Sunday, March 30, 2014

Closeup of Ghost Troopers and Wraith Battlesuit WIP: Solar Empires

I'm working on more stuff for my Earth Security Force.  This is a Wraith battlesuit.  It is made from a M.A.R.S. robot toy and is almost five inches tall.  The base is actually some kind of stop plate to keep doorknobs from breaking holes in drywall.  I picked it up at Lowels for two and a half dollars and it is takes paint just fine.  It's solid plastic and looks just like a large model base from GW when painted black.  They also had a larger diameter one that would be good for a larger mecha model.  

Here is a close up shot of one of the Ghost squads.  I'm only adding it here because I got a few request for a larger shot.

Earth Security Force Ghost Troopers

Probably the most feared unit in the entire Solar System the "Ghost Troopers" of the Earth Security Force are highly skilled special operations jump troopers and the only living members of the ESF.  Like everything else associated with the Earth the origins of the Ghost Troopers is a highly guarded secret.  Some speculate that they are all clones or highly advanced androids and it is almost certain that they are cybernetically and or genetically enhanced.  Each trooper wears a holographic suit and a helmet armed with a pair of mandible blasters for close combat.  Regular troopers carry a light rail gun and each squad is supported by a trooper armed with an advanced scatter laser.  Each trooper is also equipped with a jet pack and are trained to be experts in their use.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Solar Empires Blog Planned!

We've decided with a bit of reluctance to create a blog for our Solar Empires projects.  In the past I have tried different blogs for specific games and it hasn't really worked out very well.  Also I've asked for feedback on the subject and a lot of people have said they feel I should keep all content on this blog.  I know that makes sense from a certain point of view but I think We have good enough reasons to make a setting specific blog.
What we are looking at doing is making a kind of living blog for the setting.  More of a fluff resource.  The main page will be presented as a kind of System News site while I will have tabs detailing several locations and governments as well as other aspects about the setting.  It is likely that the Solar Empire specific game reports will move to that blog or at least news stories about them as well as other details about the blog.  Chances are RPG reports will remain on this site with news stories about them on the living blog while the wargame reports will likely exist on that site in basically the same form.  I may include galleries of images and the out of character game synopses on this site like the notes I post at the end of every report but more extensive.
Pretty much all of the production stuff for Solar Empires will remain on this blog.  All the; conversion and scratch building, painting and terrain, and planning about the site will remain here.
I am somewhat worried that we won't be able to maintain both blogs very well and that we will end up bringing all the content back to this site but we think this will be the best way to organize the content.
Anyway we will see if this works out.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Earth Security Force: Ghost Troopers

I've been working on a small Earth Security Force army this week for my Solar Empires setting.  The Earth Security Force consist of mostly drones and robotic troops but there are a few "human" troopers called Ghost.  Ghost are elite jump troopers who wear holographic armor that helps them blend into their background.

I made these troops from old Dark Eldar models from Warhammer 40,000.  I cut down their "spikey bits" and added some heads from Pig Iron Productions as well as jump packs I scratch built from small zip ties.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Battle of MacIntyre Station: Trojan Uprising 2895 Memnon. A Solar Empires game report.

 March 18th 3033, 2895 Memnon, MacIntyre Station, Trojan camp of the Jupiter Trojan asteroids.  Last Tuesday a force of Jovian Imperial Legionnaires engaged a group of communist insurgents at MacIntyre Station on 2895 Memnon.  The Jovians attacked with four squads of Legionnaires and a light mech.  The station was defended by almost forty insurgents as well as four improvised armored vehicles and two light field artillery pieces.  

 The insurgents took the fight to the Jovians attacking immediately with their light vehicles and inflicting some casualties on the Imperial forces.

 Two of the vehicles were quickly dispatched by the light mech and Jovian troopers who steadily advanced on the insurgent positions.

 The Jovians were reportedly after insurgent leader Curt Stillwell.  Early in the fighting he and his squad were cornered by the Jovian mech but they were able to find cover in a nearby building.

 The remaining two insurgent vehicles were destroyed by the Jovian mech but the insurgents kept fighting in an attempt to save their leader.

 Stillwell and his body guards engaged Jovian troopers in close quarters fighting inside a small building as the rest of the battle raged around them.

 After dispatching the insurgent vehicles they Jovian Mecha destroyed an insurgent field canon only to be gunned down as it tried to jump away my the insurgent's auto-cannon and combined small arms fire.

 Several insurgents units sought cover under elivated buildings in the middle of the station where they engaged a squad of Imperial troopers.  Many casualties were inflicted in the close quarters fighting.

