Forum Replies Created
Regarding photos, I like to see an overview of the battlefield to help orient me. Otherwise, a mix of close up and wider views as needed to convey the story of the battle.
In the text, particularly if part of a campaign, a little backstory to put it all into perspective, some sort of description of the size of the forces, a brief presentation of the plan of battle, and a narrative that tells the story of the battle. I don’t care about details of your rules, unless maybe they are a set of house rules. I don’t need turn by turn, step by step description of the execution of the rules and dice results, I’m more interested in the story of the battle, than a description of playing the game, if that makes sense.
A closing discussion touching on losses, and how the results of the battle fit into the narrative or impact the campaign (when applicable) are nice too.
Thanks guys. I was completely surprised by the way the chase game developed, and kind of blind-sided that they got away with the girl. I didn’t really think it would happen. I’m going to work on seeing where the story (and scenarios) go over the weekend.
The rules are all home-brew, the same set for both games. They grew out of a set that I wrote for a light role-play colonial adventure set around piracy and whatnot in the south Pacific (inspired by the movie Nate and Hayes among other things). I expanded them to include a wider range of weapons and equipment, and have worked with two versions, a sort of long and short version, having a little more or less granularity. The short version works great for smaller skirmishes, but the range of factors and results is a little cramped for something like the jungle game, so I’m sort of weighing how to compromise the two.
The second game was envisioned as a pursuit ending in a firefight, but rolled up with four parties involved, one being random critters, and ended up going it a little different from what I expected. There were two smaller children, one of which mostly ends up out of the pics that are 28mm Hasslefree figs, and one older child that was from Leading Edge. I can’t remember if those were marketed as 25mm or 28mm. It was from either the Lawnmower man set or one of the Aliens sets.
This probably doesn’t help, but…
I’ve never the stuff that you mention, but the impression that I have from my wife’s use of it in scrap-booking and paper-craft is that it is more or less the same thing as my acrylic artist’s matte varnish or matte medium. If you are worried about yellowing, I would suggest the artist’s materials, as I’ve used them since the late 1980s, and haven’t noticed any particular yellowing of anything that I’ve used them on. While they can be pricy (I buy it by the gallon), my experience has been that they are still less expensive than the stuff she bought for paper-crafting.
Also, the rattle can that Norm mentions is excellent for figs.
I would say that there are different things to be experienced through games of different scope, but any assumption that the grand battle or grand cause always provides the best game is incorrect. Also, I think what you suggest is often true for genres and periods other than fantasy.
As I consider the various periods that I play, the most memorable games are more often than not, very small, simple games, despite my general delight with big tables and big battles.
For the last 33 years, I’ve used 3-D rolling terrain made from modular foam tiles. Trees are mounted in singles or groups of up to maybe four trees, with forests being built up form multiple stands, using larger or smaller stands of trees as the terrain permits. Buildings and other constructs are always individual pieces, with no “area” representation of forest, towns, etc. The terrain isn’t diorama-like, but is less “compromised ” and a lot more detailed than what is generally suggested above.
All of my figs have been individually mounted, except for some Fire & Fury ACW, which only lasted maybe three years before being sold off. Most games involved the use of individually mounted figs ranging from 15mm to 28mm scales, with forces totaling tens to maybe 800 figs on the table. These games can involve ancients, ACW, medieval, colonials, Boxer, and various 20th century armies. Some of our 15mm medieval, ,Boxer Rebellion and ACW games involve 800-4200 figs and we use small trays for some of the movement. The trays vary depending on whose figs are being used (we have two different base sizes for different periods), and measure no more than roughly 8″ x 2.5 inches and can accommodate 24 figs.
The same terrain is used for the games, whether figure trays are used or not. The stands are simply disposed of, if areas of the terrain does not permit their use. generally this means that some portion of the figs are on trays for all or most of the games. Our movement phases in these games usually take 3-10 minutes, and we often play dozens of turns during an afternoon game.
For me, the appearance of terrain is very important and greatly adds to the immersive experience of the game. I find it much harder to enjoy a game with basic terrain on a flat table, probably even more so, given that we have found a method that better fits our gaming style. In the end, I think that it is just a matter of achieving that; finding a method that fits the type of games that you want to play. Compromise is always made, but I don’t think it is a black and white issue.
