Monday, March 22, 2004

Kit bashing

No, nothing to do with Kit Chan.

Kit bashing is when wargamers like me decide that an existing model kit is just not good enough, and decide to make our own. In this case, the game in question is Gear Krieg, by Dream Pod 9.

Gear Krieg describes itself as "two-fisted pulp superscience in a world at war". The short translation: World War 2 with mecha. (you can see the appeal straight away - I've always been a sucker for the gigantic fighting robot genre of anime and games). I bought the rules some time back, and was sufficiently intrigued by them to want to start a game.

A brief rundown of what's interesting: Gear Krieg uses a "roll many dice, take the highest roll" system, with more dice being rolled for better units. It also uses a "margin of success multiplier" system, where the number you defeat your opponent by in an opposed roll is multiplied against a damage factor to determine the final damage. This is quite new to me - I've tried the "buckets o' dice" systems (e.g. Warhammer), I've played the traditional "consult many tables" systems (e.g. Squad/Panzer Leader), and I've tried the radical "let's muck around with abstracted time" systems (Crossfire being an excellent example, which, despite everything, is a very playable and fun game).

Two problems that have kept me from buying Dream Pod 9's miniatures. One: the price is exhorbitant - a single mecha costs around USD$15 (and since the mecha have a "walker" mode and a "ground" mode, you need two of them if you're anal enough ... and I am). Add shipping, and it comes to quite a bit. Two: DP9 sells its miniatures in 15mm scale - and the preponderance of WW2 figs owned by the Napnuts (the group I game with) is in 20mm scale.

Solution? Make my own mecha. The initial results of the kit bash are in this gallery.

Kitbashed Valkurie
Originally uploaded by Wahj.

Since starting to use
Flickr, I've begun to refurbish old posts where I used to link to an external gallery. Here's a picture of the Valkurie in question. Clicking on it will take you to a larger version.

I've posted pics of the drawings from the Gear Krieg rulebook for comparison, and I'm quite pleased with the results. It took me till 2am last night, but I managed to kitbash a Valkurie walker from an Airfix SdKfz 222 kit, an Airfix M4 Halftrack kit, and a whole lot of plasticard. With any luck (and assuming the local hobby stores don't run out of cheap Airfix kits to use as parts) I should be able to run a Gear Krieg game this weekend! Heh.

Sometimes it's the simple things that keep you going ...

Update 1
Took a long hard look at the photos of the scratchbuilt Valkurie. Decided it didn't resemble the drawings enough. Decided to rebuild the entire leg section. There goes the evening ...

Update 2
OK, the revamped model can be seen here on the gallery