Monday, November 19, 2007

Kings of the Kilburn High

For we're the kings of it all
For the day we were born
Now we're the Kings of the Kilburn High
Sure we'll always take a drop and we'll never leave a sup
Your empty glass is but a tear filled eye
We were the kings of the Kilburn High

Listen to the sound of dead men dying
March as they flee but exiled bound
Their ship once sailed no longer anchors
For gone is the green
And their hallowed ground
-Flogging Molly

Warzone Imperial Blood Beret figs are some my all-time favorite sci-fi minis around, and they're getting harder and harder to find nowadays. They ooze military sci-fi goodness, and are solid one-piece sculpts with plenty of detail and nothing too zany or over-the-top. For good measure, I've got some equally dated VOR heavy troopers thrown in the mix as well. All in all, these guys are pushing about ten to twelve years old now. Obviously none of these guys are for Warzone or Vor, but they look too good to be shelved. I picked up some Blood Beret troops on ebay, traded Andy for the VOR, and the rest I had in storage. I'm happy they're all finally complete, and with a nice overall look to boot. They're suitable for any skirmish game that'll come along, but I guess, I originally envisioned getting them good to go for 5150, which sadly, we haven't played in a long while. Heck, these guys wouldn't be too shabby for a small game of SGII in 28mm either.

Fluff-wise, I'm thinking they're an established, private army-for-hire. Not petty cutthroats and mercs, these guys sell honorable war services to honorable bidders, they hail from a long line of history and tradition. They recruit from the highland region of their home world, but seldom set foot back on native soil once they take to the stars. They've got supply depots and way stations scattered about small backwater moons and large asteroids in less traveled space, able to strike at a moment's notice when called upon. There are many colonies that have longstanding contracts with the Kings rather than try to finance their own militias, which usually end up being less trained and often ill-equipped, it's cheaper just to contract out defense services. They're called the 'Kings of the Kilburn High', Kilburn High being their homeland/region, or maybe the site of their first decisive battle. They're the Kings simply because in the merc world, they're as close to royalty as it gets, and there's really none better, their symbol is a skull with a crown, surrounded by thistle.

Above. The "Big Tens". These guys are the heavily armored unit of the bunch. Beginning life as former VOR Union Powered Armor figs, these troops are usually dropped straight into the heart of the fray and don't get airlifted 'til the threat has been neutralized. Their suits are environmentally sealed and servo-assisted, pretty much power armor in every definition of the term. x4 Power Armor troopers with assault rifles and x1 Squad Leader with assault rifle and sidearm. Entire squad is equipped with fragmentation and concussion grenades as well as ground-to-orbit comm gear.

Above. The "Ceathairs". The average King is still more heavily armored than most infantry you'll find out there in the trenches. They carry a workhorse of a rifle and plenty of ammo. Secondary to the main barrel is a variable assault barrel, good for anything from flares, shotgun slugs, to grenades and more. x4 Infantry troops with assault rifles, and x1 Squad Leader with an OICW. The squad is also equipped with removable gas masks, fragmentation grenades, and comm-sets.

Above. The "Lucky Sevens". Even the 'standard' King trooper is still elite when compared to the skill levels found in most planetary defense armies, and Kings come very well equipped. Organized into common five-man squads, and sharing much of the same armament, the only differences found are usually with the personal preferences of the squad leaders themselves. x4 Infantry troops with assault rifles, and x1 Squad Leader with carbine rifle and chainsword. The squad is also equipped with removable gas masks, fragmentation grenades, and comm-sets.

Above. The "Loco Ochos". All you have to do is add a bi-pod, and maybe some belt-fed ammo, and the standard King rifle truly becomes what most other forces would consider a SAW. That's what makes the Deathlockdrum a truly impressive squad support weapon. Since these guys aren't for any specific game system, I don't have stats on hand, I even ripped off the name, but suffice it to say this one would equate to the same type of overkill effectiveness as the minigun did in Predator. In this unit, the squad leader is equipped as the other three regular troopers, and one trooper is on "pig" duty. Squads such as these are intended for a support fire role, but can mix it up on the fly as needed. x4 Infantry troops with assault rifles, one of which is the Squad Leader. x1 Trooper armed with the Deathlockdrum. The squad is also equipped with removable gas masks, fragmentation grenades, and comm-sets. In addition to the extra ammunition they carry for their own weapons, each squad leader also carries ammo for the support weapon and all are trained in its operation.

Overall, these guys took a bit longer than expected, but I'm very pleased with the end result. I know sometimes the pressure of "which" game to play sneaks up, but these guys are good to go as my compact little, generic sci-fi force for any game that comes along. Whenever that does happen I'll post some pics too. I'd like to maybe try a 'bug hunt' type game or something, and just see how long they last before being overwhelmed. With as rare as these guys are getting in terms of finding figs, I don't see this army growing much from this point on. If you've got some laying around, donate them to Mik's Minis! I'll laud you with praise, haha, just send me a PM! I did scare up one more Blood Beret in one of my bits boxes though, a sergeant model too, so I think I'll paint him up as a solo captain. I've also got an ancient box of Star Frontiers robots lying around, I may paint one of 'em up to accompany the captain as a tactical/protocol droid. If I could add anything at all to the above army it'd probably be some Mongoose Cougars for some truly heavy power armored troopers. Those are 'l33t'. Actually, the more I think about it, those would work rather well, hmm...

As an aside, when I was digging up the pic of the Deathlockdrum, I also found a neat little Mutant Chronicles / Warzone weapons list with stats and pics for most of the standard weapons of most corporations (or factions). Since this force is largely Warzone figs anyway, I thought it'd be fitting to stick the link in here.

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