Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Road To Adepticon: RSN Scout Mission to The New Digs!

Greetings and happy belated Thanksgiving to all!  SeerK here with a special report.  I was fortunate enough to be in Chicago for the holiday. Before dinner and before the Lions crushed the Bears, I made a short trip out to the Renaissance Marriott Schaumburg Convention center, Adepticon's new location. I know as gamers we fear change, so I thought I would take some of the fear and mystery out of this major change to Adepticon.  The Schaumburg Prime Offensive, our Firestorm Armada Tournament at Adepticon, sold out in 3 hours! We were floored and are working with Adepticon for more space so as many as you guys that want to play can.  Thanks for the support community! We are looking forward to delivering a great and fun event!  To start I am going to give you the lowdown on the new location.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us at The Waygate. There is quite a bit to be thankful for this year and it looks like next year will bring ever greater wonders. Take time to enjoy these moments with friends, family, and soon to be vanquished foes.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Marauders Fleet Manual pt 2: STL Traders

Hi all! SeerK here. Well its Monday the 24th and you know what that means. Tonight registration begins for Adepticon. At 8 pm. Central time the web cart opens and you can register for all your favorite events, which should include our Firestorm Armada tournament The Schaumberg Prime Offensive!. Please sign up early as we are currently limited to 20 spots. Ok enough shameless promotion for now.

I wanted to continue talking about the Marauders Fleet manual. In the last installment I went over the Oroshan. In this installment I wanted to cover a few things in the STL. I have to say there are some real gems in this fleet manual and the STL, the Traders specifically, have quite a few of them. So lets delve into the STL Traders a bit.

At first Glance several of the vessels do not look all that impressive. You really have to look deeper at the stat blocks to see the true value of the ships. You also have to look at them in relation to other fleets as they can be included as allies in any fleet. It just costs more for Zenian League members. Terrans can really take advantage though as the STL is natural allies with the Terran Alliance. I know Dreadbeard swears by one of the STL vessels.

Our first Entry is the Reformer class Battle Station. This is the only battle station available in the Marauders Fleet manual. It is also the poster child as to why I think Battle Stations should be excluded from tournaments, but I will cover that in a minute. As Battle Stations go I think this one is appropriately priced. It is equipped with Primary Turrets, A Gravitational weapon turret and any direction torpedoes. This is contrary to how Battle Stations are usually armed as most stations have weapons in all directions that can fire in all directions at the same time. I think the Reformer is equipped the way it is, is because of the fact you can buy its movement up to six inches and it has a fold space drive. So essentially it is a Dreadnought. The Gravitational weapon on it is unique in that you can only use it to push and pull things. The Penitentiary class escort it can take is also equipped with the same kind of weapon. Given the assault options you can take this is pretty nice. You can pull ships into better weapon range bands and pull them in to assault them. The station also has a 9 wing capacity so you can launch some pretty heinous bomber attacks.

The reason why I view this as the poster child for no Battle stations in tournaments is that you don’t have to pay for a fold space drive and given its ability to move and dreadnought class weaponry, this allows you to drop it into the midst of a fleet and really lay the hurt on. The only real balancing factor is, points wise it is priced like a dreadnought kinda. With upgrades and wings it can be about 290 points. Now this is dreadnought cost, but starting dreadnought cost. So yeah cheap dreadnought in Battle Station clothing.

Our next gem is your usually tier one choice for the STL traders. The Prospector class carrier. This is a poor mans carrier. It only has a 5 wing capacity and its stat line is basically a heavy cruiser possibly battle cruiser. Not awesome. Now what if I told you its base price is 75 points and comes in squadrons of 1-2 ships. You can also have Accompaniments. STL Cruisers or Frigates. So with wings one of these guys with a couple upgrades is like 110 points. So about 220 for 2 of them. That gives you 10 wings which are a split berth. Their weaponry is what we like to call “Knife fight” range, which is kind of ideal. With the right escorts you can pack a pretty good punch at short range with Primary weapons and Torpedoes. This is of course after you make a bombing run with a full 6 wing SRS bomber token. It also gives your opponent a very target rich environment. Lots of ships can make fire discipline break down pretty fast. Combining this Tier one choice with our next tier 2 choice makes for a very Target rich environment.

