Thursday, 7 December 2017

Chinese ZTZ-169C

As you can all guess, with Terror Tree now out, tanks, especially large tanks, have been on my mind.

These are old Ral Partha Demolisher tanks from the original FASA BattleTech miniatures range.  Back in the day, when I was young, I bought one, which despite my best efforts to shed stuff over the years I still have.  It's the one at the back.

Over the past few years I acquired two more, which were originally bought to be turned into cybertanks for Ogre/GEV.  But I have a shed ton of Ogre cybertanks, so they've become surplus to requirements.

Since then, I've been of two minds about what to do with them. 

As a BattleTech tank, it really is way too big to use, if you agree that the battlemech models are accurate 1/300th scale representations.  If on the other hand, like me, you're in the habit of using the Dark Age Mech Warrior infantry for your BattleTech games, because they look better, then these Demolishers do look the business.

They would also make a reasonable 15mm, nominal 1/100th scale tanks too.  So, decisions, decisions.

After much thought, I've decided to use them as part of my ongoing Bad Dog project, as I want some tank to support my Chinese All Terrain Suits, and I've given them the designation ZTZ-169C.  I think that the Demolisher looks pretty good next to these Chinese All Terrain Suits I made.  Big without being too big, and one can rationalize the treads as independent electric drive units.

So time to strip the two partly painted models and reassemble them.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Terror Tree Now Available


War is the father of us all, king of all. Some it makes gods, some it makes men, some it makes slaves, some free.

Plot Summary
Imagine a future where humans face Artificial Intelligence systems controlling the machines of war.
This is a science fiction short story that asks the question: What if this goes on?

Includes chapter one of the forthcoming novel Bad Dog.

More about the author.

Buy this book

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Thursday, 9 November 2017

Second Heavy Gear Blitz KickStarter

After a month's delay to fulfill their Jovian Wars KickStarter, Dream Pod 9 have announced a launch date for their Heavy Gear Blitz expansion. I understand it will be in the next couple of days.  If you've not been following their FaceBook page I recommend looking at some of the renders they've been posting, and the tease for the Gilgamesh tank looks really interesting.

Unfortunately, it's unlikely I can pledge due to my other financial commitment, namely publishing Bad Dog.  But if I could I would, so check it out.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Bad Dog Finished Art


Here's the artwork for Bad Dog.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Third World Future Tank

These models are from the Takara micro-tank range.  They're a 1/144th scale Russian T95s, more properly called Object 195, because it never reached production status, as it was cancelled in 2010 due to budget problems.

Given that Russian tanks have a look to them, my idea was to use this model as the basis for a near future Third World tank, if only because it's an easy way of plonking something down on the table for a game.

Of course saying that means I'll probably want to customize these a bit, to jazz them up and make them look more futuristic.  Haven't decided what this will entail yet, but you know me when I do I will post pictures.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Bad Dog

I've made the decision that I'm too old to waste any more of my life waiting for replies from traditional publishing houses about my novel.  It has been two years, with one reply back, which was promising but, as they say, close but no cigar.  The thought of waiting another two years to not hear back from editors who requested to see my work, or getting a nice rejection, because no one understands how to sell my work, is not on.

So, I have a choice.  Give up or self-publish.

The answer is, never give up, never surrender.

This picture is by the talented artist Elartwyne Estole whose work can be seen here.  I asked him to do a cover, and he came up with this sketch, which I think is awesome.  The current plan is to have Bad Dog out by January the first 2018.

We shall see how the plan survives contact with reality in due course.

PS: You can follow my writing site here.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Making Life Multiplanetary

Call me a starry eyed dreamer, but this was what Heinlein wrote about when I was a kid.  I've waited all my life to see mankind go back to visiting other planets.

Made me emotional to watch this, so good I've posted this on both blogs.

Friday, 22 September 2017

SJG Ogre Miniatures Wargame


This piece is going to be a criticism of the Ogre Miniatures wargaming rules by Steve Jackson Games.  If you've followed my blog for any length of time it should be obvious that I have played a fair few game of Ogre/GEV, and have a sizeable collection of the miniatures.

The picture above is proof of that.

Let me start by stating the obvious, the board-game is a classic.  Now that has been said let me explain what makes the rules for playing using the miniatures less than a fully satisfying miniatures playing experience.

It's quite simple really, the photo above is almost the perfect illustration of the problem–range to move ratio.  It doesn't matter what ground-scale conversion one uses: one inch to the hex, two inches, three or even four the problem remains, and the larger you go just makes other things more difficult too, like the size of the table need to play on.

In Ogre, units move one to four or more hexes per turn.  The range of the weapons is one to three hexes, with specials like howitzers being an exception, and cruise missiles of course, which in my experience are scenario specific.  Also, in Ogre terrain blocks, as in costs movement points to cross, but line-of-sight is is irrelevant to targeting an opponent, as it is abstracted as a defence bonus.

So what's the problem?

When the distance you can move a unit is as great or greater than the range you can shoot, what you have is a high level (more abstract) game, and miniature wargaming tends towards a lower level (less abstract) game.  The move to range ratio is a big issue here, because it just doesn't give the feel of a miniatures game.

As a player of miniature wargames I want tactical problems arising from terrain blocking line-of-sight and manoeuvre, which is why I use my miniatures as tokens on a hex map board.

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