Legion of Four – Introduction: A Plan Set in Motion

 

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A Legion of Four

The trials and tribulations of the Horus Heresy have always been as interesting tale steeped in history, tradition and technological wonder, with mankind grasping at the stars, propelled by a new age of enlightenment brought about by the Great Crusade. So when Games Workshop released the new Calth boxed set and plastic Heresy era marines became available, we did what every fervent 30k fan did – we splashed the cash.

Like most gamers (or is that collectors?) of a certain age, we regularly find ourselves with more miniatures than time to build, paint and play and so we turned to our back issues of the classic White Dwarf magazine for inspiration on forging the narrative and keeping ourselves motivated over Christmas and the New Year, a period where many a man/woman/snotling has pledged their soul to dieting and taking trips to the training cages. Unlike these poor souls forever destined to give in to the whispers of the Prince of Pleasure (or the chocolate king as he is also known), we have sworn our oaths of moment towards a much higher achievement – that of recruiting our own forces for the Legiones Astartes.

What’s this all about then?

Well like any traditional tale of four gamers log this one will come equipped with painting guides, army list discussions, tactical talk and battle reports.  Starting in January we will reveal our initial paint schemes with each participant delivering a fully furnished marine for your inspection and amusement alongside an outline of how they expect to proceed.

Then from February onward we will be aiming to display a fully painted unit or two to add to our forces each month.  February will also include our first battle report featuring skirmishes between our fledgling Space Marine companies. Our current goal is to continue until our armies are roughly 2000 points in size as we believe this will give us the best balance of forces without us having to auction off kidneys to fund our habits. It’s also the perfect size for getting a game in at our club (based in the Admirals Landing in Bridgwater) on a Thursday evening.

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Insane Gentlemen’s Club

Who is participating?

In true Insane Gentlemen’s Club tradition we four will be taking up the mantle of Captains of our respective Legions.

Adam – XVIII Legion – Salamanders (loyalists)

Adrian – XII Legion – World Eaters (traitors)

Charlie – III Legion – Emperor’s Children (traitors)

Mike – XVII Legion – Word Bearers (traitors)

HHXXXI-Deathfire

Being outnumbered simply means I require more firepower…

Next Time – Month 1: The Seeds of Heresy

Legion paint schemes and fighting talk

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I am Volk

Volk Thornwood – Titan Mauler

Volk is a human barbarian, in his late twenties. Muscular in build standing at 6’1 tall with blonde hair and blue within blue eyes. Volk has a distinctive scar crossing his right eye the wound left from a lycan claw in Volk’s early teens.

Volk’s family are a mystery to him. He was found wrapped in a black jacket hidden in a snow covered thorn wood. Volk was then raised by his rescuers, the Ravagers, a mercenary band of warriors specializing in big game hunting.

Volk was taken under the wing of their leader and used or abused from an early age, earning his way from the time he could walk as big game bait. As the years past Volk grew gaining skills at the forge making weapons and armour to keep the ravagers supplied. In battle he soon learned to master the converted seige weapons used to bring down the mercenaries unusually large targets.

As his size and strength increased Volk began to lead the charge favoring  a great axe to smash and maul the large prey with giants, golem and dragons being his bands prize.

Volk has traveled extensively throughout the lands with the ravagers seeking bigger game and bigger rewards. Spending most of his gains on weapons, armour, drink and women. He cares little for material wealth or fine trinkets seeing them as a distraction from his goal of personal martial improvement. To be the greatest and to single handedly bring down the biggest beasts. For songs to be sung in the halls of heroes of the tales of Volk the Titan Mauler.

A result of Volk’s colourful upbringing as a life with mercenaries,is  his disregard for authority which has seen him arrested by the local watch for bar brawling and other misdemeanors of disorderly conduct. Even so Volk is generally a good man, doing what he thinks is right, protecting the weak and needing.

After the death of the ravagers leader and Volk’s mentor at the hands of a Rock Golem, Volk left the ravagers to find a new path spending a small time in a local militia. His time spent with the militia consisted of times of intense boredom mixed with short spells of action. He seeks a more adventurous existence, that will push him physically and mentally to fulfill his goal. The life of an adventurer.

Volk

 

 

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Dockside Destruction Guildball Tournament

Dockside Destruction poster

 

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What is a Role-Playing Game?

Most gamers nowadays are familiar with the term RPG, primarily through popular games like World of Warcraft.  Funny enough though, to my mind WoW isn’t really a RPG.  So, what is a role-playing game, really?