There is a running joke in our group that Hawker Frigates and Terran Frigates, mostly Hawker though, Are not frigates bu actually light cruisers. We had to adjust that statement to “Heavy Frigates” now as the STL Traders have an actual light cruiser now. Firestorm Armada does not have a Light Cruiser class as of yet. When it does the Opportunity class Cruiser will fall into that category. They have the DR and CR of a Cruiser but only 3 hull points. They also have the weaponry of a hawker Frigate. A primary Turret with 3 decent range bands and any arc torpedoes in 2 range bands. This does not equate to a really nice ship until you see they cost 40 points come with sector shielding, giving them a shield in one arc, and they can be taken in squadrons of five. Yeah you heard right five.

In their ideal range band the Opportunity Cruiser squadron, with 5 members, puts out 18 dice with their primary weapons and 18 torpedo dice. Granted this is a limited range. You have to be farther than 8 inches, but no more than 12 inches away. The typical tactic is to shunt deploy this squadron in the rear of the enemy fleet. You get one good strike with it before your opponent starts taking it apart. Granted its kind of a trap as you cannot take them out in one go easily. Five of them can absorb a lot of fire and its 5 crew points make it a little difficult to de-crew. The squadron is a bargain at only 200 points. Its a great addition to a Terran Alliance fleet. I know many Terran players complain about the quality of their cruisers. This is a good alternative to Terran Cruisers especially if you fulfill your tier 2 requirement with the Terran Destroyers, which are probably the best destroyers in the game.

Well there ya go, my two cents about the STL traders. I will be touching on the OSO Omnidyne vessels in the next installment. I know some people have been expecting some Planetfall coverage as well. It is coming. Our guys are getting their sets and Evolution Games in Lansing now has a good stock of Proteus Prime Starter boxes, support helix’s and rule books from the launch. We are learning the rules and getting a good grasp on things before we start writing about it. I am waiting for my Relthoza, which are not released until December 10th. So in the mean time I am learning the ropes. SO fear not Planetfall will be covered very soon. Also keep an eye our for a post from Spellduckwrong. He has been busy. His weapon lab is churning out a very nice looking Pathogen Fleet. I will leave the Pathogen section of the Marauder Fleet manual to him.

Until next time crush the Alliance and as always....


Friday, November 21, 2014

The Road To Adepticon Is Paved With Space Tables

SeerK here.  With UCON done our next big event is going down in March at Adepticon.  Overall our event at UCON went well and the missions were well received by the players.  There are some slight tweaks that need to be done, but nothing drastic.  Registration for Adepticon starts at 8 P.M. Central time this coming Monday the 24th.  The Schaumburg Prime Offensive is on Saturday the 21st of March.  We are limited to 20 slots so register early to reserve your spot.

To prepare for Adepticon, UCON as well, we had to get playing surfaces made to play on.  We could have just used cloth and done something simple.  Spellduckwrong, Dreadbeard and I really wanted an eye catching and robust playing surface for you, the players, to play on though.  I know I am never happy with how my dice rebound on cloth surfaces and I am not totally sold on Fatmats yet due to the cost involved.  So we made up space boards like the ones we play on at our FLGS, Evolution Games.

I like playing on hard boards.  You don't usually find hard board playing surfaces at tournaments.  We want nothing but the best for our players though.  If you played at the UCON tournament or have been to Evolution games you have seen the great looking space boards our group plays on.  These same boards are what we are using at the Schaumburg Prime Offensive.  I thought I would give you a peek at the boards and the process we used in making them.

We use MDF board for our boards.  Its about a Quarter inch thick and is a six foot by four foot board.  So standard war game table size.  We like to do these outside and were lucky enough for the weather to be good when we did the final 4 boards.  You need a pretty decent amount of space to paint these.  If you are doing them indoors I really recommend putting down some drop cloths  as the paint will get on the floor.  We had to prop the boards up with chairs as we had no saw horses to use.

It is important to note that these particular boards have a smooth side and a rough side.  We paint on the smooth side.  This gives a more even surface.  Painting the other side seemed to require more coats and had a texture to it we did not like.

We are using a flat black house paint for the base coat.  This is durable and is a great base for a space board.  I would not buy more than a gallon of paint, as ten boards did not even require the full gallon.  We used rollers to apply two coats of paint to the boards.  The dry time on this particular kind of paint is pretty quick.  We were able to paint the base coat on the four tables we were working on in about an hour and a half.

