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.