X-Wing Tournament September 2016

Last Sarurday, I played my second X-Wing tournament in the Viennese local games store called Siren Games. The same location I played my first tournament last year. Well, from a competitive point of view, it was a desaster. I fielded a list I’ve never tested or played before and lacked decent preparation of any kind. So, it was no surprise that I scored last player that day.

At the plus side, I was able to play three kind and helping opponents (I’ve forgotten to bring the range rulers, so I had to borrow) and learned a lot about the game. Torunaments are always a great way to learn if your theories proove in practice, so it was a helpful event.

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The list I fielded consisted of several aspects I wanted to try: the Koiogran tricks of Tetran Cowall, Epsilon Leader and Countess Ryad, and also the manoeuverability of the Shuttle with engine upgrades. So it should be a squad to outmanoeuvre the opponent, right?

Well, kind of. I played three matches against rebels (at least, no mirrormatch against Empire), so a plus side for fluff. The three rebel squads contained:

* Biggs & three Y-Wings with turrets

* Biggs & Ghost with turrets

* Biggs & Wedge Antilles & Wes Janson

I hate turrets with their ability to ignore visibility arcs. The whole concept of manoeuvering gets kind of ridiculed when you don’t have to plan for your moevement in advance and simply keep the opponent out of range one. Worse, your opponent still has to think about his manouevers and your’s too. One of the aspects of X-Wing that should’ve never been published.

The first two games were simple walk-overs by the rebels due to my incapability to deal with those Cannons dealing consistent damage and my severe lack of preparation. Altogether, I managed to kill at least one X-Wing in the last battle, but that also went downhill because I was way too risktaking with landing or bypassing Asteroid fields.

Well, the next tournament surely will have a more satisfying outcome. Actually, I plan to test the old swarm of eight Tie-Fighters during the next weeks, a classic and surely more stable concept.

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Asturian Troubadour and Militia

Finally, I was able to finish a painting project. The Asturians would be added to my Christian warband for Saga C+, either as Spanish or Crusaders. Both would be suitable for a force settled in the early Crusades era.

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The Troubadour started his life as a Bretonnian Quest knight, by far one of my most beloved models. You have to love his Mandoline. As Troubadour, he was more a side-character for the warband, but one I definitively wanted to add  due to flavour reasons.

Like every good Troubadour, he actually is of french heritage and so carries the coat of arms of the village of Estagell from Occitania. For Saga C+ isn’t a mass system, I will paint every knight his own personal coat of arms, taken from villages of the area of Asturia. Surely, they will not be absolutely historically accurate, as many villages will carry more recent coats of arms, but at least it will get as close as I can get without a serious study in Asturian archives. I try to keep it simple, and so, he Troubadour got a very iconic imagery – the lamb of god carrying his banner.

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As for the peasant rabble, it wouldn’t fit to give them individual heraldry, so they would carry the Asturian sigil – the cross of victory – on their shields. I tried to keep a little unification with the use of the colour blue, but at the end, I also like the scratched-together feeling of these lads.

They also started their lives as Bretonnian peasants from Warhammer Fantasy, but now live a second live in the wondrful teritory of historical wargaming. I really hope to finish the warband in this year and also fight a game.

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Lovely faces. Sadly, I didn’t realiz that the casting fin on the right guys’ head would look so prominent until it was too late. 😦

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The “Dornish peasant”.

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Filed under Bretonnians, Painting, Saga C+

Shootout in Scrap Town

Meanwhile, in a sordid town in the Badlands…

Xerxes sucked on his cigarette and stretched his back. Carrying his Flamer the whole way had been tiresome, so he really looked forward to take a good nap and rest his old bones in the settlement they had occupied some weeks ago. The smelly, incestuous inhabitants didn’t care much for them, which suited Xerxes best. He didn’t care for them either, as long as they would pay their taxes they owned to proud House Delaque for protection on due time. Not that High Lord Delaque himself, may the Spirits of the Hive always protect him, would know anything about this village and the Credits his gang pressed from those depraved Grox farmers and cheap fungus collectors deep down in the underhive. But, as some dead General somewhere and sometime had remarked, war has to pay for war. They had to see how to get the next meal, and so, they had to rely on those underhive dwellers for their own good.

Suddenly, his instinct for danger turned red. Something wasn’t right! The otherwise noisy and vivid market of the settlement was empty. No fires were burning in their steel barrels, like always. HE hissed a quick but quiet command to stop to his two subordinates and got in cover.

There!

