Saturday, May 5, 2012

We've moved!

You should be automatically redirected. 

Along with the name change to, we've changed URLs as well!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

[Status] Really?

Well, through some strange twist of fate, I seem to be the first person who thought to check if was available, and poof! Here it is! I figured what the heck, I like to write and my latest obsession is 15mmSciFi minis, so why not start posting the tidbits of news I scrape up here? I already pester my friends in the exact same manner via Facebook, so now they have an option to avoid it, and maybe it'll be helpful to people out there! XD

Anyway, I'd like to have a ton of 15mm Scifi gaming links and info available up here, so if you're seeing this and don't see your blog, minis/terrain/rules site linked, email me at and let me know! I don't want to leave anyone out. 

UPDATE - Stay tuned for a sort of re-launch as I tweak the blog format a bit.

[Gatewar File] Formation of the Pacific Union

(I decided to do a quick background write-up to go with the Opfor that I'm painting up using ACP Nationalist troops.)

It wasn't until nearly 2100 A.D. that the economic turmoil which had been brewing for nearly a century finally rocked the scales of world power. It had taken much longer than experts predicted, and it did not happen nearly in the manner expected. World leaders were braced for a new World War as the United States and China conducted proxy wars throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, fearing the confrontation would finally come to a head - or more likely, the U.S. would simply fall by the wayside in the face of the financial power wielded by the East. In the end, though, it was a civil movement that, spurred on by unprecedented levels of public dissent, grew to unstoppable proportions on the West Coast of the United States and ultimately led to the Second American Civil War. The political divide between Washington and the economic powerhouse on the West Coast became insurmountable when the Federal Government began deploying military units to control citizens, and in November of 2094, California seceded from the union to be quickly joined by Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, forming the Free CalTex Republic. 

This abruptly ended the United States' wars abroad as troops were recalled home in complete disarray. The military was instantly fractured, different generals ceding loyalty to various political leaders. Some units, bases, and naval vessels mutinied, others were taken by force. It quickly degraded into one of the darkest times in modern U.S. history. The conflict, however, was short and savage. The battle lines shifted for several months and American cities became battlefields. Many cities in Texas were left little more than ruins as the U.S. offensive charged along the Southern border toward Austin.

Ultimately, Texas fell, with New Mexico following not long after. The decisive shift in the desert war occurred at the Battle of Mojave, along the Arizona/California border where Free Caltex tank brigades composed of American-made tanks and reinforced units manning armor sent by Russia and China lured the U.S. armored columns into a massive ambush, crippling the larger force and causing a stalemate. 

Public resolve was quickly eroding in the U.S., and Washington was soon forced to sue for peace. With Texas and New Mexico lost, Free CalTex leaders were in a dire situation themselves. With neither side willing to escalate the war, the United States' President Klein signed the Totonto Accords on March 24, 2095, ratifying the existence of the new Pacific Union. 

The Pacificans quickly established themselves as a powerful global force, maintaining a strong economic position in the West, forging firm diplomatic ties to Russia and China while managing a surprisingly stable peace with the United States. Shockingly, it was Pacifican military action that aided in halting a joint incursion into the war-torn state of Texas by Mexico, Brazil, and Venezuela, thus paving the way for eased relations moving forward. 

Yes, I geeked out and made a flag. :P Combining elements of the California and Nevada flags seemed to provide a striking image, the red star looks cool and speaks to their ties to Russia and China, and Nevada's "Battle Born" motto seemed very appropriate, given the background story.

The war did not completely cripple the United States, as many expected. It did, however, weaken their position as one of the most dominant forces in world politics and brought the Pacificans, U.S., China, Russia, and the E.U. to roughly equal geo-political footing.

Today, the Pacific Union is known as a hotbed of progressive thinking and technological innovation. Many of the largest corporations are of Pacifican origin, not the least among them Sol United - the interstellar surveying firm that discovered the Moirai System and Lachesis. Pacificans are typically branded by outsiders as morally bankrupt due to their cultural and political beliefs, especially after the scandal caused by the human treatment of Crusties being revealed to the world - one of the chief perpetrators being Sol United and the Pacifican armed forces.

Having been on the forefront of the discoveries on Lachesis, the Pacificans have benefited greatly from ample access to Tetrobium. Because the Pacific Union was forged in a savage desert tank war and fierce urban fighting in the American Southwest, Pacifican military doctrine favors the use of heavy infantry units backed up by armor support. With the advent of Tetrobium-based walker technology, the Pacifican Army has embraced these units fully, and currently fields some of the most advanced walkers humanity has to offer.

