Regular visitors to the site will know that one of my regular moans is that sci-fi figure manufacturers rarely produce a full range of figures: they usually produce enough to build an infantry squad, but after that you have to mix and match from other ranges in order to get support weapons, different types of vehicles etc.
Loud Ninja Games are better than most: their Chuhuac, for example, have a variety of infantry supported by gravbikes, really cool battlesuits, good-looking AFVs and APCs...everything you could need to represent a fast-moving rapid reaction or reconnaissance force. Cracking stuff.
Up to now, however, their Ikwen range has been limited to a set of what Eli has called militia: enough infantry-types to form a platoon but not much more. I use them as the technical support for the Chuhuac, usually having them positioned defending a supply point or landed transport vessel. Some rather nifty Ikwen terrain pieces are also available, but no support weapons, vehicles and so on.
My Ikwen Engineering Types
Late last year, however, Loud Ninja announced a new set of Ikwen figures: hardened fighters. These were another set of infantry, but this time Ikwen in full combat mode. Now I don't need any Ikwen 'hardened fighters', as that doesn't fit in with the way I use them, but I like to support the smaller manufacturers, and one can't moan on about having no variety if you don't buy them when the variety appears! I also quite fancied having my usual engineer-types suddenly morph into wild warriors ("never make the Ikwen angry") with a quick bit of on-table figure swapping.
The figures duly arrived and I've now painted them:
Ikwen Hardened Fighters
They are pretty nice figures, albeit a little rougher than their predecessors.
That, however, is not really the problem.
The problem is that they are a different size to the militia. Look:
You can see that the new Ikwen are about a head taller than their forefathers. The height isn't the only problem: look at the difference in size of the calves, width of the chest etc. The Ikwen were big anyway (fully explained by their background) now they are huge...and they just don't have the proportions of a 15mm figure: they look...wrong for 15mm.
A related, and annoying problem is what this means for the basing. Note how the original militia Ikwen neatly fits onto a 5p piece, as do the vast majority of 15mm infantry. Now look at the billy-big-balls width of the stance of the hardened fighter: his feet are almost as widely apart as a standard 15mm human is tall!
Not a problem, I hear you cry, he's a very tall Ikwen.
Yes, but he doesn't fit on any sort of sensible base any more.
Billy Big Balls
Anyhow, I have them now, and will have to get them onto the tabletop to see whether they annoy me enough to get rid of them.
Scale creep is a problem with 15mm sci-fi.
Khurasan has a couple of lovely ranges that are quite frankly so 20mm as to be unusable (the Soriog for example), and now it looks as if the Ikwen have unfortunately followed suite.
A quick glance at the Quadrant 13 galleries and army lists on this site will show you that I am quite a Khurasan fanboy. Their 15mm sci-fi ranges are, I believe, some of the best available.
Khurasan are still not posting news of their new releases on TMP (a dispute about sock-puppetry, I believe) so you'll have to like their Facebook page to keep up with what they are doing...or read about it here, of course!
Their latest release is an expansion to their rather nice Soriog range. For those of you unfamiliar with the Soriog, they look like this:
Soriog infantry with energy rifles
Now added to the range are the Raug infantry, client soldiers to the Soriog in the same way that the various states in India provided troops to the British Empire throughout the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Just to hammer home the point, the Raug infantry are even known as Ceepays!
Now these are rather nice, and I like the way that the platoon command gives you a bit of character to work with.
I'll produce a Q13 army list for the Soriog/Raug in due course (I like to have the figures in my hand when I do so), and am even wondering how they would fit in with Critical Mass' Protolene Khanate range:
Whilst I've been adding the tabletop stats to the Q13 army lists, I've found the time to add a couple of new ones to the list: both based on ranges of figures that I'd love to start collecting...once, of course, the lead mountain is down to manageable proportions!
Onslaught Miniatures produce some of the best sci-fi lines out there. The trouble is that the vast majority of their output is in 6mm: very frustrating for the 15mm gamer when you can see all these beautifully developed ranges and not be able to use them!
They have produced a couple of packs of 15's, however: one for the Sisterhood (sort of space nuns with guns) and one for the Tzacol (more primitive lizardy types).
So, in homage to their single pack of 15's, I've created a list for the Sisterhood for Q13 based on their much more extensive 6mm range. Perhaps this will get the rest of the range up-sized as well!
