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Alien invasion! ?

I mentioned in a post on my Zombie blog (click here to read it) that I was tempted to do an alien invasion to pit my 15mm Modern Aussies up against.

 This is one step closer to happening now, as I purchased the 'No Stars in Sight" sci-fi rules that are the futuristic platoon rules based on the 'No End in Sight' rules I like so much.

 The 'No Stars in Sight' rules (henceforth referred to as 'NSiS') uses the same system as the modern rule set, but also include a lot of other goodies like power armour, drones, droids, and alien creatures.

 There are also rules for solo and campaign play as per the modern rules.

 The aliens have their own lists and is quite extensive, and there is a system you can use to make your weird and wonderful aliens (and power armour/vehicles) balanced for your games.

Best of all Nordic Weasel is having a sale at the moment: "items Until the 3rd of February, almost everything I've made is between 40 and 50% off." Link

Now, what type of aliens to use for the game?

Being a fan of "Falling Skies" (which sadly will have it's final season in 2015) I am thinking of borrowing ideas from the show.

Thus I will have some bug like aliens starting the invasion, and then 'upping the ante' with a race of aliens that control the bugs.

To this end I am thinking of using the following minis for the game:

The bugs (all Rebel Miniatures):

Rebel Mini's Terror Mites - 5 in a pack
Rebel Mini's Death Striders - 10 in a pack

As the invaders in "Falling Skies" have mechs, I took a look at the Rebel Mini mechs/robots/power suit range to see what was on offer:

The HAMR suit took my fancy for the job:

HAMR recon suit

HAMR Support Suit

For the Alien race in control of the whole lot, I am looking at Khurasan Miniatures' 'Intruders':

The above pack of 'Intruders' is sold as a squad pack, but I think I will turn this in to a platoon pack, which means they will be rather powerful compared to the humans resisting their invasion.

 Khurasan Miniatures might have other figures that are useful, but the website is under maintenance and I can only look at limited ranges at the time of posting.

I also took a look at the GZG 15mm range, and would like to find some way of including the following figures, if for no other reason than they look cool:

GZG spider drones

Critical Mass Games also have some nice looking figures I could use, such as these hover drones:

and if I want to tone down the mech a little (the rebel mini's ones might be too powerful) CMG also make this:

Campaign wise, I will probably start off with the death striders as the main enemy, and when they start taking a pounding I will add the drones, then they mechs, and finally the Intruders.

So, this is all only in the planning stage.  During March I should be able to increase my budget a little to get this up off the ground, but I also want to purchase the Eureka 15mm Bushmaster vehicles for my Aussie platoon.

 If the project goes ahead (which is very likely) I will need to play test the aliens to see how they stack up against the Humans.

Australians in the American Civil War

I have 'borrowed' this from the ABC news web site, as I thought it was interesting enough to share:

American Civil War: Confederate ship CSS Shenandoah's arrival in Melbourne remembered


   Maritime history buffs are celebrating a little-known part of Victoria's history today, marking 150 years since a ship involved in America's civil war arrived at Williamstown, in Melbourne's south-west.

   The civil war was fought between the Union, known as the Yankees and based in the north of the country, and the Confederates, in the south, between 1861-1865.

   The Confederates' CSS Shenandoah was a raider ship used to disrupt Union supply ships, destroying dozens of ships, seizing goods and imprisoning merchant sailors.

  It began its journey in England and was in the southern hemisphere searching for American whaling ships when it needed repairs.

  The crew had only two options for the stopover: Cape Town, where the crew was likely to come across Union ships, and Melbourne, where the likelihood of crossing the enemy was low.

  So the CSS Shenandoah docked in Melbourne on January 25, 1865.

  During its visit 42 Melbourne men secretly joined the Shenandoah's crew before it was sailed back out to sea to continue its attack on the way to the US, providing a rare Australian link to the war.

  Four cannons were fired at midday at Williamstown on Sunday to mark the arrival of the ship.

  One of the organisers of the commemoration, Peter Hemphill, said the visit had world significance.
"It destroyed the whaling fleet of the US, it had also fired the very last shots of the American Civil War," he said. 

  "It's important because it's the only real link to America's civil war in Australia.
"The ship started out known as the Sea King. It was bought by the Confederate navy secretly in England in late 1864.

