Saturday, 16 December 2017

Venetians 01

Here are four 28mm scale figures from another one of the seven main races featured in the N.E.W. role-playing game - the elf-like Venetians. Note that these are all very old figures that I bought many years ago and they are all no longer in production.
Physically, Venetians are slightly smaller than humans. They have long pointed ears and bald heads - even their females are bald. At the far left is Merellian, a male Psi-Cop officer. He is armed with a sword and he has a holdout laser pistol hidden behind his back. Next to him is his younger partner, Jorildyn. He is armed with a standard laser pistol. Jorildyn is wearing a wig. These two figures were produced by Grenadier Games as part of their Shadowrun range. I filed off the hair on Merellian's head but I decided to leave the hair on Jorildyn and explain it away as a wig. Perhaps he needs it for an undercover assignment.
The only female in this group is Mayen and she is one tough cookie. She is a Grade 10 young, brilliant Star Knight who sings softly when relaxing. Young is a relative term. She is actually 100 years old but Venetians don't reach maturity until they are 190 and can live to well over 500 years. Note the laser sword hanging from her belt. This figure was produced by West End Games from their Star Wars range and she was a Jedi Knight, hence my reasoning for making her a Star Knight in my N.E.W. campaign.
Last but not least, is Delon the Priest. Venetian adventurers tend to be healers, priests or scientists. Delon is both a healer and a priest as he is a Biopsyche, meaning he can use his psionic powers to heal others. He is also a young Venetian, aged just 55. His hook is that he is obsessed with correct speech and grammar. As with many Venetians belonging to one of their hundreds of monastic orders, he is highly skilled in martial arts, but by nature, he is a pacifist. This figure was produced by Citadel Miniatures for the Rogue Trader game by Games Workshop, which later went on to be called Warhammer 40,000. The fact that Mayen and Delon are wearing hooded robes, meant I could easily use them as Venetians because you can't see their ears or heads.
Of course, those of you who have been following my The Ace of Spades Campaign, will be aware of another Venetian - Danica the scout, who is an important member of Kimberley's crew. Currently in development is a N.E.W. supplement wholly devoted to the Venetians called The Holds of Vendalyr. Suffice to say, I am eagerly awaiting its release.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Felans 01

I continue my look at the figures I have for the alien races found in the N.E.W. rulebook. This time I am focussing on the catlike Felans. In my campaign, there are a few feline races. The MekPurrs are the most technologically advanced, whilst Feline Avatars are more warlike and aggressive. The Felans, however, have a deserved reputation for being easily distracted, and often flit from career to career. The different species do all share certain traits, such as being very agile and graceful as well as being fearsome in combat.
The two Felans shown to the left are Makil, a male pilot and Arhel, a female scientist. They are husband and wife. These two figures were produced by Space Vixens from Mars as part of their Rim Aliens range of 28mm scale figures, where they are listed as male Mahboc and female Mahboc respectively. They cost £2.50 each. They are just perfect for Felans, both in size and pose. I do like them a lot.
The large fellow at the right is Waroakhei, a bounty hunter. He is produced by Alternative Armies as part of their Ganesha Games sci-fi range. He is listed as a Techno Barbarian and he costs £7.00. You can also get him as part of a pack of three (the other two are male and female humans) for £11.00, which is what I did. He is quite large for a Felan and would work just as well as an Avatar, but I decided to make him a Felan because he looks very similar to the two figures by Space Vixens from Mars, albeit taller.
I do have a great fondness for cat-like races as I am very much a cat lover. Expect to see more feline figures in the future.

