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Sunday, 28 September 2014

15mm Mars Rebellion Update

Sunday, September 28, 2014

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Alright, it's been about six months since I posted anything 15mm related so let's check in with the my Mars Rebellion setting to see what's going on.

I'm having a bit of a revival thanks to two things. First is the excellent new NSL power armour troopers from GZG. While I like the design NAC power armour that came out last year, they are a bit too slim for my taste and when I saw the new NSL sculpts I knew those were exactly what the doctor ordered! Big and quite chunky (like the regular NSL troops) and with the head integrated with the torso, a design I think just feels much more realistic when you basically want a walking tank. They come with a nice variety of weapons and I think I might group mine in squads of four with one leader, one rifle, one missile launcher and either one plasma or heavy SAW. Should make for a powerful and adaptable unit! The way I envisage them you might have one or maybe two of these squads against a platoon or more of regular infantry! I want to play up the Starship Trooper angle. :)

EarthSec troops escorting some geologists during an MLA raid.

The other reason for the revival was that I got wind of Nordic Weasel Games' new ruleset No End in Sight (again, thanks Dropship Horizon!). While it is written to cover WW2 to "ultra modern" battles, which means it's missing the proper sci-fi elements like powered armour, the basic system seemed interesting enough to me to get it anyway.

It's aimed at the platoon level or lower, it's D6 based and detailed without being overbearing. There's reaction fire and pinning, with focus on disabling your opponent in some way rather than killing him. Point blank firefights (Assaults) are more deadly, and can be needed to really shift enemies from a position. Leadership is very important and as you play you keep using your leaders to give orders, allowing him to roll a die and give orders to that many troops. Giving orders accumulate Stress and sooner or later your leader will become exhausted and unusable until the next turn. It's a fairly fluid integrated turn system that I really find interesting. I'll write more about the game when I actually try it out later. Oh, and please check out the Dropship Horizon link for a better overview.

There will be a sci-fi version (possibly called No Stars in Sight) of the rules released at a later date which should include all the neat stuff that I want in my games, including some kind of EW/hacking which is pretty cool! When I talked a little bit to Ivan on G+ he mentioned that he was hoping to have it out within two or three months, but that is of course only a rough estimate.

Now as I've collected a number of different forces I've started re-evaluating how these fit into my little Mars Rebellion narrative. I recently painted the NSL similar to the EDF troops from Red Faction, but the UNSC I've painted already fill the role of strong armed Earth army so what should I do with the NSL? Well, I think I might model the whole situation a bit on how it's presented in Jovian Chronicles, where Mars is actually split in two. On one side (larger by area) we have the original Earth colonies where EarthSec (GZG UNSC), which is a proper military force protecting the interests of Earth and her colonies, keep things under control. On the other side would be the the Martian Union that would consist of a number of free settlers and private interests and would be protected by the UDF - the Union Defence Force (GZG NSL). I imagine these two main powers would be roughly equally matched in terms of technology and although Earth has in theory a lot more resources to pull from the Union has better contacts with the Nomads in the belt and a better understanding of Mars as an environment.

Then there are third party interests like the Mars insurgents, the MLA - Mars Liberation Army (Rebel Minis Sahadeen), that is classed as a terrorist organization by Earth but enjoys a more neutral status among the citizens of the Martian Union. While there's nothing official it is more or less understood that the MLA are supported by the Martian Union, bringing them weapons and supplies. Then there are the crusties... these don't really fit in all that neatly as I had planned for a completely human centric story. But! The models are so cool and brings in so many opportunities so I'll simply have to throw them in there in a kind of "alternate universe" version of the setting. I really like the District 9 way of presenting them so will simply rip that off entirely and have them as refugees that no one really knows what to do with. The fun thing about them is that they make for great jokers that can fill mostly any role, be it low level slum revolutionaries or a small core of well armed and equipped raiders!

So with the factions sorted let's have a look at the models...

Incomplete EarthSec platoon. Missing a bunch of regular infantry.
My EarthSec platoon is pretty much done. I need to paint some more basic infantry and I'm sure I'll add fun stuff for it in the future as well. But I have two tanks, three APCs, power armoured infantry, a couple of mechs and specialist infantry all done. What I really want to add though is a hover jeep or two as they could do with some light vehicles. And there are of course a bunch of new-ish hovertank variants from Jon that I'm not sure I can resist for all that long. :)


My first test squad of UDF infantry. More to come.
I've really only started painting the UDF and although I have a bunch lined up, primed and ready, I need to fill out their ranks with a little more infantry and, especially, a tank or two and some APCs. After some browsing of different manufacturers' sites and careful consideration I've decided to go with the South African wheeled vehicles from Brigade Models (seen here at right). The new 3D sculpted pieces really look great and the wheeled approach makes them feel different both from the hovering EarthSec and from regular terrestrial armies of today. I haven't quite decided yet if I should go with the Wildebeest APC that is available now, or wait for the slightly smaller Buffel that is in the works. Bigger isn't necessarily better, but I do like those six wheels! Oh, and then there's of course the powered armour I mentioned above and a few fanbikes on their way to me now.


