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"Chitin 1 HELP!!" Topic

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LeadAsbestos14 Feb 2007 4:19 p.m. PST

Does anyone remember this game? SF Bugs fighting over food, various insect types, like beetles, ant, mosquitos, w/ nasty claws and teeth.

I'd like to use Heroscape hexes for the board, but I need bugs, preferably smaller than 28mm scale just to keep the right feel for the game, maybe 15mm?

Any ideas? Are there Starship Troopers minis in this scale, as the Mongoose range has the right feel, but I'd spend a fortune collecting the hundred+ models I need…

Thanks for any help!

RavenscraftCybernetics14 Feb 2007 4:23 p.m. PST

I remember it well. It was one of the first wargames I ever purchased. The editor will most likely rememebr the advertisements in The Space Gamer magazine.

White Elks 10 String Guitar14 Feb 2007 4:30 p.m. PST

I'm thinking Germy's 6mm Bug range from Brigade fits the pocketbook: up to you if they meet the 'style' you are looking for-

Farstar14 Feb 2007 6:04 p.m. PST

Sadly, a 25mm range of Chitin:I bugs were in the prototyping stage when Martian Metals burned.

I could see using Epic Tyranids for a couple types, but for the most part the Jaquays artwork was distinct.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Feb 2007 6:56 p.m. PST

I loved that game!

Alternative Armies has a range of 15mm bugs you might use.

BlackWidowPilot Fezian14 Feb 2007 8:12 p.m. PST

I have a copy packed away. I also saw samples of what would have been the first miniatures for a dedicated tabletop rules version. Alas, Martian Metals burned to the ground, and the Hymenoptera minis were no more…

Personally, I'd love it if someone could resurrect this series and bring it back in miniature. I can see all sorts of uses for a horde of Termagants, Juggers, and Phlanxes… evil grin

Leland R. Erickson
Metal Express

cattoy14 Feb 2007 10:28 p.m. PST

Maybe you could find some gummy bugs or other candy to use as tokens. Then you really could eat what you killed…

Zephyr114 Feb 2007 10:40 p.m. PST

Or play "Fear Factor"-style by using real bugs, and your opponent has to eat what you kill (and vice versa…. ;)

Space Monkey14 Feb 2007 10:41 p.m. PST

Loved that game… we were playing that before we discovered Ogre.
Wasn't it planned to be part of a larger series of games?
Wonder if SJG ever thought about doing a GURPS Chitin book…

GypsyComet15 Feb 2007 2:48 a.m. PST

Since Chitin:I was not a Steve design, I tend to doubt it. Anyone who even hints such a thing will likely get nowhere with the designer of Chitin:I (and owner of Metagaming) Howard Thompson, as he and Steve did not part under good circumstances.

Boone Doggle15 Feb 2007 3:17 a.m. PST

Those sound like the same creatures that are found in The Fantasy Trip. Are they?

The little bit of GURPS I read reminded me of The Fantasy Trip as well. Does anyone know if there was a connection.

Photonred15 Feb 2007 8:18 a.m. PST

The connection is that Steve Jackson developed Wizard and Melee which became The Fantasy Trip when he worked at Metagaming Inc. which produced Chitin: I Steve then left the company to form Steve Jackon Games and could not get the rights to TFT so went on to produce GURPS.

GypsyComet15 Feb 2007 8:59 a.m. PST

GURPS is basically TFTv3 (the three big books being v2).

Yes, the Hymenoptera made an appearance in the monster selection of TFT:In the Labyrinth. Since the publisher of TFT was also the author of Chitin:I, the connection was obvious at the time. The boardgame came first by several years…

mad monkey 115 Feb 2007 9:44 a.m. PST

Great little game.

jpattern215 Feb 2007 1:35 p.m. PST

Chitin is a nice little game, and I still play it at least once a year.

I hadn't thought of playing on Heroscape hexes. Let's see, the game map is 285 hexes: 203 grassland, 32 sloped grassland, 38 forested, 8 sloped forested, and 4 mountain. There are also several rivers flowing through the map, but they are narrow, not hex-wide. You could probably pick up the hexes on Ebay for $30 USD or so.

There are also 56 bugs on each side, in 7 different varieties. (Not 8 of each, though; there are more of some bugs and less of others.)

I was really looking forward to the Chitin minis, as well as the larger Hymenoptera game, when Martian Metals and Microgaming, respectively, went bust.

And Howard Thompson has virtually disappeared off the face of the earth. Every few years someone tries to find him, with no luck.

Archive actually produced a large bug that is very similar to Jaquays' art. It's huge, about 80mm long, with those distinctive symmetrical 5-digited "hands" that Jaquays gave to the bugs. I own it, but I don't recall the name they gave it, and I've never seen a photo online or on Ebay.

Scott Flowers of GameTech did a range of bugs a few years back that looked like they would have been perfect for Chitin, but he stopped selling just about the time I was gettng an order together. (I did manage to snag at least one of each of his Space: 1889 ships, though.)