Norm, that was an excellent post. It was a nice read that filled my quieter moments through the day; thanks for sharing your year and Merry Christmas.
I utterly disagree with the quote in the initial post. Though I don’t think the original author of the quote meant it in this way, addressing what figures are “acceptable” for use today, almost feels a little like someone telling me that I’m not playing with toy soldiers properly. It is just philosophically different from my approach.
I still have some of my figures that were sculpted in the late 1970s and early 1980s, some of them not fantastic sculpts artistically, but they are more to me than an aesthetically or technically critiqued creation. They also hold a piece of the enthusiasm and sensation that I had at the time that I received them. They have a history as characters, heroes, and villians. They are more to than the sum of their physical parts, as they have been with me for 40 years. Not only are they acceptable, despite maybe being the product of more basic skills, materials, and tools, but in many instances, they are preferred to more modern figures, without consideration of style, scale, or accuracy.
They are “timeless” to me because of their overall appeal, which encompasses more than just their detail and accuracy. They include 15mm Heritage/Quality Castings 15mm WWII infantry, various heritage fantasy figures, Ral Partha fantasy, Superior Models fantasy figures, Firefight 20 Vietnam and Cold War figs, late 1980s GW Imperial Guard, and many others.
Thanks for sharing the PDF. Why did you need to laminate the sheet?
irishserb08/12/2020 at 10:36 in reply to: Do I Really want to Pay More For Wargames Figures? #148004
First, let me qualify that I didn’t listen to the whole podcast yet (to hours is a lot of hobby time for me).
What I find from the above is that many of the assumptions about me and my hobby, and the way (at least) some gamers approach their hobby is not correct, or at least not my experience. For example, with respect to madaxeman’s example above, I’ve never been a big ancients gamer (though I do have some interest there), and neither have the members of my gaming groups over the years. But, for pre-mechanization 15mm armies, my armies have ranged from 800 -1800 figures, 4-10 times the size of his example. My 15mm mechanized armies tend to range from 300-500 figures, and, 80-400 vehicles and aircraft, where vehicles run typically 15-33 times the cost of a fig.
I suspect that the amount of time that I spend deciding which figures to buy is far less than madaxeman’s experience given probably differences in our approach to the hobby, and thus, his roughly $30 increased cost for his 180 fig army is increased to an extra $330 for my smaller armies, now when you multiply that over my 38 or so 15mm WWII to modern era armies (my earlier period armies have mostly switched over to 28mm), that translates into around $12, 500 dollars. In a big spending year, I might pop out around $1200-1300 hobby dollars, so to follow the practice that he suggests, I lose all of my figs from my 10 highest spending hobby years.
A lot of my armies would simply never get to be, to save a relatively small number of hours. I don’ t have a lot of free time, and the time spent considering which figures to buy usually consists of down time between projects at work, sitting in the car waiting for my wife to pick up the odd item at the store, etc. I’m not losing premium time over where to buy my figs. I couldn’t be painting my figs or playing a game with the time instead. Additionally, I am often reduced to choosing from 1 or 2 serious contenders for my figs, as “over-priced” figs are almost always out, and the worst figs are usually out, unless they are the one available line. The money is far more important than the time with respect to this issue.
Beyond that, I have some philosophical issues about marketing, profit margins, and a lot of other things. I don’t buy into “premium” quality at a price disproportionate to production cast. “Best quality” is a subjective term, considering price, style, scale, accuracy, package quality, turn-around time, scope of range, and other issues, not just artistic quality of the fig.
I master and cast some of my own stuff, and someties sell some stuff too. probably falling into that hobby business category of Mike’s. That happened, because some gamers begged me to make some of my models available to them, because they were unhappy with what was out in the market place or couldn’t find what I made otherwise, not because I wanted to stop any full blown businessmen from eating. Anyway, the cost of making a really good master, vs. making a not so good master is like 8 percent more time for me. I imagine people who are good at this, can do better, so why the frick is the difference between average and good miniatures prices often a 50 percent price increase? It doesn’t cast me any more to cast a good miniature, than a crappy miniature. This is more notable in larger scales, but given my experience, that lower end 31p figure should be more like 35p if done pretty nicely.