The quick answer?  The nerdiest type of game you’ll ever encounter.  A geek gamers paradise.  The long answer…

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The first table-top RPG was published in 1974, by TSR.  Now considered to be the great-granddaddy of RPG’s, Dungeons and Dragons was quickly followed by other games such as GURPS, Paranoia, and Call of Cthulhu.  These games allowed a player to take control of a single character, and to use that character to explore alternate worlds.

Although RPG’s descend from wargames, one of the main differences was the idea that instead of simply focusing on combat scenarios, the game would feature exploration themes, problem solving, and also social encounters.  Indeed, some RPG’s attempt to minimize the combat themes, and focus instead on developing storylines, and go out of their way to emphasize how risky combat is, in an attempt to encourage players to find alternate methods of resolving situations that they encounter.

A gaming group generally consists of a number of players (between 3-6 is considered a good number) and one more person (often called a Gamesmaster (GM), Dungeon Master (DM), or Storyteller) that has the responsibility of running the game, keeping control of the rules, playing the antagonists, and arbitrating any rules debates.  Regardless of the groups’ composition, it is important to be aware that the game is largely co-operative; a common mistake is to assume the GM is playing against the other players, whereas the truth is that the GM and players help create the game experience between them.

Your character is perhaps the single most important aspect of playing a role-playing game.  With the help of your GM, you have almost complete creative control over your character, and it is not uncommon for a player to create a detailed background of their character, often from birth, complete with details about their characters family and friends, and giving them a reason to want to explore the world around them.

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One of the common things that comes up if you ask players to describe a RPG is the concept of character development.  Almost without exception, your character will advance as they gain experience, improving their base abilities, and gaining new ones as they advance.  The world around the characters will change too; if the group fails to save a princess from her kidnappers, it is entirely possible that the King or Queen will hold them responsible, and perhaps even place a price on their heads.

This is the other major defining aspect of a table-top RPG; it truly can be freeform, limited only by the imaginations of the players involved, and the creative abilities of the GM.  Unlike an old ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ or Fighting Fantasy style gamebook, your choices are not restricted by anything other than your imagination, and your characters abilities.  For example, whereas a gamebook might give you the choice to either fight a grizzled ogre you encounter, or to flee, a true RPG allows for other tactics, like trying to sneak past it, or even to attempt diplomacy.

Of course, RPG’s now exist in many forms.  Table-top role-playing games may be where the format has its origins, but many more people have played electronic RPG’s, either in a single-player format on their own computer, laptop, tablet, or phone.  The MMORG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game) is one of the most popular internet games in this day and age; World of Warcraft is the best well known, but there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other titles out there.  These games often provide a great, immersive, story, and certainly allow for extensive character advancement, but I find them lacking in certain other ways.  For example, your actions are limited by the game engine, and I find that there are only limited consequences to your actions; as a result I never really feel part of the world or story.

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Another way that people enjoy playing RPG’s is through LARPing (Live Action RolePlay).  Not as common as either the traditional table-top RPG, or as popular as an online RPG, there is nonetheless a large number of people that enjoy dressing up in costume, and going out to established locations to play through an adventure ‘in-person’.  This can be quite an exciting experience, very different from playing a game from the comfort of your armchair, but it can also be quite expensive, and a popular complaint is that the rules that you have to adhere to often disrupt the flow of the experience.

Finally, board games can frequently be seen as rules-light RPG’s.  Instead of presenting a freeform world, they instead present players with a limited story to play through.  Sometimes referred to as a RPG-in-a-box, games like Mice and Mystics, and Heroquest, provide an experience not unlike a traditional table-top RPG.  Character progression is a common theme, and the games focus on giving players set quests to complete before moving on to another stage.  Although they don’t offer the same level of freedom offered by any other RPG, I find these games to be great fun to play, and are often great gateways into other forms of RPG.

To me though, nothing quite compares to the original table-top RPG.  The freedom to explore, to change your world, to develop your character, is unsurpassed by other forms.  This freedom, more than any other reason, is why I find online RPG’s lacking; they are more reminiscent of an advanced gamebook, in that you only ever have a very limited number of choices, and can only develop in a way approved by the games creators.  This, to me, is why I cannot see electronic games as being true RPG’s.  Maybe one day I’ll encounter a game that will change my mind.

Ultimately, each form of RPG has its own attractions.  I hope I’ve offered a number of reasons for you to want to investigate role-playing games in a way that you haven’t before, perhaps by hunting around for a LARPing group near you, or by encouraging you to form your own adventuring party in the comfort of your own home.  Whichever you choose, I hope you enjoy your experience, and lose yourself in the fantasy world of your own making.

Above all, have fun.

Rikh.