[Workbench] Plugging Away

What's On the Table

So the other day my ACP Nationalist Infantry minis arrived, and sadly the weekend was a bit busy so I wasn't able to get anything done. Tonight I sat down and threw in the Shooter DVD and started working.

First I got a squad of my new Opfor de-flashed, trimmed the mold lines and mounted on some cardboard ready to paint. Overall the mold lines aren't bad, and I really like the thin bases they're mounted on - just be careful and use clippers to get them off of the sprue if you can, just twisting them off (not that I'd EVER be lazy enough to do that...) can result in warping the base slightly. 

I based eight of them, but cut a few off of the pic to show better detail. I'm excited to paint these guys up!

Next I went about basing my previously painted Ranger squad, since my Armskeeper bases arrived. Some glue and a dip in the old bag of sand (headphones for that link if you're at work), followed by a quick coat of watered down Citadel Scorched Brown once it dried. Sadly I think it was a little too watered down, and some of it leaked onto the sides of the base, and I'm a big fan of keeping the sides black, so I'll have to go back and touch those up. I just feel like it makes the minis look a bit more sharp overall. Still, once that was dry I gave it a quick Vallejo Deck Tan once-over, some static grass and viola! Not too bad, although I'm wondering if the combo of Scorched Brown and Deck Tan isn't too dissimilar. I might give it a brown wash or something. 

They're getting there. :) Overall I'm happy with my first 15mm minis hehe
While the initial coat of brown was drying on the bases, I decided to get to work on some terrain - as I had a package arrive for me at work today, and it was none other than my Proxie Models order. I've actually got a decent amount of materials for terrain on-hand, so I really have no excuse for not having gotten more terrain done by now, and with that in mind I jumped into it. I assembled one building as a single-story garage with a roughly cut plasticard roof - this wasn't done with much precision at all, but since I'm going for hastily constructed colony buildings and surrounding shanties, it fits. I added a couple of plasticard driveways to the garage doors for the loading docks, cut one up a bit to look nice and cracked, then added a little corrugated fence (I picked up a couple of 1/100 corrugated plastic sheets off of ebay) to one side since I want to give these pieces a bit of a run down, lived-in feel. 

Proxie Models to the rescue!
After giving those some time to dry while I finished off basing my Rangers, I went over the rest of the base with some good old Elmer's glue, then gave it a quick dip in the sand. 

I decided to do a quick rocky outcropping section as well, which was far more simple - just a section of rocky terrain I'd picked up in a pack years ago (I found it in the garage a few weeks ago still in the packaging! lucky me haha) stuck to the base with Elmer's, then dunked in the sand. I'm currently letting those set overnight before pulling them out for painting. 

Elmer's is cheap and works great - but you need to let it set for 24 hours for best effect.
So that about wraps it up for tonight! Tomorrow I'll get these terrain pieces basecoated along with my Opfor, then decide which ones to start painting. Oh, and I think I've come up with a pretty cool lore background deal for them as well. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

[Workbench] US Army Ranger Test Paint (15mm ARC Recon)

So with the help of the guys over at The Miniatures Page, I've gotten my first ranger squad going. These are my first 15mm troops ever, and at first going was a little discouraging, but with some liberal use of dry brushing for quick highlights and washes for shading (I never used a lot of washes in the past, but here they're really a godsend), I think they're looking much more presentable. 

Still, it may take some getting used to stronger highlights than I've used in the past (I think my new rule will be "Is that brighter than I think it should be? Good, use it!"), but it seems to work well with the size of the minis to make the details pop, as well as overcoming some of the darkening caused by the wash. 

You'll have to excuse the poor lighting and one-handed camera-phone photography until I get a better setup going, but I wanted to get a shot of the new troops up here! :)

I goofed and had my 20mm bases sent to the wrong shipping addy, so it'll be a few days still before I get these guys all based up, but I'm excited to get this platoon up and going before my Art Crime Nationalist opfor arrive!

Please feel free to throw out suggestions, comments, critiques, threats, etc below haha, I can tell I have a lot to learn about painting this scale!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

[Workbench] Getting Underway!

Ok, so I've finally gotten my neglected minis toolbox back into working order and have a bunch of terrain pieces coming in the mail, as well as some odds and ends. A quick trip to home depot and $14 yielded the bases upon which I'll be making the terrain for Lachesis!

