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Mercenary Times part II
Article by:Szczurek Lutek
McGyver would be proud !
Neutral Nations Organization sadly lacks the access to the newest military technology, and must relay on black market and captured units for new weaponry. From time to time they menage to get their hands on some top notch items, but usually mercenary forces use old equipment or wrecks salvaged from battlefield. Merc repair crews menage great feats of mechanic and invention, to transform the scrap they find into fully dedicated combat machines of war. The effects of these actions can sometimes be astonishing !
From the medium M3 walker chassis and Axis Prinzluther turret Decimater was born. Costing 11 army points, quick (movement stats of 3/5) anti air and artillery spotter unit. Armor rating of 4 and 6 health points guarantee solid protection from one shot Panzerfaust destruction or other light AT fire. Apart from the artillery support role Decimater is quite good at eliminating enemy infantry and lightly armored vehicles thanks to it’s 2 machineguns and formidable autogun.
PRO TIP – If the base of your army is formed by artillery units, Decimater will survive much longer on the board than the usual 2-man observer teams. So it might be beneficial to take one or two of these with you to war. Especially if there is some cover available from artillery smoke.
Twin brother of Decimater is Shredder – walker also based on the M3 chasis, but this time armed with the round turret from German Sturmprinz. This more expensive combination (13 points) is ideal for armies that require additional AA support. Similar to Decimater, 6 HP and armor 4 protect it from „one kill shots“. Advanced Reactive Fire ability makes it a great repellent for enemy infantry and air units. Lack of bonus mechinegun is made up by more dedicated AA firepower of this machine.
PRO TIP – Shredder especially shines in pure mercenary, bloc army that expects enemy air forces. Best mercenary AA weapon is auto gun of Gregor the Deserter, but if the enemy uses more than one plane or chopper, even the armored gorilla will need some support.
MERCENARY RAILGUN TEAM
Hi tech weapons rarely get into hands of the mercenary dogs of war. But somehow the great baby of the IJN forces did – portable railgun. Supported by VK tech this light electromagnetic cannon is a true Azrael sword – unlimited range, no cover or infantry saves, additional critical hits dice. Don’t expect to make these rolls too often – railgun rounds go trough light walkers like a hot knife trough butter. Also unusual for a support unit the team is very fast – 3/4! Drawbacks? Expensive (but fully understandable) cost of 9 points. Also it won’t survive long under enemy fire – 2 health points and first armor class make it a true glass canon.
PRO TIP – it’s quite certain that as soon as the enemy sees this unit, he will put it on top of his target list. You can use it – sometimes sacrificing expensive, theoretically important unit is a great ruse. And gets enemy units exactly where you wanted them to be.
MERCENARY SUPPORT WEAPON TEAMS
New players might think that battles are won only by attack. But experienced commanders, know that most victories is won by a well placed and thought defense line. Properly positioned and secured heavy weapon can hold position from an overwhelming enemy force for a long time. Mercenary support units are ideal for this type of combat. Most often they are met in 2 configurations. AT squad is armed with recoilless gun, allowing experienced crew to quickly eliminate light and medium enemy vehicles. And if things gets hot in close quarters 4 Thompson submachine guns will be more than useful at stopping enemy infantry. Price – 6 points, a bargain!
If you expect enemy to focus on infantry units, the Maxim heavy machinegun and it’s crew are your fix. Maybe it looks old, maybe it brings back memories from the previous war. But bones of the ones that laughed at it can be found all around the current war battlefields. 9 dice to light infantry and 8 range plus advanced reactive fire? Pay only 5 points and show him the hell of trench war! Drawbacks? Both support teams are quite slow (movement of 1/3). But they not aim at taking over terrain, their task is to take cover and wait for the enemy to show up.
PRO TIP – many commanders concentrate on the AT abilities of the recoilless guns, forgetting that x/1 to infantry in range 8 is also quite a feat. Similar, many generals forget that in later phases of battle, when range is less important – mercenary Thompsons can easily shred enemy units much better than the main weapon. Especially with the range of 4 fields!
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