Thursday, 30 April 2015

Void 1.0, Generic Force Construction.

Tiger APC
Here we go ladies and gentlemen, my first actual post for the blog, and I thought I'd go back to the beginning. Are we sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

Back when Void first came out, I-Kore, the company behind it hit upon what I thought was an ingenious idea. The game would include 4 human factions to begin with (Koralon were also released at the beginning, but from the start they stood apart with none of the access to the basic troop types I'm talking about here). They would release various kinds of standard miniatures that were accessible to all players, no matter their faction of choice, and there would be specialist miniatures only accessible by certain factions, thereby allowing them to still have a unique identity.

The forces available to everyone were the Marines, Legionnaires, and Androsynths. The vehicles that were part of the initial release, the Korvus and Tiger APC were also generic in their availability. I thought this was a great idea, as I could buy the basic minis of these types, plus a character or two for whatever tickled my fancy, and be able to field any of the 4 armies at low cost. It also benefited the company, as players from all factions would be buying the same minis, helping them keep costs down in terms of sculpting, and helping them recoup funds to invest in new sculpts.

There was the further advantage that all factions had access to the same technology. Something that always bugged me about some games was the fact that there could be a large gap in the tech level of various factions. This may make some sense in a fantasy setting, and it is an easy way to have a difference in play style between factions, but I always thought that in a futuristic setting, where the free market was a factor, why couldn't my army buy those super laser cannons to replace the shotguns that keep me in theme?

Homeworld Starter Army.
Buy now, choose your faction later.
This was not the case with Void 1.0. Here, no matter what army I was playing, I could field battle-bots. Or I could have my VASA police force put their convict volunteers onto the front line too, and of course, everyone had access to marines, the standard trooper-type. This still makes some sense to me, even though I understand all the in game and out of game reasons why it is rare in wargames.

This politic would be lain aside as the game progressed, and more miniatures were made available for each faction, but I still think it was a good idea. Androsynths became the sole property of the Syntha. They must have repossessed all the units they sold to the other factions, either that or a virus over-wrote their programming, returning them to the Syntha fold. Legionnaires were only fielded by the Junkers, presumably as the other factions moral compass kicked in, stopping them from fielding convicts. The Marines remained the stock force of the Viridians, VASA, and even Syntha for a while, where they were phased out later. However, specific models for each force were released for VASA and Syntha which were clearly just the same mould reused with new helmets, but that's okay.

Bring this up to the present day, and there's absolutely nothing in the rules that stops you from fielding these generic forces as part of your army. Indeed, there's nothing in the rules that stops you now from adding Legionnaires to your Viridian force, for whatever fluff reason you can think of. It's a big wide universe out there, where there are many reasons why these troops are still fighting for the other side. I for one still quite fancy some VASA Androsynths.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

New Contributor

I would like to thank Richard for the chance to join in on this blog as a contributor. I would like to make a quick introduction of myself to you, gentle reader, before I launch into more gaming related posts.

My name is Derek, and I am a gamer. I also may have come across some of you on various gaming forums under the pseudonym Sasori. I have been table-top gaming in various forms for the last 27 years, and I have been blogging for the last 15 years, and I combined the two into a gaming blog just under four years ago in the guise of the miniatures blog Lead and Paint and my RPG inspired blog Mysteries of Montreal. Please go look them up if you haven't already, then come back here, as this is where the party's at!

In terms of my gaming background, I came in as most kids of my generation, through the Games Workshop door, via WFB 3rd Ed, I gave that up when 4th Ed came out, for a couple of reasons, but by then I was already hooked, and with my friends an local gamers, we moved on to see what else was out there. Cutting to 2000ish, when Void came out, my friends and I bought into it big time. All the armies were represented in our group, with the exception of Koralon for some reason. I think the original figures had a lot less of an appeal and fitted less with the aesthetic of the other armies, but that's for another post. After many years of playing Void, I-Kore, who made and sold the game morphed into Urban Mammoth, and Void mutated into Urban War. This came about at about the time I moved to Edinburgh for work, and to study. The flat I had at the time was right round the corner from Urban Mammoth's bricks and mortar store, while it existed, so I played in there quite frequently. Then the store closed, and Urban War faded, and I moved on to other games, then to other countries.

I guess that brings us up to the present, where I am a Scots/Canadian gamer and blogger, based in Montreal, playing lots of skirmish games like Warmachine and Dystopian Legions. I have never stopped having a soft spot for the Void family of games, and recently imported all my minis from my parents attic. When the Viridian Wars blog started, I was inspired to get these little metal men out of storage and do something with them. Since gaming with them is out right now, as I have yet to convince the locals to play, I can at least talk about them online, and paint them up.

