Saturday, July 27, 2013

New King Cobra squad is progressing slowly but surely...

Well, it's been a while since I did a substantial update but I finally got around to updating my army back to 100% WYSIWIG legal after the Forged in Fire field guide changes. As previously stated, my standard build under Locked and Loaded only had 20 of the 36 figures come through unscathed and playable as is.

As for new figs/units, I picked up the some extra King Cobras (since I'm going with a heavy Cobra theme for the army) and got an xmas iggy that I'll be turning into my new Chatterbox AC as well. Also, I built two free turrets for support options as well using dried out GW paint pots and left over bits both from 40k as well as HG.  Here we have the built and base coated Heavy Strike Squad King/Hooded Cobras as well as my AC Chatterbox Iguana and a spare Jaeger that I need as filler due to the 5 gear squad change.

 I tried adding a bit more dynamic poses to the King Cobras as I'm not a fan of the "come at me, bro!" standard gorilla pose. One model is done up in a simple firing position (like my original King Cobra model) whereas another is running and the third is in a resting Captain Morgan pose. The Iggy is the kneeling xmas Iguana that I converted to a chatterbox. I kept body and shield but replaced the baton with a vibrorapier and added the Chatterbox head and sensor equipment.  I've gotten as far as doing the main colors on the models as well as the primary wash. GW changed their washes and I had to mix a bit of the Reikland Fleshwash into my remaining supply of Ogryn Flesh in order to try and match the army colors a bit more closely. The models below still need multiple details like sensors eyes, rocket tips, and power cords done but they're at least half way done! One of the two turrets with both its weapon options also is shown below. It's nothing spectacular but it was also pretty much free except for the minimal cost of the glue and paint to put it together.

I've still got to finish the models above (some painting, decals, basing, and then overcoating) as well as start work on my Green Mamba for my Black Ops squad (which when finished will also allow me to field my paratrooper squad as well). After that, the only forseeable work for the army that I'm considering at the moment working on terrain and possibly buying a model to use as my airstrike counter. I'm not a fan of the super tiny official airstrike counter and am considering something a bit larger to use for airstrikes. The top contender at the moment is the Seraphim Dropzone Commander model (bottom pic) as it slightly reminds me of the Azrael HG Southern Bomber (top pic) from the Heavy Gear RPG. I think I'd have to round out some of the corners to make the model look a bit more southern but otherwise I think it'll make a good model. I'm still not set though on the idea as it sort of feels like a bit of a waste of time and money to use on something that only appears for a single turn (assuming you even take the option with your support points!).

The terrain I mentioned above consists of a few roadblock highway dividers made from old Forgeworld sprues as well as putting together the Dropzone Commander Cityscape cardstock set that I just got. When the army is finished and the buildings constructed, I'll take a group shot in the southern metropolis!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Finally...some movement of the figure front!!

This July 4th holiday weekend (and extending into the week) I finally got some work done with my ignored SRA Southern HG force.  Unfortunately, my standard build under Locked and Loaded only had 20 of the 36 figures come through unscathed and playable as is.  Some whole units are unusable (largely due to the switch to 5 gear squads) like my Op Sec/Black Ops Cadre whereas I'm able to salvage others by folding them into other squads that need a fifth (like my recon squad that *poof* just became CGL for other 4 gear cadres).  That leaves me with 10 gears that need bits swaps to be legal and WYSIWIG again in addition stealth and paratrooper gears that need another model to ever be used on the tabletop.  What needs changing?

2 Brawler Razorfang Mambas:  No more brawler + razorfang so the heads must be swapped and uplinks must be removed (and bare metal spots patched of course)

2 Sidewinders:  Only can use them in 2 special squads for SRA and I only have the other models for one so they're getting folded into the Republican Heavy Strike cadre.  One stays the same but the other must lose its head, rocketpod, and weapon to become a Command Sidewinder.

3 Striking Cobras:  All striking cobras lost their HRPs so that needs to go and the third model that used to be my commander (a Brahmin ECM Striking Cobra variant) needs to lose his satellite dish, uplink, and AC vibrorapier.  Technically he should have a head swap but I can't find the normal bunny ears for the remaining spare cobra head.

1 Hooded King Cobra:  The LLC swap now makes you lose the HRP and LAC (although there are conflicting rulebook entries on that).  Instead of losing both, I just decided instead to switch it back to a normal King Cobra and use the weapon bit on one of the 3 extra Kings I picked up for the Republican Cadre.  Also, since this will no longer be my alternate AC, it needs to lose the vibrorapier and pick up a chainsword.

2 Paratrooper Jaegers:  Need to lose the LGM as they're now only halfway through the model swap to Longbow.  I considered replacing the guns instead but decided to go the cheaper TV route instead.  The paratrooper squad in general is no longer legal though and pretty useless because I can *ONLY* use it with my collection in a spec ops regiment which I can't currently take because they're only at 4 models.

