Friday, 30 January 2015

Flying Lead, Dominar, Dainties & Dastardly Droids - what's not to like?


(Or) Why build a Police Force?


Have I not tried to steer you, oh my lovely Droogs, from the path of harm? So plug back your ear'oles (not anyone else's) as I pontificate.

Do not, under any circumstances contemplate a force with police or cops in the title. For in such an action you are opening a veritable Pandora's blue box that will prove to be larger in the implementation than in the planning. No manufacturer's (particularly GZG) or toyshop can be perused without “that would be useful”.

Cops, police force, gendarme, call them what you will. Peoples militia/self defence force UN peacekeepers (I'm thinking of the Balkans here) intrepid nasty-hunters be they Buffy, Persons in Black or Tourchwood. The British Army in the Northern Ireland “Troubles”*. Korean war is probably a bit too far outside this remit, we'll leave that to the politicians. Black Horse Down type scenarios where a higher tech invaders (with their own agenda) are engaged by local lawful militia defence forces.

They operate in a different environment to your average military. Usually urban, quite often their own “back yard”. Their equipment is often basic or old by their military standards. Training is quite different, rules of engagement quite tighter to non existent.

Police forces can also be played as a third force with a different set of objectives. Add in paramedic and firefighting assets as well. How often do random civilians, traffic, refugees feature in your game as a form of mobile scenery?

I prefer to play skirmish games with a less well equipped force of realistic people who are faced with an extraordinary situation. The more that can go wrong, the more interesting the game. Playing with the “invincible” army is just plain boring. Being able to tailor your TOE to the enemy is, well, silly. In our Trouble at t' Mill game I pitted ruthless alien invaders, with their own agenda, against a fledgling Tourchwood and the local Territorials (the British version of a local militia). So you could call that a Police Action. I made a force of modern(ish) American cops for Tony, these can be found here: I also have a militia force, my PAU.

Old-code GZG Paramilitary police.

My intention was to downsize but that sort of went into reverse. Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Pockets. I have a good selection used for Gruntz and Hammers Slammers with vehicles from Old Crow, Brigade, Combat Wombat and Ground Zero Games. Beware matchbox and other similar.

I've reorganised and “downsized” to what they were intended, a paramilitary police, security or specialist mercenary unit. This force facilitates, or hinders any other. I can see several jobs, each leading to a variety of scenarios:
Starport or base security. Calliopes, fast wheeled vehicles.
Patrol or checkpoint. APC's with light weapons.
SWAT. The rural squad and some heavy weapons.

Specialists. Robot or remote control vehicles for bomb, hazard or crime scene control. Drones. such as you might encounter in and around a starport or instillation. These do urban/enclosed combat as standard, having a specialist close assault team for rural action. These were fun and easy to do, a great way to add depth to a game.

This lot use shotguns and heavy pistols as standard with grenade launchers as squad heavy weapon. There are a couple of machine guns available to the HQ squad plus those on the APC's. Robots provide heavier area or anti-vehicle fire. I stripped out the old GZG power armour from this force to be used elsewhere, but added a few head-swap specialists.

Platoon of 4x5 man squads each of 4 troopers and one grenade launcher plus command squad comprising senior Sergeant any attached machine gun teams and specialists such as the net gun team can handle capture rather than combat. Each squad is assigned an APC or a couple of area cars.

The main robots deployed are hunter/killer or hunter/capture models that carries a micro-missile load chosen from HEAP, AP, CMC or flashbang grenades. Model one is wheeled for quiet internal use. A tracked version is available for rougher or off road use.



Techno-Ninja. Thanks Jon! A real GZG winner. I'm working on another article (last 3 months!) on urban warfare using military forces. These are the crossover. I'm also leaning towards “A Fistful of Kung Fu” and this game might be reinvented for that as well as HTS. Watch the skies.






