Home Forums Alternate History Pulp Working on 15mm Solo alt-history/pulp-ish campaign

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  • #160215
    Avatar photoFred B
    Participant

    The Last Batalion

    After years of bouncing off many wargame rules (looking at you GW!) I decided to finally jump into the hobby with a solo campaign using my own rules made from mashing some ideas from solo RPGs I play and stuff from some cool wargames I’ve found (especially from NordicWeasel). The setting is loosely based on Jakub Rozalski’s 1920+ world, but much more pulpy and globetrotting. Mechs, Zeppelins, Weird Science and Supernatural – we’ll see how it all goes.

    I went with 15mm, mostly because of price and space, but I also really like that I don’t have to be perfect with painting those guys. So here’s the first minis I ever painted. It’s a mix of 15mm Eureka, Peter Pig + some 3d printed mechs from VidovicArts. I am using mostly craft paint and still learning… but I like this lot enough to share 🙂

    Now that my first enemy units (mix of PP late WW1 Germans and Eureka Sci-Fi Germans) are almost done I want to work on some terrain. Any advice on building 15mm terrain?

    #160219
    Avatar photoThomaston
    Participant

    Dude, not bad at all for first painting.

    15mm is a nice spot for terrain making. You can use posicle sticks for wood planks, fences and walls, even houses. I don’t know what kind of environment you want to play in (globe trotting can be very variet) I’d say do some generic things that cna be found in any climb and places like huts and sheds, wooden fences and stone walls. Posicle sticks are your friend.

    For houses and huts you might want to use foam core as the basic shape to stick bits to for.

    Check this out, 10mm but you can same techniques and design fgor your 15mm.

    10mm Fantasy Village

    I mash rules together all the time and I’m curious about the combination of rules you’re using.

    Tired is enough.

    #160220
    Avatar photoTony S
    Participant

    First minis you ever painted!?  Wow!  A heck of a lot better than my attempts.   A very good friend of mine, was a very talented painter and actually not only painted his own figures, but offered a painting service.   The results were excellent, and all he ever used were cheap craft paints.

    And I must say I just love those robot mech things.   Very cool indeed!

    #160224
    Avatar photoFred B
    Participant

    Thomaston: Thanks for the link, those buildings look really good. I might start with something similar, for a bit of that central/eastern Europe village feel. I was thinking of starting my games more “local” (some border skirmishes with the Germans, investigating slavic myths, etc.) and get more into globetrotting aspects once I get some appropriate minis. But sheds, fences etc will always come in handy. I think I should cut the stir sticks lengthwise so they are more to scale, right?

    As for rules – nothing is set in stone yet, but I am taking advice from games like Squad Hammer and War Story. Right now I am thinking no stats, just coming up with target numbers on the fly based on the character and narrative. This is what I already do when I play solo RPGs and it works well for me. I think I will use small “fireteams” as units + some characters ans steal the Pinned/Suppressed/Out from Crossfire for firefight outcomes (I am not a fan of straight out removing figures/units after each attack). What kind of rules do you use for your solo games?

    Tony S: Thanks! I am glad to hear that I don’t need to spend hundred+ dollars on paint alone. I will still probably pick few hobby paint colors, as I am finding it hard to get good coverage from some of the fancier colors in craft paint.

    Yeah, the big reason I decided to go with this interwar-ish Dieselpunk was because of those robots. I found the stl and got them printed via online service, because I just wanted to have them in my games – they just sparked my imagination so much. I might have a go at designing some printable robots myself in the future.

    #160230
    Avatar photoCacique Caribe
    Participant

    Wow.  I am impressed and inspired.  Thanks for posting.

    By the way, check out Outland Models (on ebay and Amazon).  They have a couple of 1:87 (HO) scale cars for the period, and one of their taller buildings could be modified to look more art deco.

    Dan
    Loads of WIPs: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/with/72157710630529376

    #160278
    Avatar photoThomaston
    Participant

    @ Fred B

    Regarding the stirsticks, up to you how you want to cut them. Making them exactly to scale sometimes doesn’t look as good as when the planks are a little bigger and easier to make out. Experiment.

    I’m also a fan of having no stats, too much hassle when playing solo. I’ve used Warstory before and likes its simplicity. Most rules I mash together are bits and pieces of NWG, my favorite being Blade and Lockpick, because I prefer opposed roll to target number. Advance Song of Blades and Heroes activation is one of my favorite so solo play but the rules doesn’t handle shooting that well. Currently I’m playing around with 5Core 2nd edition activation and What a Tanker! dice mechanics for solo infantry skirmish.

    I’ve been wanting to get into steampunk and you’ve pretty much pushed me to actuall do it.

    Tired is enough.

    #160295
    Avatar photoFred B
    Participant

    Cacique Caribe: Thanks, I am glad you like them 🙂 Outland Models look pretty good, but it seems they are shipping from China, which I would rather not ship just few tiny resin bits halfway around the world. I wonder if they are any vendors who either sell stls, or offer similar ones printed more locally. I don’t have a resin printer, but I used some local-ish services to print from stl for me in the past (like the mechs above). Will go and investigate. While I like the idea of making terrain from scratch, having some printed terrain to “bulk up” the table is not a bad idea.

