Monday, 17 October 2016

Talathen Sector - Round 6 - The Empire Strikes back

Round six is in the books and we are beginning round 7. The Talathen Sector campaign will end in round 9, which corresponds to when Return of the Jedi happens. 

Round six is set just before the Battle of Hoth, and imperial probe droids have, while searching the galaxy for the main rebel base, located the Talathen sector base on Axamar. 

As a result, the major focus of this round was evacuating the base before the Empire wiped it out, fortunately, due to good intelligence, the Rebels knew the attack as coming and could prepare. 

Recruitment, and some healthy politics

A regular gang of new recruits were available, but the first recruit up for bid was the Red Queen, ruler presumptive of the newly freed Nimbala. The Basra Consortium, looking to shore up its investments bid 22 Clout for her loyalties, for the short-term at least. 

Also up for bid were a collection of pilots, soldiers and specialists, including the very first force-using character for Imperial Assault missions

Probably the most surprising move of this round was the Luxon militia saving all their clout for one purchase, that of Mozza Thun for 32 Clout. 

Gemma, Dao-Vurn and Hobbie went to work for the Basra Constortium.

Diala joined the Peoples movement, along with Occa. 

Jinn and Beryn joined the Republicans. 

The Basra consortium continued its move away from support people to military specialists. 

In the political round, several changes were made. X-3P0 was forced to step down after a terrible Alliance phase the previous turn, and was replaced by Mozza. From Slave to Alliance leader in one move. 

The racist Nun Diem was also finally sacked from being head of R&D and replaced with the competent, yet slightly boring looking Beryn Krell. The Republicans finally had a non-combat command for the first time in the campaign. 

Which of course means they had to be stripped of a combat command. And Airen Cracken, despite an exemplary record as fleet commander was forced to step aside and let the Beast of Luxon, Oleg Thrax assume command. 

This Major shake-up means the combat roles are now 

Fleet - Basra Consortium
Squadron- Republicans
Ground - People's movement
With the Luxon Militia frozen out of military command and focusing on diplomacy and alliances. 

The strategy phase

Now its worth noting that this phase took place before our epic adventure in Cahn, so notes of a viral outbreak on several worlds in the core system were troubling, but not as troubling as the imminent arrival of an Imperial Armada

Alliance command, under Mozza, secured enough points on their role to activate all alliances this round. The Red Queen, The Wookies, The Hodda Clan and the Bothan spynet would all be contributing this round. A huge swing from last turns inactivity. 

Many considered this a sign that the shakeup had done its job. 

Logistics command stockpiled resources as normal, but hit on several intelligence boosts while trading. Combined with the Bothan Spynet, Rebel intelligence command would have an unprecedented amount to spend this turn. 

Manny Bo'thans, super spy, slipped into the Korvas shipyards to find out what the massed Imperial fleet was doing, it was then he discovered they were heading straight for Axamar and the Rebel base. This changed the earlier discussed plans and everything focused on evacuating the base

Ged'Ruh focused on dropping false leads about the rebellion, shifting eyes away from Nimbala. X-3PO, deposed from Alliance Command, went into deep cover on Talathen VII station. And Sly conducted support missions for the Luxon Militia forces on Luxon, it was probably the only help they would get this turn. 

The Diplomacy core set about opening a dialogue with Kronos & potential rebels on Korvas. 

Lianna tell spearheaded an operation to convince the administration of Selano that the Alliance had more to offer than the Empire, who couldn't even build a base without it blowing up (we miss you Gax).

A stunning pair of triumphs vastly increased Selano's support of the rebellion, and work orders for the Empire were suddenly delayed. 

The Red Queen also consolidated the Rebellions hold on Nimbala

Fleet command had one goal, and one mission. Protect the base until they could escape by ambushing the Imperial fleet as it came out of Hyperspace

Squadron command also had one goal, protect the transports leaving the rebel base. But Lt Telji's squad was also dispatched to investigate rumours that pirates had uncovered the wreckage of a Subjugator class cruiser in the boneyard. 

Ground Command had Besh squad defend the base and hold the line until the last transports escaped, while Del Kern and Cresh squad caused a distraction on Nadir. The Wookies, were once again, fighting alongside the Luxon militia on Luxon

Recruitment had a bumper round, gaining an unprecedented bonus to recruitment, while training and R&D enjoyed modest returns, with Hodda and his cartel focused in on the new virus that had appeared. 

