Thursday, May 5, 2011

Nihon Counters

Quick and dirty show off of my Nihon Counters
Here we go!
My bag of Nihon units. These counters are made of cardboard interior, laser printed label and cut on opposing sides. Colored before lamination was applied to give it that blue hue.

A good spread of counters.

The front and back of the dozen or so different counter types. Light Missile Tank, Missile Tank, Light Tank, Heavy Tank, GEV, Lt GEV, GEV/PC, Mobile Howitzer, and Howitzer.
A more detailed picture but trains are obscured due to overzealous flash.
In Honor of Henry Cobb and those at CP Alpha, I will mirror their information about Nihon Units word for world.


The Armor of Nihon

for OGRE/GEV

Whereas the Combine and Paneurope had armor units that were operationally identical to each other, the empire of Nihon took a somewhat different tack in its development. It had a manpower shortage and a technological advantage. This resulted in smaller numbers of technically advanced units.
All units are prefixed by the letter "N", to indicate that they're the Imperial Nipponese versions of the units in question.

UNITDMATKMove ModeVPNotes
N Heavy Tank434/3, 1/1 apTNK9carries 1 inf
N Light Tank333/2LT TNK4.5carries 1 inf
N Light Missile Tank233/4 one-shot, 2/2LT TNK4.5limited fire control, carries 1 inf
N Heavy Missile Tank223/4, 3/4LT TNK9
N LGEV14/32/2GEV4.5
N GEV34/33/2GEV9
N Missile GEV24/33/4 one-shot, 2/2GEV9limited fire control
N MHWZ116/6LT TNK9
N HWZ106/913.5

Nihon units always have costs divisible by 4.5 victory points, not 6 like their Combine and Paneuropean counterparts. Just as 6 VP are called an armor unit, 4.5 victory points are called an N unit. In scenarios which specify some number of armor units, consult the following table table to obtain the equivalent number of N units:

Armor Units123456789101112131415161718192021
N units12456891012131416171820212224252628

Note that one 9 VP unit may be substituted for two N units, or one N Howitzer may be substituted for three N units.


D4 M3 4/3, 1/1ap movement mode: TNK 9 VP
The Nihonese Heavy tank bore a striking resemblance to the Ogre Mk I, and was deployed at approximately the same time. It carries a single 4/3 main battery, and a 1/1 anti-personnel gun which is exactly like an Ogre AP: only works against infantry and D0, and is doubled in overruns.

D3 M3 3/2 movement mode: LT TNK 4.5 VP
Developed initially as a tank to provide a cheap, tough unit for the war with China, the Nihonese Light Tank had a very effective ECM/ECCM emitter mounted on the rear of its chassis, nicknamed "crackler" by Combine analysts. In the invasion of the Americas, this tank proved time and again to be a match for the Combine's Ranger.

D2 M3 3/4(one shot) 2/2 movement mode: LT TNK 4.5 VP limited fire control
The Nihonese Light Missile Tank had no analogue in the armies of the West. It was based on the light tank chassis. The turret electronics were sacrificed for a one shot 3/4 missile affixed to the rear of the turret. Note that the gun and armor thickness are the same as the N Light Tank, the reduced D, and reduced strength of the main gun reflect the loss of electronics.

D2 M2 6/4 movement mode: LT TNK 9 VP
The Heavy Missile Tank used munitions similar to its combine counterpart, only it fired them twice as fast. Treat the gun as two independently targetable 3/4 attacks. During the war with China, the Heavy Missile Tank was highly successful against hordes of infantry. Later it proved almost indefensible against more mobile Ex-Combine units.

D1 M4+3 2/2 movement mode: GEV 4.5 VP
The Nihon LGEV was a two man vehicle, packing the most punch per dollar of any GEV deployed in the war. By western standards its armor was frightfully thin, but was still popular with the troops that used it.

D3 M4+3 3/2 movement mode: GEV 9 VP
This was an attempt to create a kind of "main battle GEV", which could wed the speed of a GEV with the firepower and survivability of a tank. The "crackler" ECM/ECCM suite seen on the N Light Tank once again proved its value on this vehicle.

D2 M4+3 3/4(one shot) 2/2 movement mode: GEV 9 VP limited fire control
Just as on the N Light Tank, the N Missile GEV replaced the "crackler" with a one shot missile weapon. This unit was fairly rare, typically only appeared in each GEV company.

