This area of the website is my hobby blog, it contains articles about games that I have enjoyed playing together with paining and model making articles.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been converting and painting some Robin Hood miniatures. Can you believe it, 40 years of gaming and I did not have anything suitable in my collection... in any scale! This first batch of ten miniatures has been assemled using Frostgrave plastic soldier bodies and some handy metal conversion pieces that are available from North Star. I particularly like the arms with the Quarterstaff that I have used to make my John Little character.
My good friend Buck Surdu has recently written a series of three Robin Hood scenarios that form a nice narrative campaign for the Feudal Patrol rules system, which was published in Miniature Wargames 459 - July 2021. I'm curruntly putting together miniatures to play the first scenario, False Flag Operation. This scenario really appeals. The Sheriff of Nottingham is trying to erode public support for Robin. He had provided a wagon of 'food aid' which is travelling to a nearby village. He has dressed some of his men up to look like Merry Men to attack the wagon to generate bad publicity... but Robin has heard of the plan and sets of with him men to intervine! The scenario needs two sets of nine 'Merry Men' and 13 Wagon Guards.
This is the second batch of miniatures that I finished yesterday. I have based those on the Sally 4th Hunters set, shown below, keeping the original head on one figure and removing and replacing with heads from the bits box for the others to give some variety.
The Hunters expertly painted by Jon Atter, from the Sally 4th The Villagers range.
The left-hand figure has retained the original hat. I really like it, it really says Merry Men to me, but I wanted all my figures to look different, so side cutters out to snip heads off, file flat and replace with spare heads from bits box.
These three all have new heads. Left hand head is from Frostgrave Cultists, middle one is from Gripping Beast Dark Age Warriors and right hand one is from North Star Robin Hood conversion kit.
I have added something extra to the back of all of the miniatures from the Robin Hood conversion kit, from left to right: hunting horn, deda pheasant, dead rabbit, sword in scabbard.
We have scheduled a day to play these scenarios, so will let you know how they go, in due course.
My good friend Buck Surdu is currently working on a free PDF supplement for Feudal Patrol: The Ancients / Medieval Skirmish system for gaming the exploits of William Tell.
The Tell legend is generally set in 1307 with the famous apple shot to his death in 1354. In his time, the Hapsburg emperors sought to dominate Uri, and Tell vowed to resist Habsburg rule. William Tell was tough mountaineer who was an expert shot with a crossbow. Newly appointed Landsburger Gessler placed a pole in the centre of the town of Altdorf on which he set his hat (or perhaps the emperor's hat) and demanded that all townsfolk bow before it as a sign of obedience. William Tell would not, was outlawed and sentenced to death, although after the famous apple shot he escapes for, in the TV series, 38 episodes of swashbuckling adventure.
I did not have any medieval Austrians or medieval Swiss Resistance in my collection, so have painted these figures up for playing the campaign. I need a few more for both sides, but this was enough to play the first scenario. The miniatures above are the Swiss, unarmoured peasants armed with swords or crossbows. They are mainly 1st Corp miniatures apart from the characters who are made from my bits box... mainly from Frostgrave range
The Austrians are armoured, for the purpose of the scenario they have metal armour on heads, chest and abdomen. These models are also from 1st Corp. In the scenario the Austrains are not equiped with shields, I just added them to my figures so that they could display this lovely coat of arms from the Tyrol region in the 13th Century.
This is the map for the scenario.
This is a small scenario played on a 3-foot by 3-foot table. A group of Austrians has taken up residence in a cabin in the mountains for the night, kicking out the owners. One of the children has slipped away to ask William for help. Tell sees this as an opportunity to kill some Austrian soldiers and gather some weapons and supplies. Tell must kill the Austrians and gather weapons, but he must avoid harming the family. The Austrians can kill Tell, but they get a LOT more points for capturing him.
When Lewis and I played it we had to turn everything 45 degrees as our roads come onto the center rather than the corner of terrain tiles. We had a central building to represent the farmhouse and four roads with trees and other cover between them. We rolled a dice to see who would play which side. Lewis got the Austrians and I got the Swiss.