What to expect from me here on the Viridian Wars blog? Well, I plan to have posts not only of my painted minis, but also my thoughts on the game and its history, and anything else I think may be interesting. With the demise of the most recent incarnation of the Void forums (there is still the seriously under-populated forum at Scotia Grendel), it would be sad to see the Void community die completely online, so this will be my small addition to the whole.

Sound good? Good, let's do this!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Syntha Upload


I had decided to delete this blog as I found myself suddenly terrified by the prospect of trying to get another blog up and running which totally killed my painting mojo.

Saying that, there was a part of me that was disappointed because as far as I can figure it, this is the only Void 1.1 dedicated blog out there at the moment (please feel free to prove me wrong as I'd love to see some more Void 1.1 goodies!) and it seemed like an admission that the game itself is dead. Coupled with the messages of dismay that I received from a few folks who seemed to enjoy my ramblings, I have decided to revive the Viridian Wars and try to keep the memory of Void 1.1 alive, even in a small way!

But enough rambling! Here's the latest additions to my Syntha force:

 Syntha thus far

I've now got a couple of Tactical Androsynths, an Assault Androsynth and an Assault T-Synth completed as well as a pair of marines I painted a while back:

Non classic Syntha colours!

I think I will rework these two a little to give them a more traditional Syntha colour scheme with black trousers, white vests and armour. I do hope they have some subdermal plates as otherwise their vests won't do much to stop a bullet!

I remember the artwork for the T-Synths coming out in one of the old Battles With Miniatures magazines and eagerly awaited the sculpts too.

T-Synth artwork

Sadly, I do feel the sculptor skimped a bit on the detailing of the final sculpt. Yes its inkeeping with the sleek finish of the Syntha range but I can't help but feel the actual miniature is a bit too clean and the Tesla blades, which are some of the most fearsome close combat weapons in the game look a little tame...

I tried to go for as smooth a finish as possible with the big fellow but notice there's a few spots on his torso that could have done with a bit more highlighting and blending to get a more pleasing finish. Looking at the figures now, I am tempted to add a bit more grime and corrosion to them to make them look like they are on campaign rather than fresh off the assembly line (please feel free to give some suggestions or feedback on the paintwork!)

I also added a bit of a glow to the Tesla Blades themselves as the original plan of painting them silver just didn't look right. I'm not entirely pleased with the finished effect but it will do for the time being.

 Another view

Still, I can't complain too much as once painted, the T-Synth is an impressive sight and towers mere humans!

 Assault Androsynth and T-Synth comparison 

Ironically, this isn't the first T-Synth I've painted. Some years ago I painted this fellow as a Cybertronic/Mechanicus combat droid:

Red T-Synth sergeant

I must admit that I love the red and black armour as it looks rather dynamic and characterful. Maybe I will paint up a squad using those colours to act as an elite or special forces unit...

I have also been experimenting with a bit of 15mm scale stuff. Yes I know it's not technically official Void 1.1 but I want to explore the possibilities of collecting and painting a couple of forces for those of us on a budget.

Up until a couple of years ago, it was possible to pick up Void 1.1 miniatures on Ebay for a pittance but bargains have become increasingly rare these days and the moulds that Scotia Grendel are using are beginning to show their age. I bought all these chaps from Scotia Grendel a few years ago and every single figure had some really bad mould lines or miscasts on them requiring lots of cleanup (which I hate) I would go as far as to say that if I hadn't bought them direct, I would have suspected that they were dodgy recasts.

Having not bought from Scotia Grendel for a while now, I can't say if the casting quality has improved or not but I do find myself on a really tight budget these days so buying new figures is frowned upon!

The answer I have come up with is to continue painting through the assorted goodies I have lying around which consists of quite a few more Syntha and various other bits and bobs while proxying a small force or two in 15mm scale.

That Way! 

I suspect I will be able to compile a decent Syntha 15 force for about £10-£20 while in 28mm, they would cost £40-£60 and take forever to paint. Worry not though, I do intend on keeping going with my 28mm scale stuff but am more likely to get some actual games in at a more forgiving scale!

With this in mind, I have painted up this little fellow as a test piece for my Syntha:

Prosthene Sergeant

He's a Ground Zero Games miniature and looks the business for a high tech Prosthene, just how the Syntha operates. I have enough of the little chaps to build a decent squad and I have been snooping around to see if I can't find some more suitable bits and bobs from the many manufacturers that have cropped up over the years and hope to report some progress over the coming weeks!

In the meantime, all the best!