Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Third French Empire, Part 1

I've been working on the Third French Empire's forces, using GZG's FSE miniatures. The range includes separate packs of troops wearing helmets and troops wearing kepis. Both groups wear the same uniform and body armour, however the helmet includes a full visored face mask which may be meant to represent sealable armour for operating in hostile environments. 

I bought one of each pack available, and I was thinking of organising them into two different forces; Infanterie de Marine and Légion étrangère, the former would wear helmets while the latter would wear the kepi. I had TO&Es from Stargrunt II, Tomorrow's War and Force on Force to guide me. Since TW is the sci-fi version of FoF, it was natural for them to share similarities in force organisation. However, TW appears to have doubled the numbers of troops to a in this case.

I was reading 'By Dagger or Talon', in particular the section describing how to describe your aliens. The author talks about how the manufacturer usually has some overriding scheme in mind when he designs the miniature(s). With this in mind I looked at the miniatures available in each range, figuring that the manufacturer planned for all the figures to be part of a single unit, I tried to match the TO&Es with the available figures. 

I eventually decided to model it on the FoF organisation as it allowed me to create two whole infantry platoons out of my available figures, one with kepis and the other with helmets and face masks. Working on the principle that most French army units are organised along similar lines, these two platoons could be used to represent elements of pretty much any French force in high threat and/or low threat environments.

This organisation yields a 21 man platoon, 31 if you include APC crews.


Légion étrangère () (for Tomorrow’s War)
Troop Quality/Morale: D8-D10
Morale: D8-D12
Confidence Level: Confident to High
Supply Quality Level: Poor to Normal
Overall Tech Level: 2-3
On Grid? Sometimes (TL3)
Body Armor: Hard Armour (2D)

Typical Unit Attributes:
  • Forward Observer
  • Terminal Air Controller
  • Pointman
  • Indigenous Scout
  • Old School
  • Medic

LÉ Section de Combat (Platoon)
1x LÉ Groupe Commandement
1x LÉ Groupe Appui Anti Char
3x LÉ Groupes de Combat
        LÉ Groupe Commandement (HQ Squad)
                    1x Lieutenant w/FAMAS ACR
                    1x Sergent w/FAMAS ACR
                    1x CommsTech w/FAMAS ACR
                    2x Marksman w/Hecate IX AMR (TL2 Med. AGW AP:2/AT:2(M)
                    1x VBL or VAB

        LÉ Groupe Appui Anti Char (Anti-Tank Squad)
                    1x Caporal w/FAMAS ACR
                    2x Legionnaires w/Nemesis RAC (TL3 ATGM AP:4/AT:5(H) Deck 
                    2x Loaders w/FAMAS ACR
                    1x VBL or VAB

        LÉ Groupe de Combat (Squad)
                    1x Sergent w/FAMAS ACR
                    1x 300m Fire Team
                    1x 600m Fire Team
                    2x VBLs or 1x VAB

                 300m Fire Team
                               1x Caporal w/FAMAS ACR
                               1x Legionnaire w/LRAC 98 (TL3 Med. AP:2/AT:2(M)
                               1x Legionnaire w/FAMAS ACR

                 LÉ 600 m Fire Team
                               1x Caporal w/FAMAS ACR
                               1x Legionnaire w/Minimi A-SAW (TL3 Lt. ABW AP:1)
                               1x Legionnaire w/FAMAS ACR

Légion étrangère () (for Stargrunt II)
Troop Quality: usually Regular D8 (Blue)
Mission Motivation: varies
Confidence Level: Confident
FSE Colonial Legion Battledress: D6
Mobility Type: Normal Infantry (6’’ or D6)

LÉ Section de Combat (Platoon)
1x LÉ Groupe Commandement
1x LÉ Groupe Appui Anti Char
3x LÉ Groupes de Combat
         LÉ Groupe Commandement (HQ Squad)
                     1x Lieutenant w/FA 75 Gauss Assault Rifle (FP: 2, Impact: D12)
                     1x Sergent w/FA 75 Gauss Assault Rifle (FP: 2, Impact: D12)
                     1x CommsTech w/FA 75 Gauss Assault Rifle (FP: 2, Impact: D12)
                     2x Snipers w/FA-75/F2 Gauss Sniper Rifle (FP: D10, Impact: D12)
                     1x AGCI-5B

