Ideal Troop Builders?

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Ideal Troop Builders?

Postby Caelus » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:44 am

So I've been ebaying stuff, and in the process of selling things, have made the mistake of also looking at things I could buy. One thing that surprised me is that Beast Machines Vehicons aren't much more expensive than they were on the shelf back in the day. Darn cheap if you aren't concerned with whether they have their missiles. It throws my mind back to the late days of my childhood, when I had (small, boring) fantasies about actually massing a Vehicon army.

So I'm looking at the various troop builders I've collected over the years, and I'm really tempted to sell some and spend the money on BM Vehicons. Basically, rather than have several tiny armies of genericons, I'm really tempted to try and consolidate one big army. In truth, I doubt I'll go through with anything so ambitious, because when I start trying to pick and choose which troops to give up, I have a lot of trouble.

Still, it got me curious what sort of massed troops other people have? What are your ideal qualities for troop builders? How many troops would/do you need to feel like you have an 'army'?

I've got:

5 Ravages (2 Black, 3 White)
5 Cruellocks (2 Bronze, 3 Green)
3 Divebombs
3 Insecticons

2 Sideways (TF: Cybertron)
8 Scrapmetals (2 Yellow, 6 Red)

4 Vehicons, Ground Model, not First Edition
=> They really look great with 2011 Barricade, 2007 Stockade, and R.I.D. Scourge.

6 Sweeps (3 Generations, 3 Titans Return)
=> though one of those would be, nominally, Scourge.
3 CW Sharkticons

Ironically, all of my Beast Machines stuff is in storage in Missouri, and I don't remember how many Vehicons I have. I got a big lot of things a couple of years ago that included some Vehicons, so it's more than I had as a kid, but definitely not an army per se. I'm really anxious to get back into those old boxes next time I'm in MO and take a serious look at what I could build given the prices on ebay.
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Re: Ideal Troop Builders?

Postby ZeldaTheSwordsman » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:46 am

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Well, I think an ideal troop builder is someone where 1. There's a bunch of copies in the fiction 2. Said copies are identical or more or less identical 3. Toys of the character can preferably had inexpensively.
G1 Scourge in any toy incarnation is very ideal in my book, one of the most ideal there is. The Sweeps don't need to be visually distinct from him at all (though you can add little touches if you want), so just buy a bunch of whichever Scourge toy takes your fancy and you're good without any modification. I have two of his G1 toy and 2 of his Titans Return toy (which I consider the most ideal due to looks and price). I want to get at least 3 more of the latter (I want a minimum of 4 separate Sweeps for the sake of re-enacting TFTM stuff. One bit in particular needs 4 onscreen at once).
Cyclonus is good for the same reason, even if his Armada mostly vanished thanks to chaos and cutbacks. I would recommend the Universe toy and its reissues for troop-building purposes. It was designed solidly as Cyclonus (unlike the CW version, which also feels too distinct for army-building IMO) and unlike the G1 toy you can get one that has arms without your wallet complaining.
Gnaw is good for it as well, the Titans Return version is cheap still and that helps.
Kickback, Bombshell, and Shrapnel are also great army builders thanks to the clone army they can whomp up from scrap in the show. Loads of identical copies.

The E-Hobby Guardian Robot redeco of Omega Supreme fulfills my first two criteria, but since it's an E-Hobby exclusive it doesn't meet the 3rd. The Kiss Players (blegh) Autorooper/Autrooper (whichever transliteration it's using today) is similarly too pricy to be a good army builder despite having a decal sheet designed for that. Also, it's a KP toy and thus fit only for throwing at Yuki Oshima.

The BM vehicons, the Energon Omnibots and Terrorcons, and the Cybertron Scrapmetals are good for army building.

Also good are the RotF Constructicons, movieverse Brawl and Bonecrusher (since their models were recycled for Decepticon forces in both RotF and DotM), and any toys of the KSI drones that aren't bonkers price-wise.
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Re: Ideal Troop Builders?

