Spectre Operations: Building a Force – Mobility, Protection, Firepower

In the last post we took a look at the basics of building a force through role specific teams. In this post, we’ll look at how vehicles can be added to regular forces in order to augment their capabilities and provide new tactics. As in part 1, this article is designed primarily for Spectre Operations but many of the tactics are valid in all modern skirmish games.

Vehicles are one of those things that players love to get their hands on. Everyone likes rolling out the big guns, using overwhelming firepower to destroy enemy positions while rolling through small arms shots like it was nothing. As a national force, you’ll have access to the widest range of vehicles, covering everything from motorcycles and quad bikes up to main battle tanks. Depending on the situation, adding a vehicle to your force will give you a massive bonus on less well equipped opponents.

The problem is that vehicles, while certainly powerful, are also incredibly vulnerable on the modern battlefield. In WW2 there were limited number of AT weapons available but the advent of anti-tank rocket launchers and HEAT warheads has meant that every infantry fireteam can carry a light anti-tank weapon, often alongside its normal loadout. The RPG-7, the darling of every bad guy, can’t crack a MBT but is easily capable of damaging and destroying medium and light vehicles. Combined with IEDs, this makes approaching urban areas a massive danger. With limited routes, its hard to avoid enemy attacks while the varying elevations give bonuses to troops shooting down into the vehicles.

Another limiting factor is that troops cooped up in a vehicle are not able to act as efficiently as they can on foot. They can’t spread out to avoid frag weapons and (if enclosed) are less effective at helping out with their own weapons. After all, when you roll “passenger compartment takes lethality check” it doesn’t matter if you’re a militiaman or an elite SF operator.

Finally, the bigger vehicles often suffer in places where constricting ROEs are used. A MBT might be able to easily splat a possible enemy position but if it’s got civilians nearby than it’s unable to act effectively.

This is harder article to write than the infantry one as it’s one case where I think using points only rather than a scenario can really break down. It’s very possible for one player to pick a force that is incapable of taking out any of the other player’s force (for example a militia player vs someone who picks two MBTs) and it just turns into one player bugging out in the first turn. Vehicles, along with certain OTAs, makes it blatantly obvious that modern war is not “fair” or balanced. For this reason, setting up the right scenario is key. If player’s are picking their own force, give them the intel they would need to be able to combat each other. Setup objectives that can’t be done from the safety of an AFV – after all, it’s pretty hard to secure buildings while in one.

There are three major aspects to look at with the vehicles: Firepower (how much damage it can deal), Mobility (how fast it can move) and Protection (how it can stay alive)


Probably the one people rush to improve first, firepower is a big draw of all motorised platforms. Vehicles can offer two factors over infantry in this regards

  1. More firepower: Vehicles can carry weapon system that either require a team or are entirely impractical for foot mobiles. These weapon systems can be incredibly destructive (often with 1+ or 2+ lethality saves) and lay down massive amounts of suppression either through sheer rate of fire or fragmentation.
  2. More accurate firepower: Thanks to stabilisers and extra storage space for ammo, man portable systems become even more deadly. The classic GPMG on a vehicle is a perfectly sensible setup and doesn’t require someone to hoof it around. I’m also a fan of anti-material rifles mounting on vehicles – it’s one of those things that just looks cool.

One consideration is if the vehicle has the move or fire rule. Having to move slowly will let you keep for the suppression down but risks destruction at the hands of anything you don’t manage to kill.

The final point is firing arcs. Keeping the weapon on target while moving is obviously easier with a turret mount while limited fields of fire require more careful positioning.  Technicals will especially struggle with this as many of the heavier systems (like the TOW or heavier recoilless rifles) can’t shoot forward on the current spectre pickups due to the crew cab.