Friday, 8 December 2017

The Ace of Spades Campaign - Raid on Sterling part 16

Timo the Whistle-blower
"I was assigned to Finn's Mercenary Company two months ago," Timo Olmstead began in a calm and assured voice. "I am an employee of Hoag-Warner GmbH. Hoag-Warner hired Finn's Company to run the colonists off their land. I don't know why. I wasn't privy to that information. I was assigned to the mercenaries as a watchdog and to operate the sophisticated FTL communications equipment. I have no idea of the content of the messages, since they were all in code. I simply received the messages and sent an acknowledgement signal. On a couple of occasions I sent a message from Captain Finn to a company official named Joachim Alvarez. Those messages were also coded. Finn must have a codebook or a translator program keyed to a particular cipher, because he never asked me for help in deciphering the codes."
"That's very interesting," Kimberley said thoughtfully. "How do you feel about testifying against Finn?"
"Gladly!" the young technician agreed unhesitatingly. "I did not sign on to be party to kidnapping and murder. That's not the kind of person I am. I am happy to make whatever amends are necessary."
"You're a good man, Timo," Kimberley said, smiling warmly at him. "Thank you."
"You little shit!" Erik Finn snarled with unbridled fury. "I'll..."
"You'll do nothing whatsoever," Katja said menacingly as she jabbed the barrel of her Starbird Disruptor Rifle in his right cheek. "Now shut the fuck up!"
"Timo, do you have copies of the messages Finn sent and received?" Julia asked. As a former detective she had a different outlook on matters to the rest of the crew. Gathering clues came naturally to her.
"Absolutely," Timo replied. "They're all saved on the computer here."
"Let's see what you've got," Julia requested amiably.
"What are you thinking, Julia?" Kimberley asked, her curiosity now piqued.
"If we send these files to Sharuna," the bounty hunter smiled knowingly, "I bet she could crack them."
"Oh, I just bet she could," Kimberley responded with a wink and a grin to Julia. "Timo, I'm going to open a channel to The Ace of Spades, okay?"
"Sure, go ahead."
"Kimberley calling The Ace of Spades. Come in."
"Hi, Kimberley," Storm answered cheerily. She was clearly happy to hear from her captain. Whilst Sharuna and Judith had plenty to occupy themselves onboard, she was bored. "How are things going?"
"Very well indeed, Storm. I'm hoping we'll be back with you very soon. Can you put Sharuna on, please?"
"Sure can. She's with me here on the bridge. Sharuna, Kimberley wants a word."
"Hi there, Kimberley. Nice to hear from you."
"Hi, Sharuna. Listen, I have a little job for you to do. It should be right up your street."
"Ooh, cool! What is it?"
"I'm going to send you some coded files. I want you to crack them for me, please."
"Rock on!"
A mere five minutes later, Sharuna got back to Kimberley.
"That wasn't too hard, Kimberley," the young hacker said smiling from ear to ear. "I was hoping for more of a challenge."
"Attagirl, Sharuna! Tell me what you've got."
"Finn used the password "Warner" for these files. I've got a list of the hostages his men kidnapped, brief dossiers on the council members of the Sterling Agricultural Company and rather worryingly, our crew. That's naughty! Oh, and an interesting file that was code-named "CHMNLUWNCIHM". What it is, is a set of instructions directing Captain Finn to run the colonists off their land in no more than two months. The instructions say that the mercenaries may use any means necessary short of nuclear weapons to carry out their assignment. The orders are signed by a man named Joachim Alvarez."
"Brilliant work, Sharuna! You hit the jackpot for us." Kimberley was delighted. "With this evidence we should be able to prosecute Hoag-Warner."