The big mech is missing, but apart from that these are all the MLA painted. Eek!
The MLA at the moment consists of three mechs and five or six infantry which isn't really all that intimidating (although the construction mech is big!). As my revolutionist faction have been split up into two, these guys will get the more improvised equipment and vehicles (as opposed to the UDF) so I'm thinking technicals and repurposed walkers. I have a feeling that the colonial rovers and civilian mechas from GZG will be common in their force. Perhaps also armoured cars or a captured tank. But mostly infantry with RPGs.


Crusty test paint.
Finally we have the crusties and they are so far the least painted force yet. I do seem to recall that the guy above did get four or five friends painted as well, but the rest are only primed thus far. Again, as a joker faction anything goes pretty much. I'll start with some infantry and civvies and then add some heavy weapons and crusty walkers. Not sure about vehicles in general, perhaps either super hi-tech grav vehicles or something like the four legged crab walker from GZG. I haven't decided yet.


Apart from the models there's the question of terrain of course. As some of you might know I have a Zuzzy mat that I got years ago, a small GZG shanty town and some other bits and pieces that would be more than enough to make a decent battlefield. The only thing that's missing is paint, which I have now ordered as well. Hopefully I'll have a nice red piece of Mars in my living room before christmas.

Oh, and to round out this Mars themed article: it seems like we might finally get a tv-series made from Kim Stanley Robinsons Mars trilogy. It's being made by Spike TV (?!!) which doens't really make me confident, but then there's a co-producer from Game of Thrones who's holding in it and Robinson will be there as a consultant, so who knows.

That's it for now!

12 kommentarer :

  1. Great looking models. I have some of those to paint for a friend and I like what you've done.

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    1. Thanks! Painting 15mm really is a joy as they're small enough to make it quick yet detailed enough to make them still interesting. :)

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  2. Not sure if it's of any use but I have a Red Planet battlefield mat that you cna freely download and print, either on a large scale plotter [should you have access to one or find a high street printers that does large format printing] or through individual A4 tiles and piece it back together on MDf [or other hard surface]. The link is here: http://40kaddict.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/battlefield-mars.html

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    1. Hey Dave! I should have figured you had a neat solution considering your red planet nids. Since I have a Zuzzy mat ready I'm going with that, but it's only 3'x3' so if I want bigger I might print one instead. Especially as I have a friend with a plotter at work...

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  3. A nice take on Mars and the troops and vehicles look great so far, looking forward to seeing how this turns out!

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    1. It really feels silly as I've had all the different bits lying around for years but unassembled and unpainted have meant unplayed. It's going to be a nice feeling finally getting it all together.

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  4. Beautiful stuff, it's going to look amazing all tied together on the dusty red battlefield !

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    1. Spacejacker Zero, now without sugar! ;)
      No one is looking forward to pulling it all together as much as I am. Haha! And speaking of dusty, I think I might get some of those Flames of War dust cloud markers to really hammer it home: http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=2881

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  5. WoW- this is pretty inspiring stuff. I love your EarthSec forces in particular, and your photoshopping really set them off beautifully!

    I have a box fuelled with 15mm SF stuff needing some love, maybe this is the impetus I need :-D

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    1. Thanks Paul! My 15mm painting goes in waves but since it's usually pretty quick to paint when I actually get started I tend to get a lot done. Hop to it!

      Oh, and there's actually no photoshop involved, just plain old paper print outs of photos taken by the Mars rovers. :)

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    2. Have you seen the new(ish) GZG Moongrunts range? Their hard suited infantry and new moon buggies are very cool and would fit into your project beautifully!

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    3. Haha! That's nice of you to check in on my little project almost two years later, to the day! :D

      But yeah, I saw those on TMP and immediately felt the cravings! I've long hade the idea to create a large fleet of civilian vehicles for my board. It should be quite ramshackle with all kinds of different models and designs with some new sleek ones and older ones that have been patched and re-patched.

      The moongrunt stuff would fit perfectly! I could even see using the entire range as a kind of "historical" take on my little setting - using them as actual military vehicles and play through the first colonist wars, way before there was power armour and mecha in the mix.

      Thanks for keeping me in mind! :)

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