Saturday, 24 October 2015

28mm Bugs v Marines

Stuart had the pleasure of putting on his first game at the Berkeley Vale club on Monday and it was a good one - 28mm Marines vs Bugs. Bugs Mr Rico - quite a lot of them!

The scenario
It had all gone very quiet at the mining colony so 4 squads of 5 Marines were sent to investigate the camp and hold until relieved - ideally in the fort

Dave and Shaun played the Marines whilst Rodge and I played the Bugs

The Marines entered on one table edge and proceeded to make their way to the fort in the middle  of the table.

The Bugs arrived randomly each turn by
  • rolling an Average dice to see how many groups appeared
  • rolling an Average dice per group to see how many bugs there were
  • rolling a D8 to see where each group appeared

By turn 3 all available bugs - 75 of them - were on the table coming from all directions. Rodge, the super bug brain, sent a load to occupy the fort before the Marines got there.

It's not nice having a horde of bugs to one's rear and it slowed the Marines as they attempted to gain the security of the fort.

The bugs could take 3 wounds as opposed to the Marines' 2 wounds so it was imperative to shoot the bugs before they got into contact.

With the fort infested the Marines would have a fight on their hands occupying it.

With more and more bugs getting into the fort a bitter fight ensued at the gates

The majority of the Marines form a "square" to allow their comrades to fight for the gates

All modesty aside my arrivals dice rolls were great especially when the Hoppers appeared
The Marine firepower couldn't hold back the bugs

A Hoppper's eye view of the fort

Too many wounded Marines and too many bugs can only mean...

...Game Over

A super game that looked very good - it would have been very different if the Marines had been in the fort.

Technical details
The rules are Stuart's own rules which work very well
The Marines are Games Workshop Tau
Everything else - the bugs, the fort, the buildings and the vehicles - are paper

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Laserstorm at Blast-tastic 2015

For various reasons only Steve and myself were available to put on a game at Blast-Tastic 2015. A couple of days beforehand we had both purchased Laserstorm (LS) so we decided to use the show as an opportunity to learn the rules.

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

My force was

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.