Impressions: Spectre’s September Releases

September saw a pretty big set of releases for Spectre. With 5 separate sets covering a selection of collections, there really was something in it for everyone. More importantly, it added some more female figures and filled some capability gaps. 

Tier 1 Operator – Delta

 

We start with a new Tier 1 Operator. She looks just like her male counterparts, with SIG MCX, silenced pistol and fast mag equipped battle belt. She fits perfectly into the rest of the range and provides some variety to the squad. I’ve painted her up to match the rest of my Argo contractors (solid colour clothing, tan webbing), but she would also work well in an Agent or other undercover force.

Task Force Operators – Golf

Two more operators to the giant Task Force collection. These two are equipped the same as their colleagues, wearing body armour and fast helmet while carrying carbines with the trifecta of upgrades (red dot, laser and silencer). One is wearing a full size vest while the other just has a chest rig and carrying a kit bag, both packed full of gear. These figures fit

One thing to point out – with the figure with the carbine pointing down, I noticed it was quite easy to bend the weapon back and forth. I don’t think it will snap but it’s something to keep an eye on.

GRU RPG – Alfa

A key capability for any force is the ability to knock out armoured vehicle and fortified positions. Since release, the main way the Russian GRU had to do this was the pump action grenade launcher. Now, a Russian player can pick up this figure and have a light anti-armour weapon perfect for knocking out insurgent technicals or the SUV the VIP is riding in.

I really like this figure – from the crouching pose to slung PP19 SMG, he is spot on for the role. Also there is nothing better than dropping an explosive rocket right on the target

Insurgent Stinger – Alfa

If the GRU RPG was a pretty useful piece of kit, the stinger is going to level the playing field for the OPFOR. In Spectre Operations, MANPADs can prevent airborne off map assets which are often used by the more elite teams (as I know well from the Spectre weekend where a little bird managed to wreck an entire flank). This figure, in balacava, vest and utility trousers, may not have much else but totting the stinger around is a pretty useful task.

As well as being useful against airborne targets, this guy would also be useful as VIP/objective for missions where your SF team is hunting down potentially dangerous gear.

Insurgent Kill Team

The first release in the new Squad packaging is a new team perfect for augmenting your insurgent force. Sculpted moving more tactically than their insurgent buddies, they are armed with tactical AKs, wearing BDUs, plate carriers and comms gear. These guys can form a core of a force, able to mentor your less trained troops or focus on snatching enemy VIPs. In addition, they could also work as special forces from a middle eastern country, ready to work alongside your Western buddies or as Republican Guard infiltrators.

So why the new Squad packaging? In this case, it makes sense to get all the team members togethers giving you a powerful single unit in one go. I can see the format doing well in other situations such as for specific scenarios (VIP + bodyguards) or interesting packs that wouldn’t sell by themselves. Its strange to see Spectre go from packs of four down to two (or one) to suddenly bounce back with these big releases.

Painting Notes

Painting notes, the place where I explain all the painting decisions when it came to getting this article ready. Again, the usual rush to get stuff finished in time for a post. I’m getting better though; this time around the figures were painted Wednesday night mean they were less rushed than usual.

The latest Tier 1 Operator is painted the same way as the other Argo Contractors – block single colour for clothing, tan webbing and a dot of blue for the glasses. She ended up a little darker than her comrades, closer to the other female agents I’ve painted

The two task force operators are also painted similarly to existing figures in my collection.  As they were only wearing tshirts, the trousers had to multicam (using Spectre’s great painting guide) to match the rest of the force. Block colour Tshirts, US field drab for webbing and tan gun parts. The mad rush to

GRU was back to using my Surpat camo. I’m actually happier with this batch than I was with the original GRU figures as I used more green, which in turn made the other colours pop more. I’m tempted to redo the original group, especially as I’m about to paint up the CQB guys in the improved Surpat. Webbing was in Russian uniform.

The stinger wielding insurgent was super easy to do. Nice blocks of solid colour across the different clothing items and then the Agrax wash to dull the colours and make it fit my collections aesthetic (which has been described as having a “Post Gears of War 3rd Person shooter”filter applied)

As I’m using the Killteam to represent Bazi SF, I went for US 3 colour desert camo with painted guns and khaki boots. The 3 colour recipe came from Bolt Action CP on youtube and is super easy to do. They also match up pretty well with the Empress Universal figures I have so mixing in the odd operator to mentor the trained Bazi Army should work well.

