Sunday, 27 June 2010

Paper...I forgot to mention paper!

In both of my previous posts I mentioned all sorts of model making options for providing both air and ground support for your Grymn armies.

I am one of those army collectors who like a bit of solidity to my vehicles and am prepared to pay what I think is fair for that privilege. I am not alone when it comes to liking a bit of weight to my vehicles, HOWEVER...there is another option...paper vehicles.

I may look down my nose at paper models but there is a huge amount of merit to them. First of all, there are loads of sci-fi paper models out there, many covering subjects like available video-game vehicles and the more unusual film well as the standard 'home-made' designs so there is plenty of variety to chose from. Secondly, you don't have to build them with paper or can download the plans and build them with plasticard so that you get the solidity and weight that scratch-building provides without having to come up with your own designs. There is also the matter of price. Once you have spent a small amount of money to download the PDF for the plans, you can print them as many times as you like...that means a one off purchase can provide you with hundreds of vehicles if you wish. You can also change the scale of the plans just by adjusting your printer settings. Many of the paper models also come with a choice of colours in the PDF so that you can have a set of vehicles for all occasions and in different colours. Finally, if you don't like painting...paper models are perfect because they usually come fully painted, weathered and as long as you are neat when you glue them together, they don't need painting.

A few providers of paper models are:

Ebbles Miniatures

World Works Games

I would add a huge list but a quick search on Google will throw up hundreds of links to free downloads rather than the pay-for ones I've linked to above. You will have to just accept that because I am not 'in-to' the whole paper thing, that I don't really know where to start looking.

...HOWEVER, with a tiny amount of search-fu, I have come up with this rather nice link to something worth looking into:

Halo Pelican Dropship

Happy hunting!

Air support...

So, we've covered some of the ground support options in the last post, now lets think about air support.

Air support is as wide and varied as ground support. It can be as simple as a fighter aircraft, flying low and strafing the ground with machine gun fire or as complicated as an orbital drop-ship, capable of descending through the atmosphere with a payload of troops, dropping them off and then hanging around to give weapon support while they advance. Let's start, as we did last time, with what is available from a war-gaming model perspective.

War-gaming air support

Again, we'll start with the obvious choice of Games Workshop plastic injection kits. In the Imperial guard line, there is the Valkyrie; a sci-fi version of a helicopter heavy-lifter. The Tau range has a selection of anti-gravity vehicles ranging from the Devilfish troop carrier, through heavy support Hammerheads and Sky-rays to the lightly equipped, 2 man scout skimmer Piranhas. The Eldar have everything from troop carriers to jet bikes and even the Space Marines have Landspeeders to add some lightly armoured ground support. If you want to continue on the Games Workshop theme, their sister company; Forgeworld, have further fliers to add to the mix but they tend to cost a lot more because they are resin.

Old Crow Models also have a few VTOL support craft in the guise of the Raven, Crow and Splinter. These are resin and are 25mm scale so are small enough for the Grymn to use.

Scotia Grendel has the resin, Corvus drop-ship in their Grendel sci-fi section.

Antenociti's Workshop has a couple of resin fliers including jet-bikes and even a city hopper.

...and to be brutally honest, I can't think of any more! There really are a lack of companies making wargaming fliers for sci-fi...particularly drop-ships.

Modern/Sci-fi model kits

Generally speaking, the 1/48th scale aircraft kit industry has thousands of kits available for conversion. I'm not going to list company names because there are so many out there that produce 1/48th scale models. All it takes is a little imagination and you can convert a Chinook into a VTOl for sci-fi, A Commanche into a ground attack VTOL, A Hercules into a Drop-ship and a host of modern jet aircraft into some form of fighter/ground support aircraft...the sky is the limit. If you look a bit further afield, there are a lot of sci-fi kits the Macross and Mospeada range. They have a great selection of fighters. There are also a host of other sci-fi kits from the 'real space' genre; including rockets and shuttles to use in your conversions. Like I said at the beginning...a small amount of imagination and you can easily construct a decent amount of sci-fi airsupport for your Grymn.