What do I have new or previously unbuilt that I can add to the mix?  I still have a blister of Desert Vipers but they're of limited use for me as I can only downgrade brawler mambas to get them and I had two brawlers already.   Over the Xmas holidays, I picked up the southern book and got an xmas iggy that I'll be turning into my new AC as well as two more Black Adders and three King Cobras.  In a later fit of buying, I picked up the NuCoal PDF as well as three Fusilier tanks and a Chasseur MkII GP squad as well.  While I can't use either in the SRA, I can use my force as an ESE with HAPF ties to bring them into the mix with most of my other figs.  I can't use the Republican Cadre with them but I can always split up my King Cobras between the various Strike and Fire Support squads instead.

UPDATE: I finally took some pics this weekend of my new additions to the army.  Below are the two Hooded Cobras, King Cobra, Chatterbox Iggy Army Commander, and stock Jaeger to fill holes in squads and the single empty spot in my figure case.   :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

If you can't bring 40k players into Heavy Gear...

Why not try to bring some Heavy Gear flavor into 40k instead?  That's the thought that has been running through my head recently.  Just last week I reached a milestone that I never thought I'd get to... I'm almost done buying/painting 40k.  Warhammer 40,000 has always been a large part of my hobby collection and I've reached the point where I simply have enough models and enough of a variety of playstyles (horde, fast glass cannon, super elite, mobile and dependable, etc).  While I have issues with how GW conducts their business (botched finecast switchover, unfriendly trade terms for FLGS, annual nonsensical price increases, etc), they're actually not the main reason as I'm simply set with my 20,000pt collection spread across half a dozen different armies/codicies.

I haven't been playing much 40k over the past year despite my extensive collection because I'm not a fan of the 6th edition changes (fliers and random charges to name two) and also because I was trying to focus more again on Heavy Gear and specifically this blog.  Unfortunately, neither focus has actually gotten me any physical games and only a few Vassal games to try out my blog house rules so I'm back to bringing my 40k army as my "backup" force for trips to the games store.  My most common opponent tends to rage quit early in the game as the balance between the two sides swings so wildly with the 40k "I completely go/You completely go" activation and I've unfortunately started to pick up his nasty habit as well.  It got me thinking about how to bring unit activation ala Heavy Gear into 6th edition 40k.

Back in early 4th edition 40k (shortly before my old playgroup stopped playing), I came up with and tried a unit activation scheme in 40k that I've been adapting into 6th this past week.  I initially planned to try it out this past weekend but my opponent cancelled the night before so it was a 100% X-wing game night instead (no complaints here!).  Back in 4th edition, we used the old and now gone strategy rating to determine who would get the choice of first unit activation but that is no longer a viable option (an even had its issues back then).  This variant of 40k activation also requires an index card or some other piece of paper marked for each available unit in the game.  This card is used both to remember who has already activated for shooting and moving that turn and also in the charge phase as well.


Initiative is determined via a simple opposed d6 roll with a +1 bonus to any side that has less than half the units of the other.  The winner chooses whether he or his opponent activates first.  Activating consists of moving and shooting two units sequentially with a unit defined as per the rulebook. 

The reason I've chosen two units for this is that there is a growing trend for interconnected units in 40k (like Tau markerlights and other firing units) that I don't want to lose.  Also, we found out in the worthless transport days of 4th edition that having a tank roll up and not be able to disembark its transported unit before getting destroyed was a bit pointless.

After all units are done activating, charges are secretly declared using face down index cards for the unit.  The player who first won initiative declares his first charge and flips over that card.  You then resolve overwatch and roll for charge distance as normal.  If the unit being charged also declared a charge versus the active unit, you ignore overwatch and instead move the active unit up to half its charge distance and then the charged unit up to half it's rolled charge distance until they meet.  If they don't meet after the half distances, repeat the above until they have moved the full distance each.  Both units are considered to have charged in this case and gain the +1 attack bonus as well as any other modifiers or rules dependent on charge.  After all charges and overwatch shooting is resolved, continue as normal to determine assault attacks/damage and subsequent morale.  

The above gives 40k the "cinematic" experience of a Braveheart-like movie charge where two forces meet in the middle while still maintaining the feel of the current 6th edition random charge rolling (not a fan) as well as overwatch.   The reason the charges are declared "secretly" with facedown cards is to prevent units that are close combat oriented from determining after the fact that they might reach a unit that just moved into its charge range distance because of its own charge.

Feel free to try out the above (although I'd recommend doing it in a smaller 1500pt game initially) and post any thoughts on it as well.  With a single 40k model left in my collection to paint, I'm strangely motivated to start work on my unfortunately invalidated with FiF southern force instead.  Hopefully later in the week, I'll muster up the courage to post some pics and updates to my southern gears!