Intelligence spent its remaining points digging deeper into the core worlds of Talathen, Talathen VII and Korvas


The battle lines are set, next up was the evacuation of Axamar base. A three stage battle using Imperial Assault, Armada and X-wing. Update to follow

Friday, 14 October 2016

Radlandz - Group Identities

Version 0.7 of the Radlandz rulebook is available now for anyone who wants to see the changes. The game is tightening up and playtesting, when we have done it, has been solid fun. 

Today I wanted to talk about how a roster of figures, a group if you would, will look in Radlandz

One of the defining features I wanted for Radlandz was to give players a load of options of how to customize their groups. 

The two traditional approaches to list building in skirmish games are


Your gang has a set roster and you can pick stuff within your gang. The advantages of this are that each gang has a defined flavour and play style. The downside to this that you get a form of homogeneity, as few options means few differences between individual groups within the same list

Open recruitment 

You might have a smaller "core list" of defining feature for your group, but there is a massive pool of other units you can pick up. Opening up lists too much also tends towards homogeneity once people figure out the two or three "good" characters you can get. 

A third option

Radlandz uses identities, 12 of them in fact, and one identity is always your "core identity", but it can change through the campaign. This core identity defines a lot of your skill list, equipment and characters, but it can be supplemented by additional identities to provide flavour and variety. 

It means you can get every available skill and model with one group, but certainly not at the same time, and shifting your groups identity scores and building the facilities to recruit new troops and train new skills costs resources. 

How do identity's guide model selection?

Well, they are themes, archetypes, styles and concepts rather than prescriptive groups. For example, if you want a group to be a small group of elite power armour wearing baddasses, you pick Mech as your primary identity. 

This means Mech is a perfectly fine identity if you are playing Space Marines, Sisters of Battle, Brotherhood of Steel, Sky-net Terminators, Killer Robots, or any other concept that fits within the archetype "Big armour smashy"

How does having multiple identities work?

Only one identity is your core, but you can delve into others. For example, if your gang belongs to a mutant township that is settling down and trying to live civilized. You may want to split points between Mutant and Civilized. 

You might want a core group of light-fast moving nomads as your core group, backed up by a few Brutal specialists with over-sized guns and swords. 

You will likely only be able to delve into a few identities during a campaign, but they will add flavor to your lists and open up extra options. You can also play with a single strong identity, and spend upgrades improving their core abilities instead. 

Can I pick any identity?

Identity scores go from 1-6, for an identity to count as a core Identity it must be at level 4 or higher (and you must start with one identity at this level)

Each identity has it's opposite pair, and you cannot have more than 6 points in an opposite pair.

For example, A Group with 5 Arcane can never have more than 1 techno, and if they want to increase Techno to 2, must drop their Arcane identity score to 4. 

The identities are listed below, in their opposing pairs (nomad vs Civilized for example)

What are the identities in Radlandz?


Nomad groups have a mobile base of operations and spend their lives moving from place to place scavenging for supplies and parts.

Pick nomad if you see your group as a roving band of scavengers who can hit and run, survive the wastes, and generally be far more annoying than deadly.

Features: Nomad forces are fast moving, lightly equipped and armoured, and can loot very well. They are also well equipped to deal with environmental hazards.


Civilized groups have settled down and built a place to defend and protect. They are farmers, builders and engineers

Pick civilized if you see your group as regular people who have to pick up weapons to defend what they have worked hard to protect. 

Features: Civilized forces can field larger forces than most, and provide more special equipment and support items. A bigger roster and better gear overcomes any lack in specialist combat training.  


Arcane groups have tapped into some arcane force that exists in the Radlandz. This can be a magical, religious, mystical, psychic or other worldly power.

Pick Arcane if you see your group as a mystic organization or cult roaming the Radlandz led by a powerful wizard or priest.

Features: Arcane forces have access to game-breaking spells and effects. They are also able to use relics and arcane items easier than most. Arcane bosses and specialists are capable of amazing feats, but the rank and file Gruntz tend to be poorly trained and equipped.  


Techno groups are obsessed with technology and gadgets. They have shiny guns and other interesting devices at their disposal. 

