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Spartan Blog updates galore!

A massive stream of stuff has come from those lovely chaps over at Spartan Games. They have given a preview of some of the goodness that is to come from Studio Sparta for Dystopian Legions! Feast your eyes…

Colonel Samuel H. MacDonald

Yes, the Britannians can be lead by an old guy in a Steam powered Wheelchair and indeed, why not?

The world of Dystopian Wars appears to be a very inclusive one, Wheelchairs and prosthetics are clearly an advantage in the officer classes!

Germanic, steam powered, Mini-gun equipped, terminators FTW!

This man has yet to earn his prosthesis

Tesla Bayonettes. Win

Yankees!

More Yankees!

Yankee Officer!

I like them, but the guns seem a little small, un-American to utilize a stereotype.

Kingdom of Britannia Knights Templar

For England, Harry and St. George! Knight Templar = Yum!

Empire of the Blazing Sun Ryuma Steambike

Very possibly my favourite of the bunch. Samarai Steambike! Sounds like an ’80s cartoon!

Check out the spartan blog for more information on all of those as well as this…

The Fresnel Class Support Cruiser is a new and terrible weapon that has only recently been encountered amongst the fleets of the Frozen South.

The warship is, in most respects of a conventional design, if you can ever call a ship of the Covenant Ghost Fleet in any way conventional. However, the rather considerable exception to this is the energy weapon mounted atop the its spine.

Fresnel Class Support Cruiser

Fresnel Class Support Cruiser

From what can been gathered from photographic aeroplanes, this weapon is far more than a mere up-scaled energy weapon. Upon closer inspection one will see that the objects along the broadsides are not the unusual gun-spheres, but some kind of strange electrical apparatus. Likewise, the great turret atop the ship is not as it appears, whilst it has clearly been seen firing beams of radiant energy, it is not an energy turret, but a great, articulated assembly of lenses.

Fresnel Class Support Cruiser

The only rational conclusion that can be drawn with these facts is that the Fresnel is nothing less than a water-borne focusing array for Covenant Energy Weapons. The beams fired from other vessels entering the ship by its sides, before being focused, refined and amplified into a single attack, far more powerful than the sum of its parts.

Annonnax Class Submersible

Annonnax Class Submersible

The Annonnax is without any doubt one of the strangest, most inconceivable and technologically advanced machines yet seen to come out of the Covenant of Antarctica.

Annonnax Class Submersible

The fighting machine’s existence has only been confirmed in the past few weeks, with multiple sightings of its use in combat along the northern cost, however for several months now there has been reports of weapons shipments coming under fatal attack from supposed ‘sea monsters’.

Annonnax Class Submersible

From the information that has been gathered, and from ample speculation by the scientific community, the following has been established. The Annonnax is a submersible, yet able to come aground and move like a writhing snake – making it equally at home travelling overground or underwater.

Annonnax Class Submersible

Although details are still uncertain, it appears that the great machine strikes at its prey – be it a warship or a tank – by ramming it and attacking with its great mechanical maw.

Annonnax Class Submersible

It also appears to have some kind of powerful energy weapon, although any exact details of this are unknown at this time, as regrettably, no one who has yet encountered the weapon at close range has survived to report back.

Annonnax Class Submersible

Annonnax Class Submersible vs. Ika Class Mechanical Squid

 

 

New Dystopian Goodies

Brought to my attention by The Bear I show you some new Dystopian Wars Flyers and buildings!

And now, smexy bunkers…

Great stuff all round!

The Alamo…

 

Federated States of America Mobile Airfield

Just when you thought it was save to leave the Spartan Games blog, they throw this at you!

Somewhere above the mayhem of battle the deafening roar of massive engines echoes through the billowing smoke of fire and war. The massive tracked behemoths that already tower above the men on the field are themselves dwarfed by this mechanical monstrosity. Land Ships, previously the giants of the battlefield, pale into insignificance below the enormous belted tracks of the Alamo Class Mobile Airfield. But what else would you expect when an entire military base has been uprooted and mobilised.

Federated States of America - Alamo Class Mobile Airfield (Front)Federated States of America – Alamo Class Mobile Airfield (Front)

The Alamo Class Mobile Airfield is truly a monster of a model, you won’t believe how big it is until it’s sitting on your gaming table ready to flatten the enemy forces in its path under the weight of those massive tracks. The Mobile Airfields and Sky Fortresses have been some of the biggest, and most daunting, model’s we’ve made for Dystopian Wars, and as such we’ve tried to make them the centrepieces for your battle groups.

Federated States of America - Alamo Class Mobile Airfield (with Washington Class Land Ship)Federated States of America – Alamo Class Mobile Airfield (with Washington Class Land Ship)

The Americans have always been a fun one to make, and usually have a hefty dose of Americana in theirmakeup, most of the tanks favour the front on, big-wheeled chopper style and the Mobile Airfield was never going to be an exception. Although we loved the mono-tracked design of the smaller tanks, we hit a wall on the drawing board trying to fit that in with the flight deck as well.

Federated States of America - Alamo Class Mobile Airfield (Top)Federated States of America – Alamo Class Mobile Airfield (Top)

Most of the solutions were a bit ridiculous, even by Steampunk standards. Even making it multi-tracked we put a lot of extra effort into the track design to really give this beast the feel of tearing up the ground as it passed through, emphasising the massive scale of this beast. The final result is one of Dystopian Wars’ biggest mechanical behemoths and one that will make the Federated States of America proud.

