Sunday, March 17, 2019

Crooked Dice - "Aliens" - V is for Visitors

Well that was fun...
Being a child of the 80's how could I resist... for those a little younger, V was a Sci-fi Mini Series from the early 80's where aliens or "Visitors" arrived on earth to steal our water and farm us for food. They looked like humans but were in fact reptiles - who knew :-)

Crooked Dice have done a great job with their latest alien releases - they bear a great similarity to the Visitors of the 80's mini series.

Wonderful sculpts and a great selection of iconic characters from the series. My biggest challenge was finding a colour that matched the TV show, it was a off an orange/red colour which can be tricky to replicate as it could very easily turn into bright red. But I am really happy with how these have turned out.

A present there are only 8 separate figures in the range, but I have a couple of head swaps planned to bolster the Visitor contingent and give me some additional security troops.

Brian - Leader of the Friends of the Vistors together with a couple of distinctive shock troopers.

A couple of Visitor Engineers armed with laser pistols and wearing their distinctive glasses.


Finally the Visitor leadership, Lydia (L) - Head of Security and arch rival of Diana (C) who started out as the Second in Command before replacing John (R) as the Supreme Commander.

Looking forward to giving these a roll out one evening,with plenty of modern and civilian types boxed away it should make for a fun game.

The Green Street Boyz defend their turf from a Vistior raid.

The guys from Crooked Dice tell me that resistance and spare heads are planned together with maybe a Shuttle Craft so who knows where this might end up, but they were certainly fun to paint up.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Saturday Evening Round up.

Well so much for no new projects - Thanks Karl @Crooked Dice.
Being of a certain age, who could not be tempted by the latest release from Crooked Dice, I have no idea how these not "V" figures will fit in with any of the other projects, but that's half the fun.

Having raided the understair cupboard for the original mini series box set, I also picked up a bunch of novels for under £2.00 each. I minor distraction from the current projects honest :-)

I figured with so few colours if you on the average Shock Troopers I could get them finished over the weekend. The only challenge is to go for Red or Dark Orange as both seem to be in use in the TV show.
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I got them undercoated and ready for painting tomorrow, it will be a welcome break from Haitian Infantry.

Meanwhile I finally got around to painting the doors and windows on the Spanish Church. It does look far better. I have an order coming from Tablescape in the days ahead to build my Haitian Village and the doors and windows will definately need an upgrade.

Meanwhile lead mountain got a little larger with the arrival of Antediluvian Miniatures Kickstarter, I am a big fan of their sculpts and they will fit in with some of the future Ghost Archipelago games.

Right back to the brushes....

Saturday, March 09, 2019

War of Insurgency Rule Review - Chechen War.

A break from black power. I have been on the hunt for a while for a modern set of large scale skirmish rules, many of the sets on offer either only need a handful of figures or you are getting into Company and sized games so I thought I would give these a run out. Aimed at the wars in Africa which suits my stalled Serria Leone Project, they could work for the Chechen conflict.

Mike Demana rules cover the period from around 1950's through to present day, the core rules are only around 10 pages and split troops into three classes, Militia, Regular and Professional.weapon classes are either small arms or LMG's perfect for 15mm, where you can't see the difference between an AK47 & M16.

In our run through it was a small scenario- a Russian Tank had broken down at a petrol station (well I had to give the petrol station a run out evenually.) and the crew had to defend it until reinforcements made it to the village and they called in the mechanics. Meanwhile the local insurgents move in for the kill.

Initiative is a simple dice off but to actually order your troops, each player puts a numbered marker down for each squad face down. The numbering shows which order they move in. This means each player doesn’t know who which squads are going to move forcing some careful planning. Surprising thought provoking given it's such a simple mechanism. If you squad gets split you introduce a dummy counter which means one of your sections won't move, your opponet won't know which one.

The troops quality impacts both the troops firing ability, effective range and defence capability nice and simple and very easy to remember. Fire fights are resolved with an attack roll and a defence roll with attackers hitting on a 4,5 or 6 and deenders a 5 or 6. You add defence dice for cover which is pretty good against Small Arms, but my tank crew faired less well when an RPG round hit them, whilst defending the petrol station.

Squads below half strength need to start taking morale checks which has the potential to lock them in place by forcing them prone. Before they can attempt an action another morale test is taken if failed they run for the nearest table edge.

We played with around 30 Chechen fighters facing off against around 25 Russians split into around 5 units apiece, which gave a good evenings entertainment.

The campaign rules included are reminiscent of those of Peter Pigs AK47 but at this stage I am only interested in the table top rules. But can see the appeal.

They won't be for everyone but do give a quick and easy game and the end result seemed reasonable with professionals defeating regulars by about 5:1. The Professionals long range fire stopped many of the regulars before they could get into decent defensive positions.

Monday, March 04, 2019

The Pearl of the Antillies. - The Haiti Campaign - End of Day Four - 4th August 1791

Another day draws to a close and the political factions edge ever closer to open conflict, several hot spots are starting to open up across the island and whilst there is open communications between the factions you can't help but think no one really trusts one another.

Haiti the Pearl of the Antillies with all the various factions and their known troop concentrations. However many of the local towns and villages now have local garrisons hidden across their territory. These will provide the defenders with 20 support points should they be attacked and a source of reinforcements at the end of the week.

In the south of the Island the village of Kescoff has become the area of focus, high on the mountain top it is now firmly in Mulatto control however Republican troops can be seen growing in number in the foot hills. 
Republican troops continue to send out patrols into the local area securing supplies and fodder for their troops, one such patrol stumbles upon a diplomatic pouch which is taken directly to Sonthonax. It's owner is unknown, Sonthonax calls for a translator to read the dispatch.

Meanwhile to the West a new player comes into focus, the British under General Maitland begin there push down the Western spur. With Haitian loyalist and Free blacks to their front and flank they will have to be careful about how they plan for the days ahead.

In the North of the Island things are rather tight, the Spanish under Joaquín Moreno have reached the border of the Slave Territory of Princess  Amethyste whose followers can be seen blocking the approaches to Ferrier as the Spanish mass for assault.

Meanwhile the Royalist flag flies over the wooden stockade at Bahon, looking over the open ground towards the wooded hillside troops belonging to Dutty Boukman can be seen moving out of musket and cannon range they appear to be growing in number.
Boukman continues to seek supplies from his local area gaining 5 sacks but losing one due to his prescence in Royalist territory.
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Despite the heat of August the occasional down pour can play havoc with your supply lines and one such tropical storm catches the Royalist forces spoiling their black powder supplies and limiting their firing ability tomorrow. It must be voodoo or the like....

Meanwhile Haitian Loyalists under Toussaint Louverture push ever closer to the borders of the Royalists and the territory of Baissou and his revolting slaves. He continues see his supplies being under pressure with rats destroying another sack from the warehouse and store rooms.


Meanwhile from the slave infested coast Baissou freed slaves spots sails on the horizon from several small fishing boats edging along the coast line, they are several in number and through his spy glass can make out armed men and sailors they fly the Royalist flag.

New orders are due next week and we could see our first flash point.
There are a couple of Pbem factions available if anyone is interested, drop me a note in the comments.

Until next time.