Sunday, November 16, 2014

20mm Special Operations Team


So, I've bitten the poisoned apple of jealousy.  I was perusing a couple well-done Moderns blogs and came across 20mm action in general, being Elhiem figures specifically.  I took a look at their Modern Special Forces, Russian, and Taliban/Foreign Fighters ranges and decided I couldn't not have myself some...

So I placed an order for three four-man Spec Ops teams (in my mind, an R&S team, a Direct Action Team, and a 'general' team to take on all comers), then nine Islamist-looking fighters, and seven Eastern European-looking troops.  I plan on using them in my (still upcoming) modern Imagi-nation for very small-scale special operations skirmishes (probably using Five Men in Normandy, modified a bit).

So, you know of course that I'm primarily a 10mm guy, usually going smaller if I change things up.  So, I'm not very good at painting 10mm, and even worse at painting 20mm.  I think they look okay, it's just that they take me about an hour per figure!!!  Similarly, my camera skills aren't very accomplished, and I'm starting to realize my camera might not be technologically as capable as would be useful for taking pictures of small lead figures.  Nonetheless, here's the official record of my latest accomplishment: four (4) 20mm Elhiem Special Forces figures.

So the first thing you'll no doubt notice is that they are actually not finished; I need to figure out what I'm going to do regarding basing.  Please forgive me, as I just finally got a look at these on the computer I noticed how dreadful the light is...  It's cold and rainy here in DFW the past few days, and, despite using the flash, the photos look like they were taken in a cave...

Reverse.  All four troopies got a solid colored-shirt, while three got cammie trousers of varying types.  On far left I went for woodland MARPAT, but it didn't turn out well so I ended up adding red-brown and desert sand dots, making it look kinda German WWII ambush-pattern.  To his right I tried my hand at some Universal camo, and I think it turned out pretty well.  Third from left has plain green trousers, while far right has 'old-school' US woodland pattern (as is third guy from left's hat).

Pretty decent photo to see the 2nd guy's cammie trousers.  I think I'm going to do the shooter team all in Universal camo (2nd from left), and the R&S team in old-fashioned woodland (nearest guy's trousers).

All four guys have M-4s (2nd from left w/203) and ACOGs, couple PAC4s in there as well.  Two have pistols in drop holsters visible.  Good, clean sculpts that were pretty easy to paint (just time consuming).

Here you can see I gave everyone a different colored beard ;)  And, for those of you familiar with the video game series "Call of Duty" (and those not, were you a prison baby?), tell me that 2nd guy from left doesn't look like Captain Price.

Sorry, I kept moving the camera around, just trying to get different angles on the shots.

Sorry, thought I'd have gotten a better shot of the far left guy's cammie trousers, but the glare of the flash kinda screwed it up...  I really like that guy's pose.

Not a bad shot.  You really need to blow these up by right clicking, opening in a new window/tab, then clicking on the photo to magnify.  

I just can't help but put bright blue on stuff...

I think Old Graybeard looks distinguished in this photo.

The team patrolling away from you.  Hopefully we'll see them in action sometime soon, though I must admit to having ZERO 20mm terrain...  In any case, stay tuned, I'll post pics as I get some more guys done.  I just started working on the Islamists so these guys will have somebody to rough up.



  1. They look great. Worth taking a look at the Britannia Miniatures and Under Fire ranges as well, but those Elhiem figures look excellent. I've been working on some similar SAS special forces for Afghanistan - should have them on the blog soon. Cheers, Andy

  2. Andy,

    Thanks, and stop it! I am NOT trying to become a 20mm gamer, this was a slip-up, I am a 10mm guy ;) And 6mm. But I really L-O-V-E your 15mm Peter Pig Marines ;)


  3. Painting a few guys in a new scale is dangerous :)

  4. Jack, one word: 20mm.

    Buy more, You know you want to.

    (and your figures look better than anything can do.)

    I think you are really a 20mm guy that has been playing at the wrong scale all this time :-)

  5. Ivan - I plan on using these with 5MIN, maybe need to discuss mods to give SF guys an advantage, without throwing it too out of whack. I was thinking 1-scurry, 6-firefight, 2-2 guys, 3-3 guys, 4/5-4 guys (the SF guys will be 4-man teams), leave bad guys as normal. SF guys are +2 in close combat; maybe add another digit for firing (1/2-shock, 5/6-hit). Whaddaya think?