Wargaming Week 16/10/2017

Let’s start, covering the 9th of October through to the 15th of October.

BLOG STUFF

My article on Tiny Terrain’s recent releases is now out. Nice figures, but not exactly the style I like. However, I’m still excited to see what comes out from them next – I’m keeping a close eye on the current kickstarter.

Speaking of upcoming posts, I think I’ve worked out what I’m doing for the Modern Wargames comparison post. Looking at the rulesets left available to me, I’m going to split this into two parts. Part Two is looking at modern day focused rules while Part 3 will look at rulesets that have been converted to modern action or could be.

Part Two is going to cover:

  • Fireteam Modern
  • FUBAR
  • No End In Sight
  • Wars of Insurgency
  • Winter of ’79

Part Three will look at:

  • Flying Lead conversion
  • Bolt Action Modern (in its various versions)
  • Combat Patrol for modern day
  • Chain of Command

The goal is to have Part Two up in December (probably being the last piece of content before I have a christmas break) while Part Three should be up in the new year, probably before Salute.

GAMING

Been busy with work and finishing writing a few articles so no time for gaming. Should be back to it soon though.

PURCHASES

Three more buildings from Knights of Dice – I really want to do a proper in depth impressions of their Tabula Rasa range (as an extended version of the posts I wrote about Adobe options) and seeing as the range is about to expand I feel I should get the first generation covered. I also want a few more buildings in a ready state for future games and the Tabula Rasa ones are really fun to build.

I’m also looking at another project. There will be a bigger post on it once it properly starts, but lets just say I’ll be reusing the Project Little Bird category. I’ve got three airframes lined up, I now just need to do some tweaks to them.

HOBBY

Back on the painting train, and I have at least two groups to get done ASAP. The first is the figures for next week’s post looking at the September releases from Spectre. I’m part of the way through them with two figures finishing, six waiting for camo work and one, the Russian AT figure, still in the early stages. With the Russian figure, I’m tempted to do a batch job with a few of the other Russian figures I’ve had waiting to be painted. But it depends on how much painting time I get this week.

The second is for the Halloween game. Most of which I’m not concerned about but there are three guys who have a style of texture on them I haven’t painted before.

 


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Initial Impressions: Tiny Terrain’s Figures

So far most of this blog has been filled with models from Empress, Eureka and Spectre. Today however, I’m going to take a look at Tiny Terrain’s current offerings – in particular his law enforcement pack (that was released a few weeks ago)and the two man JTAC team released earlier this year. This is just a small selection from the range, that seeks to cover some figures not normally seen. Based on reading around, these figures are sculpted by Phil Lewis, formerly of Games Workshop fame.

In regards to customer service, its excellent for such a small operation. I ended up with a figure missing, sent an email to him that evening and had a new figure sent out the following day.

Full disclosure – I’ve talked to Craig (Mr Tiny Terrain) a fair amount and he is a great chap. Three of the games from the Spectre weekend saw me going up against him. When his blog was running it was at the very top of Must Read list.

Law Enforcement Pack

The Law Enforcement pack, purchased for £30 during the pre-order phase, is designed to complement the already released Narcos and will set you up for engagements around the border. Each pack contains 14 figures, each with a unique pose. Apart from the dog, they all have separate heads, and available options include baseball caps, bush hats, helmets (as seen here) or a mix of all three. The helmeted heads are in tactical hoods and have some nice variety to them, mixing some with goggles on and others with them stowed on the helmet.

A plus point about the heads is that they actually fit in the neck joint properly, with no issues of giraffe neck or major trimming required (unlike a certain manufacturer whose head slot fills me with dread every time).

There are seven figures armed with AR15 style carbines in a selection of poses. I did manage to snap off one of the flash hiders while fixing a bend in it but the rest went back into shape really easily. The poses all feel different and unique which is great but the overall feel of them is very static. This is definitely a group not in the midst of direct combat.

The other seven figures are specialists, giving you a few more tools for the job. Two guys with ballistic shields will help room clearing, two guys with breaching tools and another with a shotgun will get you into a room and the dog team is always handy.

