AN ONGOING NEWSLETTER March 2003


SPACE RANGERS
A TECHNOLOGY TOO FAR FOR COMBAT ZONE?

by Doug Cowie

If Aliens are invariably a threat, then we need to have specialists to deal with them. The sensibilities of a delicate public opinion need not be considered.

I’ve got a squad of Space Rangers painted up but I’ve never used them in Combat Zone. Yeah, I know there are no rules for them but that’s not the reason they haven’t been used. Knocking off some quick rules to cover them would not be a problem. No, it’s more to do with whether they fit in or not to the Combat Zone ethos. Combat Zone is essentially near future with technology not too far removed from today’s. Could such hi-tech troops as Space Rangers be in existence? And if they were, surely they’d be off-worlders. They wouldn’t go clumping round earth in all that kit would they? If ground troops want power-armoured capability they’re more likely to be the Future Skirmish Power Armoured style aren’t they? So many questions, but this is why I’ve fought shy of them in Combat Zone.

Eventually the answer to these questions was simple. First, I wanted to use the figures – that really was the crucial point; everything else fell into place once that admission was made. And very quickly, the role of Space Rangers in a terran situation became obvious. Alien hunting.

If we assume that Aliens are no longer a novelty and that, what’s more, they’re invariably a threat, then the need to have specialists to deal with them is obvious.

In a settled world environment then a covert system such as is detailed in the Men in Back movies is to be preferred. In the anarchic, violent chaos of the Combat Zone world however, the sensibilities of a delicate public opinion don’t need to be considered. So, a bunch of highly skilled, well-armed Alien killers armed to the hilt and happy to use their firepower whenever and wherever it’s required is acceptable. The Space Rangers mainly encounter Aliens in off-world situations but they’re empowered to follow them to Earth and hunt them down there. In fact, they’re tasked to do so.

So, I now feel justified in using Space Rangers in Combat Zone. Excellent. And, incidentally, a use for the Alien figures is created as well. Even better. Now, how about one of you in Combat Zone land suggesting some suitable unofficial rules for them?

Don't forget: Just because they dislike Aliens doesn't mean they are friends to all Humans.

Consider a raid on a Bionetica complex to reclaim an Alien under 'study' by the BioWar lab... Near-future troopers fighting off a small squad of heavily armoured supertroops. Here's where Bionetica's experimental weapons come into play!


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