Thunderbirds, UFO, Space: 1999, Captain Scarlett, Avatar, Aliens, The X-Men...the list of cool toys just goes on and on and many of these ranges have vehicles that would make great air support for your Grymn. Don't worry too much about scale as you can often convert stuff that is completely out of scale for use with the is an example; a Thunderbird-2 toy from the most recent film:

All I did was fill in the windows, trim the tail a little and stick a plastic spoon to the front to act as a cockpit...sorted!

The sky is the limit!


Again, there are many people who enjoy building their own vehicles and aircraft from scratch...I have tried many times but only ever got so far before giving is an example of ANOTHER failed project:

All I can say is that if you take the scratch-building approach...GOOD LUCK!

Well, that is about it for today and I hope that I have supplied at least a small amount of information that you may find useful when tooling up your Grymn forces with some air-support.

If you have any other options for either ground or air support then please feel free to add comments to any of the idea shared is a wonderful thing after all!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Support for the lowly infantry.

At the time of writing, there are no vehicles in the Hasslefree Miniatures Grymn miniature line. That means two things...

1. We can wait for them to make some available


2. We can look elsewhere for our vehicular needs

I'll say this straight away...I don't like waiting.

I thought I would try to put a list up of all of the places I have found that sell vehicles, tanks and transports that would be suitable for a Grymn hold on to your hats, this is going to be a bumpy ride!

What is available in the way of tanks and ground based vehicles?

There are a surprising amount of vehicles available on the market. They range from plastic kits, to resin and metal ones. If you are imaginative, you could even go as far as converting die-cast toys for all of your Grymn transport and support needs.

Let's start with war-gaming kits that have been specifically designed for use with 25mm/28mm miniatures.

War-gaming ground-vehicles

The obvious place to start is Games Workshop. They produce a vast amount of plastic-injection kits that are perfect for war-gaming. In amongst them are a few which stand out from a Grymn perspective for me. In the Imperial Guard section, there are various tanks but I think they are a bit big and chunky for Grymn...however, the Sentinel walker is a great little kit that would look great strutting along beside some Grymn. Next up, in the Space Marine section, is the ubiquitous Rhino APC. If you buy the Razorback kit, it costs the same as a Rhino but has an extra turret option with a selection of additional weapons. If you wanted to add a bit more punch, then you could get a Predator tank which is a further upgrade to the Rhino. This would fit in nicely with the other APCs and IFVs. While in the Space Marine section, you could do a lot worse than a Dreadnought walker...not necessarily what you'd expect to find in a Grymn army but it really would add some presence!

Old Crow Models produce a range of 25mm vehicles that are perfect for Grymn use. They are slightly smaller than a lot of kits out there and this suits the diminutive height of the Grymn. The Old Crow kits are made from resin with some details made of metal. They have a vast array of vehicles and a lot of them have three different modes of motivation available; tracked, hover and anti-gravity. There are a selection of wheeled scout vehicles available as well as a host of vehicles made for the Hammer's Slammers game. My particular favourites in the range are the Glaive APC and Gladius tank.

Pig Iron Productions Make a range of miniatures that are supported by a couple of large tracked vehicles. They really look the business but are quite they may not be what a lot of Grymn gamers would be looking for but just because Grymn are small, doesn't mean the vehicles have to be.

West Wind Productions produce a game called Secrets of the Third Reich. It is a Weird World War game that mixes historical forces with fantastic and futuristic equipment. In amongst the vehicle sections, there is a rather nice (resin) British APC and scout vehicle which really looks like it would be Grymn friendly. There are also some walkers in amongst the range that could fit in, depending on your own, personal vision.