1/4" MDF cut to 6"x6" and 6"x12". FoW Russian for scale.

I really loved this modular terrain, so I decided I'll be doing my 15mm terrain in a similar style.
As soon as I get my hands on some elmers glue I'll begin on some simple badlands pieces, I've already got some really cool ideas for mining installations and so on, should be good.

In my immediate future I've got:

US Ranger Platoon (ARC Recon by Critical Mass)
Undecided human opfor Platoon (Art Crimes Nationalists)
Never-ending tides of 6" terrain tiles. :)

I also love how Spacejacker bases his minis on 20mm round plastic bases, so I've got a lot of them from ebay on the way. Hopefully within the next few days I'll get some test paints of my Rangers up here.

Also, I've succeeded in getting my brother and friend Bret interested enough to entertain the idea of fielding armies. My brother is thinking possibly Crusties, and if I know Bret, we'll be seeing Russian colonial troops here pretty soon!

P.S. - My wallet hates me. My inner gamer-geek loves me.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

[Gatewar File] A Brief History of the first Gatewar

As promised, here's a brief write-up for the setting of my upcoming 15mm wargaming foray. If it reads like a first draft, well, it is! Any feedback or suggestions are welcome!

The Gates

To understand the Gatewar, one must look at the mankind's progression from the Information Age into the Gate Age. In 2143 when Canadian scientist Charles Brandt created the first working model of the Spacefold gate in a closed laboratory environment, man was suddenly empowered to explore the stars - if he could afford to do so. 

Fold Gate principle diagram from Charles Brandt's presentation to the UN. 

Following this discovery and the United States' subsequent construction of the first Space Fold Gate at Lagrange Point 1(L1), nearly every other developed nation (and some major corporate entities) began to either construct their own Gates or subsidize existing Gate projects in exchange for shared use.

Politicians predicted an age of peace as humanity united to venture out among the stars toward the discovery of untold worlds, technology, and possibly even civilizations. Poorer nations, however, were completely left out of this process. Unable to launch space programs of their own, they could only look on as more prosperous nations became even wealthier. When the growing fleets of surveying vessels began to return with reports of mineral-rich asteroid fields and reap massive rewards, unrest and hostility inevitably followed. The United Nations struggled to maintain order in various regions of the globe, and it quickly became apparent that its most powerful members were too busy protecting their own interests both on Earth and in space to lend foreign aid, leading the plunge into a conflagration of violence that further separated the First and Third Worlds. 


As he had set out to do, Man made discoveries amongst the stars. The first, and most chilling, was evidence of sentient extraterrestrial life. HD 84763 was its official designation, and it was the first of several discovered to date. Slag Worlds, people called them - the charred husks of planets - radar imaging showed ruined cities and infrastructure, the surface far too radioactive and in some cases volcanic to explore, although many scientific firms are working in attempt to do so. 

This evidence brought many questions to the forefront of the public's attention, but simultaneously refused to provide any answers. Had these civilizations destroyed themselves? Had they been destroyed by other interstellar travelers? Were they human-like? How technologically advanced were they? The devastation seen on these worlds is far too great to ascertain many answers - although the documentation of multiple worlds in nearly identical states of ruin has ominous overtones. This, more than anything, calmed violence on Earth. Humanity now had a potential external threat. It was not long, though, before mankind found a new motivation to wage war against itself. 

HD 69830 - Lachesis

Moirai System - Lachesis and her sister planets Clotho and Atropos.

Priority targets for surveys were planets identified by spectograph to be likely candidates for colonization - and so it was with the exploration of HD 69830, dubbed the Moirai system. 41 light-years from Earth and part of the Puppis constellation, Moirai is home to three massive Neptune-sized planets - Lachesis, Clotho, and Atropos. All three are mineral rich, but Clotho and Atropos have swirling poisonous atmospheres unsuitable for human life. The jewel, however, was Lachesis. An arid world of harsh badlands, sweeping deserts, rolling grasslands, and craggy mountains, Lachesis is not a comfortable planet - but it is a near perfect match for human habitation. Humanity breathed a collective sigh of relief at this announcement just as global powers hurriedly prepared their colonization efforts. 

