Currently based out of Djibouti, TaskForce Wolverine is a US Army taskforce formed from element of the 75th Rangers and a small number of US Green Berets acting as a “fire brigade” that can easily be deployed to any number of theatres of war, for any number of operations from short raids up to longer term deployments. Current operations are focused on Somalia and Iraq although incoming intel points to the possibility of future missions in the United Arab Emirates.
Wolverine is split into two groups – Five Green Berets (the four PMC Delta figures and the ISA agents) and the 11 men (+1 dog) of the 75th Rangers. The Rangers are actually the Delta figures but seeing as I have so many, its makes more sense that they are from a much larger force, especially if I want to use all of them at any one time.
The Green Berets are here to act as the lighter force, the scalpel to the hammer of the Rangers. Overall, the squad is lightly armoured, with chest rigs and soft armour but comes out with five M4’s, an AA12 combat shotgun, an M203 launcher and a collection of pistols (and some grenades hidden away). This, combined with their elite rating (in both Sangin and Spectre) should make them pretty hardy to go up against. Like with all elite forces, they will struggle against massed militia fighters (their points cost will be their downfall) but luckily, they have 12 friends to jump in should they get in over their heads.
Paintwise, these are my first figures in 5 years. I started off airbrushing them with Valjeo black primer before applying a base coat of US Dark Green across most of the non fleshy bits. The hats, vest, rail covers and holsters where then painted in US Field Drab and faces in Medium Fleshtone. Weapons had another coat of Black (primarily to cover up mistakes) as did the operator shades they are all wearing. A dot of White was then put. The camo pattern is babies’ first attempt at camo painting (in this case something similar to US Woodland) and consists of strips of the Field Drab and Black over the Green base. It may look a little sparse up close but when looking at it from the perspective of someone playing the game it gives a nice impression of camo’d gear.
To keep track of them, I’ve attached the Skirmish Sangin character sheets below and will be adding Spectre rules details once the main rules are available.
So Shadow War is all well and good being just a painting project but what is it if there isn’t also some tabletop games. The only issue is that the rules from Spectre are not out just yet and I’d like to get some games in pretty soon. This led to me looking around for some other modern day rule sets. Partially inspired by the Model Dad’s review, my eye roved over the Skirmish Sangin rules set. After doing a bit of research (and in part thanks to my birthday earlier this week) I decided to pick up the rules, along with both expansions (and some extra stuff I’ll mention below).
Skirmish Sangin is designed for small scale skirmishes with most scenarios using a section or 8 men per side. The main difference I notice between this and say Warhammer 40K (the last skirmish rules I played in any large amount) is its greater focus on individual characters. Its always a sign of game’s style when the first section reads more like a section from a tabletop RPG than from any wargame book. There are also some cool level of detail that you don’t see often, such as the replacement of IGo,YouGo with a phases system to change the pace of the action or the abilty for grenades to be cooked off or thrown back. In fact, the rules are of a style and standard that reminds me a little bit of GW’s old Inquisitor game, although lacking the need for a separate GM or the 54mm scale. I’m really looking forward to getting some games in
Its important to note that I unusually bought the rulebooks in physical form. Part of this was wanting to make it easier to learn and pass around (always handy when you’re introducing it to new people) and the other part is to support Radio Dishdash. Now I have some income, I’d much rather buy proper versions then trawl the internet for free copies to properly back the guys who make all this cool stuff.
Speaking of cool stuff, I also picked up some of Empress Miniature’s rather superb looking Brits to join in the Shadow War. These will probably play a similar role to the Rangers (well technically they are the Delta figures from Spectre but seeing as I have two fire teams and specialists in my collection, they will probably be the lower skill Rangers so I can use them all at once) in being the larger force to help out the SAS. I’ve picked up a pack of four standard team members, a pack of support personal (Shotgun, sniper rifle and a javelin team) and two downed pilots just waiting to be an objective. Based on how good they are, I might pick up another fireteam to complete the group. This should give me the option to play some larger scenarios. I’m also excited to learn how to paint MTP.
Paint wise, putting the last touches on my first group of guys I’ve painted up. I’ll blog about them some point soon.
I’ve noticed a lot of hobby modellers seem to base their collections around one conflict in particular, such as the excellent Hotel Zugando I have really enjoyed reading recently. This makes a lot of sense, its gives your collection a good consistency and lets you tell a trail of stories that focus on your setting. However, instead of a single country, I’m going to take another tack.
The Shadow War is the battles hidden behind the headlines, often hidden from plain sight by a collection of seemingly unrelated. Primarily fought by special ops teams, secret PMC teams and intelligence operatives, The Shadow War occasionally draws in front-line troops when the situation demands more of a sledgehammer than a scalpel. These battles are close fought events on a variety of scales, taking place everywhere from the former Soviet Republics to the seemingly friendly nations in the Middle East to Brazilian Favelas to the very streets of Europe and America. The sides are more shades of grey than black and white, and today’s allies could be the wolves at the door in a matter of days.
On a practical sense, my aim with The Shadow War is to create a set of teams inspired by both games and films that could be easily seen in all sorts of locations. These will start with the Spectre models I own but I hope to add some additional figures from both Eurkea’s and Empress’s range.
In terms of progress, I’ve managed to get a start but sadly I’ve run out of both bases and airbrush propellent so there will be some delays before the US guys will be hitting the field. I’ll mention the titles of the various groups I’m currently thinking of doing, with more details coming soon.
Task Force Wolverine – The Scapel and The Sledgehammer (US Army Special Forces)
Task Force Tiger – The Seaborne Strike Force (US Marines + US Navy Seals)
Operation Wingate– The Watchers in the Dark (SAS + British Army)
Grapevine – The Conflict Factory (CIA SAD and it’s Paramilitaries)
Lion Shield Industries – The Unknown Factor (South African PMC)