Scotia Grendel has quite a wide range of resin/metal vehicles. In the Kryomek range, there are a bunch of armoured vehicles that have a choice of wheels, tracks, hover and anti-gravity drive systems. They are quite chunky but could be of use. In the same range there are a host of walkers and even some large, infantry type robots that could come in handy. If you check out the Grendel sci-fi section there is a range of tracked, wheeled and walker vehicles; including one that looks a pretty good proxy for the Aliens APC. Scotia Grendel doesn't stop there...we haven't got to the Void1.1 section which has various wheeled vehicles (Ronin) and some hover tanks in the Syntha section. Yes, Scotia Grendel really has a wide selection of vehicles!

Antenociti's Workshop has a small range of resin, sci-fi vehicles but the one that really leaps out is the Warthog APC. It is a wheeled vehicle that really looks solid but is quite large. There is also the AW Grav Tank that may appeal to some of you who want sleek, powerful support for your troops.

Eureka Miniatures still holds the Ground Zero Games range of Stargrunt vehicles in their Australian shop. These vehicles are resin and there is a vast array of hover, tracked, wheeled or anti-gravity vehicles in the range. Being 25mm scale, they are smaller than a lot of other ranges and as a result, fit in better with Grymn sized miniatures.

Fenris Games has an E-Bay shop that sells a couple of really nice resin sci-fi vehicles. They also sell a modern Humvee or two so they are well worth a visit.

Other ranges that could be considered are modern war-games vehicles from a host of manufacturers.

Modern Model Kits

Modern model kits are an excellent source of Grymn vehicles. All it takes is a battle-tank and some plasticard and you've got a sci-fi behemoth! You can use kits from 1/72nd scale through to 1/35th scale and beyond but I have found that if you want to keep things roughly to Grymn scale, 1/48th scale kits work the best (if you can get them...1/50th or 1/64th would be even better). Ranges include Revell, Tamiya, Dragon, Airfix...the list goes on and on!


Yes, there are plenty of options for using toys in your Grymn forces. Hotwheels, Matchbox, Fast Lane and many other manufacturers produce plenty of die-cast models that are usable in a Grymn force. If you are feeling cheap, you can visit the pound-shop and pick up some real bargains. Using these sort of vehicles could be as simple as a new paint-scheme but with the addition of a few extra bits and pieces, you can create tailor made vehicles.

Starting from Scratch!

I call this...doing it the hard way. I would much rather buy a custom made kit and build that but there are many people out there who would rather build their own vehicles from the ground up. Plasticard, plastic tubes, bits from around the house and from the ubiquitous 'bits-box' are all carefully trimmed and adjusted to make a masterpiece of sci-fi hardware. The only trouble with this process is that it is very hard to build lots of identical it could be one for special occasions but not one for building a battalion!

So there you have it...a few ideas for when you start to tool-up your ground forces.

In the next visit, I'll throw in some options for a bit of air transport and support...

...look to the skies and your prayers will be answered!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

A different approach (Part 2)

To continue the urban army, I thought I'd talk about a few ideas I had, with regards to the special units.

Special Units

The special units consist of anything that falls outside of the infantry platoons. I have already covered the airborne, jump-pack platoon so there is no need to revisit those but there are a selection of different units that could be considered special. These are:



Command of an army is essential but what makes up a strong, field command unit? First of all, you need the field commander; a high ranking officer who has honed his skill in battle. No commander would go to battle without his advisers and assistants so there would need to be a selection of support officers and NCOs. There would need to be a communication section to the command unit and maybe some artillery officers and aircraft control personnel as that they can coordinate the ground/air forces. There may be other members of the command section like padres, medics, clerks, stores officers, di-staff and maybe even field police/bodyguards. You could really go to town with the command unit but I think I'll keep it fairly simple and trim the troops down to a manageable amount.


Support is a general term that could be applied to all manner of personnel, equipment and resources. For the sake of this army, I will be thinking of support weapons rather than general support.

For the support weapons, I plan on having two distinct branches: a troop based support element and a vehicle based support element. I will deal with airborne support at a later date (by airborne support I mean fighters/bombers/ground attack aircraft and not the airborne transports of the jump-pack platoon).