Pick techno if you see your group being obsessed with reclaiming lost technology or hoarders of old world secrets.

Features: Techno forces have the best access to specialized gadgets that allow them to pull of unusual moves on the battlefield. Techno troops have some of the worst stats, but make up for this with excellent equipment. 

Primal groups have embraced a more primitive lifestyle and a return to nature. Primal groups believe in spirits, omens and the power of the Radlandz.

Pick primal if you see your group as one that has fully embraced the new world of the Radlandz and seek to live with the wastes as opposed to trying to rebuild society.

Features: Primal forces are lightly armed, quiet and fast moving. They have access to many low tech weapons, poisons and traps. They also have limited access to game-breaking mystic powers.          


Mech groups rely heavily on suits of heavy armour and other machines of war and industry. While others run to battle, Mech forces lumber forward, shrugging off small arms fire.  

Pick Mech if you see your group as a group of armoured knights or elite warriors in the Radlandz.    

Features: Mech forces are small but very well armoured and capable of taking more damage than others           


Warrior groups are obsessed with personal glory and one on one melee prowess. They are the ultimate hand to hand fighters in the Radlandz.

Pick warrior if you see your group as a warband of raiders and fighters who want nothing more than to stab people and take their stuff. Or, alternatively, a warrior cult obsessed with honour and personal prowess in battle.

Features: Warrior groups excel in melee combat, but this focus leaves them weak in other areas. They field far fewer guns and ranged support units than other groups.  


Martial groups are focused heavily on order, discipline and coordinated tactics and command. They use timing and firepower to suppress an enemy to make them easier to defeat.

Pick martial if your group is a disciplined and structured war fighting unit. They can be a formal military group, or one that has adopted a formal command structure in order to survive the Radlandz.  

Features: Martial groups are expert shooters and have other abilities that improve their ability to make coordinated attacks and suppress opponents. Their reliance on ranged weapons leaves them  under-equipped in melee.           


Mutant groups are no longer normal in some way. They might be mutated humans, mutated animals, or any other non-human race that has developed in the Radlandz. 

Mutants are tough and can develop unique mutations that give them special bonuses.   
Pick mutant if you want your group to be tough and resilient to the environment of the Radlandz as well as a little unusual.

Features: Mutant groups are defined by their mutations, special bonuses that allow them to specialize in specific skill areas. In general they are poorly equipped, but make up for it with their mutant skills and general toughness.      



Shelter groups have escaped the worst of the effects of the Radlandz. They have a secure base that is sealed off from the outside world, whether this is an underground shelter, a space ship, or mobile fortress, what matters is that they are well equipped and secure from the Radlandz.

Pick Shelter if you want your group to be a surviving relic of the past, or an outside force that has recently arrived in the Radlandz.

Features: Shelter groups are well-equipped and supplied. While they don’t excel at any specific combat discipline, they have few weaknesses. They also have access to environmental controlling technology and other gadgets. 


Covert groups are experts in stealth, infiltration, assassination and other dirty tricks. They rely heavily on surprise attacks and precision. Covert groups are reasonably poor in a stand up fight, but if they are fighting that way, it’s because they aren’t being covert enough.

Pick covert if you want your group to be sneaky and subtle. They could be an order of assassins, a secret society, or Special Forces. As long as the group favours subtlety over brute force, they could be covert.  

Features: Covert groups are lightly armed, lightly armoured, but gain major bonuses to using cover and avoiding being hit. They can deal a lot of damage, but tend not to be able to take much damage in return.                 


Brutal groups care little for being quiet or subtle. They bring loud heavy weapons to the fight and pound their opponents into submission. If the big guns fail, then big melee weapons are also an option.

Pick brutal if you want to field a force of highly armed and dangerous fighters who will win the day through application of extreme firepower. They could be    

Features: Brutal groups carry bigger and nastier weapons than anyone else, and have the training to back that up. The rest of the skill selection is lacking though. Every problem needs to be solved with “more firepower”  

So that's the identity's of Radlandz. An archetype for everyone, and if something doesn't quite fit what you have in mind, you can mix and match identities until it does. 

Monday, 10 October 2016

I think I might start painting again - What to do?

I paint in fits and starts, I can paint a colossal number of figures in a short amount of time and produce way more painted figures than most painting sweatshops..... for a time.

