04 February 2018

AAR: StarDust Ground - The Bug Trials

Mark came over Saturday afternoon for some StarDust Ground.The bugs haven't been vetted under the second edition of the rules, so they were a shoo-in. Space Marines of the Salamanders Chapter would be their opponents - elite, outnumbered and a classic matchup for the Bugs.

The table was laid out with lots of hills and jungle. The Bugs would start from the near narrow edge and have to work their way down the battlefield.

The three objective locations are marked here around the jungle landing pad known as Camp Aquilla. The Bugs needed to capture all three.

My forces deployed. Generally focused around objective locations, but too few to solidly cover everything well.

The plasma cannon team atop the two-story building gets an early wide-open shot at the Inferno Beetle just appearing in the distance. Unfortunately, the shot went wide.

On the other side of the battlefield, the Marine Captain calls in a barrage on the distant flying bugs, killing one stand! The yellow worms in front of the fliers are burrowing and cannot be seen by enemy models at all from beyond 12 inches away. Mark was crafty to send them as his first wave.

The first groups of Space Marines and Bugs make contact. The worms and blues are easily repulsed by the adrenaline-fueled superhumans.

The Hive Lord starts moving up the second wave. More chitin for the grinder!

This time, the worms strike first, distracting the Marines, followed by an assault by the fliers.

The Salamanders lose two stands and must fall back! It seems that the Bugs are learning.

Wider view of the action. The Terminators moved up to support their brethren from the ridge. Fire Bugs skitter along the elevated highway as the Inferno Beetle wades through the lake. A large group of Blue Bugs has gathered opposite the Terminators.

The fliers charge into the Terminators on the hill and quickly regret their haste, losing a stand and forced to retreat.

Their blue and subterranean swarm-mates however finish off the Marine squad that had fallen back earlier.

The Big Bug crashes out of the trees atop the rise and belches plasma at the Salamander squad on the walkway, killing a fireteam. The Lascannon fires back, wounding the giant monster, slowing it down but nothing more serious.

A few moments later, the monster's attention turns toward the building with the Marines in it. It lurches forward, spewing bioplasma and crushing masonry with its claws. The Marines, though rattled, manage to remain intact.

Back on the other side of the field, the blue Bugs throw themselves at the Terminators. Although the massive armored warriors are pushed back, they remain viable, at the expense of piles of Bug warriors.

Big 'Un turns his attention to the Lascannon squad on the walkway, destroying them with bioplasma and claws.

The worms hit the position by the landing pad! Things are getting tight now for sure!

Not to be outdone, the Inferno Beetle crushes the squad in the building! That's two squads in two turns he's eliminated!

The Terminators have recovered and crank it up to ELEVEN, running off a powerful group of Blues. The Captain has also come out to assist.

But, winning a battle and losing the war seems to be the order of the day for the Salamanders. Another objective is captured by the Bugs.

The Worms hit their stride and eliminate a stand of Marines.

Followed by two more! DISASTER!

Captain Zeigmund hangs tough against the Fire Bugs and even manages to kill a stand while his Terminator brothers prepare to assault the Blues on the hill.

But the Bugs are ready this time and kill a stand of the mighty Terminators!

The writing is on the wall and it's curtains for the Salamanders. Their battle barge overhead teleports the few survivors up as Camp Aquilla is completely overrun.

And not a moment too soon.

Although it ended up a one-sided meatgrinder, that was a blast! The activation dice completely ruined it for me at the end as I was rolling two or three dice and only getting a single activation. Ugh! I was damn impressed by the Terminators' resilience, although I think the Captain could use a little CC buff. The close combat rules got a solid workout and we came up with a few rules tweaks that make "human" wave tactics viable under the new activation mechanics. We also came up with some good "special action" rules for the Bugs to give them some badly needed coordination. Poor action rolls were particularly damning for the one-note Bugs.

After the game, I ordered a few extras for the Marines, you'll see those on the blog soon enough!

1 comment:

  1. Yep, it was definitely time for the marines to bug out! :-)

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