Playing with what you own in any setting.

What to do with all your mins!

I believe that the miniatures you bought are yours, not some game systems or company’s. I have mins from GW, Heroscape, Heroclixs, Mantic, ect. I’ve played multiple systems and like them all but sometimes I want to play my own games with house rules, no sense in recreating the wheel. I’ve been playing a spaceship battle game using modified Babylon 5 ACTA, Full thrust and BFG. I divide the hull points by 2 from Full Thrust, added weapons from ACTA and BFG. The setting I’m using is Earth in the latter part of this century. America is now the Federal States of America more of the back story coming later. What do you think about using all of your miniatures? Right now for my Necromunda/Mordehim I’m really feeling the Bloodbound I like the vibe of killer cannibals living in a ruined city.

I’ve been using this America 2050 map to show future hive cities and the high speed rail routes that connect them. The smaller circles are where a hive fleet remains crashed into America. I’m using ‘nids from GW mostly guants and genestealers, with the queen being a hive queen from Aliens. I painted my nids black and highlighted them in metallic silver and gold with the spore mines silver with red highlights. Most people would say ‘hey you can’t paint nids like that!’ I bought them so I can paint them anyway I want. As a fan of Alien and Aliens I first had my guardsmen fighting them on a space hulk. As my game evolved I had them make it to Earth in the late 2019’s and crushed as a threat late 2025. The bug wars forced us to move into hive/mega cities for defense with a few hives still present. But unknown to us the bugs were carrying a parasite a race that was on the verge of being consumed by a hive fleet. The desperate race combined their DNA with the bugs every 1 in 50 bugs born is a reborn remnant of that race now know as the Plague   I’m using my Marro miniatures from Heroscape.

The Plague also damaged the DNA of new species the first sign are citizens turning into zombies. A good use for any zombie miniatures I have around. Then they become hybrids crossed with bug DNA and human a good use for my Genestealer Neophyte Squad.

As you can see the sky is open to what you want to do. If you don’t want to spend a ton of money fielding a large army squad base scrimmage games are the way to go. The big companies like GW and others might lose out on a bunch of money from you amassing one large army they gain from you buying a bunch of starter sets! Either way you go collecting large armies or small squads you are now hooked, the beast has sunk it gaming claws in you. I know from personal experience. My next project are these guys.

Salt being poured on the new Kill Team.

So like many of you I’ve been consuming all the Kill Team play and comments. Ash Barker over at GMG did a week of the basic box and a few days of different Kill Teams from the compendium. All of the videos were excellent games. Uncle Atom over at Table Top Minions was no so impressed with the compendium and the death of old Kill Teams he assembled.

Soooo…. Where do you fit in? Should you go with the flow? Play the old system? What? Simple, did you pay for, assemble and paint your miniatures? If the answer is yes then you can do what the hell you want with them! Plain and simple folks! Spend your money and do your thing like I do!

I’m buying the new Kill Team box and compendium, I’m going to learn the rules and then I’m going to do the hell what I want with the rules and miniatures, might even film a few videos on my YouTube channel MSG Maurice Spann Games. Don’t hate or fall into line with GW and others. Feel free to do what you want with miniatures and rule systems. You will have to follow the rules when playing at a GW store or event. But like most of people I play at home. So until GW rule police show up and arrest me for doing what I want and you should too. Well until next time remember they’re your miniatures play with them how you want to!

Gee Dubus new stance.

So ole GW is at it again, attacking fans being a bully. But wait GW is just protecting their IP, bullshit! There’s not one original thing about 40K IP. It’s Dune, Star Wars, Star Trek, Judge Dredd, Terminator etc for the 80’s! I first dipped my toes into the 40K universe with Rouge Trader it was reflection of sci-fi culture of the late 80’s and it was awesome!

I was, am, maybe? Excited about the new Kill Team rules. I was looking into the new orcs for my Five Parsecs from Home games as one of the alien races. I said wow GW is going to make KT it’s own thing and not 40K jr. Then the band on fan animation hit, so I looked into the new Warhammer Plus. GW lore channels? Painting channels? Batrep channels? I can see the direction this is going and I guess so can you!

I’ve played about four games of 9th edition and then c-19 hit and so did the rule creep and bloat. So I started looking into easy rule systems like One Page Rules, Five Parsecs, Core Space etc. There’s no one perfect system but GW rules seem sloppy and dashed together. Now I’m not saying I can write better rules, but if you give me a million dollars I will sure damn try! I’ve been using my GW miniatures for my own games like adaptations of Faith Conquers Iron Empires sci if setting. My Space Marines are now Space Knights, the chapters are different orders, The imperial guards are men at arm factions, Space Nuns are Space Nuns!

