The Polar Bears

The Polar Bears
4th Battalion, 31st Infantry

Saturday, February 25, 2012

FUBAR AAR: US vs. Russia

Hi all,

A couple of weeks ago I decided to try out the free rules set: FUBAR. I've heard a lot about the rules and I wanted to try them out for myself. This AAR is a bit of a watershead for Down Range as it is my first non sci-fi game. I'm not getting out of sci-fi by any means though. I'm just trying out 15mm skirmish in a different genre! That's what I love about the scale- there is just so much out there that 15mm covers and that's a primary reason why I've moved over to the scale.

At one time I use to have different scales for different genres! That made collecting terrain and miniatures a serious challenge for me. For example, I played all my sci-fi in 6mm, but my fantasy and modern was in 28mm! Now some of my terrain worked for both scales (an a mini here and there too for that matter). But really I found that I had a little bit of everything and a whole lot of nothing! I had a lot of stuff in general, but not much of anything in any given scale. Picking just one basic scale has made collecting troops, vehicles, and terrain so much easier. I can even intermix miniatures and terrain as I want so now each of my different collections support the other so each dollar I spend will get used more often. In fact if you've been following my blog then you'll probably see some familiar stuff being used again but this time on Earth in our times!

Anyway, time to get off of my soap box and on to the game.

Like I said earlier, I've never played FUBAR before so I wanted a pretty basic game to try out. I also invited my son, Jeremy, to bring his US rifle squad to bulk out my numbers (and to play a game with daddy!). This action is a hypothetical clash between US and the Russian Federation during the 2008 South Ossetia War. In my scenario, some American units were late leaving Georgia after the "Immediate Response" exercises and were moved out of Tbilisi to set-up a blocking line between the victorious Russian forces the the defeated, retreating Georgians. My platoon (-) has been assigned to take a small hill that overlooks the Tbilisi-Gori highway and to stop any further Russian advance on Tbilisi. Unfortunately the crack Russian VDV have stole a march on the Americans by deploying a weak platoon via helicopter to secure this important hill for themselves. Now the American Strykers have to play a round of King-of-the-Hill with the best conventional troops the Russians have to offer. The scene is set for a serious clash of first rate troops!

This game pits two squads of US Stryker brigade troops with an attached Stryker IFV and sniper team against two squads of vaunted Russian VDV "Blue Berets". I made both sides Veteran with the American snipers being crafty elites. I rated the Stryker as a medium AFV with a heavy machine gun. To give the Americans a bit more of an edge I assigned them ISAF rifles (from the Afgan supplement) and medium armor. The VDV troops just carried standard AK-74s and each squad was armed with two RPGs and two RPKs. Also the Russians were deployed in strong defensive positions with moderate cover and light body armor.

Here's the set-up:

I split the Russian squads up into four man fire teams based around either a RPG or a RPK. The RPG teams were deployed near the stream while the MG teams were up on the hill. As it turned out, this was a very wicked array of firepower with overlapping fields of fire. The US force started off-board and would have iniative. The sniper team started on the board hiding in the right hand ruin.

Objective wise the US force has to clear the Russians from the hill and inflict at least 50% casualities. The VDV's merely needed to hold their ground and inflict maximum casualities. Simple, right?

During the first turn all of the American units were able to activate and roll/march onto the board in a rough skirmish line. So far, so good as the GIs were out of the VDV's effective range.

My squad and the Stryker formed the platoon's left wing...

... while Jeremy's squad and the sniper team made up the right wing.

The blue berets just stayed in their positions and patiently waited for the GIs to enter their kill zone.

The next several turns were pretty much the same, grim, thing. Jeremy's squad tried to occupy the ruined farm complex on our right and walked into very savage VDV MG and RPG fire. The sniper team did its level best to suppress the Desants but to no avail. In particular this VDV team caused Jeremy no end of trouble!

These jerks activated EVERY TIME and laid down very accurate fire and basically pinned Jeremy's GIs down. Jeremy's squad was able to activate BUT its fire teams only had couple of unsuppressed troopers to fire back with. Granted, he kept his SAWs in action but they just couldn't lay down enough lead to pin the boys in blue down.

Our left flank wasn't any better. I don't know what the SNAFU was, but one of my fire teams AND the Stryker were just literally nailed to the ground and stubbornly refused to budge! For some reason I have an image of the Kosovo incident when the British paratroopers refused to push the VDV troopers out of the airport. Maybe my sergeant was saying "I'm NOT starting WWIII for you!" or something. Anyway, I just couldn't get them to activate at all and to make matters worse the infantry team was out of weapons range while the Stryker was glued in place and in the cross hairs of this RPG team...

