Rackham’s new AT-43 Red Blok Army Book is now available. The quality and layout is the same as the U.N.A. and Therian Army Books. The book is 64 pages long and printed on high gloss paper in full color.
The book includes 14 pages of information on history of Collectivism and actions against the U.N.A. preceding the Trauma, but, like the other books, the majority of the book is dedicated to the Red Blok armies and begins with information on a number of Red Blok factions; The Arc, Frontline, and Supra. Like the other races, each faction has their own benefits and disadvantages. For example, The Arc are infantry heavy and can have large units but can only issue one combat drill at a time. The Frontline is the now familiar vehicle heavy unit. A few pages detail the heroes including Sergeant A. Tymofiyeva, Captain Pavel Vrachov, and Cols Odin O-1 and Manon O-2. Details on the various Red Blok weapons are also included.
Most of the book is of course dedicated to the available units. Included are full stats for: Krasnye Soldaty (light infantry), RPG Soldaty (anti-vehicle infantry also with close combat weapons), Spetsnatz Kommandos (regular infantry), Dragonov Kommandos (regular infantry with sniper capability), and lastly Spetsnatz Kolossus (heavy infantry). Vehicles are present and include the Nakovalny (a size-three Strider similar to the FireToad), the Kossak (a size-four heavy Strider), the Hetman (an anti-vehicle version of the Kossak), and finally the size-five, 17-point armored Dotch Yaga equipped with a Heavy Gauss Cannon and Heavy Mortar. There are of course a number of weapon variants for each of the Striders.
All of the infantry figures are now available except for the variants of the Kolossus (Grenade and Rocket Launcher versions). Many of the Strider miniatures are not available yet. As with the Therian’s Ball Golgoth, surprisingly missing is any picture, even sketches, of the Dotch Yaga.
Each unit is fully detailed with stat cards, tactics, special equipment, and leader information. Cost is provided for units and is broken into ‘standard’ and ‘maximum’ numbers that translates to a minimum and maximum unit size. Leaders can increase a unit’s numbers and various special weapon/equipment options add to the cost.
The Red Blok Army Book contains numerous well-staged shots of the painted miniatures and a number of full-color paintings of the Red Blok in action, but unfortunately, no black and white concept sketches are included.
The Red Blok Army Book is very well done. The fiction is a bit cliche, to put it mildly, as it follows the theme of Russia in the 1930s and 1940s, but the units themselves offer a well thought out implementation of the Collectivism. Unlike U.N.A. and Therian armies, Red Blok forces stress sheer firepower, and numbers to a lesser extent, and have a very interesting array of Striders that cover everything from close infantry support to long range anti-vehicle combat.
The Red Blok Army Book covers all of the currently available units as well as those probably coming out over the rest of 2007 and first half of 2008.
If you are not turned off by the very obvious theme, the Red Blok offers a very interesting army for anyone interested in firepower.
See our Red Blok miniatures review.