Thursday, May 29, 2008

AT-43 Upcoming Releases: the Red Blok missile lock

Hey everyone,

Rackham has just released a picture of the Hussar for the Red Blok. Here it is in all its Frostbite glory.

Equipped with a rocket launcher and the only missile launcher that the Red Blok fields, this vehicle has the ability to pack some punch. Sure the Kossak with its dual rocket launchers can potentially inflict more damage in one turn, but with the missile launcher the Hussar has the potential to reach out and touch someone from a much greater distance.

As for the paint scheme I am sure that there will be people who complain about this not being in the "traditional" red (in fact people already are). I can understand what they are saying but personally I still think that this is a very nice looking miniature.

So when will it be available? Rumor has it that the Hussar with come out in August but unfortunately this is not official. Don't worry though, as soon as I hear something concrete I'll be sure to pass it on!

That's all for now but there should be at least one battle report coming very soon! Yay!!! So until next time, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

AT-43 Upcoming Releases: the Red Blok hot foot!

Hey everyone,

Rackham just released pictures of the upcoming Molot type I combat strider for AT-43. For anyone who doesn't know, this walker is armed with two flamers so even those units that are hiding in their bunkers won't be safe anymore. The other interesting thing about it is the paint scheme...

This will be the first of the army book units that will be released in the new camo pattern. Personally I think that the paint job still looks great and I like the irony of it (see the big metal thing that is painted like a snow ball and spews fire? what's not to love!) but I imagine that some people are going to have issues with it. At this time, Rackham has not said anything about making it available in the original pattern but from what I have heard all of the armies will be switching over to the new paint scheme once Frostbite rolls around. Not that this bothers me too much though as the Therian idea of winter camo is red.

Now the big question is when does it come out! Well, Rackham has not put any official release dates on their upcoming minis (rather smart in my opinion as posting release dates only seems cause trouble) but it is listed as being in the same wave as Operation: Frostbite which Rackham has said will be released in time for GenCon which is in August (yes, I admit that I actually had to look that up...).

That's all for now but until next time, may all of you dice come up Dragons!

Monday, May 19, 2008

DUST News: digging a little deeper with the DUST Sourcebook

Hey everyone,

I finally received my copy of the DUST Sourcebook! Yay!!! So what does this fine tome contain? Well, it gives you some background for each of the factions and also includes some information about the walkers (called Tactical Armors in the book) and infantry units that you find in the world of DUST.

Overall, it is an interesting read but the information is pretty limited unfortunately. Still, I was able to identify the minis that were at GAMA with a little more detail. So, without further ado, lets get into some DUST shall we?

First up is what appears to be the M45 walker, aka Mickey the Frog. This appears to be the standard version of the walker, though the main barrel is different from the picture (it is a much shorter barrel there). From the fluff, this is the main workhorse of the Allied warmachines.

This appears to be a the amphibious version of the M45 (note the barrels mounted on either side of the chassis), but the main weapon is different. The sourcebook descibes it as mounting the same 75mm howitzer as the standard unit but it looks more like a machine gun to me.

The final version of the M45 described in the sourcebook is the "Barking Dog" assault model. This version is supposed to mount six external recoiless guns on an external turret mount. This miniature has different equipment though (looks kind of like they are rockets) so it might actually be a different version of the M45.

As for the Axis walker, it appears to be the Luther, though again the weapons are slightly different. In the sourcebook it is described as having a 3.7cm autocannon but that is all. The other hand is a giant pincher, while the miniature appears to have some kind of rocket launcher instead.

Digging around the DUST game website, I found a rendered image of this mini which is labeled as the Luther C2 while the sourcebook appears to list the one pictured as the B version. Either way, it looks great!

There is some more information in the sourcebook (character histories and troop types) but I'll save that for another day. I have also heard a rumor that Paolo himself might be in town in a few months so I am definitely going to try to corner him and ask him a few questions about the game and the minis.

That's all for now but until next time, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

AT-43 Upcoming releases: more information about Operation Frostbite and the Cogs

Hey everyone,

Rackham has released more information about what exactly Operation: Frostbite will contain. You may remember in an earlier post that Rackham had said that there would be a "crystal base" and a "large crystal base". Turns out they were being quite literal in the description!

This is the crystal base...

And the large crystal base...

There will also be Civil engineers included in the set. Early speculation about these minis was that they might be characters from the upcoming novel set in the AT-43 universe, but it turns out that they will just be your average Avan trying to make a living on a freezing, ice ball of a planet. Not bad miniatures and they will be an interesting addition to the line, though as a Therian player they don't really do much for me in the game. Could be a interesting scenario though, "Save the Scientists" kind of thing. There is no word as to how many will come in the set, but here are the three that they have released pictures for.

Not quite sure what is up with the third one as he looks kind of like he has a hair dryer with a portable power source. Seems kind of odd to me, but that's Avans for you.