They hit my Stryker nearly every turn but just couldn't do more than stun it... which ensured that they just sat there gawking. Maybe they just couldn't get over the fact that they were fighting Russians and not Iraqi or Afgan insurgents??? I did mange to get them to fire back, once, and the HMG did pin the VDV RPG team for a turn, but that was all the action I managed to get out of the Stryker crew. Eventually the other VDV RPG team managed to score a mobility kill on it, ensuring that it would remain little more than a pretty terrain piece for the rest of the game.

All the while though my one "functional" team moved forward, and in an act of absolute frustration/stupidity/guts, took up firing positions on a small hill, just left of the farm, and boldly opened up on the VDV RPG team that was hiding in the ruins and was causing my Stryker so much grief.

Their bold maneuver opened up a blistering firefight with the MG teams on the hill and my brave Strykers took it on the chin with everyone but the SAW gunner going down. However this act of sacrifice took pressure off Jeremy and he was able, finally, to deploy his Strykers into firing positions and to give some pain right back to the blue berets.

At the same time my squad leader/acting platoon leader was able to get the coms thing going and directed some deadly accurate mortar fire on the hill and suppressed one of the MG teams on the hill. Things were finally starting to come together! It was now time to hit the Russians hard!

Then we got the "recall order"!!!!

It was Supper time! Me and Jeremy both nearly threw our dice down! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

I guess command got a case of cold feet and we were ordered to leave the VDV boys on their hill. For now anyway.

Victory wise it was a win for the VDVs. We didn't quite inflict 50% losses on their platoon and they still had complete control over the hill. Even though we lost in such an arbitrary manner this was easily one of the most fun, and frustrating (!), game I've ever played. FUBAR is really a fascinating gaming engine that does a great job modeling friction in warfare... maybe it does it TOO WELL. The activation mechanic really makes itself felt all through the game and it can really hose you (or your foe) at times. All it takes is one failed activation and you have a unit that's shut down for the turn AND your enemy gets to control the action in the game, well, at least until HE drops the ball. That makes for a very dynamic game at times.

One thing I'm torn about is the activation mechanic. On the one hand I really want to change it because it's truly annoying that a bit of bad luck can really shut down any plans you come up with... but! I LOVE the fact that this CAN happen and you just can't predict what will happen in any given turn ("Any Given Sunday" anyone???) because any die toss for activation could radically change the flow of the game.

This is definitely a game that I'll be trying out again!

Time now, Charlie Mike

Saturday, February 4, 2012

We interrupt...

Hi all,

This isn't really a post to the normal blog. I'm just putting up pictures of
some Cadian Imperial Guardsmen that I'm selling to some prospective buyers! Hey,
I have to finance my purchases for this year somehow!

This was going to be part of my Imperial Guard company but I never finished it.
I based coated the models in GW's camo green and I was planning on a Vietnam
GI style paint job. I actually finished a couple and they really looked good.
But those finished figures aren't up for sale. These guys were to be the next
wave that I started but never finished. But you can see that I started putting
on flesh tones and base coated some of the weapons.

Here's the whole platoon:

These two pictures show the platoon as squads. This picture is of two rifle
squads and the platoon leader who's armed with a shotgun:

This picture shows the last squad and the weapons squad. I never got around to
starting the lascannon team:

So what you see is what I'm selling. I checked the current Codex and it is a
complete and legal platoon for 40K, just old school.

Let me know if you're interested.

Anyway, I'll delete this post (if that is possible) fairly soon and I'll have a real
post up later about my new project: Neo-Soviets! They are coming to Liberty as
advisors and arms dealers to support the Republic, but that's the problem with
the Soviets... once they show up they are quite hard to get rid of!

Time now, Charlie Mike!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happy New Year and 2012 Plans

Hi all,

I hope everyone out there had a merry Christmas and is enjoying the new year. I got some gaming in over the holiday break, but sadly, no pictures. I did get some painting done, but none of my painting was sci-fi! Amazing how time can really get away from you when the holidays come around!

Anyway, I've been busy planning out my gaming projects for this year. Like all wargamers I have way more projects than I can ever get done. I guess it's a form of ADD that most gamers have. There are just so many things you want to do but only so much money and time to do them. So you have to "talk" it out with yourself and decide what you can really do. So that's pretty much been what I've been doing lately.