The troop support element will be a platoon made up of a command section and a number of support sections. I am likely to keep this unit as a platoon and will likely have a command section and five support sections to equal the amount of troops in the rest of the platoons. Each of the support sections will consist of 4 troops; two with basic weapons and two with support weapons...probably heavy machine guns. I will treat these as a unit that advances with the standard infantry platoons and is used as anti infantry support.

The vehicle support element will be split between walkers and tanks.

The walkers will have a range of weapons capable of taking on troops, armoured vehicles and even aircraft. They will be able to closely support the troops in built up areas due to them being smaller than a tank and more mobile due to them having legs.

The Tanks will be anti armour and will travel along with the APCs of the troops, giving protection while the army advances in vehicles and acting as cover when things slow down and the troops have dismounted.


The veterans will be the special forces element of the army. They are likely to be better equipped and more highly skilled than their brother troops. They may also have extra skills and be harder to kill. I can see this unit being smaller than platoon size to highlight their 'special' nature.


The mundane element of support is made up of engineers, medics, suppliers and the general 'hangers on'. If any of these turn up in my Grymn army, it will be much later on and will not necessarily be made for anything other than to add colour to the force.

Special Unit Sizes

It would be very easy to make all of the support elements platoon sized but I don't think that it would be a particularly good idea to do so. However, one thing that is a good idea is to keep the organisation of the platoons going through the rest of the army. What I mean is that each of the platoons have pairs of 4-Grymn fire-teams so that they can support each other. It would be nice to keep this theme going when thinking about building the special elements of the army.

As mentioned earlier, it makes sense for the infantry based support unit to be platoon sized so that there are enough fire-teams to add coordinated support to the advancing infantry. What wouldn't be as sensible would be to expect 24 model walker platoons, or tank platoons. I also wouldn't expect to see platoon sized command units and the veterans would be elite so having a lot of them would be a bit un-flavourful.

Using the above ideas, I'll try to build some acceptable units, using the constraints I have suggested.

Command Section: This will be made up of two command fire-teams and two bodyguard fire-teams. All of the fire teams will have four Grymn in them so the total section size would be 16. The command fire-teams would each have a pair of officers and a pair of leaders; including comms and different types of an artillery officer, for example. The bodyguard fire-teams would be armed with a mix of SMGs and pistols for close protection. The command section would get a pair of vehicles to transport them.

Infantry Support Platoon: 24 Grymn in a similar organisation to other platoons but made up of one command section and 5 support sections.

Walker support section: I have 16 of these. I have enough for a command element and 3 support elements. I would try to justify this but this unit speaks for itself and has the same building blocks as the rest of the it makes sense to stick with it.

Tank support section: For tanks, I was thinking about using these as much smaller units. I think that a 4 tank unit would pack quite a punch so that is what I'll go with. Each section would have 4 of the same tank with one of them acting as the lead vehicle. This would enable a certain amount of flexibility but still offer a heavy hitting section with a certain amount of redundancy built in.

Veteran Section: I think 16 Grymn would be perfect for this unit too. I think that one command fireteam and three veteran fire-teams would work just fine. The command element would have an officer a leader and two veterans, with one having comms. The veteran fire-teams would have three troops with basic weapons and one with a support weapon. The veteran section would get a pair of vehicles to transport them.

So there you have it. The basic, army-building units will be in platoon sized units and the more specialist units will be smaller to add to their mystique a little.

Airborne support will be along at a later will a nice organisation chart.

Monday, 21 June 2010

A different approach (Part 1)

A while ago, I decided that there was more to collecting an army than ten man squads. A lot of the time I have based my army collecting on rule-sets or army books and I thought that I'd have a change of pace.

The first thing I had to do was to completely ignore any rule set.

Once I had completely freed myself of those limits, I went on line and started looking for modern military organisation plots; often referred to as TOE (Table of Equipment) or ORBATs (Order of Battle).

