Today Mark takes a look at the new HMMWV models from Stripes.
Small but perfectly formed
The High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV Also known as the Humvee) is perhaps one of the most iconic pieces of modern US kit going. Since Team Yankee first came out people have been asking for them (almost as much as Bradleys) and Battlefront have now delivered.
For those not familiar the HMMWV is a general US utility vehicle today (you should have seen how many used to ‘cruise’ around Kandahar Airbase!) that, from the mid eighties, replaced the M151 Jeep, the M561 “Gama Goat” and a whole variety of light trucks in a wide range of front-line and support roles. Of particular interest to us is its use as a weapons carrier and light scout vehicle, carrying a variety of mounted machine guns, TOW missiles and acting as a run around for Stinger MANPAD teams.
A whole lotta bang for the buck
Its powerful engine and squat shape make it a good off road vehicle while its size allows a fire team to fit inside snuggly along with a range of weapon fits. All in all a very versatile and successful vehicle. In fact so successful that it even launched a civilian version.
What you can buy when you aren’t pushing pencils, you sonofabitch.
Battlefront’s HMMWV comes on a single sprue and each variant requires only eight pieces including the crewman. Assembly is incredibly quick and once you have done a couple you can easily make one in 5 minutes, which is just as well as I have 30 sitting on my desk, quietly mocking me!
Weapons options on sprue are the TOW Missile Launcher, Mk 19 grenade launcher, 7.62mm MG and M2 50cal. This allows you make any of the options in the army’s HMMWV cavalry or anti tank platoons;or USMC OP, Scout or Weapons platoon. Additionally four Stinger crew are supplied allowing it to form the Stinger Air Defence Platoon.
In the Ryan’s Leatherneck boxes I have in the UK, the crew come as metal models, however it seems US customers are getting resin offerings (same poses) which is rather odd. The only thing I can think is that its due to custom import issues in certain countries or maybe it’s an issue with one of the moulds mid production? Perhaps Battlefront will clarify? Either way it seems there is little difference and the metal models I have are good clean casts. The crew all have a high base on them which allows you to file it off to get the height you want them to be at when they poke out of the top hatch. Additionally you get the stinger missiles mentioned above. Due to them being full models (similar to the blowpipe with the Brits), this allows you to either place them in the HMMWV or to their side on a base if so desired.
Sadly shirt-less isn’t a model option
As you can see from the pictures the new sprues come in ‘army green’ which appears reminiscent of the plastic green army men of my youth. It’s certainly nostalgic if nothing else!
Now its sometimes the way that you can get a really nice new, sexy model, but find that they are a bit of a let down in game. Thankfully this isn’t the case here. In fact they are massively viable. Firstly you can take them as recon for your Marine M60 formation, TOW sections of 2 in all your Marine formations and finally as MG sections in your Marine Rifle formation.
Where they really shine though is in the HMMWV Calvary Troop. A mere 19 points will get you 6 patrols (2 x M2, 1 x Mk19 and 2 x TOWs) plus 2 x M2 HQ vehicles. That’s 26 vehicles for 19pts, which pump out 12 AT21 shots and 70 anti infantry (or even anti transport) shots! I mean literally why wouldn’t you?
It gets even better; they are 4+ to hit, have scout (GTG when concealed if they didn’t shoot) so can sneak into position, and with 4+ skill they can do some clever shooting and scooting to keep them alive.
For me its the fact that they have an answer to most things that makes them so appealing. Their to hit rating mitigates zero armour (remember a 4+ to hit is the best armour in the game), they will happily murder T72s/T64s as much as they will BMPs. Plus you can take a whole troop for less than two Leopard 2s.
Bear in mind you can only take 1 “Troop” formation in a force so you wont be able to completely flood the table.
The HUMMWV is welcome addition to the US arsenal. Battlefront have managed to make a easy to assemble, well detailed model, coming with all the options. At the moment they are only available in the Ryan’s Leatherneck’s starter set where you get 6 and 3 M60s for £34 (or £31.60 at most retailers after discount). Bear in mind you get 6 for £30 (£27 after discount) in the pre-order box below so you might as well just buy the starter set, where you basically get 3 M60s for £4.60!
In game you can use them to support your Marine formations (you will want that recon and the TOW Squads), provide much needed and well priced AA with Stingers and most importantly field a complete Troop for a mere 19 points, kicking out and incredible amount of fire power.
Well I better get back to the assembly line and start the MERDC painting.