Greetings all! Here's where you learn all about the humble author, me, a little bit about my gaming background, and about the kind of articles you can expect me to write - both here and at Dropship Horizon.
I started both miniatures and RPGs around 1993 - Battletech and Robotech respectively. On the RPG side I drifted over to Star Wars for awhile, but never enjoyed only having my games on paper. In 1997 I bought Epic 40,000... I still feel it's the best Epic rules that GW has produced, and was sad to see it drift away. Armageddon is a good game, but never felt the same to me as Epic 40k. Since Epic updates were so far and few between I dabbled a bit with Warhammer 40k. I started just as 2nd edition was fading off, and bought the 3rd edition when it came out. But I never did have the time, patience, or money for 40k, and touched nothing but my Epic collection for many years.
Around 2005 my situation was vastly different. I had a decent amount of disposable income and many opportunities for gaming. I went head-first back into 40k (4th edition) with the Dark Angels re-release. 40k worked well because of one main reason - I was traveling throughout the US on a weekly basis and my Deathwing army was very portable. When 5th edition came out I finally had an epiphany - 40k will never be anything more than a fantasy game wrapped in a thin blanket of science fiction. Bored with the new rules and the ultra-competitive tournament mindset in the 40k world, I began to spend less time on sites like Bolter and Chainsword and more time on TMP.
In fall of 2009 I discovered a few things very quickly. The first was Craig Cartmell's Forge Of War rules. I tried Forge of War with 40k minis and suddenly found myself enjoying gaming again. But TMP also led me to Dropship Horizon, which in turn opened me up to the world of 15mm gaming. Two manufacturers caught my eye right away. The first was Critical Mass Games (which had JUST released its first Arc Fleet minis), and the second was Rebel Minis.
Unwilling to give up on 40K just yet, I decided to try something different altogether. I ordered Rebel's All Things Zombie deal and played a few games in a Canon Craftown scaled to 15mm. It was a very humbling experience after years in the GW fold. Some things became apparent very quickly:
- The "GW hobby" is a marketing strategy that keeps its customers from realizing that they are, in fact, Miniature Wargamers.
- GW's rulebooks are not fit for human consumption.
- 15mm is FAR less expensive, quick to paint, and looks fantastic with very simple paint jobs.
That Christmas I placed large orders from 15mm.co.uk, The Scene, Rebel, and GZG. Most of my exploits since then are pretty well detailed over on Basement Gaming Bunker, which used to be nothing but my Epic and 40k thoughts and ramblings. The last time I touched my 40k minis was in April of 2010, and that was only to test out the Mutants and Death Ray Guns rules with a friend. I now have a pretty sizable 15mm collection, and am in the process of selling down my insanely large piles of GW product.
I've come to the realization that opposed-roll mechanics are tedious in solo gaming. The rules systems I picked above reflect that realization. On the other hand - opposed rolls can be very suspenseful when gaming with others. USE ME is my first choice of rules for platoon-size games with live opponents, and Mutants and Death Ray Guns is a great multi-player skirmish.
Alien Squad Leader is another game I'd love to build up to someday - its rules really speak to the Space Opera fan in me.
Every army I've built and painted uses miniatures from multiple sources. 15mm is great that you are never tied to just a single manufacturer or product line!
The games I play usually take place in the resource-wealthy Conquest System - a setting I created by throwing Firefly, Babylon 5, and a bunch of my own ideas into a blender. I'll detail this setting a bit more over the coming months - hopefully it will inspire some of your own games. I have two other settings that I'm just now fleshing out - one is a space opera loosely based on The Anarchy of 12th century England, and the other a sci-fantasy inspired by D&D's Dark Sun world. My goal is that each setting will have unique armies and use different rules for gameplay.
On the Dropship Crew. I'm very honored to be part of Dropship Horizon's new crew. I hope to contribute the same variety of content to the Dropship that I have here - product reviews, force development, battle reports, and even some details of my world-building process. If I can inspire even a single thought for your own games and collections, I'll know I made the right decision by writing these blogs.
If there's anything you'd like from me (opinions on products, gaming resources I use, etc.), I can be reached via email at basementgamingbunker at gmail dot com.