Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A to Z: Occulites

Occulites are fun and quirky minis I've been keeping an eye out for.
I'm a big fan of unique 'boutique' minis and miniatures games, especially when the minis are non-humans.
There are a lot of great historical minis lines, as there are for sci-fi and fantasy.  Most of these in the three genres follow proven and popular conceptual styles. But when something comes along that is different than what is anticipated it piques my interest.  Occulites certainly fall under this category.

I first saw the Occulites on TGN. My first reaction was "what the hell is that?" but in a good way!
My favorite non-human unique boutique minis lines are Zombiesmith's Quar and World of Twilight, which I have done reviews of in last year's A-Z challenge, which I've just linked to here.  I'm a big fan of both of those and have painted a lot of each, and more planned.
The Occulites have now caught my attention and might just break my resistance and find a home here too.

What are the Occulites? 
Occulites are a life form that are fairly new to their world. The background of the games is strongly centered around evolution, speciation and development of their early societies.  A race of beings that develop an early civilization, but a species very unlike our own.  And not much like any standard fantasy race for that matter.

Rotund in the torso, stubby bipedal legs, long arms and a tall single eye-stalk.  These traits are common for all types of Occulites.

From there, the Occulites branch off into specialized groups for their environmental niche:
 hydris_store floris_store
Swamp                                     Water                                      Forest
Ignis Tribe Nimbus Tribe 
Rocky                                       Arial                                          
There are also smaller creatures called luftles, which some tribes are friendly to and others are not.

I am a proponent of supporting creativity.  I think these are definitely creative.
There is something very appealing to me about these creatures: cute, improbable and humorous.
They were sculpted by Bob Oley, so it's no wonder they're infectious!

It seems that the original plan was to release the minis as part of a tabletop miniatures skirmish game.
The plan now is to take the mechanics and ideas of this game and release a board game for it, which is being discussed at the moment with a publisher..
I'm told this will allow for more clear game play, though from the sound of it, if you wish to play it on a terrain filled wargaming table for a more aesthetic environment it would still be possible.
But that isn't the only game: being developed is another board game, not using miniatures, and a couple more games within the setting as well.

You can check out information on the various games and the miniatures at the Rise of the Occulites blog.

The miniatures are currently available!
All the tribes including the Luftles are available from Darwin Games in Australia
and the first three tribes & Luftles are available from Splintered Light Miniatures in the US

The mechanics of the miniatures game looked very promising to me, with some interesting tactical choices.
A tutorial video is embedded at the end.  From the sound of it, the boardgame will remain similar to the skirmish game that was being developed.

Other Options:

I could see these minis being great for fantasy skirmish games such as Songs of Blades & Heroes.
Occulites would also be perfect for Mutants & Death Ray Guns, also by Ganesha Games, a post-apocalyptic weirdness setting, similar to the old Gamma World.  I could also see these as great additions to VSF gaming: perfect for natives of Venus, Mars, Pellucidar and more.  They'd probably work well in the Pulp Prehistory skirmish game I'm working on too.

I think it'd be a sad situation if you couldn't imagine a place for them in your gaming possibilities!

Here they are compared to the Quar, for a sense of scale:

And with World of Twilight minis:

So will they find a home with my collection of minis?
They're coming up on about a year since I first heard of them on TGN, so they've passed the test to see if I'd keep thinking about them.  They've stayed in the back of my mind, so I doubt I'll resist them.

If they look fun to you, check them out at the links above and the video below.
It's not easy for independent minis to get off the ground and make a go of it, so if you like them, reward the creator and thus encourage others to pursue their creativity too. It will only help make our hobby more diverse, interesting and fun.


Anne said...

Yeah, you're buying all of these I know it. I like these guys, they're unique and leave you with the possibilities of imaginative color choices. I'll have to bookmark the page and put these guys on my wishlist.

Oh no, I can't think of an O word for you today, except for orangutan and that doesn't apply to this post. But it applies to Sundays post because the orangutan is a non-human primate and a great ape just like homo-sapiens. You're still thinking about Raquel Welch aren't you?

Paul of the Man Cave said...

I cant believe you haven't made a Blood Bowl team out of them yet! They look like good candidates for a Chaos team :-)

Michael Awdry said...

I've got to say that Anne might well have your number on this! I wouldn't be surprised to hear that you've already thought up possible conversions ;)

S. L. Hennessy said...

I'm so trying to take these guys seriously, but I just can't. They're so cute! I love that little googly eye.

kingsleypark said...

They look like Coconuts with appendages!

Very weird and quirky, I think Paul's suggestion of using them for a Chaos Blood Bowl team has definite possibilities

Lobo said...

nice peculiar minis... :)

Amanda Heitler said...

Great minis. Never seen these and now want them.

Gamer type passing through via A-Z and thoroughly enjoying this blog. Will be back when the madness dies down to read more.

New follower :)


Laughing Ferret said...

Anne: Aren't they fun? I'm sure I'll end up getting at least 2 factions of them :) I have been thinking about the Prehistory Pulp game, and expanding factions for some weird non-primate factions. Raquel made a great cavegirl icon, but not close enough to my ideal to fixate that much on ;) Now that you mention Orangutans, got me thinking.. maybe I'll paint the big yeti type hominids in orangutan colors... hmm..

Paul & Michael & Kingsley: oh I can't say I haven't thought about it ;)

SL: Yes, hard to take them too seriously, but I like them just the same. :)

Lobo: Yeah, he really came up with a fun idea

Amanda: thanks and welcome! thanks too for letting me know- Blogger has the follower widget broken so I can't see who is following now. I'll have to check your blog out too

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