Speculating on the next releases

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BenfromBrooklyn
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Speculating on the next releases

Post by BenfromBrooklyn »

This isn't a wishlist, just my musings on where GHQ will go next, particularly with modern microarmor.

They can go "wide", adding more nationalities (I did pretty well with some predictions but I did NOT see Taiwan coming!) or they can go "tall" and build up the ranges of the nationalities they have. The track record shows that they do both.

But with some exceptions, there isn't much more width to add. Most of the nations fielding modern military equipment have a listing already. Though, I could see them adding one or two to toss in the widely used Piranha vehicles, and a few others.

With each nation, from a wargame point of view, I suppose a logical plan is to represent at a minimum the "tactical line up" up that nation. Ergo, plugging gaps would be a priority. Also, GHQ does seem to like versatility- similar vehicles based of a common source, like the recent range of M-48's.

So that being said, my first prediction: South Korea. The ROK army has its "tactical line up" pretty much done. But where is a good spot for a next South Korea release?

Honorable Mention: Korean mortar carrier variant of the Swedish BV-206. There are a few nations that could claim this, really. Yes, they also put mortars in versions of their infantry vehicles, but I think it's cooler when you have a more distinct looking model.

Honorable Mention: K105HT Self-Propelled Howitzer. Very cool looking portee mounted howitzer on truck.

2nd Runner Up: KAI KUH-1 Surion. If Japan and Taiwan get fighter planes, Korea deserves their helicopter.

1st Runner Up: Kia Light Tactical Vehicle. Fills a gap by giving the Koreans a tactical utility vehicle/light reconnaissance vehicle. Fairly new but already incredibly common in the ROK army, there are thousands of them! Within a few years it will be hard to do a realistic Korean unit without a few of these.

Winner: The Kia KM-450. This 5/4 ton truck is very common in the ROK army and several other nations use it. Not only does this plug a gap, giving the Koreans a tactical utility vehicle, but it throws a big bone to Cold War fans in that the KM-450, with very minor tweaks, is the US M715 "Kaiser" Jeep, which GHQ does not make. The Koreans bought the license and never stopped building them, giving them upgrades all along while keeping the basic design. So with slight changes GHQ can put out a common modern vehicle, and a common Cold War vehicle.

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Round Two: Japan

Post by BenfromBrooklyn »

The next GHQ modern Japan release will be...

Japan is a funny case. GHQ has clearly put a lot into their line, and they continue to do so, as the upcoming release of the Komatsu light armored vehicle demonstrates. Modelling Japan is made a little harder by Japan relying more on "exclusive" equipment. So much of their stuff is unique, and they do not export military equipment. Not intentionally, at least. So models for Japan are unique to Japan.

SO if GHQ adds something to the Japan line... what?


Honorable Mention: Type 99 155 mm self-propelled howitzer: fills the artillery gap in the Japan line.

Honorable Mention: Honda motorcycle. Common world wide, typical off road motorcycle. This could find a lot of use. But how to package? A whole package of motorcyles seems overdoing it. Possibly sharing a box with a couple of larger soft skins.

2nd Runner Up: Type 82 Command Communication Vehicle. This 6x6 armored command vehicle is unique in that it is not a variant of an APC. It exists all on its own, although there is an NBC recon variant.

1st Runner Up: Kawasaki OH-1. Distinctly Japanese scout helicopter.

Winner: Type 87 Reconnaissance and Patrol Vehicle. This 6x6 armored car first appeared in the late 80's. It is the winner because it is the obvious gap in the "tactical lineup" of Japanese models.

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Re: Speculating on the next releases

Post by BenfromBrooklyn »

Third entry: North Korea

North Korea is tricky for different reasons. They have plenty of unique equipment, and they are the obvious adversary for the South Korean line.

But...

Good, detailed design information is not easy to come by. And, half the stuff the Norks show off might just be parade props. They certainly seem to do more parading than exercising. Also, a large number of their showcase vehicles are mobile missile launchers. Not that useful from a game perspective unless you have a really big table, but perhaps of interest to collectors. After all, GHQ does have things like the SS-21 Scarab out.

But maybe there is room for another North Korean release or two? What would it be?

Honorable Mention: Truck and trailer version of the Russian Tor missile system. If nothing else, it's unique.
Honorable Mention: Any of the big missiles being hauled around on flatbed trailers. The North Koreans love to parade them!

