20/06/2015 at 14:58 #26384
I know some gamers may disparage it, or otherwise feel that it’s a bad tendency, but having a stockpile of lead on hand sometimes can be really awesome. I just discovered a box with a custom-cast set of GZG tanks that I had thought lost when I moved in a sudden terrible rush two years ago. But lo! There it was. And how better to take one’s mind off the chaos of daily existence than with a little games project? So last night, when there was a sudden break in the insane humidity, I cleaned up a portion of them and primed them. Late-night priming sessions – oh yeah.
So here’s a little work in progress 6mm game project underway, probably to be added to my “Banana Stompers” game set, to be used with rules as yet undetermined. The location of the conflict: the Republic of Costaguana, where a recent coup by the military-backed “Montérist” party has destabilized the region, especially the neighboring Republic of Sulaco. The Sulaquéro government, with a scant national militia to defend itself, has parleyed its rich silver resources into hiring the Earthlight Division from Europe to defend their borders against an expected Costaguañéro invasion.
Earthlight Division (Erdeslicht Verteidegung-Systeme GmbH) is a high-tech Dispute Resolution Organization licensed in the Mitteleuropaisch Demokratische Republik, specializing in rapid intervention and heavy combat support. This Kill-Team (Eingrifftruppe) is a typical unit that follows the Modular Combined Arms doctrine common to DRO’s operating in South America. It consists of eight squads of SPzKpfZ “Tandem-VII-A” powered armor troopers. Four squads are equipped with support micromissile suites, two with antitank guided missiles, one with a man-portable kinetic kill cannon and one with a rapid-fire fixed-wave pulse laser. They are transported in AswkSPz Ausf. E “Angriff” Armored Personnel Carriers. And of course, the heavy hitting power is backed up by four AswkPz-VIII Ausf. A “Super Leopard-8” heavy repulsortanks.
Paint goes to metal this afternoon. I’m going with a tan and blue-grey pattern-breaker that I think will play well. I have a pile of untouched CinC hovertanks and some “Red Faction” and “Foundationist” infantry on hand to form up some forces for the ENC (Ejécito Nacional de Costaguana), and some Sulaco National Militia forces as well.20/06/2015 at 19:55 #26401Angel BarracksModerator20/06/2015 at 19:57 #26402
Love the back-story, and GZG NSL is still some of the prettiest models out there IMHO!21/06/2015 at 18:08 #26436
Costaguana and Sulaco are cribbed from Joseph Conrad’s Nostromo, I’m sorry to admit, but the Earthlight Division, (and the Kraków Winged Hussars, Active Response and the St. Vincent Brigade, all of which I plan to do up at scale) are my own inventions. Originally, I did TO&Es for them at 3mm scale and set the conflict in Eastern Europe. But the state of things there, and some very upsetting run-ins with Russian and Ukrainian friends of mine lately, has made me feel like it’s in slightly bad taste to be playing games about wars in their homelands. Which is not to say I want to see wars in South America any more than that, but still, having it come from classical literature somehow softens the blow for me. And so I thought a purely fictional set of Imagi-Nations for a mercenary war game might relieve some of the pressure on my psyche. And I happen to be re-reading Nostromo right now, so I fixed on setting the game in the 22nd century versions of Costaguana and Sulaco, two centuries after the Silvermine War first separated the two countries.
Costaguana is poorer but more populous, and with a larger and better equipped military, but also a long history of political instability and military regimes. They have traditionally had ties with Venezuela, Peru and Guyana, among others. Sulaco, on the other hand, is relatively democratic but smaller, and has been living under the umbrella of military deterrence from the United States, and, later, from the English-Speaking Union (“ENSPUN.”) But ENSPUN is re-prioritizing in the aftermath of the First Upheaval, refocusing resources previously used for international military commitments on their off-world colonization program. This has coincided with the latest in a series of coups-d’états in Costaguaga, bringing Montérists back into power, whose agenda has traditionally centered around the reconquest of Sulaco. Sulaco, interestingly, is also a tax haven, and among other important financial institutions, the city of Sulaco hosts the headquarters of the Gould-Moynigham Minerals Corporation, which, in addition to managing the silver mines for the Sulaqéro government, has also sponsored several highly profitable platinum, titanium and nickel mines in the Jovian Trojans, nominally under Argentinean and Brazilian jurisdiction. It is GM Minerals’ international importance that could potentially cause the conflict to escalate, if Argentina or Brazil start to get involved.
