Saturday 27 April 2013

"Not-Star Trek" Klingon Fleet


I've written posts about my "not-Federation" and "not-Orion" Star Trek fleets.  Well, today it's the turn of the Klingons.  These are quite unusual amongst my fleets, as not all the ships come from the same manufacturer.  I've used Studio Bergstrom for the largest and the smallest models, while the medium-sized ones come from Irregular Miniatures.

Design Philosophy

Rather than basing the Full Thrust designs on one of the existing Fleet Books, I started from scratch for this fleet.  My Klingon ships are fast, but have only moderate protection.  They have a varied array of medium and light beam weapons with wide arcs of fire (they'll almost always be able to fire something at you, if in range).  The signature heavy weapon is the disruptor; this is not a standard Full Thrust weapon so I've used the stats described by Star Ranger on Starship Combat News.

The Models

Manufacturer's descriptionPictureFull Thrust SSD
Studio Bergstrom
Studio Bergstrom
Irregular Miniatures
DYO2 Gull Wing Raider
(I don't have a separate SSD for this pair of heavy cruisers.  For now they just use the Valhalla class, below)
Irregular Miniatures
DYO3 Kumerian Raider
Studio Bergstrom
Sing-On Starship (miniature version)


This is a relatively small fleet, for now.  I painted the models at widely different times; it was very difficult to do the colour matching between the older Irregular vessels and the newer Studio Bergstrom ones.  Having said that, the pictures seem to show much more variation in colour than is present on the actual models.

I'm completely missing any destroyer-sized ships from this collection.  To fill this gap, I might even have to buy some of the official Star Fleet models, either from Mongoose or Amarillo Design Bureau!

Thursday 25 April 2013

TRWNN: Taking out the trash!


Near the small town of Coyote Canyon, an illegal logging settlement has sprung up.  This is now populated by ruffians and other bad sorts, to the extent that decent folk are afraid to venture near it.  The sheriff won't do anything about it, so some of the town's slightly-less-than-upstanding citizens have decided to take the law into their own hands and clean out this nest of vipers!

The Scenario

At first glance, this was a straightforward, 2-sided battle with no holds barred.  However, I wanted to add a bit of confusion (as normal, muahaha!), so I came up with the following twist:
  • Each player would control 2 characters; 1 from the townsfolk and 1 from the squatters.
  • Victory at the end would be decided on bodycount; the faction with the most men still standing would be the winner.
  • All players who still had a character alive on the winning faction would be victorious!  If desired, then the extent of that victory could be determined by the state of that character.  So, unconscious would result in a marginal, wounded in a minor and unwounded in a major victory.
Technically, all players could collaborate to share a major victory by agreeing with each other that one faction would shoot and the other would run away or surrender.  But even if they'd thought of such a pact, what's the chance of it holding?

The Characters

Jebediah comes out of his tent to see what is making all the noise
There were 5 players, so we had 5 townsfolk characters and 5 squatters.  Note that I've not listed every weapon and skill for each model, just the ones that made more impact on the game:


  • Blondie (legend)
  • Preacher Adams (shootist, sawn-off shotgun, crazy as a loon)
  • Jesse (shootist, strong)
  • Old Pete (gunman)
  • Kid Sheleen (citizen, 2 pistols)


  • Emmett (legend)
  • Black Bart (shootist, tough, terrifying)
  • Injun Joe (gunman)
  • Rico (gunman, drunk)
  • Jebediah (citizen)

The Game

So, how did it play?  Here's how:

As soon as he got a turn, Jesse advanced slightly, challenged and shot down the surprised Injun Joe.  Both of these characters were controlled by the same player, so right from the start he was banking on the townsfolk winning the game!

Despite his advanced years, Old Pete ran along the road like a young deer, only stopping when he came close to Black Bart.  However before either man could move, Preacher Adams decided to act (he was dealt 3 action cards plus his own character card and used these to take 4 turns in a row!).

The preacher walked purposefully in from the side, never hesitating until he was close enough to Black Bart to smell the sweat.  As he raised his sawn-off shotgun, he was suddenly assailed by terrors and started to shake with fear ( the 'crazy as a loon' attribute kicked in and the preacher was determined to be 'yellow'.  It probably didn't help that Black Bart had the 'terrifying' attribute as well).  Even so, the preacher blasted away with his gun and scored 3 flesh wounds on his enemy (Bart's 'tough' attribute cancelled out the +1 damage for a shotgun at point blank range, but he still took some serious hurt).