Now, another manufacturer offering something that I want, saves me the time of mastering and casting my own, and that convenience is worth something to me (casting is brain numbingly boring for those who don’t do it), so I might be willing (as in, absolutely) to pay more than what I suggest in the last paragraph without holding any grudges or anything, but I’m not a fan of the concept of “premium pricing” because buying an over-priced item (relative to production costs), makes some insecure dude feel good about himself, or because somebody just wants to gouge me so that they can buy another lear jet for the family. And, I’m happy to pay a “fair’ price, one that keeps my miniature maker/supplier and his kids eating well, warm, and dry with hopefully a bit more to enjoy. I appreciate the manufacturer, because he does save me the time of making masters, molds, and casting, which lets me game more armies and periods. I want the manufacturer to do well, but not at the cost of taking away enough of my hobby, that I might consider doing something else, which madaxeman’s suggestion, if acted on, might be enough to do in my case.
I think that the real answer to the question is that the hobby marketplace is made up of quite a variety of buyers (just consider the different perspectives, habits and interests shared above), with different “needs’, and as a result, there is room for a range of manufacturer’s who can appeal to different parts of that market place. The trick for them is that they need to understand their part of that market well enough to be successful, which I wish upon all of them (well, maybe except for those two lear jet miniatures manufacturers).
Interesting, I would have thought that the SLR would have had pretty broad introduction by then. Do you favor any particular manufacturer for the figs?
Thanks for the ideas. I talked to my wife about scrapbook punches, and she also has a Scan & Cut that might do the job. I figure I’ll also look through some industrial supply catalogs for disks and lenses and whatnot to see what off the shelf options might be out there.
Outstanding painting and post!
Back in the early 1980s, when I first started gaming with micro-armor, I became fascinated with the idea of gaming Cold War hot games set in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. At the time, money for miniatures, information, and the limits of available miniatures all conspired to shelve this as a dream.
The desire to game these WWIII battles over the years never went away, and about 10 years ago, I started to consider if and how I would go abut doing this. By this time I had started doing a lot of solo gaming, and most of my efforts went into long term campaigns. In 2017 I started reconsidering how I would go about pursuing early Cold War battles in more detail, and began researching the Cold War 1950s and 60s in some depth, though hadn’t really committed to building the project yet.
In 2018, I started painting a little bit of 6mm stuff for my African imagi-nation campaign, got the bug, and started painting/repainting some of my Cold War 6mm stuff. It happened almost by accident, and turned into an avalanche. I knew that I wanted to play at least four different WWIII scenarios as campaigns, spread out over the decades, and eventually settled on building armies for 1958, 1968, 1977, and 1982.
Since mid 2018, I’ve painted 4000 vehicles and aircraft, 800 stands of infantry, reworked bases on 400 more stands, added stats to my home-brew rules for maybe 200 additional vehicles and aircraft, worked out two different air combat systems (one completely from scratch, another an interface for Missile Threat), compiled TO&Es and orders of battle, and have created a 1958 version of GDWs The Third World War to act as a strategic campaign mechanism for my game. I’m currently painting some 6mm buildings, and working on various details and bits, and expect to start fighting battles over the Christmas break.
The current plan is to game WWIII in Germany set in 1958 for awhile. I’ll probably learn some things from the process, make some adjustments, and then do the same thing set in 1968, then set in 1977-78, and again in 1982-83.
Somewhere in there, I may interrupt the wars in Germany to play out a War set in Iran as a result of the hostage crisis. The idea coming after reading “Guests of the Ayatolah”, based on the idea that Iranians took over the Soviet embassy, and the Soviets go all-out into Iran. Far fetched, but offers an interesting change of setting, plus gives three forces, rather than two.
Most of the work for my WWIII game has taken placed over the the last two and a half years, so not sure if that is long term or not, but the idea, and the first miniatures date back to 1983, maybe 1982.
I just went Nathaniel’s route of playing both sides, incorporating a sort of character/role playing element into the commands. I have to say that it opened up a whole new area of gaming and enjoyment for me.
