Monday, June 27, 2011

Turn Two

Ignoring the weak fire from squad Cagney, the brood of slashers continued to leap over the ruins and approach the Imperial defenders. Cagney’s men kept firing, but the bugs were just too good at using the ruins as cover.

While the soldiers defending the line were distracted by the advancing hordes, a big bug began its charge straight down the road towards squad Autry while a second big bug advanced more cautiously towards the centre of the Imperial line. Just in time, Autry noticed the charging bug and had his men turn their firepower on it causing it to flinch and slow. Sergeant Flynn also caught sight of it and quickly shouted to corporal Cooper to stop withdrawing and set up his missile launcher again.

Cooper and his gunner raced back to the sand bag defences and set up their launcher. However, they were too hasty and their shot went wild.

Another big bug also then raced forward between the two broods of slinkers. Fortunately, squad Bogart immediately opened fire and corporal Stewart fired his missile at the beast, but the round landed short throwing up a cloud of debris. All this firepower was all sufficient to deter the beast from continuing.

A fourth big bug followed up, again more cautiously. Corporal Grant fired his missile at this beast, but the shot went very wide.

[Rules; Two of the big bugs rolled 11 for their movement (2 actions each 1d6) and so raced forward 22 inches. Almost to the Imperial line. The missile team closest to one of them (Coopers) was activated by sgt Flynn and turned back to the sand bags. Then using its own activation, it fired at only 8” using a d8 and d10 against a range die of d4. While the range die only resulted in a 3, the shooting dice both rolled a one and hence missed. The shooting at these two bugs was similarly appalling for the whole turn.]

With the Imperial soldiers busy reacting to the arrival of the four big bugs, the smaller critters and slinkers were able to shake off the effects from previous fire. One brood of critters moved from the far building to follow up the slashers.

Corporal Clark turned his heavy machine guns on the bug in front of him and let loose a long burst that seemed to have no effect. Corporal Gable responded in the same way and fired at the bug to the left of his tank.

Lieutenant Robinson watched in horror as the two bugs raced towards his men, but as the concentrated firepower slowed and then stopped them, he saw there was only a brief moment in which his men had to react to deal with the threat or the bugs would quickly recover and leap the remaining few metres and tear his men to pieces. He called sergeant Wayne and ordered him forward with his heavy weapon team to engage the nearest bug. He then ordered sergeant Autry to have his plasma gunner concentrate on the bug to their front and fire a sustained burst.

As he looked up at the battlefield again, Robinson saw Wayne and his men leap their sand bag wall and sprint towards the bug. The fusion gunner led the charge. They briefly halted at the corner of the ruins sheltering squad Bogart and then the fusion gunner stepped forward to virtually point blank range and fired. Unbelievably, the shot seemed to have no effect on the beast.

To make matters worse, three brain bugs slowly drifted from behind the protection of the distant ruins. Their influence was known spur on the smaller creatures and they could launch their own powerful psychic attacks.

The situation at the end of turn 2.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Turn One

The first alien force to advance was a brood of slashers that raced forward towards the ruins in front of squad Cagney. The soldiers of the Imperial Army commenced firing almost immediately, but had little effect at long range and the bugs successfully made it to the cover of the ruined building.

[Rules: the slashers are fast and so move 1d8x2” per action. In this case, they moved 20” using both actons and just made it to the edge of the ruins which provided concealment (a +ve range die shift). Cagney’s squad were firing at 25” or range band 4 for regular troops, which means the range die was a 10 shifted up to a 12 for concealment. Their firepower is 9 laser rifles at 1 rounded up to a d10, plus a plasma rifle at a d6. Both dice were shifted up due to the special ‘sustained fire’ rule which allows some weapons to be used over 2 actions to grant a +ve die shift. Their quality is regular: d8. The d12 roll was an unbeatable 11, so even though they rolled two 8s and a 4, the riflemen had no effect.]

On the imperial left flank, a brood of critters emerged from behind the distant buildings and darted forward seeking to similarly use the protection the ruins offered them. Squad Autry had used the few seconds warning they had to position themselves and so were able to fire a more controlled burst at the bugs downing two of them.

