Wednesday, January 9, 2019

American Mechanized Forces - A Contribution by a Reader

Editor's Note: Matt has been very kind to provide a couple of "how to" articles on his 15mm Twilight: 2000 armies. May I say I am honored to host them here for the readership!

American Mechanized Forces (ETO) by Matt Weaver-Uzelac

When I design my wargaming armies I try to make them as flexible as possible, so what started out to be elements of the 5th Infantry Division’s Cavalry Troop ended up being much bigger but have so many more options. This philosophy allows me to use the troops and vehicles to represent almost any American unit that a scenario might dictate. All of the units are 15mm in scale and everything is based on magnets. The vehicles are on magnetic sheets cut to size, and the infantry is based on ½ inch round magnetic buttons I found at the Lakeshore teaching store/website (they sell them in a 300 count pack for around $9). Heavy and support weapons as well as sniper teams are based on 1 inch magnetic buttons.

Available Forces (Pictured)

Infantry: I have approximately 60 infantry troopers wearing the 3 color camo pattern worn in Europe during the 1980’s (The type always pictured on the front of the adventures) A large majority of the figures are from Battlefront’s Team Yankee line, but with some Khurasan, Peter Pig and Rebel Minis.

To help Identify individual equipment during the game, I paint the edges of the bases specific colors for support weapons. I paint AT “penetrator” type weapons yellow (the color of RPG rockets in movies). Things that generally cause HE damage (like Grenade Launchers and mortars) I trim the base in red. For high rate-of-fire weapons I paint GW Jokero Orange (the same color I use for the plastic magazines on the AK74 family of weapons), If anyone is carrying a special weapon (like 9mm SMG, Sniper Rifle or shotgun) I paint the base blue. I have additional empty ½ inch bases I have painted blue that I stick to the bottom of the figures base if they need to have a modified weapon during a game. Finally I have Metallic-painted bases that I can stick to the bottom of a figure to designate it as a “Commander” or a Sergeant (something I use to organize my units in game-1 per squad))

Vehicles: My “motor pool” consists of the following vehicles and their makers:
• 2 M113 (Battlefront)

• 1 M106 (Battlefront)

• 1 M163 (Battlefront)

• 1 M109 ITV (Battlefront)

• 1 “LAV-75” (Battlefront body and the turret of an M5 Stuart with a rectangular “main gun.” It doesn’t look much like the pictured LAV-75, but since none of my players know what the prototype looked like, they can’t complain).

• 1 “other” LAV-75 For this one I used the hull of a Battlefront M551 Sheridan with a rigged up turret. Since I made this one I will “Re-convert the other LAV-75 into something else.

• 1 LAV-25 (QRF)

• 1 5-ton Gun Truck (Old Glory-an M113 ACCV mounted on the back of a 5-ton truck)

• 3 M35 2 ½ ton Trucks (Old Glory)

• 3 HMMWV (Khurasan)

• 2 FAV (QRF)

• 1 M2 Bradley (Zvezda-Not Pictured)

• 2 Abrams “Kits” I used the Battlefront M1 kits and built 2 “active” M1 kits with 4 Turrets (1 M1, 2 M1A2, 1 M1A3 and 1 M691 Dana). I use two hulls and just choose the turret for the battle. A third hull I made to look like it was broken down and turned into a checkpoint Bunker. The fourth I left turretless and turned it into an appropriated Training tank with a Mocked up fighting position used by my North American Marauders.

• 1 M728 (well… this one is actually a prototype M60 printed by a friend of mine. He accidentally made it a little too big so he gave it to me. I used some Leman Russ Parts to rig up a damaged crane, and the 165mm Gun and a dozer blade. I painted a smiley face on the front and named her “Happy Homewrecker. “ As I just finished her last week, I haven’t had a chance to have her go into battle.)

• I also have a ton of horses, bikes and motorcycles. I don’t have any actual models (which would be a pain to paint anyway) so I cut half inch wide magnetic strips in to 1 inch lengths and simply spray painted them (brown for horses, chrome for motorcycles and bright red for bicycles). When a model is mounted, I attach the magnetic base to the strip and count it as “riding.” This way if I wanted my units to be from 4-12 Cavalry or any other mounted unit I can.

My pretend LAV-75

The Happy Homewrecker

Delta Team/Convoy Escort Gun Truck

3 of my favorite vehicles in the Game, The HMMWV, The FAV and the M35

Examples of the Color bases

“Look ma…” Magnets are a brilliant idea for your Army (or gang/fleet/team/tribe/crew).

“My Better” LAV-75

M1 AAA Tank

M1A1 (complete with barrel rings) and the M1A2 (remote turret version)

My M1 “kit”

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