Different Galaxy, Different Empire: A foray into Star Wars Legion

The Galactic Empire makes its first appearance on the blog!

I love Democracy as much as this guy! Wait, hang on…

It occurs to me lately that I talk about Empires and Emperors quite a bit. It’s a bit of a bad streak. I love Democracy, but I’m a sucker for fictional authoritarian governments.

I don’t know why I find the Jackboot so interesting but, given a choice, I tend toward Humanocentric factions in games. Be it Warhammer 40,000, the British Empire of our world, any sort of absolute monarchy or dictatorial government grabs my attention.

Of course, Star Wars is a favourite here. I grew up in the 90’s watching the Original Trilogy, and was a youngster when the Prequels hit theatres. I don’t dislike the Prequels as much as most people do, and I was a big fan of Legends material when that stuff was ‘Canon’.

Time to be evil, baby!

The Galactic Empire was one of the original ‘evil’ factions I liked, and even when I got into 40k, there was a lot of cool Star Wars stuff I wanted to do. I was big into the Star Wars Miniatures game by Wizards of the Coast, and had many, many models. But being a blind buy, collectible card game style system meant I never really had enough of one faction to play the ‘big stuff’.

X-Wing was a game changer. Pre-painted, and with my particular interest in space combat in Star Wars, I was hooked. I still play a lot of it, but being that it was a pre-painted system, there wasn’t a lot to talk about on this blog.

Some of my X-Wing big ships, waiting for a chance to be played again…

With both X-Wing and Armada, the movement tool made sense; abstracting distances into range rulers and having movement dictated by templates made the dogfights feel real. The proprietary dice helped speed up gameplay too. But I was unsure when Legion came around, as to me, a ground combat game needs normal dice and tape measures.

A few weeks ago, my friend and I hatched an idea; playing a homebrew Star Wars systems in Legion scale, using either Bolt Action or 40k to do so. Having access to both Fantasy Flights models and terrain, and third party stuff, means we won’t have the lack of terrain that older Star Wars ground combat games had. There is a lot of support. We are focusing on the Clone Wars, with an eventual move into the Galactic Civil War period.

For the Galactic Civil War, I wanted to collect both sides, and do the conflict on the muddy world of Mimban to it’s completion, as a fun campaign. For those of you not in the know, I’ll link a video…

The most 40k thirty seconds in Star Wars. Ever.

Solo wasn’t a great movie. But the fighting in the Empires early days, on the planet of Mimban, was fantastic, and captured my imagination. A showing from non-stormtrooper elements of the Imperial Army was a great call-back to older Legends material.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that FFG had made an excellent AT-ST model, and once I saw it, I had to have one. Combined with 3D-Printed ‘Grunge Troopers’ from a store on Gumroad, I had everything needed to make that scene from Solo a tabletop reality.

The AT-ST went together really well! Took less then 5 minutes once I planned the build properly.

This thing is massive! A 3D-Printed mudtrooper on the base, in Legion scale, really shows the imposing height this model possesses.
And here it is, compared with a GW Redemptor Dreadnought. This thing is MASSIVE.

Now I’ve been in and out of hospital the last week, and I needed a win. So, I took a risk, and jumped straight into painting this monster. I posed the model quite aggressively, making sure the laser cannons still pointed ‘forward-ish’ in the frontal arc. I then primed it in grey.

This was a speed-painted piece, and probably won’t hold a candle to most other painters attempts. But it certainly looks the part, and I hope you’ll agree its not that bad of a first go at it…

Muddy, and ready to fight the brutal trench-war on Mimban. I wanted this thing to be absolutely filthy, but not streaky.
You can see here the pose, walking forward, taking a few pot shots at the Mimbanese.
The base is nothing special, just filthy mud. This was achieved with a vigorous application of Stirland Mud. I made sure to keep the mud going up the sides of the leg, and used Agrax Earthshade to shade that part in a distinctly brown shade.
I heavily washed the head, then drybrushed the grey back on. I used a sponge to chip on some spatter and carbon-scoring on the lower plates. I also heavily sponged on black on the muzzles of both the laser cannons and chin blaster cannons. This thing has seen heavy, sustained combat!
The rear of the head has these two fans, which are working overtime. They are almost burnt out, and are ejecting detritus onto the surrounding area.
The AT-ST cuts a menacing figure, and provided there isn’t any small, teddy bear like creatures, should hold up in any game I play.

I was really happy to put this together! A real joy to paint and work on, and a much needed victory after my hospital visit!