These Ninja use a grav variation of the standard police robot for personal transport and protection, carrying a mini missile system based on the (Japanese) infantry launcher below. The infantry are close assault specialists carrying a fear inducing weapon. That gives a force of 8 quite capable of taking on a larger target. Using the robot for lift gives great mobility at the risk of reduced firepower, as the robot cannot shoot in that mode.




The basic light mini- missile is the standard Japanese munition. The launcher carries 8 chosen from:
Armour Piercing Fin Stabilised Discharging Sabot (APFSDS)
High Explosive Armour Piercing grenade round (HEAP)
Anti-personnel (AP)
Chemical Smoke Marker* (CSM)
Chemical Smoke Concealment (CSC)

Larger units add a fire and forget seeking HEAP round that reacts to the CSM*.

The infantry launcher and some other units have a signature exhaust suppressor. It's loaded like a revolver and either scrapped or recycled. Fortunately Flying Lead has a simple method for upgrading, a longer range and larger blast circle.

 The Scenery. I got this kit for £8 in “This is it” in the UK. Originally priced at £22, which is far too much. I must not buy another. I must not buy another. I must not buy another. I made yet more (period-specific) cover.








The Side

Cops. I wanted to use these vehicle based despite the enclosed nature of the scenery.

Vehicle, has crew of 2, driver and gunner. Commander and EW slots are filled by the passengers as the vehicle is designated as close support.  Vehicle colour matches the helmets,




Cop car

Points 60 Quality 3+ Combat 1
Special Rules Armored +1 (Thin), Off-Road, Personnel Carrier 6 passengers,





Railgun


Weapon
Points:23
Armor Piercing, Lethal vs. Soft Targets, Range: Long, Stable



Cops +19 for grenade launcher, plus +10 squad leader +15 leader -10 specialist no shotgu

Points 72 Quality 3+ Combat 1
Special Rules -Pistol, -Shotgun, Body Armor, Crack Shot/Marksman, Handcuffs, Personal Communication Device





Cop robot wheeled variant -3

Points 76 Quality 3+ Combat 3
Special Rules Armored +1 (Thin), Off-Road, Tracked, Vehicle
 
 

Gun buggy + MG +48

Points 78 Quality 3+ Combat 2
Special Rules Gyro Stabilization, Long Move, Off-Road, Vehicle
 
 

APC

Points 72 Quality 3+ Combat 2
Special Rules Armored +1 (Thin), Off-Road, Personnel Carrier 9 passengers, Vehicle
 
 

Scout vec

Points 68 Quality 3+ Combat 2
Special Rules Armored +1 (Thin), Off-Road, Personnel Carrier 3 passengers, Vehicle
 
 

 
The BAD guys

Dominar

Points 86 Quality 3+ Combat 1
Special Rules -Taser, Body Armor, Leader, Long Move, Personal Communication Device


 

Ninja

Points 162 Quality 3+
Combat 3
Special Rules
-Machine Pistol,-Shuriken/Small Th own Knives, Acrobat, Body Armor, Chucker,
Combat Fiend, Crack Shot/Marksman, Fear, Personal Communication Device,
Steady Under Fire, Stealth
 
 

Minder

Points 71 Quality 4+ Combat 3
Special Rules
-Shuriken/Small Thrown Knives, Combat Fiend, Fanatic, Personal Communication Device, Sprinter
 
 

Ninja rid

Points 108 Quality 3+ Combat 3
Special Rules Armored +1 (Thin), Gyro Stabilization, Long Move, Off-Road, Vehicle
 
 

Launcher

Weapon
Points:28
Grenade Combat 3, High Tech Ammo, Range: Long, Select Fire, Spread, Stable
 

Summary
Dominar 86
3 schoolgirl Bodyguards 213
4 Ninjas with ride 1,182 (Ninja, ride, launcher)
Total 1,481

Cops
2 Cars (vec, railgun, 5 passengers) 949
Car, robot + specialist + CO 304
Walker + railgun 91
Gun buggy 126
Total 1,471

 
No surprise to anyone who has looked at Tony's facebook page, he took the Dominar's force. His job was easy (or so I thought), come through the not-stargate*** head for the saucer, get the Dominar in contact with it for 2 activations then leg it. I' of course, intended to head them off at the pass.

