Monday, December 6, 2010

In which our hero receives a package from Critical Mass Games

Arriving today we finally get some Critical Mass Games Astagar mercenaries to play with. 

First of all, they're big. These are guys I would not want to have to fight in some crumbling future city. They aren't out-of-scale big, but just imposing figure big. 

While that extra size makes them perfect for my planned fearsome alien raider force, and promises some nice minis to paint and admire, what is also does is make basing a fiddly thing.

The commander and the close-combat brawler are going to mount on my 5/8" washers just fine, the latter will need some slight base trimming to do so, but the three long-based figures have bases that measure pretty much right at 5/8". 

They will mount on the bases, but will look a bit awkward.

So, do I get bigger bases or do I adjust the figures?

If I was doing strictly single-figure-per-base gaming, a 20mm or 25mm base would be no big deal. However, I want to be able to have some multi-figure options available for different rules sets or just to speed up unit moving in others. The two base types I am trying are bases with a magnet and drilled templates.

The magnetic bases are just a wooden base with a magnetic sheet on top, painted similar to the miniatures' basing color. This approach is easy and flexible and would accomodate the 25mm bases well enough.

The drilled template bases look better though, as they can be given the full scenic treatment and look more purposeful. 

My head says magnets, my heart says holes. 

While that nonsense sorts itself out, though, one thing is certain, if I put the Astagar on a 5/8" base somehow, they will be fine either way. I think I will give one squad a try and see what kind of repositioning the tails are capable of. Watch this space for results.

After all of that, I still havn't said much about the minis, and they should be given a chance to be complimented for certain. 

These are nice, well-executed sculpts and are faithfully and cleanly cast in good metal. There is almost no clean-up needed on these at all. The figure mix, with the gauntletted close combat mini and the carbine-armed troops definitely points to these being well-suited to an assault role, and the heavy weapon could be classified as anything from a rocket launcher to a light machinegun or pulse laser. They seem a pretty usable mux, which is good as I am trying to build an army force around a pack of five miniatures.

Given the paucity of variants I am tempted to get out the greenstuff and enhance them a bit, but truth be told, I doubt I need to. While the odd specialist or high commander might be called for, the rank and file should have sufficient variety in poses and utility in represented gear to do the job. 

Another highly-admired delivery I am going to enjoy painting soon. 

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