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Bot War – the war wages on (clearing the backlog)

Bot War – the war wages on (clearing the backlog)

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Project Blog by rum8le Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

It's time to knuckle down and clear my Bot War backlog. I have a huge amount of minis to paint covering most (but not all) factions, and these bots need to see the light of day in my cabinets with a nice 80s paint job. Disclaimer: PLEASE NOTE I am in no way sponsored or affiliated with Bot War or Traders Galaxy, I am just a fan of the game, the miniatures, and universe Anthony has created, its the miniatures range I have always wanted so I’m happy to share my enjoyment of them where I can and hopefully see this game grow and grow. I'll also be making a big push to get some factions ready for gaming at Beachhead 2022 in February where I'll be running a demo table with some fellow hobby heads.

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Stock check!

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A new year begins, and with it an update to my backlog tracker. It was definitely a productive year on the painting front, but I also bought quite a few new Bot War releases as well. This means I had to review the data I started last year and bring it up to date.

 

Whilst at it I also decided to add in the points values for the units so I can see just how many options I have available. The typical game of Bot War is between 80-100 points so knowing how many points I have painted for each faction shows me how much variety I can have in my lists.

 

The data itself is split into 3 main categories representing the status of each of the miniatures in terms of Traders Galaxy availability:

  • Current – its in the current rules and on general availability
  • Legacy – this model may be an old sculpt of a current character or one that is no longer available.
  • Promo – miniatures with this categorisation are limited run, collectors pieces or challenge/competition rewards. Some have rules but not all do and can be an alternative sculpt of a current or legacy character.

All models are then separated into their relevant faction, and then simply listed as painted or unpainted. There are additional attributes recorded in the data but not shown in the tables at this time that lists material (resin/metal/plastic) and subfactions such as Builders, Ducal’s Defenders, Special Branch etc. which could be useful if I want to build themed lists.

Anyway, with that established, on with the data.

Stock check!
Stock check!

161 unpainted miniatures from the current Bot War range…. I guess that’s my goal for 2023 then.

 

 

The Bot War continues!

2022 comes to an end

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Although my brushes have been a little dry of late, and my hobby desk gathering dust due to the busy end of year shenanigans, I did manage to make one last push in the final 2 days of the year to bring my total Bot War paint count for 2022 up to 117.

This was a great year for my hobbies, not just the miniature hobby but my BBQ’ing/Cooking and Photography as well, and I’m really proud of what I managed to accomplish with Bot War this year. I got to demo it at stores and 2 conventions, introduce many new people to the game, smash out loads of fun faction paint jobs, complete 2x month-long daily painting challenges, and actually learn to play the game myself.

 

I can’t wait to see what 2023 brings, but for now I will leave you with the 3 outstanding Atlantican bots I finished at 23:45 on new year’s eve, and a preview of what will be coming in the next year!

Atlanticans - Octo, Hydro, NektonAtlanticans - Octo, Hydro, Nekton

The Bot War will continue in 2023......

Atlantican invasion force! Atlantican invasion force!

Warfare - Demo games and shenanigans

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The Wargames Association of Reading annual convention – Warfare – was held at the Farnborough International Exhibition Centre in Hampshire UK on the weekend of November 12/13th and was an amazing event.

I took a large proportion of my Bot War collection, and my demo setup that I’ve used a few times now, and managed to work with Lvlupgaming to get run a demo table in the main vendor hall directly opposite them. As one fo the main UK stockists for the game this was perfect as I could demo the game and show off my collection of Bots, and if people showed interest I could talk them through the product range there and then which is very handy (please remember I am not paid by TG or Lvl-Up).

I was easily able to fit the majority of my demo setup into a 34x45x17cm crateI was easily able to fit the majority of my demo setup into a 34x45x17cm crate

Over the 2 days I managed 14 demos (of some form or another) and managed to chat to quite a few people that caught the eye of the 80s nostalgia on show.

Some demos were simply kids rolling some dice, others were full length games. I tried to keep things moving as best I could but it’s hard to cover everything off when people have different time to spend with you.

