24/09/2019 at 20:04 #123145
Aotrs Shipyards sells prints direct (contact us via Facebook or email) and takes printing commissions. Aotrs Shipyards also has a webstore on Shapeways.com, a 3D print house which had production and shipping facilities located in the USA and the Netherlands.
Aotrs Shipyards Task Force – join the group to be able to download the direct-print catalogue (beta).
September 2019 Release
So, here we are, with the first sci-fi release on TWW! I try and do a scifi release month a month, usually the week after the moderns release (but not always!) That said, the scifi releases tend to be a bit more substantial! This month, I have for you Wave Three of the Xygritt Matriarchy.
(My full ranges can be found in the catalogue (which I think has at least pictures of the majority now, if nothing else!), which can be downloaded by joining the Aotrs Task Force group on Facebook under files. It’s not ideal, but it was the only way Facebook would let have a file that uploads of sufficient size. I could also email it on request. The full ranges can also be seen on the Shapeways webstore. (The Facebook products catalogue currently only has rthe releases I’ve made since starting there, getting everything up there is going to be another very long job!))
Lagranix Class Battleship
Direct price: £6.80
Shapeways price: $10.42 (£10.24) Link
The Lagranix is a fast-attack Battleship. It has impressive speed for such a large vessel, able to keep pace with cruisers half its size. It has excellent shields and strong armour. The point-defence arrays and ancillary systems give it a rating on the Xygritt’s scale of 480.
However, these benefits come at a cost – the Lagranix is somewhat under-armed for a vessel of its size. It carries two spinal-mount lazer cannons and thirty-two particle beam turrets – not a significant more than the Shalashalla Heavy Cruiser. It does have one ace up its sleeve, however; a pair of heavy lazer beam arrays, which enable it to slice apart unprotected enemy vessels with ease.
The Lagranix is the largest vessel to suffer from the Xygritt weakness of little to no rear firepower.
The Lagranix, despite being a reliable ship that can fight for sustained engagements has seen only limited deployment, as its defensive traits are considered inferior to ships that are less well-protected, but better armed.
Interestingly enough, the Lagranix’s crews, tending to survive more overall because of their better protection naturally gravitate to become some of the Xygritt Matriarchy’s most skilled crewed vessels.
Orilaa Class Battlecruiser
Direct price: £5.70
Shapeways price: $7.30 (£7.18) Link
The Orilaa Battlecruiser forms the core of the Matriarchy heavy ships. It has the most significant forward firepower of any of the Matriarchal Navy vessels short of the Nolaarulu, consisting of four spinal-mount lazer cannons. Two of these had to be mounted on the sides of the forward hull, which give it its atypical profile. It also has the manoeuvrability of a smaller cruiser, allowing it much more chance to bring those guns to bear.
The main guns are supplemented by short-ranged arrays of eighteen particle beam turrets and point defence arrays and turrets that are rated at 240 on the Xygritt’s scale. However, like many smaller Xygritt ships, only the latter systems provide and firepower coverage at the rear.
With a good balance of offensive and defensive capabilities, the relatively new Orilaa has seen widespread deployment as fast as it could be deployed.
Laxagos Class Destroyer
Direct price: £4.60 for two
Shapeways price: $6.41 (£6.30) for two Link
The Laxagos Destroyer is generalist vessel that has seen considerable service in the Matriarchal Navy. The Laxagos’ latest refit saw an upgrade to both its primary spinal mount lazer and an increase from nine to twelve higher-power particle beam cannons. The increased power core also allows extra auxiliary point-defence turrets, raiding it from rating 120 to 180. The refit increased its mass by over 10% and despite the largest power core, the ship has seen a slight decrease in acceleration.
The Laxagos’ missile pods were installed in one of the prior upgrades after their success on the Isanagas Missile Frigates. There was at first some debate as to what attitude they should have to the hull in the vertical axis, ranging from 45º in either direction from the ship’s vertical centre-line. This debate, which had little technical merit, was primarily fought between two opposing engineers and became a focal point for their professional spat. In the end, the higher-ups were forced to step in and enforce a solution. The best compromise was to simply them at 90º to the vertical – as had originally been suggested by the original plans.
Yriliol Class Defence Frigate
Direct price: £4.30 for two
Shapeways price: $5.60 (£5.51) for two Link
Fitting between the Lillours-OX and the Goulonat in size, the Yriliol Defence Frigate is a common sight in Matriarchy fleets. A sturdy escort vessel in the middle of its projected life-cycle, the Yriliol is a workhorse vessel, neither badly flawed nor technically brilliant.
The Yriliol’s extensive point-defence weapons rate it at 600 on the Xygritt’s scale, and it is well-shielded for a vessel of its size and class. It carries six particle beam turrets, though like many Matriarchy vessels, the fire arcs to the rear are limited.
The Yriliol is nominally intended to be replaced by the Goulonat Defence Cruiser in most aspects. The Goulonat doesn’t not have quite as much point-defence power as two Yriliols (38% less), but it has better protection than the combined vessels and also has a power ECM array, which the Yriliols lack. In the shorter term, Goulonats are likely to be paired with Yriliols to protect high value targets.
Ralaou Class Light Corvette
Direct price: £3.00 for four
Shapeways price: $5.60 (£5.51) for four Link
Technically the smallest capital ship in the Matriarchal Navy, the Ralaou Light Corvette provides long-range fire-support for a low cost.
The Ralaou’s main weapon is a light-calibre rail cannon. This allows the corvette to stand off at range, in numbers, or to provide a little extra ranged support as an escort vessel. They are often seen in the company of the Gosillix Artillery Cruisers, supplementing it firepower with their own.
The Ralaou is extremely manoeuvrable, but very lightly protected. It has a mere rating 60 set of point-defence weapons.
With only a single fixed-mount rail cannon, it is vulnerable to any attacks from range and its small size makes it ideal tractor beam fodder. It is a particular favourite for Xyriat Vutkor Tractor Runners, as a single tractor beam is enough to carry one away; the Vutkor’s heavy shielding means that a trapped Ralaou has little chance of escape. However, the Ralaou is often at the fringes of a battle, and a low-priority target, which mitigates this factor.
Photos of the direct sales Replicator 2 versions. Normally with the scifi, I try and use photos of the painted models, but it’s not quite so easy when the fleet isn’t mine (especially when this year has been a bit hectic)! The painted models are done by my mate (who came up with the fluff concept for the Xygritts, and thus got himself a free starfleet, on account it meant less painting for me!)
Next month will be Wave Four (of five), which will be either the carriers and smallcraft or the ancillary ships, time depending. (Ideally, I’d like to do the former if I have time, but that requires more work to finish preparations than the latter, which is more or less ready to go, so we’ll see.)
I also have a set of starship rules, Accelerate & Attack: Aeons of War. AccAtt is something I consider a spiritual successor to Full Thrust, in that it was intended to play the same sort of fleet sizes (well the sizes we played anyway, in the 12-20 ships per side size). AccAtt is a generic system, where you build you own fleets and is suitable for at least broadly modelling anything.
I always said to myself that as soon as I figured out a way to do away with the orders in FT (which I always found broke the game flow), I’d write my own system, and one day I did! AccAtt was worked on for about fifteen years, and with about forty-and-counting starfleets between us, it’s been given about as thorough testing as can be managed by a one-person operation.
You build your own tech tree before building your ships; there are 20 tech levels, but the sweet spot is the 6-8 range (the upper bands are really there for the Old Ones style stuff), where the ranges best fit the board, and you can have enough toys to have a huge variety in the fleets without having everything! There are two sample fleets, the Stone Portals and the Vivrathk, both at tech level 6, included with the game along with markers for them and some scenarios, so you have something to get started with out of the “box” as it were.
The game has alternating initiative. At the start of the game, the players roll to see who gets the choice of going first. (Since you don’t always want initiative in the first round.) The fleet are split each into four movement group, which alternative (player without initiative going first), with the clever trick being that you have to move the groups containing your least mobile ships first. Firing then comes, starting with the player who has initiative, an alternates by a firing group and fire is not simultaneous (though you can fire the firing groups in any order). (Usually but not always the movement and firing group are the same, but we found you needed that extra flexibility.) Thus there is a level of tactical decision making based on what to fire and when. This is particularly important when it comes to point defence, since a weapon can only fire a weapon system once per round, and if you shoot that missile salvo down now, you might not be able to shoot the next one… Or save it to use the PD’s horribly effective power on that shield-and-armour-stripped target right next to you…!
Movement is itself handled by combing speed, turning capability, dodging capability and acceleration in a single Manoeuvre Factor (MF). Speed is measures by speed categories, which is a marker, each speed band being four times the MF. A vessel can only go up and down one speed category per round, so it will take an MF 1 ship longer to reach the same speed than an MF vessel, because it will need to go more categories. Within the speed band, you can just decide how far to move when you move; the marker is the only bit of record-keeping required.
Each point of MF allows you to turn 30º, with MF 4 being the average. Turning is a little bit like in FT, on a clock face, except it’s a one operation more complex than FT’s “turn half move half.” That does, however, allow the turns to describe something closer to an arc, which makes it much more intuitive to use; you know when a vessel does a 3 point turn, it’s a 90º. Fighters and smallcraft use basically the same rules, except they just have higher MFs and thus are harder to hit. (MF 12 and above is also the point the vessels are assumed to be capable of more abstract manoeuvring, such as strafing runs or dogfights.)
It is the only “buckets of D20” system I am aware of, though you can play with as little as nine D20 (as you can’t seem to get the 10mm D20 you could when I started!) and the magic of the Average Dice table.
It was originally intended to have a campaign system built directly in. As it happened, I have never yet gotten around to that – but the architecture is there, in at the ground level, so that what exists is useful for at least linked games as is, mostly importantly, not something that needs to be bolted on later.
There is a free web enhancement pack, which is basically the markers, the QR sheet (two sides of A4 with ALL of the 20 tech levels, and 25% of it, the weapons summary, we have never used, and the most common use is the average dice table!). There is also the ship design Excel spreadsheet; its crude, requires a fair bit of copy-pasting and so on, but it’s functional (it’s exactly what I use myself when making the ship stats!) So if you are interested, you can always go an give that a nosey, it should give you some idea.
Accelerate & Attack: Aeons of War is available of Wargames Vault here:
There is also a free Web Enhancement Pack; this contains the markers and the QR sheet the latter of which is an indicator of the level of the game if you want to have a quick nosey.
And, of course, I’m always happy to answer questions about it here or via Facebook slash email.05/11/2019 at 18:34 #125986
November 2019 Release (1/2)
Slightly belated, because October was very busy for various reasons, but here is the next batch of the Xygritts, the carriers and fighters. There will (hopefully!) be what would be the normal November release in a couple of weeks, which will be the last wave of the Xyrgritts.
So, without more waffle, let’s get to it!
Makoria Class Force Dreadnought
Direct price: £15.80
Shapeways price: $38.12 (£35.54) Link
The Makoria is the latest in the line of the Matriarchy force dreadnoughts. In reality, little more than glorified carriers, the force dreadnoughts are seen as one of the cores of the Matriarchal Navy – at least in Xygritt public opinion.
The Matriarchy was the first elenthnar power to develop large vessels, and for a couple of centuries, the huge, lumbering monstrosities of the Matriarchal Navy were the legitimate terror weapon the Matriarchy still views them as. But as the technology for large ships was developed by the other powers, and the construction of ever-larger vessels proved increasingly impractical (thus further research irrelevant), that advantage ebbed away.
As the tacit admission of practicality over intimidation, the Makoria is much-reduced in size from its predecessors, many of which were half as big again, and it is even more functionally a carrier that they were. Only a few of the true leviathans – classified as floating fortresses by the Xygritts – remain, most notably the Urollaria-class, of which only three examples still exist. The most famous of these is the traditional command ship of the High Mothers.
The Makoria’s primary purpose is to serve as a base for the six squadrons of Haoph AstroFighters it carries. The cavernous hangar bay is set between split thermal vanes in the pattern established by the Gosillix artillery cruiser. The hangar has to be large, for it must also carry the transit racks for the six Gellmar Drone Carriers, themselves to carry the Haophs over shorter distances.
The Makoria is armed with a pair of spinal-mount laser cannons and thirty-two supplementary particle beam turrets. Its point-defence weapons rate a total of 720 on the Xygritt scale.
Despite its armour and shields, the Makoria’s straining engines make it cumbersome and an easy target unsupported, even with its attendant fighter craft and drone carriers.
The Makoria is named for one of the most famous of Xygritt Fleet Commanders (a rank equivalent to admiral), Fleet Commander Makora. While Makora is held in high regard in the Matriarchy itself, this is less due to her competence and more to political expediency due to the climate of her time. Outside of the Matriarchy, Makora is also well-known, but remembered for being a generally poor commander with a tendency to public histrionics when battles did not go her way, and regularly blaming her subordinates, most notable her highest ranking male officer, Sub-Fleet Captain Oaryonn.
Several Makoria vessels have been converted by removing the docking racks for the Gellmars. The additional space is replaced by troop quarters and improved small craft facilities, allowing the Makoria to carry six squadrons of the Matriarchy’s more advanced fighters and three Kalu assault shuttles.
Aarpot Class Carrier
Direct price: £4.40
Shapeways price: $5.60 (£5.21) Link
The Aarpot Carrier is a cruiser carrier, built to supplement the force dreadnoughts and carry a complement of more advanced AstroFighters.
The Aarpot is a somewhat recent innovation for the Matriarchy – a small carrier. While force dreadnoughts and floating fortresses have traditionally been the choice for the base for small craft, as their usefulness waned and they became more vulnerable, necessity dictated that a smaller base ship was required.
The Aarpot is a pure carrier. It can carry two squadrons of either Passalla or Uraali AstroFighters. While in theory, they could carry Haoph AstroFighters instead, doctrine prevents it. Notable, the pilot quarters the elite female pilots have at their disposal are dramatically better than those used by the low-ranking males who fly the Haophs.
The Aarpot’s split thermal vanes are a compromise between the traditional dorsal vane and the angled vanes of the Gosillix and Makoria, the idea being that slightly smaller vanes would be needed. Whether in practise, this makes a substantial difference is still up for debate.
The Aarpot has six particle beam turrets, though they lack rear coverage. Its point defence system is rated at 180 on the Xygritt’s scale.
The price of a carrier of the Aarpot’s size and technology is that it is very vulnerable. It is slow and poorly protected. However, as both the Passalla and Uraali have GV drives, the Aarpot can ideally remain out of any direct conflict zone.
Gellmar Drone Carrier
Direct price: £3.50 (12 Haophs and one Gellmar with slung Haophs and one Gellmar unslung)
Shapeways price: $5.60 (£5.21) (12 Haophs and one Gellmar with slung Haophs and one Gellmar unslung) Link
The Gellmar Drone Carrier is specifically designed as a transport vessel to carry Haoph AstroFighters over short FTL distances from the Matriarchy’s favoured large carriers and starbases, increasing their range.
The Gellmar carries the fighters on racks underneath the hull. This necessitates that the Gellmar itself must have a carrier vessel; for while the Gellmar can function independently, the Haophs require a proper hangar for pilot access and to be re-fuelled or maintained. (Haophs are sufficiently fragile that almost any damage causes the loss of the craft, so “repair” is rarely among the tasks.)
This somewhat bizarre design decision is one that is politically motivated. The Matriarchy is unwilling to allow males to pilot any craft without supervision, believing that the male would flee (perhaps to a neighbouring power) if their fighters were FTL capable. (This is an entirely founded fear.) However, they are also unwilling to give up the additional mobility an FTL fighter brings, and hence the compromise.
The Gellmar itself is more than a transport, but works with the Haophs from range to assist in destroying enemy shields with its a spinal-mount lazer cannon. It is well-shielded for a vessel of its size, but only has few point-defence weapons, granting it only a rating 60 on the Xygritt’s scale.
The Haoph AstroFighter is the Matriarchy’s most numerous fighters. It is little more than a pair of lazers strapped to an engine, with a bare-minimum approach to pilot comfort and function. The fighter lacks and shields or armour, nor even is it particularly agile. It does not carry either form of FTL drive.
This approach means that Haoph is an extremely cheap vessel to manufacture. The design has changed little in the past two hundred years, with only a few avionics and weapon upgrades. The Haoph is dangerous only in a massed attack – and then only because of sheer numbers.
The Haoph is piloted exclusively by low-ranking males and is considered essentially disposable and subsequently, pilot training is minimal. Even so, it is standard practise to ensure Haoph pilots are pumped full of drugs, including a more specialised version of Xamphat, which induces a state of euphoria but reducing – but unfortunately not eliminating – the normal side-effects of lethargy and drowsiness, but also increases aggression. The drug is injected at launch and a more severe dose injected when the fighting actually begins, to ensure the males fight. This effect means that the Haoph pilots tend to be sloppy and reckless and often hard to command once combat has begun, making the fighter’s weakness even more apparent.
Despite these enormous shortcomings, the Haoph is still favoured by the Matriarchy’s elders and remains in constant production.
Direct price: £3.00 (12 fighters)
Shapeways price: $5.80 (£5.40) (24 fighters) Link
The Passalla AstroFighter is considered an advanced fighter in the Matriarchy, which merely means it is on a par with most medium fighters of other powers. It has quad lazer cannons and a light torpedo tube armed with anti-ship torpedoes mounted above the cockpit.
The Passalla is piloted by female pilots, as male pilots are considered too much of a flight risk, given that the Passalla has a GV drive. Unlike their hapless male counterparts flying the Haophs, the female pilots are not drugged into stupor. Given the disposable nature of the Haophs and their pilots, that the Passalla is more likely to survive a combat (as it actually has shields), this has led to a fleet-wide inflated sense of superiority among the pilots, which occasionally leaves them to under-estimate the quality of enemy pilots, especially if they are assumed or are known to be males. Conversely, an enemy used to the barely-competent Haophs can be taken by surprise by the Passallas which are flown with some degree of skill.
Direct price: £3.00 (12 fighters)
Shapeways price: $5.66 (£5.28) (24 fighters) Link
The Uraali AstroFighter is in truth more of a long-range interdictor. It carries six missile pods, which are typically armed with eight light long-range missiles. These allow the Uraali to deal with enemy fighters – or occasionally, even capital starships – from a safer distance.
However, once limited the missile stores are emptied, the Uraali has only a pair of lazer cannons to fall back on. It is no more manoeuvrable than the Passalla, but it does at least benefit from 50% more shielding.
The Uraali is unusual in that there have been several recorded instances of a high-ranking male being permitted to use a craft. Such instances are very rare, and usually follow only a male who is deemed to be beyond approach. However, it is likely to only take one instance of even simply perceived defection for these pilots to be more than a footnote in Matriarchal history.
Photos of the direct sales Replicator 2 versions. Not the best pictures of the Passala and Uraali, I’m afriad, we’re having some minor printer issues which are – naturally – at their worst on small models with lots of sticky-out bits, which of course look at their worst when looking at photos taken on my rather good camera and blown up several times beyond their natural size! I really didn’t want to delay the release further, though, so I will try and replace these with better photos when they become available. Ditto for the composite image of the Hapohs and Gellmars; I could not get a satisfactory photo out of what I’d printed to show them together, so I had to rely on my mate’s fleet. Still, these are at least painted! But, as I always say, I’d rather show the warts-and-all photographs than the render where I can.
Anyone familiar with my older releases will note the Shapeways versions of the fighters now have twice as many fighters as they used to – for the simple reason that the $5 floor is now a thing (and the fighters used to be about $2.5-3) and adding a second sprue, essentially, only just noses out of that floor. It’s something I will address over time with the older fighters when I have chance.
Next release, then, will be the ancillary ships for the Xygritts, and then December will see the release of the last bunch of Phystyulon ships.26/11/2019 at 18:02 #127178
November 2019 Release (2/2)
Here we are, with this month’s second and final release, the last wave of Xygritt ships. This time, we have the ancillary and auxiliary vessels!
Kamalass Class Dro’Sanla Tug
Direct price: £4.50
Shapeways price: $5.60 (£5.21) Link
The Kamalass Dro’Sanla Tug serves as the Matriarchy’s means of accessing and using the UCDR’s Node Station network.
The Kamalass has a troubled design history. At conception, it was simply a scaled-up version of the small Noutr tug used for conventional larger-scale ship recovery, with a 180-rating point defence system and a pair of tractor beam arrays. It was simply assumed that the Noutr could be enlarged and the Dro’Sanla patched into the GVD focussing array.
The Kamalass thus was built with the over-sized, fat nose that housed the GVD coils and the focussing array on the Noutr. The GVD coils themselves were down-sized, and the Dro’Sanla attached in the resulting space, to operate through the emission disk. This odd choice was chosen for cost over function, as the Matriarchy at the time viewed combat vessels as the priority.
The prototype was a disaster, tearing the ship and crew apart in a catastrophic overload due to trying to force two incompatible systems to work together. It was an elementary error, and one that should never have been committed. Indeed, though the Matriarchy made a typical effort to cleanse all the pertinent records, it appears that even the engineers working on the design knew this, but were over-ruled by their political masters.
The entire project was very nearly shelved permanently. But then the Matriarchy had a stroke of luck. They managed to salvage a completely intact Phystyulon vessel, whose crew had been wiped out due to a freak mechanical failure in the environmental system which had turned the atmosphere lethally poisonous in seconds. Without even the damage caused by leech cannons, the intact Phystyulon Dro’Sanla allows the Matriarchy engineers to completely re-design their own Dro’Sanla to use a system more like the Phystyulon’s Nazograk Cores than their current Xyriat-derived system.
The Kamalass thus only required a pair of emitters for the Dro’Sanla, mounted on the rear hull, and the cores were solidly buried in layers of metal and ceramics in the forward hull.
The Kamalass initially was not a favoured ship, due to the developmental disaster and subsequent unreliability of the systems, but over time, as evened out to an unremarkable vessel. Unconfirmed reports suggest that there are still occasional accidents, with vessels simply never re-appearing when teleported, but if true, they are quickly covered-up by the Matriarchy command.
Pol Class Transport
Direct price: £3.80
Shapeways price: $5.60 (£5.21) Link
Like many military transport vessels, the Pol transport is an old vessel, often neglected in favour of more glamourous vessels. It has seen a handful of updates in the over two centuries of service, but has remained more or less untouched since the design was first laid down.
Slow and lightly protected, the most current version of the Pol carries sufficient point-defence weaponry to merit a 120 on the Xygritt’s scale.
The Pol carries is cargo in three large pods, which can be detached and replaced, though as often as not, the pods are unloaded directly.
Pol transports are also very visible as the predominant civilian long-range haulage vessels. These vessels are very similar to the military Pols, though many have older, slower GV drives and some even have older and more primitive defence systems.
Pols have also been around long enough to have even been used by pirate vessels, replacing the pods with additional weapons, though the Pol’s poor combat abilities make such substitutions of dubious merit.
Halayn Class Disruption Destroyer
Direct price: £4.90 for two
Shapeways price: $7.22 for two (£6.73) Link
The Halayn Disruption Destroyer represents a typically Xygritt approach to a design. While most powers tend to place their spacial disruptors on large and well-protected vessels, the Xygritt instead opted to go for quantity over quality.
The Halayn is lightly armed, with a rating 180 on the Xygritt’s point-defence scale and having no other weapons. It is slow for a destroyer, though it has stronger than typical shields. The bulk of the vessel is instead devoted to the four spacial disruptor globes extending from the thermal vane.
The Halayn’s disruptors are relatively small, which means a correspondingly short range. While multiple spacial disruptors synchronised has a cumulative effect of the field range, this depreciating quickly. An individual Halayn is certainly a cheaper resource to deploy, to affect a large area means multiple Halayns must be flow at dangerously close relativistic ranges to match their field synchronisation, it would require four to match a single Xyriat Vydrosa Disruptor Battleship’s range and at that point, it is no longer as cost-effective. The other alternative requires the Halayn to get dangerously close to the enemy, making it much more likely to be attacked and destroyed as a relatively fragile smaller vessel.
This has led to the Matriarchal Navy relying on spacial disruptor deployment primarily for small-scale battles than the mass-fleet ambushes more typical of elenthnar powers, where the Halayn’s ease of deployment makes it more useful.
Lillours-YG Class Leech Frigate
Direct price: £4.50 for 4
Shapeways price: $6.22 for 4 (£5.80) Link
The Lillours-YG is a specialist vessel designed to disable enemy ships for capture, in concert with troop ships.
The Lillours-YG removes all of the Lillours’ particle beam turrets in favour of six forward-mounted leech cannons. This gives is a considerable ability to disrupt and disable an enemy ship, but it must first survive to reach close range. Lillours-YGs are thus often deployed in numbers, often two to four, to maximise their ability to survive and get in close.
The leech frigates are most often paired with Golausio Troop Ships and their Kalu Assault Transport to perform the actual capture operations, since the crew of a Lillours is too small to deal with any vessel much larger than commercial small craft.
