Monday, August 20, 2018

Chaos Campaign 19 - Green Hippos, Roman Candle

After a good long rest & refit after an actual stand up battle with Word of Blake regulars, the Green Hippos are a little bit antsy to get back in the fight. Our usual contact pcisk up a contract for us in the periphery, where war is serious business. We're to hit the Marian Hegemony world of Trasjkis, which has seen devastating urban civil warfare, to clear out a command bunker in preparation for the Circinus Assault on the world and region in general.

Now I had JuniorFett set up terrain, and told him to do urban ruins, and to select one building in secret to be his command post. Now, I wonder what building he selected.

Oh good, while he didn't tell me which building it was, he did considerately label it for me. I gave it extra hardness and hit points, because that looks more like a bunker than a building to me. At least the terrain set up was fair. Some of the previous ones where he knew he'd be the defender were a bit...ridiculous.

The Green Hippos get in good and close in secret, before the defenders see through their cover.

The defenders form an impromptu defense line. JuniorFett called out in advance that this match would boil down to a grappling match for the defensive terrain between the lines of sandbags. I won't say he was wrong.

But I will say I grabbed it early, and hard. The Hippos shut the lid on the Security Force, hard. Then they called in the demo teams. Another day of hard work, and a job well done. Here's hoping the Circs pay well.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Escorpion Imperio VIII - Noble Steeds

"All right, I hope you heard that? She called me a 'noble steed.' She thinks I'm a steed."

Yes, like donkey, our brave cavalry initiates need mounts. I have a couple options, but I figured I would post them here, along with size comparisons, to see what everyone thinks before I proceed.

Option 1 Dollar Store Horses. This was the original plan, as these horses look to be about the right height and length for 54mm scale. There were fewer of them in the package than I thought though, and they are wider than I think would be easy to mount the troopers on. So...problems. 6 instead of 9, too girthy.

Option 2 Smaller horses. There were more of these per bag, and they would pose no challenge for the army men in terms of thickness. Still, they look a little undersized. I was thinking of just saying they were ponies or mules, and hand-waving the problem. One commenter from my Army Men Facebook group said "...backwater planet ponies are a little undersized compared to regular Earth horses." This is an innovative work around as well, since a horse from say, a high gravity world would be closer to the ground, but not necessarily weaker or slower once in normal gravity. This might be the solution, unless it looks too ridiculous.

Option 3 The True Legends Dragon. This one I took mostly for laughs, but they I thought, "Hey the Outworlds Alliance has Tariqs." Tariqs are basically big reptilian ostriches, that can carry infantry. But then I thought "Hey the Free Worlds League has Branth" which are giant reptilian flying...dragons, I guess. They can mount infantry too. Since there are only 6 big horses, and I need 7 to make a squad, maybe a squad leader can have a special mount?

We shall see. Comment Please!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

That's No Moon...wait, yes it is!

Imperial Hazardous Environment Troopers investigate a strangely soft volcanic plain discovered during a routine galactic survey sweep by probe droids.

JuniorFett persists in coming up with fun looking adventures without me. Looks like a fun time.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Chaos Campaign 18 - Green Hippos Burning Bridges

Our brave heroes the Green Hippos return to Galatea, the Mercenaries Star, to refit, rearm, and renegotiate before heading out on their next contract. Over the news comes the report that the famous Northwind Highlanders have escaped the Word Of Blake attack on Northwind, and are inbound to reinforce Galatea's defense and the resistance against the Blakists in the galaxy at large.

Except it's a ruse. Those aren't the Highlanders. It's the Word of Blake, attacking Galatea like they did Outreach. I guess the Hippos are fighting for the good guys against the bad guys this time. Pro Bono, at that. Shame. At least I finally had a terrain setup where the Maxx Action figures could stand with their tiny bases. I've been wanting to use them since I brought them home from my mom's but they have trouble standing on much of my terrain setups. They worked alright here. In the above photo you can see my rifle squad, with attached machine guns, as well as my short range missile section set up in the ruins.