As others have noted, GW's Tyranids and Mongoose's SST bugs don't have the same feel as Jaquays' art.

Germy's bugs are the right size and a good price, but the designs are more larva-like than insect-like.

There are Black Orc Games' Hundred Kingdoms Hive minis: link

They have an appropriately insect-like look, but they're relatively large, and they certainly aren't cheap.

There are other insects and insect-men scattered here and there in other fantasy and sci-fi lines, but no other comprehensive ranges that I'm aware of.

Personally, I think a range of 6mm or 10mm bugs, sculpted in Jaquays' style, would be perfect for the game. You could have large hordes of Hymenoptera at a reasonable price. Maybe one of these days…

Hundvig Fezian15 Feb 2007 4:42 p.m. PST

There are Black Orc Games' Hundred Kingdoms Hive minis: link

They have an appropriately insect-like look, but they're relatively large, and they certainly aren't cheap.

They are around here, our local store has all their 100K stuff at 50% off (well, ~40% with tax). Anybody wants any, let me know, I can play shopping monkey.


Hundvig Fezian15 Feb 2007 4:46 p.m. PST

Personally, I'd love it if someone could resurrect this series and bring it back in miniature. I can see all sorts of uses for a horde of Termagants, Juggers, and Phlanxes…

Gantuas. The big 'uns were Gantuas. Juggers are big demonic mechanical bull monsters in 40K. :)

So, if someone were to sculpt something along these lines, what scale would you guys want them in. Just hypothetically, of course.


Farstar15 Feb 2007 5:01 p.m. PST

Since the size of the bugs wasn't really defined relative to humans until later (Basics are supposedly about human-size), I think a 15mm approach would be about right, making the Gantua a 30-40mm wide beetle-back, IIRC, and the rest as little bugs. In that scale, they are arguably useful in 15mm or 25-8mm.

Oh, and don't forget the spine-firing bug from a later Space Gamer article…

Hundvig Fezian15 Feb 2007 5:04 p.m. PST

Arch-Reaper, right. And the Spyder transport bug for the Basics to ride around on, from TFT. :)


Farstar15 Feb 2007 5:34 p.m. PST

What would motivate a slightly larger size would be the ability to inset a steel slug and a rare earth magnet into belly and back, so the Gantua could *really* carry the dead meat back to the hive…

LeadAsbestos15 Feb 2007 6:15 p.m. PST

Please sculpt away! Glad to see I'm not the only one interested. I'd certainly buy a good set of these critters in 15mm, Gantuas w/ shells abt the size of a quarter? seems abt right to me.

Boone Doggle15 Feb 2007 6:40 p.m. PST

Thanks guys. I really liked TFT. Picked up GURPS much later on cause it reminded me of TFT but I guess it was way too much of a good thing for me.

I could definitely go for Hymenoptera in 15mm.

I would buy some in 6mm as well for EpicA. And the smaller 15s ould do double duty.

BlackWidowPilot Fezian15 Feb 2007 10:17 p.m. PST

<<Gantuas. The big 'uns were Gantuas. Juggers are big demonic mechanical bull monsters in 40K. :)>>


you're right about the Gantuas; they're the big dudes from Chitin:I, a description of the relative sizes that ran in SPACE GAMER IIRC described them as being about the size of a VW Bug. *Juggers* are from Jack Vance's classic novella THE DRAGON MASTERS which IIRC served as partial inspiration for CHITIN: I. evil grin

<<So, if someone were to sculpt something along these lines, what scale would you guys want them in. Just hypothetically, of course.>>

15mm IMHO would be the best compromise for scale and playability while retaining enough details to make them fun to paint and robust enough to use. I personally would prefer 1/72 scale (aka 20mm) as I still play a aegm of STARGUARD! every now and again, and would love to adapt them to that classic SF skirmish game… evil grin

Leland R. Erickson
Metal Express

jpattern16 Feb 2007 10:24 a.m. PST

Heck, yeah, I'd buy 120 or so in 15mm or smaller. Enough for 2 forces.

I always wanted to play a 3- or 4-person version of Chitin, but never got around to it…

28mmMan16 Feb 2007 1:57 p.m. PST

since this product, which I do remember with accute fondness, is no longer available and the rights are limbo I suspect it will never see the light of print again. Any chance of getting the game digitized for sharing of the never to see print material? If say someone who loves all things mutli-legged with an exoskeleton, who also is madly sculpting away on related "alien hordes" were to get an image library of these chitinous creatures then there is a really really good chance that the same creatures would live to see the light of day out of a fresh casting run.

Just a thought.

jpattern16 Feb 2007 2:03 p.m. PST

28mmMan, Paul Jaquays has a website:

If you're serious, contact him and see if he has any rights to his artwork for Chitin. If so, maybe you can work something out with him. If not, then Howard Thompson still holds the rights, and you're out of luck.

Or you could sculpt similar bugs, as long as they weren't too close to Jaquays' designs, without fear of violating anyone's copyright. (Although his designs are definitely a large part of the charm of Chitin, for me.)

