6mm-Minis is Maksim-Smelchak's blog to discuss gaming, miniatures, books, movies, food, Israel, Judaism, life in general and other funny crud. My favorite scale of miniatures is 6mm, which is also called 1/285 or 1/300 scale. I enjoy many different kinds of games including ancients, Napoleonics, WWI, WWII, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Car Wars AKA Autoduel (a sort of crash'n'derby automobile combat game), 6mm Godzilla AKA Kaiju games, and science fiction games. I'm open to everything though!

Monday, October 31, 2005

GAMING NEWS: Planetfall Hoth Photos Posted from 10-17-2005 Playtest Game

Hi Everyone,

I just posted some photos of one of my recent "Planetfall" playtest games in folders named: "Planetfall Hoth Playtest Game 10-17-2005"

On the two following E-groups:


A short description of each E-group:

SSSW (Small Scale Star Wars) Wargaming:
- This group supports Star Wars miniatures gamers using pieces smaller than 25mm (The normal SWMB miniatures scale) including small scale starships and stub fighters, Micro Machines figures, 10mm AMT/ERTL/MPC Action Scene figures, 6mm sci-fi proxy figures and others. Several of the group's members are also designing their own rulesets so the list also functions as a playtesting house for them.

Planetfall-TGUSFMWE - Planetfall Support Group:
- Purpose: This group supports fans of "Planetfall - The Generic Universal Science Fiction Miniatures Wargame Engine."
- Game Description: "Planetfall" is a new set of generic gaming rules for ground combat using any science fiction background. The recommended figure scales are 6mm, 10mm and 15mm although the game mechanics will work in any scale. "Planetfall" is not a skirmish game and individually based infantry are not required, a common feature of squad-based skirmish games. "Planetfall" games are organized around squads grouped into companies up to battallion-strength task forces. Smaller or larger games can still be played, of course!
- Latest News: "Planetfall" is currently undergoing playtesting and development and is scheduled to come out in late 2005 or early 2006. "Planetfall" is a professional project.


I played three playtest games that day with 3-5 players a side.

The Hoth gaming set I made is in 10mm scale with the following toy & miniatures pieces:
- Galoob Micro Machines & Ertl/MPC Battle of Hoth diorama model kit
- Galoob Micro Machines & Ertl/MPC Battle of Hoth diorama model kit
- Ertl/MPC Battle of Hoth diorama model kit
- Ertl/MPC Battle of Hoth diorama model kit

- Ertl/MPC Battle of Hoth diorama model kit kit-bashed by Maksim-Smelchak
- Custom-made by Clevella of San Francisco from bubblegum (Bubbletape) packaging
- Custom-made by Mark Carper of Sacramento from I-pod (mini-computer) packaging

- Ertl/MPC Battle of Hoth diorama model kit
- Galoob Micro Machines
- Ertl/MPC Battle of Hoth diorama model kit
- Ertl/MPC Battle of Hoth diorama model kit

- The AT-ATs are based on 2"x4" bases that have custom diorama elements added by me (snow, ice and AT-AT foot prints).
- Most of the other pieces are based on fender washers that have a custom ice/snow diorama added.
- I used a combination of junk to build up snow piles, putty, bathroom caulking, Vallejo's Piedra Pomez and Snowtex to make snow and ice.
- The Snowspeeders were used with a combination of Galoob Micro Macines flying bases and the transparent plastic flying bases made by GW.
- The infantrymen are individually based on 3/8" washers and were then placed on "movement trays" made from larger washers with magnetic sheeting fitted on top of the washers.
- The infantrymen were then magnetically attached to the "movement trays" (large fender washer with magnetic sheeting) and removed as casualties were inflicted.
- The white die by most of the game pieces represents Action Points, a command game mechanism used by my "Planetfall" rules.
- Some pieces have a small green die by them which represented Supression Markers which lowered the amount of Action Points available to a unit, and made it hard for supressed units to execute orders and take any kind of action.

I had a lot of fun both hosting and playing "Planetfall" and will play this Hoth game again including at an upcoming local gaming convention, where I'll host an expanded version of this game. All of the players of the game enjoyed it and asked to play it again the next time I host it.

