Target Delta

Posted: 13/08/2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

I haven’t painted much lately; just dug out all my Ground Zero Games’ figures – New Israelis (People’s Liberation Army) and Hammer’s Slammers (African Union) – and realised I’d not posted this:

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This is Brigadier Anja Kassl-Lohse, of the European Federation Army, wearing her Number 2 Service Dress uniform. She was ‘Target Delta’ during the skirmish at the Milwertz Farm in August 2070, after her transport was ambushed by elements of the NULF. A platoon of EF troops was dispatched to rescue her, but NULF troops under Junior Lieutenant Joriksson decisively defeated the EF force and Brigadier Kassl-Lohse spent the rest of the war in captivity. For his actions Joriksson was promoted and made a Hero of the Nordic Union.

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Well, on Wednesday last, my gaming partner C and I had two games of Tomorrow’s War, using the ‘Lost and Found’ scenario. In both games, the NULF ambushers hammered the EF platoon really quite badly (I did a LOT worse than C did as the EF – it all went wrong after Klaus got felled by a tree branch and became seriously WIA, this was followed by my commander’s squad getting mown down by NULF troops and the relief push being shot to bits too. I ended the game with three figures standing)!

Now, prior to playing, I had read quite a few threads about Tomorrow’s War and Lost and Found in particular, across the internet in general and The Miniatures’ Page in particular. All these blogs and forum posts agreed: the mission was difficult to impossible for the DPRG/NULF troops to accomplish; the US/EF had too much of an advantage and it had to be played more than once to get best effect. Nowhere did I find anything remotely suggesting that the ambushers had the advantage, that it would be nigh on impossible to get past the river, let alone to the downed pilot, before it became too late to exfiltrate with the target, or just how powerful the massive NULF command squad was when it came to shooting.

However. We both really enjoyed ourselves, and I think we were hindered by the lack of a QRS, and the inevitable errors that occur whenever a new rules set is used. For example:

  1. Tech Levels: we didn’t use them. I didn’t realise that TL2 v TL1 means that the TL2 side are rolling an extra die of firepower AND armour.
  2. Suppression fire. Apparently this should have been used to great effect by the NULF, but the way I read the rules, High Confidence troops (the US/EF) can’t be suppressed. Hm.
  3. Morale. Not sure but I think we got this wrong.
  4. Initiative; we didn’t roll for it at all.
  5. Action/Reaction. We got this wrong too I think – only allowing one squad to react to a unit’s actions.
  6. Troop Quality rolls and Fog of War – haphazardly applied (but brilliant fun when we remembered).

There were probably more things we missed.

The biggest issue was the lack of a QRS, and the awful index, that sent me repeatedly to pages that didn’t contain useful references, or indeed any references, to what I was after. The rules are great, it really did feel like a firefight in Denmark c. 2070, but I also think that it would bear both closer reading and the creation of a good, solid, QRS.
ADDENDUM:

I also need real dice. I was using a dice app on my mobile for the d8s; I was rolling dreadfully. Like, 1s, 2s and 3s more than anything else. Or 4s to beat 5s.

So I have at least managed to paint up the Europeans for the game later today. Here they are, one understrength platoon of EuroFed regular infantry in their ‘Thor’ combat hardsuits patrolling into Nordic Union held Denmark in search of a staff officer gone missing…

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The force is short both its EG-2 energy weapons, its sniper, and four other ranks with G60 rifles. These figures will be purchased eventually; along with the ‘Lafayette’ ground effect IFVs.

I took photos of the steps, this time!

1) Undercoat

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The figure on the left is our ‘dummy’, who we will be following throughout the process. The figure on the right is what she will end up looking like (we hope).
I used Army Painter Greenskin Colour Primer as the whole figure will be camouflaged, and green is a good base for it.

2) Wash

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Liberally coat the whole figure in GW Thraka Green Wash (I don’t know what the modern equivalent is).

3) Add Camouflage (1)

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Cover the figure, including any weapons, in blotches of GW Rotting Flesh.

4) Add Camouflage (2)

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Next, add blotches of GW Scorched Brown. These should be next to, and overlapping, the earlier, pale sand-green patches.

5) Add Camouflage (3)

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Highlight the Rotting Flesh with GW Bleached Bone, and the Scorched Brown with GW Vermin Brown – don’t be too picky. We’re going for a camouflage effect, not a light-source art effect.

6) Add Camouflage (4) and Details

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Paint the armour joints (back of the knees and the neck mainly), the magazine of the assault rifle, the muzzles of the UGL and rifle, the missiles and missile launcher exhaust in GW Chaos Black. You also need to add irregular blotches of black all over the camouflage pattern. Break up any areas you think are too light and don’t be afraid to overlay green, brown and sand equally.

7) The Visor (1):

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Paint the visor GW Dark Angels Green.

