Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Zona Alfa: First Squad

The Squad Leader.
Armed with an assault rifle, he is pointing out the next target.
Empress Modern Russian with the Russian helmeted head with gas mask.

Hardened soldier with assault rifle.

Empress Universal Soldier with Russian gas mask head.
He is wearing desert camouflage body armour.
Veteran squad support gunner with a PKP GPMG.
Empress Modern Russian with Russian gas mask head.

Veteran with assault rifle.
Modern Russian with Russian gas mask head.

Another Hardened soldier with assault rifle.
Full squad.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Zona Alfa: The first character

Zona Alfa is set in an Exclusion Zone in Eastern Europe, most of the weapons and equipment are assumed to be either Soviet or Russian.

Empress Miniatures has two Soviet/Russian equipped ranges - the Ultramodern Russian range and the Universal Soldier range. The Russian range includes helmeted heads with gas masks.

For the first squad (limited as I have only one set of five gas mask heads), I am using Russian bodies for Veteran and Hardened characters and Universal Soldier bodies for Rookies.

This is the first one assembled and painted.

The figure is from the Universal Soldier A set (the figure bodies are sets A and B, the numbers indicate the head choice). The head is an Empress Russian helmet with gas mask.
He is armed with an AK fitted with a metal retractable stock.
His body armour has fixing loops for additional kit, once he has completed some missions and collected some salvage he can add kit.
 A Zinge Industries Engineering brick decorates the base. Once the rest of the squad are assembled and painted, I will add some tufts and flock.
Ready to adventure into the Exclusion Zone.

Zona Alfa - Salvage and Survival in the Exclusion Zone

Zona Alfa by Patrick Todoroff is a set of skirmish rules and campaign system in the traditional Osprey Wargames Blue Book format.
The minimal (but effective) background sets the game somewhere in the former Soviet Union after an incident which has led to the authorities setting up an Exclusion Zone. The player's forces have entered the Exclusion Zone and undertake missions to retrieve salvage and artefacts.

The traditional Blue Book has 64 pages and is illustrated with atmospheric full page plates and photographs.

The rules are intended to be fast and fun.

Player will field between 4 - 12 figures each and the core of the rules are D10 rolls under a number. This can be against a set number or opposing rolls.

Activation alternates with initiative rolled at the beginning of each turn. The different levels (Veteran, Hardened, Rookie) can make different numbers of actions each turn (3, 2, 1). Veterans and Hardened can go on Alert which allows them to take one action in an opponents turn. Leaders can pass one of their actions to another figure - that figure completes the action before the Leader can continue. This allows group actions ("you and you, move forward").

Weapons are generalised, so there are pistols, heavy pistols, sub machine guns, assault rifles, battle rifles, RPGs, heavy machine guns etc rather than different sorts of assault rifles (so an assault rifle could be an AK-47, AK-74, M16 or M4).

The Exclusion Zone is dangerous, not only do you have to contend with other players, but each time you get within a certain distance of a Hot Spot or Mission Objective, you have to contend with various nasties being spawned.

The rules are figure agnostic, the included critters (in increasing order of danger) are Vermin, Feral Dogs, Zombies, Rad Ghouls, Bandits, Mutants and Large Mutants.

Of course you can can choose what represents each critter - to taste or depending on your figure collection, and tailor the critter tables to suit your story line.
"Boris is convinced that Something is eating all the vermin. We think it is just one of his worries. Saying that, we have not run into many rats recently. And the number of feral dogs seems to be decreasing"
Each Hot Spot may contain salvage, or even an anomaly with added perils and rewards.

The rules include a campaign system, surviving and achieving are rewarded with increased skills and equipment.

The rules are clear, the only query is on a couple of the tables not having the die roll number associated with them being present, plus there are five items and you roll on a D6. The Author (who is active on the Lead Adventure Forum) has stated that you roll D6 - if you roll a 6 you can choose an item from the five items in the table. He also has a blog here.

Within the rulebook there are no Solo or Cooperative rules beyond the critter AI, it is playable solo as supplied, but there is an official Solo and Cooperative supplement available for download from Osprey, plus there is also an additional set of Points Of Interest rules on his blog.

The background is inspired by the Stalker and Metro computer games and the Russian novels Metro 2033 and 2035. The imagery is inspired by the ghost city of Pripyat and the Chernobyl Exclusion zone. Of course you can use any background you like, such as Stephen King's The Mist.

 Adventuring into the Exclusion Zone.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Dead Trees part one

Crooked Dice Dead Forest.
 Another Products for Wargamers MDF base.
The trunks were painted with Citadel Mechanicum Standard Grey. The exposed inner wood was painted with Army Painter Skeleton Bone. This was then dry brushed with Citadel Mechanicum Standard Grey followed by a wash of Citadel Nuln Oil.

Oil Barrels

Another piece of terrain. A barrier made from Debris of War barrels.
Based on another Products for Wargamers MDF base.
 Again undercoated with Citadel Chaos Black followed by Citadel Death Guard Green.

The Container

Containers are everywhere. Some of them are very large, 45 feet long. Others are as small as 10 foot long.

This is one of the smaller ones, from Crooked Dice.
It is on an MDF base  from Products for Warmers.
 It was undercoated with Citadel Chaos Black followed by Citadel Death Guard Green.
The numbers and icon are from the Rubicon T34 decal set.