Archive for Pig Iron

Stargrunt AAR – Assault on Strongpoint 17 Delta

Posted in Battle Report, Games with tags , , , , , on April 30, 2011 by stingersix

My friend Chris and I finally got another game of Stargrunt going last Thursday nite at EndGame, Oakland, CA. It was another battle in our on-again, off-again campaign, taking place in our own campaign setting. This particular scenario would see lots of vehicles, artillery, and power armor come into play. Unfortunately, we got off to a late start and were unable to play out the whole game, which I think could have gone either way had we finished it.

For this game, I played the ICC mercenaries and Chris played the Altairian rebels. The concept was a  straightforward assault scenario on a defended line. The merc would have the edge in firepower, technology and overall troop quality, but the rebels had an edge in morale and the advantage of being dug into hard cover and In Position, making them a tough nut to crack. Both sides had been fighting for a while and thus started off Tired, making them easier to break.

The minis are my Pig Iron Heavy Infantry (the ICC Mercs) and Kolony Militia (the Altairian rebels). The vehicles are a mix of the Pig Iron APC and couple of Old Crow APCs that I recently finished. The Altairian walker is a Marauder from Starship Troopers.

Anyway, here’s the batrep, with some scenario info followed by the report and pictures!

Stargrunt – The Battle of Altair

Operation Cyan Rapier: Assault on Strongpoint 17 Delta

After sweeping away the meager Altairian space defenses, the ICC mercenary force, led by the Iron Jackals and Ramstar Striker Brigades, landed on the planet, taking the major spaceports virtually unopposed. Recon units fanned out, moving to engage Altairian scout elements attempting to gain intelligence on mercenary operations. The green Altairian troops that engaged these advance mercenary units were manhandled, either getting wiped out or surrendering.

With their scouts out of the picture, the Altairians dug into prepared positions on the outskirts of several major cities. The ICC mercs made some adjustments to their deployment, moving assault units forward, and prepared to break the Altairian lines.

Situation

Elements of the Altairian 75th PDF Battalion are dug in to defensive works on the outskirts of the city of New Landing. The Iron Jackals 3rd Company has been brought in to break the Altairian line.

Mission

The Altarian defenders must hold off the mercenary assault, retaining at least two of their three main defensive positions.

The Iron Jackals must take at least two of the three Altairian defensive positions.

Altair

3rd Platoon, 75th Infantry, Altairian Planetary Defense Force

Troop Quality: Green – Regular

Mission Motivation: High

Fatigue Level: Tired

Reeling from the initial mercenary bombardment and landings, the PDF fell back in disarray. Rearguard units were cut off and wiped out, but bought the main force time to re-group and set up on prepared positions 35km south of New Landing. The 3/75, rallied by the determined Lt. Skue, now awaits the mercenary assault.

Elements of 2nd Assault Platoon, 102nd Guards, Altairian Planetary Defense Force

Troop Quality: Veteran

Mission Motivation: High

Fatigue Level: Tired

The Guards have seen action all over the landing zones in the past few days, acting as the “fire brigade” for the hard pressed PDF. With the mercenaries pushing hard on the regular PDF units, the Guards must once again rush to shore up the lines.

ICC Mercenaries

1st Section, Bravo Company, Iron Jackals

Troop Quality: Regular

Mission Motivation: Medium

Fatigue Level: Tired

Since the initial drop and seizure of the New Landing Spaceport, the Iron Jackals have relentlessly hammered the Altairian PDF. However, the high operational tempo has stretched both men and equipment thin.

 Nevertheless, the Iron Jackals Bravo Company, led by Captain Killan, has identified a weak point in the Altairian defense and now moves toward the enemy line with a coordinated assault. The contract will be fulfilled.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Mercenary scouts observe the battlefield but an Altairian sniper zeroes in, pinning them down and killing the sergeant!

I am always reminded (painfully) that in SG, snipers can put Suppression markers (pin down) troops even if they don’t hit anything. Chris’ sniper not only pinned my scouts, he killed their sergeant! I had hoped to spot some of the hidden enemy positions and start dropping mortars on them before running my infantry forward. Go to Plan B!

An IFV carrying the Iron Jackals power armored assault squad rolls onto the board, then sprays the suspected positions of the sniper hoping to flush him out. But the sniper stays hidden.

The merc mechanized troops roll on in force, driving up the center and the right flank.

With my scouts pinned and Shaken, I needed my HQ squad in there quick, so I rolled my APCs forward looking to get troops out as quickly as possible now.

