I’ve always had an interest in science fiction – as a teenager, I read tons of genre novels and my first wargame was GW’s Space Marine. I’ve thought about doing a sci-fi project since I restarted wargaming but was hesitant for several reasons. One of them was that I didn’t know how we would like modern tactics, that is dealing with combat dominated by firearms instead of melee. But then Mick from the Lead Adventure Forum kindly introduced me to Force on Force. I really liked the mechanics and decided to give its sci-fi variant, Tomorrow’s War, a try.
At first I though of setting the game in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, but K. wasn’t convinced and wanted us to create our own background. She made us rewatch Firefly and we agreed that a low-tech universe would be more fun than the technological magic of Star Wars. However, we won’t feature cowboys & horses – instead, we’ll have lots of aliens! You’ll read more about our background in a later post.
There was never really a question about the scale: I’m already much into 15mm and 15mm sci-fi has really taken off now, as can be seen in the Fantasy Facts column by John Treadaway in Miniature Wargames or on the Dropship Horizon blog. We browsed various manufacturers and put together a list. For a starter, each of us will get enough miniatures for 4 or 5 fireteams. We ordered from Khurasan, Zombiesmith and 15mm.co.uk. I will get some Quar, which will make up my main force, supported by some of the alien foreign legion by Khurasan and the new space raptors by Loud Ninja Games (distributed by 15mm.co.uk). K. ordered Brunt, desert nomads and shark men from Khurasan. An all-female special forces unit will be the only humans we’ll have in our games so far!
While waiting for the figures, I started to make some markers for the game. Tomorrow’s War demands a couple of status markers and while I am normally happy with tokens, I decided to make some terrain features to use as ‘pinned’ and ‘in cover’ markers.
The small explosions were made after some ideas I found on the web. I stuck toothpicks and bits of paperclips onto a washer with green stuff, used copious amounts of PVA glue to cover them with sand and then painted and drybrushed them. I’ve made two variants, one denoting exploding dirt and another one signifying greasy black smoke – I might use the second variant for hits on vehicles.
For the ‘in cover’ markers, I put some rocks – well, they’re actually pieces of cork – on a small washer. I will make additional ones with an oil drum for urban areas.
For the counters, I first looked at Litko, but I found those too large – I don’t like it if the counters are bigger than the bases of the figures, which are only 15mm in diameter. That was also the problem with the counters offered by CorSec. So I decided to make my own. I’ll use plastic tile spacers to mark casualties and assorted coloured tiddly-winks from EM4 for things like overwatch, rounds of fire and wounded.
Last but not least, I’ve started reading the rules. Although they are not as well organised as one would wish, they sound pretty solid. I like their generic nature and it looks like they can be easily customised – i.e. we can leave out parts that don’t fit our background. I’m still completely clueless about which tactics to use in a shooty game, though!