Thursday, 15 December 2011

15mm Star Marines from Irregular Miniatures

Following on from my previous 15mm comparisons, I thought I'd post some more pictures of the Irregular Miniatures Star Marines as they seem a bit camera shy here on the internet!  These guys get a lot of battle time with me - I love their vaguely menacing look and variation of kit and poses.

Further down there are a couple of pictures of's Shia Khan Malig's which make excellent 15mm Ork or Gretchin types.

There's a good variety of poses and minor variants of the same pose too - I like that about Irregular

Here's how they scale with GZG New Israeli's!  Not surprised that NI guy looks worried!
Of course, this works fine if, like me, you are happy to explain it away as genetically modified super troopers or simply as a different race.  That's the beauty of Scifi for me.

Front and back of Star Marines 

I find that there's something vaguely Predator like in these figures
- maybe it's those dreads on the officer

I like that heavy weapon and the electronic warfare officer can add a dimension to scenarios

More including a flamer 

Rocket Launcher & another hacker/EW technician 

I'm not sure who these guys are but I think they are from Irregulars Space Pirates range.
These guys often find themselves in our scenarios being arrested/hunted/rescued.

And now for some opposition here are a few Shia Khan Malig's

I really like these - they convey a lot of character

They will soon have re-inforcements once I get my GZG Alien Mercs painted up.

Hope this has been of interest to you.

15mm Scifi Comparison Pictures

Following some discussion over on TMP, I thought I'd post a few comparison shots of's Retained Knights, Irregular Miniatures' Star Marines and GZG's New Israeli's with various vehicles.

L to R: GZG New Israeli, Irregular Star Marine, Retained Knight

Close up: Marine & Knight

Retained Knight with Laserburn Glaive!

GZG New Israeli & Retained Knight

New Israeli, Marine & Knight with Airfix 1/72 Cruiser tank conversion

With an Old Crow Glaive

With a Matchbox Battlekings APC

With my Poundshop Purchase!

With another Poundshop purchase

With an ARC Fleet Heavy Grav Tank

With a Light Tank

With an Airfix 1/72 Challenger

I hope this helps someone somewhat.  I have more pictures available on request. 

Thursday, 1 December 2011

New Israelis receive transport

I recently picked these up for £2.99 each in Toys'r'us thinking that they looked a good fit for 15mm:

It was the 2 vehicles bottom left and bottom right in each pack that I was really interested in.

These 2 will go to my Laserburn Gangers

Not sure where these two are destined for yet.

I'm chuffed with these, I think they'll be pretty good when they have had a wash or drybrush.  The only slight dis-appointment was the large size of the Hummer compared to the APC but I can live with that.

  The existing camo scheme goes really well with my GZG New Israelis.

The 12 man squad fits nice and plausibly as an 8 in the APC and a 4 including the leader in the Hummer.

Something new and exciting has entered my life - TRWNN!

The Rules With No Name! 

Western gunfight rules that are new to me but probably not to you, being as they have been floating around for 15 years or so! 

Once again inspired by Spacejacker and his use of TRWNN for a Scifi "Throwdown" game, I hunted down a copy of the free rules and then went and bought the hardback edition from Wargames Foundry which was reduced to £10 from £25. (It's back at £20 now but is still well worth it in my opinion). 

Inspired still further by the book, I got out a few 15mm gunfighters I acquired a while back:

Then I set about photographing them so that I could make up the character cards for the game:

Then my son and I grabbed the 50cm x 50cm desert/arid board we recently made and added our Cowtown and some rocky outcrops:

We came up with a quick scenario having randomly chosen characters (Tom got the best two characters - "Slick" the Legend and "Rock" the Shootist whilst I got the worst two - "Chaps" the Gunman and "Neill" the Citizen).  Chaps and Neill had to break their buddy out of the sherriff's office over on the far side of the street - that's them making their plan behind the rocks.  Unknown to them, Slick the Sherriff has had a tip off and is ready for them along with his trusty deputy, Rock.

"C'mon Neill, we gotta bust Amby outta that damn jail or he'll be hangin' by noon.  You head straight for the livery barn and cover me, I'll go left through the rocks and come in along Main Street."

As Chaps goes left through the rocks Slick moves across to the barn and lets fly with a hail of lead that hits everything except Chaps and leaves Slick needing to re-load.  Chaps sees his chance and returns fire, downing Slick with a serious leg wound:

Meanwhile, over to Chaps' right, Neill runs across the open ground, initially dodging Rock's heavy fire but eventually he is hit in the head and staggers around like a drunk as Rock tries but fails to finish him off.   Rock either needs an eye test or a straighter barrelled gun!

Rock blazes away at Neill to little effect - no wonder he kept missing, he can't even focus on Neill, he's all blurry!  Perhaps it's the drink!

Chaps runs in close, hoping to finish off Slick but the fearsome reputation of the legend that is Slick puts him off his aim. Instead, Slick is able to drag himself to his feet, reload his pistol and hit Chaps in the arm and graze his chest:

Both wounded, Slick and Chaps then engage in a fistfight whilst Rock finally manages to hit Neil again with a serious arm wound.  This is too much for Neill and he runs for the hills shouting to Chaps to get away while he can:

Chaps breaks out of the fistfight with Slick and hightails it, hoping to put plenty of distance between himself and the hobbling legend:

However, he is not quite fast enough, and at extreme range Slick manages to salvage his reputation with a cool, calculated and fatal shot to Chaps' head:

Besides, Rock was closing in for the kill having chased Neill off into the hills:

Sherriff Slick will have to get that leg fixed up by the Doc but at least the outlaws were driven off or killed.  Rock could do with a pair of glasses but is otherwise unhurt.

