Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Vampifans Views 122 - Monthly Musings 92

As usual I have had a very busy month hobby-wise with a lot of painting and modelling done. But first I start with a picture of my favourite vampire with this illustration of Vampirella. Whoever is wielding that cross is quickly going to find out that it doesn't work against Vampirella. She is not like other vampires in that garlic, holy items or sunlight do not affect her. However, if he is wise, he should run now and hope that Vampi takes time to fix her costume which has suffered a serious wardrobe malfunction. By the way did you know that this is Vampi's 50th anniversary from when her first comic was launched in 1969? She hasn't aged a bit in all that time! 😊 I salute her and I'm pleased to see that Dynamite comics are giving her the recognition she so richly deserves.

So, onto my gaming news. The biggest event of the month was I received a huge parcel containing all of my Zombicide: Invader Kickstarter orders. The reason why the box was so big (and heavy!) was that I just about ordered one of everything. Unfortunately, the timing of its arrival was not good. It'll be  awhile before I paint any of the figures as my two priorities right now are to finish painting my Core Space figures (just 12 left to paint) and to concentrate on my slowly increasing Bolt Action collection.

I have purchased more figures and a few vehicles. I have mainly been concentrating on my US 101st (Screaming Eagles) Airborne force. They featured in the excellent TV series, Band of Brothers. To the right of here is a picture of a 10 man squad of them. These are all metal figures with a mix of SMGs, Rifles and an LMG team. In addition to them I have made and painted a second 10 man squad, a 3 man MMG team and 2 squads of Pathfinders made up of six men per squad. These were all multi-part plastic figures. The vehicles I have bought for them are Oddball's M4 Sherman tank, an M3A1 half track transport and a "Deuce" two and a half ton truck. I haven't made any of these yet. For the moment I want to concentrate on building up my infantry squads.

For my German forces I bought two Hanomag Ausf.D half-track transports and an Opel Blitz truck as another transport vehicle. All of these plastic kits came with a free sprue of plastic Panzer Grenadiers, which was a much appreciated bonus. As a counter to Oddball's Sherman tank I bought this Panzer IV Ausf. H tank. The kit provides parts for three variants - the Ausf. F, Ausf. G and Ausf. H. I do like the Ausf. H version best of all, with its distinctive Schirzen side armour.

I have also been building up my collection of scenery items such as roads, hills, wheat fields, stone walls, craters and ruined buildings. You get a ruined farmhouse kit in the Band of Brothers starter set but I bought a second one plus a wrecked house, both from eBay.

Both eBay and Wayland Games have been helpful in offering certain items I wanted at a much cheaper rate than Warlord Games. The roads and hills came from eBay. My wheat fields came from a doormat that I ordered from Amazon UK then cut it up into mixed sizes - simple but effective. My Panzer IV came from Wayland games along with the Konflict 47 rulebook and its supplement - Resurgence. I am busy reading through Konflict 47 right now and I can tell it is a game I will very much enjoy playing. My Secrets of the Third Reich German Infantry figures will fit in just splendidly, although I haven't found any stats for vampires yet, and I know that Warlord Games have a vampire in this range. Perhaps his stats will appear in one of the supplements.

Thanks for reading my Monthly Musings. I imagine that September will be very similar to this month. Hopefully I'll finish painting my three Trader crews for Core Space. My main focus will still be Bolt Action. I plan on making and painting enough of my plastic Panzer Grenadiers to play my first Bolt Action encounter.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Core Space - Galactic Corps & Security Wardens

