An Itch That Must Be Scratched…

Hawk / TT Combat (Troll Trader) Dropfleet Commander…. but for Ground Zero Games Full Thrust?

Once upon a time we had an itch. Space Fleet Combat. We looked into a lot of games and settled on both Dropfleet Commander as well as Full Thrust. We collected vast armadas of Dropfleet ships at great prices as the popularity of the game waned. We painted a few but did not make great progress. We decided we had too many interests and not enough time so we decided to cut our Space Fleet Combat project. Everything went to eBay.

Then recently the itch came back and a mate was getting rid of his Dropfleet Commander Kickstarter pledge bundle… in exchange for a very modest donation to his retirement fund we have now replaced a fraction of what we had before.

And thanks to some comparison shopping at Spiel 2022 in Essen a couple of days ago we have a cool new Deep Cut Studio “blue nebula” 6×4 mat to replace the washed out looking Deep Cut Studio “star field” mat we used to have. It was the first Deep Cut Studio mat I was a bit disappointed in band I really, really like the new one and it will work a treat for Full Thrust Continuum.

Full Thrust Continuum

Now I need to decide if we should get a Dropfleet Commander 4×4 night time planetary surface mat for Dropfleet. I am undecided if we will actually play Dropfleet orbital fighting or just focus on Full Thrust deep space fighting.

If anyone has some leads on Full Thrust SSD’s for Dropfleet ships I would love to hear them….

We missed Tactica in Hamburg this year but we did manage to get to Spiel in Essen. The largest game convention in Europe I believe. It was much busier than last year. Wargaming is only a small part of the show and there was a lot for Little GG but Brexit has played its part in reducing the British gaming community attendance. And with Crisis in Antwerp also cancelled, the absence was sorely felt. However, there were still a few folks from the UK…

While at Spiel poor Colin of Battle Systems (Core Space) was very tolerant of my attempts to talk his ear off. In addition to his excellent artistic skills he is remarkably patient. I am terrible for taking photos at conventions, always forgetting to do so, and the only photos I got from the convention are some shots from the Battle Systems stall.

Battle Systems Core Space First Born & Maladrum

In addition to the Core Space First Born miniatures they had the Maladrum miniatures for their upcoming Kickstarter.

Battle Systems Core Space First Born & Maladrum

I absolutely the paintwork they had on their miniatures.

Battle Systems Core Space First Born

And I let these help inspire me when I finally get around to painting mine. As you may already know, I am a big fan of Battle Systems and their Core Space Games.

Battle Systems Core Space First Born Rock WORM

Battle Systems has excellent customer service and I can not recommend them highly enough.

In other news, getting caught up…… “Andor” continues to impress and “Rings of Power” is becoming increasingly….. disappointing.

Do not get me wrong, “Rings of Power” has some great bits but some of the writing, retcons and plot holes just make my head hurt. The scale seems…. off. Not enough people on the screen (Covid regulations?) for the story they are trying to tell. The individual fight choreography seems fine but the bigger battle choreography seems off to me. I can already foresee the “YouTube pitch meeting video” talking about things being “…. barely an inconvenience actually…” and do not get me going on the Mithril plot line or Celeborn.

“Andor” gets right what “Rings of Power” gets wrong. Both look amazing but “Andor” suspends disbelief with its amazing world building and interesting characters.

I did like when Mrs. GG said that the Harfoot leader reminded her of me. He is a cool character. And Adar is an interesting villain. Surprisingly Elendil has taken a turn to become annoying though. Sigh.

And for another surprise….

The second half of season 11 “The Walking Dead” is proving to be better than the first half.

I am surprised to find the Commonwealth plot more engaging than I was expecting. It is old ground that should feel tired and well worn but for some reason I am beginning to actually care what might happen next. That said, since I am starting to like the West Point Graduate (Mercer) I think his life expectancy has dropped off the chart. Of course he still does not act enough like a real soldier in my opinion but at least the character is getting a little depth. Speaking of soldiers in “The Walking Dead”, here is something I said on the DakkaDakka forum.