N MHWZ

D1 M1 6/6 movement mode: LT TNK 9 VP
Nihon was the first power to field a mobile howitzer unit in actual combat. Its lack of defense was not often noticed against slow-moving Chinese infantry.

N HWZ

D1 M0 6/9 movement mode: LT TNK 13.5 VP (3 N units)
Nihon's howitzer was essentially identical to the other powers', however they consistently deployed smarter and more costly munitions.

N GEV-PC

Nihon's GEV-PC is identical to the Western model, except it costs only 4.5 VP. What a deal! :)

N Missile Crawler

This unit is identical to the standard model.


Limited Fire Control

Limited fire control units which wish to use both their main cannon and their one shot missiles in the same attack phase (or round of overrun combat) must combine the attack factors into one big attack. [Now what's a good target for a strength 5 attack, hm?...]

Counters

As you can see above if your browser supports PNG, I'm working on a counter set but it is not yet complete. The elements so far are 300 dpi, by the way.

In general one can use the obvious PE or Combine counters to represent Nihon units. The N light missile tank can use the cruise missile crawler counter. After the missile is fired, swap in the empty crawler counter. Similarly, the N missile GEV can use the hovertruck, with a drawn-in missile. Alternately, one can use a GEV-PC to denote the loaded unit, and a hovertruck to denote the unloaded unit.

Miniatures

To build a Nihonese army without your own miniatures division is going to require creativity. For the N Heavy Tank, try to get Demolisher heavy tanks from Ral Partha's Battletech line. For N Light Tanks et. al., get Ral Partha era Combine light tanks -- these guys were too big to be 3 vp LTs, but are just right for 4.5 vp'ers. Make little missiles and crackler boxes out of whatever you have lying around. For the hovers, retrofit parts onto Paneuropean hulls.

Scenarios

These are quick adaptations from GEV. In general one side is Nihonese, and may only buy armor units mentioned here. The other side can buy any unit from GEV or Shockwave, except for cruise missile crawlers.

The Train

Play it just like in GEV, but with Nihon forces as the attacker or the defender. A Nihon attacker would get 21 N units worth of armor, with 5 reinforcements on turn two. A Nihon defender would get 16 N units worth of armor.
Because of the high premium on unit density placed on the attacker, superheavies cost an attacker 3 armor units, and N heavy tanks cost 3 N units.

Breakthrough

Nihon units are the defense versus combine attack. The defenders get 8 N units worth of armor.
Alternately, Nihon can play the attacker, in which case he or she may choose up to 16 N units worth of attackers, all of which must be GEVs. For attackers escaping off the north edge of the map, consult the following table for the number of VP awarded:
Unit\turnbefore 99-10after 10
NLGEV642
NGEV1284
NMGEV (loaded)1284
NMGEV (emtpy)853
A Nihon attacker fielding three types of GEVs is more dangerous than a Combine one fielding just one. To compensate, the defender should bring in two additional armor units worth of units from the north edge of the map at the beginning of his or her second turn.

Raid

With a Nihon defender, select initially 5 N units worth of defenders. Replace the reinforcement type table with this one:

Nihon Reinforcement Table

1N Light Tank
2N Light Missile Tank
3N Light GEV
4Roll on the heavy reinforcement table
5Roll on the heavy reinforcement table
63 squads of infantry

Heavy Reinforcement Table

1N Heavy Tank
2N Heavy Tank
3N GEV
4N GEV
5N Missile GEV
6N Heavy Missile Tank
The turns after the 2nd, 5th, 8th, etcetera heavy reinforcements arrive, the defender gets no reinforcement.
To play with Nihon attacking, select up to twelve units worth of N units, all of which must be some sort of GEV. This is slightly fewer VP than a western force would get, but it is more than compensated for by the diversity in attackers. it's a fun game!

Ceasefire Collapse

This scenario needs no balancing. Each player may declare whether he or she is taking Nihon units. If both players choose Nihon, the battle depicts a combat of the Nihon civil war. Western players get the standard 16 armor and 18 infantry. Nihon players get 21 N units worth of armor, and 18 infantry. Both players get the usual CPs and cities as per GEV.

