Monday, June 30, 2008

AT-43 Battle Report 29062008: Therians vs. Red Blok (but this time they have infantry!)

Hey everyone,

As you can tell from the title, I was able to get in a game today! Definitely had a good time and it could have gone drastically different if not for one dice roll but more on that later.

For this battle, I faced off against James again but this time he had his own army and they were quite a bit different from anything that I have faced before, at least as far as the Red Blok are concerned. Instead of fielding a Frontline faction as most of the RB players in town have done, James decided to focus on Supra and more specifically the Dragonov Kommandos. His entire platoon was made up of full Kommando squads lead by the twins in Urod (I tell you there is just no escaping them...). Let me tell you it was weird seeing infantry on the opposite side of the board...

As for my own troops, I was fielding Nimit Urash (with the v2.0 upgrade), an Incubus (also with the v2.0 upgrade), a full unit of Assault Golems, a unit of Storm Golems, and a unit of Bane Goliaths. Not sure what to expect from his side, I decided to keep the Storm Golems and Banes as my reinforcements so that I could get the larger Assault Golem unit onto the board to soak up some shots.

Rolling for Authority, James won and deployed Old Faithful first, moving Urod onto the board and putting it on Overwatch.

I was instantly regretting putting Nimit at the top of my sequence but I decided to just get it over with and walked him onto the board directly across from Urod.

It had barely stopped moving when Urod opened fire scoring a hit with its cannon (which damaged its legs) and all three of its rockets! Fearing the worst all I could do was watch as James rolled for penetration only to see three 1's staring back at me. By some bizarre twist of fate, all of the rockets had plowed into Nimit but none of them damaged him! Knowing that my luck could only hold out for so long, I opened fire on Urod and managed to inflict a point of damage on it frame before ending the activation by creating a Hekat.

Next James brought the first of his Kommando units onto the board and he let loose with three AT gauss guns into the Hekat, damaging the frame and destroying one of the weapons. Not a big loss in my mind since I tend to use them as fire magnets anyway but knowing that there was another three AT gauss guns coming onto the board before the end of the turn was not too reassuring.

My Incubus moved in next taking position near Nimit before openning fire on Urod. I had contemplated trying to thin out the Kommando unit but Urod is a tough target to pass up which in the end I was glad I did not do. Three of the shots from the v2.0 cannons managed to punch through Urod's armor, damaging its legs and taking the total frame damage up to three! One more to go...

The second unit of Kommandos then moved on and opened fire on the Incubus but they only managed to damage one of the cannons, leaving my striders all in really good shape as the turn was coming to a close. The only thing left to do was move on my Assault Golems.

Once they were on the board, both of the Kommando units opened fire on them (James had used split fire and put the light weapons onto overwatch). In another stroke of luck, I only lost three of the Golems after both of the Kommandos had fired and all of my nucleus guns had survived! Training in on Urod, the three gunners opened fire and managed to inclict the last point of frame damage! The last two Golems opened fire on the twins as the dove from the smoking hulk but both shots failed to penetrate their meager armor. Just have to deal with them next turn...

This brought the first turn to an end with neither side scoring any VPs or RPs and also creating a very image as the RB foot units had to face off against the Therian armor units.

Rolling for Authority on the second turn, James managed to win it again (no big surprise there as the twins were still alive and kicking...). The first thing he did was move the twins into the relative safety of the factory to get them out of the line of sight with my striders.

Definitely a wise move but unfortunately they just could not get far enough away from the Hekat which activated next and dashed over to give them an old fashioned Therian welcome.

James had his Kommandos open fire on the Hekat next, damaging its frame again and its legs but not doing enough to stop it. At least not yet anyway...

My Incubus went next, easily targeting and eliminating the medics from one of the Kommando units. Snipers are nasty things, especially when the weapon in question is also an anti-tank cannon.

James moved his other Kommando unit next, getting them into the factory. This put them at point blank range to the Hekat for his AT gauss guns but through another twist of fate he failed to do any damage! Too much vodka for the Kommandos before the battle...

Nimit moved next, firing as he advanced toward the Kommandos that were still outside but failing to inflict any casualties as I couldn't get close enough to negate his cover save but I was close enough to create a second Hekat that would be sure to make their lives miserable next turn.