Aftermath
A few hours later, the crew of The Ace of Spades gathered on the small landing strip of the Sterling Agricultural Colony as they prepared to take their shuttle back to the mother ship. Alfred Sterling, his wife Radula and son Mearc, along with Sheas Danelish and Royce Tavahi were present to see them off.
"Miss Wells, once again, I can't thank you enough for all you have done for our colony," Alfred said with sincere gratitude. "You have done us a great service, my dear. Thank you so much."
"I don't like bullies, Mr. Sterling, and so I was more than happy to lend a hand," Kimberley replied. "I am so glad it all worked out for you. So what happens next?"
"With the coded transmissions you gave us, the comm tech witness and your statements, I'm going to the Interstellar Trade Commission to file charges against Hoag-Warner. I strongly believe we have an excellent chance of winning."
"I wish you well, sir," Kimberley smiled affectionately at the old man. "I hope you take them to the cleaners and sue the bastards for every credit you can. Now if it's okay with you, I'd like to get back to The Ace of Spades."
The two parties hugged, kissed and made their goodbyes. Then Kimberley and her crew boarded the shuttle The Jack of Spades and returned to Downport. Mission accomplished.
With them was one passenger - Captain Erik Finn. He was placed in a cell onboard The Ace of Spades, to be dropped off at the nearest Interstellar Police Agency station, where he would face charges of murder and kidnapping. He would later be found guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He died in prison a few years later, a broken man. He had lost a total of 28 men (29 if you included Timo Olmstead) of his 50 man company in this costly debacle. His company was disbanded and the survivors found jobs elsewhere.
The multi-stellar corporation of Hoag-Warner GmbH hired the best lawyers in the galaxy, whose defence rested on the claim that Joachim Alvarez was working on his own with no authority from the company's board of directors. The arguments from both sides were dazzling and convincing. Timo Olmstead gave his damning testimony, citing his experience as a Hoag-Warner communications officer and his knowledge that one man could not have garnered the funds needed for the transmissions without company help or approval. The opposing lawyers countered by calling Alvarez himself to the stand, hoping that he would affirm that he deceived the company accountants and misappropriated funds that were earmarked for peaceful projects.
Unfortunately for them, Alvarez snapped on the stand and he spilled the entire story about the plan, fingering his superiors. He broke down completely and apologised to Alfred Sterling for aiding in this desperate, greedy scheme. He offered to pay his price, whatever it was. The judge found for the Sterling Agricultural Company and granted them a one hundred million credits award. Joachim Alvarez and Timo Olmstead had to perform 500 hours of community service. The Hoag-Warner executives loosened their collars slightly, but otherwise showed no response to the decision. However, the part played by the crew of The Ace of Spades was duly noted by the board and filed away for future reference. When the time was right, there would be a reckoning.
Alfred Sterling passed the colony leadership to his son, Mearc, (with no protest from James Akira and his abashed council opposition) and retired early, a very wealthy man.
As for Kimberley and her crew, they had been offered as payment for helping out the colonists, two shares each of the colony's profits for the next five years, payable once a year. Originally, the fee was to have been for 30,000 credits per person per year but with the colony's windfall and ensuing boom in trade, that was increased to 50,000 credits per person per year. It turned out to be a tidy profit for all of them.

Conclusion
This has been, without doubt, the best scenario I have ever ran, and I have been games mastering since the late 1970's. N.E.W. has proven to be a superb sci-fi role-playing game and with this scenario I really gave the rules a good try out. Many thanks to Russ Morrissey for creating the perfect RPG! Credit should also go to Thomas S. Gressman who wrote this scenario for GURPS Space. For me, it was the ideal scenario to showcase the N.E.W. rules as it had a bit of everything - mystery, intrigue, starship combat, a bar-room brawl, a hostage rescue and it culminated in a huge battle which really stretched the ground combat rules to the limit. There was a heck of a lot of work that went into producing this narrative for my blog but I enjoyed every second of it. I did make a few changes to the scenario as written, but they were mainly for thematic reasons that helped enhance the story. I also deliberately kept the rules to a minimum and instead concentrated on the story, which I firmly believe was the right decision. The story was far more important than the dice rolls and skill checks.

As a final note, the crew earned the following experience points for completing this mission. Everyone earned 6XP, which is equal to their grades, because this was considered a Medium Difficulty mission. All of the human characters (i.e. everyone except Celeste and Danica) earned an extra 6XP for having the Explorer exploit, which grants them XP equal to their grade every time they travel to a star-system that is new to them. Finally, for the planning and execution of the hostage rescue mission I awarded Celeste, Danica, Julia and Katja a further 6XP each. I decided that no one had completed a milestone in this mission, so no points were awarded for that. So, Celeste, Danica, Gwendoline, Jeanette, Judith, Kimberley, Kyran, Lynda, Rebecca, Sharuna and Storm earned 12XP each and Julia and Katja earned 18XP each. Note that I am playing my campaign using the cinematic rules so I'm using the Fast Progression advancement rates for awarding XP.  No one spent their XP.

Until next time (and yes, there definitely will be a next time) thanks for reading and if you have any comments you'd like to make or questions you want answering, please don't hesitate to do so.