Regular subscribers will be amazed that not only did I win the initiative (with a 3!) but managed to get a good grip on the centre of the table plus got all my cops out of the motors. You game (nearly put “play”, that will never do!) with a chap and you think you know him! Well Tony demonstrated an unusually adventurous and sneaky side. That he would use the Dominar in a very aggressive manner. Using his flying ability and excellent dice rolling his techno-ninja took the high ground and started a positive rain of grenades on my chaps. I lost my centre unit, they were first knocked down then blown up. My point-robot did a good job of absorbing hit after hit, doing some back even though out-gunned and teched.


My poor old walker took 3 successive HEAP rounds that KO'd then killed him.**** The gun buggy that had been guarding the other flank came to the centre's aid but was polished off be some fine shooting from a ninja.



 
 
 
 
The star of the show was the Dominar. He did an end-run (ignoring his leadership role) down my left flank and took on one of the cars. First he tasered the gunner, then knocked on the drivers door (what side DO they drive on in Japan?) and zapped the driver and fried the vehicles electrics. Never had that before!
 
 
 
 
 
 My gate – guard  (yellow) unit took their time getting in the action (NOW my leader rolls low!) and he ends up being chased by 2 shotgun wielding pissed off cops. (Cops are happy to proceed, but not have to walk). My surviving grenade launcher (the other suffered by having a car shunted over him. Not nice) took on the centre robot but proved a rather poor shot. My cops closed in on the ninjas, but were outgunned.


The schoolgirl guards did a rotten job, but one did get close enough to a grenade to get her hair mussed, skirt and blouse ripped, as they do.

 
I lost, superior numbers encircled! Fantastic game! We will get A Fistful of Kung Fu and redo. These cops will be back. As will the ninja. And the Dominar. We need more alien bad guys.
 


*Don't get me started on Northern Ireland. I lost friends, others lost bits without ever a thank you. A terrorist force funded by our allies and supplied by our enemies. Today we talk of taking away the passports of muslims who go abroad to fight. Yet these very terrorists sit in parliament and in power. How very different if, after serving their sentences we had removed these criminals British passports and dumped them on Ireland?


**Any resemblance to the August Personage of Dominar Rygel xvi  is, of course, purely coincidental.



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
***We had collected some cheap transforming robots from the various pound shops over the holiday, these are a good source of bits. I based these using charity game credit type cards smeared with a thick layer of no-more nails then the parts pressed in and the filler gently smoothed around it. When dry a little dark grey paint and any “overs” used to paint. These took next to no time and pennies each. My original plan was to make burnt out vehicles for the last of my planned HTS games. I may remodel or simply start afresh.

****We do the vehicle and HW combat a bit different than the book. We use the same method and results as normal shooting but scaled up. A vehicle shoots a vehicle as a person shoots a person. HEAP and grenades, plus heavy machine guns or low calibre cannon either stun (taking 2 actions to recover) or force an evade. A penetrating hit (double) will cause the vehicle to stop and damage is logically assessed (for instance this car took 2 grenades between the front wheels in close succession, so we worked on the front end was gone. An APDS round will destroy a vehicle if it beats the armour score + armour. But again we look at where it would hit – very important in an APC. Such a round hitting an engine block will crumple a vehicle, but hitting thin armour such as the troop compartment, it can go straight through with little damage.

Sorry for the lack of pictures. Ton's camera was low of juice and 'er in doors had nicked mine.

My flying stands worked, I hadn't considered stacking them before.











You never know what you'll find in a junk yard.

The saucer is an old GZG resin 28mm(!) Grey .  Originally bought for my 6mm Daleks