Friday, 24 January 2014

MERDC Madness

Despite all of the promises (mostly to myself) in relation to the gaming goodness in 2014, the self proclaimed King of the Wargaming Butterflies (that’d be me) has decided to try something different.
Like most gaming bloggers, I read a lot of gaming blogs and over on ‘Sound Officers Call’, I noted with interest that Steve was using the old GDW board wargame ‘Team Yankee’ for miniature gaming – something I had thought about doing myself, but never had the cahoneys. I assumed that boardgame style Combat Results Tables and ratios belonged in a hex and chit game and not on the wargame table, but the thought always nagged me, and so now that Steve has done it, I can’t help myself.

Now I was a fan of the book, the game and even the graphic novel and if they’d have made a movie I would have been first in line. Anyone in their mid (ish) 40s remembers the cold war, the novelisations and the paranoia / hype / relief (in that order) surrounding the period and it has found its own niche in modern wargaming (with many excellent blogs).

 GDW’s ‘Team Yankee’. I’ve seen several copies of this and they are all battered like this one. I believe that this is either a flaw designed in, in order to reduce 2nd hand value, or that GDW made them this way in the first place ;)

So, in email conversation with Steve, I realised that I had been not only holding myself back, but that he had in fact done all of the work for me. I am now armed with his interpretations and playtest info and so will be giving the game a go with Heroics & Ros 1/300 stuff  (I still owe you another email Steve – it is coming).

And so to my dilemma. I was an a typical SovBloc player back in the day when I did modern(z) with WRG 1950-75 rules. In fact (and I kid you not), the M1 Abrams was just coming into service, and I can remember games where we called it the XM1. In those days it was easy for my opponent as he could paint the XM1 green factory colours and hide it amongst his M60s. Then came MERDC…
Unlike what Google might think, MERDC does not stand for ‘Men’s European Roller Derby Championships’…no; it is in fact a camo scheme designed by the US ‘Mobility Equipment Research & Design Command’ (see what they did there?). It’s the mid 80s camo of choice for US armour although debate rages as to how many M1s were finished this way etc. and there are several variants – but dark and light highlights along colour lines are the mainstay of the design

A MERDC woodland variety in all its glory

That said, it looks good on the table...and so to my dilemma (finally). It’s a bugger to paint on 1/300. Gone are the days when factory green was acceptable. Oh no, now that we are proper wargamers with blogs and stuff, we have to do it right. So I finished a vehicle or two, and boy am I not happy.

Don’t look at it!!…actually the blurring helps...

I'm looking at finer brushes, so here’s hoping that I get better and the abortive first platoon or two can be hidden in a wood, behind a reverse slope, somewhere deep in the Fulda gap, where the US player might even forget he has them…

1 comment:

  1. My copy is battered as well. Knowing GDW, it had to be a plot of some sort!