Weird War Rome Miniatures

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Jordan Peacock
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Weird War Rome Miniatures

#1 Postby Jordan Peacock » Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:07 pm

Last year, I ran a peculiar scenario at the request of the owner of the (sadly-now-departed) Armadillo Game Shoppe in Oviedo, Florida. Apparently, this was all supposed to be the punchline for some sort of in-joke among store regulars, tying in to some "meme" that I wasn't really in on.

In any case, the basic idea was this: A German U-boat operating in the Mediterranean goes back in time, and gets into a conflict with the Romans. I was given a bunch of incomplete Wargames Factory and Warlord Games sprues of Roman Legionnaire figures, and a challenge to come up with some sort of scenario that would tie into this general concept.

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It went ... okay. Generally speaking, it was kind of awkward to juggle the idea of the protagonists being on the German side in WWII to start with. The submarine-versus-trireme battle was rather one-sided (to the delight of the players), but once they made landfall and were ambushed by several Legionnaires, things got ugly. My learning from that included:

1) Having a bunch of German minis in uniform for pulp games is fine for when they represent mooks. When they're being used for PCs and their allies, I need to put some more effort into making them more visually distinctive at a glance.

2) Having a gun that can fire full auto is a pretty useless benefit when you put it in the hands of an Extra. Being able to spray lots of bullets matters for little if you CAN'T ACTUALLY HIT ANYTHING thanks to the auto-fire penalty.

3) Small arms in general aren't nearly as effective in Savage Worlds terms versus spears and arrows as players (or the GM, for that matter), might expect.

But I digress. I didn't get to pull my "Twilight Zone" ending, as the session got taken up by a surprisingly drawn-out battle, but I have it in mind to revisit a "Weird War Rome" in the future -- especially once I get my hands on the finished rules.

In the meantime, I was inspired by the ongoing Kickstarter campaign to revisit my collection and do a bit of touch-up work.

Roman Island
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The "Roman island" was a fun little project for the "submarine-vs.-triremes" encounter. Basically, this a typical tabletop terrain project involving insulation board foam and a wire cutter, though I decorated it with "houses" made from Hirst Arts Castlemolds decorative blocks, and a few buildings from a "Landmarks of the World" Toob set from Hobby Lobby.


Portable Warfare APC Box
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Storage is important! I found an image of a Roman Legion banner and printed that off with some custom labels to apply with spray adhesive to a Portable Warfare cardboard-and-foam "APC" box. While it's not as nice as a hard plastic case or a vinyl/cloth carry case, it's cheap and gets the job done (and the boxes just happen to fit perfectly on some shelves I have).


Roman Legionnaires with Gladii
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Both Wargames Factory and Warlord Games put out some nice plastic multi-part Roman Legion figures on sprues. I had some incomplete sprues to work with, mostly missing arms, so I had to dig around in my "bitz" collection for some suitably-scaled replacement arms. I wasn't able to find anything so convenient as a bunch of spare pila, so I had to settle for short swords that could pass for gladii.

Of the two brands, I think I prefer the Warlord Games plastics, even though the Warlord Games figures are a bit shorter and more squat in proportions than the Wargames Factory ones. The Wargames Factory "Caesar's Legions" figures are nice enough, but their features are far softer (a bit too much so, in my opinion) compared to the more chiseled, defined features of the Warlord Games -- especially evident in the faces.

For consistency, all of the figures are armed with the more rounded shields from Wargames Factory. (The previous owner had apparently preferred the curved rectangles of the Warlord Games shields, and I was left with enough of the rounded shields to equip all the figures I could assemble.) One nice touch was that they came with sticky transfers (no water required -- in fact, wetting the surface will just make it not stick), thus sparing me the trouble of finely painting all those shield emblems.


Roman Legionnaires with Pila
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These figures actually had their pila (spears), though a few were missing shield arms. These are all Warlord Games figures, but with the Wargames Factory shields for some attempt at unit cohesion.


Roman Musician, Officer, Vexillarius
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"Vexillarius." I learned that word in Fallout: New Vegas! :D Anyway, the "wolfskin" draped figures are from Wargames Factory. I think the officer was from Warlord Games, but he was missing arms, so I had to find "bitz" to replace them. I'm not sure what he was originally supposed to be wielding.


Skeletal Roman Centurion
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This is Reaper #02790, which works nicely enough as a leader of a bunch of undead forces. He's a bit larger in scale than the 28mm Legionnaires, but that's fine for a "hero" type. I have a few more incomplete Wargames Factory Legionnaire minis, and I figure I'll use them for undead warriors. (I only need so many of the good guys, after all.) This fellow should work nicely as their leader or champion.


Roman Minotaur
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This is Reaper #14007 "Minotaur of the Maze," though I used some putty to give him a "skirt" (as I thought it a little more appropriate and less disturbing than the "thong" on the original figure). Although I doubt the Roman Legion of Weird War: Rome is in the business of recruiting minotaurs, I ended up giving him cloth in "Roman red" just for the visual tie-in.


Also in my collection: a few Heroscape Legionnaires and gladiators -- though they happen to be at 34mm scale (measured to the eyes) compared to the 28mm (to the eyes) of the Warlord Games and Wargames Factory figures. That might not look like much difference, but it's certainly noticeable on the table; I've pondered using them to represent PCs, since there's no doubt that they'd stand out, but I might need to re-base them on something flatter to the ground in the hopes that they won't stand out quite so much. Sure, heroes are often "giants among men," but there's such a thing as too much of a good thing. ;)


I also have some Picts on sprues, but those aren't finished yet. When they are, I'll pick a few Pict pics to share. :D
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#2 Postby Snate56 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:26 am

They'd work for modern day guys "trying" to blend in! :-D
Modern man is bigger than his ancient counterpart.




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Jordan Peacock
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#3 Postby Jordan Peacock » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:24 am

Snate56 wrote:They'd work for modern day guys "trying" to blend in! :-D
Modern man is bigger than his ancient counterpart.


Ah yes! I didn't even take that into consideration. I really should have been using some of my 32mm Chronoscope figures for the protagonists. (As it was, though, I had a bunch of 28mm Germans from a pulp campaign that I ran before "scale creep" started significantly infecting my miniatures collection.)
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