Another semi-random collection of links to things that have caught my eye recently!
Over at BigLee’s, a nice roundup of methods of stripping paint from miniatures. Given that product availability varies around the world, it’s nice to have a fairly comprehensive guide like this; it increases everyone’s chances of finding a stripping method that is both available in your area and works with your miniatures (you can use things on metal minis that will destroy plastic!) & chosen paint. (hat tip to MinatureWargaming.com for this link!)
Ghosts of Hefei is a Kickstarter campaign for a set of gang warfare rules set in China in the 2060s, with both 28mm & 15mm gang figures planned. I’ve done a few Kickstarters, and might well be pledging for this one too… They’ve posted some shots of very nice looking 15mm figures so far. (this one is via Dropship Horizon, which should be everyone’s first stop for 15mm SF news!)
To round out this short Links of Interest, TooFatLardies are having their “Something For The Weekend, Sir?” Sale on until the 22nd of April. 20% off everything in the store… this might mean it’s finally time to snag that copy of their recent science fiction rules, Quadrant 13…
Everybody has played Cowboys and Indians before, but not many have experienced the insanity that is Pony Wars, a game designed deliberately to emulate the Western TV shows of the 20th century (now give the rules were written in the 20th century, this isn’t surprising). The miniatures (and the rules) were courtesy of one of the long-standing members of our gaming club, Dale, who like most other long-term gamers has all kinds of interesting things collecting dust. Joining in the fun were a few other regulars as well as Josh, a random walk-in we immediately made Colonel (that we couldn’t agree on who should be in charge made this decision much easier).
The table was laid out in a fairly basic pattern, with the US Cavalry fort at one end, two passes in the middle, plus a town, three homesteads, a mining encampment, and an Indian village. Unlike most adversarial games, all the players are nominally on one side: US Cavalry commanders of some rank or another. The Indians and all the civilians controlled through card-driven events and dicing on tables for reactions. In fact, the game was very table-heavy, as is common for games of the ear (1980’s)
I rarely take pictures of the whole table, so here is one taken by another player:
Given our inability to agree on a commander, our inability to agree on an overall strategy meant that we ended up streaming out of the fort without specific orders. David, who had US Indian-ally Dando with him, decided to head off to the far corner of the board to bravely burn out the Indian village, held by old men, women, and children. Malcolm headed off to hold the passes with his artillery and scouts, and the rest of us buggered off to do our own thing. Given the rules told us to head out in single file (it looks better), the looked something like this:
The game, like all good stories, has a few chapters in which our heroes get their asses handed to them. Ours included Dando, after heroically deciding not to burn down the Indian village right now, getting slaughtered in one-to-one combat with the Indian chief, Big Eagle, despite Dando have ridiculously good odds. Karma, not yet imported to America, was still a bitch. I got half of my cavalry troopers, on detached duty, chopped up by Indians, moments after telling my fellow commanders I risked defeat in detail. Ah details, never liked them.
Other hilarious moments included me failing to bring the wagon train under control (this required a dice roll, which I naturally failed many times) right up until the wagon train ,having crossed the entire board, spotted the Indians. They took a few potshots then freaked out and circled the wagons. Dando’s blunder also lead to the only civilians we lost getting massacred by Big Eagle, which sets us up for our climatic battle for the town.
With fresh US Cavalry that entered the board near the town, headed most of the board to the fort then turned around and headed back to the town, I managed to stream my troopers right into Big Eagle, fresh off his scalping of our brave settlers (evil land-stealers to the Indians). You can shoot yourself dry in this game in an awful hurry, which I proceeded to do. I then discovered I had retreated to the saloon. Needless to say, that was it for my troopers. They were “conserving ammo” in case more Indians arrived. None did, and other brave soldiers drove off Big Eagle, so we called the game at that point with no Indians on the table and turns before any would arrive.