Colonization was not without its complications, however. Lachesis is home to a civilization of crustacean-based humanoids - Stygotantulus Sapiens, otherwise referred to as "Crusties" or "Prawns." Humanity had finally done it - alien life had been found. The first colonies on the ground were those of Sol United - the largest of the surveying corporations. Their initial reports indicated that the Crusties were extremely primitive, barely sentient creatures that were simply part of the wildlife, bottom-feeders and scavengers that would not impede colonization and mining efforts. This fabrication was not exposed until a full decade later when humanitarian organizations began joining the colonies and discovered a fully sentient race of beings whose cities and society had been all but annihilated by government and corporate refining operations aided by aggressive military expansion. 

Crusty refugees outside the Russian colony New Samara.


The second factor which makes Lachesis the jewel of Moirai is the presence of Tetrobium, an incredibly lightweight and strong metal alloy unlike any previously encountered. Crusty civilization and technology, which was at roughly 2000 A.D. technology levels before colonization, is based almost entirely on this substance. They had mined most of the easily accessible tetrobium on the planet's surface to build their sprawling hive cities, all of which were dismantled and melted down in a mere eight years. Displaced refugees formed makeshift settlements outside human colonies, formed wasteland enclaves, often resorting to banditry and crime as a means of survival. 

The low weight and high strength of tetrobium had allowed the Crusties to develop powersuit and walker technology that was simply impossible with the resources available to humanity, which was quickly adopted for military and construction purposes, finding its way into nearly every current military force. While expensive to field and maintain, this technology has revolutionized the way urban warfare is conducted. 

The Gatewar

News of events unfolding on Lachesis eventually grew beyond containment - colonists, reporters, and aid workers returned to Earth with horrific stories of what crimes humanity had committed in the name of material gain. Many were outraged, few could act. It was clear, however, that whomever controlled the supply of tetrobium had a clear path to dominance. While war on Earth is limited to small flare-ups in the Third World, Lachesis is now a warzone as national rivalries erupt into full-scale conventional military confrontations. Crusties, having been moved to barely livable reservations which continue to grow as shanty towns on the outskirts of nearly every human settlement, regularly stage riots and armed uprisings. Tribal in nature, Crusties have no central government, but are beginning to organize in the face of the threat of humanity and burning desire for vengeance against alien oppressors. Some governments are sympathetic to the plight of the Crusties, and employ them as native guides and trackers, even going so far as to employ Crusty mercenaries. Private corporate militaries vie for their own control, often clashing with various national military as well as Crusty rebels. 

The year is 2187. The Second Age of Colonialism is underway, heralded by today's Gatewar. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

[Status] Into the Fray!

Here I sit, afflicted with a malady I haven't had in almost 6 years - the miniature gaming bug. After writing Modern Ops, I was burnt out pretty bad. It was months of solid research, writing, and I am confident in saying I overdid it - I fully immersed myself in modern warfare stuff - I lost count of how many times I watched Black Hawk Down, I spent the time I wasn't writing rules and stats reading books like Thunder Run, and when I wasn't reading those, I was painting modern minis and terrain. It was a true labor of love, but in the end I simply went at it too hard. 

Fast forward 7 years, and I'm finally starting to google minis and get that longing feeling, seeing the amazing explosion of the 15mm sci-fi miniatures market and the beautiful figures that have come out while I've been in cryo-stasis, finally awaking in this brave new world of smaller, cheaper, and more convenient minis. I'm not 26 anymore. As my dad would say, I'm old and ugly enough now to see I that I have less time available to devote to my hobbies, and 15mm seems perfect for that - cheaper, take less time to paint, less space to store, and what's more that goes for terrain as well. If I'm honest, I look at 28mm miniatures now and cringe at the thought of painting up an army to the standard that I'd be happy with. I look at 15mm guys, and think... I could definitely do that. I want to do that!

I stumbled upon Spacejacker's 15mm blog and was inspired - reading his first blog entry and it sounded remarkably like my own situation, so I decided to start a blog of my own to chronicle my foray back into miniatures wargaming. 

I've already got my first order of ARC Recon troopers on the way as well as a special plan for providing them with some gunship support. 

My next blog entry will be in the next couple days, I'll be detailing the setting my minis and terrain will be based on - imagine 2 parts Avatar, 2 parts District 9, and 1 part Black Hawk Down, and that's about the size of it. 

I haven't decided on a ruleset yet - I just picked up Tomorrow's War, although I do love Stargrunt II, so I may default to that if I don't like TW. SGII has some holes in certain areas, but overall is probably my favorite sci-fi game out there. I'm also considering checking out Gruntz, although reading reviews has given me the impression that TW is more my speed. Anyway, this should be fun. :)