Some BattleTech and Some Ramblings

So I had planned for this evening to be another fairly large BattleTech post since I have a couple small orders coming to finish off the 7th Striker Battalion.  Unfortunately one of those orders has been sitting in an Ohio USPS facility for the past 3 days while the other one looks like it'll be here Monday rather than today like I had hoped.  But I did make some progress and the 1st Armored Infantry Battalion now has a full motorized infantry company in trucks and a full mechanized infantry company in half-tracks.
1st Platoon, Alpha Company
2nd Platoon, Alpha Company
I've got enough trucks to do one more platoon with a couple left over but unfortunately I'm one half-track shy of being able to do a second mechanized platoon.  I'd like to do a third mechanized company, so it looks like sometime here in a couple weeks I need to get an order in for some more half-tracks.  Also, if anyone has some unpainted Epic space marines infantry models, I'm interested in getting about 40 tactical marines to do a couple companies of battle armor infantry.  20 assault marines to use as jump infantry bases would be awesome as well.

Now, on to some ramblings to finish off this blog post to fill in for the missing mechs.  I want to start with just saying some people don't realize how lucky they are to have a good stable local gaming store to not only play at but also for purchases and the camaraderie.  I'm here in rural Tennessee in a small size city and before that I lived in what was basically a decent sized town.  Almost my entire gaming pastime has been spent playing out of people's homes.  Using the spare bedroom or kitchen or evening the living room in different friend's homes who were willing to host until some reason forces it to move again.

The city I'm in now, Morristown, is okay sized.  It could support a good game store if it was done right.  Unfortunately we've yet to have someone come in and do it properly.  12 years ago there was a game store that was doing really well.  Then the owner had personal life issues just about the same time he over expanded the store.  It's never been close to good since.  We've had game stores come and go on a regular basis.  We had one that the owner was playing games against the customers and cheating to win so that one got real unpopular fast.  Then there was the store that was doing well and really supporting 40K and such before changing owners due to financial issues and the new owners were only interested in running Magic as it had the best profits with no need for investment in gaming tables, terrain, etc.  And the story goes on.

Now I know it can be fun to play at a buddy's house, but a wife, roommate, heck even the buddy himself, is only going to put up with 8 to 15 people coming over and staying fairly late into the night on a weekly basis for only so long.  Right now I'm on the borderline of lucky with a game store.  I've found a very good one with a very active group of players.  The owners and staff of the Johnson City Hobby Town are great examples on how to encourage and build a player base.  Unfortunately it's also about a 75 to 80 minute drive one way for me.  Add to that my work schedule and I only get up there 2 weeks out of 6, which gets a bit frustrating when you're wanting to get some games in and it isn't really convenient for that middle of the week hey let's swing by and see if we can pick up a game either.

Being single I'd be willing to turn the spare bedroom in my place into a game room with a couple tables, but since I rent, I've only got 2 parking spaces.  One for my car and one spot for everyone one else which also doesn't work well.  So how do all the rest of you out there deal with it?  (And in you are reading this and are in the central east Tennesee area with a regular group that plays, shoot me a line and we'll meet up sometime and get some games in.)

That's all for now and I'll see you all later.


Some Eridani Light Horse

So the last couple days I've been a bit busy with my BattleTech stuff, specifically my Eridani Light Horse 21st Striker Battalion.  Thanks to Murl, I've got a very accurate force organization chart, table of ordnance, in depth fluff, and etc.  While I kept overall unit commanders the same, I changed almost all the rank and file troopers name because let's be honest, FASA stunk it up when it came to giving the 4th guy in the 11th lance a name.  A good portion were nigh on unpronounceable.  But I've kept to the structure of the force though in creating my own variation on it.
So what I've done these last couple days was to get the last of my painted mechs for the 21st Striker Regiment (7th Striker Battalion) based.  I'll show these guys off in a later post as I'm awaiting two orders which should all be here by Tues of next week.  These orders will completely finish off filling in the mech portion of my force so far including security and command lances.  I've no plans to create the 3rd or 5th Striker Battalions for the time being, just the one striker battalion, the armored infantry battalion, and the regimental assets.  After all those are done .... we'll see.

