Saturday, 27 June 2015

[6mm Science Fiction] Imperial Marine Battalion Combat Team Part 2

As thoughts of TO&Es danced in my head, I turned my attention to how the vehicles and infantry I had painted could be "statted up" under my rules-of-choice, Dirtside II from Ground Zero Games. I realized that I could do it by hand, make my own Excel spreadsheet, or stand upon the shoulders of Giants and use this vehicle builder that Javelin98 has on his Dirtside II page - I decided to use Javelin's hard work as the output looks really nice.

For the Imperial Marine Combat Team, the Infantry consist of three Power Armoured (PA) platoons of four squads each, with an attached APSW (Anti-Personal Support Weapon - VRF Gauss Guns in Traveller terms) squad and GMS/L (Light Missile System - TacMissiles in Traveller) squad. A grav APC is assigned per squad.Also attached is a platoon of three Main Battle Grav Tanks and a Scout Platoon of four Medium Grav Tanks. The Headquarters Platoon consists of a Command APC, two MBTs, an ADS (air defence) Grav APC, and a Forward Observer team in a Grav APC. Artillery support is provided by the ships of the Marine Expeditionary Force, coordinated by the Forward Observer team.

The Marine Combat Team is intended to be a fast, hard-hitting, assault force, punching holes that the following Unified Army units exploit.

The Amalsulii Medium Grav Tank is the standard Imperial Grav Tank assigned to Reconnaissance Battalions with both the Imperial Marines and the Imperial Unified Army. An average sized vehicle, the Amalsulii's signature is reduced by advanced form and electronic countermeasures. Primary armament is a Direct Fire Fusion Gun and a co-axial heavy missile launcher.

The Ashiruggurlii Main Battle Tank is the standard Imperial Battle tank assigned to Imperial Marine and Imperial Unified Army armoured battalions. Mounting twin Direct Fire Fusion Guns in the turret, as well as a superior Point Defence System, the Ashiruggurlii is a hard-hitting, well protected, assault platform.

Currently only available in limited numbers, the Ashirugurlii-D is a rearmed Ashirugurlii mounting a single, long range, Direct Fire Fusion Gun. Current Imperial Defence budgets plan to systematically upgrade all Marine and Imperial Unified Army Ashirugurlii Main Battle Tank units to Ashirugurlii-D's over the next 10 years.

The Shrengor family of Grav vehicles are built around the same basic hull type with mission specific equipment loadouts added as required. The Shrengor Grav APC is configured to provide battle field transport for Battledress (PA) Infantry squads and, as such, is heavily used by the Imperial Marines.

The Shrengor-A Grav ADS is armed with a radar/LIDAR guided twin VRF Gauss Gun mount to provide Air Defence support for both Marine and Imperial Unified Army units.

The Shrengor-C Command Vehicle provides a heavily armoured and well armed mobile command center for Battalion Combat Teams on deployment.

Assuming I have done this correctly, then it appears that an Imperial Marine Battalion Combat Team costs about 11,600 points. I notice that I originally only had three vehicles assigned to the MBT platoon. Having painted up a couple more tanks, I now have the option of adding another unit to the platoon for another 398 points - so about 12,000 points all up.

With the Marines pointed up, I am quite curious to see how much a similar sized Imperial Unified Army BCT and a Geithurian Republic/Outworld Alliance cost, points-wise.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

[6mm Science Fiction] Imperial Marine Battalion Combat Team Part 1

Followers of my Modeling and Painting log will be aware that I have been steadily plugging away at my 6mm Science Fiction forces. The goal is for me to be able to field ground forces for my Traveller campaign.

Imperial Heavy and Medium Tanks and Imperial Marine Company
I have pretty much completed my Imperial Marine and Imperial Army forces as per a rough TO&E I had worked up for the Imperial Marines and the Imperial Unified Army, have made progress on the Geithurian Republic and Huiha Esoyatre forces, and have made a start on the Kalar-Wi, Vargr and the Ssra'Ka Aissr - a  Reptilian race.

And, after a lot of consideration, I'm looking at using Dirtside II from Ground Zero Games for my basic army building and for combat rules, with bits of 5150 Battalion Commander from Two Hour Wargames for set-up and solo play.

The basic premise I have been following is that all forces used off-world in my Traveller campaign range from Tech Level 12 to Tech Level 15. All vehicles are Grav vehicles and troops are equipped with either Combat Armour (from Tech Level 12) or Battledress (Tech Level 15) - what Dirtside II classifies as Powered Armour - though TL15 troops can also have Combat Armour.
Imperial Marine Company (red Body Armour) with
Imperial Unified Army Company in the background
Imperial armoured units favour energy weapons (plasma and fusion guns in Traveller and Direct Fire Fusion Guns - DFFG - in Dirtside II). These design limitations posed a bit of a challenge under the Dirtside II vehicle design rules and resulted in a few compromises that I hadn't anticipated. To reflect their access to higher technology, I designed my Imperial vehicles with two Levels of Stealth, which makes them harder to hit in combat.

Having painted up a reasonable number of infantry stands, tanks and other vehicles, I began to get a feel for how a Battalion Combat Team might look on the table, and with some vehicles and basic units constructed as per the rules, I then began to play around with organisations to work out what "sized" game I might get from the units I had created. I just could not envision what sort of bang I was going to get for my buck.
Imperial Unified Army Company and Armour
I wanted to create an optimum TO&E to show what I might expect, points-wise, from a unit at full strength. Now, I know that some folks loath army points, believing that scenarios and TO&Es should drive game play. Having never played Dirtside II, I had no real idea of the relationship between various sized units and the technology that they could deploy. If a Marine unit, for example, is so effective, it might be prudent to deploy a company rather than a battalion, as the other companies of the battalion might be deployed usefully elsewhere. Points wise, the effectiveness of the Marine Company should be reflected in its points cost - you might only be able to afford the points for a company, but that company might be able to successfully stand off a battalion of "lesser troops" in a straight up fight.

After some preliminary tinkering, I created an Imperial Heavy and Medium Tank, a Command APC, a general purpose APC and an ADC (Air Defence) vehicle for my Marine Force.

Next: Marine Vehicles and TO&Es