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Author Topic: Alien Squad Leader in 28mm - Honour Guard for Alien Warrior Caste  (Read 2023 times)

Offline Hobgoblin

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Has anyone tried such a thing?

Alien Squad Leader is pretty much the only wargame that I've bought but never played. There are two reasons for this: we used not to have a table of sufficient depth; and I tend to get distracted from 15mm after painting a few. I'm particularly bad at painting armies in 15mm - especially uniform ones.

But I'm thinking now about hoovering some of the spare miniatures I have lying around. I also have a lot of 50 x 50mm plastic bases, and 'element' games (HOTT, DBA, Mayhem, etc.)  are probably my favourite sort of wargame. And the kids and I have a pile of 40K stuff, largely acquired second hand).

So ... I was thinking that a nice project might be to base some of this up on 'regulation' 50mm squares and finally get the game on the table. I've just tried out five 40K gretchin on one of the bases, and they fit quite nicely. Larger troop types would probably have to drop to threes or even twos. But the infantry would be doable, and the advantages of painting bases of two or three is that it would be quick; I reckon that I'd get through two or three 28mm figures a lot quicker than five 15mm ones.

From what I can see of the rules and battle reports, it's like HOTT in that an element is an element and figure count doesn't matter. So two hulking orks on a base should work just fine.

The one drawback I can see is with vehicles. But frontages can stretch to 75mm for tanks, and smaller vehicles can be on 50 x 100mm. I'm not going to buy any vehicles for this, so we'd be using stuff we already have (dreadnoughts and bikes, which would fit on 50 x 50 or 50 x 100) or building them from scratch (my son is a dab hand with cardboard for such things). That means we could just build them to fit (perhaps with no base and the vehicle just occupying the correct dimensions, where appropriate.

But other than that, is there any obvious reason why this wouldn't work?
« Last Edit: December 06, 2021, 02:21:48 PM by Hobgoblin »

Offline Gibby

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Re: Alien Squad Leader in 28mm?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2021, 09:49:56 AM »
I reckon it would work fine just out of the principle that:

1) most rules can survive some breakaway from its own basing conventions
2) if you're playing among friends/family rather than having pick up games with randoms at a shop or club then point 1 is even more true.
3) a game is more enjoyable when you're happy with how it all looks, which it sounds like you will be in 28mm. I say give it a go!

That said, I'd love to see you have a go at 10mm or something, maybe another scale?  ;)

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Alien Squad Leader in 28mm?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2021, 08:32:01 PM »
Thanks, Gibby - good points all!

I'm going to plunge in. I've just had another squizz at the rules, and figures per base is unimportant, as with HOTT. So we'll be able to play 'rules as written'.

I will get back to 10mm one day, but the aim for this project is to use up the stuff that's lying around. I had an abortive 40K HOTT project underway just before the pandemic struck, so I'll be recycling some of that stuff into this one. The good thing about upping the scale and keeping the basing the same is that each element should be quick to paint. A look at the plastic pile suggests that I'll be able to get a full army of orks (in ASQL terms, perhaps Outlaw Gang or Alien Tribal Mercenaries) together right away.

The orks will go two to a base, and they look better on 50mm squares than the 60 x 30s I was using for the HOTT project. But it looks like most other troop types will go three to five to a base without looking too cramped.

I'm also quite keen on the potential for hoovering up some fantasy stuff with this. The game has lots of scope for primitive types, so spare orcs, lizardmen and other 'tribals' can be readily absorbed.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Alien Squad Leader in 28mm?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2021, 10:31:33 AM »
I put the first couple of elements together last night. I like how these look on the table, and there's space on each base for counters to show hits (rather than leaving them beside the units on the tabletop).

It also occurs to me that these will work for The Battlefield, Brent Spivey's modern-combat game, which has made up the entirety of our sci-fi gaming this year. If I paint up one individual ork for every two elements, I'll be able to do the full range (four to one) of potential unit casualties in that game.

