Planetfall, for Armada players

Since Firestorm Planetfall is the ground combat companion to Firestorm Armada, it’s no surprise that it shares core mechanics with Armada. This post will serve as a primer and “upgrade guide” for anyone familiar with Armada but interested in Planetfall. What’s the same?
Well, the core mechanic of Exploding Dice is still present, and used in almost all dice rolls just like in Armada. Weapons fire, shields, command checks, and close quarter battle (melee, more or less) all use it in most situations. Similarly, the concept of DR or Damage Rating is basically identical. Damage Ratings in Planetfall range from 3 for basic infantry, through 5 for some heavy infantry and light units, around 7 for most tanks, and up to 11 for some of the heaviest and most impressive units, the leviathans!
What’s a little different? There are several of these. Activations is one of them. Planetfall takes the alternating-by-unit concept of Armada, but modifies it a little bit. When building a force, you assemble…

Senate Rule 19, and the stupidity thereof:

I wrote this on Facebook a moment ago, and it deserves to be preserved somewhere a little less noisy. After finally having time to watch the whole debacle with Elizabeth Warren, Mitch McConnell, and Senate Rule 19, it's abundantly clear to me that rule 19 is stupid! In Modern English, which a rule written over 100 years ago does not resemble, it says that senators are not allowed to suggest that other senators have motives inappropriate to being a senator. It doesn't matter if the phrasing is polite, or supported by evidence, or anything else. It is apparently an article of faith that those who have managed to get themselves elected to the senate are beyond reproach, which is a strange thing to take on faith these days! The only thing the rule seems to get right is that you can't get out of it by quoting someone else and arguing that "I didn't actually say those nasty things about a senator, 'my friend' said those things." However, there are severe pr…

Choosing a tabletop miniature game

While traveling for work, I found myself at an unfamiliar game store (hat tip to Zombie Planet of Colonie, New York, near Albany) talking various tabletop miniature games with a new player. I thought it would be useful to have written down a quick description of the advantages and disadvantages of the various games. This is an attempt to create such a thing.
Games by Games Workshop
Warhammer 40k: Without question the most famous, and one of the longest-lived, games in the space. Takes place in a very distant future (that 40,000 is the year 40,000!), and it's a very depressing future.
Why play 40k? Models are very detailed, and predominantly made of plastic, which is the easiest to work with. The best-developed "fluff" (backstory and background), including lots of novels, role-playing games, and a few board and card games.
Why avoid 40k? Definitely the most expensive out there. Startup costs are at least $300-400, and an individual model kit can run over $100! Poor game bal…

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

And now, back to what this blog is really for: pictures of miniatures! I set up all the painted Planetfall models I have on the dining room table at once so I could get some group shots. so with no further ado, here they are:

There is more to paint, of course, but this is enough to field fully painted forces in quite a few games. I have another spire painted for the recon infantry (the yellow and green guys), but I didn't include it since I haven't painted the second squad of infantry. There are two more squads of little walkers yet to paint, since the Leviathan and Core helix Hex can each take two squads, and two more sets of Core infantry, which are probably up next.

End of Year Ramblings

No, I'm not doing New Year's Resolutions or anything silly like that! Just some musings on the State of Science Fiction Television, as observed from my living room. Several shows have recently ended, but there seem to be several waiting to take their place. The Sci Fi channel, that was for some absurd reason renamed to SyFy many years ago now, has gone back to its roots and is actually producing science fiction programming. I know, shocking. Some stuff has been mediocre at best, or at least didn't hold my interest. I didn't get into Z Nation, and never tried Killjoys or Dark Matter. However, SyFy is making an attempt at redemption with Childhood's End and The Expanse.

Recently left us:

Haven: I will miss Haven. Not the mess that the most recent season was, but the good show that it was for the first few.

Defiance: Short-lived, but was pretty good. The last season was weak, which might have been why they chose to end it, but it was a very imaginative world and likabl…

State of the Hive address... or something

Wow, apparently it's been even longer than I thought since the last time I posted anything here! Too busy painting up a storm of Planetfall mini's, I guess. Planetfall painting really deserves it's own post, which I suppose I will get to soon, but here's a teaser from the Spartan Games forums.   As has been the case with my Firestorm Relthoza, I'm using an unusual technique with the Planetfall ones as well. Metallics, then a purple or blue shade over that. I like how they're coming out.

Anyway, how to reconstruct Adepticon? It's been too long for clear memories, but I remember I placed in the middle of the pack. One of my two lists had a squadron of Ba'Kash heavy cruisers as well as a squadron of Relthoza heavies, and that list won both of its games. The other list was a "Wing Nuts" list with as many SRS as I could squeeze in. I think it was two carriers, normal cruisers, and some carrier frigates, That list lost both of its games, but the sam…

The Road to Schaumburg, take 2

"Experiment" number 2 was double carriers. Two Relthoza carriers, loaded with 6 fighters and 2 interceptors each, form the backbone and heavy hitters of the list. A squad of carrier frigates with 4 bombers makes up the "oh shit, where did they come from?" component of the list, while regular workhorses are represented by one squad each of drone frigates, Relthoza light cruisers, and Ba'Kash cruisers with weapon shielding.

We played a modified Recover Resources, mission 1 from the Schaumburg Prime Offensive primer. I like this version far better than the standard one as picking up the objective is less random, and you have to hang onto it while trying to steal any from your opponent. Still not a mission that my dice like very much, but it wasn't as bad as some other attempts at it I have tried.

The intention of this list was that the two carriers would hang back, hiding under their cloaks and granting each other Stealth through the Systems Network, and fling…