Saturday, 1 February 2020

Battle for Earth Campaign - Game 2 - Moonshot ...

Game 2 of the Battle for Earth Campaign was fought it October (so forgive me if some of the recollection of what happened is a bit hazy!).  However, simple enough is that following Zub's victory in the Station Assault, the second battle would be a Moonshot.

Again 700pts each, the fleets lined up as follows:

Zub's UCM Fleet - 696 / 700 pts
  1. Line Battlegroup - SR 9 - 207 pts
    • Madrid x 1 - 79 pts
    • Jakata x 2 - 64 pts
    • New Orleans x 2 - 64 pts
  2. Line Battlegroup - SR 9 - 207 pts
    • Madrid x 1 - 79 pts
    • Jakata x 2 - 64 pts
    • New Orleans x 2 - 64 pts
  3. Pathfinder Battlegroup - SR 6 - 150 pts
    • Havana x 3 - 150 pts
  4. Pathfinder Battlegroup - SR 6 - 132 pts
    • Santiago x 3 - 66 pts
    • Santiago x 3 - 66 pts
Bsking's Scourge Fleet - 699 / 700 pts
  1. Line Battlegroup - SR 10 - 280 pts
    • Hydra - 140 pts
    • Hydra - 140 pts
  2. Line Battlegroup - SR 6 - 127 pts
    • Chimaera - 105 pts
      • Fleet Enslaver - 2AV - 20 pts
    • Nickar - 22 pts
  3. Pathfinder Battlegroup - SR 4 - 134 pts
    • Gargoyle x 2 - 64 pts
    • Charybdis x 2 - 70 pt
  4. Pathfinder Battlegroup - SR 4 - 138 pts
    • Scylla x 2 - 84 pts
    • Gargoyle x 1 - 32 pts
    • Nickar x 1 - 22 pts
Turn 1:

The two forces moved on, the UCM from the north-east Corner, and the Scourge from the south-west.  Admiral Zub decided to split his line battlegroups between the two clusters, whilst the Scourge remained indecisive, with a lot of their ships hiding behind the cover of the moon!

Fleets arrive in opposite corners (Scourge from the South West on the left of the picture, UCM in the North East on the right)
Scourge fleet seen from behind (Rear Hydra spun 90° to indicate it's stacked on the front one)
Advance party of Santiago's stacked near the North-West cluster
Zub's line group Alpha head to the North-West, with Havana's to the right of the picture
The others split, with Line group Beta head towards the South-Eastern cluster
Turn 2:
The UCM activate the Santiagos early, trying to take out the limited Scourge drop assets as soon as possible.  They lost all 3 in the North West, but manage to take a Gargoyle with them ...

Kamikaze run allows them to take out a Gargoyle, (shown here at the mid-point of the run!)
... but it cost's the UCM dear!
The Santiagos and the Gargoyle are the only real shooting this turn, as the rest of the groups consolidate towards their objectives.  The scourge decide that the North West cluster is the preferred target, so bar 1 Gargoyle and the 2 Charybdis they turn to try to repel the UCM in the North West, abandoning the South East to it's fate.
Battlefield disposition post the launch phase.
Scourge Bombers try to take down the Madrid, which has the Jakata's in close attendance!
In return, the Havana's launch 3 missiles at the Chimaera!
Turn 3:
By now the battle had started to take shape ... the UCM were clearly going to hold the South East Cluster, but the major action would take place in the North West.  
Turn 3 - as depicted by the dice in the centre of the moon!
South-East cluster well and truly belongs to the UCM.
North West is a different matter ...
Shooting took out one of the Jakata's ... which left the Madrid even more susceptible to bombers!
The ground battle belongs to the Scourge
... with the carrier's not far behind
The northern arm of the UCM fleet begin to feel a bit overwhelmed!
Turn 4:
The key turn for the battle.  The majority of the UCM ships (bar 1 Havana, that by now was out of missiles) at the north-western cluster were wiped out, by a combination of the bombers from the turn before, and the shooting of the Scourge ships.  The UCM solidified their hold on the south-eastern cluster, wiping out the last Scourge frigate.  Through a combination of good evading and bad shooting, both the Scourge ships that had been targeted by missiles survived, allowing the Scourge to easily maintain control of the north western cluster mostly un-opposed.
The UCM decided to try to sabotage the north western cluster ...
UCM control of the south-eastern cluster is complete.
Likewise for the Scourge in the north-west.
Victory points in Turn 4 - Zub 6, Bsking 6

Turns 5 & 6:
Given the disposition of the forces on either side of the Moon, the last two turns played out very quickly.  The remaining Havana in the North West was destroyed without causing any further damage to the Scourge.

