Monday, January 24, 2011

[USE ME] Alcovian Motor Rifle Troops

After my impromptu solo game using the USE ME system, I took some time today to write out some proper unit write-ups with points values to demonstrate, to those who may not be familiar, how USE ME looks on a stats level.

The system is intended to be incredibly generic and really simple, fitting into the tiniest little rule book you will ever see in official print - about the same dimensions as a typical miniatures blister pack. There are only three kinds of vehicles in USE ME and the ability to armor them or not. The weapons are expressed as a matter of broad categories. Interpreting specific equipment and vehicles often requires a bit of squinting to blur the particulars.

For the purposes of this first run, I decided that I would categorize armored vehicles thus - APCs would count as Light, medium tanks would be Heavy and anything in the category of an Abrams or Challenger would be Super Heavy. A bit of wiggling can be achieved here by the decision to classify a vehicle as armored or not. A URAL or UAZ is a Light vehicle but unarmored. The difference between a T-55 and a T-72 could be that a T-55 is a Heavy and a T-72 is an Armored Heavy. Vague differences to be sure, but this isn't a nuts and bolts game.

Listed below are some of the write-ups for the National Alcovian Army forces used in the scenario.

BTR-70 APC (Armored Light Vehicle) – 25pts
Elan: 3                   Move: 12”
Attack Type:          Vehicle Automatic Weapon (Autocannon)

Soldier (Infantry) – 10pts
Elan: 3                   Move: 4”
Attack Type:          Superior Rifle (AK)

SAW (Infantry) – 11pts
Elan: 3                   Move: 4”
Attack Type:          Heavy Weapon (RPK)

RPG Team (Infantry) – 24pts
Elan: 3                   Move: 4”
Attack Type:          Direct Support Weapon (RPG)
                               Superior Rifle (AK)

Captain Irengutz (Infantry Hero) – 20pts
Elan: 5                   Move: 4”
Attack Type:          Superior Rifle (AK)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Prisoners Taken in New Year's Fighting

January 23, 2011

News of fighting in the eastern city of Bunchabal has been confirmed.

While patrolling through the small city, NAA forces came under sudden attack, ambushed by APA infantry that had taken up positions in the ten stories, this elevation provided plenty of positions for the attacking snipers and rockets that rained down on national forces. It was only the quick thinking and maneuvering of unit's commander Captain Yubel Irengutz that prevented the attack from being a massive catastrophe for his unit.

Captain Irengutz maneuvered his light vehicle under the cover of a nearby parking structure where he created a defensive position from which to return fire and give himself time to evaluate the situation. Once in position, the brave NAA captain was able to locate the main enemy positions and direct concentrated fire on those locations. This provided covering fire for him to deploy two small teams of soldiers to outflank the ambushers.

Several NAA soldiers were injured in the ensuing firefight as the fire teams moved through several floors of the surrounding buildings, guided by Captain Irengutz and his radio operator who called out the positions of various sniper and rocket teams as they were pinpointed. Rooftop snipers where eventually taken out by helicopter strikes as the captain was finally able to call in support from a nearby patrol.

After nearly nine hours of continuous fighting, NAA forces were able to secure the area. Exact numbers of dead have not been released at this time, but it is known that several prisoners were taken, junior officers and NCOs in the APA. The firefight also provided additional evidence to the growing number of civilian volunteers and militia groups that are becoming involved in the conflict. No civilian prisoners were taken as all either perished in the fighting or took their own lives rather than be captured.

[This is a newscast summary of a simple solo game I played using the USE ME rules by Though intended for use with science fiction miniatures, the rules are incredibly simple and lent themselves well to an ad hock game. As I do not have my 20mm stuff ready yet, this was played with existing 15mm figs from my collection with books and boxes standing in for proper buildings. Very fun nonetheless, but not overly photogenic.]

