ASH Alternate Timeline: Cybertank ASH

Last Updated: 6/11/21 with Khadam's Astrospear class Missile GEVs.

OGRE, GEV, and related intellectual property are Trademark Steve Jackson Games. Featured miniatures, except where noted, are from the OGRE Miniatures Second Edition Kickstarter sets.
Heavy Gear is trademark Dream Pod 9, some miniatures where noted are from the Heavy Gear Blitz Kickstarter set.

   With the second Kickstarter set of OGRE Miniatures about to ship in Spring 2018, I decided I really needed to get around to painting the first set. But what color scheme to use? I decided to use the colors of the North American Combine flag for the 1994 I had inadvertantly recycled OGRE's supernational name for ASH. At least I didn't also have the Paneuropan Union. I had the Eurasian Union. I toyed with making all the tanks and infantry and stuff in Khadam's flag colors, but decided that painting all those blue plastic miniatures yellow would be a bit too masochistic, so I went with slightly darker blue with yellow rings. I sometimes went for the full Eurasian Union flag emblem, but hand-painting tiny yellow stars is not easy.

   And, of course, I came up with an alternate timeline that would explain how all of this came to be.

TIMELINE: 10000 BCE to 2061 CE

   A modified version of the mainline ASH Timeline file, but with a divergence starting in 1998. While the real OGRE game doesn't seen the MkV until the 2080s, I decided that alien tech and the like would accelerate things a little. Also, unlike the official OGRE timeline, there isn't an ending where human governments collapse and the rule of the factory states begins...there's still hope, if not a lot.

OGRE MkIII, MkV    I worked on both of these at the same time, placing them on plastic card to which I added crushed forest scenery using "snow" putty and some liquid green stuff. May 2018.

OGRE Mk IV     Part of the second wave of OGRE Miniatures, this is a faster (relatively speaking) OGRE that focuses on the use of missiles. Unlike many other figures on this page, I tried doing the edge highlighting with a brush rather than with a needle, so the edges are less crisp (the Triton below is an extreme example of being too crisp). I did shade the white parts with grays, but it doesn't come out in the photo. The primary battery had a defect, with the rings only covering half of the barrel, but that's also not apparent in the photo. August 2018.
COMMAND POST     These likely carry the immobile "cybertank" battle computers, hence their extreme importance to the EU forces. After "finishing" it for the first time, I decided I didn't care for the way the base looked, so I added more sand to make it look more properly dug in. May 2018.

INFANTRY    These were designed to let you pull figures off the base to represent damage to the squad, but given how much hassle I had doing this when they were unpainted, I decided to just glue them into place. 10mm miniatures with indifferent detail are non-trivial to paint. May 2018.
GEVs    I decided to get fancy here and try to make the bases look like the ground was being blown up and away by the hoverfans. A downside of the various layers of glue and sand was that I managed to contaminate my rinse water with enough sand (yeah, I should have changed it) to make some of the paint jobs lumpy. I initially thought I'd mount the vehicles on posts to get the hovering, but then realized I could just use a second smaller rectangle of styrene sheet to lift it up, much more durable. May to June 2018.

HOWITZERS    I got a little fancy here, both painting the full EU flag insignia at an even smaller size than on the Command Post, and letting the cannons retain articulation. I decided that putting the highlighted edges on all sides might be a bit much here, and the later tanks picked a sunlight direction. June 2018.
   I did consider leaving the missile racks free to rotate on these, as the design made it so I didn't have to worry about paint scraping. However, the pegs themselves are really shallow and I didn't want them falling out and rattling around the minis transport, so I glued them in. June 2018.
   While the heavy tank turrets held on nicely, the rectangular design meant that the significantly lighter blue plastic would be visible if I turned the turrets. So I dyed the chassis pieces a darker blue to reduce this effect, although it ended up being a little too dark. I also probably should have made the bases a little wider, it was hard to get the terrain details on the sides. June 2018.

    Superheavy is as big as the EU forces go as of the early 2060s, but quantity has a quality all its own. September 2018.
    I did toy with making the guns rotatable, but ended up just gluing them in place. Interesting comparison to the Superheavies, assuming that the command towers are the same size on both. September 2018.
In Progress     Being surrounded by a lot of desert and ocean, Khadam tends towards GEVs. Their own native artificial intelligences weren't very well-suited to being entrusted with heavy weapons, but with the defection of Derek Radner from the NAC OGRE program they were able to get their Triton class working.