Last but not least, I dashed my remaining Assault Golems into the factory losing one in the process but getting the rest of the unit safely into cover. This ended the second turn with James getting 100 RPs for capturing the container in the factory while I still had yet to score any points.

The third turn was the first time that the weather went bad this game and I was glad that I had created my second Hekat before the magnetic disturbances made it impossible.

James won the Authority check again and had his unit inside the factory open fire on the Hekat, finally destroying it!

Seeking revenge, my second Hekat rushed into the Kommando unit that had just destroyed his friend. I failed to trample any of the Kommandos but I was able to take out both of the medics and one of the AT gauss gunners in hand to hand.

The second Kommando unit went next, letting into Nimit with all that they had but failing to damage him. Afterward, he walked around the barrier and opened fire, killing all but two of the AT gauss gunners.

The Incubus then moved forward and opened fire on the two remaining gunners but actually failed to kill them both, leaving one brave soldier to face off against two Golgoths.

My Assault Golems finished out the turn by opening fire on the Kommandos inside the factory, taking out three more them though they were still able to score an additional 150 RPs for controling the containe while I scored 100 RPs for capturing the container on the other side.

The fourth turn was basically just a quick mop up at this point with my Hekat finishing off the remaining three Kommandos inside while Nimit blasted the one outside, winning me the game 20 VPs to 0 VPs.

Overall, I think that this was a really good game and if it had not been for a few key die rolls, things could have been very, very different. It was also nice to face a different Red Blok force then we usually see around here. Kind of strange to see all that infantry out there...

This game also marked the end of our Damocles campaign but in two weeks we are going to be running a mega battle between the Karmans (possibly with some Therian assistance) and the Red Blok! Just how big will this battle be? No idea but I am thinking that we will easily be fielding more than 5000 points a side. Should be a blast and there will definitely be a battle report after that one as well!

That is all for now but I should have more pictures of my Frostbite terrain project soon (waiting for glue to dry as I type this...). So until next time, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

AT-43 Terrain Project: the first step in freshly fallen snow

Hey everyone,

I finally have some progress on my Frostbite boards! Yay!!! I have only managed to finish one of them but the rest of them have the basic shape cut out and I should be able to get them finished off relatively quickly. I do have one of them finished though which is enough for us to start taking a look at how I am doing this.

The first step for this project was deciding how exactly I wanted to lay it out. For my Damocles boards, I was duplicating the poster map so it was simply a case of measure on the map and mark it out on my board. For the Frostbite board the only information that we have so far is about the game effects of the terrain and some small pictures of what the individual features will look like. Going with this information, I decided to make my boards modular and reversible so that I could get the most out of them, plus it would make it very easy to expand the size of the table later on. I made a quick sketch of how I would lay out the various terrain features on the boards and then I hit the hardware store to get some Styrofoam.

Living in Las Vegas makes it a little tricky to find the good Styrofoam. If you are looking for the white flaky stuff then you are all set but for good quality boards it can be a little trickier. Luckily the Lowe's near my house does carry the blue board in 8' x 2' sheets so I was able to get some without too much difficulty. Here is the board cut into pieces so that I can fit it in my car.

This board only comes in one thickness out here (at least that I have found...) but since thankfully it is 1" which I find it easy to work with. It is much easier to stack the stuff to make it thicker than to try and slice it in half.

Next I needed to start cutting out some of my basic shapes. I decided to make several 1'x1' squares and a 1'x2' rectangle out of this one piece of board with the pieces double stacked so that I can cut into through one layer to create the ice flows and crevasses. Here are my first couple of squares to show you what I mean.

The downside of double stacking the pieces is that I was only able to make enough pieces for a 2'x3' board, but with the whole thing being modular that is much less of a concern since I can just make some more boards later.

Here is a picture of the pieces all cut out; a total of four squares and one rectangle plus an extra chunk that I might use to make some small hills.

I decided that for the first piece I would build a square with a crevasse on it. According to the rules, units can jump up to half of their move to get over these so using that as a guide I cut a 9" long crevasse into one of the boards, making the opening 3" across at the widest point. This is wide enough for most of the units to be able to get across it easily but still adds something visual to the game.

