Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Intergalactic Wargame of Great Armored Fighting Machines

The Intergalactic Wargame of Great Armored Fighting Machines Written by Wayne Smith
Designed and illustrated by Ron Spicer
(C) Copyright 1979 Superior Models, Inc.  All rights reserved.

The Five Powers

Many of the finest science fiction stories written have concerned themselves with the interaction of various galactic races and their ensuing wars.  Starship Troopers by Heinlein is a classic with humans warring with arachnids (Entomalians).  Other stories such as BOLO by Keith Laumar have dealt with different weapons and their development.  Keeping these many stories in mind we have developed a land-based wargame using the Five Powers introduced in Starfleet Wars. Each of the Five Powers has developed land forces suited to their own individual requirements and using different construction techniques.  The following is a synopsis of these forces.

Terran Federation (The Humans)
The Terran forces are generally well armed and armored and possess medium speed.  Moving on massive tracks they are able to cope conquer all but the most difficult terrain.  The vehicles are armored with up to 6 cm. of Impervium armor and armed with a variety of lasers.  Each carries serveral observers and robotechs for maintenance and repair.  As with all MAATACs now in service they require no crew for movement, fighting, or making tactical decisions on the battlefield.  Great reliance is placed on the Robotic Infantry and air support to help overcome tough defensive positions.  It is the combination of these forces at the right moment that has made the Terran forces so effective.

Entomalian Empire (The Insects)
The Entomalian MAATACs are well armored, adequately armed, and slow on the battlefield.  Their tremendous masses of infantry are used as shock troops with the vehicles supplying fire support and acting as a defensive line to fall back upon.  While the MAATACs are slow they are next to impossible to stop because of their multiple telescopic armatures.  These "legs" are used for propulsion and many must be hit before the vehicle can be slowed.  They can raise and lower themselves to great heights and are most effective in the "hull down" position (that is, partially hidden behind a hill, rock, or another damaged vehicle.)  The Bugs prefer planets with a great deal of vegetation making other powers vehicles' effective speeds no more than that of the Entomalians.

Avarian United Worlds (The Bird People)
Conversely the Avarians have the fastest MAATACs currently produced.  They are all hovercraft, consuming a great deal of energy in moving.  They are relatively easy to stop because the loss of a turbofan or engine leaves the vehicle short of the necessary power to lift itself.  This is causing the Avarians to investigate other modes of propulsion.  The Avarians use the Hellbat as a command post to coordinate their other ground units.  With the Hellbats tremendous sensor range it is difficult to achieve tactical surprise over the Avarians.  These tactics are reminiscent of those used in the desert in World Wars Two and Three.  Indeed, their small, flat planets lend themselves to this type of warfare.  Their Robotic Infantry is both fast and well armed.  If encountered in large numbers the best tactical solution may be to retreat.

Aquarian Alliance (The Water People)
The Aquarians have some tremendous defensive advantages.  Their vehicles move on mobile rolling spheres that also serve as ballast tanks when the vehicle is submerged.  Since their cities are covered with water they only emerge on advantageous terms to battle isolated enemy units.  There are no other MAATACs in any powers inventory capable of pursuing them to the ocean depths.  Only air support is effective and they are limited in their underwater scanning capabilities.  Troops can pursue, but since they are too slow, the Aquarian machines have no trouble in making good their escape.  Their MAATACs are adequately armed and armored and possess a good turn of speed with redundancy in their propulsion system.  Rumors have it that the Aquarians are considering an additional type of propulsion system to supplement the spheres.  Their infantry is as well equipped as any, but are generally not used in large numbers.

Carnivoran Republic (The Cat People)
The Carnivores have a dual propulsion system.  Wide tracks placed forward give them good speed over open ground while some vehicles have rear placed studded wheels providing lift and drive in wetlands.  While they are well protected their vehicles lack heavy laser power.  These considerations dictate the tactics of close range combat where their preponderance of particle weapons can overwhelm the target.  Their regular troops are barbarous and spare no one on the battlefield.  Either you achieve victory over the Carnivores or face annihilation.


Having fought for thousands of years it is difficult to think of the demise of either cavalry or infantry.  It is probable that each will retain its importance in future conflicts.  The cavalry, or armored units, are introduced in the basic game.  Future MAATACs (Multi-functional Armed and Armored Tactical Attack Computer) may utilize field-generated screens and not solely armor plate.  Their weaons will include lasers and particle eapons.  They will be highly automated, maybe totally so.  The infantry might have individual armor and a variety of light weapons.  The infantry may be robotic in nature.  We have introduced both types in the advanced and tournament games.  They are grouped in ten man squads and have been given a single laser factor in the interest of playability.

We now turn our attention to a heretofore unknown section of the galaxy.  The time is the near future.  Twin suns are breaking up the darkness of the jungle planet Magmus II.  Nestled in the lush green underbrush an Entomalian Fireant surveys the surrounding jungle with sensors finely tuned to receive all audio and visual input.  Inside, the Entomalian observer casually glances at his instruments, confident in his powerful MAATAC.  Sensors pick up a low whine over the chirping and clacking of the denizens outside.  The observer turns to adjust switches and the great turret swings to track the new sound.

Too late!

Twin explosions rock the Fireant.  Her hull splits neatly open like a pea pod and her turret dissolves in a molten mass of slag.  Turbofans screaming, the attacking Thunderbird sweeps by, cutting a wide path in the dense fauna, searching for new targets.

The 4th and last Interstellar Conflict has begun.  It has no end in sight.

Source: U.S. Copyright Office

Registration Number / Date:       TX0000509050 / 1980-04-29
Title:  The Intergalactic wargame of great armored fighting machines : M A A T A C / [written by Wayne Smith ; designed & illustrated by Ron Spicer].
Imprint:  Claymont, DE : Superior Models, c1979.
Description:  16 p.
Copyright Claimant:  Superior Models, Inc.
Date of Creation:  1979
Date of Publication:  1979-07-10
Authorship on Application:  Superior Models, Inc., employer for hire.
Copyright Note:  C.O. correspondence.
Other Title:  M A A T AC
Names:  Smith, Wayne
               Spicer, Ron
               Superior Models, Inc.

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