Bryan Scott aka Vampifan.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

The Ace of Spades Campaign - Raid on Sterling part 15

The Battle for the Sterling Agricultural Colony
"Finn's an idiot!" Julia said as she raised her Transfarer R43 Fireflash Microwave Sniper Rifle to her right shoulder.
"How so?" asked Royce Tavahi, who was standing next to her on the roof the barn.
"He has no idea of tactics. He's brought his artillery truck in far too close," Julia answered knowingly, "and those two gunners are ripe for the plucking. Just watch."
She fired twice in rapid succession and shot the two gunners manning the 40mm cannon. Both died of devastating head wounds.
"Bloody hell!" Royce gasped in disbelief. "You killed them both. Thank the Lord you're on our side!"
Danica and Katja broke cover from the small grove of trees they'd been hiding in. They sprinted to the back of the command truck, unseen by any of the mercenary raiders.
"Someone doesn't sound happy," Katja said as the sound of Erik Finn throwing a hissy fit reached her ears.
"He does know a lot of swear words," Danica remarked with a grin.
"Artillery crew, open fire," Erik Finn ordered over his communications channel.
"They're not responding, sir," Timo Olmstead, the young communications technician behind him said, stating the obvious.
"For fuck's sake!" Finn fumed. "Why haven't they got an open channel to command?"
"Because they're dead, sir," Olmsted gulped. "I've got them on the screen now."
"WHAT!" Finn bellowed. "How the fuck did that happen? What a clusterfuck this is!"
"Sniper fire, sir."
"God-damned snipers. I bet it was that  frigging bitch, Frostorm!"
He continued to rant and rave for quite a while, much to the amusement of Danica and Katja, who could hear every word he spoke.
In the centre of the battlefield, Lieutenant Pierre Lascelles led his men out of their truck to launch a frontal assault against the defenders hiding behind makeshift barricades.
"Forward, men!" he shouted with confident authority. "Let's show these farm-boy wimps how real men fight!"
What he was not expecting was such swift retaliation from the defenders. Kimberley who was well hidden in a bedroom on the first floor of the apartment she and her crew had been assigned, shot first. One slug from 12mm autopistol hit one of the mercenaries in the centre of his chest and blew a huge hole through him, fatally wounding him.
From the rooftop of the same apartment, Jeanette Grey had also been on over-watch, just waiting for a target to present itself. As four mercenaries emerged from the back of their truck, she fired her laser sniper rifle at one. He crumpled to the ground with a burning hole through his heart.
Rebecca Ellington was not happy at being ordered to help man the barricades. She'd much rather have been up on the roof of either of the two buildings. Being down on the ground she felt too exposed and vulnerable. So when the mercenary driver dropped down from the cab of his truck she took her frustration out on him by shooting him in the head with her phaser pistol. It was on the kill setting and the red beam hit the unfortunate mercenary in the right eye, killing him instantly.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the truck, Royce Tavahi took out another mercenary. He was by far and away the best marksman of the colonists and so had been a natural candidate to have been issued with one of five laser sniper rifles the crew of The Ace of Spades had bought for them. He put it to good use by shooting his target in the neck with a single lethal shot.
The remaining seven mercenaries from Squad Lascelles returned fire. Lieutenant Lascelles blew the head off a colonist hiding behind a pair of barrels to his right. His short burst of rifle fire was precise, controlled and very accurate. The other mercenaries in his squad poured out a load of 9mm rounds from their HK18 assault rifles, but most hit the barricades. Only one other colonist was hit and he died instantly from a head shot.
Squad Zegers disembarked next. Sergeant Mitch Zegers and the truck's driver and navigator took cover behind  a hedge. The eight mercenaries from the back of the truck jogged towards an opening in the hedge.
The two mercenaries leading the advance were cut down by highly accurate and lethal fire from Celeste's built-in disruptor pistol. Their mesh-lined armour was not enough to absorb the twin beams of energy. The four colonists standing alongside Celeste cheered in delight when they saw the two mercenaries drop to the ground dead.
This just spurred the mercenaries on to seek revenge. Every one of them opened fire with their 9mm Harrison and Krupp HK18 assault rifles. Once again, the hard cover of the defenders prevented them from suffering greater casualties. Sergeant Zegers managed to kill a colonist who was standing right next to Celeste. One of the colonists standing on the apartment roof was also hit and killed but on the whole it was a poor display of shooting by the mercenaries.
Over on the opposite flank of the battlefield, the squad commanded by Corporal Demer Millius disembarked in an identical manner to Squad Zegers.
This time, it was the mercenaries who got to fire first. Their fusillade of 9mm rounds was only marginally better than that of Squad Zegers. Corporal Millius managed to clip Royce in the left shoulder. He drew blood but it was just a minor wound that caused the sniper to flinch and cry out in pain. Two colonists standing on the roof of the floor below Royce suffered fatal chest wounds and died almost immediately. But the rest of the fire from the mercenaries was way off target.
The colonists immediately returned fire. Blayne Culver was one of the other colonists who had been assigned a laser sniper rifle. He was positioned on the same level as Julia and Royce. He acquitted himself fairly well by hitting Corporal Millius. Sadly, it was not a killing shot, it merely wounded the corporal in his right side. The other two colonists on the roof below both shot and hit the same target. The mercenary would have survived either one of the two laser beam hits but the two hits were enough to kill him outright. Was it a co-ordinated attack or pure luck? Most likely, given the colonists lack of combat experience it was pure luck.