Mobility is somewhere else we can split into two regarding what it offers:

  1. Vehicle Mobility: How agile is this vehicle? How far can it drive every turn and how much can it turn? Knowing what your vehicle can do will help when picking your actions. Key things to look for is Uprated Engine and Brakes (giving you additional movement and sharper turns) and All Terrain (faster movement through difficult terrain).
  2. Force Mobility: If this vehicle can carry passengers, how much of your force can it carry? Can it carry a whole squad or will you need to split them across multiple vehicles? Alternatively, could it be used for carry heavier armament like a crew served system or additional AT weapons? Vehicles acting as resupply are especially important when using the ammo loads included in the rulebook.

These two aspects combine together to affect how mobile your force is. Although rolling up and discharging troops directly onto the enemy is a bad idea, reducing how much time they spend foot slogging will help to keep them alive and make you more reactive to the enemies movement.


Finally, protection. Mobility can help with this ( after all you can’t hit what you can’t see) but having armour plate between the passenger compartment and the incoming fire helps. Fully armoured vehicles can almost ignore enemy small arms, making the dangers of being caught out in the open less than in an unarmoured vehicle. Even partial armour can help to prevent casualties. As for the poor guys in unarmoured vehicles, you need to either be going fast or sticking to cover.

Another part of protection is its subsystems. These elements can often be forgotten but can help many vehicles feel less like a civilian car and more like the platform they are supposed to represents. Key ones include Run Flats (ignoring M-Kills is a good way to stay alive), MBSGDs (for dropping smoke when under fire) and Gun Shield (excellent for protecting any top gunners).

So that’s all great, but what does that mean for picking a force?

The key principle (as I’ve tried to hammer into you so far) is to look at the mission you’re about to do. Do you need a high speed transport, a weapon platform to sit back and provide overwatch or armoured vehicle to carry the rest of your force onto the objective? What vehicles would your force have available? Would your SF team up in the foothills of the Hindu Kush really have access to a main battle tank or is it more likely it would be a mix of quad bikes, pickups and maybe a GMV?

Once the task is identified, selecting the actual elements will require matching the various archetypes available in the book to what you want to utilise. The various examples will help next to each archetype should help you choose.

Something to consider is looking at real missions and what vehicles are used. As an example, Osprey’s excellent Special Operations Patrol Vehicles includes mention of a four vehicle US ODA convoy arrangement used in 2002-2003 consisting of:

  • M1114 Armoured Humvee – Better protection than the rest of the group and carrying a heavy weapon.
  • GMV SF Humvee – Good performance, lots of firepower, plenty of space for storing supplies for the rest of the group
  • Two Non-Standard Tactical Vehicles (Pickup trucks) – Able to go places the other vehicles can’t, lower profile, plenty of space for supplies

As you can see, this combination is mainly focused on a strategic level (outside the focus of a game of Spectre) but the variety of options can help when building your own team.

I have an additional few pointers to think about when setting vehicle elements up:

  • The HMG is mounted on almost every vehicle for a reason. It’s a nice compromise, being able to hit out at both infantry (thanks to sustained fire) and light armoured vehicles (thanks to armoured piercing) equally well.
  • Civilian vehicles might seem like nothing but trouble for a force, but for low profile teams they provide a quick way of getting out of danger. Covert vehicles are often equipped armour and uprated engines making them a nasty surprise.
  • When rolling multiple vehicles in a convoy, mixing up the weapons is recommended. Different weapons are good at different things – the HMG is general purpose but a Grenade machine gun is perfect for flattening groups of enemy infantry. It does however lack the same level of precision you would gain from a machine gun so it’s not the best thing to use at close quarters. Instead, the minigun or GPMG is much more useful.
  • When outfitting weapons, remember that you can mount optical systems to many heavy weapons. A HMG with a scope (such as the setup seen on my British Army Jackals) is perfect for any sort of overwatch fire support, being able to sit well outside the range of enemy return fire will still being able to hit back effectively.
  • Once on the battlefield, there are a few things to consider:
    • Avoid built up areas with your vehicles. These are just asking for you to be ambushed.
    • Don’t waste your vehicles. Use them for their role.
    • Play each vehicle to its strength. Don’t expect your Razors to be able to take hits like a tank – instead play to it’s high speed and all terrain features.
    • Vehicles can also provide cover to troops on foot. This will continue even after its destroyed.
    •  Spectre has rules for ramming and shunting obstacles out of the way – use this when appropriate. Armoured vehicles are especially good at this.