Now…as for Legion. I was holding off, but it is looking more and more enticing. As I need Stormtroopers, Rebels, and all that anyways I figured I’d do the usual Fantasy Flight Star Wars thing and buy two core sets. And, since I’ll now have them….might as well try the game they are intended for, yes? I’ll only be supplementing my forces with 3D printed elements, not replacing it wholesale. That feels the most ‘fair’, and seeing as the stuff I’m printing is usually not available any other way, I don’t feel too bad about it.If any of you have tried Legion, let me know your thoughts on it! My homebrew 40k Star Wars ruleset for private use is still in the wings, but Legion has a lot of that flavour baked in, and I do like alternate activation systems…

For now, as I make progress I’ll share what I got! I do have for VBCW Mosely and the King himself ready to be painted, and I hope to share those with you shortly! And I’m playing Zona Alfa tomorrow! The Irish are staying home, but the Zone Rats and the Gopniks will be out in force!

For now, Happy War-gaming where-ever you are, and may the Force be with you!

For King and Empire: More Royalists, and Reinforcements from India!

More VBCW goodies!

A fancy picture for the Defenders of the Realm!

Wow, what a crazy month. While I can’t get into too much detail, suffice to say I had a medical issue, compounded into a family one. All is resolved now, but it was a harrowing few weeks. I’ve drastically culled my sugar intake, as well as caffeine, and the crash is pretty harsh.

As one can imagine, this does impact your ability to keep up the momentum I had going. But, King Edward expects and I obey, so lets show you what I did get done.

Tally ho!

Now some of you might be coming from the VBCW Facebook page, in which case a lot of this is stuff I’ve posted already. Sorry!

What you have here is a section of Fusiliers, and their attached Peerless armoured car. An excellent example of combining 3D printing and old school models to good effect. I had a great time painting the infantry; crisp detail, and easy to do detail makes the figures a joy to work on. They are by Woodbine Design Company, which you can get through Gripping Beast in the UK. The Peerless is from Wargaming3d.com, and is by Deweycat. A paid for file, and you get in return excellent detail and a model meant to print well.

The Sergeant. I want to add Sergeant stripes, but just need to get some decals. In the interwar period, the British had a low opinion of submachineguns, so this man is using his SMLE.
At the charge, this Fusilier is making a “point”. I had issues with my superglue of choice being quite heavy, and leaving marks. I decided to paint these as scarves, in royal purple to show their allegiance, along with their armbands.
His rifle somewhere off the base, this Fusilier is throwing Mills bombs, and has many more in his pouch of many things.
And the old classic, the Lewis gun. I have one per squad, as per interwar theoretical allotments. This Fusilier is crucial to my fire support, having the firepower of several of his fellows in one gun.

As for the Peerless, I was quite happy to see this file pop up. I love the utter ridiculousness of the design!

I love this model. A great looking inter-war vehicle, the Peerless was less effective off-road then its Rolls Royce equivalent. But in did good service in Ireland.
With a armoured body meant for a smaller chassis, the Peerless has a section of the back completely unarmoured.
However, its twin turrets, each with a Hotchkiss machine-gun, make it fairly deadly in Bolt Action, using the VBCW rules available on the Facebook group.

Now, I have also been using my printer quite extensively, not only for VBCW but for other things. But occasionally, a tank finds it way onto my build plate…

This time, it was a Vickers 6-ton, the export variant. This is a file from Thingiverse, by Tiger Ace. I’m super glad he did one, as this is possibly my favourite inter-war tank! This became in Soviet service, the T-26 as it was called was quite famous! In Polish service, it was heavily modified.

In my army, I have imagined that the Government has impounded any foreign exports, and these tanks have found their way into Army service, despite being denied by the Army before the civil war. They have proven most effective….

For an upscaled 15mm tank, the detail remains sharp. It looks great!
With a short, stubby, 37mm cannon, this vehicle is meant for infantry support. But it will still be somewhat dangerous fighting equivalent tanks.
With either a Hotchkiss or Vickers machine gun, this tank can also provide some machine gun fire.

Pretty neat! I’m happy with it, and want to slap some paint on it, once my sugar and caffeine crashing subsides.

Now, when I did my Gripping Beast order, I didn’t realize that by replacing four men in each section with specialists, I’d end up with a large amount of spare riflemen. While some of these will go to be adjutants to officers and such, this still left me with ten spare bodies…

Now originally my idea was to make a unit of Grenadier Guards, but the lack of ‘proper’ bearskins bothered my perfectionism a bit. So, I had a think. What kit did I have spare heads from?

