Thursday, July 31, 2014

Why I love 6mm Sci Fi.

I'm not sure where it started. Maybe it was all those games of Ogre from way back, and wanting to do it in miniatures.

I hadn't really collected any 6mm stuff when I was young. I recall seeing a vendor at Fall-in! who was selling Baccus 6mm historicals. I would constantly be looking at all the bases of ancients and napoleonics. Those looked like armies. When Command Horizon came out, it was the motivating force to put together 2 armies and GM games at the local cons.

It was a fun game, but open to too many rules lawyer incidents, (at least the games I ran) which led me to look elsewhere for something fun.

FWC was interesting, but I was making armies with lots of 15mm sci fi I had lying around.

Mini Mech was inspired by: 1. a super long and utterly disgusting game of Battletech, where 6 of us tried to run a lance of mechs each. 2. a fantastic Kaiju city table with foam buildings all over it. 3. throw in a little online mechwarrior city map and viola!

I guess I like the fact that with 6mm, you have plenty of room to maneuver on a small table. It doesn't hurt that they are easy to paint and terrain is much easier to make.

I certainly keeps me happier than 28mm ever did.

In the end, I guess it's play what you like, and I like 6mm sci fi.



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

TUTORIAL: "Painting 6mm Desert Buildings"

I'm not sure if everyone had seen this quick tutorial by Tony Francis, of Brigade Models, on how he paints their line of 6mm Desert Buildings. Even though the tutorial was originally posted on the Brigade Models blog over a month ago, it is still interesting and informative, so here is a link to the original post

Monday, July 28, 2014

TEASER - Future releases from PFC C-in-C's Solar Empire Marines line

A little treat for our readers, care of Gerard Goyette, the sponsor of PFC C-in-C's Solar Empire Marines line -

These are a couple of teaser photos of the wave that is set to release after the next wave (due out shortly) of the SEM line. The first photo shows civilian irregulars in various poses and with various weaponry. The next photo shows, starting from the top, Solar Empire Marines in berets, followed by 5 mercenaries (2 apes with guns, 2 Drakas, and a menacing Bounty Hunter). Next are 2 types of a race called the RISO (Robotic Interfaced Sentient Organism). Finally, 2 animals; a wild Kanga and a pack Kanga (don't these guys have a cousin on Hoth?)

Great looking additions to the very popular line. We'll be eagerly awaiting these.
Thanks to Gerard Goyette for this sneak peek.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

One from the Short Bus

It’s always challenging for me to introduce myself to a bunch of strangers: in person, I’m generally quiet and reserved, occasionally erupting in sporadic moments of verbose grandiosity that would rival Peter Griffin in their demeanor and eloquence. Be that as it may, I’ll do my best to convey a general idea of why I’m rendering my opinions and ideas here alongside the other august persons from whom you’ve already heard.

My name is Karl Johnson, and I’ve been involved in wargaming as a hobby since the mid-70’s. I started out with some of the more well-known (at the time, at least) Avalon Hill and SPI board wargames, with a little D&D and 1ed AD&D on the side. My first exposure to miniatures gaming occurred in my freshman year of high school in the form of 15mm Napoleonics and American Civil War battles – not my favorite genres, but entertaining and informative, to say the least. When one of the members let me peruse his WWII microarmor collection, I instantly knew I’d found the perfect scale for miniatures gaming. Coupling that with my intense enjoyment of science fiction novels, TV shows, and films, I began to indulge in what has become an enduring pastime for the last few decades, and for more than a few reasons.

When several of my gaming buddies eventually asked why I’d bother to collect and want to use such small miniatures for gaming, I gave them three reasons - each of which is just as valid today as it was back in those days (just after the introduction of those most valuable of household accoutrements, the Chia Pet and the Pet Rock):

While the selection of scifi-based models was somewhat sparse back then (modern-era microarmor filled several alien species’ roles when necessary), the choice as to 6mm figure styles has increased to the point where suitable models for nearly any genre one would wish to portray in their tabletop battles can be had from a large variety of manufacturers. Whether one chooses to engage in games set in a commercially popular setting or a universe of their own creation, models with the right visual appeal are only a few mouse clicks away.

There is also a great selection of gaming rules available for the gamer’s enjoyment, including commercially produced and freely downloadable sets that cover nearly every facet of gaming between small skirmishes and multi-divisional planetary invasion forces.

