01 August 2011

REBS - Robot-Enhanced Battle Squads

A popular discussion topic at TMP and Dropship Horizon recently has been about "incomplete" 15mm figure lines. My argument basically consists of "this is sci-fi; I don't need armies organized like WWII infantry platoons." When Rebel Minis released their Earthforce Droptroopers, it seemed this would be another infantry force without readily-available heavy weapon troopers. So here is my shot at creating a viable army with them using models available today.

Rebel Minis released the CAT 'bots around the same time as the Droptroopers. These were instantly praised for their design. After looking at them and thinking about their possible roles on the battlefield, I had an epiphany - why not put them together with the Droptroopers?

So I present to you my latest army - the REBS: Robot-Enhanced Battle Squads.

I haven't completely written out the fluff yet, but here's the gist of it. At the time of the Osmium Wars, a human army grew tired of soldiers who were "capable with all weapons, but masters of none." While heavy guns, sniper rifles, and missile launchers always have their role on the battlefield, the time spent training on them was detracting from their expertise with their basic battle rifles. Once the CA-T5 AI processor was tested and proven, it was decided that a new type of army unit would be fielded.

Ten-man multi-weapon squads, the standard for over a century, would now be replaced by squads of six riflemen and two support 'bots. Each 'bot was armed with a multi-ammo, multi-role heavy gun that could be used for rapid suppressive fire or for long-range pinpoint shots. One 'bot would also carry a rack of armor-disintegrating missiles, while the other would carry close-support equipment like blast shields or flamethrowers. The 'bots are programmed to respond only to verbal or input commands from their squad members. If their squad is killed, they are programmed to proceed directly to the nearest friendly vehicle or squad for further instructions.

I have my first REBS completed. The 'bots were painted with the exact same technique as the Droptroopers - I'm willing to bed the next two squads won't take more than a few hours to complete. Then I need to make a decision - what will support this force? Normally I choose APCs and then some type of support tanks when I make an army like this. But just to do something different this time, I am entertaining two possibilities:

Option 1) Combine the APC and support tank into a single vehicle. A larger APC with a tank turret, like the Claymore or Lancer from Old Crow, would fit this category well:

Option 2) Play up the "drop troopers" theme by giving each squad a GZG Fan Van VTOL.
Each "Fan Van" would be supported by some type of flying drone, either a GZG UAV Hoverdrone or an RAFM ASD mk II:

So which option should I choose? Option 2 would give me a pretty unique sci-fi army. But I'm not sure how well three VTOLs with flying support drones would work on a 2' x 2' table, and it's a bit more than I'd really like to spend on this army. But there it is - a complete and playable army using only basic riflemen infantry models.



  1. I love the big stuff with humans, it looks great on the table, and it is very fun to collect and to play.
    Nicw Work!

  2. Would the fan van be big enough to carry the droids as well as the squad?

    Doesn't the claymore come in a grav version? If it's bigger than the van, it might be better suited for carrying the entire squad.

    Critical Mass Games have just released some interesting gun drones for the Prasentia which could be of use, too.

  3. Awesome post! Love the minis and the starter fluff! I agree, the great thing about 15mm sci fi and the lack of 'complete' lines...simply the versatility to combile lines from multiple manufacturers makes that idea an irrelavent and impossible outcome, there are simply endless possibilities unlike many other scales.

  4. I would go option 2 love that drone to.

  5. The FanVan would be tight for six men and two of those 'Bots, but not impossible. I guess you'd have to assume they could fold themselves down for transport and storage.

    The Lancer comes in tracked/hover/grav versions. It is a nice and big vehicle. I may split the difference - give them Lancer armed transports but still make use of aerial drones.

  6. You should go for Option 1 because I am going to steal your idea for Option 2. ;-)