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 Post subject: Fun with chains
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:30 am 
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Viridis
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Location: Scandinavian Denmark
One of the things that really jumped out at me when I read the rulebook was that it had rules for chaining models to other models or to terrain features.

Wow!, I thought. That is a really cool idea. My favourite things about Arena Rex are the features that make it clear that this is not a normal wargame, where we are imagining some sort of military conflict as being the reason for the models to fight. This is a game about people fighting not for military victory, but for entertainment.

Chains are therefore one of those rules that would make little sense in any other game, but make perfect sense in AR.

The main question is how to best make use of the rule. It has immediate appeal to take a beast like Proximo, make it a living hazard, and chain it to a pole in the middle of the arena, to snap at gladiators that get too close. Very cool image. But I'm the kind of person who wouldn't be satsfied with just saying that there is a chain between the monster and the pole, I would want the chain to be there physically. I'm probably not the only one.

So I'm thinking... make a pole hazard. Wrap chain around it, leave 4" of chain free. Somehow attach a small magnet to the end of the chain. Insert small magnet in Proximo (and/or other beasts). Should work - but it seems like the pole should be attached quite firmly to the arena floor, otherwise the beast seems likely to drag it around when you physically move it around to fight. :)

That would be part one. Part two would be to make something similar, but have the chain be between two living hazard beasts. The same magnet trick should work I figure. Who would look good chained together? Leo and Proximo? Nero and Wendigo? Many options.

Has anyone done anything like this themselves? 8-)

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 Post subject: Re: Fun with chains
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:44 am 
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Crudus
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Haven't done it and I am actually not really thinking about it currently. But I would prefer the pole the chain is attached to being magnetized to have it stand up again at the right spot after knocking it over.

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 Post subject: Re: Fun with chains
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:17 pm 
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Viridis
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I was just reading the rulebook scenarios, and something I never noticed before was that several of them involve chains. Ahaaa. Something that interests me indeed.

The scenarios involve damned / condemned gladiators. In the Damnatio scenario, a condemned gladiator has to be chained to the centre of a 6" diameter duel ring. Hmm. In the Vinculi scenario, a condemned gladiator has to be chained to another gladiator by a 4" chain.

At first, this stymied me. Chaining beasts is one thing, but chaining gladiators? Potentially any gladiator? I'm not going to put magnets in all my models.

But then I thought... how about some sort of alternative form of attachment? How about a kind of ring or collar, that I could slip over the head of the gladiator who is supposed to be chained to something?

I'm not sure if this would work for any model. But most of them should have somewhat similarly sizes heads or helmets, I think. If it works, it will be really cool.

One thing I know is that I will definitely have to give it a try. Which includes making a 6" diameter duel ring with a column and a chain at the centre.

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 Post subject: Re: Fun with chains
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:03 pm 
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Crudus
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I'd be concerned about the chain rubbing and chipping off some paint, so I probably won't be chaining my models.

I know this isn't quite as thematic or visually stunning, but how about attaching the chains to the bases? Seems like that might be easier.

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 Post subject: Re: Fun with chains
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 2:43 am 
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Viridis
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Would your concern be about paint rubbing off during gameplay? I guess I see what you mean - if there was some kind of shackle attached to the model, it could create some chafing at the point of attachment, which could theoretically wear some paint off. I hadn't thought of that. However, I varnish my models, and I'm not that fussy about the paint on them. I am fussy about models *breaking* - especially thin resin joints - but paint is easy for me to repair. So I'll probably give it a go and see what happens.

Attaching the chains to the base was actually my first idea too. I thought of making a plastic ring that could fit around the outside of the base. The main reasons I didn't pursue the idea were that 1) since it doesn't have the visual effect of the model itself being chained, which is the whole point, why bother?, and 2) gladiators come on both 30mm and 40mm bases, so I would need two different ring sizes.

I've looked a bit more at the chained collar thing, but I don't think it's going to work. Too likely too fall off during play, I think, plus there are lots of models where I just don't see it working. Septimus, for example. Giant flowing mane of hair, impossible to fit a ring around that head.

