Aliens-Style Game – 15mm Sci-fi

A few chats over a few beers with my mate Jase recently led to the idea for a new game. It’s a derivative of our dungeon crawl game, but this time in a near future/sci-fi setting, with Alien-esque baddies creeping up on our gallant little band.

It’s a much simpler game than the fantasy one, with fewer enemies, no complexities like magic, and less character progression. It’s more of a beer & pretzels game, focusing on a special forces squad undertaking perilous missions into overrun facilities. Get in, do some stuff, and get out again while taking as few casualties from the very sneaky, very vicious, aliens as possible. Like Space Hulk, but with smaller, cheaper components.

Naturally, apart from painting a handful of GZG and Pendraken figures, we scratchbuilt everything… Cork tiles, mdf doors and features,  equipment and other tokens, printed squad sheets, mission and layout cards, etc. It took about 4 weeks to get enough done to start playing, with each of us producing a share. Now we’re back-filling the missing bits so we each have a full set of everything.

We recently got together and played 5 games, all tense and challenging, but good fun too. Since then we’ve defined some more mission types and tweaked a couple of things based on what we learned from the initial games.

Like the dungeon game, its a 2.5D game in that it uses figures and some 3D scenic pieces, but there are no walls. The last thing I want from this type of game/project is fiddling around trying to reach and see the figures, let alone make dozens of feet of walls in all shapes and lengths.

Some more pics…

Escorting a xenologist through the complex so he can carry out a crucial bit of DNA collecting:

There are things to see and do…

A whole mission site set out – a fairly long way in, and then back out again.

A squad is made up of ‘characters’ and basic grunts. They get attributes, skills (characters only) and kit. Keeping track of ammo is important too of course.

Never be the rear gunner, even if you’ve got a flamethrower:

Covering all the angles:

A bit more to do to finish off my set, but it’s been a really enjoyable project and the game itself plays how we envisioned it.

 

 

 

Critters

I haven’t managed to paint much recently but have tinkered with a few more 15mm fantasy bits and pieces.

I say ’15mm’, but actually these were mostly either 10mm or 28mm, but that’s the beauty of fantasy! I put in a couple of small orders, to Element Games for some Reaper Bones figures, and to Pendraken for some of their fantasy range.

The Bones figures:

Giant rats done:

I’ve also painted the scorpions, along with 3 from Pendraken, which are a good match size-wise. The bat swarms and 3 of the spiders are also Pendraken, all nice figures, and the bigger spider is actually from a 15mm range (Demonworld):

I still have more to do – you can’t have too many nasties in a dungeon crawl can you?

Ruins, Generously Donated

The very kind Count Belisarius sent me these plastic ruins that were surplus to requirements. They’re going to fit in very well with my 15mm Frostgrave setting.

They arrived as assembled kits, in shiny black plastic. I based them on cork tile and added some rubble and patches of plaster to blend them in with my existing scenery. I also covered over a couple of electrical cables, presumably they’re originally designed for W40K or similar.

They then received a matt black undercoat, followed by dark grey, light grey and white dry-brushes. This was very quick to do, so they’re all finished within 48 hours of arriving.

Thanks Andy! 🙂

Sarissa Outpost

This is a nice cheap kit from Sarissa Precision that a lot of people seem to have picked up. It can fit into a variety of settings and periods, and basically just looks good on the table.

Mine has been painted with my usual colour pallet, with sand added to the base to blend into my terrain boards. I did add some roughly-cut card strips to the roof to rough it up a bit, as the standard look was a bit too neat!

Quick to assemble, quick to paint. What’s not to like?

 

Blotz Mausoleum

This is another simple kit, with some nice detail. It didn’t take any time to assemble, but undercoating it black did – due to all the nice detail!

I left the roof pieces loose as it has an internal tomb feature that’s worth being able to see.

Although designed as a 28mm piece I think it also works fine for 15mm, so into the Frostgrave and general fantasy scenery pile it goes 🙂

Those jungle bases definitely have to happen next…

Blotz Minaret

This is an MDF kit I picked up at Partizan, which I decided would fit well into my Frostgrave scenery collection. Blotz offer the same model in 15mm, 20mm and 28mm. I went for the 20mm one as I thought it would make a more impressive piece for 15mm.

It was relatively easy to assemble, and the online instructions gave a useful tip about putting some weight in the bottom section for ballast. I loaded it with 2p pieces. I may base the model at some point to give it some steps up to the door and a bit more stability.

Some of the upper section needed painting before final assembly, which I realised just in time. It’s the sort of thing I usually spot just after I’ve applied the glue!

A couple of Battle Valor 15mm figures give it a decent sense of scale.

 

 

 

 

 

A Couple of Temples

It’s been a bit slow on the figure painting and gaming fronts lately so I’ve tried to keep going with a few other bits and pieces.

I am working on some base boards, which need to be ready for a big Sharp Practice game at the end of July. They’re not exactly picturesque while being prep’d for painting, but I’l post pics when they’re done.

Meanwhile, I have managed to knock together a couple of pieces that will serve as monuments or temples for various settings. They’ll be nice and big for 15mm Frostgrave, and about right for hiding a few 28mm figures in a skirmish.

They’re made from wine corks, cork tile and styrofoam, like a lot of the other scenery I’ve made this year. The domes are the finials from a recently retired curtain rail. I had my wargamer’s eye on them as I took it down!

Before pic:

Now to finally finish off those jungle bases I’ve been putting off for so long!

A New Battalion for Savoy

This unit was finished off just in time for this year’s big 18th century gaming weekend at Ayton (which reminds me – I need to post my pics of this excellent event). It’s a converged Grenadier battalion made up of companies from the Savoy line battalions I have collected so far.

The figures are Crann Tara, and they were painted by the very talented Dave Jarvis. As my Grenadier battalions don’t carry flags I like to give them a bit of height on the centre stand, hence the mounted colonel.


Best of all, they didn’t embarrass themselves in their first outing. I didn’t actually end up commanding them, so that’s probably why!

I also managed to do a tiny amount of painting for Ayton myself – to the tune of 3 battalion guns. I had 3 bases of Savoy battalion gunners without the all-important cannon, so finally got caught up. These are Crann Tara/Minden Prussian 3 pounders, very nice pieces.

 

 

More 15mm Frostgrave Scenery

I have finished off a few additional bits of scenery for my Frostgrave set-up. The main piece is a larger bridge, and there are some more rubble piles, columns and stone walkways/jetties too. I added a pit as well, as it’s one of the extra scenery pieces you can use with the Ulterior Motives cards.

The bridge was designed by my wife, who’s taken an interest in Frostgrave and played in the first game (2 crossbowmen on the roof, I ask you…!). I did the construction under close supervision, and added optional leg extensions to allow the bridge to also span taller gaps. It was mostly made from styrofoam, but has an arched cobbled roadway using a sheet of Slaters plasticard.

A couple of drinking fountains:

There are some more bits and pieces I want to do, and I’m still finding it fun so they should happen soon!

Landing Pad

Having painted up the sci-fi buildings recently I decided something was still missing – a landing pad. There are one or two MDF models available but I thought I’d make my own instead.

So, a 6″ square piece of cork sheet, some card and a few stick-on bits and pieces, and voila…

It didn’t take very long to make, and will fit in well with my other scenery.

I can see some interesting scenarios being played out, with dramatic arrivals and escapes, and missions requiring the capture or destruction of the pad, etc.

Now I just need something to actually land on it. It’ll be back to the web for that one I think!