Some of you may have come across Gruntz at Salute this past weekend, I know that the participation games were very popular. For those of you not familiar with Gruntz it's a set of rules for playing 15mm sci-fi games. This sounds pretty straightforward but what I like about Gruntz is not only that it's quick and simple to play and learn, while still having sufficient complexity, but also that it has a points based army builder system that lets you build any kind of force you want. In addition to the standard sci-fi type armies I've played games with alien lizards who had giant beetles acting as tanks (think Starship Troopers), weird WWII US troops with Shermans and mechs backed up by a group of super heroes and there's people on the forum building steampunk based forces. The system is just so flexible the only limiting factor is your imagination.
|Giant beetles rampage across the battlefield|
This flexibility got me thinking about ditching the mechs and power armour and going for a swarm of monsters like the bugs in Starship Troopers. The problem is that it would be pretty expensive to buy a swarm type army and then It would take a while to paint up. I decided to check out eBay and see if there were any painted figures I could buy cheap.
It was then I stumbled across the painted civilians used on model railway layouts. They're about the right scale and cheap. So I thought forget swarms of alien creatures why not go with zombies. The railway figures could easily be zombiefied with a few dabs of red here and there and a dark wash to make the somewhat limited detail stand out and also give them the dirty zombie look.
|Pre-painted model railway figures|
The figures come in pack sizes of 100 figures for £7.99 (some are cheaper but the painting is very poor) and a couple of packs should be enough for a decent force. They don't come with integral bases so they may be a bit tricky to glue onto bases for Gruntz but at £15 for a painted army you can't really complain. The only problem is I already have a couple of armies for Gruntz and as I'm trying to cut back on my wargame spending I'm not sure if I'll actually take the plunge and buy a couple of packs. But they are tempting.