Archive for August, 2010

Aztech pyramid – progress report

Posted in WIP with tags , on August 29, 2010 by stingersix

I’m still working on my Aztech-style pyramid for our upcoming bughunt Stargrunt game. I’ve cast my way through another box of Permastone (which I really really like) and now have a small pile of bricks.

With a Deathwatch Space Marine for scale

While there seem to be a lot I would need many many more if I were going to build the whole pyramid entirely from these bricks. It would also turn out heavy as hell – this little block weighs roughly two pounds and would barely make even part of the whole thing.

So, my plan is to build a styrofoam inner structure, like a stepped layer cake, and simply put the bricks on the outside of it, resulting in a lighter and stronger piece.

What I need now (besides more Permastone) is a sheet of 1″ thick styrofoam. Anyone have any recommendations for where to get some?

Help me ID these minis

Posted in Minis with tags on August 21, 2010 by stingersix

My buddy Chris sent me a pic of some minis he has. He doesn’t know what they are or where they came from.

Can anyone ID these miniatures?

Stargrunt – 10 lessons learned

Posted in Games with tags on August 19, 2010 by stingersix

One of the big reasons I like Stargrunt so much is the way it plays (of course). Fire and maneuver tactics can actually be applied and for the most part, they work. I also find the way troop quality is so important, especially in terms of fire effectiveness. These factors have naturally affected the way Stargrunt games go for me, and what I’ve learned from them.

1. Moving in the open in front of an unsuppressed enemy unit is a very bad idea – even more so if you’re moving toward the enemy. Your moves should always be made under cover or out of LOS, or from cover to cover as much as possible. Never let a unit finish an activation out in the open if at all possible.

2. Before charging for close assault get at least one Suppression marker on your target, preferably more! If you can have one unit suppress the target on their activation, you can charge the now suppressed enemy with another unit on your next activation.

3. Troop quality makes a huge difference in Close Assault. You can lose a lot of troops in close combat since it’s usually a straight die rolling contest. Green troops vs Regulars for example – that’s a base d6 vs a d8. So, lower quality troops intending to go hand to hand with higher quality troops should always try to bring superior numbers to the fight.

4. Power Armor is horrifically deadly in CA if their opponents aren’t also PA troops. And if your enemy is in power armor and you are not, try not to let them get anywhere near you (a mean feat at that)!

5. Don’t even think about Close Assault unless you’re a) positive you will win, b) suppressed the target, or c) totally desperate.

5. Combat moves are risky. With normal troops moving 6″, you have a 1 in 3 chance of moving less than your normal movement rate (by rolling a 1 or 2, giving you 2″ and 4″ of movement respectively). So, use a combat move when you need to try and cover a lot of ground quickly and your units are not under fire or enemy observation. If you’re already engaged, it’s a risk assessment for you – how badly shot up will you get if you don’t roll enough movement to avoid ending your activation with your unit not in cover?

6. Snipers can kill, but they can also suppress even if they miss. A sniper in a good position can pin down lots of enemy troops just by simply shooting at them, and this can be very useful.

7. Snipers are really good at taking each other out.

6. Artillery and air support can really mess up your opponent. If you have it, use it!

8. Tanks and APC are awesome but not at all invincible. A single trooper with an IAVR can knock out your armored vehicle.

9. Unless you really need to do it right away, use your platoon leader’s ability to re-activate a previously activated unit after all of your units have been activated.

10. It’s almost always better to include a squad’s support weapon with the squads own firepower, instead of firing the support weapon on its own. But if you’re in a position you don’t want to move from it can be useful on occasion to fire the squad and their support weapon separately.

I’m interested in everyone’s insights as well of course!

Stargrunt AAR – The Battle of Altair – Meeting Engagement

Posted in Battle Report with tags , , , , , , , on August 17, 2010 by stingersix

In the interest of reinforcing the basics of Stargrunt, me and the SG crew at the FLGS played a couple of games the other day. I actually played the same scenario back to back. We ran a modified version of the basic Meeting Engagement in the SG rulebook – very simple, two platoons of infantry get into a firefight. No vehicles, no funky support weapons, no artillery or air support, just troops in battle.

The minis are all mine – Pig Iron Heavy Infantry and Kolony Militia.

Here’s the background of the fight – this builds on the games we’ve played recently:

“After the rescue of the Kryton Corp heiress in a daring commando raid, the UDSS disavowed any connection to the plot and voted the recalcitrant Altairians out of the UDSS so fast it was unseemly. The Interstellar Colonial Commission quickly condemned the Altairians and declared sanctions, assembling a large invasion force to seize Altair and bring into the ICC fold in “Operation Cyan Rapier”.

“Hung out to dry, the Altairians mobilized their small planetary defense force and called up all available colonial militia. Against the combined might of an ICC Strike Force, the Altairians were doomed, but they were determined to sell their lives dearly.”