That’s it for this article. Next time, we’ll cross the lines and start looking at how picking an OPFOR force is different, how quantity is a quality of it’s own and why you should look very carefully at what type of characters you are using.

Wargaming Week 22/01/2018

Let’s start, covering the 15th through to the 21st of January.


Last week’s post was looking at December’s release from Spectre. I really like this little set of releases – its exciting to see some new weapons for the older ranges, giving them more options on the battlefield. It will be cool to see just how much gear the Task Force Operators end up getting, especially as you’ll not be using a huge number of them.


Last week was a little too quiet for news updates in the field of 28mm Modern. I’m thinking many of the big companies are getting ready for Vapnartak in early February.


No gaming last week, too busy finishing off a few personal things.

However, slightly related to gaming is a new project I’ve started work on. I’m not quite ready to give out many details on it just yet, but the plan is to make something a little different that can be used to generate scenarios for any ultramodern game.


The first part of “Look at all the companies” has arrived. A small order from SASM in the states arrived on my desk after about a week in transit which was pretty good. Inside was a pack of 3D printed plastic water bottles (which I’ll cover when I do an update on project technical) and the Operator Juarez pack. There will be more details in a week or two when I do the proper impressions but early impressions are mixed.

But that wasn’t the only model related thing this week. I’ve also put two orders in to some countries across the sea. There are currently packages heading my way from Warhansa in Russia and Eureka in Australia. More details when they arrive.

The final thing that arrived is a can adaptor for my airbrush. I still have a few propellant cans left over and, rather than simply putting them to one side, my plan is to use them up before getting a compressor. Unfortunately, the different hose size from my old adapter meant I had to get a new adaptor sent out. However, now I’m ready for airbrushing time!


Not a huge amount of hobby time this week sadly – did a few more block colours on the insurgents and got the SASM figures ready for painting. Too busy!

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

Impressions: Spectre’s December Releases

After the massive pile of releases in November, December saw a bit more of a focused set. For all of those who didn’t make it to Crisis, this was our chance to get hold of a set of useful support options for some of the other ranges. I’m always a fan of them going back to add new figures to the current lines rather than just pushing forward – when playing a skirmish game, it’s nice to have multiples of each role so you never end up with duplicates when outfitting your squad.

Task Force Nomad Sniper – Alfa

Task Force Nomad has a nice mix of weapons but only has one long-range support (the airburst grenade launcher). Luckily, this guy comes equipped with a XM500 sniper rifle to deliver the killing blow. This bullpup anti-material rifle is an update of the classic M82 and (depending on the profile you choose for it) should be a monster against infantry and light vehicles. In addition to his rifle, he is also sat on his kit bag. Finally, like all Task Force Nomad figures, he’s wearing local clothing to blend in with the crowd.

Like the rest of the Task Force Nomad range, this guy is great for playing some more sneaky missions or adding to a militia force as some advisors trying to operate under cover. He is a wonderfully detailed but simple character and will probably be a nightmare for your opponent when he appears on the tabletop.

Tier 1 Operators Breacher – Alfa

The Tier 1 guys seem to get all the good stuff and I have to say that this model has my favourite combination of gear. As well as his SIG MCX, this guy is also carrying a SIX12 shotgun. This revolver fed shotgun is the newest thing, able to be reconfigured for underslung and standalone use as well as various barrels. This one has an integrally suppressed barrel which should be perfect for when you need to silently infiltrate someone. If you want to be a little louder, the operator also has an axe to hand. This is perfect for breaking through windows and shattering locks, as well as

I have to say, this is one of my favourite models that Spectre has done. I’m always a fan of breacher focused figures and the axe/shotgun combination just makes this guy a must buy. It also makes the Tier 1 range a rather useful one to pick up. It now has 12 figures, with a solid core of 7 AR equipped soldiers and everything from SMGs up to multiple grenade launchers. All it needs is a second LMG figure and it would be perfect for people not wanting to go all in with the Task Force Operator figures. The range also now has two shotgun equipped guys, perfect for fighting through urban spaces.