Having cut the crevasse out of one of the boards, I then glued it onto another full square board so that I could make the reverse side a open snow field. Once this was dry, I started painting the board but then I ran into a problem. When I laid out the measurements of the crevasse, I had marked the board with a light blue Sharpie which the white paint was not covering up even with multiple coats.

I hit the internet to find something that might help and did find a very interesting article about using a mixture of baking powder and glue to create snow on miniature bases. I thought about using this technique but since I want to make the boards reversible I decided against it since that would require a pretty consistent thickness on all of the boards to make sure that they lay properly next to each other. In the end I decided to glue white fabric onto the board and finally settled on fleece since my local Wally World didn't carry any white felt by the yard. Here is how the finished piece looks with some of my Therians to give some scale.

This easily hides the lines on the board and I am also hoping that the texture of the fabric will help the individual boards blend in together better. One piece down and four more to go!

That is all for now but there will be more on this project soon plus maybe another battle report as well. Until next time, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

AT-43 Upcoming Releases: the Therian bomb-bot

Hey everyone,

I was just pointed to this picture of the upcoming Storm Arachn unit. From what I have heard (and judging by the picture as well...) this is supposed to be some kind of a bomb bot.

There is still no official word whether they will be type I or type II infantry but either way they sound like a blast. Sorry, couldn't resist. There is also speculation about whether there might be other variations on this frame just as there are on the Golem and Goliath frames but there is no official word yet. Still it seems like it would be an interesting addition to have a bunch of these little guys running around with nanoblasters on their backs.

As for my Frostbite terrain project, I have been making progress with it and I should have some pictures up within the next couple of days. I am not going to be able to make as much terrain as I had originally hoped but I think that this will give me a really good head start. Plus the whole thing will be modular so adding more will be easy to do but more on this later. Until then, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

AT-43 Preview: A Closer Look at the Frostbite Excerpt

Hey everyone,

I had a chance to look at the Frostbite PDF, and it looks really good in my opinion. Lots of new things that will definitely add some new twists to the game. Like what you wonder? Well, lets take a look at each of them along with my own thoughts on each.

Civil Engineers
Mobile secondary objectives that you can attach to a unit. Definitely an interesting twist to things, but make sure that you don't kill them! One impact and they are dead with no damage test. The weird thing is that it says that they "benefit from the same movement capacity and abilities as their unit". This sounds like Therians can use Dash on them, and Wing Troopers and Anakongas can use their Rocket Pack on them as well. At first this sounds odd, but I guess that you could explain it as the troops physically carrying the engineer.

Mine Fields
This is a nice looking ability if I do say so. In fact this is one of the few that had me thinking "Man, why can't I have combat engineers?" but what can you do? That's what I get for playing Therians. Still it is a nice little twist, especially when you take some of the new terrain effects into account. Watch your whole unit slide across the ice right into the minefield and BOOM! Admittedly the anti-personnel mines are a little weak but I still think that its gonna leave a mark.

Crystals and Nanogenerators
This is another nice little twist for the Karmans and the Therians. In addition to being scenic elements, it turns out that the crystals of Elysee can be used by the Karmans to focus their minds letting them see slightly into the future. What does this mean in the game? A cover save out in the open. Makes you thing there might be something to this "Karma" thing they talk about...

As for the Therians, the nanogenerators can now be used to reduce the cost of routines used by the unit controlling the generator. Definitely a nice little bonus, especially if you get the company commander sitting on top of one of them and this is even more potent with the Web Striders as this will reduce the cost of some of the routines to zero, zip, nadda. Hmmm... This might be a good time for me to give them a try...

Support Units
The mobile support units sound pretty nice (finally a use for all those extra special weapons!) but I still wonder about the bunker units. Since they can't actually leave the bunker, you realistically don't need any miniatures for them and they don't detail what the new special abilities will be like so I'll have to hold out judgement on these until we find out more.

Troops Transports
In a word, sweet! This will definitely add a new dimension to the game as troops come flying across board to disembark even closer to the objectives. Might be time to start using bigger tables... One thing that caught my eye is that the open troop transports have the troops placed on top of them. Makes you wonder just how big these things will be!