 Curt Stillwell escaped the troopers inside the building he was hiding in only to be gunned down near the wreckage of the Jovian mech by another squad of troopers.

 After their leader was gunned down the rest of the insurgents decided to flee the station.  Although they had inflicted heavy casualties on the Imperial troopers they had lost all their heavy support.

 The remaining imperial troopers began to quickly secure the station and search for remaining insurgents.

Up to this point the communist uprising in the Trojan camp of the Jovian Trojan asteroids has consisted of largely of protest over the abuse of workers in the region it appears that the Emperor is not longer interested in ignoring the situation.  Two Imperial Legions have been stationed in the region as well as forces of the local household armies to put down this revolt.

March 24th 3033: Associated Press.

Notes:  We're about to draw our Titania campaign to a close and we are going to stat to work on another competitive campaign.  In addition to that we are working up a list of ongoing conflicts going on in our Solar Empire setting that we intend to use for one off battles in a kind of system wide narrative campaign.  This battle was fought between myself and Curtis a gamer friend of ours who put together a force for our campaign setting using the brilliant Dreamforge Games  Eisenkern Stromtroopers.  I'm really impressed with these modes and what Curtis did with them and the Gundam Zaku mecha he used to supoort them.  It's a really nice looking force he is putting together and I look forward to playing against him again.  
As far as the battle goes it seemed pretty close points wise however at the end I only had lightly armed and armored militia up against powered armored troopers with assault rifles.  I decided that since the Jovians achieved their objective of killing my commander and I had little chance of continuing the fight that the battle was a Jovian victory if an fairly expensive one.     

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Matchbox Toy Drone for Solar Empires "Earth Security Forces"

I picked up this Matchbox toy drone today at Walmart for under $3.00.  It's a very high tech looking drone I plan to use for my Earth Security Force in my Solar Empires setting.  All I need to do it paint it up and add a flying base of some kind.  I love finding toys I can simply un-box and add to my forces with a simple paint job.  I'm working on a small but highly effective Earth Security Force and these drones will certainly be a good addition.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Solar Empires: Thoughts about the setting....

A pirate technician from the "Bloodborn" pirate band.
So if you have been following my blog and my sci-fi campaign "The Station 42 War" you might be slightly familiar with our home brew science fiction setting "Solar Empires".  Solar Empires is set in our own solar system a little over 1000 years in the futures.  The current year is 3033 to be precise.  For a very basic outline of the setting you can check the outline page here:

We, well my wife and I and our friends, have been playing in this setting and developing it slowly for around three years now.  Actually a bit longer than that.  The project kind of grew out of our Station 42 terrain project and it has kind of taken on a life of it's own.  We wanted to develop a sci-fi setting we could use for both role playing games as well as table top miniature battle games.  While there are many sci-fi settings out there to choose from we decided to invent our own partly because we are old school gamers and that is what we do and partly because other settings had some issues that made it difficult to adapt to our miniature gaming style.

One of the biggest thing we wanted to avoid in our settings was aliens.  It's not that we don't like alien stories but each new alien race you add to a setting changes things quite a lot.  Then there is the factor of finding alien miniatures.  Most alien race miniatures out there are proprietary to their specific settings and the few that aren't are usually from limited lines.  One of the things we don't like about typical fantasy settings is the need to have; elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, humans, orcs, ect.... in large numbers to be able to have enough variety to run games in those settings.  Aliens have the same problems and more.  So we decided to stick with just humans because that way we could use just about any human miniatures for our games.

Another thing we wanted to do was keep things local so we choose to limit the setting to our own Solar System.  It is actually quite a big space after all and almost all existing galactic or universal settings based on our own history start out with the idea that man colonized the solar system first.  We just decided to keep things at that stage.  We haven't completely ruled out faster than light travel and exploration of the galaxy in the future but we felt there were plenty of options provided right here in our home system.  Not to mention a lot of the development work has been done for us.  We know where Mars is for instance.  It's the next rock out from the sun.  

The most similar setting to Solar Empires is the Battletech setting.  It's kind of like taking that setting and shrinking it down to a more manageable scale.  I love the Battletech setting but as a miniature gamer it is difficult to adapt.  Sure I have a bunch of mechs and 6mm terrain and all that and I can play all the Classic Battletech I want but I like to use 28mm minis for roleplaying and up to company sized miniature battles.  28mm Battletech mechs just aren't a very practical option.  You can find a few out there.  You can scratch build them or kitbash them but it is a major challenge and they are such an important element to the setting you really need them around to make for convincing encounters.  Solar Empires has mechs too but they can be any mecha model or adapted toy we can get our hands on.