Just two foreign figures were standing in the middle of the plaza and searched for something. Plunderers! Now Xerxes understood. Some Gangers from an other house had entered their village. No Delaque could be blind enough not to notice the marks around the settlement that marked it as their property. Intruders. Well, he knew what they had to do.

With a grim smile in his face, he sucked on his cigarette one last time and lit his Flamer with the gleaming tip. The bubbls of high explosive gasoline crawled around the front end of his beloved weapon, awaiting him to push the button which would release a cloud of inflamed gas on his foes. In an coordinated move, all three Delaque entered the village.

Hey, scummers!“, he bellowed, “wrong place, wrong time!

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Then, it happened all too fast.

The guy on the left side of the market place uncovered his mantle and a machine gun rattled at the three Delaque. Xerxes and Yuris chests were hit by shrapnels, only Gospodin managed to throw himself in ptotecting cover. Xerxes mind dwindled into darkness…

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Feelin’ better, eh?

A flashlight was held directly in his face, so Xerxes tried to keep his eyes shut.
What happened, you bloody fool?” the Heavy pressed between his torn lips before he was able to get himself up on his feet.

Well, it really didn’t look good, that I can say“, Gospodin proclaimed hastily, “but we’ve been lucky. Lucky enough, I mean. The machine gun had a malfunction, so we were able to outflank and chase them. One more shot by the stubber, and we would’ve been mutie snacks, that’s for sure“.

Stretching and rubbing some of his mistreated muscles, Xerxes glimpsed some of the villagers lurking behind their closed windows and shut doors. Bastards, he thought. Not better than those slimy muties they had been fighting a few days before. He resisted his urge to lit some of them with his beloved Flamer, just to make a decent statement. Not this day, he sighed.

Come on, lets move” he replied to the way too talky Ganger. “Let’s collect the due taxes and get away“. Somehow, the place did stink to him even more now…

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WIP – Asturian Troubadour

Just a little work-in-progress in addition to my Asturian warband for SAGA. I hope to finish the whole group in summer. Matching to the more uniformed warband, this troubadour should share the basic colours of his country, blue and yellow. Perhaps he is a relative of the noble leading the company.

The model itself is a leftover from my Warhammer Bretonnians (like the Bowmen). I love the mandoline and his moustache. Thanks to SAGA, he will play some lovely tunes on the battlefield. Spains answer to Scottish bagpipers, if you will.

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To make my whole historical collection a little “darker” than my fantasy miniatures, I used Warplock Bronze instead of a lighter Bronze tone to highlight the silver of his chainmail armour. This should be more apting to that period.

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Filed under Bretonnians, Painting, Saga C+

Ratskin Ambush

Papa Steve didn’t feel well. For hours, the floor beneath him had been hissing and roaring.

Just two feet under the lurking Delaque Gang, hundreds and hundreds of rats and other even more pestilencious vermin streamed and squeaked through the belly of the underhive. Their cacophonous chorus of squeals and screams made quite a decent song for the ghosts that surrounded them, the old Gang Leader felt. Although not a really pious man, Steve was no fool not to know that the spirits of the underhive were much more than real. At least, real enough to be a threat to everyone not careful enough…

Blam!

The Scout strolling before him was knocked to his knees. Blood spilled out his chest and pelvis. Several sounds of varying guns echoed from the ceiling. They were trapped! Steve yelled a command to his Gang to cover, but it was too late. Way too late. The only thing he was able to see were several lightnings from other guns pointing at them. He saw Yuri and Anatol going down. And suddenly, a shadow lept from his cover and rushed towards him. He wasn’t even fast enough to pull the trigger of his beloved Bolter gun…

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As Papa Steve woke up, he felt an itching pain in his left chest. Under the bloody, soaked tissues presumably Xerxes had wrapped around him, he assumed at least two ribs to be broken from the assaulting mutant. He mumbled a grim curse against all muties and tried to get up. No further use in resting, he thought.

After a while, he was abe to attempt some steps and walk along his tattered mates. As he could perceive, they looked pretty bad – even worse than their usual appearance. The muties had hit them really hard and they had known where it would hurt the most.

They’ve taken our Scout, that dude from Dead End Pass… or was it Glory Hole?…” Sokrates snarled. “Only the Emperor, who protects the righteous ones, or the tunnel rats know what they’ll do to that poor fella. Damn sorry for that, he had a nice plasma pist. They could’ve kept the rest of him“. Steve chuckled. He had always envied the old grim Heavy for his sense of creeping humour, though he held him for a bit too open for that Redemptionist babbling about the Emperor sitting in his throne and protecting mankind and all that stuff. The mere thought of mankind being top-notch of the foodchain, which the frock guys always proclaimed, made Steve sick. Anyone thinking himself to be on top just because he was some form of human had no idea what lurked at the bottom of the hive swamps… Nevertheless, they would need a good portion of old Sokrates’ humour if they had to regroup and fall back to their base.