I am working on a set of "Planetfall - Traveller: The Fifth Frontier War - Zhodani vs. Strephonian Imperials" rules to playtest soon.

I hope to playtest the next game on 12 November 2005.

I will be using 6mm sci-fi miniatures for the "Planetfall - Traveller: The Fifth Frontier War - Zhodani vs. Strephonian Imperials."

If I am able to, I will post photos of that game as well.


Thanks for your time!


Happy Halloween!

Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos under public domain, creative commons, or fair use. If I have inadvertently violated any copyrights, please inform me and I will remove your image/s (if it is indeed an infringement).

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

PERSONAL NEWS: Our Gaming Histories!

Hi Guys,

I'll join in! It's always interesting to hear about the gaming histories of others and to share your own.

Primarch: It's been the other way around for me. In the beginning of my stint as a wargamer, I played everything and anything. I played Kyromek (...which has resurfaced), Leviathan (...from the defunct Grendel company), Warzone 1st edition, second and the latest (...probably the ONLY skirmish game I have ever cared for), Battletech, Silent Death, Heroquest, Space Hulk and Blood Bowl.
As time went by I have narrowed my focus to one dimension 6mm, mainly Epic with only 6mm WWII gaming squeezing itself in. I have virtually lost interest in skirmish 28mm games. They bore me to tears. I like feeling like a general when I game, skirmish games dont do it for me.
It is also a question of time. I have little of it. I no longer have the drive of attention span to get into a multitude of games and remain with just one.
Of course, outside wargaming I play D&D and DM a game for my old gaming group. So with these two things I pretty much satisfy my gaming needs.

This thread can be found here:
EpiComms » Extra Boards » General Discussion » Gandalf the Grey's Gaming blog


My Gaming History:

The 1970s - My Beginning in Gaming:
- I started out wide-eyed and ready to play anything. I didn't have much money at that time so any miniatures I could get my hands on were cool by me. I mostly took hand-outs or bargain bin specials in the 1970s.
- I really got into fantasy when Chainmail came out and wanted to play all the great battles of Tolkien's hobbit. The Ralph Bakshi movie really inspired me and is still a favorite despite its shortcomings.
- Starfleet Battles was another big interest and I was determined to build a viable Hydran fleet (Never happened...).
- I was also lucky enough to discover OGRE around the time it came out and still think it's an amazing game!
- I also got in at ground floor with Traveller and acquired a number of the famous LBBs!

The 1980s - A Time of Microarmor:
- I went wild in the 1980s and built up a sizeable 25mm fantasy collection, started a microarmor collection and started building up a sci-fi collection as well. I probably painted well over 300 25mm fantasy figures during this decade... mostly Grenadiers.
- Around the mid 1980's, I realized that I probably had at least four or five different scales of miniatures in my collections and came to a decsion that making five different sets of terrain was not a good idea so... I wrote some pros and cons and I decided to settle on one MAIN scale and minimize all other scales in my collection. I ended up deciding on 6mm AKA 5mm AKA 1/300 AKA 1/285. My favorite pieces were in this scale and it made the most sense. In retrospect, I'm glad I did this.
- I played a lot of microarmor games in the 1980s and probably tried almost every rule set that came out at the time.
- I concentrated my modern collections around the Arab-Israeli Conflict and built up some WWII collections as well... mostly for the early Blitzkrieg scenarios and Eastern Front.
- I also wrote a modern microarmor ruleset that became quite popular. I still see gamers playing it at cons and have even seen it sold at flea markets despite it not being much more than a set of fancy Xerox photocopies.
- Car Wars was one of the big games of the 1980s and I practically played it to death along with all of the later expansions for it. It is still one of my favorite games. I started building a x1 or 6mm car collection during this time.
- Some of the big sci-fi games came out too and I loved them all. I remember Battledroids, Battletech, Silent Death, Renegade Legion, Centurion and so many others. I'm not sure which of those games came out in the 1990s, but I liked them all. My 6mm sci-fi collection began to grow and quickly became my largest and most favorite collection. The early Martian Metals OGRE minis were amazing!