I do have a pet peeve with these specialists – I think that all of them (apart from the dog and the shield users) should have a carbine slung across their back or chest. I can think of a few reasons why they haven’t but it does make WYSIWYG a pain.

I also really dislike the dog handler. The pose is off, he isn’t armed – he just looks like he standing there waiting patiently for the dog to finish off its business rather than him leading it through a search operation.

Looking closer at the shield guys, I really like them. Shields definitely help you to tell a SWAT team apart from a SF team, and these two look the business. The shields come separate and I did have some issues when I tried the goggle wearing head on the crouching body when it came to attaching the shield so be warned about a possible incompatibility.

That said, I think the breaching tools are the stars of the show. These are two figures I haven’t seen the likes of anywhere else which is something Tiny Terrain has been good at with the range so far. The circular saw + arms is a separate piece that slots into place.

Looking at the back, you can see an impressive amount of detail. From the molle strips on the vest to the belts full of gear, each of these troopers look like they are ready for the mean streets of El Paso or Juarez.

As this is a new company, I’ve grabbed a size comparison. Going from left to right we have

  • New Empress US SF
  • Old Empress US SF
  • Tiny Terrain
  • Eureka Force Recon
  • Spectre Miniatures Task Force Operator

The pack of figures is currently unavailable but should be up on the Tiny Terrain store soon. on the Tiny Terrain store at https://tinyterrainmodels.wordpress.com/law01-law-enforcers/

JTAC Team

Slightly older, the JTAC team is two man pack designed to let you add a pair of troops calling in fire support to your force. Both figures are kitted up on SF style kit, with beards and heavily laden packs on both of them. Both figures also have M4s lying on the ground next to them. One figure is posted calling in on the radio while the other is crouched over the included SOFLAM

The SOFLAM is mounted on a tripod which is seated on triangular base. To help with alignment, the front of the spotter’s base has a triangular groove, making it easy to get the different parts into position.

Overall a very simple but characterful set of figures with plenty of ingame uses for them.

Edit: Find them on the store at https://tinyterrainmodels.wordpress.com/jtac01-jtac-team-with-laser-target-designator/

Conclusion

So what do I think of this range? Are they worth your time? Yes. I think the figures are well sculpted (apart from a few poses) and cast, with lots of detail at a reasonable price for a small company. The rest of the range provides some more figures you are not likely to find anywhere and so fills a cool place.


That said, there is a reason I haven’t painted them up. While I think they are well sculpted in a technical sense of the word, from an artistic stand point they don’t really grab me. The style of sculpt just looks old to me and I don’t have great fondness for them. And if I don’t like them they are not going to get painted or used. For that reason, I’m going to sell mine off. Don’t take this as me saying “Don’t buy them” – I think a lot of people will love them but for me they just fell a little flat.

That said, Tiny Terrain has plenty of upcoming things to be excited about. As well as these figures, his store also has some cool MDF terrain and free scenery models for 3D printing. At the time of writing, his Kickstarter for a Chechen War range is going on. This is a different sculpter and so I’ll probably be taking a look when they final product comes out.

Plausible Deniability is available for Pre-Order

 
 
Plausible Deniability, the next supplement for Radio Dishdash’s modern day skirmish game, is now available to pre-order!
 
Plausible Deniability contains 12 Special Forces scenarios for Skimish Sangin. It includes 9 ORBATS of Special Forces teams ranging from MARSOC to GROM and all the associated rules to run a Special Operations campaign using the Skirmish Sangin rules.
 
Customers who pre-order today from the Radio Dishdash store will get the PDF version straight away and the printed version once they become available. They will also save $5.00 off the RRP.
 
For players interested in getting into Skirmish Sangin with Plausible Deniability, there are also bundle offers which include the original rulebook for a reduced price
 

Preorder Special Offer 1
 
Preorder Plausible Deniability for US$19.99 – That’s a US$5.00 saving
You receive the PDF immediately and the printed version when it becomes available. Purchaser will need to pay postage and packing from the USA, UK or Australia (nearest).
 
 
Preorder Special Offer 2
 
Preorder Plausible Deniability and add PDF version of Skirmish Sangin core rules for US$29.99 – That’s a US$10.00 saving
You receive the PDFs of both books immediately and the printed version when it becomes available. Purchaser will need to pay postage and packing from the USA, UK or Australia (nearest).
 