Old Pete ignored Black Bart as he struggled to regain his feet and run away.  Instead, the townsman stuck his head round the corner of the trading post and shot Rico in the belly, leaving him sprawled and unconscious on the ground.

Jebediah tried to creep up behind Preacher Adams, but the crazy man was too fast for him and spun round.  A shotgun blast forced the squatter to take cover behind the old hanging tree, though the range was too long for it to cause any real injury.

Having managed to stand up, Black Bart attempted to flee.  However, his injuries were too much for him and he collapsed back down to the ground.

The Pendulum Swings?

So far, everything had been going the townsfolk's way.  They'd killed 1 opponent, seriously injured 2 more and scared a 4th, all for no harm to themselves.  However, it wasn't to last:

Emmett finally woke up to the fact that his camp was being raided.  He walked up to the fence which surrounded the trading store's yard and took several deliberate shots at Preacher Adams.

First he shot the preacher in one arm, then he carefully shot him in the other one.  This was too much for the minister; he turned and fled.

While this was happening, Jebediah was attacked, initially by Old Pete and then by Blondie as well.  Between them, they beat up the squatter until he begged for mercy, whereupon Old Pete tied him up.  I suspect there will be either a lynching or a tarring and feathering later on!

The badly wounded (and drunk) Rico finally recovered consciousness and stood up groggily.  As he did so, Blondie came round the front of the store and Jesse approached from the rear.  Emmett, having seen off the preacher, positioned himself behind some crates and exchanged a few shots with the latter.

Jesse was too impatient for gunplay, however.  Relying on his strong attribute, he charged at Emmett, fists whirling.

The townsman had badly misjudged the calibre of his opponent; the legend was quite capable of defending himself in a brawl.  Emmett gave Jesse a tremendous whack with his pistol butt that dropped the attacker on the spot, dead!

Blondie also fancied his chances against the squatters' hard man. Ignoring the stumbling Rico (despite his drunken threats), Blondie moved up and shot Emmett multiple times.

When the smoke cleared, Emmett was still standing, though bleeding from several flesh wounds.  He returned fire and this was much more effective: Blondie went down, unconscious and badly injured.

Seeing his hero fall, Kid Sheleen ran towards the enclosure with both guns blazing.  Rico tried to line up a shot on the youngster, but went down with a bullet in the head.

Next, the Kid blasted away at Emmett.  Improbably, he hit the outlaw in the head, killing him instantly and thereby pulling off an extraordinary victory!



  • Blondie: badly wounded
  • Preacher Adams: badly wounded
  • Jesse: dead
  • Old Pete: uninjured
  • Kid Sheleen: uninjured


  • Emmett: dead
  • Black Bart: badly injured, captured
  • Injun Joe: dead
  • Rico: dead
  • Jebediah: lightly injured, captured
Clearly, the townsfolk have the victory, though a somewhat Pyrrhic one.  Of the townsfolk, Old Pete and Kid Sheleen are the clear winners, with Blondie and Preacher Adams gaining only a marginal claim.  Sadly, the player in control of Jesse (who shot his other character, Injun Joe, right at the start) loses completely.  Better luck next time!

Friday 19 April 2013

Happy Blogday to me!


It's exactly a year since I started this blogging lark, so I thought it would be a good time to recap what I've done in the past 12 months.


Over the year, my blog has had:
  • 99 posts (this is the 99th).  My goal of 2 updates per week  almost worked, but there were periods when holidays or other events intervened.
  • Visitors from 89 countries, including every single state from the USA.  Some countries have a single visitor only, so a special message to these individuals: you're not alone as long as you have a shared interest with so many others around the world!
  • 59 followers.  My most sincere thanks to each and every one of you!

Here's a rough breakdown of the articles I've posted:
  • 6 battle reports (Hordes of the Things)
  • 8 battle reports (Full Thrust)
  • 14 battle reports (All Things Zombie)
  • 5 battle reports (The Rules with No Name)
  • 5 battle reports (Adventures in the Lost Lands)
  • 8 battle reports (other rulesets)
  • 12 articles on designing and making cards and other game accessories
  • 26 posts showing off or reviewing models
  • 15 others (workbench updates, competition and award announcements, 20 questions &c)

Highlights and Lowlights

It's been both exhilarating and humbling to see how much (or how little!) interest has been generated by some articles.  After a while, I thought I could predict which posts would gather a lot or a little of response - but on looking back I realise that my estimates weren't always close.  There have been a few real surprises in there!

