Friday, 1 September 2017

VASA Militia

One of the weirder troop types you could field as a VASA force in Void and Void1.1, was a citizen's militia. Not even a militia that you had equipped with helmets and basic military hardware, but a militia in street clothes who had basically armed themselves. In many ways, these were the troops that I always imagined Suppressors were equipped to suppress, not the type of troop I imagined fighting alongside the technologically advanced Space-U.N. But there you go. VASA could field militia.

They were one of the first troop types the VASA got too, in BWM number 5, they were listed with the TAV MkIII, and the Knights of the Void. The reasoning goes:
The use of local militias conscripted by VASA in times of crisis goes right back to the Treaty of Vacillus, and is one of the central tenants of that august document. Because VASA was setting itself up as a diplomatic body rather than a military power, it had no absolute right to control the movements of Tripartate military forces. However, if VASA was to effectively act as a security force policing all of human space, then it had to rely on more than just its own legions, who are, to this day, thinly spread across the galaxy. A solution that was agreed to by all the major signatories of the treaty gave VASA security garrisons the right to conscript citizens of local populations when a state of emergency was declared.
Although, even here, it doesn't really say why VASA couldn't give these guys a uniform to distinguish them from the local rabble, and if they did want them to do proper policing, a uniform and the appropriate hardware wouldn't go amiss!

In the past, I actually fielded these guys a couple of times, since I had the miniatures. Man were they ever in the wrong place at the wrong time these guys. They were much better suited for scenario play, as folks that VASA had to protect, even if they didn't always want protecting.

Needless to say, as I was an avid collector of Void miniatures, I did buy a whole bunch of these guys. I even got round to painting a few of them. Here are some of the militia miniatures I painted about 15 years ago.


These four were pretty much the only ones I painted up at the time of playing Void, and I remember being very happy with them at the time (apart from Jed, he's clearly unfinished). I have however pulled these guys out of retirement to play a role in other Sci-Fi gaming projects, and so here is one of the same batch of minis with a more up-to-date paint job. If I do say so myself, I have improved slightly over the years. 

 

I've even put a brush to some of those older paint jobs to bring them more up to date. Maybe more of those soon.

EDIT:
I had previously wondered at the lack of this troop type in the Urban War game, until I was reminded on the Void 1.1 Nexus Facebook page that they were indeed introduced into Urban War. In the Urban War Battles With Miniatures number 3, we are introduced to the Militia troop type. This time, in a move reminiscent of the old Void rules, they were available to VASA, Junkers and Viridian forces. Players paid 17 points per model, then the fun begins.
In Urban War, Militia models are a problem:
"...commanders can never be entirely sure how the militia will perform under fire."
At the beginning of each battle, Payers had to roll to randomly determine 1: the Militia type (their stat line), 2: their CAL, 3: their equipment, 4: any additional equipment and finally 5: their Quirks. Quirks could be bad, or good.

Finally, Militia have a couple of special rules. Home Turf allows them to have a +1 initiative to the force they belong to for every 2 surviving Militia models, as they know the area, coupled with Militia Targeting, where there poor/absent military training means they are not great at selecting the best target to attack with priority.

Now I remember why I had forgotten about them. I'm not really someone who enjoys random selection of troops, even if they are cheap, though I can see that they do have a place with some scenarios.

In conclusion, the general Sci-Fi look and nature of these minis, means that you'll see them pooping up in many other games and miniature collections. So they do have a life beyond Void and Urban War, but they are a 'fun' troop type and make for good scenario play in both Void and Urban War.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Urban War Viridians


Back in 2004 or so, when I was a resident of Edinburgh. I used to wander in to the bricks and mortar Urban mammoth store, as it was literally right round the corner from my flat. I was quite the regular, and through my many visits, I amassed a pile of minis for most of the factions for Urban War. The faction I played most was the Triads, but I picked quite a few minis for the Viridians as well. Not that I ever wanted to play them, but just because they looked so damned cool.

Skip forward 12 years or so, and I've finally got round to completing this group of Viridian Minis. These have all been posted individually over the years on my blog, but I thought it would be fun to share them all with you here now that I am done.

I'm not sure who the sculptor was for these minis but I'm pretty sure Kev White was something to do with some of them, and I would be very interested to find out for sure. So if anyone out there has more info on that, please let me know.









I am currently getting these minis prepped and painted for a new game, Rogue Stars. This is a SciFi games tames a squad of 4-5 figures per side. A little smaller than Urban War in scale, but the Urban War minis for the genre perfectly. This will also be used as an excuse to bring my Triads back to the front of the painting queue. Any game that lets us use or re-use these wonderful figures has to be a good thing.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Wappelicious




If you follow the prolific mini painter James Wappel on his blog, then you cannot help but notice his love of Void and Urban War minis. He has written that some of his favourite models to paint are the VASA Archangels from Void. His love of these minis is apparent on his site, as he has painted multiple versions of them, in a wide array of styles, and has even used their very identifiable wings in other projects.

These models were so successful, they were kept exactly the same and used throughout all later versions of the game, until; finally replaced with a much more forgettable version of the archangel. They are also some of my favourite miniatures from this range, and indeed many others, and the simplicity of the design, and the art of the sculpt has meant they have aged very well.

As far as I can tell, they are Kev White sculpts, but I may be mistaken in that.

I don't want this to become just a showcase for stolen images from James Wappels blog, so please, do yourself a favour and go over there ad have a look through his posts with minis from the Void and Urban War ranges. You'll be amazed, I promise you. And if you only click on one link from those listed below, let it be THIS ONE (which is also the source of the image above).


