The people over at Spartan Games in Somerset, UK, have certainly been very, very busy of late. For Gen-Con, they just revealed their entry into the field of 28mm miniature skirmish wargaming: the upcoming Dystopian Legions. The models on show at Gen-Con were nothing but awe-inspiring. But as exciting (and ambitious) Dystopian Legions already is, it is not all that is coming from Spartan Games these days.
Spartan Games opened an entire new branch, Studio Sparta. Though comparisons of this sort are always imperfect, it does sound a lot like Studio Sparta will be to Spartan Games what Forgeworld is (or better, was) to Games Workshop: A separate “think-tank” of sorts for more experimental gaming and miniature projects.
Here is what Studio Sparta says about itself:
Studio Sparta is a mail order company that will offer a diverse range of figures, vehicles and scenery that do not have any of the constraints of being locked to our core games, and are not limited to models that can be mass-produced for stores to stock. This allows us to make more complex models, to dabble in areas that we find exciting, and we think you will also find exciting.
Studio Sparta is where we let our designers loose, allowing their imaginations to run wild and produce some of our most unusual models.
And here is a miniature taster from their “Invader” range. Studio Sparta will cover different scales (15mm, 28mm), so they should plug neatly into most of the games produced by Spartan Games (or anyone else for that matter).
Pretty cool so far. Check out some of the other miniatures they have on offer.
But a few small runs of unique miniatures wouldn’t be that exciting by themselves.
However, Studio Sparta also has a larger project up on display: Firestorm Invasion, a spin-off from their Firestorm Armada game of fleet-combat in space. Where the latter is – as the name says – a game of space combat, Firestorm Invasion deals with invading a planet and everything surrounding ground warfare.
Does that look like another 10mm-scale wargame?
Well, it does and it is. And these days, as the much-celebrated Dropzone Commander by Hawk Wargames (founded by a former Spartan-employee) is loosing the gaming communities advance in goodwill with rude business practices, this game may just be what the 10mm enthusiasts are looking for.
But Firestorm Invasion is not just a 10mm. It aspires to be quite a bit more than that!
Firestorm Invasion actually wants to relay the different stages of a planetary invasion by offering gameplay not only in one, but in three different scales, which it calls Planetfall (10mm), Conquest (15mm) and Special Ops (28mm).
Here are the details from their website:
PHASE 1) This is the brutal ground-pounding side of combat using massive forces of tanks, ground attack craft, mechanical walkers and heavily armoured infantry. This is the part of the invasion when you use your major assets to smash your enemy, this isn’t about pretending you are taking a planet with 10 tanks – this is the part when you tactically deploy waves of armour to clear the way before you, pulverising any fool who stands in your way. We call this PLANETFALL and it will be presented using 10mm scale miniatures.
PHASE 2) Once you’ve smashed your enemy with a lightning strike, it’s time to take, and then hold, those vital enemy hotspots. This could be fighting over a military base, entering the ruins of a devastated city, or some other strategic objective. This is where your highly trained infantry, with armoured support, come into their own. We call this CONQUEST and it will be presented using 15mm scale miniatures.
PHASE 3) Lastly, but by no means least, comes the gritty art of daring special operations. Small teams of highly trained troops going man-to-man against the best your enemy can throw at you. Capture a bunker, rescue hostages, eliminate a target or destroy a shield generator – this is what your elite troops trained for. We call this SPECIAL OPS and it will be presented using 28mm scale miniatures.
Are You Ready To Collect Three Armies?
The caveat of course is that this is likely a serious gaming-project for serious hobbyists only. Though you certainly don’t need to play on all levels, the appeal is of course to do just that. But to make that reality, one would need to collect no less than three different armies at three different miniature scales to play “the entire thing”.
The upside is, these are all beautiful miniatures to collect. The 10mm stuff looks great and Studio Sparta also shared a few early renders of their 15mm stuff in the pipeline via Twitter. Have a look:
It is anyone’s guess what the 28mm miniatures will look like. But if Dystopian Legions is anything to go by, they will surely be spectacular.
Studio Sparta also promised more eye-candy for tomorrow. I think (and hope) that there might be some real pictures of their 15mm miniatures on display.
Look out for some exciting updates to the Firestorm Invasion Gallery tomorrow!
— Studio Sparta (@studiosparta) August 20, 2012
What do you think of Firestorm Invasion? Is it “too much” of a project to get started? Is it just what you’ve been looking for? I would love to hear your opinions!