I’m just about done with my first tank – will post a photo later. These GZG models, though predating the current 3d-master system used in most casting these days, are really just superb and a joy to paint, lending themselves especially well to ink-and-highlight techniques because of the heavy relief on the detailing. In particular, they take primer exceptionally well – something in the alloy Jon is using makes the raw miniatures look a bit dirty and rough, but once primed they have a smooth, continuous surface and a fine consistency that is actually quite remarkable, since I’ve become so used to working around mould lines and visible layering from 3d-printed masters that find their way into casts like these. Just a super-fun weekend project. What else could a nervous, stressed-out gamer ask for on a warm Sunday afternoon?21/06/2015 at 18:51 #26437RhodericMember
Cool project. Love the background story.
In particular, they take primer exceptionally well – something in the alloy Jon is using makes the raw miniatures look a bit dirty and rough, but once primed they have a smooth, continuous surface and a fine consistency that is actually quite remarkable
You know, now you say it, this rings a bell. I’ve had a similar experience with GZG castings – the metal having a deceptively dirty look but priming exceptionally well.21/06/2015 at 21:12 #26442
First Earthlight Division AswkSPz-VIII Ausf. A “Super Leopard-8” heavy repulsortank in Sulaco Service pattern-breaker camouflage. I’m thinking of ordering some decals for markings, even though I’ve hand-painted insignia in the past.23/06/2015 at 10:31 #26515
Swanky-looking paintjob, are you going with something similar for the infantry as well? Could look really cool I think!23/06/2015 at 15:25 #26527Thaddeus BlanchetteParticipant
Very nice! I have some of these same figures and now I~m thinking of doing something with them, too.
We get slapped around, but we have a good time!23/06/2015 at 15:58 #26529EartherParticipant
Your stuff makes me want to play my old copy of Hellfire again…24/06/2015 at 14:28 #26584CosmotigerParticipant
Nice work on the tank. The splinter camo looks really cool.24/06/2015 at 18:08 #26598
Thanks, everyone, for the kind compliments! These are more fun to paint than I had thought – I’ve been so long in 3mm scale that these feel positively enormous by comparison! I have in mind to use the same blue-grey and tan scheme for the power armor as well, though I’m still debating the proper basing scheme. I’m of half a mind to do them up for skirmish but they look so good on fireteam bases, and just intuitively feel more manageable that way, somehow. Certainly, there are going to be heavy power suits before long, and they will be individually based. At the moment, My main goal is to paint only what I actually own right now for this set, but I uncovered the fact that Ironwind is still casting the old “Kanazuchi” suits. I may try to overcome the prejudice I have against them to buy a small stock of them to serve as heavy battle units for another mercenary group I have on tap called Advance Global Management to take into combat.
Before that, though, I have to do the advance border units of the ENC, and I’ve rummaged in my goodies box and just found some unpainted air support: fighter-bombers from the Reaper CAV line, who will be an independent air unit called Blue Helix, and a pair of Mechafront “NorAm” light mechs that’ll be an intervention team from the Texan mercenary corporation Active Response. Basically, this whole thing is a way of not having to repeat a million of the same paint job, as each unit is supposed to be relatively small – if you want a bigger force, hire more mercenaries!
My main problem is finding a game system that allows for the proper level of infantry granularity for my taste. As I’ve mentioned before, the old DP9 “Silhouette” tactical system is one I’ve leaned on in the past. It’s very techy, but possibly too much of a cram for what I want to do here, but at least I know the system and what it can do, and so the learning curve is nil. It also emphasizes small units and infantry integrates well, though air support is a real chore so that could limit the possibilities. Overly generic “each unit is just a number” or “all guns are the same” systems seem kind of too easy to me at this scale – that’s more for large-front mass combat and this is more cinematic in scale; although I do of course understand that at some level every game is just a set of math equations. Gruntz, if you ignore all the irritating “z’s” added to everything (that one wore thin on page two, guys) seems promising at this level, but the rules seem to skew a bit towards the esoteric. KR-16 is of course a go-to title if I overcome my innate desire for group-basing my infantry. I’m even considering re-opening negotiations with Tomorrow’s War, though with some trepidation – TW games I’ve played have felt too heavy in an exhausting “everyone is losing and there’s no time to do anything before the game ends” kind of way. Good for the Nam, but maybe a tad too heavy for what is essentially going to be a comic book on the tabletop.
Anyway.24/06/2015 at 23:55 #26633Rules Junkie JimParticipant
Your paint job on the tank is excellent – your description of your imagi-nation backstory is even better; inspiring stuff.
