Monday, November 2, 2015

Car Wars and Hot Wheels (playing the Steve Jackson Games classic!)

Hi everyone,

In the past couple of weeks we had a chance to play a classic game (one of us hadn't played in about 25 years) -- Car Wars from Steve Jackson Games.

First we got the remake of the basic set.  We had fun looking at all of the little pieces :)  And, we ended up deciding that all would be more fun with 3D models!

Some quick reflections on the Car Wars game system:

- The system where a turn is broken into phases -- and a faster car gets more actions per turn -- is very fun.  Strong reminder of what was fun about the Champions system from Steve Jackson.  Really loved playing Champions - and fun feeling of nostalgia.

- Was it easy to build our first car?  No - not really.  Took us a while to figure out the handling class rules - but we finally figured out that your handling class works sort of like hit points....

Here's the first car we built - a van with lots of weapons.  Still don't think we figured out the weight of ammunition properly!

Then, it occurred to us that it would be even more fun to play 40K style with 3D models.  We chatted about it.  We could see two options.  Use the box set exactly as is -- and use N scale models (maybe parts from Dropzone Commander -- which are N scale) -- or use Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars and modify some cars to play!

Well, we decided that Hot Wheels would be much more fun.  After all, we had lots of 40K equipment which would help us out :)

We had to figure out which scale to use for Hot Wheels and Matchbox....  First we figured out that the little paper set in the box was "N" scale.  And, since Hot Wheels and Matchbox are roughly "HO" scale, we did some quick research and math....

Turns out that Hot Wheels are 1:64 (or so), where HO scale is 1:87.  (And, this explains why Hot Wheels always looked a little bit big next to an HO locomotive scale-wise).

There are quite a few scales recognized as "N" scale.  Ranging from 1:144 all the way to 1:160.

Here's our quick set of multipliers from Car Wars to Hot Wheels....

After doing this we had read one blog where a person did a really nice job of setting up Hot Wheels for Car Wars.  (Here's a link to that!)  They used a multiplier of 3.  We took a look at that - and decided that it was just too large for our sense of things.

We went with 2.5 X.

Took a little while (and good practice with a protractor) to build our 2.5X Car Wars template.  But, we got it done!

With our new template ready, we set up a quick battle.

Here's our 2.5X Car Wars template for using with Hot Wheels side-by-side with the original N-scale template.

The scenario was that one of our friends had been captured by a rival gang - and we needed to rescue him in our weapon toting van.

We used some 40K fortification pieces to build a "base" for the bad guys -- and used our battle mat to create streets.

There we are at the very far end - and the "bad guys" base at the near end.  The yellow car tucked away belongs to our friend....

It was fun to play.  We used some 40K pieces to mark smoke and show bad guy cars on fire....  And, we ended up closing out the battle by ramming the bad guys (and realizing that we needed more front armor in the process!)....

Ramming time!  We took out the last bad guy by ramming him with our van.

And, the battle had a happy ending.  Rescued our comrade :)

So, what's next?

Well, we met some folks at Game Kastle in Santa Clara who happened to be working on exactly the same thing (but with some great skills).  [Here's a link to their website.  They have been using different rules -- rules from Road Wolf where you move the terrain -- not so much the vehicles....]

After checking out what they'd done, we happened to find a company in Florida who makes small pewter pieces which can be easily added to Hot Wheels for Car Wars -- little gun turrets and the like :)  (Here's a link: )

Our parts arrived this week - so now we need to decide how and where to use them.  Also had the great suggestion from the person we met from the Santa Cruz Fury Road group to use Ork bitz on our cars.  Certainly going to work on that since as we see it the latest Mad Max movie had lots and lots of great Orky ideas.  (Here's a link to our Orky things posting.)

Here we are opening up our turrets and gun bitz from Stan Johansen Miniatures

Here we are brainstorming how to modify our cars....

We'll post again when we have some more cars modified!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ork Barricades for Fork and Spork

Hi everyone,

Over the summer we had picked up some Ork Barricades at a swap meet at Game Kastle.

We hadn't ever seen these for sale before -- seems that they had been discontinued.

Bummer - they look very cool!

Spent some time thinking about which ones should be decorated by Spork's boyz and which should be decorated by Fork's boyz :)

In the end, we went with the big pink symbol as a Spork Pink Orkys barricades.  And, the lower mounted symbol for Fork's Yellow Boyz.

Here are our Ork Barricades so far....  Still need to add dirt to them.

For Spork's Pink Ork Barricades, we used our standard formula for bright pink.  Some white mixed with Valejo neon pink -- and then an over-coating of the pink.  Here is a link to our work to sort that out :)  Pink Paint for Pink Orkys!

Thoughts about rules:

Unless you go with the cover save afforded by the barricades in the Stronghold Assault book, there don't seem to be very many cool rules.