The Austrians have placed supplies in the storeroom (marked E), represented by four boxes, crates, or barrels. The Austrians also have one cart and four horses, which are located where shown on the map. One group of Austrians and the Officer are in the house. The other two groups of Austrians are placed outside the cabin between six and nine inches from the cabin. They must be deployed as two groups. One Austrian in each group has a crossbow, one has a spear, and the other two have swords. The Frankhauser family is in the cabin: the mother, three daughters, a son, and the father. They begin the game inside the cabin
Half of the Swiss have crossbows and daggers. The other half have swords or spears. William and Hetta must have crossbows. Each Swiss group may enter from one of the four map corners (marked A through D) of their choosing, but no two Swiss groups may enter at the same corner. The Swiss begin the game within six inches of the table edge.
Here we see the Swiss approaching the farmhouse from two directions. The Austrians are doing there best to intercept.
The Swiss put down a volley of crossbow fire with there missile armed troops while the sword armed resistance move up to take the fight to the enemy.
Before long a fierce melee develops at the front and rear of the farmhouse. Two groups of Swiss manage to make it into the Farmhouse, one through the front door and one climbing through a window.
However, at the end of the eight turn the Swiss have not managed to secure any supplies and the Austrians have captured Hetta (Mrs Tell) and 'Bear' Fetog another of the Leaders, so we declared it an Austrian victory... well done Lewis.
As this was a playtest game, we had some observations to feed back to Buck to hopefully make the scenario even better.
Feudal Patrol always gives an exciting and conclusive game and it is certainly refreshing to have the complexity resolved by the clever design of the card-based mechanisms rather than having to cross reference dice rolls on tables in books. If you've not played / heard of Feudal Patrol, you can check it out by clicking here. It covers Ancient to late medieval / renaissance period plus fantasy and there are a growing number of free PDF supplements for specific campaigns, periods or genres.
Over the last couple on months I have been putting together a league for the 2nd Edition of In Her Majestys Name based on Captain Nemo.
The miniatures have been 3D printed in resin from files from Iain Lovecrafts Pirates vs Cthullu kickstarter.
The Nautilus is a Work in Progress, it needs a bit more painting and some shading and weathering. This is also 3D printed from Pirates vs Cthulu this time on an Ender 5 FDM printer using PLA.
My good friend Mike Strong has helped me out with defining the stats for Nemos Crew in IHMN.
We've not played a game with them, hoping to very soon so the stats are subject to change, in which case I will update them here.
The bridge is 3D printed from Iain Lovecrafts 'The Frost' Kickstarter and the Lighthouse was 3D printed from a free file from Thingiverse.
Last week Mike and I got together to play our first game of Stargrave.
Mike has modelled a Starwars themed crew using models from Star Wars Legion.
I have put together an Albedo themed crew, based on the Interstellar exploration of the Creationist who set off on a voyage of exploration to answer the questions, who created us and to what purpose. I have covered collecting and converting these models in an earlier hobby blog, click here to take a look.
The scenario is set in the hanger bay and surrounding rooms on board a spaceship.
We decides it was going to be best to deploy from opposite corners rather than opposite sides.
The creationists are working on getting the door open to the hanger bay.
Once into the main hanger bay the crew spreads out, my captain (she is the cat looking at a datapad), is a mystic. One of her first actions is to invoke her void blade.
Mike's troopers deploy into the hanger bay, making best use of cover. His leader (also a mystic) invokes void blade, jumps down and starts heading for the loot.
The black wall is my captains 'Hollographic Wall', cast to give the crew some protection against shooting as the head for the loot.
After a brief exchange of fire my Exective Officer (the mouse in the pink jumpsuit), takes a hit and is down for the remainder of the mission.
The troopers have made it into the main computer room and are busy downloading the data loot tokens.