Here's a couple of pics to show you how good these figures are: one pic of the Athena squad in 15mm, and one of the 6mm command group, showing other types of Sisterhood trooper.
The Brog and VOTT (and VIPERS)
Another manufacturer who carries several ranges that I might eventually just have to buy is Rebel Minis.
Unfortunately, they fall into the category of manufacturer who produce great basic infantry squads, but no more i.e. great for platoon-level games, but not a complete enough range to create a company-plus-supports force.
Two examples of this are the Brog and the VOTT: both available as a three-squad platoon plus command, but with no support weapons or vehicles.
The two races also look quite similar, and seem to use the same weapons...so I've decided to brigade them together into one list.
As they don't have any designated support weapons or vehicles, and Rebel Minis produce a lovely range of support walkers they call VIPERS, I've also decided that, much like Critical Mass' Protolenes, the support for the Brog or VOTT will come from the VIPERS, of which there are five types, so plenty of flexibility as regards weapon loads and therefore role.
Here's a few pics showing the ranges: the Brog infantry platoon, the VOTT command, and a the VIPER with Mk3 weapon package.
They produce a small-but-growing range of scenery and figures in a number of scales, including a number of excellent-looking 15mm dropships such as the one pictured below.
The Big Rig
I have already ordered the 'Big Rig' for my Ursids and will report back on what it's like once it arrives and gets painted.
And in other news, Onslaught Miniatures have now released their first two 15mm sets: one for the Sisterhood and one for the Tzacol.
I won't be ordering just yet: I'm going to wait until there are a few sets available for each, then do one big order...I have enough 'single units' to keep me going for a while and really need to concentrate on finishing the huge numbers of sci-fi armies that I already have.
First up, I've rationalised the Gitungi list: making their support drones into mini-vehicles instead of crewed support weapons. It fits the figures better. Click on the pic to see the list.
A squad of gitungi veteran infantry from Micropanzer
Secondly, I've almost totally revamped the Nova Respublik list. This involves allowing a split into half-squads of seven instead of the original, very inflexible squads of fourteen; adding stats for Militia/Penal and Guards units; and adding the new NR releases from Khurasan: the Drakon tanks and Grifon APCs. It's a rather nice, rounded army...one I rather fancy getting for myself. Click on the pic to see the list.
I do try to keep the lists of manufacturers up to date on the site so, to that need, here are two new manufacturers of 15mm sci-fi figures added to the directory.
First up, Flytrap Factory. Run by the chap who used to run Flashpoint Miniatures (where I got all my Vietnam infantry from), FF produce some very nice ranges that vary from the historical to the fantastic.
As regards 15mm sci-fi, their Warfighter and Warfighter Vietnam ranges of modern and ultra modern figures contain several items that would do very nicely for a near future setting, and their Warfighter Epoch range is actually a sic-fi range in its own right. Well worth a look.
Then there is Onslaught Miniatures. Onslaught already produce several ranges of lovely 6mm sci-fi troops and have recently announced plans to scale up some of these ranges to 15mm.
At time of writing, none are yet released, but I'm working on the principle that if I add them onto the directory now, this will somehow magically make the figures come sooner!
So far revealed are the first releases from their Sisterhood range: exquisitely sculpted warrior women peacekeepers; and the Tzacol lizard men.
I literally cannot wait for the Sisterhood figures, and am currently considering whether to use them as a force in their own right or to have them as allies to my forthcoming space dwarf army. Decisions, decisions!
A new army list for Q13 based on Khurasan Miniatures range of futuristic Soviets: the Nova Respublik.
This is a very nice collection of figures with plenty of options. There are some good, solid infantry backed up by proper support weapons and a brilliant high command set. Four variants of the same basic medium tank chassis, two APCs, one general transport, and the absolutely super Doe gunship. Add in walkers and robot guns, and you have everything you need to build a rounded company and supports.
Here's the gunship:
Vis Lardica is a website devoted to wargaming and military history, with a special emphasis on the company-sized rulesets produced by the TooFatLardies: I Ain't Been Shot Mum (WW2); Charlie Don't Surf (Vietnam); and Quadrant 13 (science fiction)
Welcome to Vis Lardica, a not-for-profit website mostly dedicated to the company-sized wargaming rules produced by the TooFatLardies, but encompassing my other gaming interests as well.