Last year I was totally into 15mm Sci-fi and that genre absorbed all of my time and resources and I have a lot to show for it. This year I've decided to take a different tack and add a couple of projects outside of sci-fi and in the process expand the scope of this blog. Originally this blog was to cover only my efforts to build up a Colonial Marine company and that project is pretty much done! I have two complete platoons collected, painted up, based, and ready for action. I also assembled a very sizable OPFOR (my LRL rebels) for them to fight and I've even built a smallish "allied" army to fight with them (my US Army Strike section). I still have some colonial militia figures to work on and two more Army squads to finish (and maybe another Ares mecha too!) that I might work on later to bulk out my Liberty forces. But I'm feeling a bit tired of doing just sci-fi and I've decided to do another project in the mean time.

That project is to collect and paint a set of modern armies to fight with. Back in 2008 Russian and Georgia fought a short and vicious war over South Osetia and I followed the war very closely. I've always been a "closet" Russian fan so I was fixed to the TV watching the Russian Army clash with the Georgians. It was scary to watch, but it was fascinating to see all that Soviet era equipment in the flesh so to speak. I was a soldier in the US Army back in the late '80s and early 90's and I saw some action in the Gulf War. So it was pretty wild to me to see all that old Soviet era gear on TV duking it out. Since then, well every few months anyway, I've trolled the net looking for source material on that war and have been making plans to assemble useable armies to game with. I was never able to get anywhere in the bigger scales like 20mm... just too costly really. But that's changed since I've gone to 15mm!

Lately I've purchased some second hand Soviet troops and equipment and I've found a reasonable source for Soviet gear. So now I'm slowly assembling the beginnings of a Soviet/Russian motor rifle platoon (BMP) which might be expanded out to a full company. I've also assembled a rather large, if poorly equipped, force of US, British, and modern Chinese miniatures. So I'm also in the process of assembling an infantry platoon from each of these powers. So with these forces I plan to let 2012 be the year of modern warfare!

I'll probably start with a South Ossetia War rematch that pits Russia against the US and Georgia and then I'll expand that out to a WWIII style confrontation with perhaps Russia fighting China with the US and her allies siding with one or the other of those two powers! Terrain wise I'm moving away from my wild green jungles and forests to something more mountainous, evergreenie, and perhaps snowy!

Lots of ideas, so little focus! How's that for wargamer ADD???

For now I'm just going to focus on building my BMP platoon with say three BMP-2s and the associated motor riflemen. To fight them I'm going to complete my Stryker platoon with say four Strykers and three rifle squads and a mg squad. However my grunts will moonlight as Bradley troopers too since I have a full platoon of prepainted Bradleys. I also have three M1A1 tanks that are prepaints that are ready to go as well. Yikes! I might have to grab a platoon of T-80's to balance them out!

Rules wise I see myself sticking with Force on Force/Tomorrow's War and I'm going to try out the one page FUBAR rules too! I've already played a game of FUBAR (a AAR is coming later) and I really like the game. It's a simple break from the more heady Ambush Alley rules.

Model wise I have most of the infantry I need. My vehicles will be primarily QRF Russians and US, and I'll be grabbing some of the cheapish Command Decision miniatures too. I have a few of them and I've been rather happy with the quality of them.

Anyway, stay tuned and I'll have my Strykers and BMPs up and showing off.

Also, 2012 is the 70th of the Philippines/Bataan Campaign of 1942. I've collected a nice little group of US and Japanese troops and vehicles that I'll be gaming with over the next few weeks. Because of this I've decided to expand the scope of this blog to cover 15mm skirmish in general instead of just sci-fi. But don't worry, I'll probably be cranking out sci-fi stuff over the coming months. After all, I promised Kyoteblue over at TMP that I was going to fight out a battle in his imagination nation of Ifat. That will probably be my first sci-fi project for the year: painting up the Sultan's personal guard! After all, someone has to defend the good sultan from mercs with attitudes!

Anyway, I have a lot of plans for the year! It's just going to be a matter of coming up with a plan and staying focused. That's what I did in 2011 and I have a lot of painted metal to show for it. I hope this year will see me with a nicely painted modern force for my gaming (and your viewing) pleasure.

So happy New Year and see you around the range!