Another influential setting is the Cowboy Be Bop setting.  It is a setting based on our own solar system with humans as the only real inhabitants of the setting.  It has Terra formed planets and multiple factions.  It is not a very well developed setting however and it is not as plausible.  There are a lot of weird cartoonish things about the setting that don't seem quite as hard sci-fi as we would like.  Still we are borrowing a lot of basic ideas from the setting.

The third most influential setting for Solar Empires is the Firefly "Verse".  I've run games in the Firefly setting.  I like the gritty pioneer feel of the setting.  The general outlook on humanity.  It is a solid setting but like Cowboy Be Bop it isn't really all that fleshed out.  There are really only two factions so while it works well as a roleplaying setting it isn't ideal for a larger scale war game setting.

Our plans are to get the setting a little more established soon.  We've really been working for the past few years on the outline and what is in our heads.  There is a lot of background information we need to get sorted out and written down so hopefully you will see some of that information posted.  I have a timeline for my Hell Knights mercenary company for instance but I haven't published it yet because I want to get a few more pictures taken for it.  We also have some other background stuff we are working on.  Some artwork and some photo illustration projects like the pirate pic above which is from an shoot I did for this setting.

We really want to turn this into a fully realized setting and perhaps get some more people to explore it.   One day we may even do something commercial with it but for now we are just using it as an open creative outlet so if you have any thought or comments about the setting we would love to hear them.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wolfhound "Ritter" Battlesuits WIP

I'm working on another addition to my Wolfhound Freikorps mercenary army for my Solar Empires setting.  These are "Ritter" class battlesuits.  The original models are M.A.R.S. toys just like all the other battlesuits I have done.  I'm pretty happy with the way these guys are turning out with the Wolfhound vehicle camo and markings.  Hopefully I will have them finish by the weekend and they will be featured in the battle we have planned.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Star Guards: Army WIP

I've been working on the Star Guards mercenary company for the last couple of weeks and they are coming along nicely.  I only have one more of the heavy infantry squads to finish and another tank plus some apcs and support vehicles.

The paint jobs are pretty basic but I was going for a very simple look with these guys.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Battle of FOB 1138: A 2500 point No Limits battle for the Station 42 War

 Titania, March 8th 3033.  Earlier this morning a force of M.S.S.R. and Titania militia attacked FOB 1138 a Hell Knight base West of Station 42.  The Martians made a slow advance towards the base which allowed the mercenaries to move in several armored units to re-enforce the tiny garrison.

 The Martian attack was spearheaded by a captured Jovian "Liger" super heavy tank and four battlesuits.  One of the martian battlesuits advanced killing four member of a Hell Knight veteran rifle squad but was itself destroyed by combined tank and infantry fire.

 A militia improvised armored vehicle scored a hit against a Hell Knight heavy hover tank but was destroyed by a grenade launched by the surviving mercenary veteran.

 A Hell Knight light hover vehicle traded fire with the martian tank but was destroyed by combined fire from the Martian battlesuits and Militia snipers.

 The martians poured heavy fire into the bunker occupied by a squad of Hell Knight veteran heavy infantry but did not manage to bring it down.  It seemed as if the mercenaries had stopped the Martian advance.
 Two Martian battlesuits engaged the mercenary Heavy Hover tank in the middle of the field badly damaging it.  The tank responded with several hits but did no damage to the light walkers.

 Fearing that the bunker they were in was about to collapse around them the Hell Knight veteran heavy infantry exited the structure.
 Taking heavy fire from all sides the mercenary heavy hover tank turned it's particle cannon on a squad of Martian veterans killing three and wounding their force commander.  The tank was destroyed shortly after killing the infantrymen.

 Despite the loss of their heavy tank the mercenaries continued to poor fire into the Martian super heavy damaging it little by little.
 One of the Martian battlesuits caught the mercenary heavy infantry in the open killing five troopers.  The four remaining veterans responded with well aimed shots that brought the Martian down.

 The Martian Liger was finally destroyed but not after trading quite a bit of damage with the mercenary tanks.
 A unit of Titania militia finished off one of the mercenary medium hover tanks that had been badly damaged by their allies super heavy.

In a last desperate act one of the Hell Knights medium hover tank rammed a Martian battlesuit but only managed to inflict light damage on itself.  Unable to stop the Martian advance the mercenaries withdrew from the field.