One idea we had -- why not allow buying a Waaagh! Banner with some additional points -- if you want the advantage.  The Waaagh! Banner could have a range from whichever of the barricade pieces you bought the upgrade for.  It would be nice to have the +1 WS.

Or, maybe a rule which would allow an increase in morale when near or behind barricades -- of course for a cost.  (It is a serious bummer when we have a squad of Boyz take a hit at the beginning of the game and then run off the board.)

After we were done, we wanted to add some slime, goo, gore, etc, to the Barricades.  So far we have just added some green slime.  Used the same formula we used when we were adding Tyranid icor to the Dakka Chugga.

Mixed in clear gel (Gel 351 from Grumbacher) with Nurgle's Rot.  The combination is fairly think and forms fairly well into drips -- then dries clear.  (Don't be worried that the gel looks white when gooey.)

 Our formula for green goo....
Green goo when wet (gel is white in color when wet)

 Green goo when dried :)

And, here's Spork with his favorite section of the Barricade!

Supreme Warboss Spork with Pink Orkys Barricade!  Got some dirt and rust on them -- looking more realistic (especially the bright pink!)

Friday, September 25, 2015

40K Ork Warboss "Spork" as Motivational Speaker

Hi everyone,

Got to wondering if Ork Warbosses might have more tricks up their sleeves to motivate their Boyz than simply being the biggest and loudest.  (Probably not - but it's fun to imagine!)

Had to reload our favorite font to set these up.  "Battle Breath" -

Link with more about Spork and his Warboss brother Fork here

Will also work on a more detailed write-up of the history of Fork and Spork.  Not done yet, though :)

Ork Plan; Ork Motivation; 40K Humor; Battle Gaming One; Fork and Spork; Pink Orks; Pink Orkies
Warboss Spork explaining the battle plan to his Boyz

Ork Plan; Ork Motivation; 40K Humor; Battle Gaming One; Fork and Spork; Pink Orks; Pink Orkies
Keys to success from Warboss Spork

Ork Plan; Ork Motivation; 40K Humor; Battle Gaming One; Fork and Spork; Pink Orks; Pink Orkies
Final words before the Waaaagh!

If we made enough of these, maybe we could print out a calendar??

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Quick X-wing Star Destroyer Model for Terrain - And Our Massive Battle

Hi everyone,

This weekend we got thinking about having a quick X-Wing battle.  We were just thinking of 3 of us playing different squadrons of Rebels -- against some common Empire ships.  But -- that's not the way it turned out :)

First of all, we got the idea to build a Star Destroyer background terrain piece.

We started with cardboard from a box -- and cut it into long triangular pieces.  (Our idea was that this was just one side of the start destroyer.)  We were planning to make two layers -- with a gap in the middle -- and then mount our turbo laser turrets between the layers.  (It always looked as if the edge of a Star Destroyer was about as loaded as weapons as a Death Star Trench to us....)

Cutting the cardboard for the Star Destroyer

Once we had the cardboard pieces cut, we cut up some pink foam to make the gap between the top and bottom layers of cardboard.  (By the way, we made the top and bottom out of two layers of cardboard -- didn't want it to be too flimsy.)

Pieces are cut - ready to hot glue in place

Then we used hot-glue to glue all of the layers together.  We put a 4-inch wide strip on the facing edge of the pink foam.  We had learned during our Death Star Trench experience that if we didn't do that it would be hard to glue our terrain sticker material to the pink foam.

All glued together!

With that done, we attached our sticker paper.  This is the same stuff we printed out when we made our Death Star Trench a while back.  We had several sheets left over -- so we didn't even need to wait to print these :)

[Here's our Death Star Trench write-up:  Building Death Star Trench from Cardboard Box and Pink Foam]

Here we are attaching the pieces of sticker paper to our Star Destroyer model

To make it seem (more) realistic we aligned the sticker paper with the business edge of the Star Destroyer.  That made for a little bit more waste, but did seem to help with the look.

Zooming in on the Turbo Laser Turrets.  Fit in there very nicely!

We have been working on the game table plans -- and so we were playing X-Wing in a different room.  Lots of sunlight!  Made it a bit difficult to see the black of space on our mat.  So, we put another box behind the Star Destroyer - and that helped a great deal.

[Here are links to our write-up about Turbo Laser Turrets:  Trying to Build a Turbo Laser Turret -- and buying nice ones made by JR MINI]

Our Star Destroyer terrain piece ready for action :)

The Battle!

Like we were saying, we started out small.  But, then we got talking about making a quick drive to Gator Games to look for K-Wings.

What ended up (after our trip to Gator Games) was a more Epic Scale battle -- with well more than 100 points on either side (we weren't counting).

Battle about to start!

Early on, it really did seem that the Star Destroyer terrain was looking pretty cool :)

Our Star Destoyer with the Imperial ships!

But, one problem is that when you looked at the view from the Rebel side of the table, it really disappeared behind all of the ships.

View from the Rebel cockpits!  Empire forces dead-ahead!!

