Last weekend our group had its first test game of Tomorrow’s War just to familiarize ourselves with the rules. There was a fair amount of unpainted terrain so we didn’t bother with documenting it, as the key goal of the exercise was to learn the system so we can jump into a campaign in the near future.
One cool thing, though, was that we got to check out the progress everybody has made on their 15mm sci-fi miniatures. I was able to get some decent shots, so the first army to get written up is the Neo-Sov force by Bret “B-Man” Rood. This is another combo entry where I’ll feature some Gatewar File background info and follow up with Armory details on the modeling involved. Enjoy!
Heading into the Gatewar, Russia is one of the key powers in the East, along with China, the SEAA, and the United Oceanic Confederacy. It was during the great economic upheaval that culminated around roughly 2100 A.D. that the Neo-Soviet party staged a military coup, aimed at returning Russia to the former glory that had been attained by the USSR. In contrast with the Second American Civil War, this changing of the guard happened rather quietly. Change was welcomed by the people of Russia, and many saw this as a return to an era of greatness that, while they had not been alive to see it, must have been better than living in the aftermath of Cold War defeat.
As a result, nationalism swelled in Russia, foreign and domestic policies greatly reverted to their cold war era standards, and industry grew due to some key strategic alliances in Europe and Asia. The greatest of these was the choice to aid the Free CalTex Republic that would eventually become the Pacific Union, paving the way for a loose alliance that would pay massive dividends in the future.
When Gate technology was discovered and interstellar surveying began, the Neo-Sovs were not caught as woefully unprepared as some powers, but did not have the nimble infrastructure necessary to be at the forefront of the science as some other nations were. However, their relatively close ties with the Pacificans ensured that once Lachesis was discovered, their financial backing for mining operations was rewarded with access to the planet’s resources indirectly before almost any others on Earth. This headstart was enough to give the Neo-Sovs the foothold on Lachesis needed to cement their power base and bring themselves on-par with their numerically superior Chinese and American rivals.
One interesting development caused by this situation was that by gaining access to the earliest Pacifican research into Crusty walker technology, the Neo-Sovs almost instantly began their own walker programs independently rather than copying Pacifican designs later on as most nations did, resulting two very divergent design philosophies when comparing walkers from the East and West. While Pacifican designs that inspired American and European walker tech tended toward filling a role similar to Infantry Fighting Vehicles in the past, Russian walker designs tend more toward acting as Main Battle Tanks. Typically larger than their Western counterparts, Neo-Sov mechs are often hulking monstrosities in comparison.
Early Neo-Sov walker designs were simply drafted as scaled-up versions of initial Pacifican Power Armor suits as the Russians scrambled to be among the first to field walker units. These lumbering giants saw limited success – their massive size and somewhat inelegant bipedal design left them slow and ponderous, and they made large, if durable targets for enemy forces. Still, they were effective when used properly in combined arms operations. The NK-03 Slon, affectionately dubbed “Polnyi”, or Fat Man in Russian, American troops refer to them as Fatties or Ogres due to their sheer size and often heavy armament.
Unsatisfied with their initial forays in the field, Neo-Sov designers subsequently pioneered the multi-legged models of Russian walkers that remain prominent to this day. Often six or eight-legged and following a crab or spider-like structure, this format allowed the deployment of large, relatively nimble walkers that could still maintain a low silhouette on the battlefield. Since the early discovery of this style, the Russians have developed countless variants, the most notorious of which is the new and dreaded NK-83 Zvezda-Pauk, or “Gun-Spider.” The largest and most deadly Russian walkers yet, Gun-Spiders are still relatively rare on Lachesis’ battlefields.
These early advances in walker technology allowed the Neo-Sovs to expand quickly, amassing the largest territory of any single nation on the planet. Their military doctrine seems to remain that of overwhelming force, utilizing crushing walker attacks supported by large quantities of volunteer and conscripted infantry units, often utilizing the feared Alfa Group special forces unit and devastating artillery barrages. While retaining many of the old Soviet tenets, their Imperialist nature was kept in check on Earth out of necessity for stability, however on Lachesis they have shown a true talent for expansion that has caused some hostilities with China and the U.S., breaking the shaky truce that had long been in place.
Since we started working on 15mm sci-fi miniatures, our group hasn’t had a get-together, so since this was the first in a while, it was great to see what the guys had done. When it comes to minis, Bret always brings some really cool stuff, so I asked if he’d do us a favor and write up a quick guide on how he painted up his Neo-Sov infantry since he did such a great job, and he was kind enough to oblige! Enjoy!
A quick note: Through a clever choice of paint scheme, Bret is able to use some AT-43 units as walkers right out of the box! Curse his cleverness! I’m told we can expect some touch-ups/repaints to these in the future. They do match his infantry brilliantly, though! Well-played, sir.
Greetings Comrade,Your most glorious and powerful leader has asked that you paint your soldiers in preparation for your next battle.Primer: First you must prime your soldiers with a black primer paint. This will ensure that the shadows on the soldier are pronounced and easy to see.Clothing: After priming the miniature, take the Vallejo ‘English Uniform’ color, and apply it to all of the miniatures clothed areas. Leave the armor plates, and helmet black for now. Be careful not to let the paint run over the seams between the jacket and the pants, or to run up onto the shoulder pads etc. If your paint does, just use some black paint/primer to touch these areas up before proceeding to the armor painting section of the painting guide. Next, use the US Field Drab, and either highlight, or dry brush the clothed areas of the miniature. (I chose to use highlighting myself) With the size of the miniatures, I have found that it is not particularly necessary to use a three or four level shading, and that a two level shade works just fine.
Skin: Using the Medium Skin Tone, lay down a layer of paint over the miniatures face and hands. I chose to attempt to keep the fingers separate. Highlight these areas using a lighter skin tone color like the Base Skin Tone listed.Armor: Using the Brick Red color, fill in all of the areas that are armored on the miniature (Helmet, Shoulder Pads, Chest Plate, ‘Butt’ Plate, and Leg Armor) Highlight these areas using the Scar Red paint, taking care not to let the paint run into the areas between the plates on the shoulder pads. These plates are pronounced, and look great when kept separated.Gun / Metal: Base these sections with the Blackened Steel Color, then highlight with the True Silver. After that, run a little Black Wash over these areas. Should a piece become too dark, use the True Silver to highlight very lightly.Night Vision Lenses: Finally, use a very very small amount of Moth Green to put some tiny dots on the three lenses of the night vision goggles/sensors. This is pretty difficult even for a veteran painter, so if your green ends up too large, just use a little black paint to touch it up.I hope that this brief painting guide has proven useful.Thank you,Comrade Rood
So there you have it! I did get more shots from the game last weekend, including Will’s squad of corporate black ops troopers, some finished terrain tiles, and Matt’s Crusties, so stay tuned!
I’ll finish this off with a pic of Bret’s awesome paint job on Khurasan’s Red Lightning tank to send it off in style!