Special Terrain
A new world means new terrain and this stuff looks pretty interesting. Ice flows, water, crevasses, and frozen lakes dot the landscape of this new world, making for some very precarious footing at times. Plus it gives lots of terrain building ideas, some of which I plan to start working on this weekend. Pics once I get some work done on it.

New Combat Drills
Three new drills are being introduced to the game. The first of these, appropriately called Eject!, let's you spend an LP to place your heroic pilot anywhere on the battlefield when their walker is destroyed. The plus is that you might be able to get your heroes out of the line of sight of the giant infantry unit in front of you. The downside is that the pilot deviates and if it hits an object... well, the word Splat! comes to mind.

The second is Fire at Will! This drill lets an infantry hero increase the re-roll score of the unit that he is attached to by 1 as long as they don't move. Definitely not a bad little bonus there but at least you are forced to make some sacrifices to use it.

The final drill is Shield Formation! which lets infantry take cover behind armored vehicles. Definitely makes sense in my mind. If you have a giant armored unit in front of you, wouldn't you try to get some protection from it?

Last but not least the bunker rules are finally fleshed out more. In addition to the rules that we have already seen released earlier, they are now adding structure points to the bunkers to that you can actually destroy them. Of course no mention is made as to just how many SPs they will have but I would think that it would be pretty substantial considering that they are big, reinforced structure. Only time will tell though.

So that is my own take on the latest information about Frostbite but what do you guys think? Do you agree, disagree? I would love to hear your comments either way.

That is all for now but as I mentioned earlier, I am really excited about the prospect of the new terrain types and I am hoping to get a head start on some terrain this weekend. So no battle report but there should be pictures of shiny new terrain pieces. Until next time, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

AT-43 Preview: more rules for Operation: Frostbite

Hey everyone,

For anyone who doesn't know about this yet, a new preview of the rules for Operation: Frostbite has been released! Want to check out the PDF? Then click here to check it out!

I have not had a chance to give these any more than a quick glance, but it looks to be interesting. Civil engineers, support units, troop transports, new terrain rules, and bunkers! That is a whole lot of AT-43 goodness wrapped up in that PDF, so if you haven't seen it yet click on the link and check it out!

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

Friday, June 13, 2008

A quick look at what is to come and a special message...

Hey everyone,

No battle report this week but I do have a few pictures I want to share with everybody so without further ado, lets get on with the show!

First up is the Legion of Snowman! Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!!! I recently got to thinking about how many minis I have for AT-43 and though I didn't think that I had that many yet, I actually have around 3500 points so far, plus another Wraith Golgoth that is on order. I know that it still does not compare to some of the massive armies other people out there have but I thought it was pretty cool and felt the need to share.

Next is a much better picture of the new and improved hyperlink antenna that I recently built.

I am really happy with how it turned out, especially considering how quick and easy it was to make. I'll be posted a step by step of how I made it soon, probably next week actually.

Next up is the first piece of Frostbite terrain that I have made.

Another very quick and easy project, I am going to be posting a tutorial on this soon as well. I am also have a few more terrain projects that are still in their early stages, but more on those later.

And last but certainly not least, Urash and "the boys" want to wish everyone a Happy Father's Day!

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

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

AT-43 Upcoming Releases: Anuman, Jindo-Un and MedTec

Hey everyone,

Rackham has just released what I am guessing will be the final pics for the Saint Anuman/Jindo-Un boxed set and the MedTec boxed set. First up is Anuman in all his Jammer n' ZZ cannon glory...

And here is the blurb about him.

""Let those who seek peace prepare for war."– Anuman

Saint Anuman is an officer and a hero of the Karman army. He comes on foot and aboard his armored fighting vehicle Jindo-Un. As a soldier, Saint Anuman can be played leading any type 1 unit (KARE). Aboard his flying vehicle, he is a unit of his own. Saint Anuman is the best officer of the Karman army and a fearsome armored fighting vehicle hunter. This heroic pilot can override the controls of enemy vehicles with his nova jammers!"