   Khadam's history as a haven for supervillains influenced the names of their units, although not all of those "honored" made use of Khadam's services back in the day.

TRITONS     The Triton class generally has a color scheme picked by their creator, rather than one using Khadam's national colors. The Triton class is built from OGRE's Fencer/Fencer-B Paneuropan cybertank. To avoid paint scraping while allowing the turrets to swap out and turn, I put a floor under the peg hole so that there'd be a small gap between turret and hull. The larger turret (Fencer-B) is known as the Triton II. August 2018.
ONSLAUGHTS     While Radner was able to pick the name of his Triton prototypes, the more powerful production line Cybertanks Khadam produced were named after the supervillainous nom du guerre of their greatest leader, Onslaught. Built from the Doppelsoldner from OGRE's small third wave of crowdfunded miniatures (which was just this and the OGRE Mk VI). This took me six months, mostly because I wasn't very inspired to paint it. That bodes ill for the rest of the batch. (Started September 2020, finished March 2021.)

    Named after WarStar's mighty weapon, these are Khadam's strongest non-Cybertank units, although they are rather limited once they've fired their cruise missile. Attack 2, Range 4", Defense 2, Mode GEV, Size 3. With cruise missile, Move is 4"/3". Without the missile it's 6"/4". 18 points with missile (as per Missile Crawler), 6 without. Effectively a slightly oversized and slower regular GEV without the missile. These are neither OGRE nor Heavy Gear miniatures. Rather, it's a blister of resin minis I picked up in 2001 or so when I was in Michigan, the quality of casting is dubious (seriously, the castoffs I sometimes pick up from Models & Minis are higher quality). Made by Fortress Figures, which still exists, mostly through Kickstarter. Finally finished 6/11/2021, man I hate working with yellow.

    Something like 90% of Khadam's combat units are the cheap but fast Strafe Class light GEV. Piloted by low-ranking Green Troopers desperate to win their way into the higher echelons and accustomed to mostly civilian suppression, they find most of their missions consist of higher level civilian suppression, but it is in the rare "real" combat mission where the survivors can hope to get a promotion to the White Troopers or even jump straight to Gold. (Official OGRE Light GEV figures.)

  • Pictures coming soonish. These are in process.
    Only Khadam and the Eurasian Union employ significant numbers of armored troopers, but Khadam treats them as an elite corps and that means they don't have to hump it around the battlefield themselves. Wearing Magnum Armor reverse engineered from that worn by the 20th Century villain, these Gold Troopers may die gloriously, but they live even more gloriously between battles. (Note: because the trooper figures are such a hassle to snap in and out, I just glued them in place. Were I to actually play using these figures, I'd have to proxy the dismounted infantry.)

  • Pictures coming soonish.
    Another Kickstarter I backed but stuck on the shelf (in this case because it shipped just as I was moving into a new house) is Heavy Gear Blitz. I've decided to make the "mounts" of the Caprice set into PROC Walkers as mentioned in the timeline file. However, since they're not OGRE miniatres, some rules-massaging is necessary if I ever want to play them in a game.
    OGRE lacks walker movement type (WLK), and the simplest way to do it is to treat it as INF (Infantry) type with the following exceptions:
  • They go down cliffs as Militia, including the 3-step limit.
  • They do not get the Defense bonus from being in rubble, forest, swamp, or town terrain.
  • They are treated as vehicles when entering town terrain.
    Provisionally, they cost as much as their equivalent tanks, but it might be necessary to cost them one point higher for the advantages of the Infantry movement. Note, however, that in 2061, they're not really a competitive faction unless they have home ground advantage and a lot of dug in structures to help.

Full Squad Shot
    Introduced in 2054 after years of frenzied catching up, the Gou (Dog) class of walker cyborg tanks are operated by what amounts to a "brain in a jar" cyborg pilot, housed in a heavily armored sphere. These spheres can be ejected if the walker is disabled, and the pilot installed in a new machine after recovery. Built from the Acco-class Mounts from Caprice in Heavy Gear Blitz. If you want to try playing them in OGRE Miniatures, assume they have the stats of a Light Tank, with walker movement mode as outlined above. I used some of the 40mm bases that came with the set, although those were more meant for other mechs, since the principle was that walkers could stay standing on their own. July 2018.

