Friday, 31 May 2013

Foxhounds Battletech Campaign: Inner Sphere News

           INNER SPHERE NEWS NOVEMBER 29th 3025

            +++++++++DCMS TO WITHDRAW FROM GALTOR?+++++++++
The Last Kuritan Dropship leaves Galtor
As Warlord Yorioshi's forces leave the planet of Galtor, AFFS forces are bearing down on the last vestiges of the DCMS invasion force. Warlord Samsonov's forces have put up heavy resistance but with both Chang Lee and New Derry reclaimed by the AFFS, the situation seems untenable for the Galedon Regulars. With typical ruthlessness, Yorioshi employed a scorched earth policy in his retreat and the city of New Derry is now a ruin, whilst Chang Lee's field hospitals are flooded with refugees and injured civilians. Despite heavy losses on both sides the Avalon Hussars and Crucis Lancers have pushed the Galedon Warlord back to his original drop site and Lt General Tallman is leading the final assault, promoted to command after the deaths of several of her superiors during the conflict. 
                     +++++++++COMING SOON FROM SOLARISVISION+++++++++
                                                                 GLORY ON GALTOR
A burst of electric guitar music accompanies a an explosion and the logo of the Fox Hounds fills the screen.
              Fox Hounds Special Force Group

On a world under siege, one Mercenary company stands alongside the AFFS against the Combine. As Galtor III explodes into conflict the Foxhounds find themselves tested like never before, in what may be the greatest challenge of their career.

Witness the thrilling exploits of these daring Mechwarriors as they go behind enemy lines to strike a blow for the Federated Suns.

Scarlett - The Tactician
Ranger - The Veteran
Vick - The Enigma
Domino - The Prodigy

and introducing

The Bounty Hunter - as Himself

You'll see them pushed to breaking point as their skills are honed to a razors edge and the bonds they share are reforged in the breath of the Dragon.

Don't miss out on this exclusive glimpse into the danger and excitement of Merc life, only from Solaris Vision in association with the Federated Broadcasting Corporation.*

*Contains scenes of actual battle ROM footage and extreme violence. Parental Discretion Advised


A wall of mechs stand in parade formation behind a raised dais, resplendent in the colours of the Galedon Regulars, the Benjamin Regulars and the Sword Of Light. One mech towers above the others, a gigantic Atlas with polished golden trim and modified Lord's Light PPC's adorning it's forearms. Beneath the looming bulk of the Atlas stands a raised dais and assembled before it are the Busosenshi of the Galtor invasion force. The mechwarriors stand proudly, red uniforms pristine, each one bearing a ceremonial daisho through a sash at his waist. The camera pans across the ranks of soldiers before focusing on the dais. A commentator speaks in hurried Japanese, the respectful yet strident tones typical of the sycophantic Combine media machine. As the camera zooms in, the commentator speaks at length about the bravery, wisdom and sagacity of the figure on the stage, a stocky man with harsh features, jet-black hair and heavy brows that seem to bristle with irritation. A hush falls and Warlord Grieg Samsonov begins to speak:
Warlord Samsanov

"Warriors! The Dragon is pleased!"

A deep throated rumble of approval runs through the crowd.

"Warlord Yorioshi's forces have quit the field and we will withdraw soon, but not before teaching the Fox the cost of confonting the Dragon! You have all fought bravely in the face of a foe that fought without honour, a foe that from ambush and fled before our superior warriors. The AFFS fought like cowardly curs and in his wisdom, the Coordinator has employed dogs of his own."

Several glances are cast toward five mechwarriors, still wearing fatigues and cooling vests.
Steel Legion
"The Steel Legion were... instrumental in destroying a raiding force of the new Savannah Masters. Chu-i Voskov advises they were even of some small assistance in capturing one of these new hovercraft, to be analysed by our scientists on Luthien."

One of the Steel Legion looks like he is about to protest but is kicked in the ankle by a scarred comrade and closes his mouth.

"I promised that any who defeated these raiders would be awarded the Bushido Blade and I will keep my word, even to masterless wave-men. Step forward, mercenaries."

The Steel Legion glance at each other and then one of their number mounts the first step of the dais. The mercenary, a young man of japanese descent, begins to speak in halting tones:

"Honoured Tai-shu, it gives me great honour to be presented with this award for services rendered to my homeland. It has been a balm to my troubled soul to be of help to the mighty Dragon. However, I must beg your forgiveness, for I can no longer ignore the path of giri and must clear the name of Master Fuhito"

A murmur sweeps the room and Samsonov's brow furrows.

"You speak of traitors who are best forgotten, mercenary."

The young man shakes his head and levels a finger at one of the assembled officers. The accused's face blanches in shock and outrage.

