HOQ Rule sets – Fire Team, Oscar Mike, World at War and SABOT

In-house rule sets and much more (well a little bit more) …..

Over the last few years we’ve slowly (very) been working on tidying up our various in-house rule sets. It started as a project to update them for ourselves but we also decided that if they tarted up ok we’d eventually make them all available to other gamers free (ie a donation if you feel like it). Recently while working with Empress on a Modern Battlegroup set (Oscar Mike) and totally unplanned, we snaked our way back to first principles gaming (ie no dice or tables games). The result was we ended up revising our core play combat systems. Very much for the better as it turns out as it’s really given our gaming and hobby a new impetus. Sooooo what are we working on …..?


Fire Team and Oscar Mike. Fire Team is our own set of 8-20 man modern skirmish rules with a dose of RPG elements thrown in (that’s Role Playing Game not Rocket Propelled Grenade!). It was basically finished and had been pretty well tested but is now being re-vamped with our new combat system which greatly simplifies things but still allows for detail where it’s wanted. That and the lure of making a “Syrian-Modern” style destroyed city terrain board has generated some excitement again.

Oscar Mike is a Battlegroup sized rule set we’re working on with the Lads at Empress and is aimed at 1-2 platoons and 6-8 vehicles a side, although it scales up and down easily. As this is a collaborative set it, and any supplements, will eventually be available (hopefully middish 2017) from Empress Miniatures once play-testing is complete and assuming it’s successful too …. 🙂



World at War (working title lol) is a Platoon-Company sized WW2 game. Originally just set in Western Europe we’ve been using and tweaking our WW2 rules for over 30years of gameplay. Oddly this was our rule set we were most happy with as it always matched up to the thousands of books and combat accounts digested. However the new combat system plays so well that even this has gotten a re-write to use that as it’s core. The equipment lists are currently being expanded to cover most of the middle to late war.

Sabot is our Tank vrs Tank tabletop RPG game. Again this is getting a dose of the new combat system and a focus on making the gameplay a little easier (some features were nice but needed tech to speed up the play which is beyond our resources) and with more focus on crew development and skills progression.

We’ll probably convert Fire Team to the WW2 setting as well so allowing a man focused small WW2 skirmish game in the style of the Commando comics we loved so much.


Sci-fi Fantasy

Just pure funsies here. We grew up playing Space Opera and Traveller and have a deep love of sci-fi. Upon hitting upon our new combat system it’s opened up Sci-fi gaming for us again as being able to be both simple but with depth, so it’s all ahead with the rules. The front end is done and allows any type of sci-fi troop type you can think of to be easily created with simple and relative stats. Races that can be created include from a few base values include Hordes (Tyranid, Alien and Arachnid types) creatures, Warrior races (think Klingons, Proxims and Krogans), Alphans, Human Planetary Forces, Heinlein inspired Power-Armoured Assault Troopers (gee I wonder were the idea for “space-marines and terminators came from”) and Robots. While not laser-locked on our Radar as being urgent, it’s hard not to feel the liberating freedom of being able to game anything you’ve ever read or watched in the Genre with one base system and not requiring to buy every specific rule set or kickstarter ….

Survival Horror. Bit of a touchy one this one. It’s been on our “to game” list for almost 20years now so it’s definitely not a fad but we have had a couple of souring experiences that have pushed this back into the dark for a while. Long story short, imagine some naive kiwi lads (then part of another rules company) talking with a major gaming and miniatures company and their partnered publishing house about a rule set (none of their games or books had any “Z” related stuff in their published collections at that stage). After taking a copy of said rule set, offered in good faith of an agreed working relationship, but professing no real interest at all in that type of thing (“but we’ll see what marketing says”) it was exciting to see who ended up recently releasing a fully fledged Survival Horror game heavily using the rules concepts and systems my brother wrote most of – lesson, don’t trust big companies where profit, ideas and small developers are concerned. Tossers already had a line on procuring another manufactures “infected and survivors” miniatures we suspect, but didn’t have a rule set so were being total cynical cxxxs in pretending to have no interest. Either way producing this would be the second time we’ve re-written a Horror set but unfortunately now have most of our enthusiasm for the project sapped, so probably only the WW2 based set is ever likely to see the light of day fitted with the new combat system.