Time now Charlie Mike!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Battle of Centreville Pt. 3 AAR

The First Battle of Centreville: Counter Strike

This is a game me and my son played as a pick-up game over the Thanksgiving Holiday.  The amusing thing here is nearly every miniature on the American side were figures me and my son, Jeremy, painted up the day before.  That's a bit of a first for me: painted up and on the board with-in 24 hours.

Anyway, I came up with a pretty basic scenario for Tomorrow's War.  Basically a small advanced force has occupied a farming hamlet in advance of a much larger force.  They've dug in and are waiting reinforcements.  The other side has taken advantage of the pause to launch a spoiling attack to slow down the enemy advance.

I set this battle on my world of Liberty during the early stages of the Liberty-American War of 2181.  The American colony on Liberty has just voted to join the Union and in the process has decided that the colony of Centreville will be part of the newly formed Commonwealth of Liberty.  This moved infuriated the republicans!  

Centreville colony is located on the large island of Crossland.  It sits in between the two enclaves and is very near the planet's equator.  It's used as a major space port and services both colonies.  The American's annexation left the newly formed Republic of Liberty with out a space port and at the mercy of their neighbors to the south.  The Libertarians vowed that this would not stand.

During the early hours of December 18, 2181 three Libertarian regiments disembarked from their transports, stormed onto the sandy beaches of Crossland, and began their blitzkrieg toward the Andersonville Aerospace Port and the colony's capital of Centreville.  The Centreville Campaign had began!

American forces were totally unprepared for the invasion.  Only a few scattered companies of the 31st Infantry, elements of the Army National Guard, and a few squads of the Centreville Defense Force stand in their way.

Our mission is simple: we are to launch an immediate counterattack and disrupt the enemy's advance long enough for our forces to unite near the colony's capital. We have to hit them quick and hard, inflict as much damage as possible, and then fall back. With luck, this kind of bloody nose will slow them down and make them more cautious. Smashing the enemy force in and around this farm hamlet should accomplish this mission.

Set-up:  US Army and Liberty National Guard

Jeremy commands the force's left wing which consists of two fire teams of infantry and an old IFV.  My more powerful right wing has my US Army Strike section (Alpha Company, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry).  We're pretty sure that we can take anything that the Libertarians can toss at as.  
Prior to the game I decided on the Liberterian's basic battle plan and deployed their forces into solid defensive positions.  These invaders are just an advanced guard who have moved off the beach and have secured this small farm hamlet just a couple of miles from the invasion beaches.  Their mission is to hold the compound and await reinforcements.  The LRL's force consists of two irregular squads deployed along the hedges facing the American deployment zone as a screen.  Behind the screen sits their main force consisting of three technicals and three regular army rifle squads. These troops are deployed inside the compound in hidden positions.  As we later find out, they have set-up a nasty ambush position!
A nice view of the LRL's positions prior to the battle.  There's not a whole lot of open ground here.  The enemy merely has to wait in cover for us.  It's gonna get ugly!

One of my opening moves is to place some heavy hitters on overwatch.  Not a bad idea as you'll see.

Jeremy starts the battle by moving his IFV... right across the front of my force and exposing his flank to some LRL insurgents.  It's more than they can refuse.  The LRL irregulars just have to shoot off a RPG shot against the track's flank...

And they miss!  Jeremy rushes the unit while my units lay down supporting fires.  Our infantry scamper to catch up with the impetuous IFV while the irregulars dump as much fire on it as they can.  The IFV just shrugs off attack after attack.  Jeeze... little kids really have all the luck!
Here Jeremy shrugs off another RPG shot.  
At this point we are on turn two.  Jeremy's IFV is going toe-to-toe with the irregular squads and is really getting the better of them.  I bound my teams and vehicles up to support him and to envelope the enemy's right flank.
As my units move up my Aries battle suit catches sight of the right flank technical and drills it with a 75mm railgun shot.  I roll a 12 on the vehicle damage chart.  Pretty impressive for the mech's first time out!