The 1990s - The Epic Generation:
- The 1990s were a golden time for me. I finally had enough disposable income to buy games & minis and I did!
- Adeptus Mechanicus, Space Marine 1rst edition, and Epic Space Marine 2nd Edition / Titan Legions dominated this time for me. I built up large Epic collections and this is still one of my favorite collections and by far the largest part of my treasured 6mm sci-fi collection.
- Dirtside II also came out at this time and is still a game I love. I bought a lot from GeoHEX and GZG and was sad to later see GeoHEX go out of business.
- FASA also sadly went out of business and Battletech and Centurion went with them.
- I also decided to take some chances and joined the service enlisting in the USAF.
- Oddly enough, I found a Traveller group while in the USAF and we played a campaign game for a several years.
- I later went overseas and primarily worked in esatern Europe and Russia. I also spent a little time in Israel.
- When I got back to the USA, Epic had been gutted and E-40k had both come and gone leaving E-40k miniatures in the bargain bins of gaming shops everywhere. It was sad to see yet another Epic game get superceded or otherwise poo-poo'ed. I picked up as many E-40k blisters as I could.
- I spent most of the late 1990s working full-time jobs and taking heavy course loads at university eventually ending up with several degrees. This really killed my gaming time in the late 1990s.

The 2000s - "Planetfall" & Enjoing Gaming Again! :
- I decided to get a teaching credential and started teaching in the early 2000s. I spent a lot of time either at work (hospital pharmacy) while I was earning my teaching credential or in classes.
- The best thing about the 2000s was that I let myself go and began gaming again.
- I found a local game store called Hobby Workshop and spent a lot of time there. I made a lot of friends and walking into Hobby Workshop felt like going into Cheers... we all knew each other and we all loved playing games... whether miniatures or board games. Sometimes we brought movies and watched them together.
- I played in a BFG campaign during this time.- I also played a ton of Epic games.
- The owner, Bill, is a great guy and I have very fond memories of his business. Games Workshop later drove him out of business when they decided to form a monopoly on Internet sales, which was most of Bill's business. It was a sad day the day that Hobby Workshop closed its' doors.
- I later earned my teaching credential and went on to teach in the classroom, starting with highschool science & mathematics and later moving to general elementary education.
- This was a wonderful time and I dedicated a lot of my time to helping others, but the whole education system frustrated me. It wasn't other teachers, but the infernal school district administration and the terrible CTA, one of the worst, most corrupt unions in existence. I left the teaching career behind in early 2005 and decided to move on.
- I moved on to a variety of side jobs in 2005 and decided to pursue a dream of mine... to publish my own game and do a good job of it.- I had been collecting notes and discussing ideas with small publishers for ages. I had researched small printers and acquired skills with desktop publishing. After speaking with Patrick Sweeney of Firefly Games, I decided to finally do it.
- "Planetfall - The Generic Universal Science Fiction Miniatures Wargame Engine" was born.
- It had started back in the 1980s as a set of house rules and scribbled ideas in a notebook and had evolved over the past two decades or so. It became a microarmor ruleset in the 1980s and a set of house rules for Epic in the 1990s. Now it is ready to become its' own game and I've put it into playtesting and development. I should be able to publish it in early 2006 or maybe even in late 2005.
- I now game at a local shop called Hobby Monkey and play whatever my friends do.
- Eric "Chern" Royer is one of my closet friends and we started playing Epic together in the early 2000s at the now defunct Hobby Workshop. He is well-known for his "Epic Army Card" website and we playtested much of the early Epic-Armageddon materials with each other.
- We formed a local Epic gamer's group and I started an e-group called CA-EA-Gamers to support us. The Epic fervor has died down, but the same Epic folks are still around.
- Eric unfortunately has burned out on Epic with all of the damned changes and indecision at Games Workshop and doesn't want to play it again for along time.
- He is a big Babylon-5 fan so we play the B-5 space game pretty often. We're currently in a campaign. I'm playing the Shadows and Eric is playing Earth Force. There are also Centauri and Drazi players.
- Eric also runs a Warhammer Fantasy cmapign so I'm actually playing RPGs again as well.
- Hobby Monkey also started a Formula De league and I decided to play in that as well.
- One of the highlights of 2005 was that I played a "Star Wars: Battle of Hoth" game using my "Planetfall" rules. It was blast and made my feel good because I'd made a New Year's resolution to do it. It always feels good to meet a vow and keep a promise. I spent a good part of Summer 2005 working on the Hoth minis set and am very pleased with it.