I settled on standard starter set forces, COILS from the Turbo Edition, and a mix of Valiants from the 2nd edition starter and Turbo Edition.

It was clear that some people wanted to be extremely competitive, however I tried to imply that this was not an ultra competitive game (yet). In my opinion, it should be a light hearted game where players drive the narrative, sacrificing units if it makes for a great cinematic event or action sequence. But I think there will always be some players who want that alpha-strike move to win the game in as few a moves as possible, and that’s fine, that’s their enjoyment.

Game-wise the COILS were the most successful, however General Duc did steamroller through a number of Bots in one game one after the other, taking out 2 in one round at one point. I do think the COILS are more powerful and so I may look to switch things up a bit in future demo games. I also give both factions objectives to capture which increase the energy available to help them get off some of the super activations or power boosts. The energy management sub-game is one of the main things I enjoy about bot war, so it’s nice to give some extra energy for players to utilise during the starting phase of a demo.

 

Question?

What makes a good convention demo game in your opinion?

Perhaps a topic for an XLBS?

Instagram reel of my setup.....

Shenanigans!!

There was one person I spoke to for about 15 minutes about Bot War; the universe, the models, the game, and at the end of it I showed them some of the products Lvlupgaming had that they had shown interest in, and (unfortunately) they then went and purchased some Battle tech boxes. This created a bit of a meme for Karl and Lvlupgaming and I, and there were occasions when I found Battletech boxes on my table, which provided some light entertainment for the weekend. It was great working with Karl and the Lvlupgaming team as they made me feel part of a group and not just a lone person on a convention stand for 2 days.

Shenanigans! Shenanigans!

Warfare Weekend approaches

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This weekend sees the Wargames Association of Reading gaming club’s Warfare Weekend being held in Farnborough UK.

I’m association with Lvlupgaming who are a Bot War stockist in the UK I will be running demo games of Bot War across both days.

 

The Bots I will be taking to the convention for both display and demo purposes. The Bots I will be taking to the convention for both display and demo purposes.

Deceivers WIP - Honing the scheme

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Narcitron and Ravenous allowed me to experiment with a main colour which was similar to P3 Coal Black without being that colour. It is getting increasingly difficult 5o source P3 paints in the UK and those stockists that do have them have been sold out of Coal Black (an amazing paint) for a considerable amount of time and it hasn’t been looking good for restock any time soon. So to replace this I decided to mix up to Pro-acryl paints from Monument hobbies, Dark Grey Blue and Jade, which creates a slightly more vibrant coal black, perfect for my bots. Mixing up a batch of this with some airbrush thinner, I set about basecoating the majority of my Deceivers over their grey primer. I left a few out of this stage for the time being as I want to continue a retro scheme them.

To help with the impact of the scheme I decided to go in with the black-lining at this early stage. My reasons for this is that it can help me to identify the different blocks that I will add different colours too and get the dark shadow lines in at deepest and most recessed points to avoid having to do extra touch up work later.  The paint I’ve come to love for panel/black lining is the Citadel contrast Black legion paint. Being a contrast paint it is already quite thin so flows extremely well when drawing lines, and it’s quite pigmented to ensure a deep black is applied to the model in a single pass.

 

I set about black-lining a few of the Deceivers I basecoated (the rest of Narcitron’s Sins) so that I have a selection of models to work through in the coming week. Picking similarly sculpted bots also helped me plan out the colour blocks and make sure the scheme will translate OK onto them.

Citadel Contrast Black Legion - my favourite black-lining paintCitadel Contrast Black Legion - my favourite black-lining paint

Next up I needed to breakdown a module into its primary colour blocks. For this I choose Kroar.

A close attack monster, unsurprising given his hook claws protruding from each forearm, he can unleash 3 combat attack dice, re-rolling up to 2 of them, and any damage inflicted causes additional point of damage, that’s potentially 13 damage on a charge which is more than double an average bots health stat, brutal.