Back on the other flank, Kyran inside the apartment and Lynda from behind the central barricade, managed to clear away all of the mercenaries on the left side of the truck. Both women were firing phaser pistols and both had them on kill settings. With the two men out in the open it was not difficult for them to achieve killing hits. They both took their time to aim before firing. It was a lesson that had been drilled into them by Julia. When shooting, take your time. Be accurate, not hasty. It was sound advice, which they heeded.
Mearc and Sheas moved a short way along the central barricade to plug a hole in the defensive line vacated by their fallen comrade.
"I'm really scared, Mearc" Sheas confided. "I don't want to die out here. I don't want you or any of us to die."
"I understand, Sheas, I really do," Mearc said, trying his best to reassure her. "But what we're fighting for is worth dying for. We can defeat Finn and his raiders. Kimberley and her crew will make sure of that. Trust me, sweetheart."
His heart went out to her. She had lost her father in a border skirmish a few years ago and hated soldiers ever since. Although he abhorred violence himself, he firmly believed in their cause to defend the colony at all costs.
He raised his laser sniper rifle to his shoulder and fired at the truck's navigator. The powerful beam hit the young mercenary in the centre of his upper chest and spun him round. He was dead by the time he hit the ground.
When Sheas fired her laser sniper rifle, her hands were shaking so much that she fired high and wide. She had been a decent markswoman the previous week when practising with Julia. But then her targets weren't shooting back and she suddenly realised she was not cut out for combat. Tears filled her eyes as she began to sob.
The four colonists to the left of Mearc had mixed fortune with their firing. Two hit and two missed. Of the two hits, one was a light wound on Lieutenant Lascelles, but the other was a kill shot on one of the mercenaries.
On the defender's right flank, the colonists struck back at the mercenaries belonging to Squad Zegers. Yuri Katona was the fifth colonist to have been issued with a laser sniper rifle. He proved he was worthy of the honour by killing a mercenary by shooting him through the heart. Two of his colleagues on the roof chose the same man to shoot at and both hit. The mercenary couldn't sustain that amount of damage and he fell to the ground in a lifeless heap. The rest of the fire from the colonists was woefully inaccurate.
Gwendoline Papillion had been biding her time before making her move. She did not enjoy taking a life. She was a nurse after all. But this was no time for cowardice or squeamishness. Kimberley had made sure that her phaser rifle was set to kill. Gwendoline almost always had it on stun setting. She took aim at the person whom she considered to be the greatest threat - Sergeant Zegers. She shot him in the right shoulder, which rather gladdened her. For one, she had actually hit the person she'd aimed at and secondly, it was not a killing shot. Her conscience was clear.
Celeste, however, had no compunction in taking a man's life. She put two shots into Sergeant Zegers' head and blew the back of his skull off.
Julia was equally without conscience when it came to killing. Two shots from her high-powered microwave sniper rifle snuffed out the lives of Corporal Millius and one of his men.
"Take that, you bastards!" Royce said through gritted teeth. Once again, he was in awe of Julia's prowess as a sniper. His left shoulder was bleeding badly and it hurt like a bitch, but he'd fight on. He could feel the tide of the battle turning in favour of the defenders.
Katja opened the door at the back of the command truck. She expected it to be locked but it wasn't.
"Surrender now!" she yelled at the two occupants inside.
Timo Olmstead reacted immediately by throwing his arms high in the air and pleaded, "Don't shoot me. I surrender."
Erik Finn glowered at the two women and made a grab for his HK18 assault rifle, which was lying on the console he was facing. No sooner had he touched it than Danica shot him in the chest with her phaser pistol. She had the pistol set to stun. Finn toppled off his chair unconscious.
Danica stepped inside and pointed her phaser at Timo, who stared at her in alarm.
"Order your men to throw down their weapons and surrender," Danica said sternly. "The war's over. You lost!"
"Absolutely," Timo said, nodding his head, eager to please. He spoke into his microphone, "This is command. Abort mission. I repeat, abort mission. Drop your weapons and surrender to the defenders."
There was a moment of confusion amongst the mercenaries. Lieutenant Lascelles demanded confirmation, which he received very swiftly. With a resigned sigh, he dropped his rifle and raised his hands in surrender. All around him the other mercenaries followed suit.
Mearc led his colleagues over the barricades to confront the clearly crestfallen officer.
"Why?" he asked. He was finding it hard to believe what had happened.
Lascelles just shrugged. "It's orders. Finn has decided to end the fight now. I have no idea why. You'll have to ask him for his reasons. It sure as hell beats me."
The mercenaries began congregating behind the lieutenant. They looked just as bewildered as he did.
A few minutes later, the command truck was a hive of activity. Kimberley had been summoned by Katja and Danica to hear something important. By the time she arrived with Celeste, Julia, Mearc and Sheas, Erik Finn was coming round. He was about to protest but guns to the head from Katja and Celeste forced him to keep his mouth shut. He had lost and he knew it. Reluctantly he accepted his fate.
"Kimberley, let me introduce you to Timo Olmstead," Danica said as soon as her captain arrived. Kimberley could tell from the look on the Venetian's face that she was excited.
"Hi," Kimberley said to Timo, offering him a friendly smile. He smiled back.
"Timo has an interesting story to tell, Kimberley," Danica announced. "Go ahead, Timo, tell her what you told me."