So, this has given us some ideas for Star Destroyer Version #2....

  • Why not make the Star Destroyer run the whole way along one side of the game board?  Then you'd see it very clearly the whole way.
  • Lift the Star Destroyer up by 1/2" or so with some clear plastic.  Then, you'd see space under and behind it.  Also, this would put it looming up a bit above the large ships!
  • And, the Star Destroyer top and bottom pieces should be angled.  It was quick and easy to make them flat and parallel, but doesn't quite give the "Star Destroyer" feeling as it could if those were sloped.
  • Maybe even including some features of a bridge would help?
  • And, lastly, need to think about the scale.  Do the Turbo Laser Turrets really fit?  Or are they too big?
 For us, managing the battle become tedious pretty fast.  It sort of felt like trying to manage our first large Battletech battle.  

[Here's a link to our attempts to manage a large-ish scale Battletech Battle.]

Several turns into the battle.  Things were starting to get messy.  Lots of movement plans which didn't work out!

We should have thought to something like putting tokens onto the cards of the pilots who had fired -- or something like that.  Regardless, with this many pilots it got very hard to keep track.  And, keeping track of everyone's unique upgrades was even more challenging!!

And, by the way, we really like the Raider model!  Also really like the TIE Punishers.  Normally we are pretty much fans of Rebel ships.  These two new ships are very cool additions.  :)

We are really looking forward to the arrival of the Imperial Gozanti Class Cruiser as well -- since we have been using one of those in our FFG Edge of the Empires campaign.  [Here's a link to a write-up from our Quest for the Juggernaut our last session.]

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Back to work on Da Pain Train (40K Ork Looted Wagon Locomotive #2)

Hi everyone,

Is there such a thing as writer's block when it comes to modeling?

We had been charging forward with our plans to build Ork locomotive looted wagon #2 -- in this case, the Eldar conversion of a GE 44-Ton switch engine (Wikipedia link).  But, then we sort of ran out of steam....

In case you missed it, here's the write-up of locomotive looted wagon #1 -- the Dakka Chugga  And, here's the Dakka Chugga in motion -- short Youtube video.

Anyway, we are moving forward again.  Have had some ideas on how what the Ork meks might do in order to maximize the firepower of this vehicle.

Here's a quick update on our progress....

Da Pain Train; Ork Looted Wagon; Ork Train; 40K Train; Eldar Looted Wagon
Here is Da Pain Train as it stands right now.  Here you can also see the single-motor Lionel locomotive base.  We have started working on a piloting kokkpit in the front.

Ork Train; Ork Looted Wagon; Warhammer Train; Warhammer 40K Train
Here's how Da Pain Train will look when the shell is on top. 

We started working on a weapon for a second turret in the front.  We got some bits (a broken Eldar Fire Prism model) at the Game Kastle swap meet this summer.  And, we had an old plastic army men tank turret.  So, we carved a spot to mount the prism weapon in the turret.  Only issue is that the prism is metal and the turret is light plastic.  So, right now we're working on adding counter weight to the turret (gluing some metal hardware such as nuts and washers in there).

Fire Prism Looted Wagon; 40K Fire Prism
Here is our Fire Prism turret weapon.  We'll have to work on what the Orks will call it.

Also thinking that an Orky weapon might be an Eldar jetbike strapped to a movable arm.  Probably going to mount a Grot to operate the Jetbike-Arm weapon.  It'll be able to cover a strange arc on the port side of the vehicle by rotating up/down or swinging in/out.

JetBike Weapon for Orks; Looted JetBike; Battlegaming One
 Here is the work-in-progress for our Jetbike-Arm-Weapon

We are going to have a pilot in the very front of the vehicle.  He fits in there pretty well.  He will like up when the locomotive moves because the kokkpit happens to be right on top of the Lionel shell's old-school incandescent bulb.

Ork Kokkpit; Ork Cockpit; Ork Driver; Ork Driva; Battlegaming One
Here is our Ork Driva!

We are going to add some other hacked up Eldar pieces in the back.  Won't help with when Da Pain Train tries to go through any tunnels!  But, gives us a way to mount more of the Eldar propulsion to it.  Also, thinking that we're going to carve our a place to stand for a Grot or Ork in those Eldary-holes in the wing thingys back there.

Looting Eldar Rockets; Looting Eldar Bits; Ork Looted Wagon with Eldar
Here is a look at our way to get even more propulsion onto Da Pain Train

We do have a few more Eldar bits.  Thinking about what to do with them.  We have some pod-like attachments to mount on the top turret.  Not sure what to do with some of the Eldar figures we've got.  Going to do something with them - mount them as an Ork trophy somewhere maybe.  Don't want to be quite as gruesome as we were with the Tyranids on the Dakka Chugga.  Doesn't seem quite right with Eldar.  (That's probably not very good Ork thinking!!)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Building a Stompa Cockpit (Kokkpit) - Warhammer 40K

Hi everyone,

When we were playing our campaign, the fun fighting between our two Ork Supreme Warbosses -- the "twins" Fork and Spork was a lot of fun.

