Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Heavy Ack-Ack

THE M20 ZHUKOV ROLLS ONTO THE FIELD


After a long week of illness and a longer weekend working the local Airshow, my painting progress has not been spectacular. Nonetheless, I have managed several more scenic flying stands for my smaller craft, two Wagons and several Battle Tanks for the Resistance. A huge front of rain has prevented me from varnishing and photographing the models, so I apologise for the delay in posting these pictures.



The main event was the M20 Zhukov Battle Tanks, a pair of which I have started using in my lists to give a significant anti-air punch. Where the Gun Wagons have many highly accurate shots on a rugged but low-armoured chassis, the Zhukov is a heavily armed and armoured tank, based on the Hannibal hull and carrying a 32mm Rail Cannon. Here are some words from Hawk on the subject...

The M20 Zhukov is based on the M9 Hannibal hull and shares its renowned resilience as well as its weaknesses. However, the Zhukov takes the complexity and expense of the M9 to a whole new level. It was only available in limited numbers before the invasion and is ever rarer today. It is equipped with one of the first magnetic accelerator weapons ever mounted to a production tank, the 32mm Rail Cannon. Compared to the railguns employed by the UCM, the weapon is underpowered, massively complex, heavy and ruinously expensive, but, the Zhukov is different to modern designs in that it employs this weapon in the anti-air role. While the small calibre of the 32mm lacks punch against tanks, it is utterly devastating against slow moving aircraft. A single hit from this weapon can bring down most modern day medium dropships from long range. Its terrible rate of fire (for an AA weapon) makes it much less effective against fast movers such as fighters.
- Hawk Wargames

The M20 Zhukovs have served me well against the Shaltari and I imagine they would work well against the Scourge, where their skimmers and low armour would suffer. I have not run them against the PHR or UCM, as I feel the Rail Cannon would not work as well as the standard armament of the Hannibal, and my "human" opponents tend not to run a lot of aircraft. Maybe at the upcoming tournament I will see more aircraft, like the Phoenix?


Ultimately, the Zhukov is an expensive investment, and with a Lifthawk they reach well over 200pts - a lot more than the Hannibals or full squadron of Gun Wagons in a Kraken. Without a Lifthawk, they become incredibly slow, and their main weapon can only cover half the board - easy to avoid if they're trapped on the back line while the rest of the Resistance is closing in. Nonetheless, when they can fire, the enemy will feel it! E8 with Devastator-2 and hitting on 2's is guaranteed to mess up anything air-worthy. I think I will be trying them a bit more - even against PHR and UCM, and we will see if they are worthy of a place in my tournament list. I will post more definite conclusions on the Zhukov as I playtest them.

On the painting side, the usual grey scheme supplemented with rust has paid off once again, and though they might not be very colourful, I am very pleased with the utilitarian look. The militaristic aspects of my Resistance force work well together, and I have taken the opportunity to strip and re-paint two of the Hannibals as their grey was a slightly different shade to the rest of the army. I guess as my painting style evolves it gets lighter, and this was obvious when comparing the new tanks to the first generation. Now everything is at the same level, I can sleep a little easier.

Next up - some more civilians vehicles, leading up to the War Rig!

Thanks for reading, 

George 

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