Friday, 21 July 2017

RAFM Cheetah WIP



This is picture is of the pre-loved and slightly tatty Cheetah I got off eBay, which was sans butt-plate.  As luck would have it I could find no pictures on the web of the Cheetah taken from the rear.  Fortunately, I have friends who have complete Cheetahs to send me pictures of what the butt-plate should look like.

However, as luck would have it–or not, as luck only involved winning an eBay listing–I managed to buy a Whitecat.  This has the same V-motor butt-plate as the Cheetah, so I am now using this as a template to fabricate a replacement for my model.


I started by bending up a bit of wire to make a frame for the Milliput butt-plate.  Then I added the Milliput and moulded it into the rough shape I needed.  Still a bit of shaping and carving yet to do, but it has been far too nice to be sitting indoors making toy soldiers to finish the job.

And here's the cleaned up Cheetah awaiting assembly.

   
So, more updates to come, but now it's time to go off and shoot pointy sticks at round things: archery being lots more fun to do when the weather is nice.
  

Friday, 14 July 2017

Hammers & Nails

  
 

I caught a link to a YouTube video, which I happened to have time to watch, which is not normally the case, where it ended by asking the following question:

"At what point do you want to become an advocate and a demo person for the game, for very little to no benefit?"

It's a good question, been there and done that too.  My answer is–it depends.

What interested me about the future of Wargaming Demo Teams piece was that any answer will also depend on where you come from.  Clearly the person who is discussing this comes from a different place from me, as do a large number of the commentators who left their opinions on the video

My impression is that most think one should be paid for hours demonstrating a manufacturers game, with the details of the payment being up to the company.  Ultimately, it's a decision the demonstrators makes if they agree to the company's offer.

A separate question of does this make the person who is demonstrating a game an employee,  is probably subject to what classes as employment under the law of the land.

My question is, when did it become an expectation to be paid to do a hobby?  Because for the life of me a hobby is something you do for fun rather than it being work, because work is not spelt F.U.N. Call me an old fogey.  And yes I've been a demo agent and got perks for demoing games for the company, but I did it not for the perks, but because I loved the game I was demoing.

And as for the perks, quite frankly not worth the time and effort I put into preparing the games, and at one level were a total insult since the terms and conditions of said perks meant I largely had nothing I wanted to use them on.

I consoled myself that it encouraged me to do something I already enjoyed.  And the the company decided that they didn't want me to demo games with the miniatures I had, I stopped.  No regrets, despite some gnashing of teeth over what I see as the shortsightedness of the decision.

But you know, not once did it even cross my mind that I was an employee of the company.
   

Friday, 23 June 2017

RAFM Mambas



Until recently I only had two Mambas.  One a brawler variant and the other was less than complete: no head and engine.  Now I have two more: a Black Mamba and a Snake Eye Mamba.  So, it looks like I have the elements of support squad.

Having taken the above pictures, because pictures are proof, you will have to take it on trust that I find I now have a shoe box size box full of Heavy Gear miniatures.  I am blessed, and clearly going to live forever, because that's how long it will take me to assemble and paint all of my acquisitions at the rate I work.

PS: It has been hot this week and I've felt drained by the heat, which must be a sign of something, like the need to be on a beach enjoying the sun, going for a swim in the cool sea, and afterwards having a cool drink.
  

Friday, 16 June 2017

Some More Size Comparisons


Didn't realize that two of the little Dogs had broken arms, they're that tiny, but you can see it in the picture.

Back here I took some pictures of GZGs not VOTOMS, but I was asked if I could take a picture showing them next to other mecha.  Hopefully, people will now be able to see the relative sizes of GZG Dogs, Heavy Gear and BattleTech mechs.

NB: If you compare the old pictures of the little Dogs to this new one the increase in quality between my old camera and my new one is quite remarkable.
 

Monday, 5 June 2017

Northern Guard Painting WIP



And this weekend I managed to slap some paint on my Northern Guard Gears.  Still a long way to go, but I'm one colour application closer to finishing.

The Jaguar on the left has had the main green shaded, while the Hunter on the right has had the arms painted the rest remains to be done.  I really want to get my Northern Guard squad done, but unfortunately, with the nicer weather I've been going out more, mostly to shoot arrows in archery competitions, so the painting has been put on the back burner for the time being.
  

Monday, 22 May 2017

Two X-Wing Battles: The Kittens Strike Back


Allan moving his Academy pilot forward at the beginning of the first turn on my new space mat bought from Dark Sphere games.

We played two games of X-Wing this Saturday, which made for a very busy weekend after a morning spent shooting arrow at archery practice, and then shooting again on Sunday in our club Spring Handicap competition.  More on archery here.