Task Force Operators SMG – Charlie

The MP5 is the classic SMG, associated in one of its various forms with possibly every Special Operations Force in the world. That said, the availability of compact carbines and the rise in body armour can mean that it’s a little underpowered, leaving many to upgrade to its younger cousin the MP7. The two packs of SMG figures for the Task Force Operator range have only been using the newest kit so I was a little surprised when I found out that this latest figure was armed with the iconic 9mm subgun.

The model is posed in a pretty dynamic way, gun tilted to a 45 degree angle as he moves forward. From looking closely it has a retractable stock, red dot, laser and what appears to be a combined torch/foregrip. The barrel is also long enough to spot that it’s a integrally suppressed version. Overall, a pretty fantastic setup for sweeping rooms quietly. He also has the rest of the required Task Force Operator gear (helmet, sidearm, plate carrier, shades) along with a small assault pack.

Task Force Operators AT4 – Alfa

I am a fan of Professionals and Elites taking a Light Anti-Tank weapon in each squad for games of Spectre. Being able to hit back at RPG teams with a taste of their own medicine or knock out vehicles in a single hit is a useful bit of kit in the toolbox.  We’ve already seen the AT4 in the vehicle stowage pack so it was only a matter of time before we actually saw a figure with one.

This figure has the AT4 out and ready to fire. He also has a 416 (with magnified red dot, PEQ box and suppressor) slung in front of him. As you’d expect, he is rolling with the required Task Force Operator kit but with a much more complete plate carrier than the SMG operator. Plenty of storage places to carry extra gear.

The other cool thing with this release was that Spectre have released some weapon profiles for two variants of the AT4 which can be found on the page for this item. You can now pick between the HEAT round for blasting tanks or the HE for infantry killing. The HE round loses the Tank Killer ability and drops in lethality but increases the frag distance by 2″ making it much better for groups. Seeing as it’s a single shot weapon, I’d force the player using it to pick the

Task Force Operators MG – Bravo

Finally, the last figure from the release is a new operator with a LMG. For anyone who didn’t get the US SOF machine gunners from the early days of Spectre, you’ve been stuck with two LMG models. This guy should help to extend your options when it comes to building your team. What’s really cool is that he isn’t using the usual Minimi derivative but instead the Ultimax Mk5. This gun is considered very accurate for a LMG, with handling closer to an assault rifle and the ability to use a 100 round drum for when things get hot or standard STANAG mags to work with the rest of his team.

As for the model, he’s got the drum mag attached as well as red dot/magnifier combination and PEQ for laser/light duty. He seems to be wearing a low profile chest rig but is also carrying a huge rucksack just in case the drum runs dry. As well as a pistol he has the most dangerous of weapons – the operator beard. This should make him stand out from the rest of your team. Overall I really like this model. That said, he does have one hell of an awkward painting angle when trying to the underside of his left arm.

Final Notes

So final notes:

  • Really happy to see Spectre going back and adding more to existing ranges.
  • There were one or two mould lines that needed cleaning up but it was only very minor
  • The big thing with this group was relearning how to paint colour schemes I’d done before. Luckily two of the three ranges were mostly block colours
  • I’m looking forward to getting this lot on the table!

Wargaming Week 15/01/2018

Let’s start, covering the 8th through to the 14th of January.


This week on the blog, we took a look at a brand new ruleset Round of Fire. I was really excited to try it out and from the few games I got in over Christmas it’s definitely something I want to play more of. Hopefully I should get a few games in.

To everyone who just started reading based off being linked to my Round of Fire Impressions, welcome! I hope you enjoy all the content that’s going up over the next few weeks. We’ve got a nice mix of articles planned, from figures impressions to tactics articles to battle reports.