Best of luck with your rules, please share your ideas/rules/methods with us as they develop.
Mike, I would be interested in your opinion piece, and would likely buy the issue for your opinion, than for a scenario, review, or rules discussion.
I bumped into wargaming a couple of times before tumbling into the rabbit hole. The first real game encounter came when I received a second hand copy of Avalon Hill’s France 1940 game in late summer of 1976. But rabbit hole event was when a friend introduced me to Heritage’s Panzertroops in the fall of 1980. We began playing with 1/72 scale airfix figures and various vehicle kits, and miniatures gaming has been a part of my life ever since.
That really looks good, I had to give the first pick a second look also.
Absolutely great battle report. There was a lot going on in that game.
I haven’t played anything that complex yet, but really like the rules, and am impressed at how well they manage so many different aspects of air combat.
I just want to offer that my views here are based on my experience in a traditional retail hobby shop, mail order sales, and manufacturer to direct sales. They are my expectations of myself, from the vantage point as the seller, not as the consumer.
Independent of my opinions about business models, I think that a consumer should never be surprised about fees that they have paid, and would be annoyed, if I shared the experience of the OP.
I can see why that would be upsetting, that is a pretty dramatic overcharge. Have you contacted the company, maybe it is an artifact of an error in the shopping cart, and nobody is aware.
I’ve not really encountered this on domestic purchases in the US. I have had some overseas orders from the UK and Spain that were kind of high, but that was’t enough to upset me at more like 1.5 times that actual shipping cost, not by orders of magnitude.
I don’t understand why some shopping carts can calculate actual shipping cost, and others produce numbers that are wildly off the mark.
As far as handling and packing charges go, I’m not charged for construction, and shelving fees at the retail storefront, so I really don’t “buy” into the handling costs thing. That should be covered in the mark up of the product. The profit margin on the retail sale is the handling and packing fee.
I understand that buying a single $5 item is probably a net loss for a lot of companies, so I understand the idea of a minimum shipping charge or minimum order requirement. I don’t expect the owner to ship out bunches of tiny orders, earning half minimum wage to for the effort. But packing fees on “normal” orders is just tacky as far as I’m concerned, as is overtly excessive shipping fees.
Much appreciated guys, many thanks!!
I’m not surprised that interest would have been limited, and was particularly surprised to find a Vietnam game being played in miniature prior to 1970. I also can’t imagine how hard it must have been to research this stuff back then, let alone trying to come up with figs. I look at my own library and collection of figures and gain an entirely new appreciation for how spoiled I am.
For me, the first limiting factor was scale. Early on in my gaming, I realized that scale was really a pragmatic issue. My playing style was to use one to one representation, this dictated that small scale allowed games of bigger scope with bigger units, and that larger scales were more limiting, though could provide a different level of detail and flavor. This served to exclude some scales altogether, and to focus on specific scales for specific periods, scopes, and flavor.
When I was about 30. I came to realize that there were two types of projects; those that I’m interested in and make a point to work on, and those that I’m interested in, but always put aside to work on something else. What it came down to for me, was that when I had time, I would always work on a group of projects that I now refer to as “core interests”. In my case, those consist mostly of periods that interested me prior to really getting into gaming.
Now it is simply a function of awareness of mortality. I might have 30 years, but probably a lot less. I’m not going to live forever, and there are some things that I’ve really wanted to do since I was a kid, for the most part, I’m finally doing them. Getting distracted will keep me from things that I’ve treasured my whole life.
When I see something new, and I feel that, “These are really cool, I’ve got to have them” thing, I just think about the three rules above; scale, core, and impending doom. It gets easier to just say “no”.
Good looking model!
Zippyfusenet, I appreciate the thoughts. I have all three volumes and am finding the first book to be fascinating on many different levels. I read a lot of the discussion about the validity of the books and about what was omitted and whatnot. It is a fascinating window into history, part of a much larger Cold War project.
Slowly working my way through the first volume of Khrushchev Remembers.
Actually, yes, over the last two weeks.