Of course we could always just batten down the hatches and dig out our WW1 Air Wargaming rules or Starship Battles sets and play with those for the next few years, such is the fickle directionless life of a tumbleweed in the wind ….. 😉


Necromundia Bad Boys – The Kult of the Kleansing Flame

Waxing lyrical …

A bit of old school Necromundia. Dug pics of these guys out due to some recent discussions about a change of pace and direction for when the modern project wraps up (admittedly still a looooong way off). The general discussion was around small scale skirmishes such as Necromundia and Mordhiem being ideal for some stress-less modelling and gaming, in some respects better at those things than more common core projects.

Not that the modern project (or our WW2 or ’46) is stressfull, not in the full negative sense of the word anyway. We love doing those projects or we wouldn’t, full stop. But they do bring their own level of stress. There’s a level of expectation around a big project that can lead to burn out if not managed, especially with one as involved as the current modern one. It has rules to write and develop with all those pitfalls, after all everyone is a rules warrior right? and thinks rules development is easy. There’s also external and outside quality expectations – the need to be different and better, deadlines and there’s some difficult modelling involved. Now a lot of these factors are self imposed and we wouldn’t change them but they do have a habit of running away in scope.

So something like these guys, looking forward to playing with them or even modelling something similar but newer, is a project that doesn’t have the same pressure. There’s no historical colours or organisation to follow. You don’t have to be an ‘expert” on them and their equipment and it has a foreseeable finish to it, unlike core projects/periods that are on-going in that there’s always more stuff to be added. With small war bands the change ups that keep them fresh are more likely to be in campaigns, character development and the way they’re played, not in introducing new units that have to be technically balanced or are needed to counter another opposing unit or are wanted just for the couple of times they may get to the table for variety.

Of course adding a few extra gang members is still a temptation, but it’s a different sort of modelling project, one or two figures at a time and selected purely for entertainment. We think projects like these are needed to maintain some perspective, should be more common (for all of us) and always something to look fwd too ….







Car Wars – Post Apocalyptic Vehiclular Mayhem

Woot! Stumbled across our old Car Wars vehicles in an old dusty box in the roof space the other day. Brought back memories of when gaming was just innocent fun, something we’ve been searching and struggling to re-create for some time now. The cars were made out of clay. Cheap and not the sturdiest, but if they broke u could easily make more! We had a large stash of sculpture clay at our disposal and not being able to afford anything better we went with it. Now I’d probably use FIMO or similar to make them, something you could bake harden for extra durability. A lot of the cars in the shot are themed around New Zealand Speedway Stock Cars and we had heaps of fun with them, racing at NZADA santioned autoduel events at the Ozark raceway.


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Post Apocalyptic Vehicle Madness – 1/24th Monogram Nascar Buick carwars conversion

Amongst other things I’ve been working on recently (some 40k stuff and some Napoleonics) is this little bit of stress relief, a post apocalyptic Car Wars inspired interceptor.

It’s based on a 1/24th Monogram Buick Regal Nascar Stock Car with a few necessary survival mods. It has a front ram bumper, rear nerf bars and coffin lid rear armour plate as well as added side plates. The suspension has been raised and the engine swapped for a dry sumped, mechanically fuel injected, 410cui Gearte/Ford Cleveland race engine from an old Sprincar kit. The seat has been made to fit a 1/35th figure so the car can be used with 1/35th modern figures and accessories.

It also gave me a chance to try out some new “chipping” techniques. As I don’t have an airbrush I had to experiment and came up with a process that almost mirrors the “hairspray chipping” process. It uses a silicone barrier layer and then a brush painted top coat instead of the universally sprayed on one. It’s not perfect but I’m reasonably happy and will try it out on an SdKfz7-1 I’ve got on the bench.

Enjoy …….

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Heres a few wips from the construction process. As it was my first ever 1/24th car there was a fair bit of trial and error involved and I definately learnt a few tips and tricks for next time.

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Primer coat. I sprayed this with a Tamiya rattlecan mainly because the lime green plastic needed some serious paint to cover it but it also gives a really strong base for the acrylic top coats to adhere too.

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Base colours laid in using mainly GW acrylics. I also used Humbrol Silver to touch up small bits of the chrome.

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Interior stuff, spares and junk added to give the inside some clutter. The body has been left loose so it can be removed to fit a driver for gaming. The engine still needs plug leads and fuel line plumbing.

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A final shot with the first few weathering passes completed but before the mud and dust (MIG and homemade pigments) are applied. The black paint has been “chipped” by removing some of it with cotten buds dupped in solvent and then weathered and dulled down using inks and spot washes.

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