Friday, September 23, 2011

I've Moved..

I know that not much has happened on this blog over the summer months, but that's the nature of the Canadian summer; as the temperature heats up, mini projects go down. But I've still been busy behind the scenes. I've got about 3-4 projects that are well into their second half of being completed, and I can't wait to get them up and out to the masses. I've also got some top secret things I'm gleefully working on and will break the results to you first on here.

I've also decided to move my blog over to I like the fact that they've created a blogging mechanism for those into tabletop gaming, and hope that I can share my work with a greater amount of like minded individuals over there. So this will be my last post on blogger. However, if you want to continue to follow my progress, you can check out the URL below to find where all of my work has moved to:

Hope to see you all over there!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Infinity - Combat Haqqer!!!!

Well, if you can't tell by the title of this entry, I've decided to start an Infinity force, specifically Haqqislam. I really liked the background for them (a general enlightenment period for Islam as a whole, and a shift away from fundamentalism towards humanism), and of course they have one of the coolest miniatures out there, the 6-legged beetlemecha otherwise known as the Maghariba Guard!

But I didn't want to jump in head first and butcher what otherwise looks like a real treat to paint in the Maghariba, so I started small with a humble Ghulam hacker. I think it might be the old-school cyberpunk in me that totally loves the idea of computer combat that wanted to get him painted up. I have yet to play the game, but it looks like out of all the Human Sphere line troops that can be hackers (Fusiliers, Zhanshi, and Alguaciles), the Ghulam (with their 14 WIP) have the best capacity to succeed at Hacking. So here we are, the first mini I what I know will be an excellent game:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Heavy Gear - Crossbow Grizzly

I love my Fire Support Squad; it was one of the first things I ever purchased for Heavy Gear Blitz and I've used it in probably 75% of all my games. And I love me some Grizzlies; they look so awesome with slinging their HACs and MRPs. But I'm not really a fan of HGMs; sure they cause stun and have AE, but really that's just a consolation for not destroying your target. Add in the -1 Accuracy and the fact that you should keep your Grizzly constantly on the move to avoid it being wrecked, and it really adds up to not being the most effective weapon out there. And that's the reason that my Fire Support Squad never gets updated to Veteran status. Well, I thought I would do something about it. I now have my Crossbow Grizzly. For a -15 TV "upgrade" you get 4 ATMs. That may not seem like much, but I always think that a unit pays for itself once it's destroyed more TV than what it's worth. And for those high value targets, ATMs are just what the general ordered. Combine it with Recon elements FOing with a TD, and the ATMs + 1 Accuracy, and Kaboom to most things this side of a main battle tank! So may I present to you, my Crossbow Grizzly in all it's glory:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Heavy Gear - CanGames Battles 3 & 4

My third draw brought me up against DP9 forumite John Prins. For those that have followed my blog you'll know this would be a rematch of sorts, John bringing his Mekong Peacekeeper force up against my Northern Guard. Both of us however, had brought some new friends. John had retained the Paratroop Cadre and Fire Support Cadre, but also brought along a kitted out MP Cadre that included a Cobra MP and a Black Adder. I was really looking forward to this game, as John has got be the best opponent I've ever faced in Blitz. Playing him you can just see that no Action or Movement is wasted, and that everything he does in the game is really in anticipation of what will happen in the next round or two. There were three objectives on the table, and I was tasked with Forward Observing them all in order to identify which one had the civilians stand I was supposed to rescue and Hold until the end of the game. Lucky for me, I brought a Weasel along, and I could already start the FO from my own deployment zone under cover. Even luckier for me, I FOed the correct objective by round 2 and popped the civilian token into play. After that things became fast and furious; my Recon Squad's Jaguar sped in to pick them up, while elements of his Paratroop Cadre laid down some serious hurt with both their light bazookas and denying my use of CPs through their wily use of EW. I tried to smash them off the face of the planet, but even after a Field Gun attack and two Medium Artillery Strikes, they weathered the storm well and took minimal damage. In the John was in control of the civilian stand, with no units of my anywhere close to contest it, and he won 3-2 VPs. Here are a few pictures of the battle.

