About Me

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My name is Gavin McClements. I am a wargamer and family man, living in Los Gatos, which is a suburb of San Jose, CA. Building terrain is one of my favorite aspects of the wargaming hobby - in fact, lately I've become more interested in making my battlefields "pop" than in actually playing.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My journey into 15mm Sci-Fi

As a long time player of 28mm, I discovered 6mm a few years back and fell in love with it quickly. Not only were the models amazing at this scale, but they were inexpensive, the terrain pieces I could buy were fantastic (and cheap as well!), and the ruleset I chose, Epic: Armageddon, suited my tastes perfectly.  When presented with 15mm by some friends and fellow gamers, my reply was, "I dont really need another scale" and I left it at that.

Slowly, however, I realized that I just havent been playing much of anything in 28mm scale. I have lost my enjoyment of Warhammer 40k and Warhammer Fantasy, Infinity bores me now with its lack of scenarios, I dont use my cowboys much (Legends of the Old West was fun, but a bit too simplistic for me to reach for it often anymore).  Malifaux is one game I really enjoy, but as a whole, 28mm seems to just take up a ton of precious space in my craft room, and Im sitting on quite a bit of money that, if I sold my models and terrain, could feed other addictions. You know, like models in another scale?

Enter Tomorrow's War. Well, before that, enter Ambush Alley, like way back when it was a new publication in PDF only. I bought it and read it - other than a metric ton of grammatical and spelling errors (which I offered to help edit for free but was turned down), I liked the rules. Of course I never played them, but I always held the system in at least moderate regard.

Rabbit Hole: As an aside, I love games that allow custom creation of models. I have delved into this in almost every scale that I have played, including spaceship games, Mech games, man, you name it. A few years ago I discovered and started volunteering my time for a developing game called Unbridled Fury. I think my name is still in the credits, but I really liked how robust his creation rules were. It was the editing experience I got on this product, combined with his creation rules, that really create a benchmark for upcoming products.

[Yea, I'm easily swayed by the shiny, I admit. As an artist, presentation is SO MUCH of a factor for me when looking to buy something, whether it is a book, a set of rules, or even just a model]

Where was I? Oh yea...So when I saw Tomorrow's War on either The Miniatures Page (TMP) or Tabletop Gaming News (TGN), and seeing reviews for it in TMP's forums, I couldnt help but take notice. And notice that the prevalent scale seemed to be 15mm.

Another rabbit trail: The ruleset my friends were using for their 15mm games was Future War Commander, which I owned. I admit, I was really underwhelmed with the rules, even though they allow for custom unit creation. I just couldnt get into them (I bought them for use with my 6mm stuff) and so never planned on investigating or investing much into 15mm....

Well, the same thing that got me into 6mm was once again threatening to drag me into 15mm, and that was the amazing presentation of cool models on pages like TMP and TGN. Seriously, it was hard enough to resist models by Exodus Wars, Dark Ream Miniatures, and Plasmablast. What chance did I stand against Micropanzer, Khurasan, Rebel Minis, Critical Mass, and Ground Zero Games?

So I mentioned that Tomorrow's War was on my radar to a few of my 15mm friends, and I get the immediate feedback that there is yet another game to check out: Gruntz. Choices! Cool!  So now I own Gruntz, Tomorrow's War (the hardcover) has been prepaid for its arrival later this month, and my Khurasan Federal models are on their way in the mail. No, I havent sold any of my 28mm figures or terrain like I swore I would do (to free up money and space), and yea, Ive already started building terrain for 15mm (groan).  But I am excited. Big time. As soon as my models arrive, I will convince a friend to run through Gruntz with me (here's to hoping the cleaned up version 1.1 is out by then!), followed by a furious reading of TW when it arrives.

Stay tuned for more in my adventures into the world of 15mm. Ive decided I can skirmish in this scale, buy cheaper models in this scale, paint this scale with a decent level of detail, and go for Flames of War-sized wargames all at once. Pride of Lions is a fantasy ruleset Ive had my eyes on for awhile for fantasy...so my prospects are looking might good.

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