Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Boarding action, yarrrrrrr...

2017, what the hell?!

I'll be doing a proper update on the state of the Warmill nation later, but as a taster here is a game I played down at Entoyment last night. The game is Spectre Operations (SO), a proper modern day ruleset that mixes nice and fast gameplay with a shopping list of guns, vehicles and equipment to satisfy the frothiest loot-fiend (I'll write a longer love letter to the game further down the line, but this our comeback special so I'll keep it tidy!).

Our game was a boarding action operation on a luxury yacht; the owners have been taken hostage by villainous pirates, and a small squad of special forces has been despatched to rescue them or die trying! Inserting by dinghy onto the launch deck, the rescue team must fight their way up through the decks for a final face-off with the big bad pirate guy currently enjoying mojitos on the sun deck with his closest henchmen.

To recreate that proper video game level feeling (and in the grand tradition of making up the scenario on the spot! :D), the pirate player's troops would get stronger on every deck the rescue team fought through. On the bottom deck they were 6 simple militiamen (the lowest level of soldier in SO) with assault rifles and nothing else, pretty much cannon fodder for the highly equipped elite operator rescue team. On the next deck up they would be trained (the second skill level), then professional on the next (almost as skilled as the rescue team), and finally on the roof the rescue team (if they make it) will confront the elite operator pirate boss and his two elite bodyguards.

The map for the game was a large mat, printed at very short notice and for a very reasonable price on lovely PVC banner media by Jon at Printroom 105 (he also makes aeroplanes!). I can't claim credit for the idea (that goes to Alex on the SO facebook group), google provided a nice hi-res image of a yacht floorplan in glorious colour. To make it even easier, the various parts of the render were colour coded which helped us define how it would work in the game, eg soft cover, hard cover, sight blocking, etc.


I took control of the pirates using my SO deniable ops figures, while Ben had his SO navy SEAL devgru team, kitted out with body armour, red dot and laser sights, flashbang grenades, breaching charges, a compact LMG, SMG and a vicious attack dog. The SEAL team started at the landing deck while I deployed my hapless militia around the engine room, the toilet (a running theme), and other quarters.

The SEAL team made short work of the lowly grunts, mopping them up with no losses.

On to the second deck, where the professional pirates were relaxing at the bar, in the sauna, on the toilet and out on the rear deck. Half the rescue team took the inside stairs to flank around through a narrow corridor, while the other half took the outside stairs to appear by the hot tub which became the scene of a grisly attack dog-pirate throat interactive scenario. Lots of flashbang grenades and LMG fire saw the deck cleared with little trouble.

The spiral staircase ran through the entire ship, but there were plenty of other routes between decks as well. For the assault on the bridge the whole rescue squad braved the staircase and cleared the deck in good order, with only the LMG man nearly getting plugged.

With a full rescue squad it looked like the assault on the roof was going to be pretty easy, but the pirates' overwatch, steadied weapons and winning the initiative at the right time meant it turned into a bloodbath, with the last kill going to the dog with a final bodycount of 3 throats and the handler being the last operator standing.

We had time to play a second round where I took my SO SWAT team, kitted out much the same only with a combat shotgun replacing the LMG of the SEAL team, while Ben used his SO tier 1 operators as the PMC pirates. The first deck was cleared quickly, but I lost one guy to a trained soldier on the second deck then completely fluffed the assault on the bridge; I sent two guys to the front to fire through the bridge windows then realised 2 of my squad wouldn't be able to reach the deck this turn! While they did their best, by the time the deck was clear I only had 2 operators left, one of whom had to spend a turn recovering from a wound before they could stack up ready to attack the roof.

The wait to recover gave the pirate boss and his boys time to set overwatch, so when the SWAT team charged they were up against it. The carbine trooper was downed quickly with a serious wound that gave him two turns of shaky pistol fire before losing consciousness, while the SMG trooper managed to plug the big boss but was brought down by the other two henchmen (after some outrageous defence rolls from Ben!).

All in all, the games were brilliant fun and I'd try it again in a heartbeat. Once we'd worked out some of the foibles of the terrain, like where the stairs went and what counted as what cover, it was fast, furious and very bloody. The tight quarters were a very different game to our last match, and it was nice to use a different set of tools. I think Spectre's rules are perfect for this sort of fast action and quick scenario making, and it honestly felt like a Call of Duty game the whole way through. We've discussed races with players taking their own custom teams and trying to set a best time to clear the boat, or exanding the map to include the rescue team speeding in on boats while helisnipers pin the pirates down. This is my favourite thing about Spectre's rules; the feel of the rules really makes you want to try these lairy balls-to-the-wall scenarios!

I'll be posting more soon, including a few other games we've played, and more stuff about Warmill and what we're working on, so stay tuned!

Thursday, 9 July 2015

2015? When did it become 2015?

So apparently it's now over halfway through 2015 and I haven't blogged in 9 months! What the hell, me. Given that exciting things have happened and will be happening I suppose a roundup is in order...

My hobby
Bit of a poor showing on the purchasing front so far this year! While I've picked up the odd bit of Infinity here and there (mmmm Geckos...) a lack of gaming time has meant not many new toys have found their way into my drawer of shame.