"Ie!There stands the honourless dog who framed my master to hide his own treacherous ways. I have proof which will allow my master to rest in peace and for me to live my life with honour again!"

The ronin falls to his knees and presses his forehead to the dais before the Warlord.

"Please honoured Samsonov-sama, grant me leave to do what is right and just. I shall not proceed in this place without your consent for that would dishonour you and the Dragon which has never been my aim."

The warlord stares hard at the officer for a long moment. Samsonov gives a grunt of disapproval then turns his gaze back to the pleading mercenary. In the background the commentator can be heard talking rapidly and fearfully, demanding the holovid operator cut the transmission.

"If your evidence bears out, what would you ask of me ronin? You have abandoned the Dragon and your words mean little and are worth less. Yet your deeds are worthy of some reward. Speak."

The ronin looks up at Samsonov, his gaze clear, his voice steady.

"I challenge Sho-Sa Barrabas Hideyoshi to an honour duel. Let the this duel decide who shall rot in hell as an honourless dog for all time. I will accept whatever form he chooses for the duel as my masters spirit will guide me to victory."

With a burst of static, the camera tilts and the transmission is cut.
                        +++++++++LOSTECH GOODS FLOOD MARKET+++++++++

Although the bulk of the Star League cache on Galtor has been claimed by the Federated Suns for study at the NAIS institute on Avalon, several unscrupulous salvage crews have sold their finds onto the open market. Many of these ancient battlemech components have found their way to the markets of Solaris VII and Galatea where the bidding on them by gladiators and mercenaries is fierce.
                         +++++++++FWL CONDEMNS LYRAN RAIDS+++++++++
Painted by Kuleshov
The Free Worlds League Parliament today condemned what was referred to as "continued and flagrant espionage and border violations" by the Lyran Commonwealth. This was in response to a security breach on the world of Kalidasa, though details of the breach have not been relased by Kali-Yama Industries. The MP for Kalidasa was quoted as saying "A unanimous motion was carried to request an immediate reprisal from the Captain-General. Such a blatant disregard for our borders and property cannot go unanswered." The FWLM declined to comment on any current military activities but several dropships were seen burning for a high orbit rendevezous with a jumpship above Kalidasa.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Regiment Schomberg

The Regiment Schomberg were a mercenary unit in service to the Duchy of Savoy. Unlike the line regiments, mercenary regiments (often formed around a core of Protestants, many exiled French Huguenots) were named for their Colonel,  in this case Duke Charles Schomberg. Interestingly, Charles was the son of another famous Schomberg, Duke Frederick, who died in service to Stadtholder/King William at the battle of the Boyne just a few years before.

[The information on Charles on wikipedia was very sparse, just two paragraphs. I expanded the article by adding the information I learned from the excellent "Army of the Duke of Savoy 1688-1713 by Gian Carlo Boeri]

Schomberg, had been serving in with the army of Savoy since 1691 as a General officer commanding three regiments (Montbrun, Miremont and Montauban) all of which, like himself, were in English pay.

Regiment Schomberg NYW Savoy
Prior to 1692, this Schomberg  regiment was in fact the Regiment de Saint-Julian. However in that year the Sieour de Saint-Julian converted to Catholicism and returned to French service. Schomberg himself was then appointed Colonel of the Regiment.

Schomberg died of wounds following the Battle of Marsaglia in October 1963, at which point the regiment was named for his successor, another French Huguenot in English pay, Henri de Massue, 1st Vsicount -later Earl- of Galway  The regiment being thereafter known as Regiment Galway.

Note: I've chosen to dress the regiment in the grey coats with grey facings used by the militia and in general use by the protestant regiments. August Kuln (now deceased) suggests that Regiment Schomberg actually wore blue coats with red facings, vests, breeches and stockings and a yellow lining of the hat. However, August Kuln did not list any references, so I have gone with the safer, grey option. Mostly because retaining the Grey jackets which were used by all the Savoy line and militia regiments will provide the army with a more coherent appearance on the tabletop.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Regiment Nizza, Nine Years War Savoy

I know. They should be wearing broad-brimmed hats, not tricorns. You may already have seen this post on my Lead Legion Painting Service page, but since this is my 15mm wargaming blog, I really have to cross-post it here.

The Regiment Nizza, recruited from the area around the now-French city of Nizza (Nice), fought in the armies of Viktor Amadeus, Duke of Savoy and Prince of Piedmont (later King of Sicily, although he swapped Sicily for the Kingdom of Sardinia soon after) during the Nine Years War and the War of the Spanish Succession.

Like all of the Duke's line regiments, it was named for the region it was raised and recruited from, rather than named for it's colonel, which was more common at the time. However, in Piedmont-Savoy this practice ceased rather early, with the Duke himself effectively being the Colonel of all his line regiments, foot and horse alike.