         LÉ Groupe Appui Anti Char (Anti-Tank Squad)
                     1x Caporal w/FA 75 Gauss Assault Rifle (FP: 2, Impact: D12)
                     2x Legionnaires w/Mistral-5 GMS/P (Guidance: D8, Impact: D12)
                     2x Loaders w/FA 75 Gauss Assault Rifle (FP: 2, Impact: D12)
                     1x AGCI-5B

         LÉ Groupe de Combat (Squad)
                     1x Sergent w/FA 75 Gauss Assault Rifle (FP: 2, Impact: D12)
                     1x Caporal w/FA 75 Gauss Assault Rifle (FP: 2, Impact: D12)
                     1x Legionnaire w/Mistral-5 GMS/P (Guidance: D8, Impact: D12)
                     1x Legionnaire w/FA 75 Gauss Assault Rifle (FP: 2, Impact: D12)
                     1x Caporal w/FA 75 Gauss Assault Rifle (FP: 2, Impact: D12)
                     1x Legionnaire w/FM 77 SAW Gauss MG (FP: D10, Impact: D12)
                     1x Legionnaire w/FA 75 Gauss Assault Rifle (FP: 2, Impact: D12)
                     1x AGCI-5B

Now all I have to do is paint them up and buy the vehicles. Oh... and do up a TO&E for Alien Squad Leader 3.0 as well. Once the force is table ready I'll update with photos.

Five Alpha, out.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Setting, Part 1

Ok so starting on that list with setting I have prepared data for a Traveller sector map. I have yet to assign allegiances to the individual systems or determine exactly what factions exist. I know what worlds have a native population, which worlds are colonies, which ones are being colonised and which are being exploited for their resources etc. What I haven't worked out is whose homeworlds and colonies they are, or who is exploiting what world. Earth is the only one I'm certain of so far.

Since 'who' is a big part of the setting, I thought I'd discuss which factions should be in the setting. Previously I tried to include factions from several different settings, namely the GZG/Tuflleyverse, the Tomorrowverse and some others. I realised I'd swing towards one, then towards another and back again. So now I'm looking at working up my own, naturally they'll bear some (read 'a lot of') resemblance to the factions from these games.
While I haven't settled on the names yet, here are my current crop of factions, which are based largely on the miniatures I already have:

Faction                            Figure Range
Arab League                    GZG's Islamic Federation
Chuhuac                           Loud Ninja Game's Chuhuac
Felids                                Kurasan's Felids
Garr'hul                           Darkest Star Games' Garr'hul
Intruders                          Khurasan's Earth Doom
Jaffa                                  GZG's High Tech Egyptians
Kra'Vak                            GZG's Kra'Vak
Marshborn                       GZG's Crusties
Martian Republic             GZG's UNSC Marines
Neu Deutscher Bund       GZG's New Swabian League
Phalons                            GZG's Phalons
Soriog Empire                 Khurasan's Soriog Empire
Russia                              GZG's Eurasian Solar Union
Third French Empire      GZG's Federal Stats Europa
United Kingdom              GZG's New Anglian Confederation
Mangalores                     GZG's Alien Mercenaries
Xarr                                 GZG's Xar (I don't actually have these yet)
Zhodani                           Darkest Star Games' Venturians
                                        and Eureka Miniatures' Ventaurans

This list is far from exhaustive but it is a start.
There figure ranges I haven't worked out a faction for yet, for instance I have some Khurasan RPK Neo-Arabs that need a faction. There are also factions that don't have a miniatures range to represent them, Lunar faction for example, needs some high tech troops. I'm thinking either GZG's Out Rim Coalition Marines or UNSC Light Infantry, either would work. Using the UNSC LI would imply a link of some sort with the Martians as the UNSC Marines and Light Infantry ranges share similar weapons and equipment, although they do wear very different armour.

I like the divided earth, as opposed to the united earth. As others have said, it allows for mankind to take its wars with them when they go to the stars. After some thought, I'm going to allow some larger political entities, such as multi-national alliances. I do want to keep most nation states as they currently stand. Perhaps there's been a regime change, like the Third French Empire, or a nations off-world possessions have empowered or impoverished a nation.

I have some ideas for each faction, but I'll leave them for later when I do individual faction posts.

I'm Back

Hi, I'm back.

It's been a while. Over a year, to be a little less vague.

I have been somewhat distracted.

After reading through my often random, contradictory and sometimes odd posts, I realised I haven't progressed far at all. No problems, anything worthwhile takes time, supposedly. :)

Let's see, to put that a little more clearly, I have amassed a small lead mountain, some odd DIY table top terrain, rewritten my setting for what seems the hundredth time, painted less than a quarter of my miniatures and played very few actual games.

