Impressions: Spectre’s November Releases

We’re almost done with the survey – just under 10 slots left before I get to sit down and analyse the results. The form is really short, doesn’t need a login and can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2FXWLKF.

In my article on unreleased models written back in October, a big chunk was taken up with three previews spelling out “WHO DARES WINS”.  Well November saw those figures arrive, bringing the latest version of members of the UK’s Special Forces Community to the tabletop.

The big thing about this release is that all the core infantry are sold in the squad packs with any additional support in single figure packs. I think this system works well – it does mean you can’t buy individual figures for conversion work but it prevents you being unable to complete a squad because one of the three pack isn’t available. It also makes buying a starter easier – you can just point at a squad box or two and say “get that”.

SAS Rural Ops

We start with the new SAS Operators ready for an operation in the field. Equipped with body armour, assault packs and sidearms, the team has a good mix of guns ready for any engagements encountered on patrol. Five guys with L119A2 SFW carbines (complete with suppressors, lasers and optics) and a LMG give you your ranged firepower while the team also includes a UGL and a light anti-tank weapon meaning you have a wide selection of tools.

I think that this set shows off the best circumstances for using the squad pack system – a single box that gives you a squad that’s ready to go and get on the table as a pretty reasonable force. The figures are also great showing a lot of detail on each figure.

As an additional option, Spectre are also selling a Marksman to go with the rest of the Rural Ops squad. He is armed with a scoped 417, the perfect DMR to help out the rest of the squad. I particularly like the fact he is sculpted wearing an old style SAS smock to give him some variety. Unfortunately it seems like my DPM job is a bit too similar to my multicam so it can be hard to spot.

SAS Counter Terrorism Assault

 

While the Rural Squad are great for most ops, sometimes you need some guys to take down some doors. The Counter Terrorism Assault Squad is basically the modernised version of the classic black kit. They are wearing Crye gear but most importantly have donned respirators – perfect for defeating CS gas or when you need to assault a villain with a container of pathogen. In terms of gear, they are all armed with suppressed carbines (again with red dots and lasers) and sidearms. There is some nice variation with the tactical gear, with different troopers carrying different arrangements of pouches

One comment about this set is that it would have been nicer to see a figure in this style with some specialised gear such as a breaching shotgun or other device for close quarters combat – as it stands the set is all carbines which doesn’t give you the same options as the Rural Ops pack.

You may noticed I ended up painting them in multicam rather than the black used on the default models. This was just a matter of personal taste and I think it’s better suited for the sort of ops I’ll be using them on in my games.

SAS Counter Terrorism Response

*—————-* ERROR: FILE MARKED TOP SECRET *———————*

… — .-. .-. -.– / –. ..- -.– … –..– / — — -.. . .-.. … / .- .-. . / -. — – / ..-. .. -. .. … …. . -.. / -.– . – .-.-.-

– …. .. … / .. … / .– …. -.– / -.– — ..- / .- -.-. – ..- .- .-.. .-.. -.– / -.. — / – …. . / .–. .- .. -. – .. -. –. / — — .-. . / – …. .- -. / .- / .– . . -.- / -… . ..-. — .-. . / .– .-. .. – .. -. –. / – …. . / .–. — … –

*—————-* DO NOT RELEASE BEFORE: 20/12/2017 *—————-*

Oh, that’s inconvenient. Looks like you’ll have to check back on Wednesday for the details on the SAS Counter Terrorism Response set.


I think this range is pretty great. There are some wonderful details, especially with the new style of heads; the gas mask and face protection (which you’ll see more of on Wednesday) are very different from any of the previous releases and they have turned out really well. I’m looking forward to seeing what other future releases might have a similar look – fingers crossed for some guys in full Hazmat gear. In addition, all of the armament and clothing shows off the quality of the research job on these figures – all the little tweaks to make them look different from the other ranges despite the pieces of common gear.

L-R: US Army Ranger, Task Force Operator, SAS Rural, SAS Assault

As you can see, they fit alongside the other operators pretty well while still looking different enough. This means there are now four collections you could mix and match when trying to build up your Special Forces assault team – perfect if you’re using my Task Oriented Team system. I’d heartily recommend picking these guys up if you want a set of Operators. In fact, the Rural Ops pack is probably the best option for someone just starting to play Spectre.

Wargaming Week 11/12/2017

Let’s start, covering the 4th through to the 10th of December.

BLOG STUFF

Last week’s post was Thursday night’s game of Spectre Operations. It was a really fun time, definitely on the larger side of the things I would usually run. Someone asked if I play to take the game to shows – the current plan is no, but I am thinking of making these scenarios available. Also I’m not thinking about taking games to shows until next year – I still haven’t finished running the first one!

We’ve almost used up all the slots on it but the survey is still running! For everyone who hasn’t filled it in, you can find it at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2FXWLKF. For everyone else who has filled it in, thank you! The comment question has been really great – thanks for all the kind words.

GAMING

Thursday’s was probably the most fraught in terms of planning, with me still writing the briefing doc less than an hour before actually playing. As well as two club regulars, we also had two new players arrive Overall I think it went well – the staggered arrival of the Bazis meant that the SF players got a chance to be sneaky before it all went to hell and also meant we got to run through some turns before giving the new guys lots of tactical choices.