Most popular post (by a long way):
  • ATZ Event Cards: Finally!  The most sincere form of praise is when people start to reference or to copy your work.  Some of these random events made it into All Things Zombie: Final Fade Out and I'm always delighted when I see such events or ones from the card set appearing in other people's games!

Least popular post, at least when judged by lack of response.  Tie between:

The Future

So, where will the Infinite Legion go next?  I'm not really sure, though I don't imagine there will be many changes to the format.  I still expect to publish roughly twice a week: one battle report after Games Club night (at least during school term times when the club is running) and one "other".  I may add more different rules to my stable of rulesets.  I've already got SAGA but haven't finished painting figures for it and 5150: Fighter Command is demanding that I play it.  I might start writing the occasional piece on scenario construction; this seems to be of some interest to many players.


Once again, many thanks to those who read my articles and to those who respond to them (either here or by replying on other forums such as various Yahoo groups, The Board of the Living Lead and The Miniatures Page).  Special thanks are also due to the group of players at my local games club in Helensburgh.  Without you guys, I wouldn't have nearly as much material!

Thursday 18 April 2013

HotT: 7 Heroes!


The Helensburgh Games Club restarted this week after the Easter break.  I planned a big game of Hordes of the Things; this usually works quite well for multiple players.  However, none of my usual group turned up (though the usual numbers of Warhammer 40K enthusiasts were present), so I took one side and my son took the other.

I set up a straightforward 72AP battle, with a settlement on one side and an attacking army on the other.  The story?  The Knights of Lyonesse had sent assistance to the aid of a village in the East that was being plagued by skeletons, zombies and other undead terrors.  Even though the villagers were strangers (and foreigners, to boot!), the Knights were sworn to defend the weak and oppose evil wherever it might be found!

 So on the defending ("good") side we had:
  • 2 x 24AP armies of the Knights of Lyonesse, heavily loaded with heroes and knights.
  • 1 x 24AP Kung Fu army consisting of a few heroes, some foot soldiers and hordes of peasants.
whereas the attackers - the Cabal of the black Hand - consisted of:
  • 3 x 24AP armies, each led by 1 or 2 magicians, with a mixture of other troop types (especially bats and hordes of zombies & skeletons).
It occurred to me after setting up these forces that the defenders had a total of exactly 7 heroic characters, consisting of 1 paladin, 1 aerial hero, 1 cleric and 4 heroes.  Surely that's a good omen for them!

The Battle

For the most part, both lines of troops advanced towards each other until they met in the middle.  While this was happening, there were a number of noteworthy incidents around the battlefield:

Sir Artois de Beaumain

 In the north, Sir Artois de Beaumain flew his winged charger over the undead line and attacked their reserve of bats.  He knocked back the big bat before turning round and charging an assistant magician from behind.

This new foe was completely taken by surprise and Sir Artois killed him before the magician could curse the knight with dark arts.

However, the hero was now in the midst of his foes.  Recovering quickly, swarms of bats pulled him and his mount from the sky.  Once some skeletal horsemen joined in as well, the knight was doomed and fell beneath the weight of enemies!  1 hero down!

 Bats in the Centre!

In the middle, the Cabal's bat swarm decided to leapfrog over the villagers and distract them from their advance.

They hadn't counted on Lin Jie, the Kung Fu master.  This hero had a great time destroying the hapless flyers one after another,though it's not known whether he did this by leaping into the air to catch them, by throwing stones with great accuracy or by tricking them into landing.  First one set of bats was wiped out, then another.  I guess that all heroes have their trade secrets...

Meanwhile, things were going badly for the Cabal in the centre.  Knights broke through the ranks of skeletons and so terrified the ghosts that these sneakers fled off the table and were never seen again.  Surely that's the wrong way round!

Another one bites the Dust!

Back in the north wing, the forces of Lyonesse surged forward to avenge their fallen comrade.  The Red Knight challenged the Master Necromancer himself, but the titanic duel ended with him being ensnared in foul magics and transported away as a prisoner!  2 heroes down!


In the woods to the south, just beside the river, huge numbers of zombies clashed with a thin line of Lyonesse halberdiers.  Even though the humans were vastly outnumbered, the stout yeomen didn't give an inch and destroyed vast numbers of the undead.  But however many they killed,  more zombies appeared to replace the fallen...

