Monday, September 14, 2015

Vindicator VND-5L Conversion

Did a conversion for my Shin Legion, a Vindicator VND-5L! A nice ENE unit!

Thanks for looking!


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Campaign Phase II: The Neural Web

After securing valuable lostech for reclusive multi-billionaire Shango Agathi, the 5th Dneiper Explorer Corps steps back, and Agathi sets up a secret research facility on Port Krin, a lawless world in the deep Periphery. While Agathi believes he's paid off enough of the planet's ne'er-do-wells to keep his facility safe, he's wrong!

Several independent groups have been hired to crack the facility and seize the precious research on a new neural interface that will transform the control of BattleMechs and AeroSpace fighters.

Also, House Kurita has dispatched elements of the Shin Legion on a search and seizure mission to Port Krin for just this same reason!

The stage is set, but the full list of players remains hazy. Who will end up possessing this invaluable lostech and the technological wonders born from it?

Time, and battles, will tell.


Friday, August 28, 2015

Shin Legion Test Paint And Other Stuff...

I am working on a canon unit called the Shin Legion. A Liao unit who in the 3060s went over to Kurita over some base betrayal. Their colors are a deep green trimmed with yellow, and they have a really neat unit insignia:

So I ordered some decals for them from Fighting Pirannha. In the meantime I am working on the paint scheme and model selection, and since it's going to be a Capellan/Draconis unit, I wanted to have a healthy mix of those two state's iconic units--Vindicators and Panthers! I am a big proponent of doubles and triples in Alpha Strike/BattleTech units. I think any normal military unit would field as many duplicate 'Mechs as possible to facilitate repair, spare parts, and logistics.

So I intend to have at least three Vindicators and two Panthers as the backbone of this 12 'Mech Shin Legion company. I will also include a 70-ton Cataphract as part of the unit's main muscle. It's a distinctly Capellan 'Mech and I love the revised plastic model. I also used it as the first test paint model for the unit.

Here it is pictured with some Angel Barracks 6mm sci-fi characters:

I used a Russian Green Surface Primer from Vallejo, and then built up from there. All this 'Mech needs are its numbers and decals, and it's ready for battle! I may also include some weathering too.

With its emphasis on 45-ton Vindicators and 35-ton Panthers, my Shin Legion company is going to be on the lighter side, but very maneuverable with all of the jump capability. I am debating whether or not to include a 90-ton Cyclops as a command 'Mech, or just make this Cataphract the centerpiece and build in lighter units around it.

This unit planning stage really makes Alpha Strike fun for me; I love the thinking and storytelling that goes into a force's creation. I'll be sure to share more as I go along!

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Dragon's Honor: A Showdown of Sorts

As the mercenary Wagner's Legion and Vistula Legion melted away due to terrible battle losses and treachery, only the forces of Kurita and the 5th Dneiper Explorer Corps remained to contest ownership of the lostech cache on Lycos II. It was time to settle scores.

As each commander jockeyed for position, the two command lances of each main company found themselves in direct conflict. The battle was joined in earnest!

A pair of 5th EC Quickdraw QKD-Cs take cover.
Each force (about 160 pts. per side) quickly sought cover as they advanced. For Kurita, General Nagumo's orders were clear--death or dishonor.

Kurita Grand Dragon & Guillotine advance past deserted vehicle repair domes.

Charlie Blookhawk and his heavily damaged Victor VTR-C draw down on a Kurita 'Mech!

Kurita forces used their superior speed to seize the right flank!

In the foreground, a Centurion takes aim! 
Mysterious MW Kgosi Z. seeks cover, his Swayback HBK-5P laying down a blistering laser barrage!
Combined fire from Kgosi's Swayback and Riggs' Quickdraw bring the Grand Dragon down! 

As the battle ranged, the Kurita forces drew the EC into a high-stakes, all or nothing game of total destruction! [Stu claimed Kurita honor to forgo the Forced Withdrawal rules, and I agreed this was super-cool, so despite some lucky shots on my part that left his reinforced lance hurting, we played on!]

Drunk, crazed, or both, Yandorak and his QKD-C jump into deadly close quarters!

Gallant Kurita Guillotine fights to the last! Honor was served! 
In the end, the Kurita forces lost, but they upheld their honor to the last. While the EC won, they paid a terrible price, with Kgosi Z. and Gord Riggs injured, and Z.'s Swayback HBK-5P a total loss! They did salvage Riggs' Quickdraw and the Kurita Catapult and Guillotine, so Kgosi Z. will not join the ranks of the dispossessed!

Will Nagumo first seek vengeance against Wagner's Legion (the mercs who deserted him)? or will he again try for the lostech cache, this time back on the EC's home planet of Dneiper?

While this chapter of the campaign draws to a close, the larger story remains unfinished!

Thanks to Stu for a great game!


Saturday, August 15, 2015

In the Maws of the Dragon; A Pursuit Battle Report

Fresh off the meeting engagement with the combined Vistula Guard and 5th Dneiper Explorer Corps, the Kurita forces withdrew to examine their prize. The engagement saw little damage and spirits were high.

Upon returning to their staging area, the engineering staff quickly realized a horrible truth! The recovered tech was not in fact the drive, merely junk! Furious, general Nagumo ordered his second in command, Arata Ito, to swiftly pursue and retrieve the lostech. Mounting his No-Dachi, Arata gathered a pursuit force and quickly set out.

The Kurita forces made good speed, and caught up to the Vistula Guard at a river ford a mere 50km from their supposed landing zone. Catching sight of the enemy in flight, Arata ordered a charge, determined to ride down the retreating mechwarriors. 