28mmMan16 Feb 2007 4:27 p.m. PST

I contacted him, told him about the loyal fans of his first gaming art project. We shall see. :)

BlackWidowPilot Fezian17 Feb 2007 4:51 p.m. PST


I have the both print edions of the game. I have a scanner. Let me know.

Leland R. Erickson
Metal Express

28mmMan17 Feb 2007 8:00 p.m. PST

paul has responded and does have the rights so now it is a matter of working out details.

jpattern17 Feb 2007 8:37 p.m. PST

Excellent, 28mmMan, I'm glad the rights reverted to the artist!

Like I said, get 'em sculpted and cast, and sign me up for two complete armies.

Space Monkey17 Feb 2007 9:16 p.m. PST

If someone made a decent line of these I'd have to have them too… regardless of scale.
If they were made in 15mm then they could be big bugs for 6mm and little bugs for 28mm… not all aliens need to be human sized…

Judas Iscariot18 Feb 2007 6:20 a.m. PST

I am told by a VERY reliable source that Steve Jackson knows EXACTLY where Howard Thompson is….

28mmMan18 Feb 2007 9:11 a.m. PST

6x12' sadface room?

Hundvig Fezian18 Feb 2007 1:12 p.m. PST

Right next to Jimmy Hoffa?

28mmMan18 Feb 2007 6:24 p.m. PST

was thinking more along the Oz reference…maybe :( I wish he would speak out and perhaps reinvent the game into a boxed set

GypsyComet20 Feb 2007 4:20 p.m. PST

"paul has responded and does have the rights so now it is a matter of working out details."

I look forward to further developments.

2bit elroy04 Jun 2007 4:25 p.m. PST

So, are there any further developments???????????????

Or is this thread dead…

like so much of the internet =[

28mmMan04 Jun 2007 5:12 p.m. PST

Nothing as of yet. Not on my end. There are ownership issues and there is a sense of no interest from the parties I could reach.

At this point it would most likely be easier to start fresh with the idea in hand and move on.

Photonred05 Jun 2007 8:20 a.m. PST

Perhaps one could do the game as dragons instead of insects Jack Vance might be willing to allow that here is a link for a message board you might be able to reach him at.


2bit elroy29 Jun 2007 4:05 a.m. PST

Ah well. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. And yet, hope springs eternal. I'd be happy to get a copy of the gaem and that's going to be hard enough. There was one up on eBay last week but I got outbid.

Shoot, there's a guy with an Ebay store that has a first edition copy of OGRE and he wants $80 USD for a buy-it-now. And the photo is a stock photo – not even a pic of the actual item.

Thanks for the reply to a LATE question in an old thread.

28mmMan29 Jun 2007 2:29 p.m. PST

I am moving forward with a Insect War game in a box/tube. Miniatures, game mat, rules, and objective pieces. We shall see if the process ends up becoming a monster or a boon.

Dave Crowell29 Jun 2007 4:53 p.m. PST

Paul Jaquays designed bugs, large armies, I'm in for that.

Jack Vance might also be willing to lisence his "Dragon masters' fgor a game. IIRC there was a line of miniatures produced for it years ago.

tsofian05 Mar 2015 6:13 p.m. PST

Scott and I designed the bugs. I have the master molds and GFI did a set of production molds, but those have not surfaced yet. I have been promised that they will be handed to me at some point. If I don't get them soon I may be hand casting them!

In addition the Hive, Queen and Country gaming Universe will hopefully be supported by 3D printed figures at some point as well.


TwinMirror06 Mar 2015 12:27 p.m. PST

Wow -resurrecting an 8 year old thread! Any link for your site, Terry? Sounds interesting.

tsofian06 Mar 2015 2:28 p.m. PST

Thread necromancy at its finest! Heck the thread is ONLY 8 years old. the GAME is THIRTY-FIVE! :-)

tsofian06 Mar 2015 5:25 p.m. PST

Just what ever happened to 28mmMan btw?

zircher07 Mar 2015 8:52 a.m. PST

Not minis, but I really like this graphic re-design.

TwinMirror09 Mar 2015 11:08 a.m. PST

Terry, the artwork on your games is superb – reminds me of 70's sci-fi book covers. Lovely stuff.

tsofian22 Jan 2016 11:47 a.m. PST

Twin Mirror
Sorry for the later response (here I go dragging this thread back to life again!) It's a good thing this doesn't have a Do Not Resuscitate order!

Thanks for the kind words! If you like the covers you might also like what is in them! I'm proud that each book we put out is better than the last. We have a second edition of the base RPG in the works as well as a Land Fighting machines book do out sometime soon.

Our bugs are cool and our science is good!


tsofian23 Jan 2016 4:35 p.m. PST

I looked over the counter sheet and got the following
6 basics
6 workers
15 Smashers
18 Lancers
16 Plunges
18 Low Renders
18 Hackers
and 6 Arch Reapers from the Dragon article

for 103 figures per side or a whole sheet for 206

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