Preorder Special Offer 3

Preorder Special Offer 3 – Printed Skirmish Sangin, Printed Plausible Deniability (US49.99) – That’s a US$20.00 saving
You receive the PDFs of both books immediately and the printed version when it becomes available. Purchaser will need to pay postage and packing from the USA, UK or Australia (nearest).
 

Well that’s it – if you pre-order today you could be reading and playing the stuff I’ve been working on. It’s pretty exciting.

Wargaming Week 09/10/2017

Let’s start, covering the 2nd of October through to the 8th of October.

BLOG STUFF

Last week’s post was looking into Spectre’s unreleased stuff. It was a fun piece to write and has lead me to write a companion piece looking at rare items Spectre has released over the years. It also meant I got to write some posts that didn’t need painted figures for.

GAMING

Nothing.

PURCHASES

Nope, nothing here. I am looking at a few scatter items to liven up the demo board.

HOBBY

Sadly most of my hobby time this week was split between finishing off some scenario writing, playing XCOM 2 and tidying up flat. Turns out, spending tons of time on project work and then not tidying it up along the way was a bad idea. On the plus side, moving some stuff around has opened up space on my desk so bigger painting area!


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Spectre Miniatures Unreleased Models: October 2017

As you may have seen based on the posts, I really like Spectre Miniatures. They make a great set of rules and make some of the coolest figures available to the modern gamer.

Another thing that particularly good about them is how often they post up some previews and show the world what is coming out, fresh from the workbench. Most of these previewed products are released soon after they are shown but amongst them there are a few figures hiding out, biding their time. In this post, we’re going to take a quick look at some of these. The main rule when choosing these early looks is to focus on the physical previews rather than the occasional renders – seeing things in the flesh is always better than a render and are more likely to be released due to the extra amount of work that has been put into them.

 

Bleeding edge operators WIP..#wargaming #spectreminiatures #spectreoperations #28mm #tabletopgaming

A post shared by Spectre (@spectreminiatures) on

Going back to October 2015, we have these three operators. They are wielding some pimped out rifles, complete with thermal optics and other attachments. Based on appearances they seem to be SIG MCXs, similar to those used by the Tier 1 operators. Looking at clothing, they are very similar to the Deniable Ops or Agents ranges, although the silenced pistols make me lean more towards the Agents, as the marksmen in that range are also equipped with them.

 

New African militia on the way #28mm #wargaming #sculpting #modernwargaming #spectreminiatures

A post shared by Spectre (@spectreminiatures) on

The African militia are among the oldest figures in the Spectre range, with all of them from the original Kickstarter. They are still fantastic models but you can really see the difference in detail and style between the Africans and the more recent releases. However, the Spectre Instagram showed off some WIP models of some new fighters ready to join the militia. This one is wielding an AK and a revolver, marking him out as someone of standing, ideal to be a squad or gang leader. The pose is also much more animated than the older style of model. I’m really excited to see the rest of this release when it finally comes, especially as I have yet to purchase any of this range.

 

Salute releases off to the casters.. #spectreminiatures #sculpting #modernwargame #tabletopgaming #28mm #wargames

A post shared by Spectre (@spectreminiatures) on

This requires a bit more of an eagle eye than the others. Before Salute 2016, this preview appeared showing off releases coming soon. Most have since come out (a mixture of criminals and vehicle crew) but there are two interesting figures – you can see both on the left side of the image. Both are armed with Steyr AUGs (one raised and one at rest) and wearing clothes similar to rest of the Criminal faction but we haven’t yet seen them on the store. This is a pretty cool gun to give to that group, especially if you’re wanting some slightly more professional criminals or just really like Die Hard. There is also two crew figures – one on the right side of image with a projectile and the other other crouching on the left.

 

More new toys with new toys on the way.. #spectreminiatures #spectreoperations #sculpting #tabletopgaming #wargaming

A post shared by Spectre (@spectreminiatures) on

A more recent preview, these three operators are pretty interesting and also show Spectre are about to go back and add more to some existing ranges.

The top figure looks like he is part of the Task Force Nomad collection, based on the combination of modern gear and traditional Middle Eastern clothing. His weapon, a bullpup Barrett, is also bang up to date and will add some nice long-range precision firepower to the squad.

