Saturday, 9 October 2021

Kzinti ships, first attempt

 I just grabbed these at random from my drawer of things to be done:


Two Medium Cruisers being lead by a Fast Battlecruiser. Medium Cruisers are the Kzinti War Cruiser class, ships with firepower approaching that of traditional cruisers, but without the frills and extra equipment of a full cruiser. So that means the hull is a bit smaller, and there are fewer labs and so on. These ships are designed specifically for war, so they aren't the all-rounders that make standard cruisers capable of a wide range of missions. However, this also makes them comparatively cheap, so they are the hulls that are mass-produced during the General War.


I painted the engines on the Fast Battlecruiser to look a bit different. These didn't exist when I first played Star Fleet Battles and Federation & Empire and are described as experimental types with larger warp engines and fewer heavy weapons than an ordinary cruiser. They can be rather interesting to run in fleet battles because they can take even more punishment than other cruisers, but then they don't have as many disruptors. Lots of phaser-1s, though.

I am experimenting a bit with the bases and labels. I've taped F&E ship counters to the bases to show the ship types; quit handy for recognition in large engagements. I'm going to use the larger rectangles for most ships from now on because they are more stable; I'll use the small bases for frigates and such.

Art supplies are not in abundance where I am now, but eventually I am hoping to find some fluoresecents to use for windows and other lighting effects. Even acrylic gloss varnish would do the job. But at least some things are getting done.

Monday, 27 September 2021

Fighters and missiles - oh my

 Missiles from Shapeways, mounted on number counters to show how many:


Drone missiles play a large part in Star Fleet Battles, especially the Kzinti, so here's my solution. I also thought about doing the same thing with fighter squadrons, but decided not to:


I just like the look of lots of fighters all together. These ones are from The Plastic Soldier Company's Red Alert game; I purchased a few extra to produce two twelve-fighter squadrons. The raised detail makes them quite nice to paint, and I have opted for the scheme of white on blue that Federation and Empire uses for neutrals. The sort of square section at the rear of the fighters just before the engines came with a sort of dome thing that just looked odd, so I sliced them off. They could work for a sensor dome or maybe a droid like R2D2, I suppose; I just prefer the cleaner look.

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

I know I haven't posted here for a while

 ... but that's because I've just moved continents. No gaming where I am now, except solo, which is why I was practicing with a solo version of Star Fleet Battles. Unable to bring my main ancients gaming with me, I've opted instead for lightweight plastic spaceships:

Kzinti logistics moving through asteroids with a fighter escort

The fighters and Tug are from the Star Fleet Battle section of Shapeways, 3788 scale. The freighters are by the Plastic Soldier Company, and come with the Command & Colours Red Alert spaceship tabletop game. I've painted them as Kzinti.


The asteroids and planet come from the Armada Scale items sold by Combat Zone Scenery.


The sensor arrays have been treated with children's UHU glitter glue to make them stand out a little bit. And why not, eh?

Monday, 24 May 2021

Some more Star Fleet Battles

 I've been mucking about with various ideas for Star Fleet Battles using items from their Shapeways store and elsewhere. First up is a Kzinti Battle Station:

This is a really nice little model, from their "Omni-scale" range. It works very well with the counters I am using at the moment for my solo fleet games, but it will be far too small when I eventually get my fleet together. Now of course stations, plants, asteroids etc. will always be out of scale when compared with ships, because otherwise you couldn't play the game in your average house, but even so this is far too small. I have cunning plan for that, though. In the meantime, I wanted to see how this looks, partly because I wanted to try the Jupiter IV decals I bought earlier - I'm hoping you can see one of them on the model above.

Secondly, here are some fighters from The Plastic Soldier Company, for Richard Borg's Red Alert game:

It's not a great photo - just about the best I can manage in what is supposed to be late spring light here in the UK - also known as hammering rain. Believe it or not, the hexes are actually mat black, but the colours have gone a bit weird. The fighters look rather washed-out in the photo, but they are actually quite nice. I have painted them to do service as neutrals or perhaps Orion mercenaries, with a blue on white colour scheme. They are a bit larger than the Shapeways Kzinti fighters I bought previously which is why there are two to a base, but they'll do the job.

Friday, 19 March 2021

Something nice from the Society of Ancients

 Nothing for six months, and then two posts come along at once! This arrived in the mail today:


I wrote quite a long descriptive review of Tactica II for Slingshot and won a thing.

