Horizon Wars – Reworking Rules – Tiny Wars

The games of Horizon Wars that we have been playing recently have been a lot of fun.  Lots of bits of the game appeal to me.  The fist full of d12s and the range to targets modifying the ‘to hit’ value, used in the shooting mechanism, are really nice departures from the usual games of roll to hit and roll to wound.

It has just not felt ‘right’ to me to have one tank, or stand of troopers, on the table to represent the unit.  This does not detract from the game, and its obvious success is shown by the following it has developed on the Facebook page (likely driven by Robey’s presence there on what seems like an hourly basis).  Full marks to Robey for this fine system and what looks to be a growing collection of supplements on the Precinct Omega web page.

What I hanker for is a small scale skirmish game where forces are based on units of 3-4 stands or models and makes the battlefield feel more populated than Horizon Wars does at the moment.  If I fielded the army below in Horizon Wars I fear that the required record keeping would slow the game down too much and we would lose the fast play feel we like.

As a result of that nagging feeling, I have decided to stop my whinging and turn my thoughts towards being more productive.  I plan to either make Horizon Wars fit my own specific needs, or to write a new set of 6mm rules that captures some of the essence of what Horizon Wars has sparked in us lately.

So, over the next few weeks (more likely months or years) I will start to put a new version together.  Still keeping with the economical and simplistic aims of the original game but that feels more ‘right’ to me somehow.

The new game will be – Tiny Wars (and will likely never see the light of day). Well, maybe…


Horizon Wars – New Forces Finished

While I have been sorting and tidying, I have been flitting from project to project.  Not the best way to work, as you never get ‘in to the grove’ with anything, but at least it gets those half planned odd jobs done.

My Horizon Wars army has most of what I need but I have a hankering to be as complete as possible with it.  That is the reason I have added a few new tanks to the force, to give me some Heavy Cav and Armoured Arty.  A couple of new Mechs (Light and Heavy) are always welcome too.

One thing I found while painting these simple units was how base coats can be more different than you expect.  The original force was basecoated using an old can of GW Skull White.  With a wash of Dark Tone it remained fairly bright and gave me a good shadow effect.

The new units were basecoated in GWs new Corax White.  It must leave a slightly more uneven surface as the dark tone wash didn’t run cleanly off the base coat and gave a more grey finish.  Not enough of a difference to notice unless you look for it… Annoyingly I cant help but not see it…

With a little colour and some basing the effect is less obvious and I guess I can cope with it. I know other armies that have suffered from very varied base colours, Coronasan’s Blood Angels Spacemarines for example 🙂

I don’t think they look too bad, and with them being 6mm scale, I guess I wont be able to see the problems in about 10 years time when my eyes are even worse than they are today.

Spending All My Time Building Stuff, Not Much Painting.

I have been stuck at home again due to this viral chesty ‘thing’.  That, somewhat unsurprisingly, means that I have been very bored.  So I have spent a few moments every couple of hours popping out to the shed to see if it is remaining dry with all this changeable weather we are having at the moment.

One of the jobs I still haven’t had a chance to get to is undercoating the growing collection of bits lined up in the shed…  Rain and spray cans I have learned don’t go well together.  It does mean that the painting queue is longer than ever.

More Steam Wars Naval stuff awaits.  Two more roller bots and a submarine.  A host of Scheltrum divers and an Ironclad transport.

Too many Martians.  My nice harbour and jetty pieces.  The Steam ship (and ironclad top) that those nice boys at Black Pyramid gave me.

Plenty of Horizon Wars tiny tanks and Mechs.

So, I have made a bit of a start by getting even more bits into the queue.  Slowly building stuff and then putting it back on a shelf to wait for a dry day…

One interesting point…  I have managed to mislay a couple of wheels from one of my Ironclad flyers already. So, unless I find them, the second flyer will have to have some skids made up for it instead.

When the weather dries up, the Martians are currently foremost in the queue (at this time anyhow. That may well change…)

Oh, and one more thing to add to the queue.  This nice big Reaper Bones bin!

Horizon Wars – Planning Phase II

So after a few games of Horizon Wars I now know I need more tanks and mechs! Heavy Cavalry, Armoured Artillery and Mechs seem to be the only forces that can make a sizeable dent in the opponents forces so the arms race is now on…

First up the biggest 6mm model I now own…  (My Oathsworn robot is not really a 6mm figure now is it?)

