Wednesday 30 August 2023

Away Team Red: Romulans


Those who know me well will know that I have something of a fondness for Star Trek.  I've published a number of articles previously about my "not Trek" starships and the games of Full Thrust in which they have been used.  There are reasonably good sources of such models from a wide variety of sources.

Until recently, there has been a scarcity of figure models, suitable for use in games set on board a ship or as part of an away team on a planet's surface.  There have been some that would proxy for Federation crew, but very little for other races.

Well, not any more!  There's a range of 3D-printable designs called "Away Team Red" that I've only discovered in the last 6 months or so, even if they have been around for a bit longer than this.  Physical specimens are available from a number of suppliers on hosts such as .

The Away Team Red collection is obviously designed by someone who loves and respects Star Trek, especially the original series.  If I've understood correctly, the sculptor goes by the handle of Lost Heresy Miniatures.

The range includes several alien races (including a "not Gorn" set - something of a holy grail for me!) as well as a considerable number of "not Federation" crew and a few monsters.  Excellent!

After that long preamble, here are some Romulans!


  • Firstly, they're not "Romulans" - the designer calls them "Aquilons".  Well, well.
  • There are two variants of the 10-model Aquilon set: one with helmets and one without.  I have the bare-headed figures.
  • The 10 models in the set include an obvious leader, but many of the rest are equipped with long guns.  Ideally I would have preferred a more diverse group, with some figures using equipment (scanners, comms...) rather than brandishing weapons.  But you get what you get.
  • I've converted several of the crew in small ways, though this was not easy.  They're printed in a very hard, very brittle resin and the only way to cut this was with a razor saw.  Of necessity, my conversions have been limited to swapping the occasional hand (plus what it's holding) or shortening the weapons to make them pistols rather than rifles.
  • These models are slightly larger than 28mm - maybe 30mm?  They're close enough for me to mix and match with other manufacturers, especially for other races.

The Crew

I painted the first four figures with coloured sashes; I suppose I'm thinking of these as officers or specialists.

Tomeet is obviously the captain and I imagine that Rukan is his second-in-command (since he's got the same colour of sash, albeit a lesser form).  The other two could be science, engineering, comms, medical or any other specialties I desire.

The next pair are in the "rank and file" uniform, with standard black sashes.  However, they're carrying pistols.  Perhaps they are ensigns - does the Romulan empire have such things?

Am I alone in thinking that the 3rd model's face looks like Leonard Nimoy/Spock?

Finally, we have the goon squad, security, mooks or whatever else you wish to call them.  I'm thinking that these are the equivalent of the Federation's "red shirts" - un-named characters whose chance of surviving an episode is low.

...except that I did give them names.  Does that create a paradox and break the universe?

Finally, here is the entire bunch all together.  Romulans aren't inherently evil; they're just very secretive and have their own honour code.  That should be plenty to bring them into conflict with my other Trek-like forces!


These are excellent models!  They're on the chunky side, but that gives them a lot of strength and they should resist handling damage well.  The hard resin does make it difficult to convert them, but that's too bad.

These aren't the first "Away Team Red" models I have bought - and I don't think they'll be the last, either.

Friday 25 August 2023

Mortal Gods: Who's in the House?


I've had a copy of the Mortal Gods rules as well as the Mythic expansion for quite a long time now, but have not done much with them.  Until now, that is: recently I dug out these rules and my Ancient Greek models and played a game at my local club (Helensburgh Alternative Hobby Association, or HAHA for short).

I enjoyed that game so much that I decided to buy some more models, group bases &c. and to host another game at the club.  This time I recorded some of the action, so you can read about it as well.


I pitted forces of Hades (on the left, mostly skeletons and necromancers, but with a phalanx of temple guard) against Heroes (on the right, led by Jason and Heracles, with a few minor names heroes and an odd assortment of warriors).  Each side came to about 660 points and was split into two allied contingents, so that we could accommodate two players per side.

The scenario was simple: there are 5 objective markers around the table.  Each of these is controlled by whichever side has the largest number of models within 3"; whichever force controls most objectives at the end of the game wins.

I did add one twist: a Cyclops inhabits one of the three central terrain features and would appear at the end of turn 1.  It would be controlled by a 5th player.  What I didn't tell the others at the start was that should this be slain then another cyclops would appear; once again it would appear randomly from one of the three central features.

