Tuesday 25 October 2016

USEME Solo Play Campaign Setting and Rules

Free download by Vic Dobson

Last week the entire USEME series of wargame titles was released as digital downloads. At just 3.00GBP each these twelve titles cover science fiction, fantasy and historical wargaming along with other settings too. You can see all of these on the 15mm.co.uk website HERE if you missed that. We are delighted now to present to you for free an entire campaign setting based on the HOF 15mm Science Fiction range written by Vic Dobson which also includes solo play rules. Read on for the download link and more. 

To download the campaign setting in a zipped file from our Dropbox click HERE

You will need UM001 USEME 15mm Science Fiction to make use of this campaign setting and we also recommend UM010 USEME Support Pack too for your games. If you want to fight actions in space around the planets then you might like UM006 USEME Starship Battles as well. Super fast, really easy and great fun! 

Written by Vic Dobson who has created other USEME articles (click here to search our blog for USEME to find them HERE) this solo play campaign is a great way to plan out your table top battles across several weeks. I think a campaign of four player sides with two dozen games would take about six weeks with several games of half an hour or so each session. Enjoy! 

There are many free files for all of the USEME titles and these are collected on its page of our website where you can download the latest version for free. 

Thanks for Reading and well done Vic! 


Saturday 22 October 2016

The Big Game XVI - Street Fight

A Laserstorm AAR by Podsy McPod

It was recently once again my pleasure to present a large scale participation wargame to my local gaming club TableTopNorth in Belfast.  The scenario was a continuation of an ongoing campaign between the rebelling human forces of the RPK republic (near future Arabs) and their evil galactic overlords the Naga (snake like aliens).  This game represented the climax of the campaign.  Following a disastrous defeat for the humans as they tried to force their way to the capital Kimtown down the main highway in the last Big Game they rethought their tactics and advanced through the mountains.  This game was set a few weeks after the arrival of the human forces in the capital.  Fighting has stalled and the opposing forces have built defences and hunkered down in adjacent city blocks.  The game would be won by whichever side scored the most victory points.  Uncontested control of each of the hab blocks in each sector scored one victory point at the end of each turn.
Somehow the table looks quite bare but there are six units in each city block

In Laserstorm cover is key.  Any unit directly behind a wall or in a building gets a cover save of 5+ in addition to the normal save roll of the unit.  Normal saves are adjusted by the power of attacking weapon whilst cover saves are not.  Before the game I emphasised how vital staying in cover was but as you can see a lot of units are out in the open as deployment finished.  This led to absolute chaos in the first turn of firing with casualties of around 30% on both sides at the end of the first turn!  Anti tank guns have deployed into the hab blocks at opposite ends of the board.  The alien guns took a casualty and failed a morale test causing them to flee the building they were in.  Once in the open they became very vulnerable to all incoming fire.  This left the aliens without vital anti tank weaponry.  Their human counterparts in contrast never broke a sweat staying resolutely in place for most of the game.
There are actually three guns in this building, one on each floor.  Their nerves of steel were to prove vital.

In the northern human city block with the tanks a much more cautious game was played making full use of cover before advancing.  Unsurprisingly the two central city blocks with enemies on three sides find themselves under a lot of pressure and take heavy casualties.  One alien Raven light vehicle transport with a stand of Vampirra power armour makes a brave dash towards the centre of the battlefield but it is really too little to have much effect.  The Ikwen militia subjugated into military service for the Naga have an outstanding game shooting down multiple enemies.  Even their underpowered solar RPG's prove useful destroying the large human mechs in the central city block.  Human Patrol Carriers make a brave dash to contest control of the northern hab dome on the alien side of the table.  We complete two turns before lunch.  Casualties have been extremely high on both sides with the aliens coming off worst.  The humans are ahead by a couple of victory points.
A heroic charge by human Patrol Carriers towards a hab block makes it contested and loses a victory point for the aliens.

Everyone has understood Laserstorm rules very quickly despite some of the players not regularly playing wargames. Combined with the high turn out of players this means the game is proceeding at a very fast pace.  I fear the game will not last the day.  I have a quick meeting with the team captains and we agree that an equal points value of troops can arrive as reinforcements for both sides on the narrow table edges.  We roll randomly for sides and the aliens come on in the south with the humans in the north.  We also tidy up some depleted units during the lunch break amalgamating and reinforcing some units.

After lunch the aliens make a well considered push with their recycled reinforcement units arriving in the south.  They pour fire into the hab block containing the human anti tank guns but a rotten run of luck means the fire is ineffective.  Only at this juncture does the commander of the alien SKA anti infantry field guns decide to redirect their fire onto the human anti tank guns and they are wiped out almost immediately.  Things are looking up for the aliens.  They are starting to get a secure base in the south.  Titan APC's nip around the corner of a hab block to get an unobstructed shot on a unit of RPK infantry.  Without cover saves the infantry is eliminated in a single round of fire.  On the other hand the aliens remain behind in victory points and have practically nothing left in the north to stop the human reinforcements rolling up them up.