Kalu Assault Shuttle
Direct price: £2.50 for 6
Shapeways price: $5.60 for 6 (£5.21) Link
The Kalu Assault Shuttle performs the dual role of boarding vessel and landing craft. The bulk of its internal structure is taken up by the troop transport bays and it capable of carrying a considerable load.
It role as landing craft meant that the thermal vanes could not be placed in their typical dorsal position, so the Kalu splits the vane it two halves and they jut out horizontally like wings, which has a distinct look likened to early industry fighter aircraft.
The Kalu is only armed with a few point-defence turrets that grant it a rating 60 on the Xygritt’s scale. But it has considerable shielding, which means it is more likely to survive anti-orbital fire to reach the ground.
The Kalu is optimised for ground invasions, and it less adept at ship-based boarding operations. With its minimal armament, it requires the enemy vessel to be disabled via leech cannons to stand a realistic chance, as without such help it is incapable of dealing with anything larger than light civilian transports without help.
Photos of the direct sales Replicator 2 versions.
Next month, probably just before Christmas, will be the first of two waves of the Phystyulons with their fighters, carriers.
Unfortunately, it looks increasingly likely we won’t be Recon as usual as planned, as we appear to have gotten lost in the organisational change over. Having that sort of year, it seems, as this week we also had to close down the second evening of our local wargames club, due to low attendance.21/12/2019 at 19:32 #128422
December 2019 release – Phystyulon carriers
Here is this month’s release, the first of two waves of the Phystyulons – the carriers and fighters!
Yaraktunar Class Carrier
Direct price: £4.90
Shapeways price: $9.86 (£9.17) Link
Phystyulon doctrine has always leaned towards smaller, more mobile carriers to support their fighter’s optimum role as hit-and-fade attackers. Teleporting into a system, hitting their target and teleporting out again in quick succession.
Thus the largest carrier in service, the Yaraktunar, is small by the standards of most navies. Only the size of a typical light carrier, the Yaraktunar carries two squadrons of fighters.
Yaraktunars are intended to function as much as deep-raiders as fleet carriers, and are armed accordingly. Thy mount two Class 75 spinal-mount lazer cannons and a hundred lazer cannon turrets for close defence against missiles and enemy fighters. The vessel carries a single dorsal Phazra triple railgun turret of the same design as the Rylorz, granting it some long-range firepower as well.
Combined with good speed and fair shields for a carrier of its size, the Yaraktunar is difficult to destroy, especially when on a deep-raiding mission where heavier vessels cannot be easily brought to bear.
Rauztrak Class Light Carrier
Direct price: £3.30
Shapeways price: $5.60 (£5.21) Link
The Rauztrak is the Phystyulon’s light carrier. Less than half the size of most light carriers, the Rauztrak carrier only a single squadron of fighters, Like the larger Yaraktunar, the Rauztrak is intended for smaller operations and raiding tactics.
It has only average manoeuvrability for a small cruiser, but good shields. Armament is limited to eighty lazer turrets – enough to protect it from long range missiles or enemy fighters, and enough to be a serious threat at close range, but otherwise a poor weapon to engage an enemy capital ship.
Direct price: £3.10 for 24
Shapeways price: $6.20 for 24 (£5.77) Link
The Nytvyx is named after a famous, elite regiment of all-female pilots in the First Phystyulon War, whom were termed such by their enemies. (Nytvyx is a Zoxyriat phrase that roughly translates to something like “evil sorceress in the dark.”)
The Nytvyx’s primary role is anti-capital ship attack, but the munitions in the Nytvyx’s four missile pods render it quite capable of attacking enemy fighters and smallcraft as well.
The Nytvyx is not as manoeuvrable as the Type 754 or the Byraxin, but considerably tougher, with three times the shielding.
However, once the missile pods are empty, the Nytvyx only has a couple of lazer cannons to rely on and so typically Nytvyx squadrons will avoid protracted engagements.
Direct price: £3.00 for 12
Shapeways price: $5.60 for 24 (£5.21) Link
The Byraxin raider is one more expression of the Phystyulon’s light missile vessel paradigm. Fast, agile and lightly protected, the Byraxin’s main job is to deliver its payload of semi-guided rockets to enemy capital starships.
The Byraxin has only a single Nazograk core which is internal and heavily shielded; the tip of the containment structure is the small, elongated pyramid at the top of the fighter.
A squadron of Byraxins can unload a considerable amount of rockets, and while individually not particularly powerful the sheer numbers tend to overwhelm enemy point defence systems.
The Byraxin is not as adept at dealing with other fighters. While it carries a pair of laser cannons and is nimble enough to be a reasonable dogfighter, this firepower is usually no sufficient to hold against heavier fighters. The Byraxin excels instead at long-range hit-and-fade attacks, using its Dro’Sanla drives.
Type 754 Lazer Drone
Direct price: £3.00 for 24
Shapeways price: $5.60 for 24 (£5.21) Link
The elenthnar have for centuries made extensive use of drones, robots and droids as part of their military forces and the Phystyulons are no exception.
The Type 754 Lazer Drone is the one of a long line of such drones whose ancestral line dates back to the Second Phystyulon War. The size of a fighter, the Type 754 is principally an interceptor, both in terms of attacking enemy fighters and in a more general sense in that they are sometimes deployed to serve as additional anti-missile defences.
Unlike a lot of similar drones, the Type 754 is shielded, as well as agile, and even carries its own Dro’Sanla drive, with two tiny Nazograk cores on its rear. This investment means they are not considered as “disposable” as many such attack drones are, but more like a traditional fighter craft.
The Type 754 is ultimately a weapons platform, carrying a single spinal-mint lazer cannon and four smaller lazer cannons in the forward of the hull and is capable of inflicting significant damage on capital starships, even without munitions.
Types 754s are rated as above average artificial intelligence. During its service life, there has been an unusually large number of them to gain full sapience and thus far, all of them have remained completely loyal to the Phystyulon cause. (To the surprise and detriment of the Qyax Computation operatives to have occasionally tried to”liberate” them.) The gaining of sapience is rare at the best of times, but throughout Phystyulon history, the majority of this small number have nevertheless had a common trait – a quasi-religious regard pending on worship of KALAX, almost as a machine-god.
Given the nature of the Phystyulons themselves, this has been regarded as a positive boon (save for the occasions when KALAX did not appear to be aligned with the organic Phystyulons). There is also a measureable increase in the effectiveness of the Type 754’s combat abilities when sapient and consideration has been given on whether to adjust and anti-sapient programming to encourage more emergence.
Photos of the direct sales Replicator 2 versions.
Next month will be the release of the ancillery support ships!21/01/2020 at 11:58 #129990
January 2020 release – Phystyulon support ships
Here we are In The Future (I remember back in the 80’s when Iron Man of 2020 was a back-up strip in Transformers and here we are now…!)
So to open the New Year and new decade, we have the final wave of Phystyulons – their support ships.
Kantusar Class Disruptor Dreadnought
Direct price: £7.00
Shapeways price: $18.98 (£17.37) Link
The Kantusar Disruptor dreadnought lives up to the “disruptor” part if its name in more than once sense. It serves as both a special disruption platform and an electronics warfare vessel.
The Kantusar mounts six huge spacial disruptor generators on pylons across the ship. The pylons are necessary due to the significant thermal and EM emissions and gravitic distortion created by the active fields.
Four ECM arrays are tied to the four massive pyramids which house the extensive and massive communications and sensor arrays, giving the Kantusar twice the projection power of the Ortukat.
Four enormous tractor beam turrets allow the Kantusar to hold enemy vessels from escaping on sublight engines, and the Phystyulon’s typical preference for good speed on a dreadnought means it can run down enemy vessels with relative ease. A hundred and twenty point-defence lazer cannons complete the Kantusar’s armaments.
Kantusars often work in concert with one or more Itorkats. The Kantusar prevents the vessel both from escaping and calling for help and jams enemy fire, while the Itorkat’s Katoraks disable the vessel for the Itorkat to finally capture. This combination has often led to vessels mysteriously disappearing with trace and only later being found ransacked or in Phystyulon possession.
The Kantusar’s main drawback is that its spacial disruption generators are not as powerful as those of the Xyriats, and while effective on elenthnar vessels, the UCDR’s teleportation magitech remains elusively out of reach.
Takovt Class Supply Cruiser
Direct price: £3.00
Shapeways price: $5.60 (£5.12) Link
Most naval supply vessels come from vessels designed for civilian usage, or are themselves converted for civilian purposes. The Takovt is unusual in that is it is a purely military vessel.
The Takovt carries the bulk of its supplies in the eight modular pods on the dorsal hull. These can quickly be swapped via tractor beam and greatly reduce the on and off loading of the supplies. The Takovt can also jettison these pods, and they have more than once been used as an improvised explosive device when appropriately stocked.
The Takovt has the speed and manoeuvrability to keep pace with the rest of the fleet. While lightly shielded, it has good armour for a vessel of its size. With no less than sixty lazer turrets for point-defence, the Takovt has surprisingly good missile defence and is nowhere near the easy mark that many fighter pilots would expect.
Itorkat Class Troop Ship
Direct price: £4.50 (Itorkat only)
Shapeways price: $9.72 (£8.89) (Ikorkat plus two Katoraks) Link
Shapeways price: $8.83 (£8.08) (Ikorkat only) Link
The Itorkat can transport a regiment or more troops to battle. They serve as both ground army transport, with dedicated drop ships, or as capture vessels. In the latter function, they work in concert with Katorak Marine Fightercruisers, letting the smaller craft disable the enemy vessel with leech cannons before closing to boarding range. The Phystyulons have considerably better teleporters then the other elenthnar powers (though even they are still behind the galactic standard), so it does not even need to necessarily dock.
Nor is the Itorkat a slouch in ship-to-ship combat. Despite the hangar bay and the troop quarters, the Itorkat is not slow and lumbering, and only about 14% less shield strength and 20% less armour than the Nakrozar of the same size. It also mounts two Class 75 spinal-mount lazer cannons and eighty point-defence lazer turrets, giving it considerable firepower.
Katorak Marine Fightercruiser
Direct price: £3.00 for two
Shapeways price: $9.72 (£8.89) (Ikorkat plus two Katoraks) Link
The Katorak is an assault vessel whose primary task is to disable enemy vessels for capture.
This is facilitated by the Katorak’s three spinal-mount leech cannons. These weapons take up a significant amount of its hull, to the point that the Katorak uses not one but two thermal emitters in an unusual vertical configuration. This grants the vessel a higher level of protection from attacks from the sides, and combined with the extensive shields and high agility, makes the Katorak a difficult vessel to destroy. This is a necessity, given the short range of the leech cannons.
Two powerful lazer pylon arrays, similar to those on Syrotukan, provide a solid defence against enemy fighters and offensive punch against capital ships.
The Katorak also has a troop bay, suitable for both marine forces or landing ground troops, though this is considered a secondary role.
Katoraks are most commonly stationed in pairs aboard Itorkat Troop Ships, where they disable the vessel for the Itorkat’s much larger complement of troops to perform the actual capture operation.
Photos of the direct sales Replicator 2 versions.
Next month we may skip a sci-fi release, depending on how things are going – I have to try and prepare something for Hammerhead in March (as well as keep up with the moderns releases). While I am working on several things (including a 3D rebuild of my scratch-built Aotrs fleet and some more ground forces) I don’t know yet what, if anything will be ready for release then, so we shall have to see!20/05/2021 at 13:35 #156579
Aotrs Shipyards May 2021 (Re-)Release: Jalyrkieon Hierarchy
So back after a loooong break in the main Sci-fi release thread!
This month, this is the re-release of the Jalyrkieons. This is a release to both the starship and ground forces to TheShop3D, plus updated versions to Shapeways – plus one new release as well, in the form of the Qorenlu Heavy Carrier (commissioned a long time back, but never released)!
There is a lore post containing all of the fluff currently available – including the Qorenlu – here at Wargames Directory, so please check that out! This is the first of what will be a series of articles Bleakbane’s Galaxy Guide, which will be similar (but MUCH smaller in scale) than the Guide to the Army Of The Red Spear. I hope to get these out as I re-release the various ranges to TheShop3D – while much of this stuff has been published on the net before, it’s disparately located and it really needs to be in an easily accessible place so that when people ask (and occasionally, people do!) I will have a resource to point them at. (As one feels one will never be big enough to warrant the dizzy heights of A Wiki!)
(I did this one on the Jalyrkieons a few months ago.)
Qorenlu Heavy Carrier
Photo of Replicator 2 version.
For the rest of the models (rather than link the thirty-odd models here):
Download the latest version of the catalogue here or from the Aotrs Shipyards Task Force group on Facebook.
At TheShop3D, look for the MG144-JA codes for the ground forces (page 7 at time of posting) and the JAL codes (page 2 and onwards at time of posting) for the starfleet.
At Shapeways, you can filter by the Jalyrkieon Hierarchy filter here.
The ground forces have all been updated, mostly due v2 locking turrets, though I think I also added a couple of wheel treads as well and it has been re-sprued (notably the infantry and some of the smaller starships).
A few sample photos of the ground forces, though, for good measure! (As I re-took the photos for those when I did that last catalogue update .)
Jalyrkieon Infantry Platoon
Appila Attack Rover
As my partners at Manoeuvre Group inch slowly closer to the issue 2 update’s release, once that’s done, I will be releasing a set of free sci-fi- modifications for that set of rules, along with the accompanying raw stats for all existent my released range. Once THAT’S done, I am going to then start looking at releasing the fluff for all my sci-fi ranges in (paid) PDF format, along with the accompanying stats for both Accelerate & Attack and Manoeuvre Group at the back. The Aotrs will be first (since there’s most done about them and theirs will likely be the single biggest), and the Jalyrkieons will follow. The plan is to release these at a low price point, with the fluff being the main focus and the game stats tidily away at the back. There will be a few additions (especially to the Aotrs fluff, believe it or not, there’s STILL more to tell there!), but these releases will be largely the same (only polished!) as the fluff I release with the models.
(So, yes, that DOES mean that, at least for the ground forces existent at the time of the sci-fi MG release, that you will be able, from different sources, get both the majority of the fluff and the MG game stats for nowt, but if you want to support me, you can get the PDFs for stuff in a better format in one place (with AccAtt stats!). But I’d rather – especially for the MG side – get people playing as my first priority rather than paywalling the stats and/or fluff, just on principle.)
I’m going to at least do the Aotrs and the Jalyrkieons in that fashion and see if there’s any interest. Otherwise, I’ll just likely only bother with (occasionally) releasing the fluff as a Wargames Directory article as mentioned.16/06/2021 at 17:17 #157723
Aotrs Shipyards June 2021 (Re-)Release: Cybertanks
Before I get to the release, I want to pause a moment to salute my good friend James Hepworth, who died suddenly last month at only 37. I knew him for over twenty years. Among the many things he did with our roleplaying ad wargaming circle, he was an early player and play tester of both Accelerate and Attack and Manoeuvre Group and in the former case especially helped to iron out a lot of the early kinks. I’m particularly grateful for that, since AccAtt wasn’t hugely his cup of tea, but he was happy to play anyone at anything.
This is a render of a model I did specifically for his character in Rolemaster/Spacemaster for an Aotrs exploration party: former Second Star Trooper Snowward (now Captain Snowward). We only got to use it the once, unfortunately.
James’ absence will be keenly felt in the years to come, both at and off the table by all of us who knew him (which was a lot, as he was active in many fields).
This month, we have a comparatively small re-release of the Cybertank ground force at 144th. This is a release to TheShop3D and a re-release to Shapeways. The Cybertanks have been updated to the new locking turrets (Radical aside), the facets improved and they have been re-sprued. (And as with the moderns, at Shapeways the range has been rationalised.)
To make up for it, though, there is a big lore-post in the form of Bleakbane’s Galaxy Guide: Cybertanks here at Wargames Directory!
I finally had to admit defeat. Writing “below average” or “above average” and other similar comparisons was getting to become really repetitive, so as of this release, there are now units and scales which I had to create, which could then be informed by some game stats to put some comparative numerical values in. The result is a much finer granularity (and hopefully, more interesting) than just parroting game statistics would have been and most importantly, making them system agonoistic. The trick was to back-work “what would these game-stat numbers be abstracted from?”
Please check it out. Feedback would be especially useful to know whether this is better (or worse) or whether I could lay off it a bit or what.
As there’s only eight models this time, I’ll link them all!
For the direct sales, download the latest version of the catalogue here or from the Aotrs Shipyards Task Force group on Facebook.
Photos of the Shapeways versions (since the Cybertanks are the joint-oldest 144th ground force I did ten years ago!)
I’m hard at work on next month’s re-release, which will be a rather larger one for the human Herosine Empire (and the General Designs Hulls “delta” starship fleet). The moderns release is largely done too, though we’ve been having some problems getting the filament (it only came into the shop we get it from today after several delays), which has also delayed the FDM sci-fi reprinting as well. Hopefully by the end of the week, I’ll finally be able to get back on the job!
Edit: Accelerate and Attack: Aeons of War will also be part of Wargame Vault’s Summer Campaign Site-Wide 25% Off Sale, which is 1st to 7th July, so check that out if you’re interested!01/07/2021 at 17:16 #158318
Summer Campaign Sale
A quick interim update. Both Manoeuvre Group (WW2 to 2010 (plus!)) and Accelerate and Attack: Aeons of War (starships) rules are only sale at 25% off as part of Wargames Vault’s Summer Offensive, from today until the 7th (of July, even though it says June… typo on their end, apparently!)
So if you are interested in either set, now is as good a time to check it out!
In MG’s case. this sale also covers their army lists and the cardboard fold-flat terrain!
Manoeuvre Group’s issue 2 has not quite made it in time for this sale, but the advantage of Wargames Vault is that when it’s released, all customers can be notified by email of the update.
Accelerate and Attack was updated yesterday, too, to v1.03 (with some very minor changes, but I’ll go into that in July’s sci-fi release).20/07/2021 at 17:26 #159148
Aotrs Shipyards July 2021 (Re-)Release: General Designs Hulls/Herosine Empire
So this month, we have another big re-release, and this one also comes with no less than six new models as well!
Partially, this was mandated by wanting to have some higher detail models for the accompanying lore post images for the smallcraft.
(On top of everything else, this required me to do a small change of wording for AccAtt, since I had grossly overestimated how small the basic shuttle really was when I created the “basic shuttle” in AccAtt. Given as such a shuttle was supposed to be capable of carrying a fairly significant (if abstracted) amount of crew, when I did the model and it was clearly only going to take a little more than a car, so I altered the wording of the AccAtt to reclassify “basic shuttle” to “basic shuttle unit” to and say that such a unit was not necessarily a single tiny shuttle, but either a larger single vehicle something like the ship’s boat OR an abstracted unit or something like the GDH-1131 Basic shuttle. A basically inconsequential change for everyone (even me) but if I didn’t do it, it wouldn’t have been “right!”)
So, anyway, this time, we have the re-release starfleet of General Designs Hulls, the galaxy’s largest human starship hull manufacturer, most famous for their Delta-series hulls. GDH, being one of the many super-corps that make up the fabulously corrupt Herosine Empire, is also the principle supplier of the Herosine fleet!
We also have for you the re-release of the 144th Herosine Ground force, all sprued up, facet-improved where necessary and equipped with the new v2 locking turrets. This is probably the single biggest remaining release of the scifi to go!
I am not going to link all thirty-plus re-released models to both webshops in the forum post, as I’d be here all day!
Instead, I will direct you to the latest version of the catalogue pdf downloadable from here.
As you will notice, I have started to include the links to the webshops in the catalogue now, so it is easier to do that! Now, thus far, this is a work in progress and I’ve only mostly done the TheShop3D links, plus the new models. We’re still always off from this being the definitive, but it’s a start.
(If you want to look for these on Shapeways, you can filter by GDH for the starships and look for the MG144-HE codes in this section or when sorted by alphabetical order overall. (Since Shapeways has NEVER in ten years fixed the ability to sort shop sections by alphabetical order…)
However, what I will do for you is show the pictures at the end!
Once again, there is a substantial Bleakbane’s Galaxy Guide lore/fluff post (30 pages in Word!) on the Herosine Empire and their vehicles over at Wargame Directory here:
This may be the last such lore release for a while, since the responses to the previous ones has been… Well, to be frank, non-existent; which is rather disheartening. I don’t even know anyone has read any of it, since you don’t get shown any statistics or anything. I put a lot of time into these, but if there’s no-one actually reading it, I can’t really justify spending more work-time on it. So please, please, if you do read these, any feedback – like at ALL – helps.
Right. On to the new releases (all of which are sufficiently new I simply haven’t had chance to paint any yet!). As with the previous re-releases, with the lore post going up simultaneously, I’ve not repeat the fluff here.
(At time of posting, I discovered the resin version of the basic shuttles (300th) isn’t visible at TheShop3D. The nylon version of the Beta Transport is also listed as separate model if you browse the collection too, so the link below only leads to the resin version. We’re fixing these as soon as we can!)
And then for the 300th fighter range:
GDH-1131 Basic Shuttle (6) (300th)
Beta Screen Drone (6) (300th)
Delta Assault Shuttle (300th)
Direct price: £3.15
The Shop3D price: £3.29 (Resin)/ £5.99 (Nylon) Link
Shapeways price: $6.98 (£5.04) Link
Galba Assault Shuttle (300th)
Spectre II Fighter (2) (300th)
Photos of Prusa versions.
Next month will be a much more modest re-release (and with nothing new), of the Strayvian ground forces (likely September’s re-release will be small too); partly this is because I am going to be away one week in August and possibly September.
Are you ready for a big photo dump? Are you? Are you??
(Photos or various materials (some WSF some Replicator, some Prusa, even one or two in the now-unsupported transparent detail!)
Basic Shuttles (Fleet)
Spectre II Fighter (Fleet)
Beta Series Scoutship
Beta series Light Carrier
Delta Series Assault Shuttle (Fleet)
(The direct sales version that come on bases.)
Delta Series Corvette
Delta Series Frigate
Delta Series Destroyer
Delta Series Attack Cruiser
Delta Series Heavy Battlecruiser
Delta Series Battleship
Delta Series Dreadnought
(The replicator version hat had to be done in four parts, because it was too big to do just top and bottom unlike the Prusa version (or the single piece everywhere else!)
Devastator II Heavy Cruiser
Beta Screen Drones
Herosine Droid Platoon
Turma Multirole Vehicle (APC Variant – with psiloi)
Turma Multirole Vehicle (Command)
Turma Multirole Vehicle (Medium Tank)
Eques Battle Tank
Lucius Defence Turret
Auxilia Recon Drone
Onager Super Tank
10/08/2021 at 13:26 #160268
Aotrs Shipyards August 2021 (Re-)Release: Strayvian Dominion
This month, we’re a bit backwards – sci-fi this week, moderns next week.
This time, it’s only a small re-release of the Strayvian Dominion ground forces.
No lore dump this because a) I didn’t have time to do one, given I was away for a week and b) despite having more likes and comments on the Facebook thread (which was greatly appreciated), I still have no idea if anyone actually read the lore posts or whether they were just responding to the larger photo dump. So there is only one more try with those before I have to make the decision whether to stop doing them. (Which would also, unfortunately, put the kybosh on the mid-term future plans of releasing the game stats for AccAtt and MG with the lore on Wargames Vault.)
As before, rather than double-link them, I’ll direct you to the latest version of the catalogue pdf downloadable from here, which has links to both webshops.
Failing that, on both Shapeways and TheShop3D, if you filter alphabetically and look for MG144-SY codes (on TheShop3D you can also just use the newest-to-oldest filter!)
So, here we are!
Strayvian Infantry Platoon
Magma’s Ire Blistering Castigation MBT
Atrocious Eruption Blistering Castigation AAA AFV
Ash Abomination Lava Spite Scout AFV
Seething Scoria Attack Skimmer
Invidious Obsidian APC
Incandescent Outrage Heavy Tank
Hell Blast Lava Spite Anti-Aircraft Artillery AFV
I would have rounded out with a photo of the Strayvians in action, but unfortunately, they’re old enough they were before I got my current camera (the old one took really awful pictures indoors, so I don’t have any!)
In lieu, here’s last month’s Herosine ground force facing off against the Soviet Remnant at Triples in 2014.
Photos of VPN versions.
Next month, for sci-fi, I have queued up the Stone Portals for re-release. With the holiday, I haven’t looked at September yet – might be the Vivrathk, but we’ll have to see how time goes.
Moderns release will be out next week!14/09/2021 at 16:28 #161766
Aotrs Shipyards September 2021 (Re-)Release: Stone Portals
So, the first thing to note here (as I discovered when I came to make this release) is that TheShop3D have changed their name to only-RPG I presume this is simply for better brand recognition. (I have asked for clarification, but I don’t want to be delaying the release while waiting for a response. So stuff will say “TheShop3D” for a little longer in existing mentions, just until I hear back from them!)
