Friday, March 25, 2011

3D Space Hulk board/bunker prototype

To go with the defense line I just posted, here's a preview of a board variant I'm doing for SH.  I've always loved the idea of a 3D board, but storage is an issue, not to mention the fact that making one is a LOT of work to put towards something you're only going to use for one game.  So I came up with the idea recently of making a modular set of "bunker" style terrain, and making it with the same sizes and textures used in SH.  That way I could have a pimped out SH board, but still have it be useful for wargames of other sorts.  Note, the minis in these pics are not completed yet either, but I wanted to use 3rd ed sized figs for size.

After this prototype, which was loosely based on an old Starship Troopers bunker model I had, I decided to do some serious revamping on the design.  It looks cool, but it could be easier to make and more sturdy.  Currently in the process of modeling it from scratch and then skinning it, stay tuned.

cardstock 40K Aegis Defense Line

Here is a card model I did a while back, based on the Warhammer 40K terrain kits that got released a while ago.

Print out on standard cardstock, fold over on the black line and glue together.  Then fold on each of the main vertical lines for a piece of free-standing defensive terrain.  You can either cut out the firing slit or if you're lazy you can just fill it in black.

We need dakka... LOTS OF DAKKA!


Friday, March 18, 2011

Battle Report: Space Hulk XT first look!

Here's the first look at the Space Hulk: XT game mod that I've been working on.  Main element on display here is some of the Event/Fog of War cards.

Mission: The Ships Log
   Marine objective: Get the Black Box, and exit back off the board with it.
   Genestealer objective: NOM NOM NOM!

   Marine, Brother-Captain Rommel of the Dark Angels
   Genestealer, Mick.

   We utilized the extended blip set from 1st edition (1 to 6 per blip instead of 1 to 3), with the XT action cards.  Two marine squads with a Sergeant, one with a heavy flamer and one with an assault cannon.

Turn 1, Marine:
The marines started off in a fairly solid position, and got through some decent manuvering on turn 1.  They got off to a less than auspicious beginning, however, when the lead sergeant spent four AP moving and shooting at a door, and missed every time.

Turn 1, Genestealer:
A good start for the stealer player, with two "3" blips.  One moved up by the door near the sergeant with the power axe and the terrible aim, hoping that his streak of un-luck would keep.  The other moved up the near halway on the other side of the marines.

Turn 2, Marine:
The sergeant moves up to the invincible door and opens it, and realized with an AW SNAP of alarm that there were three stealers on the other side.

This does a good job of waking him up (apparently the new battle-brother forgot to load the coffee pot on the thunderhawk) and he proceded to kill all three of the stealers in one shot each, freeing up the other marines to move into the beginnings of a defensive position.

Turn 2, Stealer:
The stealers had an even better draw this turn, resulting in a 6 and a 4.  I popped the 6 first, to rush the sergeant and hopefully make him jam.  He did, on the first shot!

Immediately following this, I advanced with all six stealers. Then I popped the four, while playing the "Unknown Lifeforms" bio-morph card, which replaced the bilp with a Broodlord.  For purposes of XT, the Broodlord is much like the Patriarch (4d6+2 in melee) but he has two wounds, so it will take at least two attacks to kill him.  This makes him a much better siege-breaker than in 1st ed, but avoids the silly rules from 3rd.

Turn 3, Marine:
Brother-Captain Rommel responded to my assault with a "High-Grav Zone" which doubled the AP required to move on the long hallway section for one turn.

Then with a fancy song and dance routine, the marines managed to flame the section killing all but the last of the stealers.  They didn't have enough points to flame again, but the stealer could only move 3 squares so it was a moot point.

Turn 3, Stealer:
I moved a 5 blip of stealers onto the board while playing the "Scything Talons" bio-morph, which gave three of them parry.  (Note, this card was removed from the game after this particular play-through.  We deemed it too powerful to fit with the power curve of the rest of the cards.)

Turn 4, Marine:
The flamer hit the section in front of him again, blocking off the broodlord but removing his fire power from the main assault.  I attempted to stop this by playing a cave-in right in front of the flamer, but Brother-Captian Rommel stopped this with a counter card he'd been holding in his hand.  The other marines moved up in to better defensive positions while advancing on the objective.  He also played "Gravity Fluxx," slowing down all models for a turn.

Turn 4, Stealer:
I attempted to move some models across on the opposing side of the marines, but all three died moving in the only open square.