3rd Runner Up: Bulsae-4 M-2018; ATGM version of their M2012 6x6 (see below.)

2nd Runner Up: Type 85 amphibious light tank

1st Runner up: 9K52 Luna-M rocket, truck mounted. Better known in Cold War days as the Frog-7, and thus not only of interest to North Korea collectors, but to Cold War and Desert Storm collectors.

Winner: M-2012 6x6 Armored vehicle. A funky shortened variant of the BTR-80. Plugs the "recon vehicle" gap in the North Korean tactical line up. This isn't as important a gap as it is elsewhere, as the North Koreans don't have that much need for recon vehicles- due to congestion and terrain, recon in Korea is usually dismounted, on both sides. But it's there, and this same model can be developed into variants, like the ATGM version.

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Re: Speculating on the next releases

Post by BenfromBrooklyn »

Part Four: Taiwan

Taiwan does not have a lot of indigenous equipment to choose from. I was surprised to see GHQ take them up, but then I suppose this is the "pivot from Europe" era. A "next release" by GHQ should they choose to further the Taiwan line should be obvious (see the winner) but maybe not. Here are my speculations.

Honorable Mention: M3 Amphibious Rig- not produced by Taiwan but used by them. I consider this a possibility, though I certainly like it, as it would make a very interesting model, and it is used by a range of nations.

Honorable Mention: Also not a native, the Unimog engineer vehicle. These trucks are used by a number of armed forces, including the US, as the Small Emplacement Excavator (although now phased out in the US). They are adorable. A little truck crammed with tools, like someone crossbred a Unimog with a Swiss Army Knife. Like the M3, the fact that this is used by multiple nations makes it a good choice for engineer equipment- it can fit into a lot of current and cold war collections.

2nd Runner Up: Any of a number of truck mobile missile or loitering munition systems and their associated radars. Air defense, land attack, or anti ship. Taiwan's defense strategy appears to have turned towards procuring lots of these, with the probable intention of having so many that even in the event of a surprise air and missile attack from the mainland, enough would survive to inflict heavy losses on an invasion force. They aren't very tactical, but they are central to national strategy and thus iconic for Taiwan.

Winner AND First Runner Up!: Variant of the CM-32- GGQ is about to release one, and it is most likely going to be the base line infantry version. It would make sense to follow this up with another variant, such as the mortar variant. Also, Taiwan seems to have two different turret versions going on, a remote weapon station on one, and a manned turret on the closely related CM-34. Whatever version GHQ is producing, following up with one or two more is logical.

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Re: Speculating on the next releases

Post by BenfromBrooklyn »

China!
GHQ has paid a lot of attention to modern China these past few years. This probably mirrors the real world shift of China taking over Russia's old spot as Prime Adversary. The GHQ now has a healthy span of vehicles, infantry and aircraft for China, with the major tactical roles more or less filled. With the addition of the FAW truck in the near future we see that GHQ is covering support as well.

So what's missing and where could they go?

Honorable Mention: GCZ110 assault engineer vehicle. It would be in the first wave in any invasion of Taiwan.

Honorable Mention: Command variant of the ZBL-08 and ZBD-08 vehicles. Possibly they could package this as a mix with another variant, like the do with some American Strykers.

2nd Runner Up: The current Chinese line up misses a recon/surveillance vehicle. The Chinese have several, including their Humvee clone, the Dongfeng EQ 2050 and the later Dongfeng Mengshi. Either would make a fine addition to the China line. An alternative could be the VN-4, the Chinese MRAP 4x4 seen in Venezuela as well.

1st Runner Up: GHQ has 2 Chinese helicopters but nothing indigenous in the transport type. The Harbin Z-20 is a good choice but very close to the American Blackhawk (a bit too close for coincidence!) The Harbin Z-18, and the earlier Z-8 are descendants of the Super-Frelon, which GHQ does not make but which would make a good addition to Cold War French, South African, and Israeli collections. Producing one or both of these Chinese helicopters, then, could perhaps set up GHQ to release a Super Frelon as well.