I'm not sure how to proceed from here, but I'll start by making a list, of the things I want to do.

1. Write down the broad outlines of the setting, enough to enable play within it.
2. Plan out the different forces I intend to assemble.
3. Acquire the necessary miniatures for those forces.
4. Paint them to a suitable standard for play.
5. Acquire a suitable range of tabletop terrain to represent a wide variety of battlefields.
6. Start playing.
7. Play some more, and
8. Play some more again. :)

More to follow,
Five Alpha, out.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

New arrivals and some observations.

I recently obtained NAC and UNSC/H starter packs from GZG. Usually I am very satisfied with my GZG purchases. Initially I was a little put out to discover that there is a significant size difference between these two figure ranges and the other GZG figures I already have.

Upon opening them I immediately noticed the considerable level of flash on the figures. Clearly the moulds were older and had seen a lot of wear. The figures themselves are still very good quality, they just required a bit more cleaning up than my previous GZG purchases.

When I compared them to some of the new sculpt GZG figures, I was relieved to find that the difference in size is not that noticeable.

 From left to right: UNSC/H Marine, ORC Marine NCO, IF NCO, UNSC/L Rifleman, Armoured Police SWAT Trooper.
 From left to right: FSE Colonial Legion NCO Kra'Vak Leader, Ravager, ESU Naval Infantry NCO, NAC Marine NCO, Robot Rifleman.
 From left to right: UNSC/L Trooper, Armoured Police SWAT Trooper, NSL Jäger NCO, NSL Panzergrenadier NCO (his face needs some work), Crusty Rifleprawn.

 In the above photos you'll notice a UNSC/L Trooper. Jon's Christmas deal included a two packs of UNSC/L rifles, an NAC six wheeled buggy and couple of packs of NAC Power Armour (shown below). 
 From left to right: ESU Black Bear Power Armour, NAC Power Armour, NSL Power Armour, Crusty Power Armour.

The NAC power armour is considerably smaller than the others, so I'm thinking of classifying them as a Light Power Armour Suit. In fact it is actually smaller than some of the unpowered infantry figures shown above. Given its size I'm also thinking of making NAC Power Armour a mostly female unit with exceptions made for particularly small males who otherwise meet enlistment requirements. 
NAC Power Armour  (at least this particular model) will likely carry less firepower, but would make up for it with speed and manoeuvrability. 

Despite being initially disappointed, I am fairly happy with this purchase. Despite the flash they are still good quality figures and I'd recommend them to other gamers.

One thing I did notice when writing this post and comparing the figures. Some figure ranges share certain things.
For instance the IF and ESU both use the same SAW, Sniper Rifle and the same Man Portable Missile/Rocket Launcher. 
Also the NSL and the Robots use the same AMR.

 From left to right: ESU SAW Gunner, IF SAW Gunner, IF Missile Operator, ESU Missile Operator.

  From left to right: Robot AMR, NSL PzGren AMR, ESU Sniper, IF Sniper

As I understand it this is part of the GZGverse (Tuffleyverse) background where factions often use the same equipment, much the same as military forces in our present time. Whether they are licence built, unauthorised copies or the result of military assistance programs, it doesn't matter much but it can add flavour to your setting. 
In the Tuffleyverse, factions also use the same vehicles but apparently they have different designations depending on the faction. 
In the Stargrunt II rulebook it states that the FSE's AGCI-5B GEV APC is licence built in the OU as the Wombat GEV APC. Also artwork in the book depicts a LKPzW VI MICV with its NSL PzGren Squad, the MICV looks remarkably similar to the Gauntlet Hover APC seen on the GZG website. So either the NSL uses a licence built version or it is a NSL design exported as the Gauntlet. 

I rather like these little linkages between the different GZG miniatures.

Five Alpha, out.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

I've been struggling to develop my grand campaign, which will include 15mm, 6mm and Fleet Scale wargaming and Traveller roleplaying. I created a map using the Traveller Map 'Poster Maker', then realised I had an error in my spreadsheet for star system creation and started again. I'm also trying to fit all these different ranges of figures, bits and pieces from various settings into my own setting and I've finally come to the realisation that the task is too big to prepare prior to gaming. If I try to get it all designed and prepared before I start gaming, I will never get to play a game.

For the map I'm going to change to the Astrogators Handbook which maps the positions of pretty much every star within 75 light years of the Solar System. It may be a bit dated but it looks good.

