Monday, September 12, 2011

Rescue Mission

Mission: The Union has crippled and OGRE, Commonwealth Special Forces rush to rescue the OGRE.

Union objective: Hold off Commonwealth forces
Commonwealth: Get repair bot to OGRE, protect it for 3 turns while it uploads retrieval package.

Win conditions:  Commonwealth, recover OGRE, Union, destroy both repair bots.
Special rules:  Repair bots act as Dependents for shooting, casualties etc.  Power Armour (commonwealth) is +3 save, Carapace Armour (Union +2 save).  Union are Regs (D8), Commonwealth Vets (D10).  Commonwealth use drones, no sneak moves.

The two sides line up for the dash
Weapons team lurks forwards
More follow
The Union forces mass
PA advances on the left
SPLAT! Union weapons team goes down
On the right PA advances more slowly
A Union ambush team lies in wait

Err, not for long, first the interrupt
Then firing in turn means no Union fire team
On the left another weapons team advances into a covered fire position
Supporting troops advance behind
On the right more union forces advance
Including the Union commander with Standard bearer in the distance
Commonwealth forces advance cautiously, so far the Union commands most of the field
Ambush! Reinforcements appear behind the PA unit on the right
KAPOW! a good interrupt, looks like the PA are hit hard, knocking down two suits and destroying the accompanying droid

Uh oh, the PA respond brutally wiping out the ambush team
One Medical test later (PA suits have med suite), two PA suits stand back up
On the right the onslaught continues, the PA mow down the Union forces

The advancing Union commander must do something, the PA appears to be unstoppable
Huzzah, reinforcements
Not for long... ...ineffective firing on the PA and in return the PA are less kind
Meanwhile a repair droid reaches the OGRE
The battle space has completely changes, the PA hold the dominant position and are seemingly unstoppable and to make it worse they now have a repair droid in contact with the OGRE.  Time for the Union forces to get their mojo on
PA roll well for tech link-up, the droid starts uploading the mini-brain recovery package - this will take three turns to complete
A shiny 'Traveller' Dice denotes this
Needing to do something fast the Union squad on the far side of the OGRE begins an assault over the top
Over watching PA on RHS don't do such a good job of stopping them
Time is ticking, and no Union reinforcements, things are getting desparate
Union forces continue their assault
Which does not go so well, over watching PA guns most of them down
Game over man!  The droid uploads the recovery package and the OGRE stirs.  The Union forces are shattered beyond hope of victory, the PA is pretty much unscathed
  A comprehensive win for the Commonwealth forces who recover a battle-winning asset

A not so quick game, I played with vets and regs with high-tech weapons and good armour.  There was a lot of shooting and a lot of saves.  This game was strangely unsatisfying though.  While I play mostly solo I was still frustrated at the difficulty of knocking down the PA troops with relatively good reg forces.  I've been thinking about this a bit and chatted with a friend about it the other day:
I think the problem lies with the number of dice rolled.  When rolling for armour saves the target Regulars rolls all their dice, if they are one dice type up (D10 vs D8 in this case) then the large number of dice rolled (up to the max) will mean that they will almost always save a couple of shots.  Combine this with shooting always having a couple of effective shots for the same reason, means that, unless large numbers of Insurgent shots get through the Regular troops will always win by attrition.  This got me remembering talking to some of the Ambush Alley crew at Historicon; if I remember right they mentioned that this had come up in play testing Tomorrows War/FoF.  I think the solution was to impose some kind of dice limit along the lines of # effective shots = # of save rolls.  I'm going to check the AA forum and explore this further as this unbalancing with scifi kit makes me wonder if these are the right rules to be playing this kind of game.
On the other hand, It was great fun to pull out some old toys to play with. The Union forces are a unit I painted years ago for a campaign I played with an old friend back in NYC.  We were playing Princess Ryan's Star Marines (a fun rule set), we were kind of fighting to control Manhattan.  PRSM likes to insert from Orbit so this unit is the Bronx Drop Legion, they have Star Wars Escape pods as drop capsules and heavy carapace armour befitting their role as shock troops.  They are yellow as I just wanted to paint a bright coloured unit.  The commonwealth are NAC powered armour that I think have only been used in one other game, an aliens game at a GZG East Coast Convention. The OGRE I got years ago at a GZG ECC.  Joel Frock made some and ran a game using a bunch of them.  This one's been sitting on a shelf for a while waiting to be used in a game.  Despite this it has had some 'battle' damage as my then one-year old made a grab for it one day and it fell to the floor, bending guns and snapping laser barrels.  Fortunately I was able to get some replacement guns off Joel and bring the might OGRE back to (nearly) pristine condition. 

Kudos to anyone recognizing what spare part the Commonwealth drone is made from!

And again, photos are not ideal, the light in the basement on an evening is not so great and my old camera may not be up to the task.


  1. That 15mm OGRE is a thing of beauty. I don't think I could be more jealous! A fantastic AAR all around. It was amazing, but not surprising I suppose, how quickly the Union fell to the Commonwealth PA. You bring up a good point about the non-PA troops being more or less ineffectual against the PA troops. By the way, were you using AA rules, or FoF/Tom's War? Regardless, an enjoyable read and a fantastic OGRE.

  2. Very entertaining. Thanks for the report. And I have to agree. That's an awesome OGRE.