Monday, 23 April 2012

BLIP - Badger Life Improvement Programme

Although the loss of a DropShip at Olbuck Reach grabbed the main headlines, another aspect of the action highlighted something that troops on the ground had been complaining about for several months - the comparative fragility of the Badger patrol and liaison vehicle.

Marine de-bussing from Badgers

Originally conceived as a light armoured vehicle for urban patrol operations, the Badger is a 6-wheeled personnel carrier.  Its purpose is to provide a safe means of transport through potentially dangerous areas.  The appearance is relatively unthreatening compared to standard, armed personnel carriers and the wheeled chassis does not damage roads and pavements in the same way that a tracked vehicle would.  The interior is not as spacious as some troop carriers, but air conditioning and good suspension mean that it remains a comfortable vehicle in which to travel, and the large rear doors give fast and easy means of egress.  4 of the 6 wide-tyred wheels are powered, giving good mobility off road, and a large engine gives a good turn of speed.  Though unarmed, the Badger carries a top range communications system that has been continually upgraded throughout the life of the vehicle.

Front and rear views
The drawback of the Badger has always been its relatively thin armour. The ambush at Olbuck Reach demonstrated this.  Rebels hiding in staggered positions in buildings to either side of the main street fired anti-tank missiles into the lead Badger, instantly disabling it and injuring some of the occupants.  When the second Badger moved forward to engage the rebels, it too was disabled.  Fortunately the Marines were able to move forward and clear the rebel firing positions, but the damage had already been done.  Deprived of their transport and unable to reinforce the SAM battery defences in time, the Marines could do little more than watch in horror as the Rebels opened fire on the DropShip as it brought in reinforcements.

Badger/15mm figure size comparison
The Badger Life Improvement Programme addresses the main concern of the report, the vulnerability of the vehicle to portable and/or improvised explosive weapons.  The Badger's traditional role clearly places limits on the options available, it was not designed as a front-line combat vehicle and should never be exposed to modern heavy tank guns.  Urban security operations have recently shown that a tougher vehicle is required, so improvements are clearly needed.  Bar armour or ERA are deemed to give the vehicle too aggressive an appearance, but a detonation field significantly reduces the danger from anti-tank guided weapons, causing them to detonate prematurely before reaching the vehicle.  Countermeasures and IED countermeasures incorporate jamming systems to interfere with the targeting and electronic activation systems of ATGMs and IED/mines respectively.  Improved anti-spall linings applied to the inside of the crew and passenger compartments mean that the vehicle is hardened, and is considered a life saver by many crews.  To round the vehicle off, added to its already impressive communications and countermeasures suite are the latest state-of-the-art sensors, which should significantly reduce the chances of future ambushes being successful, especially when facing lower-tech opponents such as bandits and rebels on Gordon's Gamble.

Tomorrow's War stats:

Vehicle: Badger
Tech Level: 2
Class: Light
Type: Wheeled
 Weapons: Unarmed
MGs: None
Front: 3D8
Side: 2D8
Rear: 2D6
Deck: 1D6
Crew: 2+8
TL3 Sensors (advanced): +1 die shift to spot enemy units, optimum range doubled
Countermeasures: +1D defence vs ATGMs
TL2 Detonation Field: -2D from ATGM firepower
IED Countermeasures: Troop Quality check to neutralise IEDs within 8"
Hardened: +1D defence againt mines, IEDs and artillery
Safe Haven: +1D die shift for bail out test

Painting notes: The Badger received a black undercoat with Humbrol matt 29 dark earth basecoat drybrushed heavily over the whole vehicle.  Humbrol 86 light olive and Humbrol 64 light grey camouflage patches are added.  Tools are Vallejo charred brown handles with Vallejo cold grey heads.  Headlights are GW mithril silver, turn indicators a mix of GW red gore & GW sunburst yellow.  Brake lights are GW red gore.  Tyres were touched up with Vallejo matt black to cover any areas where drybrushing camo onto the wheel hubs had spilled over.


  1. I cant believe that that'a the same toy truck, your modeling skills are very impressive indeed. I recall the original post when you bought this second Badger and i thought to myself then that you had bitten off more than you could chew this time around but i am pleased to see that i was so wrong...

    1. Thank you for your compliments!

      Modesty means that I must emphasize the part played by paint stripper and cola, I didn't have too much to do after they'd done their bit!