Friday, 9 September 2011

Basing - Choices for Starship Troopers - A dilema! Part 2

At the club, I was chatting with a club mate about the issue of basing for my Starship Troopers figures (See here for the original post ).

Having gone over the options, whilst watching a demo of the new Critical Mass Games rules and figures (15mm, see my brief comments here ).  I have decided to settle upon 2pence pieces.

Firstly they are cheap. Being only 2pence each. Secondly I have loads, pre-washed and ready.
Thirdly, they will make the plastic figures slightly more stable, as the CoG will be lower and they are slightly wider than the plastic versions they come with. And fourthly I know how to get a good basing effect with them, using basetex paint. (See this excellent guide by Matakishi)

Now this will mean I will need to look at the white metal Mobile Infantry figures, and review quite how to mount them onto 2pence pieces. Our local hardware store has miliput at around £2 a pack, for super fine, black or standard. Since my last packs went stale. Not having learnt at the time, that putting greenstuff, brownstuff or milliput etc in the freezer will extend the shelf life for years.
So, will experiment a little and see. I might need to trim the tabs down a little or i might be able to get away without. Hoping to get some basing done this weekend as i have just been too busy with other things unfortunately this last week or two.

So, check back shortly and see how I have gotten on.

Critical Mass Games - 15mm Scifi - Demo game at the Club.

A couple of guys from Critical Mass Games offered to do a demo for their new range of figures and their rule set. I have seen these being demo'ed as it were, at a few shows around the UK.
The game tables have always been nice and the figures very well present. But I have never taken the time to really study or take part. Why, I hear you cry.. well, it ain't 28mm of course!

That aside, and to be fair to the chaps, they put a good effort into it and they presented a swift and brutal game. Firstly, over looking the first fact, they are not, I repeat,not 28mm in scale. They are quite nice. Infact, I was impressed by the scaling and detail on some of the figures. Some of the styling is not too my taste, but that is the world of sci-fi. We all have our preferences.

Now the rule system, is a basic, alternative atcivation. One player, chooses a unit, and takes his actions, then vise versa untill the end. The shooting is, based on base value for the unit and then some simple modifiers, such as cover. Wounding is, is a save roll, pass or fail.
Vehicles have a simple two part damage chart, you roll to hit, you roll to penetrate. If you equal, its a roll on the minor damage. Penetrate its a major damage.

All fairly straight forward. Commanders, do a few things, and some powers/options depend on each race. Army lists are point-ed and 1500 pts is about the smallest game.

So far so good.., ok, not quite. As it stands, a basic army looks around £80! Ouch!
The rule system is ok. The rule book, however looked a little light. Firslt, no solid, comprehensive index.

If you want to rate a set of rules. Start with the index. If a rule set is well written, its index, will be simple, effective and comprehensive. i.e., so you can find all the bits and bobs, when you need it, as you learn. Not have to wade through reading the same chapter on shooting, each time a differing variation arrives.

Secondly the production was soft spine, perfect bound and what appeared as standard heat bond lazer printing. The paper is non glossy and I have a suspiciouns, after long use the text may smudge. It just looked that way, but I could be very wrong.

So, no I won't be rushing out to buy the rules. They aren't bad, just they they failed to grab me.

BUT, that aside.. the figurs are interesting. They are varied, and I was impressed by some of the vehicle basing and design.

The game played ok. I think its a marmite thing. I can see some people loving it. Some people hating it.

It did not light my fires, but then I am hard to please. Hell, I am damned hard to please!
So, I would give the mini's a B+. Their pricing, a C- and their rules a D-.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Basing - Choices for Starship Troopers - A dilema!

Ok, firstly an apology for the lack of progress on the Vietnam and Starship Troopers fronts. I am just getting over a bug, (no pun intended) that struck over the last couple of weeks.

However, now wishing to make some progress on at least one of my current two projects. I have hit a snag. Its quite a big one. Basing!

The SST figures, in their original format came on some plain plastic bases, 25mm black round solid or slotted, for the plastic and white metal infantry. The bugs as a whole are free standing.

Now, the issue is due to picking up a few packs etc second hand, I am short of bases. Also I am not a major fan of plastic bases. Generally using my 2pence pieces for everything else.
But nearly everything else I have does not have white metal tags. And so to use 2pence pieces. I would have to trim these down slightly or even completely for the white metal MI figures.

The other options is to use the rounded bases. The ones with a central depression and black raised and rounded edge. I have never used these and have no idea how tricky they are.

Generally my basing style is, to fit the figure to the 2pence, with epoxy. Its tough and not had any come loose yet! Even when trod upon. (Not recommded). The metal figure bent rather than detach. Not sure that was good, but then treading on your precious miniatures is not recommended.

Once the glue is dry. I tend to layer on some Basetex paint. Sprinkle a bit of model railway ballast on in patches to give some texture variety and then leave to dry. Rub off any un-glued ballast and figure is ready to undercoat.

Now I prefer to base then undercoat and I am sure others will choose the reverse. But now I am still ensure which way to go.

Looking at Dropships Site and his MI platoon.

Photo from
You can see the original mongoose plastic bases are perfectly servicable. They are near if not identicle to the standard games workshop infantry bases.

But I I am wondering if the figures will look better on these

I suspect the answer will not arrive untill I try all three options and decide which I like the most.