Bottom left looks to be part of the Tier 1 Operators range (based on the baseball cap and fast mag pouches). The pose is cool but even cooler is his gear. In one hand is a breaching tomahawk, ready to help out your tactical actions or give you an edge in close combat. In his other hand is a SIX12 modular shotgun with an optic. The flat frontend shows it is set up in suppressed format. The level of detail is great as you can even see the three M-LOK holes on it. In related news, I think this is my new favourite breacher figure.

The final guy looks like a Task Force Operator. The weapon is an Ultimax LMG, designed to give MG firepower in a package that handles like an assault rifle. He also has a rucksack on his back.

 

New MWDs on the way… #spectreoperations #spectreminiatures #wargaming #tabletopgaming

A post shared by Spectre (@spectreminiatures) on

Much like with the African militia above, Spectre seems to also be revisiting our four-legged friends. Another figure from the original Kickstarter, the dogs were nicely detailed but also pretty static. This updated figure is much more dynamic, looking like he is moving alongside his master.

You can actually see part of his handler. Based on the fast mag holders and the pelvis plate, he is going to be some form of operator although I’m not 100% on which group – some of the detail looks very similar to a new collection that Spectre have been teasing in the past few days.

Speaking of which….

 

WHO… #spectreoperations #spectreminiatures #wargaming #sculpting #L119A2

A post shared by Spectre (@spectreminiatures) on

 

DARES #spectreoperations #spectreminiatures #wargaming #tabletopgaming

A post shared by Spectre (@spectreminiatures) on

 

WINS #spectreoperations #spectreminiatures #wargaming #tabletopgaming

A post shared by Spectre (@spectreminiatures) on

New SAS! From talking to the guys at Spectre, they are really excited about this release having really done the research on what gear is in use. They have all sorts of really cool equipment – some of it close to the Task Force Operators but there are plenty of UKSF specific items. I am particularly excited for the guys in SOTR breathing gear – perfect for CQB operations or (if you fancy a change) hunting zombies!

I am also interested in seeing how they will be released. Comments on the group seem to point to these guys being released in the new Squads packs (as seen with the insurgent killteam) with some specialist support characters sold in the normal blisters.

 

The armoury grows… #spectreminiatures #spectreoperations #tabletopgaming #wargaming #3dprinting

A post shared by Spectre (@spectreminiatures) on

As well as figures, the Instagram also includes this picture of 3D printed weapons we can investigate for hints. Spectre’s process is to use CAD tools to design the hard items (like helmets, fast mag pouches and guns), 3D print them and then add them to the greens before being cast as one part. The 3D sculpts are not sold separately so if they have been printed, good chance they are going on a figure.

So far, several of these weapons have been used:

  • The AT4 was part of the stowage kit. That kit also included some LAWs but these were packed up. The one in the picture is unfolded and ready for action, so presumably it will be used on a figure actually shooting it.
  • The Russian anti-material rifle is on the Militia sniper from the August releases.
  • The three RPGs at the bottom were also in the Militia releases from August.
  • The Stinger and Russian LAW (the weapon under the M79) were both used in the September releases for the Insurgents and GRU Spetsnaz.
  • The bullpup Barret has been shown in an unreleased preview (see above)

So what’s left over that hasn’t yet been used? The mix of weapons are unusual, from the high-tech ACR and Scorpion Evo down to the original Scorpion and the M79, making me think we’ll see these items appear across multiple ranges. However, two pairs of weapons are particular interesting. Two Tavors (one standard and one X95) and two Type 97s might show us the arrival of two new SF teams from Israel and China. Of course, these weapons might not be in the hands of state actors so we could see some more heavily armed insurgents, like the pair with F2000s. As someone who used to own one for airsoft, I’m also looking forward to seeing who will be wielding the blooper.

All of these have come from the Spectre Instagram but there was an even better place to see some greens – Salute 2015! My first trip to Salute some me come away with this picture. It’s interesting to see just how much in the image has since been released and also how many haven’t seen the light of day.

So, who came out and can be bought now?

