26 February 2017

AAR - StarDust Ground Scenario Test

Zig and I got together Saturday evening for a game of StarDust Ground, my 15mm Sci Fi game. The scenario was a playtest for what I'll be running at Gnomecon next Saturday night.

It's a fairly typical meeting encounter with both sides getting only half of their units to start the game and the rest coming in as reinforcements. Ziggy drew the Dawgs and I was happy to use the Robot army.

There are two objectives and either side can win by taking control of both, or by reducing the enemy to being combat ineffective. As opposed to earlier games, this one is set in a thick jungle with restricted lines of sight.

My starting forces early into turn 2. I put that missile launcher up on the hill to the left to get good coverage over most of the battlefield.

First shot of the game - a 'bot heavy blaster scratches the paint on a Dawg Bruiser heavy tank.

And then things that slipping out from under my feet as a Bruiser rolls up into the compound and takes out one of by BigBots.

Followed shortly by the arrival of the Seer attack VTOL's arrival. Luckily for me, the humid jungle air seemed to be wreaking havoc on the missiles' targeting systems because the flier never landed a single hit!

 Turn 5 and my beleaguered bots finally get some reserves. You can see a squad of Warbots by the river.
The were followed quickly by two large tanks, gliding down the river and disgorging two swarms of small hover bots.

The battle is into turn 6 now. The Red Claws who came in as reserves (circled in red) assaulted and wiped out a squad of shut down Warbots. The Dawgs' Predator walkers had shot those Warbots up pretty badly just prior. I've got some Hovers moving into the woods just past the bridge. My tanks' shots at the Bruisers in the compound missed badly.

The Predators unleash a hail of cannon fire at my remaining BigBot, felling it. My anti-armor capabilities are rapidly diminishing.

That Red Claw squad assaults my Rocket Launcher squad and easily takes them out.

I move my quick hover tanks up next to the Bruisers (I had forced one to flee) but the armor of the heavy tanks again proves to be up to the challenge and I still am unable to cause significant damage!

The Preds make a jump-pack move, pouncing on one of my tanks and they tear it to bits. 😕

 My bots get involved with what they do worst! Ziggy's premier close combat squad assaulted a garbage squad of Hoverbots and rolls badly - my stupid bots win the combat! Sensing some sort of opportunity, I dump every robot within a hundred feet into the melee and eventually wipe them out! This was a classic "peasants versus samurai" situation where the weight of numbers eventually won out over quality.

Small victories.

While that was going on, the Predators were working on my other hover tank. My insane RepairBot, which had been doing a great job all game of keeping me in the game, assaulted one of the Predators and although it didn't destroy the filthy thing, it still won the combat at loaded it up with pin markers!

At the end of nine turns, I conceded. I had nothing left in the tank and Ziggy's forces still had a few cans of ass-whup left for me.

In retrospect, I need to smash my dice and buy new ones. My big walkers and the heavy tanks have equivalent guns and front armor. I repeatedly penetrated the front armor only to do minor "pin marker" damage rather than HOT EXPLODING DEATH. Ziggy on the other hand had a hell of a time connecting with shots, but when he did, the results were dramatic. Between taking out one of my heavy walkers early and Zig getting reinforcements right off the bat, I was on the back foot and it really seemed like an uphill challenge all game.

We agreed that the 'Bots should start with three BigBots instead of two and may add a sniper to the 'Bots force list as well.

Looking forward to the next running Saturday night at Gnomecon!

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