Monday, July 28, 2008

AT-43 Dispatch #1: Karman vs. Therian Battle report, Frostbite Terrain Project, and the Zeros miniature review

Hey everyone,

As you can tell from the title of this post, I have decided to try something a little different. Instead of a bunch of individual posts throughout the week, I have decided to try typing up several "articles" and posting them together on either a weekly or a bi-weekly basis. There will still be smaller updates throughout the week but I thought I would give this new format a try to see how it works. As always I would love to get your feedback about it as well so feel free to post your comments here or drop me a line at dyssnowman@gmail.com. So with that said, lets go ahead and dive into the first AT-43 Dispatch! Enjoy!

The weekend has come to a close and that means it is time for more from the Sin City Snowman. In this week's dispatch, the Karmans clash with the Therians over some urban ruins in our battle report, we will finally take a look at the new Frostbite terrain that I have made, and I will have a miniature review of the Lady in Red herself, Nina Zero. So sit back, relax, and let's get on this the show!

AT-43 Battle Report 27072008:
the Therians vs. the Karmans

Does anyone remember how I said that this was going to be the big rematch for the Semi-Mega-Battle? A gigantic battle featuring the legions of the Red Blok support by the Therians fighting against those dirty apes the Karmans? It didn't quite work out that way. Life conspired against us so that idea had to be changed slightly but that's okay because it wound up being a really good game regardless.

Featuring the more manageable 2000 points to a side, this battle had the Web Striders fighting against Nova. This was a first for me as I have always played Cypher so I was very interested in seeing how another faction would handle. On the Karman side of the table was a King Buggy, a single Easy Trike, a full unit of Wendigos led by Cornelius, and a full unit of Kaptars led by a Saint. My side of the table had a unit of Assault Goliaths, a unit of Bane Goliaths, two small units of Storm Golems led by Deltas, Babylon Zero, and a Hekat piloted by an Alpha overseer. For our battlefield, we used a 4' x 6' table with some of the Shop terrain on it; mostly ruins but there was a small stream and pond as well. Here is a view of the table looking down it from the right hand side.

Since I was facing Nova I was able to choose who would move first so needless to say it was me. Go figure! One of the small Storm Golem units moved onto the center of the board first, taking position behind a platform.

Normally I would put one of my more powerful units first in the sequence but this time I wanted to see how the Karmans would be deploying their big guns first.

The Kaptars moved on next, following my lead as they took up position behind a ruin on the center of their side of the board.

My second Storm Golem unit came on next, this time on the far left side of the board.

I was a little worried that they might be too far from the center to really do anything in the battle but it seemed like a good position overall; good cover and it meant that I might be able to hit the Karmans on their flank.

The Wendigos were next onto the board.

Positioned to the left of the center, they were in a good position as far as cover went since there was no way that I could get a good shot on them in the first turn.

My Assault Goliaths were next, taking up position to the left of the Storm Golems in the center.

Letting lose with all their weapons they managed to wipe out four of the Kaptars on the other side of the board, including the Saint! Now I just had to get rid of Cornelius to reduce his LPs to the point that I could really start using my routines effectively...

The King Buggy moved on next taking position next to the battered Kaptars before opening fire with its ZZ cannons against the Assault Goliaths.

The deadly rain of blasts proved to be too much for them as every single was blasted to scrap.

Seeking revenge, the Banes moved onto the battlefield next stepping over the broken shells of the fallen brothers.

Opening fire on the King Buggy, three of the shots managed to pierce the vehicle's armor, damaging the frame and knocking out its engines.

The Easy Trike moved on next to the now stationary King Buggy and tried to open fire on the Banes.

Realizing that he couldn't actually do this, he opted to go onto overwatch instead so that he could wait for a more promising target.

The Hekat went next, running up the right side of the battlefield.

Using Dash is always the best way to move a Hekat but since the Karmans still had most of their LPs, I didn't see the point in even trying. Besides, moving at a rush still got it into a nice and safe location even without the extra 10cm.

The Lady in Red was next, moving up beside the Banes to open fire on the Easy Trike.

Finally having a target, the Trike opened fire with its jammers and totally failing to hit Babylon Zero. I opened up with both of my v2.0 medium nucleus cannons and BAM!!!