PURCHASES

Three things this week:

 

First up, more hobby materials! So, I haven’t varnished my models for ages after I ruined a batch while spray varnishing. Since then, I’ve just worked off a process of just patching up places where paint has peeled. This obviously isn’t great – coming back after the weekend in Cardiff was just a case of deciding between repair jobs or stripping models down. However, the idea of varnishing also seemed like a nightmare – either ruining brushes and unevenly applying it or the risk of spray varnishing. Then there was the concerns about matt vs satin vs gloss. But through all of it I kept hearing how testors seems to be the go-to for good effects.

Well Great Escape games had some in stock and so I picked up three cans. After the christmas, the aim is to get everything painted touched up, any final tweaks done and then varnished up.

Part 2, Spectre brought out some new releases! The 5 specialists that came out at Crisis are now on the store for general sale. These extend the Nomad, Tier 1 and Task Force Operator ranges by adding some more special weapons. My standout favourite has to be the Tier 1 Breacher I’ve listed above – the combination of tomahawk and SIX12 shotgun is fantastic.

In addition to the new stuff, I’ve also grabbed some more bits to finish off my militia technicals. As well as the ZPU1 and ZPU2 (ready to be painted up alongside the ZPU4 and ZSU-23), I’ve grabbed the rocket pod. I love these things – they are probably the most bodged together weapon systems you can get. The final item is the SPG-9; my plan with this is to use one of the .50cal stands I have spare and mount it at a height to stand out from it’s bigger brother. I look forward to solving the challenge (and documenting it along the way).

So last part, on Sunday evening I spotted someone on Facebook selling some Empress figures that grabbed my attention. Two of the models above were kickstarter exclusives – a great model of a NZ SAS operator and another combat diver carrying some satchel charges. I’m missing both of these from my collection and so just had to pick them up. As for the figures I’m torn – the paint jobs are really nice but part of me wants all of my figures to match in style (part of the reason why I haven’t start commissioning people to do my backlog of figures).

HOBBY

It’s a week where I ran a game so obviously it’s time for lots of new painting.

First up, I painted up the Nomad team! Once the new marksman turns up, I’m going to do a full impressions piece on them. But as a short preview, I really like them! Mainly lots of tan when painting and great fun to use ingame.

Second stage was painting up some buildings. Theses are two more from REDVector, and were ideal to stand out amongst the one storey Adobe buildings that were going to fill out the rest of the board. Painting method was black undercoat, Tan first layer, white lightly sprayed over the top and then a respray of tan for the final colour. The right building also got hit by some Humbrol Desert Tan and some watered down wash. I’m okay with the final result but I really should have added some texture on the outside, especially to cover up the gaps in the MDF.

The final step in painting was the SAS (full details coming in this week’s post) and an Empress BTR80A to drive the Bazistan Army around. It’s been sat on my “to be painted” list for a while, just needing the details done. As always, Empress have done a really nice job on the kit and I’m already eyeing up the BTR80 to back it up.

I picked up the closed gate back in August. I love it but I always knew I’m going to need to pick up some more to stand in as replacement parts after they are played with. As well as a base order, I also picked up two additional gates from Supreme Littleness Design. As for the new states, I decided on open and breached (although crushed by vehicle was a close runner up). Open was a simple case of shaving down the edges on the tabs so they would fit securely in the slots at a different angle. With Breached, I decided to make it very obviously what had happened. Going slightly over the top, I trimmed a big piece out of the center of each side and roughed up the edges. It’s a lot bigger than you’d expect but once painted it should be very obvious

No pictures for this, but I’ve started prepping the African forces and insurgents to be painted back up. Friday night was spent with a tub full of Iso and ended with me staining my fingers with the paint/iso mix. They are now all based so the next step is adding the sand and then base coating. Still deciding on painting plans for them – from watching The Brave, very inspired to paint up the SAS Jungle Guys in a slightly browner multicam and cam-creamed faces so they are ready for trekking across the savannah of Zaiweibo.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Battle Report – A Brush With The Law – Spectre Operations

Before we get into the good stuff, I’m running a survey to get some feedback on the blog. This is to help me work out how I can improve it next year. The form is really short, doesn’t need a login and can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2FXWLKF. Hurry though, there are only 25 more responses before it closes.

This week’s battle report sees us return to the ongoing campaign in Bazistan. Following the kidnapping of the Geordiestan Ambassador from the Petramco/NZDF force back in September, it’s time to go to the next stage of the operation.

 


The Geordiestan Ambassador has been missing for two weeks. After being kidnapped en route from the airport by an unknown group of militia, intelligence has been working day and night to recover him. Unfortunately, the whims of the Bazistan government has caused this process to be delayed as only Bazi SF can act on any intelligence partner nations provide. A Special Forces team from Geordiestan did arrive in country but was turned round at the airport. Other nations have also been held off, with American, British and Russians all barred from operating legally on Bazi soil.