The troopers scorned the Holographic Wall and closed for melee, the physical loot sitting unreachable between us.
My codebreaker (the hedgehog with the data pad has managed to pick up some loot and is heading for the exit.
The fight in the hanger bay intensifies and my captain and a recruit have backed away to make best use of cover.
Although not shown in the photographs, our explorers were also troubled by a bounty hunter and some space pirates attracted by the noise.
Here we see my grenadier taking cover behind some crates, he was particularly useful while a Husky Dog trooper attempts to divert attention before the recruit is sliced to pieces by the void blade.
It was a very enjoyable game, my crew gained and Advanced +1 Carbine, my Captain Lana Acal gained a level and improved her ability to invoke suggestion, and we both learnt a lot about the game. We are certainly looking forward to playing many more games of Stargrave.
The Hanger bay terrain and shuttle featured in the Sally 4th 'Shuttles and Spacers' Kickstarter. They are curruntly available through Gamefound, click here for details.
Last Saturday Lewis and I got together (over Zoom) to play Discworld themed Pulp Alley.
Deep beneath the Unseen University, the Chair of Grotesque Biologies had accidently opened up a portal to the Dungeon Dimension. Demons were now flooding through the Portal. The Faculty needed to dispatch the demons back to their own dimension and close the portal before some escaped into town.
We played the game co-operatively with two player leagues facing off against two leagues worth of greater and lesser demons. We felt that the Wizards of the Unseen University should be Leaders and Sidekicks, so this let us field more on the table. The player leagues consisted of Ridcully, Rincewind, Sybil and Err the baby dragon, controlled by Lewis. They approached the basement though and earthen secret tunnel that ended in a secret door in the Chair of Grotesque Biologies bedroom.
The second Faculty league, played by me, consisted off the Bursar, The Librarian, Farbul Wuther the Chair of Grotesque Biology and Igor. Both leagues used The Company of Heroes perk to take a second sidekick. The four basement doors had been 'wizard locked' automatically, as a precaution when the portal had been opened. The doors formed the minor plot points for the scenario. The major plot point was closing the portal to the dungeon dimension. The whole of the dungeon counted as a 'difficult area', so moving over 6" would require a peril to be overcome. Both Lewis and I rolled up a perilous area as our pre-game events. These were placed D8 inches in a random direction from the centre of the table. These were represented by the patches of crystals. Opening the portal had obviously triggered other chaos such as these icy crystal patches.
Ridcully’s team moves up to the secret door, and manage to overcome the challenge and open the door with ease.
Rincewind is sent running across the bedroom to be in position to attempt the next wizard locked door next turn. He manages to avoid the perils of running across the dungeon floor.
Meanwhile the greater demon has managed to break through the enchantments on the study door at the same time as the Bursar and his team burst into the main hall.
After some initial setbacks, Ridcully and Rincewind have the connecting door between the bedroom and the main hall opened.
Rincewind takes up position using the banquet table as cover and starts to hurl fireballs in the direction of the emerging demons. We renamed many of the standard Pulp Alley abilities to make them more in keeping with swords and sorcery gaming.. Long Burst for example became Fireblast!
'Err', the baby dragon also hid behind the table and used his fiery breath (Long burst) to hose down the demons. The combination of these two fire attacks left the first Greater Demon in a weakened state allowing 'The Librarian' to charge and rip it to pieces... 'Go Ape!'
A couple of turns later and a second greater demon enters the fray and is subject to the same treatment. We started with One Greater Demon and two Lesser Demons in play. Each turn a fortune card was turned and if the next demon reinforcement could pass the challenge based on its stats it was placed on the portal pool.
The second Greater Demon had suffered two wounds from fireball blasts and an attack from The Librarian. I only had Igor left to activate. In a scenario where the adversaries were all Greater and Lesser Demons, we did not expect that our 'Allies' such as Igor would achieve much.
