A tale of one gamer


Evening all,

My name is Nick and I am a wargaming addict. To the point where I have rules and half-finished armies for several different systems. I only actually have one completed army - my Orks for 40k - and yet I don't have a decent army for my faviroute game - Starship Troopers.

My current MI are in a shambles, I have about 1000 points painted but they are badly painted and falling apart. My Arachnids are a mess too - I have just short of 40 warriors, with half of them bare plastic, about 1/4 of them painted and 1/4 primed with GLOSS black paint - Horrible.

Needless to say I'm determined to get a playable force ready for SST Evolution when it ships. I plan to do this with a Tale of X gamers style report. For those of you who haven't seen it before, a Tale of X gamers is a set of articles which follow people who put together armies with a limited budget and expand upon those armies every month. My budget for this will be £50 for the starting army, and £25 every month after that.

My chosen army will be something simple - the good old mobile infantry. After finishing an Ork Horde army, I don't want to do another horde army and instead want to make an army that I can spend some time on each miniature.

So without much further ado, I'll move onto the plan for the first month's spending - £50.

Part 1 - First plans

Ok, so where to start with an army? I could do the bog-standard power armoured mobile infantry painted in green but I'm not going to do that for 2 reasons;

1) Too generic - I don't like having the same army as everyone else, hence why I don't play Space Marines in 40k (plus the fact that I hate the models but that's a story for another day).

2) I don't like some of the models.

While I think that on the whole, the MI are a well-rounded set of models with good plastics and so-so metals (I've seen the heroes of the MI box and let's just say I'm not gonna be including any of those models), I don't like certain aspects of them. Firstly, a lot of the models have limited poses and aren't very dynamic, and secondly I don't like the morita rifle or the backpacks. So I'll be doing something about them.

Before I started deciding what to buy (I've already bought the figures at this point), I decided to shop around a little and look for some replacements for the rifles and backpacks. After careful searching, I found some suitable replacements for each. The Viridian Gauss Rifles from the game VOID by Urban Mammoth (linky) and the grav-chute packs from Forgeworlds range of Elysian drop troops (linky)

Luckily, each of these can be bought seperate to the main range of figures. For the rifles, they come as a pack of 4 rifles, 4 pistols and 2 helmets for £3.50. The back-packs however are rather costly, coming in at £9 for 10 of them. In my first months budget, I may have to forgo one of them...

So with the infantry upgrades decided, it's time to start making plans for the actual army. For the first months budget, I want to be able to get around 1000 points of Mobile Infantry so probably 2 squads of power-suit MI and a toy in the form of an M8 or M9, or perhaps a CHAS. What to equip the squads with? In my limited experience with SST, the MI need to bring as much heavy firepower as they can for 1000 points simply because an Arachnid player can fit a tanker bug in at 1000 points. I've had a few games where I only had a couple of heavy weapons capable of taking out the tanker bug and they were nailed fairly early on. I'm also firmly against min/maxing with squad sizes and heavy weapons so I need to flesh out the 2 squads as much as possible and not just take 5 man squads.

After some time with excel and the rulebook (I still dont have the MI army book), I came up with the following list:

Mobile Infantry power armour platoon, priority level 2

M1A4 Lieutenant w/Shock Sticks - 125
8 man M1A4 squad with Corporal, 2 triple thud grenade launchers - 400
5 man M1A4 squad with 2 Javelin Missile Launchers - 300
CHAS - 175

To bring me to 1000 points spot on. The basic idea of this army is that the Missile launcher team stays back with the lieutenant and CHAS and provides covering fire, while the grenade launcher team moves forward to engange the enemy in close range. With 5 models toting heavy weapons capable of hurting a tanker bug, and definitely more than capable of hurting smaller bugs, I think this is a well rounded force.

Now onto the models. Obviously I'm gonna need 2 MI power suit squad boxes, and a chas model which brings my total for the basic models to £32.50 using recommended retail prices (any models I get cheaper than RRP will be counted as the full retail value), leaving me £17.50 to spend on upgrades. If I were to upgrade the models as I origionally planned, I would need 10 rifles and 14 jump packs - £25.50 altogether so that's obviously out. Instead I decided to just get the rifles for now, and buy 4 of the weapon packs, coming to £14

Month 1 purchases
2 x M1A4 power suit squad boxes - £24.00
CHAS model                      - £ 8.50
4 x Viridian weapon packs       - £14.00
Total                           - £46.50

So that will leave me with £3.50 to put towards next months budget and:
16 power suit MI
16 rifles
16 pistols
16 helmets

The pistols and helmets will probably not be used in this army, but the rifles will be saved for future purchases. After the 1000 point list, I will have the following spare models:
2 power suit MI
6 rifles

I've actually been pretty cheeky here for the first month - I've got about a dozen unpainted MI knocking around in my Starship Troopers case so I'm gonna be using them instead of buying one of the squad boxes. They are assembled so they will have to have their rifles replaced, but for the purpose of this article I'm still gonna count 2 power suit boxes into the budget.

