Age of the Force

Or possibly Age of the Jedi, haven’t decided yet…

A while ago I got the guys in the office to put together two 40k Codexes that brought Star Wars to the game, one covering the Rebel Alliance, the other the Galactic Empire.

And that was pretty good, using the legions of WotC Star Wars figues I have accrued over the years. However, the new film got me thinking, and I had something of an epiphany.

When you get together to play Star Wars, you don’t want to faff around with equipment choices, HQ slots, and all the rest. You just want to chuck Luke and his friends on the table and see how about they get on against a bunch of Stormtroopers. Maybe you want to add Boba Fett too – in which case, you don’t want to worry about choices from the Bounty Hunter mini-Codex. You just want to add Fett to your Imperial force and hunt down Han Solo and that damned Wookiee!

Then it hit me Age of Sigmar is the perfect bed for Star Wars gaming, able to handle an escape from the Death Star as effectively as the Battle of Hoth. Just grab your minis, choose a Battleplan and go.

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So, I am going to put some Warscrolls together and see how it goes.

To work properly, the game will also need some dedicated Battleplans and maybe the odd Time of War sheet. The combination of those two would allow the heroes to have an iconic ability on their Warscroll but the other cool stuff they do in the films could still appear in the game without burdening it with too many rules from the outset.

Just think of the games that could be played:

  • Get some Skiffs together and fight over the Sarlacc Pit.
  • Get to the throne room on Naboo.
  • Luke, Han and Leia escape from the Death Star.
  • Battle of Hoth, natch. Above and below ground.
  • Command Imperial forces as they try to take over Cloud City.
  • Defend corridors as the Empire tries to board your Corellian Corvette.
  • Receive Order 66 and hunt down Jedi.
  • Rally the Ewoks to attack the Imperial bunker on Endor.
  • Overthrow the Imperial overlords on Kashyyyk.

 

The big question at the moment is how silly can I get doing this? I could put together a complete book covering an entire campaign or three, a la the Realmgate Wars. There could be Battletomes for the major (and minor!) forces. I could put those together and actually get them printed.

But that would be really silly, wouldn’t it?

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On the other hand, I have already figured out that the old Kenner/Palitoy Rebel Transport is pretty much in scale for 28mm, and I think I have found a kit of the Millennium Falcon that is also damn near in scale…

 

 

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Codex Star Wars Downloads

Okay, enough already – an awful lot of you want PDFs of the Star Wars Codexes we did for Warhammer 40,000!

codexrebelalliance

After digging my inbox out of the deluge of emails asking for copies, I finally came to the conclusion that it was just possible that other gamers might want to have a play themselves. Always happy to oblige.

codexempire

You can now download Codex: Rebel Alliance here.

And you can download Codex: Galactic Empire here.

Hope you all enjoy them!

They Are Here! Codex: Star Wars

It took a long time (may not be using that particular printers again, but they are finally here – the final printed versions of the Star Wars/40k Codexes!

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The ones I pictured before were just  prototypes – these are the final versions with proper binding and spot UV laminated covers (that is the process by which the lead character on the cover is glossy and the background matt, just like official 40k Codexes). Doesn’t really show up in these photos but they look spectacular in real life.

So, what next for this project? Well, given the amount of time it has taken to get this far, a little rest is in order! I also have about 97 other projects all demanding attention at the moment, so Star Wars is going to take a back seat for a little while.

However, the next obvious step would be to do Codexes for the Old Republic and Separatists, allowing us to fight out the Clone Wars (it is not as if I don’t have enough of the old WotC models to do that era justice too). There is also the possibility of Codex supplements, mini-Codexes and Dataslates, much as Games Workshop do with their own ranges. A Dataslate on force users in general or perhaps the Sith could be fun, and Codex: Bounty Hunters would be all kinds of awesome as an Allied force for, well, anyone who can pay.

And what about Codex: Ewoks or Codex: Gungans?

The possibilities are endless…

Star Trekkin’

Well, games playing has just gone out of the window lately!  I managed to get a game of Kings & Things in last week, and I managed to get a base coat of Bolt Gun Metal on one and a half Ork Dreadnoughts before I ran out of paint (hate it when that happens).  Otherwise, it has just been work, work, work!

Still, I have managed to knuckle down and started working through the initial playtest reports on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet.  The core is solid, but coming from a miniatures game that has been around for 7-odd years, that much was obvious before I started on it.  The core rules aside, the game needed what felt like a major shake up to solve a few issues.

First up was a change in policy on Hull scores.  In the past, we have assumed that most weapons fired at a ship will hit, so Hull is a combination of armour, durability and other factors.  This week, we changed it to reflect the size of a ship, so a shuttle is Hull 6, a cruiser 3.  This is a big change in the fundamental approach to the game, but it actually did not affect a huge number of ships (as cruisers were already Hull 3).

Ships were also too agile, so the number of Turns was reduced on most, making the game more tactical.

Phasers being too powerful compared to Disruptors was another cited problem.  I started by upping Disruptors but that so did not work, as there were several combos involving them that made them hellishly powerful.  As in, blasting a cruiser apart in one salvo powerful.

