As I've mentioned from time to time, I am preparing a little campaign involving sci-fi mercenary forces. The Wildcats are 'my' team (the 'good guys').
The campaign scenarios will use the Dirtside rules, which I have heard many good things about, but have not played. So it will be interesting to see how my vehicle designs fare on the battlefield!
These are some notes I've written up about the campaign background:
Three corporations have colonies on the world of Roanu:
- TransMontaigne controls mining interests in the Nevis Highlands
- Terradyne Mining controls mining interests along the Keech Massif
- Strathmoore Integrated controls agricurtural interests in the Manky Caldera
Each corporation has hired a mercenary unit to provide security against offworld and local threats:
- The Wildcats
- The Rust Devils
- Spink's Wolves
Suddenly, Strathmoore Integrated has financial problems and cannot renew its security contract. Spink's Wolves are leaving the system. This means that the Manky is up for grabs! Both TransMontaigne and Terradyne will grab as much territory as they can!
The Manky Caldera is unlike the rest of the world of Roanu. It is a deep crater where temperatures soar, water is abundant, clouds cover the skies, and plantations dot the jungles. The largest settlements in Manky are in the east, with some in the south.
The Wildcats are in Nevis, which is west of Manky. They are hover-equipped, and can (with difficulty) navigate the major waterways (and rapids and waterfalls) to reach Manky. But once they reach the bottom of the caldera, their hovers should be able to travel fairly rapidly on the jungle-choked waterways.
Neither mercenary force can make use of aircraft initially, as the equipment must be adapted to operate in the extreme conditions of the Manky.
The initial scenario will be a vehicles-only meeting engagement between the Wildcats and Rust Devils. I have some notes about that, too…
The Wildcats have raced across the caldera with their lightest hovers, while the Rust Devils have had to descend the escarpment with their slower tracked vehicles. The Wildcat recon units now plan to intercept and delay or disrupt the Rust Devils as they approach the Minging River and the major settlement of Shunky.
The Wildcats are limited to their lightest forces.
The terrain is flooded swampland crossed by a causeway. In the west, there is a small farming settlement. In the east, there are wooded foothills. Wildcats enter from the west…
The Wildcats' objective: destroy and disrupt the enemy.
Wildcats Vehicle Stats
What makes the Wildcats unique or different? Back to my notes:
A young soldier of fortune has married into a minor branch of royalty, and his new connections allow him to launch a mercenary company themed around hovercraft.
So it's hovercraft. I'm thinking to not go for any fancy upgrades yet (targeting, ECM, stealth), as these will come as the mercs gain experience and (hopefully) wealth.
The initial vehicles available are:
- Drover Command Hover
- Husker Fast Assault Gun Hover
- Vannah Scout Hover
All of these vehicles will be classed as Fast Hover with Fusion Generation Plant.
I have used Andy Cowell's excellent Vehicle Generation page to produce the game stats for Dirtside II.
Drover Command Hover
I've named this vehicle class the 'Drover' – the model's actual name is the generic APC GEV. I modified the basic model to create a command variant.
It's a big, boxy hull, so I've sized it at class 3. There seems to be a weapon in the upper hull cupola; I took that as the "free" Anti-Personnel Support Weapon (APSW) which any vehicle can have. (Note: It obviously must have a restricted traverse, but there is no points saving for that.)
Here's the result sheet from Andy's website:
However, since Andy's system doesn't seem to cover the Command/Communications Center from the rules, just remember that it takes up 8 spaces and adds 100 points to the cost.
Then, seeing there was plenty of space leftover, I added room to transport one unit of normal infantry. Plus a belt around the vehicle of Anti-Personnel Fragmentation Charges (APFC) – that should help if the enemy gets too close.
So it's actually 167 points with two spaces still available for future upgrades/mods.
Husker Fast Assault Gun Hover
This is Fortress Figures' Fast Hover Tank, which I've renamed as the Husker Fast Assault Gun Hover.
Based on the look of the gun barrel, I classed it as High Velocity Cannon (HVC), with the coaxial barrel as a Rapidfire Autocannon (RFAC). There's something on the upper structure that could be a machinegun; I took that as the free APSW.
Vannah Scout Hover
This is the Savannah Master model from the BattleTech product line (Iron Wind Metals). I'm assuming the Wildcats simply refer to it as the Vannah and use it for scouting purposes.
Note that, unlike the other two vehicles, the Dirtside II design system does not require this vehicle to have a Fusion Generation Plant. However, I am putting one in from a maintenance consideration: similar powerplants across the force mean easier maintenance, less downtime.
Since I sprung for the fusion power, I thought it would be fun to give this vehicle a Direct Fire Fusion Gun (DFFG) a tiny class 1 version. I assume it shoots through the weapon port in the front of the vehicle.
And I added the free APSW… maybe the scouts pop the hatch and fire their smallarms occasionally!
The APFC belt also seemed like a good 'just in case' defense against surprise infantry assaults.
That leaves two cargo spaces, enough capacity to transport prisoners or high-value items.
1st Scenario Wildcats Roster
The first scenario is intended to be a small-scale meeting engagement between groups of vehicles. In fact, according to the rulebook, this is about the smallest recommended scenario size! The Wildcats will show up with:
- 1 Drover Command Vehicle (167 points)
- 1 troop of Huskers (5 x 65 = 325 points)
- 1 troop of Vannahs (5 x 36 = 180 points)
For a total point cost of 672 points.