Thursday, June 26, 2008

Taking a tangent (sort of).....

I worked out the basic set of skirmish rules over the weekend, and they seem pretty decent (trials with friends went well). However, I still had to resolve how to be able to play my skirmish game and my Vini Vidi Vici miniatures game with the same figures. The skirmish game requires individual figures, the Vini Vidi Vici units of figures grouped together.

Foresight (e.g. plain dumb luck) led me to mount all my figures on individual metal bases, colored to that side (Romans = red, Carthaginians tan, etc).

By happenstance (e.g. plain dumb luck) nature provided an answer to my problem: Strong Magnets. I found some strong magnetic rolls (not the simple ones you find in the craft store- these are .06 inches thick and are very strong). The idea is to group the figures on the magnetic stands when I play Vini Vidi Vici and use them individually for the skirmish game (as a bonus instead of using casualty rings in the Vini Vidi Vici game, I could actually remove the figures).

As you can see, I decided to flock the magnets with the finest grain turf I could find (Woodland Scenics). One side is a yellow grass color, the other a soil color. This also allowed me to flock the individual figures with a blended grass color- which I think looks better than the colored bases I was using before. That is also the reason you have to get the strongest magnets you can find ! That extra layer between the metal and the magnet reduces the binding by a lot.

The bases are used for movement in the Vini Vidi Vici game. The magnets are strong enough to keep the figures from falling off and the color makes it easy to differentiate which side a unit is (especially when both sides close into a general melee). I also mounted the magnets on some thick-ish cardboard (the rolls I bought where sticky on one side) so that they could be picked up by the bases.

Another bonus to doing this is that I can use my markers (I used small washers to indicate hits, morale status, etc that I would lay on the figures). Now the washer can lay on the base without having to place it on the figure. I can also make small markers (cheap craft magnet counters) to indicate what a unit is for novices who may not have a handle on all the troop types etc.

All in all, I'm pleased with the results. It provides a terrific flexability in use of figures and rule sets. I've created different size bases depending on the unit and its current size. It also allows me to use troops that would normally be on one side only (e.g. Roman) and use the same troops on the other side (perfect for that Roman Civil War stuff).

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