    Thomaston: Oh, I kinda forgot that coffee stirrers are a thing! I have some Popsicle sticks so I was thinking of that when talking about cutting them lenghtwise. I think coffee stirrers would be good thickness right out of the box. Maybe a little bigger than “real scale” but like you said, it would be easier to recognize and more in line with the minis, who are not real scale after all 🙂 Will pick some up next time I am at a store.

    I should check out Blade & Lockpick and What A Tanker (those are the only two rulesets of the ones you mention I don’t know anything about). I will probably just pick up the former, as Nordic Weasel is pretty much a safe bet with me. Could you tell me what the resolution mechanic in What A Tanker is like?

    …and when you get some steampunky stuff do share! I might mix in some steampunkery into my campaign

    #160297
    Avatar photoThomaston
    Participant

    There’s a few videos on how to play What a Tanker! on Youtube.

    Basically when you activate a tank you roll 6 D6 the results corrispond to move, spot, aim, shoot, reload and that’s what the tank can do. There a little proceedure where you have to spot in order to shoot etc, but I think its a nice way of making NPC/enemy act in less predictable way. I’m plannig give infantry 3D6 for Green, 4D6 for regular etc. Groups would probably get +D6 per extra person. Also for infantry I’m changing reload to a catch all action for things like first aid, communicate, interact with people/things.

    If anything you could simply use What a Tanker as is for your mech vs mech combat.

    Blade and Lockpick is abstract, but I love the simplsity of the dice and skill rolls.

    Tired is enough.

    #160301
    Avatar photoFred B
    Participant

    I am now watching a What a Tanker video – man, that’s a neat little system, and it gives a nice automata for enemy behavior. Thanks for recommending it!

    I think I will pick up the book in the future and get some enemy mechs for pure mech on mech combat. But this might be down the line as even the pdf is on a pricier side.

    Also, your solo rules sound really neat. You should write them down and share or sell them – I am sure others would enjoy them 🙂 I know for me seeing others solo wargaming procedures is a huge help for making my own campaigns.

    #161441
    Avatar photoFred B
    Participant

    15mm barn and shed - mini for scale

    First pieces of terrain for the campaign (and first time building terrain in general).

    I am starting with some central European countryside stuff as I want to start with some folk feel to the campaign (and going into some folk horror). I got my hands on some coffee stirrers and matchsticks, watched some videos on terrain making and I am pretty happy with the outcome. The shed is done, I still want to detail the barn. I made a tiny scythe and shovel and want to use them. My original plan was to base the barn like the shed, but after painting it up I kinda like the “unbased” look. The original idea is to have the tiny tools leaning against the barn (glued both at the barn point of contact and the ground), but not sure how to make it safe and secure without a base. Any ideas?

    Next I want to make some kitchen scrubber hedges and get a doormat for some fields and those wheat stacks 🙂 Then to other farm buildings (with maybe some weird elements to reinforce the setting).

    #161443
    Avatar photoGeof Downton
    Participant

    I am pretty happy with the outcome…

    So you should be! Most of us took ages to get to this kind of result, and many of us still have a way to go!

     

    …not sure how to make it safe and secure without a base. Any ideas?

    I would fix a flat(ish) something flat on the floor against the side of the building. Perhaps a plank, an old door, a felled tree trunk waiting to be chopped into firewood, or maybe a trough, then put the tools in/on that. Or simply hang them from ‘nails’ on the wall.

     

    I know we ‘old hands’ are supposed to offer encouragement, but please don’t do any more building or painting, you’re already making us look bad…

    One who puts on his armour should not boast like one who takes it off.
    Ahab, King of Israel; 1 Kings 20:11

    #161448
    Avatar photoFred B
    Participant

    I know we ‘old hands’ are supposed to offer encouragement, but please don’t do any more building or painting, you’re already making us look bad…

    You’re too kind. The main reason I put extra effort into those builds is because I was inspired by creations from people on this forum – including yours! (One day I hope to make something as elaborate as your palace!).

    I would fix a flat(ish) something flat on the floor against the side of the building. Perhaps a plank, an old door, a felled tree trunk waiting to be chopped into firewood, or maybe a trough, then put the tools in/on that.

    I really like that idea! I think I will make a tiny troth and place the tools inside. Because with a troth I can glue it neatly to the wall AND sneak in a piece of paper/tape underneath to hold it from the bottom for added stability. I might also make some old doors to lean against the barn for a little more detail on the other side. Thanks!

    #161459
    Avatar photoJim Webster
    Participant

    Some very impressive work, you look like you’re having fun as well which is what it’s about

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #161461
    Avatar photoThomaston
    Participant

    I like that shed, especially the basing.
    That barn looks like it need to have interior details, looks too good to not fight inside that thing.