[Rules: the critters also spent 2 actions moving, but only at d6x2” per action. Yet they managed a very respectable 16”. The range was just on 24” so range band 3 shifted up once for a d10. The Imperials rolled a d12 and two d8s as above scoring 11, 8 and 5 while the aliens managed only a 4. This resulted in suppression and two possible hits. (if more than two shooting dice exceed the range dice then total ALL the shooting dice and divide that by the range die type: 24/ 10 = 2 hits with a 4/10 chance of a third.) The laser rifles have an impact value of d6 and the critters have an armour of d4 with a +2 shift for hard cover to d8. The rolls were 5 vs 2 and 5 vs 4 resulting in two kills. This forced a confidence test for suffering casualties, but the bugs passed, needing to beat a 3 on a d6.]

On the right flank another brood of critters slowly crept into the small ruined building at the far edge of the table, but remained hidden and so did not draw any fire.

Instead, in the centre, squad Bogart opened up on the critters on the far left, hitting them but they were too well protected by the cover to suffer any losses.

A brood of slinkers then raced forward almost reaching the ruins in the centre of the battlefield before corporal Clark turned the guns of his FSV on them. Two of the bugs were torn to pieces by the twin mounted heavy machine gun.

[Rules: slinkers are also ‘fast’ and therefore move d8x2” per action – in this case a total of 26”. The range was 19” or band 2 for a heavy weapon. The firepower of the twin HMG is 3d10 and the crew are the normal regular d8. So the FSV rolls 3d10 and a d8 against the range die of only a d6. This resulted in a total of 5 hits. With an impact of d8 against an armour of d6, the final result of only 2 actual kills was a poor result. The slinkers passed their confidence test for taking casualties and remained where they were.]

Another swarm of slinkers raced forward at almost the same time and using the first group to mask their initial movement, they almost reached squad Bogart. However, corporal Gable had just lined up his HMG on the initial swarm of slinkers and this second group appeared to him as nothing but the leading edge of that group as they emerged from behind them. His twin barrels roared to life and mowed down three of the slinkers.

[Rules: the slinkers managed to roll a double 8 for their movement and so raced 32” directly towards squad Bogart, stopping only about 4” short. The other FSV then fired as above, but managed 3 kills. Those slinkers also passed their initial confidence test]

Meanwhile, using the charging critters and smaller bugs as a distraction, four big bugs began their slow advance toward the Imperial lines.

Just as Gable’s burst of machine gun fire tore into the charging slinkers, corporal Cooper and his gunner fired a missile at almost point blank range, stunning but not wounding any of the bugs. Only a fraction of a second later, a second missile also hit them fired by corporal Grant. This was enough. As well as killing a fourth alien, the remainder recoiled from the onslaught and sought the safety of some nearby ruins.

[Rules: Missile launchers are heavy weapons. The first one was only about6” from the target who were in the open. Hence the range die was only a d4. The missile team have a quality of d8 and firepower of d12 when firing an AP round. However they only rolled a 12 and a 3 against the range die result of 4, thus only suppressing the target. The second missile, although at longer range, rolled even worse with only two 4s, but the range die only managed a 2 resulting in two hits. The impact of the AP round is d6 as is the armour of the slinkers. One roll managed to succeed and this was all that was necessary to force a confidence test. This time the d8 did not beat the necessary 3 and the slinkers fell back to the nearest cover with a total of 3 suppression markers.]

Squad Wayne turned their heavy laser rifles on the remaining mass of slinkers and poured a steady stream of fire into them causing them to balk and keep their heads down.

Meanwhile platoon sergeant Flynn assessed the situation and decided that although the initial attack seemed to have been blunted slightly, the nearby slinkers were still a huge threat. He tapped corporal Cooper on the shoulder and ordered him to withdraw further where he could fire at long range on the dug in slinkers without exposing himself to being overrun. He then turned and shouted to Bogart to concentrate his fire on the slinkers directly to his front.

[Rules: the platoon sergeant and platoon leader can use an action to attempt to (re-)activate a subordinate squad. This is the primary role of leaders in SG and represents the effect that their influence has on the performance of the squads. That is, it is not necessarily the case that the activated squad is doing more, just that they can be more effective if guided by their superior officers. In this case, the missile team was successfully reactivated, but squad Bogart was not.]

As corporal Cooper and his gunner grabbed their equipment and started moving back to another position, a missile streaked overhead and slammed into the area now occupied by the withdrawing slinkers.