Alien reinforcements of mechs and APC's make an impact.

This proves to be the case.  The alien positions in the north crumble.  Alien anti tank gun reinforcements are brought into play with some success taking out two human tanks.  Relief is only temporary, the human reinforcements prove unstoppable in their advance down the table.  The picture below was taken towards game end as you can see casualties on both sides have been huge.  Four city blocks are firmly under human control and the aliens do not have the troops left to mount any sort of counter attack.  Their commander decides to concede at the end of turn seven with the score at 21/11 in favour of the humans.  I don't feel too bad for the aliens as they had a crushing victory in the last game.

Laserstorm rules worked superbly well without amendment besides allowing a unit activation per side per player.  This is despite the game being played in 15mm rather than 6mm as intended by the author.  I would say there are tiers to Laserstorm rules and we played on the lowest level.  The game moved at by far the fastest pace of any system I have used allowing an unprecedented seven turns of play and we finished an hour ahead of schedule.  I now realise that the speed of play combined with the generous movement rates mean much more detailed scenarios can be played.  Vehicles struggled in the urban environment as perhaps they should.  It was definitely terrain for infantry, battlesuits and mechs.  I should have included more of these in the army lists.
A couple of lone vehicles hold on in the south for the humans as their reinforcements sweep down the table.

The game was set up with enemies in adjacent blocks.  On reflection it would probably have been better to put more room between the opposing forces.  That being said some players did remark that they enjoyed the difficulties of having enemies on more than one side.  The game was almost the victim of it's own success with a much higher turn out of players than in previous years.  If I had known there would have been this many players I would have included more figures.  One of the joys of running an event game for me is to see non wargamers quickly understand the rules and explain them to other players.  This definitely happened during this game.  I would also think Laserstorm rules would be well suited to running a smaller demonstration game at a convention.

Next year I am tempted to do it all again in 6mm...

Friday 7 October 2016

The Ion Age - IAFP08 Nox Ordos 15mm platoon pack released!

The biggest and most bad ass armoured infantry of the Shia Khan Empire now have their own 'Ordos', a platoon pack, which contains a full force of these miniatures! Each Nox stands about 20mm tall and the platoon pack contains fifteen figures and an extra special Nox which is only in the pack and is added free! Go HERE or read on for more information.

The Shia Khan uses technology that is more advanced that our own, that is sure. Though many of its troops are apparently slaves and are relatively poorly armoured and armed with Malig and Betrayers being more in common with our Planetary Militia and Muster regiments and their Legionaries a match for our Muster and Retained ranks there are troops evidently which are not expendable slaves. We speak here of the elite formations of a Legion and more specifically the Nox. The technology involved in the Jupiter series of plasmastic weapons is in our estimate a century or so beyond our own best efforts (see Academy Auto-Trainer Series 16) but the design contained within the Nox Segmentum pattern powered armour is much beyond that. Other Khanate Troops use the weapons that Nox carry though they operate in teams of two rather than a Nox which can wield the weapon alone. However within the sphere of the Legion itself and not speaking of Psychoborgs and other specialised threats it is the Segmentum pattern armour which has baffled us. Only a handful of Nox have been captured and none of them alive due to what we think is a flesh dissolving gas which is triggered if their armour is opened without the right seal codes. This gas also corrodes the internal fittings of the armour to the point that only rudimentary inspections can be made. In fact we have lost three expert fabricators to booby trapped Segmentum suits with imploder bombs. Information that is known consists of the following. Firstly the alloys used in the Segmentum's construction cannot be determined but do contain titanium as a stabiliser with a resulting hardness some third better than Alwite and on par with Noblesse series used by Desteria Knights despite being thinner. Secondly the internal power system of Segmentum is much more efficient as the self fuelling batteries use technology similar to ours but are nearly half the size and also provide the charge for carried weapons such as plasma and laser system whereas our own Alwite powered armour cannot do this. Thirdly the armour seems to fill with a thick black liquid when sealed which cushions impacts and trauma more effectively that the padding and gel layers in Alwite. Lastly and most troubling are the seemingly standardised Cynue ports in the neck and chest sections of Segmentum powered armour. While such technology is rightly banned in the Prydian Precinct after the tragedy of the Gurtan Activation the Khanate seem to give artificial intelligence assistance to Nox in combat. Research continues and we do hope a break through will be reached.

Academy Auto-Trainer Series 17, New Glastonbury, 4332IC

Brigade Models - PacFed Grav Bikes

Hey all,

Some new stuff out from Brigade. Excellent looking grav bikes. Here are Brigade's own words on the topic...