It made a lot of sense that "brothers" like these would fight all of the time.  In fact, our idea of the history of Fork and Spork is that grew from a mutated spore -- figuring that they did their very early growing in too much of a Warp field -- and ended up with a shared body.

Here is our model of "young" Fork (right) and Spork (left)

Later in life (after the huge argument where they fought themselves apart), they are still fighting.  And, we wanted to have a Stompa Cockpit to use as the setting for fun scenarios such as Spork stealing Fork's Stompa.

Here are adult, Supreme Warboss Fork (right) and Spork (left)

 Here's a quick look at what we created....

To start out our Stompa Kokkpit, we built a base with a sheet of thick plastic.  Then, using our I-beams (Link to our posting with Seth's advice to use real things for real things) built a structure around the base.

We had a couple of other old Lionel steam locomotive model shells which were cracked (not pretty).  So, we cut these up to create some of the flat panels pieces for the cockpit structure.

Here is our Stompa Cockpit base with some work done on the walls

Once that was done, we starting adding bitz.  Mounted a Tyranid head on the wall on the right-hand side.  Some display screens and transmitter bitz from Space Marines models.  Also some Orky symbols.  We figured there would be trap-doors so that Grots could move around inside the Stompa -- so we added those in the floor.

Here is how things looked with more bitz added to the Stompa

Then, we started playing around with taking photos with Fork and Spork inside.  We had imagined the two of them fighting over ownership of the Stompa while inside the Kokkpit.  But, you know know what??  It's really, really hard to light up a movie set when it's a dark Stompa structure.  Easy to get too much light.  Very hard to get the light going in in the directions we wanted.

And, also, very, very hard to paint inside a Stompa Kokkpit.  Hard to reach your hand in and now end up with paint on things you didn't intend.  So, we are still working on the painting.

Here's Spork inside the Stompa Kokkpit

We're still in awe of the Stompa shown in this blog posting.  Pretty cool that they built this model so that you could lift the outer lid off and see the inner workings!  Maybe something to keep in mind for another modeling project.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Having fun with D&D and 40K

Hi everyone,

Had some fun setting up and taking these photos yesterday....

D&D and 40K; battle gaming one

D&D and 40K; battle gaming one

40K and D&D; Orks and D&D; 40K Orks and D&D; Battle Gaming One

What is cool about the Pathfinder Society

Hi everyone,

We have started playing a little bit of Pathfinder.  But, not just playing in our small group.  Nope, instead playing with the "Pathfinder Society" at Game Kastle in Santa Clara.

The sessions are scheduled using the Warhorn website.  It was really easy to set up and account and then sign up for a Pathfinder Level 1 (through Level 5) session.

Cleric/Bard; Battle Gaming One; Pathfinder vs D&D
We decided we'd play a Half-Elf Cleric/Bard.  Decided to name him Perry.  Fights with a rapier.  Started working on a miniature for our next session :)

Well -- the whole world (except us) probably already knows what is cool about the Pathfinder Society (and, we're just the last ones to figure it out)....  But, regardless, here's a quick take on what we're liking about it :)

High level explanation?  Well, the main rules (Pathfinder) are like the Programming Language.  Rules about syntax, what can be done, what can't, etc....  Then, you have the Operating System (the Pathfinder Society)....  How gaming sessions are managed, how experience works, how items are divided up....  It's very much like the OS on a computer which is managing files, data and access....  It is so cool to have both!!

Priming with white paint; battle gaming one; playing pathfinder for the first time
Got Perry primed.  This is our first real attempt with white primer.  Working on 40K have been using black primer.  Let's see how this works out!!

1) The "Society" is cleverly set-up so that a group of people can "campaign" together in small one-session (one evening) stints.  [In Warhammer 40K we just spent several weekends in a row trying to find a time when the four of us who like to play together could get together for one large battle.  Very hard to manage schedules when everyone is busy!!]

2) There is a very nice structure around how much experience or treasure a group of adventurers should receive from each adventure session.

3) The classic argument over the +2 Longsword ("It's mine!"  "No, I found it!"  "Yes, but my character would make better use of it!") is settled.  Maybe a bit contrived -- but everyone can have it because the notion of party-treasure-sharing is boiled down to each character worrying about their own advancement.

4) Pathfinder vs. D&D rules?  Yep, there are differences -- and, we can see that many people have strong opinions.  We could live with either one -- for us, the fun is in the playing.  And, if it's the Pathfinder Society which has figured out a way to get together easily - then those rules work for us!!

Cleric and Bard together; Pathfinder Bard; Battle Gaming One; Game Kastle
Not too bad using the white primer after all.  Thinning down the colors so that we don't lose detail.  Finding that Perry looks OK with the white primer.  Using our 40K painting tricks as best we can!