In addition to the miniatures, Operation: Frostbite will also include another story based campaign composed of 37 missions (now that's a lot of missions!), new neutral units (those pictured above plus the MedTec units), new combat drills, troop transport rules (sounds like we can expect some new vehicles in the future), support units rules (finally! yay!), and new units for all four factions. All in all, it sounds like it will be a great addition to the game. Oh, and there will some reversible. outdoor terrain tiles included as well, though I have heard a rumor that the terrain rules are still going to be very limited.

Rackham also released some WIP pictures of the new Cog minis, but unfortunately they really are WIP pictures. Here is one to give you an idea what I mean.

They do look cool, at least from what you can see of the details, but we will have to wait a few more weeks until we get some really good pictures of them.

Well, that's all for now but there will be more soon! After playing on the small boards for AT-43, I decided to make one for Warmachine. Pretty basic overall, but I really like how it is turning out. More on that soon. Until then, may all your dice come up Dragons!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Convention news: Gaming at Xanadu Las Vegas?

Hey Mom, I'm famous!

Not really, though I was filmed for a commercial today. Our LFGS (the Little Shop of Magic) was having some footage shot for a new Con that will be held next year, Xanadu Las Vegas. Not sure off all the details, but it was an excuse to go get in a really quick game of AT-43 and Warmachine. Here is a picture of John, the store owner, contemplating his impending doom at the hands of my mighty Therians. Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Seriously though, it was a lot of fun to just throw the minis down and blow each other up for a bit. And a special thanks goes to my wife for suggesting that I go down to the Shop on Mother's Day so that I could help out. Thank you Mrs. Snowman! : ) And as far as the Con goes, I will post more information as soon as I have it.

While I was down there, I saw this and knew that I had to get a picture of it. An ordinary bathroom it seems to be, correct? Well, except that it is one of the cleanest public restrooms that I have ever seen, never mind that it is in a gaming store! The interesting thing is the two cans on the sink.

Here is a closer look at the two cans...

Yes, that's right. John even provides men's and women's deodorant for any gamer who might need to freshen up after a hard fought game of Magic. And yes, they are both labeled "For customer use".

That is all for now, but I am sure there will be more soon (such as the information about the DUST minis once I actually receive the sourcebook that I am still waiting on...). Until then, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

AT-43 Battle Report 27042008: the Therians vs the Karmans

This battle was the very first in our local Operation: Damocles campaign. Unfortunately there were some scheduling and communication problems for a number of the players (such as "The campaign already started?" D'oh!) but it seems we have the bugs ironed out now and the rest of the campaign will be smooth sailing. Still it was nice as this was the first time that John (the owner of Little Shop of Magic) and I had really been able to sit down and play a one-on-one game.

As with one of the earlier battle reports, this time we played the first scenario again but this time we actually used the full map. Here you can see it in its full 3D glory!

We each would be fielding a 2000 point army for this battle. Here you can see my Cypher platoon, led by Urash himself. In my army, I had a maxed out Assault Golem unit, a minimum Storm Golem unit, a Bane Golem unit, an Incubus Golgoth (proxied in this game with the Poltergeist), and Nimit-Urash. My sole Hekat was created during the game and not part of the original force.

On John's side of the board, he was fielding two maxed Kaptar units (one with snipers and the other with ZZ-cannons), a unit of two Easy Trikes, and a unit of K-warriors. His commander was a Saint leading the Kaptar unit containing the snipers.

John won the roll to pick sides and in this case decided to be the defender. Not a big surprise to me as we had discussed that the scenario seemed to put the defender in a pretty strong position right from the start. Admittedly he does begin with fewer units in the beginning but being able to rack up VPs right from turn one seemed to make up for this drawback in our last game.

As defender, John deployed his two Kaptars on the board (ZZ cannons on the left, snipers on the right) while the other two units remained as reinforcements.

Rolling for Authority, John won the roll easily and decided to let me activate first. First up was Nimit-Urash himself walking onto the left side of the board. I let loose with the sonic cannon and nucleus cannon on the sniper Kaptars in the hopes that I could score some easy kills right off the bat but no such luck. The sonic cannon failed to even hit a target while the nucleus cannon easily took out one of the Kaptars. At least I had first blood but I had really been hoping to do at least a little more damage.

I ended Urash's activation by creating my Hekat right in the between the Kaptars and his Golgoth. As an aside, I have to say that it is kind of ironic that the Hekat, one of my least favorite miniatures for the entire AT-43 line, is now an integral part of my army every single game.

John activated his Kaptar ZZ-cannon unit next. Splitting his fire, the ZZ-cannons were able to damage Nimit's sonic cannon and the frame while the rest of the unit destroyed one of the nanogenerators on my side of the board.

My bane goliaths activated next and I dashed them up to gain control of a container and a nanogenerator on the left side of the board. I had hoped to be able to get close enough to the second container to capture that as well but I just barely fell short.

Next, John activated the Kaptar sniper unit (no big surprise there since he only had two units on the board). Using the sniper rifles, John was able to destroy the sonic cannon and damage the nucleus cannon while fire from the rest of the unit bounced harmlessly off of the Hekat. Things were starting to look a little rough for Urash and this was only the first turn!

