We opted to do the Whiskey Outpost scenario that we've played before using FWC. This would give us a good idea of how the game played compared to FWC and is pretty simple as the bugs can only move and melee and the fort just has infantry that attempts to shoot up the horde.
Whiskey Outpost looking north, the fort is in the centre with 3 bug swarms piling out of their holes
Neither of us had given the rules more than a cursory glance so we had no idea what to expect. LS uses a card activation system - we had forgetten to bring any cards so Steve zoomed to Tesco and bought a set of Star Wars playing cards
Whiskey Outpost looking south,
We had a large table to fill so we scattered some "innocent bystanders" around the edge of the table
Some Angel Barrack's Worms
Thankfully Bugs haven't worked out how to use a StarGate
Some Second-hand Robot dealers
Planet of the Apes meets Dune
A Laserstorm army always contains 3 BattleGroups each of several units. Units comprise several stands all of the same type
The brave defenders
Steve's force was
Battlegroups 1 & 2
- Unit 1: 1 Colonial Marine (Commander)
- Unit 2: 3 Colonial Marines (Regular Infantry)
- Unit 3: 1 Sniper (Infiltrator)
Battlegroup 3 - the same as BG 1 but without the Sniper
One of the Bug Battlegroups, no idea which as they all look the same to me with a Dragonfly CO
Battlegroups 1,2 & 3
- Unit 1: 1 Bug (Commander)
- Units 2,3 & 4 : 6 Bugs with no shooting capability
The game is very simple - the bugs rush up to the walls with the defenders trying to shot as many of them as possible then everyone gets into hand to hand combat. Therefore it covers almost everything in the rules - movement, shooting, morale and close combat.
Another view of Whiskey Outpost with the snipers on the hills
Bugs head towards the landing pad
The Bug Coordination Centre controlling the battle
The landing pad is overrun and the bugs are at the walls
The defenders get whittled down and the bugs are on the rampart
An Infiltrator's view of the action
The last stand
The game took about 6 turns and 2 hours to play. Most of the 2 hours was spent reading through the rules as we learnt how to play. We got a couple of things wrong - not realising that commanders can shoot and adding the 5+ Cover save into the defender's save instead of doing them as separate save rolls.
In some respects we felt it was too easy for the bugs to win the combat at the wall. Combat is opposed dice rolls + the stand's assault modifier. The bugs had +5 Assault modifier whereas the Marines had 0 modifier. Therefore the bugs tended to win each combat forcing the Marines to make a standard saving roll of 5+ on 1D6 and if they failed that then another cover saving roll of 5+ on 1D6. Maybe for fortifications we should drop the cover saving roll to 4+
In the afternoon we played the introductory scenario in the ruleset using Pax Arcadians vs Space Marines. This was a very swift affair as it became immediately apparent that cover is everything. Tanks, APCS and infantry die very very quickly if left out in the open.
Pax Arcadians head to the spaceship and stargate objectives
Space Marines hunker down
Game Over! The last 2 Pax Arc tanks about to get wiped out by overwhelming SM forces
As we had barely read the rules prior to playing we found Laserstorm very easy to pick up. I am happy to recommend these rules for fast big games. I'm also looking forward to putting all of my Pax Arcs on the table and playing with them.
The rules also come with instructions on how to create units and campaigns but I have yet to get my head round that aspect.
Finally to the show itself - Blast-Tastic is a cracking one day show concentrating solely on sci-fi gaming in all scales. If you are into sci-fi and can travel to Bristol then you should go.