There were no Scourge ships in the South East to damage the UCM, and with no ability to impact each others remaining fleets, the battle drew to an end.
North-western cluster
South-eastern cluster

Final battlefield shot.
 Victory points in Turn 4 - Zub 12, Bsking 12

With the Victory points tied, the battle came down to Kill points.  As such, the Scourge had won the day given they had destroyed 1 x Madrid, 2 x New Orleans, 3 x Havanas, 2 x Jakatas and 3 x Santiagos = 423 pts, whilst the UCM had destroyed 2 x Gargoyle, 2 x Charybdis & the Nickar, but managed to keep the majority of the Capital Ships alive!

Hence this went down as a win for the Scourge, and meant that the next battle would be a 999pt Moonwreck!

Until next time Commanders ...

- Bsking

Saturday, 11 January 2020

SFX048 - Helix Labs

So - first building of the new year.  The Helix Labs (£6 RRP) is one of the smaller building sets, with a main building and a smaller garrison.  Starting here is the "completed" article.  I think they both look pretty quite cool.  When I go back to the weathering and detail stage, I think I'll probably end up picking up a lot of the detail on the "K-Shape" side-piece, but I'm calling them done for now.

Angled view

Straight on
If you're interested, below are some of the WIP stages.  The majority of the construction and painting was done using the same methodology as the Brownstone Rows - spray paints (Halfords red, white and grey primers, and Army Painter Brown), and masking.  Here we go ...
Helix Lab still on Sprue
Body of Main Building
Main building undercoated, test fit of side pieces
Masked side pieces, white already on underneath, red just done
Main building with extra colour (masking tape already removed)
Initial undercoating of the smaller building
 These were the main WIP pictures I took.  The whole building went together quite nicely as shown on the top picture.  As it happened, when I first got sent the building it had been mispacked and there were two sheet 2's.  Therefore I built an additional small building out of that and some spare doorways from the Cradle Commerce building:

Original article on the left, kit-bash on the right
This building took one about 6 hours all in to put together and get to this point ... lets see how it fits on the board.

Until next time Commanders ...

- Bsking

Friday, 10 January 2020

New Year, New Conquest ...

So the end of last year didn't go quite as planned.  Not on the hobby front, just on the 'writing it up' front!

As such, I've decided to come up with a bunch of goals for 2020 that should hold me to task.  Here goes nothing:

Goal #1 - Post every 2 weeks

As stated above, it's not that there's been no progress, I just haven't been writing it up.  The Battle for Earth Event Board is getting there, and the Battle for Earth Campaign has reached the end of the third battle!  I'm drafting articles for them so I won't spoil the surprise, but at least I've got a wealth of material to work with.  So if I fail to post, it won't be for a lack of material.

Goal #2 - Complete the Battle for Earth Event Board

It's the reason I started the blog.  So I should probably make this at least the secondary goal!

Goal #3 - Share my forces from the DropCommander Universe

Once the BfE gaming table is complete, I'm gonna need some forces to fight over it!  I've got semi-decent sized forces of UCM, Scourge, Shaltari & Resistance - in order to make a dent in the painting activities, I'll need an incentive - perhaps this can be it!

Goal #4 - Fight more battles!

There's no point in having all the toys, and no-one to play with!  We'll get the Campaign completed, but then there should be plenty of time after to try some other scenarios etc...  If anyone has any ideas, let me know in the comments below!

Goal #5 - Make sure the "to do" pile gets smaller

With the new Dropzone Commander releases, and the Dropfleet Commander releases, it's pretty certain that the collections (of all types!) will increase.  As such, I'll run a counter on the ol' lead pile to try to encourage a general decrease of the size!

That'll do for a set of goals.  Lets see how it goes ...

- Bsking

Friday, 1 November 2019

SFX015 - Brownstone Rows

So after a brief hiatus, lets address the first set of buildings built from the BfE event board, the Brownstone Rows.

These were done first for a number of reasons, however the main one was that they were simple builds that were able to be a simple test bed for the method of painting the buildings to actually get a reasonable finish without spending a lot of time on them (example shown below)

Red walls & white roof
The above picture only shows one of the buildings, but the principle was the same for all of them.  Each was painted with spray paints to achieve a quick and easy finish, with the roof done a different paint colour to the walls.

