Thursday, May 27, 2010

Flying Lead Starship Troopers Battle Report

I've flipped through my copy of Flying Lead, Ganesha Games excellent modern skirmish ruleset, several times but finally got around to playing and actual game.

For this outing I decided to try something a little different and broke out the Starship Troopers figs I had collecting dust on the shelf.

As the base book for Flying Lead deals strictly with modern combat, some additions had to be made to more accurately reflect Arachnid forces.  I borrowed some Special Abilities from Song of Blades and Heroes, using their listed points values as written in those rulebooks.

Mobile Infantry forces consisted of:
Sergeant- Q: 3  C: 2  SA: Leader  Equipment: TW-203-a Morita Assault Rifle, M-290 Flechette Grenade Launcher  Points: 136

Corporal- Q: 3  C: 2  SA: NCO  Equipment: TW-203-a Morita Assault Rifle, M-290 Flechette Grenade Launcher  Points: 126

Sniper- Q: 3  C: 2  SA: Sniper  Equipment: TW-201-I Morita Sniper Rifle  Points: 68

Missile Launcher- Q: 4  C: 2  SA: -  Equipment: SW-401 Longbow Missile Launcher  Points: 69

Nuke Bearer- Q: 4  C: 1  SA: -  Equipment: TW-203-a Morita Assault Rifle, M-290 Flechette Grenade Launcher, Pee Wee Nuke.  Points: 138

(x2) Veteran Rifleman- Q: 4  C: 3  SA:-  Equipment: TW-203-a Morita Assault Rifle, M-290 Flechette Grenade Launcher.  Points: 87

(x2) Rifleman- Q: 4  C: 2  SA:-  Equipment: TW-203-a Morita Assault Rifle, M-290 Flechette Grenade Launcher.  Points: 80

Arachnid forces consisted of:

Brain Bug- Q: 2  C: 0  SA: Leader, Burrowing, Big, Short Move  Equipment: -  Points: 50

Tanker- Q: 4  C: 6  SA: Vehicle, Huge, Burrowing, Fanatic, Slow  Equipment- Thick Armor (+5), Tanker Flame.  Points: 182

(x3) Hopper- Q: 4  C: 3  SA: Flying, Fanatic, Dashing  Equipment: Scything Talons.  Points: 57

(x10) Warriors- Q: 4  C: 3  SA: Burrowing, Climbing, Fanatic  Equipment: Scything Talons.  Points: 48

Weapon Stats are as so:

TW-203-a Morita Assault Rifle: Combat +2, Long Range, Select Fire, Move and Shoot  Points: 28

M-290 Flechette Grenade Launcher: Combat +2 first 2 range bands; Combat +1 third range band, Medium Range, Max Range 3 Med, Spread  Points: 15

TW-201-I Morita Sniper Rifle: Combat +2, Long Range, Sniper Scope  Points: 20

SW-401 Longbow Missile Launcher: Anti- Tank 5, Combat +2, Long Range, Priming Needed Crewed.  Points: 36

Pee Wee Nuke: Anti- Tank 8, Grenade Combat 5, High Tech Ammo, One Shot, Priming Needed, Lethal.  Points: 44

Scything Talons: Better Weapon Modifier 1, Lethal  Points: 3

Tanker Flame: Vehicle Flamethrower  Points: 45

My victim for this game was Todd, a veteran of our Song of Deeds and Glory campaign.  Already familiar with the engine, he was quickly up to speed on the rules (as well as I knew them.)

Todd chose to take control of the Arachnids, leaving me with the Mobile Infantry.

We deployed our units and Todd took the first turn.  He also started will all models burrowed that could.

The game started out quite uneventful, with both side failing a lot of activations.  We had learned our lesson from the SDG campaign, both of us playing warbands that were not entirely Q: 2 models, and rolled one or two dice often.  This still did not make models move any faster.

A few turns into the game, and the action is just starting to heat up.  No casualties for either side, yet.

My Sergeant grabbed the missile launcher team, a vet and a regular and tried to move up the flank to intercept the tanker.  The missile launcher is the only weapon on the table that can hurt the tanker bug and I wanted to make sure it was in position to pop the tanker as soon as it surfaced.  The NCO commanded the sniper and two more troopers and simply moved to the center of the board to lay down fire on anything that came into view.  They were positioned on the hill to make it as difficult as possible for the Arachnids to engage them in hand to hand while still maintaining maneuverability.