Lately we’ve very much been on a VSF theme, with the completion of the Imperial Skies Kickstarter, the release of the rules and the new models. And before that it was lots of 6mm SF, with new figures, buildings and vehicles which culminated with the release of the official Hammer’s Slammers models (of which there are still more to come). However, the rest of the ranges deserve some attention too, so it’s time for something different. Today we have a new 15mm model, a PacFed grav bike complete with rider. It’s a three-part metal model (bike, handlebars and foot rest) and come in packs of two.

We will of course have stocks of these at Blast-tastic! tomorrow. We have had to make some slight changes to what we’re bringing tomorrow – we’re unable to bring the full range of individual models with us for Aeronef, Spaceships and 6mm, although we do have some (including a good array of Aeronef capital ships) We also have a full line-up of fleet packs, army packs, company packs etc. See you in Bristol

SF15-714 – PacFed Grav Bikes (x2) – £3.00

Saturday 1 October 2016

The Ion Age - IMP38 Male Adventurer free for all October 2016!

The bumper Prang Army month is now over and The Ion Age gives a big shout out to all those who took up on the big and bulky aliens all across the world. If you missed them then see them here (we have placed the Prang Ambassador on the page as a purchasable miniature outside of the Year Four Collection). October is here and we have some fun in 15mm space opera for you! Lots to know and here we go! 

“What else goes on outside of the Prydian Civil War and the warring armies? Well while its not the focus of The Ion Age to look beyond the military we do have a place for speculation and that is in the monthly free miniature. Someone who takes no nonsense and can manage to make a living out of a fast draw and seeing the angle that makes the difference. A Male Adventurer in the grand tradition of space opera. So here he is! A unique looking miniature in 15mm scale that can be put in almost any scenario. He has no name...no need for one. I am sure all of you will give him an identity that suits just fine."

Back in 2014 (go HERE to read about it or HERE to purchase it) we released a Female Adventurer as the free monthly miniature and now we welcome the thirty eighth miniature in the series with IMP38 Male Adventurer. A 15mm human character which is free in every order every time all month before being retired. This miniature is automatically put into every order at the rate of one per order regardless of order value. It can also be bought in any amount on the monthly IMP page of the website for this month only too before being withdrawn on the first of next month. We are into Year Four now and if you missed it you can see the Year Three Collection on the website. 

IMP38 Male Adventurer is a very versatile character who fits into any setting as a bounty hunter, a mercenary, a guard or anything else you would like. Standing 16mm tall and wearing rigid body armour while holding a large calibre semi-automatic Tumbler machine pistol and a sword he is a capable fellow. There is a growing page on the Ion Age website where the current and all former IMP series free miniatures are shown so that you can see what came before. Enjoy looking at what came before. Above you can see the Adventurer standing next to a vehicle which suits him very well the IAF054 Hazelwurm Patrol Car

We ask you to sign up for a website account with us on your first order. Why? For one reason only. Not to send you emails (we never will. If you want our emails sign up for our Mailchimp list on the right top of the blog) or to pester you; but only to keep track of the Reward Points that all orders with us earn. Reward Points through our online partner Sloyalty which can be used once accumulated to get discounts or free stuff at any point in the future. Learn more about this HERE. Every order earns Reward Points! Yes free extra value. Part of our promise to keep the fun in wargaming. 

Information Burst! 
This is our first bulletin of the new month and as such I want to fact you all up on what to expect in October 2016. We will be releasing shortly a whole Shia Khan Empire platoon pack, our third following on to the Maligs and the Legionaries, code IAFP08 Nox Ordos! There will be full details upon release but I want to tell you now that the platoon pack will contain sixteen miniatures one of which is a unique extra free one; an officer. Now I know many of you already own our 15mm Nox and because of that there is an offer this month where when you place an order for any products if you wish to get the unique Nox Officer from the platoon packINSTEAD of your free IMP38 Male Adventurer you can! Just email info@theionage.com title it with your order number and then 'please give me Nox Officer rather than IMP38' and we will do the rest. Excellent! 

Later on in October we will be releasing another pack of miniatures by Dave Foley into the Ion Age Universe Range a pack of characters who deal with alien contact. We will be having a second entry in the Prydian Precinct articles this time written by Aris Kolehmainen all about the The Rheged Company taken from the Uniforms Poster we have. We also have a Patrol Angis after action report in the works as well which features a daring Khamel Bike raid upon the Yordists. A big event will happen in the middle of the month with the release of Patrol Angis and Callsign Taranis as paid for PDF download books on our website! Full news on this at the time. 

Lastly we have a new monthly special...this time on one of the supporting packs for our mighty Taranis tanks..drones...we have 25% off the IAF082 Taranis Repulsar Drones for the whole month. The offer is now live and you can read more about these human sized robots on our blog HERE

As always if you are reading this bulletin later in the month or further into the future please do have a look at our blog and use it as a time machine to read all the excellent content that is there going right back to our start. Try October 2014 for instance! 

Thanks for your support and for enjoying The Ion Age!