John pops smoke to cover the advance of his Paratroop Cadre towards an Objective.

Under the cover of a pile of scrap, my Weasel FOs the objective while friendly units advance upon it.

On the otherside of the battlefield, John moves elements of his Fire Support Cadre deftly though the scrap piles.

Northern forces have taken the objective, but heavily armed Southern units are on the prowl.

The civilian stand has been taken, and my Jaguar does it's best to take on the fire from its Southern advisaries.

My fourth and final draw had me up against DP9 forumite Hapotte. Hapotte had stepped in for his father Jean who had to leave and fielded a Northern force of: a Light Tank Squad with 2 Bandit Hunter Klemms; a Field Gun Section with two field guns; a Dragoon Squad, and; a Strike Squad. Both of us had the same Objectives: two Wipe Them Out orders to be randomly determined on our units. I knew I had to be aggressive to keep myself in the game. My first Field Gun shot took out one of his Field Guns and knocked a Sturdy Box of a Hunter. He also had his Rabid Grizzly go stationary to attack my quickly advancing White Cat (which took so much fire without a real scratch and should get Gear of the Match honours), a mistake I quickly capitalized on and had my Grizzlies take it out with HGM fire. My Artillery Strikes really paid off as well in this game as I rolled boxcars for my raw roll, and it took out both his Kodiak and a Cheetah. All of that happened in the first turn, quickly swinging the game in my favour. In the end I ran out the victor 4-0 VPs, and only lost a single Gear in the process. Here's a couple of pictures I took of the last round in action.

I quickly begin apply pressure to my left flank, with elements of my GP Squad holding a building, while the rest of their squadmates advance.

On my right flank, my Grizzly takes cover behind a structure to rain mortar fire over the battlefield, while a Hunter stands guard to the left.

My forces on the left flank take fire while advancing.

My White Cat leads the charge on the left flank, while Hapotte focus' his fire upon it.

The bulk of my forces have now all moved forward, with the exception of those units that IF capabilities.

The beginning of the end for Hapotte, as I consilodate my forces and begin mopping up the remainder of his units.

In the end I ended up with 4 tournament points, which were not close enough to eventual tournament champ Izzy's 7, and could not defend my 2010 title. Congratulations to everyone that participated and I must say that playing with everyone here is always one of the highlights of the year. Can't wait to do it all again next spring!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Heavy Gear - CanGames Battles 1 & 2

My first draw was against DP9 Forumite CADMonkey. He had a Southern force that consisted of: his Army Commander in a standard Naga; a Recon Cadre, and; at Tank Cadre with 2 Huns and a Visigoth; not a lot of models, but a very elite force. My objectives were to kill his army commander and scout the associated objectives on the table. Pretty standard fare, except for the playing conditions that had been thrown in: in this round, all tables were considered to be under darkness and had an EM storm going on at the same time. This meant that the enemy was both harder to Detect and every time a Comm Event was initiated, you had to beat the storm to achieve it. I had never faced off against Southern armour before this game, and what I learned from the battle is that they are points well spent. His Visigoth started off the game by getting a Combat Lock on my Weasel on his first activation, and promptly wiped him off the face of Terra Nova! Rounds of Medium Artillery Strikes were also no deterrent for them either, barely taking off the Sturdy Boxes off the Huns. After the dust had settled I lost my first match of the Tournament by the narrow margin of 2-1 VP in CADMonkey's favour. Here are some pics I took in my battle against him:

Elements of my Recon Squad Advance while CADMonkey's Huns ready their fire.

A full shot showing both CADMonkey's and my forces:.

My White Cat hides behind a building while Forward Observing one of two Objectives on the table, while my Bobcat tries to draw a bead on CADMonkey's Naga.

My Fire Support presses forward to both Forward Observe an Objective while attempting to take the battle to CADMonkey's Visigoth.

CADMonkey's Huns take the fight to me, and attempt to take out my my remaining recon Gears.

