Archive for Stargrunt

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.


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.


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.


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!

Old Crow tanks – done!

Posted in Minis with tags , , , on April 25, 2011 by stingersix

Just finished those two Old Crow tanks/IFV’s I picked up cheap last year. I was originally going to do them in desert yellow but I ran out of it halfway through and Ace Hardware in Berkeley was sold out. So, I got a can of NATO Green and that came out really nice. No fancy camo this time, just the basecoat and weathering.

These guys will be making their debut in an upcoming Stargrunt game, for which of course I’ll do a full batrep and pictures!

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 – 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!

Our Stargrunt Setting

Posted in Blather, Games with tags , on July 10, 2010 by stingersix

The Stargrunt crew in these parts has made up, together, a setting in which we fight our Stargrunt battles. You’ve heard me drop tidbits of it here and there in various battle reports, but I thought I’d spell it all out for everyone to see.

Each player came up with three aspects of one of the states, factions or power groups. We built on each others ideas too, incorporating some of them into our own. The result was a setting with lots of conflict and lots of room to explore. Here goes (warning: this is long) –

Stargrunt Campaign Setting

It is the year 2257 and humanity has colonized over 120 worlds within 200 light years. The area of human colonized space is known as the Human Sphere. Most colonies originally belonged to nations or corporations, but some have achieved their independence, usually through revolution, but occasionally through diplomatic means.
On Earth, major nation-states still exist but have formed into three huge super-states. Earthly power struggles continue but the threat of total nuclear or nano-annihilation of the homeworld means most “wars” are low-intensity proxy conflicts.

It is the off-world colonies of mankind which now suffer the scourge of war. National armies and fleets still exist, but corporate armies, rebel armies and mercenaries do the bulk of the fighting.

As humanity pushes its frontiers outwards, it is starting to make contact with alien races, sometimes hostile ones. The human lust for control, wealth and new planets to exploit ensures that there will only be more conflict with these aliens in the future.

Pan American Union
* The Pan-American Union (PAU) has spread out across the stars based on the belief that they have a manifest destiny to control the Milky Way Galaxy.
* They have been in conflict with the Trinary Alliance, religious fanatics who fled Earth in the wake of the Humanist Expansion.
* The PAU recently colonized the planet Alpha Theti, which holds the ancient ruins of a long lost culture.

Confederated European Union
* The Confederated European Union (CEU) comprises the largest coalition of national governments on earth, with many allies both on Earth and off-world.
* The CEU contested with the PAU and the Han Empire for early control of habitable colony worlds during the Humanist Expansion.
* Many individual CEU member states are having a hard time maintaining control over their colony worlds; many independence movements have turned into full-blown rebellions.

Delta Hyperion Pirates (DHP)
* The Delta Hyperion Pirates are based out of the star cluster of the same name. Because of the current political climate, no government has been able or willing to commit appropriate forces necessary to deal with the pirates, and as such the dozen worlds in the Delta Hyperion star cluster have suffered under their raids and hostile embargos.
* PAU intelligence suggests that the DHP forces may be led by renegade PAU Admiral Byron Wade, as his command vessel, the CSV-91 “Ticonderoga” has been identified in support of pirate vessels in orbit over BLV-7d “Bel Valis IV” during the seizure and looting of the Grandia Orbital Colony.
* The DHP lack sufficient ships and manpower to acquire significant territory, but their reach and capacity for raiding extends as far as trade vessels and national borders allow. Current trade sanctions and heightened security by the Han Empire and PAU appear to have great success in combating the threat of raids, but also seem to be pushing free traders and corporations into the ranks of the DHP.