Federated States of America - Alamo Class Mobile Airfield (Deck Detail)Federated States of America – Alamo Class Mobile Airfield (Deck Detail)

Federated States of America - Alamo Class Mobile Airfield (Front)Federated States of America – Alamo Class Mobile Airfield (Front)

Full Thrust, Spaceship Combat from Ground Zero Games

Full Thrust Review

Full Thrust is a Spaceship Combat game created, by Ground Zero Games (GZG) to be a generic rule set to allow you to create your own background settings. It does have a background of its own however and this has always been good enough for me! Ground Zero Games produces a fantastic, ever growing, set of Starships to be used for the game (or another game if you fancy. GZG is all about generalist rules and models) I personally find the game very enjoyable but if you cannot face a game that is not balanced for competitive play, this may not be the game for you. The rules are not in print but all the books are available for download from the GZG website along with the other games they have written.

Rules

The rules can be a little confusing. The main reason for this is that there are a number of books and the rules tend to change a little from book to book, even the basic rules can change! For this reason I have found that I need all the books to play a game. This is not ideal but they are all PDF format so I have them on my Kindle. This game does require some preparation before the game. The fashion for stat cards recently is one that would fit perfectly with Full Thrust but there are none at present and none in the pipeline so far as I know. All ships have a “Ship Status Display” which is what you use to track the ships in your fleet for damage (See the picture below). This has various symbols on it for your weapons and systems as well as a hull damage track. I have explored the possibility of creating my own set of laminated cards. This will take some time initially but once done will save you time in the long run and mean you will not need reams of paper for every game.

See? How much does this scream Stat Card?

The game has rules for creating your own ships and here is where the game does not work competitively. Its is heavy on the maths and tricky to master the ship building but I have managed it, so anyone can. But its is not really restricted enough for tournements. For example I was able to place an extremely powerful gun on a frigate sized ship (It was the only one I have created stats for) That frigate won me a few games on its own due to the sheer damage it was capable of throwing out. The Wave Gun should not be able to be put onto something the size of a frigate. I recommend sticking with the stats that are provided in the books for your games as these are largely fairly balanced. Note however that the fleet books mostly feature stats for ships no longer available. There are new rules in them as well, so they are worth downloading but the ships in these books will not correlate to the models presently available as GZG have been redesigning them. Luckily there are some lovely chaps that have been writing rules for the new ships and tried to make them very balanced. These are seen as “official” until a new rulebook is released (Not any time soon)

The Rules themselves are pretty easy to follow. The only issue you will have is because a lot of the rules are optional and some of the rules change from one book to another, you can loose track of which rules are currently in use. For my games we kept it fairly simple and stuck with the basic rules. What GZG really need to do is make a new version of the rules with all the current rules in one place. Once you have settled on the rules you want to use and not use everything is simple and flows well, its just a case of remembering which rules you are using!

United Nation Space Command Ships

The main appeal to me of the basic rules is the plotted move orders. In this you have a piece of a4 paper with each ship on a spreadsheet and you write down the movement orders for that turn in a shorthand format. So you write a course, course changes, speed and any increase/decrease of thrust, at the same time your opponent writes his and then move your models at the same time as your opponent. This allows for a slightly faster game for a start, but also means the game is very strategic and tactical as you have to guess where your opponent is going to go and move your fleet accordingly, If you called it right thats great but if not you could easily be well out of position. In this movement phase certain weapon systems such as missiles are moved before you move your ships. No seeing where they go and reacting to it! This is possible because before the game a course “clock” is used to set what direction is what and stays that way for the game. The shooting runs well with little to be concerned about as far as flow goes. Some weapons can be over powered but none of them feature in the “official” models rules and are in the game to allow you to create ships for scenarios and such if you so desire.

All in all this is one of the favourite games I’ve played. To the point that a cash flow crises has led me to sculpt a fleet of ships for the race called the Sa’Vasku from green stuff

Photobucket

My Superdreadnought. I shall call him squishy, and he will be MY squishy.

It is well worth downloading the rules for all GZGs games really, as they are all very popular in their fields, from 6mm (Epic scale) to 28mm sci fi. All with the potential to interlock, allowing you to stage a full scale fleet invasion of a star system, complete with defence force and startbases, establish a beachhead on a planet and begin to conquer it! None of them are really rulesets for beginner gamers but anyone used to playing tabletop games will appreciate the rules and the depth you can get to tactically with these games. As I said before Full Thrust is not designed for tournament play but scenarios and narrative play are where its at. Rogue Trader vets will likely appreciate the level of detail available to them as I know some lament the “dumbing down” of games like 40k. I recommend trying full thrust even with paper counters to get a feel of how things work, before spending a lot on models…

Models

Not to much I can say here as I have not bought the recent models. I had some of the older Neu Swabian League (or Germans, to you and me) models and they were basic but nice. The new models look to have greater levels of detail. So aside from saying they look really good, I can be of limited help there. Here are some of the models for your perusal…

FT-527
NSL Escort Cruiser
FT-431A

Alien Kra'Vak Heavy Battleship

FT-243

ESU (Russians and Chinese) Light Carrier

Please leave comments on how this review is. I have not reviewed a product before and I want to know what I can do to improve. Below are links to GZG website, store and resource.

Links

Ground Zero Games Website

Ground Zero Games Webstore

Full Thrust Fleet Resource