28 April 2010

Announcing Basement Gaming Bunker 15mm Terrain


Greetings all,

This post has been delayed a few times for an assortment of reasons, but the time is ripe to reveal what has been occupying our time the last few months. Basement Gaming Bunker, as part of its switch from a dedicated 40k blog to 15mm gaming, is announcing a small line of resin sci-fi terrain! With no further excuses or delays, here is an overview of our Wave 1 releases.

We hope to get this word out through Dropship Horizon, Miniature Review, Tabletop Gaming News, and The Miniatures Page over the next few days. The main thing we need to know is what kind of interest there is for this sort of product so we have a rough idea of how many initial castings we need before we start shipping.

We're hoping for a release sometime in early June. To begin, we will probably set up a Google Checkout shop on this blog. As the line expands, we will explore options for a dedicated webstore, so this can remain a proper gaming blog rather than a business newsletter.

All feedback is appreciated. Good gaming, all!

Chris Knowles, Bunker Honcho


Wave 1 is a line of prefab military structures. The thought behind this is when a large force enters into a lengthy engagement, they will need some barebones headquarters, supply, maintenance, and barracks structures. These are centered around large armored panels which can be assembled right off the dropship and put into service. A set of this terrain would be great in any attacker/defender scenario, or for use as a centrally-contested objective in neutral territory.

These buildings were purposely left devoid of some fine detail and additional parts. As such, they would work extremely well with conversion parts from IMEX plastic kits, Ground Zero Games' building fittings, etc. More buildings will definitely follow - but how many will depend on sales of this first wave!

All buildings are shown with Rebel Minis' awesome Scourge for scale.

Sci-Fi Defensive Barricades


The Defensive Barricades are a set of chest-height walls deployed around critical structures. The straight walls will come in either packs of six or eight (still haven't decided), while the 90-degree and 45-degree corners will come in two-packs of each.

Small Modular Building


I actually based this first piece on something I scratchbuilt for Epic almost fifteen years ago, and this is what inspired me to create this terrain. It can serve as anything - an armory, command post, security checkpoint, communications building, industrial control center, ammo dump, portable restroom... just about anything that only requires a small amount of space. It has a double blast door on one long edge, and a single blast door on the opposite short edge. The removable roof is recessed enough to place troops on top of the building, where they can take cover behind the armored walls.


The small building will be available individually, or in two-packs for a modest discount.

Medium Modular Building

The centerpiece of the collection. I actually scaled this building to the Brigade Tactical Operation Center where I ran radio and computer networks in the Army a few years back. It could serve as a headquarters building, barracks, dining facility, or any military (or future civilian/industrial) structure that requires a bit more interior space.


Putting It Together!

We haven't worked out the specifics yet, but we will offer a few "combo packs" of buildings and walls together. One thing I know I want to offer is this set as an introductory special for the first month:


So stay tuned for official information about the release, along with our standard complement of miniature and gaming system reviews. All feedback is appreciated!

22 April 2010

Skirmish vs Battle Games - Where 40k went wrong

Greetings all,

I'm back to regular blogging after the spring hiatus. Big things going on between getting married, house shopping, and preparing for this weekend's big announcement (more to come).

The past few months have really helped give me some perspective on why I went on a semi-hiatus from GW last fall, and have been diving into 15mm miniatures and alternate gaming systems. Some of it was GW's corporate policies, some of it was the price of gaming, some of it was realizing I was unable to see that "the GW hobby" is a buzzword so that people who are really part of "the wargaming hobby" only buy GW product. But, as I've mentioned in a few posts, a big part of it is GW's rule systems. I've finally figured out how to articulate it.

I've made no secret that 1997's Epic 40k is one of my all-time favorite rulesets. Forge of War has been a great replacement for large 40k games mainly because of the vague similarities of those two games. But Forge of War has always seemed to be missing some intangible thing, especially in small games. I've finally figured out what it is, and this will involve a walk through history.

Warhammer 40,000 originated as Rogue Trader. Not news. But anyone who has actually played (or even read) Rogue Trader knows that it is a true skirmish game - made for only about 10-20 models per side, and dealing with a far greater level of detail than a full set of battle rules. 2nd Edition was an attempt to streamline some of the random/detail mechanics and increase to platoon-size forces. Somewhere around this time a few different things happened that changed 40k forever.

1) Plastics became a standard to fill rank-and-file troops and vehicles, which grew army sizes.
2) The tournament scene took off, especially in the US and Germany. This called for streamlined mechanics and lists and fewer "scratchbuilt" options. Hello Codex armies, goodbye Citadel Journal and White Dwarf special lists.
3) Necromunda spun off as a new high-detail true skirmish game.
4) GW became an immensely successful corporation, rather than a small business.

These things led to 3rd Edition. In that book, the design notes clearly state that it was an attempt to create a set of true "battle" rules to reflect the growth in player forces. This philosophy has carried through into 4th and 5th. But I think GW failed in many respects. 5th Edition 40k, with its 2000-point average game size, still relies on a skirmish-built system of roll to hit, roll to wound, roll to save; and the game rewards clever army lists and rule-bending rather than realistic strategy or fluff-based force organization. It's a battle game being played with skirmish rules.

Necromunda (and it's brother Gorkamorka) were attempts to satisfy the skirmish niche. And they do so fairly admirably - these games have a small but loyal fanbase. The level of detail that these games provide are great for small unit scenarios and campaigns, and horrible for tournaments.

Epic: Armageddon was an attempt to satisfy battle rules and tournament desires. It does both, but at the expense of actual fun in my opinion.

But back to 40k, and how we're dealing with it. I recently purchased Flying Lead and Mutants and Death Ray Guns from Ganesha Games. They are FANTASTIC skirmish rules which I will review soon. But for now, what you need to know is that these games allow you to play 5-20 troops per side (and a vehicle or two) in a game that is very enjoyable and rewards strategy. Forge of War doesn't provide skirmish detail, but it makes large games of 40k an absolute joy to play.

So what we've decided for now, not only with all the new 15mm goodies but with our 40k collections, is to change the way we play. We are going to use Ganesha Games (Mutants and Death Ray Guns mixed with Flying Lead elements) as our primary gaming rules, using what would normally pass as 40k Kill Teams. These will form the bulk of our campaigns, especially in Imperial cities. When the time comes for a large, decisive battle, we will break out Forge of War. Playing 40k this way actually allows us to create stories far closer to the 40k fluff than Warhammer 40,000 5th edition has ever allowed. And we're going to have a lot more fun doing it.

I encourage all of you - even if you are dead-set against using anything but GW models - to try alternate rulesets to play different kinds of games.