Ramstar Heavy Industries

* Ramstar is one of the largest mega-corporations in the Human Sphere with its headquarters in the Earth L4 orbital habitat. Ramstar underwrote many early colonization efforts for the PAU, and managed to secure exclusive, extra-territorial colonization rights to several resource-rich systems. Ramstar colonies are nominally under PAU governance but in practice, Ramstar colonies are wholly corporate owned.
* While maintaining a sizeable military force of its own (the famous/infamous Ramstar Striker Battalions) Ramstar often subcontracts PMCs (private military corporations) to carry out any military or paramilitary operations on its colony worlds. Ramstar also has a PMC management company called Sandline Interstellar which brokers PMC contracts to select clients.
* Ramstar’s activities on the frontier have increased of late, with heavy investment in research missions with high probability of alien contact.

The Xind Compact

* The Compact is a coalition of seven alien races who, after warring for decades, unified when they discovered ancient structures built by an unknown race they call the Progenitors. The structures contained symbols and traits from all their cultures, which show links to their religious and cultural myths. The Compact is made up of the following races: Xinthi, Movat, Eal Tran, Tzitzimime, Shal, Reaqti, and Morbundi.
* The Xind Compact has recently lost contact with an archeological survey team on Na’Jal-Shih (Theti Alpha on human starcharts) that was studying Progenitor ruins. The last recorded image transmitted back to Compact relay stations showed warriors from an unknown race, all bearing the emblem of a four-pointed star with a strange, curled-horned animal in the center.
* Ramstar Heavy Industries has recently sold the rights to Alpha Theti at a rate well below the standard Survey and Exploration fees to the PAU. The PAU, desperately in need of new colony worlds, didn’t ask questions.

United Democratic Socialist Systems

[UDSS] (a.k.a. Liberated Workers Union)
* As Ramstar Heavy Industries expanded rapidly across the human sphere, they needed cheap and expendable labor to build and operate facilities. The further Ramstar moved from the sphere of influence of the United Nations of Earth (U.N.E.), the more liberties they were able to take with how they treated their workers. On many distant worlds, the workers were nothing better than slaves overseen by Ramstar’s private armies. Any demands by workers were met with threats, violence, and sometimes murder. In 2223, workers lead by Sidney J. Hill, rebelled when a private army attempted to break a recently formed union on Obregón III. The bloody rebellion would last three months, but the workers emerged victorious, with the private army withdrawing claiming “cost overruns” to Ramstar. In control of an interstellar communications array and a ragtag fleet of ships, they fomented rebellion across the sector. After 12 years of fighting, and 20 liberated worlds later, the United Democratic Socialist Systems was born.
* The Delta Hyperion Pirates were essential to the success of the workers’ revolt. Without the pirates’ ships, they wouldn’t have been able to hold off the Ramstar counterattack. Now, they are indebted to the pirates and forced to form a loose alliance. While that works when you are rebels, it doesn’t work when trying to establish diplomatic ties and pirates start raiding your own trade ships. The UDSS is trying to work their way out of the current arrangement, but they lack starships and the public will to do so.
* As of late, the Han Empire and the PAU have been engaging in minor skirmishes with UDSS troops. That combined with Ramstar declaring bounties on UDSS ships and Trinary Alliance missionaries trying to subvert their government, the UDSS Workers’ Council quickly learned that governing isn’t as easy as they thought it would be.

The Han Empire
* On Earth, the Han Empire controls or dominates Asia and the Indian Sub-continent (after a long and terrible war that only recently ended). Pacific nations such as Indonesia, Japan and Australia are client states fully dependent on the HE for their livelihood.
* The Han Empire controls an economically and scientifically significant string of contiguous colony worlds which it rules with an iron fist – there have been no successful rebellions in the Han colonies, though there have been numerous uprisings. The CEU covertly supports and foments some rebel movements on Han worlds. Where Han space and CEU space meet, skirmishes occasionally break out.
* The Han Empire conducts active and extensive espionage and counter-espionage operations in all areas of human space, against all power-blocs. Outside of their own sectors, they are well known for hiring mercenaries to further their aims.