  • Crouching MENA militia marksman
  • Task Force Operator breacher
  • Group of Task Force Operators at the back
  • Criminal with Mac 10 in the foreground
  • Insurgent leader shielding his eyes
  • MENA Militia RPG 29 gunner

Overall, a good number but there are still some guys left. Moving from left to right we have:

  • The moving low marksman armed with a scoped AK.
  • The Indigenous Forces figure, with PASGAT and AK. This is a range that is always exciting as it’s an area that for a long time was not filled with options. I really look forward to this group coming out and it would not surprise me if they are doing some updates to match the more recent changes in equipment.
  • The map using figure who I think was an insurgent. A nice alternative to the combat focused figures, he also makes sense to use as someone who has access to OTAs – checking the grid reference for a mortar strike perhaps?
  • The super early figure at the back – not sure what he would end up being but he was armed with an AK. Possibly a militia fighter?
  • The loader for the RPG 29 – I find it mad that the main gunner came out but his buddy didn’t. This guy would also be great for mounting up on technicals as a loader.

From talking to the guys at Spectre, it seems like they have releases and targets planned out for years to come. They also mentioned that anything shown on the Instagram is probably coming out in the future, they might just be delayed until a good group of figures are ready to be released together. As you can see from the list above, we’ll have plenty of goodies coming our way for years to come.

 

 

 

That said, there is one set of figures I’m still waiting for.

Wargaming Week 02/10/2017

Let’s start, covering the 25th of September through to the 1st of October.

BLOG STUFF

IMG_20170924_152548

Last weeks post was on the AAR for 100 Years of War! It was a really fun time and incredible fulfilling to get the game out and for people to play. But, there are still things to work before its first showing at Fiasco.

 Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

If you’ve been enjoying the blog, I’ve set up a way to donate via Ko-Fi page to make things easy. I’m really enjoying writing all these blogs and getting some great feedback on my Impressions pieces. A few quid helps to make it easier to get the impressions done. But don’t worry, I’ll never be locking the blog behind a paywall. If you want to throw a few coins my way, hit the “Buy Me a Coffee” button above.

GAMING

No gaming this week, I was too busy doing some writing and finishing work before a weekend away airsofting.

PURCHASES

Nothing purchased this week, although I am starting to eye up the rulebooks I’ll be looking at for part 2 of modern rules. I’m also starting to look at some known future purchases to plan out upcoming posts.

HOBBY

0 (1)

A few more things have been in the early stages of prep (including a few things for Halloween) but the main thing is getting the book past the final post and off to printers.

It’s been a great experience writing it but there is still much more planned. There is stuff we couldn’t fit in the book and even entire book ideas I’ve been working on. So watch this space for more!


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Demo Game: 100 Years of War, Falkirk

All the posts so far have been leading up to this: the first play through of the game. The original plan had been to go in at the deep end and running the first attempt at a proper show. After that fell through, running the trial at a smaller event made a little more sense. 100 Years of War is an anual event run by the Falkirk Wargames Club

After spending the Saturday typing up a play sheet, Sunday saw me waking up at 8:30 to drive over to Falkirk (about 45 minutes from my flat). The weather was a bit grim but it wouldn’t really matter much. The venue is a community hall, very easy to get to by car and with plenty of parking nearby. Its also really bright, great to see in a wargames club venue. In addition to my game, there were quite a few other being setup, including a huge Indo-Pakistani air war game next to mine and a ridiculously large Boxer rebellion game further up, complete with the walls of Peking. Overall, it was a great event – a very relaxed time that I am looking forward to next year.


So, lets take a look at the first game. The picture below shows the layout (although the gunner on the technical was removed before play began). Three players each took a fireteam (created by choosing four operators from the decks I’d made) while I took the OPFOR. My force was randomly generated, based on a dice roll for number of characters and then draw from the pack. Although this was fun to do, I think it may have made the game too easy.

There were four objectives for BLUFOR to achieve

  1. Destroy the flight deck with thermite
  2. Secure the black box
  3. Search the white SUV for important documents
  4. Destroy OPFOR technicals 

As the game begun, the players headed off for their objective. Fireteam A headed for the broken wing section in order to dominate the flank and then advance onto the white SUV. Fireteam B started close to the nose section and so they set off to place the charge. Finally, Fireteam C moved to grab the black box, as well as setting up to hit the various vehicles. All groups started infiltrating (using the stealth rules from the new book).

As they crept closer, one of the militia marksmen managed to spot an operator from Fireteam A. With no suppressed weapons, this basically meant they would have a limited time before they were rumbled.