Personally, I am not looking forward to facing him. The thought having my Golgoths turn around and open fire on my troops... Nope, doesn't work for me. Might be time to consider the all-infantry Therian army.

The next is the MedTec, which you can see here...

What is interesting about this is the blurb...

"A new protagonist in the war stepped into the light when Operation: Elysée began: MedTec is originally a U.N. interstellar company and a subsidiary of ONI Technologies.

This company sells its cutting edge medical services to all sides involved. Everything that can preserve the existence of a fighter is available: Therian nanotechnology, experimental Red Blok cloning treatment, Karman relaxation techniques, etc. All it takes is payment, with money for those who know of the concept, more often in resources of all sorts.MedTec is not a neutral power and no one will hesitate to shoot at a medical container being used by the enemy. The nurses and doctors working for this company are greatly rewarded for the risks they take.

General staffs on every side can only speculate when they discuss the deals they suspect MedTec has sealed with their enemies. The U.N.A. and the Karmans have an immediate interest: ONI Tech has access to collectivist cloning techniques and to some extent Therian technologies. Neither the Red Blok nor the Therians had any reason to accept a neutrality deal at first. It wouldn´t have been particularly favourable to them since it made their advantages available to their enemies."

Now wait a minute. They sell their services to all sides involved? Sounds like the Therians might be getting access to Medics from this but that just seems really wierd. I have always thought that the Golems and Goliaths are more mechanical than organic. How is a doctor supposed to "heal" a robot? Hmmm... It will be interesting to get some more information about this one.

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

Monday, June 9, 2008

AT-43 Battle Report 08062008: Therians vs. Karmans...again

Who would have thunk it?!? Two battle reports in two days? It is madness, I tell you. Madness!!!

Seriously though, I was able to get in another game for our local Damocles campaign. Continuing on from last week, we played the third scenario, Holding the Production Line, except I played against a new opponent this time. Soon to be yet another Red Blok player (but with infantry this time instead of walkers! Yay!), James took the field with John's monkeys to give them a push around and it gave me a chance to try out the new v2.0 nucleus cannon rules.

In this scenario, both players are trying to take control of a factory on the surface of Damocles. Half of the board is outside of the factory while the rest is supposed to represent a few rooms inside, including one of the consoles that controls the factory. Here you can see the field of battle in its semi-3d glory (I never made a board for the interior side of the map).

On James side of the board, he was fielding a Nova platoon composed of a unit of two Easy Trikes (these were kept in as reinforcements), a full unit of Anakongas with flamers, a full unit of Wendigos with grenade launchers, and a King Buggy.

For my army, I was again fielding a Cypher platoon (my old stand-by) with Nimit-Urash and an Incubus Golgoth (both of which were upgraded to v2.0 cannons), a full unit of Grims led by Atis, and a full unit of Storm Golems (which was kept as my reinforcement).

Rolling for Authority, I managed to win and I brought on my Incubus and positioned it right outside one of the entrances to the factory on Overwatch. This really gave me a strong position on the board as anything trying to get into the factory would pass through my line of fire.

For his turn, James brought his Wendigos onto the board first though he wisely kept them toward the far right corner, putting them onto Overwatch but keeping the stacked containers between his troops and my walker.

Next on my side was good old Nimit-Urash along with my new model for the hyperlink antenna. He took up position just to the right of the Incubus and also went onto overwatch, creating a nice little crossfire the Karmans would have to cross to make it into the factory. He also created a Hekat right in front of him like a little rabid dog just waiting to get off its leash.

James brought his King Buggy into play next, but again he positioned it so that it stayed out of the line of sight with the Incubus. As with the Wendigos, the Buggy also went onto Overwatch.

My last unit to come onto the board was the Grim Golems led by Atis. Using dash, they quickly moved up the wall of the factory and headed into the closest entrance. This put them into line of sight with the King Buggy but with their optic camo they were safe.

James brought then brought on his last unit, the Anakongas, and then the bloodbath began. Moving along the far wall of the factory, they tried to run into the safety of the entrance.

Unfortunately for them, they did not quite make it. The Incubus and Nimit-Urash both opened fire on them, tearing the unit apart and leaving only the mechanic and the Guru unscathed. Man, these new nucleus cannons are nasty!