However, a new piece of information has come to light. Multiple sources point to a group in the badlands bordering Aden which is preparing to move two high value targets out of the country. This compound has attracted the attention of the Bazistan army as well as British Intelligence. Two teams from the SAS (codenamed SABRE and WANDERER) have been deployed to extract the hostages before the Bazistan Army does.


The game takes place in a frontier town in the Badlands of Bazistan, close to the border with the Aden Republic and only a short drive to the Red Sea. Intel had found two target buildings, (the tan coloured ones in the photo above) that were militia strongholds and could be the location of the two hostages. Both buildings would need to be checked. As the game began, the militia were completely unalert – the town is in safe territory and the police hadn’t tipped them off to any possible attackers. The Bazistan Army wouldn’t arrive until later – Bazi SF arriving on turn 2 and the bulk of the force arriving on turn 3.

The forces were simple:

SAS

  • SABRE – 6 Elite operators with usual direct action kit, including a LAW, LMG, UGL and DMR
  • WANDERER – 6 Elite operators in local clothing. Designed for stealth, they also had a SMG, Auto Shotgun and a Airburst grenade launcher

Bazi Army

  • Bazi SF – 6 professionals with modified assault rifles and the usual support items like body armour and medical kits
  • Bazi Motorised – 8 Trained soldiers with Assault Rifles, a MMG and an RPG accompanied by an Elite Special Forces mentor

Militia

  • Three technicals – two with HMG and one with a recoilless rifle
  • Multiple small groups of trained fighters, armed with the usual mix of Assault Rifles, RPGs and MMGs

The SAS came on from the Western board edge, seeking the shortest route to one of the buildings that avoided the patrolling guards. SABRE headed for one of the ruined buildings, aiming to set up a base of fire to assist an assault on Objective Bravo.

WANDERER headed for Objective Alpha, stacking up on the door before breaching into the empty interior. Carefully sneaking around, they headed upstairs. Due to the buildings not including staircases, we added two in opposite corners of the building. Next time I’ll add some markers

Upstairs, they found themselves in the midst of a small collection of insurgents. Taking advantage of their silenced pistols and SMGs, the team took the first shots of the game easily dropping the two fighters inside the main room. After disposing of them and the two RPG gunners on the balcony, only three militiamen knew something was up.

Unfortunately, their intel was faulty – this building was completely clear of hostages. Time to dig in and start covering

Instead, time to focus on Objective Bravo. SABRE moved into an assault position, with the LMG, DMR and UGL gunner digging into the damaged building while the rest of the team prepared to sprint across the road.

Interestingly, they spotted a white SUV moving away from the target building. It seemed to be forming up into a convoy with one of the other technicals.

As turn two began, the first sign of real trouble turned up. Six operatives of the Bazi Special Forces had appeared, moving through the ruins of the African Quarter. They managed to stay relatively quiet, not alerting the militia as they crept into position.

Turn two was pretty uneventful – WANDERER dug in to the building by setting up positions covering the staircases and aiming to cover any assault on Objective Bravo. At the same time, SABRE moved into final positions, with the assault team going into cover behind one of the pickups by the side of the road. By now these actions were starting to concern some of the civilians and it was only a matter of time before the militia was entirely on alert.

Of course, elements of the Bazi 12th Motorised Division have no concept of stealth and rolled onto the board in their BTR80A. This could be a major game changer – the armour would be hard to penetrate while the heavy autocannon would easily cut a swathe through tightly packed squads.

This was the battlefield as the engagement shifted from a stealthy operation into a more kinetic experience. A few other things happened very quickly:

First up, the technical leading the convoy about to escort the SUV away swung round at the sight of the enemy. The M40 recoilless rifle it carried on the back would be one of the main weapons against the enemy AFV.

Two of the local Bazistan police ran forward to see what on earth this military unit was doing here. Once in cohesion range, these two police changed from being ambient civilians to working alongside the military.

As for the militia, they quickly started moving some more assets around. One of the technicals with HMG moved into an ambush position, ready to spring out with the .50cal. Of more immediate danger, a fighter with a RPG-29 moved into position on the balcony and prepared to engage.

Across the road, SABRE waited.

Rolling forward, the BTR was quick to drop the ramp and send deploys its squad of Bazi soldiers. Of note was the fact that they had been joined by an Elite mentor to give them a bit more sticking power in the fight.

Thanks to the massed fire from three separate squads, the Bazistan army quickly started taking a toll on the smaller militia units, pinning them down under massed suppression of simply taking them out.

Meanwhile, SABRE bust into the target building and came face to face with a few surviving militiamen. Ever the professionals, they quick dropped them before pushing forward. From upstairs, they could hear the steady sound of gunfire as the insurgents engaged the oncoming army. The fire managed to down the two policemen and suppress the oncoming soldiers but did distract them from the team of killers slowly climbing the stairs.

At the same time, WANDERER got involved and pulled a cool piece of kit out of the toolbox. Rather than engaging an isolated militia group with carbines, the airburst grenade launcher took aim and sent a single shot flying out across the roof tops.

Safe to say, it was quite effective.

An interesting side diversion was the two police at the end of the map. Rather than meeting up with the Bazi army to begin operations, they instead got stuck in a fight while trying to defend themselves from the militia trying to restrain them.