"It was spirited out of England off the coast of Africa, they changed its name to Shenandoah, loaded it with cannon, with supplies and marines.

"[It] sailed to Australia and sank eight Yankee ships on its way. The captain, James Waddell, was trying to meet up with a mail run that was leaving Melbourne for the United States so he could report back to his commanders so they knew where he was at.

"He also needed repairs to his propeller. In the meantime the Yankees ... tried to get them arrested as pirates."

Australian recruits join the Confederate fight

Mr Hemphill said at one point ship was surrounded by Australian police and military after accusations it was recruiting men, which was not allowed.
The crew spent time in Victoria, visiting the Melbourne Club and also Ballarat, where they held a "buccaneer's ball".

"When they left 42 Melbourne men bobbed up on deck and they were part of the crew that for the rest of the journey," he said.

"They went up to the northern Pacific and created havoc - just destroyed the Yankee whaling fleet.
"They needed whale oil for greasing their cannon wheels and so forth, but it absolutely devastated the fleet for years to come.

"Part of that was after the war had ended. They sailed down the US coast and they found out the war had ended so they then stowed cannon in the hull ... and basically surrendered."

Mr Hemphill said seven years later the ship and crew, including the Australians, were involved in a court case brought by the United States against England, accusing them of assisting the Confederates.

"In the end Britain had to pay US$15.5 million in gold coin, which is worth billions today," he said.
"So it has a lot of significance in the world. It also fired the very last shot of the civil war."

The original article can be seen here: link

Maybe a PBB ECW game?

I am thinking of running a non zombie Play By Blog game for the English Civil War.

I say thinking, as I have no idea how many of my handful of readers are interested in the ECW.

If there was enough interest I would be happy to get the game up and running.

For those wanting to know a bit more:

The rules will be the excellent set of rules that are free to download called "Victory Without Quarter" found here: PDF   (right click to save)

 As the rules use card activation it makes it easy for me to manage the battles.

 The Campaign system will be from the Wargames Foundry rules "1644".  For those without a copy (and I had to hunt down a copy that wasn't over $100AUD, which I did) I can provide details later.

 The game maps will be the Britain and the Ireland & Wales maps found here: link   (even if you don't want to play, I suggest looking at the maps and downloading them, as they are useful for all kinds of wargames set in Europe).

Starting armies: each player will need to nominate which side they want to represent: King or Parliament. If too many nominate for one side I will even things out.  Armies will be generated by myself - there is a random element to the armies, but all will have a basic number of mandatory troops in them.

Players only need to submit orders for the game turn, provide me with how their armies will be deployed on the battle field and I play out the actual battle using the game rules and the card activation system.

I them post any results and players submit new orders etc.

So, if this sounds like for you please post a comment expressing your interest in the game.

 Of course if no one is interested, I might go it on my own regardless.

Dux Britanniarum

Yep, the more astute of you would have noticed by the title of this particular post that games of Dux Britanniarum are being planned for 2015.

 My mate is very interested in playing the game and after looking over the rules my interest was piqued.

 As I have forked out for a 20mm German Para force for Chain of Command and 15mm Modern forces for No End In Sight, I really didn't want to spend another small fortune making armies for Dux: my budget is rather tight at the moment.

 So I came up with an idea. I would create both armies needed for the game using off cuts of foam card and map pins. This is minimalistic war gaming at its best. But at least it means we can learn the rules and play some games to a) see if we like the game enough to invest in the figures needed, and b) give us both some time to save up some dollars for figures.

So this is what I have come up with:

The blue bases are the Saxons, and the red the British. Each pin represents one figure, and I have written what the unit represents to make it easier to remember what we are playing with.

 If we play the game using cms instead of inches, we can play a whole campaign in a very small area.

And should we need extra troops, then I only have to paint up some more foam card and stick pins in to it.

Just to clarify, we are only using this to test/learn the rules to make sure we want to play the game a lot before investing heavily in figures.

At this stage we are thinking of using 10mm figures for the game, as this will also allow us to keep costs down, but also play in a smaller area than we would need for much larger figures.

 I dare say many gamers would think this idea is heresy, but I honesty don't mind all that much what others think. We want to play the game and this is the fasted way we can get the project off the ground.

At this stage we haven't picked who will be commanding which side, but that gives me extra time to read the rules and do some research in to the period.