Miniature Neutrality

So courtesy of dakkadakka.com I stumbled across what looks to be a very promising Kickstarter skirmish game, “This Is Not A Test”. I checked out the blog and the first entry was about being “miniature neutral” – how you can use any type of miniature to play the game. Very laudable, and it got me thinking.

I designed Apocalypse: Earth with the intent of creating a fun, fast paced game which would be simple to learn but difficult to master, and to keep the associated costs down by using 1/72 scale plastic soldiers. Latterly our gaming and development group has stumbled across the medium of papercraft, which has enabled us to field a raft of vehicles built at practically no cost.

The connection? A:E does not feature prescriptive miniatures, and we positively encourage conversions and creations through the player’s own ingenuity. There is a whole planet, tearing itself apart through a bloody conflict involving many strange and unnatural technologies!

That said, being set in an alternate 1950s allows the base of WW2 tech – helpfully, the most well catered for time period of all! To give you an idea of what’s in our studio armies – the Holy Soviet Empire are represented by WW2 Red Army, with the T-48 workhorse a conversion of a T-54 papercraft, the League Of European Nations represented by WW2 Germans (Cougar MBT is a converted King Tiger papercraft). The Atlantic Alliance have received a tech level boost from the Roswell crash so I’ve used Vietnam War US infantry to represent them, but the background is flexible enough to conceivably include WW2 US, WW2 Brits, 1970s/80s/ Present day Brits, and their workhorse MBT is the M60A3 Centurion – armour enthusiasts will recognise a portmanteau of two iconic cold war tanks.

Taking things to the extreme, the Holy Soviet Empire has it’s elite, genetically modified “Strong Men” Siberian assault troops – represented in the game by Caesar fantasy Orcs, while the Atlantic Alliance elite Dreadnaught squad are US Vietnam infantry converted with greenstuff and cardboard… I look forward to seeing what more skilled modellers than me can achieve!

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Game prep and lists

So next week we’re going to be rolling out a game with some new units for the Atlantic Alliance and Holy Soviet Empire factions, some new bits of scenery and some new rules.

New rule – Point Blank: If your target is within 6cm, your unit gets a +1 To Hit bonus. We noticed it getting a little ridiculous with close range shooting last time out!

Objectives – man, we got that very wrong. This time out, we’ll be going for four objectives, each worth 40 VPs. A good rule of thumb here seems to be 1 objective for every complete 500pt block.

Crew Served Weapons – Finally cleared this up! Crew served weapons (CSWs) can operate just like normal weapons only if they have both crew. If not, it takes 2 APs to fire, 2 APs to move etc.

This time, we are organised, we have lists and points values agreed… hopefully this game should give us an idea on balance with the new units.

The Atlantic Alliance:

Command

Platoon Command Element (Lt. and Platoon Sergeant – Hero)

Line

Alfa Squad (Rifles)

Bravo Squad (Rifles)

Charlie Squad (Stinger/ TOW)

Delta Squad (LMG)

Support

Warhawk 4/9 – Rocketeer Squad

Ghost 7 – Stealth Squad

Dozer 6 – Dreadnaught Squad

Vehicles

Humvee – Minigun

Humvee – Railgun, Targeter

Humvee – Stinger/ TOW launcher

3 x M60A3 Centurion MBT

M85 Autonomous Combat Unit (Hover) – Assault Saw, Flamethrower

M85 Autonomous Combat Unit (Hover) – Stinger/ TOW launcher, submachinegun

M85 Autonomous Combat Unit (Hover) – HMG, LMG

Fire Support

MLRS Strike

Combat Air Patrol

A-10 Strike

 

The Holy Soviet Army:

Command

Platoon Headquarters (Lt. and Commissar – Hero)

Line

No.1 Squad (Rifles) – with vodka upgrade

No. 2 Squad (Rifles) – with vodka upgrade

No. 3 Squad (Rifles) – with vodka upgrade

No. 4 Squad (Heavy Support)

Support

Strong Men (Sil’nyye muzhchiny) Close Assault Squad

Lightning Storm (Ataka grozy) Attack Squad

Artillery Observation Team

Noble Sniper (Blagorodnyy Snayper)

Holy Mystic (Svyataya Misticheskaya) & Entourage – Upgrade 2, Telekinesis & Pyrogenesis

Vehicles

 

3 x T-48 MBT

BTR APC

T-48 “Elektra” with Lightning Launcher

T-48 “Inferna” with Assault Saw, Dozer Blade and Heavy Flamethrower

IS-5 “Rampager” Heavy Assault Tank

 

Fire Support

 

Tesla Storm

Phosgene Strike

Counterbattery Fire

 

This has worked out to 2130 points a side with a few upgrades etc taken – should be a hell of a game! Will the massed Alliance anti-tank fire actually hit anything? Will we remember to use our smoke launchers? Will the combat robots behave as planned? Will either side’s crack sniper manage to achieve anything before accidentally getting blown up by a mortar shell or crushed by a telekinetically hurled tank hull? Stay tuned, folks!