Back in the fray, the militia were taking a beating with huge numbers of suppression markers. It wasn’t just the Bazi Army – WANDERER were assisting the assault on Objective Bravo by eliminating incoming militia units thanks to sitting on overwatch – the -1 modifier was easily nullified by the optics and high shooting skill.

Meanwhile in the building SABRE rushed up the stairs to be confronted by a stack of insurgents. However, they were ready for this. In went the flashbang.

After a blinding flash and a hail of gunfire, three insurgents lay dead – the other two were to follow in the next turn.

At this stage, the photos dry up but there were a few great events

  • SABRE’s base of fire started engaging the Bazi Army, kill several with a mix of 40mm, LMG fire and DMR shots. However, many more were saved thanks the body armour and personal medkits
  • The BTR and technicals started trading rounds, leading to both parties ending up with no drivers.

However, the big thing was unmasking of the hostage in Objective Bravo revealing the ambassador’s aide. Finally being told that the ambassador was in the quickly escaping white SUV, two members of WANDERER decided to engage. And for the first time this game they actually rolled pretty high on their armour penetration roll leading to this.

The aimed precise shots were a little too effective, with a carbine killing all three passengers in the vehicle with a single burst.

Good job everyone.


Henry Mitchell reports on the situation in Bazistan after the dust has settled

Seeing as the Ambassador is no longer with us, Geordiestan must be furious with everyone involved in this affair from Petramco and the Kiwis to the Bazistan government and the rumoured involvement of British troops. We shall have to see what happens next!

Slightly more concerning is what the rescued aide recounted to the SIS when being debriefed. He overheard his kidnapper mention a safe house they were to be taken to… in the city of St. Davide in Zaiweibo!

The next game will pick up this trail, possibly going for a slightly stealthy mission as intelligence forces seek to discover more information in the land across the Red Sea.


Hope you guys enjoyed the battle report! It was a really good game, where I got to put a lot of toys on the table, hiding the militia in amongst civilians. The most important thing however was that everyone left the table smiling having had one hell of a battle.

Next week we’ll take a closer look at those SAS chaps, along with their more urban focused buddies. There might even be an additional impressions based on another set of figures I’ve recently painted…

Wargaming Week 04/12/2017

Let’s start, covering the 27th of November through to the 3rd of December.

BLOG STUFF

This week’s post was the first stage of, Building a Force a new series for Spectre Operations designed to show off some hints and tips for building your own force.

Also the survey is still running! For everyone who hasn’t filled it in, you can find it at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2FXWLKF. For everyone else who has filled it in, thank you! It’s been great to see the responses coming in and I’m already planning some ideas.

One comment I got was that I have quite a lot of Spectre content on this blog. I wrote a big long post in response to this on ChargeBlog (you can find it at https://www.facebook.com/chargeblog/posts/1536228216453318 ). It’s a perfectly valid point of view though – I’m going to try to vary it up so the Friday posts are not always focused on one company.

 

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Also hey! If you like my work I’ve got a Ko-Fi page where you can throw a few quid my way. Every little helps me to keep the site running and have enough cash in the hobby budget to pick up new rules and figures.

GAMING

Super busy week at work (huh sounds like the last few weeks) so no more gaming. But the drought is almost over! I’m running a Spectre on Thursday at the club which should see multiple SF groups engaging each other on the streets of Bazistan while looking for the kidnapped Geordiestan Ambassador. Not 100% on how many people are going to take part so I’ll be assembling a selection of teams for people to use.

PURCHASES

I bought a lot of figures. Maybe, just maybe, I bought too many figures. This is my order from last week arriving and with it I now have all of the figures currently on the Spectre store. I also have about 40 figures ready to be painted up ready for Zaiweibo between the militia, rebels and the national government.

HOBBY

Speaking of Zaiweibo, it’s time to redo a few figures ready for the new setting. I have the African forces range but they were painted a long time ago in a not particularly good scheme of OD and tan. Seeing as I’m about to paint a load of rebels in the same camo, I’ve decided to strip them back and redo them alongside the new figures. I’m thinking DPM for everyone using the scheme I worked out for the Empress SAS assault team.

I’m also going to go back to my Insurgents. This was the first group of figures I painted that I haven’t stripped back and they are all dressed in OD and tan (seeing a trend here). They are also sat in the iso waiting to be stripped back. The plan will be painting them in a mixture of clothing styles to represent them as members of various militias.

As well as getting figures ready for Thursday, I’m painting two of REDVectors buildings up to be the target locations. I’m still not entirely confident with building painting so everything looks like sandy concrete. However, it will be nice to have a few more buildings painted up and it’s practise. I can see how getting an airbrush will be handy. I also want to investigate posters and artwork to decorate some of the walls.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Spectre Operations: Building a Force – Task Orientated Teams

Before we get into the good stuff, I’m running a survey to get some feedback on the blog. This is to help me work out how I can improve it next year. The form is really short, doesn’t need a login and can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2FXWLKF

Despite this being a hobby blog, I do keep an eye on what seems to be doing well for me in terms of stats. My Starting Lists for Spectre Operations have done really well but I now want to expand it and provide something a little more useful than just “here am list”. Simple lists are good to begin with but there comes a time when you want to feel less like an accountant moving numbers of points around and more like a military commander, analysing problems and finding solutions with what meager forces your supplies (and wallet) allow.