As merc infantry deploy into some woods and the IFVs come on line, the Altarians bring their heavy-hitting walker into play.

Walker and APC exchange fire but do no damage.

Based on previous experience I expected to see one of these go down, but both survived!

At the ruins, the Iron Jackals HQ squad un-asses their APC and immediately tries to rally the scouts that have been pinned by the sniper. The CO will soon be even busier trying to deal with this FUBAR situation.

I feel I wasted too much time rallying my broken scouts. Should’ve left them crying and gotten my arty online sooner.

The Iron Jackals  power armor squad emerges from their IFV into a storm of fire as the dug in Altarians open up with everything they’ve got. Although their light weapons can’t seem to bring the PA troops down, the armored mercs recoil under a hail of fire and are heavily suppressed. A rebel missile team slams a rocket into the APC’s side and brews it up.

Every game I make (at least) one Dumb Mistake. This game, running my PA squad’s IFV too far forward before deploying them was it. In another game a while back, I made the mistake of deploying the PA troops from their transport too early, and they never got near the objective. This time they were too close. The rebels couldn’t manage to kill them, but they did keep them seriously pinned down for the rest of the game. Had I been able to free them up, I would have close assaulted the rebel HQ, which was sitting right on top of my objective. That’ll learn me.

With the right flank approach blocked, one of the other merc IFVs move to the left, dropping off its squad of troops and a heavy assault cannon team on its way forward. But an Altairian panzerfaust squad inside the rebel CP knocks out the oncoming vehicle.

Merc mortar fire rains down on the right flank, hammering the dug in rebel troops, including their HQ squad. The danger close fire mission also disables one of the mercs own power armor troops! Both sides reel from the impact of the heavy rounds.

The mortar barrage was pretty punishing. I knew I was risking hitting my own troops with it, but that was the price I paid for losing my scout spotters early on.

A merc fusion gun team rushes forward through the trees.

The rebel walker was the last threat to my remaining IFV (now that the rebels had expended their supply of panzerfausts on my other two IFVs) and I hoped to put a fusion hole in the damned thing as quickly as possible. They took a suppression marker as they set up their gun but I think I could have gotten a shot off had we continued.

The battle fully developed. The remaining merc IFV moves forward to flay the rebel line with cannon fire, but the rebel walker still lurks off to the right (out of the picture). Both sides struggle to urge their suppressed troops into action as the mercs reposition for another push and ready another mortar barrage, and the rebels rush to shore up their wavering line.

 

Here we had run out of time we had to stop the game. As I mentioned, had we continued it could have gone either way. The survival of either the rebel walker or the merc IFV being one of the keys to victory. Although my forward units were getting hammered, I still had two squads moving into position and one missile team I hadn’t deployed yet, another mortar barrage on call and my heavy assault cannon team set up and starting to get hot. The rebels were still mostly dug in but those units too were pinned and taking casualties. Chris also had two squads getting into position on the line and a largely un-engaged flank to play around with.

 So, in our narrative we decided that the fighting was fierce and stalemated. Both sides were exhausted. Although the mercs didn’t punch through, the rebels were so depleted they had to pull back anyway.

The next battle for Altair will probably be another city fight. A decisive victory for either side at this point could determine the campaign!




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New Year’s Resolution and looking ahead

Posted in Blather with tags , , , on January 2, 2011 by stingersix

Happy New Year!

Decided to make a New Year’s resolution with regard to minis (no, I’m not going to quit)!

This year, I’m going to keep better track of my projects and my output.The at the end of the year, I’ll tally it all up and see what it looks like.

The only project I have going currently is my jungle pyramid, but soon I’ll be doing a painting challenge with some of the guys I play Stargrunt with.

For the challenge, I plan on doing a squad of Pig Iron’s System Troopers. If they come out nice, I may turn them into a whole platoon.

I also have the urge to paint some more Space Marines, and I may get another squad or two. I have no desire to play 40K though, since every time I look at the rules to that game I end up rolling my eyes.

I’m still a devotee of Stargrunt, though I am seriously looking forward to Tomorrow’s War from Ambush Alley Games, slated to come out from Osprey later this year. I haven’t found set of minis rules I liked more than Stargrunt, but the old ‘Grunt does have plenty of flaws. Since Tomorrow’s War seems to be the spiritual successor to Stargrunt, I’m definitely on board.

So, lots to look forward to!

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!

