A few days ago Mantic gave us some sketches of their 3rd release army for Warpath via Beasts of War. The human "Corporation" troopers.
In their fluff, the Corporation is a Sci-Fi version of the British East India Company. Which famously ran roughshod over India and a large part of the world for some 250 years. The modern, less centralized equivalent to it would probably be the CIA or the international Oil and Mining companies that run roughshod over Africa and South America. Who often use mercenaries (like Blackwater, above) or use their political connections with nations like the US to send in regular ground forces (as in Somalia).
Basically, the company has the task of handling all the messy details of expanding the unnamed human empire into areas controlled by other, less technologically advanced, species. It comes in, gets them hooked on glass beads and mirrors (so to speak), and worms it's way into their governments. Until one day they're dropping nukes from orbit onto your cities if you don't go along with the company's dictates. Unless you're the Forge Fathers (Squats) who have enough military power to maintain their independence.
It's an interesting concept. Much more modern and relevant than the WWI-In-Space roots of 40K. The company created the
Ronnie and Alessio also said that they want to evoke the feeling of British Troops in modern day Afganistan. Let's see how the sketches hold up:
Eh... sort of meh. It's nothing we haven't seen before (looks-wise) from many, many, many, other sci-fi games. Where's the character that will set these guys apart from the pack?
If the corporation is hiring it's own mercenary troops, then I would expect something like the Blackwater boys at the top of this article. Ball caps, jewelry, non-standard (and more comfortable) clothing worn under 1-2 common issues of combat gear. Probably individually chosen weapons too. You get a lot more choice about things when you're a hired gun that's being paid 4x what an army trooper is and get to sleep and shower in hotels.
Here's some "contractor" characters from The Hurt Locker (very good movie BTW):
Older faces, longer hair, goatees, designer sunglasses, expensive gear, and ATTITUDE. These guys operate outside of any law or oversight. They are the law. It's not shoulder pads and cool guns that will convey this. It's the poses and the faces. The cleanliness. They run around in up-armored Range Rovers, not Humvees. They're hired from all over the world, so you also get Germans mixed with Americans, Russians, Swedes, whatever. It's multi-national.
They don't carry 70 lbs of gear around on their backs because it's stupid and there's no bureaucracy telling them that they have to. That's a regular army thing.
Here's some regular British troops for comparison:
Some of them are just skinny kids.
They look more tired than the contractors. So would you if you had to huff all that gear around. Stuff might be lighter in the future, but that just means that the army can add more crap to the standard kit.
Lots of firepower though. These are the guys you want around in a real fight and not just a quick 5-man raid.
What does a confident regular army vet look like? This guy (also from THL):
Less gear, but still dirty and more burdened with stuff than the contractors. There's confidence, but not cockiness.
And if you really are trying to re-create the Redcoats of yore...
How about some crossed ammo belts or distinctive hats? If your thing is scaring the hell out of backward aliens, maybe your troops should be more striking and intimidating to look at. Imagine what these guys were like marching into a primitive village in India.
And what about combat drones? Robots are all over modern day warzones. Where's the combat robots? The automated squad heavy weapons and pack bots? There's A LOT of cool stuff out there in real life that we haven't seen in ANY Sci-Fi game yet. Such as:
Anyhow, I like the concept a lot. But the execution shown in these sketches leaves a lot to be desired.