The first turn ended with neither side gaining any VPs or RPs but I did realise that I had made a pretty silly mistake. Since the only units that I had near the hyperlink antenna were walkers, all it could do was sit there and look pretty because I couldn't turn it on. D'oh! It also turned out that James didn't realize that he could have canceled some of the routines that I had performed in the first turn. I had been wondering about but I thought he must have had something tricky in mind. It looked like things might be a little trickier on this next turn.

For the next turn, James won the Authority check and moved his King Buggy into position to attack. Turning to show the boardside of the buggy, he opened fire on Nimit-Urash and the Hekat, destorying the legs on Nimit and putting a point of damage on frame of each walker. The really scary thing (at least in my book anyway) was that the Hekat had been damaged by a flamer!

First up on my side was Atis and the Grims (sounds like a rock band...). Moving quickly into the factory, they were able to move deep enough into the building to capture my first objective, one of the containers.

The Wendigos went next, moving up behind the King Buggy to stay out of LoS with the Incubus and avoid the fate of their Anakonga brothers.

The Hekat went next but thanks to some careful positioning by James it was not able to get past the Buggy to get to the troops. Foiled again! Nothing left to do but attack the Buggy, damaging the engines and the frame in the process.

What was left of the Anakonga unit bravely moved forward to try and reach the Buggy so that they could repair it but they were just short!

The Incubus went next and opened fire on the Buggy, destroying its engines and damaging the frame again, while Nimit followed it up with a failed snipe as shot failed to penetrate the armor. I held off on firing the sonic cannon since I knew that James would now keep me from creating another one or repairing any damage until I killed his unit leaders and reduced his Leadership Pool.

This brought the second turn to a close with no one having any VPs yet but I did manage to gain 100 RPs for capturing the container. Only 400+ to go...

James won the Authority test again but this time he moved his Anakongas first. Running up to the damaged Buggy, the mechanic fixed a point of damage on the frame. It was still immobilized but he was hoping to buy a little more time by fixing it.

Atis was first on my side and I moved her between the container and one of the nanogenerators. With the unit spread out they were in position to control both of these objectives at the end of the turn.

The Wendigos went next and James again tried to position them behind the Buggy while covering as much ground as possible. He was feeling the pinch and really wanted to get those troops inside the factory!

My Hekat then lept into action, attacking the Buggy again but it was only able to damage the frame again. I had been hoping for a weapon, but at this point anything was good!

Nimit then tried to snipe the Buggy but again he failed to penetrate the armor. The Incubus was far more successful, easily sniping the Saint who was leading the Wendigos. This left only the Guru in the Anakonga unit which meant that I could start using my routines again and while James would still be able to drain away some of my LPs, he wouldn't be able to get rid of the all.

Turn four and I was able to win Authority again. The Incubus was up first and opened fire on the Buggy with both cannons, finally destroying it. This left the path open for my Hekat to finally get to few remaining infantry.

The Wendigos went next and ran for the factory. Making it inside the tunnel, they were finally out of LoS with the Golgoths but they still had the Grims and Atis inside to deal with.

Nimit finally managed to repair his legs and move forward, blasting apart the two remaining Anakongas.

The Hekat dashed forward and plowed through the Wendigo unit, killing both of the heavy weapon troops along with another troop. At this point, we decided to call the game since it was pretty clear that between the Hekat and the Grims the game was over.

Overall, an interesting game. I had really been expecting to be facing more vehicles which is why I brought the two Golgoths, but the only other two James had never managed to make it onto the board. If James had also been using Nova's advantage right from the start, I am sure that things would have been different but then again I just noticed that their disadvantage is that I get to choose who goes first each turn. Ah well, you live and learn.

As for the v2.0 nucleus cannons being too strong as some have argued, at this point I have to disagree. I was able to mince the Anakonga as they came on the board but most of the Karman vehicles could have done the same thing if the roles were reversed. It definitely changes the game though as it finally gives the Golgoths access to the kind of punch they should have.

Well, that is all for now but I will be posting a quick tutorial on my new hyperlink antenna soon, plus I am looking at making some terrain for Frostbite. Until then, may all of your dice come up Dragons!