Nearby, Saint Florence of Artenay and Sir Roger the Castellan were caught unsupported by the opposition's undead hero and heavy infantry.  Sir Roger managed to throw his enemies back, but the paladin was wounded and immediately fled the field to seek penance in a hermitage.  3 heroes down!

The loss of the paladin's spiritual protection left heroes in this part of the battlefield vulnerable to magic (Abbot Chao Kung, the cleric, was elsewhere).  It wasn't long before the warlock in charge of this part of the Cabal's army targeted Sir Roger.  He entranced the hero with visions of delight, causing him to fall captive to the forces of evil.  4 heroes down!

The Beginning of the End

Back in the north, both sides were reeling from their losses and close to breaking.  Even though he was in danger of being surrounded, the Necromancer fought in the front rank and managed to destroy a stand of knights.  This pushed the opposing forces of Lyonesse over the edge and they turned and fled.

The Necromancer's joy was short-lived, however.  Lin Jie appeared, seemingly from nowhere, and leaped off the hillside to tackle the big bat.  He felled the beast with one mighty blow; this was enough to break the Necromancer's force as well!

Lin Jie then raced back to the centre of the field (heroes can move a long way in HotT!), where he was credited with an assist as Li Feng took on a mighty undead lord.  Between them, the village heroes destroyed the wight and scattered his bones.  The central Cabal army then collapsed.  Some elements fled immediately, while others lost their animation and stood rooted to the spot, only to collapse into dust when approached by any of the peasants.

2 of the 3 commands from the Cabal army were now broken.  Only the warlock in the south remained, but his forces were scattered.  Zombies were still roaming the woods and tussling with Lyonesse halberdiers, but they were too far away to support the remaining heavy infantry.  With enemies approaching from 3 sides, the warlock decided to retreat.  He'd have to get his revenge some other day!


Man of the match

  • For the forces of Good: definitely Lin Jie, the Kung Fu master!  He personally slew 3 stands of bats, broke 1 enemy command and aided in breaking another.
  • For the Cabal: I think the Necromancer in the north did well.  He ensnared the Red Knight and destroyed some of his companions, all in hand-to-hand fighting.  This broke the opposing command.

Lessons to be learnt

  • We really need to know how to use flyers more effectively!  Neither the aerial hero (Lyonesse) nor the flocks of bats (Cabal) pulled their weight.
  • Blades versus Hordes is a match-up that will only end 1 way!  Not a good day for the skeletons and zombies...
  • The villagers didn't lose a single base (the mostly-infantry army was probably helped in this by having both flanks secured by more mobile forces).  Truly they'll be celebrating tonight!

Sunday 14 April 2013

Studio Survivors and Zombie 3


Back in December last, I showed some of my Studio Miniatures 28mm plastic zombies.  I also described a survivor that I'd converted from one of the same models.  Well, I've continued to experiment; here are 2 more survivors and a further zombie.


Scott was made from the body, head and left arm of a Studio plastic zombie.  The right arm and gun were spares from the Hasslefree "Kev" figure.  Because of the way that the gun arm was sculpted, I had to remodel the (plastic) supporting arm quite a bit to make things fit.  Indeed, Scott's left arm is a bit longer than his right arm - though this is only noticeable from certain viewing angles.


For Isaac, I only used  a body from the Studio plastic zombies.  The head, arms and weapon are spares from a set of Westwind bikers.  Again, the left arm had to be repositioned quite a bit to make it fit.  The added metal parts are clearly a bit chunkier than the plastic body, so Isaac looks rather top heavy.

"Traffic Cone" Zombie

At the same time, I made another zombie as it was intended to be made!  This is a straightforward, Studio Miniatures, plastic zombie to help swell the ranks of my horde.  The traffic cone is scratch built.


If you have a well-stocked spares box then it's obviously possible to convert the Studio Miniatures plastic zombies into something else.  Positioning arms for a 2-handed weapon (or a 1-handed item braced with the second hand) is a pain, in my experience.  If you're looking for an easier build then don't choose a 2-handed pose!  Also note that even though I have a reasonable amount of spares from other manufacturers, many of these parts just didn't look right.  Typically, spare metal parts will be too bulky for the more delicate Studio plastics.

My final thought: I've spent a lot of effort on these (bah!) but ended up with some unique models, very cheaply (yay!).  Of course, if I'd been just a little more patient then I believe that Wargames Factory are now about to ship or are already shipping a set of plastic, multi-part survivors.  Perhaps converting models like this is not needed after all...

[Update: now that the Wargames Factory survivors are available (Men and Women), I've done some further conversion work here: ]