Then I get seriously burned out and can't even look at a figure. Then I just want to play video games. Until I start looking at my steam screen and going "I don't want to play anything"

It's a strange circle, but one I have gotten used to. The last project that burned me out was this

I managed to paint a few things after that, but it was really the final straw. 

But now, I have the urge to paint again, and I have so many potential projects. So lets run through them (apologies for photo quality, we had to return the nice work camera, but will likely be getting a nice one for the business shortly). I will be scoring them on quality needed, volume, game interest, bonuses and blockers. 

Descent 2nd edition

Quality: Low to medium, my Descent 1st edition figs are pretty average but speedy paint jobs
Volume: Medium. A good number of figures to paint, but a lot of variety. 
Game interest: Low. Chances of Descent 2nd ed hitting our table soon is low with Imperial Assault and the potential of Seas of Blood 1st ed campaign looming
Bonuses: All the first ed models are painted, and the unpainted figures are just a blot in the box
Blockers: Descent 2nd ed didn't light my fire. I feel Imperial Assault is simply a better game. 


Quality: High. These figures are all solos and should be painted to a good standard
Volume: Low, 5 figures. 
Game interest: Low. 3rd ed is out but I haven't even read the core rulebook. Any brain time on miniatures games is going on X-wing/Armada and Radlandz
Bonuses: Only 5 figures to finish off everything, and I can use them in Radlandz
Blockers: Such fiddly damned models, I think i'll need to re-skill my painting before trying them. 

Imperial assault

Quality: Medium. I painted my previous Imperial Assault figures to a reasonable standard
Volume: Mid to High. Quite a few figs after I just picked up the last 3 expansions, and Jabba's Palace is coming with 20+ more. Plus any booster packs i pick up.... like I have to get Fett. 
Game interest: High. We are still in the Star Wars campaign, and even after that Imperial Assault remains a game I want to play more by itself. 
Bonuses: Would look good in the campaign to have more figs
Blockers: I have a shed load of pre-painted Star Wars figs that have been doing the job just fine so far. 


Quality: Low. The figures are a bit shit
Volume: Low. 6 dudes only. 
Game interest: Medium. Spartacus is a very popular game here and a frequent session filler when we are missing a player or we are too tired to play Star Wars (I.e, i haven't written anything)
Bonuses: Nice simple job to make a popular game look good.
Blockers: The figures plastic is really bad, like just terrible. 


Quality: Medium
Volume: Low to medium. 12 Figs
Game interest: Medium. We haven't played it much recently, but its been popular when we have. 
Bonuses: I'm 2/3rds done painting them anyway, this was the game i was doing when I finally burned out
Blockers: Expansion coming soon, could wait until that comes out and do them all at once. 


Quality: Low. Basic ships
Volume: Low. 5 small ship models
Game interest: Low. I've played 4 games of this, and people were so-so on it. I got a rules tweak from a friend that should fix the biggest grumble people had
Bonuses: Really short job
Blockers: That could sit in the box for a year or two before its played next

Star Wars Rebellion

Quality: Low, small figures needs simple paint jobs
Volume: High. There are a lot of figures in this set
Game interest: High. I've played 6-7 games of this since i got the game 3 weeks ago
Bonuses: Star Wars! Also little painted star destroyers could be cool for the campaign.
Blockers: The last two games i've played have been on Tabletop simulator. It kinda makes painting the game less appealing. 


Quality: High as all heck
Volume: Small. 
Game interest: Medium, another very popular filler game. Probably the most popular one when everyone is really tired and just wants to roll dice for no real reason
Bonuses: These figures are simply gorgeous, and look so good on the table
Blockers: Magnets.... no seriously. I magnetized my other models and stands and cannot find the rest of them. Also, painting skills need to be sharpened. 


Quality: High
Volume: Low
Game interest: Low. I want to play more, but I've just not had the urge to play it much lately. 
Bonuses: Most of these figures are at least base coated and probably could be finished off easily enough
Blockers: hard to paint a game you aren't playing much. 

Cthulhu Wars

Quality: Medium, I could go higher but too much detail on these figures would be a massive time sink
Volume: Medium-high. A lot of figures, but mostly its the size of the figures that is daunting
Game interest: Low-Medium. I really like the game, but I feel like it needs a few more of the add-ons I don't have to really come alive  
Bonuses: Those old one models will be a unique painting experience. And Cthulhu stuff is cool
Blockers: I almost feel like waiting until i get more of the game before really getting it back on the table. 