Not a huge amount of news this week, but I’d recommend going over to Tiny Terrain’s Facebook page to look at some of the new models from their “War in Chechnya” campaign. Beautifully painted up by Andy Zeck, these figures look awesome. I’m struggling to work out where I can fit them in the Bazistan/Zaiweibo theatres but I’m looking forward to grabbing them once they are available.


Nothing yet – however, there is a Spectre game on the books for the 25th so look forward to an upcoming battle report on the 26th!


As it was my birthday on the monday, and it’s a dumb item I’ve been looking at for a while, I decided to spend some money on the Citadel Painting handles. Before I go further, I am sure you could get something similar for cheaper but work being 5 minutes from the nearest Warhammer shop was just too tempting. I think I’m going to do a bit more of a write-up on them after they get a bit more use but I’m currently a fan. I’m not probably going to use them for bigger batch painting jobs but for doing small numbers (where you don’t have to keep swapping out the models) they are invaluable.


I was busy writing the Round of Fire Impressions this week but I did manage to get some painting in. The first set of the week (and in fact the year) was finishing off the models for the December releases impressions planned for Friday. These three were more Task Force Operators so apart from some of the new gear it was a return to the usual methods of painting this lot – block out the main colours, do most of the detailing and then paint on the multicam scheme.

The next main thing I’ve been working on was repainting the Spectre insurgents. The original set was done very early on in my return to the hobby and so had a limited colour pallet of OD and tan. This was starting to look a bit tired, especially next to the militia, and so I decided that enough was enough and they were dumped into the iso. As these guys are used pretty frequently amongst my OPFOR choices, the turn around has to be pretty quickly. This is especially the case as many of the insurgents are to be used as part of the demo game and a new paint scheme means new cards are needing to be printed. I’ve only done the basic colours so far, but the plan is to paint the insurgents in a mix of camo and plain colours to make them look a little more military than their militia buddies.

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

Wargaming Week(s): Christmas Break 2017

Let’s start, covering the 19th of December 2017 through to the 7th of January 2018.

But before that, its my birthday today! And to celebrate, its my first day back at work!


Since the last Wargaming Week I posted up two articles. The SAS CT Response Impressions (I really like them) and the second part of the The Great Big Modern Wargaming Comparison article. Both of these did pretty well and I’m happy with the tail off – the two weeks I had with no posts still had a nice background number of views.

The plan for this week is to do an analysis post on 2017 tomorrow (looking at the stats and going through that survey)and then take a look at what’s coming up in 2018 on Wednesday. All this before a big post on Friday looking at Round of Fire, a new ruleset that is pretty exciting.

Some bad news though. Looks like I’ll not be running Operation Dragon’s Hoard (my demo game) at Vapnartak in York. Some emails fell through the cracks and so they became booked up. It’s a shame, and I’m going to continue working on the game to get it ready for February, but the main focus will be making sure it’s ready for Hammerhead. More updates in the next few weeks.

On the other hand, I managed to get some really cool things in motion over the break. I’ll post more when I can say more but they are all pretty exciting.


Hey a new heading! Yeah, I’ve decided I need somewhere on the blog to add weekly news updates. I post a lot of them on the Facebook page but I realise that a lot of people don’t actually use it that much, instead preferring the blog format. Some weeks will obviously be pretty quiet but I’ll endeavour to show off what’s coming soon.

The start of the year is always pretty quiet, but Spectre have dropped a preview image on Instagram. From zooming in, there are a few things to take a look at:

  • The torsos look like we’ve got a selection of gunners for the Humvee set
  • The crew in the foreground has baseball caps and a selection of kit as well as some M4 looking guns. Maybe we’re seeing some PMC troopers or alternatives Special Operations troops.
  • There are four civilians in slightly more aggressive poses than the current releases. Perfect for those angry mobs interrupting your missions.
  • There are a group at the back wearing what appears to be cowboy hats, although I think it’s actually more of a folded boonie hat. They are also carrying some interesting guns. Due to the distance, I can’t tell if they are QBZ-95s or just old style M4s. Either way, I’m expecting they will be some form of new African fighter.