Archangels
VASA
Junkers
Void Viridians
Urban War Viridians

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Void 1.1 Nexus

Image result for facebook logo

There's a new group of Facebook for fans of Void, the Void 1,1 Nexus. Head on over to join the group and share in your love of Void 1.1 and the Void multiverse. The more people we get in communities like this the better for the fandom

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Evolution of the Shogun Battlesuit

The last few posts I've put up here have been more related to Urban War, than to Void, so I decided that we needed another post that turned that back around, even if I do swerve back to Urban War at the end, but given the theme of the post is evolution, I think that's inevitable.

As I have previously mentioned, my main force for Void was VASA. One of the defining units of the VASA forces of Void 1.1 were the Bird of Prey battlesuits. There were many versions of these (Shogun, Crucifier, Typhoon), and they had multiple roles on the table. In this post, I will be concentrating on the Shogun battlesuit, not because it was my favourite to field, that honour fell to the Typhoon, of which I may say more in another post. Here I'll be talking more about the evolution of the Shogun Battlesuit. I think the first of the Bird of Prey battlesuits to be released, and one that is still around in the later iterations of the

VASA Shogun

The Birds of Prey Battlesuits seem to be an evolution on the idea of the Crucifier exosuits that were mentioned in Battles with Miniatures no 5.
Crucifiers are massive linear frames, giving VASA marine pilots four VR controlled arms upon which various weapons can be mounted. In combat the Mk I's are devastating (if somewhat slow) close assault troops, whilst the Mk II's provide long-range capability.
The Crucifiers exosuits filled the roles that were to be taken with the Crucifier and Typhoon Battlesuits, whereas the Shogun filled a close combat role that the Crucifiers did not. However, these were clearly the seed of the idea that became the Birds of Prey battlesuits.


The first rules for the Birds of Prey were released in Battles with Miniatures no 8, where we are told:
Birds of Prey are fully enclosed Battlesuits, based on the Exosuits used by Junker armed forces (although significantly improved upon).
The most common variant is the Shogun, armed with the potent Ion Katana and a Negatron shield for protection, as well as being equipped with gravitron pulse packs
These guys could be taken in units of up to 4 battlesuits, which was quite a large investment in money and points, but was certainly to be reckoned with on the table. We didn't see any miniatures until the release of the VASA forcebook. Here we see not one, but 3 variants of the miniature. One standing, one landing and one launching.




Shogun standing in Midnight Ravens colour scheme. Source


I actually have the second version of this suit, the Shogun launching, which seems to be harder to find in terms of google searches for images of the miniature. Neither the landing nor launching variants are currently available on the Scotia Grendel Website. There may be many reasons for this, including loss of moulds. One of my theories, at least for the launching version, is that the sculpt was just very unbalanced, so much so that I never fully assembled the model I have.

Version four of the Shogun was released later, with individual parts that better matched other battlesuits, either due to design choices, or to reduce production costs, this version of the shogun was made with the same look as the Crucifier and Typhoon, who always had a plainer form. I for one did not mourn the loss of the Spartan type helmet, but I do see that there was something lost in this version of the miniature.
Source

Triad shogun

The original concept art for the Shogun Battlesuit for Urban war still had the wings and banner of the original model, which was dropped quite quickly for the final version.
source
source
With issue one of the Urban War magazine (issue two being the basic rules) came the release of the Urban War version of the Shogun, in fact, it made the cover of issue 1.
VASA and the Triad clans enjoy an uneasy alliance, one of convenience. It is not in VASA's long-term interests to give full aid to the Triads in Iskandria, and thus VASA's arsenal of sophisticated high-tech weaponry will not be left in the hands of the criminal underworld. However, the Triads have their own methods, long traffikers in stolen technology and military hardware they possess many potent weapons and devices. The Oni class battlesuit is one such, used in the violent but ritualised gang wars that punctate Triad politics, its existence was a closely guarded secret by all the clans. It is clearly based on classified VASA Shogun designs, though it lacks the latter's jump capability. The usual armament is a naginata or katana close combat weapon, backed up by an autogun mounted in the 'head' of the battlesuit.
Urban War, Battles with Miniatures issue 1 pg37.

Two vesions of the now Oni Shogun battlesuit were released for the Triad Faction for Urban War one with shield and katana, like the original, and one with a naginata. So both versions maintained the primarily melee focus of the original version, albeit with added short range capability.



In Urban War, the VASA force retired the Shogun battlesuit, replacing it with the Executioner, a very different beast in terms of design, but retaining the close combat role of the Shogun.


My version of the Triad Shogun can be seen in more detail here.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Urban War Triads

If you follow my personal blog, then you'll know that a new game coming out onto the market has renewed my interest in sci-fi miniature gaming. which has of course directly led to me not only digging out my Void and Urban War minis, but also sitting down and painting a bunch of them. How many you ask? Well, to put it one way, I now have many many more Urban War and Void minis painted, based and ready to play than I ever did whilst I was regularly playing either of these games. 

That is indeed a good thing to my mind, as it has given me time to look again and appreciate anew these wonderful miniatures. One faction that I don't think ever got enough love back in the day were the Triads. The miniature for this faction were and still are so very different from all else that is out there. I do think that their rules let them down a little, and meant they didn't always get the love, but by taking on a new rule-set with them, I can rectify this, and give these wonderful miniatures the rules they deserve to have.

So, without further ado, I would like to present all in one place, my current selection of painted Triads for Urban War.










The only Triads I have left to paint are a couple more Sumotori, which I do intend to finish soon. My only regret is that I didn't buy more of these guys when I had the chance. Some of the sniper miniatures specifically are wonderful sculpts. Shame their rules sucked back in the day.