Though it is hilarious ironic in this particular case. I suppose “only-RPG Except For Aotrs Shipyards” while it might have given them the enhanced google-ability of “Aotrs” (no, not “Actors”. google search) was probably a bit long… Currently, all old links are re-directed and still work (though how for how long, which brings the ominous question of me having to re-do the links in the PDF catalogue having JUST finished that…)
Right. Release. This month, here is the re-release of the mysterious Stone Portal fleet. The Stone Portals have the distinction of being the very first models I did (the Dreadnought was the second, and the Rim Runner from the GDH release), coming as a result random sweep while playing with TurboCAD to see what I could do in 3D and going “there’s a ship there.” They very much have a Babylon 5 old-ones sort of feel.
(Though in the Stone Portal’s specific case, coming from superspace and picking on the wrong star power in its infancy led them to being sealed away and coming out a thousand years later only to realise that not only had their technological edge been blunted to the point they were just average, but their old foes remembered them and were more advanced.)
The Stone Portals, along with the Vivrathk were designed mechanically to be the sample fleets included with the Accelerate and Attack rules.
As with the other re-releases, the Stone Portals have been re-faceted from 14 to 32 facets and re-sprued. In the case of a couple of the ships types, namely the corvettes and the frigates, due to their small size, I ended up combining two classes into a single sprue.
As before, rather than double-link them, I’ll direct you to the latest version of the catalogue pdf downloadable from here, which has links to both webshops.
Failing that, on both Shapeways, here’s the (pre-sorted!) link to the Stone Portals shop section and at only-RPG, if you filter alphabetically and look for SP codes – page 15 at time of writing (or just use the newest-to-oldest filter!)
So, here we are!
Stone Portal Fleet
Stone Portal Fighter Squadron
Stone Bomber Squadron
Stone Portal Assault Shuttles
Stone Portal Corvettes and Escort Corvettes
Stone Portal Frigates and Recon Frigate
Stone Portal Missile Frigates
Stone Portal Destroyers
Stone Portal Torpedo Destroyers
Stone Portal Escort Destroyers
Stone Portal Light Cruiser
Stone Portal Escort Cruiser
Stone Portal Heavy Cruiser
Stone Portal Transport
Stone Portal Assault Cruiser
Stone Portal Light Carrier
Stone Portal Battlecruiser
Stone Portal Battleship
Stone Portal Dreadnought
Stone Portal Heavy Carrier
Photos of VPN versions. I have endeavoured to take better photos, but with my limited resources, trying to take good pictures on black is really quite hard and it isn’t helped by the Stone Portal’s height making it harder. I tried to get some group shots, but I did not manage anything satisfactory, unfortunately. This has underlined that perhaps I need to try and get a slightly better camera. (Limited by the fact that I know basically nothing about photography). I have taken pictures of the quantities in the sprues where possible, but in some cases it has been limited by the fact I never had that many printed when I did them in 2010 myself.
Next month, the Vivrathk are in the final stages of preparation for re-release. As I am finally coming to see the end of the re-releases, I want to get them done, so I am half intending to see if I can squeeze in the 144th Galactic Terrorists as well.
I, along with my cohorts at Manoeuvre group, will be at Other Partizan on October 10th. I haven’t 100% decided what to put on yet, so in the highly unlikely event anyone coming along has something specific they’d like to see in action, now would be the time.
I have put in an order at
TheShop3Donly-RPG for some resin stuff, so with a bit of luck if it comes before next release, there will be some resin prints to show off as well (I’d like to hope to have them for Other Partizan, but we’ll see.)
I have also updated the “products” section on the left-shand side of the Facebook page so that it has links to both webshops and an updated link to the PDF catalogue as well, since I can do that now (it’s tucked away under “see more” toggle). Follow the Shipyards is you haven’t already; as tiresomely sick as I’m sure you are of hearing that (which is why I rarely remember to say it myself)).22/10/2021 at 20:00 #163637
Aotrs Shipyards September 2021 (Re-)Release: Vivrathk Aggression fleet and Galactic Terrorist Army
So this time, we have both the moderns and the sci-fi on the same day! First of all, only-RPG has rebranded itself since the last post to Only-Games, and have been rolling out their new website. The delay was because they had been implementing their new system that will allow the creators (i.e. me) to uploaded directly (like at Shapeways), which will streamline the process significantly, since I won’t have to submit it to them. This is better for everyone all around.
I should note that because of the legacy stuff, there will be a few glitches as we iron things out, so bear with us! (I’m the largest shop on there in terms of items, and me being likely the most pedantic creator, the Shipyards is most likely going to the be most faff to fix!) One such issue is that the material button is no longer present, since the store treats things differently. (I recommend using the links from the Shipyards PDF catalogue to order the older stuff fort the next couple of weeks, while we clear things up). As the resin in their main line anyway, all the new releases will be in resin only form this point forwards and we will likely be taking the nylon out as we fix stuff. If there is a demand for nylon, I can always look at putting it back in later – but as that option is available from Shapeways as VPN, I don’t see that being very likely.
I’ll be going back through everything and adding tags to all the models as well. Only-Games doesn’t want to add a semi-infinite number of user-created tags (not unreasonably), so I’ll be conservatively tagging the models basically by scale and genre. The current default sort method, Featured, is actually A-to-Z filter (for my collection, others have might have it configured differently), so hopefully between that and the model codes, you should be able to find stuff. Of course, the PDF catalogue remains another method, though it looks like I might have to re-do some of the links as we replace stuff. Check the Shipyards Facebook page (see OP) for updates on that!
For those of you on here that don’t follow the Facebook posts, here’s a couple of pictures of some Only-Games resin prints (in their spiffy bubble packs) I ordered just in time to take to show off at Other Partizan a couple of weeks ago.
Almost like I’m a proper company now or summat, innit!
So, the release itself. We have another big one today – the re-release of the Vivrathk Aggression Star Battle Fleet, the re-release of the Galactic Terrorist ground force and the release of three new models to the latter!
The Vivrathk are the second-oldest Shipyards starfleet, contemporary with the Stone Portals. They have had the most extensive overhaul of any of the fleets. In addition to re-faceting the surfaces from 14 to 32 facets, properly sprue-ing them up and taking new photos, I pain-stakingly re-did all of the grooves/channels to make sure they were absolutely clear. Finally, I added new detailing to the undersides, which were notably absent. (As the changes in Shapeway’s pricing in the last ten years made them more costly, not less, I have removed a couple of old packs of multiple ships, notably cruisers.)
As usual, with the re-releases, rather than double-link them all, I’ll direct you to the latest version of the catalogue pdf downloadable from here, which has links to both webshops.
Failing that, on both Shapeways, here’s the (pre-sorted!) link to the Vivrathk and GT shop sections and at Only-Games, if you filter alphabetically and look for VA codes for the fleet and GT for the, well, the GT (or just use the newest-to-oldest filter!)
Brace yourselves, then, for a big photodump!
Vivrathk Aggression Star Battle Fleet
Fire Plague Fighters
Blistering Slash Bombers
(Not up on Only-RPG yet, due to technical problems.)
Eternal Inferno Battlebarges
Void Sting Scoutships
Feral Thrust Class Frigates
Turbulent Sky Destroyers
Fierce Thrust Frigates
Torrid Sky Destroyers
Tumultuous Sky Electronics Destroyer
(Only one of two pictured, since, I only had the one printed back then!)
Ferocious Thrust Class Frigates
Bloody Moon Light Cruiser
Dagger Blade Strike Cruiser
Vicious Meteor Heavy Cruiser
Burning Moon Light Cruiser
Darting Blade Transport Cruiser
Wild Horde Light Carrier
Solar Rage Battlecruiser
Savage Nova Battleship
Star Maim Dreadnought
Furious Burn Battle Carrier
Ravening Swarm Carrier
Galactic Terrorist Ground Army
ZIL-1135 ASP (Air Superiority Platform)
GAZ-99371 Vodnik Sensor Van
GT Infantry Horde (80) (New!)
Unpainted resin sprue, with a close-up of the terrorists in particular:
Only-Games price: £3.29 (Resin) Link pending*
Shapeways price: $38.09 (£28.37) Link
*Part of those technical issues I mentioned…!
Also of note for the GT, from the moderns Irregular range (MG14-IR codes):
(I was going to link these, but the links might be changed soon anyway as we fix the current problems…!)
Hilux Technical (HMG)
Hilux Technical (Type 63)
Irregular Bike Platoon
(I have not painted these yet, so have a picture of the resin in the bubble-pack!)
Photos of VPN versions (Vivrathk, painted GT infantry), Replicator 2 and Prusa versions (GT).
We are nearing the end of the re-releases now, so I even have a nominal plan for the last lot of re-releases/releases. (Which hopefully will go much smoother from next month onwards!) I have been working ahead and the next couple of months are mostly prepared. Next month will be the re-release of the SSA and the release of the Tarrainian Federation ground force. December will see the release of the first elenthnar ground force in the form of the Phystyulons and the re-release of their starfleet. After that, the plan becomes more nominal with the remaining ranges, but my ideal plan is to try and get the last ranges out for March, around Hammerhead. (Though that may be it for sci-fi releases for a while, as we are then up to date and nothing else new is in the pipeline save at very preliminary stages.)23/10/2021 at 00:23 #163646MikeKeymaster
Almost like I’m a proper company now or summat, innit!
Ooh fancy. Congrats.23/10/2021 at 11:08 #163668
Almost like I’m a proper company now or summat, innit!
Ooh fancy. Congrats.
Thank you! That was an unexpected bonus over Shapeways when I first joined up with Only-Games! I think in a lot of ways, it’s also probably safer packaging for the more potentially vulnerable models than plastic bags and bubble wrap, since delicate parts are less likely be squashed or bent*.
Not quite everything can come in bubble-packs (currently, anyway), since the larger models – like the Cybertank Eradicator (right hand side in the picture below in a comparison shot of nylon, FDM and resin) and some of the larger starships – are just too big for the packaging. (Not unreasonably, since Only-Games was initially aimed at RPG figures, which are mostly of a comparative size!)
Still, the Eques from a couple of releases ago came in one, and due to it’s multi-barrel turret sprue, it’s one of the volumetrically larger 144 main battle tanks, so I reckon the vast majority of the 144th vehicles will. I postulate that it will be pretty much just the super-heavy tanks and various large MLRS vehicles that probably won’t, and possibly not the larger infantry sprues. (Starships are a bit more variable in size and shape, of course, so it’s harder to tell!)
*Incidently, if anyone ever finds do get something and find a part of a model is bent, get a cup of hot water (not boiling) – I just use water straight out of the tea urn – and dip the bent part in the hot water for a few seconds and it will very likely straight out all by itself. This is a tip I picked up from the BattleTech kickstarter for their plastic models, and it works even better for this resin.
Maybe five seconds, if that, in a cup of hot water and the barrels straightened to their natural position by themselves without me having to touch them.
(I reckon that what causes this is not always going to be under Only-Games’ control, but sometimes thin parts will distort in transit once posted, likely just to the temperature variations they are exposed to in the postal services – the stuff is temperature malleable, after all! It would appear to be just a profession hazard, as it were, of the material, like flash on cast models or supports on FDM. But one that’s a lot easier to fix.)16/11/2021 at 18:36 #164752
Aotrs Shipyards November 2021 (Re-)Release: Saturn Syndicate Ascendancy Fleet and Tarrainian Federation Army
This month (at considerable effort, more on that later…) I have for you the re-release of the Saturn Syndicate Ascendancy Fleet and the Tarrainian Federation Army.
Both are human powers, relatively small and comparatively and (for once!) not in the Evil pile.
The tiny Tarrainian Federation is one of the few (maybe only) human powers that is capital-g Good, as oppose to merely being neutral of the goodish-side of neutral. The TarFeds are a sharp contrast to the nearest neighbours, our old friends the fabulous corrupt Herosine Empire, their long-term nemesis. As a small power, the vast majority of their vehicles and starships are off-the-market designs with some refitting. (Along with the fleet is the current only in-house starship design, the Cavalier Torpedo frigate. As it might as well come out with them as not.)
The Saturn Syndicate Ascendancy is larger and more mercantile. They, up until a few years ago, were the Saturn Syndicate Authority, a co-operative fundamentally formed from a number of early interstellar corporations. Unlike Herosines, the SSA were more the civilian side, hence their lag behind in military technology. They are also notable as one of the very few human powers to use Warp Drive instead of Hyperdrive, since they were the early adopters.
The SSA are arguably my favourite fleet. They are, in many ways, definitive of the Shipyards in a way the actual Aotrs even aren’t. The SSA are pretty directly inspired by Stewart Cowley’s Spacecraft 2000-2100AD, which is basically the entire reason any of this exists. (It is very definitely why all the scifi stuff comes with attended fluff.) Flip open Spacecraft, go to the first ship entry, and the merchant ship being blown up is the direct inspiration for the Nomad. SSA is very much an atomic-scifi flavoured fleet, down to the 1970s/80s inspired naming conventions and the old-school emphasis on the nuts-and-bolts. (A bridge on an SSA ship probably DOES look very much like something out of Star Trek TOS or Thunderbirds or something!) Even the name, SSA is a homage to Spacecraft’s TTA (the Terran Trade Authority)! I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.
Saturn Syndicate Ascendancy Fleet
As before, I won’t link every single SSA ship, but instead encourage you to grab the catalogue, which has all the links, though on Shapeways you can look under the SSA section, and on Only-Games, sort by newest or look for the SSA codes. The SSA have all been painstaking re-faceted to 32 facets and re-sprued up for their re-release.
HSB-124 Pegasus Heavy Bomber
MMF-101 Comet Interceptor
HSF-112 Breach Heavy Fighter
WDF-78T Siren Medium Fighter
CAW-109 Spoiler and CAW-109C Spoiler C Class Fighterdestroyers
HAM-117 Class Scarab Attack Cutter
MM-193 Chariot Class Frigate
WDN-109 Riposte Class Frigate
HAM-119 Spider Wasp Class Destroyer
CAW-107 Fusillade Class Destroyer
HAM-112 Enfilade Class Corvette
WDN-113 Strix Class Frigate
CAW-104 Arbalest Class Light Cruiser
HAM-123 Bulwark Class Escort Cruiser
HAM-124 Marlin Class Heavy Cruiser
HAM-106 Heimdallr Class Light Cruiser
WDN-114 Cataphract Class Dreadnought
HAC-124 Nomad Class Freighter
HAM-127 Charybis Battlecruiser
HAM-128 Corsair Battlecruiser
Tarrainian Federation Army
The TarFeds are, as noted, mostly using off-the-shelf available vehicles with some refits, so sci-fi-ed-up versions of the Wiesel 1, Chieftain and Leopard 2SG. They got done originally since I was starting to run short of time before a convention and thus lent themselves to a relatively quicker job. The Vampires and Neurons both started out as fold-flat cardboard models my Dad did during our Stargrunt II phase. (As those of you with long memories may recall from the Aotrs release with their version of the Vampire.) The infantry are all new, of course; and indeed, one of the reasons the ground forces have been held back for so long was simply that we didn’t have a good release option for them, since they can’t be done on my printers*. (At the time, Shapeways had a file size limit for upload that the infantry pretty much broke except in small numbers and when that was lifted, they were and are still very expensive.) Thankfully, we now have Only-Games!
*Or even my mate’s home resin printer, we’ve just been experimenting for some infantry from the Zirakthargûm Divinity…
Photos of VPN versions (SSA), Replicator 2 and Prusa versions (TarFeds).
So this was more of a chore than I would have liked. Only-Games now require you to have square images. Now, of course, I had been proactive and gotten all the render ready weeks ago, when that wasn’t mandatory. So I had to go through them all over again. The problem is compounded, of course, by the fact the vast majority of my models are longer than they are tall, so they don’t fit well in a square box. Cropping has not become, instead of an automated batch process, and iterative one, since there is now previous little leeway to get the models in at a decent size. So that has probably added the better part of two hours to the process, and… I did all next month’s renders ahead of time to, so I’ll have to do this all again NEXT time.
New the bad news. I have to report that it feels increasingly like there will have to be a price increase in April. Today, uploading everything on the same +12% of base cost I’ve been using, I was looking at a scant few pence if I believe the estimated profit section per model. I really don’t want to have to do that (just on workload alone, aside other concerns, it’s be a massive pain), but it looks increasingly like it’s going to have to happen. I have always worked on the basis of keeping the net cost of my models low, in the hopes of, well, not adhering to the Corporate Rip-Off standard. (Some might accuse me of going too far the other way.) But that only works if you are selling a steady number of products and, well, that just isn’t happening, to my disappointment, despite my best efforts. So in order that I can keep doing this at all, I’m going to have to be making SOME money on stuff. As I say, I won’t be doing anything until likely the end of March, but I just want to everyone to be aware ahead of time that it might (likely will) be happening.
Next month, I will be at (barring snow or COVID) Recon 2021, and that will see the re-release of the Phystyulon fleet, and the release of their ground forces, where I will also be handing out 15% discount flyers!14/12/2021 at 18:47 #165973
Aotrs Shipyards December 2021 (Re-)Release: Phystyulons
As much foretold, this month sees the Phystyulons: the re-release of the star navy, and the release of the ground force.
It has not been without a lot of tribulations. If you missed last week’s modern release posts, the long and short of it was I lost two weeks to a HDD failure (no data lost, but a fresh install is a nightmare all its own), which subsequently caused the knock-on problem of having buy a new version or TurboCAD because the Windows wouldn’t let me install the driver that worked with the last one. Which is has since turned out be a minor disaster in and of itself, meaning that just doing my day-to-day work is now longer and more difficult for no gain. And to cap it all, WordPress did something to TheWargamesWebsite, taking out some of their formatting buttons – which meant, I as formerly compiled all the posts of TWW and pasted into Wargames Directory and Facebook, I now have to create these posts in Notepad and copy/paste the text format, which is – you guessed it – more inconvenient and time-consuming for no gain. How long this state of affairs will last is anyone’s guess.
Fortunately, before everything got worse, I was reasonably ahead, so I was able to get on with the release today.
On the plus-ish side, as I came to do the release, I discovered Only-Games now has some new filters to help you search! I have only added them to today’s releases (I have quite enough to be going on with at the moment…) the others will be added in due time. The most likely chance of that happening is in March, as I’m afraid the price increase still looks very much on the horizon, I’m afraid.
So, who are the Phystyulons? They are one of the major powers of the elenthnar species – the first of three coming in the next two releases (the forth, the Xyriats, were among the first models up on Only-Games). The Phystyulons are currently the only ones with a ground force as well as a fleet.
The elenthnars are described in a little more detail here. (It’s a touch outdated being a couple of years old, but accurate still.)
The Phystyulons (Phist-you-lons, literal translation, “the brother/sisterhood* of Physt”) are an elenthnar major power. While only the fourth biggest in terms of overall size, population and economic power, the Phystyulons have had and still have a significant influence on the elenthnar political sphere. The Phystyulons combine aspects of a nation, paramilitary power and religion all in one. The Phystyulons were founded by the quasi-mystical figure of Physt. They first grew to prominence in the onset of the late industrial/early digital era, but their earlier history – fragmented and steeped in legend – holds that the Phystyulons date back almost to pre-history.
*The term in Zoiloiat is a gender-neutral plural.
(They might be thought of as a little like “alien space NOD,” if one is familiar with Command & Conquer…)
(I was going to add the fluff for the ground forces here, but I decided this was a long enough post already, so as usual, the model descriptions in the stores have it!)
Phystyulon Numinous Star Navy
As per usual, I won’t link every single Phystyulon ship, but instead encourage you to grab the catalogue, which has all the links.
On Shapeways you can look under the Phystyulon section. Only-Games has now added some additional features – ranges and race/species filters, so you can now search for “Phystyulons” and do the same!
Pylonaz Cutter (6)
Vistrixon Strike Corvette (3)
Syrotukan Escort Frigate (3)
Sylor Barrage Destroyer
Arkaz Torpedo Frigate
Hazarak Light Cruiser
Hrastyukar Escort Cruiser
Hrastyukar-Za Escort Cruiser
Phystyukor Heavy Cruiser
Ortukat Electronics Warfare Cruiser
Takovt Supply Cruiser
Rauztrak Light Carrier
Lokutar Missile Battleship
Rylorz Artillery Battlecruiser
Kantusar Disruptor Dreadnought
Itorkat Troop Ship and Katorak Marine Fighter Cruisers
Type 754 Lazer Drone (12)
Byraxin Raider (12)
Nytvyx Bomber (12)
MG144-PH01 Pazzukasst Main Battle Tank
MG144-PH02 Pazkotak Heavy APC
MG144-PH03 Phystyusorv CP Command Post
MG144-PH04 Tarovazik MRLS
MG144-PH05 HU-946 Rocket Cycle Platoon (12)
MG144-PH05A HU-948 Heavy Rocket Cycle (Strider)
MG144-PH06 TAV-98 Armed Robot Scout (3)
MG144-PH06 Type 333 Lazer Pylon
MG144-PH07 Phystyulon Infantry Platoon (24)
MG144-PH07A Phystyulon Strider Soldier Platoon(24)
Photos of Replicator 2 and Prusa versions, save for the infantry (VPN and unpainted resin) and the HU-946 Rocket cycles (resin). I’m not terribly happy with the Phystyulon fighters as they came out from the Replicator, I think, and they will be among the next batch of resin I’ll be putting in hopefully in the next couple of weeks, and there are Soviet and Dwarf troops to come.
So. Next month will be the Wodefs and sci-fi miscellany, i.e. any little bit and pieces and small ranges. The final elenthnars in the form of the Xygritts are slated for February, along with the Soviet Remnant, and the Zirakthargûm Divinity starship and ground force in March. the Royal Elven Army I’m not sure about yet, but might be January (but really, it depends on what other stuff gets done in the meantime) or might be April or later, we’ll see.18/01/2022 at 17:47 #167259
Aotrs Shipyards January 2022 (Re-)Release: Wodef Enclave and Sci-Fi Miscellany
So, the bad new first. As I say, I always try to be as straight-up front and honest with you folks as I can. As I was uploading this batch of models, I did some experimenting with the prices, trying to gauge what we’re looking at come May. At the moment, basically I’m taking only about 1-2% of the given price, since Only-Games implemented the changes. So this means that, even in best case scenario, to be making my intended 12% of base price (which is what the prices were initially set to), it means the base cost of the model needs to go from 1.12 to 1.24 because of the way the equation works, so we are looking at a 11% price increase to current prices whatever, so I’m actually making something. However, we are looking at the more likely case that I will have to revert to the standard Only-Games model, where they take base price plus 30% of the total price instead of the current 10% they’ve set me at as special dispensation. If I cut my profit margin down to 10%, to compensate a little, we are likely (based on my best estimate from available sources) going to be looking at the base price multiplied by 1.58, which translates to about a 40% increase of the current prices.
By comparison, this will still be about 80% of the price Shapeways models are (for a better product, in my opinion). This is will impact the 144th most heavily, I’m afraid; a good chunk of the starships are below Shapeway’s $5 floor (which Only-Games doesn’t have), so they will still comparatively be quite a bit cheaper. So there’s that, at least.
I have done my damnedest to keep my prices as low as I possibly can, to keep things affordable, but this is where we are. I am almost literally cutting my own throat already until May (and especially since I have seen a marked drop-off of sales at Shapeways and few commissions, making this shape up to be a worst financial year than 2020-2021).
If you’re wondering why I’m not starting now, I said I was going to keep the prices the same until May so that’s what I’m going to do. Plus, when I have to do it, I only want to have to do it ONCE. (I will also, as I do so, go back and add pre-existing releases into the new races and ranges features Only-Games introduced last month at the same time.)
So then, hopefully onward and upwards. This month, I have the re-release of the third elenthnar power; the Wodef Enclave. The Wodefs are technocracy, and traditional rivals of the much larger Xyriat Hegemony, whom shares most of their borders. The Wodefs, despite their small size, come closest to and in one area exceed (firecontrol) the technological edge the Xyriats hold over the smaller powers. Their solution to the typical heat-dispersion problems of current elenthnar tech is to use a dorsal dispersion block not unlike the Phystyulons, though not as extensive. Lacking the forward GVC focussing array used by the Xyriats (and Xygritts, see next month), the Wodefs instead use a series of focussing coils along the length of the vessels, co-incidentally giving them a shape more often seen in pre-industrial rail transport units.
The Wodefs use a smaller number of ship hulls, as befits a smaller power. Wodef vessel hulls are designed around a standard hull specification which is modular. This allows numerous classes of vessel to be produced from a single hull (though the individual vessels themselves are not modular in the re-configurable sense). As such, they are typically given a class name an alphabetical designation in Tayoro (a now-dead language from Urrot, analogous to somewhere between Latin and Greek). Ship designations are typically not names, but a four-character string of duodecimal numbers (Romanised with * as ten and # as eleven) following an abbreviation of the vessel class.