To get you on your way, welcome to Building a Force! This series will be in multiple parts and cover some hints and tips when it comes to building your forces. In future installments, we’ll look at vehicles, Off Table Assets and getting your rabble together when playing the OPFOR.

This time however, we’re going to look at building a force for more well trained and organised armies (including Special Forces teams). In particular, we’re going to work on how you can pick your force more easily by selecting for the right tools for the job.

Using TOEs

“But Charge”, I hear you say “Why not just use the written down Tables of Organisation and Equipment?”

Okay, lets talk about TOEs.

TOE’s are a great tool when understanding history and tactics, writing rules or building a collection. Its much easier to balance a preset force or know how many figures you may need when making a platoon. However, from my understanding, when it comes to day by day operations the times when a unit deploys exactly to TOE is not 100%. Soldiers fall ill and aren’t replaced in time, squads are formed into multiples for specific missions and specialists are attached.

For this reason I suggest treating TOEs as a guideline. Start from them but when writing a scenario or preparing a force for a possible operation there is nothing stopping you from tweaking and adjusting the composition. Obviously this needs to be within reason – a squad made entirely of M249 LMGs and LAWs would be powerful but in reality they would have some ammo consumption issues and be a bit clunky to move round.

Basic Advice

Instead I recommend building your team around the objective given to you. Look at the goal, plan out what you think you need and pick from the example teams below. After a few games, I’d even suggest making up your own teams that you find effective. I look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with

Here are a few other bits of advice when picking your force:

  • Take attachments – red dots, lasers and scopes really help to improve your chances in ranged combat while different ammo types and suppressors can quickly change your role on the battlefield.
  • Suppressors and Subsonic ammo can be combined for ultimate efficiency in stealth but even just using the suppressor with regular ammo will give you a considerable benefit.
  • If you’re using Trained soldiers, adding a few additional riflemen to each team will increase your firepower and surviability.
  • Body Armour and Personal Med-kits will save your soldier’s lives. By affecting lethality and potentially reducing the damage from a hit, combining both is recommended.
  • Grenade choices are important – frag and smokes are good generic choices to expand your tactics while the other grenades are better in specific situations such as close quarters or asset destruction.
  • There are several weapons that can be added to the teams to give them additional edges in combat but don’t necessarily require a full additional team.
    • A Light Anti-Tank weapon to a team gives you a multi-role explosive device that lets you cause massive damage on a group of enemies or a vehicle/strongpoint.
    • A UGL can easily be swapped for a Multiple Grenade Launcher or a Airburst Grenade Launcher depending on your needs – the MGL is good for large numbers of enemies while the Airburst is perfect for when you are fighting enemies that are entrenched.
    • The humble RPG is actually a pretty tempting prospect – the multiple warheads (AT, HE and Thermobaric) gives you access to a range of effects for a reasonable points cost.
    • Shotguns are useful upgrades. Combat and Auto Shotguns may steal the headlines with Rapid and Auto fire but don’t underestimate the Under Barrel/Sawn Off Shotgun; It’s a cheap way to up your breaching skill and provide a nasty kick in close quarters when combined with the various ammo options.
    • Tasers can make capturing OPFOR alive much easier, reducing the need to get into close quarters.
  • Extra equipment like tactical ladders and climbing gear is very situational but can be the difference between success and failure. This is especially important when using the small Elite forces.

The Teams

The nine teams I’ve developed are below. Each will explain their task, show off the composition and then be accompanied by several notes explaining the idea behind them and how best to use them.

I’m going to use the term Service Rifle when describing the various teams. This can, depending on your forces nationality and skill level, be a carbine, an assault rifle or a battle rifle. There are only minor differences between them (the carbine has less range but gains bonuses in RI 1, the assault rifle is the default and the battle rifle is less effective at suppression but longer range and better lethality) so we shall be treating them as generic in the lists.

For people interested in points values, we’ll be covering that in the final part when we start building forces.

1. Basic Fireteam

Task: General Purpose – Provide a good mix of firepower at various ranges.

  1. Team Leader: Service Rifle
  2. Grenadier: Service Rifle + UGL
  3. Gunner: LMG
  4. Assistant: Service Rifle

Notes:

  • A common variation is to swap out the Service rifle on number 4 for a DMR or sniper rifle. This reduces your number of shots but does help you when engaging an enemy at long range.
  • This is a core building block – applying minor tweaks (such as those listed in the Basic Advice section) can massively improve the effectiveness of it

2. Assault Team

Task: Advancing and clearing a fixed position

  1. Team Leader: Service Rifle + UGL
  2. Pointman: Service Rifle + Combat Shotgun
  3. Breacher: Service Rifle + Breaching Gear
  4. Gunner: LMG

Notes:

  • The idea with this is a Basic Fireteam but more focused on the “Manoeuvre” part of the Fire and Manoeuvre Idea.
  • Pair these guys with a Base of Fire Team – it’s less flexible than two of the Standard Fireteams but more effective at their chosen job.
  • Close with the enemy to get to within RI1 and gain the most bonuses
  • The Pointman and Breacher are perfect to work together when assaulting a position – one can perform the breach allowing the other to enter and clear using the advantage of the shotgun in the same turn.