5) If you can't make it one night - big deal.  Just show up at the next one when you can.  And, doesn't seem like it even matters too much if you play your character at or with different groups the way things are structured.

Well, we get to play again tomorrow night.  Very much looking forward to it!

Battle Gaming One; Pathfinder Miniature
 Here's Perry, ready for action tomorrow night.  Fingers are crossed that we don't kill him off.  If we can nurse him through two more sessions as a lowly first level Cleric he'll gain that crucial second level -- and will add a level of Bard.

The Quest for the Juggernaut (FFG Star Wars Edge of the Empire Campaign Session)

Quest for the Juggernaut Introduction

Our Edge of the Empire team -- from the FFG EofE starter set

Our Edge of the Empire band had been doing quite well.  They fought their way off of Tatooine, and successfully stole a Gozanti armed transport from an Imperial base on Ryloth.

But, they realized that something was missing.  They did *not* have a recreatational vehicle!  What to do?  Well, there was only one option -- and "Quest for the Juggernaut" began.

The Cantina

The team made a quick rendezvous in orbit around Ryloth.  Pash the Smuggler/Pilot flying the Gozanti (engines repaired after some trouble from the Imperial base incident) and Oskara the Bounty Hunter at the stick of the not-so-trusty YT-1300, Krayt Fang.

"But where can we find a Juggernaut?" the team pondered.  Well, the best place to look for anything, of course....  In a cantina on Tatooine.

Juggernaut, Star Wars Juggernaut, FFG Edge of the Empire, Edge of the Empire Campaign, Battle Gaming One
The Quest for the Juggernaut had begun!

Pash and Oskara completed their hyperspace calculations (for the two ships) and a quick jump later, they were orbiting Tatooine.

The team was wanted in Mos Shuuta -- so best not to land there.  So, Mos Eisley it was -- a nice large space port. 

Then, the team huddled to discuss where to best find information in Mos Eisley.  This got to be a little bit long-winded and boring for 41-VEX, the somewhat crazy medical droid.  And, so, off he went....

....And into the nearest cantina.  [Of course, the cantina from movie IV, and playing this music  Link to a 10 hour youtube of cantina music :)]

"We don't serve your kind here" the bartender told VEX.  But, as luck would have it, the cantina's bouncer was suffering from acute back pain.  VEX was able to deliver treatment (after all he was a medical droid) and relieve the suffering human - and gaining the favor of cantina staff.

Scanning the cantina, VEX (who is not known for his perceptiveness) spotted a Jawa crouching the corner and approached to see if the Jawa could be a source information.

The team had assembled a list of items they were hoping to procure on Tatooine.  Of course, the Juggernaut was at the top of the list.  But, other exciting things like lightsabers and jetpacks were on their minds as well.

"Do you know where we can find weapons (whispering) the illegal kind??" VEX inquired.

Well, turns out that unlike some protocol droids, VEX was unable to speak Jawa.  (Not sure if he speaks Bocce either.)  So, back to the ship, where VEX worked with Pash, Oskawa and Wookiee strongman Lowhhrick to build a crude Jawa translator.

Now the whole team sat with the Jawa and rattled off their questions.  Yes, the Jawa did know where to find illegal weapons.  The group should visit Bushaka's scrap yard - he has many interesting things in the back room.  Yes, the Jawa had heard of Juggernaut vehicles.  No, he didn't think Kuat was the best place to look for one.  He suggested Belderone -- another outer rim planet where Kuat Drive Yards produces AT-ATs.  Did the Jawa know where to sell a nice YT-1300?  No, he didn't know anyone who would be interested -- but the bartender knew of a local Transoshan who was looking for a ship.

The conversation with the Jawa had gone so well, before the team could stop him, Lowhhrick had asked if the Jawa knew how to make contact with the Rebels who might be working on Tatooine.  Luckily Pash saw the quick movement the Jawa made to his pocket -- slipping his had inside and likely keying some type of communicator.

"It's time to go, everyone!" Pash shouted -- and out they went into the street.

Remember movie IV?  Hide in the building next-door - right?  And, that's what they did!  VEX hacked the door lock, and the four adventurers jumped in, closing the door just in time.

Noise through the doorway, Jawa voice muffled....  Stormtrooper voice "OK.  Which way did they go?"  "Right.  You two - pursue in that direction.  You, come with me, we'll cover the other street."

After it was quiet for a while, Oskara peeked outside.  The street nearby was clear, but she could see Imperials working their way farther down the street.  Time to make a run for it!

Selling the Krayt Fang

Turns out that the Lowhhrick doesn't like Trandoshans.  But, he was able to keep his feelings in check while the team negotiated to sell the Krayt Fang.  Also a bit lucky that the Mos Eisley Trandoshans hadn't yet learned that the team had acquired this particular YT-1300 from a Mos Shuuta Trandoshan named Trex.

The sale went well, with the team pocketing 120,000 credits -- an amazing price considering the shape the Krayt Fang was in.