Postby Caelus » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:09 am

ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:Kickback, Bombshell, and Shrapnel are also great army builders thanks to the clone army they can whomp up from scrap in the show. Loads of identical copies.

I should have mentioned them! I think I've got at least three of each of the G1 figures. They're not too pricey if you're willing to settle for having one 'good' one to represent the prime character, and a horde of less well taken-care of ones to represent the mindless swarm. I've even bought some busted ones, because any scene with an Insecticon swarm needs some cannon-fodder getting squashed.

I was also thinking about it last night, and you know, I'd be fine with some either non-transforming or simplified versions of army-builder characters if Hasbro could sell them at a lower price point or in a two-pack or something.

Remember the Legends-class Predacons that they scaled up to Deluxe class but then sold at a price point in between? I'd be cool with some Sweeps like that - deluxe sized, but with minimal paint apps, and a simplified transformation. Sell them at TJMaxx, Ross, Marshalls, or in bulk online deals. "Quantity has a quality all its own."

That would have also been a good way to handle the Vehicons back in the day. Make a good Tankor, Jetstorm, and Thrust, then a whole bunch of simplified versions. They kind of tried to do that towards the end with the Tank drone and Motorcycle drone, and the addition of the Ultra Jetstorm to be 'the' Jetstorm in a collection, but it wasn't executed well.

I'd also be cool with non-transforming Insecticons and Sharkticons - I'm happy with the generations lineup we have now, and would be down to collect some action figures that are just there to fill the background. I'd be fully willing to sacrifice the generics' individual robot modes for a lower price tag.

In general, I'd be okay with a few non-transforming action figures carried under the Transformers brand, to cover things like the Skywatch 'crash suits' from IDW, those green drones from the G1 cartoon, the Mechannibals from the Marvel comics, or the various aliens Transformers occasionally cross paths with.
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Re: Ideal Troop Builders?

Postby Black Hat » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:40 am

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The Movie 2007 "Lensheads" (Payload, Dreadwing and Swindle) all make for pretty decent army builders/cannon fodder. Especially Swindle IMO.

There's also CW Computron and Liokaiser. If you already have the UW version, most of the members of the CW version look generic enough (and not very much like the actual characters enough) to be generic drones. Same with Liokaiser, except they're SO far from the characters that the whole team could work.
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Re: Ideal Troop Builders?

Postby Windsweeper » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:49 pm

POTP Cindersaur. In Masterforce, the G1 Cindersaur toy was used as the basis for Firecon drones.

Rotf Dirtboss. In an obscure but official Collector's Club story, Dirt Boss was depicted as the basis for identical drones.

Though a different colour, I could still see CW Blackjack being used as the Ground Troopers from the Devestation game.
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Re: Ideal Troop Builders?

Postby Chimera245 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:30 pm

If you're not trying to re-create any specific scenario, and are just looking for generic troops for the big-name characters to fight, you can use nearly anything with a little imagination.

You can use inferior duplicates of your other figures to be generics, like use the G1 versions of bots you have from Generations.

Or use figures outside the universe you're playing in. Acting out a story from the Unicron Trilogy? Use G1, Animated, Movieverse, Rescue Bots, etc.

Or even reach outside the Transformers franchise. Use Power Rangers, Voltron, Gundam, etc. Don't forget that most G1 toys started out as some other toyline first. Microman, Macross, etc. Other figures from those lines would probably give off a 'Transformers' vibe easily enough.

Or make your own. If you have a Lego collection, build your own generics. Especially if you have some Bionicle figures in there.

If you're willing to permanently separate the figure in question from whatever identity it had before, a little paint and a few faction stickers go a LONG way towards making a random jumble of mismatched figures look like a themed army.

Also, to add my two cents to more traditional army-building, one of the Japanese G1 shows had the Seacons as mass generics. The center bot was the only unique one, and he led the countless legion of other Seacons, who were basically sharkticons that came in 5 flavors, and he could combine into Pirannacon with any given random 5 of them. Though I have no idea how much random assortments of Seacons go for now... Especially since Pirannacon's fists are popular among kitbashers who want 7-bot combiner OCs...
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