My second draw was against DP9 Forumite Robock. He brought a Badlander force that consisted of: an Infantry Platoon, half being in ORVs; a Sniper Squad with a well placed Recon Drone; a unit of Northern Gears that included Assault Jaguars, and; a unit of Southern Gears, all equipped with Light Bazookas. My objectives were to make sure my Army Commander and his squad remained alive and hold the assigned objectives on the table. Luckily there were no table effects for this round. Things started off much better for me this draw: my Field Gun landed a sweet shot the first round, Overkilling one of his Assault Cheetahs and damaging a Jager. My Bobcats and other Recon Gears quickly swept forward to trade shots and destroy elements of his Recon Platoon. The rest of my force either huddled near the objective to keep it safely in my control, or flanked Robock's forces to get some shots in with their medium bazookas. As time ran out, I was now all square, winning this round 4-0 VPs in my favour. Here's some pictures I took from my second match:

Here is the battlefield from my perspective during mid deployment.

My Fire Support Squad takes cover and hunkers down to hold the objective.

My force keeps cover between them and Robock's forces and takes fire, but shrugs off the damage.

My Recon Squad advances along my left flank and engages elements of Robock's Gear squads.

My Bobcat fires on Robocks infantry squads while his Gears adavance behind the cover of buildings.

My Recon Squad are about to be bombarded by and Medium Artillery Strike.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Heavy Gear - DP9 at CanGames 2011

Another May 2-4, another CanGames attended! What seems to have become an annual spring rite for me as come and gone too quickly. I've never been much of a tournament player over my hobby life, but the Heavy Gear Blitz Canadian Championship has become an event not to be missed by me. It's great to come to Ottawa in the spring, as the snow has finally receded and the first spell of warm weather brings Canada's capital back to life. People come from far and wide to play in this tournament (many an American travelled from all over the Northeast) , and it's great to be able to share that obsession for giant robot combat with like-minded individuals. Another great thing about this tournament is the general atmosphere: Ottawa has a much slower pace than where I come from (Toronto) and I think it influences the nature of gaming; there are no high-pressure situations with players trying to bend this and that rule to their advantage, just good-natured gamers that want to get in a few competitive games of Heavy Gear Blitz and maybe win something while doing it. You also see every type of army being fielded at this event, which not only looks great on the table, but speaks volumes of the balance of Heavy Gear Blitz. While I brought my traditional Northern Guard force, there were everything from Badlander mercenary companies consisting of a hodgepodge of Terran Novan designs, to Strider-heavy Humanist Alliances forces and uber-elite Black Talon teams, and everything in between! Here's just some of the pictures I was able to take of the action while I wasn't involved in my own games.

How I fared in the tournament and a report on each of my rounds are soon to follow. And no. BeerMonkey, I will not edit out my losses ;)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Heavy Gear - Thunder! Thunder! Thunder! Thunderhammer, HO!

It's been a while since I've posted any new completed projects on this blog, but this beast of a machine was well worth the wait. I originally received it as a gift from my regular opponent Jay when he moved over to building a Peace River force. I never really rated the Thunderhammer much under the old Locked & Loaded rules, but thought at least it would look great in my display cabinet. Fast forward to the new Field Manual rules of making Striders great, along with it's use in one of DP9 forumite MechMerc's battle reports, and suddenly if found a new found lease on life to me. This thing literally towers head and shoulders over my Grizzlies, and it's profile made me magnetize the field gun so that it's easier to transport. I've also included a shot of the undercarriage, as there is a ton of detail there that you'd never see without turning it over. So let me present to you that that cause the earth to shake and many a Southerner to cower in fear, the mighty Thunderhammer:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Heavy Gear - I Cheetah...

"I Cheetah all the time!"