You want to make sure the paint fairly dry before moving on to the next step.  We generally wait until the paint is not tacky.  You don't want to leave finger prints or smear the paint.

The next step is to get a good star field applied to the table.  We use a good stiff bristle tooth brush.  The application method we have found that works best is to hold the brush as shown and run your finger length wise down the brush.  this flicks the paint in small droplets onto the board.  The application goes a lot more quickly if you have two people doing it.

The real trick to this is to no glob the paint onto the board.  You do not want to put a lot of paint on the brush.  The kind of paint you use makes a big difference too.  On these four boards we used a craft paint that did not work so well.  We had to re apply the star fields on two of the boards because the paint seemed to be to thin and the stars were to small.

Our next step once the stars were dry was to add the nebula's and gas clouds.  These are just for looks and do not affect game play as we have dedicated terrain pieces for gas clouds and other in game terrain features.  We have several different colors of Krylon Fusion spray paints.  These are what we use to paint the nebula's.  It requires a light touch and Spellduckwrong holds the can about a foot and a half above the board and moves it in single passes over the board so the paint is very light and wispy looking on the board.  Multiple passes darkens the colors.  We usually use two colors that are complementary to add some depth to the clouds appearance.

This is basically done to taste.  Spellduckwrong is our Nebula master as he has the technique down for making these look really nice.

This is our finished product.  The board in the foreground was a mix of pastel green and a baby blue.  The table in the background was a mix of three colors red, yellow and orange.  We painted it a little heavier than we normally do.

So we have ten of these boards ready to roll for Adepticon in March.  We will be touching them up and working on some terrain between now and then.  We look forward to seeing you guys at Adepticon.  I am going to be in the Chicago area next week for Thanksgiving so I was thinking about scouting out the new location.  I will snap some pictures and post them next weekend for your viewing pleasure.

Stay tuned for more posts about Adepticon.  We are set on the path and are really looking forward to the destination.

Until next time crush the Alliance and as always.......


Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Battle At Omicron Theta Results!

SeerK here.  This past weekend The Waygate Staff invaded UCON in Ann Arbor Michigan.  The 2nd Annual Storm Zone Brawl: The Battle At Omicron Theta went down on Saturday the 15th.  We had 10 participants fighting for the great prizes provided by Spartan Games and Evolution Games of Lansing Michigan.  When the guns were finally powered down and the fleets scarred and battered the fate of Omicron Theta was decided.  Victory went to the Zenian League.  Omicron Theta was taken.

The Battles were brutal and we had a pretty decent mix of Kurak Alliance and Zenian League member fleets.  After 4 rounds of brutal combat we had a clear victor.  In fact our winner went undefeated and ended the tournament 47 points ahead of our 2nd place winner.  Just three points shy of a perfect score.  On that note lets take a look at our winners.

1st place  Dave Wangen  Works Raptor / OSO Corsairs

2nd Place  Matt Johnson  Sorylians / Veydreth

3rd Place Steve Krohn  Hawker Industries

Congratulations to our winners and our Battle Station Drawing Winners John Miles and Mike Aguilera.  UCON was fun this year.  The missions seemed to be very well received and our players got a taste of what we will be running at Adepticon in March.  Now that Omicron Theta has fallen the Zenian League Fleets will now press to Schaumberg Prime.

Adepticon has announced Pre Registration will begin on November 24th, which is a Monday, at 8 p.m. central time.  They have the web cart up now so you can preview events and plan your trip.  I encourage everybody to pre register as soon as possible as we expect the event to fill up quick and it is currently limited to 20 spots.  Spartan Games is supporting the event as well as the good folks at Adepticon.  So stay tuned for what we have in store for you!

Thats all for now, But I will leave you with some pictures of the event.

Works Raptor Making some new "Friends"

Hawker Battlship dealing with a Kedorian Battleship
An epic 20 inch battle shunt move
The Sorylians holding the line

Steve enjoying dinner after a bad loss

Until next time crush the Alliance and as always


Monday, November 10, 2014

Fluff Monday: Monsters and Legends

SeerK Here.  Although its not Friday I thought I would post our next installment of the story of Alex Cross.  I have been pretty busy getting ready for our tournament The Second Annual Storm Zone Brawl: The Battle At Omicron Theta at UCON.  It is this coming Saturday the 15th.  our start time is 10 a.m. and there are still spots available.  We have patrol fleets, dreadnought boxes and battle stations up for grabs.  I hope to see you all there!  In the mean time Enjoy the story!

