Thursday 26 January 2017

Further Size Comparisons


Last year I posted a piece comparing the size of Dream Pod 9 Gears/Mechs against a scale real world vehicle.  And then another piece looking at the size of the Visigoth tank next to an Abrams.

This time I'm comparing a RAFM era 1/87th scale Hunter Command with a 1/144th scale Hunter conversion next to 15mm–1/100th scale–Abrams and a 1/144th scale Abrams with a Clear Horizon Epsilon 15mm miniature and a MechWarrior Dark Age 10mm Grey Death Legion power armour figure.

What does this mean?

I've been bitten by the accidental purchase of six RAFM era Gears.  I say accidental because I put a low bid on them not expecting to win, but I did: hence accidental.  Now I have the urge to acquire more RAFM Gears because they're lovely and shiny, must catch them all...

Realistically, if I can get hold of a couple of Southern Gears then I'll probably be satisfied as it will allow me to have heroic scale stand-in models of my character's mechs from my novels.  OTOH though, the temptation to go full-on 15mm for my Bad Dog verse project is strong because it's so much easier to get figures in different poses.

What you're hearing is the sound of the wargamers lament.

Monday 23 January 2017

SF Figures: What I Want

Work in progress on my Clear Horizon Epsilon 15mm miniatures that I'm using as MARPACE suits for my Bad Dog universe setting.  I've still got to add the heads and some weapon packs to finish these off, and hopefully you can see that I've tweaked the poses a bit.

Following on from my previous article about SF wargame rules, and the 3Rs of SF, I shall now talk about what I want in a range for any science fiction miniatures game.

A variety of poses.

It's really as simple as that, with the caveat that with poses comes support weapons.  How many poses?  Thousands of them!  Well, perhaps, but realistically I probably want the following:

Commander doing the pointing at things thing, so that I can imagine them saying five rounds rapid fire sergeant!

A radio operator, though it's arguable whether we shall still have a separate RTO person when soldiers are networked together, but assume a dedicated receiver-transmitter has better range, but there again satellite phones suggest perhaps not.  I want one.

A senior sergeant figure character, then with these three your command team is sorted.

For the rest of the platoon I want enough poses to make a squad look like people, rather than the old school toy soldiers who are all in the same pose.  Think Airfix infantry, but without the naff poses.  So, we could have:
Standing casual (weapons at rest)
Standing shooting
Kneeling casual (weapons at rest)
Kneeling shooting
Walking  (weapons at rest)
Walking shooting
Lying on the ground (sniper or taking cover)
Lying on ground with binoculars (sniper or recon)
Then there should be support options:
Light support gunner
Heavy machine gun team (two figures)
Anti-tank/vehicle missile operator (two figures–one carrying spare reloads)
Mortar team (two or three figures)
That adds up to 19 poses, which would allow one to make a platoon of 27 to 39 figures with sufficient variety that unit would look good.

NB: Edited to add links to the two previous articles that inspired this one.

Friday 20 January 2017

SF Wargame Rules: What I Want

The above is a crop of a picture I got from Catalyst games showing off their BattleTech rules.  I must admit my first reaction was this is not exactly selling BattleTech as a fun game to play.  What I want are a set of  rules that I can use while playing a game.  The above is pretty much my definition of a set of rules that would slow down the game every time one wanted to refer to them.

So I want rules that are really, really accessible.  A good example would be the rules booklet for Star Wars: X-Wing.

But what I want most of all are a set of rules that give me the feeling of playing in the future, which Star Wars: X-Wing fails to do, being WW2 combat in space!  Unsurprising given the source material, and don't get me wrong I love playing the game.

To put it plainly, a game must not only to have the tropes of SF (Robots, Rockets & Rayguns), but it has to feel science fictional, which is something that's very hard to pin down.

Partly I suspect what would make game feel like the future are things that traditional wargames have toiled against down the years: too much information from having the models on the tabletop and knowing the outcome of every move your opponent makes during the game.  So, it seems to me that what are seen as bugs in traditional historical wargames could be made to be seen as features in a science fictional setting.

Perhaps that's why SF wargames are so popular?  I jest slightly, as I don't imagine for one minute that this is a concern for the average punter who buys a game like Warhammer 40K.

Monday 16 January 2017

Battlemech Group Shot

As you've read in my last blog post, I recently had cause to take my battlemech models off the shelf to take pictures of them, which meant dusting them and then getting my terrain boards out and setting them up to look interesting.  I can't show you any of those yet, because they were taken for a magazine article that I didn't write and know nothing about.  As and when the article appears in print I'll post the unused pictures here.

Anyway,  I have 47 mechs ready to plonk on the table top anytime I want to play a game, and looking at my workbench I have another 42 in various stages of being painted.  This doesn't include the tanks, APCs, helicopters, artillery, and infantry I have to paint either.

So when I put my mechs back on the shelf I sorted them out into combat groups and I really do have a lot of mechs and infantry ready to go.  If all goes well this year I may even be getting the opportunity to put them on the table and play with them too.

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Miniature Wargame Issue 406

All the models, buildings and terrain were assembled and painted by me.

There are some BattleTech pictures I took for an article on Alpha Strike by Joe McCullough in the upcoming issue #406 of Miniature Wargames.  A preview of the contents can be found here.  Once I know what pictures I took that weren't used I will post them for everyone to see.


American readers can get Miniature Wargames from On Military Matters:
Phone: 609-466-2329

The cheapest and quickest way for overseas subscribers, is to subscribe to our digital edition. The digital edition is accessible across all devices through Pocketmags:

There is currently a sale available to customers who purchase via the Pocketmags site, until 15th Jan link–customers can save 37% on the full price for the year–that's 12 issues for just £33.99 GBP. We also have a 99p single copy sale running until the end of the month should the customer wish to try before they buy–this is available on back issues only.

Miniature Wargames do offer print overseas subscriptions – but it's quite a step up in price due to the postal fees. link £76 GBP per annum for US customer.

Friday 6 January 2017

Two More Russian Walkers

Over the Xmas period I had about four days of hobby time that was taken up with a request to take some pictures for a magazine, and then there was writing a reflection on last year for my other blog.

Despite those distractions I have still managed to make some progress building things.  In this case two more conversions of Caprice Heavy Gear models from the Dream Pod 9 KickStarter.

These use parts from both the Aphek and Bashan for this kitbash.

I'm now pondering over whether to have my Russian walker company with 20 models, or whether I will never need more than 11.

My inner slacker is saying 11 walkers is more than enough, but quantity has a quality all of its own.  It really depends on how the rules pan out, which given I've done nothing on them makes answering this question impossible.

The wargamers burden.