Regiment Nizza
In 1689 Regiment Nizza was one of three battalions of foot from Peidmont-Savoy sent north to fight for France in Flanders. In 1690, when the Duke changed sides, the regiments were disbanded by the French and their soldiers forcibly conscripted into French regiments. By 1691 however, sufficient soldiers had escaped French service to re-constitute the regiment, around a solid core of it's original personnel.

The regiment consisted of a single battalion of 16 companies in 1693 (the time period I'm recruiting my army for). One company were Grenadiers.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Judge Minty

This may be old news for some of you, but the Judge Minty fan film is finally out. You would not know this was a fan-produced production to look at it. The special effects are truly remarkable. Judge Dredd fans would be well advised to check it out.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Playing Favourites

Way back in January 2012, Steve from Steve's Random Musings, posted a list of his favourite Wargame facts. He invited other gamers to post their favourites. I never got around to it at the time, but now's as good a time as any.

Wargames Period

A difficult one for all of us, I think. My favourite periods are the Wars of the Roses, Dark Ages, Ancient Rome and near-future Science Fiction. Assuming you can legitimately call that last one a "period" rather than a genre.


28mm was my favorite scale for more than twenty years, mostly because I got into the hobby via the Games Workshop route, who have always favoured 28mm scale. For some odd reason I can't fathom, I always thought 15mm was too small, despite the fact I enjoyed playing Space Marine and Adeptus Titanicus, a 6mm game.

 I suspect that the real reason was that I've always preferred the 1 figure:1 man ratio in my games, and in all the 15mm systems I knew of in my youth (with the exception of Laserburn) 1 figure used to represent a lot more than one man. It wasn't until Flames of War came out that I really noticed how much the quality of 15mm miniatures had improved. True, FoW operates on a 1:1 figure scale as well, but once I'd started in 15mm and saw how much cheaper it was, my snobbish attitude to figure ratios went out the window and I was hooked.

Now I far prefer 15mm scale to 28mm. I only really use 28mm in skirmish gaming these days. That, and playing games of 40K. I've even begun the process of replacing my 28mm role playing miniatures with 15mm miniatures instead. Much cheaper, much easier to store and a joy to paint. 15 minutes to paint a model with three layers of shading? Yes please.


Ironically, Laserburn has always been one of my favorite rules systems - I just used to play it in 28mm rather than 15mm. It's a very clunky system these days, but it's roots as the Precursor of Warhammer 40K are clear. The first edition of W40K (Rogue Trader) also remains a firm favorite of mine. It's such a wonderful, versatile narrative system. I've used the rules for everything from Post Apocalyptic gaming, to games inspired by movies such as Aliens, Predator, Terminator and even Star Trek. Even 25 years on from their first writing, I still think they're the most versatile sci-fi rules out there.

Sticking with sci-fi, Blasters and Bulkheads has become a firm favorite of mine, a very excellent heir to Laserburn and also a far better Star Wars skirmish game that the cumbersome system West End Games produced in the late eighties/early nineties. It's versatile enough to be used in just about any space opera setting though. It even works well for skirmishes in the Fading Sun's universe.

For 20th-21st century gaming, I'm a huge fan of Ambush Alley games. Although I'm repelled by the thought of wargaming ultra-modern, real-world conflicts (especially those that are ongoing) Force on Force works well for platoon level WWII and Vietnam games. I'm not sure it will ever displace co-operative play Vietnam games such as as Bodycount and Charlie Company, mind, but it's a good system nonetheless.

Also for modern zombie gaming, you can't beat the All Things Zombie rules from Two Hour Wargames. Go read the actual play reports on Vampifans World of the Undead if you want to see why.

Finally, for Ancients and Medieval gaming I love Retinue, the 28mm Skirmish rules. It's even clunkier than Laserburn and showing it's age, but it still has a special place in my heart. Especially for War of the Roses era gaming. For Dark Ages I use the Warhammer Ancient Battle rules and for Ancients, I'm intrigued by Fields of Glory. I'll need to pick up a couple of 15mm armies for that very soon.


I'm really not much of a boardgamer. Truth be told, most of them bore the hell out of me. There are only so many strategies you can use in a typical board game, after all. The three exceptions are Munchkin (which I still find hilarious after all these years), Space Hulk and Battletech. A lot of folks will tell you that Battletech is a miniatures game, not a boardgame. Mostly because it uses miniatures which can be purchased separately, but that doesn't make it a tabletop wargame any more than using miniatures in Zombicide or Risk makes these  systems tabletop wargames. Battletech can be played as a  table-top wargame mind you, as tabletop rules variants have been issued a good few times over the years, but at the end of the day it's designed to played on a gaming board with hexes.

