Thursday, February 28, 2013

Quadrant 13

Lover of Science Fiction gaming are in for a real treat with the latest arrival from TooFatLardies. Penned by Robert Avery Quadrant 13 are rules for company plus levell actions in a Science Fiction Universe using 6mm to 15mm figures. So, what are they all about?
As lovers of Science Fiction gaming will know, the boom in the last couple of years has been the explosion of superb ranges of 15mm and smaller Sci-Fi figures and vehicles from a whole swathe of new companies with great ideas. What has been missing, for us at least, has been a “generic” set of Science Fiction rules which can allow us to create our own worlds and cultures which we can then populate with these great new ranges.
But what do we mean by generic? Well, over the years we have seen lots of Sci-Fi rule sets which are tied to a specific backdrop created by the publishers. Often this has involved a large slice of background “fluff” which is really only relevant to that particular Universe. What we wanted to create was a set of hard Sci-Fi rules which were totally generic, allowing the gamer to develop his or her own setting using whatever races or technology levels they wanted. And Robert Avery was the man for the job!
Robert has worked with us to produce many scenario supplements in the past and has been a long-time Sci-Fi gamer with a leaning to the hard side of the genre. He wanted to put together a set of rules where the gamer was in charge and where the mechanisms were there to allow them complete freedom in their game design. Quadrant 13 is the result.
Borrowing the game engine used for Charlie Don’t Surf, our Vietnam rules, and I Ain’t Been Shot Mum, our WWII rules, Robert took Quadrant 13 and applied a whole new layer of technological detail and Sci-Fi feel. Now you can field forces of differing technologies with a whole raft of settings. ,Quadrant 13 is a stand-alone game: no other rulebooks or supplements are necessary to play. The rules contain a guide to creating your forces as well as a scenario generator and several army lists.
I've just gave the PDF a quick read....and I like what I'm seeing!

Quadrant 13 After Action Reports

Q13 is a company-sized game covering science fiction warfare aimed primarily at using 6-15mm figures. It uses the same basic mechanics as IABSM and/or CDS, but is as different in flavour from them as they are from each other.
Q13 is not based on any particular science-fiction universe. The rules are generic: providing a framework into which you must fit the armies you want to field. This framework will translate the vast variety of concepts possible in an effectively infinite science fiction universe into a common idiom, allowing the game’s systems to operate.
From The Page:
One of the things I have wanted to use Q13 for is a series of Invasion Earth scenarios set just after the end of the Second World War. For an as yet unspecified reason, various alien races are attempting to take over the Earth, leading to battles between my WW2 figures and the various sci-fi armies that I'm currently building. Here's the first in the series: Space Bugs versus Americans...

Now this one I've Got To Try! I'm going to get the PDF here shortly and attempt a game within the
next two weeks....)

Monday, February 25, 2013

GZG ECC 16 - An Overview Wrap By Indy

Well, yet another ECC has come and gone. Lots of people showed
up, lots of games were hosted, lots of prizes given out, and lots of
people had fun.

After the long 5-hour drive up (missing the weather channel-
warned storm in the mountain passes of Pennsylvania by a couple
hours), I arrived with plenty of time to check in, unload the car of
my stuff, and get in on Ron Walls' "Star Trek Starship Combat:
Into the Maelstrom" game. Setting was a mystery ship has appeared
in this nebulosity surrounding a black hole near the neutral zone and
both the Freds and Klinks sent a squadron of ships to investigate. I
got to be the mystery ship and it turned out I had the Excelsior Prime
from the Mirror, Mirror universe. Adm Hikaru "Oh Myyy" Sulu
commanding. My goal/objective was to test out the new antiproton
beams that were installed in place of the typical phaser banks
(antiproton beam -think "planet killer" from "The Doomsday
Machine"). I was also to capture any tech from either side, and kill
as many as I could (granted, I was in a battleship, but I couldn't take on
both sides at the same time, so was going to have to 'ally' myself with
one or the other). The Feddies attempted to hail me and find out who I
was, but I didn't let out much of info. So to confuse them I asked them
where they were from. and set out to maneuver at a substantially high
rate, with shields and weapons charged, adding to the apprehension
of both sides as they saw my speed and were doing scans of my
weapons. I finally let them know who was commanding the

Excelsior Prime, and since I outranked the Commodore on the
Chandley (or whatever ship it was; can't remember), they decided to
try and form up on me to drive off the Klingons. The Klingons in turn
tried to encourage me with the 'enemy of my enemy' philosophy. To
which I replied that I was leading the unsuspecting Feddies right to them.
I wasn't sure yet if I was going to turn on the Feds or blow away a
Klingon or two. In the end I got the two sides together, the Klingons
(not trusting me) covered some of their (or more literally, my) asses,
and in one turn a LOT of phaser and photon fire ensued, accompanied
with substantial antiproton beam blasts, which basically gutted two
Klingon ships at point-blank range. One Klink blew up, and I went
to tractor the other and take it back to my universe, but it self-destructed
so I let it go and went home. :-) The remnants of the Klingons warped
out, and the few surviving Fed ships picked up the pieces and survivors
(as good Feddies are to do).