Our friend Allan came around to play and have a meal, drink wine, the usual really.  He and his wife Paloma are leaving Britain for sunnier climes, though she couldn't make today because of having to finish her doctorate presentation, which was due Monday.

So, I made up two three-player scenarios, with the kittens playing the opposition and us three humans all working together to foil them, which went about as well as could be expected...

The kittens have destroyed one TIE fighter and are leading the rest on a merry chase through the asteroids.

The first scenario was based on the Millenium Falcon flying out of an asteroid belt and engaging it's stardrive to escape, loosely based on the Empire Strikes Back.  The Falcon had Han and R2 D2 aboard with homing missiles and an upgrade to allow the bucket of bolts to do barrel rolls.

It all got a bit gnarly with ships banging into each other, which worked well for the TIEs in preventing the Falcon's progress.

We each ran two of the Empire's Imperial TIEs with one average and one academy pilot each.  Points wise the Falcon was outmatched, but the kittens still managed to get their very battered and beaten ship off the table.

The kittens on the verge of victory with the TIE players (Susan) insisting the Imperials being allowed one more round of firing on the Falcon as the centre pin wasn't across the edge of the board.  Kittens still escaped though.

The second game features two X-wings escorting a Y-wing off the table.

More asteroids to fly through.

The kittens had Red Leader Garven Dreis, Red 2 Wedge Antilles, and Gold Leader Jon "Dutch" Vander facing the same motley crew of Imperial pilots: one skill four, two skill three and three skill one Academy pilots.

My two TIE fighters are bottom left and centre, and I had to turn my lead to avoid hitting the asteroid.

There was much dodging of asteroids and, the inevitable crashing into one's own ships as the Imperials struggled to gang up on the Y-wing–our victory being dependent on destroying it before it could get off the board.

A TIE fighter about about to go boom after being shot up by the kittens, and the two remaining TIEs failed to inflict any damage when returning fire.

Wedge Antilles is a total killer because his character's special ability is to reduce the enemy agility by one, and TIE fighters are a bit fragile if hit.

The kittens did a reverse turn with the X-wings and lined up on two soon to be ex-TIE fighters, which led to complaints from Susan that I was 'avoiding' the fight.

In a move that couldn't have been staged for more laughs, I managed to crash my Academy pilot into Allan's good pilot, and then crash my good pilot into my own Academy pilot, which caused my two TIE fighters to end up trailing the oncoming X-wing furball.

With the two TIE fighters destroyed the Y-wing slip quietly away after the only TIE that can shoot it fails to destroy it.

Points wise the game was very evenly matched, but the kittens managed to get the slightly battered Y-wing away and beat up the Imperials for their trouble.

Afterwards we ate a lovely roast beef dinner, which Susan had made, drank wine, and then watched Rogue One that Allan hadn't yet seen, which made a perfect end to a perfect day.  I will also say that I enjoyed Rogue One more on the second watch because I was able to just relax and let the story unfold without the niggling question of where and who is that?

NBFor those of you reading this and not understanding the 'kittens' use in the game, they are avatars whose movement and dice are controlled by more than one of the opposition players, either in rotation or individually taking command of one ship,which makes for an interesting game.

PS: Amended title after posting.
   

Friday, 19 May 2017

Walker, Humanoid, Integrated Suit/Pilot, Engagement/Reconnaissance

  


My friend Brandon Keith Fero has launched a Kickstarter for some awesome mecha called Whispers.

You can pledge here.

At five Whispers for $50.00 these are a steal.  I'm going to pledge when I'm paid because this it too good a deal to miss out on.
  

Monday, 15 May 2017

Be Careful What You Wish For



Saturday there was no archery, so I was free to do something else instead of shooting sticks at round things.

Serendipitously, one of my MIB colleagues (Steve Jackson Game Men in Black game demonstrators)  was over from the States.  So, after an exchange of emails and messages on Facebook, we arranged for David to come around and play a game of Ogre/GEV.

I suggested we played my Escalation scenario (now subtitled: be careful what you wish for), which I had demoed around various wargame shows three years ago.  Yes, it was as long ago as that.  Running the scenario would be a good test of the game as I would be playing against someone who knew the rules rather than introducing new players to the game.  It's a bit ironic really, given I haven't played for nearly two and half years I was a bit rusty and forgetful, but David rocked.

What I learnt is that I'm going to have to think about how I word the victory conditions; mostly down to the fact that the scenario is unbalanced and is not designed to have a clear winner, but rather to demonstrate how the Last War progressed i.e.: how the GEV green map ends up turning into an orange Ogre map.

I also need to add another howitzer to the nominal attackers side, perhaps even some more infantry, and I think change the GEV mobile command post to a slower tracked mobile command post, as I think it would add more tension to the game.


And courtesy of David a picture of the start of the scenario, before things got all gnarly.

  

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