The doors to the hanger bay slowly parted. The force shield holding the environment in the bay flickered slightly as the air momentarily rushed towards the black inky vacuum of space. Alex stood at the center of his officers. They were lined up in two neat rows while an honor guard of the ships Marines stood at attention in parallel lines with their weapons at parade rest. Klaxons sounded as the shuttle entered the bay. The plain steel gray craft slowed as it entered the bay. Its slab sided bulk slowly lowered itself onto the landing pad closest to the arranged rows of officers and Marines.

After it had completed its landing. the Marines turned and quick stepped into two rows flanking the hatch. They stood to attention as the hatch opened. Even covert meetings and secret trips had pomp and traditions to be followed in the Rense System Navy. Alex stood, rather calmly with his hands behind his back, as the hatch opened the the ramp came down. Pioneer troopers came down first, followed by what looked to be a collection of administrators, Fleet Colonels, Fleet Captains and Fleet Marshals. They filed down and joined the other soldiers and Fleet officers in neat rows. Salutes and hand shakes were exchanged. Alex felt all their eyes on him. It was a bit unsettling. It seemed they knew why Fleet Marshal Gronier was here.

As Alex became lost in thought, he awoke form his reverie as one of the higher ranking officers shouted “Attention! Alpha On Deck!” The woman emerging from the blocky shuttle craft looked to be in her early 40's. She was tall with a mane of silver hair flowing down her shoulder. It was arranged in a complex of braids with a heavy looking silver tie at the end of the arrangement. It looked like the “Wings Of Liberty”, The Symbol of the Federation. She was actually quite lovely, with high cheek bones and a slight frame. The look in her eyes could have penetrated a Terran energy shield. They were locked firmly on Alex. It was her, Supreme Fleet Marshal Delphine Rense-Gronier. The “Silver Fox” they called her, well at least not in her presence. Alex knew she was a little over 62 years old, but thanks to Directorate Bio Sciences looked to be in her Early 40's. Her nickname was earned thanks to her silver hair, apparantly it had been that way from a very young age, and her hallmark hit and run tactics when prosecuting campaigns. Her forces were like ghosts and her tactics were reminiscent of the old Earth General Erwin Rommel.

The Fleet Marshal strode confidently down the ramp Saluting the Marines as she went past them. Alex Stepped forward and saluted.
“Welcome the the Leonidas sir! I am..” Marshal Gronier Interrupted as Alex spouted his greeting.
“Do I look like a sir Cross? I hate that protocol Cross. As we have never met that was your one warning”
“Yes ma'am” Her stare seemed to be boring a hole into Alex. He was off to a great start.
“At ease Fleet Marshal, you look like you are going to faint.”
The rumors of her candor did not prepare Alex for the actuality of it. Alex relaxed and lowered his hand from his salute.
“Apologies Fleet Marshal, I am just surprised you are here. Last word was your Task Fleet was in the Omicron Theta System, I take it things did not go well” Alex froze as he realized how frank his statement was.
A wry smile broke the sternness of her face. She seemed almost amused. She glanced back at one of the officers that had arrived with her with a raised eyebrow. He was a middle aged man with close cropped hair and a jagged scar down the right side of his face. He looked as if someone had slapped him. He shook his head in what seemed like an act of contrition.
She gestured for Alex to walk with her. As they walked side by side towards the briefing room the other officers and Marines filed in behind them.
“Marshal Fromer was right about you Cross”
“Right about what ma'am?”
“You are blunt and speak your mind, terrible quality in an officer”The Marshal smiled as she made the statement. Alex was a little taken aback, but she continued.
“Terrible in an Officer, but an excellent quality in a front line Task Fleet Commander and as an adviser.” “ Which is primarily why I am here Cross” Alex tried to contain his confusion.
They continued for a few minutes winding their way through the halls of the ship until they arrived at the briefing room. Fleet Marshal Gronier took the place at the head of the table and gestured fro everybody to sit. The Stewards served scotch and refreshments to the officers as the Fleet Marshal brought maps and fleet dispositions up on the holo projector at the center of the table.