I said jokingly to Lewis, “I wonder if Igor can finish off that Demon? All he needs to do is pass a Horror check, without taking an adverse effect, pass a cunning check to overcome the Demon's 'Intimidating' ability and then inflict a wound!”... and that is exactly what he did, we could not believe it. He was helped by the fact that he had previously failed a Horror Check, but the result had been 'Rage' that added a dice to his brawl ability. Brawling was already what Igor did best, his 3D6 was raised to 4D6. The demon had two wounds and had already been in combat so his 3D10 brawl had been reduced to 2D6. In the end both Igor and the Demon scored hits and both failed health checks to go down... however at the end of the turn Igor passed his recovery check to get back on his feet and the Demon failed and was banished back to the Dungeon Dimension.
Igor was rightfully awarded the 'Man of the Match' award for his efforts.
Meanwhile, Ridcully has made it into the study / workshop where another Lesser Demon was emerging from the Portal.
Back on his feet Igor to is attacked by another Lesser Demon, he inflicts a wound, but eventually goes down.
Riduclly is joined by The Bursar and the Chair of Grotesque Biology.
We were running out of time, but on the last turn Ridcully manages to overcome the last plot point challenge and seal the portal.
The University and town are safe for another day!
This was an excellent game, exciting and in the balance right down to the last few rolls of the last turn.
I'd played Pulp Alley as co-operative play once before, with Dave Phipps when we went up against 'The Thing' Lewis had not played it this way, but we both agreed that it had been a lot of fun, a different gaming experience, and that we would do it again, sometime soon.
The fantasy miniatures 'inspired by fantasy literature' are all available as part of the Guards Guard Kickstarter campaign. Click here for details.
The terrain is 3D printed using mainly files from Printable Scenery.
Click here to take a look at what is available for Pulp Alley.
On Wednesday Mike and I got together to play a couple of games of Thud & Blunder based on The Unseen University and The Watch from Guard's Guards by Terry Pratchet using the new Sally 4th miniatures inspired by the books. Our first adventure takes place in the basements below the Unseen University. The Meritous Professor of Grotesque Biology has accidently opend up a portal to the Dungeon Dimensions and some pretty grotesque Dungeon Denizens have taken the opportunity to cause chaos in the prime material plane.
Here we see them emerging and making an awful mess of the Professor of Grotesque Biology’s study.
Looks like Rincewind was 'helping out'. I wonder if he can run faster than a Dungeon Denizen Chaos Gribbly!
Looks like he's made it into the main eating chamber, but I don't think the Dungeon Denizen is far behind him, and I don't think it came alone.
Help is at hand Modo the Gnome caretaker has brought help in the form of The Chair of Grotesque Biology, The Bursar, Professor Ridculy and The Librarian.
The Chair and the Librarian attempt the subtle approach of Fireballing the door into submission.
Meanwhile Modo leads the Bursar and Ridcully right flanking along the corridor at the run.
Rincewind barely gets into the main chamber before a Lesser Denizen bursts through the study door after him.
The door proved resistant to fireballs, so the Librarian 'goes ape' and attempts to remove the door from its hinges.
Things are looking a bit bleak for Rincewind who now faces off against four Lesser Denizens.
No one is more surprised than Rincewind, when despite being cursed he manages to dispatch one of the hideous creatures.
The Librarian and the Chair of Grotesque Biology finally manage to batter down the door and sprint across the chamber to take on the demonic beings. They are nearly knocked flat on there faces by Rincewinds sudden desire to be elsewhere.
The door to the right hand passage gives way under the storm of magical attacks from Ridcully and The Bursar and the giant horror heads in there direction.
The Librarian shows off some tasty martial arts moves, and while the Denizen is distracted head butts it into oblivion. Rincewind regains his composure and assists the Chair by blessing him prior to his fire ball attack on the approaching Lesser Denizen.
After a couple of turns of going toe to tentacle with the Greater Denizen, who had squeezed into the passageway, Ridcully aided by a Blessing from the Bursar petrifies the beast. Once turned to stone all Ridcully needs to do is dispatch some first year students armed with chisels and hammers to disassemble and reassemble in his trophy room, with all those tentacles and other appendages, as a coat stand, it will be the talk of the University for years to come.