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

The Ace of Spades Campaign - Raid on Sterling part 14

Prelude to the Big Battle
Five minutes to prepare for battle did not seem long at all but it was more than enough time for the defenders of the Sterling Agricultural Colony. In the past, Erik Finn and his bandits had always approached the colony from the north, so this was where the defenders anticipated this new raid would come from. They were right. Lookouts had reported that the raiders were approaching from the north in five armoured trucks.
The defenders were stretched out in a long line at the northern end of the village, hiding behind barricades or the rooftops of the two buildings there.
On the defenders' right flank to the north-east were Celeste, the android assassin, and four colonists behind a makeshift barricade. Up on the roof of the apartment building that had been assigned to the crew of The Ace of Spades were Jeanette Grey, the gunnery officer and five more colonists, including Yuri Katona, who had proved efficient enough with a laser rifle that he was issued one of the group's five laser sniper rifles. The blonde-haired colonist stood next to Jeanette.
On the floor directly below them were the three best friends of Kyran, Kimberley and Gwendoline. They had been given strict instructions from Celeste and Julia to stay indoors and keep under cover at all costs. Even though Kimberley was the captain of The Ace of Spades she was more than willing to accept the advice of her two combat veterans.
Holding the centre ground were research scientist Lynda Pelligrosso, cat burglar Rebecca Ellington, Mearc Sterling, son of the colony's founder, Alfred Sterling, his good friend, Sheas Danelish and eight colonists. Mearc and Sheas had also been issued with laser sniper rifles. The other colonists were armed with standard laser pistols and laser rifles. All of the colonists wore Kevlar Vests. The crew of The Ace of Spades were armed with a variety of weapons, although phaser pistols were the most common firearm, and they wore various items of light armour.
On the left flank of the colony in a two-storey building used as a barn were four colonists on the ground floor roof. On the roof of the upper floor were bounty hunter Julia Frostorm along with colonists Royce Tavahi and Blayne Culver, both of whom were armed with laser sniper rifles after proving to Julia just how good at marksmanship they were.
That just left the two scouts from The Ace of Spades, Danica and Katja Sondquist. They were hunkered down in a small grove of trees just north of the barn on the left flank. Their mission was to stay hidden until the raiders passed them by and then hit them in the rear using hit and run tactics.
No sooner had the defenders taken up their defensive positions when Erik Finn and his mercenaries arrived in five armoured trucks. All of the trucks were six-wheeled with over-sized tyres designed for off-road driving. They had elevated cabs for increased visibility and could seat four, usually a driver, navigator and two observers. The three leading trucks were passenger carrying vehicles with seating for eight people in the rear. Bringing up the rear were two variant trucks. One had a flatbed behind the cab, which mounted a 40mm cannon, operated by two gunners. The second variant was the command truck from where Erik Finn could direct operations.
Truck One was commanded by Sergeant Mitch Zegers, seated behind the driver and navigator in the front cab. His orders were to take out the defenders on the right flank. The driver parked behind a hedge just in front of the barricade where Celeste was. All of the mercenaries were armed with 9mm Harrison and Krupp HK18 military assault rifles and combat knives. The officers also carried laser pistols. They all wore mesh-lined armoured body suits.
The artillery truck spun round so that the 40mm cannon was facing the colony. It stayed well back whilst the three passenger trucks advanced. This was the first time that Erik had brought this truck into play. After the slaughter of his men guarding the hostages he was in a foul mood and was determined to show the colonists just who was in charge. The 40mm cannon was to cause indiscriminate damage to the colony, targetting people and buildings. This was the time to bring out the big guns, Finn reckoned, and to make the colonists pay dearly for wiping out ten good men.
Finn himself was seated in the back of the command truck, which was parked alongside the artillery truck. With him was a young communications technician called Timo Olmstead, who right now would rather have been anywhere else but here. He had never seen combat before and given Finn's dark mood he was scared stiff of making a mistake.
Truck two headed straight for the central barricade. In command of this squad of mercenaries was Lieutenant Pierre Lascelles, a veteran of many a fight and Finn's right hand man. He was looking forward to the fight, especially as Finn had given him free rein to quell the colonists however he saw fit. It was about time the colonists suffered serious casualties, he thought cruelly.
Truck three screeched to a halt alongside a hedge in front of the barn. Leading this squad was Corporal Demer Millius. He wasn't as experienced as Lieutenant Lascelles or Sergeant Zegers, but he was determined to show that he had what it takes in a fight. He wouldn't shirk from his duty in killing as many defenders as he could.
In a few seconds time all hell would break loose. The odds had to favour the attackers. There were forty battle-hardened mercenaries against twenty-five colonists who had never fought before, plus ten crew members of The Ace of Spades, whose combat experience was mixed from killer elite to pacifist. The weapons and armour of the defenders were only marginally better than those of the mercenaries but the colonists were much less skilled in combat. The mercenaries also had a 40mm cannon, which could prove decisive. However, the greatest assets the defenders had were Celeste, Julia, Danica and Katja - the most experienced killers on the battlefield. Plus, Kimberley, Jeanette and Rebecca were all crack-shots with good combat experience. Would that be enough to counter the threat posed by the mercenary force?
(Note that the colonists' laser rifles could do 2d6+3 Heat damage and had a range increment of 20. The raiders' HK18 assault rifles could do 2d6+2 Ballistic damage and also had a range increment of 20. The laser sniper rifles did 3d6 Heat damage and had a range increment of 40. The 40mm cannon could do 5d6 Heat damage and had a range increment of 30 with a minimum range of 10. The Kevlar Vests worn by the colonists had SOAK:5 but was ineffective against Piercing damage. The raiders' Mesh Lined Armour had SOAK:4 but was ineffective against Blunt damage.)

