Miniature Mondays: in the beginning

Miniature Mondays is a regular slot for me to talk about playing with toy soldiers. For the moment, this will be a sort of project log for the Old Skool Skirmish rules I’ve been working on, together with the models I’m using for it.

OSS started as an amusement for myself: the sort of design puzzle I invent periodically as an exercise in making interesting stuff. It wasn’t intended as a finished product, though it may now end up as something I stick on a POD site.

GrumpyIt was Colony 87 (left) and Macrocosm (below) that sparked my original idea. If you could make retro figures, why not retro rules? I liked the notion of writing things in a slightly different style to my usual one, just as an experiment. In any case, what constituted retro rules? That seemed like an interesting question. Was it a case of including X or leaving out Y? I think the answer is a bit of both.

Of course, nostalgia is a funny thing, and a very personal one. OSS feels like an 80s game to me, but it might not to you. It depends on your personal experience with them.


Since I decided to try my hand at this, I’ve been rummaging among the mountains of lead I have already, and surfing the web to find other interesting possibilities. There are loads of great figures out there, many seldom seen and deserving of a bit more love. I’ll come back to these companies when I’ve had a chance to ask them whether they mind me associating their models with my game. Some people are funny about that sort of thing.

DiggersMy aim is to avoid figures that remind me of other games I know well (because that’s distracting), so I probably won’t be using Necromunda figures, for example. That’s just me though, and the rules will allow you to include whatever you like.


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14 Responses to Miniature Mondays: in the beginning

  1. Jacques Barbouze says:

    Toy soldiers? Surely you mean accurate scale representations of historical or hypothetical soldiers used in advanced conflict simulations? :-p

  2. Sounds like your design premise for OSS fits very closely with Tim Prow’s visual design premise for the Diehard Kickstarter miniatures (also The Pantheon of Chaos and Space Raider Kickstarters). I’d say you’re not the only with a new but old craving to be filled.

    If you check out the Diehard page on Facebook you’ll see all the new Eru-kin Tim is sculpting for the next Kickstarter

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Diehard were one of the cranes I’ve got stuff for, but haven’t talked to yet 🙂

      The Eru-kin are my favourites.

      • I’ve given Tim a rough set of sample army lists and additional rules for using them in Dragon Rampant but I more feel given the average cost per mini that most Kickstarters work out at there does actually need to be a skirmish game that supports a wide range of miniatures. Especially for those of us on the other side of the world who get hit hard with postage and have to be conservative about what we buy from the US\UK

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Absolutely. The OSS rules are designed for very small forces, no more than 10 models a side at most. That’s to allow you to really focus on the individual characters. As you say, it also works well when individual models aren’t cheap 🙂

  3. varagon says:

    Hi Jake, I like your idea of doing inventive problem solving (working on OSS as a design puzzle) to get where you want to in your rule set.

    I’ve got a mechanic I’d like to hear your thoughts on, but since it isn’t fleshed out I’m reluctant to post it. The idea is to be flexible and let the player feel like they have options. Also, the mechanic and theme would fit well together. In my case, it would be a technological advanced or far future themed skirmish game.

    Although probably not as fleshed out as your OSS, this “design puzzle” was the reason for me to work on my far-future techno-advanced idea. I’d be happy to send along my thoughts if you are interested.

  4. Teemu Hemminki says:

    For retro 80’s feel you could use old models and sculpts, but painted with todays standards.

    Anyway, I have been interested about this project, but I haven’t seen any mention about conflict scale it is intended to. Is between squad and platoon level correct assumption?

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