Well, what a great time my son and I had playing this game - this was truly one of those 'moments' you just occasionally get when discovering something new that suits you down to the ground.  We found the rules really simple to follow but they gave the game a truly cinematic "Hollywoodesque" feel that was incredibly fun to play.  Thanks to Spacejacker again for the heads up and inspiration.

I just love that we could have a meaningful and fun game with 4 figures, 10 buildings and 4 rocky outcrops on a 50x50cm board.  In fact this could easily be played on my footsquare board - the buildings are at the small end of 15mm and may in fact be 10mm but they work really well here for breaking up lines of sight and providing corners to take cover behind.

I'll definitely be trying these out with my Scifi figures and I reckon they will work a treat for some colonial skirmishes I have in mind.  I think the optional rules for group movement would be a good addition if I am going to get disciplined soldiers involved though. 

I am also going to make suitably adorned MDF bases as my wound, action and character cards/chits and pull them from a bag rather than shuffling cards - I am rather fumblefingered.  I will still make character cards though but the players can keep them so they have all the vital information on and they can add on wound chits as they are drawn from wound bag.  So, that's a bag of action & character tokens and a separate one containing 2 or 3 sets of wound tokens.

Wow, I really have a young boyish sense of incredible excitement at the prospect of all the goodness to come!

Forbidden Island & Linwood

Whilst the darkness of winter evenings prevents many activities, this is always a time of year when we get back into gaming as a family.  Last week-end, saw us cracking out a couple of games we haven't played for a while.  I also got some painting and modelling done but more soon on that.

Forbidden Island

The first was  Forbidden Island, a co-op game where a team of adventurers have to find 4 treasures on an island that is sinking/flooding under them. 

It comes in a fairly small tin with nice artwork.

On the left is the flood water level marker; at the top the 4 treasures; in the middle are the cards that drive the game; bottom left the tiles that form the island and bottom right the pawns that represent the different adventurers.

This game is excellent with planty of nail biting finishes.  You can set a range of difficulty levels, and use a variable number of adventurers, making it ideal for the kids and I or for my wife and I, or for all of us.  It must have pretty universal appeal as it is one of the few games that my wife will usually go for! 

Just after play has started - none of the tiles have totally submerged but several are already flooded (at the first level of flooding, you flip the tile to show a very bluey version)

Nearing the climax of the game and the adventurers have to use their special abilities to best effect to stay above water. 

All adventurers have the ability to "shore up" areas of the island but each also has a unique special ability.  There is a pilot who once per turn can fly anywhere on the island, an Engineer who can do extra shoring up, an Explorer who can move & shore up diagonally, a Diver who can cross submerged areas, a Navigator who can move another adventurer as well as himself and a Messenger who can exchange treasure cards from a distance (you have to accumulate 4 treasure cards of the same type and move to a specific area to claim the treasure so this last ability can be very handy).

Here we are having found the treasures and made it back to "Fool's Landing".  We just need the helicopter to arrive (turn a helicopter lift card) and we have won!

Bingo!  Helicopter arrives and my son and I have a victory with just 7 tiles left, 3 of them flooded.  The game always seems to get frantic towards the end, with the flood waters rising faster and faster.

Tom and I played this game in approx 40 minutes and I promptly played it again in 30 minutes with my daughter when she arrived.  The game has superb re-playability because you can vary the choice of adventurers, the layout of the island and the difficulty level/speed of waters rising.  I love the co-op or solo aspect too.

Thoroughly recommended to all gamers but especially soloists and families.


The next game we played was Linwood - a somewhat similarly themed game in that you are searching for 4 element stones although here you lay tiles as you explore the forest rather than removing them as they flood!  It's pretty good, and whilst the adventurers are all the same to start with, you get special powers when you find the different stones (eg Water element stone allows you to cross water).

It comes in a very small box!

Dice, pawns and element cards on the left, forest tiles on the right.

Here's the layout we ended up with, my wife depairing at her luck as she lay all those tiles between her arms without finding a single element stone while the kids and I found them all over the other side of the forest.  This is always the trade off, if you choose to go it alone and find something you can make it awkward for the others but the risk is you don't find anything.  Equally if you go off with other people you will end up tussling over the element stones - my son found one but then lost it to the "Joker in the pack" - the dreaded Forest Bandit who steals your stones and returns you to the start. 

My daughter and I were more lucky and ended up racing back to the start tile with our stones, deperately trying to avoid the forest bandit ourselves but have him trap each other.  In the end, my daughter snuck the win.

We have had a lot of fun with this game although this particular game went a bit flat for my wife and son when they were left with no chance and had to watch my daughter and I race for the finish.  I wouldn't rate it quite as highly as Forbidden Island, Carcassonne or Hey, That's My Fish for family gaming but I am pleased that it is in our collection to play as a change.