3. Base of Fire Team

Task: Providing suppressing fire on a position/covering the advance of another team.

  1. Gunner: MMG
  2. Assistant: Service Rifle
  3. Marksman: DMR
  4. Gunner: LMG

Notes:

  • The idea with this is a Basic Fireteam but more focused on the “Fire” part of the Fire and Manoeuvre Idea.
  • If you hadn’t guessed, pair these guys with an Assault team. See the assault team for more details
  • This team should find a good piece of cover with good line of sight across the place you intend to assault and then sit there
  • The Gunner and their MMG is the main focus of this team. That needs to keep up and running, putting suppression on enemy forces moving against your assault team.
  • The Assistant should be helping out the MMG gunner unless the enemy start to get too close to the Base of Fire team.
  • While the Gunners spread the suppression around, the Marksman lets you focus in on specific characters such as enemy weapon teams.
  • The LMG gunner’s main job is extra suppression but is also useful for close protection on your Base of Fireteam. Alternatively, this trooper’s gear could be enhanced with an explosive weapon if you want to add that capability to your force.

4. Scout Team

Task: Find and engage the enemy

  1. Lead Scout: Service Rifle
  2. Scout: Service Rifle and Combat Shotgun

Notes:

  • The inspiration for the scouting pair comes from the American WW2 squad.
  • Number 1 could alternatively equipped with a SMG alongside his service rifle for additional close quarters firepower.
  • This team would do especially well if equipped with suppressors and subsonic ammo. The idea with this squad is to close with the enemy and so benefits from avoiding detection.
  • Additionally, equipping this team with Ghille Suits would let them sniper stalk and reduce their chance of being detected even more

5. Command Team

Task: Command and provide support to the other teams

  1. Squad Leader/Commander: Service Rifle
  2. Medic: Service Rifle and Trauma Kit (Optional)

Notes:

  • Depending on your nationality and service branch, you might want to upgrade a team leader in one of your fireteams to be a squad leader rather than having a separate team.
  • In addition to two characters listed here, you could add another squad leader to act as a Forward Air Controller for an OTAs you may have access to.

6. CQB Team

Task: Clearing hostile area at extremely close range.

  1. Pointman: SMG
  2. Rifleman: Carbine
  3. Breacher: Carbine + Combat Shotgun + breaching gear
  4. Gunner: Compact LMG

Notes:

  • You’ll notice I explicitly mention carbines rather than Service Rifles. This is due to the Compact rule, something which gives you a real edge when inside range interval 1
  • To extend the above point, combining Compact weapons with Red Dots and Lasers gives you a +3 bonus in total which engaging targets inside RI1. This is perfect when combined with Rapid Fire or Automatic weapons as it removes the modifier for multiple shots
  • The Pointman and Breacher are designed to give you the edge in close quarters – in particular,
  • The Rifleman and Gunner will provide some longer range firepower which
  • For an additional edge, the Rifleman could be equipped with a Multi-Role dog. This is good for both detection and restraining enemy combatants. Also take a look at the various upgrade packages for your four legged friends

7. Anti-Tank team

Task: Destruction of enemy armoured assets

  1. Gunner: Service Rifle and AT weapon
  2. Assistant: Service rifle

Notes:

  • The AT weapon is generic – depending on your force and models it could be an RPG (with a variety of warheads), Light Anti-Tank weapon, Light Recoilless Rifle or a Guided Missile Launcher.
  • The Assistant, like in some of the other teams is going to either be providing security for the team or (if the weapon is crew served) providing the backup to the anti-tank weapon. They are also required by the Guided Missile Launcher in order to carry it.
  • The team has a lot of firepower but will need some

8. Sniper Team

Task: Long range precision elimination

  1. Sniper: Sniper Rifle (Light, Medium, Anti-Material)
  2. Spotter: DMR or Service Rifle

Notes:

  • Classic sniper team setup – one of the pair is the gun while the other is the eyes.
  • A worthwhile upgrade for this pair is some Ghillie suits, letting your avoid detection and sniper stalk. It also gives you cover bonuses.
  • If acting stealthily, suppressors are recommended for both. In addition, the spotter may want to consider subsonic ammo but the limitation to 2 range intervals of effectiveness may blunt the Sniper’s primary weapon. Alternatively, take a secondary such as a SMG.
  • Unless massed firepower is needed, the spotter should be crew serving in order to give your sniper the best chance of kill their target.