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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

GAMING NEWS: HOW TO APPLY to be a "Planetfall" Playtester...

Hi Everyone and especially potential "Planetfall" playtesters,


Here's HOW TO APPLY to be a "Planetfall" Playtester:

Write these three simple things and either send them to me as a private E-mail or post them publicly on the "Planetfall" support group forums:


Q1. Share what you expect from a good science fiction miniatures game in written form.

Q2. State what you are expecting from "Planetfall - The Generic Universal Science Fiction Miniatures Wargame Engine" in written form.

Q3. Share a little bit about your background as a gamer and what qualifies you to be a "Planetfall" playtester.

There is no specific quantity of writing required as long as yourespond to the three questions/requests: Q1, Q2 and Q3. It would help if you put your repsonses into the form of A1 (Answer One), A2 and A3, but I'm not requiring this.

Several people have already aswered these questions to me either publicly on these forums such as Andy Skinner or a number of folks privately through personal E-mails sent to me.


I will then read and respond to every "Planetfall" playtester application.

Successful applicants will recive a letter of congratulations and an E-mail invitation to the "Planetfall-Playtesters" E-group and have full access to all of the playtest material downloads and to the playtesting and game development discussions there.

Unsuccessful applicants will be sent an E-mail letter thanking them for their time and inviting them to reapply later.

A small honorarium may be asked for at that time, which everyplaytester will recive back as a discount of the game when it is published later this year or early next year. In the case of the game not being published (Fat chance of that since I'm dedicated to this project and am investing a lot of time and money in it!), all honorariums to playtesters will be fully returned to their owners.


Thanks for your time.



Friday, October 14, 2005

GAMING NEWS: "Planetfall" Sci-fi Game E-group Opened!

"Planetfall" Sci-fi Game E-group Opened!

Hi Everyone,

The E-group for my new upcoming sci-fi miniatures game "Planetfall - The Generic Universal Science Fiction Miniatures Wargame Engine" is now opened.

Anyone interested is invited.

The "Planetfall" E-group can be found here:


Thanks for your time.



Saturday, October 08, 2005

GAMING NEWS: Two Successful Playtests of Maksim's Sci-fi Game!

Hi Everyone,

I would, first of all, like to thank everyone who made suggestions for the name of my new sci-fi game. There were some incredibly clever, humorous and dramatic name suggestions. I've put them together into a document and will post it at a later time for everyone's enjoyment.

For those of you who have no idea who I am or what I'm talking about, I'm a gamer, somewhat well-known in the community for my actions helping to restore the 6mm_miniatures E-group, my participation at the TMP site and for other things.

I'm a big fan of miniature wargames and love games like Dirtside II, and Striker II, which have unfortunately not seen sequels for a long time. I tried to get involved with these companies at different times to be a part of seeing newer better versions of these classic games come out and nothing seemed to get done. Fans organized projects and wrote great house rules, but I wanted to see a new version of the game come out, not the old game juryrigged with house rules. So...

I decided to design my own game for sci-fi minis. I wanted a system with the greatness of Traveller and Striker II, the ease of play inherent to Dirtside II, the fun factors I associate with GW's Epic series and the versatility of GURPs. I wanted a game not tied down to any cannon or specific background. I wanted a game that had sophisticated but not overly complicated game mechanics for leaders, command and control, morale, unit experience, suppression, combat engineering, air support, armor, force fields and many other things. So... I made it!

My game is currently in playtest and I've already found three manufacturers who have expressed an interest in publishing it. Several other game retaillers have expressed an interest in stocking and selling it.

The basic game is designed as a game engine, sort of like GURPS, that can be adapted to any sci-fi canon or background a player desires. Want to recreate modern units who have gone back in time? Want to have WWII armies face "War Of the Worlds" invaders? Want to see if Star Wars can give Star Trek a black eye? My game system is designed to do just those things. It can pit armies of various technological sophistication against each other.