The British 8th Army kit from Warlord offered a solution. It comes with enough heads to outfit all of the models the same way, and it left me with Sikh, Rajput, and Scottish heads. The Scottish I have plans for later, and the Sikhs are well represented in the Very British Civil War setting. So I decided to make a unit of ten Rajputs, from the Rajput Regiment. I imagine the 1st Battalion has been summoned by the King to offer the military its experience from the Frontier.

Some muscle from the from the East! These men have served on the Afghanistan frontier, and have plenty of counter-insurgency experience. A good skill to have, when fighting a civil war!
I had mostly charging poses, and that works really well with these guys. I’m going to give them a separate rule then their British counterparts.
The Vallejo English Uniform really ties the plastic head and metal body together. They look like they are meant to be, not some slapdash conversion done by a rural Canadian.

Now, I have to catch up on all this painting! I’m excited, but I have to get my anxiety shakes out of my system again, as well as get over the crashing. But I really enjoy this little(little? HA!) side project I have, and I want to have a painted platoon to fight my friend soon. I’ll post his Albertine project progress as I get them.

But for now, that is all I got. Some of it, most of it, is already been spoiled on Facebook. But for those of you who haven’t seen it, I hope you enjoyed this. I’ll have more progress done when I can!

For Zona Alfa, I have a new scenario written up for this weekends shenanigans. I shall share with you that when I have some pictures!

Happy War-gaming, wherever you hail from. For the King!

Zona Alfa: Crossing the Cordon!

“No one said anything about bears!”

Welcome to the Zone, Stalkers. Enjoy your stay. Your going to be here a while.

After several weeks of waiting for models, printing more models and terrain, and the little distraction that is Warhammer 40k 9th Edition, we actually started out campaign!

It was nothing too crazy, and actually was fairly uneventful. I went quite wide of the regular mission requirements, but as the author says to use the rules as a toolbox, I did so!

First, a little bit of a briefing. I do swear in here, and if you are not a fan of that, I apologize. I don’t use it outside of a narrative context when I blog, but I felt the need here!

The Crossing was easy. The Ukrainians must have been napping, as we have enountered no military patrols as of yet, since we slipped into the Zone. Stupid debils. We were near another group, and in fact, had went to the same bar the night before. Heavy Irish accents, and singing songs about rebellion. I remember watching the television as a kid, and hearing about the Irish Republican Army. Seeing these older, hardened men sing songs about fighting the British gave me pause. What were a bunch of Ex-IRA men doing all the way in the Ukraine?

We kept our distance, wary of these foreigners. We had heard from a drunk Cordon officer about an armed convoy carrying rare goods out of the Zone when it had gotten hit, and our route took us right past it. Unfortunately, the Irish had the same idea, as did a group of local trash. Fucking gopniks.

The map was a typical 4×4 square, with us starting in the corners. The Irish and my Zone Runners started Cordon side, making for the other table edge. The Bandit player had his jumpy thugs on a corner edge on the other side, and got to pick which one. Three regular hotspots, at low threat levels dotted the table, and one in the BTR, rated at the very highest threat.

The prize, if one was daring enough to risk it, was in the centre BTR.
My squad of Zone-Rats move to cover, wary of both the Bandits and the Irish on the other side.
The Irish (represented here with Bolt Action minis as Lucas works on getting his guys together) are hardened vets of the IRA, and are here to get rich. Or so they say…
The table layout; The Bandits started in the top left, as we figured they live in the Zone. They didn’t need to get off the table for the scenario.
The Gopniks fan out, eager for loot, but not eager to get shot or bunch up.

Everyone played this game far, far more cautiously then our trial, one-off games. Gear is expensive, med-kits are pricey, and reloads are not cheap. Lucas(playing the IRA vets), moved cautiously up his end, wary of eating fire from my side. Equally cautious, I leapfrogged up to the cover available…but my eye was on the prize.

Throwing a bolt, Lucas hits the helmets of a passing Ukrainian Army patrol! They take cover behind the sign….

We had decided upon some pre-game rules, and one was that since this is the Cordon, any ‘bandits’ rolled would actually be threat level 2, and represent the Ukrainian Military presence. Lucas got unlucky, and triggered four of them!

However, after surviving some incoming AK fire, he tossed a valuable Satchel Charge…

BOOM! Ah, a bullet may have your name on it, but a satchel charge is addressed to whom it may concern…

Lucas got lucky, and killed his problem squad of Cordon defense force in one go!