9. Heavy Weapon Team

Sadly I’m missing a photo for my heavy weapons – all of them belonging to the conventional forces are still in the painting queue

Task: Fire Support from a heavy platform

  1. Commander: Service Rifle
  2. Gunner: Service Rifle and Heavy Weapon
  3. Loader: Service Rifle

Notes:

  • One of simplest teams – long ranged firepower is your only mission
  • The heavy weapon could be any from the list but the most common will be either the Heavy Machine Gun, the Automatic Grenade Launcher or the Guided Missile Launcher.
  • Two men are needed to move a heavy weapon so including a third (or alternatively adding a few more) gives you a larger security element.
  • In an ideal world, a heavy weapon team should begin the game in a piece of cover with excellent sight lines. If that isn’t an option, your first priority should be to get this team into a position where it can cover the advance of the rest of your force. Until it’s setup, this team is not doing it’s job

With that we end Part 1 of Building a Force. The next few weeks are already planned out so there will not be any additional parts until the new year. However, once we are back I’ll be hammering through the other sections:

  1. Task Orientated Teams – Building the Core of a National Force
  2. From Quad Bikes to Tanks – Vehicles for a National Force
  3. “TBA” – Building The Core of an Irregular Forces
  4. “TBA” – Vehicles for Irregular Forces
  5. “TBA” – OTAs
  6. Problem to Solution – Assembling your force ready for the mission

Wargaming Week 27/11/2017

Let’s start, covering the 20th through to the 26th.

BLOG STUFF

 

This week’s post was looking at the various Spectre models which are now classed as rare. It’s odd that such a small company has so many OOP models in the time it’s taken but they have been busy both making new stuff and upgrading the old to match changing standards.

This post also saw the site break it’s most popular day, hitting 473 views on Friday. I’m a little disheartened that the post that does the best in one day is one I did in an evening rather than one of my more involved pieces but I’m still glad people are reading it and enjoying it.

I’m also looking at Bazistan and doing some tweaks to it. Might be opening up a new front soon across the water in Africa thanks to some new purchases. As part of this, I’ll be replacing some of the references to Eritrea – don’t worry though, the core ideas will be kept intact.

GAMING

Nothing – still too busy with work and writing.

PURCHASES

So Spectre had their Black Friday sale and as part of it restocked a lot of their figures. Taking advantage of this, I finally got round to ordering the last few figures I didn’t own – the African Militia and Rebels. Really excited to get these painted up as it’s a chance to expand the scenarios I do. It’s also means that I now own all the figures (i.e. not terrain/vehicles/crew figures) that Spectre have on the store. Of course they do all need painting…

HOBBY

Again not much – busy with work so what little hobby time I had has been spent writing. However, I’ve done the base colours on most of the new SAS figures – now I just have to work on the camo.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Spectre Miniatures Rare Models

Despite Spectre only being around for a few years there are a few models that have achieved collectors status. Be this due to accidents or careful planning, these models are hard to find. That said, if you want to watch eBay or work out what your opponent across the table is using, this article should help you out.

All the photos for this article have been sourced from the Spectre Miniatures website and Facebook pages.

Salute exclusives

The first set we’re going to talk about are those models which were planned to be limited releases. Every April at Salute, Spectre release one or two sets exclusively at the show and in limited numbers in the online store on the same day.

2014 was the year of the Kickstarter. Before its start in May, Spectre attended Salute with demo board, early figures and a freebie. The operator below was for many people the first Spectre figure they owned. Armed with a PDR and carrying tactical kit over civilian clothing, he can be seen as the predecessor to the Agents range. He would also reappear in the kickstarter that year.

2015 (The first year I went to Salute) saw the first event after the launch of the wand the stall had all sort of figures on display (including some still unreleased). This exclusive was the first female figure released by Spectre, ready to work alongside the previous year’s freebie or other intel agents. There are some great details on her, such as the sunglasses tucked into the shirt or the Molle go-bag slung. I decided to tweak mine by adding a shemagh around the neck and I really need to get her painted up.

2016 was a bumper year for Salute releases. Alongside the release of the core packs for the Tier 1 and Agents ranges, Spectre also delivered two exclusive figures.

This juggernaut is perfect for a scenario play, stomping round the board in heavy armour and wielding two long arms. The PKM and shotgun are dangerous combination, especially when backed up by the rest of a Spetsnaz team. coming in the door behind him. Seemingly a habit with my exclusives, I added a visor to juggernaut.

The second figure was designed to work alongside the Agents released on the same day, giving you some sniper cover for your team. She has a really cool pose and again the details are astounding – I’m a fan of the stowed Vector on the side of the pack.

2017 saw me almost knock over the stand in my rush to buy new figures and a few early releases. The first Razors were sold, a few pieces from the terrain range were released (such as the ammo boxes) and this exclusive figure came out.

Rather than being a tweaked figure for an existing range that could sub in, this set is something special. Its much more of a scenario centrepiece, showing an injured operator being carried by his buddy while under fire. There have been some really nicely painted version of this on the Spectre Operations group if you have one and are looking for inspiration.

 

Kickstarter

The main bulk of Spectre’s rare models all come from one place – the original Kickstarter. Starting May 2014, the project was the first many people (including myself) heard about Spectre and it helped to get them off the ground. During the process a total of 28 sets were made available to backers.

As it stands today, many of these figures are no longer available. This was due in part to the original moulds being lost. On the other hand, the core of the African Militia range comes from this release – it’s missing a few of the stranger models (yep, that’s a man wearing a dress as one of the bulletproof militia) but support weapons and crazed gunmen are all there. I originally went in just for the SOF figures and I really regret not picking up the Africans when I had a chance.