8) The Visor (2 and 3)

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Highlight the visor with GW Snot Green and then GW Goblin Green.

9) The Visor (4)

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Add a final layer highlight of GW Scorpion Green.

10) Finishing the Figure

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Coat the visor in GW ‘Ardcoat (gloss varnish to you and me) and base appropriately. Et voila! Finished!

First of all, as you probably know, Curiosity successfully landed on Mars! Congratulations! It will be interesting to see what she discovers.

Now, as for the Challenge… well, this coming Wednesday I have asked my good friend C to take the part of the USMC/EuroFed in the Tomorrow’s War scenario ‘Lost and Found’. My challenge is to provide painted figures: no biggie, all I have to do is a mere 8 EF troopers and just 18 NULF soldiers. Oh, and the pilot. But. I paint VERY slowly. So the thought of doing 26 figures in, effectively, a day, worries me. However, do it I shall, and while I do it I will also be taking step-by-step photos to enable YOU to paint your very own EF/NULF forces should you so wish! Keep reading, citizens, the future is coming sooner than you think…

Below we see a fireteam of EuroFed Army troops wearing the ‘Thor’ pattern combat hardsuit, in the overall temperate flecktarn pattern, and a Leutnant consulting his net-linked personal datapad. The datapad compliments and expands on the standard suit-based net C3ISTAR package, enabling him to communicate effectively and efficiently with other platoons and higher command.

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L-R: Hauptgefreiter with EG-1 rapid-fire energy weapon, Hauptgefreiter with G60, Stabsgefreiter with PzF-90, Stabsgefreiter with G60 and netlinked optic/designator unit, Leutnant with G60.

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Alternate view showing the effectiveness of the overall flecktarn-A pattern in breaking up the soldiers’ outlines and blurring the distinction between equipment and wielder.

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Rear view. Here you can see the plain flat green of the bodysuit’s factory finish quite clearly on the soles of the boots, as well as (just) make out the differently sized battery packs on the backs of the Stabsgefreiter with optic/designator unit and Hauptgefreiter with EG-1, compared both to each other and the standard suit’s pack. While the combat hardsuit is not powered armour, it requires a power source to run its on-board C3ISTAR equipment.

On a less background note, these are the first five figures for the ‘Lost and Found’ scenario in the Tomorrow’s War book: the ‘USMC’ Squad Leader and one Squad. Eight more to come, then back to the NULF troops who will be their adversaries.

During the Iraq and Afghan Wars of the early 21st Century, insurgents and enemy soldiers discovered that the body armour utilised by western troops was so strong that even point-blank firing into the torso with assault rifles would not penetrate or seriously injure the target. Their immediate solution was to begin using RPGs as anti-personnel weapons, and then, later, to switch to IEDs, booby-traps, mines, and indirect fire HE weapons systems. Heavier calibre weapons, human wave assaults, and suicidal bravery and fanaticism were also used in an attempt to defeat the protection offered by NATO protective gear.

By the mid 21st Century, the US had begun fielding first special operations teams, then front-line soldiers, in full-body ‘carapace’ semi-powered exoskeletal armour suits. These did not amplify the wearer’s strength or provide particularly improved protection against RPGs or similar weapons, but did provide head to toe ballistic armour that would turn a blade and stop assault rifle rounds. The Europeans and Chinese were quick to follow, and by the late 21st Century the European Federation, US, and PRC equipped their infantry as standard with full-body ‘Hard Combat Armour’. The US M50 suit contained a fully-networked C3ISTAR system that enabled even the lowliest private to have access to more information and knowledge about the battlespace than a battalion commander of the turn of the century, and also featured a ‘reactive camouflage suite’ which shifted the colours of the suit’s surface to match the terrain being fought over. The EuroFed ‘Thor’ series was functionally similar, albeit required repainting to match warzones. Most typically, the Thor was seen in an updated, semi-digitalised flecktarn pattern. The PRC, meanwhile, fielded the ‘Young Dragon’, which is most typically encountered in its factory finish of khaki and black.

All three powers were also experimenting with fully powered armour, but even by the late 21st Century such suits were restricted in the main to special operations units that had received extra training and, in some cases, surgical enhancements, to better exploit the capabilities offered by powered armour.

Other nations and power blocs, however, either could not afford or did not see the need for such extravagant developments. Instead, better and more powerful personal weapons were developed, leading to the Chinese experimentations with gauss weaponry, the English use of the depleted uranium penetrator round, and the European caseless carbon-graphene hardened rounds. The National Bolshevik Republics, on the other hand, famously, and simply, turned to larger, more powerful bullets.

Body armour, however, in many forms, became ubiquitous amongst almost every combat force on Earth. From ‘simple’ body armour of the kind worn by the US in the early 2000s to the advanced powered armour of PRC strike commandos in the late 2080s, no-one entered a battlespace without some form of protection.