Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas War - backgrounding

Zhodani Officer and Wardroids - 15mm Ventauran from Eureka Miniatures with two GZG Grav Mini DronesOver on Dropship Horizon, Chris K has posted the skeleton of a Christmas War campaign and invited all readers to join in. Several things have come into alignment for me, and I suddenly thought, "I can do this."

Recently, I finished painting a squad of Eureka Ventaurans. With the proof-of-concept uniform details finalised, I can probably knock out another squad fairly quickly.

Mad Robot publicity pic of Harook, figures painted by Spacejacker, image stolen from Dropship Horizon blog without permissionAnd then, two packs of Harook arrived from Mad Robot Miniatures a couple of days ago. These are lovely, crisply cast miniatures, and one of the few avian alien races available in 15mm.

And finally, I have almost finished reading through my copy of 5150: New Beginnings from Two Hour Wargames.

I was already thinking about playing some 5150: New Beginnings within the existing frame work of the RimWorlds. The concept for that game is to follow the career of a shady young man making his way through the twists and turns of the criminal underworld. His adventures take place in the years following the death of the Boss of Bosses of an interstellar criminal network, the Black Comet Organisation in 1097 – some 12 years before the current campaign date.

Gamelea SubsectorWhile I’m tempted to play this game for the Christmas War, the arrival of the Harook figures reminded me of another incident in the history of the RimWorlds – the conquest and liberation of Rimbaud II.

The Kalar-Wi have been enthusiastic supporters of House Juharl of Gamelea, Fleet Admirals of Gamelea Subsector, in their struggle with House Zarquestuir, Siridar-Dukes of Gamelea. Playing a key role in the defence of Imperial space during the 1st and 2nd Outrim Wars, Kalar-Wi ambition fell afoul of Imperial policy, and the union between Houses Juharl and Zarquestuir, in 1022 during the brief, yet hard-fought, Klorin Asteroid War. Kalar-Wi remained in possession of the Varch system following the war, though out of Imperial favour, in spite of service during the 3rd Outrim War of 1025 – 1038.

Kalar-Wi intervened in the Rimbaud War of 1042 – 1044, occupying the devastated planet of Rimbaud II and endured veiled Imperial threats of retaliation for the attempted genocide of the native Rimbaur Minor Race. From the Kalar-Wi point of view, their intervention on behalf of one of two Rimbaur factions ended a bitter civil war that had already turned biological and which actually briefly went nuclear. Kalar-Wi was to continue to occupy Rimbaud II until 1105, and defeat at the end of the Kalar-Wi War. By this time, Kalar-Wi and Rimbaur Climatic Engineers had stabilised the shattered Rimbaud climate, and had even decontaminated small areas of the equatorial continent, though the bulk of the surviving Rimbaur population still dwelt in the high northern latitudes. In these settlements, some Rimbaur still waged a ‘war of liberation’ against the Kalar-Wi ‘oppressors’.

The Christmas War campaign I’m thinking of playing involves a Rimbaur Liberation Army (TkUK – Tre’kuorm Ureekai Kho) cell seeking to locate a captured TkUK leader and freeing her, and then staging an all-out attack on a Kalar-Wi garrison.

The first scenario takes place on the Eve of Puranthea Malathu, a Kalar-Wi religious festival recalling the birth of Malathu’kal Sourka, the first Warlord of Kalar-Wi who united the clans and turned them outwards into space. Traditionally a time when Kalar-Wi military units stand down and celebrate their lineage and battle honours, on this Eve of Puranthea Malathu Inspector-Lieutenant Adra’kal Dreseka of the JKW/22 (Jourlaki Kalar-Wi Unit 22 – Kalar-Wi Command Force Unit 22, or Kalar Wi Military Intelligence) has been tasked with interrogating a captured TkUK leader in an effort to roll up a local TkUK organisation.

Meanwhile, TkUK Cell leader Vras Srakaal has been ordered to rescue the recently captured Region Overofficer Kouss Shubar who is being held in the local town by the Kalar-Wi oppressors. Srakaal must locate and capture JKW/22 Inspector-Lieutenant Dreseka and extract Shubar’s location from him.

Well, that gives us the first scenario, so things to do include painting up some Harook as Rimbaur, converting and painting up a figure for Inspector-Lieutenant Adra’kal Dreseka, painting up some more Ventaurans as Kalar-Wi, and prepping up a play area. I might also have a look at some of the PEF tables and see if I need to modify them for my Traveller campaign.

What fun!