So after I finished the basing of the dozen or so mechs that needed it, I turned my attention to the 1st Armored Infantry Battalion portion of the regiment.  This battalion consists of an armored company, two infantry companies, and an artillery company.  The armored company consists of a command lance (Von Luckners and Rommel/Pattons and missing one vehicle), a striker lance (Ontos and Hetzers), and a Recon Lance (a lone Saladin at the moment).
Von Luckners

Hetzer (one minus the gun to represent the SRM variant)
So far on the infantry components I only have a lance of Goblins to represent the Alpha Company 4th Platoon and then I've got my first motorized infantry base done to represent part of the Alpha Company 1st Platoon.  I also took a Von Luckner that had no turret and converted it into an engineering vehicle which I'll work into the Regimental Level assets which also include an artillery lance that's composed of my LRM carriers.
Goblin Infantry Fighting Vehicles
Engineering vehicle and Motorized Infantry
LRM Carriers in Regimental Artillery Lance

The next thing on the list for this project is more Saladins and either some Saracens or Pegasus to round out the hover recon lance.  And of course I've got a lot more micro armor trucks to paint and base for the infantry components.  Which still leaves finishing the artillery forces and there is an aerospace lance in the mech battalion that I haven't addressed either.  So still plenty to do and a few things I'm figuring out still, though I'm very pleased with the progress of the last couple days.  The plan right now is to spend a good hunk of Sunday cranking out bases and then after that begin painting trucks of motorized infantry to go on them.  (For the record, I really don't like painting those tiny things.)  Other future projects include a couple command/HQ vehicles and some more engineering vehicles.  I think for the engineering stuff that I'll convert one of Bravo Company's platoons from motorized infantry into engineers, not a big tweak but gives a valuable asset without expanding the force organization chart beyond the established.

That's all for now and I'll see you all later.


How I Haul It (X-Wing Edition)

So with any army, it often comes down to just how do you haul it around.  With X-Wing I started by using the bottom of the starter box, but that obviously was a very short term solution.  What I finally decided on was a fishing tackle box.  It set me back about $30 (but I'll admit I got it at Walmart which means I got my employee discount which knocked off all the sales tax) which isn't bad at all.  It's got plenty of pockets, a strap, and came with 4 dividable trays.
There is a pocket on the inside of the lid that the rules fit in with plenty of room to spare.
Now let's take a look at the first tray.  It's got my fighters, profile cards, movement dials, the cardboard terrain pieces, and the flight stand markers for the fighters.
In the second tray, we've got the YT-1300 and it's flight stand stuff, movement templates, dice, upgrade and damage decks, and all the various tokens.
So right now with just 8 fighters and the freighter, together with all the other game play stuff, it all fits in just two of the trays.  So with 2 trays still empty, I've got plenty of room to continue growing my Rebel Alliance/New Republic force.  Plus if I decide to finally add an Imperial force in the future, it'll be easy enough to just get a couple of these standard size fishing tackle trays to use and then swap out the ones in the bag as needed.  One note though, the trays come in the bag standing up on their side and I've chosen to lay them down instead to keep the various tokens and cards in their right divided spots.  It makes the top tray just a touch difficult to get in and out, but still way easier than resorting everything every time I get it out.

So that's how I'm hauling my X-Wing.  Anyone else out there with an interesting army transport or suggestion?


Imperial Guard

So the 1st Battalion of the Cymric Sub-Sector Battle Fleet 4th Naval Infantry Regiment has received some reinforcements.  I got lucky when someone posted there entire army of Imperial Guard on eBay in a large number of small lots.  I managed to win about 6 of these for a very reasonable price and thus the force has grown to almost tabletop playable.  I'm still quite light in support units like artillery, tanks, etc.

