Sunday, February 26, 2012

Miniatures - Size Matters

What's Up? Come here often?

So the question in my mind currently.. What size miniatures would work with the game? Also, what size miniatures would be the economical choice to get a player into the game easier. So the options.. 1/285 : 1/200 : 1/144 - and bigger. Everyone wants to see a miniatures game have their own line of miniatures. I'm doing my Homework.

We have the 1/144 scale minis that are out there.. They offer an incredible medium to show detail, modeling opertunities and really showcase the model. Unless you want to start the game with an $300 pricetag. The idea is good but very elitist.. As much as I would like to see this as the scale for Robotech Battles; researching mini costs makes this size too expensive. We'll save the 1/144 size for current plytesting of small 1 vs 3 model games I think. Don't worry the Robotech Battles game scales very well with models from Mechwarrior scale to Heavy Gear Scales.. no worries.

Chara works 1/144 scale import - outstanding detail - Veritech planes ONLY! At 1/144 scale -  Zentreadi Power armours are available for under $50 each and some Destroids are available for $100 or more each. More searching may uncover other models and sets.
 The next scale We're reviewing is a 1/200 scale. As many of you know there are several imported model kits for Robotech/Macross that are in this scale.. These kits are extremely outdated and generally of Poor quality at best. But they are out there and if you have the time and money to get them they are available. I have seen some good quality destroid kits so If you find them pick them up. They can be worth it. The costs of this scale for the existing models can be everywhere.
 This would be a great scale for a miniature tabletop game and there are people out there in the interwebs that run games currently with this scale. The existing models lend themselves to much castings and conversions. The rules for these games (that I've found) are offshoots of pre-existing rule sets. I find this very cool but, your still trying to adapt a ruleset that never had Robotech in mind. 
Lets talk cost. The 1/200 scale for these minis is more affordable but can still be pricey depending on the size of games that may be played. A price that is higher than a person thinks a single model should cost will never make a person buy the product. Its simple, if it costs too much, a person will look elsewhere to get his hobby fix. I'm thinking we can get a great quality mini at this scale, but I do not want to price a customer out of the game. We are researching this currently and we are still not convinced that this will be too expensive. What would you think about this scale? What would you pay fro a single model?

example of great scale grat cost, lousy detail
Last but not least - the 1/260-1/285 scale AKA the Mechwarrior scale.. Most people know about some of the Legal issues that the Robotech/Macross have had with Battletech. If not here is some info:

The warhammer/Tomahawk/Excalibur MK VI - depending on who you ask

 I know many people who really like this scale and would love to see minis in this scale to use in other games. I would like to see that happen as well. but currently I can only see minis produced for Robotech Battles and other games are not even on my mind now.
I have seen some very amazing detail be created with this scale. The new methods of miniature prototyping and the new materials that are being used can really produce great looking miniatures. You want to see some great detail, check out Dystopian wars miniatures game with their lines of resin minis.
The 1/260-1/285 scale is small... Not that it's a bad thing.
The good side: With a scale this size tables and scenery become more affordable, and you don't need a huge 4' by 6' table to play on. Entry costs into the game go down and more models can be easily produced giving more options to the players on how they want to play their games.. This also opens the possibilities to larger battles.
The bad side: The minis are tiny. How do you paint any detail onto a small model. You want your veritech to look like Roy Fokker's Skull-1 - you sart painting and the model starts looking like the fish head Rick catches when he's trapped in the ship with Minmei.
Should the smaller scales be made, decals would definately be a good thing.

As it is, there are no easy answers to the questions set forth above. Money will ALWAYS be a big factor  for some and Quality a bigger factor to others. Please post your thoughts in the comments section below. I would love to continue this discussion and I want to hear your opinions as well..

Things are still moving forward.


Scott said...

I would personally prefer 1/285 scale. Yes, it's small BUT it's not THAT small. A typical mecha would be 25mm+ tall which is roughly the same size as 25mm scaled humans. You can get a lot of detail on this size and they look really good. Yes, decals would be a must and they would look great.

Price wise... how many models do I need to play? Lots? Then then need to be fairly cheap. Fewer? Okay, then I'll spend more money. Get me into a game for $100 (rules and minis) and you've definately got me. Tell me I have to shell $200 or more dollars just to play a basic game and you've lost me totally. Hook me in in a fairly inexpensive manner and you've got me for a whole lot more money down the line.

Give me scenarios where I only need 10-20 models and you've got me. That's easy enough to do in all three eras of Robotech. That could be Vermillion team going up against a small squad of battlepods, Dana and a couple of her squad mates against a team of bioroids, and so on.

Then you can build up to 40-100+ models for the huge games.

Mech Dude said...

I am firmly behind 1/285, at that scale the 1st generation macross mechs are on average 50mm (2 inches) so they are larger than a standard 25-28mm model.

It keeps cost down and also helps with table space issues. Additionally it has cross appeal with battletech players.

At 1/285 you are looking at about $15 per model retail, so if you want to play a single force you can make that happen for under $100.

Having enough mechs to cover both sides will run more, but that's two armies...

Doing a skirmish game you'd be able to play 3 mechs on each side for about $120.

If you move teh scale up to 1/200 scale or laregr then you are looking at $30+ per model which relaly impacts people's entry budget.

Lucas said...

1/285 is definitely the way to go. From your post, it sounds like you think 1/285 models would be small, but I actually think that anything larger would be too big.

More importantly, 1/285 is an established wargaming scale in wide use, while 1/144 and 1/200 are not. This carries some big advantages, and I'll name two:

First: terrain. There is a lot of modern and sci-fi terrain on the market in 1/285 scale, ranging in price and quality from highly detailed resin kits to pdf-format paper models. Many gamers will already have collections of 1/285 terrain, and those who don't will have an easy time building up their collections.

Second: auxiliary units. Some players (like me!) might want to incorporate infantry, tanks, helicopters, and other non-mecha units into their games. 6mm infantry is roughly the same scale as 1/285 or 1/300 vehicles, and a wide range of modern and sci-fi infantry is available, much of which would look good on a Macross battlefield. Likewise, many different types of modern and sci-fi military vehicles and aircraft are available in 1/285 and 1/300 scales.

Captain Jack said...

I've been collecting 1/200 for more than 20 years. Between the Nichimo kits, the old Dark Horse minis line and the Gashapons almost every mecha has been covered except maybe the NousJadeulGer.

So for me it's 1/200 or I'm out.