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Solid Ground Studios – Guildball Terrain – Tutorial Part 2

I  didn’t intend for there to be such a big gap between parts 1 and 2, but its been a really exciting and busy time for the IGC. We’ve run our first tournament, which was a great success. We got to meet loads of new like minded people and had a great day. Secondly we’ve moved location to the Admirals Landing in Bridgwater. Highly recommend the admirals burger there.

Ok moving on to why we are here. Part 2.

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So here’s our wood planks, which will become a slippery surface. But it’s looking to clean.

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The piece was sealed with satin varnish and an oil wash is applied to the surface of the wooden planks. An oil wash is made by taking a small amount of oil paint and diluting it with mineral spirits to form a wash. Once this was dry I used a soft cotton cloth (old but clean pants) to gently rub the heavy wash off to create gradients of the shadow. It’s a nice effect when worked with. This was then allowed to dry for a few hours before the next stage.

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Ak interactive dark slime was applied to the areas where water and dampness would settle. I then took a flat brush moistened with some mineral spirits and blended out the green, similar as if you were using a streaking effect.

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The same method was repeated with the light green slime, just pulling the light green further away from the source.

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Now to add the water effect.

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I used vallejo clear water and just poured it where I wanted the water to be. This was allowed to dry over night and where the water effect has shrunken back slightly another layer was used to fill in the gaps.

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Static grass has been applied to all the pieces and that is the set nearly completed. The plan is to add some oil washing with some umber and sepia tones to the grass and then apply a dry brush of bleached bone. This will give a little variety to the grass and make it look a little more natural.

Ill post up some pictures of the terrain being used, well once I have my guildball team painted. I’ll also be doing a dust off show case after the event in October. Which will be my current painting project a 100pts ssu halo drop force. I love the dust fluff…

Until next time

Adrian

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News, Tournaments and the Work Bench – Bolt Action Volkssturm

It’s been a while since our last blog post and a lot has happened to the club over the last two months.  We have relocated to a bright and airy function room in the Admirals Landing pub in Bridgwater and we held our first X-Wing tournament that was a resounding success for all involved.  Here are some pictures of the Scoundrels and Nerf Herders tournament. Plans are already in motion for our next tournament so keep checking back for updates.

 

 

So, I hear you all ask, what else have we been doing?

Well, I’ve started work on a project that has been gathering dust for a while now and that’s re-fighting the defence of Berlin in 1945 using Bolt Action. My dad and I have slowly been gathering figures and bits of terrain for this for about a year and we’ve finally got around to making a start on the monumental challenge of getting it all painted (trust me, a half dead goat paints faster than I do).

The plan is to build up enough men, tanks and terrain to cover the battles at Seelow Heights, Berlin itself and then the Halbe Pocket. We’re actually working on some modified Bolt Action scenarios for the fighting at the moment and it’s proving a lot of fun so far, I’ll post up a full scenario booklet when it’s complete.

To get the ball rolling with the painting I just had to start with my favourite figures of the moment – the Volkssturm.  Essentially these were the wounded and ex-servicemen, children from the Hitler Youth, workers and farmers who took up arms to defend Germany when it became clear that the Soviets were making a serious push against the dwindling German lines. They’re a ragtag bunch of miscreants with panzerfausts and captured weapons and are pretty fragile in Bolt Action, but they really capture the essence of those last few months and the desperate plight of the German people valiantly trying to protect their families from the ravages of the Soviet war machine.

At the moment they are very much a work in progress but as I’m pretty excited about Bolt Action in general at the moment (and the soon to be released Beyond the Gates of Antares), I had to stick up some starting shots of the first few.

Eventually there will be about 30 of these fellows. They are a mix of the Warlord Games Partizans blister and the Last Levy box set. I felt that together these two sets do a pretty good job of conveying the eclectic mix of weapons and equipment that would have been the norm for these units.

So far it’s just base coated colours and a quick wash with a little highlighting here and there. The bases themselves are Warlord Games plastic round bases that can be picked up in packs from their store. They are slightly lipped which means that the metal figures don’t look like they are standing on mounds when you attach them without trimming off the metal cast bases.  This was the first time I have used Vallejo crushed grey pumice mix for texturing and was very impressed with the coverage. Simply brush on the resin and pumice mix and leave it to dry. I think I did 2 coats on each base to build it up to the level of the metal stands. On plastic figures you would easily get away with one coat though.

That’s all for now but stay tuned for more.

Adam@IGC

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The Axis Go Urban

Hi all

Today I’m going to show you how I do the basic urban camo on my axis walkers.

I’m going to demonstrate it on the Jagdluther.
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I started by taking taking some masking tape and cutting different size triangles out. Then stuck them in a random pattern all over the walker.