Back in December, I discovered that one of the cats had knocked over my paint water, walked through it and a wet pallet, and then through my diner and bits. Cleaning it resulted in undoing much of the paint that i had on it it at the time, so I cleaned it up somewhat and put it aside for awhile. Anyway, been working on it lately so here are a couple pics of the progress:
There are a couple more pics from the rear on my blog at:
I still need to address the roof, and have a bunch of clutter to add to the interior yet. I’m hoping to wrap it up over the weekend.
In general, any time I start a new project, I expect to build a lot of terrain for it. I also usually expect that some of my existing terrain will also be used with the new project. In my case, I have a modular system that I use, and have three basic environments, green forest, yellow desert, and a mixed jungle themed set.
With respect to fantasy, I plan to venture back into it starting this winter, and expect to build a lot of 28mm terrain pieces catering to the various races and factions. It is possible that I will add some winter and tundra terrain for fantasy too, which would be new realms for me (in addition to the forest, desert, and jungle). Not only does the idea of building probably at least 70, and maybe up to 200 cubic feet of terrain not put me off, I am particularly looking forward to it.
I posted a few pics on my blog of the new models from AIM, here is the A-37:
The OV-10 and O-2 are pictured on my blog at:28/08/2020 at 19:02 in reply to: How Would You Game A Wrecked Zoo Specimen Spaceship? #143066
On a different computer now, I can see that I missed the point of the first post. Sorry.
I think that you could set the re-capture up as a series of separate scenarios or even a campaign, but you could spice it up having the group hunt down a prey type animal, while its natural predator was hunting it and then them after recapturing the prey-critter. You could also have wild critters on the planet interfering too. And possibly poachers locals getting involved. Maybe an escaped predator could be trying to eat the locals, or the locals are trying to kill it, before it eats them, and the crew needs to try to find it before the locals. There could be locals working both with and against the crew.
A side element could be securing parts/fuel/supplies whatever for repairing the ship and being able to care for the critters that are captive, while others are still being re-captured. Oh, and then their could be the locals trying to steal parts from the ship or supplies and tools from the crew hunting party. Lots of directions you could go with this.
This could make a great convention game, run as a serious of events at a multi-day convention, if we ever get to do that again.28/08/2020 at 13:25 in reply to: How Would You Game A Wrecked Zoo Specimen Spaceship? #143051
The first post is displaying funny, and I can’t read most of it, as the book photo is set over top of most of the text, so I apologize if this isn’t quite responsive to what is being asked, but the title immediately spawned an idea, so I figure that I’ll throw it out here:
The game that I see centers around a space going cargo ship hauling a specialize purpose made module. The ship suffers damage, maybe struck by something or an internal explosion involving storage tanks/fuel/etc. The ship has to set down in a heap of hury on the nearest planet, and semi-crashed among rock or jungle, where the ship takes some more damage.
The crew is relatively intact, but the transport module is damaged, losses power, and the stasis cells are shut down and hatches released. Slowly the critters recover and some work their way out of the ship. Some take a lot longer to do this, and others don’t leave at all. Some critters are big, others very small, some are predators, others are relatively friendly, cuddly even, but are specialized hunters of other big/mean/dangerous/or threatening things, and might work for or with the crew.
The ships power is down, no comms, so they need to get to an old relay station X-miles away, and send off a message that they survived and need help. They have very limited lethal weapons, but have some equipment to capture and restrain critters. Maybe something short ranged that neutralized brain or nerve activity of a critter. A short ranged shooty “weapon” that is very inaccurate and puts the shooter in harms way.
The game is the players collecting their equipment at the crash site, and deciding whether to split up or have all go to the relay station, and get there fighting terrain, alien weather, alien flora and fauna, and the zoo critters now roaming about the planet.
There could be a lot of details about the critters that come into play, poisonous bites or touch, psychic, chemical emissions, there could be subplots with crew, like one or more could be involved in a heist of the critters (maybe that is what caused the explosion), or just smuggling something on the ship or inside one of the critters, etc. I imagine maybe up to 20 crew include ship crew and various zoologist and handlers, with each player running 3-5 figs, depending on the sub-plots.