For those not averse to Canadian pop culture, that quote comes from a rather atrocious energy drink commercial in which disgraced Canadian olympian Ben Johnson flushes the remainder of any self-respect down the toilet while professing his love for said energy drink to brand owner, wannabe badboy and all-round slime ball Frank D'Angelo. What does this have to do with Heavy Gear? Absolutely nothing, but I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel for clever play on words, so I'll invariably drop a dud or two. Anyways, here are the two Cheetahs I've been working one. The left is everybody's favourite White Cat version, and the right is a vanilla one.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Heavy Gear - Rumble in the Jungle

Lt. Kovacs surveyed his immediate area via virtual reality provided by his HUD. The wetlands and jungle vegetation of the Mekong played out in bright green, contrasting with the friendly blues points that denoted his unit's Gears. Suddenly a large insectoid the size of a Thunderhammer smashed through his units and the jungle, scrambling everything in his VR suite. "Environmentally sealed my ass," he muttered as he tore off his helmet to swat the now tiny bug that that infiltrated the cockpit.

Command had been tracking a small force of Dominion troops ever since they led an assault on a Northern-controlled research facility in the Badlands. The Mekong government denied any involvement, but you could never trust a Southerner, no matter the League they came from. His force had set up camp for the night along a sparcely settled road, and hunkered down for the inevitable assault the Dominionite forces would try for through the evening. Kovacs listened to the swaying of the long grass and tree limbs in the dark. Any other time it would be peaceful, but now it hung over them like a cloak to hide the approach of Southern Gears.

Fellow DP9 forumite John Prins and I got together for a 1000 TV battle this weekend down at X Planet. I was anticipating not only a great fight, but a wonderful battle report as well, since John has one of the nicest painted Southern forces around. He brought a PL3 Mekong force that consisted of 2 Paratroop Cadres and a Fire Support Cadre. His Paratroop Cadres had all the bells and whistles, with buffed skills, a Long Fang Black Mamba and Iguana Paratroopers with LBZKs. I brought a PL3 UMF force with a GP Squad, a Recon Squad, a FS Squad and an Infantry Platoon. Just the GP Squad had buffed skills, and half the Infantry Platoon came with ORVs and AGMs.

At 1000 TV you have 6 OP. I rolled for Defensive Objectives and elected to Blockade my deployment zone, have my FS Squad leader Survive, and Recon John Prins's FS Cadre. John's Objectives were to Breakthrough to my deployment zone, Seize the building with the elevated walkway, and Wipe Out my Recod Squad.

Here's a shot of my deployment zone, with all my models at the start:

John elected to keep his two Paratroop Cadres off the board, and started with his FS Cadre as the lone combat group on the board:

My ORVs press up the right flank to engage John's Python and Stripped-Down Hunter (with Snipered HAC):

On the opposite flank, my Antelope take advantage of the road to engage another Stripped-Down Hunter and Support Cobra:

The greater bulk of my forces wait for the arrival of John's Paratroop Cadres and their assault on my deployment zone:

By the end of Turn 2, John's FS Cadre had been heavily damaged, in part to the sacrifice of my ORVs and their AGMs:

At the end of Turn 2, John brings in one of his Paratroop Cadres on my left flank:

Behind the safety of cover, John drops his other Paratroop Cadre on my right flank. A lone Bobcat stands in their way:

My Bobcat is still in the fight after 10+ attack attempts on him. Meanwhile, elements of my GP Squad, FS Squad and Infantry Platoon stand ready to repel his charge over the hill:

Throughout Turn 4, a strong yellow line of Northern Forces still stands ready to defend their deployment zone:

It's Turn 5, and John pops smoke to protect his Gears from further attack while they hold their Seize objective:

When the dust had settled, I had acheived 4 VP to John's 2. My thoughts on this battle were that I won more by accident than well-planned tactics. I wasn't familiar with the Airdroppable rules, but the high model count, the push forward by a few scout Gears, and the inclusion of 2 Weasels in my Recon Squad meant that he had to drop his Gears in well back from my deployment zone. I also totally forgot to use the Artillery Strikes I bought with my SPs. The really could've come in handy to try and take out his Paratroop Cadres who made great use of cover. John is a great opponent, and I look forward to our next game. He supposed to be at CanGames as well, and I hope we can get some practice in to make the GTA proud at the Canadian Championship come May!