Being English and in the military myself, it made sense to start with the British Army for some pointers. Here is what I came up with:

Looking at the above chart, you can see that most of the units are broken down into 4 man fire-teams. A pair of fire-teams makes a section for basic infantry but things start to get a little different for the specialist units like command and support. You will also see that the various sections have their own transports; in the case of the specialists, the smaller size of each unit still gets a transport, even though they number less than 8 members.

Generally speaking, the support unit is attached to the command unit.

So...from a Grymn perspective, I thought it would be better to make things even simpler by limiting all of the units to multiples of fire-teams. This not only keeps things simple but also makes it easier to designate vehicles.

Assault Platoon

To start with I wanted to build a jump-pack platoon. This would consist of two sections of infantry (each with two fire-teams), a support section (one fire-team of four) and a command section (one fire-team of four).

Looking at the chart, the basic infantry fire-team consists of a leader, two basic troops and a support weapon trooper. A quick look through my box and I found enough flame-throwers to fill all of the support for the basic infantry sections. I chose the close-combat Grymn for the basic infantry; each one having a brace of pistols.

Next was the support section. Again, looking at the chart, it seems that there are two support weapons in the fire-team and it would seem appropriate for these weapons to be a little more destructive than those in the basic fire-teams. Because this was a jump-pack based platoon, I thought that I needed to keep the support weapons fairly light but able to pack a punch so a heavy machine gun was the obvious choice.

For the command section, I chose a junior officer, a senior leader and a pair of junior having a radio set.

The transports for this platoon would each be capable of carrying 8 fully equipped troops and should also be something like a helicopter that could get the jump-troopers into position to drop them off and give covering support once they were deployed (the transports effectively acting as the Warrior IFVs for this particular platoon).

So...the platoon now stands at this:

Command Section
Junior officer (pistol/sword)
Senior leader (brace of pistols)
Junior leader with Comms (brace of pistols)
Junior leader (brace of pistols)

Support Section
Senior leader (brace of pistols)
Trooper (brace of pistols)
Trooper (heavy Machine-gun)
Trooper (heavy Machine-gun)

Infantry Section
Senior Leader (brace of pistols)
Trooper (brace of pistols)
Trooper (brace of pistols)
Trooper (flame-thrower)

Junior Leader (brace of pistols)
Trooper (brace of pistols)
Trooper (brace of pistols)
Trooper (flame-thrower)

Infantry Section
Senior Leader (brace of pistols)
Trooper (brace of pistols)
Trooper (brace of pistols)
Trooper (flame-thrower)

Junior Leader (brace of pistols)
Trooper (brace of pistols)
Trooper (brace of pistols)
Trooper (flame-thrower)

Now that I have the platoon, I needed to add markings so I thought senior leaders would get a pair of red stripes, junior leaders get a single red stripe and officers would get yellow stripes...

...This is what I ended up with:

On to the transport options and after looking through all of the available options, I decided to go for some decent skimmers and the best ones for the job seemed to be Tau Devilfish from Games Workshop. I just needed to get rid of the drones and the cupola and add a more 'Grymn-like' selection of weapons. At this moment in time, I have bought the Devilfish but am still in the process of converting is a picture of the nearest to being finished 'Pillum Drop-ship':

This skimmer will be capable of carrying 8 troops and will allow them to jump from the rear, at altitude, to drop on their foes and enter the fray quickly. I have 3 of these to carry each infantry section and the command and support sections combined.