Stargrunt Battle Chronicle

Posted in Battle Report, Games with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2010 by stingersix

I’ve made a list of all the Stargrunt battles we’ve played. Looking at them this way, you can see the story that is emerging from our games.

We’ve created a setting for our games that all the players have contributed to. Each of us has made a few factions, building and incorporating ideas from each other into the background. The big conflict is the one between the United Democratic Socialist Systems, an alliance of star systems that have broken away from the yoke of corporate oppression and Old Terra national entities, and the Interstellar Corporate Commission a huge conglomeration of colonial interests funded by Earth’s mega-corporations.

But there are other things going that we haven’t even touched on yet – pirates, frontier skirmishes, territorial power grabs, the death throes of old Terran national blocs, local civil wars. It’s a big setting and there is still lots of stuff we can do!

Here’s a list of all the SG battle reports that I have, in the order the games were played. Some are posts on TMP, with links to pics on Flickr, others are links to my minis blog.

For our very first game, my opponent Jonathan and I did a simple platoon vs. platoon fight to learn the rules. Minis are Pig Iron Heavy Infantry and FASA VOR Union (now available through Ironwind).

This was our second game. UDSS Militia vs. CEU Panzergrenadiers. It was a quick assault scenario and we tried out the sniper rules, which in SG are pretty interesting. Minis are Pig Iron’s Kolony Militia, FASA’s Vor Union, and Heavy Gear power suits.

In the next game, Altairian Regulars (UDSS) vs. Ramstar Mercs. The Ramstar troops were trying to rescue a kidnapped hostage. They failed and this set up a later game. Minis are once again Pig Iron and Vor Union. Of special interest are the Pig Iron APC and the paper dropship model.

Chris (Irate Squirrel) and Michael Miller were the players in the next game which I refereed. CEU Foreign Legion vs. UDSS Regulars. This was a supply convoy ambush scenario. Pig Iron minis on both sides, with an assortment of different vehicles.

Jonathan Breese and I played again when we did a big city fight game. UDSS Guards vs. Ramstar Mercs. Pig Iron minis again, plus powered armor from EM-4, with AT-43 Red Blok troopers.

And the most recent game, Operation Icepick, which was the follow-on to the first hostage rescue scenario above. Ramstar Strikers (Special Forces) vs. Altairian Nightshade Commandos (Special Forces). Minis are the old Metal Magic Spacelords Cybertech Bunkerbreakers from the 80’s, now available from EM-4, and Mongoose Starship Troopers M.I. This time, the Ramstar corporate mercs succeeded.

The next game we’re planning is a bug hunt! A research team in an alien jungle is about to make a very nasty discovery! The Arachnids from SST will make an appearance as “xenocrabs” trying to rip Chris’ planetary landing party (converted AT-43 Red Blok) into tiny bits. But the humans have a few surprises up their sleeves. Should be a hot one!

Pig Iron Pt.3 – Kolony Militia

Posted in Companies, Minis, Review with tags , , , on June 25, 2009 by stingersix

Continuing my Pig Iron Productions posts, here are some pics of my Kolony Militia platoon. These minis seem to be some of Pig Iron’s most popular, and you can see why. They have a retro look with the gas masks and Fritz style helmets, and I understand this makes them great stand-ins for the uber-expensive Death Korps of Krieg minis that Forge World makes for 40K.

This line represents Pig Iron really hitting its stride. They did a great job with their Heavy Infantry and vehicles, and the Kolony troops really hit it out of the park! The figures are well proportioned, cleanly cast in a variety of poses, and have the same distinctive look that the Heavy Infantry have. They also come with separate heads and combined with one of Pig Iron’s head sprues, allows for customization and conversion. This makes this line, like all of Pig Iron’s stuff, extremely versatile and cool to boot!

On with the pictures!

This is one of the rifle squads.
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This is the leader. I used one of the Pig Iron heads and shaved the kepi down to make a peaked cap.
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Here’s another leader conversion. This one is a Hasslefree head and a Pig Iron head. I had to file down both to make them fit together. This would have gone a lot faster if I’d had a Dremel or some such tool…
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And a few shots of various troops.
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The Kolony range is growing too, with some Rebels that would make great Chaos cultists or other rabble or militia. I just can’t say enough good things about Pig Iron!