Bushaka's Shop

Later the group arrived at Bushaka's Scrap Shop.  The team was worried when Lowhhrick asked right away if Bushaka had a lightsaber for sale.  But, not to worry Bushaka wanted credits -- not Imperial entanglements.  And, yes, he did have one -- in that back room.

But, did it work?  Not as far as Lowhhrick could tell.  Push the button.  No cool light coming out.  Bummer, but still worth something.  VEX talked Bushaka down given the condition of the light saber.

Other items were more straightforard.  No, he did not have a jetpack :(  But, he did have a heavy blaster rifle.  He also had a set of laminate armor which wasn't complete.  But, using some of the pieces of clonetrooper armor Pash had dug out of the Gutkurr nest on Ryloth (yes, he dug it out of the poop pile -- and then washed it carefully) it looked as though there would be a full working armor set.

Yes on brass knuckles for Lowhhrick, a vacuum seal unit and an optical camouflage attachment for Pash's armor.  Also yes on some items for the heavy blaster rifle -- a weapon sling, an under barrel flame projector and a multioptic sight, and a bipod mount.  But, Bushaka did not have anything like an augmented spin barrel or a blaster actuating module.

Lowhhrick was able to find a bowcaster which hadn't been serviced in a very long time.  He also bought some cans of spray paint.  And, VEX found what looked like a working bacta tank in a back corner.  And, one last thought, Pash bought some thermal detonators which Bushaka admitted he wasn't too sure about.

The Flight to the Factory

VEX was busy during the flight to Belderone!  First he did his best to fix the eager Wookiee's lightsaber.  So far so good on the disassembly.  And, so far so good on understanding the basic parts.  But, once taken apart, VEX spotted the trouble.  A crack had cleaved the power crystal in half.  Trying to put the two pieces back in place properly and pushing the actuation button, VEX created a good amount of smoke before quickly turning the saber off again.

Then, at the suggestion of Lowhhrick and Pash he tried powering the lightsaber with only one good half of the crystal.  Success!  The blade illuminated a bright green (Lowhhrick's favorite color) - though with the diminished crystal the blade was only one inch long.  "My light stub," exclaimed Lowhhrick with a loud, happy Wookiee warble.

VEX had good luck with the other attachments, though mounting the camo unit onto Pash's armor stumped him -- and he took a break to work on ship maintenance.

Pash took his turn working on how to mount the optical camouflage unit to his armor.  He turned connectors this way, that way, and finally was able to get the unit to power on with proper function.  With that done, Pash was wiped out and headed to his bunk for a nap to recover from the concentration-induced headache.

While Pash had been busy with his armor, Lowhhrick had been busy in his bunk area.  He was spray painting!  Rebel symbols and figures of Wookiee's in battle.  (He was also very excited to paint the Juggernaut if they should find one!)

And so, it was with Oskara at the control that the Gozanti Cruiser snapped out of hyperspace in orbit around Belderone.

"Imperial Gozanti Cruiser, please explain your intentions.  We were not told to expect any in-bound Imperial ships today." the spaceport controller came loud and clear over the communication link on the Gozanti bridge.

Oskara paused for moment, then gave explanation.  "Yes, we have been sent tracking a group of Rebels reported to be taking refuge in your system.  Request permission to land and conduct searches."

"Permission granted cruiser 6-113.  Land on pad 173."

What They Found

With Pash awake from his nap, the four discussed their options.  It seemed that only Pash would appear as normal stepping out of an Imperial marked Gozanti Cruiser.  Luckily Pash had kept the two officer uniforms they had liberated from the prior crew of the cruiser.  And, he intended to use these to create a solid disguise.

Pash exited and across the avenue from the space port found a cantina where he was able to bring the conversation around to Kuat Drive Yards factory.  He asked the locals how to get there, and was given directions and the explanation that a grav-train ride would be needed.

Shortly after, Pash approached a large hulking building -- clearly marked with the Kuat Drive Yards logo.

"But, where are the Juggernauts?" wondered Pash.  He didn't see anything around the front of the large building.  So, he walked to the rear of the building.  And, behind a section where finished products seemed to be staged for outbound transport he spotted a fenced off area.

Peering through gaps in the fence, he saw what he was hoping to see.  What appeared to be early prototypes of AT-ATs and other walker vehicles.  This must be where scrapped vehicles where kept.

He vaulted the fence and searched.  What luck!  He saw five Juggernauts in various states of repair.

Things were still quiet, so he took the time to inspect the five.  Four of the five had outer hull damage of some kind.  The one which was clear on the exterior was missing its power plant and weapons.  He ruled that one out.  Then, inspecting the others, he found that two of them had what looked like workable propulsion systems.  And, of these, one still had weapons intact.

Pash climbed inside and clicked his comm-link, telling the team back at the ship what he had found.  It was clearly going to be tricky to end up with a working Juggernaut from these hulks!

