Thursday, April 26, 2018

A New Project: The Second American Civil War (2020-?)


This project is a pure flight of fancy, a bit of shameless, cathartic self-indulgence. I've always had a dark fascination for contemporary conflicts - the brutal, kinetic and extreme violence that seems to pick away at the edges of our fragile veneer of modernity. I know that for many in the hobby, ultra-modern warfare is simply 'a stetting too far', or indeed too close, perhaps a little too near to home. I completely understand, but I find this setting allows me to indulge my somewhat jaundiced view of the world, letting me to playfully skirt the margins of convention (and perhaps good taste).

Several years ago I wrote a piece on my blog where I reflected on wargaming, history and morality. In retrospect I think it was a little too heavy for a toy soldier blog, but whatever, I enjoyed writing it and I recently revisited the post along with all the well-considered responses from those who took the time to comment on it. At the time when I wrote it, I wasn't sure if I wanted to wargame ultra-modern settings, but now I think it may serve nicely as a cathartic outlet. 

While wanting to do something ultra-modern, I'm not especially interested in gaming the stereotypical white special forces guys operating in third world countries, killing brown and black people. Instead I want to explore the divisions in our own western society by taking our contemporary environment to an extreme conclusion, a narrative where North America has fundamentally broken down. It's meant as a poke in the eye to our civilized sensibilities, something provocative to fly in the face of our Western sense of superiority - blowing up the idea that, 'it could never happen here'. 

So I present to you my vision of 'The Second American Civil War (2020-?)'. 

I won't go too much into the hypothetical background other than to say that it's built upon the premise that the POTUS, fearing the comeuppance of impending kompromat, has manufactured a crisis from which he has declared martial law. This serves to interrupt any constitutional challenge to his power and helps to divert attention away from his legal entanglements. 

Peaceful demonstrations criticizing the Executive Office are suppressed by fractured elements of the government's enforcement agencies and nationalist militias. So, demonstrations turn to riots, and riots to open revolt. From this, the great 'American Experiment' begins to unravel.

Like many of these kinds of projects, this one will probably never see 'completion', but that's not what this is all about. I'm just wanting it to serve as a silly vehicle for my sardonic, very personal narrative of what I see occurring in the world today.

Anyway, enough blather, let's get on to the miniatures!

The figures and terrain seen here are from several sources.

First, we have a team of MAGA Militia in their distinctive red baseball caps. These guys are from Spectre Miniatures. Great sculpts, though the weapons are 'true scale' which means rather fragile.

Then we have a team of generic, very well-equiped urban operators. Perhaps members of a SWAT team. These chaps are from Hasslefree miniatures. A bit larger than your average 28mm figures, but beautiful models to work on.

Then four members of a Mexican Sicario hit team. As a certain silly Orange Man described them, these are all 'Bad Hombres'. The figures are from Spectre Miniatures.

Finally a group of local survivors just trying to stay alive. I imagine these as ex-military service personnel armed and clothed in an ad-hoc mixture of gear and equipment. These are also from Spectre.

I'm imagining several more factions, militias, thrill-kill cults still to come, which should be fun and perhaps raise an eyebrow or two. :)

The terrain shown here is a mix of stuff as well. 

The gas station is from Sarissa Precision. This was a incredibly fun kit to work on. Due to the setting I had in mind, I really went over the top on weathering it. Sarah says I need an old Coke machine out front and a bunch of windblown newspapers around the pumps - as usual, she's absolutely right.

The billboard is from my good friend Byron over at Northern Lights Terrain and Gaming Supplies. A great little kit that was easy to assemble and a doodle to weather up.

The two wrecked cars are from 'The Walking Dead' terrain boxed set. I think it has 4  plastic vehicles, half a dozen barricades and a bunch of other scatter for around 30 bucks - Really, an incredible value for what you get. I picked this up at 'Crisis' this past autumn and DaveD was kind enough to send it on home so I wouldn't have to pack it around Europe for the rest of our vacation. Thanks Dave! 

The green wrecked car is a resin model from Armorcast. 

The Jersey concrete barriers and oil drums are 3D prints from Thingiverse. 

So there you have it, my little post-apocalyptic diversion for the summer. I invite you to come back to see more stuff roll out over the coming months. It's going to be YUUGE!