Winner: Recon vehicles have evolved since the cold war, having taken on sophisticated sensor equipment where once they were just expected to be light and mobile. To that end, many nations have recon/surveillance variants of the principal infantry vehicles, and China is no exception. GHQ could easily add the modified turret and mast of the recon/surveillance variant to either or both of their ZBL-08 and ZBD-08- it's the same turret and mast. As with the command version, possibly to be packaged as a mix.

redleg
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Re: Speculating on the next releases

Post by redleg »

Hey Ben, I am really enjoying this thread! Your speculation is well thought out and your justifications for new models are enlightening and informative! Keep them coming!
Time on the recce is time well spent!

Splod
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Re: Speculating on the next releases

Post by Splod »

If I can echo Redleg's comment, this thread is great Ben!
Splod's Arab-Israeli project: Wargaming the 1967 & 1973 wars

“A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.”
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BenfromBrooklyn
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Re: Speculating on the next releases

Post by BenfromBrooklyn »

Moving south but staying in the West Pacific, we have one more line that GHQ has put a lot of attention into: Australia.

If they continue to release Australian models, we all know what MUST come next. There should be no doubt, and if GHQ decides otherwise I would be surprised. But to stay in line with the other entries here, let's look at options.

Honorable Mention Thales HMEV backhoe loader. Wait, what? Well, if GHQ decides to show the Engineers some love this is an excellent choice. Australia has 27, and the Chinese build their own version- making this vehicle good for both nation's lineups. There is a also a very similar vehicle used by the US ( the High Mobility Engineer Excavator) and a number of nations, definitely close enough for many collectors and gamers. One model could plug itself into a lot of collections. What makes this vehicle and its near-clones special is the High Mobility. It's a wheeled backhoe/excavator, BUT unlike its civilian counterparts it is fast enough to self deploy- it can keep up with road convoys and move cross country without a transport vehicle. This makes it more of a "tactical" vehicle than typical militarized versions of construction equipment.
Good thing to have if a game needs an engineer unit with obvious engineer equipment on the table!

Honorable Mention Land Rover 110 in 6 x 6 version open or with shelter back. Common Aussie support vehicle since the end of the Cold War.

Second Runner Up: Cargo utility version of the Bushmaster "Protected Mobility Vehicle" already made by GHQ. Dual Cab or single cab. A cool support variant.

First Runner Up: Mercedes Benz 6x6 G-Wagon. 6x6 version of the MB 4x4 already made by GHQ, open topped or with shelter. Used for all sorts of things in Australia but especially well known as surveillance/reconnaissance vehicles. Also appears in Sweden and Finland.

Winner. Obvious. The Hawkei. Iconically Australian light armor recon/utility vehicle.

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Re: Speculating on the next releases

Post by BenfromBrooklyn »

Today, before we leave the Western Pacific Theater behind, we look at a few longshots from South East Asia. Honestly I do not think GHQ would make any of them... but then, Taiwan caught me by surprise so who knows?

I'm not ranking them because I think the chances for any are remote, just listing a few possibilities from the arms industries of Southeast Asia.


South Korea's "Tarantula", here because only Indonesia uses it: Take the 8x8 K808 Apc, shrink it to a 6x6, add a Belgian 90mm gun turret, what's not to love?

Cadillac Commando Scout: Among the coolest looking cold war wheeled armored vehicles ever produced, very futurey looking for its day, a wedge with wheels. Indonesia uses it.

Pindad Komodo: Because these days just about every nation makes a 4x4 MRAP light armored vehicle.

Singapore's Bionix IFV. Tracked, turreted post-cold war infantry fighting vehicle like so many others, Unlike some of its peers, and in keeping with Singapore's island environment, it has a good amphibious capability.

Singapore's Hunter IFV. Brand new and replacing their elderly M113's. A super high tech wonder machine with all kinds of amazing features- such as computer controlled digital driving allowing any of the vehicle's crew to act as driver, and 360 degree camera coverage allowing excellent visibility fully buttoned up. Looks rather plain on the outside, though!

Singapore's Terrex IFV. Their wheeled infantry carrier. This is probably the most likely of Singapore's vehicle lineup to be produced by GHQ, because it is license built by Turkey and Turkey is a line they have going.

Singapore's Bronco Vehicle: Like the BV-206 but better, and not 40 years old. In use in Singapore and Thailand, and if the US Army selects it to replace the BV-206 in US service, (it's in trials) the case for a model gets more serious.

