09 March 2015

StarDust Ground at Gnomecon

Well, Gnomecon is wrapped up for another year. I guess it was a success - there were lots of attendees, everyone was having fun and my family and I had a blast!

Friday evening I demo'ed StarDust Ground to the gaming public at large and I think it was a hit. We played through two full games featuring the Red Guard and Dogs and didn't wrap up until midnight -
roughly 6 hours of dakkadakka goodness and some very memorable moments. My only complaint was that they put miniatures wargames way off in the annex and I got NO walk-by traffic at all. The positive to that was that we had a lot of space to ourselves and were able to holler, hoot and make a ruckus without having to worry about offending anyone.

My table.

The setup. The Red Guard would enter from the left, the Dogs from the right. They'd be fighting over the two yellow objectives. Dogs reinforcements would enter from the near edge road, Red Guards from the far edge road.

Ziggy commanded the Red Guard, Mike and Patrick took the Dogs.

The first (very dramatic) shot of the game. A Brawler takes a long range shot at the Red Guard Vulture troop carrier and knocks out an engine causing it to crash land. Two of the stands it was carrying perish. The Dogs are ecstatic, the Red Guard, not so much.

The forces start to settle in around the objectives.

Predator walkers enter from reserve, hit their jump jets and attack the Horseman squadron. Their attacks were ineffective and the tanks managed to evade.

As they were plotting, Patrick remarked to Mike... the assault on the objective in the ruins began in earnest.

The Red Guard rocket tanks pummel Dog infantry while the Seer VTOL smacks the Guard's turret. The Guard did have a second turret dropped in on the road beefing up their AT capability a bit. As a GM, I felt bad about the shit positioning of the turret to begin with and graciously allowed a second.

The turret on the road immobilizes a Brawler with a missile and fires its heavy machinegun at the Big Dog and his squad as they dashed across the road to the ruin. The machinegun missed all four of its shots. On the plus side for the Red Guard, the Brawlers' shots were equally crap

The Dogs hunker down as the Red Guard try to figure out how to root them out.

A turn later, the Dogs had control of both objectives at the end of the turn and won the battle! Congratulations to Mike and Patrick, and my condolences to Ziggy and his dice rolling. Zig's fortune was poor all game - his turrets had the worst trouble hitting anything and losing the VTOL right out of the gates was real punch in the gut.

Zig had drill in the AM, so he left and I took command of the Greens for the next game. I quickly concocted a scenario - the Dogs would have to get out of the town they just captured while being ambushed by the Red Guard.

We left the terrain alone. The Dogs set up in a box and had to exit as much as possible by turn 8. The Red Guard formed a 24" bubble around their enemy.

The tanks hammer my machinegun squad on the hill to the lower right. My walker heads around the right flank and the hover tanks zip around the left flank, looking for tank side armor.

Stampy get his rage on and tears into an Infantry squad in the woods.

Patrick and Mike try to solve the "Stampy Equation." Their tanks turn to blast the hover tanks but only score a single hit, immobilizing one.

Pressed for time, the tanks move quickly towards my board edge. I was doing a great job of slowing down infantry but the tanks and walkers were just killing me.

The Seer immobilizes one of my hover tanks which had been hanging out on the lake pounding enemy infantry. An immobilized hover vehicle on the water becomes a submarine. Sadness.

My flamethrower gets a nice shot off on a squad coming up the road. The stench of burnt fur fills the air. The squad in the ruined house had been kept still all game by my sniper and the rocket tank. I think it had 10 pin markers on it at one point.

My Horsemen finally get wiped out in an assault.

A melee erupts as Big Dog decides to mix it up with Earth's finest.

Shockingly, the Red Guard hold their ground and kick some ass.

And Big Dog is forced to retreat! Huzzah!

But during turn eight, the Dogs moved their three tanks and three walkers off the board. I had stopped the infantry cold, but the vehicles got away.

Another very enjoyable game! Thanks and congratulations again to Patrick and Mike! Not bad for a couple of first-timers.

I was hampered by a lack of reliable anti-tank weaponry but did OK, all things considered. The attack VTOL is vicious and I like it a lot - it is simply dominating if it isn't challenged, like air power should be. I need to pick up some MBTs for the Red Guard to even thing out a bit, then their light grav tanks won't have to do all the heavy lifting.

Next up... Saturday's games - Dystopian Wars and Star Fleet Battles.

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