The Galactic Corps are a combined militia and police force; neither heroes nor villains but sometimes both. They're controlled by an elite of human politicians who have little but self-interest at heart. They're happy to let the Corps do good work such as rescuing disaster victims but only if it does not conflict with their own interests.
The Corps are basically the best and worst of humanity - striving for a better world but only for their masters. The Corps view Traders with disdain and will often treat them as criminals, using any excuse to engage. Towards the more affluent areas the Corps are better trained and equipped, whereas discipline out in the sticks tends to depend entirely on the local director; a lazy corrupt director will lead an inefficient band of bullies rather than a well-oiled machine.
The origins of the Galactic Corps are hazy but most likely it started as a private security firm with military leanings. Over time the general populace has accepted that the Corps are the galaxy's army ans police rolled into one, but in fact the Corps has no true official standing. The GCC tolerates the Corps rather than condones it, understanding that it is too large an organisation to take head on. The Corps does help maintain order, particularly against the Purge, although its rough edges anger civil rights activists and often draw bad publicity.
Squads going into action tend to be small and tightly ordered, consisting of a team of Guards, a Juggernaut and a Director, although the numbers of each are often bolstered for certain situations.
At the far left is Director Zool. Master strategists and relentlessly ambitious, directors are often intelligent but with a cold, unsympathetic eye. Although they are usually from privileged backgrounds the officers are drilled to obey the chain of command and are, at the end of the day, political cannon fodder alongside their men. Director Zool is a hard-edged man with a dry humour and a soft tone. He prefers to get things done amicably and without fuss but will not hesitate to utterly destroy any who don't agree. His principle aim is peace; for there to be no outside disruption or civil disturbance whatever the cost, and he therefore rules his sector with a rod of iron.
Juggernauts are powerful and heavily armed; the hammer of the Corps used to bludgeon and punish any disobedient populace. They are often large men who have been chemically enhanced or have a mutation, normally in favour of size and aggression at the expense of intellect.
At the far right are two Security Wardens. They are hired by the local authorities to keep the peace, essentially civilians with good training and body armour who can be a thorn in your side or a welcome distraction. Security Wardens can be lazy, and lack the discipline of the Galactic Corps. Their actions will depend on how they feel at the time and can be unpredictable. If a Security Warden is not within short range and LoS of the Purge, but they are within medium range and LoS of one or more Galactic Corps characters they will be commandeered by the Corps. They will follow the rules for the Galactic Corps this turn, using both of their actions, targetting and attacking enemies, and apprehending defeated traders if necessary.
Highly trained, often brutal, the Galactic Guards are often recruited from poor backgrounds and from  areas with a lot of racial conflict, making them easier to control. They're not encouraged to think for themselves but to obey commands without question.
The Galactic Corps will target the Purge first then either Gangers or Traders, whichever is closest. They will not attack Security Wardens, Civilians or each other and do not consider these groups as enemies. Some situations require the best of the best and you will notice that the Galactic Corps have alternative "elite" statistics on the reverse of their character boards.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

SOTR German Von X Siblings & Blitzhund

I have kept what I consider the best sculpted figures from my German Weird World War 2 army to the last. These are the three fearsome Von X siblings, Gretel, Ilsa and Hans, along with a Blitzhund. Note that the stats and biographies for these four do not appear in the Secrets of the Third Reich rulebook but in its supplement, Doomsday.
Gretel Von X and her twin sister, Ilsa Von X are the daughters of Hugo Von X. Records of their mother have been purged. They were nine years old when the war began. Hugo was even in those early years of the war, possessed of feverish visions of the V-4 retro-virus. Believing he had stumbled onto the fountain of youth, Hugo injected both of his twins with an experimental serum derived from a compound that the Russians developed to create the Siberian Supermen. Gretel was the lucky one. She retained her intellect and beauty and became inhumanly strong, fast and tough. Ilsa became faster and stronger but her skin was marred by the chemical and her face became a mask of horror. Both girls adore their father and stand at his side in support of his goals. They trained in the arts of war throughout their late teen years, becoming brilliant tacticians, leaders and deadly foes. They would lay down their lives for their father, the SWD, and the Reich. Ilsa controls the defence of Gibraltar with her hordes of Sturmzombies, face hidden by a gas mask. Gretel is the operations officer for the Gibraltar compound and Hugo's right hand. Gretel is armed with a Sub-Machine Gun and a riding crop, whilst Ilsa is armed with two SMGs, which she may fire simultaneously.
Hans Von X is the eldest of the Von X children. Hugo's early experiments on him went horribly wrong and a monster was created. Hans is at peace wandering the channel floor of the Straits of Gibraltar, losing himself in the contemplative loneliness of the briny deep. He is melancholic and childishly sweet, but is prone to fits of blood rage and insensibility. He is at the vanguard of the bomber-zombies as they make their attack runs on allied shipping and he keeps a collection of frogmen skulls he has harpooned at Gibraltar's undersea gates. He is armed with a harpoon gun, which has a range of 12" and the penetration of a light anti-tank gun.