Fortress America

Quality: Low
Volume: High, loads of figures
Game interest: Low. This has hit the table once, but it got good impressions. Feel we need to revisit it
Bonuses: Its not a game i've seen a lot of painted versions of. So I could almost define what a painted version looks like
Blockers: Its a lot of work, potentially for little return

Twilight Imperium 3rd edition

Quality: Low
Volume: Mega high
Game interest: Low. People like the game, but the time commitment is scary. 
Bonuses: It would look awesome with a painted set. 
Blockers: Are you kidding. I did a list like this years ago and it was on there. This is such a big project, many months worth, I don't know if i'll ever get around to it. 


I honestly have no idea what I will paint first right now. Imperial Assault, Spartacus and a few others are towards the top of the list, and TI3 is probably dead last. I'll see how i feel over the next few days

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

The Wrath of Cahn - Part 2 - A Talathen Sector story continued

Ok, after the last write up I realized I was about 1/4 of the way through the story. It was a long long tale, so lets summarize the action in as quick a style as possible. So here are the highlights


  • The team were directed to a local medical facility, where they met Jel Ta'leth, a Chiss scientist who was acting as ambassador from the Chiss planet of Kronos
  • Jel explained that Ithkrall was a reasonable man, more reasonable than Malkar, and that this whole spate of violence makes no sense
  • He said they were also investigating, and would share information. 
  • He started by giving them the list of people who had been killed, and what their jobs were
  • Ithkrall's outcasts were apparently living outside the city in some caves
  • The team split into two groups, one to go talk to the outcasts, and the other to investigate a chemical factory that three of the dead people worked at
  • Ori and Dr Vox investigated the factory, and looked for a way to distract the personnel there to get a good look in. About that time, an explosion occurred down the road and allowed them access (A double triumph for observing a way in) 
  • The facility was empty very quickly, and they scouted it out, all seemed normal asides from one very secure room they hacked their way into. Inside they found some vials secured in a bio-security safe. They nabbed them. They also downloaded all the data off a computer system for later analysis. 
  • The other team flew in their ship to the outskirts, their pilot reporting a "ghost signal" of a ship nearby, but could not confirm, just a fleeting sensor signal every now and then. 
  • They landed, and after a little while, encountered Ithkrall and a small band of outcasts. 
  • Ithkrall explained that their faith had major tenants, in order of importance. The second of which was "we do not shed blood", but the greatest of which was "When all the worlds in the devourer's eye are still, the eye will open and pull our souls to heaven. 
  • His actions were the only way he felt he could communicate the evil being conducted by Malkar and his cabal. He wanted attention to draw people to question what was happened, as no one would believe him if he said it openly, and it would have been suppressed immediately. Also, the truth would destroy them. 
  • Their plan was to create a virus, introduce it to the systems of the sector, and have it kill everyone on those planets, making the worlds still and heaven open. 
  • The team arranged for Ithkrall's people to be moved off-world later, and that they would claim to have "killed him" in order to buy time with Malkar
  • The team regrouped on the ship and compared notes. They strongly suspected that they had just obtained samples of the virus and the supporting data
  • They analyzed the data and it revealed that the virus had already been shipped to most worlds in the sector. Then they remembered a news report from the pre-mission briefing about a rash of deaths on the core worlds. 
  • Jel contacted them at this time to inquire about Ithkrall and their meeting. The team informed him of what had happened and he responded with an ultimatum. 

