When I began thinking about my little Red Mars Rebellion project last year I started combing the internet for miniatures that I thought would fit the theme, and that I also found appealing from an aesthetic standpoint. For the Earth Sectorial Army (more on that later) I ended up choosing the new UNSC sculpts from GZG. They have a hi-tech yet realistic look that I like. Their transportation of choice is hovercraft so when GZG re-opened their webstore and released some new UNSC infantry packs and a new medium hovertank I got my credit card out! They arrived last week and I thought I'd share my thoughts on them with you all! I might have a slight bias since I'm currently helping Jon in getting some more pictures of painted miniatures into his webstore, but I think I should be able to keep my head straight nonetheless. Hehe!
First off the HAMR team. These two are my favourites of the new releases! Especially the sniper. The Heavy Anti-Materiel Rifle is huge and I would imagine poses a threat to anything smaller than a tank! He has a spotter beside him and it's a nice touch that the spotter's assault rifle is lying next to him on the ground (a recurrant theme in several of these new minis). They match each other very well and certainly has that patient-sniper-team-of-death look to them. The sculpts are good, with enough details to make the minis interesting yet not too "greebly" and needing only minimal cleaning up. Generally they hold up well to what we've come to expect from GZG's newer releases. I woldn't have minded a little more detailing on the rifle, but that's a really minor nitpick. As you probably have understood by now I'm quite taken by these guys. They didn't look all that when I saw pictures of them, but now that I have them in front of me I'm eager to get playing with them! I've been thinking about a few different scenario possibilities centered around these snipers.
Then we have the GMS team. They are both lying prone, using the same basic positions as the HAMR team, with the loader seemingly prepping the next missile. They certainly look good, although not quite as eye-catching or suggestive as the sniper team. Given a choice I would have prefered a kneeling GMS operator but that is very much a question of personal taste. In my view prone models on the tabletop can look a bit... well, flat. However this is much more appearant when you have single models, and with teams like this it's much less of an issue for me. In fact, having two models allows me to experiment with a larger base size, and I like that! It's almost like building a mini diorama. I've decided to base my 15mm guys individually except for fire teams like these that go on 30mm bases.
The Command and Comms pack holds one standing comms operator, a kneeling soldier checking his iPad, a kneeling soldier looking through his binoculars (spotting Imperial walkers mayhap?) and finally a kneeling officer pointing his grunts forward. Again, the same sculpting quality as before. However, something that has me a bit confused are the rifles of the comms operator and officer Pointy. They look like the regular assault rifles but a fair bit smaller, especially the barrel. At first I thought something had went awry in casting and the barrel hadn't formed correctly, but the more I look at them the more I think they're supposed to be some kind of smaller carbine or submachine gun versions. Apart from that little mystery I quite like them, especially for their versatility! I actually bought two packs so I can sprinkle them around the platoon as different kinds of specialists. I know for sure that one will act as a spotter for my MicroPanzer Seekers (aka Warbots) and I think I might switch the prone spotter of one of the GMS teams for a kneeling one from this pack.
Finally the the Wittman tank! It is based on the same hull as the Rommel so no news there. It's pretty flat and sleek but it's also slightly on the small side and I believe you would find it rather cramped inside (come to think of it, I'd love to see some kind of larger, more massive hover MBT from GZG!). The new turret is nice and crisp with a good amount of detailing. It comes with a choice of three barrels and has a side mounted missile launcher as well. You get a crew member too, although the one I got was different from the one pictured in the store so I guess that might be random. I got a guy with a berret and binoculars instead of the one with fully enclosed helmet. Overall I think I prefer the Wittman to the other medium hovertank available from GZG and I will probably get one or two more later on.
Definitely some good stuff here! I'm always glad to see more UNSC and since I'm a recent hovertank convert as well that was an added bonus. I got some APC's in the same order and I'm currently busy getting it all painted.
Here are my two sniper centered scenario ideas I mentioned earlier:
Scenario 1: A sniper team is in support of a small squad or two of infantry as they conduct some kind of a search and retrieve mission in a semi-hostile urban area. The snipers would be set up in hidden positions in the hills on the outskirts of town. The defender would have to try and trace where the shots are coming from to be able to attack the snipers which in turn would leave the squads in town unsupported and (hopefully) ripe for the picking.
Scenario 2: Sniper teams in a rear-guard action against a larger, but mostly infantry based, force. The snipers would be defending some kind of bottleneck like a bridge or a small ravine. In this kind of scenario things like suppresion and how to use it would become important as it's all about stalling the enemy. Perhaps the defender would win if he killed enough troops (demoralizing the enemy), or simply held out a set number of turns (buying time for the main force to re-position).
That's all from me for now. More later!