So with my ramblings what I’m trying to say is I don’t hate GW but I do hate what they’re doing to the fan base. My suggestion to everyone is do what you like, you’ve spent your hard earned money on these plastic, metal and resin dudes. Who in the nine hells can make you play with them how “they” want you to? I’m done for now, please comment to keep this discussion going. And until next time remember they’re your miniatures play with them how you want to folks!

Food Corp

Robotic worker gathering crops

So before CNN comes out with its future food episode I thought I’d better get this in. In my universe where I play games of 5 parsecs from home, Rangers of Shadow Deep in space and other games. I have a big bad named Food Corp. After the bug invasion in 2025 and America, Canada and Mexico forming the Federal States of the Americas, food production was brought to a new low. Besides alien bugs killing people and destroying crops famine spread throughout the world.

After years of fighting and all seemed lost the U.N. And it’s cloned troopers helped the Federal States but at a price. To let Food Corp buy up all the farm lands in the Americas and let that privately owned company produce the worlds food supply.

Food Corp. clones both plants and animals the first 50 runs are of excellent quality, that means millions of tons of plant and animal products taste of high quality just like naturally produced products. But after that the quality drops off in taste and nutrition. When the product reaches its end state it’s only dust which is mixed with spices and other end of the line clone products as a soup mix. Only the elite get natural raised meats and vegetables. And the very rich the first 10 runs of cloned products.

Going to show off Food Corp in my 5 parsecs from home games and my 5 parsecs cyber space games coming up. Remember folks they’re your miniatures play with them how you want to!

My dip into 5 Parsec from home.

PDF version

So I owed the 2nd edition of 5 parsecs but never played it. I also bought the new version from Modiphius after seeing lots of play on YouTube. Now before you start hating I’m still going to play Stargrave when my copy comes in. Taking a cue from Two hour war games I’m going to use both Jon Byzantine, Eve-6 and my droid Cletus in both games. Head cannon is Stargrave is set after my 5 parsecs campaign.

What I find appealing about 5 parsecs is the rules, oh the deadly rules! Charts I love charts and the easy and built in solo play of the game. My oldest Son Commander Space Chicken who is grown is my playing partner. He has a life and Pop’s can’t expect him to show up as much. No condemnation just facts plus Covid-19. Soooo, the old man has to find solo games and this one fits, for now.

So I’m rolling up my stats and background we’ll start with Jon he’s a Unity agent on a deep cover mission to scout the fringe worlds and see what threats are approaching the Unity worlds. His stats are Reactions 3 Speed 4 Combat 1 Toughness 3 Savvy 0 Luck 1 armed with a Flak gun. His background is a military brat. Next is Eve-6 a Synthetic human Reaction 1 Speed 4 Combat 0 Toughness 4 Luck 2. She’s armed with a Machine pistol. Raised on a heavy industrial world and wants freedom. Then we have Booker Greaves a human mercenary Reaction 1 Speed 5 Combat 2 Toughness 3 Savvy 0 Luck 0. He’s armed with a Infantry laser and he just wants to escape. Next is my droid Cletus (KLT8) Reaction 2 Speed 5 Combat 2 Toughness 4 Savvy 2 Luck 2. Armed with a needle rifle and he wants revenge and was a bounty hunter. Shadow Fox is a Space Elf Bounty hunter. Reaction 1 Speed 6 Combat 0 Toughness 2 Savvy 0 and Luck 2. She’s armed with a Plasma Rifle and wants freedom. The we have a Corp brat turned soldier Chauncey Gates human Reaction 1 Speed 4 Combat 1 Toughness 3 Savvy 0 Luck 2. He’s armed with Rattle gun and he’s looking for freedom. Then theirs Krazy Kate human born on a hellhole war world. Reaction 2 Speed 4 Combat 0 Toughness 3 Savvy 0 and Luck 0. She’s armed with a auto gun and is searching for wealth. And last we have Harvord Brannon born on a Hi tech world. Reaction 1 Speed 4 Combat 0 Toughness 3 Savvy 3 and Luck 0. He’s armed with a marksman rifle and is a discover. And next is our home the Bohemian Rhapsody a old armored patrol ship. We have tons of extra weapons a glare sword, hand gun, infantry laz, Rattle gun, hand gun and another marksman rifle. Gear Cammo Cloak, Nano doc, combat armor, frag vest and a hunting rifle. 21 credits, 2 patrons 2 rivals and 7 story points. I rolled common goal and named my crew the Dark Stars.