I've been a big fan of Frostgrave ever since the first edition was launched. It seemed to me that our new range of Guard's Guard fantasy miniatures, inspired by Sir Terry's Discworld would be perfect for a themed Frostgrave warband. They might not be about to win any competitions, but to me that is secondary to having good fun.
Here, we see the complete Warband, posing for the camera before heading North to the Frozen City. I do hope Captain Carrot has packed some warmer clothes! The more observant may have noted the 11th man. Ridcully has 'Animate Construct' in his spellbook and will invariably attempt to create 'Porter' on turn one.
The Warband is led by the great mage himself, Ridcully. His magic backed up by his trusty crossbow.
Wizard, apprentice and animated construct. Ridcully has taken Rincewind under his wing and is hoping to bring him on a bit. I'm not sure if Rincewind is running into trouble or away from danger, only time will tell.
I've decided that magic from Wizards of the Unseen University is either big complicated rituals carried out over time in the background or is immediate, loud and straightforward. For this reason, I've made Ridcully an Elementalist and given him Element Bolt, Element Ball and Destructive Sphere as his core spells. That should teach them... failing that, it's a double tap with the trusty crossbow.
The specialist soldiers are Err... a baby dragon (Warhound), Captain Carrot (Templar), Vimes (Knight) and The Libraian (Barbarian).
Which leads us to the PBT (poor bloody thugs). Look's like Vimes has rounded up four watchmen, skiving to make up the numbers, (Raymond, Arthur, Harold and Terry). I hope it is not to dangerous where they are going.
That's my starting Warband. There are more Guard's Guard miniatures available in the Kickstarter, so we may have some substitutions over time.
I've made the Roster sheet for theGuard's Guard Frostgrave Warband available as a download as well. Click here to download it.
Last week Elton, John and I got together over zoom to enjoy another play test game of Goblin Civil War.
The war ravaged village of "estis de orros" famous for being so poor they steal each others washing as a job, and corn. On the Right you see the Regulars of the "3rd Regimentia Du Malsos" supported by the crew of the gunboat "Vagrant" and the local police of the Gardia muncipale. on the left you see the local "Arriopos workers Miltia" AWM for short supported by the armed monks and nuns of the local the Abbey De Bartolos, named after Siant Bartolos the beligerant.
Du Malsos command and De Orros gardia advance through the cornfields to the south of the village.
The crew of the Vagrant support the flank of the Du Malsos as they advance on the ruins of the town.
On the left you can see the AWM dogpack and the Bartolene monks as they advance to meet the regimantias command group.
The bulk of the AWM commit to retaking the town, passing the gardia station as they go.
The Crew of the Vagrant managed to occupy the towns northern ruins.
The Du Malsos advance to occupy the town centre.
The AWM mount a desperate charge to clear out the crew of the Vagrant from the ruins.
... and they pull it off!
Overall a AWM victory the village has been retaken however there is a still pockets of resistance on the cornfields and houses of the south of the village.
We are getting used to playing miniatures games over Zoom, so this played very well, however it's not quiet the same as face to face gaming, however it does allow us to help Elton with his playtesting and development of the Goblin Civil War game.
The Goldfinch, an SOE agent carries top secret plans for a heavy water plant being constructed in Norway as part of the Nazi's atomic weapons research. It is vital to the allied war effort that the plans are recovered to aid there own research and to enable a commando mission to be dispatched to destroy the factory. The only thing worse than the Nazi's recovering the Goldfinch and her secrets are if the fell into the hands of Red Skull & Hydra.
Sainte-Marine is a small Breton village with a harbour
The Goldfinch has managed to keep her identity hidden. She has recruited a cell of resistance fighters in Saint-Marine, if the characters can make contact with them they may be able to identify 'The Goldfinch' so she can be approached.