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At this this point I make sure I have covered any transfers that are already on the walker.

Then I use my airbrush and VALLEJO MODEL AIR – LIGHT GREY.

I give a complete coat of this.imageI now go back to step 1 and cut out different size triangles.

Sticking them on randomly, I overlap a few with the first layer of tape and it ends up like this.

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And I once more go back to my airbrush. This time I use VALLEJO MODEL AIR – GERMAN GREY.

I give it a complete coat making sure I cover everything as this is the last coat.

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Now now comes the fun part. After it has dried I use tweezers to remove the tape. Your model goes from a flat grey to 3 colour urban camo in seconds.

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And as you can see the transfer on the front is intact.

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And that is my basic urban camo. I hope this has been helpful.

I will be back with the next part of painting and weathering of my axis soon.

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See ya soon

Wesley.

 

 

 

 

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Solid Ground Studios – Guildball Terrain – Tutorial Part 1

I got a bit of free time this afternoon so, here goes. As previously reviewed I’m going to show you how im going to get these pieces to a tabletop standard.

As these are resin cast pieces, they need a good scrub to get any release agent from the casting process off the resin. The release agent if left on could cause the paint to not adhere to the surface. To do this I just fill the washing up bowl with some warm water and a few squirts of hand soap. Then I take an old toothbrush and give the surfaces of the resin a good scrub, this will remove the release agent and any small unwanted bits of resin flash. I then rinse the pieces off with cold water and leave to air dry.

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Once dry I use milliput to fill all the little air bubbles. For this I use a rubber tipped paint shaper to push the putty into the holes, then wet it to then smooth the putty to shape.

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Once the putty has cured I then primed the pieces with vallejo black primer.

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For the most part of this tutorial I will be using the dry brush technique. I will be using a mixture of citadel, vallejo and P3 paints, along with winsor Newton oils.

VMA = Vallejo Model Air, VMC = Vallejo Model Colour, VGC = Vallejo Game Colour

I start with the stone. First a heavy dry brush of bastion grey (P3) followed by a dry crush of a 50/50 mix of trollblood highlight and menoth white highlight (P3). I follow this up with a dry brush of pure menoth White highlight just on the edges to give a really weathered look to the stone.

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Next I made a start on the flat earth shelves. A heavy dry brush of terra earth (VMA), followed by a dry brush of khaki (VMA) around the outsides of the shapes, followed by a drybrush of bonewhite (VGC). After this I went for the earth, a base drybrush of thornwood green (p3), followed by a drybrush of dark earth (VMA) and then a very selective drybrush of the bonewhite on the upper most high spots.

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The wooden blanks were the re primed with vallejo grey primer, then the planks were painted with Flat earth and Japanese uniform, (VMC).

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So in part two I will continue with the wood planks, varnish, do a bit of weathering before adding static grass and some water effects.

Until next time….

Adrian

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Solid Ground Studios Pitch Terrain – Product review

As Guildball has started to become played quite frequently at the club, myself owning three teams, I started to look around for something that would add a bit of visual interest to the green grass pitches currently being played on. My first thoughts were of town square water fountains, cemetery pieces, maybe even a few market stalls. Whilst these would look fantastic in terms of the rules, they wouldn’t be adding that much to the game.

On my travels around Google I stumbled upon Solidgroundstudios.co.uk

They have a set of terrain pieces designed for medieval football pitches. They have several sets, but I have chosen to just pick up the starter set, to check it out before perhaps buying a few more pieces. This cost £10+p&p I will also comment here that the delivery was quick and the items very well packaged.

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So the starter set contains three rough grounds, a slippery patch and a rock. Enough to dress and add variety to any pitch. The wooden planks are a nice touch. The pieces are hand cast and as such have a few air bubbles and some silicone from the mould on the surface. This will require filling but is in no way excessive and I would say something that should be expected from this type of product and would be sorted with minimal clean up. In all honesty I’ve had much bigger air holes in forgeworld products.

So the actual castings, I could have made these all from stuff in my hobby box; cork, sand and some mixed filler. But for the cost, ease and time saving of these, I’m more than happy to give them my money.

I’d certainly recommend these to any guildball player for their collection.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be showing off how I painted these up to a table top standard.

Adrian

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Patrol Angis Rules Review Part 1

Weclome to the second of our articles focusing on Patrol Angis, a new 15mm sci-fi game by The Ion Age.

Last time we briefly reviewed the contents of the starter set and touched on the game setting. In this second post I am going to offer part 1 of a review of the rules themselves. Part 2 will follow later in the week.