"Is there a manual inside that Juggernaut?" asked VEX.  Well, yes, there was, but nearly all of the pages were missing.  Not giving up, Pash then searched the other four Juggernauts, carrying with him what documentation he could find.  And, in the end, Pash successfully pieced together a full manual.

"Time to get over here and study this manual, VEX!  We've got work to do."

Fixing the Juggernaut

With VEX on hand, the team was able to take parts from the other decent Juggernaut power plant and make the plant on the one with good weapons as good as new.  The internal systems hummed when VEX put them to the test.

But, where to find wheels?  None of the Juggernauts had wheels installed.  It was as if these had been scavenged to keep other vehicles running -- maybe newer versions.

Oskara proposed to search the factory building.  With VEX and Lowhhrick accompanying, they attemped to disarm the alarm and open the door at the rear of the building.  No luck for VEX.  He was unable to make a connection with the building's computer system.

Luckily, Lowhhrick was able to use his "light stump" to cut around the lock mechanism -- and Oskara pushed the door open.  But, her efforts to move stealthily inside were unsuccessfully.  The alarm triggered.

Quickly Lowhhrick pounced into the room and reaching high overhead tore the alarm speaker away from the wall restoring silence.

The three of them scanned the room -- no wheels.  This appeared to be a shipping room.  Various walkers and walker parts were arranged about the room with crates and packaging materials nearby.

"Let's try the next room," said Oskara, moving to a door on the opposite side.  VEX tried the computer interface once more and this time had success.  "I've got a map!" he exclaimed.  "And, look!" showing Oskara on the small screen that the map indicated a Kuat Drive Yards museum toward the front of the building.  "Maybe something in that room has wheels?"

Getting to the museum room would mean slogging through another five rooms coming from the rear of the building.  So, Oskara, Lowhhrick and VEX hurried to the front of the factory.  VEX attempted the lock once again.  He was successful, but also again had trouble with the alarm.  Lowhhrick ripped this alarm panel down as well.

That brought them to the main lobby.  A door to the right was marked "MUSEUM".  Lowhhrick growled! (Wookiee translation, "Never mind the lock, I'll open the door!").  And, seconds later they were in.

"Wow!" VEX exclaimed.  The team gazed upon a large display of walkers, positioned about the vaulted room in battle-ready poses.  Toward the center and rear of the room, sure enough, what they were looking for!  A Juggernaut!

It was pristine on the outside -- and, most importantly, it had all ten wheels.  Thoughts of driving it out through the lobby were dashed quickly.  The main power plant had been scavenged.  With that clear, the team took to the task of removing the three meter high wheels.

It took ten trips -- with Oskara and VEX sometimes able to roll a wheel of their own -- and only Lowhhrick truly able to manage a wheel by himself.  But eventually they had the wheels back in the junk area.  VEX supervised the installation process (having that manual really helped since the Juggernaut's suspension allowed for an automated wheel change).  And, then, with the main chores completed the team took a few seconds to relax.

It was at that time that VEX, hearing a very distinctive noise blanched (if droids can do that) and shuddered, having completely lost his cool.  Pash calmed him -- and with that help, VEX forced out "AT-ATs coming.  I can hear the stomping!"

The fight at the end

"Everyone stay quiet!" Pash urged.  "Let's stay in the Juggernaut.  Nobody will spot us in here."

And, so, they did.  But, while inside, Lowhhrick took the time to familiarize himself with the blaster turret's controls in case it came down to a fight.

Watching out the front of the vehicle, they watched as an AT-AT thundered down the main road and stopped in front of the Kuat factory.  Shortly afterward, a group of humans came into view, walking the perimeter of the building.  The humans stopped, and huddled in discussion, studying the opened rear doorway.

"We need a diversion," Oskara commented.  And, with that, she and VEX both attempted to sneak to the right-hand side of the group.  "It's no good," Oskara whispered into her comm-link.  "They'll spot me.  Aborting."

With that, Pash jumped from the Juggernaut and making his way quietly to the left of the group approached the parked AT-AT.  All was quiet, so he climbed upward.

With a regrettable grunt Pash heaved himself inside the cabin of the AT-AT.  A developing quick-draw artist, Pash had his blaster pistol out and ready as he tumbled inside.  But, the noise he had made alerted the waiting pilot.  The two closed on each other!

Pash struck first with a direct blaster pistol shot.  The pilot hadn't grabbed his weapon and swing a wild fist at Pash, missing as Pash ducked.  Pash struck back with his own left hand.  He connected solidly, sending the man sprawling.

During this time, VEX had joined Pash in the AT-AT, using a cable winch to haul himself inside.
The two of them tied up the pilot.  And, with that completed, Pash took to the driver's seat.

Pash worked the controls and turned the AT-AT's head toward the factory.  And, then, keying the firing buttons fired on the building!

Pash turned the head of the AT-AT at the factory building and fired!

The Ending!