Infantry Platoon

Now that I have the basic building blocks for a platoon, it would be easy to carry on the system through to other areas of the army. The next, obvious, area to visit would be the basic infantry platoon. Rather than going through the rigmarole of explaining things again, I'll cut to the chase. The first part of choosing the infantry was to decide on the weapons. The basic weapon of the Grymn army is the SMG and it made sense to build the platoon with these as weapons. I also thought that the support weapons would be a bit more range orientated so I went for grenade launchers and plasma-weapons for the infantry sections and missile-launchers for the support section. I would be keeping the command section similar to the one in the Assault Platoon but would have different weapons. This is what I came up with:

Command Section
Junior officer (SMG/sword)
Senior leader (SMG)
Junior leader with Comms (SMG)
Junior leader (SMG)

Support Section
Senior leader (SMG)
Trooper (SMG)
Trooper (missile-launcher)
Trooper (missile-launcher)

Infantry Section
Senior Leader (SMG)
Trooper (SMG)
Trooper (SMG)
Trooper (plasma-weapon)

Junior Leader (SMG)
Trooper (SMG)
Trooper (SMG)
Trooper (grenade-launcher)

Infantry Section
Senior Leader (SMG)
Trooper (SMG)
Trooper (SMG)
Trooper (plasma-weapon)

Junior Leader (SMG)
Trooper (SMG)
Trooper (SMG)
Trooper (grenade-launcher)

As transport for the troops, I have decided to use 3 Glaive APC vehicles from Old Crow Productions. Each one will be capable of carrying 8 troops and again, one of the APCs will carry both the command and support sections. Here is a pic of a Glaive APC:

Now that I have the basic building block of the army; the infantry platoon, I can add multiples to build up my forces but an army needs a command structure and this one is no exception. The problem is that I haven't got as far as building a command I'll have to save that for another day....along with the heavy support and scout elements of the army.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Time for some pix again.

A while ago, I decided that it was time to try out an idea that was demonstrated to me over at the Forum of Doom. The idea was to take some heads from Pig Iron Kolony Inner Guard and put them onto Grymn bodies. The miniatures that I saw had converted weapons as well as head swaps but I didn't want to go that far because I knew I would be building an all of the basic miniatures would have the standard weapons that the Grymn came with.

Once I had bought some heads, I looked through my extensive, unpainted, Grymn collection and decided that I would just grab a handful of differently armed troops to convert. By doing this, I would keep things interesting and that would help the task of army building. After clipping off some heads and pinning on new ones, I found that there was a bit of 'unsightliness' behind the neck so I sculpted little humps to cover things up...once this was done, the tunnel fighters were born.

Here is a pic of the first four conversions and they show a variety of troops:

Once I had the basic conversion pattern worked out I just continued working through my unpainted Grymn until I ran out of miniatures. At that point, I thought it would be a good idea to group them into squads. With what I had already painted, the best squad size was 9 so I worked towards arranging the troops into their requisite squad sizes. Each standard squad would have 7 troops armed with their basic weapon (including the squad leader) and 2 with special or heavy weapons.

After buying all of the missing troops, I ended up with 6 squads of 9 troops in each. There were 2 squads with pistols, mini-guns and grenade launchers, 1 squad with shotguns and flame-throwers and 3 squads with pulse-guns and heavy pulse-guns. Obviously, I needed to sort out an army commander and his command squad so I thought about how to make him different...I ended up giving him a coat:

It was at this point, I went to Salute; the UK's biggest war-gaming extravaganza. While at Salute, I found two things of great interest to me. First, I found some 'spider droids' from Ground Zero Games which I thought would make great little robots for communications duties. I bought enough of them to add 1 to each squad (rounding each squad up to 10 models) are a couple of examples:

I also found some 'Mini-Mawes' from Hasslefree Miniatures and immediately thought that they would make good sniffer/guard animals for some Grymn to delve into tunnels with. They came with integral bases so it took a little work to base them with their handlers. I ended up hollowing out some resin bases, gluing the miniatures into the hollow and then filling the gaps with Green Stuff. Here are the finished scouts:

Now that I had a fairly substantial army building up, I thought about a bit of support for them. I didn't think tanks would be appropriate for the army because they are tunnel fighters so I had to think a bit harder. It then occurred to me that I had the perfect solution in the form of some mechs that I had bought for another project. Fortunately, I had a few spare so they were quickly pressed into service. The mechs are from the now extinct Warzone range and are Vulkan Battlesuits from the Bauhaus faction. They just needed a small conversion to the head area and they were good to go. Here is one of the squads:

It was at this point I started thinking about where I was going with the army. I had a lot of infantry, a command squad, some scouts and some support...the next thing to do was get a picture to see what it all looked like together:

After looking at the army I thought that it would be nice to add a few more squads of basic infantry so the plan is to add another 4 squads armed with pulse-guns and heavy pulse-guns to round the infantry total up to 100. That would give me a total of 12 squads (including the scouts). I also started thinking about transport options and have decided to scratch-build my own...all 12 of them! In the future, once I have finished the extra troops and all of the transports, I may add a few extra command elements and maybe some sort of tank-destroyers but I will have to think about what sort of heavy weapons would be suitable for fighting in tunnels...

So that is how my little army is going and I thought it would be nice to try to explain how I went about building it. At no point in time have I thought of attaching it to any sort of rule-set, I have just gone with what seemed right at the time...however, with a small amount of tweaking, I reckon it would fit in with most rule-sets available for mass battles.

...and to think, all this came about as a result of seeing Sagunt's converted, steam-punk Grymn over at the Forum of Doom:

From little acorns and all that...

Monday, 7 June 2010

A Chance Encounter

Horgan stood in a braced position, tracking the forest line with his mini-gun. Seven other Grymn were doing the same with their SMGs and grenade-launchers. They were silent and listening for the slightest sound of movement. Ingrid was kneeling beside Torek; administering medical aid for a gun-shot wound to his side. He was in pain but would survive.

Suddenly a Grymn to the left of Horgan fired his SMG into the trees and was rewarded with a squeal of pain; quite clearly of Bohkin origin. Further shots were fired by various other Grymn and then quiet again. Horgan looked left and right. It was as if he could sense something was wrong. Intuitively he ducked down as a stream of machine-gun fire parted the air where he had recently stood and whistled off into the distance. Horgan squeezed the trigger and the forest line exploded into a kaleidoscope of debris. Many screams were heard as the onslaught shredded trees, leaves and Bohkin scouts with equal malice. When Horgan relaxed his trigger finger, the sound of fleeing creatures could be heard. It would appear that the Bohkin had retreated for the time being.

Horgan remained where he stood and continued to scan the tree line. He knew that Bohkin were sneaky customers and almost wished that they would prove him right. The group of Grymn had been ambushed but had managed to defend themselves aggressively enough to see off the attackers. Unfortunately, Torek had been hit in the first volley of gunfire and that really annoyed Horgan. He felt that they were not being careful enough.

