before starting the Time Machine app on my Mac.  Then I look at my email  and the news.

Today I was interrupted by my partner telling me about what happened in France.

I'm reminded of a quote by Clausewitz, "War is not merely a political act but a real political instrument, a continuation of political intercourse, a carrying out of the same by other means."

However, wars that can't be won or make things worse are pointless.  All this does is tend to radicalize people into committing more acts of violence.  At the end of the day it will stop when people decide to sit down and talk.  Until then all we can do is be patient with something that is outside of our control.  The writer's Peter Harness and Steven Moffat of Dr Who Zygon Inversion episode said it better last week better than I can.
"So, let me ask you a question about this brave new world of yours.  When you’ve killed all the bad guys, and it’s all perfect and just and fair, when you have finally got it exactly the way you want it, what are you going to do with the people like you?  The troublemakers.  How are you going to protect your glorious revolution from the next one?"
Britain has a special relationship with France and we often make jokes about Agincourt, Waterloo etc but what has happened there is something we share and today we stand together with the people of France.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Technical Read Out 3055


I had the good fortune to be asked to write for the BattleTech universe by Sam Lewis.  I had written to him suggesting a TRO to cover the Clan second line mechs and Inner Sphere combat support vehicles.  My idea was to do a version of the 3025 book but using the new Clan technology rules.

Sam wrote back and said this was an interesting idea but given that I was in England it would be too difficult to coordinate this project.

You have to remember I was writing this stuff in the late 80s and early 90s before the advent of the internet we all know and love today.  There was also the little thing of just having one person write a whole TRO.  I was game, but the people at FASA thought it would be better if the work was given to more than one writer.

I remember having a conversation and asked what I would like to write for the book?  I said the Clan second line mechs, which made "Black" Mike Nystul happy.  Mostly because it seemed that no one had any interest in doing them because they were considered boring.  They sent me a bunch of drawings and told me to design stats to match.  At the time I knew nothing about the Harmony Gold problem and I was blissfully ignorant of any developments happening within FASA.  All I wanted to do was produce stats for classic Inner Sphere mechs I liked.

I Also remember Mike apologizing about cutting the text down for the TRO after insisting on it for the original specification.  I knew several of the other British based contributors to this product, and they all moaned about the amount of fluff text that had been specified.  It's quite difficult to write things which have any relevance to the game.

FASA wanted five of the design optimized for Solaris, which back then had a different ground and time scale. The designs had to take advantage of the rules, and I was told that if there was any spare tonnage that this would be a good thing.  Because they had ideas for scenarios with extra surprises. 

They also told me that certain mechs were to be Diamond Sharks and to mention this when writing the text.  I didn't have the first clue about who or what they were, other than they had plans.  Also, I didn't design the Jenner that is in the Clan second line mech section.

The following are links to the full text I wrote for FASA.

BBN-1V Baboon

BEH-0M3 Behemoth

GRF-3BN Griffin

GSH-0VK Goshawk

KKN-5N Kraken

The AC2 version of the Kraken was optimized for then original version of Solaris.  This used a different time and ground scale combo.  The rules  allowed certain weapons, like the AC2, to fire either every turn or on more turns than a lot of other weapons. 

LCT-3WU Locust
MAD-4R Marauder

MTD-0R Matador

What I called the Matador became the stats for the Phoenix Hawk. 

PER-G1N Peregrine

RFL-6LP Rifleman 

SHD-3J Shadow Hawk

VPR-0S1 Viper

VXN-2S Vixen

WHM-9U Warhammer

WVR-6MU Hellhound

Name changed from Wolverine to Hellhound by FASA.

I later learnt Herb Beas rewrote the rules because of my designs.  Seems the mechs were a popular choice for tournament games. Due to the combined bonus to hit from having pulse lasers and targeting computers.

My design philosophy at the time (even now) is to design mechs which over heat slowly, and as they take damage, degrade gracefully. This suits my style of play.  I'm not a frother who likes to overheat a mech for one extra shot on the enemy which ends up shutting down your mech.

This comes from a steep learning curve with unforgivingly brutal opponents like Glenn Wallbridge.  Though I think I can say that we were fairly evenly matched?  I've seen him reduce people's units, who were considered pretty good players, to shambling wrecks without breaking into a sweat.

He taught me a few things I had missed.  I remember playing a MechForce UK game against I think Neill Fowler Wright?  I fought his then unbeaten Jenner trio to a standstill with a Black Jack BJ-1D & Rifleman RFL-3D team. He reconsidered his tactics, and I started using Jenners after that.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Editing of Interest


I've been a bit remiss in posting blogs of late.  So here's a picture of a recent score.  Heavy Gear Fighter; a card game for battling with Gears.

Apart from this I've been working on my novel.  I'm at that stage where things are moving forward and my full attention has been focused on editing my work. And when not writing, watching Person of Interest and Orphan Black.

I do actually have articles lined up, but they either need a lot of work to write up the notes, or finish painting the figures, or taking pictures of said figures, which is why you've not seen much from me.  However, this weekend I'm off to St. Albans for the Lardy Game Day, which I will write up for next week.

Monday, 21 September 2015

On My Bench WIP


It has been a while since I last posted and it's all down to going through one of those periods when the paint doesn't flow.  Sometime one gets in the groove and the paint just goes right.  Then there are the times when it doesn't.  But at least I've restarted painting, even if it did involve dropping one model on the floor and having to re-glue it to its base.  So more to come.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Back from Provence

This is me not model making or writing and basically sans internet.

You can read about it here.  What I was looking at.

Normal service will be resumed once I've caught up with my back log of emails and blog post to read and comment on.

Monday, 27 July 2015

PetMen HOS

These figures are 15mm tall models on 25mm bases, and picture is a focus stack.

Well I had a bit of a weekend, as in nothing seemed to go right with my painting.  First off my Russian walker mech has turned into one of those faffing hell projects.  You know the ones I mean, where you take two steps forward and one step back.  So it's still not finished.  Then I hit a problem with my combat armour suits I'm painting up to match the two I've already done.  Let's just say that I was cursing the lack of opacity in my new chosen green.

Anyway, I managed to finish these.  Six bases of PetMen that are Dream Pod 9s GRELs that are all left handed, which really bugs the hell out of me.  This picture is going off for the TFL 2015 painting challenge, which is the first time I've had anything to submit for three months.

Friday, 17 July 2015

CASE-2X Portraits

This was going to be a post about taking pictures, and how to up you game, but my game is so good that even when trying to show the problems I failed to produce pictures that were significantly lacking in depth of field.  As a result I went off and had another go and producing the images I needed and found I had written the basics for a short article.  I talked to Henry Hyde and he said go for it, so rather than appearing here my article on upping one's photographic game will be sent to Miniature Wargames & Battlegames magazine.

So what you see here instead are some nice portrait shots of my Bad Dog CASE-2X mecha on a piece of my terrain.  And the first close-up is of Lt Tachikoma's CASE-2XC.

And below is the close-up is of LCpl Kowalski's CASE-2X.

Before I finish I just want to show you all a side-by-side comparison of two shots.  The one on the left is a single frame, and the one on the right is made from a stack of images.  One can just about tell the difference in the quality between the two methods of taking a picture.  You'll all have to trust me when I say the image on the right is sharper.

This really is a case of one can't see the difference unless one is looking at the hi-res images on one's monitor, and know what you're looking at, because I'm reaching the pixel resolution of my screen.

Follow by Email