Saturday, November 25, 2017

Stargrunt 15mm Kra'Vak

Been busy the last few days working on a large batch of Ground Zero Games' 15mm Kra'Vak, the canonical Bad Guys of the First Xeno War. 

Two lots of infantry, each with command, heavy weapons, and a supporting grav drone.


 
Two packs of the new alien warbeasts with their handlers. 


 
Quite a few different infantry sculpts in the range - and all of these have "face mask" variants with head swaps available from GZG.  Myself I prefer the bare-headed version since the sculptor did such a good job actually giving them clear (and very alien) facial features, but the "goalies" do allow for more variety.


 
And a quartet of the new grav bikes.  Wonderful sculpts, these.  They require some assembly but go together well and the detailing is excellent.  GZG is doing more and more minis sculpted using a 3D drafting program and these are an excellent example of the results of the process.




 
Group shot to give a feel for scale of the various figures.

 
Ground Zero Games sells all these figures on their web site over here: 
 
 
 
Worth mentioning that GZG is one of the fastest and most reliable shippers in the industry, and has some of the best customer service I've ever encountered.  Order with confidence, folks.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Full Thrust Xar Fleet Revisited

 

Had some time to work on the Xar fleet project I started back in this post:

http://brokenstarsburningships.blogspot.com/2017/08/full-thrust-xarr-strike-swarm.html

The fleet's grown considerably, with three new classes of ships.  UNDIA is deeply concerned by this expansion, largely because they're rapidly running out of codenames that start with the letter X and no one wants to lose a ship to a Xylophone.  New intelligence has also led to the original "Xenophobe" class being re-rated as a frigate-class hull, now equipped with a full-powered pulse torpedo.  In other words, I finally got around to comparing the minis sizes and decided the little guys are way too big to be mere corvettes.



Xevexex-class Xar Assault Frigate (UNDIA Codename Xenophobe)

Mass 24 NPV 81 / CPV 63
Thrust 6  q 3 q
FTL q
1 Fire Control System q
1 PDS q
1 Pulse Torpedo (F/FS/FP) q
1 Armor, 6 Hull (2/2/1/1, 2 DCTs)
m
qq
pq
q
p
An agile and aggressive design, the Xenophobe has been designated as an assault frigate by UNDIA observers.  They commonly operate in strike swarms of up to a dozen ships, relying on speed, concentrated fire, and sheer numbers to make up for their small size compared to most human combat vessels.  Equipped with an alien equivalent to human pulse torpedoes, they pack a powerful punch for their size but suffer from a lack of rear-arc weapons coverage.





Xovaxex-class Xar Assault Frigate (UNDIA Codename Xenovore)

Mass 24 NPV 81 / CPV 63
Thrust 6  q 3 q
FTL q
1 Fire Control System q
7 Beam-1 (360) qqqqqqq
1 Armor, 6 Hull (2/2/1/1, 2 DCTs)
m
qq
pq
q
p
The Xenovore class shares major spaceframe elements with the Xenophobe, but sports a completely different and more specialized weapons payload.  Studded with light energy projectors, these ships have very short range but tremendous hitting power and unequalled firing arcs.  They lack dedicated point defense systems but the sheer amount of beam fire they can put out still makes them a hard target for fighters and missiles.  Xenovores make up the majority of most assault swarms, backed up by smaller numbers of ships armed with longer-ranged weaponry.




Xax-class Core Cruiser (UNDIA Codename Xerxes)

Mass 74 NPV 316 / CPV 329

Thrust 6  q 3 q
FTL q
Screen-1 q
ECM System q
2 Fire Control Systems qq
2 Point Defense Systems qq
3 Beam-2 (F/FP/FS) qqq
1 Pulse Torpedo (F/FP/FS) q
1 Armor, 21 Hull
qqqqqp
qqqqq
qpqqq
qqqpp

The exact role of the Xax class is poorly understood by human intelligence analysts.  They appear only in very small numbers (rarely more than one a swarm) and carry extensive sensor jamming systems but don't act as any kind of recon or stealth ship.  They carry slightly heavier weapons than the smaller assault frigate classes but don't appear to be pure combat ships.  They are among the largest commonly seen Xar ships but they don't seem to perform any actual command role, and their destruction has no appreciable effect on swarm coordination.




Xavxevxevvex-class Scout (UNDIA Codename Xanthous)

Mass 6

NPV 32 / CPV 27
Thrust 8  q 4 q
FTL q
Enhanced Sensor System  q
Point Defense System q
1 Hull
p
Xanthous?  What does that even mean?  Oh.  Yellowish.  Okay, I guess I see that.  You sure we're not just running out of X words?  Well, okay.  It's a tiny scout ship.  Most swarm fleets have one or two along.  They often show up in advance of the main attack and scan defending systems for opposition and then lead the assault ships to them.  Pretty much unarmed and as fragile as it gets.  Kill them if you can, but don't waste shots on them if something with more teeth is in range.

