Pet Rocks, anyone?

Discuss Mongoose miniatures game here, including Mighty Armies, Gangs of Mega-City One, and Battlefield Evolution.

What would you pay for a rock?

Poll ended at Mon May 08, 2006 7:51 am

Nothing; do you think I have rocks in my head?
21
66%
Hmm, you say it has a flat bottom? $5.00 US
3
9%
Wait a minute! That sorta looks cool. OK, $10.00 US
6
19%
That would be great for my Arachnids to hide behind! $15.00 US
0
No votes
I see; you're just forcing the MI players to buy the rocks for $20 and bury them!
2
6%
 
Total votes: 32
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BuShips
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Pet Rocks, anyone?

Postby BuShips » Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:51 am

I am testing the idea of having flat-bottomed "faux" rocks at my walk-in store, for miniatures gamers (in other words, I'm not trying to make a sneaky banner ad here, lol). I'm not so sure about mail-orders, as shipping weight might be inefficient for that type of sale. One thing in favor of this however is that they are lighter than real rocks, and they sure look real to me!. Another great feature about these is that they have a flat side, so optional table placements are plentiful. I've crowded too many rocks here in the photos for the poor "about to be surprised" Mobile Infantry, but the photos are just for initial consideration of the concept. What I'd like from the forum users is: Is this something you'd purchase, or would you rather just go rock hunting on your own? Considering the size of these and their use on a table, what would you be willing to pay reasonably? I know that some might consider these "silly" questions, but I really want to know if this is a product that you'd buy for your games? I already have my own opinion, but I wanted to throw it out for discussion. I already know that some guy back in the 70's was selling "pet" rocks, but at least these have a purpose! :wink: Oh, I haven't done it yet, but I was thinking of stuffing lichen around the edges of some of the rocks to enhance the look (I'll do that later).

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Reborn
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Postby Reborn » Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:59 am

Maybe if they were diamonds or something... :wink:
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Postby BuShips » Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:02 am

Reborn wrote:Maybe if they were diamonds or something... :wink:
Reborn, then if you wanted to do the poll question, you would choose the first option :wink: .
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Postby Mr Evil » Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:26 am

hmmmmmmmmmm

if i whant instant flat bottomed rocks i have 2 options

option 1

get a bucket of wet sand and plund either a stone or my fist into it to create the right size inpression, then fill impression with plaster of parris / filler mixed with paint. once dry remove from sand and you have a ready paited and textured and highlighted flatt bottomed roch, paint with PVA glue to make it have a longer life.

option 2

get a can of exspanding foam, and make a seies of blobs on some old peice of flat matterial, let them exspand and dry.
then use a kitchen knife and cut to style and shape, spray with car spray black, then spray with a carspray light brown or other, and add highlights with other sprays.
advantage of option 2 is they are light weigt and exceptionaly durable, but more exspensive.

there is a 3rd option, ask gray to make me some latex boulders :) the things that this man can do with latex both impresses me and scares me !!!
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Postby Kristovich » Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:50 am

Well, I'd pay nothing as where I live there's all sort of rocks and stones (I live on a farm).
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Postby BuShips » Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:52 am

Mr Evil, here's the thing, though. Yes, there are quite a lot of ways to build rocks. Several (including me) have done stalagmites using styro. While it initially goes against logic seemingly to pay for something that looks like it came from nature, these are pre-made and the finish is amazing to look at. I'm not a bad artist (heck, I have done professional work for game companies years back), but these are about a third as heavy as the rock they simulate, and are colored so well no one would say they aren't dug from a quarry. I guess that is the basis of my question. What would gamers be willing to justify for pre-made and durable (durable as a rock) line-of-sight terrain. It is interesting to note that special effects in movies that is good enough to look real is often taken for granted. Their goal is to support the story and make it more believable. It is interesting what can be done with various materials such as plaster/hydrocal, glue/sand mixtures, paper mache', styrofoam and other materials. Some gamers want to paint their miniatures, and some want them pre-done. So here is a way to get some terrain that you don't have to build and paint. Just "plop and play", and that's what I'm curious about. BTW, there are latex rock molds in craft stores, but what is the mold going to cost, and the plaster? These are no more heavier than plaster, and a might more durable. The choices are many, and this might be one of them. If I hadn't found these, I might buy liquid latex and find a rock to make a mold from. Oops, but then I'd have a bunch of cloned rocks of the same shape :roll: . I haven't found a repeat yet in these, and they are in many color ranges from tan, to rust-oxide, to grey.
Last edited by BuShips on Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:00 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby bunkerboi » Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:53 am

G'day Bu,

I've been considering the same thing but from the other side of the coin with mail order. Basic 'faux' rocks don't seem to have much appeal but more inventive and unique rock formations, mesa's, etc do get some interest. Are you moulding them yourself or getting them supplied? I'm just thinking if you can customise them a bit for an 'sst' vibe they might be a bit better.

