Blast-tastic 2016

It’s a somewhat dreary day so I’ve abandoned the man-cave in search of entertainment elsewhere, the elsewhere being the Blast-tastic Sci-Fi themed wargames show. You can follow along on Twitter #Blast-tastic2016 or on the Facebook page (assuming I can get a signal). Failing that I’ll update things right here after the action.

Horizon Wars

Horizon Wars is a 2-10mm combined arms skirmish game by Robey Jenkins set in humanity’s future. With unit profiles based more on ability and functional purpose on the battlefield it has the benefit of not being a slave to a particular miniature range, freeing up collectors to make use of existing ranges or the freedom to pick and choose infantry, vehicles, ‘mecha’ and aircraft from their favourite suppliers. More about Horizon wars can be found at Precinct Omega.

Sticking with the small scale there were also demo games from Hawk (Dropzone Commander) and Spartan (HALO Ground Combat) on hand, Spartan in particular sporting some buildings from their Planetfall game that they really need to find a way to get in to production for HALO simply because they are perfect.

It was also great to see some of the smaller traders there such as Brigade Models. These guys have been on my radar for  while when it comes to 6mm and 15mm , but I’ve never gotten around to really checking out their range of miniatures and particular terrain. That’s one of the great things about a show like this is you get a chance to see the product first hand and there is no substitute for that sometimes. Result being I purchased a couple of their excellent 6mm resin desert building sets and  strong likelihood I’ll be in touch for more.

brigade-models-01  Wrapping up the 6mm coverge I must obviously mention Angel Barracks who organised the event. Michael had his fantastic 6mm RDF and Junkers on show along with two great looking gaming boards. I might be very Games Workshop ‘Epic’-centric but what Blast-tastic really demonstrates is there’s a healthy and thriving 6mm Sci-Fi scene every bit as well supported and that makes me very happy indeed. Long may it continue to grow. Here are Michael’s forces in all their glory.

ab-kr16-01

“Welcome back Commander…”

When I was somewhat younger. Ok, a lot younger! I was a huge fan of the X-COM computer game and by that I refer to the original UFO: Enemy Unknown by Mythos Games/Microprose and it’s successor X-COM: Terror from the Deep. Clearly Steve Jones is something of a kindred spirit as he took his tabletop miniature version of X-COM to Salute this year and it was so popular ended up running two games back-to-back throughout the entire day. I missed out unfortunately, but rather fortuitously Steve was at Blast-tastic with X-COM and another mission against the alien invaders. The table had a fantastically retro feel reminiscent of the Terror from the Deep quayside missions and there are so many elements that are instantly recognisable from the computer game, such as the ingenious dashboard with map pins to track weapon ammo and reload status for the X-COM operatives. Steve is aiming to take the games successor to Salute for 2017 and if that happens I can see X-COM 2 being every bit the hit at Salute X-COM was this year. Let’s be honest, what’s not to like? Fabulous game. This one is firmly on my ‘games to play’ radar.

x-com-03

These were not the only particiption games at the show as there were several more including games of Alien Squad Leader, Aren’t you a little short for a Space Vixen? (I typed that correctly I assure you) and a mini X-Wing tournament supported by Kirton Games.

vixens-from-mars
I really wish I’d had more time to check this out.

Shop until you drop…

As with any self respecting wargames show there was plenty of opportunity to part with some cash and add to the swag bag. I often try (and fail) at Salute to focus on items away from my usual mainstream interests and pick up stuff I don’t as a general rule delve into that much. This time I managed to be a lot more disciplined and picked up a rather nice lava inspired gaming mat from Incom Gaming who are the sole UK importer for Gamemat.EU and as it turns out are quite near to me and have a bar. That’s pretty much all the info I needed to be sold on a trip to pay them  a visit at some stage soon.

incom-gaming

I also picked up a few Malifaux minions for use in Frostgrave, more on that tomorrow (it’s not as daft as it sounds), some resin bases, the aforementioned Brigade desert scenery and two absolutely stunning figures from Icarus Miniatures which are part of their Icaraus Project skirmish game.

The Icarus Project quite literally wrapped up on Kickstarter the day before and successfully funded out, for which I’m pleased because although this campaign completely flew under my radar their miniatures are absolutely jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Since getting back from Blast-tastic and taking a look at their campaign page on Kickstarter I can honestly say the photos do not do the quality of their design and manufacture justice. The scale and proportions remind me very much of the miniatures in AvP by Prodos and despite the rocky press Prodos may be getting as a result of the AvP debacle there is no arguing that their miniature design is first class. Icarus Project has that level of razor-sharp detail and that alone has made their range stand out as something special. If you’re a backer, I suspect you are not going to be disppointed. I’ll talk about that a bit more tomorrow when I cover what’s next on the painting table.

With that handy segue I’ll wrap up with a shout out to Little Ninja Painting for no other reason than he was dilligently working away throughout the entire show, was located next to Incom Gaming and above all had a lovely selection of figures including some Epic scale (Aeronautica) aircraft. For that alone, I salute you!


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