So with Kroar selected I blocked in the other colours. The under armour bot parts got the usual vallejo heavy Bluegrey (the same as all of my bots).  Heavy wearing joints and the feet were coated in Scale75 scalecolor flat black. Blades and “metal” parts got a coat of P3 Bastion grey (which is a warmer grey to the Bluegrey). Purple sections got a Vallejo heavy violet for a base tone as it’s good great opacity and gives a solid foundation for further purpleness. The final colour block to go down was P3 Meredius Blue, a turquoise leaning blue which is much lighter than the main colour and is used to pick out horns, spikes and interest points on the armour.

 

Finishing up this entry (but not finishing the Bot) I began to work up the next level of colour.  This included adding the spot colour for energy and beginning the edge highlight of the main armour.

The armour got highlighted with scale75 fantasy & game Hiril Blue. This is a desaturated blue leaning turquoise, lighter that the Meredius Blue but similar in hue. Using this to edge the main armour will help to link the two armour colours together and gives a good harmony to the scheme.

Energy and colour spots on the Deceivers are with a contrasting pink/magenta. The first stage is to use vallejo model colour Sunset red (wow this colour is vibrant), which is then highlighted with game color Squid Pink. I did add a quick highlight to the sunset red parts with reaper foggy grey (which I will be using later to edge the grey parts) and then glazed on a couple of layers of the squid pink to give some extra pop.

Deceiver progress updateDeceiver progress update

Deceivers WIP - Going Retro

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With the bulk of the Deceivers all built I gave them all an airbrushed primer layer of Grey from Stynelrez. I am hoping that this will give a nice neutral base that I can easily lighten and darken as necessary. It was also an excuse to use up some of the bottle that I’ve had laying around for a couple of years as I’ve found the shelf life isn’t that great with it so I want to get rid of it if I can.

 

Browsing through the rules in the Deceivers Faction Guide I noted that there were no longer character profiles for all of the Dissenter models (that come in the Terrors of the Air set), so I took the opportunity to throw down a classically inspired paint job onto 3 of the models. If you’re aware of a Saturday morning cartoon from the 80s you may some similarity to Skywarp, Thundercracker and Starscream, but with some artistic interpretation to accommodate the additional details. It was whilst painting these models that I came across loads of mouldings I’d missed in the black resin (I’m really not a fan of coloured resin) but TBH these are only for the tabletop so I’m not too bothered.

You can see some WIP photos below of how they are progressing.

For Destructor I again went with a classic colour scheme, to me this model (which is itself a resculpt of a 1st edition Bot war miniature) has a lot of inspiration from the character Blitzwing.  A Deceiver Tyrant in the making I wanted to give lots of focus on the energy sword, so have gone with very saturated magenta colours which match the Energy cubes I’ve been using in my games.  This spot colour will be seen throughout the Deceiver faction as it will provide good contrast to the main scheme I plan to use in the more original Deceiver sculpts….

Deceivers WIP - Going Retro

… And because I like to have a few models on the go at once, I also started on the main bad guy for the Deceivers Narcitron. He is a big 60mm bot (to the tip of his wings) and is a great sculpt. Staying close to his original artwork u noticed that there were some similarities to my Deceiver Beastlord colour scheme of turquoise grey and purple, so I increased the saturation and hue to really bring it inline with my original Deceiver scheme from a few years back. Seeing if this scheme could translate onto other bots i took the opportunity to work on Ravenous as well. I’m still refining the colour choices but you can see WIP photos below of how these are coming along. The use of the magenta for energy really makes them pop so that is something I will continue to use.

October 2022 - Deceivers

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October 2022 - Deceivers

With the UK summer heat a now distant memory I’ve been able to get back into my man-cave to get spend hobby time on my backlog again.

To also celebrate the launch of the Bot War discord server, and kick-start my Bot War focus as I get ready to run a demo table at Warfare Weekend in November I have decided to get my Deceivers painted up.