The other lads also got their share. Oblomov was hit in the chest, yet will be able…“. Steve shut his mind and ears and thought. Sokrates would continue babbling on for quite a while, he knew better than trying to stop his friend. He had to think. Why were they hit so hard by a bunch of underhive muties? How was it possible that one of them attacked four armed Delaque and was still breathing, even sliced his chest? Somehow, they were too many. And too well equipped. Perhaps they raided a Guilder? Nah, that would have been made public by an open mutie hunt. Something else? He had to…

Suddenly, his eyes opened wide, he put his wrist around Socrates’ collar and pulled it to his face. “The entrance!” he yelled in the stupid face of poor Socrates and leaped sideways. Hurling and cursing in all of the underhive dialects he spoke (and Steve thought himself to be a linguist for that matter), he pressed and jumped and raced several storeys deeper into the tunnel systems. Nearly slipping on the last mile, he went to a very specific spot. A spot only he and the two Heavies knew. Or should know. The hidden archeotech camp was a jewel. A place of wonders and treasures. If only…

No, no, no, no, no, Noooooo!” the Ganger yelled as he saw what had happened. Someone had broken the hidden seal that led to the cavern where they had found their beautiful and costly archeotech stuff. Steve sank to his knees. His head did hurt even more than his stomach. No use in crawling inside. He knew that the muties had sacked every valuable inch of that damned hole. They were beaten by their own ancient weapons, he realized. His wrists turned blue by the pressure, as he swore to himself that he would get them. And made them choke on the sweet, sweet archeotech they had stolen today…

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Filed under Battle report, Campaign, Delaque, Necromunda, Skaven

No country for old Kids

You’re sure you know the way?“, the suspicious Heavy grumbled. For hours, the stinking Scummer had traced and led them to a place where he expected some lousy Scavvies. Their peeled skins would make a great price back in Dead End Pass, he was sure. Yet he was absolutely not sure about their scouts motives, who was always playing with his big stupid Plasma pistol… An item he increasingley envied him for. Not many weapons of such exaggerating destructive potential made it thus far in the underbelly of Hive Primus, he suggested.

Socrates, shut it!” another guy behind them hissed. Wielding an absurdely large Bolter, their leader “Papa Steve” Anastasoff tried to keep the gang together while hiding his own exhaustion. They knew that there would be some Scavvies down under, so they had to keep their babbling to a minimum or else would get sacked themselves…

There! A bunch of lurking Scavvies searching for some letftovers from the tunnel rats. About two dozen metres away, they hadn’t seen the sneaky Delaque. Well, Papa Steve would surely take advantage of their limited senses. “Fries, Shake, Oblomov! Get into those maintenance tunnels and flame their arses from behind. We’ll take them heads on!” he bellowed in a whisper to two of the kids who prepared their Flaming pistols, really costly and prestigous things down here. Oblomov, the old and experienced lad, would help them with his shotgun after their fuel was flamed upon those mutants.

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The rest made quite a show. Forming a straight line, the Delaque readied their weapons (Xerxes insisted on carrying his heavy Flamer, altough he would be of little use. Be it so, Papa thought). They walked slowly towards the mutants, weapons ready to fire. The Scavvies saw them after some meters of walking, but were too shocked to move, Papa noticed with a satisfied nod. He began to count in a whisper, barely hearable except for the sharpened listening abilities of true Delaque.

2…

1…

Now!

Then hell brake loose.

The sound of the Boltgun and the heavy Stubber bursted into a shrieking crescendo, multiplicated and echoed from the walls of the gigantic caverns walls. The air was ripped apart when the Summer released a bowl of Plasma in the direction of the Scavvies. The steaming Plasma melted down some metal, but didn’t really harm any mutants. Worse, Socrates’ and Steves’ heavy weapons both had malfunctions which made their weapons useless. Crap! Even worse, Steve noticed first the stench and then the muzzle flash from the muties’ friends. They were surrounded!