From the elite ranks of the Jagerhunds, top specimens are culled for another of Hugo's mad experiments. They are injected with the V-4 derivative and become killing machines without equal. Blitzhunds must be muzzled and chained and fed great hunks of bloody raw meat when not in action. When released into battle, they are able to sniff out the enemy like a trained hunting dog. In the claustrophobic corridors of Gibraltar, an armoured Blitzhund is last thing the enemy wants to see... and it usually is!

As I said above, these are some of the best sculpted figures I have ever seen. The Blitzhund in particular, is so dynamically posed, full of movement and animation. Gretel and Ilsa are also well animated, especially Ilsa. Hans, whilst more statically posed, is still a great sculpt. These are my four favourite figures from my SOTR German army. I'm not sure how well I could fit them in Konflict 47 but they'd be perfectly at home in Reichbusters.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

SOTR German Zombie Horde 02

In this post I'm highlighting the rest of my zombie horde for my Secrets of the Third Reich German army. All of  these zombies are standard infantry that help to bulk out my zombie horde.
Just to reiterate, they have the following special rules, Horror, Tough, Utterly Fearless and Zombie.
I always enjoy painting zombies and painting these were a real labour of love.
I do like the fact that West Wind made all of these figures as individuals.
With the 12 zombies I showed in my last post I have a big horde of 30 figures with no duplication whatsoever.
In SOTR, there is no limit to how big your zombie horde can be, which, as a big fan of zombies, pleases me no end.
 The bigger your horde is, the more dangerous they become, which is a standard trope of zombies.
Note the zombie at the far left is armed with a dagger, making him unique in this horde. Whether he can use it effectively is debatable.
Because I only have a German infantry army from SOTR, it is most unlikely that I'll be playing any scenarios with this rules set. However, I will be using them with the similar Weird World War 2 rules set, Konflict 47 by Warlord Games. I plan on pitching my German army against the American and British armies. It is a project that I'm very keen to get my teeth into.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

SOTR German Zombie Horde 01

Vergeltungswaffe 4 or V-Gas is the fourth in a series of Vengeance weapons Germany unleashed to stem the tide of its defeat. It worked exceptionally well. V-Gas kills the living painfully then re-animates their corpses by reacting with the remains of the central nervous system. It also has the effect of raising the recently deceased. Older corpses are not affected ass their nervous systems become too decayed to support the virus.
The Ministry of Special Weapons Development (SWD) has devised a means to weaponise the victims of V-Gas. After all, they are the perfect soldiers. They require nothing: no food, no water, no ammunition, they never run from battle, and the supply of them is virtually unlimited.
I start with the Zombie Officers and at the far right is my only named Zombie. He is SS Standardartenfuhrer (Colonel) Orjan Herzog, the chief villain of the1990 film, Dead Snow. The figure is an exact likeness of him. Second from left is a General who is also a Pinger, as denoted by the aerial sticking out of his back. This always a controller to  make the Pinger go in whatever direction the controller desires. The other zombies in the horde will instinctively follow him instead of shuffling about aimlessly.
Of the other two officers, one has been chewing on a bone and is pointing with it. The other one is standing with his lower right arm blown off.
These next four zombie figures are very unusual in that they are Zombie Bombs. The SWD often strapped explosives to zombies and would detonate them by means of naval mine triggers or radio signals.
Up to four Zombie Bombs may be included in any Zombie Horde. Note they are all carrying different types of explosive but in game turns they all count the same which is they cause a Medium AT/HE blast.
These four figures are the first of my Zombie Infantry Horde. I'll be showing a lot more of them in my next post. In SOTR they have the following special rules, Horror, Tough, Utterly Fearless and Zombie.
These zombie figures are all part of the West Wind Productions Secrets of the Third Reich range but they would fit in equally well in Warlord Game's Konflict 47 range, which I certainly plan on doing. In Konflict 47 the Zombie horde is known as Totenkorps - Death Troops.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

