CaptainCon 2015 – Some Pictures

CaptainCon 2015 was a great time!  It was really nice to spend the weekend with some like-minded gamers.  Here are a few pictures I took of demo games we played or ran.

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Kraig was generous enough to show us how Warzone: Resurrection plays, using a small Bauhaus force versus an Imperial starter set.

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Over the two days we ran quite a few Dropzone Commander demos.  Hopefully we’ll get some new blood in the area!     CaptainCon2015 - 6 CaptainCon2015 - 7

Brian and Peter did have luck running some Firestorm Armada demos, and after hours we got about half of a small game in, my Sorylians versus Peter’s Dindrenzi.  CaptainCon2015 - 5These ships did not participate in that battle.

FSA Game Picture Gallery

A few weekends ago I had a great time playing with some other local FS:A guys.  I was completely savaged by a dastardly Directorate biohazard heavy fleet, but had a blast.  The scenario conditions really didn’t suit the fleet I had picked, either, but I will say the following:

• I LOVED using Pack Hunters on my two squadrons of Scythe frigates – I will definitely spring for this again.  (I borrowed a squadron of nice looking frigates from Andy at the event.  By themselves they put on some serious hurt!)

• A full squadron of Skyhammer cruisers is a terror indeed – especially when heavily upgraded.  (This was the first game I got to use my Defense Monitor stand-in for the fourth cruiser, which looked great.)

I’ll need to pick up some more Scythes!

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We played a 1200 point game – the largest I’ve played so far – and so I got to use all my Sorylians (not my unpainted heavy cruisers, though), and had to borrow a squadron of frigates, but it was a strong fleet.  I ran one Scythe as an escort (love that PD of 4) but then we rolled an escalating engagement, and my reserve rolls were awful.  My Swordbreaker battleship didn’t even show up until Turn 6!

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Starting deployment, trying to make use of some cover.

 

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The full enemy fleet – a mean list.  This was not deployment, as the battlecruisers and carrier group stayed off board as dictated by the scenario rules.

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Let battle commence!

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I did occasionally get some great dice rolls.

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I also grabbed some pictures of a parallel game, Directorate vs. Terrans.

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I am looking forward to playing even bigger games in the future!

Summer Painting Progress: Dystopian Russian, Firestorm Armada Alliance

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More progress to report: six Russian Coalition frigates for Dystopian Wars, a Sorylian defense monitor for Firestorm: Armada, and a Syndicate battlecruiser also for my FS:A fleet.  Here are a few quick pictures.

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The Sorylian defense monitor was a conversion using spare parts from the new Sorylian cruiser box, after building four heavy cruisers.  I am pretty happy with it – it is similar in size and aesthetic to my old Skyhammers, but noticeably different in several obvious ways.  I think it makes a good proxy for a fourth Skyhammer, allowing me to field a full squadron of Skyhammer cruisers, a full squadron of Kopis heavy cruisers, and a full squadron of Terran Sentinel cruisers simultaneously.  What a glorious game that would be!

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The Spur class battlecruiser, pictured above, was painted using at least 9 layers of different washes and glazes.  I had mixed feelings about the results – I was going for a deep purple, but it came out dark and rusty looking.  However, the spray finish frosted on the edges of the model in a very interesting, aerodynamic way that I was surprisingly pleased with – it reduced the darkness of the model and gave it a cool sailing-through-the-void feel.  None of the pictures show this well; the frosting can be seen in the first three pictures of the post, while the fourth shows the ship before the finish was applied.  I rationalize the Spur is the private warship of a wealthy Terran senator, out touring the front lines.  The orange and turquoise marks on the top bow are campaign marks that tie it to the Sorylian and Terran fleet assets in the area.

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These RC Novgorod frigates differ from my previous ones by not having brass or tin piping on some details, otherwise the scheme is the same.  I can now field four full squadrons of four frigates in Dystopian Wars!  I guess I should buy the 2.0 rulebook soon…

An update also came in today from an unexpected quarter, Waaagh! Og’Thall:

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You can find more about Waaagh! Og’Thall, my Sorylian and Terran alliance fleet, and my Russian Coalition forces in old entries, using the drop down menu to the right – or by clicking on the terms at the end of this post.

