Spectrum Shock: Campaign Opener (with pics)

This week, I introduced my players to the Spectrum Shock campaign with a little bit of modeling. Of course, we didn't parade ourselves down a runway. The players built their own miniatures from Warhammer 40K pieces. Of course, they'll have to be painted later, but the guys enjoyed creating their own figures. I wish I had purchased several different sets of people, but Games Workshop stuff is expensive. This is definitely a collection that I'll have to develop over time. So far, I only have these items:

Between these three sets (and the paints) I blew a hefty chunk of my supplement check, but the fun I've had painting and the awesome gaming experience were well worth it.

New Rules
As I started picking up Warhammer 40K miniatures and added them to my collection of RPG miniatures, I decided to mix in some wargaming house rules into my D20 Modern/Future/Urban Arcana/Apocalypse setting. Since I was already throwing in everything but the kitchen sink, I might as well add this as well. In the end, I found that they meshed together quite well. Since distances in D20 Modern are measured in units of five feet and each 5' x 5' square is also 1" x 1", it was a simple switch to drop the grid altogether and use the long 18" rulers that came with the Assault on Black Reach set. Movement now functions just like a wargame, and range is much easier to calculate (probably more accurate, too).

Without the need for a grid, my Dungeon Tiles took the backseat, replaced by a 3 foot by 3 foot sheet of Woodland Scenics ReadyGrass, which is more commonly used for model train dioramas but is also perfect for turning any flat surface into a grassland. To continue the model train scenery, I also picked up a few packs of trees and added them to the mix. When all was said and done, we ended up with this gaming table:

All of the trees can be rearranged, of course, to create different scenes and battlefields. This 3D terrain was a huge step up from just Dungeon Tiles, although I will likely still use the tiles for indoor settings. This change went over quite well with the crowd. I don't think I'll every buy Games Workshop terrain again, though. The Citadel Wood box (currently, leafless trees with just a brown base coat of paint) stick out like a sore thumb beside the model train scenery. They could compete, but I don't have the time or patience to get them to that point. The model train scenery is cheaper, requires much less assembly, and doesn't need painting at all.

Overall, Spectrum Shock has received glowing reviews from my players. My brother, who has played RPGs with me since he was just a wee boy, claimed that it was the best game we've played so far. He's been playing since the days of 2nd edition AD&D. He liked 3rd edition better than 2nd, 4th better than 3rd, Rifts better than any version of D&D... and told me as we were wrapping up the game that Spectrum Shock was even more fun than Rifts. I'm taking that as the highest compliment.

I'll be posting more about the events of the campaign itself soon, and hopefully I'll find the charger for the camera so I'll have better quality photos than my cell phone camera can take.
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