Andre the cafe owner
Madame Gagnon the post mistress
Claudette the Nun
Jerome the Travelling Salesman
... as you may have noticed, the Gendarme are everywhere and they are always on the look out for agents. The area within a large template of a Gendarme counts as a perilous area. At the end of the turn they move D8" in a random direction, unless there has been combatwithin 12" in which case they move towards the character who has taken the most combat actions, i.e. has the most 'Pow' tokens on there base. There's also a couple of dogs, they are a small perilous area, they can bark and give a charcater away. They also move D8" in a random direction.
As if this was not enough trouble for the characters to deal with, there is a traitor within 'The Goldfinch's' network. One of the reward cards in the reward deck is 'It's a trap'. If this is revealed, this contact allerts the German authorities and a patrol is dispatched. The Patrol consists of a German Officer and four German Soldiers. They will enter up to 6" table on edge closest to the contact that alerted them at the end of the turn the trap was sprung. The player who did not attempt plot point that revealed the trap will place them. On turn they are deployed they can shoot at any character within 12" that has taken combat action that turn, shooting at closest. On subsequent turns, if there is a character within 12" that has taken a combat action they will move 6" towards them, otherwise they will move D8 in a random direction and shoot if there is a character within 12" that has taken a combat action.
I will be playing this scenario this afternoon with Mike Strong... his first go at Pulp Alley, so will update later in the week to let you know how Captain America and Red Skull fare in Saint-Marine!
Pulp Alley curruntly has a Kickstarter running for the new Pulp Alley Starter set, a new book of characters and a scenario book together with some lovely looking new miniatures. Click here to take a look.
Update 6th June:
Last week Mike Strong and I got together to play through this scenario. We assigned the leagues randomly, Mike got Hydra and I got Captain America. The potential contacts were placed on the table, we each took turns to place them. The scenario objective, 'The Goldfinch' was not placed at this point, we needed to wait for a tip off from a contact to identify her wherabouts.
I split my league in two to double my chances of finding a lead, one group was lead by Agent Carter, the other by Captain America. The Captains group headed to talk to Madame Gagnon the post mistress, but Hydra were also on there way and 'Bucky' Barnes was caught in the crossfire and became the first casualty of the encounter.
In a dark alley way, the Hydra Team leader waylaid Jerome the Travelling Salesman, who was suspicious of the strange outfit and jet back and landed a quick blow before making a hasty escape from the encounter.
Dr Zola, Red Skulls sidekick led his troops towards the town center, avoiding the perils of the local Gendarme and stray dogs.
Captain America attempts to convince Madame Gagnon that he can be trusted, but struggles with the Brittany accent. Madame is suspicious and moves on.
Meanwhile, on the docks, Agent Carters code phrase is recognised by Claudette the Nun, who tells Carter how she will recognise the Goldfinch. The plot point is resolved, and we get to place 'The Goldfinch' on the table.
Red Skull crosses the square and heads towards Agent Carter and her troops with the intention of forcing Carter to reveal what she knows.
We placed 'The Goldfinch' in what we thought would be a safe location, and Carter hurried towards the rendeauvous. We had underestimated the usefulness of Hydras Jet Packs, which they used to great effect for there Grenadier and Gunner to fly over the buildings to cover the approaches to 'The Goldfinchs' location.
In the firefight, Dum-Dum Duggan and the Hydra Gunner go down, and Agent Carter closes to make contact with the SOE agant.
The last thing she needs is Red Skull to contend with. Captain America tries to distract and the trip up Red Skull and 'Pinky' Pinkerton manages to catch him under the blast of his SMG.
However, the action in the back streets is hotting up, the Hydra Grenadier manages to get a grenade on target. Carter is wounded in the blast.
Meanwhile, Dr Zola manages to persuade Jerome that he can be trusted, and he to is given the location of the 'Goldfinch'. In this scenario, this information is crucial as only a character who has gained the information about 'The Goldfinch' can attempt to approach her to resolve the major plot point. At this point both Agent Carter and Dr Zola have this information.