All that griping I did in earlier missions about volume three taking it too easy on me? I take it back. They were just balancing out this mission. Outnumbered? Elite Manei Domini cyborg troops? Yeah, this is the difficulty spike I was expecting from this volume. They just left it for the final mission of the volume.

Not much story to this one, it was a straight up battle. I made best use I could of the cover, and my heavy weapons and armor support. Worked relatively well. Helps that I got to defend, and that I had JuniorFett set up terrain BEFORE I told him he was the attacker. Those Blakists had a long way to walk to the defensive works. I managed to knock out most of his heavies before they were in fisticuffs range, and in a straight melee, the Hippos came out on top.

See you in Volume Four folks! This is the furthest I've ever got running this campaign, so I don't even know what the future holds in the dark and tangled tribulations the Inner Sphere finds itself.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Figures - Thrift Store Haul, Exposed!

Okay, so as referenced yesterday, I opened these up, rinsed them off with water and detergent, then after drying, JuniorFett and I went through to sort, catalog, and photograph them. As I mentioned, I believe the bulk of these are from one of those "4 Armies - 200 Pieces!" type buckets from Amazon. I've been tempted to get them, but it seems Super Thrift has saved me the bother. A lot of these are copies of recasts of clones from someone who once saw an Airfix or Matchbox figure. But there are some I've never seen before, at least, like this. This one is going to be a bit pic heavy, so apologies in advance if that gives you problems!

Standing Guard Guy. I hated this figure as a kid. He's just...standing there. But now that I have a bunch of them that I can put in serried ranks, it looks, well, fairly impressive. It makes me a little sad how much less detailed this copy is than the ones I had as a kid though.

Now, this is a sort of modified version of a german throwing the stick grenade. I had the original as a kid, and they had definite stahlhelms back then. This version seems to be a sort of hybrid between that figure and a matchbox US GI. It's...weird.

This one's a bit weird also. It's supposed to be a prone German maching gunner, but his helmet is modified. Then gun seems to be shifted as well, as instead of being attached to the stock against his shoulder, the barrel seems to protrude directly from his face.

Jogging German. This is one of the better clones, as it is pretty clear what he is, and what he was. The Stahlhelm is more recognizable, and he even has the gas mask canister on his back (if that's what that tube even is). My brother and I always can those their 'lunch boxes' when we were kids.

This is a figure I'm not actually familiar with first hand, though I think it's a light machine gunner from Airfix's 8th Army set. Could be wrong on this one, as I've never encountered whatever this guy was originally. One of the better figs from the set, though. Shame there was only three.

Again, this guy is pretty clearly an 8th army recast. He must be hydro-cephalic, though, just look how small his helmet is!

This is the loader for the above German MG. I don't think I ever had this fellow as a kid. Most of my Germans came from prize tickets at Chuck E. Cheese or some such, so maybe I just never picked it up as he wasn't 'action pose' enough for my under 10 mindset.

Crawling Tommy with Tommy Gun. This is an interesting figure, as I don't recall running into its original before. It's fairly detailed for this batch, particularly the SMG. I had a crawler similar to this as a kid, but I think the gun was different.

A trio of what I believe to be copies of the Matchbox GI Bazooka man. Fairly decent example of it, in fact. One of the more accurate examples from this lot. Weird they're in silver, though.

The obligatory casualty figure. I know a lot of people who make vignettes or dioramas like the casualty figures, but I never did. When a figure was killed or hurt, I just tipped them over. Problem solved. The thing with this figure is...what is he dropping from his right hand? It looks rather like salad tongs. Was this the galley midshipman tragically slain when sent ashore for the Captains favorite salad dressing? Seriously, this one is a mystery to me.

This guy is neat. It's a British soldier in a beret, throwing a grenade. I don't know what the original figure had in his left hand, but this guy has what looks like a pump shotgun. That's pretty dope, if you ask me.

Another charging 8th army bloke. This one made JuniorFett mad, as he said, "It's just like the other running guy, just his leg is farther forward!" It is, indeed, son.