    The heavier Niu (Ox) class walkers entered service in 2056. They are more widely varied than the Guo, with numerous modular loadouts for different roles. Built from various heavier Mounts. In OGRE, treat them as "basic" (no tread points) Superheavy Tanks with Walker movement mode. The "jump jets" don't actually let it jump like armored infantry, they simply help with crossing minor barriers and righting themselves if they somehow get turned turtle. I decided to skip the actual instructions and build what I thought looked good from parts of two sprues of Caprice walkers. Since the Heavy Gear set didn't come with any bases larger than 40mm, the bases are 50mm circles I cut out of sheet styrene and added snow putty to for a badlands/desert look. July 2018.

  • WIP 1: I decided to make two medium-leg sets and three heavy legs (one for the Huo Long below). This picture shows them in various stages of completeness.
  • WIP 2: Legs completed. I later decided that the medium leg sets looked way too different to be the same class and split them off.
  • Completed.
    A parallel program to the Niu Walkers, the Hu (Tiger) walkers aimed to preserve the mobility of the Gou class but with higher firepower, and they entered service in 2057. Treat as Heavy Tanks with Walker movement. The "jump jets" function as with the Niu walkers. Built from the other half of the two Caprice sprues, pretty close to the Bashan Jammer variant but with a more solid-looking weapon that was supposed to go with a different type of mount. Also 50mm bases. July 2018.
    2059 saw the introduction of the Huo Long (Fire Dragon) superheavy walker, the closest the People's Republic of China has to an OGRE as of 2061. Built from the Ammon class Mount. In OGRE terms, it is an optional "tougher" Superheavy Tank with Walker movement, and it has "leg points" rather than "tread points." Rather than representing six destructible treads, the first three lines represent generalized damage to the armor plating around the legs, and then the other three represent destroying three legs. With only one leg, it cannot move. Built pretty much to spec for the Support Ammon Mount from the Caprice faction, although I did toy with the idea of slapping a few extra missile packs onto the sides. And yes, the lack of mirror-symmetry is part of the base mold, I only used parts from a single sprue, so there weren't right versus left versions that I could have mixed up. Also 50mm base. July 2018.

    While lacking supertech, the Santari-dominated Planetary Confederation has tech that Earth has yet to replicate with their own normaltech, including Antigravity (AGR) movement type. It probably should increase the cost of any model using it, but I don't know by how much. AGR functions as GEV movement with the following exceptions:
  • An OGRE-sized model with AGR movement takes the more beneficial of GEV and OGRE movement in normal movement. OGREs with AGR don't have tread points, they have agrav points, but it functions the same in terms of targeting, damage, and going Tracks Down.
  • An AGR model can choose to Go High during its move. When it Goes High, it treats all hexes as clear terrain, all enemy models can draw LOS and LLOS to it, and it can ignore the Hull Down status of enemy models. It stays High until its next move.
  • An AGR model may escape off the top of the map. It may do nothing else on its turn, and rolls d6. If the roll is below its current movement rate in inches, it will escape at the beginning of its next turn. During the enemy turn, it is considered to have Gone High. If damage to agrav reduces an AGR OGRE's movement to the point the roll would have failed, it does not escape.
PAVs     The main way in which Planetary Confederation forces impact the battlefield of 2061 is with the Planetary Assault Vehicle, which was developed as a reaction to the battle of 2046. While piloted by a fairly large crew, it otherwise functions as an OGRE MkIII with AGR movement mode (probably 5-10 points more expensive). Most PAVs are engaged in the ongoing civil war within the Planetary Confederation, but a few Great Houses divert the occasional PAV to Earth for various reasons, and the Galactic Warrior Corps has a limited number hidden in the vicinity of Earth for rapid deployment either to oppose Santari PAVs or to punish violations of the interdict (usually against Khadam or China). Built from Heavy Gear Blitz hovertanks from the Colonial Expeditionary Force set. I might use their mech suits as something the Santari also develop. August 2018.

  • GWC PAV: The highest ranking color combo for the GWC is yellow and brown, but I decided that would be too close to the Khadam colors, so I went with their mid-rank colors of light and dark blue. The whole "UN baby blue" similarity is coincidental, but appropriate. Yes, there's only two guns to represent four Secondaries, I figure they're rapid-fire cannons, "destroying" one damages it and drops it to slower rate of fire.
  • GWC PAV underside: Glowy effects, woo.
  • Rogue Santari PAV: More garish, in the colors of the house standard (inspired by the Aquila banner).
  • Rogue Santari PAV underside: Using neon purple paint turns out to be less effective if the "regular" purple paint has a stronger UV glow, derp.

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