These are all exciting additions and I can’t wait for when they are available. I do wonder if we are about to see a few new figures for Spectre’s original setting of Africa, something suggested by someone on facebook. Perfect timing as I’m getting ready for operations in Zaiweibo.


For a change, I actually got a few games in over the Christmas break!

The first was not against my usual opponents. With the book and talking about my hobbies, my uncle asked if I wanted to run a game of Skirmish Sangin for him on the 27th of December (the day the extended family usually comes to Leeds for a meal). So I quickly threw something together (helped in a big part by the profile cards I already had printed), pitting four BLUFOR operators (a mix of Veterans and Elites) against the local militia (Novices, Averages and Veterans with assault rifles and a MMG). Add to that a combination of MDF buildings from REDVectors and a scratch built cardboard base board (assembled in five minutes) and the game was ready to go.

Overall the game was a nice intro, showing off all of the key aspects of infantry combat in Skirmish Sangin. Giving the new players BLUFOR (with their armour and high skill values) meant they were pretty successful at taking out bad guys and surviving bursts of fire. At the same time, when the MMG opened up they really got the picture of just how potentially deadly they can be. Frag grenades were used to deadly effect, cunning crossfires were setup and overall, while the night rolled in, we had a great time. It also means they now vaguely understand what I’m on about when talking about it.

Next up was the trip over to York for the regular wargames/painting days. After a bit of a delay due to snow, we set up the above town with a combination of my bought MDF and Peeb‘s homemade terrain, some of which is still WIP but looks great. The main aim of the gaming portion was to get Round of Fire on the table. We managed to put a few learning scenarios on the table, to test out certain elements of the rules before jumping into a bigger game with four elements per side.

I’m not going to say much (you’ll have to come back on Friday for my full thoughts) but it was a fun game trying out some cool ideas. The core concept of the game is something I don’t think I’ve seen before and it’s something I’ll be interested in playing more of.

You should also go follow Peeb’s Gaming Nonsense on Facebook. He does a bit more varied stuff than I do (including 40K) but I do keep trying to persuade him over to the moderns side. Don’t forget to tell him I sent you!


I mentioned last time that I was in the midst of an ebay auction last Wargaming Week. Well, you’ll be pleased to know I won it. I was bidding on three unopened Radio Dishdash technicals, a product I’ve been wanting to look at for a while thanks to Project Technical. They arrived just after I set off for Christmas break in Leeds so I didn’t get to look at them until I got back. I’ve got to admit, I’m not overly happy so far. The hulls seem to be lacking in detail and the metal parts are covered in flash, similar to the troops I angrily abandoned midway through painting. There was a plan to investigate integrating them in Project Technical (trying to fit the hotswap Technical weapons) but I’m leaning away from that idea. Either way, expect an impressions this month.

Of course the big addition was Christmas! I received some wonderful presents, some of which you’ll be seeing on the blog. The big ones have to be the dremel and airbrush. The main reason for both these purchases is the demo board – I’ve reached the point where I need the right tool for the job. Trying to remove panels from the wing using a hacksaw or “lightly” spraying the damaged edges seems like a bad idea. I’ll need some practise before I go to town on the actual elements, but this way the end result should be better. The books are going to going their cousins in the reference library; the Special Patrol Vehicles will be especially useful as I wait for the Spectre Humvees to drop.

I also opened up my birthday presents and my sister got me another KRCase cardboard interior box with lots of space of infantry and some pick-n-pluck for vehicles/weapon teams. I am entirely sold on the KR products – they are great quality and the nature of them means I can stack them and just take whatever trays I need for a game day. I also used some birthday money to get a GorillaPod so I have a proper tripod – just what you need when you’re about to take a load of photos of tiny figures.