Bonus: Indonesia's Pindad Anoa 6x6 APC. GHQ doesn't have to make this because it's the locally produced version of the French VAB, which they already make! GHQ can add Indonesia to their list!

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Re: Speculating on the next releases

Post by Splod »

BenfromBrooklyn wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 10:03 am
Winner. Obvious. The Hawkei. Iconically Australian light armor recon/utility vehicle.
Only if they do it with the ubiquitous trailer to carry the spare tire :mrgreen:

Great overview of my homeland, Ben. I think my preference for ultra-modern kit would be the 6x6 G-Wagon, but really I'd love to see the clock turned back slightly. Give us M113AS1, Leopard AS1 and 6x6 Landrover Perentie so I can build forces for the end of the 20th century :)
Splod's Arab-Israeli project: Wargaming the 1967 & 1973 wars

“A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.”
- Douglas Adams

BenfromBrooklyn
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Re: Speculating on the next releases

Post by BenfromBrooklyn »

Moving west, we find...India!

But before we go on...
The change in GHQ's online format, with a nation's page listing all the equipment made by GHQ used by that nation instead of the printed catalog having just the equipment manufactured there, contains a horrible, glaring oversight for India.

The Bofors FH77 howitzer- it shows up on Sweden's page but not India! This is not a trivial, oh, yeah, India has them too, thing. Not only does India use them with about twice as many as Sweden, but they received lots of attention during the Kargil war, and were credited as a major factor by the Indian Army for their victory. Listen to an Indian army officer talk about the Kargil war, and "The Bofors Guns" WILL come up. They even appear in the movie made about the conflict. GHQ, if you read these things, the FH77 belongs on India’s page!

India generally buys most of its equipment from foreign sources. This is reflected in GHQ's (short) India line up, which consists of Indian versions of Russian vehicles. India would like to rectify this, but they've had a lot of trouble, generally with their own bureaucracy. With that in mind, what could be added to the India line if GHQ pursues this? (and it's logical, they released a Pakistani tank, and if you have Pakistan, you need their obvious opponent.)

Withholding Judgement, but interesting: The Tata Kestrel. India's new 8x8 APC. Like so many others. But this project has been delayed and delayed and delayed... let's wait and see what the Indians do with it.

Honorable Mention: Ashok Leyland FAT 6×6. Because those FH-77's mentioned before, pride of Indian artillery, need a prime mover, and unlike many of GHQ's modern towed artillery offerings, the FH-77 does not come packaged with one.

Honorable Mention: Sarath- Indian version of the BMP-2. Looks identical to me. But maybe GHQ could release a version with a turret *without* a missile launcher? Despite the missile launchers appearing on the turrets of every miniature of every model of the BMP series, by every manufacturer, the majority of the vehicles in the field do not actually carry missiles!

2nd Runner Up: Arjun tank. India's procurement program is an odd one, they have been buying two different kinds of tanks simultaneously. This is because of problems with the domestic Arjun program. From a game perspective, producing this model isn't a big help as other choices, because GHQ already covers most of the Indian tank fleet. But it is a distinctively Indian system, and GHQ does seem to prioritize tanks over other equipment, so it is here.

First Runner Up: Namica. A domestic Indian ATGM launcher version of the BMP-2. This would add a distinct, domestic vehicle to the India line without adding a redundant tank.

Winner: Any of India's helicopters, either the HAL Dhruv utility helicopter, Rudra armed version of the Dhruv, the HAL Light Combat Helicopter, or the Indian version of the MI-17 (pretty much the same as the Russian one, add a pointy snoot to the Mi-8 model).

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Re: Speculating on the next releases

Post by BenfromBrooklyn »

It's time to do it again!
Moving further west, since we covered India we must do Pakistan. But Pakistan's offerings are slim, mostly older foreign equipment, so let's lump them in with Iran. Both appear under Third World Warriors in GHQ's catalog and both have had tanks added by GHQ last year, so there is definitely an interest there. Perhaps it is time to follow up with other distinctive Iranian or Pakistani equipment? What have we got?

We must be a little careful with both: some of the equipment Iran shows off is little more than plywood mockups for parades and public showboating (one Iranian aircraft was literally that, and aviation experts around the world showed that the new Iranian aircraft prototype was actually an impossible design).
Meanwhile, Pakistan has some prototypes meant to showcase the abilities of its arms industry, which have little chance of ever seeing production.

