Sunday, March 25, 2012

Scored a Copy of Survive: Escape from Atlantis!

I tried out Survive: Escape from Atlantis late last year and liked it enough to put it on My List of Stuff to Get When I Have the Money. Unfortunately, by the time I got through the Holiday Season with some gift money burning a whole in my pocket, I heard that the game was sold out. Word from Stronghold Games was that it would be reprinted sometime in 2012.

This blew a hole in my post-Holiday plans. Survive: Escape from Atlantis struck me as a good family game. Getting it was to be a step towards getting a regular family game night going. Now I would have to look for alternatives while keeping an eye out for the new printing. Checking online came up empty. The game made My List of Titles to Check For Every Time I Set Foot in a Game Store.

I resigned myself to a bit of a wait.

Imagine my pleasant surprise when I saw some copies at Barnes and Noble. I had already sold my wife on the game awhile back, so a copy got rung up with a book for each member of the family. (My book was Erwin Rommel's Infantry Attacks.)

I unwrapped the game and set to reading the rules. My wife, daughter, and me started up a game after dinner. We all had a good time and it looks like it will be a staple once we get family game night going again.

I guess you just get lucky, sometimes.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Matchbox Finds For 15mm #1

The Oshkosh HEMTT A4

The Oshkosh HEMTT A4 in box, out of box, and with a 15mm ARC Fleet rifleman for scale. From the Matchbox Real Working Rigs line. HEMTT is short for an even bigger mouthful: Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck. The real thing is made by Oshkosh Defense and is in service today.

My plans for this pair involve a repaint to match my existing collection. Although they are modeled on a current design, they should serve well as generic space military trucks. And there is an added bonus – the container in the back is removable. That simplifies customizing the truck to carry other loads or simply using the containers as terrain.

Stealth Launch

The Stealth Launch in box, out of box, and with a 15mm Arc Fleet rifleman for scale. From the Matchbox Sky Busters Missions line.
The Stealth Launch is available in gray and black. I felt that the gray was more “military” looking than the black with racing stripes look of the alternative. At least I could pass the orange racing stripes on the gray ones as warning markers of some kind. I might touch these up a bit, maybe put a wash on them to bring out the details, but they do look good out the package. I have a scenario involving a raid on an airstrip in mind, but that's pretty far down my “to do” list.

Tucker Sno-Cat

The Tucker Sno-Cat in box, out of box, and with a 15mm ARC Fleet rifleman for scale. From the Matchbox Real Working Rigs line.

These are likely to see use a civilian vehicles. They look similar to some real life amphibious all-terrain vehicles, so they could serve as colonial exploration vehicles after I remove the plow blade. Or I could use them as technicals after adding some weapons and painting them up with a “Road Warrior” look.

Matchbox For 15mm

Matchbox vehicles are promising to be a handy addition to modern and sci-fi 15mm miniatures wargaming. They will never replace the variety of vehicle models available online, but work well to supplement a vehicle collection. True, they're not perfect, but their limitations are manageable.

  • Scale can vary from vehicle to vehicle. You'll want to take a close look at each potential purchase while still in the store. Nothing is worse than bringing something home and finding that it's too big or small. Fortunately, the clear blister packaging makes this pretty easy.
  • The paint jobs vary from glossy and garish to flat and uninspired. Many vehicles will need complete repainting to match the look of everything else on the table.
  • Not every need is covered. There aren't many armored vehicles on the market, for example.


  • Matchbox is widely available. Most of the big box stores that carry toys have Matchbox available.
  • The level of detail is good.The prices are reasonable compared to metal and some resin models.
  • Civilian vehicles are common, a niche not filled by many 15mm miniature vehicle lines.

Next: Matchbox finds.