Now it’s time to pick out miniatures and print out the play through missions. Roll up the starting world. I’m thinking since Jon is a Unity agent under deep cover I’ll start with one Parton as a Unity official. Well until next time remember they’re your miniatures play with them how you want to!

Mental health and our hobby in the new new.

Sometimes life feels like this.

Most people won’t admit that this pandemic added to our lives is weighing us down. But I will, this sucks! We can’t get together in large groups, travel, talk to our buds at the local games store. And if we’re honest with ourselves, it’s starting to take a toil! My mind is full of awesome ideas and projects (up coming video of my pile of shame.) but don’t have the drive or energy to complete any of them.

The first step to feeling better is to admit it’s just a hobby. Yes I said it, we’re mostly grown men and women playing with plastic, metal and resin little men. It’s not your job, it’s your want to complete a project or play games. I used to play and blog about my solo games, it was fun. Then the fun vanished for some reason ( COVID?). Hell, I don’t know, but what I do know is WE must power through all this and bring the fun back.

Second thing do what you can in small batches and relax no one is judging you on your painting or anything else. This hobby is for you and your enjoyment not anyone else’s! Don’t compare what you are doing to anyone else, like I tell my kids ‘ just do you!’ You game, paint and put together your miniatures because you want to. Now me myself, as I age I don’t like all the fiddle new miniatures coming out or that is out. Yes GW Necromunda and Dune Striders I’m talking about you! Painting is ok, never been a terrific painter but my miniatures are good enough for me. And that’s when it hit me, it’s for me and who I’m playing with if applicable.

Third thing I felt like reaching out to the community and saying keep it up folks. Game, paint and assembly on your time and your speed. Reach out to other gamers and people in the community and talk. Just talk! I’m putting it out there you can always talk to me. I’m not going to judge you and when it really comes down to it no one should. But this is my blog I approve all comments so fire away. And until next time remember their your miniatures play with them how you want!

The big wait for Stargrave

Can’t wait?

So everyone is waiting for the new new and so am I a little bit. Why a little bit? Easy to answer, because their is already sci-fi versions of Forstgrave! A few years ago I found a Star Wars version and have been knocking around with it and have even posted a game.

So knowing me, I looked through all my PDFs and files for RoSD and Frostgrave and kit bashed my on rules system until I get the pdf of Stargrave. Why? The missions. The Frostgrave missions are excellent and sometimes goes in a direction I wouldn’t have thought of.

So you may be saying to yourself well what’s the plan mastermind? Glad you asked. I’ve seen as probably as you have spreadsheets and bootleg pictures of the companions. So with that information I’m applying it to my RoSD in Spaaace! Also with some weapons rules from Starbreech. Since my playing partner Commander Space Chicken is out of pocket, the C-19, and recovering from the blizzard of 2021. I plan on doing a game and uploading it on my YouTube channel Maurice Spann.

Hopefully the video will be up Sunday. I was and still may post about mental health and gaming during the C-19. Because I know personally how hard it is to keep a clear mind and good spirit while doing our hobby. Let’s all keep up our spirits and remember folks they’re your miniatures play with them how you want to!

Amalgamation in action

Time is the essence

Time is the season

Time ain’t no reason

Got no time to slow

Blue Oyster Cult

October 23 2176 Oklahoma City Hive 21:37

” Earth, Terra, backwater mud ball. By Gaia! I hate this world and it’s ignorant people!”

” But orders are orders. I’m here as a liaison to the Federal State of America investigating Warlock Inc. and a missing shipment of next generation weapons.”

” My companions are Eve-6 a synthetic human, my right hand, bodyguard and lover. Katie X a crazy street samurai and my droid Cletus Z49.”

We infiltrated the OKC Underhive as a new crew taking any job we can to develop a rep. OKC Public Works had a job to clear out a group of mutants infesting an important substation. It pays 50 Credits or 50,000. F.S. Dollars! Enough to set us up and buy a place of operation. Not that I needed the money I have access to an unlimited amount, but it’s good to keep up appearances.

The Shadow Backer Mr. Jones wants this off the books, total deniability. So we got no pull with the local rent-a-cops in the area. No biggie, dead men walking if they get in our way. We make our way through the teaming masses of unwashed bodies of the Plebs. People on the Basic Income program with little to no hope of ever finding a job and leaving the packed tenement projects they call home.

