Friday, 17 June 2011

GZG's new UNSC and hovertank

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.
I'll put them at the end of the post for your perusal.

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!



  1. Funny I'm also working on my USNC miniatures and like you I also don't like much the prone pose on 15mm, as such Im converting my snipers and rpgs from the basic rifles teams.
    Even if GZG new USNC look great I would have preferred if the rpg and sniper fella was kneeled or sanding up, it looks much more imposing in 15mm and you also can keep the bases in all the same sizes since you cant just base a prone position with a regular 1 euro cent coin.

    The command pack is perfect for a small recon squad and I will get them in the future for sure.

  2. Thanks for the review. I'm not a huge fan of hover vehicles myself - I reckon they look too small and fragile- but I'm a big fan of GZG and like to here other opinions on their new releases.

  3. Glad you like the review!

    @Navarro While I agree with you in general having a two man team like this does make a difference. You might want to give them a go when you see them in person. Not to mention that the HAMR is to big to fire if not prone. ;-)

    @Brian I didn't use to like the whole hovertank concept, but for some reason I've grown to be a great fan of the idea!
    I'd love to see larger versions, but the general design of them I find fairly appealing. Especially the APC.

  4. Thx. for sharing Martin. I've been interested in 15 mm since a few month and seem to be going through the same process you describe. Think of environment and then add units to fit. For 1 infantry force my choice was GZG NI. Units and variations are roughly the same as you describe. On the sniper I'm thinking allowing them some small armor ammo capability in order to be a threat to light battle walkers/armored cars etc. i.e. threatening the drive inside.

  5. With reguards to the size of the new GZG hover tank's i would treat them in game more like the british Scorpion or Scimitar CVRT (Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance Tracked)that could exolain their smaller size. zac

  6. Thanks for the review, Martin, glad you like the new releases. I've been kept so busy recently that I haven't had the chance to pop up on here and say congrats to you and the crew on looking after DH from here on - keep up the excellent work!
    Re your question about the weapons on the command/comms figures - yes, your guess was right, they are supposed to be cut-down "SMG" versions of the standard infantry rifles. :-)

    The HAMR is indeed supposed to be effective against light AFVs - I always liked the inter-war concept of anti-tank rifles, even though the real thing was fairly cr*p (well, they were good enough when designed, but then the tank armour race outstripped them very quickly). Still, I find the idea of a BFOG that will punch through light armour to be very satisfying, and I think they could well find a role as an anti-Power-Armour weapon.....