Monday, June 20, 2011

"Will you walk into my parlor?" said the Spyder to the Fly

I made and photographed these awhile back (at least two years ago), but the file got lost in my backup hard drive. I realized sometime back that Southern Chalupastan had no air defenses other than the old M42 Duster of Vietnam War fame. Surfing the web, I came upon the Israeli SPYDER mobile air defense system. It launches short- and medium-ranged surface-to-air missiles. There are two parts to the system. There is the missile launcher and the radar-tracking system; both are mounted on trucks. What I've modeled is the short range version. The medium range system has a much larger radar dish. Here's my take on the SPYDER:

Both trucks are Scotia Gendel's South African Samil 20 truck, open top (SA0012). The actual trucks that are used are built by the TATRA truck company, but these looked close enough. I cut away the sides of their beds. I fashioned the launcher out of cardstock. The missile containers are styrene plastic square rods. Sorry, I can't remember the cross sectional dimensions. I glued the launchers onto two very thin pieces of paper. In pictures, the rack that holds the containers is a very thin frame. The body of the radar truck was a slab of polymer clay that I tried to make as squared up as I could. I made this before I really started working with styrene plastic, so my materials and methods were rather crude. The radar antenna is a pin with curved piece of cardstock attached. I was going to use one of those plastic clothing tag ends, like I did on my patrol boat, but they looked much too big. Another antenna sticks off the back. I painted them olive green, the color of the Southern Chalupastan armed forces. In pictures that I've seen, the containers holding the missiles are a darker green. Painting them that color offsets them from the rest of the truck.

Not the prettiest conversions, but at 1/300, they will do fine. Hey, I don't think GHQ is going to be calling me up anytime soon to offer me a job!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Epic 15mm Fanatasy Battle

Last Saturday, I had a fantasy battle over at the college. My opponent, George, is a professor at a college in North Carolina. We've been emailing for awhile about having a game, but schedules, particularly mine, made it very difficult to meet. Finally, we managed to set a day for gaming. George turned out to be a great guy and I hope we can have more games. Next time, I will try to visit him. He is only about an hour away from my campus.

We used mostly my 15mm minis, but he brought some of his that we used. I'm going to have to get me one of those orc heroes on a scorpion! The battle was between the Orc-Barbarian alliance and the Dwarf-Medieval Human alliance.

We used Armies of Arcana, 1st edition. They are in the vein of Old School rules with casualties removed individually, and buckets of 6-sided dice used. I know its already in its third addition, and one of these days, I might get it. I really liked them when I first bought them. I had a battle with them ages ago in graduate school, but since then, I have not used them. I had to scramblethe night before to re-read them, and even then, there were parts that I forgot about when the battle began. We kept magic at a minimum (see below).

I apologize for this being a rather lousy after action report. I should have taken notes or something, but I was caught up in the whole game and only took pictures when I remembered to. Next time, I'll try to do better.

Set-up and Beginning Moves

The battlefield and disposition of armies

The battlefield terrain consisted of a stream running through the middle of it with a small forest just to the left of the middle. A stone henge was in the back, but it had no effect on the battle.

George set up his Barbarians to his right and Orcs to his left, with his Goblin wolf riders on his far left flank. I had my Dwarves to my left and medieval Humans on the center and right, with the greatest concentration in the center. I didn't get good pictures of George's Orc set up. I think my SLR camera was more of a hindrance than a help.

Dwarf battle line

Barbarian Hordes

Medieval Army

The opening moves saw the Dwarves and Barbarians march toward each other. As well as most of his Orcs and my Medievals. His Goblin wolf riders started to do a flanking maneuver to my left side, so I sent a unit of spearmen and crossbowmen to meet that threat. My Rabbit archers moved quickly towards the forest. They had the advantage of treating woods as open terrain.

First Blows
The first causalities took place when the Dwarven crossbows and handgunners got into range of the Barbarians. The managed to out-range the bows of the Orc archers, but didn't really put much of a dent into the Barbarian hoards. The first big blow came when none other but Prince Valiant foolishly charged the Orc line far ahead of the rest of the Medievals. Despite his great bravery, he didn't last long:

Prince Valiant's final moments

The Rabbit allies quickly went toe-to-toe with a band of Orcs who entered the forest. Even though they were greatly outnumbered, the Rabbits managed to hold on for much of the game and inflicted some hurt on the Orcs:

Rabbity rumble in the woods

Magic Use
Some magic was used. Each magic-user got three spells, which we randomly determined before the battle. Once, used that was it. George's Barbarian shaman caste a spell that caused the trees to attack my medieval humans. My Dwarf wizard caused a giant water spout to form on top of one of the Barbarian units and caused some fatalities. His other wizard (a renegade human) turned all of my knights' lances into wet noodles, just as they were charging on the Orcs. My human wizard really didn't do much.

The Thick of Battle
Everyone pretty much closed on each other at the same time. I foolishly stuck my peasant archers in front of my knights without being in skirmish mode, and getting all that sorted out cost me some time, which resulting in the wet noodles for lances. The Goblin wolf-riders managed to get around my medieval infantry and headed toward my knights to flank them. The knights and Orcs did come to blows. as well as some of my spearmen. The Orcs had the double-trouble of both a heavy chariot and the champion riding on a scorpion to reinforce one of the war bands. The knights took some punishment, but the two were not as effective as expected.

Orcs and Knights mix it up

Close up of the action

The courageous spearmen struggle to hold back the Green Hordes

Meanwhile, the Dwarves and Barbarians were really locked in deadly combat. The He-Men had somewhat of an advantage in terms of hand-to-hand combat, but the crossbows and hand guns were getting better die rolls and seemed to even things out a bit. The giant entered the fray but took some bullets from the hand guns.

Dwarves do battle with the Barbarians. White disk next to the Giant represents the waterspout

Dwarf king directs gun fire. Dwarf wizard sees something shiny and turns to check it out.

The End
Finally, the Dwarves broke, and the Rabbits were annihilated. The knights had managed to cause the rank-and-file Orcs facing them to run, but the Orc hero and chariot remained. The wolf-riders had flanked the knights and were adding to their casualties, but my reserves consisting of heavy crossbowmen and spearmen were finally moving to position to do some harm on the wolf-riders. However, we decided to call it a day due to the drive that George would have to make back home. It might have been a Barbarian-Orc victory, but it was hard to say. What I can say is that I really had a lot of fun.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Follower of My Own Blog??

I just noticed this. I am not sure how this happened. I have not clicked on the follower's icon. I'm afraid to. Will I end up at my own profile, or someone else's? As Vinnie Barbarino would say, "that's so weird." Maybe he didn't say it, but he should have.