First up is the block of basic infantry men, or armsmen in the case of this regiment.  I had won a total of 5 squads so that gives me 30 lasgun toting bodies.
The squads all came with a grenade launcher which means 5 more of those.
And then there were 5 heavy weapons teams with 3 autocannons and 2 mortars to go with the mortar I already have assembled.
And then last of all, there are the 5 Sgts for the squads plus a pair of junior officers won in a separate lot.
So this gives me an overall total of 7 full squads or if I split the heavy weapons off into heavy weapon squads, I'll be able to field almost 6 full squads as veterans or normal platoon squads.  I need to look into acquiring some guard plasma gunners and melta gunners.  Add to that some artillery and such.  I've reached a good number of boots on the ground I think, and from here on I need more of the heavy firepower and support units to fill in the force.

That's all for now and I'll see you all later.


Saturday Night Gaming

So first of all, my last X-Wing order came in the mail yesterday morning which worked out well.  It added a YT-1300, a Y-Wing, and a second B-Wing to my growing Raven squadron.  Eight of the Twelve pilots in my fluff now have a ship to fly, plus the YT-1300 to haul around supplies and the support element.  Raven Squadron thus looks like the following currently.

Fighter Element
Commander Piet Henke "The Hangman", E-Wing
    Raven Leader, Human Male (Corellia)
    Squadron Commander
Lt. Commander Irie Muslar, A-Wing
    Raven Two, Devaronian Male
    Squadron Executive Officer
Lt. Aivars Gessitt
    Raven Three, Human Male (Palanhi)
Lt. Emleriss Vaelden, B-Wing
    Raven Four, Duros Female
Lt. Kevaan Haerliss "Lucky"
    Raven Five, Human Male (Corellia)
Lt. Daud Moumin, X-Wing
    Raven Six, Quarren Male
Lt. Rhael Hurrskain, X-Wing
    Raven Seven, Sullustan Male
Lt. Lew Parmley
    Raven Eight, Human Male, (Rendili)
Lt. Aikawa Toumin "Tingrin", A-Wing
    Raven Nine, Human Male (Kuat)
Lt. Olwen Neukirchm, B-Wing
    Raven Ten, Human Female (Lorrd)
Lt. Hlaxx Domipakk, Hortek Male
    Raven Eleven, Y-Wing
Lt. Caerla Doumlin, Human Female (New Alderaan)
    Raven Twelve

Support Element
Hidden Roost YT-1300 Freighter
Lt.Gahlaen Veless, Mon Calamari Male, Pilot
Lt. Liin Plaxxon, Sullustan Female, Co-Pilot

Havlock, M-3PO series Droid, Supply Officer
Slascra Plor, Bothan Male, Mechanic
Cam Olwiss, Human Male, Mechanic

Ok, moving onward, we've got a few games to discuss.  Part of why I like X-Wing is that is not so fast that it feels rushed and missing something, but it's short enough that you can get multiple games in.  Between 6:30 and 11:30 Saturday evening, I got to play two 1v1 games at 100 points and then one 2v2 game with 100 points per player.  The first game was against Billy TheBill.  I had Corran in his E-Wing (Commander Piet Henke as far as my fluff would be concerned) and the YT-1300 with Han piloting (Lt. Veless).  I was against a Firespray and 2 royal guard Tie Interceptors.  The game went pretty well and we called it even with a damaged ship left each.  My second game was against a co-worker of TheBill's who was running a Howlrunner Tie swarm.  He had a high level pilot with an Ion Cannon who kept Corran stunned when I made a mistake and got too close to a board edge.  After three rounds of stunned, he was off the board and I conceded.  Next turn my YT-1300 would have been stunned by the Ion as it had even less defense than the E-Wing and it'd have gotten pounded by everything else.
Which brings us to the 2v2.  This game really didn't go my team's way at all.  I was partnered with a very nice young lady who unfortunately I can't remember the name of.  Between us we had an E-Wing, a Y-Wing, an A-Wing, 2 B-Wings, and 2 X-Wings.  They had a Firespray, Howrunner and friends, and 3 Tie Phantoms, one of which was upgraded to real nastiness.  This game quickly got away from us as they pounded two of my ships with just about everything early on while managing to negate pretty much all damage sent back at them.  Sometime the force just isn't with you and the dice just won't be forgiving as Vader.  It was all fun though and I'm looking forward to getting some more games in.  I think my main problem right now is the upgrade cards I'm taking.  I think I'm trying to force some combos that just don't work as often or as well as I think they should.  I need to look at a lot simpler way to go about it I think.