Cletus finds the access hatch leading to the A.O. We go ghost mode and sneak down the ladder to the substation. Luckily for us Mr. Jones only had enough credits to hire one crew. If it was two or more it would be a fire fight not only with the mutants and the rent-a-cops but with other operatives. It’s not unheard of for total team kills after the job was done buy noobs wanting revenge for downed comrades.

These mutants weren’t toxic chem scum, or gene rejects. But alien lurkers, the product of the Swarm intelligence infiltrating a planets gene pool to breed it out. Some of these bastards could almost pass for human if it wasn’t for the purplish tint to their skin. The other ones are three armed abominations! A mixture of insectoids in human form. I have no problem exterminating these scum!

The job op also has another silver lining. Four unsecured nodes to the hyper-net. With our backdoor uplink we can get to our real job, investigating Warlock Inc.!

I lead Katie to the left and motion for Eve and Cletus to check out the medical office to the right. And like clockwork the mutants lunge at use from darken hallways and alcoves. I switch the ammunition of my Kromtech-9 from regular 9 mm ammunition to micro missiles. I only have three rounds so I’ve got to make them count!

Two mutants advanced out of a small office. One with a makeshift vending machine pistol the other wielding a makeshift sledgehammer. Nope! I let off one of my three rounds. The small gyro jet rocket screams into the cramped office and explodes into the face of the pistol packing mutant blowing him apart. His sledgehammer wielding partner is caught in the blast. Shrapnel shredding it to ribbons.

Cletus and Even run into two mutants in the med bay. After a quick exchange of violence the two mutants lay dead in slick pools of crimson blood.

” Boss four more. Two from that alley and four from the main office!” Katie shouts.

We both take cove behind a steam vent. Two mutants from the office take up positions on both sides of the entrance. Both carrying cheap surplus assault rifles. One lines up a shot that plinks off the vent. The other one takes a pice of my hide. Cheap or not 5.56 rounds ain’t no joke. Luckily for me my armor takes the brunt of the attack.

The other two lurkers advance up to a crate and take pot shots ant me a Katie. Well that just pisses the street samurai off. Katie’s not wired altogether right in the head. But if you treat her like a person and provide her with enough drugs and booze she really makes a good hand.

And like clockwork things turn to shit! A security guard shows up and plugs me in the back and things slowly fade to black.

No this isn’t the end of Jon Byzantine but he is hurt. I mashed up Fallout Wasteland Warfare, Core Space and Star Saga. Ok first up let me say all aforementioned games are great in their own rights. When I have a few hours to kill playing them as written I have a blast. But sometimes my time is stretched between family stuff and other life actions leaving me very little time to game.

I really like the FWW rules but the combat is to slow. I like the low HP’s on both side but the damage is low. Example of a weapons card.

Federal States of America

Razor wire continues to be installed along fencing around the Capitol Sunday. (Evelyn Hockstein/for The Washington Post)

So in my homebrew setting I was struggling on how did we go from the United States of America to the Federal States of America. What was the catalyst? A natural disaster, pandemic, or alien invasion? How about a insurrection and a second American Civil War? Wow! That’s deep I thought and then January 6th 2021 happened. I was like is this life imitating art or Vice versa?

Now I am an adult, served in the military and have seen some things. I wanted my life experiences to port over to my dream miniature game of one system, one universe. If there is anyone reading my sporadic blog and have art skills I would love a American flag black and silver with a silver eagle on a black background where the stars go.

Anyway, I was really struggling on how American turned into a fascist dystopian state and everyone went for it. So sit back and I’ll tell you how we became the Federal State of America the short form. Right wing extremists attempt to assassinate 46th President and Vice President and all governors of the 50 states. Well ole 46 and the federal government wasn’t going to let that happen and declared martial law and suspended the constitution. In less than 24 American hours changed from a constitutional republic to a federal feudal system.

Unrest In Canada and Mexico lead to both countries to join America into changing to a American form of federal government. The flags of those countries changed to the silver and black of the “new” federal system. So what does it mean for the game? I’ve been working on some Imperial guards as troops and wanted a Starship Troopers gray and black color scheme, kinda like the WW2 Wehrmacht. And no I’m not a nazi or anything like that! Anyway remember folks they’re your miniatures play with them how you want!

Warcaster, Frostgrave, Stargrave equals Mass Effect!

Marcher World Faction

So as some of you know by now. I’m always searching for the “perfect” game system for solo play. Reason for solo play is my oldest Son Commander Space Chicken lives far away and the plague. If I want to game I’m going to have to do it by myself.

So as a vet of Frostgrave. I like the game mechanic, d20 is swingy but I’d easy to learn just like Rangers of Shadow Deep. But I own more sci fi miniatures than fantasy. Played a few games by substituting sci fi miniatures, worked ok but as always I wanted a easier system. Then Warcaster Neo-mechanika came out!

