Wednesday 3 January 2018

Old School Epic Grav Tanks

Found three dozen Falcons(?) - they're such an old edition I don't even remember! - grav tanks in a box when tidying my shed.  2017 has been a year of frugality - with the Dropfleet rules, some 15mm tanks, and some discounted Warmachine metals my main purchases of note. So anything novel is good.

 The 90s called - they want their Eldar hovertanks back...

I've been working on eking away at the lead mountain, with a rule of "no new minis till you paint the old ones." 28mm Fantasy still has a few Confrontation 3 warbands -  (oh beauteous models!) to go, along with some WM Scyrah and assorted solos; but hundreds of fantasy models have been painted this year. It'd make me feel good if I didn't recall my LOTR boxes; ~500 various models I bought in a few job lots; but I'm so overwhelmed by them only a small proportion (for Battle Companies) has been painted.

Anyway, the grav tanks kinda have no foes to fight, and anything GW is too rich for my budget, so I'm going to make a homebrew set of rules, a homage to the hovertank FPS/RTS Battlezone (remember PC gaming in the 90s? There was some great gameplay. Seems like most new games are 90% shiny and 10% content..  mutter mutter old codger rant).

 You'd think someone with a username like evilleMonkeigh would be better with his Eldar. Well I do remember a few paint schemes... see if you can identify them...

The hovertank game going to take place in an abandoned ruined city/underground (underhive? Moria? abandoned Craftworld?) caverns. The hovertanks are going to be scavenging for precious lostech, and transporting cargo between colonies. It's not just enemy hovertanks; monsters lurk in the underworld....

In the depths of the underworld, enemy monsters lurk, to be fought with crackling energy beams...

I'm going to use it as a test bed for campaign rules, the more "gimmicky" rules that don't make it into my tank game (see last post), and experimenting with drift mechanics for space games.  Because a 50 ton sci fi flying tank drifting sideways while firing backwards at 100kph is cool. I'm making pew-pew shwooosh noises in my head as I type this.   Yeah, the tanks are identical but I'll allow them to be "customized" with extra thrusters, afterburners, and the top weapon bay can be fitted with autocannon, rockets or missiles, or even sensors.  Extra armour plates can be fitted at the expense of agility.  I may even add cloaking devices and shields.  The main spinal mount energy beam can be set for rapid pulse, normal, and sniper beam modes between missions.   It might be a good place to test spotting mechanics for the conventional tank rules (or night fighting in the gloom of the underworld).

Only agile hovertanks can navigate the treacherous underground tunnels and paths...

I used the opportunity to try different bright paint schemes, in preparation to when I can (perhaps) one day afford Dropfleet factions.

Okay, I give up - there's just so many of them.... it was a quick and fun task though, compared to say, the hassle (and feelings of inadequacy) when painting Infinity (yes, I have 20+ of every faction; yes, I've only painted 3 of those factions...).

I'm going to keep the homebrew hovertank game simple; but I want some sort of drift mechanics (or ones that sort of simulate it and give it the right "feel" even if it isn't 100% accurate.

 These paint schemes give me an urge to fire up the old Dawn of War 1 on PC. Biel-Tann, Sann-Haim, Ulthwe, Iyanden...

Last ones! Below you can see more of my game table. A few pieces of cheap pine makes a handy city scape etc - not the prettiest, but very cheap (I think the wood was free!) and is excellent for testing cover mechanics in games as it is good for testing angles/ranges etc and their impact on game tactics.

Terrain density and how it impacts games (vs artificially short weapon ranges) is a topic I've been musing about. Maybe time for a game design post again?


  1. This is very interesting my dear!
    I'm particularly interested in the simplified drift mechanic, for starship rule set I'm ever dreaming of. And simple campaign rules would be great also.
    Not to mention I have a box of those venerable grab tanks under my bed (they battle the fur balls 😅)

    1. Problem is, the hovertanks don't "go" with much else: I want cargo haulers to "escort" for missions and most things in my collection look either too much like a plane or a spaceship.