"Waaarrrrgh!" yelled Lowhhrick, triggering the main guns of the Juggernaut as soon as he saw the AT-AT open fire.  The cluster of people at the rear of the Kuat building dove for cover as the Wookiee's fire swung back and forth.

And, while this was going on, Pash quickly set a detonator inside the AT-AT.  Then, with the pilot slung over his shoulder he lowered himself to the ground.  VEX quickly followed as the seconds ticked off.

Spotting a speeder bike near the front of the building (must have arrived at the same time as the AT-AT), Pash sprinted to it, jumped aboard and "zow!" was off toward the spaceport.  "I'll get the ship ready," he hollered on the comm channel.

While Lowhhrick held the factory people at bay with his heavy fire, Oskara had worked the Juggernaut out of the scrap yard -- driving right over the fence in the process.  VEX climbed aboard.  And, Oskara took the huge vehicle out onto the main highway -- driving for the spaceport at a quick, but not overly hurried pace.

Fifteen minutes later, Oskara swing the Juggernaut into the spaceport drive and quickly made her way to landing pad 173.  Pash had lowered the cruiser's landing ramp.  And, thankful for the Imperial modifications which made for a very large internal hold, Oskara urged the Juggernaut up and inside of the ship.

Pash took charge of securing their massive payload.  And, with that all set, quickly made for the cockpit.  And, seconds layer, they were blasting their way into space, their quest completed!

"Can I spray paint a big Rebel symbol on the Juggernaut?" Lowhhrick asked?  "No!!!" everyone chimed in!

From our copy of Star Wars Complete Cross Sections - a very handy look at the Juggernaut.


As the team reached orbit, they realized that for an extremely good camping trip, the Juggernaut would probably not be sufficient.  They would need some personal-sized ATVs as well!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

LED Objective Markers in 40K -- One Way to Avoid Forgetting

Hi everyone,

LED Objective Marker, LED base, lit objective, LED miniatures, powered play gaming, battle gaming one
 Our favorite Space Marine and Ork with one of our LED Objective Markers!

We have written about forgetting things before.  One of the biggest things we tend to forget is using Grot or Mek abilities which can recover hull points -- or special rules like Ramshackle on our Ork Trukks.  We received lots of great suggestions and help on how to remember those things -- and the suggestions have helped :)  (Thanks!)  [Here's the link to our post from League week #3 -- the worst of forgetting things.]

Another problem we've faced though is forgetting to pay attention to objective markers!  Many times we find ourselves after Turn 2 or Turn 3 and realize that we've set ourselves up in a fabulous Ork Waaagh! type charge -- but have completely missed on a plan to end up holding objectives so that we can win the game.

In the last two battles, though, we have toted our LED lit objective markers over to Game Kastle in Fremont to play Mr. M's Space Marines.  And, you know what -- it has made a huge difference.

[Here's a link to our earlier post from the day our package arrived from Powered Play.  Has good photos of how things go together.]

In the first of the two battles there was only one objective, and we held the objective pretty well at the end (we ran out of time in the battle). -- and we'd humbly offer that we may have actually maneuvered a little bit better than Mr. M by paying really close attention to the objective marker which was sitting there glowing at us the whole time.  

[Warning - this was a Space Marines vs. Space Marines battle -- part of the campaign Mr. M has been running.  Lots of fun - but lots of blue models fighting blue models in this battle.]

The battle set-up.  Here you can see Mr. M setting up his tanks to fire on us as we approach the objective (which is glowing away in the bottom of the photo)!

Apologies for the blurry photo -- but it all happened quickly.  Our gunship came zooming out of reserves and dropped our Ironclad Dreadnought, Assault Terminator Squad and Inquisitor right on the objective!

And, there we were at the end.  Mr. M threw lots of troops at us -- but pretty darned hard to shake us off the objective when all of his assault troops were over on the other side of the board -- several turns away.

In in the second battle, we didn't do quite as well -- but we still managed to hold two out of four objectives at the end -- and if our Stompa hadn't died giving Mr. M lots of victory points, we would have been close in the running to have won.

The battlefield showing the four objective markers.  Marker #1 is flopped over (our Stompa stepped on it so that Mr. M couldn't get to it).

Looted Wagon, modified train, 40K train, ork steam train, ork choo choo, battle gaming one
Our Looted Wagon, "The Dakka Chugga" steams past Mr. M's drop pod headed for Objective #2.

We had objective #2 pretty well locked up with a mob of Boyz and 4 Killikans.  That lone Space Marine didn't hold out very long!!

On the other side of the battlefield, our Trukk didn't last very long against Mr. M's Land Raider.  So, we didn't end up holding objective #4.  But, we didn't forget about it :)

Our LED lit objective markers were a thank-you item from  Powered Play Gaming the LED-base Kickstarter project they just completed.  We haven't built-up any LED-base operated miniatures yet -- though we do have a few Orky ideas.  Pretty happy with the objective markers regardless :)