Summer Painting Progress: Dystopian Canadian Land Forces

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My first painting log update!  I have managed to paint up a good portion (less than half by far, though…) of my summer goal, namely: set of Uncharted Seas walls and towers (4 of each); a set of Dominion of Canada Wolfe class Medium Tanks for Dystopian Wars (6); a Terrier Ironclad Tiny Tank token for DW.  I took some pictures after the finish dried.

 

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The wall set, although originally from Uncharted Seas, I think will go well as terrain or a fortress in Dystopian Wars, on land or sea.  I painted them rather plainly (and quickly) so they could be used in a variety of roles.  I am definitely happy with the quality of the models.

 

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Here you can see detail of the two non-standard units in this batch – the HMCS “Logan” command Wolfe (note the blue and yellow markings) and the Ironclad “Red Barchetta” (hopefully it is obvious which one this is).  The themes shall continue in the next batch.

 

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The ubiquitous aquarium terrain included for flair.

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A brilliant “Red Barchetta” from a better managed time.

And here’s a sneak peek of more to come in the (hopefully near) future:

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Summer Painting Project: Embark

Summer is historically a time when I get a lot of hobby work done.  I finally gave in late last night and assembled (as in, got-out, not put-together) nearly everything I have primed and ready to be painted.  My plan: slap some paint on everything, then finish them.  Should be easy!  Here are some pictures of the assembled masses….

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First up – the Dystopian Wars section.  I have a set of Uncharted Seas walls/towers which I think can be used for a variety of purposes and games systems.  Besides the walls we have Canadian ground forces, a few Russian Coalition frigates (love ’em!), and the majority of my Independent Mercenary Company.  Some of the small tanks have some basic colors on them already from a long time ago.

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The next section is more varied.  We’ve got Firestorm: Armada.  We’ve got Warhammer Fantasy.  We’ve got…. Warzone Resurrection?  …Afterlife?  Thank you Kickstarter for these one-offs!

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Everything together.  It is both imposing and not too bad.  Spartan stuff always paints up fast…

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These Knights of the Realm have been waiting to be painted for a long time.  Behind them: mounted yeomen and a mounted prophetess.

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Close up of the Dominion of Canada forces.

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Close up of the Independent Mercenary Company units.

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So, all told, this is what I’ve got on my painting station:

DYSTOPIAN WARS

+ 4 stone Towers with cannon

+ 4 stone Walls with cannon

Dominion of Canada:

+ 6 Wolfe class Medium Tanks

+ 6 Archer class Flak Tanks

+ 21 Terrier class Small Tank bases (whew)

Mercenary Company:

+ 6 pocket cruisers

+ 3 super destroyers

+ 2 assault escorts

Russian Coalition:

+ 6 Novogorod class Frigates (yeah, baby!)

FIRESTORM: ARMADA

+ 1 Sentinel class Terran Cruiser

+ 1 Sorylian System Defense Monitor (custom build – counts-as Skyhammer)

+ 1 Spur class Battlecruiser (Terran Senator checking on the frontline?)

+ 4 Kopis class Sorylian Heavy Cruisers

WARHAMMER FANTASY

+ 4 Bretonnian Knights of the Realm

+ 4 Bretonnian Mounted Yeoman

+ 1 Bretonnian Mounted Prophetess

+ 3 Bretonnian Men-at-Arms

ONE-OFFS

+ Warzone: Resurrection Imperial Doomtrooper

+ Afterlife Unity Council Trooper (this one’s for you, Juan!)

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Now that I write it all out, it does seem like an awful lot to paint…

FS:A – Sorylians vs. Dindrenzi, 800 points (picture gallery)

Fought a decent game against a very skilled Dindrenzi opponent yesterday.  The invaders won with a final battle log score of +9 (Din) to +4 (Sor).  Overall, both sides had pretty unimpressive dice successes for the entire game.  We randomly selected the “Capture the Station” mission.

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Here’s a low quality shot of the 800 point fleet I used for the battle.  Later we found out we could turn the lights on…  The Sentinel class here, as usual, was being used as a fourth Skyhammer.

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The store let us use a space station to act as the Ghost Station for the scenario.  It looks pretty sweet, right?  For the entire game my battlestation guarded it closely.  This was the third game (out of three!) where my battlestation took no damage (and earned less than half its points back).

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The fleets at the start of the battle.  I tried to make use of cover, but that advantage did not last long.  The Dindrenzi fleet consisted of a Praetorian Battleship, a Claymore carrier with bombers and two escorts, three Trident destroyers, three Hammer frigates, and four Dindrenzi corvettes.

