03 February 2012

Random Friday Wargaming: Mercenary Air Squadron

Something a bit different... here comes the Mercenary Air Squadron. No, that didn't seem quite dramatic enough.


There, that's better.

From the company's website
As the year 2015 came to a close it was clear the world was in a new trend. Instead of fighting wars with their own conventional forces, nations found it easier to pass the burden of conflict along to private contractors. They could be expensive, but a mercenary force was less politically liable than a country and more expendable. The best survived, and went on to glory and profit. The most famous and sought after are the mercenary pilots.

Again, no forum at CSW, but VBAM games has it over here.

What do you guys think? Good idea? Wacky idea? Both?

Master links/images from Boardgamegeek.com; message boards linked to Consimworld. Other links to the actual game pages...

By: Brant


Brian said...

Well, I don't care for air wargames, but the idea of the mercenary flyer-adventurer is as old as fighter aircraft, from the Lafayette and Kosciusko Squadrons to "Terry and the Pirates". I remember an old Japanese anime called "Area 88" about a mercenary air force that was set in a mythical Middle Eastern countryin the 1980s

Guardian said...

I think the whole mercenary concept is overdone in gaming in general. Jagged Alliance (on the PC platform) was a great game and the mercenary angle allowed for some colorful characters, like Ivan, but worrying about every last dollar also detracted from the game in my mind. I wanted to lead a bunch of bad-ass mercenary commandoes like Executive Outcomes, not be a Blackwater accountant.

Army of Two on the consoles comes to mind too. Kind of a mediocre game overall, but with an interesting "aggro" mechanic. The mercenary angle just pushed it completely over the top, though.

I'm also very dubious about whether mercenary forces would be allowed to "free-lance" in battles against each other in the modern world of 24x7 global media coverage, even with the most tolerant of government clients.

Can you imagine the s***-storm that would have erupted if Blackwater and Triple Canopy, for example, had shoot-outs against each other in downtown Baghdad over employee poaching or contract competition? Even the most vehement privatizers in the Government would have frowned on that kind of thing, which is just untoward. From a PR perspective, I think it would be worse than the Nasoor Square incident.

-- Guardian (perhaps in too serious of a mood today to suspend disbelief)

Guardian said...

P.S.: Mercenary air forces flying state-of-the-art platforms seems even pretty unlikely to me too. Sure, Blackwater/Xe/Academi has a few transports and helos. I could maybe even see a couple of gently-used Mi-24 Hinds. But MiG-29s and F-14s? Not gonna happen.

Brian said...

Guardian's PS: I agree, only ever gonna happen in manga or anime beyond a gunship or two.

Mercenary shootout in Baghdad? Heh, I'd like to see that... Mercenaries want to protect their men and machinery, it's their capital after all, so they don't often tussle with each other.

The condottieri of medieval Italy advanced the art of warfare by the arts of not-fighting and the indirect approach, in order to avoid expensive casualties, hard work and winter campaigning.

Silent Hunter said...

I recently got the remake of 'Area 88' on DVD and highly recommend it.

Brant said...

Area 88 was a great read. The art was typical manga art, but the story was a lot of fun.

Dan Eastwood said...

The fantasy of the hired gun mercenary has been a major draw for some games - Battletech at very least. Creating a game to take advantage of that is a smart move.