With Warcaster for some reason I wasn’t really down with the system at first. Don’t know why, maybe I had a mental block or something. But the rules just didn’t stick. Then one day I was watching one of my favorite YouTuber channels War Budgies who did a videos on how to play and then three game videos. I was shocked on the simplicity of the system. I was already doing something similar using a bastardized Dust game using the dice from Star Saga.

Then a light went off. I can do a Mass Effect style game using my existing range of miniatures from many systems. By disecting Warcaster and Frostgrave I could combine it into a Mass Effect style game. Using the activation, stats, and combat from Warcaster and using the Cypers like spells from Frostgrave I’ve got Mass Effect!

You can find the range of Cypers on the Warcaster kickstarter or Scribd. Having only 12 to 15 Cypers cards limits your spells, yes according to the Warcaster rules you recycle once you run out. I’m just riffing off the top of my head right now I haven’t played it. Also having a Warjack aka big stompy robot I found several in the GW range Dreadnoughts, Kastlen robots, and Elder Wraithlord. Using the never ending troops from Warcaster, the Wizard and apprentice from Frostgrave aka you can’t bring a weaver back like Warcaster so you better protect him, her or it!

I see similarities between factions in Warcaster and in 40k. Like the Aeternus Continuum has strong Mechanicus vibes. And the Iron Star Alliance is most definitely Palanite Enforcers! All you need for the GW stuff is a substitute for the Warjack. I’m going to play around with this idea this Christmas weekend. Hopefully I get a video or pictures of a bat rep either here or on my youtube channel. Until next time remember they’re your miniatures play with them how you want to!

Alpha Strike in my world.

So I guess I’ve been under a rock.

Alpha Strike

I didn’t know Battletech had a fast play rule set. Guess my focus on GW games and the death of my Mother got me off track. So I’ve benged all the content I could on Youtube, shout out to Death From Above Studios. And I said to myself damn I’ve got Dropzone Commander which I’ve played twice and a bunch of miniatures from that setting and some Mechclix miniatures ‘ wheels start turning.’

I’ve got my own setting and if I set it a couple hundred years in the future and the collapse of Galatic civilization and a new dark age, both a mixture of 40k, Battletech, Firefly and others then I’ll have my setting I want to be able to tell stories from the near to the far future.

So I’ve combined my Star Trek remade map and looked at the current map of Batteltech and said hum the Human Sphere could be this tiny part of my main map.

Current setting map.
Batteltech map.

So around Sol on my main map the human sphere fits in. I love Chris Moeller’s Iron Empires and Jim Starlin’s Dreadstar influence me heavily. And I can’t leave out 30K, Core Space, Star Wars and Galaxy’s Edge. So back to the point. I could have my own dark age galaxy setting the death of the Emperor and the balkanization of the Empire. I could use my Space Wolves and White Scars as barbarians raiding the local space around Sol. So where does Alpha Strike fit in? Glad you asked.

I’m a big fan of massed battles and Alpha Strike fits right in to my personal system of quick games. So I’m planning on picking out specific Mechs for my setting that every faction has access to. So on the macro scale you have Mechs, tanks, infantry, fighters and bombers. And on the micro you have my Necromunda/ Kill Team using the Star Saga dice. So you have some giant Mechs battling like Titanicus just way faster!

So I’ve got a simi-feudal system with powered armoured knight houses, kingdoms and star nations battling each other. FTL is through Subspace which is similar to 40k’s Warp but slightly different. You need now a navigator to travel Subspace in the Human Sphere because the tech to build subspace jump computers has been lost or greatly reduced. In fact Earth humans never had the ability to build one on our own, we were given the tech from the Empire but not the ability to build it.

So what is the reason for the new dark age? Religion especially Christianity ( hold on.) When the Empire re- discovered us they were a Mother goddess worshipping culture. Everyone in the Empire of Gaia was. The prophecy of the Celestial Child manifesting in the real space was found to happen on Earth. Catholic religion was exported to the galaxy. The Gaia religion was thrown into upheaval. On one hand the prophecy was fulfilled, but on the other hand not in the way the church of Gaia wanted. The Emperor a vary religious man converted started a schism and was assassinated. But this was after 200 years of civil war. Earth had time to expand before the dark age sets in.

So now I have even a greater excuse to use my large miniature collection and can play in any of my homebrews setting eras contact, post contact and the fall. Until next time folks remember their your miniatures play with them how you want to!