“The Reapers (thanks for reminding me of the name of the Purge-like group that I forgot the name of) came across more like just another biker gang than the US Army trained combat veterans they were supposed to be. The ghillie wearing “sniper” and the Reaper leader in particular came across more as a militia wannabe soldiers than a trained combat veterans. Even Negan’s Saviors came across more real world military than the Reapers. Not that the Saviors were very soldierly. 

There have been soldiers, sailors and cops in the show… Fear of the Walking Dead had uniformed troops at the start (remember the one US soldier who gets tortured by one of the protagonists?), Walking Dead had Abe and the soldiers the Governor ambushed, World Beyond had several military characters, including scenes of uniformed troops at the outbreak. Generally they have been portrayed as incompetent and unprofessional (the protagonist who tortured the US Soldier I mentioned earlier is an exception on the competence to a certain degree, his physical skills seem fine but he has severe mental health issues that degrade his overall competence) and almost all of them as just not very soldier like. Same for the Cops in Atlanta. Uniformed bullies looking out for themselves… which may be how a lot of non-Cops see the Police but from my experience not very authentic to real Cops. Rick in the beginning came across to me as an actual Cop trying to adjust to a new paradigm even if his behavior was not technically very cop-like most of the time. It is part of what originally drew me into the show. But the more I watched the more it looked like Rick was a stereotype of a “good cop” and Shane a stereotype of a “bad cop” from the perspective of people who have never made an arrest themselves. 

I have been a soldier and a cop. There are certain things, certain habits and mannerisms that form part of the culture surrounding those fields. Any veteran on this board should know what I am talking about. Is is not just fingers off the trigger and shouting clear after entering room. Captain Dale Dye and his folks at Warriors Inc. have a way of bringing those things that bring authenticity to the screen when they are listened to… which is not often enough. 

If a show can not speak with authenticity to give a voice for soldiers and cops then I would rather they just stick with the voices they can do justice to. So sure focus on civilians surviving the zombie apocalypse and keep the military off screen… or just hire and listen to some of the numerous veterans looking for work right now.”

Captain Dale Dye and Warriors Inc.

It would be great to see “Hollywood” also try to heal the rift between Police and the Public but that would take more work from Police then it seems many Cops (and Police Bosses) are willing to put in right now. The wounds run deep on both sides. Minorities often feel unheard and it is great when movies/tv shows can give those who feel unheard a voice. Both Black and Blue Lives Matter.

What are your thoughts on all this?



  1. Those Core Space minis look pretty fantastic! We rewatched Rogue One last weekend, and the main actor for Andor wasn’t as bad as I remembered. Which means I might actually end up liking Andor even more. Will see, probably 2 more weeks before we start on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really love the paint work on those Core Space minis. And since I love the sculpts as well, it helps explain why I am such a fan of Core Space.

      Mrs. GG and I are thinking we will really enjoy rewatching Rogue One once Andor reaches its conclusion.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I definitely enjoyed Andor more the second time around. Though I didn’t feel as much tension/sadness towards the end as I did at first. Probably because I already knew what was going to happen.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish the whole Star Wars collect would be more like “Andor” or “Rouge One”. As for “Rings of Power”, I want to like it, but it just seems to move too slow. I’ll power through it, well because I’m a LofR nerd!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Interestingly, I don’t find “Andor” slow, it’s just not a story about shooting things, it’s really just leading to one big battle. What I really like is that it is more realistic, in that war is more about the planning because engagements a quick and violent. Honestly, the whole feel is more like watching a Bank Robbery from the view of the bank robbers – think “Den of Thieves” (and if you’ve never seen that movie, do).
        I just really like that the stupid comedic scenes are not present, that era Empire is portrayed as a reasonably scary military force (still a little WWII campy German solider like, but better than any of other Star Wars films or shorts).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Perhaps I should have said, slow but not too slow. I am enjoying the pace of Andor so far. Some folks have said it is too slow but I am relishing how it is taking it’s time to build suspense.