To the right Horgan heard movement. He swung his weapon to bear and waited. The movement was getting closer and it was as if there was no wish to conceal the noise. In fact Horgan could hear the chirpy noise of the Bohkin screaming at the trees, almost pleadingly. Within moments a wild eyed Bohkin burst in to the clearing in front of him. It didn’t have a weapon but had wild staring eyes that were too busy staring at the trees to even notice Horgan. In fact the screaming Bohkin ran straight at him chirping wildly. In moments it had reached him and had bumped into him as it tried to run past, tripping over Horgan’s leg in the process. Horgan was about to react when the Bohkin leapt to its feet and tore off into the trees on the other side of the clearing. Horgan watched as the creature ran wildly through the undergrowth with no apparent thought for self preservation. A further noise from where the Bohkin had appeared from caused Horgan to turn around. More movement was forth coming, closely followed by more Bohkin. None had weapons and they all looked as terrified as the first one. Horgan watched as they too ran past in panic. He returned his gaze to the entrance point again and immediately felt a wave of nausea flow through him as his weapon fell with a thump, to the floor. He felt his legs buckle and he dropped to his hands and knees as with a huge retch, he vomited. His vision had started to blur but he looked over to the rest of his squad members and saw that they were equally affected. He tried to raise his head to look where he had been a moment previously but was forced to vomit again as a new, more intense wave of nausea flooded through him. He had never felt so wretched in his life. Horgan held his breath and forced himself to look to where the Bohkin had come from. It took a huge effort but he managed to raise his head far enough to see a large pair of two-toed feet in front of him.
Almost as quickly as the feeling had arrived, the nausea disappeared. Horgan reached instinctively for his mini-gun but it was no longer where it had dropped. His training kicked in and he threw himself over to one side and leapt into a fighting crouch. In front of him was a tall figure with a broad crowned head looking at him. Horgan felt a lesser feeling of sickness as his mind was filled with a sighing voice.
“Stand down soldier, your work is done for today” said the voice.
Horgan looked at the face of the figure in front of him and noticed that it had not spoken to him but had projected its voice directly into his head. The face smiled as if it understood the confusion written all over Horgan’s face.
“We come to you as friends” said the voice in Horgan’s mind again.
Horgan passed out.
When he came too, Horgan was lying next to Ingrid. She had applied a cold flannel to his brow and was speaking tenderly to him.
“It’s good to see that you are awake” she said, “We have some new friends for you to meet”.
Horgan sat up and immediately looked into the deep black pits of one of the newcomers eyes. He felt a very slight feeling of sickness as a voice filled his head again.
“We are sorry for the unease that you feel when we speak with you but some are more sensitive than others to our method of communication” it said.
Horgan looked at the creature in front of him thoroughly for the first time. It was exceptionally tall; being almost twice the height of a Grymn, was slender and had the usual pattern of two arms, two legs, a torso and a head. It had bare feet with two fat toes and three-fingered hands. The face seemed friendly enough but was obviously alien and it was crowned with a thick, bony ridge around the top of its skull. All it wore was a cloak, a tabard and a few trinkets on a belt and it carried a staff.
“I am the one called Zuuh’tah and I am known as the walker among tribes” It said “you are known as Huurgaan and you reap the life grains with your death-giver”.
“That is true” said Horgan as he sat upright and propped himself up with his hands on the floor “but I only kill those that mean me harm...Zoota”
“Yes...we have seen this today” replied Zuuh’tah.
“We?” questioned Horgan.
“Yes, we” he replied, calmly gesturing with an open, upturned palm towards a small group of similar looking aliens over near the tree line. Some were dressed as he was and some wore light armour pieces and carried rifle styled weaponry.
Horgan returned his gaze to the alien and asked what they wanted from his squad.
“We wish to be allies with the tribe of Grymmmn” Said Zuuh’tah “it is a small thing to ask...yes?”
“But we don’t know can we be allies until we know that we can trust one another” Horgan replied.
“You may trust us because you would have been easy to make it otherwise” came the reply.
“Fair point...but I am no ambassador” Horgan said “you must meet with our lords to discuss terms of allegiance”.
“At some point, we will discuss terms with your lords but today we are content to have made first contact with your tribe of Grymmmn” it said “and now that we have, it is time for us to depart”.
Zuuh’tah stood and looked thoughtfully at Horgan for a moment, turned around and strolled towards the tree line again. As he disappeared through the undergrowth a whispering voice filled Horgan’s mind again...
“We are watching your tribe and will return when the time is right” said the voice.
Horgan looked over to where the other aliens had stood and of their presence, nothing could be seen.
“What the feth just happened?” queried Horgan, as he spat on the ground nearby.
“I think it was hello” said Ingrid.
“I guess so” he replied.
“Right, lets get packed up and get home...we have to tell the hierarchy what happened here” said Sgt Reiks.
The squad brought itself to its senses and began the bustle of getting ready to move. In a few moments Horgan, the Sgt and the rest of the Grymn were purposefully walking off towards camp. It had been a strange day and some people would be sure to think they were mad but in time, they would see differently.

And so the Grymn met the Delsertis for the first time, knowing that it would not be the last......