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Spartans 01

This is a space filler post whilst I finish preparing the climactic battle of the Raid on Sterling scenario for my The Ace of Spades Campaign. That will appear in my next post. For now, though, I'm going to show some of my figures that I have for another one of the alien races found in the N.E.W. sci-fi RPG rulebook - the Spartans. The Spartans are a warrior-like race who bear a very close resemblance to the Klingons from the Star Trek franchise. No one actually makes figures of Spartans but a number of companies make Klingon figures or Klingon lookalikes. These six figures that I'm reviewing her were all produced by Space Vixens from Mars as part of their Rim Aliens range of 28mm scale figures.
I start with three male Spartans and from left to right they are Kraroc Drozirg, Yadaka Vrach and Vimtox Klor. These are all Spartan soldiers with Yadaka Vrach in the centre being the highest ranking of them.
Kraroc is armed with a Disruptor rifle, Yadaka with a Blaster Pistol and Vimtox with a Bat'leth, which is classed as a two-handed sword.
Moving on to the females, we have from left to right, L'ohath Dukark, Sorsov Ichurk and D'lisha Khirmdath. Again, these are all soldiers. Female Spartans are every bit as aggressive as the males.
They are armed identically as the males with Disruptor Rifle, Blaster Pistol and Bat'leth respectively.
As soon as I saw this range of figures I knew that they'd make perfect Spartans. Space Vixens from Mars make quite a range of not-Star Trek figures and so I was pleased to find them. The figures cost a very reasonable £2.50 each or you can buy all six for £13.50, giving you a saving of £1.50, which is what I did. (see here - http://spacevixensfrommars.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=15_17&products_id=208 )