 

This won’t be like previous painting challenges done this year.  It is already the 3rd October so painting everyday won’t be a thing, and I have around 6 weeks until the convention, so I just want to chug along over the next few weeks to get one of the most powerful and movable bot war factions tabletop ready.

 

You can find out more about the Deceivers faction here https://tradersgalaxy.com.au/product/narcitrons_sins/

October 2022 - Deceivers

Taking the models from 3 boxsets; Narcitron’s Sins afn Megatyrant’s Revenge faction boxes, the Terror in the Air booster, plus a couple of promo models I have got 26 bots to paint up.

The Narcitron's Sins models are some of the original resin models Traders Galaxy put out for Bot War  and come in the light grey resin. The details are superb and there was barely any cleanup requiredThe Narcitron's Sins models are some of the original resin models Traders Galaxy put out for Bot War and come in the light grey resin. The details are superb and there was barely any cleanup required
The Terror of the Air and Megatyrant sets came in black resin, which is equally sharply detailed as the light grey, but I did find it required more cleanup and some heat treatment to straighten parts. It also felt more brittle which also resulted in me having to repair some thin details which had gotten damaged in my storage.... I've had some of these models for nearly 2 years now. The Terror of the Air and Megatyrant sets came in black resin, which is equally sharply detailed as the light grey, but I did find it required more cleanup and some heat treatment to straighten parts. It also felt more brittle which also resulted in me having to repair some thin details which had gotten damaged in my storage.... I've had some of these models for nearly 2 years now.
All models built, will drill and attach pins to their feet to assist with priming and painting, but for now I have all models ready to go into the painting queue. All models built, will drill and attach pins to their feet to assist with priming and painting, but for now I have all models ready to go into the painting queue.

Demo day - Lvl Up Gaming (August 2022)

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Followed up with another demo day in August held at Lvl Up Gaming in Bournemouth. This was a big one for me as Lvl Up Gaming are one of the few UK stockists for Bot War, so it was great to get the game shown and managed to hook another couple of people with the models and game mechanics.

 

I did run a slight variation on a simple scenario which involves capturing objectives across the map by giving both sides a generator which made it easier to trigger various activations by having extra energy resource than you would in a standard game.

Drying one of the engagements, I managed to get off a perfect 3 dice shield roll, however it was rolled against a near perfect boosted ranged attack with an extra critical so I had no chance of shrugging off that sort of damage.

Demo day - Lvl Up Gaming (August 2022)
A perfect save was still not good enough against an almost perfect critical boosted ranged attackA perfect save was still not good enough against an almost perfect critical boosted ranged attack

Demo day - Entoyment (July 2022)

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In July I ran a demo day of Bot War at Entoyment in Poole as part of their store anniversary.

Demo day - Entoyment (July 2022)

Painting wise I was able to complete Darkstone and his 3 Golem Lieutenants Magmoar Crystalor and Nucleor. These are the original metal releases so are quite hefty in weight, Darkstone needed some pinning and is quite fragile given the weight of the claws. I do have plastic versions of these minis as well now, and have plenty to be able to field 3 Golem platoons that make up the remainder of the faction options.

For Darkstone I went with a retro inspired paint scheme based upon the Black Zarak character from the Japanese Transformers cartoon series. The black and gold. Work really well together and give off an evil regal-Ness. Also the colours suit the sculpt which in my opinion gives more than a subtle nod to the same inspiration.

 

For the Golems I followed the original artwork, I want them to be obvious who they are on the battlefield as the sculpts are very similar.

Darkstone WIPDarkstone WIP
Black Zarak, inspiration for my colour schemeBlack Zarak, inspiration for my colour scheme
Darkstone with his Lieutenants; Crystaloar Magmoar and NucleorDarkstone with his Lieutenants; Crystaloar Magmoar and Nucleor

May 2022 - The War Continues

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Its now the end of April 2022 and my push to clear my backlog continues.

If you haven’t seen my April project please check out https://www.beastsofwar.com/project/1726515/ and you will see that i have been busy painting up the Mercenaries faction and some of the Sell Sword characters who can fight for them.