As previously, the meshes have been updated and re-sprued as necessary, with new photos (some of which have a mix of painted and unpainted, if I didn’t have enough of the former to show the amount!) There is one new release in this batch: the Sul-Dofio-Apparso. This was essentially the product of a mesh-related printing error at a different print house, in which I’d basically copied or moved the model a millimetre or two when positioning on the sprue and TurboCAD had not deleted the old version, making a somewhat fatter version of the ship. However, it actually didn’t look half-bad, so for the re-release, I decided I would do a proper version and make the little bit of tidying up so the official version is properly polished.
(The Wodefs were inspired by both my playing Sword of the Stars 2 and Transport Tycoon in short order. They take their name in honour of my Grandfather who died while I was working on the fleet, who was, appropriately, a railway engineer.)
In addition, I have some sci-fi miscellany re-releases: a few bits and pieces not enough for their own releases: one 144th vehicle for the Royal British Space Army, two vessels from the top-of-tier technology-level galactic power Alpha Strike Force and a trio of vessels of the mysterious Extra Galactic Aliens seen operating and terraforming worlds on the very edge of the galactic rim.
Of note, the Alpha Strike Force ships have had a bit of a go-over, increasing the amount of details over these older photos, as you may be able to see from the render images. (I haven’t painted up any of the FDM test prints, and the man-cave is currently inaccessible for photos of same, sorry.)
As there’s once again 22 models in this batch (and only the Spatha is technically new, and I’m not even 100% sure about that), no prices and direct links for everything (just the miscellany and the Sul Dofio Apparso), so please look at the catalogue; at both Shapeways and Only-Games, you can look for the Wodefs with the respective filter at Shapeways and the Wodef Enclave range at Only-games.
Alpha Strike Force
ASF101 Plasma Stream Class Corvette (4)
ASF201 Caracara Heavy Cruiser
Himlof Drone Swarm
Nar Flon-Kaylo Strike Corvette (6)
Nar Flon-Noalo Corvette (6)
Dofio-Kaylo Frigate (4)
Dofio-Noalo Point-Defence Frigate (4)
Hadfe Morr-Kaylo Torpedo Cruiser
Hadfe Morr-Noalo Dro’Sanla Tug
Jodinf-Noalo Recon Cruiser
Jodinf-Apparso Drone Cruiser-Carrier
Refdeiof Nurl-Kaylo Dreadnought
Photos of VPN (painted starships) Replicator 2 and Prusa versions (unpainted).
Next month we be the penultimate of these re-releases, with the Xygritt Matriarchy fleet and the Soviet Remnant army. I have – at long last – actually finished the CAD work and re-prints, despite every setback, so it’s just a case of getting them out before I start on any more long-term projects such as like seriously looking into selling the files themselves. I am nominally planning to look at doing a pilot project in early summer (after the Big Price Revision) and after that we’ll see.
We will be, all being well (which these days is a dubious proposition), we will be at Hammerhead on the 5th of March and hopefully be at Partizan on May 22nd (pending final confirmation).16/02/2022 at 21:49 #168612
Aotrs Shipyards February 2022 (Re-)Release: Xygritt Matriarchy and Soviet Remnant
This is the penultimate re-release! (Thank frack, too, these are exhausting to do…) This time, I have for you the Xygritt Matriarchy fleet (bringing us circling back to the first post here on TWW) and the re-release on the Soviet Remnant army (nee Sci-Soviets).
As for the next-to-last time, there’s a lot to get through so no fluff in this post and I will only directly link the new releases, so please look at the catalogue; at both Only-Games and
Shapeways and you can look for with the Soviet Remnant and Xygritt Matriarchy ranges at Only-Games and with the respective filters at Shapeways (SV for the Soviet Remnant) at Shapeways.
(Seriously, this was not intentionally topical, I had this planned for months prior…!)
The Soviet Remnant has had a little more extensive work done prior to re-release, as the joint-oldest ground force. In addition to the usual refaceting and sprueing, in particular, the PD turrets have been altered to a more standard locking turret. The previous ball-with-a-tiny-stick worked only just barely, and if the too-thin stick broke off, the only option was to glue them in. Thus, the re-vamped turrets now have hemispherical domes.
The T-150 (and thus Fext and Kresnik) and Chernobog have also had a significant update to details, notably track details and on the glacis.
New for this release are infantry, both standard and powered troops.
Finally, so late that it didn’t make into the army render is the release of the Tsar Orlov superheavy tank!
The Tsar Orlov was originally a model of a Red Alert Apocalypse tank I’d gotten off Thingverse and modified for a convention, thinking it would be quicker than doing one myself (it wasn’t) and thus was not a model I would have (or could!) release. I wasn’t even planning to do it for this re-release; but, while I was showing off the Remnant to my young nephews, I noticed that the models – due to the meshes not being properly booleaned – were starting to come apart. So I threw up my hands and did a new (much much better!) model from scratch. (Shamelessly stealing from the T-80U and BMD as well as the T-150 itself!)
T-150 Indrik Heavy Tank
Upgraded detail render
T-155A Perun “Tesla” Grav Tank
BRDM-22A Marzanna Grav Scout
Showing all four turrets
Mark IV Sentry Turret
T-150AL Fext Beam Grav Tank
Upgraded detail render
BMP-10A Svetovid Grav MICV
Chernobog Command Tank
Upgraded detail render
29K22 Tunguska 2 AAA
TOS-10 Kresnik Grav Rocket Tank
Upgraded detail render
YW731 Longma Scout
Soviet Remnant Infantry (58)
Soviet Remnant Power Troops (12)
T-160 Tsar Orlov Super Heavy Battle Tank
After I did this print and was on the upload sequence, I found that the walls of the PD turret mount needed to go up by 0.4mm, so if you have noticed the very slight difference between the renders and the photos, this is why.
A bonus comparison to pre-production version of the Tsar Orlov. (I would have mentioned the gentleman from whom’s thingverse page I got the Apocolypse I tweaked that version from, but I’m afraid it it was the better part of ten years ago, so I have no idea. Bonus fun fact: the fact the guns are more or less the same sixe is entirely co-incidental – I just sized up the Indrik’s guns by 50% and they happened to just be very close!)
The Xygritt Matriarchy at the last of the (current) four elenthnar powers, an offshoot from the Xyriat Hegemony some time past. (Thus their approach to technology is along similar lines.) The Matriarchy fall somewhere between being the elenthnar equivalent of the human Herosine Empire and the Galactic Terrorists; a very bigoted (in several directions) society that does not play well with others, especially their neighbours the very-much egalitarian and much nicer Quax Computation.
(The Matriarchies commanders are not at all prone to histrionics like that one commander in the Japanese starship puppet show that aired in the UK in the 1980s who people only remember because that one gentleman from a big band or something did a cover of the end title song once. Definitely not.)
For the sake of completeness, despite the fact that waves three and four were at the top of this thread, I’ll post in the pictures of all the Xygritt ships. No new pictures, I’m afraid, since like next month’s Zirakthargûm Divinity, the painted fleet belongs to my oppo! Renders only for a couple of the fighters, too, since the only photos I have are of pre-painted/pre-cleaned up FDM ones which are pretty ropey, sorry.
The Xygritts are sufficiently recent they haven’t needed much work, and so this is mostly a straight-release to Only-Games. (As with the Phystyulons, a couple of the fighters are in 24 rather than 12 at Shapeways; again, while 24 is really too many, as either is below the Shapeways price floor, I wasn’t going to just halve the number for no reason now.)
Or so I thought until about half-way through the upload to Only-Games when I discovered that the Golausio Troop Ship had somehow snuck passed inclusion on the printing run, the last release upload at Shapeways in 2019 AND the catalogue (though not the renders, at least). So it was either leave it for another time and make a mess or do a frantic print on the Prusa while trying to get everything else sorted. (Including finding a couple of minor mesh errors and a few missing renders, because really, it has been that sort of day today. Again.) The photo is thus again a little haphazard, because editing in it later on two of the three places this post goes up is not practical and I wasn’t going to delay the entire release.
So surprise, I guess…?
Gellmar Drone Carrier and Haoph AstroFighters
Passalla AstroFighter (12)
Uraali AstroFighter (12)
Kalu Assault Shuttle (6)
Ralaou Class Light Corvette (4)
Lillours Class Frigate (4)
Lillours-OX Class Escort Frigate (4)
Isanagas Class Missile Frigate (2)
Yriliol Class Defence Frigate (2)
Laxagos Class Destroyer (2)
Thulagos Class Beam Destroyer (2)
Halayn Disruption Destroyer (2)
Lillours-YG Leech Frigate (4)
Xagnaola Class Torpedo Cruiser
Gosillix Class Artillery Cruiser
Shalashalla Class Heavy Cruiser
Goulonat Class Defence Cruiser
Aarpot Class Carrier
Pol Class Transport
Kamalass Class Dro’Sanla Tug
Orilaa Class Battlecruiser
Hashallaxit Class Dreadnought
Lagranix Class Battleship
Nolaarulu Class Super Dreadnought
Makoria Force Dreadnought
Golausio Troop Ship
(On v0.5 3D printed replacement-standard-plastic-hex-stand flight stand (that I will eventually do something with…)
Also, since I haven’t mentioned it for a while, Accelerate and Attack: Aeons of War, our starship rules are available from Wargames Vault here.
Photos of VPN (Xygritts, save for the unpainted resin Haophs and Gellmar), Prusa (Tsar Orlov, Longma), Resin (Perun and infantry) or VPN (rest of Soviets).
Next month, we FINALLY conclude the re-releases with the Zirakthargûm Divinity fleet and ground force (also sporting some new infantry).
We will be at Hammerhead in a couple of weeks on 5th March, where we will be once again handing out those 15% discount flyers. Make sure to use them fast for the lowest cost, though, since come April, I will be starting the process of re-pricing (and adding to ranges etc.) of all the models (starting with alphabetical order depending how long it takes…!)
After that, we will be back to sensible-sized releases finally.16/03/2022 at 15:59 #170129
Aotrs Shipyards March 2022 (Re-)Release: Zirakthargûm Divinity
Settle in folks, this is going to be a long one!
Welcome to the FINAL re-release. It’s taken a good four years to get to the state where the Shipyards are not wholly reliant on Shapeways and to finally have reached the stage where everything has a) been printed in FDM for the FDM versions, b) updated, uploaded and re-released to Only-Games.
And this would be also finally the v1.0 of the catalogue but… The Only-Games price change is going to be implemented in a couple more weeks, so we’re STILL on v0.99…
This time, I have another complete force release: starships, ground force and fighter. This time, it’s the Zirakthargûm Divinity – space dwarves.
The Divinity was designed for one of my mates, in many cases, from scribble-sketches I transformed into the ships and vessels.
This time, there are six new models: two for the ground forces (Zirakthargûm infantry and the Khazd Dûrn Attack VTOL at 144th), two for the starships (the Kaz Modan frigate’s torpedo variant and Orin Stonebreaker Heavy Cruiser) and the Dâlen Fighter and Thorodin Bomber at 1/300th (6mm) scale.
(A model does exist for the Bâel Dûne Fighter Cruiser at 6mm too, but it’s so big it’s not practical for general sale, a bit like the 300th scale version of the Aotrs Murder Fightercruiser!)
So, with this being the Grand Finale, for the moment, let’s finish as we started with the Aotrs: with a good chunk of background.
The Zirakthargûm Divinity
The Zirakthargûm Divinity (and the Zirakthargûm Consortium in the centuries before that) is a small major power, arising from a number of HPE-L worlds whose predominant population was Dwarves. The god Zirakthar seeded a large number of HPE-L worlds with his influence during the Xakkath Demon Wars, with the intention of bringing all dwarves on all planets under one banner. Zirakthar dogma states that all the known Dwarven gods were guardians placed by Zirakthar, though whether this is true or merely applies to a large-subset which eventually would make up the divinity worlds is uncertain.
The Zirakthargûm (lit: “children of Zirakthar”) Consortium arose primarily from the Rakki system. The sun’s name is believed to originate in an early dialect which referred to is as being a holy place for Zirakthar, though this has been debated heavily outside religious quarters.
First contact between Zirakthargûm Consortium and Humanity occurred in 2155. A trade agreement shortly resulted with the human’s then-United Space Nations (a body to which all the human major powers were a part of), predominantly export of metals for the import of food. This marked the era when the Consortium rapidly grew in wealth and influence. Very quickly, the network of contacts expanded, new contracts were signed almost annually and the money flowed into the coffers. Dwarven metals and mining machinery became synonymous with quality and durability. So stable was heir economy that many looked on with envy at the Consortium’s success. However, history teaches us that it doesn’t pay to become complacent and this great success could not last forever.
The unprecedented wealth the Consortium was gaining led to a resurgence of an age-old Dwarven problem – gold-lust. Especially in the upper echelons of the Consortium, gaining and hording wealth took on new importance.
The Consortium ceased its expansion, having found all the local dwarf-dominated worlds and the commercial success of the Consortium was such that they did not want to share any more wealth with anyone else. This greed culminated in an economic downturn as the dwarves began to ask for more and more reasonable prices for their merchandise for export and placed heavy protectionist tariffs on any imports. This occurred at exactly the time the human powers were getting more influential in trade power and the Consortium slipped into a deep recession. Combined with increasing social isolationist tendencies from the gold-lust, Consortium quietly withdrew from galactic affairs, culminating in it having effectively closed its border by the end of 2322. The last major diplomatic interaction it made was the token participation in the failed Galactic Council Station project only a few years prior.
The corruption of the leaders of the Consortium, combined with the widening gap between the rich and the poor laid the foundation for the transition from Consortium to Divinity – from corporatocracy to theocracy – which re-entered the galactic stage in 2340, with the onset of the Zirakthargûm Divinity War. The fanatical and corrupt High Clerics had seized power with the claim that only the clergy could wield divine magic (contrary to the dogma that any dwarf had the potential). The war against the Royal Elven Kingdoms and the transplanted Saiyvalyss Alliance was instigated when a group of dwarves who had been labelled heretics for contradicting the new dogma attempted to flee to Elven space. Ignoring any and all elven attempts to negotiate under the terms of the old alliance, the Divinity resorted to force.
A short, sharp struggle ensued that lasted 18 months. The High Clerics had vastly over-reached, and made a cumulative series of blunders. One major turning point was the rescue of Dâgorn Runeforger, a former High Cleric who had not fallen, and had been made a political prisoner. Runeforger joined the allies, and the Divinity’s control began to slip as their forces defected. The final blow was when first contact was made with the exploratory forces of United Concorde of Divine Realms from the other side of the galaxy. The UCDR quickly joined the allied forces, and the High Clerics were eventually all killed in battle. Runeforger now is the Divinity’s leader (though by the insistence of his followers, rather than his own ambition), and is seeking to chart a new path for the dwarves, which is neither the corruption and insularity of the Consortium nor the fanaticism that followed. New and stronger ties are being formed with the Elves, the Saiyvali and the UCDR.
However, the Divinity War has substantially de-stabilised the region. Archpriest Deepmountain seceded the Gnoru sector following the Bronzebeard Peace Accords, and made himself High Cleric of the True Divinity, clinging to the High Cleric’s philosophies. In addition, the Zirakthargûm have suffered raiding from opportunistic powers (including the Herosine Empire, making a substantial journey to get involved), the emergence of the mysterious Yrgenela, the appearance of the elenthnar powers following the UCDR and being dragged into the on-going conflict of the Strayvian Invasion of the neighbouring Tver sector of Soviet Remnant when Remnant forced invaded the breadbasket world of Hadrak Tor.
The Zirakthargûm Fleet
Bâel Dûne Fighter Cruiser
Thorgrim Escort Frigate
Orgrin Light Freighter
Kaz Modan Missile Frigate
Thangrim Medium Cruiser
Dûn Morgûn Electronics Warfare Cruiser
Thullzûd Light Carrier
Zakzûl Heavy Carrier
Dun Morogh Battle Cruiser
Zirakthargûm Divinity Army
Khâguard Main Battle Tank
Zangrin Battle Wagon
Bane Gorr Command Vehicle
Van Gar Scout Vehicle (Autocannon)
Van Gar Scout Vehicle (Missile)
Nash Rak Missile Launcher
Khud Zarûl Anti-Aircraft Tank
Dor Gûn Attack VTOL
Zirgnar Base Defence Turret
Dûn Kazûl Super Heavy Tank
Thangor Armoured Recovery Vehicle
Dûgthar Self-Propelled Artillery
(Manoeuvre Group’s Issue 2 is still being worked on, but me and the other author are slowly chivvying Dad into getting it finally done…!)
Photos of Replicator/Prusa versions (save for the infantry in resin).
A side note: as Wargames Directory is suffering currently from minor conglomeration of issues caused by various third parties, I won’t be updating the complication threads on the forums until things are back to stable again.
So, after that exhausting lot, what next?
Well, mostly, the next big job is the much-aforementioned price rise at Only-Games. I will very likely be starting that on the 5th of April. I will basically be going A-to-Z down the ranges – which isn’t too far off the release order, frankly, though the Xyriats will get away with being nearly the first up and nearly the last to be gotten too! It also means the dwarves will be the last, so you still have a small window to take advantage of the lower prices! I have no idea how long it’s going to take in practise to do. It might only take a few days, it might take a week or two. I will likely pin an update post on Facebook with the progress.
Next month moderns release is going to be out of the backlog – which reduces some of the load – and what happens on the sci-fi side really depends. I might start to trickle out the few models of the Royal Elven Army (as yet unreleased), but at the moment there’s nothing else new on the table, so we might skip next month, depending on how things are going. (And at some point, I have to decide what I’m going to do for Partizan in May…) Very, VERY tentatively, I’m having a few half-bursts of inspiration to work more on the Royal Elven Kingdoms but it’s still all very sporadic, since motivation is still hard to come by.
By way of a coda to the Grand Re-Release Project, to really round off this mammoth post with even more trivia:
A while back, one of my (non-gamer) mates asked “could you do a map for people, maybe?” in regard to the lore. Such a task is going to be EXTREMELY difficult, and as anything more than fundamentally a scribble-sketch is going to be functionally impossible. First off, just finding a map of the galaxy is incredibly difficult (not least because the Milky Way’s actual structure is still in debate), and unlike a world map, of course, you have all the problems of 3D. So there are logistical issues even to start. Secondly… Well. I have a spreadsheet which complies every single location mentioned or visited or fought over from the past 30+ years, and it runs to over 1200 entries. Paring it down includes around 30 major powers and that’s not even a complete list! And the borders, of course, will be highly variable and irregular and with lots of independent planets and in places with border gore on the levels of a particularly fractious game of Crusader Kings…!
To give you some idea, let’s start with the Royal Elven Kingdoms and see where the chain leads.
The Kingdoms are a spacially large power, and they share borders with several former human powers. In the core-ward direction, they have a border with the Zirakthargûm Divinity, which extends largely core-ward. That also places on stretch of the Soviet Remnant not too far away. Elven expansion has been largely away from human and dwarf space (rimwards), when eventually, they will reach the Saiyvalyss Alliance’s former territory on the rim and where the invading Rift Collective space lies.
As the shortest route from Saiyvalyss space crosses through the Japanese Empire space (wherein the Japanese attacked the refugee fleet and accidently released the Stone Portals); though this might be rationalised as likely being “the shortest route from the point of Saiyvalyss space that is furthest from the conflict” suggesting their space might be more sort of long and thin or banana shaped. The Elves are traditional enemies with the Aotrs, which suggests if not shared borders, the Aotrs are close by; Aotrs space is also near the “surface” of the galaxy (suggesting perhaps the “top,” i.e. galactic north).
The Stone Portals, once released fled coreward and ended up next to the Vivrathk Aggression, who are old enemies of the Jalyrkieons (and thus near all the other Plenadian powers) and the Jalyrkieons were former vassals of the Strayvian Empire in the deeper core.
Meanwhile, the Tarrainian Federation lies somewhere on the rim, but not near the Saiyvalyss Alliance, with the Herosine a bit further in, but still on the periphery of human space. The Saturn Syndicate is also non the periphery of human space, but is not near the Herosines (which suggests they may be more “down”), except for their new sector, which is some distance from the Jalyrkieons.
The UCDR and the elenthnar powers lie somewhere across the other side of the galaxy entirely, save for where the former built a portal station coreward of the dwarves and thus an entry point to this section of the galaxy.
The areas of space are also large, because even mid-level FTL is quite fast, since the UCDR and the Aotrs both can, albeit with significant supply effort, cross the galaxy in only months (without using point-to-point gates) – the top-level FTL powers can do it in potentially only hours. The Mirror Sectors can be up to three hundred light years in diameter. So, even accounting for Harbingers-probability-inflated densities of habitable worlds, there are likely to be literally millions of stars encompassed within these regions to account for all the habitable and noted systems.
And, on top of all that, the Earth (Earth-N) around which human space is situated, is not EVEN the Earth (Earth-E) situated in the middle of the Orion Arm, which indicates that Earth-E lies close enough to be known about, but not close enough to have any direct contact with any existence galactic powers…
You perhaps might start to see why this is something of, to put it mildly, a steep proposition! (One feels perhaps not that far akin to having to map all the worlds in Star Trek, something a dedicated fan might (and, let’s be honest, probably has) take years to attempt to compile.) I’m not saying I might take a stab at it at some point, but it’s going to perforce be very crude and little more than a very rough “these things are at some point close to these other things” sort of approach!04/04/2022 at 14:24 #170905
Aotrs Shipyards Re-Pricing Project
Tomorrow on the 5th of April, I will be initiating the process of making the price rises on the webshop at Only-Games. For why this is necessary and by what amount, see below.
I will be starting from from the beginning and going through the ranges in alphabetically order to keep track (and also because it gives the later scifi releases – which were also in roughly alphabetical order) slightly longer.
I don’t know how long it will take, but I project around a week (since with 560 models, if it takes me an average of just 2 minutes per, that’s still 18 work hours.)
I will be posting updates to the Aotrs Shipyards Facebook page with progress daily as I complete a range.
As a result, the moderns release for this month will be delayed until this is done, and there will very likely not be a scifi release this month.
In addition, I will be taking the chance to add all models to the new ranges system that came in a few months ago.
I will also be overhaulling the fighter stands for the starship ranges. When I started at shapeways, where volume was the only consideration in price, I did fighters as a top/bottom strip of 6. Only-Games gets better results if they are all orientated the same way, so for later releases, I did have been doing two rows of six. However, as of this morning (and why I’ve ended up writing this on what is my weekend), it ocurred to me that, if I’m doing that, I might as well go one better.
I will thus be organising the fighter sprues instead in three rows of four, and slightly increasing the length of the bars that connect the base of the fighter to the sprue. The base of the Sprue will also be changed from a simple circle to beign square at the bottom. As such, the sprue will then serve as a functional-enough flight stand, for anyone (like myself, even), that view the prospect of basing tiny fighters without much relish. It also will hopefully have a second benefit for Only-Games that the fighter stands will sit in the bubble packs better.
This will likely have some minimal effect on price, but a very minimal especially considering fighters were already very low cost. (Won’t know exactly until I actually put it into practise tomorrow).
However, because re-doing the renders is a job best done in batches and to keep a better pace of workflow, I will not be updating the sprue renders (this is the white renders, that show the actual model sprue) until the re-pricing is complete. Likewise, I will not implement these changes to the Shapeways versions until then. (As Shapeways already has the fighters all below their minimum cost floor, this will not change their prices at all.)
Why is this happening?
Short version: Because the money I earn per model for past six months only been between 1 and 4 pence. (If that.)
Long Version: I have always taken the approach that I take only a modest profit margin, to keep my models as affordable as possible. When I started at TheShop3D, I used the same pricing scheme as I had used at Shapeways:
Total Model Price = Manufacturing Production Cost + 12% Profit
When they came out of beta to be Only-Games, due to feedback from the other designers (which were not, in general, manufacturers themselves), Only-Games changed their pricing system to the following:
Profit = (70% Total Model Price) – Manufacturing Production Cost
Ie. they take 30% of the total price you set, on top of their manufacturing costs.
This was what a sufficient enough majority of their other designers wanted.
Now, Only-Games do also offer a second option, which is a subscription wherein you can pay a very reasonable amount, in lieu of them taking the 30% total price. However, as reasonable as it is, it requires that, of course, you be making more than that per month, which I am emphatically not. So we realised that a price hike would have to be done.
Furthermore, in order to get my profit margin up to cloest to what it was intended to be, it mandates an unfortunate significant price rise.
As I try to absolutely stright with you (perhaps to my own detriment sometimes), I’ll break it down for you here.
If a product cost them exactly £1 to make, I would have previously set the price to £1.12, of which I make the 12p. (So price is base costs x 1.12.)
With the new system, to make that only 12p, the Total Model Price has to be though experimentation) set to £1.60.
30% of £1.6 = 48p
£1.60 – 48p = £1.12
£1.12 – £1 production cost = profit of 12p.
This is a 43% rise in overall price.
Obviously, neither I nor Only-Games were comfortable with having to do that, which is why in discussion I said I would leave the prices as they were until April, when I would have gotten everything back up to speed, and have givne youfolks plenty of advance warning. I also handed out all the 15% discount flyers and the conventions we went to, also supply be Only-Games’ suggestion.