The colours used for the walls were Halfords primers (Red and Grey) and Army Painter Primer (Leather Brown).  The roofs were done with Halfords (White and Grey) and Plastikote Primer (Grey).
The vent's and aircon's on the roof were done using GW's Lead Belcher spray.

Here are the finished buildings:

Front view
Side view
The buildings haven't been glued together to allow them to be stored flat-pack when necessary.  Also, any weathering will be done once all the buildings in the set are built (so possibly never!) in order to try and ensure a consistent level of weathering that is easier to achieve if doing the lot in one go rather than in batches.

Given the Brownstone Rows are only £10 RRP, it is feasible that a further set may make an appearance once the majority of the event set is complete, and definitely when going from a 4' x 4' to a 6' x 4' layout.

So there they are, a simple and quick set that probably only took a couple of hours to get to an entirely reasonable tabletop quality.

Until next time Commanders ...

- Bsking

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Battle for Earth Campaign - Game 1 - Station Assault ...

As well as building and painting, we also play the game!  With the launch of BfE, a couple of us have decided to play through the campaign in the Battle for Earth book.

As such, this is the first battle between the invading UCM (Zub) vs. the defending Scourge (Bsking).

The first mission is Station Assault with 700 pts per side.

Zub's UCM Fleet:
  1. Battlegroup A - SR 7
    • San Francisco
    • New Orleans x 2
  2. Battlegroup B - SR 11
    • Seattle x 2
    • Jakarta
  3. Battlegroup C - SR 6
    • Havana x 3
  4. Battlegroup D - SR 3
    • Santiago x 3
Bsking's Scourge Fleet:
  1. Battlegroup A - SR 10
    • Basilisk
  2. Battlegroup B - SR 10
    • Hydra x 2
  3. Battlegroup C - SR 5
    • Chimera
  4. Battlegroup D - SR 4
    • Gargoyle x 2
    • Nickar x 2
Turn 1:

The UCM sent the New Orleans on Full Thrust splitting left and right.  The Havanas & Santiagos approach as a group on the left, the Seattles, San Francisco & Jakata aim for the middle stations.

The Scourge likewise split the Gargoyles between the middle & left stations, sending the Chimera to the right, the Nickars supporting the left Gargoyle, and the Basilisk & Hydras through the middle.

No firing or launch due to the ranges still involved.

After Turn 1 - UCM deploying from top left, Scourge from bottom right

Turn 2:

Movement consisted of consolidating the initial moves, still no firing due to the ranges involved.

 Turn 2 - After Activation Phase - UCM pushing down the left, Scourge heading central and right
In the Launch phase, the Havanas sent 3 missiles at the Basilisk, and the Seattle launched bombers at the same.  The Scourge split between fighters to protect the Basilisk, and Bombers on 2 of the Havanas.

The UCM really want rid of the Scourge Battleship!
Ground assets led to the Scourge claiming 2 stations, and the UCM likewise.

Turn 2 - After Launch phase - lots of Bombers, Torpedo's and Fighters on the Basilisk!

Turn 3:

The first turn with any real shooting ... launched assets (Torpedos & Bombers) see off the Basilisk, but only after it takes down one Seattle and puts 4 damage on the San Francisco.  In return the Scourge Bombers take the two Havanas down to 1 hull point left each, and then the Gargoyle on the left breaks off from it's run to the space station to remove the final hull point from both, whilst the Nickars aim for the New Orleans.

Post the bomber runs, prior to the Gargoyle arriving.
The Gargoyle (having removed 2 Havanas) is in return swarmed by the 3 Santiagos, who make short work of it.  However, the Gargoyle in a final act of defiance detonates it's drives, and takes 2 of the Santiago's with it ... (and probably the posthumous "Man-of-the-Match" award, having been responsible for the destruction of 1/3 of the enemies ships!)
Before : "Sir, it's getting hot in the engine room!"
After : Space is a lonely place!
The UCM also managed to destroy the second Gargoyle, and one of the Nickars in this turn, leaving the Scourge a little short-handed.

In the Launch phase, the Scourge aimed Bombers at the San Francisco, but crucially not before it managed to drop troops onto the central space station.  In return the UCM launched the remaining Torpedo, and Bombers at one of the 2 Hydras.

On resolution the San Francisco, and the Hydra were gone, but by now the UCM controlled 3 space stations to the Scourge's 2.