The orks can be used as Alien Tribal Mercenaries or Outlaws. Both depend heavily on Shooter and Fighter units; these guys are Shooters, and the ones with big axes/cleavers/chainswords will fit in nicely as Fighters.

I'll base heavy-weapon troopers individually, making those the quickest units to paint. They fill a 50mm square nicely, thanks to their various protuberances.


Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Alien Squad Leader in 28mm?
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2021, 11:58:26 AM »
Quite a few of the ASQL armies feature primitive fighters of various sorts. I was trying to work out what to use for these and then remembered that I'd acquired some 40 Mantic ratkin when I bought the Kings of War rules earlier this year.

We're playing Kings of War in 1/72 (my other big "hoovering up" project for the winter), so I'm not going to be using the ratkin for that; Caesar ratmen fit in handily there. For my purposes, the nice thing about the ratkin is that they don't look particularly rat-like. They don't have rodent incisors, but instead have more of lupine or civet-like look. So I think they'll work quite nicely as primitive mammalian aliens that don't precisely map to any Terran species.

The trick is going to be painting them so that they don't look like they've crawled from some sewer. The baroque arms and armour might help here, and I reckon clean, brightly coloured clothing will transform them a bit too - perhaps with striking patterns.

I'm not sure what I'll do about their skin and fur. I'll either go with some truly alien look (blue or green fur or something) or perhaps just a mix of naturalistic looks. But either way, I think they'll look quite good - and quite different - as primitive aliens.


Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Alien Squad Leader in 28mm?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2021, 04:38:22 PM »
To expedite the project, I'm going to rebase these fellows: the semi-complete remnants of my 40K HOTT project from before the pandemic. I was working towards a one-off game with friends that never happened thanks to the virus - and they've since been introduced to HOTT with fantasy troops. So these chaps can go onto 50 x 50 squares, which will suit them better than being lined up side by side on 60mm strips.

I had a quick skim of the army lists at lunchtime today, and it appears that the easiest army to get on the table will be the Imperial Strike Force. A box of Primaris marines, acquired very cheaply a couple of years ago, will give me the mainstay, along with some old terminators. The fact that they'll go two or one to a base should speed things up - along with all-metallic armour.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Alien Squad Leader in 28mm?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2021, 10:00:48 AM »
Progress has been slow this week (thanks, work!), but I've got a few more elements assembled and the base colours down on one of them (below). I really like the way these two- or three-figure blocks look. Numbers are taking care of themselves; I'll have regular infantry three to a base, power-armoured infantry between three (normal marines, etc.) and one (terminators), with the Primaris types two to a base as Imperial Strike shocktroopers.

The Wargames Atlantic lizardmen could be either shooters or inferior infantry. A rummage in the orc/ork pile has produced plenty of material for shooter, fighter and rider bases - covering most of the "primitive" types for several armies.

As the Alien Mercenaries list demands an element or two of "Imperials" to command them, I'm going to use some Mantic orx in that roles - they look much more disciplined and better equipped than the GW types - more treens than troglodytes. And they have heavy weapons too, which are an option in that list.

One thing I hadn't really considered in swapping scale was weapon ranges. But I think those will work out fine. The standard 50cm range isn't too different from the infamous 40K 24", and we can assume a larger figure scale than 1:1. If it ends up looking too incongruous, I can always double the ranges.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2021, 10:03:19 AM by Hobgoblin »

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Alien Squad Leader in 28mm?
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2021, 12:26:20 PM »
Progress on this project has been painfully slow, though I now have painting underway on eight elements (starting with the bases). One of the interesting things about Alien Squad Leader is its very different army lists. I've been looking around at options for some of these, and have come up with some ideas: Gates of Antares Ghar battle suits as Tripods, for example, and Irregular bugs for the Hive Mind list.

One of the more intriguing armies is Human Cultists: lots and lots of inferior, fanatical infantry, blaring and demoralising musicians, dodgy heavy weapons and huge, ramshackle vehicles. Now, I don't have many suitable human cultists to hand, but I do have quite a few GW plague monks and other Skaven. With their banners and scrolls and gongs, they seem just the ticket - and they're ripe for conversion to sci fi. Here's the first kitbashed cultist element. These could be packed more densely onto the base, but I think it's best (and quicker!) to keep them spaced out a bit.