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This battle was the first time I faced any SRS – and they are vicious.  Even when they were shot down or rolling mediocre hits, the bombers terrorized everything they came across.  I guess I am going to have to invest in escorts or carriers of my own after all.  Maybe a pair of Hasta…

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This picture sums up, for me, how I feel about this particular game.  This should have been a wonderful moment of celebration, as my Swordbreaker, albeit wounded, pulled into the vulnerable, blind rear of the damaged Praetorian and let loose with its weapon-shielded starboard scatter cannon, torpedoes, and anything else the crew could fire.  The result: a single point of damage, and only barely.  In the following activations, the enemy corvettes (proxied here by the Directorate ships) swung around and destroyed my battleship.  Maybe I should start running twin Swordbreakers.

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The remaining Skyhammers tried to swing around the planet to finish off the corvettes and/or Praetorian (which by this point was at half damage!), but – as was pointed out to me after the game – it would have been better to pull a tight turn and finish off the Claymore.  At the end of the game the Tridents pulled around the moon and started sniping in the cruisers’ vulnerable sector.

Lesson learned: damn the Dindrenzi.

FS:A Battle Report – Sorylians vs. RSN, 850 points

This last weekend I played my second game of Firestorm: Armada, facing off against a new opponent’s Rense System Navy fleet.  It was fun, and a closer game than the final battle log would suggest.  Randy also generously offered me some extra Hawk Flight Widgets after the game, which I find exceptionally useful for keeping the models on their flight stands.  It was almost my first chance to use my new star mat from D’stone Art, which was awesome.

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Background

The initial Dindrenzi push into Sorylian space was devastating for the Collective, as the compartmentalized, defensive spheres were unable to individually stand up to the amassed Zenian League war fleets.  As the war went on, forces were consolidated among the beleaguered Alliance of Kurak signees.  Even the cold-blooded Sorylians changed their defensive strategy, bringing in the reserve fleets of distant spheres to support the developing front.  The counter-attack stalled the Zenian League forces across much of Collective space, providing time for further reinforcements to be brought forward.  Along this not-so-stable line, many Sorylian planets – some largely untouched by the Dindrenzi or Relthozan advance in their conquering haste – were the focus of rescue attempts by Collective fleets.  The site of this battle was a system including one such planet, Kerdan II; a cold world (at least by Sorylian standards) being slowly terraformed by Collective Engineers to suit Sorylian populations.  The Kerdan system boasted significant mineral and metallic value, the system full of asteroids of all sizes – including a very large, semi-spherical planetoid orbiting Kerdan II but devoid of any atmosphere.

As the new front against the Zenian League ebbed and flowed, the Collective was able to tow a new Phalanx-class battlestation to the vicinity of the planet.  A reserve fleet from the galactic east of the Collective was also stationed in the system to prepare for further action against the Dindrenzi aggressors and their allies.  Little did the newly arrived defenders know that an elite enemy fleet was closing in on the system, but a spur of a much wider Zenian offensive occurring all across the Storm Zone…..

Fleets

The combined defensive fleet consisted of a new, powerful Phalanx-class battle station, made nigh-impregnable with improved weapon bracing, advanced shielding, and expanded close-range defensive systems.  The reserve fleet was of an older generation, but was in top operating condition.  The Swordbreaker class battleship – carrying the flag of the highest ranking military officer in the system – was a redoubtable weapons platform, retrofitted not so long ago with expanded shielding capacity, improved drives for normal space propulsion, and substantially increased armor on the weapon decks.  In support were four long-serving Skyhammer-class cruisers – true mainstays of the Collective fleets – upgraded long ago with significant energy shielding, backed up by a full-strength squadron of Scythe class frigates.  The reserve fleet also brought with it a single damaged Scythe, its propulsion systems damaged during a brief encounter with raiders in transit.  The plan was to use this damaged Scythe as a source of replenishment parts and ammunition for the squadron of its compatriots, but upon receiving intelligence that an enemy fleet was heading in-system, the damaged frigate was delivered new crew and supplies and pressed into service as an escort for the admiral’s battleship.  Its cannon – calibrated to a short but fiercely wide arc – would be of great service defending the flagship from enemy torpedoes and boarders.