In the meantime Jeremy hammers the irregulars on our right flank and wipes them out with concentrated fires.  He moves a squad up to mop up while the IFV just sits there and soaks up all sorts of fire.  Jeremy dishes out some serious hurt with the IFV's autocannon and pins down everyone who dares to shoot at him.
While Jeremy holds their attention my flanking squad mops up the survivors from the technical and move to flank the enemy squad.  I'm thinking that we have this game in the bag...
In fact, I'm so sure that I move my Ares into optimum to finish off the LRL squad to our front.  That's when the squad's RPG gunner decides that enough is enough!  He drills my Ares with a rocket that blasts it to pieces and kills the pilot.  In the next turn he engages the troublesome IFV and TOTALLY nails it with a rocket.  I rush up one of my Humvees to try to get him... and he blasts it too suppressing it and taking out its gun!  That's THREE of our four vehicles in two turns.
One RPG... three kills!  I'm putting that dude in for a medal!  
Jeremy is nearly in tears and vows revenge.  He rushes his squad into the open and right into the face of two LRL squads and a technical!  Buckets of dice later all of his men are still standing and he's put some hurt onto the LRL boys.  Seesh... little kids and their luck!
So again, I think we have it in the bag.  Jeremy 's force overran the enemy main defense line and my squad, battered but still standing is holding their flank wide open.  We've got them I think!

And here come their reinforcements!  The scenario special rule is that after turn 4 the enemy gets to roll a die and on a six get two hover APCs with 8 riflemen.  Naturally they roll a 6 on the very first turn.  One of the APCs with a four man fire team race after my bloodied squad.  It's gonna get ugly...
But not so fast!  My squad still has a bot with a AGL!  It gets a reaction fire on the APC and blows it to pieces.  Half the men on board are casualities!  Talk about some luck with the dice!  I guess maybe some of Jeremy's luck is rubbing off on me.

Right about then "momma" called time and we had to clear off the table for supper!  So we had to end the game right there.  Our objective was to drive the LRL out of the farming compound.  We did control over half of the place, but they still had an APC, a technical, and two squads in defensive positions and holding on for dear life.  Both sides really took heavy losses... but, the LRL advanced guard held on to their objective.  Even our technological advantage wasn't enough to drive LRL "frogs" from their holes.

So it was with some tears from Jeremy that I called the game a minor LRL victory.  I soothe him by telling him that the LRL may have won the day, this time, but that there would be a next time!  We just had to slow down the LRL's advance just long enough for the Colonial Marines to reinforce us!  Then we would drive the frogs off our island!

More to come!

Semper Fi, Carry on.... 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Battle of Centreville Pt. 2 US Army Strike Section

Have you ever had one of those "lightbulb" moments? You know the one: you make a sudden and sometimes deep realization about something? I had one of those earlier and it was my son, Jeremy, who gave it to me.

My original plan for my US Army collection was to follow the TO&E from the Tomorrow's War book. However as I looked deeper into the miniature requirements for this unit I realized that it is going to take quite some time to assemble the needed miniatures with my current budget (roughly less than $50 per month- usually more like 25!). But I decided to move forward with the plan anyway and be patient.

That was until yesterday! Apparently my son, Jeremy, showed me that a little impatience wasn't such a bad thing. You see, I stated painting the pieces that I have : a few GZG bot conversions, a squad of Khurasan's Exterminators, a pair of Rebel Minis Apaches, and an old FASA VOR Ares battlesuit. Really only the Exterminators and the bots were to be part of my Army platoon, the others... well, I always wanted to paint the battlesuit but never found the time and the Apaches were originally for my USCMs. So it was just a mixed bag of minis that I assembled to paint. I wasn't out to paint up a complete force.

Jeremy fixed that.

While I was painting the little guy came over and asked me what I was up to. After I explained what I was doing he asked me if he could paint some miniatures. I normally don't let him do this because I don't want him to ruin anything. But... I did have some extra Rebel Minis' Americans that were pretty low on my painting schedule so I let him have them. I helped him clean, base, and prime them but then I made him paint them himself.

You know, the little guy didn't do half bad. I'll post pictures of his work in a separate post.

Anyway, when he finished he asked me an odd question.

"Hey dad, could we play a game with these miniatures when you're done?" A very innocent question really. I scoffed at first! Hey, this wasn't a complete force! I didn't have an organization set for this group... they were basically a random mix of troops, vehicles, and an "out of scale" mech! So my knee jerk reaction was a solid "NO".

But then I asked myself: "Why not?" It's not like I'm playing a GW game where I have to have the right combination of forces before I play. Ambush Alley doesn't care! I can play with what I want. A "Duh" statement to say the least, but honestly, it never occurred to me before this.

So I looked a bit at what I had and realized that I had a nice force right there. With some switching around I could field a very different looking section of troops that was similar to the USCM organization, but again, very different from it. The Apaches would be the APCs, the Exterminators would be the grunts and the APGs would round out the section. When I was done I found that I had this unit:

Here's the basic organization for the force:

US Army Strike Section

1 Sergeant Section Leader (SSG Shaffer)

1 Ares Battlesuit (28mm VOR miniature, nice mech in 15mm). I used stats for the M2 FS "Chesty" but all Tech 2

1st Squad with Humvee with AGL, 1 Sgt with ACR, 1 SAW, 1 trooper with ACR, two 2 APGs w/launcher.

2d Squad with Humvee with .50 HMG, 1 Cpl with ACL, 1 SAW, 2 troopers with ACRs, and 1 APG w/launcher.

I decided that the force would be Training D8, Morale D10, Regular supply, and Confident, and 2D Armor. I used the basic stats for the US Army in Tomorrow's War but reduced the tech levels to fit in better for my Liberty Campaign. So the weapons were the same but just Tech 2. I used the basic stats for the USMC's Chesty mecha and I grabbed the up-armored M1117 from Force on Force, just updated to Tech 2.

So what did I have here? A pretty well rounded force actually! This unit has a very different feel from the USCM and the Liberty rebel/republican forces. The bots added hugely to the firepower of the squads- one squad had 10+ firepower dice! I can see that really. Fewer troops, more kit, more firepower! My section of GIs has as much, if not more, fire power than an old style US Army platoon! It's very mobile, has some striking looking units, buckets of firepower, and was just plain fun to play with. I'm sure that there are gamers who could max/min better than me and could have come up with a "better" force. But I don't care! with a little thought I came up with a force to play with in a game with my son.

AND! This force would have never come into being if it wasn't for Jeremy badgering me into playing a game. Odds are they would have gone strait into a carrier and put away until I had all of the figures collected and painted. July would have been the first time that they would have seen the light of day. It would have been worse for poor VOR Ares. I've had him for several years now and yesterday was his first time on the gaming table! Jeremy loves that mech and is begging right now to play another game!

I'll probably post a more formal post later with "fluff" for these guys. So here's some pictures of this force for now.

Time now charlie mike...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Battle of Centreville Pt. 1 Introduction

Well, I'm done painting and putting things together. I also had time today to play a quick game with my newly painted treasures! There's a new one for you: painted and on the gaming table within 24 hours of being based and primed!

My little boy was so fascinated by what I was doing that he asked me to give him some miniatures to paint, so I gave him a squad worth of Rebel Minis US troops to paint and the little guy actually did a decent job painting them. When he finished his squad he begged me to play a game! So we used the miniatures that we just painted up and played a nice game of Tomorrow's War.

It was a blast and he really enjoyed himself… and he's only 8! Get 'em when they're young and you have them for life. So maybe my little guy will be my regular OPFOR too. Not yet, but later down the line perhaps. Today's game was co-op with us both playing as the Americans against my Republic of Liberty forces.

It was a hard fought action too, and yes, I have plenty of pictures to show off. I'll get a full blown battle report up maybe tomorrow.

Here's what I gamed with:

US Army Strike Section

1 Sergeant Section Leader (SSG Shaffer)

1 Ares Battlesuit (28mm VOR miniature, nice mech in 15mm). I used stats for the M2 FS "Chesty" but all Tech 2

1st Squad with Humvee with AGL, 1 Sgt with ACR, 1 SAW, 1 trooper with ACR, two 2 APGs w/launcher.

2d Squad with Humvee with .50 HMG, 1 Cpl with ACL, 1 SAW, 2 troopers with ACRs, and 1 APG w/launcher.

My US Army troops were Tech 2, so I used mostly US Army stuff from the book but scaled back to Tech 2. I also borrowed stats from Force on Force up scaled it up to Tech 2 as well. Shaffer was a positive leader and I rated the sections as Training d8, Morale d10, Confident and Regular supply.

So yes, it was a bit different from the book units, but it was a lot of fun to play. I also have to say, the force was very well armed and dished out the hurt pretty well. But it was shot up pretty badly too!

Like I said, it was a hard fought game. The more I play it, the more I love Tomorrow's War.

Friday, November 25, 2011

US Army Light Infantry for Tomorrow's War

So like many others out there in 15mm land I grabbed my copy of Tomorrow's War almost as soon as it came out.  Tons of other bloggers out there have reviewed the book, so I won't spend much time talking about the rule book other than to say it's well worth your money.  As you've probably seen, TW was the rules set I used in my last game and I see it being my primary rules set for platoon scale battles for now on.  I do like  Chain Reaction and I plan to use it in the future for man-on-man combat though

So I'll just jump into what I want to do with it.

While flipping through the book I stumbled across Appendix 2: Organization Examples and its section on the US Army.  In particular, I was impressed with the US Army Light Infantry Platoon with its mixture of conventional troops and robots.  That's a pretty original force and it's nothing like I've ever seen on the gaming board.  Yes, I've seen a bot here and there and maybe a mech or two.  But I've never seen a force that uses bots so heavily.  You don't have to be a genius to see how much firepower this unit has AND how many models it needs!  To me it appears to be a very visually striking force with lots of units and a serious ability to lay down some hurt.

So I'm planning to build a US Army Light Infantry platoon for use on Liberty.  Yes, it's blending two backgrounds but what the hey, it's my game.  So here's what I'm looking for miniatures wise:

1 Platoon HQ with six humans: One command, one medic, one techy troop, and three rifle men.  Bot wise I need 1 mule (with 3 recce drones) and 1 AMU (medical unit).  I'm thinking about using GZG's MULEs for both of these units with the AMU having a red cross or something.  I'll just leave out the human drivers.  

3 Rifle Squads with 7 humans, 1 MULE, and 7 AGPs.  That breaks down to one squad leader, a MULE, two light infantry fireteams and team called "AGP Contact Fireteam".  Each team has two riflemen, one SAW gunner, and one AGP bot.  So that's five riflemen, two SAW gunners, and two AGP bots per squad.  The AGP Contact Fireteam is all bots: 4 AGPs with GPMGs and 1 with a MPPC Do the math to see what I need total here... the troops aren't a problem, but the bots/MULEs could get expensive!

1 Light Infantry Weapon Squad with one squad leader, 4 AGPs, two gunnery techs (riflemen) and 3 MULEs. 

So miniature totals look something like this:

30 humans, 1 AMU, 7 MULES (one with 3 sensor drones), 6 AGPs (fireteam level with "launchers"), 12 AGPs with GPMGs, and 3 APGs with MPPCs, and three recce drones.  

That's a BIG PLATOON!  I have the troop side of things done with the Khurasan Exterminator troops:

I'm going with these guys because the do match-up reasonably well with my QRF Deep Space Marines.  The gear looks similar enough to be the same nation, but different enough to show that they are two armed forces.  Also, the Exterminators look more "high-tech" than the QRF marines which works fine.  The US Army always gets the pick of funds, gear, and other perks.  Whereas the marines always have to make due with older gear and obsolete weapons.  

Bots are a different story.  GZG seems to be the only game in town for wheeled bots.  I like wheeled stuff and they "match" with my wheeled AFVs/Tanks, so why not stay with the theme?

These GZG bots are for the squad level AGP contact teams and the weapons squad:


And these GZG bots for the fire team level AGPs:

That is two different models to do the "same" AGPs, but I figure that I needed two different units for the GPMGs and the team level "launchers", whatever they are.  The $$ isn't too pretty with the bots running bots running about a quid each.  The MULEs are going to be worse: three quid each!  I might buy a couple and then slowly add them over the coming year.  

Right now I have three packs of Khurasan's Exterminators, three AGPs, and a single MULE.  Not quite a full squad although I do have most of the humans needed.

That's going to be quite an outlay for miniatures so I'm going to stretch this project out a bit.  I'll grab bits of this force at a time with my goal being to have the full platoon done by this summer.  I'll probably start with the platoon HQ squad and a rifle squad, then I'll start with the other combat elements as I purchase the needed figures.  Perhaps at a rate of one squad per month?  I may do orders every other month with GZG to save on shipping and I plan to hold off on my first purchase until I see what I get for Christmas ($$ wise) and to get a feel for what Jon will do sale wise.  He always does a Christmas sale and he usually tosses in a free mini or two that goes with your purchase theme... so I plan to wait a bit to see what happens here.

I'm off today and the weekend, so I'll use some of this free time to get going with painting.  Perhaps I'll have a few units done by Sunday and post what I have.  

I'm also figuring out my organization chart stuff for the USCMs so I can use them in Tomorrow's War.  I'll probably post that later next month along with stats for my APCs and tanks.

Anyway, enjoy the holidays!

Semper Fi,  Carry on...