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Author Topic: A new project: 15mm (and 20mm) HotT on 28mm bases (now with 1st finished units)  (Read 630 times)

Online Hobgoblin

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A new year means a new project! In light of the interesting discussion here, I decided to act on a long-simmering impulse and paint up some 15mm miniatures for Hordes of the Things but with 28mm base sizes.

Why? Well, for one thing, I've got lots of 15mm miniatures kicking around. In 2016, I ran a Whitehack campaign using 15mm miniatures, and the purchases that that entailed left me with lots of extras kicking around. I already have a 15mm HotT army drawn from their ranks, but I've got lots more. And some of the bigger things - an orc stone thrower, a winged Nazgul and a giant turtle - don't fit very comfortably onto the 40mm frontages required by 15mm HotT. And then I have various 1/72 things that work well as big humanoid monsters in 15mm - like the Caesar ratmen, which we used as gnoll-type creatures in Whitehack.

Beyond that, there's the point that LawnRanger made on the thread to which I linked: HotT armies can look a bit underwhelming on the table. Now, I actually like the look of 28mm HotT armies; I think multi-based miniatures have a charm all of their own. And we sometimes get games going with three commands a side, which puts plenty of figures on the table. But I take LawnRanger's point that HotT armies can look a little underwhelming. And I think that's especially true with 15mm, because you get neither the innate attractions of the larger-scale figures nor the visual impact of massed smaller-scale figures.

Basing 15s on the 28mm footprint offers a solution. A 28mm or 15mm horde element will typically have five or six figures. But with 15s on the 60 x 40mm base, you can get three times as many:



That's more than you'd have in a Dragon Rampant foot unit, so already the massed effect is greatly increased. And as you could have 24 hordes in a standard 24AP army, the numbers could be considerable even before you get to the prospect of full-table games with either 3 x 24AP or 3 x 36AP on each side.

Beyond the mere numbers, I can see a couple of other areas where the aesthetics of the game will improve with this approach. The first has to do with the grey area between warbands and behemoths. This doesn't seem like an obvious problem: warbands are aggressive infantry; behemoths are huge beasts or giants. But then what about trolls or ogres? 'Large trolls' are listed in the HotT rules as potential behemoths. But - especially in 15mm scale - they often look too small to really function as behemoths do in the rules (destroying other units when pushing back into them, for example). One solution is just to base them as warbands with fewer figures; that's what I do with my 15mm-based HotT army, where I get two ogres or trolls to  a warband base instead of the usual three or four. In 28mm, though, broad humanoids - big orcs and the like - often need to be based just two to a stand anyway, though, so the contrast is lessened. But with 15mm figures on 28mm bases, you can get around 10 barbarians or whatever to an element, with bigger creatures in fours, fives and sixes. Somehow, that works better visually; you can see how the units equate, with size being matched by numbers - whereas three humans don't seem much of a match for two trolls.

Second, the larger number of miniatures per base provides the opportunity to play around with formations. I've been trying to work out how to base the true-15 Magister Militum lizardmen crossbowmen I have; they would go 12-15 to a 60 x 30 base, I think. But I'll probably base them in V formations, which will indicate their role very clearly and also look 'right' when they're in contact with other elements - as the high combat value for Shooters takes into account their ability to shoot at attackers as they charge. And there'll be space for command figures within the V.

Similarly, if you have 9 or 10 figures on a warband base, you can make them look wild and disorganised; in contrast, blades and spears can be in neat formations. From playing around with basing, I think many spear and blade elements will tend to be in single ranks on 60 x 20 bases, but regular, densely packed lines will still look reasonably imposing. Spears, in any case, will usually be deployed in two-element-deep formations.

