I wasn't born ! I sprang from the forhead of God , as he contemplated a particularly vile joke !
I wasn't born , I was hatched in the deepest darkest part of the ocean , and raised by sharks !
PANZER AUFKLARERLAUFER I-N(A) UTZ
WITH Hitlers demise , wiser heads could prevail . With a free hand to do its job right , the ,military could take a more logical approach to warfare . After suffering substantial delays and losses in the African campaign , to the British “Long Range Desert Patrol Group” , Field Marshal Rommel took the experiences to hart . With the war dragging on , and the allies fighting to keep a hold on Europe Rommel pushed through a plan to start a special operations group based on the organizational structure and operations of the LRDPG , but with a substantially increased unit size .
Seeing the success a small group could have , and all the chaos they could leave in their wake , Rommel wanted to see how much damage could be done if such units were spread out to all the corners of the axis area of influence .
In western Romania , Rommel established a secret special operations training facility , to train troops in non standard unit operations , small unit tactics , demolitions , and escape and evasion training , based on the reports of the damage caused by the LRDPG .
Organizing and operating the new unit ,dubbed the "Dachs-Kampfgruppe" or badger brigade , Fell to a a newly promoted colonel with experience in dealing with the long range desert patrol ; Colonel Hans Gudegast .
Gudegast sought members from far and wide through out the Reich , believing that their regional knowledge , and experience in the varying terrain types would be a strong building block on which to found the units .
While referred to as a “brigade” , in reality the organization is closer to a division in size . While the LRDPG was a some what small unit , it was just one unit , and thus could only accomplish its operations in a limited area . The Dachs-Kampfgruppe was to become a large loosely associated fighting force that would be broken into smaller units and sent out to operate on the various fronts . Its members would be deployed in groups of roughly brigade size or smaller , operating under their own command structures , to achieve the goals of the overall battle front commanders they are assigned to .
To accomplish this , the badger brigades are equipped with various light transport vehicles , some light armor , and occasionally even pack animals such as horses or camels .
One such vehicle is the PANZER AUFKLARERLAUFER I-N(A) UTZ . Intended as a light anti infantry walker , the Utz mounts 2 MG 44’s . It was originally intended for use in occupied territories to deal with civilian uprisings , but the high cost of producing walkers means it will be years before walkers can be spared for civilian control duties .
Among many of the Badger Brigades duties is sneaking behind enemy lines and calling in artillery and air strikes . While mechanized armor would seem like the last thing a scouting team would want , the added height of the light walkers allows for a better observation platform , especially in heavily wooded areas .
Generally , Utz are deployed with other infantry units behind the lines . To better facilitate this , the Utz has a cargo rack to carry extra supplies and offer a good artillery spotting blind .
To maximize its operation abilities , each Utz has 2 permanently attached team members that serve as artillery observers , and often carry 2 other special operations members that they can drop off along the way to better support the mission .
Nearby infantry can use their weaker radio units to call in artillery strikes and battle field reconnaissance to the Utz , which then relays the information on its more powerful command radio .
Its easy , when looking into the world of DUST , to get lost in the cool sci fi feel , the nostalgia for a simpler time , and the really hot pin up art Parente and his cohorts bring to the execution of the image .
And I am sure we have all sat down and given a light thought to the “what if” possibilities , but its really an amazing thing to consider just how much even just the premature death of Hitler would have caused .
For those not aware , beyond the limited events depicted in the movie “Valkyrie” , Hitler would go on to order the deaths of about 5,000 people , and among them was Field Marshal Erwin Rommel who was not an active participant , but was alleged to have know about the plot in advance .
With Hitler’s death , it was more than just the death of a nut job , it was a whole new chance for those 5,000 people to help turn the tide of the war , and new ideas to see the light of day .
So I have been working on this idea for a few months . It would have been done sooner , but the holidays and my terrain projects kinda delayed it , for which I am grateful . Had I finished this a few months ago , I would not have seen the MONSTER that the allied heavy walker is , and the cool design of the recon Mickey . I had been on the fence about giving a vehicle the artillery strike ability , but with the recon Mickey , now there is precedent
My original inspiration for this was recalling from my WAYYYYYYYYYY early childhood , little snippets of reruns that they showed on TV of a show called The Rat Patrol . It was based on the British unit named above (LRDPG) . When I was a kid , the show was used by a local TV station as a filler ( back before “filler“=infomercial) for time slots when a movie or sports show ran short or long .
Fast forward to a few months back when I began exploring the idea for this walker , and found a copy of the Rat Patrol complete series was available on DVD , at Amazon.com for a mere $15 ( OVER 18 HOURS OF RAT PATROL RAIDS !!!!!!!!!!! ) , KAZAAAA!
While it may seem like a super powerful walker for just being a light walker , in reality , while the abilities DO make it a force to be reckoned with , its still somewhat limited offensively on its own .
Keeping in mind the idea of recon as its primary job , and that lacking heavy weapons , it would be lighter and need les gyro stabilization to operate ; I gave it fast and scout vehicle .
This walker is intended to operate on larger battle fields where spotter squads on their own are less suitable because of the extreme distances they have to cover .
Its transport of 2 lets it transport up to 2 heroes , spotter team , or sniper team , forward to help take and hold key positions as the rest of the army advances .
I went ahead and gave it stats for a panzerfaust to represent the crew breaking out weapons from their supply stores , and included knives and grenades to represent its infantry observers tossing grenades out as a last ditch effort against armor 3 infantry .
QUATER MASTER : This unit may perform a "skill" action , to resupply one adjacent frindly unit with a complete refill on all of its single use weapons , up to its starting quantity .