Anyways, that's all for now and I'll see you later.



So I got a couple games of X-Wing in this afternoon against Archon Vortil.  The first game I took Corran Horn E-Wing, Luke X-Wing, and Tycho A-Wing while AV took an Imperial list with 4 Tie Fighters and the Lamda Shuttle.  Corna's double attack option came in all sorts of handy and I soon was clearing out Ties at a good clip.  Tycho ended up in a spot where he had to fly off the table and then the Lamda flew off the table with just a single hull point left.
Second game I took Wedge X-Wing, Corran E-Wing, and a Biggs X-Wing.  This time I was up against a rebel list with a heavily upgraded YT and a heavily upgraded Y-Wing.  I managed to pound the Y-Wing early and often which did it in.  Wedge got stuck on the board edge trying to maneuver for a shot and had to fly off the board, and then Corran finally got shot down.  At this point I had a Biggs with no shields and AV's YT was down to just a couple hull points.  With an upgrade allowing YT to boost, I had a hard time getting a shot off at him while an astromech that was letting Biggs burn a target lock to force attacking rerolls let him survive.  I finally took a chance and did a red maneuver to get a shot on the freighter while hoping to survive, but just managed to get shot down before I could do the same to him.
All in all, a couple quick enjoyable games.  I'm definitely sold as a Corran Horn E-Wing fan.  I need to get the YT upgrade pack though.  The shield and hull upgrade cards in though I could definitely have used, so that's the next thing on the want list for X-Wing.  And a second E-Wing.  Love the E-Wing.

That's all for now, and I'll be up in JC this Saturday for some more X-Wing.


A Bit More Battletech

So one of my eBay orders showed up today.  For $26 I got 3 Grasshoppers, a Cyclops, and a couple plastics from the starter set, the less nice plastics unfortunately so they got tossed in the bag to mostly ignore with the rest from my starter box.

The Grasshoppers will be joining the Eridani Light Horse which will give up an Awesome and a Mauler to join the Cyclops in the Tamar Heavy Guards.  The Grasshopper is a nice fast unit with a decent amount of hitting power so they'll complement the ELH quite nicely.  Throwing in the Mauler and Awesome for the Tamar Heavy Guard increases their hitting power and the Cyclops gives a bit of command and control options.  I've got a Wolfhound that needs a home as well so he'll probably land in the THG as a spotting mech for the heavies and assaults.
I'll need to give them all a repriming, paint, and basing but all in all not bad at for the price.  Now if the Robotech lances would just show up I could really get going on the Tamar Heavy Guard.  They had the ship date listed as if they had the items, but I've since learned they were selling their pre-orders and they won't be heading my way for at least another week.  I'm a bit miffed over that, not that I mind the wait but rather that they hadn't clearly mentioned that in the description or reflected it in the shipping times.  As to the THG, I'm thinking for the color scheme that I'm going to do a solid gray-blue with some silver highlighting.  Maybe some arctic basing to get some difference between them and my ELH.

I'm working the entire 4th weekend with my next day off being Monday, so probably won't get much of anything posted between now and then.  So that's it for today and I'll see you all later.



