It's been months since I've run a roleplaying game, mainly because I've been spending lots of time painting miniatures — and consequently I've been gravitating toward games that will give me an opportunity to actually use those painted miniatures!
Lately I've found a group of guys in Chicago who play Song of Blades & Heroes, the excellent little fantasy skirmish game that I discovered earlier this year. We've been meeting twice a month, or thereabouts, to talk trash and move our little fantasy figures around the table. It doesn't hurt that the game shop where we meet is just 4 blocks from my apartment in Chicago!
almost a roleplaying game. You can choose unique-looking miniatures, name your characters, send them on specific tasks, etc. The game mechanic is simple enough that it can be adapted to handle typical roleplaying tasks.
For our most recent game, we set up some dungeon blocks to create a full-on tabletop labyrinth, and then we rolled up a "quest for the magic item" scenario that pitted a squad of dark elves against a marauding crew of gladiators and a patrol of evil snakemen. Badass!
Since GenCon, I've become enamored with sci-fi miniatures gaming — starships in particular, probably a direct result of me sitting in on an excellent demo of War Rocket, the pulp sci-fi starship game from Hydra Miniatures.
During the drive back to Chicago, I realized that I loved the War Rocket ruleset, but I decided to collect a more "generic" looking set of starships, so I could potentially use them for Full Thrust, Starmada or any of the other fleet-action rulesets out there. Full Thrust, by the way, is available for free on the web from Ground Zero Games.
I'm just a week or so away from trying out my first game of Full Thrust (or War Rocket, depending on the group). For now, I'm trying to create my own sci-fi milieu, rather than use a published setting. (Aside: Starship minis games seem to have this disturbing tendency to make all their factions into fascimiles of political blocs that exist today on Earth. So we have space Russians, space Japanese, space Germans, space Americans, etc. Weird, that. How about some aliens?)
I'm also deliberately building my starship fleets using a variety of models from different manufacturers. This is explicitly encouraged in Full Thrust, much to my delight. So far, I'm using models from Silent Death, Firestorm Armada, Star Fleet Battles and AeroTech. Check back for photos soon!
My sci-fi bug hasn't stopped with starships, though...I'm contemplating getting some old MechWarrior click-base figures to rebase and use with Future War Commander or Dirtside. I priced out some pieces last night, and it looks like I can get two armies for $30 or so. And of course, they're prepainted...