August 28, 2014

"The Collective" OP2 in Review

Rather than posting multiple articles for each event I though I would consolidate them into a single article.

Event 1 at Trilogy Games:

- Bioship Alpha w/ Bioship Alpha Pilot and Energy Focusing Weapon
- Romulan Science Vessel w/ Polarized Hull Plating
- Romulan Scout Vessel w/ Donatra and Interphase Generator
- Gavroche w/ Eddington and some other stuff

We only had three players come for this event, including myself. I wanted to try out a build using Bioship Alpha and some smaller ships to see if I could make Energy Focusing Weapon work. It did and I was able to score 12 hits on a single attack. When time was called I had lost one small ship but lost out in terms of damage dealt. I didn't really care however, since I accomplished what I had wanted to do with EFW.

Event 2 at Sentry Box:

- Borg Tactical Cube w/ Tactical Drone 4
- Borg Sphere w/ Tactical Drone 6
- booster ship

Other than the Soong (which I played as an Independent ship), I have not yet used a Borg ship in OP. While Sentry Box allows fully mixed fleet builds I wanted to see how much damage I could lay out using bare-bones Borg ships. Even with the minimal lists I figured that I'd be able to last a decent amount of time in scenario 2. Of course any Borg ship with an ablative armour on it will beat me in a matchup.

Event 2 at Imaginary Wars:

- Vor'cha class w/ Martok 8
- K'Tinga class w/ Gowron
- B'Rel class w/ K'Nera
- IKS Somraw w/ Klingon Captain

Imaginary Wars is the only place using modified rules, enforcing ship purity, building to 100pts instead of 90, and not using the booster ship in the build. This fleet is similar to several Klingon variations I've used or played against in the past.

We modified the rules at IW to play 45-minute rounds, and allowed the players to attack each other after each had done at least 25 damage to the cube. It didn't really change my impression of the scenario, but since I wasn't playing to win it did let me have some fun making my opponents sweat a little bit when I turned from the cube to lock my sights on their ships.

Final Thoughts on "The Collective OP2"

I didn't really enjoy this scenario. The cube doesn't do anything, and not attacking or really interacting with my opponent at all just didn't feel like a satisfying game experience. I understand it from a thematic standpoint, but it just didn't translate well into a fun scenario. Additionally, the USS Raven prize ship was really not an exciting addition to the game. I don't imagine these being sought after items at all.

I did like the Fleet Captain resources cards and think OP3 will prove to be much more interesting (although it feels nigh-impossible to win). Bring on the USS Stargazer and Assimilation Target Prime!

August 27, 2014

BAM! POW! ZAP! More Superhero Figures...

Ok I admit that comics have evolved their use of onomatopoeia well beyond the words in my title these days. They just don't read or flow as well though, which leads me to the above simple representations. Since they serve little purpose other than to get you to read my post however, let's just move on shall we?

The first figure here is a Reaper Bones golem figure, painted up as the Hulk. I can't take credit for the paint work on this guy, as it was given to me by Uncle Mike (creator of Strange Aeons). I touched up a few minor spots on the purple areas, based him to match my other super hero figures and called it done. Thanks Uncle Mike!

I have another of these figures, which I am now tempted to paint up as a grey or red Hulk just for fun. It should be pretty easy to do, just a matter of when.

Anyone who has read my blog for a while, or even likely in passing, will know that I am quite fond of Alpha Flight. There are quite a few nicely done Heroclix figures available, which I've slowly been repainting and re-basing for use in SuperSystem. I've got three more to add here.

Box - Almost a complete repaint. I cut off the mould lines, recoated all of the red areas and applied some blacks and greys around the figure to add interest. I used some P3 Armour Wash on the metallic areas and then applied a GW Mithril Silver as a highlight. Finally I repainted the yellow visor.

Wild Child - Not one of my favourite characters, but useful as an analog to Wolverine. This figure has a pretty good sculpt and pose, but the face is certainly lacking in details. I didn't bother to strip the paint from this one, although I did consider it. I repainted the black, purple and flesh and followed it up with some GW Leviathan Purple and P3 Flesh washes. The paint on the hair is pretty thick, but I added some detail as best I could. Turned out pretty well I think. I had trouble getting a decent photo of this guy.

The final figure I has in mind was Northstar to add to my Alpha Flight roster. I'd already done an Aurora and was very happy with her. While the figure WizKids had done of Northstar mirrored Aurora's pose, he was done in the red and white costume rather than the original black and white. I decided this would be a good time to try stripping the paint from a clix and see how it turned out.

I was quite surprised at how much actual detail there was on the figure after I'd removed the paint. The disappointment with this figure was two-fold. 1) When I tried to cut some of the mould lines off, the rubbery material simply shredded, and, 2) there was some sculpted detail in his costume that I wouldn't be able to remove like I'd planned.