You can find a fleet of these ships on ebay right now over here:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/282706963423

 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Full Thrust Islamic Federation Fleet Gallery & Rules Suggestions

 
Having recently finished painting up the full range of Islamic Federation starship miniatures from Ground Zero Games
 
 
I thought I'd try writing them up for use in Full Thrust.  There's been an article up for ages now over here
 
 
with suggested stats and the playtest rules for heavy missiles but I wanted to put my own spin on them.  After thinking about it a bit I decided to build the fleet with a specific play style featuring high thrust, relatively fragile hulls, and fairly close range weaponry.  They don't have to go for knife-fighting tactics but they definitely want to crowd in to 18 MU and under.  Their firing arcs are fairly broad but very forward-oriented, which is compensated for by powerful drives that allow excellent turning radii under the cinematic movement rules.
 
 
The Islamic Federations uses two unusual weapons in this list.  A few ships carry Heavy Missile Racks, the rules for which can be found at the playtest link above. 
 
All ships carry a signature weapon called the Fusion Cannon, which can be thought of as being pretty much a starship-scale direct fire fusion gun.  The technology is a very distant relative of the Phalon plasma bolt weaponry and uses a similar magneto/gravitic field to aim and contain the plasma.  This has a range of 18 MU and rolls 1d6 (no rerolls apply on sixes) to determine its effect:
 
1-3 - No damage, the shot misses.
4-5 - roll 1d6 again and the weapon scores that much damage.
6    - roll 2d6 and the weapon scores that much damage.
 
Fusion Cannon are affected by screen systems much like standard beams are.  Level one screens negate effect rolls of 4, and level two screens also reduce the damage on an effect roll of 6 to just 1d6 instead of 2d6.  Observant players will note that this is mechanically identical to the "no rerolls" version of the playtest Graser rules found here
 
 
Unsurprisingly, Fusion Cannons have a Mass of 2 for single arc fire, 3 for three arcs of fire, and 4 for six arcs of fire, and cost Mass x3 (the norm for "weak" Grasers). 
 
 
The IslamaFed ships invariably have three-arc Fusion Cannons, with focusing and guidance elements for the weapons in those big crescent wings of theirs - they aren't just for show, you know.  Current technology has never managed to make extended range versions akin to the larger Grasers, and the energy systems involved tend to be dangerously unstable when damaged, partly explaining the fragility of IF ship designs.  Most human navies have moved on to more versatile weapons systems, but the Islamic Federation is one of the largest manufacturers of groundside fusion weaponry and they've expanded their expertise into the arena of space combat with some success.
 
 
Al-Shaulah class Strikeship
 
 
The Al-Shaulah class is the smallest armed starship commonly seen in IslamaFed fleets, and is most often used en masse.  An individual strikeship has little chance of surviving even a brief battle but a swarm of them can drag down even capital ships in short order, especially when supported by larger and more durable ships.  Their main selling point is their extremely low procurement cost and high potential damage output.  Al-Shaulah crews are generally short-term volunteers seeking a speedy promotion within the naval ranks, although some do so only to avoid punishment for civil, religious, or military code infractions. 
 
 
Al-Shaulah class Strikeship
Mass 11  NPV 40 / CPV 30
Thrust 6  q 3 q
FTL q

1 Fire Control System q
1 Fusion Cannon (F/FP/FS) q
1 Beam-1 (360) q
1 Armor, 1 Hull
m
p
 
Khabar class Corvette

 
The Khabar class corvette is an enlarged version of the smaller Al-Shaulah, with a similar weapon loadout but a much more durable hull and longer cruising ranges before needing resupply.  They serve much the same role in fleet combat but are also more often called upon for convoy escort duties, recon patrols, and other tasks where greater endurance is a requirement.  Successful Khabar crews (ie the ones that survive an engagement or two) tend to be very good at damage control, as the class is prone to systems failures from even minor damage.

 

Khabar class Corvette
Mass 18 NPV 61 / CPV 46
Thrust 6  q 3 q
FTL q
1 Fire Control System q
1 Fusion Cannon (F/FP/FS) q
2 Beam-1 (360) qq
1 Armor, 4 Hull
m
o
o
o
p
 
Al Hawar class Frigate

 
Al-Hawar class frigates are the smallest IF class to mount the heavier grade two beam projector, giving them a notable range advantage over their lighter cousins.  They're still rather fragile and rely on their fusion cannon for much of their firepower, but their limited standoff capability helps them last long enough in fleet battles to be useful.  Frigates are the most common first assignment for new naval recruits and often suffer from relatively inexperienced crews, although their officers tend to be veterans and skilled at training FNGs.