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Dice and measurements

This game uses 6 sided dice (D6), 8 sided dice (D8) and measurements are made in centimetres (cm).

The rulebook

The Patrol Angis book is an A5 black and white paperback gem brimming with far more than seems possible for a book this size. The first 19 pages are fluff which helps develop the narrative for all your future games. Every page after this contains rules, scenarios and the army lists that you can use for building your own platoons.

So what is a platoon? 

Each platoon (also called a lance) contains a number of squads of infantry, portable weapon teams, battlesuits and heroes. The starter box contains 2 small platoons which give a good indication of what you should consider as a basis to start building your own force. In this case one side contains 2 infantry squads and 2 heroes, whilst the other has 1 infantry squad, 1 battlesuit squad and 1 support weapon. This contains plenty of variation to help you learn the rules and it’s what I will be using for demo games at the club.

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These squads can be further broken down into elements of various sizes and the guys at The Ion Age have done a wonderful job of producing some handy group movement trays to help with in-game movement and also clearly define your units on the tabletop. These smaller elements range from 2 man sticks to 4 or 5 man fire teams and of course you can always keep your squads at max size if you want to.

Unit cohesion

unit cohesion in the game is a simple affair. Each squad has a dedicated squad leader and other models in the unit must remain as close as possible to each other, centred on the leader figure. This usually means base to base but can be played as 1cm gaps if prefered. I have found that this works well in practice even if it sounds a little unusual to not be stringing your infantry out into lines.

Army building

After the rules ection in the rulebook there is a handy army list building section with heaps of different options for weapons, skills and equipment, as well as some general guides and suggested forces. This section I found a little overwhelming the first time I read it through because I am so used to playing games like Bolt Action and 40k these days, which both have army lists spread out over large army books. With Patrol Angis the details are compressed into 7 pages of charts and 3 further pages of notes for each particular faction and because the text is quite small it can be a bit like trying to crack a cypher. However, don’t despair as it’s really far more simple than it initially appears and the writers have made it clear enough how to go about forming your platoons.

The turn sequence

Each turn is broken down into 4 parts –

1. The initiative and activation phase.

2. The combat course of action phase.

3. The support phase.

4. The end game phase.

In the initiative and activation phase each player rolls 1 D6 for each platoon they have on the table and the highest roll decides both which player has initiative and also how many activation tokens each platoon has. For example I roll a 5 and Chris rolls a 3. I have the initiative and both of us have 5 starting activation tokens. Because I won initiative each of my platoons also gains an extra token.

Next we have to assign tokens to squads within each platoon. This starts with the player who lost the initiative roll handing out a token first and then the player with the initiative assigns a token. This continues in a loop with each player passing out a token until they are all out of tokens. There is no limit to the amount of tokens that can be assigned but you have to assign a token or discard a token when it comes to your turn to deal a token. Discarding tokens is a neat way of trying to gain back some initiative if you are the losing player. Alternatively it allows the winner to see where the other player is assigning his tokens and then counter them. In the end it can turn into a gambling game all of its own with players vying to see who will break first and assign a token. I really do like this mechanic and can see so many uses it in the game.

The combat course of action phase is when you use the tokens you have been passing out to your units. Starting with the player with initiative you pick a unit with an activation token and remove the token to carry out 1 action.

These actions are:

Move and fire – can shoot and move or move and shoot.

Move and close combat – move and fight in combat.

Rapid move – move 3 times.

Precise fire – more accurate shooting if stood still.

Overwatch – move 1/4 of standard movement and then go into overwatch. This allows you to shoot at an enemy when they come into line of sight.

Dash – can move twice and shoot with a penalty.

Self protection – move 1/2 but gain bonus protection against shooting.

Re-motivate – helps recover from failed morale.

Command and control – used by an officer. This lets you pass a token from the officer to another unit so they activate instead of the officer.

Reform elements – allows you to rearrange unit composition.

Let it pass – discard a token and do nothing else.

Once you have carried out your action play passes to the next player who picks a unit and takes an action. This then loops back to the player with initiative and continues until there are no tokens remaining.

The support phase follows and during this step you can use any support actions available for this scenario such as callong in off-table support.

Finally there’s the end phase. Here you check to see if the game has ended because it’s the last turn or because scenario objectives have been fulfilled. You also tidy up the table here, removing casualties etc.

And that concludes part 1 of the Patrol Angis rules review. Next time I look at the combat and shooting mechanics, introductory scenarios, the special rules and finally I draw my conclusions.

If you would like to know more about the game or the background then take a trip on over to The Ion Age and have a look at all the cool stuff on offer.

Keep on gaming folks

Adam@IGC

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