    And you're right, it is dangerous. Which leads me to my next point...

    Shaun - I will not buy more, and I don't want to! This was purely a diversion for my upcoming modern Imagi-nation! I don't need anything else. Except maybe a couple more Russians. And some downed aircrew. Probably a few civilians...

    I remain a 10mm guy, and still love it, though I've definitely been expanding my repertoire, so to speak, both up and down (6mm and 20mm).

    As I mentioned to War Panda on a separate thread, now I need to figure out terrain as I currently have nothing. I don't need a lot, but I need a couple small buildings, some fencing, some ground litter, bushes, trees, etc..., and I need it quickly and relatively cheaply. What can you recommend?

    Eventually I will need a lot more terrain, once I eventually get all my WWII 20mm stuff finished (around 2019 I imagine)...


    1. have already ordered stuff in a later comment, but cheap and quick terrain to me is railway buildings, Chinese model trees via ebay, lots of lichen and homemade roads.

  6. Nothing you say would break the game.

    From a purely personal perspective, I'd avoid setting up a dice roll where all the spec ops guys can activate in one turn. So I wouldn't let them ever get 4 activations. Just makes it more interesting that way.

    My gut feeling would be to just make it 3, regardless of the dice BUT I can see the argument for letting them all function as a cohesive team, unlike regular grunts.

    +2 to close combat is brutal but then, they probably should be. I'd be super tempted to make it something like +1, +2 if they start the move out of sight (and no reaction fire then) but close combat is rare enough already that maybe its not worth the trouble.

  7. Oh, on firing... I don't F with the 1's and 6's, they're holy :-)

    That being said, it'd work just fine with no problems. I tend to a LOT more conservative about troop quality so my answer would be something like "re-roll 1 Shock and 1 Kill die per turn" as a team ability.

  8. Ivan,

    I absolutely don't want to mess with the beauty that is the "1 and 6 theorem," but I do want the SOF guys to have an advantage. Regarding activation, I suppose I could keep it simple (normal, or go 3 and leave bad guys at 2), but I do like the idea of 'graduated scales,' i.e., on an 'x' activate 'x' figures, going up corresponding to the die roll, with 1 and 6 remaining the same.

    I am worried that my idea for firing might be too much, but at the same time I definitely want to reflect SOF's increased lethality/violence of action. I'm not interested in SOF killing everyone, I think games will be geared towards 'grab the bad guy' or 'exit the opposite board edge,' but SOF fire needs to have a discernible effect. Perhaps instead of changing '1 and 6,' add more firing dice?

    I appreciate you throwing your opinion in here. You know it will come back to you in battle (marketing) reports ;)


  9. Yeah, you won't break anything by leaving them all potentially activate. It's just a thing I'm weird about :)

    On firing: Maybe let them roll 2 kill dice but no shock when stationary? That'll make them super nasty but it shows that they're all gnarly marksmen.

    For scenarios, I'd be tempted to keep replenishing the bad guys. I think flavour-wise, if the SOF can wipe everybody, it "feels" wrong.
    Besides, in bad 80's movies, they always face a pile of bad guys that keep popping up :-)

  10. Ivan,

    Yeah, I'm definitely trying to walk a tightrope ofhaving the SOF guys stand apart, capabilities-wise, from the bad guys, but I have no desire for it to be a 'bang-bang-bang, all the bad guys are down' type of game, but I'm also not all that interested in '4 SOF guys vs. the world'-type games.

    At least not yet; certainly my previous SOF games have had that flavor (one of the funnest games I've ever played, and lost! Besides, where would I come up with all the 20mm casualty figures?

    Another issue is that SOF taking even a single casualty would be brutal; they're immediately down 50% as he's got to be drug off the field.

    I haven't played 5MIN in a bit, I need to pull out the rules and take a look as it's not striking me as to your distinction of having two kill dice but no shock dice. In any case, there's plenty of time, I have to come up with terrain before I can have a fight. Plus I'm just getting stuck into the FFL campaign. Plus I have a 6mm table still set up and waiting on me...

    Also, I'm with you about not being able to have everyone activate. But I'm not as bothered if you make a 1 in 6 roll (a 5). They are SOF ;)

    I did just place an order for some 20mm terrain, just now, with my wife sitting right next to me! She didn't even notice! How far can I go with this? ;)