With a ridiculously high shooting skill, Fireteam A’s marksman was easily able to shoot down his target and incapacitating him. Fighters nearby were unnerved by the sound of this first attack and started locking them in place with morale tests. Fireteam B used this distraction to get into the cockpit and placed the thermite device.

On the other side, Fireteam C got to work. The first shot sent a UGL round flying across the board and into a technical. The resulting explosion set off the fuel being stored there, destroying the asset and taking down two insurgents in the blast. The anti-material gunner 

Fireteam B and C also opened up, engaging the group near the white SUV. The first shot took down the middle of the group with the morale effect pinning the rest of the squad in place.

Fireteam C saw the fight starting and decided to use this distraction to sneak up on the black box. The fireteam leader sprinted to the box before kneeling next it.

Unfortunately, this move exposed him to the waiting sniper. Swinging the anti-material rifle around, a quick shot hit and inflicted massive damage, immediately killing him.

As the next phase started there was a sudden blast as the thermite detonated, immolating the sensitive equipment and achieving one of the objectives.

After being pinned down in the open, one of the militia sprinted to seek cover in the back of the plane. However, this move exposed him to gun fire and he was taken out by the dead eye marksman from Fireteam A. Also note the two operators in cover behind the wing, easily able to pin down anyone trying to move up on them.

Covered by their team mates, more operators started to move up on the white SUV, seeking to quickly snatch the intel. 

Having reloaded his grenade launcher, Fireteam C’s grenadier sighted the red technical and sent a round flying towards it. Another hit, another asset destroyed.

I must have forgotten to grab a picture but I should mention what happened to the machine gunner on the roof. Fireteam B’s SMG character, still standing close to the nose section, managed to thread a difficult shot through the plane and land an incapacitating hit on him.

Moving round both sides of the plane, the operator catch the last few enemies in a cross fire allowing easy access to the SUV. Both Fireteam A and B took full advantage of the cover provided by the wreckage, including crawling under the wing.

One final bit of excitement – as one operator was search the vehicle a militia man spotted him with the intel and opened up. He didn’t cause any damage and in the next turn, his target rallied and took him down.

As the game ended, nearly all of the OPFOR lay dead or incapacitated. BLUFOR took one casualty and managed to achieve all their objectives. Scratch one for the good guys. All three players had a good time which was great to hear.


After a short break for lunch (including a trip to Subways located 2 minutes from the hall), game two began with three new players picking three new fireteams. I also changed up the enemy team and the objectives, the black box now on the other side of the board. I also set up my OPFOR a little differently

Rather than jumping straight into the shooting, BLUFOR this time managed to actually be a little more sneaky.

While Fireteam A setup at the nose, Fireteam B and C can be seen above moving up on the central part of the plane.

Of course you can’t stealth forever. Fireteam A held off detonating the charge as long as possible letting element of Fireteam B sneak into position next to the engine. The insurgents didn’t spot him but did notice the marksman rushing forward.

As we learnt in the first game though, spotting marksmen never ends well. Before the alarm could be set off, the LMG gunner from the sentry team was taken down by a well-aimed shot, momentarily pausing the sentries as they have to handle the sudden appearance of BLUFOR.

Hearing the sound of gunfire one of the militiamen ran to the back of the SUV and opened up on a prone operator. His shots hit home but the body armour absorbed it all.

Before the shooter could get away, a BLUFOR SMG operator managed to get behind him, drop him with a quick burst and then begin grabbing the intel from the SUV.

Back on the wing, Fireteam A and B moved up. Fighters from Fireteam A, who had blown the cockpit, now moved to join the fight, including one who rushed up to the wing. An insurgent way back on the edge of the board (just out of shot) started shooting but was swiftly silenced by the combined efforts of an entire fireteam.

Meanwhile on the other side of the board, Fireteam C was causing havoc. Having taken out a technical and the marksman, the subsequent morale tests (and their many failures) had pushed lots of troops around and into less advantageous positions.

Seizing the opportunity, two operators moved up and started what was the strangest fight. As the shotgun wielding breacher turned the corner, the closest enemy managed to avoid all the shots fired at him, pass a morale test, drop prone and get into cover. Before the breacher could even act, the insurgent leader came screaming in from out of nowhere and engaged him in close combat. Luckily the leader manged to fluff two turns of close combat before the breacher threw him to the floor. The machine gunner eventually engaged the man under the car, forcing him to surrender.