... but unfortunately the allready wounded Agent Carter is taken down by a burst from the Hydra Gunner. This means that Captain Americas league no longer knows how to cantact the SOE agent.
Captain America had another attempt at making contact via The Postmistress, but time was against him. In the last two turns of the game, Americas early lead was reversed and the game ended with 'The Goldfinch' slipping into the Brittany night, with neither leage learning her secrets, (for now).
Links for further information:
Having been a big fan of Frostgrave right from the beginning, and also a big fan of Albedo Anthropomorphics, when Stargrave was launched it made perfect sense to combine the two and put together some Stargrave crews from the Albedo universe. After talking to my great friend and Albedo author, Mike Wilson we identified five Albedo crew backgrounds that would be perfect for Stargrave. These were:
I've decided to start with the Creationist Crew. This crew is from Arras Chanka, maybe even the crew of UH4, the first jump enabled ship, the Captain is a mystic and her mission is to discover who has created them and why? If you're not familiar with the Albedo universe, I've added Mike's description of the awakening and the search for information on creation at the bottom of the article.
I made a start yesterday, putting the first four miniatures together using a mixture of pieces from the Stargrave Crew plastic box set and parts from the Albedo ACP164 miniatures range. The pieces are very compatible as the albedo miniatures have all been designed as bodies with separate heads and arms. The two miniatures in the centre will be the Captain and Executive Officer. I wanted these to both be female characters, and as there are not female Stargrave miniatures available yet I used an Albedo female officer and female civilian body with arms from the plastic Stargrave set. I also put together a Chiseler using a crew body, arms with spanner and an Albedo rabbit head and a trooper armed with a carbine using Stargrave parts with the addition of an Albedo Husky dog head and tail.
Update 21st May
Captain & Executive Officer
Husky Trooper and Rabbit Chiseler
In the hanger bay with an Aerodyne and some cargo!
Once upon a time, on a planet that the natives called Arras Chanka, history began. The date of that event has since been set at Standard Date (SD) -54-2-8. Since Arras Chanka orbits its star in roughly the same position as the Earth orbits Sol, and has roughly the same size and mass, they also have 12 months of about 30 days each. Dates in Albedo are expressed as SD yyy-mm-dd.
Things had clearly been happening before that point, but it was the time when individual critters began to realise that nobody was really sure how their civilisation had come to be, where their technology came from or why they all looked so different from one another.
The realisation led to an intensive period of examination over a two year period which established that not only was there no historical or archaeological evidence of anything before ‘the awakening’, but there was no genetic evidence of any relationship between the 163 distinct species that inhabited the planet. Although they were all based on the same basic genetic ‘frame’ there was no blood or tissue compatibility, and no interbreeding was possible. By a process of elimination, the Arras Chankans concluded that they had all been created for an unknown reason, by an unknown agency at some point in the recent past – nobody has yet proved or disproved this theory.
Because there was no evidence of the creating agency on the planet, considerable effort was put in to adapting the existing technology to achieve interstellar space travel. Space probes were launched to explore their own system in SD-45, and the first critters left orbit in SD-39.
By SD-27, permanent space colonies had been established in the Arras Chanka system, on planetary bodies, asteroids and permanent space stations. Scientists were busily exploring further afield, using ships powered by a newly invented fusion drive. Improvements in this technology led to the discovery of a jump drive in SD-17, and a decade later, the first crewed jump-capable ship boosted from Arras Chanka to boldly go etc…
The launch of this ship - the UH4 - and the successful completion of its exploration mission was considered so significant that all future dates would be calculated from that point in time, known as SD0.
Update 15th June
I have just finished painting all 10 miniatures for my Stargrave Albedo Creationist Crew.
Apart from the Grenadier, whose body is based on long out of production Void plastic infantry, all of the rest of the crew are built using a mixture of Stargrave Crew, Frostgrave Soldier II, and Albedo ACP164 Critter Conversion Kits parts. More details to follow, later in the week.