I am in fact only going to take 10% of the production price as my profit, not 12% (so I’ll be making 10p on every pound), as a measure to take a tiny bit of the edge off. This has the net effect of dropping the price increase to only 41%, but it’s all I can do, having already taken the six-month hit. Sorry.
As when and most pertinently IF the Shipyards is ever making comfortably and consistently enough to be able to offset the Only-Games subscription costs, I can then potentially look at re-visting the prices again.05/04/2022 at 16:17 #170968
An important update, one that needs a comment to highlight it. As I cam to actually implement the changes to day, I was looking at things, it it wasn’t coming out right. I checked with Only-Games, and they got back to me in record time.
Since I last looked at this, they have indeed changed their pricing policy, so that they are now only taking 10%, instead of 30% of the total model cost; in their words “We want the creator to make as much as they can.”
This is, obviously, a HUGE difference, which I can then pass on to you. So, I an EXTREMELY pleased (and not a little flabberghasted) to report, (because of the way the maths works out) even with my standard 12%-above-manufacturing profit margin, that the overall price increase to the models is down to only 𝟭𝟬%!! (Around 10.5% to be a touch more precise.)07/04/2022 at 20:43 #171109
It is with no small satisfaction, that, after about four years of effort, set-backs, changes and continous expansions that Aotrs Shipyards can finally present:
The re-pricing is now DONE.
It abolsutely bears repearting: As it panned out, due to Only-Games’ change of policies, the price increase was only around 10%! (Which is a hell of a lot less than my expected 40%!)
Everything is now sorted in ranges (and most of them even have a race tag – notably the elenthnars, since they, like humans, and not a monofaction species!)
All the fighters have now bee re-sprued to the new standard, which means the sprues will now function as fighter base by themselves, (or you can, of course clip them off and base them as you prefer)!
Next job is to re-do the sprue (white) renders for all the fighters for Only-Games, and to update the Shapeways fighter to the new standard as well, which be what it is left of today and tomorrow’s job. (Also, Only-Games now finally had a 360º renderer, making the spure renders somewhat redundant. Well, started so I’ll finish…!)
Moderns release will go ahead next week.
I will also go ahead and plug 𝗕𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗸𝗯𝗮𝗻𝗲’𝘀 𝗚𝗮𝗹𝗮𝘅𝘆 𝗚𝘂𝗶𝗱𝗲, the steadily expanding lore thread on spacebattles, which is currently getting daily updates (currently at 140k words…), and will for another day or two (now that the re-pricing is done), before I pretty much reach the point I have to write from scratch instead of doing editing passes and dumping stuff out.20/09/2022 at 14:19 #178255
Aotrs Shipyards September 2022 Release: Wiesel 12TD
First sci-fi release for a while! This time, an addition to the Tarrainian Federation ground force, the Wiesel 12TD. (At 144th, of course.)
I will also remind at this point everyone that Only-Games September salle is ongoing until 15:00 BST of the 29th of September, and is 15% off everything on site (except for subcriptions), so now is as good a time as any to get a TarFed army going!
Discount code to use: OGSALE15
The Tarrainian Federation’s nearest neighbour and rival is the Herosine Empire. The antithetical ethos of both powers has created a long history of conflict, which comes the closest to a true battle between Good versus Evil in any part of human space. Whereas the Herosines produce all of their own equipment, the much smaller Tarrainian Federation’s economic base means that it must import much of its equipment from the open market and perform local refits. (Both sides are aware that, ironically, this means that the Tarrainians sometimes do buy equipment ultimately produced by the Herosines themselves – but to the Herosines, profit at any cost means even selling the enemy the guns to fight you with sometimes.)
The Herosine Empire’s long-standing tradition of using war droids has meant the Tarrainian Federation had to develop countermeasures from a limited amount of research and development.
The Wiesel 12TD is such a vehicle. Based on the standard Wiesel 12 (specifically the 2285 version of Wiesel 12 Ocelot) bought surplus from the Eternal Reich, the 12TD is a low-cost platform designed to support infantry units against their heavily shielded and armoured war droid opponents. The 12TD thus retains the base Wiesel 12’s tracks; since it is intended to keep up with infantry at close range, the extra cost of upgrading to low grav (as with the Wiesel 11) was not considered to be of sufficient benefit.
Instead, the 12TD’s changes revolve entirely around a new turret. The turret consists of two missile pods, each holding twelve light anti-armour disposable weapons. The preferred weapon to use is the AT-4X Viper, but with the Tarrainian’s large stock of RPG-55s, the system was made to also accommodate the slightly less powerful warhead. (The firing software is able to handle, if necessary, a mix of both types of weapon in a pinch, but all of one or the other is optimal.) There is insufficient space to carry an automatic loading system, but the Wiesel 12 Ocelot’s rear weapon stowage bin can just about manage to carry another dozen warheads. However, these must be reloaded manually and while the pods are in the vertical position.
The top of each pod mount both the pod’s sight and offset next to it, a plasmatic repeater cannon, the support weapon version of the plasmatic repeater rifle carried by the Tarrainian Federation infantry. The Wiesel 12TD uses the more expensive imported Mars Armaments MPLG-45 model, which has double the effective range of most standard plasmatic repeater cannons, up to 300 metres. This gives the Wiesel 12TD an additional, if short-ranged, weapon not limited by ammunition, but that had sufficient punch to be able to destroy its targets, while also being small enough not to interfere with its mobility.
The Wiesel 12TD is small enough – little bigger than a normal large ground car – to easily be able to move the difficult terrain in forested or urban areas. When facing forwards, the pods fold flat and lie flush with the top of the hull, allowing the vehicle to easily fit into transport unit and to enter areas with a little less than two metres of overhead cover. While the missile pods cannot be used when folded flat, the plasmatic repeaters can still be fired, albeit only directly forwards.
Photos, as always, of Prusa versions.
At the end of August, we had an experiment with the 0.25mm nozzle on the Prusa instead of the 0.4mm. (We actually tried because I thought I’d lost a stand of REN infantry, but when I came to look exactly what I needed, it was there, so I don’t even.)
The 0.4mm/0.1 layer height (left) and 0.25mm and .05 layer height (right).
As you can see, it is an improvement on the 0.4mm. We will not, however, be using this standard unless we absolutely have to print infantry. For one, it’s not “double the print-time” improvement, for two, the aforementioned resin from Only-Game is still leagues better (and miles cheaper).
For three, the Prusa is STILL out of commission because Dad broke a part changing the nozzle back; the first replacement part revealed the problem was worse (screw dethreaded) so we have had to buy an entire new hot head, which needs to be fitted on a day when Dad is Not Tired (since that was what happened last time). To be fair to the Prusa, having had to print the entire majority of my catalogue in the last three years, it had more extended hammer than the Replicator did over longer, so the amount of maintenance we’ve had to do is small in comparison.
So, after all that, is the painted photo the 0.25 nozzle or the 0.4mm nozzle?
Fracked if I know. I genuinely couldn’t tell, aside from the strong sod’s law possibility that when I very nearly spray varnished these and the T-150 Tsar Orlovs I’d painted with Nato green, the 0.25mm hull is probably the one that remains the least photogenic even after the repairs. But the turrets won’t match anyway, ‘cos I REALLY couldn’t tell there, so who knows.
I genuinely don’t know.
As I have said before, I pride myself on being as honest as possible with my audience. This release is mostly due to wanting to have something new on for Other Partizan in a couple of weeks. Again, I have simply not had the motivation worked up to do much of anything (other than the slog of moderns, which isn’t creative), combined with the other tasks that have been eating time. (The lore project which is still being done, in large part, because it’s the only thing that’ vaguely creative.)
So I may or may not work up to releasing the few Royal Elven Navy starships I did for Partizan next month, but that’s the only potential thing in the pipeline. If the situation doesn’t improve… Well, yeah, I don’t think I need to spell it out.21/03/2023 at 18:51 #184370
Aotrs Shipyards March 2023 Release: Yrgynela Ground Troops
Finally, back on the scifi releases! Scifi releases will be back for at least three or four months, and we start this off with the release of the Yrgynela ground forces in 144th as usual.
The Yrgynela are exactly new, since version one was designed several years ago, but at the time I wasn’t terribly happy with them (and the production costs at Shapeways and the sheer effort on the Replicator), so they remained on the drawing board). This year, in keeping with the trek through all the lore and working on finishing off stuff half-completed, I did a major revision, bringing them up to version 2. This has meant an overhaul and more advanced creation techniques.
The thing that makes the Yrgynela special is that they transform! (In varying levels of complexity from just swapping the model, to swapping the turret, to actual proper transforming.)
The Yrgynela are an advanced power that left our universe some four thousand years ago to reside in an extradimensional realm. Due to their goals, methods, advanced technology, abilities and scale, they present such a significant threat to the galaxy as a whole that their coming was foretold millennia before their recent appearance by the seers of numerous powers, including the Shardan and the UCDR, though couched in the vagaries of prophecy as the Great Enemy.
The Yrgynela are an advanced race of technological nonhumanoids; those observed so far are quadrupeds with a spider-like stance. They are physically technically sexless; however, they appear to identify as gendered female (unilaterally as far as observation have been made). The Yrgynela are not a single species (or perhaps configuration would again be a better term), but at least three different configurations – of diverse sizes – have been observed and it seems likely there may many more.
It is somewhat debatable whether we know less about the Yrgynela or about XGA01. On the one hand, the Yrgynela are far more comprehensible as a people and we know something of their goals and motives and have at least some sparse information about their history. On the other, there has been no opportunity for the same level of exploration of their facilities and vessels; unlike XGA01’s constructs, the Yrgynela would not allow passive observations, even if we could locate modern facilities or vessels upon which to do so. And what information we do have gleaned on the Yrgynela’s goals and motives may not be accurate other than in the broadest terms.
Sya-Heelene Platoon (9)
(The painted versions are the original version 1 VPN, as I haven’t had time to paint the resin ones (and the flying stance ones need some repair after the prototypes – I’ve since beefed up the flight stands). However, I did take a photo of the unpainted walking resin for good measure so you can compare…!)
The Sya-Heelene are the smallest of the three configurations. Standing, they are little over a metre tall, with a leg span of about 1.4m. They can “convert” to a flight mode. The dorsal turret and head raise to the vertical, and the legs invert and lock into a x-posture. The Sya-Heelene have an engine mounted directly under their legs, and this propels them vertically upwards when launching from a standing start. However, the Sya-Heelene are highly agile, and have been observed dextrously jumping or bounding and converting mid-leap to horizontal flight with no more effort than a humanoid changing pace from walking to running.
The Sya-Heelene’s legs contain very powerful technological “musculature,” giving them improved strength, but very significant jumping capability, making these leaps to flight even more significant. It is estimated that from a standing jump, a Sya-Heelene could reach about five times that of a humanoid vertically, and three times laterally. Furthermore, the level of precision in these limbs is excellent, allowing the Sya-Heelene to move almost without making a sound. Their sense of balance is also impeccable, and they can easily balance on their rear legs to make use of their forelegs as arms, to gesture or to cast spells.
The Sya-Heelene’s leg armour features a four-part shield generator grid. This appears to be able to function at reduced capacity, even if one or more of the generators on the limbs is disabled. The shield generators contain some additional power supplies, but interestingly, the Yrgynela’s own internal power systems provide much of the power.
A plasma-pulse cannon turret is mounted on the top of the torso in a socket. This weapons is slightly more powerful than a rifle. The shape of the locking points indicates that the socket is designed for multiple functions and likely serves to house a variety of different tools outside of combat usage.
The flight mode engine is a universal feature. Flight speed has been conservatively estimated at least 420 mph, though it could be significantly higher. However, it is not expected that the Sya-Heelene have orbital flight capability, at least not without additional augmentation.
I don’t generally do platoon packs for larger stuff anymore, because it’s not cost-effective for most tanks and starships, since just adding sprues and spacing drives the costs up. However, as the Ghyla-Heelenes are multiple parts, putting three together meant that I could do a much more volume-efficient (and thus more cost-effective) job, since I could pack the denser than they are actually assembled. (And something I couldn’t do before making the legs ball-and-socket joints.)
The Ghyla-Heelene seems to serve as the backbone of the ground forces encountered. Once again, the station the Agamemnon band encountered suggests from the proportion of furniture that they are possibly more numerous than the Narya-Melan, something that is at least convergently true of the combat forces.
The Ghyla-Heelene appear most similar to the Sya-Heelene in structure, with the obvious difference that they are over three times the size. They do not have any flight capability and appear rather more ponderous. However, some of this is likely a facet of the Ghyla-Heelenes observed so far have all been in their heavy combat armour. Furthermore, they are still quite agile for a creature of their size, even when so encumbered.
The Ghyla-Heelenes have six weapon mounting points, three either side of the head. These have so far been seen to mount plasma-pulse anti-infantry guns. However, from the analysis of the one corpse recovered indicates that these weapons are not, as initially believed fixed, but can be changed out and potentially replaced with other weapons or even tools.
Situated between each leg is an independently mobile emitter. These produce a long beam of energy which is functionally an energy blade like a large power sword. These “slashing beams” appear to be a “natural” fixture – i.e. not part of the combat armour loadout and seem to function as a way to deal with creatures (like humanoids) which might seek to get underneath the belly of the Ghyla-Heelene where she would be unable to reach them as easily. Due to their inherent sensors, the Ghyla-Heelenes can easily “see” such creatures and slashing beams have sufficient mobility to be able to slice apart anyone underneath them. These systems are powerful enough to be a concern for lighter vehicles.
The combat armour the Ghyla-Heelenes have been seen using consists of heavy armoured legs plates and an upper superstructure which carries shield generators. The armour is shaped such the Ghyla-Heelenes can retract their heads into the torso (not unlike a turtle withdrawing into its shell) pull their legs in and lock the armour plates to form obelisk-like structure, with the dorsal turret left on top, essentially becoming more of a fortification. In this stance, they gain the most protection from the armour and the smaller area also reduces the volume the shields have to cover, which raises their strength.
The top of the torso has a large socket which appears to be capable of mounting a wide variety of devices, the most obvious is which is the mounting of a turret along with the standard armour plate.
The Ghyla-Heelenes have been spotted using two turrets, which also seem to be shared with the Narya-Melans. These have been identified as a family of turrets designated as Doohlahne (“Doohl-ah-nee”) 00. The 00 appears to be a binary number (so is more correctly “Zero Zero” Romanised). Three versions have been observed, labelled Aalya–, Yylya– and Milya– patterns. This appears to be a standard sequence of sorts. It is unclear whether this sequence is numbers, letters or a hold-over from another language, but appears to be analogous to the use of Greek letters (i.e. alpha, beta, gamma).
The Ghyla-Heelenes have been observed using the Aayla- and Yylya- pattern turrets, of which the former is the most common (and pictured here). This consists of two plasma-pulse cannons supplemented by two small omnidirectional particle beams for point-defence.
The Yylya-pattern turret is less commonly seen, seemingly reserved for command units or support sections. This has a single plasma-pulse cannon. At the top, two coaxial anti-infantry plasma-pulse cannons are mounted. Underneath the main gun is a small missile launcher. This holds four Quoolych 10 (that is “qu-ooo-ly-ch One-Zero”, not “qu-oo-litch Ten”) missiles. Finally, there are two point-defence bulbs on either side of the turret. These bulbs act as omnidirectional missile launchers for point-defence.
It is assumed that the Ghyla-Heelenes could mount a Milya-pattern turret, though none have been seen doing so; the larger, bulkier turret would likely further hamper their agility.
The Narya-Melan (“Nar-ya mee-lan”) are the most divergent of the three configurations observed so far. Rather than a vaguely-spider-like body plan, the Narya-Melan look more insectoid, somewhere between dragonfly and grasshopper – and beetle, when armoured.
The Narya-Melan are larger than the Ghyla-Heelene, but have shorter legs, which places their heads about a half-head-height below the Ghyla-Heelenes. Interestingly, this places their limbs and viewpoint much closer to the Ghyla-Heelene’s proportions. This suggests there is at least one more configuration, since both of the larger configurations are too small to use the middle set of control panels seen in the explored civilian station.
Despite their large size, however, the Narya-Melan seem to be lighter overall; even in the full armour, they only seem to weigh about as much as the Ghyla-Heelenes, and even then the bulk of the weight appears to be from the armour itself. They appear, despite their size, to be largely an aerial configuration.
When shorn of the armour, the multiple vectored thrust engines can be seen; one set just above the legs, two smaller ones along the body (one obscured by the larger engines in the illustration) and three sets on their tail. These appear, however, to be primarily for thrust, or at best to help with lift when encumbered, and the Narya-Heelenes appear to have integral anti-grav drives.
When in flight, the legs are curled up beneath the body, folding back along themselves and tilted up at an angle, keeping them out of the way. Notably, the Narya-Melan have dimorphic legs. The forelimbs have feet which are very similar – though smaller – than the legs of the Ghyla-Heelenes.
The small dome at the rear of the body appears to serve as the mounting point for weapons or other equipment, though unlike the similar circular sockets in the other two configurations, it is designed as the mounting for ball-and-socket joints.
The Narya-Melan’s armour consists of a bulky upper unit, which fits over the main body. This forms a carapace, like the shell of a beetle, which covers their tail and rear body. A short stack on the anterior dome serves to mount a turret. The legs have additional armour plates added, such that when the legs folded up, the plate form an armoured box around the legs. This would leave some gaps, especially around the front and back, but these are covered by a flexible metal skin which appears to inflate from the armour.
When all is closed up, this makes the Narya-Melan into something closer to a conventional grav-tank. The carapace prevents them from true flight in this stance, confining them to performance closer to a low-grav engine, but the armour plating makes them much less vulnerable to attack. Even with their armour, the underside is not completely covered and they are slightly more vulnerable than many proper grav tanks from the underside.
The Narya-Melan’s armour has six fixed light plasma-pulse guns, three either side of the hull. These appear to be identical to those that the Ghyla-Heelenes have. The armour has two point-defence missile bulbs either side of the head (which adds somewhat the dragonfly-like silhouette). These appear to be much the same as the bulbs used on the Aayla-pattern Doolahne 00 turrets and appear to use identical munitions.
The Narya-Melans observed have almost all used the Milya-pattern Doolahne 00 turret, with only a few seen using the Yylya-pattern. The Milya-pattern turret uses a kinetic accelerator cannon. This weapon is similar to a railgun, but unlike a railgun proper, the kinetic accelerator is designed to fire a wider variety of munitions. Two light point-defence particle beams similar to those on the Aalya-pattern turret are mounted on the sides of the turret. The turret sports two coaxial missile launchers, each of which carries four Quoolych 10 missiles.
Finally, the turret also supplies additional shield generators and power, raising the Narya-Melan’s armour shields from a Penetration Resistance from 60 to 65% and the Barrier strength from 36 to 39.
For a more comprehensive look at the Yrgynela, look no further than Bleakbane’s Galaxy Guide here.
Photos of the Resin versions of Ghyla-Heelene and Narya Melan; Sya-Heelenes as noted above.
Next month we will see the start of the releases for the rest of the XGA01 release, which will dovetail into Partizan in May, where they we will be on the table.
To give you a sneak peak, here’s the painted, resin versions of the three ships already out on the Shipyards, the XGA01-SV01-FRT Spore Freighter, XGA01-SV03-BC Battlecruiser and XGA01-SV06-DD Destroyer. (No, those aren’t the product codes, those are the Aotrs’ internal IFF flags.)
12/04/2023 at 20:00 #185058
Aotrs Shipyards April 2023 Release: XGA01 Starfleet Wave Two
This time, as much-heralded, is the first of two waves of the XGA01 starfleet (the first wave being part of the scifi miscellany from January 2022 or even further back if you count the Shapeways releases a decade prior!)
Getting the XGA01 fleet up into CAD form has been a long time coming. Partly, I knew that it would be the absolute nightmare of doing the Battleships (which was proven to be 100% correct), but, at long-last, the fleet is here.
For the first phase contains the three ships which existed outside of CAD form that were converted, plus the first of the new designs.
Updated catalogue link.
More detail on XGA01 is here.
XGA001 Alien Ellipsoid (4)
Two versions of this strange vessel have been observed; the XGA01-SV03-CE “collector ellipsoid” and the SV03-AE “attack ellipsoid.” Visually identical, there are no surface features on the mirror smooth hull to distinguish between them. Due to the XGA01’s hull’s inherent sensor-disruption properties, even sensors have difficulty.
The collector ellipsoid was observed collecting biological samples from an unihabited planet. As it did not engage in combat, its offensive capabilities are unknown suspected none), but other capabilities from recorded data suggest similar drives, armour and shields.
The attack ellipsoid falls into the grey area between small capital starship and large smallcraft, erring towards the latter. Despite its comparatively larger size for a smallcraft, the attack ellipsoid has excellent agility, with an acceleration of 43mc and manoeuvrability rated at 480 MEUs, in the same league as many standard fighters.
It has shielding rated at 400 TXq, and the mirror-sheen hull’s skin, in addition to being inherently stealthy, is rated at 400 TXq.
All of the ellipsoid’s weapon systems appear to use the entire hull as an emitter array.
And those weapon systems are considerable. Initial encounters were unprepared for a vessel little larger than an assault shuttle to be armed with a particle accelerator array with an output of 738TXq and with an accuracy envelope of a staggering 700 000km. This is backed by a 990 TXq-rated blasterbeam point defence system with an engagement sphere of 4.35Ym³.
XGA103 Alien Scale (4)
The SV05-SC “Scale” has demonstrated the most number of configurations of an XGA01 vessel so far, with three observed: SV05-SC-D (Disrupter Scale), SV05-SC-P (Point-Defence Scale) and SV05-SV-M (Missile Scale). Without a decent data scan, we can only estimate its systems from the values we can fill in, or from extrapolating from observed performance from the battle logs.
All three seem to share the basic profile: an acceleration of at least 21.9mc, manoeuvrability estimated at around 240 MEUs and approximately 200 TXq-rated shields with a like Armour Integrity Capacity, which makes for substantial defences for a corvette of this size.
Their weapon load appears to be the major difference. Both the SC-D and SC-M appear to have similar blasterbeam point-defence arrays, estimated at 990TXq from the known values from the SV01-CE attack ellipsoids. The SC-P may have as much as five times this output, as it appears to be a dedicated point-defence vessel. Given the already excellent engagement sphere of the XGA01 blasterbeams, it is not entirely surprising that the vessel has no longer-range interdiction system that we have observed. There weapons, like the ellipsoids, do not have an apparent arc or emitter, but fire from any point of the Scale’s surface.
The SC-D Disrupter Scale appears only to carry a single cohesion disrupter array in addition to its defences. This discharges from any point the front rim of the vessel, but appears only to be able to be brought to bear in the forward hemisphere. It has a relatively short estimated accuracy envelope of only 200 000km. However, the estimated power out is an estimated 1650TXq. The Scale has the manoeuvrability to get into close range to use this weapon to full effect.
The SC-M replaces this armament with four missile racks, each carrying we what believe is forty 230TXq-yield warheads. This is roughly consistent with missile vessels of comparable size and technology. They appeared to have missile shields like Aotrs warheads. Oddly, while there is no appreciable drive glow (as they are gravitic drives), they have a green-blue glow like bioluminescence though the reason is unclear. It is unlikely to be purely aesthetic, since XGA01 does not appear to be especially vision-based, but like the purple crystal hull sections, perhaps this is some sort of scent-replacement visual analogue.
These missile racks fire out of the front rim of the vessel through closed hatches that are seamless and invisible when not in use, as typical with XGA01 technology. As of yet, we have only observed what appear to be conventional anti-matter warheads and no specialist munitions.
XGA104 Alien Squid Frigate (2)
(The photo is a of a squadron of four instead of two; I fracked up when I took the photo and it’s too late at night (and thus too dark) to replace it right now without delaying the whole release: I’ll fix it in the stores at some point down the line.)
The XGA01-SV08-FF frigate bears a slightly uncanny resemblance to a squid clutching a sphere. This lead to its moniker of “squid frigate” and almost immediately to the shortened “squigate” which became distressing popular among the crews.
Like the SV07-CH teardrop, the squigate was spotted in late 2348.
The SV08-FF appears to be a low-production cost harassment vessel. Despite the moniker of “frigate” is it nonetheless a fairly sizable vessel, quite close to the estimated mass of the SV06-DD. Whereas the SV06-DD is cumbersome for a small vessel the SV08 is extremely agile, with an acceleration of at least 31-32mc and an estimated 360-375 MEUs.
The vessel has only minimal protection, falling between the SV05-SC Scale and the SV06-DD. Shields are estimated at about 300TXq, with armour integrity projected at about 400TXq. However, this is still enhanced by the XGA01’s advanced hull stealthing techniques.
But even these are somewhat mitigated by the fact the squigate is primarily a point-blank range attack vessel. Of the three configurations observed so far, none have any long-range weapons.