Saturday morning Noam Izenberg and I ran a playtest of a starship combat
game we are developing and got a lot of good and positive feedback from it.
Double win there.

Saturday afternoon I got in on a Tomorrow's War game run by a friend of
mine who had come up to the con for his first time. He has doing a Mars
Rebellion series of four games locally, and ran the middle two scenarios at
the con. Prior to this I had only been able to help him playtest the first
scenario. So it was neat to see how the second one went. Basically the
Terran Marines had worked their way into one of the Mars Domes and were
looking to secure it (take control of the facilities in order to pacify the
resistance). I was helping play part of the resistance commandos (lower
tech, lower troop quality units) and we somehow managed to avert a Terran
take-over of our control complex at the last possible moment. WIN for the
Mars Revolution! The People's United Mars Provinces (PUMP) rule!

Saturday evening we had our awards ceremony for the minis painting contest.
This year, since Ken Wang was going to do a scratchbuild workshop, we
expanded the minis contest entries to include a scratchbuild category.
There were a lot of fantastic minis entered, and as usual, I abstained from
voting since I wanted to remove any actual or perceived bias from knowing
who's mini(s) was(were) whose, and let the attendees of the con vote
instead. This year, over most any other year, the first place winners were
far and wide in the lead in ALL categories - by a factor of 2.5 points in
votes! The differences between 2nd, 3rd and 4th place were pretty slim, and
I even squeaked in a 3rd place win with an "old style" NAC battle
squadron. :-D (I usually enter something in most categories just to help
fill the field and to give everyone a chance to compare 'poor' painting to
'great' painting techniques :-) ). Due to the generous donations of our GZG
and Brigade sponsors, I was able to give some very nice prizes to the

After that I got in on Ron Walls' Tomorrow's War game set in the Aliens'
universe. This was a fun and tense scenario but the flow was disrupted a
bit by some communication disconnects between the GMs, the GMs and the
players, and the Aliens player and the players, which caused some confusion
and frustration for those playing (and I'm sure GMing). But getting beyond
that, it was a fun game, and as one of the Marines I got to shoot things:
egg sacks, face-huggers, and a handful of highly armored Aliens (D10 on the
defense? holy crap!) We even got to see the Weylund-Yutani Mercenary
plasma-fusion armed grav tank explode. I'd play it again.

Sunday morning I ran MY Tomorrow's War game, "A Walk Through the
Valley of Death". From my scenario blurb:
*"The humans, I think, knew they were doomed. But where another race would
surrender to despair, the humans fought back with even greater strength.
They made the Minbari fight for every inch of space. In my life, I have
never seen anything like it. They would weep, they would pray, they would
say good-bye to their loved ones, and then throw themselves, without fear
or hesitation, at the very face of death itself, never surrendering..."
Emperor Londo Mollari, 2278

The year was 2247. Flinn Colony was the site of some of the bloodiest
ground fighting during the Earth-Minbari War (2245-2248). Prior to this the
Minbari were able to deal with ground forces in a pretty straight-forward
manner, but Flinn Colonys ground-based defenses forced the Minbari to land
a large number of units on the planet itself. Massive hand-to-hand combat
raged across the planets surface, until every human of Flinn Colony was
killed. But high Minbari casualties told the tale that the humans made the
Minbari pay for every human death inflicted.*

I had four players, two Human, two Minbari. Three of the players were
brand-new to Tomorrow's War, so it was a little frustrating for them as
they had some preconceived notions as to how it should play vs how it did
play. But once they got past that they had a good time and shot stuff up.
In the playtest games I'd run before the Minbari won, but at a substantial
price (usually with half of their members seriously wounded or KIA), but
this time only one KIA and one or two seriously wounded. The rest of the
Minbari were running rampant on the Human defenders. The boneheads
(especially Jim Bell) had gotten some great die rolls most all game and
combined with lack of movement by the humans (they should have either
moved up to perform a pincer or move together and levied withering fire
into one or two Minbari fireteams rather than go at them semi-piecemeal)
contributed strongly to the Minbari win. Nevertheless I think the game went

I shot a lot of photos and took a number of time-lapse sequences (with and
without the dolly) but upon review last night I'm not wholly happy with
most of the time-lapse shots. I'll get a slideshow together later when I
get some time and I'll drop in some of the TL sequences, but won't be as
many as last year's was (

Jerry Han has the Quote Board, and while there are not nearly as many
quotes posted as there have been in years past (mostly because I think
people are starting to forget about posting quotes during games), there are
some gems in there. One of my favorites is this (may be slightly
paraphrased; Jerry will post the actual quote, but this is close enough) :

Jerry Han: "I didn't realize Aliens had opposable thumbs"
Greg Davis: "...and the tank?"
Jerry Han: "The tank was the Aliens' lunchbox"

(if you didn't draw the connection, this was the explanation
for why the
W-Y Merc tank mentioned earlier exploded)


Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Rat Patrol

The Rat Patrol is an American television program that aired on ABC during the 1966–1968 seasons. The show follows the exploits of four Allied soldiers — three Americans and one Englishman — who are part of a long-range desert patrol group in the North African campaign during World War II. Their mission: "to attack, harass and wreak havoc on Field Marshal Rommel's vaunted Afrika
Sgt. Sam TroyChristopher GeorgeThe unit's leader, Troy is an intuitive, resourceful, clever and gritty-yet-compassionate leader who always wears an Australian army Slouch hat.
Sgt. Jack MoffittGary RaymondThe British member of the unit. An expert on the desert and on the local Arab tribes which inhabit it, Moffitt speaks fluent German and Arabic. Before the outbreak of war, he accompanied his father (a noted archaeologist) on multiple trips to the Sahara.
Pvt. Mark T. HitchcockLawrence CaseyKnown as "Hitch". The college-man-turned-soldier often chews bubblegum and wears a red kepi with gold trim similar to those worn by Zouave and artillery troops during the American Civil War. Occasionally shows his "Ladies' Man" side.
Pvt. Tully PettigrewJustin TarrCalled one of the Army's best wheelmen by Troy, Tully grew up in Kentucky and apparently gained his remarkable driving skills by running moonshine.

Notable enemies included:
Hauptmann (Captain) Hans DietrichHans GudegastA dedicated, but honorable German officer and the Patrol's main nemesis. By the end of the series it becomes clear that Dietrich, although a cunning opponent, never stoops to the cruel methods of fellow Nazi officers.

I have first season on DVD, notable items, American M3 half tracks with angled hoods to look
German and equipped with "Boys Anti-tank Rifle" and 105mm SP Priest used as a Stug
(I guess) stand in! All in all watching this again reminds me of some of JRs (the Late, John G Robertson) work that you can see on Tim Gow's page:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tankers Tuesday: M103 Heavy Tank

The M103 Heavy Tank was developed post WWII and put into service beginning in 1957. This tank was the largest and most armed tank that had ever been developed for the US Army and USMC. This huge piece was developed during the Cold War Era to meet the challenges of the heavy tanks developed by the USSR.

The USMC acquired 220 of these tanks for supporting their infantry units, while the US Army acquired 80 of the tanks. A total of 300 were built. None of these tanks were ever used in combat.
The extra-large 120mm cannon required that the turret be larger than the M48 or M60 tanks to accommodate two loaders, plus the gunner and commander. The gun could be elevated between 15 ᴼ+ to -8ᴼ degrees.

Many additional modifications were made and shared with the M47 and M48 Patton tanks and the M60, which were all medium tanks with 90 or 105 mm guns. Two additional variations that were developed included the M103A1 in 1959 and the M103A2 in 1964. The M103 was very underpowered and the transmissions were fragile, thus this tank never had enough power to operate properly. The United States withdrew this tank from service sometime in 1974.
Quite a few of the M103s can still be found on some US military bases, while others can be viewed at various museums throughout the United States.

Crew: 5 (Commander, driver, gunner, 2 loaders)
Tank Armor: 7.2” – 7.34”
Main Armament for the M103: 120mm – M58
Rounds: 34
Secondary Armament for the M102: 2 – .30 cal – M1919A4E1- machine guns
1 – .50 cal – M2AA – machine guns

Tank Engine:
Continental AV1790, 12 cylinder – air cooled (M103A2)
Continental – AVDS – 1790-2, V-12 air cooled, twin turbo charged diesels
810 hp and 750 hp

Operation Range:
80 Miles for the M103
295 miles for the M103A2

21 mph (M103)
23 mph (M103A2)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Critical Mass Games Announces Kickstarter ZAS Army

I jumped on this one,

Pledge £33 or more

ZAS Company Commander. You will initially receive 57 Miniatures comprising of 1 Company Commander, 2 Platoon Commanders, 2 Communications Specialist, 2 Medic, 2 Drone, plus eight 6 figure packs from the Squad Leader pledge level. Plus any stretch goals this pledge level achieves (**hint this is likely to see the most**). Includes Worldwide Shipping.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tanker's Tuesday +1 FV 214 Conqueror

Some beasts added to the inventory:

The FV 214 Conqueror, also known as "Tank, Heavy No. 1, 120 mm Gun, Conqueror" was a British heavy tank of the post-war era. It was developed as a response to the Soviet Joseph Stalin IS-3 heavy tanks and carried a larger 120 mm gun compared to the 20-pounder (83.4 mm) gun carried by its peer the Centurion. Its role was to provide long range anti-tank support for Centurion tanks. They were issued at nine for each regiment in Germany; usually grouped in three tank troops.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sunday, February 10, 2013

French Aircraft To The UK

Elements of the former Air Force of the French Republic seek
refuge in the United Kingdom.
It is our understanding (unconfirmed) that these squadrons will be
based somewhere in the Sheffield area, as part of the Free French

Bonne chance Wing Commander Tim!