 

April 2022's BotsApril 2022's Bots

So with this batch of bots completed i have updated my backlog spreadsheet to see how i have progressed

Backlog in January 2022Backlog in January 2022
Backlog in May 2022Backlog in May 2022
Backlog in January 2022Backlog in January 2022
Backlog in May 2022Backlog in May 2022

OK, i have bought more bots.

I can’t help it.

BUT, i have been busy and bots are getting crossed off the list.

What should i paint next though??

Go Bot War Go

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A couple of fridays back i wanted to paint something fun. So without holding back I built up one of the new Mercenaries, their leader in fact, called Blackwheel, and decided to go full 80s inspired cartoon throwback on him.

 

Blackwheel as he should be Blackwheel as he should be
Blackwheel inspired by Cy-kill from Go-BotsBlackwheel inspired by Cy-kill from Go-Bots

By painting up Blackwheel I triggered an urge to get stuck into my Mercenaries faction next, whilst digging through my backlog boxes to get them all out I unknowingly would set about a chain of events that will see April become another jam-packed Bot War painting challenge……

Follow along with that adventure https://www.beastsofwar.com/project/1726515/  and I’ll see you in May to continue the backlog purge.

 

Go Bot War Go

Infantry March into Spring

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After a short break at the beginning of March, I continued to work through my backlog, but after a couple of months of just painting bots I wanted a change.

Bot War is a 10mm skirmish game, but it doesn’t just have bots and flying cars, oh no, there are also 10mm infantry, so I set about building up the infantry sections, squads, and platoons for my Democracy faction.

 

The infantry are also inspired by 80s cartoons, and are a real action force of army Joe’s on the table.

 

Infantry March into Spring
Infantry March into Spring
Infantry March into Spring
Infantry March into Spring

February painting challenge completed

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And so, after 28 days of solid painting, 48+ models painted for 3 factions, I had to get an action shot or 2

February painting challenge completed
February painting challenge completed
February painting challenge completed
February painting challenge completed
February painting challenge completed

Infesters

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The 3rd and final part of my February painting challenge was the Infesters faction, and to be honest they were my primary goal to get completed during it.

The Infesters are a unique faction as its core is made up of 6 Infester warriors who can each take multiple Clones of themselves. These Clones are essentially zombie-like shades of the warriors Statline, and whisky the main faction is made of resin, the Clones are made of metal.  The Bot War models are shifting over to resin and plastic at the moment so when Clones become a bit cheaper and more available, I will probably look to pick up a few booster boxes to give me a proper horde army.

For now though I have the 6 main warriors and one of each of the 6 different Clone models…..

I also have the Maggot which is a tunnelling bit that can carry 4 Larvae symbiotes for some surprise attacks. There are also 3 Swarm bots but I have not painted these up yet. I have 9 in total and they will form part of a secondary faction that have rules currently in playtest.

 

 

MaggotMaggot
Maggot & LarvaeMaggot & Larvae

And in true Bot War fashion there is of course a titanic centrepiece, and in keeping with the insectoid theme of the Infesters it could only be…..

 

 

 

 

The QueenThe Queen

Special Branch Activated

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During the February painting challenge I completed 2 factions, Democracy and Infesters, but the Democracy faction actually contained the 2 sub factions in the form of Eagles Veterans and Max Starr’s Special Branch.

Whilst I showed the competed Eagle’s Veterans as an army shot (after painting them in a weekend), I hadn’t shown the Special Branch since I completed them either, so I shall rectify that now….

 

Max Starr's Special Branch

Eagle's Veterans

I also took the time to take some individual shots of my Eagle’s Veterans whilst I had my camera out….

Even my backlog project has a backlog - SPRING CLEAN INITIATED

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It’s been a very busy few months. Beachhead was a great success, I smashed out loads of models, got them on show, had some games, and have continued to push on through the backlog.