Figure Manufacturers

Ouch, that's a hard one. I'd have to say my favorites are Ground Zero Games, Splintered Light and Khurasan for 15mm. Perry Miniatures and Walord for 28mm. The Perry and Warlord plastic ranges are excellent value for money and a pleasure to both stick together and paint.


I was a member of Glasgow Gaming Group off and on for nearly fifteen years (off-an-on only because I spent most of the year in Aberdeen for much of that period). It's now the largest gaming group in the UK with over 150 members. We consider it a quiet night when only fifty or sixty people turn up.
However, since moving down to Folkestone I've joined Kentish Rogues, a local group that meets in the pub across my back yard. It's a small group, dominated by card players rather than wargamers. The card players are a cliquish set, but the wargamers are a friendly bunch. The tabletop element is dominated by Games Workshop gaming, but I hope to introduce a few other genres and periods to the group over the next couple of years.

Best of all, I've become an honorary member of Postie's Rejects after they invited me over for a game a month or two back. I hope to return the favour by hosting them over at my place soon. If I'm really honest, I also have to say I really hope I don't stay an "honourary" member forever.


I really don't have a favorite opponent. One of the great things about Glasgow Gaming Group was the sheer number of opponents available. Enough that I rarely found myself playing the same person more than a couple of times a year. Honestly though, for me this hobby is as much about meeting people as playing with toy soldiers, so I'd have to say my favorite opponent will always be the guy I meet through he hobby next.

That being said, both of the Andy's from G3 are amoung longest running gaming buddies (and two of best friends for that matter. One was the best man at my handfasting and the other was best man at my wedding. Mecha Ace from the Hanger Bay blog is the second of these two Andy's, by the way. first Andy is my longest running opponent (21 years), Kev (also from G3) comes a close second (just a month or two after Andy One) and I suppose that puts Mecha Ace in third.

Inspiration, Movies and Books

Movies and books. I love films and history as much as I love wargaming, and I invariably start up a new project every time I see a new movie, only to abandon it for a new idea when I see a movie from another genre. My biggest movie inspirations are the Aliens and Terminator movies, as well as the Falling Skies and Space Above and Beyond TV seriels.

Coleen McCullough's Masters of Rome books are easily my favorite historical novels.I tend to re-read them every couple of years or so. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that GRR Martin considered them a major source of inspiration for his Song of Ice and Fire novels. I also enjoy Steven Eriksons Book of the Fallen series as well as the Artesia comics. If there's a common theme running through those, it's that these books tell the story of a setting or a world, rather than just the story of a single person or family. The Master's of Rome series covers the entire Late Republic period of Roman history, from Marius and Sulla through to Ceaser and Pomperi all the way through to the rise of Octavian and the foundation of Imperial Rome. The Book's of the Fallen likewise tell the story of an entire world, much as the Game of Thrones books do. They're epic in their scope, and that's why I like them.


I'm not much of a art-lover, unless you count miniature painting and maps as art. Which I do. I have my favorite miniature painting artists, but I generally know them only by their blogger names, rather than their real ones.

As for traditional art, my favorites are Russel Howard (my wife used to life model for him in her student days. I bought one of his works a couple of years ago for her birthday), the landscape artist Dronma, fellow role-player  and gaming buddy Fiona Allsop and my old school friend Chris Paton. If there's a common theme here, it's that I know each of them personally., Otherwise I might never have been exposed to their work at all. We have plenty of other pieces of art at home, but only two other originals painted by someone other than these four artists and my wife. Truth to be told, I'm a map nut. We've got at least as many old maps hanging up on the walls at home as we do portraits and landscapes.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Nine Years War Project: Duchy of Savoy


All of Ray's recent posts about the Nine Years War over on "Don't Roll a One" have got me chomping at the bit to begin a collection of my own. I've been pestering Ray for information for a few days now, mostly about the Duchy of Savoy, the short-lived de facto nation that eventually grew into the Kingdom of Sardinia.

Ray was good enough to send me an absolute pile of resources, one of which outlines Savoy's contribution the Grand Alliance army at the Battle of  Marsaglia in 1693. Ten infantry regiments, three horse regiments and three dragoon regiments sounds like an excellent little starter force, which I can expand later by adding in allied contingents or by adding in the remaining half dozen regiments of foot the Duchy of Savoy possessed at the time.

I'll probably start the expansion with some Hapsburg or Imperial regiments though. If I can stage a few games for gamers at the local club ( a good bunch, but very much locked into the Games Workshop scene at the moment) I might be able to drum up some interest in the period.

By the way, this project will pretty much replace the 15mm Napoleonic Bavarian project I had planned. Given that I've yet to buy a single figure for it (but already have a NYW regiment coming in the post) I think it's pretty safe to pronounce the Napoleonic idea dead in the water.