On the other hand, both nations have made interesting and practical modifications to older equipment.

Honorable Mention International MaxxPro: American made but many found their way to Pakistan. Very common, used by a number of nations, and good all round potential addition.

Honorable Mention: Iran's Toofan MRAP. Because everyone's got a 4x4 light armored vehicle these days. (Pakistan has the MaxxPro, Iran lacks friends)

2nd Runner Up: Eurocopter Fennec: Neither nation makes this, but Pakistan is a big user, and this light helicopter and its close relatives are in world wide use. One model could find its way into many collections. Squint, and it is close enough to its older brother the Écureuil, very common cold war light helicopter, so even more collection versatility.

1st Runner Up: A close call- there was really no reason for me to choose between runner up and winner. Feel free to call it a First Place Tie. Pakistan's Saad APC is therefore runner up, while Iran's Makran is the winner. The Saad is a development of the classic US M113. Pakistan has an older modification of the M113, the Talha, but the Saad was extended with an additional road wheel, making it more distinctive and therefore, as I see it, the more model-worthy choice. Either one would be a good APC selection for GHQ to accompany their Al Zarrar tanks.

Winner: Iran's Makran IFV. An updated BTR-50. Wait, WHAT? 70 years on, and the BRT-50 is still being upgraded? Yes, yes it is, the Iranians built up the rear hull, added a turret (which turret seems to be a matter of taste, but BMP-2 looks like the choice) and re-engined it. Armored amphibious assault vehicles on the cheap.

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Third World Warriors

Post by BenfromBrooklyn »

Continuing on with the Third World Warriors, as we have reached the Middle East, let's take a look at the offerings of the Arab states. GHQ gives us one each from Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon (the M113 with ZU-23) as well as a few common Third World vehicles like the Gaz Portee.

Not much of a modern arms industry here, but plenty to choose from, much of it with a relatively high probability of making it into real or hypothetical scenarios for wargames.

Honorable Mention: Pegaso BMR. 6x6 Wheeled APC made by Spain, but Spain doesn't have a listing of its own! This could fit into collections representing Egypt, Spain, Saudi Arabia and more!

Honorable Mention: Jobaria Defense Systems Multiple Cradle Launcher. What the HELL is that monstrosity? The UAE put FOUR (or just three in one version) multiple rocket launchers on ONE huge flatbed trailer and now they have a single MRL truck with 240 tubes. That's a whole firing battery on one truck. It sometimes shows up as a clickbait photo- but unlike most it is real. This thing is insane. That's why it's here.

2nd Runner Chengdu Pterodactyl. Chinese designed drone, used by Saudis, China, and others. Because why should the USA have all the drone fun?

1st Runner Up: Anything representative of the many improvised armored vehicles that we see in Syria today. These have turned up in number of wars in the middle east, going back to the 1948 war. And not only here- they turned up in the Balkans, and Latin American drug gangs have even fielded some, especially in Mexico. Of course they are not produced to a common design, or turned out in mass- this kind of makes a pack of five of them pointless. But I could see a pack of three or four being sold with different models. Also good for Zombie Apocalypse gamers.

Winner: Fahd- Egyptian 4x4 APC, one of the more... ahh... unique designs in that category. Odd looking thing. Has combat experience in the first Gulf War when it was used by Kuwait. Not exactly stellar performance, many were captured.

Splod
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Re: Speculating on the next releases

Post by Splod »

As always Ben, I love your assessment!

To throw a slight spanner in the works however, I think you’ve missed a serious contender for the Third World Warriors range.

The veritable Toyota Landcruiser! The 40 and 70 series landrovers have been a common sight in Third World militaries, insurgencies and contractor groups for the better part of the last 50 years, and are sorely missing from the GHQ line-up. While GHQ have single and dual-cab utilities (Utes for us Aussies), there are no older civilian vehicles currently in the range.

The Landcruiser could be done in a mixed pack ala the jeep and M151, with both troop carrier and open tray variants, or as two separate packs. For tray loads, something akin to the current technical range could be used with tripod or pole mounted guns. It would also be great to see a tray-mounted ZU-23-2, as has been seen across Africa and Syria in recent years.

Just food for thought 😉
Splod's Arab-Israeli project: Wargaming the 1967 & 1973 wars

“A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.”
- Douglas Adams

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