The end of February is upon us, which means those Ground Zero Games Christmas Vouchers are about to expire.
While trying to figure out my order, I started to realize just how disorganized my 15mm collection has become. So I took a few moments to think about how I organize my forces. Then I thought it might be fun to share this process - especially since the scale has expanded far quicker than our abilities to buy, paint, and play with everything that's out there. Here is my attempt at a common-sense approach to building a 15mm science fiction army.
In the past, I had divided up my forces by game setting. For example, the Blue Moon Orion Republic would be used for my Dominion Invasion world, the Micropanzer SAS would be a megacorp security force in my Conquest System universe, and so forth. But I've realized how absurd it is to pigeonhole figure and vehicles to a specific set of opponents, objectives, and background - especially when I don't use any of the "official" universes from rulebooks or manufacturer websites.
Now I'm working from a more basic system - pick the models, pick the color scheme, and get to the game table. The fine tuning and world-building can wait - especially if I have an assortment of completed forces to choose from. This approach also gives me a reason to expand some of these beyond their original scope
The goal is for each of my core forces (not every force in my collection - just a set number) to have these types of units available:
- Infantry. Since I play small solo games, an enhanced platoon is really all I ever need.
- Vehicles. I like having the option of mechanizing most infantry. And what's the point of wargaming without tanks?
- Power Armor Infantry (or other equivalent). In addition to my standard infantry, I want my forces to have some kind of elite heavy-hitting unit for special operations.
- Mecha. What can I say? Robotech was a huge influence on my childhood. And there are more than enough mecha available in our scale to include in any sizable army.
This template is flexible enough to select the exact units I want - whether it's a 5-figure skirmish, a mechanized platoon slugfest, or anything between.
So... what does that look like?
The best example I have so far is my "Black and Red" army. Here are the models in that force:
- A Laserburn Imperial Commander figure
- 40 Rebel Minis Titan Marines (individually based, generally played in fireteams of 4)
- 6 Kremlin Miniatures Red Banner MANITOU (individually based)
- 3 Old Crow Outrider Grav Scouts (gun mini-turrets)
- 5 Old Crow Gladius Grav Tanks (1 missile, 1 dual rotary, 3 standard turrets)
- 3 Old Crow Glaive Grav APCs (missile box mini-turrets)
- 3 Rebel Minis Earthforce HAMR Suits with Titan HAMR Arms
- And the centerpiece - 1 Ravenstar Studios Thunderfoot Mech
What can I do with this army? Pretty much anything! Some games I've played in the last couple months:
- A FUBAR game with a Glaive-mechanized infantry platoon, augmented by sniper teams mounted in Outriders, and fire support from a Gladius.
- A small skirmish with In The Emperor's Name using just my commander and a handful of troopers.
- Power Armor troopers deploying from two Glaives, supported by a HAMR suit, cleaning out a Space Demon-infested spaceport in a game of Forge Of War.
- All four Mecha supported by missile-armed infantry teams in an urban warfare USE ME game.
All of these games were played using models from the "Black and Red" force. If I could bring, say, three more armies up to this standard (more or less), it would really add some versatility to my 15mm game nights.
What about the rest of you? How do you decide which scraps of bare pewter and resin will combine to make your 15mm armies?