Concord & Freeborn M25/M50 Heavy Combat Drone
Combat Level: Strategic
Where: Antares Rulebook
The M250 series provides the basis for the ultimate fighting machines available to the armed forces of the Concord Combined Command andn teh larger Freeborn forces. Like the M4, it has no crew nor any capacity to carry them, forming a distinct machine shard together with its buddy drones. Often referred to as the ‘M250 template’, these are extremely heavily armed and armoured drones and their role is simply to overcome the enemy with sheer firepower. They are used to spearhead major offensives or assault massive defences and what they certainly lack in speed and manoeuvrability they more than make up for in terms of armament and ability to withstand retaliatory fire.
There are a number of variants of the M250 template of which the M25 armed with a plasma bombard and plasma light support is most commonly used as a heavy breakthrough vehicle, whilst other variants armed with compression weapons are used to reduce enemy fortifications. They follow the normal layout of suspensor propulsion with reaction thrusters, though on a massive scale. The M50 variant is an heavy support/artillery variant, fielding the X-howitzer or a fractal bombard for long-range and anti-fortification use.
The primary defense is a composite skin and powerful kinetic shields making the drone highly resistant to many Antarean weapons. It is often accompanied by an extensive drone swarm consisting of multiple batter drones, shield drones and an additional spotter.
|Heavy Combat Drone (Vehicle)||Ag||Acc||Str||Res||Init||Co||Special|
|C3M25 Heavy Combat Drone with Plasma Light Support and Plasma Bombard
(can take a compression bombard)
|5||6||1||15||8||8||MOD3, Large, Slow|
|C3M50 Heavy Support Drone with Plasma Light Support and X-Howitzer (can take a fractal bombard)||5||6||1||15||8||8||MOD3, Large, Slow|
MOD: Multiple order dice (3 in this case) – the drone acts three times in a turn
Slow: Though having three dice, the drone moves half the speed of other suspensored vehicles.
The M25 can be seen as a major, relatively mobile fighting platform whether or attack or defence. Being classed as ‘Large’ in the game allows it to draw Line Of Sight (LOS) over the top of friendly units and as such can engage the enemy from behind an infantry screen. Despite its slow speed, it can still keep up with most infantry whilst firing its light support weapon but a more effective use is possibly to Run the vehicle with it’s first dice, then use a Fire order to utilise its heavy weapon (either the plasma bombard at SV 7 or the shorter-range compression bombard at SV 9/7/5). The vehicle could then Run or Advance into cover, if need be, or provide additional fire.
The M50 uses much the same tactics with its fractal bombard, but is more often used as a stationary firing platform with its X-howitzer. The most useful unit to use with it is possible that of scout probes, especially if the M50 is given an extra spotter drone, the overhead patch sighting coming into its own in such a configuration.
The C3M25 is resin and metal and has basic assembly instructions on the back of the box. It comes with a spotter, compression bombard, plasma bombard and a plasma light support turret. ‘Rocky’s War Room‘ has produced both an assembly/magnetising video and an airbrush painting video for the M25. The Antares Delhren blog also has a post highlighting a variation on this approach to assembling/magnetising this impressive combat drone!
The C3M25/M50 in store
The kit is available on its own for either Freeborn or Concord or in a drone army pack for the Concord. A spotter is included. There is scope to take more Buddy Drones, found here and here. The M50 turret upgrade and the M25 can also be purchased in a joint pack.