        I wish more directors would realize that competent villains make the heroes look more competent. I have been trying to get through Clone Wars and the comedic failures of the Separatist Droid army are painful to watch. Hard to cheer the heroes when you start to feel sorry for the bumbling droid screaming, “We’re gonna die!”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It looks like you’ve got some Sci-Fi gaming in your future, mate! I’m glad you’re enjoying Andor so much. I thought the last episode of Rings of Power was a bit slower than most people would like. I don’t mind a slow show in general but after the previous exciting episode, it was a bit disappointing. My other minor complaint was that nearly everyone survived the cataclysmic event which I thought was kind of an odd choice by the writers.

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    • Andor is not perfect but I am loving it so far. RoP just keeps making me shake my head with its writing. Some excellent scenes but also too much poor writing. Slow I do not mind, as long as it is building character depth and the world itself. I expect something trying to reflect the worldbuilding of Tolkien to be a bit slow. But I want it to make sense. Having a character with a critical abdominal wound go horse riding does not make sense. Orcs hearing a sword pulled partially from its sheath does not make sense. A combat veteran leader wandering off from a disaster scene without making an effort to organize recovery attempts does not make sense. The survival rate of that cataclysmic scene…. Just does not make sense. Still… the show has good music. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Will Core Space and Dropfleet Commander intersect at some point? I’m amazed at you and Mrs GG’s range of gaming interests, it is good to see vs the single focus that is prevalent on most blogs.

    Also glad that you are getting some enjoyment out of Walking Dead, it has been a long road for you.

    Besides the mithril part of ROP, what bothers me the most and the reason I stopped watching Game of Thrones is their lack of adherence to time and space in regards to geography. Don’t bother showing maps if you don’t how they work. (end of geography/cartography major rant) It is a show I will watch once but lacks repeatability for me.

    I didn’t bother going back to War of the Worlds, found I wasn’t missing it or caring about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I could use the Dropfleet ships to play Full Thrust in the Core Space setting. That makes the most sense I suppose. But then we would also be adding more to the Core Space setting. And trying to find ways to make use of Five Parsecs from Home and Stargrave to create custom Core Space scenarios… as well as add Klingons and Xenomorphs.

      Yesterday I even had a wild idea to paint the Dropfleet UCM ships as Amarr ships from EVE Online.

      It does feel good to get some entertainment out of Walking Dead again but the military stuff is still criminally bad. The plot point about “the American dream is a sham, the rich will always feed off the poor” was a bit painfully on the nose.

      You make a fair point on RoP with the failure to account for time and distance. That is failing cinematography 101. So far it has been a show I would only watch once but I keep hoping the writing will improve.

      I watched War of the Worlds episode 1 of season 2… ugh! I am amazed at how the showrunners could make season 2 even more depressing.


      • All the discussion on Andor tells me I need to give it another viewing.

        Rings of Power gets some things right, showing the horses being loaded with slings but then immediately discarding that and showing horses at full gallop across a field. Nevermind that it would a facility to unload them, recover from a sea voyage, etc. Don’t know if you saw the articles about other businesses that also bid on LOTR, Netflix wanting to do an Gandalf series and a Aragorn drama ala Marvel approach and HBO basically wanted to focus on the third age, basically redoing the movies. Just wished that Amazon had gotten better writers.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Somehow I missed the scene of the horses being loaded with slings. The cavalry use was completely nonsensical and looked to me like it was more about wanting to have cool images on the screen than to really think out how cavalry works both militarily and practically. Ordering a cavalry charge across unknown, uneven ground into a confined space is insanity. But hey, Jackson made unsupported cavalry “look cool and effective” for a number of folks so it looks like we are stuck with more of it.

        I had recently heard other networks had pitched Tolkien shows and out of them all Amazon won. I completely agree on wishing Amazon had gotten better writers.


      • Thanks. The horse on sling was in the background of one of the harbor scenes, come to think of it not necessarily the excursion loading. While Peter Jackson popularized the cavalry charging for the newer generation, it goes back to the old westerns where the cavalry would charge or chase for miles. I think John Ford was the only one who got it right, walk to canter to charge.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mrs. GG tells me she remembers seeing that during the excursion loading. I must have been focused on something else in the scene. There are so many beautiful things to look at in the show.

        And yes, you make a fair point on Hollywood cavalry!


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