Tuesday, 30 May 2017

"Tech-3, Tech-3! Affirmative! You are cleared to land! Mission is GO! Repeat GO! GO Space Marines"

Mission: Tactical half-squads from Space Marine Chapters Blood Angels, Ultra Marines and The Imperial Fists to cause a diversionary raid on a flank (Grid Sector 55-2A) of Warp Ship Leviathan, prior to main assault going in. Event-21 (main assault) will trigger immediate evacuation to mother ship. Primary mission secure temporary perimeter without loss of assets until Event-21 signal received for immediate re-deployment to main assault formation.

And so the mission starts: Episode Four of The Space Crusade "A Quick in and Out!" What could go wrong?

Mission Transcript: Blood Angels Insertion Phase
[Sgt: Hammer] "Mission Control, confirm Blood Angels are down and bridgehead established. Preliminary scan complete .. residual alien traces detected behind bulkhead Z05, attack formation SPEAR OF DESTINY, Sergeant to the head .. door blown, I see it! Humanoid eliminated. Troopers form defensive perimeter to assess situation. Groc, Rookies! Don't cluster. I said no clustering, this Zone is still HOT! Spread out!  Movement detected in sector Red-2, multiple traces, high tech or mechanised trace signatures. Confirmed .. Enemy Chaos Marines. Iincoming round ... ...  Groc! Groc! Troopers Down!" pause  "All of them! Repeat "ALL OF THEM". It's a trap they came from the vents! Engaging Chaos forces, they won't take me so easy! Switching to head cam. FOR THE IMPERIUM, BLOOD ANGELS NEVER RETREAT!" [Transmission End]

The Blood Angels landing triggers an immediate counterattack by a half squad of Chaos Space Marines that (in fairness) manages to "get lucky" and target a cluster missile in the tight confines of a corridor. The damage effect of "three hits" exceeds the protective armour of two and takes out all the Blood Angel Troopers within the blast zone, "Gulp" (see below, Chaos never has it so good, thirty victory points to Chaos and it's still turn one!):

Seen from the killer's perspective, the Chaos Space Marine Heavy Weapon Drone (Note: Those of "keen sight" [GW modelling aficionados] may detect I am 'filling in' for the official figures (of Space Marines) with Tau ones, as I had the latter "close to hand and painted"). The Drone has "Line of Sight" (LOS) after moving out from its hidden position (see below, the Space Marine's mission already seems to be in jeopardy [ED: I can say with glee being the Chaos Commander]):

Mission Transcript: The Imperial Fist Insertion Phase
[Sgt Doom] "Fists down! All quiet. Repeat, All quiet. Scan reveals partial trace scan but all distant and receding. Troopers for m perimeter defence. Code: Epsilon. Caution, Accessing situation. Sounds of heavy incoming fire coming from Red-2. Repeat "bridgehead in sector Yellow-2 achieved! Praise to the Emperor" [Transmission End]

The Imperil Fist sector is strangely quiet (Sarge I don't like it [Ed: My eldest son was sitting in for the regular until he arrived so I wasn't trying to kill him fast]), most of the Chaos blips seem to be moving "away" from the incursion, regrouping? Then out of a concealed passageway a grotesque humanoid Chaos creature (a nominal orc) sprung out at a surprised Space Marine Trooper and engaged him in Hand-2-Hand combat (see below, middle right, [Ed: OK I wasn't going to be easy on him]):

Mission Transcript: The Imperial Fist Mission Post Insertion Update Data Burst
[Sgt Doom] "Trooper down! Trooper Down! Where did that THING come from? Form Perimeter defence. Mutual zones of fire, repeat no one gets isolated!" [Transmission Ends]

The Chaos "hit and run" tactics seem to be working better than could have been suspected (lucky dice [Ed: Slight pang of remorse, but no much as that is another 10 points]). The Imperial Fists hit back by dispatching a Gretchin/Necron (delete as applicable) servo droid but then all returns to "quiet" (see below):

Meanwhile in the Ultra Marine sector (Note: Nice decals) the Space Marines fan out and deploy. Again everything seems to be avoiding contact. The Space Marines are drawn forwards. All three half-tactical squads are separated from one another (giving no mutual support). The Ultra Marine Commander also forgot about his equipment card that could be used to reveal the identity of three random blips (Ed: To be fair so had I, but by now he should have been a veteran, it can be tough in the Corp). Then three of those random blips revealed themselves. Just a Dreadnought and two Kiler Androids.

Mission Transcript: The Ultra Marines Mission Post Insertion Update Data Burst#1
[Sgt Tosh] "Negate that. Landing Zone active, the big one is coming my way with two side-kicks in toe. Priming Mega Bomb, I'm gonna settle this thing Hand-2-Hand" [Transmission Ends]

Multiple things happen in quick succession. A Gretchin throws a fragmentation grenade that bounces off the two Space Marines playing "tail end Charlie" spooking them. The Hand-2-Hand combat goes very badly for Sgt Tosh and he disengages with a single  hit point left. A killer Android tries to follow up but is cut in two by the Ultra Marines infamous Power Chain Sword [Ed: Cannot have it all my own (Chaos) way].