Turn 4:

With most of the cruisers gone, the remaining turns became a bit of a blur.  The remaining ships on the left turned into the centre, whilst the Chimera made a  tactical mistake of trying to chase down and kill the New Orleans on the right, instead of heading to try and retake some of the stations in the middle.  The carriers in the centre fired and launched at each other, leaving both wounded, and the Seattle on 1 health.  When all was said and done, the Victory points at the end of Turn 4 were:

UCM - 3 stations controlled - 9 pts
Scourge - 2 stations controlled - 6 pts

End of Turn 4, not many ships left!
Turns 5 & 6:

In the shooting in turn 5, the Chimera finally destroyed the New Orleans, whilst the Hydra finished off the Seattle, before the last Santiago and Havana moved in to try and finish off the Hydra.

Moving in for the kill ...
The two remaining UCM ships were successful in destroying the Hydra, but again the Scourge decided to have the last laugh, with the Range and Severity of explosion dice both coming up as 6's, removing all 3 ships in one tremendous blast!

Kill achieved, but at what price?
With the Chimera not able to do anything of note on turn 6, the game ended with the same control again as in turn 4, leaving the final scores as:

UCM - 18 Victory Points.   Scourge - 12 Victory Points.

A win for the Zub's UCM, and deservedly so, therefore leading the next battle to be a Moonshot at 700 pts that is planned for mid October!

Hope you like this battle report, check back to see the results of the Moonshot next month, and next article up will switch the focus back to the Dropzone Terrain and the first set of completed buildings from the Battle for Earth Event Board ...

- Bsking

Thursday, 26 September 2019

SFX006 - Meller Heights

The Meller Heights building was purchased a while ago, in order to qualify for free shipping from a TTcombat order.  As such, it was built a while ago before this blog was considered, so there aren't any WIP pictures from the build (something I've done for the recent buildings), and instead we just have the built product.  

As you can see, the building is also still unpainted.  With the newer acquisitions I'm painting them as I build to try and make as much use of spray's as possible.  However with this building I'll have to do the painting separately later, which might mean it gets a more nuanced colour scheme.  Let's wait and see ...

That said, I was and still am really impressed with it as a piece of mdf and hardboard terrain:
SFX009 - Adnet Apartments
Front View
Side View
I remember it was super easy to put together (as you'd expect with mdf terrain), but for the scale and price (RRP £7.95) I was really impressed with the attention to detail on the building ... and the window-sills which come in strips which do all windows on one floor in one go are really clever. 

In order to the paint this building, I'm going to wait until I've completed a few more of the new buildings, before committing to a colour pallete / scheme, to try and match to the rest of the terrain,

This piece of terrain was what convinced me to the TTcombat Sci-Fi X line, and let to me splashing out on the BfE event board, as it's a simple yet impressive piece of terrain for a reasonable amount that really makes your games of Dropzone Commander come to life.  I'm really looking forward to building and sharing the rest with you!

Until next time Commanders ...

- Bsking

Saturday, 21 September 2019

One great building does not make a city ...

... however lots of them all added together can look pretty sweet!

The last post looked at the modular city boards contained in the Battle for Earth event board.

This time it's the turn of the buildings. Included in the set are:
  • SFX015 - Brimstone Rows
  • SFX046 - Cradle Commerce
  • SFX048 - Helix Labs
  • SFX049 - High Line Track Curve
  • SFX050 - High Line Track Straights
  • SFX051 - Industrial Accessories
  • SFX052 - Pyhagoras Tower
  • SFX053 - Regal Financiers
  • SFX054 - Level Steel Building
  • SFX055 - Alphabet Tenaments
  • SFX056 - West Side Brownstones
  • SFX058 - Midtown Academy
  • SFX059 - Ryan Memorial Stadium
  • SFX060 - Kicks Stadium
  • SFX061 - Construction Site
  • SFX062 - Street Accessories
The buildings make quite the pile of wood!
Additionally, collected separately for various reasons (and featured previously in part) have been the following:
  • SFX006 - Meller Heights
  • SFX010 - Academy Building
  • SFX057 - Dicington Tower
This should make a suitably sized terrain collection, and provide plenty of cover.  In order to pretty up the board as well (and allow the creation of some scatter terrain), a couple of sets of N-scale cars, trucks and buses have been acquired, along with a number of trees of various sizes.  I intend to cover each set in turn with a how-to / build record to show the process (and motivate me to keep going!) so I'll post them up each in turn ... wish me luck!

-  Bsking

Battle for Earth Campaign - Game 2 - Moonshot ...

Game 2 of the Battle for Earth Campaign was fought it October (so forgive me if some of the recollection of what happened is a bit hazy!).  ...