You gotta love that! Then I tried to use her special Zero Fire routine thinking that it was free since she was a Web Strider, at which point my opponent reminded me that a routine can not cost less than 1 LP with their advantage and he was canceling it. Grrr... I rolled my damage and somehow only managed to destroy one of the jammers with that volley of fire.

This brought the first turn to a close with the Karmans leading 2 VPs to my 1 VP.

For the second turn I moved Babylon Zero first positioning her behind one of the buildings so that I could avoid some of the heavy fire that would be coming from the disabled King and the Trike.

I had hoped that I might be able to get a shot off against the Wendigos but with most of that unit in cover I decided against it. And for some reason I didn't bother to put her onto overwatch... D'oh!

The Kaptars went next, running up behind the King Buggy so that the mechanic could get the ZZ cannon back online.

Opening fire on the now mobile King Buggy, my Banes were able to inflict two more points of damage to the frame as well as take out one of the ZZ cannons before moving into cover behind the nearby platform with the Storm Golems.

The Easy Trike moved next, flying forward to open fire on Babylon Zero at close range.

Amazingly enough, the Trike once again failed to connect with the Golgoth and sent its energy blasts winging off into the distance.

My Hekat was next up in the sequence, running forward to get into position to attack next turn. I would have been there sooner if I had used Dash but at least it was still able to move at a pretty good clip without it.

The Wendigos went next, advancing slowly but surely through the ruins toward the main conflict.

The second turn ended with both of my Storm Golem units moving into what I was hoping were better positions. On the far left, the unit advanced around the ruin and went onto overwatch.

The unit in the center moved up onto the platform they had been hiding behind, took cover and also went onto overwatch.

This brought the second turn to a close with no change in VPs, leaving the Karmans leading 2 VPs to my 1 VP.

I opened the third turn with Babylon Zero firing on the Easy Trike. At that range it was an automatic hit but I failed to penetrate his armor with even a single shot! With that jammer still to worry about, I pulled further back behind the building to get some cover.

I quickly wondered why I bothered as the Easy Trike flew over the building to get a line of sight on my Golgoth. Now just why did the Therians give the Karmans anti grav vehicles again?

Letting lose with the jammer, it finally managed to score a hit on Babylon, damaging both the frame and one of the cannons.

The Hekat charged forward, finally closing with the King Buggy and ripping into it with its grim scythes, scoring two points of damage on its frame.

The Wendigos advanced again and were finally close enough to join in the fray!

Splitting their fire, the grenade launchers pounded on the Storm Golems that were on the platform, killing all but two of them, while the zz rifles opened fire on the Banes, who amazingly survived unscathed! An incredible stroke of luck that was followed up with none of their shots managing to connect as the returned fire on the Wendigos before moving into cover further behind the platform.

The Kaptars were next up and repaired the engine of the King Buggy before the snipers took out one of the two remaining Storm Golems left in the center.

Managing to make his morale check with flying colors, that last Golem was so motivated that he sprang to his feet to climb down off of the platform!

Well, I actually forgot that he was grounded but it sounds good, doesn't it?

Spinning around, the King Buggy turned its rear flamers to the Hekat and engulfed the Golgoth in twin balls of fire.

Thankfully for me it armor withstood the inferno and it emerged blackened but undamaged.

The Storm Golem unit on the far left moved next, closing with the Wendigos but ultimately no where near enough to be able to actually have their nanoblasters be effective though the sonic gun did manage to score one casualty.

This brought turn three to a close with the Karmans at 3 VPs to my 1 VP.

The fourth turn opened with a bang as Babylon Zero opened fire on the Easy Trike, damaging its engines, destroying its other weapon and pounding on its frame.

Turning their attention to the Storm Golems on the left, the Wendigos advanced toward them and then let loose with all of their weapons.

Just how many dice is that?

And this is not including the four dice from the grenade launchers! Needless to say that unit was wiped out in short order.

Running up behind the Wendigos, I was hoping to go right through the unit with the Hekat but just came up short. Even so I was still able to take out the two that were in contact.

Did anyone else know that a Wendigo is the perfect size to do this?

Advancing around the King Buggy, the Kaptar snipers fired on the Hekat while the other two went onto overwatch.

Most of the shots glanced harmlessly off its armor, but one shot managed damaging its legs.