The attacking fleet proved to be a respectable armada from the fearsome Rense System Navy.  In the galactic vicinity of Kerdan “policing” Relthozan assets, the RSN fleet decided to strike out at the gathering Sorylian forces by Kerdan II, hoping to catch them unawares and land a resounding blow.  The RSN assets that folded into the outer reaches of Kerdan included a trio of Bulwark-class frigates and another trio of Phoenix-class destroyers.  These were led by the twin giants of a Spectre class battleship and a formidable Banshee-class dreadnought, both advanced models with superior maneuvering engines and advanced shielding.  It was a fleet to be respected – a fleet to be feared.

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The Battle

The Sorylian cruisers deployed on the far left of the battle line, while the battleship and battle station deployed in the very center.  On the far right, the frigate squadron deployed behind Kerdan II, ready to flank right and swing around the planet.  Opposite the Scythes, however, were the Bulwarks, poised menacingly forward.  The Spectre battleship and Phoenix destroyers were set across from the Sorylian admiral’s flagship, while next to Kerdan II’s irregular moon the fearsome bi-prow hull of the RSN dreadnought was aimed directly at the Skyhammers.

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The RSN’s experience and training payed off, and they were able to make the first move.  The opening of the battle saw lots of positioning, as the capital ships of the RSN moved slowly forward, unleashing considerable firepower at range that was largely fought off with shielding.  For their part the Sorylians moved forward as fast as they could manage, equally unable to damage their opponents at range.  As the fleets closed in distance, both sides were able to inflict lasting impressions on their enemy’s hulls.  Ranged fire from the Broadsword and the Phalanx took their toll on the destroyers and eventually the enemy battleship, which suffered massive damage from a close range broadside from the Sorylian flagship (17 hits!).

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As the destroyers took irreparable damage and were reduced to a single functioning vessel, the Sorylian cruiser squadron and Banshee dreadnought went head to head in the far west.  This shootout saw no cruisers destroyed, but all damaged, and the massive dreadnought merely scratched.  A somewhat-successful boarding action against the Banshee did manage to reduce its fore guns, however.  The cruisers passed the dreadnought as they both turned around the planetoid, albeit in opposite directions.

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In the far east the frigate squadrons approached each other at full speed, the Scythes slightly damaging the enemy before pulling up to present a full broadside.  Upon completing this maneuver they failed to knock out a single Bulwark.  In return the enemy frigates destroyed the entire Scythe squadron in an impressive display of firepower.  After the multiple rounds of targeted main gun volleys that took the Scythes out of action, the Bulwarks turned to assist the Spectre battleship.

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As the battle raged, the center became a swirling melee.  The Sorylian Swordbreaker lined up a well-executed double broadside on the two largest enemy vessels, shattering the opposing battleship while damaging the dreadnought.  The battle station delivered long-range support as the Skyhammers came about on one side and the RSN frigates closed in from the other.  A boarding assault from the Sorylian flagship failed to capture the remaining RSN destroyer, while the burning RSN fleet managed to heavily damage the Swordbreaker.  Its point defense network long knocked out, the Collective admiral relied heavily on the supporting defensive fire of its attached makeshift escort.  This brave ship however was soon obliterated by the dying RSN battleship before it, too, fell to scatter cannon and torpedo.

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As the Skyhammers closed the distance and the Spectre burned and limped away, the final blows were struck.  The combined Sorylian fire destroyed the last destroyer before causing the dreadnought to go critical, its mighty hull perforated in hundreds of places.  The RSN admiral lost, the final Bulwark was struck down by the man-handled cruiser squadron.

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The Sorylians had carried the day, but at great cost – losing, in effect, six frigates and receiving heavy, perhaps irreparable, damage across the rest of the fleet.  Only the Phalanx station remained unscathed, as it continued on its orbit around Kerdan II.

Final Battlelog: +18 Sorylians to -8 RSN (or +15 / -7 at time of victory)

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Thanks very much to Randy for the great game, and to Brian for taking pictures (and the ride)!

First Firestorm Armada Game: Sorylians vs Aquans

Today I played my first game of Firestorm Armada, pitting my Sorylians against Aquans (must have been a re-enactment of the ancient wars between the two empires).  We each took approximately 800 points (I proxied a Terran Sentinel class cruiser as a Skyhammer) and fought for seven bloody turns.  At the end, we each had a Battle Log value of 8.  Here are a bunch of pictures from the fight: