Life During War Games October 21, 2011

Utility is as important as price when it comes to saving money. If something is cheap, but has limited use, then it is not saving you money. Changing scales, from 28mm to 15mm, gives me the chance to start my miniatures collection from scratch. There are a few things I am hoping to accomplish. First of all, I want to minimize the amount of money I spend, within reason. Secondly, I am only going to buy new miniatures. Thirdly, I want any miniatures I but to be useful in a wide variety of scenarios.

The first, and perhaps best, idea that came to mind was to collect a couple fire teams of modern U.S. troops. By varying the transport options, I could realistically use them for a wide range of Force on Force scenarios. Humvees are still widely deployed, instantly recognizable, and are available from several manufacturers. The Humvee is as at home in post-Apocalyptic Road Warrior-style Tomorrow’s War games as it is in Operation Enduring Freedom scenarios. The Blackhawk helicopter is similarly flexible. Personally, I am quite taken by the M-ATV. It is not as familiar as the Humvee, looks slightly futuristic, and could just as easily be used as a Police or SWAT vehicle. For more futuristic transport options, Combat Wombat makes a couple really excellent APVs that would not look out of place with American troops disembarking from them. The Micropanzer Stoat, which I plan on reviewing, is the perfect size for a 4-5 man fire team taxi and it has a slightly cyberpunk look that I like.

Two or three units of U.S. Army Rangers with a couple of transportation options are both a flexible and evocative choice. Sure, there is Blackhawk Down just sitting there, waiting for you to play it. Hell, Ambush Alley Games were kind enough to publish a book with just that in mind, Day of the Rangers. For Tomorrow’s War purposes, the Rangers could be used to fight an alien invasion, zombies, or the worshippers of a space god. Imagine a world where a Third World nation gets a hold of alien tech, be it hover tanks or power armor or giant mecha, and the Rangers have to put an end to the arms race.

From the other end of the technology and training spectrum, the thought of African Militia or Somali Pirates entered my mind. Rebel Minis makes suitable minis in 15mm for both and it would be very easy to convert some Hot Wheels pickup trucks and SUVs into technicals or buy the beautiful ones from Old Glory Miniatures. AK-47 and RPG wielding Militia make great Irregulars for Force on Force and are easy to write scenarios around. Using them as Irregulars in Tomorrow’s War, fighting off invading aliens, makes for an interesting inversion of the alien invasion trope, which usually features American soldiers fighting for the Earth’s freedom. A xenomorph (Space Demon) loose on a cargo ship that has been taken by Somali Pirates would be a pretty wild scenario to play.

For the third force, I need something a little more science fiction. My initial thought was to pick up some of Micropanzer’s amazing Seekers and Striders. Using these alongside a modern army, I would be able to use an army twice. The downside being that, well, I wouldn’t get to buy a third army. Being a cheapskate doesn’t mean that I don’t like the occasional splurge. Similarly, I considered making some science fiction style technicals for whatever group of Irregulars I decided on, but that was also less sexy. In the end, I settled upon buying an alien force.

So, you ask, what do I have in hand? Because I was so impressed by them during my demo game, I have two squads of Micropanzer’s British SAS with three Stoats to transport them, two Seekers to support them, and two Striders to use as heavy hitters. I also picked up something like 50 of the Krystrial Aliens and a dozen of the Vaethaka Hounds to support them. Oh, and I have a unit of Mad Robot‘s Tachyon Mercenary Corps to support the SAS or act as a third party.

That being said, the question I pose to you, fine readers, what would you suggest I purchase next? Where would you start if you were me?

Next Week: Clarity



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