Tuesday 26 October 2010

Unwelcome Visitors

Jones thought he heard something down in the storage bays. Being a cautious bunch, the crew grabbed their weapons and went to investigate. An eerie purple glow emanated from one of the hatchways, but as they approached...

I've had these models for over 15 years. They were bought at a games show in Plymouth, and I just never got around to painting them. I was rummaging in my old tool/paint box the other day and came across them, and thought they'd make ideal 15mm monstrous aliens.

They are small Citadel Miniatures Tyranids, which later became known as hunter-killers, then as termagants. They show the characteristic early Tyranid shape: large head with 2 main eyes, plus an additional pair of eyes on small stalks partway along the head, and the holes in the neck are the ear canals. They follow the usual centauroid Tyranid pattern (as seen in Zoats and Genestealers), with a pair of arms, followed by webbed claws (aids moving around in the microgravity environment of a hive ship), with hooves at the rear.

The figures had their slottabase tabs snipped off and were araldited (epoxy resin) onto 1p pieces. To add a little variety, the second one had the tail curved upwards and the rear hoof lifted into a running pose.

After a grey primer spray undercoat, they had a base coat of GW/Citadel "Rotting Flesh". The weapon hoses are GW "Worm Purple", and the guns are GW "Woodland Green". The backpacks are Humbrol matt 29 dark earth. The whole model was given a wash of watered down Humbrol 33 matt black, with undiluted black painted into the deepest shadows. Highlighting generally involved a drybrush of the base colours, followed by lighter drybrushing with a little white added. Teeth were finished off with GW "Mithril Silver".


Tuesday 5 October 2010

Gruntz playtest

Having just received a copy of the Gruntz rules for playtesting, I decided to try them out at the local games club, the Old Buckenham Bone Crushers.

Crusties have invaded a small colony world, and those colonists that survived the assault have been gathered together in a ruined building in order to further the Crusties nefarious plans. Are they to be a food source for Crusty larvae, or will they be hostages for ransom - who knows? Several Crusties remain on guard in the building to make sure that they do not escape.

A small force of Marines has been landed nearby. Their mission: rescue the colonists! Their APC slips past the industrial 'mech in the foreground, while the Marine commander directs operations from the cover of a storage container in the distance.
One of the Marine squads moves round the right flank, taking cover behind some piles of stores. A SAW gunner and his companion climb into the back of a truck for a better vantage point.
Uh-oh - looks like the Crusties have moved into the ruined building nearby, blocking the Marines' route of advance. The Marines fall back to reconsider their options...
On the other flank, the APC makes a double move and the infantry debus and open fire on the closest squad of Crusties, killing over half the unit. Being tough and fearsome, the Crusties shrug off the casualties and pass their morale test with ease.
The Crustie commander uses his once-per-game "spawn a prawn" ability and regenerates the squad to full strength. The squad instantly assault the Marines, slaughtering over half the squad! This is too much for the Marines, who break and try to flee. As they run, the crusties strike down two more, leaving only a single survivor.
The sound of heavy gunfire and explosions booms through the woods - the Marines' heavy grav tank has destroyed one of the Crusties' defending tanks. Worried, the Crusty commander pulls back all his squads to the ruined building, ready to defend it to the last...
The Marines' missile tank comes gliding forward and attempts to overrun the Crusties' position. Sadly for the Marines, the driver miscalculates the height, and the tank crunches into the rubble instead. 23 Crusties fire on the tank with their rifles, but all to no avail - it takes no damage!
The remaining Marine squad has moved round to the left flank, rejoined the commander, and is preparing to follow the tank in.
In a daring move, the Crusties' remaining tank makes its move - first it ploughs through the Marine squad, killing several before slewing to a halt. The survivors stagger into the APC and move towards the Crustie stronghold. The Crusties start to feel hemmed in as armoured vehicles surround them...

The Crusty tank makes its presence felt once more, destroying the APC with a well-placed shot through the rear doors. Only the Marine commander survives the explosion.
The Marine's missile tank resorts to brute force, ploughing through the walls of the building, squashing Crusty and colonist alike into a single giant gooey smear. If they can't rescue the colonists, they can at least end their suffering quickly!
Meanwhile, the Crusty commander and several of his faithful minions beat the Marine commander into a bloody pulp.

Victory to the Crusties? Sadly, no colonists survived, but as the Marines were all eventually killed, the Crusties have lived to kidnap colonists another day...
Old Crow Gladius medium grav tank with missile turret
Old Crow Sabre heavy grav tank (out of sight in the woods)
Old Crow Glaive grav APC
GZG Crusties
QRF Skullhunter (used as an easily recognisable commander for the Crusties)
GZG NAC marines
GZG New Israeli (used as officer for Marines so he could easily be identified)
GZG Civilians/colonists
Plus numerous toy cars painted as burnt out wrecks, Mechwarrior construction 'Mech etc.