15 February 2015

StarDust Ground - another playtest session

I got in a solo SDG playtest Sunday afternoon. The Red Guard and The Khan's Army (dog soldiers) got involved in a nasty battle that tested nearly all aspects of SDG. The only major component that wasn't tested was fliers. I'll probably give those a go next game. The game mechanics again proved to be very solid and resulted in a fun, playable and engaging game. I was hit with an epiphany after the game regarding vehicle morale which'll make it into the rulebook shortly.

The Red Guard were set up in the upper left and lower right table quarters. The Dogs were set up within 18 inches of the upper right corner. The Khan's Dogs were attempting to cross to the opposite corner.

The Dogs deployed. Three tanks, three walkers and a pack of infantry.

The walkers move towards the left side of the hill and begin engaging the distant walker and Red Guard infantry.

A squad of Battledogs is hit by a hail of rifle and machinegun fire. Two stands already lost!

The tanks and walkers continue their advance.

The Red Guard's missile launcher makes its presence known. One shot, one tank down!

The other two tanks fire at the infantry on the hill with the attached machinegun. The squad takes a beating in pin markers, although it loses no stands.

The Dogs nearest that squad rush in and tear them apart in close combat. A squad that's been heavily suppressed by gunfire is at quite a disadvantage in close combat.

Further to the right, a squad of dogs attempting to ford the river was pummeled by two rocket-launcher vehicles and a sniper for good measure. That squad, would end up playing no further part in the game.

Shortly, the rocket tanks finish off the squad of Dogs that had suffered at the hands of the machinegun squad earlier.

The Guard's light hover tanks are glass cannons and take some pot-shots at the Khan's tank. The shots all missed.

The Dog battle suits engage the Guard's Python walker in close combat. Amazingly, the engagement was a draw!

The tanks repeat their previous performance and absolutely blast the bejeezus out of the Guard squad with the missile launcher. 

Similarly, the squad that assault the machinegun squad assaulted these poor slobs and wiped them out as well! Gentlemen and ladies, we have our first tactical maneuver for StarDust Ground!

A distant squad of Red Guard score a kill against the Khan's Dogs who just overran their mates!

One of the hover tanks is immobilized!

The Python attempts to even the playing field and fails miserably.

The rocket launcher tanks pound one of the small walkers.

 The Dogs assault the Python again. This was attempt four or five.

And finally they are successful! No tragic explosion, just a huge amount of pin markers that exceeded the walker's break point.

I called off the game there. Everything that needed testing had been tested well. The Red Guard need another missile launcher, but otherwise I think the two forces are pretty well balanced. I made a few stupid mistakes with the Dogs and they got caught by rockets and the sniper more often than necessary. I also made mistakes with the Red Guard - I should have sent the rocket tanks after the small walkers earlier - they put out a ridiculous amount of pin markers and can render vehicles ineffective after a couple of barrages, even without punching through the armor like a heavy tank gun.

I'm very pleased with how the game ran and probably won't make any significant changes before the next game aside from the vehicle morale change I mentioned earlier.

Be well and have a good week!

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