Ogre is a trademark of Steve Jackson Games.
All variant rules copyright 2001 David Morse. Permission is hereby granted to make and distribute copies of this document for non-commercial use.
my email is in this image

Thank you CP Gamma for all your years.

OK, The Mark 7 OGRE (not even built!)

Steve Jackson:
"A hypothetical unit for a future in which the Last War went on longer . . .
These stats come from GURPS Ogre. The Mk. VII has not been sufficiently tested on a miniatures table to assign a point value – it must be at least 350, despite its slow speed."

Ogre Mark VII

Mark VII
'Points: 250' (232 Cobb Formula)
4 Missile Racks (D4) 0000
32 Missiles (6/5) 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000
4 Main Battery (4/3 D4) 0000
12 Secondary Battery (3/2 D3) 0000 0000 0000
24 Antipersonnel (1/1 D1) 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
96 Tread Units (DEF at 1:1)
00000 00000 000000 00000 00000 000000 00000 00000 000000 M2
00000 00000 000000 00000 00000 000000 00000 00000 000000 M1

When the Mark VI was in early production, Combine engineers becan working on plans for the Mark VII. Many thought the VII would be a waste of funds; it was clearly big enough and expensive enough that the enemy could use a strategic nuclear missile on it (or several) and justify the expense. Similar arguments had been made about the Mark VI, and this fear was rarely realized . . . but the huge Mk. VII was both a bigger and a slower target.
Plans were completed for the Mk. VII and templates created. However, the Manila Accord ended the Last War before any had been produced.
The Ogre Mark VII would have had four main batteries, 12 secondary batteries, 24 antipersonnel batteries, four missile racks, and 32 missiles carried internally.
Top speed would only have been about 60 mph (4”), with 96 tread units.

OK, This will be a long one - put on your reading glasses :)
I thought about it and the solution is clear.
A Mark VII is slow - movement 2.
Keep the 4 Main Batteries. These are your bread and butter and keeps a wide range of unit away from you that otherwise would horde around you. They are exceedingly good in overruns for their defensive value as well as their offensive contribution.
Eliminate the missile racks and horde of internal missiles. The racks will be targeted and destroyed before even 1/4 of them are fired to full effect.
Eliminate the Secondary Batteries because a movement of 2 + a range of 2 = GEV near immunity.
Keep the APs the way they are so it can shoot down any Cruise missiles that wish to take it out.
Place six external 1-shot 6/5 missiles on each side of the back chassis for a total of 12 external missiles. Each one has a defense of 3 (as to the four missile racks with a defense of 4).
That is 36 collective defense versus 12 collective defense for missile racks.
You see, firing 12 missiles to FULL effect is better than firing 4 missiles a turn with a chance, each turn, of losing your ability to launch the ones inside the OGRE.
If you are slow, might as well pack a wallop!
The Mark VII would be a missile bus with an ability to shoot down cruise missiles. I would behind the Mark IVs and Mark 3s supporting their advance and shooting down any cruise missiles that happen to slip through.
If this thing was to be a spearhead unit it would have WAY more tread units, basically reaching the upper end of envelope of size versus tactical usefulness. In other words, it would be too big to be of use and the enemy would target it with weapons that are cheaper than it would be to build this behemoth.
Cool as this unit would be to build, it would impractical.

What is further interesting is that this specc for the Mark VII is 100% on the Cobb Formula after deleting the secondaries and racks (and the 32 missiles) and adding 12 external missiles.

Mark VII (Re-engineered by Toltrin Industries)
Points: 246 (Cobb Formula)
Size: 10 (It's BIG)
12 External Missiles (6/5 D3) 00000 00000
4 Main Battery (4/3 D4) 0000
24 Antipersonnel (1/1 D1) 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
96 Tread Units (DEF at 1:1)
00000 00000 000000 00000 00000 000000 00000 00000 000000 M2
00000 00000 000000 00000 00000 000000 00000 00000 000000 M1
Personal suggestion:
Make missile racks shoot 2 internal missiles a turn instead of just one. People would not load their back chassis with 1-shot externals if missile racks packed punch. Additionally, lets add one more defense to the missile rack (D5) to make it more survivable - there are, after all, many many unfired missiles inside ready to find their targets.