So, I reduced Phasers instead!  Just about every ship has them and they were causing a savage amount of damage in the playtests, so a reduction there seemed a better approach.  They still hit just about every time and still have the Killshot trait for really messing someone up when close but now, for the main part, they will chip away at shields and then do some nasty criticals when they finally punch through.

Speaking of shields, I did have every fourth hit on the shields blasts straight through and does D6 damage on the Hull.  What a hassle that was!  Now, every time a ship takes more than ten points of damage from a single enemy, the ship gets an automatic critical (representing panels on the bridge blowing up, and so forth).  Easy, and you never know if that crit will bring the shields down!

And speaking of criticals, the table has been changed again.  Criticals do a little less overall damage now, but the effects have been modified to better reflect Trek (you do not want your warp core spinning out of control!).

Seeking weapons were changed again.  We had some real issues with these, first as direct fire weapons (no atmosphere), then as counters moving across the table (way too much book keeping!).  Then I saw someone on our forums reminding us that we already had a third system in place, in VaS.  So, now we have a system similar to that working in the game, and we now have an excuse to do models of plasma torpedoes and drones!

Stealth/Cloaking has been modified, with it now providing a ‘save’ against every incoming hit.  I have upped the Stealth scores so it is tough to get through, but it means that you can effectively ‘shotgun space,’ as a playtester put it, with multiple weapons in the hope of getting a hit.  We have also allowed cloaking ships limited atack abilities while ‘transitioning,’ and get a free move of sorts when decloaking, as the enemy never quite knows where they are!

There were a lot of other, smaller changes.  You can now reverse ships, there is a Take Evasive Action, and Engage/Disengage Cloak special actions, and High Energy Turns are a little easier to perform (which is god, because you do not want to fail that one!). Scouts can help accrue Information Points (yes, you will be able to perform science missions in this game!), and scenarios have been divided between General Scenarios and Tactical Challenges.

The first miniatures will be coming through soon and we are all excited about that, though there are currently some tweaks being made to the D-7 which will delay its appearence by a week or two.  Stand by though, as a Big Reveal of this game is coming very soon!

Noble Armada

This weekend, I painted up a coule of fleets for A Call to Arms: Noble Armada.  Those of you who know me may wonder why I haven’t done this up to now.  Well, first, if I wanted a game of Noble Armada, I could just grab the (very nicely) painted models in our display cabinet and, in any case, I did four quite large fleets for the first open day, though they were hastily done.

However, there is nothing like owning your very own fleet, so I grabbed some blisters on Friday and set to work!  My current favourite fleet is House Hazat, so they were the first choice.  Nice colour scheme, and the fleet is about as subtle as a punch in the face, so what is not to like?

House Hazat

These models were painted with a black undercoat, and then the red parts layered with Malachite Red (from GW’s Foundation range).  Red Gore went over the top, with the Magic Goop going on next – in fact, this fleet is painted in pretty much the same way as my Flesh Tearers!  Black was added for detail, and Bolt Gun Metal used on engines and weapons.  Finally, some ships had white dots added to create windows.

Adonais Dreadnought

Trafalgar Carrier and Fighters

Manticore Destroyers

Xerses Galliots

Scorpion Frigates

Stalker Explorers

Next up was a Li Halan fleet.  I must admit to a soft spot for these guys, as I love the ‘born again’ fanatical nature of them.  I also know what is coming up in the release schedule for this fleet, and know they will be born again hard!  Finally, I also wanted to try a variant paint scheme for these ships.

House Li Halan

The traditional paint job on these ships is to have a white base with purple detailing.  However, I saw a painting of some of their nobles, and wanted to paint a fleet that reflected their clothing – white base with Blood Red (with Magic Goop on top) and Chaos Black detailing.  This is the result.

Maru Cruisers

 

Iskati Frigates

Cardano Galliots

Dragon Destroyers

Ijiri Light Carriers

I did have another Light Carrier and a veritable horde of fighters to do, but they wouldn’t fit on the priming board with the rest of the ships, so got left to one side.  Maybe a job for next weekend!

Weekend’s Painting

Managed to do a spot of painting last weekend, but only just got round to taking some snaps!

Bit of a mix, as I was clearing my painting table of odds and ends.
First up, a War Buggy I picked up on eBay for tuppence.  Nicely converted from a Trukk, it has twin-linked rokkits (look for ’em!) and, more importantly, fills my criteria that every vehicle should look different in my Bad Moonz army.

War Buggy

A trickly blighter to paint, as everything was glued down, and a very thin-handled brush was needed to get into all the nooks and crannies in the crew compartment.

Next up was a ‘proper’ Trukk, this time for my growing Mek Boy army.  Every Trukk in this army loses Fast but gains a Grabbin’ Klaw and Extra Armour.  I thought the Trukk with the closed crew compartment from Forge World would serve well in that regard, without any messy conversions for more armour plating.  This model was supposed to be joined by a Half-Trak Trukk, also from Forge World, but I have had experience putting their resin tracks together in the past and just did not fancy doing it at the time!  A model for later.