Notes:  We actually penalized the Hell Knights 100 points for the bunker because we have decided that fortifications in deployment zones really give the defender an advantage.  This was actually a very close battle that came down to less than 100 victory points.  In fact my last shot of the battle was an attempt to kill the Martian general with one of my snipers.  Unfortunately I rolled a 10 and was not even able to re-roll with the sniper's sure shot ability because of the critical fumble.  I rolled a disproportionate number of 10s during the battle especially when I only needed a nine to hit on most of those rolls.  Of 18 railgun shots fired from the medium tanks only 6 hit and only 3 managed to do damage and the worst shots I had required a roll of 8 or under on a D10.  The dice just were not with me in this fight.  Still my wife fought a very aggressive battle using her tank and battlesuits quite effectively.  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Heavy Tank for M.S.S.R. WIP

I've had this Batman toy tank for a while now are recently picked up another copy of it at a Big Lots.  It converts from a tank to a flying machine but oddly enough in tank form it has no weapons.  I've been looking for something to do to it for a while now when I spotted some toy military trucks at Dollar General with missile racks for only $3.00.  A little kit bashing later with some other bits from my bits box and this is what I came up with.  Fortunately I have enough bits to make the other tank as well.
We are going to use this tank for our Martian Soviet Socialist Republic force as a heavy fire support vehicle.  I just have a few more details and a paint job to add.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Battle of Rattrap Road: A 2500 point No Limits Battle Report for the Station 42 War

 Titania, March 2nd 3033:  Earlier today a force of renegade Titania Planetary Guard advancing towards Station 42 spotted a force of Hell Knight mercenaries East of Rattrap Road.  The Guard units moved off the road to engage the mercenaries near two compounds.
 The battle opened up with a heated exchange between armored vehicles.  The Hell Knights heavy hover tank and the Titania mech were both damaged from the fire as well as one of the mercenary light transports and a guard tank.
 The smaller Northern compound saw the first infantry casualties when one of the Planetary guard units came under fire from a veteran mercenary unit.  Two guardsmen were killed and the remaining two fled the battle.
 As the rest of the forces engaged both compounds became the center of intense fighting.  The center of the field was dominated by Titania forces opposed only by a mercenary fire team and a light transport.
 Another squad of Titania guardsmen were gunned down at the Northern compound by a mercenary sniper and the mercenary commander piloting a "Marksman" class battlesuit.
 In the Southern compound a mercenary "Landshark" armored fighting vehicle flew over the low walls and disembarked a squad of heavily armored veteran Hell Knights.  The mercenaries used their heavy blasters and their vehicles pulse laser to destroy a building occupied by a squad of Titania guardsmen.  General Drake of the renegade Titania Planetary Guard occupied an adjacent building with his command squad and they also engaged the mercenaries killing two of them.  
 With General Drake threatened the Titania forces pressed the attack but were faced with strong opposition by the mercenary forces.
 At the Northern compound the mercenary light transport and most of the veteran rifle squad were wiped out by combined fire.  The mercenary commander and sniper fought on but the battlesuit was forced to find cover when his distortion field gave out.
 In the Southern compound the heavily armored veteran and their AFV reduced the General's building to rubble with combined fire.  Although the General and his field doctor managed to survive the buildings collapse they were both hit by light machine gun fire from the mercenary Incubus mech and wounded or killed.  
 The Titania mech and the mercenary commander continued to play a game of cat and mouse at the Northern compound.  Both the mech and the battlesuit suffered damage in this exchange.
 At the Southern compound a single Planetary Guard tank came under intense fire from several mercenary vehicles.  The tank was heavily damaged but fought on.
 Although we are still uncertain as to the fate of General Drake the Hell Knight heavy infantry were seen loading his body into the back of their armored vehicle.  
 With the General's capture the highly mobile Incubus mech used it's jump jets to position itself to attempt to support the Hell Knight commander.
 Unfortunately for the mercenary commander it was too little too late.  The Incubus mech did manage to destroy the Titania mech but not before the commander's battlesuit was taken out by the metal behemoth.
 At almost the same moment the Planetary Guard tank managed to destroy the mercenary heavy hover tank but was itself destroy by scatter laser fire from one of the mercenary light tranports.
 Titania forces charged up a hill and engaged a mercenary sniper there in hand to hand combat but one of the three Planetary Guard squads were gunned down by another Hell Knight veteran rifle squad.
As the engagement ended the renegade Planetary guard forces did manage to capture a mercenary sniper but it was a poor exchange for their losses.  The Hell Knights held the field and the renegade Titania General.  The Planetary guardsmen were forced to withdraw back towards Titania City.

Stuart MacMurry, Associated Press

Notes:  This was the third battle in our "Military Escalation" phase of the Station 42 War and the first one that resulted in such a sound defeat for allied Titania forces.  On the field it looked like a close battle but the Guardsmen suffered about twice the points value in casualties as the mercenaries and of course the mercs captured General Drake.  We haven't yet decided the General's fate or exactly what impact this is going to have on the campaign but it will certainly be significant.