 

Al Hawar class Frigate
Mass 24 NPV 81 / CPV 63
Thrust 6  q 3 q
FTL q
1 Fire Control System q
1 Fusion Cannon (F/FP/FS) q
1 Beam-2 (F/FP/FS) q
2 Beam-1 (360) qq
1 Armor, 6 Hull
m
oq
pq
o
p
 
Saladin class Destroyer

 
The most common IF escort to be regularly seen in larger fleet actions, the Saladin class is a hard-hitting ship for her size.  Dual fusion cannons on such a small frame make them deadly, but the class is plagued by the same vulnerability to catastrophic energy system failures that most ships with such armament suffer from.  Assignment to a Saladin is regarded as a career dead end for IF officers as their actions tend to be overlooked in fleet actions, which sometimes leads to dangerously aggressive ploys from captains seeking glory and promotion. 

 

Saladin class Destroyer
Mass 31 NPV 105 / CPV 84
Thrust 6  q 3 q
FTL q
1 Fire Control System q
2 Fusion Cannon (F/FP/FS) qq
1 Beam-2 (F/FP/FS) q
2 Beam-1 (360) qq
1 Armor, 7 Hull
m
qq
qp
qo
p

 

Ashraf class Light Cruiser

 
Most commonly seen leading patrols of lighter ships or "flying the flag" on frontier colonies, the Ashraf is an inexpensive but reliable small cruiser.  The class is optimized for long-duration missions and can go without logistics support for extended periods.  There is absolutely no definite evidence that many Ashraf hulls have been quietly sold to non-state powers such as paramilitary groups, pirate fleets, political resistance organizations, and similar "black hat" types. 

 

Ashraf class Light Cruiser
Mass 44 NPV 149 / CPV 124
Thrust 6  q 3 q
FTL q
2 Fire Control Systems qq
1 PDS q
2 Fusion Cannon (F/FP/FS) qq
2 Beam-2 (F/FP/AP) q (F/FS/AS) q
2 Beam-1 (360) qq
1 Armor, 11 Hull
m
qqq
pqq
qpq
qp

 
Sahaabah class Patrol Cruiser

 
While officially called a patrol cruiser, the Sahaabah class is often employed as a raider, either alone or alongside sister ships or smaller attack vessels.  The class is one of the few to carry heavy missile armament, giving her a very strong limited-use offensive punch and better engagement range than most IF ships.  These weapons are used either to gain an early edge in a battle, or to discourage or destroy pursuit when withdrawing.

 

Sahaabah class Patrol Cruiser
Mass 64 NPV 216 / CPV 193
Thrust 6  q 3 q
FTL q
Screen-1 q
2 Fire Control Systems qq
1 PDS q
2 Fusion Cannon (F/FP/FS) qq
2 Beam-2 (F/FP/AP) q (F/FS/AS) q
2 Beam-1 (360) qq
2 Heavy Missile Racks (F/FP/FS) qq
1 Armor, 16 Hull
m
qqqp
qqqp
qqqp
qqqp
 
Hattin class Heavy Cruiser

 
Short ranged for such a large cruiser, the Hattin trades reach and durability for agility and devastating damage output.  With a huge array of fusion cannon backed by multiple beam projectors, a Hattin is sudden death once she gets in range.  However, they do struggle against heavily screened targets and they suffer from the same fragility that all IF ships seem to.  Captains generally regard the Hattin as a plum assignment as they are powerful ships but not relegated entirely to fleet actions like larger capital ships are, thereby leaving more opportunities for earning fame and glory.

 

Hattin class Heavy Cruiser
Mass 84 NPV 286 / CPV 273
Thrust 6  q 3 q
FTL q
Screen-1 q
2 Fire Control Systems qq
1 PDS q
4 Fusion Cannon (F/FP/FS) qqqq
4 Beam-2 (F/FP/AP) qq (F/FS/AS) qq
2 Beam-1 (360) qq
1 Armor, 21 Hull
m
qqqqpq
qqqpq
qqqpq
qqqpp
 
Khartoum class Attack Cruiser

 
A relatively recent design to enter the fleet, the Khartoum class is a battlecruiser in all but name and a very dangerous ship.  Their fusion cannon array is second to none, although their secondary beam projector array is quite light for their tonnage.  Their role in the fleet seems to still be in flux.  Khartoums are sometimes found as solo raiders or patrol ships, sometimes seen leading squadrons of lighter cruisers, and sometimes used as light capital ships during larger fleet actions.

