A new section of the SBG website will feature miniatures modeled and painted by me, staff and friends of Steve Bean Games.
The SBGers are BIG fans of tactical miniatures games, especially WWII historical – Axis & Allies Miniatures (AAM), AAM: War at Sea and Blitzkrieg Commander – and Skirmish-level fantasy/sci fi with Mordheim, Horrorclix, Star Wars Miniatures and the Space Hulk and Descent board games. At conventions we like to run Axles and Alloys, a beer-and-pretzels car combat game taught to us by Trevor Swallow from Op-For. It looks like we might even start playing some Infinity and using the minis from that game to play Necromunda withthose Op-For guys.
So we do a fair amount of painting. I like modelling even more than I like painting so I’ve kit-bashed quite a few pieces. I like my minis to be unique and to tell a story. You’ll see ’em here.
Along with miniatures themselves comes terrain. What good is having great looking minis if you have to play them on a board that looks like crud? So these pages will show off some of the terrain the SBGers have made for the games we play.
I’ve struggled to take decent photos of my minis, so I’m also going to document an effort to improve my photography skills using the very basic camera and lighting I have. I’ll share any advice that guides my efforts – there are lots of good “how to photograph your minis” sites and blogs out there.
And though here at SBG we don’t design miniatures, we do design miniatures games. The very first game designed at SBG and pitched (unsuccessfully, I’m afraid) to a publisher was a miniatures-driven game called Grognard Vs. LARPers. This game is still on the design board being adapted to more of a straight up homage to Tom Wham’s Awful Green Things from Outer Space which was one of its major influences.
The Creature That Ate Berlin and Battalion Commander are SBG rule sets that expand the now OOP Axis & Allies Miniatures game by Avalon Hill/Wizards of the Coast. A third SBG AAM-compatible rule set is called XTO ’49 (for “Extra-terrestrial Theater of Operations, 1949“). XTO ’49 is a game about near-space ‘mech combat in an alternate “diesel-punk” WWII.
The war still rages at the eve of the new decade, the Axis powers having put their most advanced weapons designs into production soon enough to stave off defeat. The Rocket Age has moved the war into near-space as both the Axis and the Allies seek hard-to-find radioactive ores to power their new technology (“Iron Sky: The Game,” anyone?). XTO ’49 was born out of a design exercise. I have always hated space combat games that only used two dimensions and I have never been able to envision a combat environment where ‘mechs with their slow speed and high silhouettes make sense, their popularity with gamers, manga readers and anime watchers notwithstanding. Thinking about these issues and being influenced by interest in ground combat and not air (or space) combat, XTO ’49 was born.
While not strictly a tactical miniatures game, SBGs WIP After the Oil uses Axis & Allies Board Game-compatible rules to explore strategic warfare in a post-oil, post-climate change United States where a second Civil War has broken out between north and south. Minis for this game would be A&A style, plastic, low detail and roughly 1/285 scale, but cool nonetheless.
So check back here regularly to see what’s coming off the work bench and out of the man cave in the “miniatures department” at SBG!