Turn 5, Marine:
The section with the broodlord got flamed twice, but only caused one wound to the BL himself.  Note the stylish com-tower array offboard just behind the marines.

The assault cannon wasted two shots on a door, missing both.  The other marines continue their advance towards the objective, using the "Move IT!" order card to shift two of the marines one step closer.

Turn 5, Stealer:
I rushed the flamer with the BL, but ended up one square away.  Next, I amassed my stealers near the hallway the sergeants were advancing down.

Turn 6, Marine:
The flamer finally kills the Broodlord, but thanks to my "Fumble" card he had to re-roll his attack and ended up spending his last shot.  The sergeants decide that it's balls to the wall time and charge up, going on overwatch.  The rest of the marines move to cover the center with the assault cannon.  Another "Gravity Fluxx" to slow the marines down a bit more.

Turn 6, Stealer:
I moved up to mob the corridors near all of the marine advance points.

Turn 7, Marine:
The marines stayed in nearly the same position, except for the sergeants which moved up on overwatch again.

Turn 7, Stealers:
I played the "Extended Carapace" bio-morph card on a few stealers by the flamer, which according to the Brother-Captain "Makes the baby god-emporer cry."  This gives a stealer a 5+ save if they take a wound.  Regretably, as I moved the first one up the marines spent 2 CP to flame the section in response, stalling the others.  Then I used "Bio-Goop" in front of the assault cannon, blocking his LoS so I could rush and Jam the marine he was covering.

Then I rushed the sergeant, getting into melee with the first of my stealers.  Four counter/fumble/lucky shot cards later, we ended in a tie for the first attack.  Then the marine sergeant won, which freed up the first scything talon stealer's path.  At this point we discovered that parry on a stealer was a tad OP, and he tore through both sergeants.  I had enough stealers in reserve that this likely would have been the case regardless, but it did highlight just how nasty they were nicely.

Turn 8, Marine and Stealer:
By this point I had pretty effictvely squashed the marines origional advance, and kept the flamer tied up all game with just a few blips.  Between the marine turn and OW fire most of my stealers kicked the bucket, but having killed the first wave this was more than a worth while trade in my opinion.

Turn 9, Marine:
The Brother-Captain moved up his center a bit, hoping for a few great CP draws to allow him to rush with his cannon the next few turns.

Turn 9, Stealer:
I played one of my favorite cards, "In the pipes!"  This let me place an air duct to mess with the marines a touch.

Turn 10, Marines:
The Assault Cannon rushes foreward with his huge CP draw, getting him almost to the objective.

Turn 10, Stealers:
I pulled out all the stops, and rushed forward with all of my stealers.

Turn 11, Marine:
The cannon advanced, but with the poor CP draw is fairly stuck this turn, and running low on ammo. Then...

Turn 11, Stealers:
I advanced on the cannon.  With just a bit of luck on my side, he ran out of ammo before I ran out of stealers in range.  The last few managed to drag him down, and the Brother-Captain called for a tactical withdrawl.



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

3D Overwatch/Jam tokens (and silly silly guard too)

Here's some tokens that I whipped up for SH yesterday. I'm planning on most likely revamping the overwatch token to match the other two. When I had first started I was just doing OW and Jam, and then realized that some people who use 3rd rules as opposed to 1st might like Guard as well. I based the Guard off of the Jam token, so the poor Overwatch looks left out now.

Bits are on one inch wide bases, folded on the red lines. Look for my upcoming battle report/first look at Space Hulk: XT for some awesome action shots.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Reflections: What Has Come Before

There have to date been three editions of Space Hulk.  Here's the skivvy on number one.

First Edition
First of all came first edition (gasp!).  In this progenitor of two decades of awesomeness there are many of the same rules that are present in the current edition.  The Space Marine player has a set of objectives to accomplish, and must generally do so in the face of a swarm of unending alien attackers (think the movie Aliens).

The game board is constructed out of smaller tiles representing rooms, corridors and junctions.  These are arranged differently according to the mission being played.

Models have Action Points that they expend preforming actions such as moving, turning and attacking.  Space Marine terminators have four, and their opfor, the deadly alien genestealers, have six.  Genestealers have a semi-hidden movement when they enter the board in the form of "blip" tokens, representing an unknown number of contacts on the marines' radar, and ranging from one to three actual models when converted.