The band on his upper left arm reminded me of the gestapo troopers I'd painted some time ago, and so I ended up with this:

Zyklon - This guy will be another member of the Crime Syndicate alongside Kriegshunde and The Mist from the SuperFigs line. I think it turned out pretty well. The downside to this conversion is that I still have to find a figure to use as Northstar. In my first pass through the paint work, I actually painted a white circle and the symbol that goes inside it on the arm band, but although very striking, I ultimately felt to be in very poor taste. So I painted over that and decided to try the cross on his chest instead. I think it looks much better, gives focus to the figure and will prove far less distasteful to anyone who happens to see this guy in my collection.

August 25, 2014

Quick AT-43 Report

I realize I haven't posted much in the last little while. I've got several things written out, but haven't taken the pictures to go with them. One group of items has been waiting on flocking to be done for several weeks and I've simply not bothered to sit down for the 10 minutes I'd need to finish that.

However, I did have a chance to play a game of AT-43 last night, UNA vs Red Blok. We decided to play on the maps from the starter box, using two put together to give us some corridors and opportunities to use some close combat troopers. I had brought my Red Blok army box with a few other bits stuffed in, which turned out to be a good thing.

With the close quarters of the maps I wouldn't be able to use the Dotch Yaga, as it wouldn't even be able to enter the map, let alone be able to move anywhere. So I swapped it out for a Nakovalny and another smaller squad of Kastnye Soldaty. If memory serves my list was:

- Urod w/ Odin & Manon
- Nakovalny
- 12x Kastnye Soldaty w/ medic, mechanic and 3 grenade launchers
- 8x Dragonov Kommandos w/ sniper
- 8x Kastnye Soldaty w/ medic, mechanic and a rocket launcher

My opponent was using the M.Ind platoon pattern and had two pairs of Fire Toads, two squads of Shock TacArms and a squad of Shock Troopers. After losing almost my entire 8-man soldaty squad to flamethrower fire I made it a priority to get rid of those as soon as possible.

I pulled back and used my AFVs to keep the fire toads at bay while my infantry focused on the enemy infantry. With some lucky sniping and grenade fire I whittled the UNA down to the two squads of Fire Toads. However, I was then left with two infantry squads that couldn't actually hurt the Fire Toads other than with the sniper.

Urod took out one unit of Fire Toads, but was cut off from the soldaty mechanic and had to rely on Odin and Manon's repair ability to keep it in the fight. The nakovalny had taken some serious damage and retreated around to meet up with said mechanic. While Urod and the kommando sniper tried to do some damage to the remaining fire toads Urod was destroyed.

It was getting late and I was down to two infantry squads and my nakovalny, vs a single pair of fire toads. We called it a draw in the interest of time, as playing it out would have taken quite a while. With the fire toads repairing each other I would have needed to roll very luckily with my sniper and AFV over several turns to win. Quite likely those fire toads would have been able to stomp my infantry and outlast me.

Overall it was good fun. I took some damage early on that made me rethink my strategy, and my opponent said it was cool to use some close combat units he likely wouldn't have on a more open table. I enjoyed my first experience commanding a Red Blok army too.

August 22, 2014

Sentinel Tactics arrives!

I received a shipping notice and tracking number late last week, and after a few failed delivery attempts I was finally able to pick up my Kickstarted copy of Sentinel Tactics - Flame of Freedom by Greater Than Games.

This was the first product of theirs that I've chosen to Kickstart, but I do own all of the Sentinels of the Multiverse games and expansions. In fact I had to order the original game directly from the publisher, because at the time there were no Canadian distributors even carrying it. Well that's all changed and the publisher has grown up. Ah makes me so proud!

Back when the campaign was running I almost didn't pledge, which would have been a shame now that I've seen the awesome stuff that came in the box. My hesitation stemmed from the SotM expansion "Vengeance" which I found to be overly complicated without adding a comparable amount of fun. Now I'll qualify that by saying that Sentinel Tactics is NOT an expansion for the card game; it's a brand new miniature skirmish board game, and after a brief unboxing looks like it's going to be really good fun.

After I opened the package I dug into the core game first. There are a lot of things to punch out here, and they've generously provided plastic bags to put things in. Once you've punched all the cardboard bits out and put them in bags however, you'll immediately realize they won't all fit back in the box. If you're neat, they will fit in the box insert without the bags.

The printing quality looks to be a good standard, but I was a little disappointed with the tiles. The prototype tiles during the campaign looked very crisp, but the released tiles have a kind of filter over top of them which sort of hazes out the details. While it makes the spaces very easy to identify, it sort of dampens my excitement a bit.

Next I dove into the Uprising expansion. Like the core game it comes with pile of tokens and counters, cards for all the characters, and another scenario book that looks like a comic. (I apologize for lack of photos, you'll have to troll around on the internet to see what I'm talking about.)

I also received a box of miniatures for both the core set and the expansion. They're a little bit smaller than I thought they'd be, looking like true 28mm figures, rather than the 32mm scale you'd expect from something like Heroclix. Upon closer inspection it looks like a very similar, if not the same, material as that used in Reaper's Bones miniatures. I'll post up a more detailed look at the figures after I've had a better look at them.

Despite all of that exciting new stuff I ended up a little disappointed at the end, because my core game miniature box was entirely in lacking bases for the figures. I'll have to wait for Greater Than Games to get back to me about my request. In the meantime I'll be giving the base game a try using the cardboard character tokens!