I’m having the same basing quandaries wrt 6mm infantry. I suspect I’ll end up with equal numbers of single and squad-based figures, having bought twice the number of figures I might’ve if I ever made my mind up.25/06/2015 at 03:31 #26642
Thanks! I’ve actually gotten into the powered armor this evening – there’s an APC and two fireteams of infantry on the block right now! And man I can’t help but express my deep admiration for these GZG powersuits – just beautiful castings!
By the way, I fully extend an open invitation to anyone else interested in building a scrap army of mercenaries to do battle in Costaguana this summer – I’ll gladly draw up unit insignia for you if you like, as well. AB Mike has been a beneficiary of my military doodling in the past, and a summer project like this is always fun with more people on board and I’d love to see what other people come up with, if they’re interested.25/06/2015 at 04:14 #26648
By the way – fully based repuslortank, hovering two yards off the ground on a superconductive electromagnetic field. The turret has a magnet in the base to keep it in place, and the hovering is accomplished with a thin but remarkably strong length of brass wire.03/07/2015 at 14:54 #27211
Just happened by the Plasmablast Games website, as I do at intervals, and it seems that the Marhaf Legion line has finally been expanded – and with a whole mess of infantry, to boot! You’d better beLIEVE they’re going to become a team of ENSPUN Peacemakers, the Greek financial crisis notwithstanding.
As soon as his sales are back online, that is. Sigh, what a tease! But I’ll be patient.03/07/2015 at 19:47 #27227Thaddeus BlanchetteParticipant
Their new mega-apc is the perfect vehicle for Ogre conversions. Now I just need to get a bunch shipped to Brazil!
We get slapped around, but we have a good time!04/07/2015 at 21:48 #27267
FiveCore Company Commander has a scifi variant… just saying 🙂
I keep eyeing that Strike Legion game. I have the rules, but I dunno if it’s too gearhead-oriented for what I want.
There’s a lot to like in it though, it reminds me a lot of Dirtside but minus the chits.05/07/2015 at 03:18 #27279
I’ve been considering 5Core, but it’s slightly too high/too low a command level for me, from what I’ve seen of it. I do plan to at least try it, however.
I’ve also got Strike Legion, but was always put off by the “programmed learning” presentation which made it hard to sit down and really comprehend the rules. I like the granularity and “gearheaded”-ness as you put it – the Rainforest War, as a friend of mine has aptly named this campaign world the Earthlight Division et al are involved in, is very techy and I kind of like that. I don’t really mind it, actually, since I grew up on Heavy gear and Battletech. Most current game systems have rejected that, or ruled it irrelevant and eliminated it, in favor of the “every gun is the same” mechanic that is not exactly what I’m looking for.
Most likely, it’ll play out as a mod to Dirtside II. I’ve been writing some rules to expand the game and make it more infantry-centric, and to generate some new weapons and give tanks a little more freedom of action. I might be crushing the system a bit that way but there it is. Again, I can at least try it.06/07/2015 at 01:04 #27309
If you don’t mind, I wouldn’t mind seeing what you come up with for Dirtside.
I always thought it’d be a cracking game if infantry was a little bit more in the focus.06/07/2015 at 01:16 #2731022/07/2015 at 12:02 #27925
Almost went through TWW withdrawal there during the service rollover!
At any rate, here’s the ELD’s first Combined Arms Strike Element. It’s a low-level battle doctrine the Earthlight Division cribbed from ENSPUN units operating in Mitteleuropa during the First Upheaval. This one has two PA infantry squads (one with a scatter missile weapon and the other with a pointfire railgun) plus an armored transport and a Super Leopard repulsortank.
Real life keeps progress slow, but when I have time it’s nice to paint for an hour or two.22/07/2015 at 17:58 #27985
Looking mighty fine 🙂23/07/2016 at 13:40 #45289
And dragging this thread out of the dim, dark past, I have finally achieved, in the modest task which was my charge. The Earthlight Division Kill-Team, re-based for Horizon Wars.
Complete with T-7 “Mastodon” Support Strider, with its hellbore cannon!
These guys are going in against the mercenary team Blue Helix at the club today. We’ll see how it goes!23/07/2016 at 14:54 #45290ThuseldParticipant23/07/2016 at 16:07 #45299Angel BarracksModerator23/07/2016 at 16:39 #45300NoelParticipant
Ooh la la.23/07/2016 at 17:56 #45304
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