The “standard” version – only so labelled since it has a slightly higher encounter rate than the other two – appears to carry nothing but small psionic sphere swarm shooters. Like those on the similar-sized SV06-DD, these emplacements are very small and hidden from immediate view behind a multitude of firing ports. However, on the SV06, the weapon emplacements are entirely forward-firing. The quad-S batteries appear to have an accuracy envelope of only 80 000 kilometres. However, their combined output is estimated at 1500TXq, which is considerable. Aside from the quad-S emplacements, the “standard” squigate has blasterbeam point-defence arrays of approximately 990TXq output, a factor shared by both other configurations.
The second configuration SV08-FF-S “strike squigate” carries a multitude of missile racks – but oddly, not capital-scale weapons as might be expected, but what is estimated at about two hundred fighter-scale missiles, with an accuracy envelope of 100 000km. Each warhead seems to be in its own tiny rack (again covered by a firing port). While this gives it a very considerable punch (the combined yield of all the warheads might be as much as 2400TXq), it lacks any range or longevity.
The strike squigate is not completely without teeth once its missiles are expended – in addition to its blasterbeam arrays, it has a spinal-mount laser beam array. This weapon is capable of an extended discharge and has an output that might reach 800TXq, but only an approximately 120 000km accuracy envelope.
The third configuration is the SV09-FF-L “laser squigate.” Aside from its point defence blasterbeams, the laser squigate is armed only with laser arrays. The total output is estimated at 600TXq over an accuracy envelope of 100 000km. From observed patterns, the laser squigate can thus manoeuvre in close to target vessel and stay with it. While its offensive capability is markedly less than the previous two, this ensures it to be a lower priority target itself and thus increases the longevity of its harassment duties. As the vessel itself is slightly more damage-resistant than the previous two configurations, it is non-trivial to eliminate and its weapons are still sufficiently powerful that it cannot simple be ignored. Given how simple laser technology is to produce, it is very likely this is the least resource-intensive of the configurations, making ideally suited for its role.
XGA202 Alien Teardrop
The first new XGA01 vessel to be sighted since 2340, the SV07 “Teardrop” is roughly the size of a heavy cruiser. It was first spotted at extreme range as a silhouette against glow of a system’s red giant, hence its moniker. Seen more clearly, between the central psionic sphere swarm shooter mount, and the rear piping structures (of unknown function), the vessel has been noted as looking eerily like a disembodied eyeball.
Only a single configuration has been spotted at this time.
The teardrop’s spinal mount weapon is one of the rare visible weapon systems on an XGA01 vessel. As with most of the other quad-S emplacements, the spinal weapon defies easy concealment as the psionic sphere swarm shooters cannot be easily made into an array-based weapon. The teardrop’s quad-S is the largest such weapon thus far observed, with an accuracy envelope of about 480 000km and an output estimated at around 1250TXq.
The teardrop’s other main weapon system is a particle beam array. Unlike the ones on the SV04-BS battleship of SV06-DD destroyer, this array is omnidirectional. It has an estimated output of 2100TXq over a 500 000km accuracy envelope – comparable to largest Strayvian secondary batteries.
Finally, the teardrop has blasterbeam point defence arrays, totalling an estimated output of 1980TXq. In addition to the inherent stealthiness and sensor-disruptiveness of the XGA01 hulls and its high mobility, this makes the teardrop quite resistant to missiles.
The teardrop’s drives are powerful, and seemingly similar in profile to that used by the SV02-BC battlecruiser with an acceleration of 21-22mc and approximately 240-250 MEUs. Indeed of the three sightings so far, in one instances, a pair of teardrops were apparently flying escort for one of the battlecruisers. The convergence of the two vessel’s weapon accuracy envelopes further supports this hypothesis.
XGA301 Alien Battleship
The XGA01-SV04-BS “Battleship” is the largest XGA01 vessel that has thus been seen. Given the level of technology the XGA01s possess, it seems unlikely that it is the biggest.
The Battleship’s primary weapon merits immediate focus. This is a monstrously powerful particle accelerator array, with a staggering accuracy envelope of 1 000 000 kilometres. It has a power output rated at 1095TXq. This devastating weapon, fired from them from of the vessel has one major limitation – it can only engage targets in its forward hemisphere.
The long-range firepower is supplemented by four forward torpedo tubes. These are, interestingly, again hidden from visual inspection when not in use, in the four points of the “blades” beneath the “horns.” When firing, the points split open left and right, discharge the warheads (sheathed in a deep red glow) and then close just as swiftly. These weapons have an accuracy envelope equal to that of the particle beam, meaning that it can engage in direct-fire attacks on vessels that for most of the galaxy are even out of guided weapon envelopes. The data scans suggest the vessel carries about 140 torpedoes, each with a yield of 900TXq.
While this firepower is predominantly for engaging targets to the fore, the Battleship is not without all-aspects weapons, if only at comparatively short ranges. Six psionic sphere swarm shooter emplacements, similar in design to those seen on Site Beta are placed in the middle hull, a rare example of XGA01 starships having readily identifiable weapons emplacements.
The Battleship has fairly average manoeuvring capability: 9.5mc acceleration, and a slightly below average 107 MEUs. The shielding is rated at 1780TXq, which is good but not exceptional. The armour belt is unusually stronger than the shields, with an Armour Integrity Capacity of 2255TXq.
This profile interesting suggests that the Battleship’s primary role is one more like artillery. Long-range weapons, but average speed and defences, since it is not intended to get into a brawl. Certainly, the considerable point-defence system supports this idea, with a number of blasterbeam arrays totalling 3960TXq in output.
This is somewhat at odds with the way the vessels have performed in action, however. But the explanation could be simple. It seems very likely that, like all the XGA01 encounters so far, the forces engaged have been autonomous systems, not under the command of the XGA01 masters. It is also possible to that the low diversity of the XGA01 fleet thus far encountered forced the Battleships into a role they are not ideally suited for.
Direct price: £4.30
Only-Games: £6.36 Link https://only-games.co/products/xga301-alien-battleship
Shapeways: £9.99 Link https://www.shapeways.com/product/P7KKKE723/xga301-alien-battleship
XGA301T Alien Battleship (Tulip)
The XGA01-SV04-BS-T “Battleship (Tulip)” appears to be a variant of the standard battleship. It has not been observed in combat, only via analysis of long-range visual records. It gains it name from the fatter lower”flanges” beneath the horns that carry the standard battleship’s torpedoes. When seen from above, these resemble a styilised tulip shape. It is suspected that this version has a larger mass, and likely additional torpedo capability (whether larger tubes or ones with a higher rate of fire is unknown at this time). It is likewise suspected to have a larger payload. However, as there are no other obvious differences and the mass increase is not larger, it likely retains the same defensive and offensive capabilities as the standard version.
Photos of the Resin versions from Only-Games.
Now, last time, I had feedback from someone that they didn’t like the black. I have traditionally tried to photograph starships in their natural environment, i.e. in space, which is Mostly Black. My wargames starcloths have always been really too reflective (as I Don’t Hold with false-colour and overly nebula’d starcloths because they don’t look right). I have more recently been trying less reflective black (which is better, but not ideal).
I could, however, change to start photographing the starships the same as the ground forces (i.e. on the Hexon II wargames terrain), if that would be customer preference, or I can at least experiment on it. But if I don’t get feedback, I can’t make any changes. (That I’ve been doing it the same way for years is because, if no-one ever says anything, I can’t know what could potentially be changed.) So if you would prefer to see the starships not on black, please say so!
Incidentally, the ellipsoids and scales were initially just buttons. I foolishly assumed in the former case it wouldn’t be hard to find ellipsoid buttons of the right size. For such a simple shape, they proved to be amazingly hard to find. It took YEARS before I actually found anything that was suitable and even then it was a compromise. Now, at least they are the right size and can be properly featureless as they were always intended.
Next month will be the second wave, which will include the larger capital ships and smallcraft.12/04/2023 at 20:49 #185059MikeKeymaster12/04/2023 at 21:23 #185060
Thanks! I’ll see what other reponses I get – yours is the first! – from elsewhere, and then determine what action to take, if any.25/04/2023 at 16:28 #185499
𝗔𝗼𝘁𝗿𝘀 𝗦𝗵𝗶𝗽𝘆𝗮𝗿𝗱𝘀 𝗣𝗦𝗔
(Cross-posted to both release threads.)
So, folks, last thing last night, I got this notification through email.
𝘈𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘮𝘢𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘥, 𝘸𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘭𝘺 𝘭𝘢𝘶𝘯𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘥 𝘎𝘳𝘢𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘊𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘜𝘭𝘵𝘳𝘢 𝘍𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘋𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘭 𝘗𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘤 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘸𝘴 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘗𝘳𝘰𝘫𝘦𝘵 2500𝘴. 𝘐𝘯 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘚𝘮𝘰𝘰𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘚𝘮𝘰𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘍𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘋𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘭 𝘗𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘤, 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘭𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘢𝘱𝘴𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘭, 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘩.
𝘼𝙨 𝙬𝙚 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙣𝙤𝙬 𝙧𝙤𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙙 𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙨𝙚 𝙣𝙚𝙬 𝙢𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙖𝙡𝙨, 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙘𝙤𝙨𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙚𝙭𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙎𝙢𝙤𝙤𝙩𝙝 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙎𝙢𝙤𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙁𝙞𝙣𝙚 𝘿𝙚𝙩𝙖𝙞𝙡 𝙋𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙘 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙚 𝙗𝙮 35% 𝙤𝙣 𝙒𝙚𝙙𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙙𝙖𝙮, 𝘼𝙥𝙧𝙞𝙡 26𝙩𝙝. ”
So. What does that mean? Well, for a start, looking at the latest OT-65 release (a smaller vehicle):
VPN (i.e. what I recommend): £4.83/$5.98 (what I derive my mark-up from, so all money from the more expensive materials goes to Shapeways, not me.)
Smooth Detail: £8.77/$10.86
Smoothest Detail: £10.48/$12.97
Grey Fine Detail: £9.18/$11.36
Clear Ultra Fine Detail: £12.17/$15.07
(A Challenger 2, for comparison is up to £14/£19 in the new materials.)
And TOMORROW, those middle prices will be going up by 35%; which will make smooth and smoothest detail more expensive than the new grey fine detail and clear ultra fine detail. (Notice how they didn’t give anyone any real warning?)
Why is the price going up? No idea.
But, I suspect, like, me, you might well be thinking “because we want to make people use the more expensive new materials, so we’ll hike the price up of the old expensive materials to be more than that.” (One also suspects this is a self-perpetuating decision that will eventually lead them to stopping the material entirely.) Difficult to read anything *else* from that message, isn’t it?
And this is why Only-Games is so important, so that Shapeways doesn’t become the Youtube of the 3D printing business.
And at Only-Games, I remind you, the RESIN print for the OT-65 is only £3.37.
I am thus officially abandoning support for the smooth detail materials. I always thought they were well -overpriced before, but I gamely had them as an option for the collectors who were really bothered about the surface finish of VPN. I am not going to spend the hours (tens of hours?) going through my whole catalogue to delete the materials, but from this point forwards, I won’t be implementing it on new models.
IF you want one of my models from Shapeways in not-VPN and it isn’t available in one of the new materials, please let me know and I’ll enable it. (I found one where they weren’t just checking the pricing, but I’m not going through all 500 or so models to check, even with the XML editor.)
But really, if you want higher fidelity materials than VPN… Just get the models from Only-Games, folks. Seriously. I mean, really, you should be doing that *anyway*, because it’s a better product for cheaper EVEN counting international shipping.16/05/2023 at 17:45 #186257
Aotrs Shipyards May 2023 Release: XGA01 Starfleet Wave Three
Just in time for their public debut at Partizan this weekend, this month I have for you the third wave of XGA01 vessels!
XGA303 Alien Superdreadnought
These lumbering but powerful vessels are largest XGA01 ship so far observed. The XGA01-SV10-SDN Superdreadnought has a powerful array of weapons.
On the dorsal hull, there is series of three rows of five circular depressions, bearing a resemblance to the “ladder” structure on the dorsal surface of the SV10 vessels. Each of these, however, appears to house a missile system (presumed, but not confirmed, to be a rack rather than a launcher). The battle observations confirmed what was initially suspected. While the missile racks on the SC05-SC-M Missile Scale appear to only have an accuracy envelope of 500 000km, the slightly larger missiles on the SV10-SDN have an accuracy envelope of closer to one million kilometres, very close to Aotrs weapon ranges. These warheads are estimated at a rating of 270-300TXq. The SV10-SDN was observed firing repeated salvos of 75 missiles, decimating the Sorrow Killer vessels.
Nor was this the vessel’s only weapon. The four globular structures at the vessel’s fore are particle accelerators arrays. Unlike those of the smaller SV04-BS Battleship, these appear to be all-aspect systems. Here there is a disparity. Of the three observed vessels, two appeared to have at accuracy envelope of about 500 000 kilometres and a combined out of 4216TXq, but the third appeared to have a 1 million kilometre accuracy envelope and a combined output of 4380TXq. It is believed these are two separate configurations; in all other aspects, they appear to be identical, so the second configuration has been labelled SV-10-SDN-A.
The vessel has a single spinal-mount laser cannon array, the largest weapon of that type so far seen. This enormous weapon has an accuracy envelope of an estimated 1 050 000 kilometres, and an output of 1370TXq all by itself; the fire arc is, of course, by necessity restricted, and further so by the SV10-SDN’s low mobility.
Finally, blasterbeam point defence systems that amount to approximately 6930TXq in combined have been observed across the vessel’s surface. As with most other XGA01 arrays, the precise location of each system is unclear.
The SV10-SDN has a moderate level of protection for a vessel of its size. Both shield and armour integrity rating are respectable – the shields are estimated at approximately 6400TXq and the armour integrity at approximately 5400TXq. However, the vessel is slow and cumbersome, making it a predictable target to hit. It appears to only manage about 50 MEUs at best, with a low acceleration of only 4.7mc. This seems in keeping with many other XGA01 vessels; proportionally under-protected compared to vessels of roughly the same technology. (The similarly-sized Liches’ Wrath has roughly 12% higher-rated shields and armour integrity and almost twice the speed and manoeuvrability.) In the context of the observed vessels being essentially disposable, relatively quickly produced units, this makes a certain degree of sense. However, that such a large vessel is treated in a similar “disposable” fashion rings several alarm bells about the potential size and scale of XGA01 as a power overall. There is an uneasy number of correlations that suggest it might be larger in scope than any other known power.
Direct price: £6.75
Only-Games: £18.22 Link
Shapeways: £31.45 Link
XGA302 Alien Shell
The XGA01-SV09-SH Shell is the size of a dreadnought. The vessel appears to be a heavy weapons platform, designed to close to closer range and destroy enemy vessels that the longer range “artillery” ships or lighter vessels have stripped of defences.
Most prominently on the superstructure are five Psionic Sphere Swarm Shooter turrets. These are identical in size and structure those seen on Site Beta, and are likely of comparable output, around 3150TXq in total. This enormous firepower is merely a supplement to the main weapon however. The “rim” of the shell is a single cohesion disrupter array. This titanic weapon system is estimated to have an output of around 7500TXq and an estimated accuracy envelope of perhaps 500 000km. The array likely can only fire in the forward hemisphere, however, judging by the placement.
The cohesion disrupter array must take up at least 20% of the vessel’s mass however, which means it likely has few other weapons than point defence arrays likely at similar in quantity and quality to those of the SV04-BS, which would put them slightly south of 4000TXq in output. This would be roughly consistent with the observed shielding and drive capability. The shields are rated at around 3800TXq. The SV09-SH appears to be very average in acceleration and manoeuvrability. It was observed at an acceleration of 7.1mc and its agility is rated at a conservative 80 MEUs.
Assuming the armour correlates to currently known XGA01 data and doctrine, we estimate the armour integrity rating at around 4000-4400TXq.
The SV09-SH appears very slightly too wide to fit into the shipyard chambers of the size observed at Site Beta. That the difference is only a few metres suggests that if the vessel was intended to fit, it would have been relatively easy to modify. While it is possible the vessel could launch from such a facility on its side (especially considering gravitic drives), it seems unlikely to have been a design consideration, given that for the sake of four or five metres, such a problem could have been averted.
Together with the SV10-SDN Superdreadnought, this indicates – perhaps concerningly – that either XGA01 has built additional, larger facilities, or perhaps has been deploying forces from their home location (perhaps through the K7III-XGS1 portal or something like it).
Direct price: £4.60
Only-Games: £6.57 Link
Shapeways: £4.00 Link
XGA304 Alien Conifer-Carrier
The XGA01-SV12-CV “Conifer Carrier” takes its designation from the shape, which bear as passing resemblance to a stereotypically-imagined pine tree. The SV12-CV, as it moniker suggests, is the first dedicated carrier vessel observed in the XGA01 fleet.
Comparatively small for a carrier, the SV12-CV appears to have dedicated the bulk of this mass to that function alone. The drives appear to be quite small, with an estimated acceleration of only 4.2mc and an accompanying rating of only 54 MEUs. It shows the typical ratio of preferred armour-to-shields seen in XGA01 vessels, with an estimated armour integrity rating of around 3200TXq compared to shields of around 2000TXq – significant defences, but with a slow and predictable flight path it would need every last scrap.
Analysis suggests that, like the majority of the XGA01 vessels, it shares the usual level of passive defences. However, it terms of active defence and offense, it appears to only have point-defence blasters with a total of 3960TXq of combined output. While this is about the same as for the other similarly sized XGA01 vessels, the SV12-CV appears to have no other weapon systems at all.
The rest of the vessel appears to be devoted to carrier operations. Each of the three bulbs in the middle of the vessel appears to be a hangar bay. Like the hangars observed on the SV03-CE Collector Ellipsoid, the doors to the hangar bay are seamless and invisible when closed. It is estimated that the vessel carriers approximately three squadron’s worth of fighters. However, it may also serve as something of a troop ship as well. Curiously, the SV12-CV observed was seen releasing a swarm of almost 300 DR12 Sphere Drones from one of its bays.
Direct price: £3.40
Only-Games: £4.40 Link
Shapeways: £4.00 Link
XGA002 Alien Fighter
The XGA01-SV11-FA “Fighter” (technically “attack fighter”) is the first XGA01 fighter craft observed. This craft is highly distinctive due to its variable geometry “fins,” a feature not seen in any other XGA01 craft so far. The SV11-FA‘s fins have an unknown function, but which seems to directly affect its speed and manoeuvrability. The current theory is that the fins somewhat modulate the gravitic drive, switching between maximum speed (when “closed”) and maximum agility (when fully “open.”)
We have only minimal data so far, as the SV11-FAs have not been seen at the extreme ends of their fin profiles. However, by calculating the physical limits of how much the fins can move and applying approximate performances we have observed with the attitude of the fins, we can extrapolate what these maximum values could be. This is more approximate towards the “agility” end of the spectrum, since the observations we have of SV114-FA have been primarily at fairly high velocities, as opposed to dogfighting or strafing engagements where maximum manoeuvrability would be most of use.
The projections suggest that, when in the “speed” profile, the SV11-FA’s acceleration may be as much as 64mc with an estimated 480 MEUs. More tentatively, we estimate that in the “manoeuvrability” profile, the SV11-FA could rate up to 720 MEUs, but with an acceleration of only about two-thirds the “speed” profile (around 41-42mc).
The SV11-FA has an XGA01 FTL drive, as evidenced as in neither of the first two sightings (of only three) was a carrier vessel spotted. It is possible, of course, that one or more of the ships spotted with them in the second such encounter are previously unknown carrier configurations, but this seems less likely given the later encounter.
The SV11-FA appears to be a strike fighter. The trilaterally symmetrical “lobes” each carry a single torpedo launcher. These launchers appear to be larger bore than many typical fighters. As XGA01 warhead technology is approximately on parity with Aotrs technology, given the size of the tubes and thus warheads, we estimate their capability at 150-175TXq yield and a tentative Warhead Capacity Rating equivalent of 3 (roughly comparable to the Aotrs HR-2D Horror or SY-4D Slayer). However, given the size of the launchers, it is possible the warhead yield could be significantly higher (comparable to the Slayer) if the warheads are dedicated anti-ship weapons. We do not know yet if XGA01 has hybridised warhead/torpedoes likes the Aotrs S-series, but as their munitions appear to be either missiles or torpedoes in separate weapon systems, intelligence does not believe this as likely.
We expect, given the volume requirements that each tube would carry no more than three (possibly only two) torpedoes each – this would give the SV11-FA slightly more (27) than the comparable standard warhead capacity of the Foul Wing’s bays (24). However, as we have not seen the weapons used in action, this remains somewhat speculative – nor does it account that, like the Aotrs, the XGA01 may utilise a varying number of warheads.
A trio of Psionic Sphere Swarm Shooters are placed in the fighter’s bow. Given the quad-S system has a fairly predictable power curve due to the standard size of the rings, we can give a reasonably confident estimate of each having about 24-26TXq each.
This is considerable firepower, especially coupled with the speed and manoeuvrability, even at the extremes. The estimates of the SV11-FA’s shields and hull armour rating place them at 150-250TXq and 75-150TXq rating respectively, which is about in line with what we would expect from a heavy fighter.
Overall, then, the SV11-FA appears to be an extremely potent vessel, potentially more than a match one-on-one with Aotrs fighters like the Foul Wing. The only saving grace would appear to be that from what we have observed, these fighters are likely drones rather than piloted craft, and do not seem to show significantly greater intelligence than the other XGA01 fleet forces, which would hamper their effectiveness drastically.
Direct price: £3.35
Only-Games: £1.60 Link
Shapeways: £6.01 Link
1:300th (6mm) Scale
Direct price: £4.00
Only-Games: £4.75 Link
Shapeways: £4.00 Link
XGA003 Alien Sphere Drone Swarm
Modeller’s Note: I had to admit defeat with this one: the 36 drones here are merely representative of the swarm. Trying to do anything more “accurate” was too small and impractical, so the swarm is about 1/8th the size if “should” be.
Curiously, the SV12-SV “Conifer Carrier” observed was seen releasing a swarm of XGA01-DR12 Sphere Drones from one of its bays. The DR12s were previously observed during ground operations, essentially infantry-level units with four modular apertures. The Sphere Drones do not have the same level of stealth hull armour as their other XGA01 vessels – simply likely due to their size, so the observing vessel was able to make more sense of their sensor data, especially when compared to the existing data. It appears that for this function, the Sphere Drones have one module for the laser sniper beam previously seen on other observed configurations, and the other three aperture modules appear to be fitted with (slightly outsized) power generators. This enables the Sphere Drones to accelerate up to around 64mc and significantly increases the power of the laser sniper beam. Without the mitigating factor of atmosphere, the laser sniper beams appeared to have an range of about 20 000 kilometres; their accuracy envelope is believed to be much higher, but the beam diffusion become notable apparent beyond this distance, in a rare instance of an actual effective range being shorter than the accuracy envelope. Still, given this is in effect an enhanced infantry rifle beam this is a remarkable improvement. Even so, the Sphere Drones need large numbers to be effective. The single swarm observed was estimated at being 288 units strong.
The price for being able to operate in this fashion is that the Sphere Drones are completely unprotected apart from their default armour – and while this is reasonable compared to infantry weapons, against return fire from starship weapons, it is essentially non-existent. The only protection the DR12 has in this attack pattern is the sheer weight of numbers and the diffusion of the swarm making it slightly harder to hit an individual drone. However, given the proximity of the drones in the swarm and the fragility of the drones compared to even fighter-grade weapons means that even a single shot might penetrate more than one drone.
The agility of the drones in the swarm is very limited, perhaps only 300-400 MEUs; however the swirling mass of the swarm would make dogfighting within the swarm more difficult that this would suggest, sheerly due to the numbers. However, the Sphere Drone’s weapons are poorly suited for engaging highly mobile targets, since they cannot bring their weapons to bear and rely almost entirely on concentrated, coherent fire with their beams to effect serious damage and this scale. Their primary attack pattern appears to be to close to strafing distances (and less) and swarm over a target vessel in clusters, using their laser sniper beams in concert to slice into the vessel a piece at a time.
While they would appear to be quite devastating against capital ships if unimpeded as a collective, serious engagement by anti-fighter weapons is projected to rapidly degrade their ability to inflict such damage.
It has been noted that, should they be able to penetrate a location, the Sphere Drones could essentially conduct a boarding operation all by themselves without the need for an assault ship. Doing would perforce require the drones to lose cohesion in the swarm and their firepower would be dramatically curtailed and in the confines of a ship corridor, they would be much easier targets and vulnerable to small arms. Nevertheless, it remains one more strange tool in the XGA01’s tool box of eccentricities.
Only-Games: £1.00 Link
Shapeways: £4.00 Link
Onto the other main event!
In addition, I have (finally!) released the 3D-printable hex-based flight stands I made during the Great British Flight Stand Shortage. These are being released as a free download at Wargames Vault. I am releasing these under Creative Commons as something of a public service. Should we ever have such a crisis again, there will always be something out there that can readily available that will do the job, if not as efficiently or cost-efficiently as injection moulding. Please do share this around!
