Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Five Parsecs, First Time

This past weekend the boy and I played our first legit game of FiveCore.  His ragtag spaceship crew was hired by the local authorities to escort a key witness across town to the safety of a waiting armored vehicle.  My gangster and his hired goons, triplets in heavy armor, had been hired by the local crime syndicate to make sure that witness met with an unfortunate accident on the way to safety.

The battlefield - we rolled for random entry points.  The escape
vehicle is hiding just behind the red-topped building in the upper
center of the battlefield.
The crew huddles for safety at the start of the game.
First encounter - his second in command gets charged by
the leader of the goons and meets a grisly end.
She is avenged by the crew's snakeman who uses a mental
block on the goon to sneak in and stab him in the back.

The game results in a pyrhhic victory for the goons.  They managed to kill the witness, but two of the three brothers died, and the leader of the goons suffered crippling injuries.  Hope the crime syndicate paid him well, because he's going to have to retire to a quiet life of drudgery doing something really boring for a living, like geology or something.

I'm still trying to decide if I like Five Parsecs from Home.  The game takes a "no stats, but lots of special rules" approach to wargames, and in many ways feels more complicated than its "lots of stats, no special rules" counterparts.  With stats everything you need is right there on one line in numbers.  With special rules, you've got to remember which ones apply at which time, and that means a lot more to remember on the fly.

Our first game led to frequent stops and head slaps when I realized that guy had this skill which should have negated that event.  It felt like the late stages of a Necromunda campaign where you've got too many guys with too many skills to remember them all at once.

Note that this isn't necessarily a criticism of the game.  As I said, I'm still trying to decide if I prefer this style.  I definitely want to take it for a few more spins around the block before committing one way or the other.  The crew still has five active members, and the crime syndicate is likely looking for revenge for the deaths of two of their finest hitmen...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sci-Fi Skrimish Documented Aliens

Look at all this personality.  These guys are great.  Brutal beasts, galumphing stocky blobs, and thin mysterious snakemen.  We truly live in a golden age of 15mm figures.  So many choices, I could could paint nothing but random aliens for a year and never run out.
Khurasan on the left, on the center and left

That big boy on the left is clearly an orange class alien, in Five Parsecs from Home parlance, so it only made sense to paint up a bright orange.  The scheme for the snakeman is taken from a snake native to Arizona called the spotted leaf-nosed snake (phyllorhyncus decutatus).  There are so many brilliantly colored snakes out there in the world, you can pretty much make up your own colors and it's better than even odds you just duplicated something in the earth wilds.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sci-fi Skirmish Robot Pals

I've seen a lot of guys paint up this Khurasan robot (left) in a more colored ceramic style, as opposed to steel and chrome.  My effort just wound up looking garish.  Lesson learned - paint up the chrome underneath and then pick out the ceramic plates later.

If you ever paint up the short bot on the right (from, I'd suggest using a small disc to elevate the figure off the base.  He has a sort of hovercraft blower style balloon base, you can't see it in these photos, that would look great hovering a mm or two off the figure base.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sci-Fi Heroines and Adventuresses

Just a pair of ladies up for today.  One flashy and one gritty.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sci-fi Skirmish Heroes and Adventurers adventurer, Khurasan starship crew, and Rim Mercenary
Wow, did I screw up the face on that mercenary or what?  My starship crewman is painted up in a more flamboyant space pirate style...

...he's also a bit of a Deadhead, as you can see.  The adventurer on the left's cape is supposed to look like an alien tiger or zebra stripe.  Not sure it works, but it looks flashy on the table.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Never Too Early

Win their minds when they are young, and you'll have them for a lifetime...

Choosing a starting figure.

Time for flocking.

I'm really more of a historical wargamer, Dad.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Sci-Fi Figure Comparison

As above, so below.  In life there are svelte and petite people and there are big ol' chunky people.  So why should life on the tabletop battleground be any different?  

That's the question for today's comparison between Khurasan and figures. On the one hand, there is a clear difference in style between the two figures.  Khurasan's figures utilize realistic proportions and teeny little details. Figures from exaggerate features, the better to read at arms length. Putting both figures next to each other results in the exact sort of difference in body types that you see in the real world.

Left: Khurasan Xenobiologist.
Right: Rim Mercenary (HOF54)
To answer one of the questions that is always on the lips of wargamers everywhere - yes, these figures work well together.

Having said that, the more I paint blockier figures, the more I appreciate figures cast with an eye towards painting.  That xenobiologist is a great scuplt - she's got belt loops for cripe's sake - that should challenge the best eyes and brush for detail.

But for gaming in 15mm scale?  Do I really need belt loops on my figures?  Nope.  All that extraneous detail does is slow down painting, and like all wargamers my lead mountain doesn't need the extra time and challenge of sussing out belt buckles let alone loops.  That Rim Mercenary on the other hand...he took a third the time to paint and looks just as good on the battlefield.  More and more these days, I'm losing patience with the hyper-realistic casts and enjoying figures that are fun and fast to paint.

Is that a sign of an aging wargamer?  I wonder...