So anyway, that's the first month of planning done and me tired from nattering on for a while, so coming up next will be part 2 - colour schemes and basing.
Well, cool for sharing. You should do a Signs and portents article.l Any chance of getting a sample photo?
SO are you the only one involved in the project?
Looking good, Daed.

You might want to consider fitting the MI army book into your budget at some point though; the points cost for the MI were reduced for a number of different things. For that 1000 points you can actually field more minis than you did. In fact, you could have maxed both squads and still had some points left over.
Thx for the comments guys

If I do actually finish this army off, I may get in touch with msprange about doing another article for signs n portents for an arachnid or Skinnies army, but not right now. I am the only one on this project.

Thanks for the tip dysnowman - I just bought the MI army book from Wargaming Online and woah! Everything's so cheap in the army book compared to the rulebook. While I'm none too keen on the hobby section, the army list section is absolutely SOLID.

So I've come up with this army list now:

M-1A4 NCO w/Plasma Munition
7 man M-1A4 squad w/Corporal & 2 Grenade Launchers
8 man M-1A4 squad w/Corporal, 2 Javelin Launchers & 1 trooper with the veteran skill

And this is my old MI army btw:

So, onto Part 2.

Part 2 - Colour Schemes & basing

So two of the most important things when making an army - the colour scheme and how I'm going to do my bases. I want my MI to be able to fit in on my cityfight board here at home while still able to fit in on the standard muddy-field boards at the gaming club. Luckily my cityfight board is an overgrown muddy-brown city and not the usual grey:

So what does this mean for colour schemes? I want to pull off an urban camo style colour scheme (greys) mixed in with some desert camo (browns). I did try to achieve something similar with my old MI army, but didnt manage to pull it off - too blueish and the leather came out horrible. What also didnt work is that I mixed different paints to get the armour colours so I tended to end up with some very different shades every time I tried to paint an MI. Not good

So to that end, I've ordered several new vallejo paints. For the armour, I ordered the German Field Grey and Green-grey from the model range of colours:

For the cloth, I'm going to use the same as I did before, with a cobra leather base coat, with khaiki highlight from the game colour range:


I'll also do some camo-spots using Beasty brown from the game colour range:

And now bases. I want my bases to be a bit more scenic than the usual sand & static grass, so i want to really emphasize that the MI are fighting in an overgrown ruined city. So, I'll be making the bases using sand & gravel, with clipped sprues for bricks. I also want to put bushes on the base so I will be using tree-amateurs clipped up to make smaller bushes on the bases. These will be covered with fine lichen once the mini has been painted. Here's my test base, currently unpainted:


As for base colours, the sand will be painted a muddy brown (with some dirt drybrushed onto the boots and legs of the MI), while the rubble and gravel will be drybrushed with medium greys. The bush stump will obviously be painted brown. Autumn static grass (olive green) will be glued in patches on the base, and the bush stick will be covered with fine green lichen.

Well that's pretty much what I can say now, so I need to wait for the rifles or minis to arrive before I can continue really.
Daed said:
Thanks for the tip dysnowman - I just bought the MI army book from Wargaming Online and woah! Everything's so cheap in the army book compared to the rulebook. While I'm none too keen on the hobby section, the army list section is absolutely SOLID.

Glad to help out. I'd hate for you to finish the whole project only to find that you still have another squad or two left to paint!

As for the rest; I love the board and the old paint scheme on the minis and I can't wait to see the rest of what you do. Very nice work!
i loke what i see good luck, and of course your get it finished i managed to build and paint 2 2k armied last month ;) so anything is possable
Quick update time.

Alright, so I got a couple of parcels this week - one with a bunch of paints in and one with a LOT of lil metal guns, which as it turns out are an absolute PERFECT fit for the MI.

I've pulled apart and stuck together a full squad worth of MI with the new rifles. I've also decided to denote officers by giving them pistols, even though the pistols will have no effect in game.


Spraypaint is drying on the first part of the squad now :)