All in all, it was a blast. The 15mm figures of Dale were beautifully painted, and his town was amazing. Playing with what amounted to AI-controlled enemies allowed us to see what our upcoming Zulu Wars game might be like, and added a nice level of aggravation for their players (Damn civilians, stop running around and get to the fort). The best part of the story-driven aspect was that it allowed all the players to feel involved, even when you could spend several turns do nothing but moving around. For those visual types, I have a few more pictures in my flickr set of the game.
The pace of posting had slowed slightly over on Dropship recently, but with interesting developments still going on in 15mm SF, it’s unfortunate to see Dropship Horizon shutting down so abruptly.
Hopefully Mark leaves Dropship up and running even if he isn’t actively posting, as his links and articles are an invaluable resource for 15mm SF gamers. Having done basically nothing with this website for quite a number of years before reviving it late in 2010, I certainly understand that people’s gaming interests wax and wane and sometimes it’s time to move on, but even a somewhat dusty resource is better than nothing — Dropship’s collected information can still help 15mm SF gamers for years, as this site was doing even during the years I was neglecting it.
Best of luck to Mark in his other gaming interests, and here’s hoping that some day in the future he relights Dropship’s engines, brings up her running lights and starts posting cool 15mm SF things again!
As discussed in my last post on entering LAF‘s LPL5, here’s all ten of the images from my 2009 LPL3 entries. I finished somewhere in the bottom third of the pack, but certainly didn’t enter with any expectation of doing much better — I entered to give me incentive to work on my painting and photography, which worked out just fine!
LPL3’s bonus rounds were “Germans” for Round One, which I botched; the German WW1 stormtroopers I did for Round 7 were supposed to be my Round 1 bonus entry, but I ordered them too late. Round 5 was “Cavalry”, which I managed with my first 15mm fantasy unit painted in years. Round 10 was “Lost Worlds”, bonus points for an exploration team, a “native” team and “monster” or similar — pegged max bonus points there, and a photo I’m still proud of!
15mm science fiction (Stargrunt II, specifically) was one of my starting places in miniature wargaming; I don’t do much these days but I still have all my figures and I still keep an eye on the field. These are great days for 15mm SF gaming, with a bunch of new companies involved with rapidly expanding ranges, as well as new stuff from established companies like Ground Zero Games.
I used to maintain a long page of companies involved in 15mm SF – many people still link to it, so you might have followed a link expecting to find it, but I’m no longer as heavily involved in that scale & genre as I once was, so I’m going to refer you to Dropship Horizon instead. Dropship is an excellent blog devoted almost exclusively to 15mm science fiction gaming, and even better, on one of their right-hand sidebars they have a long list of 15mm Sci Fi Manufacturers!
Dropship also has news and reviews of the latest and shiniest stuff from those manufacturers, some neat projects of his own, and a good group of commentators to boot. Go check it out!
More refugees from the old site; I still like the graphic work I did on these shipping containers & crates. I might eventually do some more. No promises, though. If you are looking for the signage, see the Sci-Fi Signage post.
Update, 22 May 2011:Work has started on weeding this list. Don’t expect fast progress, but at least it’s something. This time, I went through and tagged all the Geocities URLs as Dead Links. Actual link fixing will be happening as and when I get to it – feel free to contact us if you have suggested links or want to report a new URL for a site!
Because this section has gotten so large, I’m working on some ways of reorganizing it. I don’t want to go to an alphabetical listing, and many of these sites cover a lot of different areas of the wargaming hobby, so I’m going to start organizing by “Mostly…” categories, using the (in my opinion) most prominent, interesting or best area of a site to figure out where it goes. Eg “Mostly Painting”, “Mostly Galleries”, etc etc. I’m still going to wind up with a large list of unclassified sites, but at least a rough subject sort will be possible… I’m always looking for feedback.
So far, I’ve got The Essential Wargaming Sites, General Wargaming Sites, Mostly Painting, Mostly Paper Models, Mostly Scenery & Terrain and Mostly Links.