Meanwhile, on my end of the table, I also managed to roll for ‘bandits’, and four more Ukrainian troopers emerged from a bush. Bad place for a nap, suka! They made for cover, and I brought up my flamethrower…

“Dude, did someone just throw a friggin bolt at my head?”
Fire. It solves a great many things.

Leaving one Ukrainian trooper alive, he decided to take his chances with the actual Bandits.

“Man, it is not my day!”

The bandits made a cautious move into the building near the BTRs, and I shuffled up to attempt to secure both the leftmost salvage and the centre goodies.

“Wonder whats in here, too bad I forgot my can-opener, ha!”
“Uh oh!”

Nesting inside the hulk of the wrecked BTR were two grotesquely mutated bears! We had custom stated these, tough hide(armor) or simply immune to pain makes this beasts tough to down. But they only have a low combat ability: They have lost some speed and their claws are falling out.

My Shotgun-equipped Stalker managed to survive, and even kill, both bears! I rolled fantastically well! He certainly has a blessed life ahead of him if he keeps this up!

“I will give a Buckshot sandwich, you poor creature!”
Having killed one bear, and surviving a bandits attempt to intervene with an RPG, the Stalker kills the last bear!

Of course, after doing the hard-work, the bandits make their play! However, the Gopnik assigned to loot-stealing fails to open the door!

One of the Gopniks rushes forwards, and attempts to open the back hatch. Failing to do so, my Stalker clambers in the top hatch and secures….old military gear. Wherever the real treasure was, it is gone now…

Unfortunately, the BTR failed to pay off, even with the threat level 3 table, all that was secured was a fair amount of rubles, a scope, and a chest rig.

The Bandits had secured their loot, and now a stand-off threatened to ensue. We all had gotten decent loot, and with my Stalkers and the Irish needing to get off the far board edge, the Bandits formed up in such a way that I had to go through them…

But, the art of the good old bribe was in effect. One of my Stalkers waves the chest rig around in the air, and says “Stupid debils, let us through, and this is all yours. If not, we will fire and you get nothing but bullets!”

The Bandits accepted the trade, and no player vs player combat ensued…this time.

The Bandits, having been mauled by zombies, and now staring down the barrel of a flamethrower with shots left, accept my bribe. The game ends on a whimper, not a bang.

This first outing, with not fully painted forces or terrain, was more to finally get things going; no more waiting! We decided to paint as we go, and while the two other players must make their Cordon crossing, and also get an attempt at the loot, for now, the crews return to their new homes.

The Irish and my Stalkers retire to a rookie village, a safe location. Sharing a drink, they forget that tomorrow they may try to kill each other. For now, singing songs they don’t quite understand, my Stalkers celebrate life, and another day. The Irish ask a few questions…

Tell, me, ‘Comrades’, how does one get to the CNPP? We are in search of certain…things.

Ha! You silly Britisher, the Scorcher will get you first! No one gets past the Array with their mind intact. Those who survive get zombiefied…or worse.

You call me a Britisher one more time, Ruskie, and your going to have a fuckin problem. You got me? What in the fuck is a Scorcher?”

You people call it the Russian Woodpecker, but its known simply here as the Array. The Duga Array. The Soviets claim it was for nuclear weapon warning, but we know better. No one can get to Pripyat now. Its an invisible field, and no-one really wants to test it, you know what I mean.”

We’ve gotten past British blockades in the past, mate. This is just a more…esoteric version. Who do we talk to about a solution, instead of this commie quitter talk you lot keep jabbing on about?”

Your gonna want to talk to the Scientists. But they are a elusive bunch. A few are holed up in another village nearby. Check with them, you stupid Micks.”

Everyone playing is fairly excited now. It is hard to get momentum up when your not playing and a new edition of 40k rears its head. But it won’t take much for my to paint my squad, Kurt(the Bandit player) to paint up his, and for Lucas to get models he feels represents the IRA veterans he wants to play as. But we are now locked in; the shashlik is on the grill!

For myself, I have to knuckle down and get the MDF Russian village I got assembled. We all have to work on monsters! We have purchased Bunker 16 from Black-site Studios, and Kurt is printing it for our escapades underground. 3D printing has opened many doors for us!

But, that is all I have for today. I have some more Royalists, and a neat Armoured Car on the agenda, and will make a post shortly on that! As always, happy war-gaming, where-ever you are. And stay alert…for such is life in the Zone!

Neat Content on Badly Painted Minis!

Hey folks, a quick update today. While I have an article ‘in the wings’ for you guys, I did a write up over at Badly Painted Minis if you guys are interested. Go have yourself a look, if you’d like!

And a preview of whats to come later…

Charge! More Royalists, on the way!