Mek Boy Trukk

Quite like the front end of that model, with the grill and enclosed engine.

Finally, a bit of a departure.  Long, long ago, I played Firefight from Alternative Armies, and even painted up quite a few models as I was working part-time at Spot On Models (this was a very long time ago!).  Anyway, I quite enjoyed the game play (even though the game’s original creator, Paul Cockburn, later told me that he did not like it much himself!), as it involved diving between burnt out vehicles on the street, assaulting buildings – it had a real room-to-room fight feel about it, if you know what I mean.  Back then, you had fights between power armoured Crusaders and the alien Shia Khan.

So, when I heard Alternative Armies had released Firefight 2.0, I grabbed the deluxe set that included 16 miniatures with it.  Finally, I got round to painting them!

The models are divided into two camps, Errant Knights and Muster Troops, with the idea (at the moment) that there is a civil war and the troops belonging to different barons fight one another.  Don’t believe they do models of the Shia Khan right now.

Anyway, these are the two squads of Errant Knights;

Errant Knights

Errant Knights

And these are the Muster Troops;

Muster Troops

Muster Troops

Will I ever get round to playing this game?  Probably not, as I know no one else who even knows about it!  However, the models were quick and easy to paint, and they look quite pretty.  The new rulebook says a second ‘set’ with miniatures is supposed to be coming out and, if it appears, I’ll probably pick that one up too.

Dredd II

Because Gangs of Mega-City One was Dredd I and what we are about to release as a playtest pack in a couple of weeks or so is Dredd III.

Dredd II came about towards the end of last year.  We had negotiated the licence to a seriously kickass sci-fi property, and needed a set of 28mm skirmish rules – having prepared this for a long time, we knew the BF Evo system would be tweaked for this game, and that the core system would also be used for the next Dredd game.  All clear?

And no, I am not going to say which sci-fi property, as the deal is still open and I fully intend to revisit it sometime in the not so distant future.

We wanted to keep the core of BF Evo, with the things that made it unique – so, the four action system and the reaction system stayed in.  We briefly mucked about with the idea of a single action system, as the game we were working on lent itself very well to things creeping about and we thought that effectively slowing down the action might allow more things to happen.

Didn’t work out that way.  The reaction system completely broke down and so many staples of the BF Evo system – such as Ready actions to prepare complex weapons before firing – disappeared altogether.

We messed around with the stat line too, something that has been mostly retained in Dredd III, though it is used in a completely different way.

The first change was to affect shooting.  One of the hooks of BF Evo was that you got to do things in your opponent’s turn, via the reaction system.  This has been noted as a Good Thing, as you don’t need to wander away from the table for half an hour while your opponent takes his turn.  We decided to turn that up a notch with Dredd II and instead of having a fixed Taregt and Kill number, we had a single Agility score. You rolled a D6 for a shotting attack, adding your Combat score.  Your opponent then rolled a D6 and added his Agility.  The latter became your target number for shooting – if you equalled or exceeded your opponent’s total, you hit him.

We had a similar thing with ‘wounding’.  You rolled a D6 and added your weapon’s Damage score, while the target rolled a D6 and added his Resilience.  He could also add his Armour score if your weapon’s AP score did not exceed that Armour score.

In the end we discarded the latter – you can have too much of a good thing!

The stat line was also changed in that instead of having fixed scores (such as Target 4, say), each score was actually a modifier.  So, your Agility could be +1, your Combat score +3.  This allowed us to scale the game in a completely different way – instead of ‘topping out’ at 6 (because we use D6’s), we could carry on up the scale as much as we liked to include seriously high-powered weaponry and vehicles with armour inches thick (this was not necessarily a design goal, but it is nice being able to scale vehicles and infantry into the same system, rather than having something completely different).

Close combat had been made simultaeneous as well, with both players rolling a number of dice equal to their Close Combat Dice score, adding a modifier and seeing who got the highest score – the highest got to roll damage.  Old hands will realise this is very close to the original Gangs system, and that is no great coincidence.  This kind of combat does not really work in a battle level game, but is perfect to provide the needed action in a skirmnish game.

Other than that, the system remained close to BF EVo.  Our love of using Traits to ring-fence common special rules was in there, for example, though we had ditched the ‘Fire Zone’ rules.  They are not really needed in skirmish level games, and instead we had an Auto X trait that allowed you to stack dice on other targets.  Or, concentrate on one target and roll multiple dice against his single Agility roll to really hose him down (something we retained in Dredd III, as you will see, but somewhat altered as it was way too nasty!).

So, that is a brief run down of Dredd II as it stood at the end of last year.  Why did we need a Dredd III?

Well, another licence property hoved into view, one that was somewhat different from our usual fare.  However, it was apparent that, with some tweaks, the BF Evo system would continue to serve well.  It just so happened that the changes forced by the new game could be applied to Dredd to make something even better.  Hence, Dredd III!