Good luck either way :D
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Postby BuShips » Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:08 am

bunkerboi wrote:G'day Bu,

I've been considering the same thing but from the other side of the coin with mail order. Basic 'faux' rocks don't seem to have much appeal but more inventive and unique rock formations, mesa's, etc do get some interest. Are you moulding them yourself or getting them supplied? I'm just thinking if you can customise them a bit for an 'sst' vibe they might be a bit better.

Good luck either way :D
These are already made. Years back, I used to have a line of hilltops and revetments that I cast in resin and hydrocal for games. They supported a system of gaming terrain that another company offered. I also used to produce structures (buildings, bunkers, etc.) for Ogre miniatures, and I've done a few other things along the way. Some of these do look like tablerocks as well. They struck my imagination, and I bought a bunch. Heck, I can always put 'em in my garden if I get tired of them :wink: .
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Postby bunkerboi » Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:44 am

I suppose when I think of terrain I want it be thought provoking and eye-catching in the main. However I do appreciate the need for 'filling' terrain more these days. Either way you hit the nail on the head that the 'drop-and-play' aspect is a must for broad appeal.
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Postby combatdroid113 » Thu Mar 09, 2006 10:58 am

bunkerboi wrote:'drop-and-play'
Bad words to use in minature gaming - as in rarely do you drop and play its more a drop during play. :D
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Postby Sharkman » Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:25 pm

Why would you pay for a rock?

I have a huge pile of rocks in my front yard :!:
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Postby Makoto » Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:43 pm

Frankly I'd rather get to work with the foam. Or toy with knife and styrofoam pieces - we're talking money I could spend on minis I can't make You know... ;)
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Postby BuShips » Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:19 pm

combatdroid113 wrote:
bunkerboi wrote:'drop-and-play'
Bad words to use in minature gaming - as in rarely do you drop and play its more a drop during play. :D
Ah, I take those people and grind them up. I then mix them with cement, sand, and make gaming terrain out of them. But I digress. Back to the subject :wink: .
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Postby JLS83WARRIOR » Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:28 pm

I put 10 bucks but because that is what about every other type of terrian cost.
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Postby DeathGuard » Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:31 pm

what? someone would pay $10.00 for a rock? *smack*
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Postby JLS83WARRIOR » Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:35 pm

wait is it a real rock? like I beat you ass and cracked you skull with it ROCK?
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Postby byram » Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:13 pm

now if you did rock formations thats different, like in Red Dawn, the rock outcrop Toni got killed in, that is really nice terrain idea, but one rock just looks awkward on a battlefield.
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Postby BuShips » Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:20 pm

JLS83WARRIOR wrote:wait is it a real rock? like I beat you ass and cracked you skull with it ROCK?
No, it is manufactured to look like a rock. I think I already see from the few reactions here what I was fearing. If a piece of terrain is too well made, there might be resistance to pay much for it, because of the "logic" that you can just go rock hunting. First, these are cast to have a flat bottom, so they are great for the gaming table. Second, they are very well made, and have accurate coloring and texture. Third, they are lighter than a real rock (try putting a real rock this big on your styrofoam gaming board, heh). $10 is not out of range for a piece of gaming terrain (heck, some might call that a bargain). So JLS83WARRIOR has been the first so far to look at this exercise without a "rock bias", and consider looking at them as honest ready-made gaming table terrain. If you don't think these are valid terrain items, there are lots of things to make terrain out of (or go walkabout looking for rocks- good for exercise).
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Postby BuShips » Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:25 pm

byram wrote:now if you did rock formations thats different, like in Red Dawn, the rock outcrop Toni got killed in, that is really nice terrain idea, but one rock just looks awkward on a battlefield.
They are outcroppings, or "tablerocks". It depends what area and climate you are looking at. Also, these can represent other planet landscapes, where less erosion is occuring than on Earth. Say Mars, for example. The height of these also does the job they are meant to by blocking LoS, and aren't going to get moved around the table by a casual bump. They stay where you put them.
Last edited by BuShips on Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Quark » Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:26 pm

They do look excellent, but when I actually pay for terrain (as opposed to making it myself), I tend to want something that's going to do more than just block LOS, or act like a hill. I like my terrain to offer qualities that allow the miniatures to actually interact with it (like hiding in a cave dug into the side of a hill, or climbing to the second floor of a building for a better shot) rather than just hiding behind it or running over it. I think I'm kind of in the same boat as byram (which is kind of scary) on this. If they came in different formations I'd be all over 'em.
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