    I second Geof’s suggestion. Maybe a pile of firewood so you could glue the entire length of the tools onto the stack. Other possible ideas, bales of hay or barrels. Old barn door leaned agaist the side with teh tools glued onto it. You could lean the tools in the side recess of that extension there.

    Tired is enough.

    #161488
    Avatar photoFred B
    Participant

    Jim: Thank you 🙂 Yes, I am having a blast making those – already planning more!

    Thomaston: Well, now you are making me think I might want to base the barn after all. I do like the basing on the shed, and it was fun to do. The main reason I thought against it for the shed was “what if I want to use it on something else than grass in the future), but honestly – what other surface will shed be?

    As for the interior, the roof lifts up so you can put minis there, but it’s just blank on the inside. I think it’s a tad too small to make a proper inside. I will keep it in mind for some bigger buildings tho 🙂

    I will experiment today a bit and see if I will go with a base for the barn. Then onto the next building!

    #161777
    Avatar photoFred B
    Participant

    I ended up adding the base to the barn. I am not 100% happy with it – I think it came out too thick as I got too flock happy, but you live and learn – the next one will be better 🙂 I ended up adding the scythe, shovel (pretty much invisible because I glued it too close to the wall), as well as the trough (in the back). I also got some flowers to add some visual interest.

    Overall I am pretty happy with it. I might try a smaller base for the next building, but go lighter with flocking.

    Also, should read a bit more about taking better pictures, as I think the barn looks better IRL than what the harsh lighting of my kitchen counter makes it out to be 😛

    #162185
    Avatar photoCacique Caribe
    Participant

    Fantastic buildings!  I’m going to have to steal that barn idea for a crashed UFO vs Victorians game I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.

    Dan
    Loads of WIPs: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/with/72157710630529376

    #162205
    Avatar photoOldBen1
    Participant

    Wow, there is some real inspiration here!

    I love the robots and especially the rural terrain.

    #162208
    Avatar photoAndrew Beasley
    Participant

    Looking very nice.

    I think the base thickness is fine – any thinner can lead to floppy edges or even warping under the building (Yup, I’ve suffered from floppy ‘bits’ before today). A traditional way is to chamfer the edges with a knife or sander to reduce the thickness – maybe that’s an option for you?

    A series of Steampunk books I enjoy that may give you a few ideas is (Amazon Smile link ahead) Space Captain Smith by Toby Frost – worth it for the smile even if you get no ideas…  If you ever get a chance to meet him or listen to a reading by him (assuming the Steampunk meets start again) then do so as he is hysterical to listen to and really enthusiastic about his works.

    Remember, milk before tea and little pinky out old chap!

     

    #162213
    Avatar photoThomaston
    Participant

    I can’t wait to see more of this, what’s next?
    Looks like someone been jumping out off that barn window on a regular basis from how worn the ground is. Someone snugging in to visit the farmer’s daughter maybe?

    Tired is enough.

    #162214
    Avatar photoFred B
    Participant

    Thank you all 🙂 Those comments make my day!

    Since the last post I dusted off my 3d printer as I found an appropriate house (it’s like a minor nobility or a landlord’s house) and painted that up. I definitely prefer scratch building, but it is a good way to add some more variety to the table (and it is great for tiny detail like windows!). I am now thinking about modelling some appropriate buildings from around my hometown (it was pretty rural in early XX century there) and adding them to my setup. Also, I can then share them for others to print if they want.

    Anyway, here’s some pics I took of the house I printed. Don’t really have one without the barn, so you will need to look at it again. Sorry 😉

    Andrew: I took part in few UK steampunk meetups around 2010 (especially the Asylum). I think the book you recommended might be newer, as I don’t recognize it or the author. Too bad I am not in UK anymore, I would love ti listen to his reading.

    Oh and as you can see the base lifting a bit on the barn. I chamfered the edges, but then proceeded to add too much flock (as I covered the first layer in PVA and it turned out too dark, so I added more), so it is a little tall. Well, you live and learn – the next base will be better. Also, I think it will look OK once I setup the whole table on my green felt 🙂 I can always imagine the barn sits on a tiny hill 😉

    Next on my agenda – a small tower/granary type of structure, as I want to try my hand at making brick/stone texture with clay.

     

    I can’t wait to see more of this, what’s next? Looks like someone been jumping out off that barn window on a regular basis from how worn the ground is. Someone snugging in to visit the farmer’s daughter maybe?

    My idea was that this where where the use a pulley to get the bales of hay upstairs, so there would be bunch people trampling the ground there… but I like your explanation much more 😀

    #162219
    Avatar photoAndrew Beasley
    Participant

    Andrew: I took part in few UK steampunk meetups around 2010 (especially the Asylum). I think the book you recommended might be newer, as I don’t recognize it or the author. Too bad I am not in UK anymore, I would love ti listen to his reading.

    Asylum is back in 2022 (August Bank Holiday) if you can make it back  Spookily, it was here that I first came across Mr Frost but it would be around 2015 or 2016!

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