17 May 2014

Galactic Battalion - A 15mm not-Star Wars Imperial Army

Just like Brigade Models PacFed tanks were yelling not-Star Wars Trade Federation to me, Critical Mass Games Arc Fleet Walkers are begging me to be deployed as not-AT-STs... Although the Extended Universe is bursting with troops and vehicles for this faction, for me , at its core, the imperial army boils down to a couple of things:

Picture from Wookiepedia.
  • Stromtroopers: geneticaly engineered uniformly white armor clad elite troopers
  • Officers: armoured and armed with just pistols, wearing uniforms in a variety of colours but all of them with WW2-Wermacht-style caps.
  • AT-ST: grey towering biped "light tanks"
  • AT-AT: matching, even bigger 4-legged "APC"
  • Scouts: lighter version of the Stormtroopers armour and insanely fast hovering bikes
As I've stated before, I actually prefer proxy armies to canon ones for the freedom to diverge from canon and to mix and match licences they provide (not to mention the ease of picking a bunch of existing miniatures and calling them a not-XYZ army compared to the pain of comparing, selecting, converting and sometimes downright sculpting from scratch miniatures for the official faction).

So starting with the walkers that inspires this article, let's make up a TO&E for this Galactic Legion of ours...

"Tanks":
Critical Mass Games ARC Fleet walkers are available in two variants, a Scout Combat one armed with just a chin gun (minigun, twin miniguns or twin laser and single missile) and pintle-mounted weapon and a Combat Support one further equipped with two shoulder (although the model as no arm) weapons selected among several options (gun, missiles and gun-missile combination). There is also a couple of "advanced" variants coming out soon, but they look too much like actual anthropomorphic mechs with arms for my purposes. Although the scout variant is closer in silhouette to the canon model, and the shoulder weapons of the support version much bulkier than the AS-ST weapons, I'll go with the later: to me they're closer to the spirit of the original, they fit better the "light armour" niche I want them to fill, and the empty hardpoints on the scout model look a bit too much like something is missing... So that's a platoon of walkers armed with a single chin minigun for AP purposes, a quad pack of AT missile on the right shoulder and a autogun on the left one.

Picture from the manufacturer website.
APCs:
The ARC Fleet range doesn't have anything like a huge quad walker, nor am I aware of any 15mm that would fit the bill closely. But if we relax that single requirement, the ARC Fleet APC with its bulky squat shape, grey paint scheme and similarity to the walkers here-above makes a good enoug proxy. 
 
Picture from the manufacturer website.
Artillery:
The ARC Fleet comes with a VLS variant to its APC. Doesn't match anything SW, but does (obviously) match our AT-AT proxy and fill a otherwise empty battlefield role.

:
Same thing as for the artillery, the ARC Fleet as a C² variant (currently OOP) to its APC.

Infantry:
Several options here, beside the actual 15mm Stormtroopers briefly produced by Khurasan a while ago. With the right paint job, pretty much any kind of body armoured range would do... But I want something a bit more exotic and/or sinister! I've always wondered what to do with Khurasan Control Forces. Jon describe them as "transhuman warriors bred with a mixture of human DNA and something far, far more sinister*" Their helmet isn't just armour but are "forever bolted [...] (and mount) chemical mood dampeners keeping them under control"... Sounds like the perfect shock enforcers for your favourite evil empire. They come in 7 riflething poses, 2 SAW poses, 1 leader pose, 1 drone controller pose, 1 light mortar shell carrying pose, 1 light mortar observer pose, 1 heavy mortar observer (part of the Control Bataillon weapons kit for Mako Tractor) and 2 crew halve poses. I'm thinking a couple of rifle squads with their SAWs, a platoon HQ element (leader, drone controller used as "RTO" and regular riflething used as platoon sergeant or bodyguard), a couple of heavy weapon crews (drone controller and mortar observer), a couple of FO teams (mortar observer and kneeling riflething) and half crews on some vehicles to link the two miniature ranges together. Not enough for a company or even a regular sized platoon, but I envision them ultra-tech and elite so my rule of a thumb says I need just four fireteams for a force matching my other armies!

Picture from the manufacturer website.
Support Weapons:
The Control Bataillon come with a mortar model, but I'd like something different... The ARC Fleet has a nice Laser Defense Platform. With the drone operator and mortar observer they'll make a another great link between between both range, further tying this force together!
 
Picture from the manufacturer website.
Scouts:
Ideally, I'd like Khurusan Control Batallion guys riding CMG Grav Bikes (available as single seater, double seater and missile launcher variants)... That's however, beyond my capabilities at this point. So I'll either ask someone to do it for me (either replacing the entire rider or more reasonably doing a "simple" head swap), or use the bikes as they come and rely on the paint job to tie them in.

Picture from the manufacturer website.
Officer:
Given the size of this force, one is plenty... And Khurasan Overlord Jellina Jo-Li (not too found of the name though, that pun is a bit too much) is another of those minis I just had to buy without being quite sure what to do with her... I'll probably give her a Wermacht-style grey uniform instead of the black one for a slightly less over-the-top-evil look!

Picture from the manufacturer website.
* For the record, I'm not sure about what Jon has in mind but to me that "something far, far more sininister" is probably going to be not-Alien Xenomorph genetic material...

12 comments:

  1. I always thought the Control Forces had more of the look of the Emperor's Sardaukar from Lynch's version of Dune.

    Did you consider GZG's New Israelis?

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    Replies
    1. I think Jon has something else in store for Sardaukar: http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=329103 But you're right, his Control Bataillon looks more like Dune than Star Wars... I'm not above cherry picking in different licences though ;)

      I love GZG NI, but they look more Halo than SW or anything to me... They'll eventually (maybe, one day) make the core of my Terran Marine Corp!

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  2. Hi TP Have you looked at Highland studios "minions"?

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    1. Nice, didn't knew about Highlander Studios! But their minions are too close to the real deal for my tastes: for me it's an exercise at suggesting the inspiration without using anything actualy part of the licence...

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    2. Oh OK, well the control battalion certainly have that evil empire feel.

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  3. Back to GZG - have you checked out the American Infantry from the Tomorrow's War range? Definite Storm Trooper material I think.

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    1. Yes indeed, they do, don't they?

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  4. you've been liebstered
    http://stazmatt.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/liebster-come-at-me.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks... Give me some time to think about it and I'll spread the love too!

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  5. I can't see no kickstarter pedal on the grav-bikes. Pity.

    ReplyDelete