Thursday, December 9, 2010

In which our hero asks a simple question

That question being, where are the jump infantry?

I am nearly certain that I have, by now, found pretty much every 15mm SciFi line of note on the interwebs, and what I have come to realize is that in all of these lines there is nary a hint of a jetpack-equipped infantry. Sure, some of the power armor types have big honking things on their backs that might be jetpacks, but they aren't presented specifically as such, and no where have I found, to my memory anyway, a regular infantry so equipped.

Yes, this is somewhat surprising to me. Twenty years ago jump infantry was very much the norm. There was jumping in games from Ogre (Battlesuit, to be precise) to Battletech and even early 40K had on on the back of every Space Marine. At that time, it was a genre staple. Yet, here we are without a line of jumpers in any range at this scale created in the last few years?

Why is this so?

Could it be that the inability of engineers in our real lives to deliver a viable jetpack has rendered the notion too farsical even for speculative fiction games? Not likely since they stick to the notion of flying cars and tanks.

Could it be that the tactical utility and viability of such troops has come to be seen as lacking? Doubtful, as infantry able to move quickly over rough terrain and uneven elevation is a general's dream.

Could it be that the current crop of in-fashion rules sets simply overlooked these types and the figure lines being sculpted, mainly to be useful in the current systems have similarly ignored them? Entirely possible.

Whatever the reason, I want my jumpers. I suppose that I will just find some relatively good models to use as a base and break out the greenstuff and convert up my own, but it sure would be nice for all of us if the bouncers would just come back from obscurity and play a part in the genre's battles again.


  1. One could imagine that the field came to the simultaneous conclusion that jet packs without heavy armor are not really that useful- hot legs and an elite infantry unit should sport some heavy armor to protect their training costs. I expect to see jump armor more like late-battletech elementals and the heavier battle armor with jump jets. Plus, it seems a lot more feasible if you can put jet ports on the feet rather than the back. Something about center of mass goes here.

  2. You keep your dry physics and reasoned notions out of my space opera, sir.

    Yes, possibly so, but I also deep down admit that core units able to routinely cross a third or more of the typical board each turn made them very unpopular to play against, hastening their exclysion from current settings. Busted is busted, even if it looks rad.