The introduction of N3 for Infinity and the need to re-read a rulebook that is a) different enough to what I knew to need reading, yet b) similar enough to be really boring to read, has really hampered the amount of gaming I've managed this year (a total of 3 games and a tournament!). I did move on from the good old Ariadna to re-start my Military Order but so far they've got a grey primer coat and little else. I picked up a couple of Crusader Brethren, the Hospitaller HMG, the Knights of Santiago and the new Joan of Arc model that came with Angel Giraldez's painting book just to complete the set.

The only model painted so far :D

  Apart from the Infinity models, I did pick up an awesome figure at Salute (from a stand manned by Jeremie Bonamant no less!). Jack from Da Clash, a game by Ammon Miniatures, a very characterful figure that I got for pure painting pleasure.

Wot we been making
Well the big release this year has been the C.A.S.Hstak (that's Comfortable And Spacious Housing. Stak) city block range. We figured it was about time our poor citizens of the future stopped living in cramped little pods and got some proper accommodation for themselves! With the release of this set an entire Warmill city is now very achievable, and we've already seen a few complete tables showing up (helped by the mega sale we ran to coincide with the release).

The Mega Mansion

A customer's collection, absolutely awesome!

We also released the RUM Outpost, a replacement for the old but apparently not mourned Security Compound, our second ever terrain kit! This range consists of 2 types of Lander building and a modular fence kit that incorporates parts that were originally intended as an upgrade for the old kit, and can be seen in some pictures a few posts below this one.

Or here, with a tiny man in the middle!

What's next then?

Good question. With the introduction of a city block set we've hit stage 3 of our colony range, from rough and ready PUPs, up to mid-range MULEs and RIBD bars, to actual nice housing! Now it's time for the gentrification of those horrible old colonies, so expect posh shops and posher homes. We're experimenting with using coloured card cladding for newer kits, to allow us to produce a) more interesting shapes and b) pre-coloured kits. The focus will be glamour kits (RIBD_4 bar-style) and smaller scatter pieces. 

We're also hoping to see the end of the 3D printer tale of woe shortly, which will allow us to get back on with producing our robots, and start modelling up some new items. Ed in particular has been hard at work modelling all sorts of interesting resin gubbins that will be great for terrain modellers.

I've been re-visiting my Zbrush education to make sure that when we do get our new printer we can churn out some nice figures. No designs fixed yet but areas we'd like to visit include sci-fi civvies to fill the streets of Warmill city.

As a personal project I've been experimenting with game design, whether it ever becomes a product who knows, but I've been enjoying the theory-crafting! The project's been about designing games that involve no luck at all, just tactics. No dice, no cards, just the player's control of their units.

Right now I'm working on a set of scatter terrain street furniture which will be our next release, still at the prototyping stage but they should be ready before too long. Make sure to like our facebook page for more frequent updates.

Thanks for everybody's support during the past year, and to all those customers who kept us so busy after the mega sale!

Harry, Ed and Lisa

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Together at last

Both mech prototypes have been painted by Ed, here's a selection of photos of the pair of them together to whet your appetites, along with an Infinity model for scale.

Due to a snafu with the printer only the spider mech is likely to be ready for Crisis, the heavy mech will probably have to wait until Warfare in mid-November.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Prototype no2

Hot off the 3D printer is the second robot awaiting imminent release!

We finally got the correct scale this time! (only took 3 goes!) - but hey, that's what printers are for, right?!

Now we're happy with the proof, including scale, proportions, overall design - we can begin to print the masters using a different process, most importantly - at a much higher resolution!

Tomorrow i'll try and get some colour on this thing, then they can both be pwning nabs on the battlefield!

Enjoy the pics!

It's aliiiiivvvvveeeee!

 Printing of the masters for our Heavy Industries mechs has begun! So far the legs for the spider tank are complete and cleaned and the turret, ammo hopper and ammo feed are almost finished. Next up is the radar array, radar plate, chassis and guns, followed by the leg armour plates. The spider tank should be completely printed by the end of the week, at which point we start printing Ed's heavy mech.

 All things as they are, we should be ready to sell them at Crisis at the start of November! :D

Sunday, 14 September 2014

More Heavy Industries

Well both robots are now fully modelled and prepared for printing, having done proofing prints on the Form 1 to check size and fit both models will be hitting the Solidscape this week for the master prints.

Here we have the second of our initial offerings, as you can see it's considerably more rugged and industrial than the spidertank. There's no mistaking this brutal mech's intentions! Packing a laser for offense, the mech is wheeled for mobility but also has armour that can pivot under the wheels to act as feet if the mech needs to traverse difficult ground.

The proof print all painted up

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Introducing Warmill Heavy Industries

 After doing terrain for a few years, we've started on a project that we've wanted to do for quite some time; Warmill Heavy Industries, our source for resin kits. Starting with a pair of combat mechs, our plan is to gradually compliment the universe we've been building through our terrain with vehicles, characters and resin terrain as both accessories for buildings and standalone pieces. We'll be using polyurethane resin to capture maximum detail.

 Here's a look at the first of the mechs that will be our initial products, an eight-legged assault platform that will come with a choice of 3 different weapons. We're currently doing proofing prints so details and scale may change, but currently this bot is approximately 90mm long when equipped with the vulcan cannon, the shortest of the available weapons. Features include optional armour, poseable guns and swivelling turret.

We'll be updating the blog with images of the second bot soon.