On the search for a modern ruleset in 6mm, my local gaming group and I went across GHQs “Micro Armour Modern – the Game” ruleset. Supported by GHQs own 6mm range of splendidly modeled miniatures (they also do WWII and naval battles), each of us ordered a combat command box, which is like a starter set, including enough models for an army, the quick start rules and even a plasic storage box.
The Israeli starter consists of:
10 Merkava Mk IV main battle tanks. These are the newest models of Israels Merkava line. They are in service since 2003. The design aims for the best possible protection of the crew, using every part of the equipment as an extra piece of armour. The engine sits in the front of the tank, giving the crew the possibility to disembark with a hatch at the back. With a total weight of 65 tons, it’s probably the heaviest main battle tank. These will get me a company of Merkavas with 3 platoons, each consisting of three tanks and one commander.
11 M113 Zelda APCs. Israel used M 113s as troop carriers since the 1970s. They have over 6000 M 113 based vehicles in service. Zelda is an inofficial name the vehicle got because of his reliability. The vehicles in the box are rather old versions of the APC, and are not equipped with any additional armour. Since the M 113 is an obsolete vehicle, with lacking armour to properly protect the passengers and crew, the Israeli military replaced the Zelda partly with the Achzarit (a T 55 based APC), and the Namer (Merkava Mk IV based). But there are still many Zeldas in service. This, together with the support gives me a whole mechanized company. 3 platoons with a support platoon and one commander.
1 M 901 ITV and 1 M 125 mortar carrier. These vehicles were used as support for mechanized infantry. Both vehicles are based on the M 113 chassis. The M 901 is fielding a dual M220 TOW anti tank missile launcher on the top, a M 125 mortar carrier, featuring a 81mm mortar, giving artillery support in the passenger compartment, with an extra wide hatch to fire directly out of the vehicle. These two together, and one of the Zeldas will form the support for my mechanized infantry.
10 bases of infantry and heavy weapons. These are the lucky ladies and gentlemen, who will ride inside the Zelda APCs. For each platoon there are 3 bases of infantry. One of which carrying a Dragon ATGM, and another one a Stinger SAM.
The amount of detail the vehicles and even the tiny soldiers have is tremendous. I don’t know how they did that, since I know the prototypes were sculpted in real scale, but that’s some really awesome stuff. They can even catch up to 15 – 28mm scale models. You can recognize every equipment the infantry is carrying. The casts are really good quality. Only a bit flash removing was necessary. Assembly was a bit fiddly, putting all the tiny machine guns on the troop carriers. The tanks simply came in 2 pieces, the hull and the turret. At first I wanted to put every unit on a 25mm round base, but the Merkavas are so damn big that I had to use 30mm washers instead (in combination with magnet foil a nice transport choice).
The colors for the vehicles were kind of a different decision, since they seem to differ from time, battalion and weather conditions. Its like the german dunkelgelb problem with WWII wargaming.
In the end I chose two different colors. One for the Tanks, and one for the rest of the vehicles. This gives my some variety but still a good overall look for the army. I choose Valleyo stone grey for the APCs and Valleyo german camouflage beige for the tanks.
Both colors look similar to the ones that the original vehicles use. For both I just painted the whole vehicle in the base colour after priming, and than gave it a wash with thinned down army painter dark tone ink (really thinned down with a tiny bit of dish washer). Depending on the vehicle, doing this 1-3 times, worked out all the tiny details really well.
After that the vehicles got a drybrush with a brighter base colour, aiming for the details and edges. Now only details like MGs, tracks, markings and some dust still have to be painted. For the bases I started with Valleyo earth, drybrushing it with Valleyo green ocre and Valleyo iraqi sand. The markings were painted on with white. A chevron pointing up for all the tanks, marking them as 3rd Battalion and a chevron pointing to the front for the 2nd battalion. The tanks also got tiny numbers on the rear of the turret, marking the Platoons (2-4) and the command tank (1).
The Infantry was kind of a challange for me, since I usually do 28mm miniatures, so I just painted the most important details like the uniform, the faces and the weapons. Using a wash afterwards worked out the details really well and gave me a pleasant result. The bases were done like the ones for the vehicles, putting 4 men on a base for normal Infantry and 3 men for special weapon teams (Dragon, Stinger).
Overall I really like the scale, it isn’t too expensive (around 50 $ for the starter) you can get a painted army really quick (4 days I think) and it saves space. I played the game two times now, using the quick start rules (have to wait until my rulebook arrives), and it works really well, using a relatively simple set of rules but with a lot of depth and realism. We will test the whole ruleset the next time, using rules for infantry, aircrafts and artillery. I’m exited. Stay tuned.
Note: In game terms, one stand represents 3-6 vehicles or one platoon of infantry. Personally I prefer 1 vehicle/infantry equals 1 vehicle/infantry. So for game terms, Platoons will be companies and the two companies, one battalion each.