Monday, June 18, 2007

Bugs on a Train

Here is a Starship Troopers battle we did Saturday night. It was all based around a toy I found at a garage sale last year. It's a Power Rangers Train. I made a simple track for the train out of Foam Core, Balsa Wood and cheap Wally World spray paint.

The Scenario is Bugs ambushing a Grav Train on my world, Omicron 4. On the train are 3 squads of Mobile Infantry, a Chickenhawk and Lt Jackson. As the bugs attack, they call for reinforcements. First to respond is a Fleet landing party in an unarmed Fleet Shuttle(arrive turn 2). The other unit is a QRF Squad of Grizzlies that was in orbit(drop on the board turn 3).

The Bugs are attacking with 4 swarms(squads) of Warriors, a swarm of Tiger Warriors, 2 Hopper Flights, one Tanker bug and a Brain Bug. There are 3 tunnel entrances on the ground, one being hidden. One cave in trap, and 2 tunnel markers. The bugs start with tiger warriors and the tanker tunneling.

We rolled dice to randomize where the train stopped. Unfortunatley for the MI, it pretty much stopped dead in the center of all the bug units. It was going to be a hard day for the MI. The train moved up and the MI disembark. One action to exit. Some shots were taken at visible, but in cover bugs, no kills.

Bug Turn, warriors advance, one warrior unit goes underground as the Tigers come up. Tunneling Tanker moves closer. Hoppers do a 6 inch move, Ready, then 3rd action(From Brain Bug) Hover to attack the MI. One kill and then they dart back behind the train to avoid reaction fire. We made a mistake here, the MI should have gone Ready as a reaction, even though they couldn't see the Hoppers. The other Hopper unit waited. I think the brain bug did a Rupture attack on the Chickenhawk, and lost, it took 5 hits.

MI Turn 2, Fleet Lander arrives. I didn't read the air rules, as I wanted to keep the game fairly simple. So the Fleet Lander could move onto the board, 12"/action. Landing was free. The troops inside could exit for one action. Then move normally. The lander came on and landed near some hoppers hiding behind a ridge. The disembarked and took a shoot action, killing one hopper. Fire from a squad on the train killed the other 2 hoppers. One squad jumped to the top of the train. One Squad jumped to a Plateau near the train, and finished off the bug Swarm up there. The last squad jumped to a ridge line across from the train. The MI player just completely blanked out on that last jump, as he jumped right next to a tunnel entrance with a swarm of bugs down below.

Bug Turn 2, bugs came out of the hole to attack the MI next to the Tunnel Entrance, 2 or 3 kills. The brain bug gave that bug unit a 3rd action and they charged again. Finishing off the MI and Lt Jackson. The hoppers popped up and did a Fly by on the MI on top of the train, no kills, then flew back out of reaction range. The tanker came up and moved up the train. For reference the train is a lvl 4 terrain, the front and back are sloped and can be walked right up, the sides of the train would need to be climbed. The tanker walked up the front of the train and spit at the MI up there, 3 died and one was on fire. The brain put up shield this time, then Did Rupture on the Chickenhawk, causing one hit.

MI Turn 3. The Exosuits drop onto the table, well sort of. Again I didn't read or use the air rules. I just used a GW scatter dice and 2d10 for deviation from a nominated landing spot. One action to land, and one action left. The MI player wanted to bring his Grizzlies down near the Brain Bug, but not so close as to cause a reaction. The problem is, the Brain bug was near a table edge, and had a big hill in front of it. So the Exo's had to land to the side, near the table edge. If they deviated off the table I would ruled they could come on next turn. The Exo's missed the table by 1 inch. That pretty much was the game for the MI. At this point the only thing left was the Chickenhawk, and 2 squads that were pretty beaten up. The MI player fired all at the Tanker, causing only one wound.

Bug Turn 3. Tanker spits at Chickenhawk and melts it. Hoppers fly over to the plateau to attack a squad there, one survivor. At this point the fleet guys would run back to the lander and blast off, leaving the 3 surviving MI to there fate. We pretty much called it here.

Battle debriefing:
The MI really had an uphill battle from the gitgo. Almost 500 points off the table at the start of the game. The exo's are 325 points, and didn't show till turn 3. The MI's train needed more variance as to where it would stop. The bugs really got to concentrate in a small area. 2 mistakes that really hurt the MI, me(the GM) missing the MI reacting to the Hoppers, and 2nd, the MI player jumping next to the bug unit. I will go back and read the Air rules as this could drastically change the scenario. The MI player felt that the MI didn't have enough firepower to deal with the Tanker. Goldwyrm(bug player) suggested giving the MI turrets on top of the Train, which is a really cool idea, both for the scenario and modeling aspect. He also suggested using the fleet lander as a Skyhook dropship. Or allowing the MI to have a UAV.

All in all I think it was a fun battle. I will tweak the scenario some and maybe run it again. I would also consider running it at Historicon, if I can figure a way to get all the terrain there. Big sheets of foam board and Honda Civic's don't mix well.

All game pics here.

Cheers, Xin.

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