Modelling the National Guard

National Guard

Modelling the National Guard

With Jacob Hopkins

The Soviet Union and its communist allies have successfully landed on western shores in an attempt to alleviate pressure on the European front. To stem the tide, both Canada and the US would undoubtedly have activated every resource they have available in an effort to preserve their sovereignty and push the Reds back into the sea. 

For the US, Army forces remaining in America would be quickly supplemented by the standing National Guard units of each state. These troops would most likely have received training that would give them the same competencies as their reg force compatriots, but lacking the same level of experience due to part-time training. Likewise, while the intent was to keep them equipped to similar levels the situation was such that the part-time forces would end up having older and/or less used equipment than what was issued to the regular forces.


 In our opinion, there are two ways to go about representing these reserve forces on the table. The first would be to simply model and paint your troops with the older kit as proxies for the options available in the formations. Secondly, a start is to look at the formation options available to you, limiting yourself to the ones with the oldest kit. In this case, the M60 Patton armoured combat team, the M113 Mech combat team, the HMMWV cavalry troop, the Combined arms (Light) and the Light attack companies are all the formations that would make the most sense for national guard units.

Tank on the streets

 M60 Patton Armoured Combat team is arguably the easiest one to use as a national guard unit. The only options available in the unit are all older kit so no bookkeeping needed here. Of course, if you really want to go crazy and have some older kits, proxying the M60s with M48s from ‘Nam would absolutely work, just make sure you get your opponent's approval.


 The M113 Mech Combat Team is a little more tricky, the unit does have some options in it that if you want to run it as a pure national guard unit you will want to avoid taking the M1A1 or M1 Abrams tank platoon options, only allowing yourself the M60 platoon for that slot, also avoid taking the M3 Bradley scout section options. The M901 TV Anti-Tank platoon option is a more modern piece of kit so I think the chances of National Guard units having these at the start is a bit unlikely. The best thing to do here is only bringing a single platoon of them. If you really want to have fun then pick up a couple of boxes of TCBX02 M113 Platoon and build them up as the M135 TOW gunners to proxy in as the ITVs. This of course will also require your opponents ok as the silhouette is different and could affect gameplay.

 The Combined Arms (Light) company, one of my personal favourite US formations, is an ideal base for a national guard unit. Infantry mounted in light, relatively inexpensive vehicles would be what is most often available to a reserve unit. Of course, the RDF/LT Assault Gun platoon probably would not have been issued to guard units had it entered service so avoid this option. Likewise, the HMMWV Cavalry troop and the Light attack company would be other great options for guard formations. For all three options avoid taking TOW-2s though as most likely the guard would have been last to receive these.

 So we have taken a quick look at how we could represent the national guard with existing US formations, the next step is how to paint your models to look like they are national guard. And this is honestly the easiest part. As the National Guard Infantry would be equipped as close to on par as possible, you have the option of painting in the woodland camo or in the olive drab of ‘Nam. Feel free to mix and match olive green fatigues with a woodland helmet and vest, or vice versa. For the vehicles, flat green or MERDC would be the likely route, just like their regular counterparts!

So, let's put this into a list! As the Light motor company is one of my favourite formations, I will use that,
and an M60 Company as the core of the formation!

National Guard List

This list gives you plenty of fast and nimble manpower, backed up with a host of machine guns and light
AT weapons. In support of that are 11 M60 tanks with their excellent 105mm cannon, and some of the
best hunter-killer helicopters in the game! While the kit itself is old, it is still effective on the battlefields
of the 1980s

 We hope you find these ideas useful, and happy gaming!

~ Jacob Hopkins
Lack of Foresight Gaming