I built a Kzinti Starbase

And here it is, with two fighter squadrons: 

There is a reason for this, believe it or not. Real life became unbelievably heavy last year due to a combination of work, work, more work and yet another redundancy threat. This means I had relatively little time left for any games stuff, as you could probably tell from the long silences on this blog. However, the situation gave me the impetus not only to go for the full head shave I'd been contemplating for a while (no hairdressers open = mad scientist look anyway), but also to apply for the sorts of jobs I wouldn't normally. So I will be moving to Al Ain in Abu Dhabi in the autumn to wok for the UAE University. In fact, I've already started, but they are extremely strict about covid, and everything is online. Which means I get to stay in the UK for a while longer.

I have been thinking about getting back into Star Fleet Battles and Federation and Empire for a while now, especially since there is a great Vassal module for the strategic game. I am going to need something I can play solo while I am over there, and setting it all up as a grand miniatures campaign has always been something in the back of mind; time to turn it into a reality. I have started a blog to chronicle it all here.

There are all sorts of things available that didn't exist when I first played these games several decades ago, such as a really good Shapeways section for SFB. I have been slowly building up a Kzinti fleet, and above is the start, along with a shield marker to show the station's facing without needing to move it too often. I got a boxed set from Goblin Games that allows you build stuff, and I wanted a base that looks different from the classic Federation stations. Plastics are really easy to stick in a suitcase...

Thursday, 20 August 2020

Command stands for German Cavalry

 I'm still slow, but some bits and pieces are gradually being completed:

Apart from casualty markers, which I will as usual cull from plastic figures, pretty much the entire army will be Old Glory. The only exception I can think of might be to buy a nice c-in-c from another range, but I haven't decided yet.

Shield designs by Little Big Men, as are the flags. I rescued these from an old set of Arthurian Banners (I think) that I had lying around; they are sufficiently generic to do for general pagan types.

I used the same figures for each group of three, but varied the clothing colours a little. You can tell these guys are posh, because some of them even have dyed cloaks and clothes.

Some of the horses are a bit on the big side, so I extended the usual WRG basing to a 5cm depth. Frontage is the standard 6cm.

Finally, a top-down shot to show the basing - a mixture of brown acrylic plastic wood, Faller landscape product, and flocking.

Monday, 13 July 2020

Early German skirmishers

Odds and sods left over from my Old Glory packs turned into skirmishers with javelins:
And a view from the rear:
As you can see, I've gone for muted clothing but reasonably bright shields. It remains to be seen how they fight...

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Finally, a new post!

Germans, sir, fahsands of 'em!
Figs by Old Glory 25s

I am finally beginning to catch up a little bit on my ancients. Work life here has been off the scale ever since I arrived, and the virus situation has made it worse because we have all had to duplicate everything and move it online - double the amount of work for the final quarter of the academic year. However, working from home has had an extra bonus, which is the ability in between swathes of admin to do a colour here and there and even take some photos. Space is a bit tight, but anything is better than nothing...

So the photo above shows (rather badly) two newly completed warbands of 36 loose formation loonies. This completes all of the massed foot for the army:
Here they are in their nice comfy underbed storage box.

This gives me eight close formation warbands of 48 figures each plus the 72 just completed. Next up will be skirmish javelins and I already have those. Gaming with them will of course be another issue, but I have a cunning plan. When the army is finished, I am hoping to run a reasonably tight sample battle using Tactica II for the purposes not only of moving my moribund ancients campaign on a bit, but also to follow up on an in-depth review of the rules I produced for the most recent issue of Slingshot. 

In fact, I'm actually planning two battles as the Cimbri take on the might of Rome. One will be against a very late Republican army, and the other a newly raised, but rather unwieldy and poorly trained emergency force using the new so-called 'Marian' legion. Basically, it's the campaign version of Arausio, divided in two to be manageable. These will make a nice two-parter explaining how the rules can be used to construct custom armies, plus a reasonably straightforward couple of battles based mostly on infantry combat. The combination should work nicely. That's the plan anyway - it'll probably take a while to come to fruition, though, because I still need to paint the skirmishers, cavalry, command stands and (of course!) the much-needed casualty markers...

Still, I have produced this lot in around four months, so it should be do-able. This is about half of my previous level of productivity in Scotland, but it does represent my best effort since coming to Cheltenham. I seem to getting at least some of my mojo back.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Saying hello: Jean-Pascal Tran

Hi, and thanks for following. This blog isn't very active at the moment, because my figure gaming life is pretty much moribund. When I moved to this part of England, I already knew of several games clubs, but as it happened, they weren't really good for me. Either too far away, or mostly Warhammer stuff. I am still painting, albeit in a rather desultory fashion, and I do occasionally manage a figure game, but all is few and far between. I will return to it properly at one point. Of course, the main issue is massive amounts of over-work, which means I have very little energy for anything else at the moment. But I shall return when the stars are right...