Moving out of their cover, the Banes took position to fire on the Kaptars but no before they were able to get off their own shoots.

One of the Banes went down in the fire fight but the two that were left quickly took out the last of the Kaptars.

The King Buggy then moved forward and let loose another broadside at the Hekat.

Once again I was lucky as the only damage it took was one point to the frame.

The lone Storm Golem was the last unit to move for the turn, moving up with the Banes behind the platform. This brought the fourth turn to a close with the Karmans at 6 VPs while the Therians trailed behind at 3 VPs.

Turn five started with the Hekat plowing through the Wendigo unit and then turning to attack them in close combat, killing four of them in the process.

All of this and yet Cornelius was still alive!

The King Buggy went next, flying up onto a ruin to open fire on the Hekat with the flamer and Babylon Zero with the ZZ cannon.

The Hekat looses one of its grim scythes in the attack while Babylon takes a second hit to the damaged cannon.

Babylon responds by returning fire against the Buggy and does the last point of damage needed to destroy it, finally taking it out of the game.

Cornelius and the last Wendigo move away from the Hekat to try and destroy the last two Banes but fail to damage either of them and are then killed by the returning fire. This effectively ends the game with the Therians winning 7 VPs to the Karmans 6 VPs.

All and all this was a really close game and a lot of fun. There were a number of times that slightly different dice rolls would have changed the outcome for the whole game, which is something that I really love about this game. Usually it comes right down to the wire before someone finally manages to emerge victorious.

AT-43 Terrain Project:
Operation: Frostbite Terrain Tiles

I have finally managed to get most of the work done on my Frostbite terrain tiles. Here is a picture of them laid out with a couple of Golgoths on them for scale.

And here they are from the side with a couple of hills that I made as well.

This whole set up is completely modular and it is also reversible with a terrain feature on one side and an open snow field on the other. Combined with the hills, this should make for some interesting games, though I am really interested to see what the official tiles look like so that I can compare the sizes of the various features.

The creavases in particular are a feature that I am not sure about. I didn't want to make them too large as that could make portions of the battlefield completely inaccessible for an average game but I am thinking about making some special ones that are much wider for use in scenarios. I have the Technobridge that was made by Pegasus Hobbies and I think that would be perfect for an objective in a game.

I also made the ice flows as small individual chunks of ice but I think that I am going to make a couple of larger sections that are mostly solid ice flow. Even then I think I will try to work in some opennings through the ice to make life interesting. What fun is ice if there isn't a chance you will fall in the water, right?

AT-43 Miniature Review:
Babylon Zero and Nina Zero

This is something new for the blog. In the past I have done unit reviews but not actual miniature reviews. With the new releases coming out for Frostbite, I decided that it was time to take a closer look at what exactly these new miniatures look. First up is Babylon Zero, shown here from the front...

And the side...

Overall, I like the paint scheme. The white "frosting" looks a little rough compared to the studio model that we have been shown but other than that the model looks pretty good. That said, there is one thing that is kind of strange about it. The back of the main body is cast from a transluscent orange plastic which just looks kind of strange. Not a big deal really, it just looks a little odd from the back. My model can also rotate at the "waist" which is the first time that I have seen a Golgoth miniature that was articulated this way. Not a major perk but I think that it is a nice touch.

Next up is Nina Zero. Again, here is a view of the miniature from the front...

And the side...

Like Babylon, the paint job is not bad. At first it looks like the metalics were applied in a thin coat but there is actually an orange wash over the metal which makes it seem this way. Another thing that I really like about this miniature is that the arms and the waist are all movable. Why do I like this? Well, there are a couple of reasons that immediately come to mind. First, it is nice that it is somewhat posable as it makes the miniature more unique than a regular Bane Goliath and a little easier to transport. I can simply move the arms so that it fits nicely inside my container and I don't have to worry about it being bent. The second thing is just the basic fact that I am a kid at heart and this reminds me of the old action figures of my youth. Yes, I admit it; I am a geek at heart but aren't we all?

Well, that is all for now but there will be more updates throughout the week and another Dispatch next week! As I said at the beginning, I would also love some feedback about this new format. Do you like it combined this way or are the seperate posts an easier read? Please feel from to post your comments on the blog or you can send me an email to dyssnowman@gmail.com. Thanks a lot and until next time, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

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