For now the space beyond the solar system will be defined only in vague terms, the star positions will be known, but what's in each star system will not be known. I will have a general idea where the major star empires are located, but the specifics will only become apparent as the game expands outwards.

I recently purchased VBAM and intend to use it to run the overall campaign. Important space battles will be resolved using Fullthrust: Project Continuum, while important planetary battles will be resolved with Dirtside II. Planetary engagements of company strength or less will be resolved using Tomorrow's War, unimportant or minor engagements can be resolved with VBAM rules if players don't want to battle them out on the table. VBAM rules will likely be used to resolve conflicts involving two or more non-player factions.

I like both the Tuffleyverse and the Tomorrowverse, but I'm also leaning towards the 2300AD setting. I think I have a preference earth to be just as fragmented as it is today, with somewhere over 150 independent nations, and not a half dozen to a dozen power blocs.

The 2300AD setting makes for a good starting point. The timeline is vague regarding the Twilight War (WWIII) giving no set start or end dates, primarily due to a loss of records during the post war recovery period. That recovery begins somewhere in the last few decades of the 21st century, with a neutral France emerging far better off than the rest of the world. From this point the timeline extends to 2300AD where the game is meant to start. I think I'll go back to around the mid 2100s, with nations beginning to build their first FTL capable ships and starting to explore nearby star systems.

I haven't fully read the VBAM rules but they look to be able to handle non-player factions with specific systems designed for that purpose.

I plan for the wargames campaign to provide a variant 2300AD setting, within which our group may roleplay or wargame, as they choose.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Hill 105

Sub-Commander Amelia and I, made Hill 105 out of expanded polystyrene chunks glued to a board I scavenged from an old lounge chair, then covered with paper mache, given a spray of brown paint, daubed with Mod Podge and liberally sprinkled with flock and clump foliage. I may try to make one with a road leading up and a big enough area for a building of some sort on top as our next project.

Ooh and here's some pictures....

 I think I might touch it up a bit with a bit of grey and some crackle medium to get a rock face effect on some of these exposed areas.

FiveAlpha, out.

Neu Deutscher Bund SternTruppen

Ok, my setting is being reworked because of a flaw in my star system generation spreadsheet. But I have finally managed to paint a full company of miniatures. Although some additional touches are still needed, they're table ready.

I used GZG's NSL Panzergrenadiers for the figures.

This company will see use as both SternTruppen and Panzergrenadiers, depending on the scenario.  

The still need transport. The plan is to provide them with hover vehicles and for the SternTruppen some suitable dropships and/or drop pods. (I have my sights set on some GZG Gauntlet series vehicles).

The force comprises 1x HQ Platoon, 1x Support Platoon, 1x Powered Armour Platoon, and 2x Rifle Platoons. (Total Strength 112 men, not including vehicle crews when they arrive)

 The whole company conducting a drying in the field exercise.

HQ Platoon includes:
1x HQ Squad of 2x three man fire teams
1x Admin Squad of 2x three man fire teams
1x Scout/Sniper Squad of  3x two man recce teams
1x Scout/TAC Squad of 3x two man recce teams
1x Scout Bike Squad of 2x two man recce teams

Left to right: Scout Bike Squad, HQ Squad and part of Admin Squad

Left to right: HQ Squad, Admin Squad (centre), Scout/Sniper Squad and part of Scout/TAC Squad

 Scout/TAC Squad can be seen in the centre of the image.

Support Platoon includes:
1x Mortar Section of two tubes with crew
1x AGL Section of two guns with crew
1x RFAC Section of two guns with crew

 Support Platoon: AGL Section on the left, RFAC Section in the centre and Mortar Section on the right.

Powered Armour Platoon includes:
3x Powered Armour Squads of 2x three man fire teams

1st Powered Armour Squad w/platoon commander in the foreground.

Rifle Platoons include:
1x Command Squad of 2x three man fire teams
3x Rifle Squads of 2x three man fire teams

 The shoulder patch on the left shoulder is a just a dab of red with a white dot. 
It is meant to represent a white eagle on a red field. 

 In the background you cans ee some of the cheapest products I could find, Mod Podge and White Knight Clear Acrylic Sealer (Satin Finish)

Company Commander on left, 1st Platoon Leader on right.
I just can't seem to get the skin tone to work, I think the paint is too thin. 
Maybe a few more coats will do the trick.

The picture quality is a little improved as I took these outside, but not in direct sunlight.

They still need some transport and, now that I think of it, an RAP. 

I'll post up stats for Tomorrow's War asap, but for now.....

FiveAlpha, out