For an added wrinkle, the Altairian troops were Green but had High motivation (since they’re fighting for their homes) and the Mercs were Regular with Medium motivation and slightly more firepower (FP3 AARs with grenade launchers as opposed to the Altairian FP2 AARs).

In our first game, I played the ICC Mercs, and won, well, I won’t say easily. The Altairian player moved aggressively to the center of the board where some buildings were, and charged one of my squads with his for close assault. But the troop quality told the tale here and my Merc regulars slapped the hell out of his Green troops (and my opponent rolled really poorly), taking 6 casualties to my 1 in the fight. Our snipers wound up stalking each other and his sniper plugged mine at nearly point blank range! Crazy!

In the second game, I switched sides and took the Altairians. This time around, we remembered to apply the Panic rules for Green troops and it made a huge difference in the their effectiveness. Basically, I made one really dumb move (on my first activation no less) and rolled really badly when my green troops panicked under fire. Although I had a bit of success in the center of the board with my sniper (who really earned himself a medal) my opponent really handed my ass to me.

Here are the pics from that game, and we took a lot of them!

A shot of the board

In this pic you can see my troops on line ready to go. I had my worst quality squad (Green LV3) on the left flank.

Altair troops

ICC Mercenaries

Closer look at my scrubs getting ready to die

Shot of the center of the board from the Merc side

I usually make at least one really dumb move every game I play. In this game I did it on my very first activation. I moved my worst unit up on top of the hill in front of them in full view and within range of the enemy, with no cover. Just look at the counters there after they took enemy fire and you can see how well that went (for my opponent). What the hell was I thinking?

Stupid move

While I was setting myself up for the slaughter, my opponent moved fast toward the center of the board.

Mercs move out

Not wanting to let my opponent get into the building on my right, I set up to charge in there as well. This would not turn out the way I’d hoped. At all.

Altair right flank

The one smart move I did make was getting my sniper up high in the ruined building in the center of the board. From here, he managed to pin down (suppress) enemy squads all over the board, including the Merc command squad, whose 2IC he dropped with his first shot.

Merc platoon sergeant down

In the center, the mercenaries reach the building and rush in.

Mercs move in

Moving fast

The Mercs quickly entered the building and seeing the Altairians also closing in, opened fire. Even with the shifts for firing through the windows, the Mercs shot up the Altairians, suppressing them and causing them to Panic. This squad would not make a roll to recover from Panic for the rest of the game, losing confidence every time they tried, until the routed!

All shot up!

I moved my center squad into the same building as the sniper. These guys did a fair bit of business too.

Rats in the walls

Meanwhile, those troops I moved up onto the hill on my left were Panicked and had multiple suppression markers dropped on them almost the moment they crested the hill. The Mercs began moving to flank them – you can see them rushing over the hill in the distance here.

I brought the Mercs under fire with my sniper and managed to get some suppression on them. This held them up for maybe two or three activations, but in the end only delayed the inevitable.

Move it!

With my sniper laying down effective fire all over the board, my opponent was determined to take him out. He moved his own sniper, via some effective hidden movement, up to the edge of the woods across from my center position. From there, his sniper took mine out with “one shot, one kill”. Argh!

Sniper vs. Sniper!

With my sniper out of action, the Mercs on my left move up on my Panicked and suppressed squad on the hill.

Mercs move in

On my right, my Panicked squad there by now had failed maybe 4 or 5 rolls to recover from Panic (they only needed a 3 or more on a d6, but rolled 1 or 2 every time!) Horrible! They lost Confidence levels until the Routed and ran off.

Run away!

The game was pretty much over at this point. The Mercs were moving in on my left and although the squad there had recovered and removed its suppression, they weren’t going to be much good close in. My right flank had collapsed, my center was under fire from two sides – I called it a day and the Altairians surrendered.

So with two losses for the Altairians in the initial recon/meeting engagements, the ICC force can maneuver freely against the Altairian defensive positions – we’ll do a big assault scenario next time!

It was a fun game. We reinforced some of the basic fundamentals of the game, particularly the morale rules, fire combat, and the command activations. Looking forward to playing again!

Pyramid project kickoff

Posted in WIP with tags , , on August 9, 2010 by stingersix

I cast up my first set of blocks for my Aztec pyramid project today. I borrowed a couple of Hirst Arts molds from a friend – the basic block set. While I work on the overall design I’ll be casting up a whole pile of blocks for this.

The Hirst Arts web site has a few recommendations for casting material, but I didn’t feel like buying the stuff online so I went down to Joanne’s and found some stuff called Permastone. It casts white, accepts fine details really well, and the blocks came out looking very sharp. I’m really pleased with the results. A 28 oz. box was $6.99 and I had a coupon for 40% off so I got a deal.

These came out better than I expected

Gonna need a lot of these

Really kind of surprised at how well these fit together

I’ll post more pics as the project goes along!