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cool Book

While browsing the local Half-Priced Books today, I almost missed this lovely gem of a book. By no means an exhaustive look at military vehicles, "Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - Visual Encyclopedia" is a nice, handy quick reference book for everything from FT-17s to T-90s and in between. It covers more than just tanks and APCs as well and provides useful quick info on numerous trucks, jeeps, anti-aircraft systems, etc.. All the vehicles within are organized into topics such as "Pre-War Tanks" or "Late Cold War" making it quite useful when trying to track down a vehicle from a particular point in history.

Not a bad grab for under $20 and to think I almost missed it.

Take care,


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Vehicles Too!

Well the build-up continues and I am finally in a position where I might be able to get a few test battles in. Though I'd like to have a few more APCs and soft skins in the collection eventually, this will give me something to work with for patrol vs patrol or ambush scenarios.

At this time, I have the following vehicles -

  • 3 x T-55s - two pre-assembled models and on Trumpeter kit
  • 2 x T-62 kits
  • 1 x T-34 - this will be converted to an AAA carrier once I have the gun.
  • 1 x BTR-60 - this is going to get an updated remote turret from RH Models.

A note on the kits. The Trumpeter model seems to be the most gamer friendly of them. The entire under carriage is pretty much pre-assembled as one part. All you have to do is glue the wheels on. The rest of them have undercarriages that are made up of multiple parts. The drawback to the Trumpeter kit is the lack of a spotlight. I may have to scratch build one and come up with a way to do a resin-cast of it. Trumpeter does do some engineering versions of the T-55 that have the spotlight, so maybe I'll get some of those and just ditch the dozer blades and mine sweepers to the bits box.

The two pre-assembled kits were from MRC and though they get sold along side the other diecast models, they are not. These models are all plastic which was a bit of a surprise to me when I pulled them out of their insanely well-packed boxes. The box was reinforced by a plastic frame at either end and the tank secured to the packaging by two screws requiring a screwdriver to remove.

For now, I have enough tanks and need more APCs and trucks. Also some civilian vehicles would be good, though I'm not sure of a good source for modern eastern European vehicles in 1/72.


Monday, January 3, 2011


Just a quick post showing folks that Crisis in Alcovia is more than just vaporware. I've got a good 50+ Liberation miniatures from RH Models in the works.

The quick camera phone snap shows the larger group of hat and camouflage fatigue wearing Russians with AKs. The gents with the green stuff are a bunch of figures wearing what look like civilian coats and M40 helmets, carrying AK-47s. The green stuff I'm adding to make them each a little more unique with scarves, pouches, backpacks, a beard and even a couple of puffy jackets and vests. I'll give more detailed looks at them when I have a chance to take some quality pics.

I still need to figure out a way to get a spotlight for a Trumpeter T-55 model. The darned thing doesn't come with one.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Coming Together

I finally think I have my ducks in a row and am just waiting for them all to come home to roost. Though I had planned to get going earlier than this, the past few months have proven a bit less forgiving then would have been optimal. Time divided between work, family, the holidays and other hobby projects has unfortunately left Alcovia a bit of a lonely child left behind.

The news feeds and bit of background fluff have been a way for me to keep my mind, and hopefully yours, in the game so to speak. Not only do they paint a picture of what is going on in the country leading up to the real game play but they are a way for me to keep my brain primed for the setting. Without the blog, Alcovia might have slipped into the obscure back corner of the vast pallet that is my hobby life.

The good news is that I now seem to have the pieces falling into place. I have the last few miniatures that I need to make playable forces on their way now - LMGs, command, and rocket launchers. These should arrive in a couple of weeks, allowing me to finish converting and painting the figs I already have.

I also have some vehicles on their way. I finally found some good deals on plastic and diecast vehicles and a few Christmas presents are filling in a gap or two. Due to the availability of models, Alcovia will now be fielding the T-62 as well as the T-55 and T-72.

Terrain is the next real order of business. I have wilderness terrain enough to play conflicts on the outskirts, but I have no buildings or other man made structures in 20mm scale. I don't imagine they will be hard to make, it's just finding the time to do them.

Once I have the basics out of the way, I can start growing the collection slowly and adding new elements to the games as they present themselves.

The New Year should hopefully get this project into gear.