February was another annual Bot War painting challenge which saw the Facebook community paint an insane amount of bots over the 28 days. If you’re not aware what this is, it’s a challenge to paint for at least 30 minutes everyday for the duration of the month, you are allowed 2 pass days as life can get in the way, but you must post before and after photos of your session daily which means there’s a huge amount of content being posted. It’s a real highlight to see what everyone completes.

I managed to paint everyday, including the 2 days of Beachhead, and managed to complete 48 models from start to finish in February. I actually painted more but I started some of these before February 1st so I did not include them in my count and didn’t share any progress of them.

But, I will share those here.

Trashers

The Trashers are a close attack focused faction, they love to get really stuck in and smash up the enemy with melee weapons.

Taking inspiration from junkyards, I painted up the bots with a rusty metal theme, using a tutorial from a great painter/teacher/YouTuber friend who also streams on Twitch, Reiner72, I applied a Necromunda underhive scheme as the basis for the Trashers armour. I won’t go into too much detail but his video is well worth a watch, it involves a TMM base that then has rust and grime applied to it.

Whilst it’s not a refined paintjob, as far as “tabletop” standards go this looks quality and I’m really happy. The Mig Ammo Lucky Ultra Matte did take some of the polish out and flatten the highlights, but I wasn’t too bothered as they are gaming pieces and still look great on the table.

 

As with most of the Bot War factions there is a centrepiece model, a titanic bot which looks insanely imposing on the table, for the Trashers this is Trashasaur, and if course I had to get mine painted up as well

 

Even my backlog project has a backlog - SPRING CLEAN INITIATED
Even my backlog project has a backlog - SPRING CLEAN INITIATED

Beachhead 2022

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One of my hobby goals for 2022 and a milestone for this project was to be able to put on a demonstration table at the Beachhead convention in Bournemouth (UK) which was held the weekend of 12th/13th February.

And I managed to do just that, even roping in a couple of mates to help me out and get a few games in whilst still enjoying the show over the 2 days.

 

All the bots getting ready for transportationAll the bots getting ready for transportation

I took with me everything I could think of to help show off this product:

  • Current miniature range
  • Cardboard city terrain
  • Rule books (multiples of)
  • Stat cards
  • Perspex display cabinets
  • Unpainted examples
  • Empty bot war boxes
  • Allllll the dice
  • More dice

I also packed plenty of snacks and drinks to keep us going, copies of The Crew and Skull boardgames to help us pass time if necessary, and my Level-up game riser to give us some more space and help line of sight checks.

 

 

Beachhead 2022
Beachhead 2022
Beachhead 2022

Over the next 2 days we ran some demo games and I got to use 2 of the factions I had completed; Trashers in an Assassination mission against Atlanticans, and Democracy Eagle’s Veterans with Special Branch assistance against COILS in a capture the city scenario.

Both of these factions were very fun to play with and we had some great cinematic moments with them.  We even levelled a city block which made me go off to buy some cast resin rubble terrain pieces to add more flavour in future games.

 

All in all it was a great event, I got to talk to loads of people about bot war, play some games, listen to very positive comments about my painted miniature collection, spend some money supporting local vendors, and get to chat with great folk like Moonstone Tom who was attending his first Beachhead.

My Trashers leader assassinated in the final turn by a sneaky air support move into close range by an Atlantican bot that then gunned me down. Next activation was mine and would have seen the Atlanticans tabled, oh wellMy Trashers leader assassinated in the final turn by a sneaky air support move into close range by an Atlantican bot that then gunned me down. Next activation was mine and would have seen the Atlanticans tabled, oh well
COILS Bot tries to make a grab an energy cube boost right into the firing lines of Democracy armoured forcesCOILS Bot tries to make a grab an energy cube boost right into the firing lines of Democracy armoured forces

Special Branch

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Continuing with Democracy I set about tackling the Special Branch element to the faction.

The vehicles in this set represent some iconic vehicles from pop culture and 80s cartoons, and in-game bring different tactical elements and abilities that can really boost the traditional armoured ground forces of Eagles Veterans.