I might add the odd human or other alien (Frostgrave gnoll?) to the horde, but most will be Skaven. Given the reddish bases, I'll probably go with dirty white robes and banners with red symbols (I might as well use the Skaven triangle device as that's on a lot of the shields).

Offline Pattus Magnus

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Re: Alien Squad Leader in 28mm - kitbashed cultists!
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2021, 04:37:43 PM »
Thatís an awesome idea! I like how the bits and pieces you used fit together on the Skaven bodies.

Offline mellis1644

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Re: Alien Squad Leader in 28mm - kitbashed cultists!
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2021, 04:44:06 PM »
This looks cool and interested in how you find the game. This is something I have been looking at getting into myself
My painting blog is at: http://mellis1644.wordpress.com/

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Alien Squad Leader in 28mm - kitbashed cultists!
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2021, 05:02:27 PM »
Thanks!

As I'm using Mantic's ratkin as primitive fighters, I think the rat-like cultists will work well - perhaps as corrupt city-dwellers to the ratkin's noble tribes. Rat or jerboa-like aliens - Mua'dib! - seem appropriate enough for a desert setting. They collect moisture in their ears, no doubt!

I've based up a Skaven globe launcher now too, separating the two crewmen for a more natural pose. And I think I have a couple of flamethrowers too.

mellis1644 - the rules do look very good. One nice thing is that quite a lot of them feature the same troop types. So the cultists could also feature as part of the Rebel Alliance, Outlaw Gang or Imperial Alien lists.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Alien Squad Leader in 28mm - Alien Imperials!
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2021, 07:48:02 PM »
Progress on this project was stymied by an outbreak of Covid in the house, but that's out of the way now. Here's the first element close to completion: Regular Infantry for the Alien Imperial list. A nice feature of the ASQL rules is that certain elements can work in various lists. For the Alien Tribal Mercenaries list, I'll use GW orks, but they need either human or alien Regular Infantry to lead them. So these guys will work in that role too.

I think the Mantic "orx" work quite well as Alien Imperials. Although their gear is orcishly irregular, it's quite high tech, which fits the Alien Imperial list with its advanced energy weapons. The irregular uniforms can be excused as simply being alien to the human sense of military decorum!

I'm going for a vaguely "Lynch Harkonnen" look for these guys. The base still needs a final drybrush and some detailing on the rocks.

The troops are probably a bit closely bunched for sci-fi - at least when they're in the open. On the other hand, they'll look appropriate when in cover or built-up areas, and the 50mm squares make for quite nice objects. As much as I can, I'm aiming to have Regular and Inferior Infantry three to a base and Powered Armour/Big and Tough types two to a base.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 07:50:12 PM by Hobgoblin »

Offline Grumpy Gnome

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Re: Alien Squad Leader in 28mm - Alien Imperials!
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2021, 08:15:42 PM »
Wow! Those figures look brilliant. Great skin tone.
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Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Alien Squad Leader in 28mm - Alien Imperials!
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2021, 02:36:16 PM »
Thanks!

Here's the next unit - power-armoured Alien Imperial elites. These are EM4 "space rangers"; I'll be doing a headswap on the unhelmeted sort to make him match the regular infantry.

As with the other element, the base isn't quite finished.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Alien Squad Leader in 28mm - Alien Imperials!
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2021, 10:04:15 PM »
No painting today, but I did get a few elements assembled for an Alien Warrior Caste army. The mainstays of this are power-armoured infantry, for which the Gates of Antares Algoryn should do nicely. I'm using an old Tyranid Warrior as the leader's honour guard (monstrous infantry with heavy weapon).

The various GW ork elements that I have underway will work as the feral subjects of the warrior caste; the orks will be doing quadruple duty as primitives in Alien Imperial, Alien Warrior Caste, Outlaw Gang and Alien Tribal Mercenary armies.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2021, 02:08:27 PM by Hobgoblin »

 

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