Weapons fire is fairly simple: only marines have firearms in the basic game.  Regular marines and the squad leader are armed with Storm Bolters.  For the cost of one action point, they may fire at any genestealer within line-of-sight and their arc of fire.  Then, the marine player rolls two dice.  If either dice is a six, the genestealer is destroyed.  In the event that a marine misses his first shot, he may fire again with a "sustained fire" bonus, this time needing a five on either dice.  This bonus stacks down to a 3+ to kill.  One marine per squad is normally armed with a heavy flamer.  This weapon has a range of only 12 squares, and is limited to 6 shots, but it affects an entire board section when fired and kills all models on a roll of 2+.  It is also effective as a denial weapon, as a flamed section blocks line of sight and movement until the marine player's next turn.  Line of sight is essentially determined from center of occupied square to center of target square.

Close combat is equally straightforward.  For one action point a model may attack a model directly in front of it in an adjacent square.  A marine rolls one die, and a genestealer rolls three.  Whichever has the single highest die roll wins the combat, and the looser is eliminated.  A terminator sergeant is more skilled than a regular marine, and so gets a +1 to this die roll.

Missions are fairly straightforward but allow for versatility.  Get X number of marines from point A to point B, kill Y number of genestealers before kicking the bucket, of the famous go flame room Z from mission 1.

Basic First Edition is great.  It's simple, straightforward, fast-playing and intuitive, not to mention tense!  Even if you choose to not play with a timer for the marine player (which really adds to the claustrophobia he feels while playing) almost every game is a close one.

Using nothing but the core rules is somewhat limiting.  While you can make your own scenarios, the game only comes with 6 official missions.  This gives you a fair deal of replay value, especially switching sides, but does get old eventually.  Also, the marines are limited to just a few troop types, and the stealers even more so.

Deathwing and Genestealer expansions, as well as second and third editions, to come later.

(insert pithy exiting comment here)



As they say when their skin is green and their teef are big, "'Ere we GO!"

Welcome to Wargaming 101, a place to share my contributions to the hobby.  Let's start with a bit about me.

I am a gamer.  Or more specifically, I am a prime example of Wargamerius Maximus.  I play hard, I play to win, I play everything, but above all, I play to have fun.  I have literally been gaming in one sort or another for almost my entire life: I was taught basic arithmetic and reading through Magic: the Gathering, Chainmail, and Space Hulk starting at age three.  By age six I was competing in Warhammer 40K tournaments against adults, and by the age of seven I was winning them consistently.  For almost the past two decades I have painted, converted, reverse-engineered, modified and played every game I could get my hands on.  I like to see what makes a game tic, why, and how I can best use it.  However, above all else my primary focus has always been to have fun with the hobby.  While some people may argue the point, it has always been my opinion that playing for fun and playing to win are not mutually exclusive.  Know of the game Warmachine?  I'm the guy who was silly enough to make a Khristmas Khador army.  Then I took it to a tourney.

Now then, on to this blog.  I have, for the longest time, worked on numerous side projects for the various and sundry games that I play.  From terrain, to modeling conversions, to new rules and complete re-works of entire game systems, I've always had extra stuff that I'm working on on the side.  This is where I'm going to share it.

Right now I have several projects in the works, but the main event is a mod I'm calling Space Hulk: XT.  Essentially, the idea is to take the age-old fave Space Hulk and update it to more modern gameplay without loosing its amazingly cool flavor and theme.  The original Space Hulk is my favorite game of all time, and so this is really a work of love for me.  The basic game though, while well balanced, was not designed to have expansions.  Both of the main expansions for it, Deathwing and Genestealer, were excellent additions (aside from the psychic rules, that is).  However, since the game was not built from the ground up to include the extra rules added in these expansions, they could have been built into the gameplay in a much more streamlined fashion, which is one of the main things that XT seeks to overcome.  Other additions to look forward to are stat cards for all models in the game, extensively expanded army options, a fully revamped set of psychic rules that is actually balanced, and a set of optional fog of war/event cards similar to those seen in games like Incursion, Ambush Alley, Force on Force and Firestorm: Armada.  Not to mention tons of cool miniature conversions, extra scenarios, and even 3d terrain.  Stay tuned as I post some teasers pics and rules of what I've got over the next few days as our journey picks up steam.

As they say, we live in interesting times.  So buckle up, and come along for the ride!