There are a few standouts among the list:

The original Delta/US SoF figures were the set that grabbed me and said “The is a range for you”. I think the newer Task Force Operators are a massive step up in quality (and don’t have separate arms that bend or need gluing) but these guys have a certain character to them. Also all the details we know expect from Spectre are there – from the kneepads to the attachments on the SCAR, they look just right. I still really like using them alongside their newer brothers in arms.

Delta in the Kickstarter also included this guy. Ready for breaching duty, he has a MP7 slung at his side with an AA12 out as his primary. He also has a collection of breaching gear on his back. You can see this guy’s concept being updated in the Task Force Operators AA-12 – Alfa figure.

The other pack that grabbed people was the SAS Recce Patrol. Laden down with packs and armed with L119s and various bits of kit, these guys are the forerunners of the SAS Jungle Ops range. There was also the SAS Close Observation Team, which is where the Task Force Operator snipers in ghillie suits came from. Unfortunately, their two buddies with L119s and a UGL got lost in the jungle somewhere.

Something I think is missing from the current range is some private military contractors in the less cutting edge kit, i.e. baseball caps and civilian gear with M4s or AKs. The kickstarter included three packs. The main things with them is that they are wearing non-standard kit but still look like a unit thanks to careful picked similar details.

PMC Alpha is the most modern of the three team. Armed with Vector SMGs and wearing plate carriers over t-shirts, these guys look like a well-funded team ready for a close quarters street fight.

PMC Bravo is a little more heavily armed. Equipped with AKs and various attachments/secondary weapons, these guys would work well as Russian advisors or mercs somewhere from the eastern bloc. You can see little bits of their design being used in the Deniable Ops range. I also need to point out the second figure – another with separate arms, something that drove me mad while assembling them.

PMC Delta is the classic Western Contractor look with M4s, plate carriers and, of course, shades. This pack also includes the AA12; combined with the UGL, it gives the team a nice mix of firepower for such a small team.

Speaking of mercs we come to the biggest kit that was part of the kickstarter – the PMC Technical. This was Spectre’s first vehicle and as you can see, it looks pretty cool. Like with the Deltas, you can see how this was the starting point for the current range of technicals. I’d love to see some parts come out for the current vehicles, letting us add the PKM mount for something a little lower profile than the .50cals.

Something else cool from the Kickstarter was the Weapons Caches. These were small bits to add to the scenery or work as objective markers. I’d love to see an updated version of these.

Early Releases

After the Kickstarter was finished, Spectre setup their webstore and started adding new items in addition to some of the kickstarter sets. Many of these are still available, such as the Task Force Operator Marksmen and Grenadiers. Others however have since left the store.

We’ve seen multiple dog handlers in both the Kickstarter and more recently with the UKSF releases. This guy was designed to fit with the original US SoF, giving them a dedicated dog handler rather than having him tag along with one of the normal riflemen. There is a load of extra detail on him, from his compact 416 to the setup on his rig.

Another set of additions to the US SoF range was this pair of Machine Gunners. The variation in poses and gear are great as usual for Spectre. I still use them and they look great alongside the newer figures.

The final part of the original SAS teams (alongside the Recon guys and the team in ghillie suits) are these operators in civilian clothing. It was quite cool to have the three teams, each with similar guns and heads to represent the same team in different roles.

To backup the SAS guys is this pair of support. Carrying their bergens like the rest of the Recce guys, the marksman and MG bring the team up to six and give you more tactical options.

Something else that happened in the early days of the store was an experiment. Spectre looked into producing high quality resin models and two sets were chosen – the UKSF assault team and a pack of militia that became . Although the results were spectacular in terms of detail, there were some mixed feelings about resin over metal; I personally wasn’t a massive fan having broken barrels much more easily. In the end, metal won out

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip through Spectre’s back catalog. Hopefully when you spot some suspicious characters on an eBay auction, you’ll know a little more about them. It’s also great to look back and see how far Spectre has come – the early models are pretty good but each release includes more detail backed by more research to help bring us the most up to date figures around.

Continue reading “Spectre Miniatures Rare Models”

Wargaming Week 20/11/2017

Let’s start, covering the 13th through to the 19th of November.

BLOG STUFF

This week’s post was looking the Under Fire Miniatures German Police. Its always nice to find a new company making figures especially when they release ones this nice. Really looking forward to what’s coming next.

In other blog news, I’ve got some good news on the photos front. I’ve upgraded my phone to a Pixel 2 XL and the camera is much improved over the Nexus 6P I was using. So hopefully nicer looks photos going forward!

GAMING

Still no gaming, I’m back on the writing train.

PURCHASES

No purchases, still painting up the stuff I bought last week.

HOBBY

Been a busy week between actual work, blog work and more writing so I haven’t had a huge amount of painting time. However, I’m continuing work on the SAS, starting with the rural and respirator teams.

 

However, I did get something cool to work on. Campbell, a frequent opponent of mine at SESWC, is also a terrain building king. Due to him being busy, he’s decided to pass over some WIP compound walls he has been building to add to those we already have. I’m looking forward to getting to work on these – it’s a different type of terrain to what I’ve done so far


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!