This is Ral Partha’s large four legged mech, Thunder Stallion.  He is likely to join my Space Ork force as I now no longer have any massive Gargants in the collection…

He sits nicely within the set as a heavy or super heavy mech.

He also make my other new mechs seem quite small.  I picked up a Grendel and a Madcat as well so now have some medium mechs to add to the force.  A couple of older Epic artillery pieces are always easy to find to add some Armoured Artillery to any force.

My light tanks are due to have some bigger brothers added so they are not so easy to knock out in our games.  Usually these forge ahead alone and take the brunt of any counter attack.

All in all a nice little lot that should not take too much time to paint up (if only the weather would dry up enough to allow me to get them undercoated).


Horizon Wars – First Games And Thoughts

Almost a month has passed since I last ventured into this blog.  Work and family sometimes demand time that has to be taken from any pastimes.  I am sat at home now with a virus that has stopped me working and makes my family want to avoid me! So… I finally have time to update the blog.

We played our first game of Horizon Wars.  Damn the set missions are hard to achieve.  So hard in fact that I don’t think either of us has managed to win as the attacker in any game so far.

We are also now aware that the game calls for a specific selection of miniatures for your army to be effective as a force.  Either the force should be selected after the mission is decided, or the players are likely to only take tanks and drop troops, as movement is key to most of the missions.

My force is heavy on infantry, as that was the way I wanted the miniatures to be depicted.  These forces, lots of light infantry, haven’t been effective so far in games we have played.  Units can be very hard to destroy, so a tank may take shots on it for 4-5 turns before it is destroyed. This is usually due to the opponent placing all the damage it takes on anything but their armour stat.  I have failed to kill units when shooting with all my effective units on some occasions.

Don’t get me wrong I like this game.  I just find it very hard to win the missions.  We are going to try the Adventure style games next to see if they appear more balanced.  The fact they have options for both sides to have differing context and missions appeals to me but we will see if they remain very hard to achieve.

Another thing about Horizon Wars that has come up in our discussions is the fact that it is an odd scale for a game which uses such a small force to represent its armies.  We have compared this to a number of other popular 6mm games that we know and almost all I can name are using 6mm to represent huge armies on the table.  The benefit of such a small scale is in its ability to field hordes of tanks and troops and gain the feeling of massed battles.  I guess the author alone knows why this scale was his first choice.

All that musing aside I am happily adding to my scenery collection for this scale again.  China has again been my country of choice for models and items in this scale.  My cars are an older purchase but these busses are the newest addition to the collection.

If nothing else we are in the mood for more 6mm fun and who knows where that may lead us…

Horizon Wars – First Fully Finished Force. 

So, I now have a nice new Horizon Wars force all ready to go.  Newly varnished and ready for a game, that will probably have been played by the time you read this post.

30 units in total and definitely the quickest army I have ever painted. I will be expanding it further as, although I want to field primarily infantry forces, I do want a wider range of vehicle units to choose from.

I have almost every troop type covered at this point, with only one unit not represented.  I have a bucket load of old armoured artillery pieces in the Epic boxes but none that capture the feel of this force.  That will likely be my first upgrade to this force but I am in no hurry at this point.

So, what have we here?

The Heavy Mech will likely be fielded in every game I play, initially at least.  When we get to know the rules I may vary it’s size and stats a little but to me it will remain an assault framed Mech with that beefy claw and short barrelled weapon.

These two tanks are the only tracked units in the force so far.  I am thinking they could be Heavy or Light Cav at the moment.

These infantry support walkers are too small to be classed as a Light Mech so I will field them as Light or Heavy Cav for now.

Recon units offer guided fire for my artillery units (not that I have any Armoured Arty yet…) I wont be trying them out in the first game, as I suspect it will be our larger games that will benefit from these guys abilities.

Heavy Infantry. I did 4 of these guys as they seem to be overly cheap when combined with a Heavy Cav HQ. If I am playing infantry heavy I may need to have a few of these boys to combat enemy armour.

I made up 2 dedicated units of CHQ.  One using a Light Infantry figure and one with a Heavy Infantryman. This should offer me a couple of options when army building.

Airborne troops were a dilemma for me.  In the end I decided to represent their deep deployment ability with jump packs.  I could use them as Mobile infantry but think Airborne fits better.

