Thursday, March 10, 2011

In which our hero looks for a middle ground

I really don't need to be looking for more miniatures to buy at this point. I have the metal and resin on-hand or incoming to build nine different skirmish/ASQL forces. If I was going to keep buying stuff, it world make more sense to focus on developing most or all of these seeded armies into armies that would be useful in Crucible or Ogre games, as well as giving larger forces or selection alternatives for other games. Nine armies should be enough, afterall.

Yet I look.

The explosion of options in the 15mm sci fi genre of late definitely has been great for the playerbase, but it does present a challenge for people like myself who can flit from project to project so easily.

What has become a larger challenge than avoiding the temptation to hoard metal, however, is drawing the line between harder sci fi and cartoonish armies.

My present assortment of figures definitely falls on the more gritty and realistic (ha!) side of near-future sci fi - even though I do have some thoroughly-improbable entries like cat people, snakes with arms, and not-Stargate figures as the primitive requisite for my CMG Protolenes for filling out alternate army lists in ASQL, there is still not much silly happening there. This is probably the most thoroughly-developed flavor of figures in the marketplace and is very easy to collect.

But, that said, the other side can be had, and they have some very, very buyable minis.

Just to pick out a handful that are testing my resolve...

There are VSF/Steampunk lines from Black Hat and Hydra which I would love to paint. A martian and an earthling VSF army would square up against one another well, and the Hydra retro pulp robots would be imposing mecha or Tripod alternates for an invading alien force or mad science minions.

Looking toward the pulp miniatures available, Khurasan only just released some adorable octo-man cultists, as well as some mushroom-men who would fit in well with some of Hydra's little sprouts as the living plant primitive portion of a cinematic alien force.

And don't forget that Zombiesmith's lovable, beautiful Quar line has ventured tentatively into 15mm.

Clearly, there is a lot of silliness out singing siren songs to me, but I fight it. Why?

I think that in the end, the stubborn aesthete who dictates so much of my gaming adventures just can't reconcile the gritty and the silly on the same table at the same time. I find the idea of putting my grav armor up against a Burroughs-esque martian army to be somehow unappealing and unwanted.

So, as much as I drool over and admire the silly standouts, it probably won't be until I have the hard-sci fi projects wrapped up and can start doing entirely new armies to fight one another in entirely separate games that I can turn my attention to them.

How I suffer for my art.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

In which our hero has opposing forces

Huzzah! My second 100-point ASQL force is all done. After much tinkering, conversions, and color retouching, here is the playable first shot at my worm raiders.

I made good on my threat to do some conversion work on the CMG Astagar. Five poses really isn't enough to base an army on, but the combination of bending tails in alternate directions and sculpting helmets, armor, and other gear onto half of these made for a nice kick in the diversity, and I liked having all of the extra armor to pick out in white and orange, it makes the figures look great.

The grav APCs got yet another update, this time in the form of a more pronounced white and orange stripe near the back. Each is still slightly different in markings, for some added personality, but the stripe ties the infantry and armor together nicely.

Next up should be some light tanks, as well as some more infantry. The Topgun armor is a bit hard to get right now, but I have no shortage of things to keep me busy until it gets here.

As far as ASQL force makeup goes, they're rolling as an Alien Imperial Strikeforce, with a breakdown that looks like this:

1 x Shocktrooper Command Squad w/ Superior Energy Weapons and Superior Shields (17 pts)
2 x Shocktrooper Squads w/ Superior Energy Weapons and Superior Shields (24pts)
1 x Support Squad w/ Superior Energy Weapons and Superior Shields (14 pts)
3 x Armored Transport w/ Superior Heavy Turreted Weapons and Superior Shields (45 pts)

It's a very small force with a low breakpoint, so I expect them to take a lot of practice to use well. They should be pretty durable and very dangerous, though, so as long as they don't get overrun by numbers in a bad position, they've got a good shot at winning. We'll see what the dice say.