So I've recently been getting into Star Wars: X-Wing.  I've always been a fan of the Star Wars Universe (Greedo edit, Jar-Jar Binks, and Yuuzhan Vong Invasion not withstanding) and it really is a nice tight skirmish game system.  Between the constant new release of a variety of star fighters (with plenty that haven't been even looked at yet) and the endless combo of the upgrade cards for the different ships, it really gives you a chance to customize your force but keeping it balanced for playing.  Unfortunately I haven't got to play anywhere near as much as I want to but I'm hoping to change that as time goes on.

Now the ships are VERY well done from a visual standpoint, both in the level of detail as well as the paint schemes they've been given.  The only real modification I'm considering is when I get a second B-Wing, I want to try one of the How To's on changing the orientation of the fighter so it's turned 90 degrees into the more iconic attack position from the Return of the Jedi movie.  And what is a force in a game system for me if I can't do a bit of fluff for it.  So here we are,after a bit of research and some decision making on which species and such I wanted to represent in the force, the Raven Squadron of the New Republic.  Now some of the ship varients have a specific pilot name attached to them, so for my fluff purposes, they'll just be a counts as for a pilot of similar skill level, though it won't reflect anything game play wise.  Actually, the fluff I've come up with won't really be reflected at all in the game play, but as this is part of the hobby that I really enjoy, I couldn't help myself.

Raven Squadron
    During the early years of the fledgling New Republic, a number of fighter squadrons were formed to help combat the numerous warlords and fragmented Imperial remnants.  One of these squadrons was Raven Squadron.  The unit's first major combat was during the Thrawn campaign where they lost nearly half their strength in one of Thrawn's hit and run raids to make Sluis Van to attack.  After rebuilding, they were deployed on anti-pirate patrol on the Assault Frigate Tannenhaus where they gained experience not only against the pirates but various small incursions by Imperial Warlords.  Raven Squadron then took part in a supporting role during the Crimson Empire crisis.  They were then deployed as part of Admiral Ackbar's fleet to overthrow Warlords Teradoc and Rogriss.  Their next major deployment was to the newly formed Fifth Fleet where they took part in the Black Fleet Crisis.  Since then, Raven Squadron has been assigned various training and escort missions.

Lt. Commander Piet "Hangman" Henke, E-Wing
    Raven Leader, Human Male (Corellia)
Commander Irie Muslar, A-Wing
    Raven Two, Devaronian Male
Lt. Aivars Gessitt
    Raven Three, Human Male (Palanhi)
Lt. Emleriss Vaelden, B-Wing
    Raven Four, Duros Female
Lt. Kevaan "Lucky" Haerliss
    Raven Five, Human Male (Corellia)
Lt. Daud Moumin, X-Wing
    Raven Six, Quarren Male
Lt. Rhael Hurrskain, X-Wing
    Raven Seven, Sullustan Male
Lt. Lew Parmley, Human Male, (Rendili)
    Raven Eight
Lt. Aikawa "Tingrin" Toumin, A-Wing
    Raven Nine, Human Male (Kuat)
Lt. Olwen Neukirch
    Raven Ten, Human Female (Lorrd)
Lt. Hlaxx Domipakk, Hortek Male
    Raven Eleven
Lt. Caerla Doumlin, Human Female (New Alderaan)
    Raven Twelve

Raven Squadron Flight Patch
The ship types listed in the unit composition are ships I already have or have purchased in the past week and am awaiting the arrival of.  I want to add another X-Wing and B-Wing for sure, and possibly a second E-Wing (Hands down my favorite Star Wars fighter from a visual standpoint).  And then I want to see about some Y-Wings and Headhunters to round out the force, perhaps to use as replacement fighters as needed.  Might pick up a YT-1300 Freighter to assist in hauling parts and supplies.  I have no plans what so ever in getting the Corellian Corvette yet, even though it's a gorgeous model.  It's just too many points for regular casual game play (Not to mention the $70 price tag on it).

So that's all for now and I'll chat with you all later.