On the clock

  • The team would have 100 hours to solve the issue, as that would be the time the Chiss Fleet would take to get from Kronos to Cahn and annihilate the city and take any information about the virus by force. He also informed them that his ship would now blockade the planet and anyone leaving would be destroyed. 
  • Dr Vox said they had samples of the virus and Jel sent a cloaked ship to pick him up from the space port
  • The rest of the team set about coming up with a plan to uncover the conspiracy, and replace Malkar as leader
  • Vox and Jel worked on a vaccine for the next extended period of time, having the samples of the pure viral agent and the data allowed them to do this at an accelerated rate 
  • The rest of the team reported back to Malkar that ithkrall was dead and that they were escorting his followers off-world and in to exile. 
  • The team then staged another break-in at the facility and destroyed all the stored virus 
  • This set off an alarm and the Malkar reported that the team was now a public enemy. They donned robs and tried to blend with the crowds. 
  • Doran the Luxon found them and hurriedly took them to meet Tallarn, the council member who greeted them at the docks. 
  • They showed Tallarn the information they had recovered and what was really going on. 
  • They formulated a plan to rally the council leadership and to take back the council spire and depose Malkar. 
  • Part of this plan was to use the recently returned Pilgrim as a figurehead. The poor kid watched the evidence and very nervously agreed to help over throw the government. 
  • Malkar declared martial law, and revealed additional security forces he had kept hidden. Stun sticks were now turned to kill settings, and his forces swept town searching for the team door-to-door. 
  • Dr Vox was dropped on the city outskirts with the small batch of vaccines they had put together (10), Doran met him and they evaded security patrols using the sewer network. Doran also donned his battered Luxon uniform for the occasion, and his old service weapon

The uprising

  • Many of the leadership turned out, with their people and a mass peaceful movement of people marched towards the council spires, singing songs of praise and peace, all unarmed, but numbering in the tens of thousands. 
  • Malkars security forces formed a line to defend the spires, armed with energy melee weapons, and a pair of heavy repeating blasters
  • They opened fire on the protesters, killing hundreds, but even centuries of pacifism doesn't stop the fact that Trandoshans, even unarmed, are fearsome fighters. 
  • The team focused on taking out security personnel and keeping the pilgrim safe. with Inomo using his force powers to bolster the pilgrims confidence.
  • Through sheer weight of numbers, the protestors overwhelmed the security forces and the hevay weapons, but the death toll was considerable. 
  • Then a cloaked ship, about the size of a freighter, landed in the middle of the crowd, killing scores more
  • A figure emerged, although the team couldn't see them. All they could hear was the sound of a lightsabre and the screams of the dying. 
  • The team rushed to engage this figure, who was a Chiss with a mask over his lower face, armed with a red lightsabre, they couldn't land a hit on him. 
  • He seemed interested in Inomo, who fled back into the crowd, while Ana, Dr Vox and Oli tried to shoot him dead. 
  • The crowd moved away from the Chiss while the team engaged him. 
  • The pilgrim was raised high up on the shoulders of Tor the largest Trandoshan anyone had ever seen, who listed his skills as "lifting heavy things and moving heavy things"
  • Bolstered by force confidence, the pilgrim said "he is one, he cannot kill us all, we will prevail"
  • Even with his skill with a lightsabre, and the force, he knew he was no match for 10,000 people acting with one mind. And retreated to his ship (which Ana was trying to rig with an explosive charge, but failed)
  • With the evil Chiss vanquished for now, the vanguard of the team, the pilgrim, Tor, Doran, Tallarn and a few others raced for the council spire. 
  • The remaining guards, upon seeing them arrive, lowered their weapons and turned their backs, all the guards in the spire did the same. 
  • Malkar was on the observation platform, but when they arrived two council members through him off the spire and onto the ground below. 
  • These two members were named in the data as accomplices, so were placed under arrest. 


  • The pilgrim was placed in charge of the government, and Tallarn as his cheif advisor. 
  • They pledged to do anything to stop the outbreak and to help the rebellion 
  • Ithkrall went into exile, knowing that his sins and inaction would always represent a reminder of these dark days
  • Jel called off the invasion fleet, and demanded all data pertinent to the virus, it's manufacture and release
  • When informed of the Chiss with the lightsabre, he had no idea who that could be, and that his cloaked ship was not one that existed on Kronos records. 
  • He asked that the team meet him in Kronos as soon as possible, so they could help him get to the bottom of the conspiracy, find out who the Sith was, and get the means to cure the virus out to as many as needed it as soon as possible. 


This was a long story, and a deep story, with some dark themes and epic moments. The mass protest scene, with the players reacting to the deaths of hundreds of innocents was particularly powerful, and, remarkably, so was the "we are one" moment where the rebels helped unite a community against evil.

I like shades of grey in my stories, but this was one where the bad guys were truly bad, and the people were truly good. And it was a nice story to tell. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...