On Friday 15mm.co.uk released another code in to the expanding and well loved HOF (Hordes of the Future) 15mm Science Fiction line. Since I took over the design command of the range (back in the region of the mid thirties of the code listing) I have tried to base expansions mainly on wargamers requests and also by reaction to releases. Already emails have come in about HOF80 Aquafid Infantry ranging from ‘hurrah another new race‘ to ‘these are awful, why are you not making more Cultists or Retained Knights?‘. These emails always intrigue me so I wanted to do a little posting here on the blog to tell you all why.
Designed by Elton Waters these latest miniatures added to the range were in response to r requests for a ‘fish man type of infantry’ and as normal I took the top three off the list of requests every few months and had them created. I will not discuss the other two at this time but one was a Human pack for pulp and near future gaming and the other was a Human medical pack for primary use with HOF Fire Team and other systems. The name Aquafid combines a word for water and one for fighter for a title that confers the right meaning. So the system I used created the Aquafid like it did the Grey Aliens, Automatons, Cultists, Octopods, Triorbs and others. But why the response by email?
I think that is comes as a shock (sadly) to a lot of wargamers now that a company will create miniatures by request and not just make more and more soldiers with spiky bits and big guns. No civilians or support staff, only warriors. I believe that codes such as the Aquafid are vital to the soul of the whole wargaming hobby. We are a hobby of intense creativity and diversity and no where is this more clearly seen at the moment than in 15mm Science Fiction which is in the midst of a golden age of expansion. New Races and Oddities are central to maintaining this just as they were in the 1990′s and 1980′s for 28mm and 25mm Science Fiction. If makers only releases yet more human troops what would be the point? Eventually we would all just be fighting ‘Ultra Modern’ without the sci-fi element using miniatures so similar to each other they all came out of the same cookie cutter (does this sound familar to you at all?).
There is a very good reason I listen to customers…they know what they want as individuals and if you list their feedback by hundreds you see a pattern. Each time a new release is made in HOF (and in SHM for that matter) feedback comes in, orders come in and opinions are shared. Sometimes new races and oddities fall on their faces and go no further and in other cases they sell so well that they warrent expansion. Two good examples of this are the HOF Cultists and the HOF Octopods. Both began with one pack of infantry poses and now have three or four (with more to come!) each for a fuller force. Without the system I use neither of these would exist at all.
Will the Aquafid spawn a support pack, a command pack or others? Are they too strange? Only time will tell. But now you know my thoughts and perhaps now they are not as weird as they first appeared.
I welcome comments and feedback on miniature design ideas and I always will.