Pig Iron Productions – Pt.2

Posted in Companies, Minis with tags , , , on June 11, 2009 by stingersix

As far as I can tell, one of the first things Pig Iron Productions produced was their resin vehicle line.  This line of armored vehicles is made especially versatile by the line of turrets available. Basically, you can have a tank, an APC, or an IFV simply by putting on the appropriate turret on top of the basic vehicle chassis.

When I first came across it, I immediately liked it. First, it was big – it actually looked like it could hold 8 men and their equipment inside. Second, it didn’t have skulls all over it. Third, I could get it in any of three versions.

It’s a resin kit, but is very easy to put together. It has a few metal fittings that go right on without any real trimming or cutting necessary. The chassis is all one piece, so you just glue a backplate on to it, and then attach the turret. The IFV turret can be customized with different weapons too!

I got the Ironstorm. Mine looks like this:

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Like the infantry miniatures, the Ironstorm paints up very easily. I used Tamiya spray paint to do this color scheme, and managed to get the camo pattern without an airbrush. The insignia on the side comes out of my bits box, where I have a stack of old model decals. I made the radio antennae out of a piece of plastic sprue stretched over a candle flame (an old modelling trick). The turret rotates freely, and the chain gun on the side is metal. If you look at the model closely, it really is a very simple design, but it’s really executed well.

Maybe the best thing about this model is you can paint or convert it in all kinds of different ways. I’ve seen 40K players stick 40K vehicle bits on it (read “skulls”), other paint jobs reminiscent of WW1 tanks, all kinds of stuff. This model really sparks your creativity!

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And I also like it simply because it’s different. You don’t see this model on the gaming table very often, if at all. The few times I’ve had it out, people are always asking about it.

There’s another more in-depth review of this kit on the excellent but sadly no longer updated Wee Toy Soliders blog.

Pig Iron Productions

Posted in Companies, Minis with tags , , , on June 9, 2009 by stingersix

I’ll start by talking about my current favorite miniatures company, Pig Iron Productions. Pig Iron is a small U.K. manufacturer (as many of them are), making a very nice range of all-purpose sci-fi minis in 28mm. Pig Iron essentially has two ranges – their Heavy Infantry range (whose minis grace my header up there) and their Kolony range. In this first post, I’ll talk about their Heavy Infantry range, which initially drew me to Pig Iron.

The Heavy Infantry figures caught my eye about 4 years ago when I was looking for minis that would be a good fit for my 2300AD roleplaying campaign. These figures have a nice, clean, one-piece design that paints up really well and fairly quickly. You can use them as human troops for most SF games, as military or police. With the excellent packs of separate heads, you can make many variations. The first few sculpts had some issues with the proportions of the legs, but with the release of the Hevay Infantry booster pack, this was fixed and the figures designed to take separate heads.

The basic troops look really good as you can see.

Squad

My paint scheme is desert camo. They’re supposed to be French Foreign Legion troops in the 2300AD universe. The FFL always conjures up images of the desert for me, so that’s where this came from. The base uniform color is GW Commando Khaki, with  brown and grey splotches. GW Catachan Green contrasts this nicely for the body armor, pouches and helmets.

The special weapon teams are cool, since they have both a “ready” (weapon set up) and “moving” (crew carrying the weapon components) poses. Here’s the missile team.

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The command team includes a leader, medic, sniper, and everyone’s favorite, a pack carrying robot.

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With Pig Iron’s extra head packs, I’ve been able to customize these minis just a bit.  The guy in front has one of these heads.

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So far, I’ve used these minis to play Stargrunt and they do look really nice on the table. I could easily use them as Imperial Guard troops, police, or any other near future type troops in light or medium body armor.

I bought the platoon pack directly from Simon at Pig Iron. It was a pretty good deal I thought, since I got 3 squads, all three weapon teams, the command squad and a set of casualties for about $90 (not including shipping). But that was 4 years ago and I was in Japan at the time and I forget the exchange rate, but it wasn’t too bad. You can get Pig Iron minis now through Rattlehead Games, which I highly recommend. A single 5-man squad goes for $14 at Rattlehead.

I also bought one of the Pig Iron vehicles but I’ll talk about that in another post. Here’s my entire Pig Iron Heavy Infantry force. This is one platoon pack, one booster pack, and one Ironstorm vehicle.

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Currently, Pig Iron is expanding its Kolony range (of which I also have a platoon of – I’ll get to them too) and there haven’t been any new minis in the Heavy Infantry range for a while. I’m hoping there will be at least a couple of new minis for this versatile and exciting range in the future!

Next time: The Pig Iron Ironstorm IFV!