Sunday, November 22, 2009

Alien Mercenaries in Miniature

After reading Mark's recent post at Dropship Horizon regarding the upcoming Critical Mass Games release of 15mm Alien Mercenary miniatures I got to thinking. Though I am not crazy about all of the aliens there is definitely some potential here and I can see some value in these releases.

Now, it seems to me that alien mercenaries is a great way to introduce creative, imaginative alien figures into the miniatures market with limited upfront risk. You release individual aliens or small groups of aliens serving "outside their regular sphere's of influence" as mercenaries, workers, etc. Then, after feedback comes in, the producer of these miniatures can see which aliens were received well and, if it seems doable, expand on them.

Expansions could take the form of more limited assets to bolster the existing alien mercs or even go so far as regular troops from the home territories of these aliens. Expeditionary forces, raider bands, etc would also make sense and would allow more aliens to get exposure while making sure the companies producing them don't take a bath (or at least reducing the chance).

Khurasan Miniatures has also let slip a mumble about something similar in a recent TMP thread, so perhaps this might very well become a trend. It would be interesting to see what comes of these two releases.

What do you think?



  1. There's been quite a trend popping up it seems with 15mm sci-fi in general, I gotta say I'm getting the itch too.

    I think the small run alien ranges is a good idea, like you said, put out a 'sampler' pack, and if you get a ton of feedback on one or two of the sculpts, take that ball and run with it.

    For me, I like lots of unified troops that share a look, the cool thing with 15mm is that you can field large armies, I've never thought much about using single minis for things like RPG's and what-not.

  2. I am going to get some of or both of these lines to use in VSF and sci fi gaming for 15mm. Since I have the honor of being a playtester for Ambush Alley Games upcoming Sci Fi rules set I had to get some 15mm and we'll need to playtest through the aliens so these guys would fit the bill nicely. Also I think that they'd make great Venusians for my VSF.

  3. @Mik - That is the joy of using the merc' angle. Yes it may be a small run of figs but they can be mixed andm atched for a motley crew or grouped into buncheso fl ike aliens.

    @ACG - That's cool that you get to playtest those rules. I am not so sure that any of these aliens are decidedly VSF, but YMMV.

    In general, I think there is still room for growth in aliens in miniature. One thing I would love to see is a breat from scifi analogs of fantasy races. Also, I would love to see a multi-racial force for once.

    Something along the lines of the Federation or Covenant would be great. In either case you get several species unified in theme by using common weapons, and to a degree uniform. The Covenant from HALO is my preferred route for this though the Brutes have a very distinct appearance of their own despite using standard Cov weapons.


  4. The Alien Merc unit or the Free Trader crew - both scenarios allow an eclectic collection of individuals of diverse races to be gathered together.

    Works as a scenario and works, as you have suggested, to trial the 'look' of various alien types for potential future expansion. Hope we see more :)

  5. Let's not just hope, let's be active about it. Spread this idea wherever the topic is valid.

    As consumers we do have some influence over our hobby.


  6. I'm really excited about the growing lines of 15mm sci fi!
    So much cool stuff to choose from!


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