Upon seeing the closing Kurita pursuit force, the Corps leader decided to perform a fighting withdrawal. Sending off the lighter mechs with the precious tech, the remaining Vistula Guard prepared for the worst. 

Seeing the enemy turn to face, Arata charged into the enemy. Fire exchanged between both units was fierce, as the close-in fighting offered little opportunity to miss. It appeared both sides had suffered equally, until Ayaka Kito, piloting a panther, delivered a fatal shot to the Guards banshee. Hitting the ammo stores, the mech exploded in a momentous blast, offering little hope that the pilot had escaped alive.

Seeing their leader fall, the remaining Guard units started to withdraw. Arata drove his men onward, determined to destroy as much of the enemy as possible. Without proper support, the units were harried to the riverside, and made a final stand on it's banks. Fire from the pursuit lances crippled first the Guard Zeus, and then the Orion. Charging forward, Arata cleaved off the arm of the enemy Zeus, before driving it deep into the mechs torso. Yet the Zeus pilot was not one to take this quietly. Blasting all he had, he managed to destroy Arata's No-Dachi and force him to eject!

The battle had been won, but the lostech had escaped, undoubtedly due to the sacrifice of the Guard's lance. A telling blow had been struck, but allowing the objective to escape could spell disaster. The enemy could easily slip away, and the prize lost with them.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Musings On The Campaign Storyline...

My Cicada, Sky's awesome Coolant Truck! 
 I'm off to do Wilderness EMT training this weekend, so no campaign games for me! I've been talking with Sky about our recent epic throwdown for the DropShip. I was lucky. He failed just enough rolls, and I made just enough rolls, to cause him some real financial pain in terms of his company's ability to recover from the battle.

Losing his Jaegermech was big. Having to repair and rearm most of his unit is big. So what would a merc unit like Wagner's Legion do? Go rogue. That's what we decided. They're going to break with their Kurita employers, do a murderous raid on Mining Hab 101, then flee the region with whatever booty they can haul.

In effect, they'll become Periphery pirates. Sky and I will fight one last battle, but I will run an under-strength lance of local 'Mechs maintained by the ragtag miners of Hab 101. Sky will attack in force with his weakened mercs, and we'll see what happens.

Meanwhile, Dave needs to recover from his disastrous throwdown with Stu's Kurita (battle rep, gentlemen?), and then the 5th Dneiper Explorer Corps needs to stage some kind of climactic battle with Kurita to close down this first story arc of the campaign.

So lots to think about!


Monday, August 10, 2015

AAR: Battle On Lycos II, Part 2: Re-Taking The DropShip!

Outworlds Alliance
Sunday, 8 / 2 / 3071
Lycos II, Second Moon of Risin
1130 Hours Standard

As the 5th Dneiper Explorer Corps' Striker Lance and Infantry Detachment made off with what they believed to be a key piece of lostech, the rest of their Company battled to re-take the unit's DropShip! 

Wagner's Legion, previously misidentified as the 4th Arkab Legion, seized the EC DropShip New Horizon in a bold move to cut the unit off and strand them on Lycos II. Captain Charlie Bloodhawk moved the bulk of the EC's 1st Co. back into position for a counter-assault to quickly retake the priceless craft. 

Above, Wagner's spy-drone images (time roughly 0530 standard) of the 5th Explorer Corps' 1st Co. before they split to tackle the mission to recover the lostech. In the background, the EC's DropShip, the New Horizon, to the right, Lycos II's abandoned A. Wilson Arcology, and to the left, the Grinholt Woods and Mining Hab 101. 

Above, the scene from a different angle. Shortly after this pic was transmitted, Wagner's drone was shot from the sky! 

Above, the resourceful Mercs of Wagner's Legion stress combined arms warfare--here we see a 60 ton Dragon and anti-Mech Infantry advancing beneath the massive New Horizon's shadow. 

Above, Wagner's daring Clint and Spider pilots take position atop the New Horizon's hull!

Above, Mousa's Jaegermech and his comrade in a Panther boldly step forward to pour fire into the advancing EC 'Mechs! 

Wagner's deadly AeroSpace support would prove pivotal in the coming battle--pinpoint bombing runs would have the EC running scared! 

Above, initially the EC sought cover in the woods, but then realized they had to spread out or suffer the horror of aerial bomb runs! 

Advancing into the withering fire of the well-placed Wagner's Legion, the EC tried to return the favor with some concentrated fire of their own! They spread out, with Yandorak's Quickdraw holding the far right flank, and Charon Crawford's Cicada rushing to claim the left flank and Mining Hab 101. 

When it came, the AeroSpace attack run left a trio of EC 'Mechs heavily damaged! 

Mysterious EC MechWarrior Kgosi Z. returns fire against the streaking Rievers of Wagner's AeroSpace lance! The devastating firepower of his HBK-5P Hunchback's massed medium lasers strikes home, seriously damaging the fighter's fire control and nearly knocking it from the sky! 

Salazar (Dervish) and Wilson (Trebuchet) trade fire with Mousa in his Jaegermech! Mousa's true feud lay with Kwint Savak in the EC's other Dervish, and it was only fitting when Savak (a Blood Stalker) dealt the final shots that exploded Mousa's heavy 'Mech! 

When Mousa's Jaegermech went down, and Rievers took heavy damage, Wagner's crew pulled back and quit the field. Mousa escaped, and the 5th Explorer Corps claimed the remains of his 'Mech for salvage. The spoils of war! Now the 5th EC and their allies in the Vistual Legion possess a clear means to escape Lycos II with their lostech booty. 

House Kurita, General Nagumo, and their Merc allies will not rest, or let this defeat sway them from their desire to claim the treasures Shango Agathi and his intrepid warriors seek!