SOTR German Mech Grenadier Squads 02

In this post I'm reviewing my third and fourth Mech Grenadier squads, both made up of ten men, just like my first and second squads. This gives me one large platoon of four squads or two smaller platoons of two squads. Both are viable options but I favour splitting them into two platoons.
These five figures are the specialists of the third squad. From left to right are the NCO armed with an Assault Rifle, two soldiers armed with SMGs, a Panzerfaust wielding soldier and a soldier armed with an LMG.
These soldiers are all wearing dunkelgrau (dark grey) helmets apart from the NCO who wears a peaked cap.
The rest of the squad is made up of five riflemen, one of whom will be designated as the loader for the soldier with the LMG.
There is some duplication amongst the riflemen in the four squads, but I have tried to mitigate that by giving them different heads. Note that all of these figures come with separate heads.
Moving on, we have the fourth squad. These differ from my other three squads in that they all wear field caps, even the NCO.
As always, I have an NCO armed with an Assault Rifle, two SMG armed privates and a private with a Panzerfaust. This squad does not have an LMG team, so the fourth figure in line is an ordinary rifleman.
 The rest of the squad is made up of five more riflemen.
I really enjoyed painting these figures and I'm particularly pleased with the camo pattern. This concludes the human elements of my SOTR German infantry company. In my next two posts I'll be showcasing my German Zombies. There are so many of them I had to split them into two posts.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

SOTR German Specialists

I present a mixed bag of figures here consisting of three two-man teams - Medics, Forward Observers and a Panzerschreck team.
At the far left are my two Medics. Medics do not exist in the Secrets of the Third Reich army lists but they do in Bolt Action and Konflict 47, which is why I have included them. Medics are classed as an HQ choice and can consist of one or two figures.
In the centre are my Forward Air or Artillery Observers. These can call down an air strike or an artillery bombardment once per game. Once again they do not appear in the SOTR army lists but they are an HQ option for Bolt Action or Konflict 47. They can also consist of one or two figures. The observer is equipped with a radio set to call in the air strike or artillery bombardment.
Finally is the two man Panzerschreck team, which is a valid choice in all three games. They are made up of the firer and the loader. A Panzerschreck is the German equivalent of an American Bazooka or a British PIAT and is a powerful threat to armoured vehicles. Unlike the one-shot Panzerfaust, the Panzerschreck may be fired every turn.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

SOTR German Medium MG & Medium Mortar Teams

To give my infantry squads some support I bought a Medium Machine Gun team and a Medium Mortar team. These can be included in a Mech Grenadier Platoon.
The Medium MG is mounted on a tripod for better stability when fired. The crew consists of the tripod carrier, the loader and the gunner.
Some gamers like to mount their MG and mortar teams on a single large base. I'm not a fan of that option and prefer to have my figures mounted on individual bases. This makes it easier to remove casualties.
The Medium Mortar team consists of three men, two carry the base plate of the mortar and the ammo and the loader who carries the rest of the mortar.
I took the option to add a spotter, and he is at the far left of the two photos. He is mounted on a normal 25mm diameter slottabase. The two assistants are mounted on 20mm diameter slottabases.
These are very useful support units and well worth taking.