Despite having a fair amount of time off, I actually didn’t do a huge amount of painting. This was probably down to being busy writing things but also I don’t have a painting setup in Leeds (not helped by parents redoing chunks of the house). However, I did have the painting day in York. Well I say day, it was more of a long afternoon once we managed to get everything together after a lie in. I managed to paint two models to completion and get well on the way with five more (they just need camo). The two figures are extensions of existing ranges, so I got to have the fun time to make sure the colour palettes matched. I also think these are two of my favourite figures from Spectre, especially the new breacher. Now I just have to finish off the other three Task Force Operators

Speaking of piles of models, one thing I did once back in Edinburgh was to do a collection check. I find it a little too easy to just keep buying models and not realise how much is still on the “to paint” pile. So the plan this year is to create a list at the start of the year and then keep it updated at least every three months. I’ve done my collection check and the results will be coming soon. Lots still to do! But that’s going to be covered in Wednesday’s post.

That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week! And welcome to 2018!

Impressions: Spectre’s SAS Counter Terrorism Response

The final part of Spectre’s November releases was the SAS Counter Terrorism Response team. These guys may be familiar to those of us in the UK who watched the news earlier this year and noticed the guys in tactical gear alongside the police. All the operators are wearing civilian clothing (with no kneepads and only a few pockets on the trousers) with plate carriers, battle belts and helmets to help them perform their role. The team also wear mesh facemasks which is an unusual choice as it’s an item more commonly seen on airsofters. However, it does a good job of protecting your face from debris and doesn’t fog up your eye protection. This is in addition to the balaclava’s benefit of masking your ID. The operators have varying levels of armour; As well as the basic plate carrier and helmet, some figures also have applique armour panels on their head and/or the pelvic armoured plate. This really helps to make them look like they are ready to rumble. The range has three packs at the moment:

Squad Set

The main set is 6 men strong, in a variety of poses (three aiming, three in combat poses). All are armed with L119A2 short carbines, complete with lasers, torches and red dots. Some of the figures have assault packs. As always, there is plenty of variation in terms of webbing layout and pouches. An important thing with any multi-figure sets, the operators look great when deployed together – even all the shooting poses are varied enough that they don’t look like carbon copies.


The first backup pack for the team is a marksman. Armed with a HK 417 DMR (with scope and laser), the marksman will help to back up the rest of the team. I love some of the details on this figure – you can even see the engravings on the AFG on the bottom rail.

Dog Handler

The final Response team pack is a Dog Handler and Malinois multirole dog. The dog is a new sculpt, an improvement over the original one early purchases of Spectre may have received alongside their K9 Handlers. It looks a lot more dynamic than the original one. The handler is also really cool – he’s got both the applique armour AND the pelvic plate. Combined with the UICW (a super short M6 carbine) he’s using, this figure will pull great double duty as a point man for your team.

For painting, my main focus with these guys was the eternal issue of making teams not in uniform still look like they are part of a team. The multicam webbing and helmets help, but I also did the trick of using the same palette of colours – for example I’ll use one colour for a figure’s trousers and then reuse the colour for someone else’s shirt. US Field Drab was used for the holsters and the multicam was done using the Spectre method. As with all my figures, I finished them off with a dousing in Agrax Earthshade to bring out the details and soften the edges of the colours.

Now I’ve finished all three packs, I think it’s time to pick my favourite of the three groups from the UKSF collection. Despite the coolness of the Assault squad in respirators and the dynamic posing of the Rural Ops (as well as the good mix of weaponry), the Response team stands out. I love the combination of civilian clothing and tactical kit. Alongside the two additional packs, this helps to make the team a fantastic set for anyone running close quarter actions. As with all the ranges, I’d love to see some more support operators for the Response Team. Operators with breaching gear or carrying larger rucksacks to stand in as a medic would be a great addition. As well as the traditional role as CT Response, these guys would also work for some covert agents. They look like they have just thrown their tactical kit over their street clothes. Look for them on the streets of Bazistan and Zaiweibo, ready to swoop in and snatch intel while under fire. This is one set I’m excited to get on the table.

Impressions: Spectre’s November Releases

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.

Battle Report – A Brush With The Law – Spectre Operations

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:


  • 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


  • 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…