When watching or participating in games using 15mm or 25mm figures, it always seemed a bit odd to me that the larger the figures were on the tabletop, the shorter their in-game range and movement measurements became in relationship to the terrain and size of model. With 6mm figures, one can get a better perspective of the relative distances between the combatants and their capabilities, and has room for performing meaningful maneuvers with their ersatz troopers - as opposed to just lining up across the table and moving in a generally forward direction to engage and destroy those foul-smelling knuckle draggers made of lead and pewter controlled by your friends or acquaintances.

If the reader has taken even the most cursory of glances at 6mm-scale miniatures, he’s noticed that he can own a platoon of 6mm vehicles or infantry (or even an entire company, in some cases) for the same investment as a single 15mm vehicle, and can take home (or have delivered to his doorstep) an entire battalion of troops and equipment for the value of a single 25/28mm vehicle model kit, with many 6mm miniatures having detailing that rivals that of their larger counterparts. This is great for the gamer on a budget, as he can collect a sizable force for a small investment, and a much larger force for a small fraction of the costs incurred when purchasing an equivalent force in a larger figure scale.

While financial economy is an attractive incentive, there are other appealing economic aspects to gaming and collecting in 6mm: space and time. Leaving aside some Einsteinian meanderings, it’s much less time-consuming to assemble, paint, and field a small-scale army than a larger-scale army, and, depending on the level of engagement one wishes to play, games can be played using a surface area as small as a coffee or end table in your home.

So, there you have it – a few thought from a slightly-deranged geezer that still likes to play with toy soldiers regarding the attractions of utilizing miniatures in the One True Wargaming Scale. I’ll be shuffling along and handing the mic over to another of the gents that have graciously donated their time to put in a few good words about our enthusiastically-shared form of recreation, but will be creating semi-regular content here on Planet Ares VI for your entertainment and eventual enlightenment and/or befuddlement about the diverse aspects of small scale gaming.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

So who's this bozo then?

Well I guess it's my turn to introduce myself.
Lets see, My name is Stijn Van der Jonckheyd (AKA Stroezie on most forums) I've been collecting and painting miniatures since the early 90's mainly for use with various tabletop RPG's. I only really got into wargaming with the release of Warmachine in 2003, loved it when it was all about the big stompy robots, gave up on it when it became a deckbuilder with minis.Played some Confrontation till they went belly up, collected a bunch of Urban War armies and in the end started playing Heroscape with a buddy just to get all my figures on the table again.Then I went to Crisis2009 and played a demo of a 15mm scifi game called Critical Mass by CMG, I loved it. I got home, googled 15mm scifi and succumbed to my "Oh Shiny" syndrome. The next bit is still a bit blurry but after collecting and painting 6 or 7 armies, a whole bunch of loose figures and building a heap of terrain I discovered nobody in my area was interested in playing any 15mm scifi games.
So I went looking for ways/rules to play solo, then came across Angel Barracks and I thought " Wow this looks great! And it's...   ... 6mm? Ooohh shiny!" and there I went again.
So why is 6mm different you ask? Well with 6mm I realised I could have my cake and eat it too.
Why? Well lets see:

1) It's so cheap I no longer have to feel guilty about spending a lot of money on something that may or may not be used.

2) Big battalion sized battles can be played on a normal size kitchen table and I can even play a small skirmish game on my coffee table without having to get up.

3) I can collect and paint minis and make terrain to my hearts content without having to worry where I'm going to put all of it.

In 6mm I have finally found a scale that allows me to play the kind of epic campaigns you read about in books and see in the movies. From big sweeping tank charges and huge dropship assaults to small patrol or secial ops missions anything is possible.

All in all, to me, in going 6mil you may reduce the scale of the minis but you will up the scale of your fun!


6mm Sci-Fi: Why I love it too

Sixmil, why do I like sixmil so much?

My first encounter with 6mm was with Adeptus Titanicus and the little lead Space Marine that came with each Titan.
How cool was that little guy?
VERY cool that’s how much.

That was the hook that got me into it.
But then  I drifted away after many fine years of playing Space Marines, Epic et al.

