26 February 2015

Hot off the presses!

No, not the completed StarDust Ground rules... just some recently painted stuff. I wasted no time with the PT-76es and finished them up and put the finishing touches on the hover bots for the Robot Army.

 Nothing fancy, just the standard livery of the Worker's Party Army. I need to get AK47 Republic back on the table, it is such a great game. Once I'm done with Gnomecon I'll get it, Check Your 6, and some others back into the rotation.

Eight stands of hoverbots. They'll be quite different from the rest of the infantry in SDG, that's for sure.

The Robot Army. I want to pick up some vehicles for them - I've got my eye on a few things that will suit them nicely.

24 February 2015


It only took 2 months for them to arrive at my door, but I got some goodies in the mail today. Ordered back on 17 December, I finally got some reinforcements for my AK47 Republic forces.

3 PT-76es for the Dictator's army and a big bag o' guys with guns for the MCC rebels. I also got 72 1.25" square bases for them and other projects.

I know, not that special... but it's always fun when something shows up that you'd forgotten about completely!

23 February 2015

StarDust Ground and Star Fleet Battles

I was able to get in some quality time with the ol' dice bag this weekend. Zig and I put SDG through its paces once again. The results of the play test were very positive and although we found two things that need specific clarification in the rules, everything was solid. On the other hand, we found a big ol' problem with the scenario which will be fixed shortly.

No full AAR, but I do have some pics.

Same scenario as last time. You can see immediately what needs to be fixed.
1. Enforce a 24" bubble for the ambushers. Ziggy started some of his troops right on top of mine.
2. I should have entered from the other corner. Move cover. My guys were very exposed right off the bat.

My small mechs smashed a hover tank in close combat. Quite a firefight develops on that side of the table.

Zig's mech goes full-Ginsu on an already beleaguered squad of Dogs.

My tanks become the next target of Stampy McSlice. His infantry squad has taken up a good position on the hill.

My last tank wises up and heads where he is needed - supporting the infantry advance. This also puts a lot of distance between the tank and that evil sword-swinging robot.

The hover tanks' plasma has a tough time finding its mark against the side of my barn with tracks.

My tank moves forward - I'm still efforting a result here - and the godforsaken turret immobilizes it with a missile. Gah! The tank gets some revenge and destroys the turret. 

In the end, the Dogs got wiped. Primarily, they were in a terrible position to begin with. I'm chalking much of the poor performance up to stupid terrain placement. Live n' learn.


On to Sunday!

Sunday was our monthly Star Fleet Battles game. The scenario was a follow-up to the previous game which featured a whole bunch of fighters and drones.

Background - After the battle of Omicron Persei VIII, the Orion fighters beat a hasty retreat back to the pickup point. The Lyrans, feeling a bit betrayed by their mercenary allies, sent a Frigate in pursuit. The Federation and Kzintis, whose alliance was a bit more firm, also sent ships to pursue the fleeing pirates. The Orions were only interested in picking up their remaining fighters and getting away.

Although he's got the same goal as the Fed/Kzinti, the Lyran is not allowed to coordinate with them. They are mortal enemies after all.

We pick up in the middle of the action...

The Lyran (the big brown model) and Orion escort LR blast the tar out of each other at point-blank range. The LR caused a bunch of internal damage with its FOUR Ph-1s. (He put Ph-1s in all three option mounts) My carrier is making its way towards the fighters.

The Fed and Kzinti and a wall of drones speeds towards the pirates.

This month's collection of Space Cadets. We weren't expecting Bill, so we had to add a fifth ship for Alan, which unbalanced things a bit in favor of the Orions.

Four fighters tractored! Time to get out of Dodge! I've also sent s bucket of drones in pursuit of the Lyran. The Fed is breathing down my neck. The Orion CVL has jack shit for rear weapons.

Kzinti drone #33 kills one of the Z-Ys I have in tow and the Fed knocks down my #3 shield and caused a handful of internals with photons and phasers.

And then we stopped taking pictures.

The next turn I pushed the speed up to 26 and headed for home. James sniped one of the F-18s I had in tow, crippling it, which in turn killed it via death-drag. Another F-18 was killed by Mike I guess because when it was all said and done, I'd gotten away with one fighter (Z-Y) and a ship in decent condition. Alan's LR was in poor shape but survived. The Kzinti and Lyran ships both got pounded, particularly the Lyran. The Fed had a clean sheet. James could easily have killed off the fighters but just wasn't thinking about it when he made his attack run.

Bill's over-aggression with the Lyran was his undoing. Alan and I turned towards him, not wanting to close with the Fed's photons and Kzinti drones. Bill had set his speed to 30 which put him on top of the LR right away. If he'd been a bit more cautious and headed down field I think he'd have had an easier time.

Good game all, I enjoyed it tremendously!

20 February 2015

End of the Week Update

I've done a bit more painting this week - finished up a flying gunship and three stationary turrets and assembled eight stands of hover drone bots for the Robot Army.

The Dogs should get some good use out of this thing.

Turrets for the Red Guard. They're a bit more interesting than the usual "guy with a missile launcher."

These little beggars required a lot of drilling and fidgeting. At least the tough part is done.

Zig and I have a playtest game of StarDust Ground set up for tomorrow. I'm also supposed to be playing SFB Sunday afternoon with the Space Cadets.

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!

13 February 2015

Star Dust Ground - Update and RP

I've kept working on SDG this week. I've solidified rules for fliers and am happy with what I've come up with. The only can of worms that crossed my mind as I was typing was regarding flying vehicles that have a close combat capability. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. Seems like something pretty bad-ass to include, and let's face it - sci-fi games should have some pretty bad-ass stuff like that.

I also did a good bit of work on vehicle and troops stats as well as coming up with a couple useful special abilities for troops and vehicles. 

I re-formatted the rulebook and it shrunk by 5 pages just by tidying things up - removing unnecessary blank lines, etc. As much as I'd like to subscribe to the "bigger is better" way of thinking, a better looking final result is preferable. It'll be over 20 pages once I add markers, unit stats, QRS, title page, etc.

I finished up the small walkers and hover tanks that arrived Monday.

Walkers for the Dog Soldiers. 

 Hover Tanks for the Red Guard.

I wasn't originally planning to do it, but I couldn't resist magnetizing the turrets since they came with a mix - they can operate in anti-personnel, anti-armor or recon / forward observer roles.