This could be done in miniature such that at the start, only a small terrain piece is with the crashed ship is on the table, and terrain is assembled in chunks (as far as they could see) as the party goes off towards the relay station. This way, the players don’t really know what is coming in advance, no birds-eye view. though maybe a couple tall landmarks get placed at the start as well, and then connected as more lower terrain is added. Just a thought.27/08/2020 at 12:54 in reply to: Armies Army/Battlefront 15mm British Infantry Compatibility #142991
Thanks Shaun, just checked it out, and looks very promising.
Yeah, I started keeping a list years ago. I eventually broke down projects into 10 “steps”, and keep track of the progress. Currently, there are 260 “projects” on the list with total work/steps around 52 percent complete for around 25 different periods/genres/settings. I originally started it to help me keep track of what was done and what wasn’t, but it has been more of a motivational tool over the years. At the end of each year I cross off completed projects, and add new projects through each year. Some years it gets a little smaller, most years it gets a little bigger. I posted about it a couple of years back on my blog at:
Man, those really look nice. Thanks for sharing them.28/07/2020 at 12:22 in reply to: If Cost Is The SAME, Would You Rather MAKE Or BUY Terrain? #141315
Have to kind of chuckle at Mr. Average’s last comment.
Though I don’t build many landscape models at work any more (mostly industrial and mechanical sthings), for decades I spent my days at work, building 3D roadway and topographical models under very short fused deadlines for trial, then would go home and build modular terrain for gaming using the same methods and materials. One caused an ulcer, the other cured it, despite performing the same process for each.26/07/2020 at 13:10 in reply to: If Cost Is The SAME, Would You Rather MAKE Or BUY Terrain? #141181
Make. Not even close. I don’t buy a lot of non-figures, but when I do, it is because of my time constraints, and I always feel bad about not just taking the time to build my own. It falls somewhere between cheating and a lost opportunity.
I even feel bad about buying miniatures a lot of the time, particularly vehicles, aircraft, etc. The only reason that I don’t sculpt miniatures of people is that i take so long to do it, and we’re back to my time issue.
That is quite interesting.
Surprised to see that Vespasian was reincarnated as Lyndon Johnson (or maybe I’m remembering an actor that played Johnson).25/07/2020 at 13:31 in reply to: I enjoy setting up the table as much as any other part of miniatures #141106
As I set up the terrain, I often consider the background stories of the terrain. The past conflicts that certain buildings have witnessed and survived, what might have stood there before, what the town was like before war came, etc. I also start to imagine backgrounds for the troops, where they are from, what their experiences are. As I do this, it all comes to life.
Thanks for the heads-up about H&R. I don’t have an immediate need, so I can wait a little while. I had looked a day of so before posting this, and didn’t see any update yet, so was afraid it might be some time before he started again.
I don’t think that anyone is claiming that the lack of photos has driven anyone out of business. I also think that there has been some valid discussion from both sides of the issue, probably more constructive in my experience, than in past instances of this discussion. While I may be disqualified from having a valid opinion as part of the vocal minority, I can offer that I am sure that at least 70 percent of the gamers that have been part of my regular gaming groups over the years have decided not to buy miniatures at one time or another due to the lack of available photos.
For me it depends on the type of miniatures and whether I’m familiar with the company. A company new to me, will likely not get the sale. A company that I am very familiar with and is consistent with quality and style is more likely to get the sale. Where quality or style varies with the age of sculpts, I lean to the side of caution, and either won’t buy or may buy a sample. That said, I understand that challenges that sellers face. In my case, I did everything from the sculpting to the packaging and shipping, plus 50-70 hours a week at a day job. I understand why there aren’t pics of every fig.
I think the simple answer is that some companies don’t need to provide photos of figs to maintain an acceptable business flow. If you are making enough sales and profit to meet your needs/expectations without photos, why add photos? Growth is not always a good thing. In my case, when I was selling (not that I’ve stopped permanently), I got frequent requests from those who asked me to send them free miniatures and they would advertise for me. I would thank them, but decline, as in my experience demand was usually on the edge of, or exceeding capacity. My sales met and usually exceeded my goals. I didn’t need a shopping cart, advertising, and other things that were offered/requested/demanded to and from me. I suspect that photos fall into a similar realm for some.