The final activation for the turn came from my side of the board as my unit of Assault Golems moved onto the board and took up position behind a container on the right side of the board.

With the whole unit opening fire, they were able to destroy one of the containers right next to the sniper Kaptars. This denied John a few RPs which I needed to do to keep those Trikes and K-fighters off the board. To end their activation, the Overseer used the Reconfiguration routine to remove one of the low walls located right next to the Kaptars.

This brought the first turn to an end with the Karmans having 4 VPs and 200 RPs while the Therians had 0 VPs and 100 RPs.

The second turn, John again won the Authority test (not being able to wager Leadership Points with my Cypher platoon can definitely be a pain...). First up were his Kaptars with the ZZ-cannons. The regular troopers opened fire first, easily destroying the container that my Bane Goliaths were hiding behind. Now out in the open, John let loose with the ZZ-cannons against the Banes but luckily he was only able to destroy one of them.

For my first activation of the turn, the Hekat dashed forward and slammed into the other Kaptar unit. With its grim scythes whirring, it quickly killed four of the seven Kaptars including the Karmans commander.

Moving to get themselves back into coherency, the remaining Kaptars openned fire on the Hekat but were not able to pierce its armor.

The next unit in my sequence was the damage Nimit-Urash. I quickly used the Repair routine to get his nucleus cannon operational again and opened fire on one of the two containers located between John's Kaptars. At this point I was only focusing on denying him RPs for as long as I could because if his reinforcements were able to get onto the board the game could have easily shifted in his favor. After inflicting a damage point on the container, I used the Reconstruction routine on the Bane Goliaths to bring them back to full strength and then used the Reconfiguration routine to bring the low wall back into play and give my Banes some much needed cover.

As John had no units left on the board to activate, the rest of the turn went to me. First, my Banes opened fire on the already damaged container, destroying it and killing one of the Kaptars that was caught in the cross fire.

To end the second turn, I moved my Assault Golems into the open and fired on the remnants of the sniper Kaptar unit. The hail of fire from the nucleus rifles and cannons was too much and quickly cut down the four survivors.

The second turn ended with the Karmans moving up to 6 VPs while their RPs increased to 350. On the other hand, the Therians still had yet to get any VPs but I had moved up to 300 RPs. This was just enough to bring the first of my reinforcements onto the board as I added the Storm Golems to my sequence.

With his commander killed, John's Authority had dropped enough that I was finally able to win the test, and the first unit to activate was the Hekat. Running around the far side of the container, it stomped through the Kaptar unit, killing both of the heavy weapon troopers before taking down another three in close combat.

John made his morale check and moved the stalwart Kaptars to the other side of the container to take cover behind the nanogenerator. With no more units to move, all they could do at that point was sit there as I destroyed the container, generator, and finally both of the survivors.

The Karmans had fought bravely but in the end the Therians were victorious. The game ended with 6 VPs for the Karmans and 20 VPs for the Therians as they took the control of the now uncontested landing field.

All and all, it was a really good game and I had a lot of fun. I think that the easiest tactic for this mission (especially if you are the attacker) is to simply destroy as many of the secondary objectives as quickly as you can. This opens up the fire lane and more importantly denies the defender much needed Reinforcement Points. If John had been able to hold out for one more turn and hold the nanogenerator, he would have been able to bring in his K-warriors which would have changed things quite a bit I think. I have never fought against K-warriors but I know how annoying Red Blok artillery can be since even if it doesn't kill an infantry unit there is a good chance that they will be grounded and effectively rendered useless the next turn. The K-warriors can do this and will probably cause some casualties at the same time which I think would have seriously taken its toll.

Well, that is all for today but be sure to come back again for the next mission in the campaign! Until then, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Miniature News: more pictures of the DUST Tactics miniatures

As promised, here are some more pictures of the DUST minis that were at GAMA 08. Unfortunately these are only pretty pictures to look at as information as to what each of these are called is hard to find but fear not! I have a copy of the DUST sourcebook winging its way to me in the mail and as soon as it gets here I will see what else I can dig up about these mechanical menaces. Til then, I hope you enjoy the pictures!

First up are a couple of US walkers.

Next we have what looks to be a picture of some of the product packaging.

I am not sure who or what Mickey is but here is a picture of Joe, Team Commander of a US Special Forces Ranger Squad.

Next are a couple of German walkers. From looking at the pictures, these both seem to be the same walker with a different camoflage pattern on them.

Here is another picture of what seems to be packaging...

...and here is a picture of the Sigrid, Major in charge of secret operations and experimental research. There is also another version of this miniature at the Little Shop of Magic that is in a red outfit but the few pieces of art that I have found her pictured in always have her in black.

Last but not least here is a closer look at Koshka, Special Forces Officer for the Sino Soviet Union.

This is all I have for now if I am able to get more information from the Sourcebook, I will be sure to update the information. Til then, may all of your dice come up Dragons!