The Game

So, how did it go?  Turn one was spent mostly with each player moving their forces forwards.

At the end of turn one, the cyclops appeared from the house, right in front of three Greek heroes.

The monster reacted before any of the humans: it tossed a large boulder at Jason.  The missile overshot the hero, but landed right in the middle of a group of approaching peltasts, flattening most of them!

Atalanta shot the cyclops full of arrows, before Herakles and the other heroes finished if off.  Almost immediately, another cyclops appeared at exactly the same position

After this, the heroic side became a bit fixated on monster hunting!  Most of their forces converged on the second cyclops, leaving very little to face off against the onrushing skeletons.

Again, Atalanta wounded the creature, but not enough to knock it out.  With a bellow of rage, the cyclops charged, injuring her and a nearby unarmoured hoplite, before Meleagros stabbed it from behind and felled the brute.

Whilst this side-show was happening, Hylas was the only Greek hero left to stem the undead tide.  He held his own to start with and even destroyed some skeletons, but eventually he was overcome and killed.

The heroes then caught an incredibly lucky break: At the start of a turn Hades drew one of the worst possible omen cards for the undead side.  Why was this so bad?  Well, all the skeleton groups have just a single die for Courage rolls, thus giving each one only a 50:50 chance of moving in the intended direction.

Predictably, much of the turn was spent with the skeletons milling about, whilst the heroes tried to reposition to a slightly better location.

Then, something unexpected happened.  Meleagros attacked a skeleton group, wiped them out and scored a critical hit in doing so.  This is extremely easy against skeletons with a base Resistance of 1; the hero rolled 5 or 6 attack dice and only needed to inflict 2 damage on the unarmoured group to score a crit - and that would then entitle him to another action (which could be used to make another attack).  Rinse and repeat...

By the time that Meleagros had run out of skeletons near enough to attack, he had destroyed two entire groups of them and badly injured a dark temple guard in (if I remember right) 3 follow-on attacks.

The same thing then happened in the centre of the table.  Herakles, driven to grief by the loss of Hylas, went on the rampage and destroyed everything within reach.  Badly wounded, he was only stopped by failing a Fear test to charge a Neukadaimon (sp?), else the damage would have been much greater.

At this point, the forces of Hades were considerably shaken and thought they had lost the game.  However, in a quick reversal their priests then summoned more groups of skeletons - and dropped these right beside three of the objectives!  The game ended before the heroes could respond to that (presumably by rampaging through these new groups as well).

At the conclusion of play, the heroes controlled 2 of the objectives (one isn't visible in this picture).  However, the last-minute summoning of more skeletons meant that Hades now controlled 3 objectives, thus making them the winner, by the narrowest of margins!


Well, that was fun!  The heroes became a bit distracted by the cyclops (both of them) and devoted the efforts of four named heroes to fighting the creatures.  They killed the creatures with relative ease, but this concentration of force left them short-handed elsewhere and I think they would have been overrun by the dark forces if it had not been for two things:

  1. The very unfortunate Siren Song omen; it affected the skeletons far more than it would have affected pretty much any other force.
  2. The rules for critical hits.  Once we realised that even a mid-level hero (like Meleagros) could run amok through multiple bases of skeletons in a single action, we were scouring the rules to see if we had made a mistake.  But (a) critical damage occurs on double the base resistance [so, 2 points of damage], (b) a critical entitles the model to another action, (c) that bonus action may be an attack and (d) there's no limit on how many times this can be repeated.  Am I wrong about this?

As it was, the late game saw the skeletons decimated, but a last minute summoning after the heroes had used all their actions for the turn and couldn't respond saw fresh skeletons swarm over the objectives and win the game.  Truly a lot of emotional swings!

Man of the Match: probably Meleagros, in my opinion.  He struck the killing blow against the second cyclops (after Atalanta had weakened it) and then went berserk against skeletons, destroying a considerable number.  For a not-quite-top-rank hero, that's impressive!

Most Useless: I think the phalanx of dark temple guard was very disappointing.  It looked impressive, but hardly moved during the game, never fought anything and never contested any objectives.  A waste!