Start of the final phase and the only effective fighter left on the board was the lone RPG gunner still frantically trying to reload his RPG. As the Operators closed in, two players almost caused a friendly fire incident. As a LMG gunner crept into position behind the tail, his AT gunner compatriot tossed a frag at the last insurgent alive. It didn’t land exact but luckily scattered enough that the plane’s tail absorbed all the shrapnel while still vaporizing the hapless goon. With the operator’s ears ringing we called the game.

Again, BLUFOR wiped OPFOR from the table (even managing to capture two of them) and got all the objectives. BLUFOR did end up losing one character to a PKM burst (this was the team leader in Fireteam A). Once again, everyone left the table having really enjoyed it.


So after getting back and having some time to think back over the events, there are a few things that I think worked and a few that need improving.

What worked well:

  • The baseboards: I am really happy with how the baseboards look and work. They look great, didn’t chip too badly despite having dice and terrain on them all day and I was easily able to carry them around by hand from car to table.
  • Terrain: The whole “crashed plane on board” idea worked. Despite not using a huge amount of terrain, it managed to successfully break the lines of sight and present something interesting to play around. It was also successful at grabbing people’s attention, with lots of people walking past stopping to take a look at it.
  • Cards: Everyone who played (and many people who walked past) commented on the cards. Having the stats plus picture in a handy format really made it much easier for player to get to, rather than having to check bases or look at descriptions.
  • Basic play sheets: The basic playsheet/quick reference I wrote up reduce the QRF down to four pages. People seemed to find them very handy and by the end of both games players were working out the modifiers.
  • Everyone enjoyed it: The most important part of running the game. Talking to everyone after the game, all of them said how much they had enjoyed playing and liked the system.

What Didn’t work well:

  • It was too easy: Both games saw the BLUFOR operators walk away having ripped OPFOR a new one and with minimal casualties. This is way to easy – the ideal is that the players should be able to do all the objectives but it would be a close thing.
  • The demo board gaps: The tables I was using had metal rims on the edges of them. This lead to there being a slightly higher point in the centre, leading to some gaps appearing. I think I should bring something to help level it out but I’m unsure what. Something to think about.
  • Transporting the boards: Moving the boards in my car was a bit of an experience – while driving back a sudden brake caused them to come sliding forward. Ideally, I need something that will both protect them and stop them shifting around.
  • Standing up all day: I really need to get used to being on my feet all day. By the end of it my legs were aching. Basically I need to stretch more.

So before the next showing, what am I going to do?

  • Detail the plane: As mentioned previously, I need to make the plane look more like it crashed and less like someone took a hacksaw to it. The plane is to add some structural elements to the joins, paint on some different textures (smoke and oil). Additionally, the board needs more clutter from bits of wreck that were ripped off, like panels of the fuselage or bits of cargo.
  • Better objective: Speaking of cargo, the middle objective needs to be improved. The white SUV was a good placeholder but it needs to be something more exciting for the main release. I’m still deciding what it should be but whatever it is it needs to be very important.
  • Rework the balance: The game is too easy. My solution is two-fold – increase the number of OPFOR and make the objectives take longer to succeed at. I think my time/AP estimates were off when it comes to placing a demolition device or checking for documents
  • Tweak the layout: The core idea is there but I think the buildings should be adjusted to make them more than just show off where the enemy are staying. I also want to add some elements to make it look like the insurgents are working on a recovery operation. Finally, the technicals need to be a little more spread out
  • (maybe) Paint up more operators: I really like the start of the game where people would pick their operators from the deck presented to them. If I go ahead with my plan to add some permadeath to the event (operators lost in the morning will not be available later in the day), I need more specialists (MG, UGLs and DMRs primarily) to prevent later teams from being screwed.
  • Tweak the timing: I’m tempted to drop the teams down to only two fireteams vs equivalent insurgents to speed up play and allow for more playthroughs of the scenario. It would be nice if this was a quick game that players could jump into. However, I’m not decided on this just yet.
  • Other things: I have some other ideas to help get the players in the mood for the game. However, these are secondary to getting the main game fixed so I’m not stressing too much about them yet.

That’s all the update for now. The next update will be after Fiasco but keep your eyes on the Wargaming Week posts for WIP photos as I work on my tweaks.