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.


  1. Quar, I love Quar, great figures, I have the 24/28mm forces only half a platoon at the moment of each side with a few specials. Mostly so my friend doesn't have to buy, we can just play. (Yet they are still in the "I'm collecting Metal" Stage) 9 forces though, all finished? So you have it set to demo out the game to new people with ASQL? I never heard of it till I was pointed to your Blog.

    Adam Crump

  2. I have two minimum-sized forces ready with a third teetering on the brink. I've not had a chance to get a full game of ASQL on a table yet either, so I'm looking forward to playing it as well. Seems very interesting though - it lends itself to armies that range the full spectrum of sci-fi, from hard sci-fi stuff to pulp, and integrates a much wider range of unit types than a lot of other games, but is such an abstracted game that they still work together well. Should let my magpie attention span wander freely through different figure lines keeping a consistent game underneath without orphaing figs as long as I can just stay in the scale.