“Lets get down to business, Omicron theta was a disaster and its because that bastard Gravanivitch was feeding us false intel. We have apprehended the spies among us and now our mission has changed.”
Alex was a bit shocked by the Fleet Marshals directness. There were audible groans and sighs at her pronouncements. She continued for several minutes detailing the regroup and reinforcement of the miscellaneous fleet groups still at large from the battle. From the displays and information it looked as if she was planning on hitting the system with about twice as many ships and was dedicating the RNV Dramos to the fight. The Rense Navies sole Leviathan class warship. This was more than an extended campaign to take a planet, this looked to be a plan of vengeance. Marshal Groniers legendary temper seemed to be getting the better of her. A thought occurred to Alex, this looked like a very well orchestrated diversion. The number of assets and the sheer amount of fire power was over kill.

“Ma'am, this looks reckless. Unless you are trying to draw forces off of Schaumberg Prime.....”
Alex trailed off as all eyes looked at him. Several of the men at the table were shaking their heads, a couple had mortified looks.
“Why would I try to do that Marshal Cross?”
Alex felt trapped, but the wry grin on the Fleet Marshals face showed her hand. With as much confidence as he could muster he answered.
“Ma'am, If it were me I would say I would be drawing forces off of Schaumberg prime to make sure my second smaller Battle Fleet had the element of surprise when it shunted in to take the system......And secure a foothold to hit the Fortress.” The pronouncement made Alex sit back in his seat. The eyes moved from him to the smiling Fleet Marshal Gronier.
“You are sharp Cross. I also cannot take full credit for the plan...”
“Panzer......” Alex laughed slightly. That cunning spider.
“As I recall Cross you have dealt with this Relth in the past?”
“Yes ma'am. His name is very hard to say quickly so I just called him Panzer. He might as well be a tank as big as he is. When I was A Fleet Colonel we participated in joint operations with his hive for over a year.”
Alex knew why she was here “So you want me to treat with the Relthoza fleet thats here.” It wasn’t a question Alex made it as a statement of fact.
“Yes Fleet Marshal I do, they should be here within the hour.”
“Actually Ma'am they are already here.”
“They communicated their arrival time Cross, it was to be in about an hour.”
“True, but Panzer always arrives early and being the consummate hunter that he is probably already has the fleet surrounded.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes ma'am. He follows the old ways and his queen does not suffer failure from her 1st consort.”
As if on cue, the bridge signaled the conference room.
“Sir this is the bridge, a large hunter fleet just appeared on the scopes with full weapons lock.” The panic in the officers voice was obvious.
“Understood, do not return weapons lock. Roll the ships belly towards the battleship.”
“How did you know there was a battle ship sir?”
“Just roll the ship Lt.”
Alex grinned. That crafty spider was probably shadowing the Fleet Marshals ships the whole time.
“Presenting your belly Cross?”

“Yes ma'am, all the better to lure him in.” Alex grinned. Panzer was probably having a good laugh on his bridge. This was going to be interesting. Hopefully nobody would die when they went to meet with the Relth. The spider was a traditionalist after all.

Until next time Crush the Alliance and as Always...


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Battle For Omicron Theta Missions!

Hi all SeerK here.  We are just over a week away from the 2nd annual Storm Zone Brawl: The Battle At Omicron Theta.  UCON pre registration has closed, but you can still register for the convention with the onsite prices in effect.

After much playtesting and formatting we have for you a mission pack.  The link HERE will open the document in Google drive so you can play through the missions and know what you are in for.  We went with a modified kind of Tiered mission.  You play as normal gaining and loosing battle log.  There are three objectives which are worth additional battle log. These are added at the end of the game if you complete the objective.  A winner is determined from here.

This is the format we will be doing at Adepticon.  Speaking of Adpeticon, if you listen to the Adepticon Talks podcast myself, Spellduckwrong and Dreadbeard will be on an upcoming episode talking about the Adepticon Events we have planned.

We are also delving into the realm of Pod Casting.  The group of us will be throwing some knowledge your way with the guys over at Firebase Delta in the next couple of episodes so head on over and check it our.  Phil, Robert and Bryan are a good bunch of guys and have a great podcast for all of your Firestorm Universe needs.

Well thats all for now.  Its proving to be a busy week.  Stay tuned for more stories and tactical articles.

Until next time crush the Alliance and as always