I also got one example of your basic, awful, Imperial clone of a Timmee M-16 infantry. These guys are everywhere these days.

This one's fairly interesting. I feel like I should know who this is, but I've never encountered the figure before. All the 8th army blokes make me wonder if this is supposed to be Monty or something. But he wore a beret, right?

I call this figure "When Hans Finally Brings the Flammenwerfer." It looks like a flamethrower Matchbox GI, but I don't remember there being a flamethrower. Or maybe there's just some differences, like with some of the above figures. In any event, this might be my favorite figure from this grab bag, just because it gives me an excuse to reference one of my favorite memes.

What I think is another Airfix 8th army clone. This time the LMG. JuniorFett was confused why he didn't come with a loader, so I got to explain to my son the finer points of light machine gun designs. Thanks for that 8th army.

A Bagpiper. Now, this is a pretty cool fig, though I never had one as a youngster, so as such, no clue where he came from. 8th army again? That would be my guess by the general design aesthetic, but like I said, this is a new one on me. I have a staggering amount of army men bagpipers these days, which is ironic, because I am probably the only male of Scottish decent on the planet who finds bagpipe music utterly annoying.

At least this one is easy. I'm pretty sure this is a matchbox GI with grease gun. I pretty faithful one at that. It's too bad that the copies/clones/recasts in this bag were such a...mixed...bag, because some of them were pretty interesting in their own right, while others were just awful. Like the running Brit with the helmet/watch cap. Maybe the Matchbox figures lend themselves to cloning better than the Airfix? Since there seems to be a pretty even quality split right there.

Imperial Japanese Officer with Sword. Again, I had a bunch of these, so I know what it is, but this is a pretty bad recast of the old chap. And in pink, no less!

What looks like another Matchbox GI, though I'm less sure on this one, since I don't remember the fig itself. It's also weird in that he's very...unevenly posed. Like he's crawling across speed bumps or something.

A random, basic, run of the mill Union Jack.

Last but not least, this happy little fellow. I don't know what it is, but it looks very familiar. It's made of a rubbery plastic, and looks for all the world like it flew off the box art of an Atari or NES era game like Defender or Galaga. Cute.

That's it for now folks. I better quit before I get the carpal tunnel. Have a nice weekend, and happy hunting!

Friday, August 10, 2018

New Big Bag Of Swag - Another Thrift Store Haul!

I went back to that kick butt second hand store where I found all the Jaru soldiers a few weeks ago. I figured since I am cutting them up to make Escorpion Imperio Cavalry, I should probably buy more to, you know, use as regular army men.

So back I go, and sad to say, they were completely out of stock of the new Jaru bags. However, looking through their toy section, I found another goody bag! There were actually another couple things I was thinking about, but this is all I got this time. The restraint!

This mostly looks like stuff from the four sides army bucket you see on Amazon. You know the one, Grey Red, Pink, Green. Or maybe sometimes tan. Well, it looks like someone kept all the reds, most of the pinks and silvers, but decided they didn't want the greens. For 98 cents, their loss is my gain!

I'll open these up and rinse them off this weekend, so expect more info in the coming days, as well as what other oddities this bag may hold!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Escorpion Imperio VII - Cavalry Initiates

The finest scientist caste minds available were put to work on the task of preparing the recruits for the task of becoming clan cavalry warriors. The first round of augmentations is complete, and all three recruits have survived. Thus the status of the brave trio has been upgraded to 'Initiates,' something one of the Clan's seekers says is what ancient orders of Earth Cavalry called the lowest ranking of mounted warriors.

This was both better and worse than I expected it to be. Better, in that the trimming went smoothly, and I didn't have any mishaps. Worse, in that I never realized how incomplete some of these figures' feet would look once removed from the base. Also, the urge to trim ALL of the casting imperfections nearly sidetracked me. These Jaru figures have kind of a lot of flash on them from casting.

Anyway, stay tuned for next time folks. We'll be experimenting with mounts soon!