You will have seen the printed versions on many of the various releases over the last year or so – notably the Royal Elven Navy from last year was entirely mounted on these as the first test!
You can download the files here.
(Secondarily, this serves as a test-run for doing .stl files, for both Manoeuvre Group to release a set of 3D-printable markers and for eventually the Shipyards selling the files as well.)
Photos of the Resin versions from Only-Games.
As I mentioned we will be down at Partizan on Sunday, showcasing the XGA01, plus next month’s upcoming merchant vessels, a MASSIVE load of newly laser-cut nebulas in bring some colour variety at long last, plus our old friends the Herosine Empire and some other guys that are also an Empire, from, like, some unknown franchise called space fighting or something…!
Finally, for those of you that don’t follow the moderns releases, I would also like to bring to everyone’s attention the Wargames Directory Miniatures Manufacturers list. This is a listing of all (or at least as many as can be added) figure manufacturers by scale. Here’s the link to the 10mm list.
There is current a listing for 3, 6, 10, 15, 20, 25, 28, 30, 32, 40 and 54mm manufacturers (but not for starships specifically, at the moment). As a hobby, we distinctly lack any kind of centralised website of basis for this kind of thing, so the more we share this around, the better it is for everyone. Feel free to inform your favourite wargames Youtubers and let’s see if we can get plenty of eyes on it!27/06/2023 at 17:08 #187716
Aotrs Shipyards June2023 Release: Merchants and Mercenaries Part One
Slightly later than I had originally planned, but this time I have the first part of what it likely three batches of merchant and mercenary craft. I had intended for these to be two parts, but with the flight stands and explosion markers released, I changed plans slightly. The upcoming merchant starbase and the 1/300th version of the upcoming space truck are quite larger and thus I intend to make them ice-breakers for selling the files. I’ve already uploaded the former to Only-games and Shapeways, so I will release them there, but the spacetruck I had not originally planned to release at all; I did the design at 300th for the lore entry but as I have committed to Hereward Wargames Show in September to do 1/300th (Aotrs verses Galactic Empire), I figured I might as well use it there and release the file for good measure.
But to start things off this time, I have for you the Prosperity Transport (which started out as repurposed bit of scrap broken toy in the mid-90s, now re-done in CAD!) and a brand-new variant; and the Cutlass CT-1 (which started out as cardboard in the late 90s) and a brand-new fleet scale version!
The Prosperity transport is the third-most common freighter in the local galactic community, after the Beta series Transport and Nomad. Its manufacturer, Sol’s Colonial Freightliners is one of the oldest interstellar transport corporations, though it has long been eclipsed by the General Hull Designs and Hawking Astronautics. The Prosperity is a simple but reliable and affordable design. It fills something of a middle ground between the Beta Transport and the Nomad.
The Prosperity is larger than the Beta, being about the size of a standard heavy cruiser. This size advantage is gives an overall performance boost over its nearest competitor. It carries 12.5% more cargo capacity. The civilian hyperdrive is faster than the Nomad’s Warp Drive, but comparable to the Beta in performance, though the Prosperity has better engines.
The Prosperity also has slightly stronger shields, rating at 440TXq. Finally, the stock Prosperity has better armament. The Prosperity was one of the first civilian vessels to fit modern 5th-generation point-defence lasers. The original model only rated to 350TXq, but the vast majority of vessels have been refitted over the years up to a modern 450TXq system. Secondly, the Prosperity also mounts a series of light capital-scale laser arrays. These systems only have an accuracy envelope of about 95 000 km and are rated at only 175TXq – not enough to discourage a determined attacker, but enough to deal with substantial debris and even to give an unwary capital ship some concern if it gets within range.
The Prosperity, then, has taken the role of frontier transport more readily than the Nomad or the Beta. The Beta remains the most popular due to its low price-tag and running costs, but it is very vulnerable without significant escort over long distance journeys, which is where the Prosperity has the edge.
The Prosperity, like both the Nomad and the Beta, is relatively easy to convert by an end user. Its generous cargo space can be easily converted to other purposes. The stock laser array, while not very useful for modern starship combat, is very adequate for dealing with asteroids and the Prosperity has almost cornered the role in both ore-mining and deep-space rescue operations.
Direct price: £2.60
Only-Games: £1.80 Link
Shapeways: £3.70 Link
Prosperity Transport (HAC Modification)
The most significant modification of the Prosperity Transport was to attempt to compete with the Nomad more directly. The Prosperity’s entire cargo bay and lower hull is removed to make way for four massive clamps to hold the HAC-1200 cargo modules. The engines and hyperdrive are enlarged to handle the extra mass, but performance remains largely the same even unladen, since cost-efficiency was the key selling point. This version provides comparable cargo capacity to the Nomad, and much less cost. However, while it is marginally faster than the Nomad over FTL transit distances due to having a hyperdrive instead of a warp drive, it lacks any of the Nomad’s other selling points, being very slow and under-protected. This version thus has seen only modest adoption.
Direct price: £2.90
Only-Games: £4.05 Link
Shapeways: £5.87 Link
Cutthroat Heavy Bomber
General Hull Design’s CT-1 Cutthroat Heavy Bomber was clearly intended to be sold with an eye towards the pirate and mercenary market. First appearing in 2315, it sold extremely well and has proliferated as one of the go-to vessels on the market for its class. It was so successful, in fact, that even several major powers – notably the now-British Space Empire – not only bought it, but configured their own variants.
The secrets of its success – like so many of General Hull Design’s vessels – lie within a base chassis that is robust, simple and easily customisable.
The base CT-1 has fairly a fairly standard drive profile. An acceleration of 9.1mc ensures it can get to where it needs to quickly. The manoeuvrability is rated at 92 MEUs, which is fair for a heavy bomber. The addition of built-in flaps for atmospheric flight was an unusual but inspired choice. The mass saved by reducing the thrust-vectoring of the primary drive allowed the larger engines required for the excellent acceleration, while giving the Cutthroat an agility in the atmosphere of a standard fighter, at 118 MEUs. A small hyperdrive allows it to make the typical FTL-strikes common to most fighters (and allows the two crew a chance at escape if their home carrier is destroyed).
A plating of armour with an AIC of 21TXq covers the Cutthroat’s hull. Layered on top, the shields are rated at an impressive 252TXq, in concert making the Cutthroat a tough nut to crack.
The standard armament of the CT-1 is four 20TXq-output laser cannons. Eight hardpoints are located under each wing, each with a Standard Warhead Capacity Rating of 1. These are normally used to mount short-range dogfighting missiles, such as sixteen 30TXq- yield Vitrius Conglomerate SRASHM-1111 Vipers.
The remaining weapon systems are all mounted in the fuselage bay. Just under the cockpit, the bay terminates in four housings. These are typically used to either mount additional guns or for torpedo tubes. The bay has a Standard Warhead Capacity Rating of 32. The stock CT-1 mounts a quarter of Herosine Arms Growler-B9 20mm rotary autocannons, each with an output of about 19TXq at maximum rate of fire. Behind the Growler, two hatches on the Cutthroat’s V-shaped lower fuselage pop open to release missiles – or, in the ground attack roll, even dumb bombs. A typical load is eight 40TXq-yield Darian Defence MRASHM-1119 Sunspot missiles and a quartet of heavier 48TXq Gomez-Moto LRASH-142 Zero-X missiles. Less commonly, a full load of twenty-four additional Vipers are carried.
Many variants of the Cutthroat exist. The Herosine Imperial navy makes use of several themselves, including the stock CT-1, as do the British Space Empire.
Direct price: £2.60
Only-Games: £1.40 Link
Shapeways: £3.82 Link
1:300th (6mm) Scale
Direct price: £4.20
Only-Games: £4.05 Link
Shapeways: £7.31 Link
Photos, as always, of Prusa versions.
(Incidently, I did try filing down the top surface of the Prosperity to remove the stepping… It worked reasonably well, but naturally, it still showed up on the photo, despite looking and feeling flat by eye and hand…!)
But here’s a couple of bonuses:
Prosperity old (right) and new (left)
and Cutthroat (1999, left) and 2023 (right)
Next month, more merchants!19/07/2023 at 15:15 #188628
Aotrs Shipyards July 2023 Release: Merchants and Mercenaries Part Two
Today’s release comes amid the spectre of terrifying Intermittent Power Cuts. Today I have the second release of the merchant and mercenaries; the Cranefly light freighter and the DSS-C065 starbase (aka “small starbase”).
The starbase marks the first model from Aotrs Shipyards proper available as a .stl file, available from Wargames Vault (where both Manoeuvre Group and Accelerate and Attack! Aeons of War can also be found).
This is the first proper trial run of this, helping set-up the work flow. As the station is so big (“small” is relative), it made sense to make this the first purchasable file.
The pricing model has been something I’ve given much consideration as to how to approach for some time. Do I price it for one model? More than one (for stuff you would expect to print more than one of)? Less than physical model? More, because of the potential danger of it being pirated (which has already happened with the physical models)? If the price is higher, will that not encourage piracy?)
In the end, I have opted for simplicity. I am going to price the .stl at the same price as I would charge for a direct print from my printer. It’s simple, saves me fiddling with rounding and so on and will at least be reasonably consistent.
Currently, I am going to provide the files essentially unaltered (and un-renamed) from the versions I use for my printer and for the webshops. As such, I will make a quick explanation here; though a shorter explanation of the files is in both the product description and the Readme in the bundle, this is a bit more of an “under-the-hood” breakdown that I felt probably wasn’t necessary to include in this and every subsequent Readme.
Thus, there will be one or more files for the FDM printer, which are solid (i.e. they do not have internal walls) and are designed for printing on an FDM printer. For ground units, this just means hull/turret(s); for starships, to minimise support material it may mean ships in two halves left/right, top/bottom or front/rear, depending where the best plane of slicing is.
These files are labelled [model] solid[part] (e.g. Starbase_1solidfront.STL)
(The number before solid is basically my version number, which is essentially 1 for everything unless it has a locking turret (which is 2.)
Because adding locators mean you have to add supports on one side to make the peg, I don’t put them in. (I had very little success with making two holes and a separate joining piece.) You thus will want to use glue and just line it up by with your fingers, but it’s not actually terribly difficult – I can do it passably with my incompetence, so the rest of you should be fine.
There is a second, singular file designed for resin or SLS printing (i.e. that which I upload to Only-Games and Shapeways). This is a hollow version (such that resin/powder can be cleaned out) and for models with more than one piece, is sprued together. This version is always [model] solidS (for “sprue” whether or not it actually has a sprue – originally it was “s” for “Shapeways version”).
This is, of course, the prototype and thus we might need to change things. I can for instance see a possibility of people maybe wanting a single-piece solid file (at the expense of having to have more supports) perhaps for some models. But since in most cases, this would be a quality drop, I did not think that it was worth the extra time to make a special version for that as standard for each model, unless there was an actual demand for it. So we shall see how it goes.
Rather than put the Entirely Optional blurb on the product page for the .stls, I have used the option that it’s a bundle anyway to basically take the Bleakbane’s Galaxy Guide entry and make a PDF of it instead (which is in a better format anyway!)
Right then; to business!
The shape of the DSS-C065 starbase is a familiar one to anyone traveller throughout human space and even beyond. The DSS-C065 is more common towards the outer edges of human space, due to its time of introduction. Closer to Earth (-N), it is less frequent, but by no means rare.
Colonial Freightliners took off as a private company within two decades of the first hyperdrive flight, with their first Amazon-class bulk freighter launching in 2079.
Within a few decades, they had diversified into static infrastructure as well as transport vessels. By the mid-22nd century, their Deep Space Station line quickly became a de facto standard, especially throughout the smaller powers.
The DSS-C065, introduced in 2218, has been particularly successful, hitting the ideal spot between affordability, customisability and durability. It was one of the first types of starbase of its size; at the time, it used state-of-the-art structural technology and had to be assembled in its own special framework. Nowadays, more modern and much larger space stations can produce them in massive factories, which has aided the spread.
The DSS-C065 is a general-purpose space station, serving roles from merchant or trading station outpost, colony station, refuelling depot or even military installation.
Over half of the station is devoted to a mix of cargo holding and crew quarters, the precise mix varying from station to station. The bulk of the crew quarters tends to be located in the upper sphere, the centre of which is often opened out into a recreational centre or park.
At the very bottom of the station is a small ship bay, able to accommodate lighter starships for more extensive repairs. The hangar doors are located on the bottom of the station, and ships enter vertically (relative to the station).
The upper pylons are the primary docking facilities, however, able to accommodate multiple vessels docking. A smaller also serves to house smallcraft and shuttles for the work or the residents.
The DSS-C065 has enough protection to deter a mid-sized raid. It has shields rated to 4200TXq, though no armour, rating an integrity of barely 9TXq. Modern stations are equipped with both short and mid-range point defence lasers. The short-range light turrets total an impressive 2700TXq output, with the two interdiction-range arrays outputting a combined total of 850TXq. Finally, two anti-capital ship laser arrays with an accuracy envelope of 188 000km have a combined output of 350TXq. These defences make attacking the station without significant force quite dangerous. However, like all stations, the DSS-C065 is vulnerable to long-range attacks and even kinetic bombardment, since the minimum station-keeping thrusters do little to enable it to remove itself from harm’s way. The defences thus serve as more of a deterrent, of a delaying tactic to allow local defence fleets to arrive.
Numerous modifications exist, spanning from the split of cargo-to-crew (usually about 60/40), to the modification of the ventral hangar bay, to a more robust defence system.
Direct price: £10.60
Only-Games: £17.22 Link
Shapeways: £41.48 Link
.Stl File: £10.60 Link
Cranefly Light Transport
Andrade Industries’ Cranefly Light Transport is an old spacedog. The first model appeared all the way back into the early colonial decades; at the time, it was notable as being the first independently-financed FTL cargo vessel created by a South American company. (The headquarters still today remains located in Chile.) A simple, yet enduring design, the Cranefly’s popularity peaked in the last 22nd century, and it has been on the steady decline since. Andrade Industries still has a single production line, trickling out new models – mostly to smaller independent worlds or mid-size corporations. A large number, upgraded and refitted over the last couple of centuries, still remain in service around the periphery of human space.
The Cranefly’s sublight speed is unimpressive by modern standards, with only a 4.2mc acceleration. Manoeuvrability is somewhat better, rated at 74 MEUs. Nevertheless, given the Cranefly’s small size, this is enough power that even the original Cranefly was capable of atmospheric flight and landing on a planetary surface. Many modern Craneflys are no longer so equipped – perhaps one in five – with the mass given over to other purposes.
The Cranefly has two cargo-loading doors, one each side of the vessel. In addition, the nose-dome of the vessel also articulates and retracts, allowing easy access. Indeed, not a few Cranefly variants over the years have made use of this latter feature as a smallcraft bay. About fifty percent of the Cranefly’s internal volume is given over the cargo space.
A typical modern Cranefly has shielding rated at 150TXq, but only a thin skin with an AIC of 23TXq beneath. A light laser array provides meteor and very light point defence protection with an output of about 325TXq.
One notable variant occasionally spotted in the security role is a militarised version, the Cranefly Strikeboat.
In the latter half of the 23rd century, the Cranefly’s base design was overhauled, and formed the basis of the Hornet Security/Patrol cruiser.
Direct price: £2.45
Only-Games: £1.61 Link
Shapeways: £3.82 Link
Photos, as always, of Prusa versions.
The original small starbase was scratch built (as I believe someone noticed the first time, from a bit of old ’88, stuck on the body of a knock-off Transformer). The Cranefly is a CAD re-design from a model which was originally a 6mm fighter – from the Starhound range from Tabletop Games in the late 80’s I think? (Sadly, I don’t think those models are around anymore.)
Here’s a couple of bonus pictures of the originals (left) compared to the new (right):
Next month, the last of the three releases, with the Coeus Heavy Cruiser and the !O-2300 space truck (in both fleet and 300th scale; the latter of which is going to be .stl and direct sales exclusive. (After the small starbase proved so expensive at Only-Games and especially Shapeways, it’s not going to be worth putting the !O-2300 up – unless people ask for it, anyway!)22/08/2023 at 17:36 #189885
Aotrs Shipyards August 2023 Release: Merchants and Mercenaries Part Three
Before we get to the releases, a few things.
First of all, Only-Games are having a big summer sale, 25% off sitewide and free shipping on orders over £60, which ends on the 30th of August – so now is a good time to binge on all those Aotrs Shipyards models you know you want.
Use code: OGSUMMER23.
Second of all, I will be down at the Hereward Wargames Show in Peterborough on the 3rd of September, putting on a game of Starwing (my own homebrew starfighter system), pitting the Galactic Empire best TIE Defenders and Missileboats against the might of the Aotrs fighter forces. (And the other half of the KB Club will be doing Manoeuvre Group at 72nd.)
There is one more major announcement, but I’ll save that bad news for the wrap up.
Onto the releases, this time the third and final wave of merchant shipping the Coeus Heavy Cruiser and the Xavek-Manfeld !O-2300 Spacetruck! (That’s “Ks-avek,” not “zavek”.) The latter is available at both fleet scale as normal, and in .stl form from Wargames Vault, making it the second product to be so! (Like the starbase from last month, it’s a bit too big to be practical for the webshops, and unlike that, I hadn’t already uploaded it to both befgore I made that decision!)
Coeus Heavy Cruiser (Explorer)
A rare visitor to the fringes of the local galactic region, the Coeus Class Heavy Cruiser hails from far-off Earth-I. The Explorer variant we see traded off some weapon emplacements into order to accommodate sufficient cargo space to be able to make such a long trip.
These are deep range vessels that serve Earth-I’s alliance. As the variant’s name suggests, these vessels are principally for exploration, but they also serve as diplomatic couriers, since there are no relays which would otherwise cross the gap for regular modern FTL communications, and slow-than-light communications would take centuries.
The extreme distance means that other than very cursory acknowledgements, the Earth-I mirror sector has little influence to the local region.
The Coeus is typical of Earth-I’s technological base. Most prominent are the two rotating superstructures which produce artificial gravity (which rotate in opposite directions). The Coeus has no shielding at all, complete reliant on its armour for protection. This is considerable, with an Armour Integrity Rating of 4000TXq, but it puts the vessel at a severe disadvantage in a long fight against shielded foes.
It has otherwise performance that is consistent with military vessels of about a century back. Older drives give it 9.7mc acceleration and manoeuvrability rated and 108 MEUs, which is only a little below the modern average. Sensors and communications too are largely similar to military systems of that period.
Despite its modifications, the Coeus Explorer is still a warship at heart, not a transport – as it must be to undertake the long journey without a massive convoy escort. While these vessels are rare enough to have not been involved in many combats, we have still been able to glean a mostly-accurate picture of their capabilities. Multiple point-defence turrets armed with a mix of particle and plasma weapons provide a combined output of about 1870TXq, over an engagement sphere of 0.85Ym³. Two 350-TXq laser cannons are spinally-mounted, with an accuracy envelope of 330 000km. Secondary laser and plasma batteries have a combined output of about 300TXq and an accuracy envelope of about 285 000km. About half of these original batteries were removed for the additional stowage space, so we can infer a standard Coeus would have approximately twice that output. Finally, four missile racks are mounted behind the forward superstructure module. Each contains twenty 190TXq-yield missiles, with an accuracy envelope of approximately 500 000km.
Despite its technological inferiority, the Coeus is thus by no means a push-over, and comparable to a modern heavy cruiser of one of the minor powers (such as the Tarrainian Federation), with its lack of shields being its single largest drawback. But unlike the similarly unshielded forces of the Eternal Reich or the Orc Fearcrushy, the Coeus is not in a position to dubiously utilise the lower resource cost to field a larger, more disposable fleet. It does not even have the advanced armour composites that those powers utilise. What it does have is more than sufficient to deal with light raiders, however, and the very fact it is not a transport and more vulnerable than a shielded vessel means that it is not a very tempting target for larger pirate forces (or, for example, the Herosine Empire, though to some extent that is a redundant qualification).
Given the distances between Earth-I and the local region, this is likely the only vessel of Earth-I we are likely to see for many decades until hyperdrive speed drastically improves.
Direct price: £3.05
Only-Games: £2.12 Link
Shapeways: £4.45 Link
!O-2300 Space Truck
The Xavek-Manfeld (the “x” is pronounced “ks”) !O-2300 is a typical In-System/Orbital Lander – ISOL or, as they are more colloquially known in human space, “space truck”. (The “!” is an alveolar or postalveolar click in Venerian; the proper pronunciation is difficult for humans that do not use clicking languages and has vernacularized into a click of the tongue.)
Space trucks are the basic workforce of in-system transport systems. These vessels are used to transfer cargo from the larger freighters, cargo haulers and orbital docking yards to the surface or between planets and moon and other short-haul trips. While large bulk cargos of the same goods are usually transferred directly to the receiving facility, mixed cargo for intermodal shipping needs to get the varied goods out to all over a globe. Space trucks represent the most efficient way to transfer small loads to the surface, either directly to a company landing pad, or to a road, rail or gravway transport system. While in some more advanced powers, teleportation is used for small loads (like people), in general, it remains too power inefficient for widespread use, as the sheer volume of goods makes it impractical.
The !O series is a long-standing mainstay of the space truck industry and they are often known informally as “exmans” or “xmans.”
Introduced in 2298, the !O-2300 quickly achieved a reputation for being rugged, reliable, power-efficient and adaptable, and the brand has continued to the present with annual or bi-annual models with incremental improvements.
The !O-2300 has only modest acceleration of 24mc, which is more than sufficient for in-system flights. While slow, it is quite agile, rated up to 350 MEUs, quite sufficient for even difficult docking or landing gaps. This is one of the reasons for its popularity.
The base !O-2300 model comes fitted with a small civilian hyperdrive, suited for in-system hops or short interstellar jaunts. Models used only for local transport usually remove the system for a little more storage space or just to reduce weight and power-consumption. The space truck’s crew compartment is quite spacious. Conventional usage is handled by a single crewperson, but there is seating for two additional people as standard. A tiny fold-out bunk, kitchenette and toilet facility provision for longer flights.
To protect the crew and cargo against atmospheric mishaps, weather and other hostile environments – as well as some protection from raiders, the !O-2300 has an integral shield array that is rated to a respectable 150TXq.
So from these basic design, the !O-2300 and its descendants have been adapted for almost every purpose, including passenger transport, ambulance, search-and-rescue, fire-fighter and exploration. Some models that work exclusively at docking yards remove the entire cargo bay and add larger engines at the rear, replacing the cargo bay area with towing arrays or tractor beams for moving containers around – even those much larger than the space truck itself.
Direct price: £2.60
Only-Games: £2.12 Link
Shapeways: £3.58 Link
1:300th (6mm) Scale
Direct price: £4.20
.Stl File: £4.20 Link
Photos, as always, of Prusa versions.
Next month… Is very, very up in the air.
Tomorrow, I have an appointment with Universal Credit (as I am translated off from Working Tax Credit), and with the country in the state that it is, I have a very real fear that they will say “you’re not making enough money, naff off!” (As this has been tried once before.) It also does not help that this is coming on a year which has been overall quite low, at a time of year in which sales are generally low anyway.
So, quite what I do if they say that… I don’t know. I would likely at least have to accelerate adding .stls to Wargames Vault, and I could potentially set up a kofi… Patreon is a possibility, but I genuinely can’t think of what I could do more for the required higher tiers than I already do. So this might have significant ramifications. I will not, at the very least, be immediately packing in the Shipyards; when I took it full-time, it was after ten years of unemployment and in desperation that I could ground out at least a full year by exhausting what savings I had before I had to sign back on and I have a little more now than then. But down the line; I genuinely don’t know.
This, as you might imagine, put a significant damper on my holiday which delayed this release a week.
In theory, though, the Royal Elven Army is slated for a release (finally!) around October for Other Partizan… But we will just have to see, I’m afraid. (And for once you can read that sentiment quite literally.)23/08/2023 at 20:01 #189925
So, bad news. Sorry, I don’t have any pictures or anything to leaven this up.
My fears about today’s Universal Credit appointment were 100% justified.
In a very real sense, they are not so much moving people from Working Tax credit to Universal credit as just obviating Working Tax credit entirely, especially if you are self-employed.
Universal Credit is basically set-up such that if you are self-employed, you are tacitly told by the system “either Get A Proper Job Loser, make enough money you can’t claim it anyway or get knotted, mate.”
To whit: If you are self-employed, if you are not making enough to qualify for “gainful employment” (whose gain? Certainly not mine.) you have to be looking for work and sign-on every week. Identically, in fact to if you are NOT self-employed and signing-on, though apparently we don’t call it that now.
If you ARE making enough to qualify for “gainful employment” – you are about 50% past the break-point at which the 45% of your income they reduce the benefit by is larger than the benefit you qualify for anyway.
(Or at least if you are single and don’t have children. The children – and presumably, but I may be reaching, since Mum doesn’t count apparently – dependants is fair enough; that I am single because I Don’t Significant Other (and thus Don’t Marriage) also feels a bit punitive, to be honest.)