The Arachnids seemed to have a simple plan; advance underground and spring up at the last minute.  Their advance was generally straight forward, with the hoppers starting to cross to the opposite side of the table from which they started.

The Sergeant and his men watch for signs of the approaching tanker bug.

The hoppers and brain bug continued to plod up the field.  One hopper directed it's attention to the missile launcher team, trying to eliminate the biggest threat.  The other two began maneuvering to flank the NCO and her men. 

A hopper is knocked down by heavy Morita fire.

Hoppers maneuver to the flank.

The Mobile Infantry NCO and her men held their dune, laying down overwatch and firing on anything that reared it's head.  The Sniper really showed it's value early on, dropping all three hoppers, but not before a hopper claimed the life of one of the Sergeant's rifleman. 

The sniper aims up on a hopper bug.

With the aerial threat eliminated, the NCO held her ground in the center of the board, while the Sergeant slowly pulled back as the tanker advanced.  Tired of the plodding pace of his Warriors, Todd began to surface them and move across the surface. The brain bug remained under the surface, and simply stopped about a long move distance from the NCO.  What was he up to?

The continued advance...

A wide shot of the battle so far.

Eventually the Sergeant and his men took shelter in the bunker near their deployment zone as the tanker drew ever closer.  The NCO's unit continued to whittle away at the approaching bugs, the sniper racking up many more kills with his Lethal ability.

And then the Mobile Infantry's worst nightmare arrived...

The tanker bug attempted and activation on three dice and passed all three!  It moved forward, surfaced, and let loose a stream of hellfire on the Sergeant's men in the fortification.
A devastating flame attack from the tanker bug...

And the expected result.

The missile launcher and the nuke bearer were eliminated by the gout of flame.  The leader actually survived and recoiled over the wall of the bunker.

Things were looking grim for the Mobile Infantry.  With the only weapon able to kill the tanker bug in the clutches of a dead man, some desperate measures had to be taken.  The Sergeant jumped back into the bunker and made a dive for the Longbow missile launcher.  Following the Sergeant's lead, the other trooper went for the Pee Wee Nuke.  Weapons in hand, they needed another turn before they could actually fire the weapon.  If they got another turn...

The NCO and her men continued to hold off the center, with the Warrior growing ever closer, and ever bolder.

On the Arachnid turn the Warriors continued to maneuver around the Mobile Infantry.  Again the tanker threw 3 dice for activation... and failed them all!  This gave the Sergeant the opportunity to load the nuke into the launcher and let loose, vaporizing the tanker bug!
Even giant bugs curl up on their back when they die!

With the threat of the tanker eliminated the sergeant turned his attention to helping the NCO in the center of the board.  It was too late, and Warrior erupted from the ground and eliminated her.  The remaining MI began to retreat to the Sergeant's bunker, with Warriors picking them apart as they fled.

MI attempt to fall back to cover, but are cut off.

The final showdown began, with only 4 MI defending the bunker against two Warriors and the still burrowing Brain bug.  Some poor activations allowed the Arachnids to close with the Mobile Infantry in the bunker.  The Brain bug finally surfaced to lend the Quality bonus to the remaining Warriors.

Chaos in the bunker!

The sniper was able to break away from the melee and pop the Brain bug with a well placed shot.  The Sergeant was eliminated by a Warrior in hand to hand.  Some morale checks eliminated a few models, and eventually the Mobile Infantry watched the last Arachnid Warrior flee from the battlefield!

This was great fun, and a lot was learned about the rules by both of us. 

Caught up in the heat of the game, we did forget a few special abilities here and there, which would have helped both sides at times.  Another read through of the rules, and more familiarity with the rosters will help for next time.

There was some discussion regarding the stats of the models, most notably adding communicators to the MI, Arachnids, or both.  This would certainly make the Arachnids more devastating, allowing them to move quickly underground and to keep their leader completely safe from the MI while the other bugs do their worst. 

I also noticed the Pee Wee Nuke didn't have a Combat bonus, which made HE shots with it fairly ineffective.

A little tweaking here and there and we'll give it another whirl.  My goal is to make this a very solid demo scenario for conventions.  I think it has potential.  Everyone playing and watching had a great time!