 

Khartoum class Attack Cruiser
Mass 94 NPV 316 / CPV 310
Thrust 6  q 3 q
FTL q
Screen-1 q
2 Fire Control Systems qq
1 PDS q
6 Fusion Cannon (F/FP/FS) qqqqqq
2 Beam-2 (F/FP/AP) q (F/FS/AS) q
2 Beam-1 (360) qq
1 Armor, 24 Hull
m
qqqqpq
qqqpqq
qqpqqq
qpqqqp
 
Sword of Islam class Battleship

 
The premier battleship of the Federation navy, the Sword of Islam class is an older design that has undergone multiple refits, minor redesigns, and upgrades over the years.  The version seen here sports a balanced mix of fusion cannons and beam projectors backed up by a quartet of heavy ship-killer missiles.  These are intended to provide a one-shot boost to their offensive output that evens the odds against larger dreadnought capital ships. 

 

Sword of Islam class Battleship
Mass 118 NPV 399 / CPV 420
Thrust 6  q 3 q
FTL q
Screen-1 q
3 Fire Control Systems qqq
3 PDS qqq
4 Fusion Cannon (F/FP/FS) qqqq
4 Beam-2 (F/FP/AP) qq (F/FS/AS) qq
2 Beam-1 (360) qq
4 Heavy Missile Racks (F/FP/FS) qqqq
1 Armor, 28 Hull
m
qqqqpqq
qqpqqqq
pqqqqpq
qqqpqqp
 
Jibrail class Heavy Battleship / Battledreadnought

 
The Jibrail is the largest commonly seen IF capital ship, and generally serves as either a task force command ship or as the leader of a battleship squadron.  Their most notable attributes are their remarkably high thrust ratings and their very limited long range firepower, both of which are well outside the norms for a heavy battleship class.

 

Jibrail class Heavy Battleship / Battledreadnought
Mass 154 NPV 518 / CPV 601
Thrust 6  q 3 q
FTL q
Screen-1 q
3 Fire Control Systems qqq
4 PDS qqqq
6 Fusion Cannon (F/FP/FS) qqqqqq
1 Beam-3 (F/FP/FS) q
6 Beam-2 (F/FP/AP) qqq (F/FS/AS) qqq
2 Beam-1 (360) qq
1 Armor, 39 Hull
m
qqqqpqqqqp
qqqqpqqqqp
qqqqpqqqqp
qqqqpqqqp
 
Arabiya class Dreadnought
 
 
By far the largest ship to come out of the IslamaFed shipyards, the Arabiya was built in subsections and assembly completed in free orbit.  This expensive and slow process has limited the number of these superdreadnoughts in service and they are almost never seen without heavy supporting forces.  They retain the same incredible thrust capability as the rest of the fleet while supporting an amazing array of medium-ranged weaponry and a small number of heavier beam weapons. 

 

Arabiya class Dreadnought
Mass 204 NPV 688 / CPV 900
Thrust 6  q 3 q
FTL q
Screen-1 q
4 Fire Control Systems qqqq
6 PDS qqqqqq
6 Fusion Cannon (F/FP/FS) qqqqqq
2 Beam-3 (F/FP/FS) qq
10 Beam-2 (F/FP/AP) qqqq (F/FS/AS) qqqq (360) qq
1 Armor, 50 Hull
m
qqqqpqqqqpqqq
qpqqqqpqqqqpq
qqqpqqqqpqqq
qpqqqqpqqqpp
 
Madinah class Carrier

 
The only commonly-seen carrier in the IF navy, the Madinah class is something of an odd duck.  Her fighter capacity falls somewhere between most light and fleet carriers, her weaponry is on par with a heavy cruiser but definitely not capital ship grade, and her main drives fail to produce the same extreme acceleration the rest of the fleet's combat ships achieve.  Overall performance is acceptable for the costs involved, although construction time is (as with the Arabiya dreadnought) inflated by the need to produce the hull in subsections and complete assembly in free orbit.
 
 

Madinah class Battle Carrier
Mass 172 NPV 592 / CPV 491 + fighters
Thrust 4  q 2 q
FTL q
Screen-1 q
2 Fire Control Systems qq
6 PDS qqqqqq
4 Fusion Cannon (F/FP/FS) qqqq
4 Beam-2 (F/FP/AP) qq (F/FS/AS) qq
5 Hanger Bays
1 Armor, 38 Hull
m
qqqqpqqqqp
qqqqpqqqqp
qqqqpqqqq
pqqqqpqpp
 
Djinn class Light Fighters

 
A basic multirole fighter, this reliable fighter has seen many minor variations over the years.  Some of these are produced for export, and the majority of all the Djinn that have been built have actually been sold to other powers, including a number of non-state entities.

 
Ghazi class Heavy Fighters

 
More expensive, durable, and better armed than the Djinn, Ghazi heavy fighters have similarly adaptable frames.  This allows them to be refitted for different purposes, emphasizing offense, defense, or endurance as desired.  This is a slow process though, requiring several days in a full hanger facility and specialized parts and equipment.

 
Average Madinah Fighter Group