And there are some interesting inter-scale opportunities too. I had a look last night at a Dark Alliance hyaenadon rider (I refuse to call those things "wargs"!) that I've been painting up. It looks just fine facing a 15mm Copplestone barbarian - big, sure, but not huge (and the largest real hyaenodons were 10' long). The rider is a bit taller than the barbarian - but it's more like a huge man facing an average-sized one than a clash of scales. And Demonworld 15mm orcs have bigger heads and hands than the Dark Alliance 1/72 rider. D&D hobgoblins are meant to be about 6'6" on average, so I think the DA orcs will work pretty well as that sort of thing (or as small ogres or whatever). At the same time, the DA orcs are sufficiently big to act as small goblins in 28mm. So beast elements made of DA hyaenadon riders will work in both scales.

In the same way, giant ratman warbands in 15mm could act as lesser ratman hordes in 28mm (their bases should be deeper, but as long as they recoil 10mm more to break up formations, it won't matter). And if the 1/72 stuff looks good at the table, I might think of adding units of the new DA goblins (which might make nice 15mm bugbears or hobgoblins). In fact, given the quality of some of the 1/72 stuff out there, I could see more 1/72 elements creeping in until entire armies can be fielded in that scale ...

I envisage this as a slow-burning project while other things rattle along - but one thing that will help is that 28mm behemoths, dragons and gods will work just fine as they are - and will be that bit more spectacular. And I'll be able to deploy my home-made purple worm, which was designed for 15mm RPGs but based for 28mm HotT.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 11:59:25 PM by Hobgoblin »

Offline Montefortino

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Re: A new project: 15mm (and 20mm) HotT on 28mm bases
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2019, 05:34:01 PM »
Nice idea, always better to have masses of troops rather than just a few on a base.
What make are the giant ratmen?

Offline swiftnick

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Re: A new project: 15mm (and 20mm) HotT on 28mm bases
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2019, 06:12:00 PM »
Justin i am struck by what a great idea this is. Perfect for my lord of the rings project

Online Hobgoblin

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Re: A new project: 15mm (and 20mm) HotT on 28mm bases
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2019, 10:32:16 AM »
Nice idea, always better to have masses of troops rather than just a few on a base.
What make are the giant ratmen?

They're Caesar 1/72 ratmen. What's nice about them in 15mm is that they often seem to be squinting down at opponents of about 15mm height.

Online Hobgoblin

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Re: A new project: 15mm (and 20mm) HotT on 28mm bases
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2019, 10:33:45 AM »
Swiftnick: yes, I think the massed effect would be pretty good for that. Much more painting, of course, but I think it'll be worth it. And if you're doing both sides, then you don't need to worry about compatibility. In any case, you could always play against true 28mm sides!

Online Hobgoblin

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Re: A new project: 15mm (and 20mm) HotT on 28mm bases
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2019, 04:09:29 PM »
Here's a further 'proof of concept': some 15mm skeletons based on a 28mm horde base. There are nine of them at the moment; the base could obviously take a good few more, but the relatively scattered look is probably about right for a HotT horde.

Offline swiftnick

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Martin from Dragonfrog games has just sent me some pics off his 60mm frontage Hott sabot bases for 15mm. Certainly something to think about as gives options for using your figures in Roleplaying or Frostgrave games.
Sorry I don't know how to post a pic from messenger. But if you are interested I am sure he would send you a pic

Online Hobgoblin

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I'd thought about getting some sabot bases a while back for my old Chronicle orcs, which work as ogres in 15mm. I may still do so, to use them as hordes in 28mm. But what's put me off so far is that you don't get that many to a base. I think 5 is the most you could get with penny-based figures, even on the old square horde bases.

I've now based or rebased four elements on 28mm bases. I'm quite pleased with how they look so far - so much so that I've set about destroying the hordes and warbands of my 40mm HotT army to create new 60mm elements. If you look at one of these orc elements, it's much easier to think of them as a 'warband' than the traditional two- or three-figure HotT stand.

(I have also have a cunning plan for a quick and versatile new "official" 15mm HotT army ...)

Offline von Lucky

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I support this thread.
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Offline peleset

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I could certainly be persuaded that this is, visually, better representative of bodies of troops. I suppose for toy soldiers "the look" is the whole draw of the hobby.

Looking forward to seeing exactly how many different makes of Orcs and Goblins you can get on a base and make it hang together.
Thief, Reaver, Slayer.