Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Pass in Review: WH40K & Sci-Fi Objective Figures

(Somewhere on the Sector Fronteris a critical objective must be seized, or safeguarded)

Warhammer 40,000 (WH40K), and wargames in-general, often represent struggles to seize or safeguard critical objectives (key terrain, facilities, etc.), rather than simply smashing the enemy's army.

Some sets, like my Drop Force Imperator contain cardboard counters to mark objectives, usually 6, spread out as evenly as possible on the game table. 

Like this:

Additional points are usually awarded to the player acquiring these cardboard counters.  However, these can look rather boring and detract from the visual appeal of the game.

Games Workshop makes a variety of supplement kits that provide miniatures, which can be used as objectives that blend-in with the terrain, such as these ammunition crates:

This crate has a removable lid... players can discover the contents--if and when they capture the item.

In some games, capturing an objective may be easy, but holding them is another matter.

While a number of kits will contain an item or two that can be used as an objective, the Sector Imperialis Objectives Kit contains several Imperium-based figures.

Here's a rundown of my objective collection, painted by myself or my friend Dan:

1. Three types of ammunition crates, two of which are featured here.

One crate for small-arms ammunition, like for Bolters...

...or large-caliber ammunition such as for the Basilisk self-propelled artillery vehicle.

The ammunition objectives also include a couple of bombs, which for Narrative Game Play could provide a plot twist as Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) that needs to be disarmed.

A close-up of one of the bombs/UXOs:

2. Speaking of UXOs, they don't come any bigger than an undetonated Exterminatus Device:

Here's the back view:

3.  If your force needs to call-in reinforcements, or are in need of a dust off, if things are going horribly wrong, there's the Orbital Vox Array to call for help:

The back-side view:

4. Your force may be tasked to download/erase information stored in a Cogitator Shrine, or carry off the entire device.

The cogitator's back:

5. It may be necessary to secure a working Field Medicarium, to treat your force's wounded--or to experiment on your opponent's.

6. Speaking of experimentations, there's a "stasis crypt" containing what looks like a Tyranid or Genestealer Cultist specimen:

The back-view of the crypt:

7. The final item in the Sector Imerialis Objectives kit, is a Lucius Pattern escape pod for scenarios involving capturing, or rescuing stranded VIPs:

A side-view of the escape pod:

I've assembled several additional miniatures from a few other kits to use as objectives.

These promethium barrels, along with many of my ammo crates, came from the Battlefield Accessories Set and my failed attempt to build Munitorum Armoured Containers:

Now one can play a WH40K version of Battle of the Bulge.  That is, seize desperately needed fuel to keep the offensive moving.

The Sector Fronteris Environment Expansion Set also contains a couple of forgotten Inquisition crates:

Since these are solid pieces, only the Inquisitor may know what's inside.

Or maybe not.

These pieces can be a classic MacGuffin for a game, or even a campaign.  The boxes could be shrouded in mystery until one side can obtain the proper access code, which may be found on the cogitator, or transmitted via the vox array, etc.

There are numerous possibilities of tying one objective to another in order to win--or at least survive.

One of more mundane, but versatile pieces is the cargo pallet from the Battlefield Accessories Set:

Here's some additional ammo crates and containers:

While this post primarily focuses on WH40K, there are numerous science fiction wargames and role-laying game people play.

So I've added a few items that could serve as objectives for these games as well.

Here's some sacks...

...and barrels I bought years ago from Dwarven Forge kits.

While they're primarily for fantasy gaming, they could represent goods from low-tech worlds.

Here's some barrels I painted, although I can't remember who made the basic figures.

Speaking of my faulty memory, I also bought these resin sci-fi cargo containers that I sloshed on some paint along with ink wash to give them a grungy look.

I have several more in various colors, but the yellow ones stood-out the best for these pictures.

Some more Dwarven Forge crates:

Another Dwarven Forge product...

...along with an early Games Workshop product, Hero Quest (video):

Either could be used to contain Throne Gelts of a paymaster, or governor's treasure chest.

Or maybe gold bullion is stored in nondescript, wooden crates...

...for a Kelly's Heroes-style campaign.

In addition to pre-painted resin figures, I'm a fan of paper models as well.

Some of the easiest items for me to assemble are cube patterns, like these boxes from Top Solitario...

...or these storeroom props from Genet Models (formerly Ebbles Miniatures):

Most items are of a serious nature, like these hazmat containers...

...but if you ever need to lighten-up your campaign's grimdark, there's a few humorous items provided by Top Solitario:

Whether your gaming tastes are grimdark, noblebright, or somewhere in-between, it's worth collecting items "worth fighting over."

But only on the table-top level, please.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Pass in Review: Air and Space Support for Sci-Fi Miniatures Games

My Warhammer 40,000 (WH40K) collection consists of mostly infantry and vehicles of the Astra Militarum.

However, my tabletop force isn't completely "dirtside-bound."  I have two WH40K-specific aircraft and several generic shuttle craft.

The first WH40K aircraft is the Valkyrie armed transport, used to deliver troops on to, and provide fire support over, an objective.

I took over a dozen of "in-flight" photos of my lone pre-painted Valkyrie I bought on-line last year.  The sky backdrop I bought from Cigar Box Battle Store.

Here's 5 of them:

Here's another front-angled view with the door hatch that can slide open:

Another view with the rear-ramp opened:

This model comes, unassembled and unpainted in a plastic kit from Games Workshop.

My second WH40K-specific aircraft is the Vulture gunship, specifically designed as a ground-attack craft.

It's another pre-owned model that was originally painted in an urban/winter camouflage scheme.  I had my friend Dan repaint it to a forest camouflage pattern in order to blend-in better with my Valkyrie.

I took another dozen "in-flight" photos of the Vulture:

The Vulture resin model kits are made by Games Workshop's subsidiary company, Forge World, but they're currently out of stock, along with just about their entire inventory.

What isn't out of stock are free downloadable paper models.

A few years ago, I stumbled across Ebbles Miniatures (now Genet Models).

One of the few vehicles I downloaded and assembled was the Utility Shuttle.

Here's the first one I built:

I printed out the model using my own printer at the time.  That along with being a few years old, the paint is rather faded.

Several months ago, I took the file to Quick Print, and assembled a couple of shuttles sporting more vivid colors:

The downloadable kit also has an option to make extended versions of the Utility Shuttle.

Here's the first "extended cab" version I built a few years back:

I like the look of the longer shuttles, so I built more of them after my visit to Quick Print:

There's no specs on these Utility Shuttles.  So at a guess, I'd say that the short version can carry about 4-6 passengers and some equipment/luggage, while being crewed by a pilot and copilot.  The longer shuttles should be able to carry a squad of medium-sized beings (8-12), along with their gear.

The shuttles have no weapons that I know of.

What I love about paper models is there's nothing to paint once you assemble them.

Theoretically, anyway.

Despite all the 6mm and 28mm paper models I've assembled, I still haven't perfected my craft, resulting in a lot of white showing.

I attempt to remedy my lack of skill by painting over the white areas with an approximation of the vehicle's color with either acrylic paint, or even a magic marker.

So that's about it for my air & space force.  Upcoming WH40K posts will be "more grounded."