From his position at the top of the shrine, lieutenant Robinson saw the initial rush of the alien hordes and the effect his men’s firepower was having on them. Only on his right flank was there a swarrn that seemed to be unaffected. He grabbed the radio and tried to call sergeant Cagney to make sure he was concentrating on the slashers to his front. The fire from Cagney’s squad seemed very poorly concentrated, but he got no reply. In frustration, he called sergeant Wayne to encourage him to hold his position and clear the slinkers away from their immediate front, while keeping an eye on the right in case the slashers made another rush. In this case, it was unnecessary. Squad Wayne were stoically and methodically firing at the slinkers and had them well and truly pinned.

[Rules: squad Cagney was not reactivated, but Squad Wayne was. The additional round of shooting that this enabled caused a third suppression marker to be placed on the nearest unit of slinkers, effectively pinning them for at least one turn.]

The scene at the end of turn one. Squad Cagney is out of shot to the right.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bugs - Intro

It has been weeks since the bugs arrived. All over the planet, infestations have taken hold. In some isolated places, these were rooted out, but the local defence forces are insufficient to completely eradicate the invaders. Now, known infestations are cordoned in an attempt to prevent them from spreading while the human inhabitants wait anxiously for help from the Empire.

However, time is on the bug’s side. Deep in their burrows, they breed or spawn or whatever they do to create more and more of the voracious creatures. If help does not arrive soon, the numbers will be overwhelming and humanity will lose another planet to the swarm.

In hundreds of locations, small forces of defenders surround known infestation sites and try to hold back the occasional foray. Whether these assaults are probing attacks looking for weaknesses in the defences or whether they are designed to wear down the spirit and patience of the defenders is anyone’s guess. The hive mind is inscrutable.

Lieutenant Robinson and his platoon occupy one such defensive position in what was the city of Camlan. Nothing much remains but the bombed out ruins of once glorious gothic style stone and marble buildings. The area immediately in front of their position has been cleared as best it can to provide lines of sight for the defenders.

“Here they come!” shouted one of the soldiers in the observation post. Lieutenant Robinson turned to see dark shapes in the distance moving as if tumbling over the ruins towards them.

“Signal stand to” he instructed his comms operator, but he knew it was unnecessary. The squad sergeants would already be rousing the men and getting them into position. He heard the engines of his two FSVs (fire support vehicles) start up. Their twin heavy machine guns were in fact the main defensive line, with the soldiers of his platoon there to prevent the tanks from being overrun. His other key weapon systems were the three missile teams. These were the only weapons he had that were capable of taking down the larger alien monsters, but they were slow to fire.

Lt Robinson established his command post in the ruined shrine building. As this was the tallest building in the area, this gave him an excellent overview of the battlefield.

On the left flank, sergeant Autry’s squad was deployed in a ruined medical facility that the soldiers had christened ‘the lab’. In the centre, sergeant Bogart’s squad was deployed in a ruined chapel and sergeant Cagney’s squad was deployed on the right in the old archive. The final rifle squad, led by sergeant Douglas, was deployed behind Bogart’s men in a prepared defensive position in the park in front of the shrine building.

Between Autry and Bogart, the first FSV, commanded by corporal Clarke, was parked behind a sand bag emplacement. The second FSV, commanded by corporal Gable, was in a similar position between Bogart and Cagney. Sergeant Wayne and his rangers were deployed with Gable’s FSV as a week point in the line were some ruins quite close to the centre position and the extra firepower of his squad’s heavy laser rifles would help to keep the bugs from occupying those ruins.

Two missile teams, led by corporals Cooper and Grant, were also deployed near the FSVs to use the same cleared fire lines. The third team, corporal Stewart’s, was held in depth with Douglas’s squad.

The platoon’s medic, a nurse named Betty who had joined them after the initial fighting, was also stationed with sergeant Douglas’s squad. Platoon sergeant Flynn was also in this central position from where he could intervene if necessary.

[Rule: both lieutenant Robinson and sergeant Flynn can exercise command and re-activate subordinate units. LT Robinson can activate any squad or tank (but not the missile teams) via radio, while SGT Flynn can activate squads within 6” (including the missile teams) or the tanks by using the intercom at the rear of the vehicle.]