I plan to sell the main book for $15.00 USD, which will come with a game module that has the engine adapted to one science-fiction background. Further game modules will be available for different science fiction backgrounds. The modules will cost $10.00 USD each.

And thanks to the dozens of suggestions from fans, I now have a name for the game:

"PLANETFALL: The Generic Universal Science Fiction Miniatures Wargame Engine!"

I plan to start an E-group for those interested soon and already have an E-mail mailing list for those interested. If you would like to be on the E-mail mailing list to receive news of the game, when it goes on sale or possibly become a playtester for the game, please send me your E-mail. I am selective with my playtesters though so it is possible that you may not be chosen to be a playtester although I plan to enroll as many playtesters as possible..

I have been playtesting the game myself, but am formulating a simple version of the rules to give to playtesters soon. I playtested a final form of the game this past Thursday and again today on Saturday (8 October 2005). Both playtests went smoothly and rules performed very well. Thursday's playtest was with an adult and I ran two playtest games today both with a combination of young children (8-10 years old) and adults. The game was easy enough to learn that one of the children taught his friend how to play in about ten to fifteen minutes and enrolled him on his side (...to help the Empire defeat the Rebel scum!).

The sci-fi background I've used in recent playtests has been "Star Wars: The Battle of Hoth," but I don't think I could ever afford to buy a license for that franchise so when the game gets published, I will offer those rules for free on the game's web site. We had a great time playing "Planetfall" and I can't wait to try out other adaptions of the game I've created for other sci-fi books, movies and television series. Of course, I can't publish any of those without a license (...I've made inquiries with a number of my favorite sci-fi license holders...) so I'll offer any game modules for backgrounds I can't afford to buy a license from... for free.

Thanks for your time!

Shabbat Shalom,

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Monday, October 03, 2005

GAMING NEWS: TMP Gladiator Contest! - Part #2.

Hi Everyone,

Andrew and I were WINNERS in the contest! Yeah! Huzzah!

We were sent a copy of the Hail Caesar! gladiator game rules and Andrew might even have them already.

We'll probably get together sometime in the next week or two to read them over and get in our first game. We'll take photos and hopefully, by then, I'll know how to posts those photos here on my blog.

Andrew mentioned that he'll start building an arena if he has time. I'm guessing that he won't have time though because his children's soccer season has started and he's such a dedicated parent. I've always liked that about him. It's good to get reminders like that that the world does work and the roses do smell beautifully if you take the time to look and notice them.

The final results of the contest can be found here at the TMP site in the OCTOBER 2005 part of the "From the Editor" area:


Here are the results of the poll:


And here are the essays that Andrew and I wrote:



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Saturday, October 01, 2005

HUMOUR: The Mensa Invitational...

Hi Guys,

Ralph (Legion-4) posted this and I thought it was worth sharing:

Some of these are great!
- Abba.

The Mensa Invitational once again asked members to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supplying a new definition.

Here are this year's {2005} winners:

1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

3. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating.

4. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

5. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

6. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

7. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

8. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

9. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

And the pick of the litter:

18. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an #######.

Ralph mentioned that this friend of his is a former Israeli medic as well. She served in the 1950s. I wonder is she was around for the 1956 Suez crisis.

Shabbat Shalom,

HUMOUR: The Ziplocs You REALLY Need for Gaming!

Hi Guys,

I saw this post over at BoardGameGeek and enjoyed it enough to share here:


Subject: Ziploc responds to market - Bags for Storing Gamers!
Jon Power:
Finally Ziploc has produced a bag to keep your gamers fresh. If you have to
store gamers around the house or garage between sessions, without having them go
off, spreading germs or annoying normal people, now you can seal your gamers
away safe and secure. And the gamers love it too, with that extra "Protection
from moisture, dust, and pests".
Ziploc, serving gamers' every need.
Alan Kaiser: Anyone else
feel the urge to get some of these and put a single sandwich in one, pack it
into a luchbox and take it to work! I'd love to see peoples reactions!
Lance Bailey: And then when you're done eating, you blow it up and
pop it.
Alfred Das: LOL
Make sure to include at least 1
solitaire game in the bag before storing. Keeps 'em fresh and alert.

I found it humorous and enjoyed it very much. I hope you do too!

Shabbat Shalom,

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