That “gainful employment” threshold is – are you ready for this? £1400 a month.
(Twice what is if you are getting paid employment, apparently.)
I have, basically, taken the final option of the three (got knotted), and spent the last few hours composing a letter to my MP (because that nonsense is not something I will tolerate without issue, and that is about the only thing I CAN do about it).
So, what are the ramifications for the Shipyards?
It’s still going be here, for at least as long as my savings last and I HAVE to functionally sign-on. I am not in any immediate danger of going short of food or anything like that. Long-term, what it does mean is that what saving I have gathered which were, basically a buffer for what happens when my parents die will be being whittled away .
In the shorter term: An acceleration of the process of getting the .stl files up, and maybe setting up of a kofi account (just as SOMETHING) and using that as an indicator as to whether it is even worth trying to set up a Patreon.
I have also been idly considering compiling Bleakbane’s Galaxy Guide to a first edition PDF release for a while as essentially a mechanics-less sourcebook, but that is still a ways off yet; under the circumstances, I may well put that as a “pay what you want” on Wargames Vault.12/09/2023 at 17:31 #190539
Update cross-posed from the Moderns release thread:
Last Wednesday I had meeting with both Only-Games and MyMiniFactory to discuss the hows and whys of using MyMiniFactory to start selling .stls through MyMiniFactory. (Note for clarity: this will of course be in addition to, not instead of, the physical prints from current sources.)
It was something of a good news/bad news situation. Only-Games is in the process of introducing a subscription for all creators, something I wasn’t aware of. This would have been catastrophic, except that since June, Shipyards sales have spiked high enough to actually cover that subscription fee.
(This represents such a dramatic relative spike from being a trickle (nothing some months as recently as April) which has taken me by complete surprise. I can’t quite work out what triggered it; June’s releases were merchants and the explosion markers and it was just after Partizan, none of which particularly is out of the ordinary.) It was so sudden I hadn’t really registered it yet until prompted to look, since at Only-Games I don’t get notified of individual sales and I have to remember to check.)
So, if that happy trend continues, it means that it will cover the subscription cost which might have otherwise have spelled serious problems.
We had a long discussion on the .stl market, which obviously, MyMiniFactory ultimately knows better than me, since the Shipyards has hitherto been a physical-only producer. The long and the short of it is that 80% of people buying files are printing in resin, not FDM.
This creates something of an issue, since as perhaps notoriously at the point, the Shipyards doesn’t have a home resin printer – nor in the circumstances am I likely to get one in the near future. (Don’t even know where we’d put it in any case.) I thus can’t obviously test-print resin models to check supports. I have looked into what I could do, and talked to Atlas 3DSS (a company that does supports for you), which has at least given me a very basic understanding of what works. But, for obvious reasons, I can’t afford to have the supports done commercially for, like 600 models, and what I would hazard would be around $15-25 dollars per tank or something. At very best, I might be able to provide some pretty much “manual and my best guess” pre-supported models (as an addendum to the product) but I feel trying that without even a cursory test would be unhelpful.
(I thought my mate had a resin printer he’d gotten from his mate (who has a habit of buying printers and then getting rid of ’em), but turns out I was getting confused and my mate’s mate’s resin printer went to my other mate, who moved way. (Confused? Well, now you know why I was1) ,
So on balance, the assumption is going to have to that models come without supports.
In some ways, this doesn’t change anything, since for Wargames Vault, I was only able to supply images of recommended supports for FDM printers anyway.
What it does mean, though, is that I am undecided as to whether to bundle the FDM versions in on the models on MyMiniFactory. I COULD, since it looks like I could simply bundle them with a zip as part of the models and I *will* do so if anyone requests it, but I don’t know whether it’s worth doing. (I will, however, take the opportunity to bundle a flight stand file with the starships, as well as providing the same free bundle of stands as is currently on Wargames Vault.)
This has meant that I am largely letting the plans of releasing the files on Wargames Vault go fallow for the moment. If there is demand – especially for FDM files, I may take a look at it.
Looking around at how other manufacturers sell their models on MyMiniFactory, I saw a lot of starships in packs, rather than as individuals. I am leaning away from that, and intending to keep having individual models (or smaller packs, like maybe one pack for fighters). For one thing, I do occasionally go back to older ranges and add stuff to them (the Herosines/General Hull Designs notably) and of course for the moderns ranges, those will never be “complete” until I run out of real armour to model (don’t see that happening)! Thus, while I may look into doing fleet/army packs, they will be in addition to, rather than instead of, the individual models.
So, taking into consideration all of the above and having a look around at what other places are doing, I have decided on my pricing plan, which is TOTALLY different to what I thought.
Remember back in the 80s and 90s, when you could a lot of stuff for your pennies? That’s where I’m planning to go. The not-quite-Poundshop route. I am figuring that my pricing system will be based around double the mark-up I get on the physical models. Thus, tanks will come out at around £1 to £1.50, superdreadnoughts at around £3 and up to about heavy cruisers at 50p. (I think a floor of 50p is not unreasonable.)
I am all for having low-cost entry points (so Little Timmy (sic) can get a nice little fleet for his hard-earned pocket money…) and also allowing people to pick and choose my models across all the ranges.
This policy means, as of last Thursday (06/09/2023), the price of the Small Starbase and 300th !O-2300 Spacetruck on Wargames Vault have been dropped permanently to £3 and £1.50. (I’ve not sold any of either at time of change, so that’s good, because I don’t feel guilty about calibrating it totally wrong to start with. Live and learn, right?)
One advantage of selling the models individually means that, if something sells well, maybe I can look into doing supports for it, either myself or professionally.
This also means that this gives me a much lower turn-around time. It means that, aside from splitting the hollow versions off their sprues, there’s not too much work to do per model to get them up. So I can hopefully get stuff up on there, and up to date, in a fairly reasonable time-frame that is not 2-3 years. (Like it took to get the FDM/Only-Games stuff ready in case of Shapeways Emergency the last time around.)
That is now The Plan, anyway. Obviously, if there are more unforeseen issues cropping up, I might have to alter them, but hopefully this will be the way forward.
On top of this, there is the issue that I have to do all the preparatory, like Art Stuff. (My Shipyards renders look a bit… Understated to most on MMMF.) While there’s no an approach I can take OTHER than the renders (since I can’t use photos of the FDM for resin prints, and TurboCAD is crap at renders), even something as simple as adding a title or logo to my existing renders will be a job and a half. (Terrible questions like “what font do I use, since I can’t easily use the one for all the book titles, since I basically have manually tweak it in PaintShopPro8?”)
As such, as MyMiniFactory is ALSO a subscription system, I can’t afford (literally) to not sign-up at least three-quarters prepared. So I will need to be doing some of that groundwork.
(At time of posting, I have gotten as far as the SSA ships and up to “m” in the moderns in unspruing (but the majority of that still needs mesh-checking/fixing). So it’s going to be a long job.)
With that all to do, I have decided that there is very likely to NOT be a moderns release (and possibly no sci-fi release) in at least October and there may not be a scifi release next week. This will be the first time since I took the Shipyards full-time (eight years ago) there won’t be a monthly moderns release. I could, of course, dip into the backlog, but at this uncertain point, I’d just rather not having it hanging over my head until I can get myself on firmer ground.
(For the same reason, I am further breaking a habit of a lifetime and planning to do a continuation of the Hereward scenario at Other Partizan, instead of sci-fi MG – featuring the Royal Elven Army), like I had intended.)
Only-Games very generously also offered me to have 25% sale on the Shipyards ranges. This would be specifically for the Shipyards (as opposed to the sitewide summer sale). I am still waiting on the confirmation – at last count, it was going to be up until end of October to catch Other Partizan on the 8th, but they have not got back to me at time of posting; I’ll do another post when that’s ready.
I have also – after a GREAT deal of delay – updated Bleakbane’s Galaxy Guide at it exists currently on Spacebattles.
This covers the forthcoming Royal Elven Army (which has been semi-ready for release since before lockdown), and two new designs that were going to be New On Table for Other Partizan before the plans changed.
It took a HUGE amount of work to clean up the line renders (because of course TurboCAD facets the surfaces, which then need cleaning up), so please, go and take a look!
Something I have resisted having before, but that the Universal Credit people didn’t really give me much option on but to take the option:
If you feel exceptionally generous and would to like support these lore efforts (at least before I can put out copy of the Galaxy Guide!) I have set up a ko-fi here.13/09/2023 at 15:55 #190551
Aotrs Shipyards Sale now live!
The sale is now live: 20% off Aotrs Shipyards products at Only-Games all the way through to November the 30th!
Use code AOTRS20
The small text:
Applies to one-time purchases, no minimum purchase requirements, no usage limits, can’t be combined with other discounts!30/09/2023 at 13:49 #191119
Aotrs Shipyards now at MyMiniFactory, plus Only-Games sales until the end of November!
So in lieu of the scifi release this month, instead, I can announce that Aotrs Shipyards now has a MyMiniFactory store from which you can buy the files. (You can also get the free flight stand files from here too!)
To re-iterate, the files will be coming WITHOUT presupports, for the simple reason that I don’t have access to a resin printer and it is not current viable to pay for commercial ones. (You can contact me through the usual channels – or the PM on MMF – to pick my brains on supports for FDM, of course.)
You can get each model individually (packs would not be viable, given the ever-changing nature of the ranges, especially the moderns), and they will be coming in at about 65p ($0.8) to about £3-4 for the big ones (based on what I have uploaded so far.) Tanks are coming out around the £1 mark.
Models come with the standard (hollow) files for printing in resin or SLS (typically designated with -S or -M), and FDM prints; the post purchase notes will tell which files to use for each type of printing. (Note parts too small to be hollowed out are agnostic to printer type.)
All starships, fighters and VTOLs that are physically large enough have a post hole designed to take a standard 3.2mm or 3mm flight stand (or are supposed to be glued to the top of one) are coming come with a suitable stand and base too. This will be a standard 27mm hex stand or a small base with a 15mm for smaller vessels – you can of course just download the free flight stand pack if you want something different.
Sci-fi models all come with an Entirely Optional Lore excerpt from Bleakbane’s Galaxy Guide in PDF form. (In theory, as it’s not showing up in the files; so, if you do by a still, could you please, PLEASE let me know if this is or is not working properly in my current approach, as I might have to do it another way.)
(The Riposte frigate alone currently has a PDF label, because I forgot to upload that PDF in my first pass, and then put it in a different way; if I have to add the PDFs separately after the fact like that, it will obviously increase the timing more, so I don’t want to do it pre-emptively if I don’t have to.)
The MMF also has a direct link via the physical prints button to the Only-Games store, so you can go look over the ranges while they’re on sale (sale code and details in the post above!)
Updates and releases will also be posted the Story function. (The first of which contains a brief intro, re-iteration of stuff, and a quick FAQ.)
As the store page doesn’t seem to have a terribly good sorting method, I will be using Collections to help you keep tabs of the ranges better; this is no different to at Only-games or Shapeways, but here I’m also going to add collections which are sub-collections of the MG moderns by nation as well. The store page only lets me pin ten to the front, so shortly, you’ll want to go to the collections tab.
As the models have to be manually approved, even when I supply print photos (don’t envy that job…!) there is a delay between me uploading and them becoming visible in the store. (Thus at tie of writing on Saturday, only Thursday’s batch is in the store, though you should be able to see yesterday’s – and today’s – models in the collections regardless.
As with the Only-Games upload, I will be updating this post (at least on Facebook) updated with progress as I upload the various ranges. It is, I’m afraid, slow going (it’s taken two solid days to get just 10% up); so there is NO WAY I’ll be done for Other Partizan next week, but I’m hoping to get a chunk up, at least. (And I have to take some time off next week to deal with a scaling commission and do the Other Partizan prep, such that it is.)
Ranges Currently UP:
Manoeuvre Group Moderns (144)
Alpha Strike force*
British Royal Space Army*
*Uploaded but not in Store page yet
I should note that MMF is subscription service, so it being available long-term is dependent on getting enough through the door to meet at least the 25$ a month fee, so every little helps. I’m going to give it a year, at least, to see if it will sustaining itself; I really hope it does, but we shall have to see.
In other news, I also have a Mastadon account now.
To go with the Twitter one I am just barely remembering to use.
Just as a coda to the whole working tax credit/universal credit nonsense, I got a letter from HMRC saying “you know how we switched you over on our time scale, not yours? Yeah, so because as soon as we decided to swap you over, you ended your working tax credit, you were overpaid, so you have to pay us like £200 back. We’re not ACTUALLY going to tell you how to pay that back in this letter, because that would be convenient; you have to wait for us to send you ANOTHER letter later on you have to worry about instead.”
Fricking world we live in.
So, as I say, no release next month. With a bit of luck, maybe around the time of the moderns or sci-fi release I’ll be able to do a post to say everything is caught up, but we’ll see. (I’ve already had one delay due to illness already…)21/10/2023 at 14:55 #191767
Aotrs Shipyards October 2023 Update and Surprise Release
Just in time for the Spooky Season, I can report that as of yesterday night, the entire Army Of The Red Spear starfleet, ground force and fighter force, in all their highly trained and organised magical space-lich glory, are uploaded to MyMiniFactory!
The starships are up and cleared, though the ground force and fighters won’t get their final checks passed likely until Monday, but you SHOULD be able to see them all under the Aotrs collection on the Shipyards MMF page.)
For that matter, the Aotrs Shipyards sale at Only-Games is still on until the end of November (details below), so if you want so magical space liches in physical form, everything is up there (including the Blackhole, which appears to have been missed as an oversight last time…!) so now is as good a time as ever!
The Aotrs range is the single biggest range for any one power (eclipsed only by Manoeuvre Group Moderns when counted a whole, not as multiple nations). It is been an appalling couple of weeks, which problem after problem on top of the already stressful situation. But I, driven more by stress to get the job done than by anything else, managed to get about 130 models up this week, which takes me to 422 out of around 560-ish models to upload. (The count isn’t identical, since some separate physical models have been collated into one file set.) All the moderns are now up as well, so it’s now basically the back half of the alphabet of the sci-fi to go.
This brings me to today’s surprise release! I said there wouldn’t be a release this month, but as I completed the Aotrs, I decided that I would do one, since it is exclusive to MyMiniFactory due to its size: the 1:300th scale version of the Murder, as seen at Hereward and Other Partizan!
Murder Fightercruiser (300th)
MyMiniFactory (.Stl File) Price: $15* Link
(The fleet scale version is already out… And obviously, I’m NOT going to do a 144th scale one. In fact, as it’s closer to terrain at that size anyway, you’d be better served using the 300th version at that scale anyway!)
*MMF mandatorily works in dollars with no conversion, so it has to be in dollars. Yes, that irritates me a bit as well…
MyMiniFactory Progress Update
The Aotrs being done, and with their surprise release marked a convenient point to make an update post (as I don’t know how many, if any, people have been checking the updates on the prior post); but also because I am basically taking next week off. The start of my working week (Tuesday) is my birthday (which I’d have been taking off anyway), but the events of the past couple of weeks have convinced me I NEED to take it off, before I do myself even more of a health mischief. (I’ve been so tired that I went an entire week without playing anything, so I haven’t really even relaxed. Even last night and this morning, just thinking about this post as a Job To Do was giving me anxiety.)
So, after posting this up, I’ll continue on today and maybe tackle one of the smaller ranges still left to do, but then that will be it basically until the 31st.
So here is where we stand as of today (21/10/2023).
Ranges currently Up:
Manoeuvre Group Moderns (144)
**Moderns uploads completed!**
Alpha Strike force
General Designs Hulls
Aotrs (bar 6mm fighters which are *)
British Royal Space Army
*Uploaded but not in Store page yet
The small mercy is that I have sold enough this first month to cover the MMF subscription fee, so at least for this month, my efforts haven’t been in addition to actively costing me money…
Aotrs Shipyards Sale at Only-Games!
20% off Aotrs Shipyards (physical) products at Only-Games all the way through to November the 30th!
Use code AOTRS20
The small text:
Applies to one-time purchases, no minimum purchase requirements, no usage limits, can’t be combined with other discounts!
Whether or not there is an update next month remains in question (likely not for moderns, though a possibility of releasing some of the elves remains. However, I would quite like to do something actually creative, or at least different after several weeks of hell, so I might instead just do CAD work and/or some more work on Bleakbane’s Galaxy Guide as a break; we’ll see.
For those of you who have not been tracking the updates on the Facebook post, these have included: Mum having her car run into (no physical damage to Mum, but the car is damaged and thus I been helping with the insurance stuff); when my uncle came up for a visit (he’s now arguably as disabled as my mother and frighteningly getting worse every time I see him), so I was helping with him – and on the Friday, Mum’s phone was stolen. (It dropped out of the car in one of two places and was nicked.) So I have had to sort that (make sure everything was cancelled, report to the police, the whole nine yards). I went to get some cash out, and realised I did not remember my PIN (as it was not what I thought I remembered). Because I never used my card at all during lockdown, I totally forgot my previous one, and since, I only get money out once in a blue moon. And because Lloyds treats customers without smart phones as second-class citizens, I have had to wait for a huge amount of time for them to send me a new one. We’ve also had to have our COVID jabs this week as well, so I wasn’t not good yesterday, and none of us had fully recovered from the nasty flu-y cold we had a week or two ago. And for good measure, I am still waiting to be told to pay back the working tax credit I owe, which apparently has been passed to Universal Tax Credit who may (or MAY NOT) follow up on it, and I can’t even chase them for one way or another for another two weeks. I basically HAVE reached my breaking point, to the point that (when I can find the energy and effort to chase it) Mum has said I should go to the doctor’s.31/10/2023 at 19:12 #192108
𝗔𝗼𝘁𝗿𝘀 𝗦𝗵𝗶𝗽𝘆𝗮𝗿𝗱𝘀 𝗦𝗽𝗼𝗼𝗸𝘆 𝗨𝗽𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗲
I am back at it again after my week off. I, unsurprisingly, have not had time to do anythign special – but as a last-minute decision, I jumped a bit ahead and uploaded XGA01, arguably among the most spooky conceptually of the current powers. (The Aotrs are, of course, Actual Skeletons, but they are not as existentially spooky.)
They also have one of the more extensive and narratively-driven Galaxy Guide Entries (as they made their debut in Rolemaster/Spacemaster, and i made an enormous effort when writing up to expand on the already considerable detail). Their lore entry is somewhat closer, perhaps, to a SCP Foundation exploration log (if with a somewhat lesser emphasis on the horror, but its as close as I got to hand!),
So as a special Halloween treat, here is a drove link to the Galaxy Guide entry for XGA01 in full, in PDF form, with all the bells and whistles and is as close to the format for release as I’ve gotten so far. Please have a look, in the spirit of the season!
In addition to XGA01, the Tarrainian Federtion army is also uploaded, and both forces should be available for purchase sometimes tomorrow.
𝗠𝘆𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗶𝗙𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗨𝗽𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗲
𝗥𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲𝘀 𝗖𝘂𝗿𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝗨𝗣:
Updated: End of 31/10/2023
𝗠𝗮𝗻𝗼𝗲𝘂𝘃𝗿𝗲 𝗚𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽 𝗠𝗼𝗱𝗲𝗿𝗻𝘀 (𝟭𝟰𝟰)
**Moderns uploads completed!**
Alpha Strike force
General Designs Hulls
Extra-Galactic Aliens (XGA01)*
British Royal Space Army
*Uploaded but not in Store page yet
𝗔𝗼𝘁𝗿𝘀 𝗦𝗵𝗶𝗽𝘆𝗮𝗿𝗱𝘀 𝗦𝗮𝗹𝗲 𝗮𝘁 𝗢𝗻𝗹𝘆-𝗚𝗮𝗺𝗲𝘀!
As a final reminder, the 20% off Aotrs Shipyards (physical) products at Only-Games sale remains on all the way through to November the 30th!
Use code 𝗔𝗢𝗧𝗥𝗦𝟮𝟬
The small text:
Applies to one-time purchases, no minimum purchase requirements, no usage limits, can’t be combined with other discounts!
In other news, both Maneouvre Group and Maneouvre Group Sci-Fi have pending updates – the latter might have already been done, but any plans for that have been derailed. No time frame yet, but both the MG authors and I have been working on these in the background.21/11/2023 at 13:38 #192745
Update and Black Friday Sale
(Apparently, in my stress, I forgot to crosspost this last week, so I better do it now)
I have, finally and belatedly, put up the Bleakbane’s Galaxy Guide entry for the five Royal Elven Navy ships I have done so far. (The REN fleet consists of ships from a wide variety of manufacturers prior to the Shipyards.)
I plan to release the ships as December’s Sci-Fi release, and the nine ground force models over the next three months, which will neatly lead up to Hammerhead.
You can read the lore on the REN here.
(And that of the Royal Elven Army just above it; use the threadmark feature to find the Quick Look at Royal Elven Kingdoms.)
Moderns releases (both physical and .stl) will resume next month.
Black Friday Sales:
Frack knows. I don’t know if they’re doing a Black Friday sale, and if they are, they probably won’t tell me about it until it’s halfway done.
Accelerate and Attack: Aeons of War (and the other Shipyards Wargames Vault products) will be on sale in theri Black Friday sale at 25% off from November 24th to 27th.
This runs 13th – 28th November, 2023, and is 30% of at MyMiniFactory (use code BLACKFRIDAY23).
As of today, Only-Games annoucned they are are increasing their discount to 30% off over Black Friday weekend itself (24th of November to Tuesday 28th November, use code BLACKFRIDAY30), from their previous 25% off 13th-28th (code BF25OFF).
(Note in both cases. that this will override the Aotrs Shipyards 20% off sale that ends on 30th November).
(From last week) I gave this very considerable thought before opting-in. (I did not twig at the time it also applied to Only-Games.) I have not had any objections to sales on Accelerate and Attack (because 25% off is still Some Money) nor to sales at Only-Games and Shapeways because those were, fundamentally, off the cost of their manufature, not my small mark-up. MMF actually gives me more of tghe share, of course, but my prices on MMF I had already placed at “what is the minimum amount I feel I should charge?” – $0.8 equates to me making just north of 50p. I was thus more or less aiming at “this price is like being on sale all the time” instead of what I would consider the corporately manipulating “the sale price is the real price, so add 25% to the base cost so that when on sale people get the endorphin hit from thinking they are Getting A Good Deal.
So I was seriously considering not putting the sale in at all. However, I am as if you’ve been following, in a position where it feels unwise to turn away the publicity. So this is an experiment. If the sales do genuniely give me a spike in sales, great, it is something to repeat.
As a final note, to re-iterate: Only-games is moving to a subscription model in January, and that means a £25/month fee (on top of the MMF subscription fee). After a spike in summer which did (in September), last month’s sales didn’t reach that. Thus there is a very real, very frightening possibility (even probability) that this cost will make operating an Only-Games store unsustainable (especially as he Shipyards is now my only form of income). That would be a crippling blow, since it would take out the decent physical prints. So if nothing else, if you think you might ever wany any Aotrs Shipyards models in resin… Sooner rather than later, would be my pointed recommendation, because I genuniely do not know for how much longer I will be able to offer it to you.
(From today) I will be doing a full update on the situation the first week of December (when I will be doing the moderns release early), but with current projections, I strongly recommend that if you are ever considering getting anything in resin from the Shipyards, you do it sooner rather than later, as my current projections suggest that if this subscription cost does indeed come in at what they said it would be in January, maintaining the Only-Games shipyards store will be untenable. (I feel uncomfortable saying this, as it is fundamentally FoMO, butI’d rather do that than have some time next year somebody saying “I wanted some of your stuff in the resin, where’s the shop gone?”) I will be looking at options there are, and will report in the aforementioned December update.
If this seems a bit doom and gloom… Sorry, but it kind of is? Not much else I can say about it; that is the bare facts as they stand. Worst financial half-year since the Shipyards started + no working tax credit + very non-trivial operating cost forthcoming makes my outlook rather bleak, I’m afraid.
Finally, I am considering again about releasing more Accelerate and Attack fleet stats as a free download perhaps over December. I think I will have to do it (as a free download) via Wargames Vault (which means ONLY Shipyards fleets this time), because last year… I don’t even know if anyone downloaded it.
Tenatively, I would do it as a PDF, but with the actual ship record blocks (as opposed to the construction stats, baically) as a Word document, as the latter are intended to be cut-and-pasted for your fleet for that scenario (and typically disposed of afterwards). If anyone is interested, has any other preferences – or a particular Shipyards Fleet you want to see stats for, please, please, PLEASE say something. Otherwise I am just throwing my time away working on stuff nobody wants, which is wasteful at best and dispiriting at worst.
(As of today, the resounding silence suggests that this is not going to happen.)22/11/2023 at 19:29 #192791
Very, very quck update: I have since spoken to Only-Games. I’ll make a full annoucement with details when I do the release, but the (positive) upshot is that my Only-Games store will be staying online, but there will be a price increase to compensate coming over December. Just wanted to make a quick note to migitate that FoMO…
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.