However, I thought of something else. Rather than a collar, a clasp around one foot might work. Feet should be a lot easier to work with, not having helmets and stuff on them. I just need a small ring that I can open and close. Maybe some kind of jewellery chain clasp.

The only models that this shouldn't work for are models with no free-standing feet or legs. Currently the only model I can think of like that is Medusa. But if she ended up being a condemned gladiator, I could just put the clasp around her wrist.

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 Post subject: Re: Fun with chains
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:55 am 
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Viridis
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OK, I went to the hobby store that sells jewellery bits on my lunch break, and I got some little metal clasps that look like they miiiight work if I enlarge them a little.

I wasn't originally thinking of a metal clasp though - that is more likely to present a chipping issue. My original plan was to make a ring out of some kind of soft plastic, and cut a line through it, so it could easily be pulled open and closed around the limb of a model. The only problem I see with that is that I likely won't be able to paint that, since I need it to be soft and pliable so I can bend it, and bending something painted will definitely make all the paint flake off.

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 Post subject: Re: Fun with chains
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:37 am 
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Viridis
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OK, I think I've made progress.

The small metal clasps didn't work - I could get it around a foot, but it wasn't easy, and getting it off again was really difficult. I've learned that there's not much room to maneuver your fingers when you are fiddling with the mechanics of something really small attached to your model.

But I went back to the store and instead got some clasps that are actually for earrings. They are much bigger, and can actually double as both of the attachment methods I considered earlier. If suitable, I can put it over the model's head, and if not, I can clip it around their leg or waist. It's still a little fiddly, but workable I think.

Granted - I can understand if most people don't want to actually restrain their models physically when the rules call for them to be restrained theoretically. It's a bit of a challenge to figure out, and takes some work to actually connect the models in play I think. Putting magnets in beasts is no problem in comparison, as the magnets are really easy to attach and detach. It's feasible to do magnets with beasts because they are large and I don't have many of them. Doing it mechanically without magnets, which I feel is the only option with the human sized models, is much harder.

The only reason I'm doing it is because I think the challenge is really fun, and I expect the reward of actually having physically restrained models will be very satisfying. The alternative is to simply remember that two random models in my cohort have to stay within X inches of each other at all times. Possible - and presumably how the game was playtested - but it seems super easy to forget*. Making it so they physically cannot move apart just seems like such a right thing to do, practical issues be damned.

* I guess a useful game aid could be some kind of ring you could slip around the outside of 30mm and 40mm bases, maybe bright red or something, to function as a reminder marker. Then you could visually see that the two models marked with red are the two models that are supposed to be chained together in this game.

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 Post subject: Re: Fun with chains
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:44 pm 
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Viridis
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Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 4:38 am
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Location: Scandinavian Denmark
I feel like some pictures might be appropriate at this stage.

Here is how the column with the beast chain looks with the two beasts I currently own chained up.

Image
Image

This is the pack of earring clasps I got.

Image

This is how it looks when I attach the relevant length of chain and use it on two guys.

Image

And this is the last thing I am working on, the Damnatio pole.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Fun with chains
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:57 am 
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Noxius

Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:51 pm
Posts: 10
very nice, well done !


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 Post subject: Re: Fun with chains
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:09 am 
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Viridis
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Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 4:38 am
Posts: 1484
Location: Scandinavian Denmark
Thank you! I haven't tried any of the chains yet in game, but it seems to me like it should work OK.

With the foot cuffs, you would need to put a finger down on the base of the model that you are not moving while you are moving the other one of the pair, I am thinking, otherwise you will just drag the other model along with the moving one. That could be annoying if you are normally using one hand to move the model and the other hand to hold the tape measure. But I'm thinking I can just put the tape/ruler down on the table, or place a proxy base first.

The fun thing is of course that the chains automatically do the measuring of the restriction for you. You can't move the models more than 5" apart because they are physically restricted from doing so. And when it is physical, it also doesn't matter if it is eactly 5" or not. The point is that it is a fixed and consistent distance.

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