Friday, January 23, 2015

Decision Making Time

   Alright, I have already made the decision and spent a few bucks in the pursuit of some 15mm Sci Fi, after years of holding out. The basic plan is to keep things relatively small scale, unlike my other grandiose projects, so that I can get a sense of accomplishment that will spur me forward. I am thinking a company-sized force on each side as the largest I want to field. That would be three infantry platoons of about 20-30 figures each, a command section, and a few support elements like a trio of grav bike scouts, a squad of power armour, or some crew-served weapons. Artillery will be off board, period, except for mortars. Just an observer team in play. Add in a few vehicles as well, no more than a platoon (3-4 vehicles). Figure eventually a hundred-ish figures for a side. Going to start with a platoon or so of each force and work my way up. Probably only do two or three factions (definitely two: Chuhuac and a human force).

   I have three decisions to make at this point, that will affect how I proceed. I thought mulling it over publicly and entertaining suggestions and polling the public would help me decide.


   I have downloaded FUBAR. Not bad. I like the simplicity of it. I have also purchased Gruntz 15mm, which has a decent following on TMP and elsewhere. Also, not bad, and fairly straightforward. I like straightforward. So, I am looking for any other suggestions. I could always use GASLIGHT as well, since I have always liked how those rules work. I'm pretty sure there is even a mod for Flames of War into a Sci Fi game out there on the interwebs somewhere. Any other comments or suggestions?


   FUBAR seems pretty straight-forward individual basing. That's fine for games with no more than two or three small units like I plan on starting with, but if I have to start moving a hundred or more figures a turn (like a company of infantry), that's going to take too much time. Gruntz has an optional rule, very simple, to go from individual basing to squad basing. This is making me lean a bit towards Gruntz. However, I don't want to always play a company-level game, either. For a platoon-level game, I don't want to have just seven or eight stands for maneuver elements. Finally, I would rather do one or the other, and not have some on stands and some on individual bases. That just makes more work for me to find, buy, and paint. So that's poll #2.


   I need to decide on my Terran Hegemony force. I like the looks of both Khurasan's Federals and Critical Mass's ARC fleet. Definitely like the HALO-esque vibe. I am also a fan of Ground Zero Games's Neu Swabian League and New Anglian Confederation. All three manufacturers have pretty extensive lines so getting the figures I need shouldn't be a problem. Khurasan is in the US, which is an advantage, but has that issue about closing his website down sort of randomly and for unpredictable lengths of time.  I can't even show you pictures of the troops right now because it's down. Both Critical Mass and Ground Zero are in the UK, so I have to deal with currency differences and international shipping. I don't know if either has a US distributor, but that would help their cause.

GZG Neu Swabian League Panergrenadiers

  Then there is the question of vehicles for the Hegemony. I like Ion Age's line of vehicles, but also Critical Mass, Ground Zero Games, and Khurasan vehicles as well. This is easier to mix and match, though. Definitely want some bike-mounted recon units, an APC platoon, a C3 vehicle, and maybe a trio of tanks. Maybe a VTOL as well. Not sure if I want grav tanks or tracked. Not wheeled (for tanks), but wheeled for transports and C3 is fine.

Neu Swabian League Fan bikes


daveb said...

Company sized sounds like overkill in 15mm to be honest. I suppose it depends on the ruleset, but I'd stick to a platoon with some toys and vehicles to start with.

Mixing and matching is great fun....perhaps too much fun. Another reason to aim low for the troop count is you are likely to overbuy anyway and have various toys (heavy weapons, bots, grav bikes, etc) which will expand things too much.

Buckeye said...

Force on Force for rules, which means mounting figures singly, and GZG, while in the UK, is great to deal with, and the exchange rate right now is in the U.S.'s favor.

TamsinP said...

You could always go with individually based in 15mm for platoon+ level, then group based in 6mm for company+ sized actions.

GZG's wormhole to the US is pretty reliable (and fast), but I can understand your concern about the shipping costs.

David Wood said...

1- Other- I like Tomorrow's War by Osprey- very dynamic participation as opposed to yougo-Igo-which calls for individual basing, explaining my vote on the second subject.

2- Basing- individual.

3- Other- I love Khurasan's new GOTA Clans for humans in their Zantin Reconquest line. They are perfect for near-future or far- beautiful minis.

Maj. Diz Aster said...

1. Gruntz 15mm - very flexible rules system.

2. Individual basing.

3. Something else - Clear Horizon Miniatures Hell Divers. Beautiful minis. Made in U.S. Reasonably priced. Harold's line is growing and he doesn't constantly go on hiatus and shut his site down.

Marcin Gerkowicz said...

1. Rules: "PMC 2640" - combined armes games focused with different types of infatry as stars of the show, totally antiheroic and mercilessly sharp. The free (but fully playable) demo is here:
(to make the things clear: I designed and published this ruleset so I like it a lot :D)

2. I voted for individual bases: you can always make movement-tray-style bases and put the minis on them if needed. But vice-versa it not possible.

3. Minis, minis, minis! Whatever you like the most! My personal favorities are Oddzial Ósmy, Antenociti Workshop (vehicles), Rebel minis (fits well with O8) and Brigade models (especially if you like hovercrafts). CHM are also very good, but do not match my army unfortulately (althought I condider "modernize" my air-force with their minis).

Ruaridh said...

I voted FUBAR for rules, because they are free, easy to modify and will get you gaming more quickly. Gruntz looks nice and I own it but have not played it. Tomorrow's War will not suit company-sized battles and has a very steep learning curve. Quadrant 13 might give you the company-sized game you want, as might FutureWarCommander. I have both but find Q13 difficult to read because the writing style does not suit me. I have played FWC and enjoyed it a lot.

Basing: base individually and use movement trays for large battles. Brigade Models do some trays designed for figures based on metal washers with a magnet in the tray. You could easily make you own though.

Figures: it's all personal preference and what aesthetic you want. I can't really help with that, although I really like the GZG ranges.

Anonymous said...

1.Other=Stargrunt II. FUBAR is great to start with, but Stargrunt II (free from GZG) is a solid rules set with an emphasis on maneuver and morale over super detailed stat lines for each model.

2.Singly. I base my models on nickel washers so that if I ever need to base them by squad, I can easily magnetize them to a larger base.

3.Khurasan's shop does close now and then, but the quality of service and product, and the extensiveness of his line, is well worth it.

 Ashley said...

I have one word for you – sabot. Use sabot bases and you can mix and match singles with groups as the mood takes you. Basing should never be an issue, because IMNSHO rules that insist on fixed base sizes need to get real, because no-one wants to have to re-base figures each time they change to a different rule set.

Chris Kemp said...

Think Big!* Use company and half battalion bases to put divisions, corps and Armies onto the tabletop :-)

Kind regards, Chris

*I would have voted for "other", but your poll was closed