Mission Transcript: The Ultra Marines Mission Post Insertion Update Data Burst#2
[Sgt Tosh] "Situation BLUE! Repeat situation BLUE. Initiating Medi-Pack Heal [Ed: Back to full hit points, damn]. No more Mega Bombs left but I'm going back in [Ed: Ooops Chaos may not get those good combat rolls a second time]" [Transmission Ends]

To the stunned horror of the gathered Space Marine Commanders (all Chapters) the Hand-2-Hand is almost an exact duplicate of the first one. Despite a "Double Attack" Order by the Ultra Marines the dice of Chaos laugh at the upstart Space Marines threat. The "Double Attack" becomes just a way of hurting Sgt Tosh twice. Grimacing Tosh again retires to the relatively safe bulkhead (with a single hit point again), only to then hear the piecing scream of two Ultra Marines dying with the sound of "Genestealer!" in his internal com unit. [Ed: Another fifteen points to Chaos, I have no fear of being turned into "chaotic primordial soup" for a bad performance now! In fact if I hold onto this lead I will be promoted and win the campaign. Careful, pride comes before a fall!]. The only "blot" on this turn is when I attempt to annihilate the last remaining Ultra Marine Troopers my "humanoids" are stopped in their tracks (see below, so are the unflattering whims of Chaos):

The Blood Angel Commander is surrounded and taking hits, though killing anything that dares to come within range of his sword arm. Still there are two Chaos Marines Heavy Weapons making his life hard, a hoard of green things in the distance and a Killer Android moving up close. Not looking good. Bad news comes from the Imperial Fists sector as they lose another trooper [Ed: Another five victory points]. There is no way out for the Space Marines. The tactical half-units are two battered to fight their way to give mutual support without being isolated from their docking claw exit points. The Blood Angel Commander will have to tough it out (see below):

Incoming Mother-Ship Transmission: 
[Commander Beal] Event-21 Recal [Transmission Ends]

"Event-21" is triggered (as the finite time duration of the game we set expires, people have things to do and families to go back home to). The Blood Angels and Ultra Marines have cannily kept "blind grenades" which mean a clean escape. The Imperial Fists briefly tinker with the concept of taking a few more Chaos with them but the thought of a Genestealer on the prowl, at least two androids and an undamaged Dreadnought soon change their minds.

So ends the "Space Crusade" in Sector "Olaf-Gamma-5" as Chaos begins its rightful place or rather reign in this small part of the mega-universe. The Space Marine Fleet hastily disengages (I am sure the Inquisition will have something to say about this debacle) in disgrace while the Chaos Commander is raised to the glory and status of being a Hero of Chaos, which on the downside means he gets assimilated with some strange Chaos creation that resembles a giant squid (but gets brilliant telepathic powers, that send him insane) .. his mother would definitely not recognise him now, she thought the tattoo was bad enough.

Next stop ... a summer few nights in the pub discussing tactics ... and then Frost Grave in the autumn when the nights draw in. Thanks for the memories gents!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Fw 190A-8 Gets its Decals

Following on from the practice on the Space Marines the DecalFix comes out for the Fw190's decals. The practise has helped, topside first (see below):

Next the "belly" (see below, note I have not gone for the 'drop tank variant but the smooth underside instead);

Finally the daunting "nose cone spiral"! Boy was I glad of the Space Marine practice with the fiddly bits and curved surfaces):

I was happy with the end result but dis have to extend the white line with a bit of paint at the base of the nose cone. I was relieved to finish the whole process and put a Matt Varnish over it as soon as possible.

I need now to do a small repair job to the silly bit of plastic that "fell off" the wing (not a 20mm cannon but on the extreme wing tip [radio?]) when my youngest son was inspecting it!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Even more Sci-Fi Experimenting with Decals: Ultra Marines

Two Ultra Marines (Heavy Weapons) Troopers get some fancy decals (see below, on the right shoulder pad they get a big white "Up Arrow" which apparently means they are a "Tactical Squad" and the Roman Numeral "I" that implies they are proud members of "First Squad"):

On the right shoulder pad the ubiquitous "Ultra Marines" sign, which I must confess I originally put on upside down because I thought it should have been an "Ohm" sign from my teenage Phyics "o Level" days. I also played about and gav ethem a "lightning strike" sign on their legs as I "liked the look of it" (see below):

Next: Time to put this upgraded Sci-Fi kit into some use against the unremitting Hoards of Chaos monstrosities ;)

Monday, 22 May 2017

More Sci-Fi Decal Experimentation: Blood Angels

The Blood Angels got the same decal treatment as their Imperial Fist cousins (see below, right shoulder badge gets the "yellow" blood droplet):

Again the first "wetting" of the decal helped in application of the decal to the figure, it dried (staying glossy), but required another later or two before the decal became compliant enough to be pressed into the figure "seemlessly", particularly over a curved surface like a Space Marine shoulder pad. In summary a bit of patience is required otherwise you "may have a "tear" followed by a "teardrop".


This is all in preparation (learning curve) for a move on the Fw190-A8 decals ;)

Sunday, 21 May 2017

200 "Not Out" Milestone

It is a funny statistic as I see the "Followers" count can go up and down but it is a small milestone to see it reach 200, That is 200 people have made their electronic mark on this blog and have said a formal kind of electronic "Hello!" Thank you for popping by, in Yorkshire we would put the kettle on for a nice cup of tea and a chat (see below):

200 sounds rather grand as I actually think I have a "live audience" of some 30-50 fellow bloggers who pop by and visa versa. I think there are many sleepers in the "blogsphere".

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Armada Naval 1588: Battle for Britain Series

Still on a nautical theme and still being inventive with "paper" (and granted with graceful permission to photocopy ship pages for personal use), being a much cheaper entry point into a wargaming period than metals or even plastics for that matter, plus some simple wargame rules (see below):

I must confess this was something of an "impulse purchase" while doing a more boring Amazon book purchase. I wonder how much "Amazon trade" is generated this way ;)

Friday, 19 May 2017

Code Breaking Simulation: Lorenz at Virtual Bletchley Park (Bill Tutte)

Came across this while spending some idle time on the net. Lorenz was the higher/harder level of secret transmission than Enigma that the Germans used (see below):


Need to play with the first one a bit and follow the tutorial ;)