After years away from the hobby, booze, women and all the normal stuff I came back into the hobby, encouraged by my wife (also a gamer)
I set up Angel Barracks as a 6mm historical site (the horror of it all eh?)
After a bit, the lure of sci-fi took hold, I started playing FUBAR as 6mm skirmish.
Then I started stocking Plasmablast, Brigade Models and Dark Realm Miniatures.

Being skirmish I found I needed more little objectives than say a big battle game.
Civilians, wandering alien animals, piles of crud and so on.

So I set about starting my own range of 6mm sci-fi.
It is aimed mainly at skirmish, using my own free rules; KR 16.
But I have no objection if anyone wants to buy armies worth of the figures along with cities worth of the buildings!

For me, 6mm can have the detail, does have the detail.
It always could but not everyone demanded it.
If you demand more, you get more.
Big traditional armies often meant that the figures got a basic paintjob as it was the massed look that people went for.
So why bother making great looking detailed figures if they will only be given a simple paintjob?

I am very much on a bit of a crusade to show people that 6mm models can have bags of detail, buttons on pockets, serrated edges on chainsaw bayonets (chayonets), facial hair, keypad locks on doors, hinges on window shutters, all the stuff you expect now with 15mm.

6mm skirmish is my thing, but I am an advocate of all 6mm sci-fi.
I hope to share my experience both as a gamer and as a maker of 6mm toys.

Size Matters!

Friday, July 25, 2014

6mm Sci-Fi: Why I love it

Maj. Diz Aster here, this is a first in a series of posts by the staff of Planet Ares VI, sort of a group of introductions by each of us.

First off, my name is Steve and I've been into RPGs and wargaming since the late 70's. Started with Traveller/Striker, proceeded to Battletech through most of the 80's into the early 90's, then got into 40K for about a decade, became disillusioned, dropped out of gaming till 2010 when I got heavily in 15mm scale sci-fi minis. After a time I developed a love-hate relationship with that scale, and at the masterful coaxing of Angel Barracks returned to 6mm sci-fi, something I hadn't worked on since my Battletech days. I'm glad I listened to AB, I've gotten nothing but satisfaction working and gaming in 6mm scale.

What's not to love about 6mm Sci-Fi? The scale has so many options available for tabletop gaming. You can find all kinds of infantry, armor, and terrain in this scale. It's very economical, you can put together a very large fighting force for what you'd pay to build a mechanized infantry company in 15mm scale or a small 28mm scale platoon. You could even put together two moderately sized fighting forces to oppose each other for about the same cost. Storing and transporting 6mm scale minis is also another reason I love the scale. I can build up pretty massive armies and still be able to store them much more easily than an army composed of minis from a larger scale. I can transport two 6mm scale armies in the same carryall as one 15mm scale company. Forget 28mm. 
I really love painting 6mm minis. A lot of gamers claim that 6mm scale minis are "just too small to work with" or "they have no detail". Wrong on both counts. It's easier to paint several minis at once in this scale, and you can do so with very simple techniques, that will provide you with an impressive looking army, plus the detail on today's current lines of 6mm minis rivals the detail in 15mm scale minis, and the detail level continues to increase. 

With 6mm minis I can play a large scale battle on a relatively small tabletop and still have plenty of room for maneuvering my force, plus the movement and  weapons ranges are so much more realistic than playing with larger scales.
Although there's currently a lot of hype over 15mm scale Sci-Fi, 6mm Sci-Fi is still more diverse, and probably always will be. Heck, 6mm wargaming has been popular, as far as I know, since at least the late 60's - 15mm just recently got popular. So this is one instance I'll stick with "age before beauty".

Like Angel Barracks is fond of saying "6mm FTW" and "Size Matters!"

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The gauntlet has been thrown down...

Over on The Miniatures Page there has been a discussion going on about the future of 6mm sci-fi. An idea was put forth to develop an equivalent to Dropship Horizon that focuses on 6mm scale sci-fi. Well being a former member of the Dropship Horizon staff, I thought this would be a great idea, and have offered to help my fellow 6mm enthusiasts make this a reality. Dropship Horizon has been instrumental in extolling the virtues of 15mm scale sci-fi and helped to drive it's growing popularity among wargamers. Now it's 6mm's turn. I've offered PLANET ARES VI as a framework to build upon to create that 6mm DH equivalent. PLANET ARES VI is taking up the challenge.