Mobile infantry was also a sticking point.  I thought I might go with Transports and Troops on the same base, but disregarded that early on, as it might look odd along side the other units.  Therefore, I decided to go with bike mounted troops.  This would fit both the army, and the theme of infantry without the ability to dig-in.

Light Artillery could be field guns or troop carried AT/HE armaments. I went with the latter as I don’t have any field gun figures…

Special Forces should be armed and ready for any eventuality. A base with a mix of weapons and men fits nicely for this role.

Light Infantry get all the difficult jobs and I can see me possibly having to get a few extra bases made up. If I want them to be effective as a core unit choice for an infantry heavy force and large numbers of them may be required to make that effective in the end.

I know that transport airframes are an option in the game, but I don’t see clearly yet how or if that will benefit the my force.  This big flier will be a Heavy Aircraft with the hover ability to start with.

A small flight of Light Aircraft (again with the hover ability) will be useful. I don’t know if 4 will be a little excessive as yet, but we will see.

Overall a nice varied force with plenty of playability and variance.   Some room for expansion, especially in the form of Armoured Artillery, but a great start.  If all goes well I will get them in a game before the week is out.  Here’s hoping.

Horizon Wars – Last Unit Completed And First Game Planned. 

So, with all the infantry and vehicles now done, only the last and by far the largest, unit is left.

This started life as a blue and green MechWarrior flyer that had languished in my broken bits box for the last few years.

After a quick repaint, and an even quicker rummage to locate a new flight stand (which was why it was in my broken bits box), this is now a 6mm heavy air transporter.  Only decals to do and then I can varnish the whole army and call things ready for our first game.

As that first game is planned for next week, I have been trying out some of the scenery I have.  We are planning a 9 or 12 point game to get to know the basic rules and mechanics.

As such a 2×4 or 4×4 feet table, with very basic scenery, should do fine.  We want to focus on the rules primarily for our first game, as Horizon Wars has some interesting new concepts in regard to movement and fire fights.   It’s nice to see a game designer with the confidence to take a risk, by launching a game with new mechanics, instead of just mixing and matching some of the old faithful concepts.

Next up, my new army in all its glory…

Campaign 2016

I have again had the pleasure of attending a wargames show run by one of our local game groups.

Campaign 2016 was held in Milton Keynes shopping centre again and, although small, is a good show that I try to attend every year if I have the chance.

It is an opportunity to support a local group and also a number of local traders.  Products For Wargamers is an internet seller and show trader from Milton Keynes.  Jim sells a wide and expanding range of items. As my 6mm army is now nearly finished I picked up a couple of his smaller trees, as a couple more will be useful for our planned 6mm games.

He also had a deal on fences and walls so I picked up some more railings.

They fit in nicely with my Warbases stuff but I may want to drybrush them with a bit of silver to help them fit in better.

His wall ranges also include some more modern, almost Sci-Fi looking, walls that should fit in with my DeadZone scenery.

All this lot came in at under £2 a piece.  A good deal for ready made scenery.

The only miniatures I came home with were these SHQ Victorians.  They are based on the Flashman stories, and as I have a cricket pavilion on the painting table, a chap in cricket pads was a must.

A good show, if quite small, and well worth a visit if you are nearby.


Horizon Wars – Decal Details

As the Horizon Wars force infantry have been getting all the attention lately, I have decided to give the armoured units some extra detailing, to make then look a bit more finished.

Salute gave me the opportunity to pick up some Stars and Bars decals for my Steam Wars Naval force.  Those decals come in a range of sizes.  Some small enough to apply to 6mm scale figures.

The chest decals for the dreadnoughts are so small I don’t really know if I got them the right way up…  The look is what I wanted though.

With a red, white and blue colour scheme the decals are just right if a little obviously US in origin.

So welcome to the New United Federation of Colonies (AKA – ‘The NUF-C’).

At least any future additions to the force will have a theme and colour scheme to follow…

First Horizon Wars game planned for next week. Looks like I will be ready.

Horizon Wars – Got To Stop Painting (Oh One More).

I have finished the infantry and think they are ready for a game now.  I need to stop painting now and call them done. The only details left to paint are too small to see from arms length.  I see no point in painting these parts if I wont see them.

My HQ units are probably the brightest elements as they have standards in blue and larger red details.

As cloned troopers they are all red heads (bred for their aggressive nature).

I have added some blue and red to the vehicles as well to blend them into the force.

Only one miniature left to paint then I can varnish them up and get that game planned…