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Fries, Shake and Pete crawled through some maintenance tunnels. It would be easy, Papa had promised, just release the flaming oil on those pestilencous Scavvies and slit the throats of the burning underworlders. Simple. Even for some kids. Well, there they were, just some meters from the backside of the mutants. Just a jump and…

Fries knew that something wasn’t right when he saw into the eyes of half a dozen Scavvies. This was not good. They should hear the rattling sound of Xerxes’ heavy stubber, but there was silence save for some melee sounds to their left. He saw Socrates, smashing his heavy Flamer into the head of one of those things. Crap, even he had no more ammunition. Well, at least they had their full Flaming pistols…

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Steve had to rethink his battle plan, fast! He had ordered Xerxes with his Flamer to the right to support Oblomov and the two kids, while he and three other lads jumped forward and tried to keep the Scavvies who moved forward at bay. If they managed to shoot some of them down, they still had a chance…

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Silence.

Darkness.

Fries opened his eyes, his mind damped in soft, pink clouds. He felt hunger. His bite marks itched, his belly was empty and hurted. He tried to uplift himself and stand up, yet was too weak. Beside the emptiness in his stomach, his limbs felt numb and deaf. Suddenly, the door to the room was opened from outside…

Papa Steve also was tired. And hungry. It felt days he last had a bite of a fried rat or a good cup of Wildsnake. But the news concerning his men were even worse. All the kids had been killed or greavily wounded, their mercenary scout was partially deafened, and to make things worse, they were broke on credits. They would need a hit, and this pretty soon…

Boss, you should see Fries“, Xerxes said. The old veteran had fueled his Flamer and had put him aside, now repairing the other gangers weapons. “He had quite a harsh fight, and will need time to recover“. Altough Xerxes was no medic, Steve trusted his words. He would need to speak to the kid and cheer him up a little bit. The leader knew that a well-placed little speech could do wonders encouraging his fellow men.

When he opened the door to the small room they had put the kid in, Steves senses in his nostrils were hit by the brutal and caustic stench pouring out of the small chamber. Obviously, something had rottten here for quite some time. He saw he kid, resting on his elbows and backside, facing him. His chest didn’t move, but the kid was clearly alive, fixating him with his eyes and holding contact. A test of his will? Steve wasn’t sure, but he didn’t feel very comfortably with the lad.

Feeling better, eh?” the older man said to the young Juve. “Don’t be worried, we gave old smellyskins some good wipping and will be rewarded greatly by the Guilders“, he lied to the Kid. Usually, promises of Wildsnake and easy company back home with the girls always worked wonders with the easy-to-be-mocked kids. But not this creepy kid. He still stared at him and didn’t breath…

Fries’ mind was melted in red clouds, floating through the remaining parts of his brain. What was left of the Juve’s personality still recognized the presence of his Gang Leader, but that didn’t matter any more. Nothing mattered, beside his endless hunger. With the swiftness of a wild snake, the zombified kid leaped forward and threw himself against the much more experienced and tougher gang leader. Both rolled over the floor, holding each other at the throat. With his bare fingers, the Zombie kid ripped deep wounds in the chest and face of the man he had called “Papa” some hours ago. Steve, totally overwhelmed from the attack, managed to hold the kid at it’s throat.

Collecting his last reserves of strength, he was able to reach for his Stub gun in its holster and pull it out. He knew that he would be in deep, deep trouble if the Zombie formerly being Fries would be able to bite him, so he accepted the pain of the brainless’ claws scratching and ripping his chest. He pointed the bad end of his gun at the kids head and pulled the trigger…

It was a good shot. Point blank. The grey mass of the seldom used and now squished brain was scattered over the floor. So much for that lad, Papa Steve thought. Perhaps the next kids would be of more use…

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Filed under Battle report, Campaign, Delaque, Necromunda, Scavvies

upcoming Necromunda Campaign in WoW/Keepers

This week, my local wargaming Club WoW/Keepers will start to maintain a small Necromunda campaign, an ancient game about gang warfare in the dystopian future of the 40k universe. Finally, an opportunity to field my hideous Delaque to glory or a horrible fate. Time will tell.

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The first encounter of my gang will be against some of the lowest and most savage inhabitants of the underhive, pestilencious Scavvies including some infesting Zombies. So, from the very beginning, they will have to stand against the worst the underhive can throw against them.

For me, the starter box of Necromunda was a very exciting purchase 18 years ago, back in 1998 (coincidentally, it was also one of the first things I bought from the GW universe). Despite it’s weak parts, aside the fact that it has a very big problem with it’s inner gaming balance (not to mention the gangs that were added with the Outlaws expansion, which I sadly could never get), it still delivers a fascinating insight in a very specific spot of the grimdarkness of the 40k universe. Inside the game, a seemingly endless space for creativity and gaming was unfolded before the reader. So it’s no surprise that I’m very delighted that my club will maintain a campaign in this cool setting.

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