Friday, 25 November 2016
In the comments of a previous post Sitzkreig asked, "Will the accos be manned as well or autonomous drones in your world?"
I hadn't given it any thought because as things stand at the moment I've not written any scenes with anything other than the large walker I showcased here. Pokhodnaya Boyevaya Platforma or Object 295 is the enemy machine that one of my characters encounters in my second novel. But obviously nothing operates in isolation and I have been giving some consideration to its role and how it fits within a force.
That force will have platoon equivalents with some heavy support. Object 295 is one of two support elements that will be attached to a formation containing smaller walkers. I've previewed the command variant and in the picture above you can see in the background what I've made up to represent another walker variant. My plan is to have a command walker with four of the new variants and three Accos attached to each: for a total of seventeen walkers with two heavy walkers attached.
However, that doesn't answer the question of, are the Accos manned or drones? I pondered that question for a while, and thought about how much easier it would be to source 15mm figures, rather than using the limited range of poses available in 10mm. So I decided to do a size comparison with real tanks to the same scale: a Sheridan, an M60 and a Russian prototype Object 640 – a T80U variant with an extra road wheel that was never put into production.
Comparing the Accos to the Sheridan, I think it is large enough to be a manned walker and makes it more plausible that the larger walkers have multiple crew members. I think three, consisting of a driver, gunner and commander. This is interesting as it means that in my future universe the Russians are not relying on expert system AIs to run everything. That makes the Accos a bit unusual because they aren't large enough for three crew. And then I had another thought, as one does, since they're so small they're probably are air-droppable by parachute.
And that is how one does world building without really trying.