Beckert’s Battalion (War Pigs)

* Beckert’s Battalion (more commonly known as the War Pigs) is a battalion-sized (and getting smaller) mercenary infantry unit operating primarily on colony worlds on the PAU frontier. The commander, Colonel Beckert was once a * Ramstar employee who resigned his commission after the pacification campaign against the rebels of the Altair mining colony.
* The War Pigs have taken contracts with certain worlds of the UDSS (not all of which were successful). This has often brought them into conflict with other PMCs hired by Ramstar. They’re far from the best, but certainly one of the cheapest mercenary units money can buy. While unable to stand against heavy armored units, they are most suited to light infantry missions.

Calico Jack’s Hellcats
* Jacqueline “Calico Jack” Sage was once Commodore of the PAU Vanguard fleet “68th Hellcats”, though after multiple life-threatening injuries sustained in the “Calico Conflict” (an anti-insurgency operation on the planet Calico), she was unable to continue her service. After three months in rehabilitation, she was medically discharged and deemed unfit for the rigors of PAU fleet command. However speculation from unknown sources believes these “Hellcats” are the PAU’s indirect way of dealing with the piracy issue that currently deters them from faster colonial growth.
* The Hellcats are currently on contract to Ramstar, with planetary transportation and protection provided by PAU fleet elements.
* A battalion sized mercenary unit specializing in jungle and urban combat, operating modified PAU military hardware. Known for their use of use of bi-pedal walkers and armored transport carriers that are rarely seen outside of PAU forces.


* Osiris was originally a CEU based multinational that built heavy-lift rockets and was instrumental in humanity’s move into space. By 2257, Osiris was fully extra-territorial, with its headquarters on Alpha Centauri’s corporate enclave. Osiris is now active in colonization efforts throughout the human sphere.
* Osiris Interstellar Security is a division of Osiris that provides security consultant contracts. Unlike most mercenary operations, Osiris Interstellar operates only small teams of specialists assembled for specific purposes. O.I.S. hires exclusively from special forces and intelligence services, usually employing them as training cadre for local military forces. O.I.S. can assemble strike teams for more direct action, and has done so on numerous occasions, though these teams are usually never more than company sized.
* Osiris works mostly with colonial governments within the PAU and CEU, and has worked with the Han Empire but only in a limited capacity. O.I.S. operatives have been involved in conflicts with governments of the UDSC, including the notorious pacification of the Deneb colony.

* The Tzitzimime are one of the more belligerent species among the members of the Xind Compact and their military forces have skirmished with humans on certain Compact/Human Sphere border worlds. Based on observation of Tzitzimime raiding tactics, Human xenobiologists have surmised that their society is loosely organized around powerful and charismatic leaders, somewhat like the old Earth vikings. The largest Tzitzimime military force yet encountered was the equivalent of a human infantry brigade.
* Physically, the Tzitzimime resemble 8-foot tall grasshoppers, naturally earning them the nickname “Bugs” or “Spugs” by the humans that have encountered them. While insect-like in appearance, they are four-limbed vertebrates and do not live in hives. Technologically, the Tzitzimime are on par with humanity, though they appear to employ more advanced plasma technology.
* Tzitzimime raiders have until now only hit human colonies and expeditions on the PAU frontier. It is not known if their territory extends to other regions of the human sphere.

Kryton Corporation

* The Kryton Corporation is primarily involved in financing the development of colonies belonging to all three of the major Earth powers, the PAU, CEU, and Han Empire. Their business relationship with the PAU is the strongest, and Kryton Corp is often along on CEU ventures. The Han Empire deals with Kryton more out of necessity, and is actively looking for ways to reduce their dependence on the Kryton financial monopoly on off-Earth investment.
* Kryton Corp also underwrites expeditions to new worlds on the frontier, particularly those with the goal of discovering resource-rich worlds.
* Kryton maintains no standing military force, instead contracting out to mercenaries on a per-job basis. Kryton does however, have a long record of hiring Ramstar to do its dirty work for them.

Tomorrow: The History of the Altairian War

Fine, you don’t need me, I’m not a soldier – Hasselfree Signee

Posted in Minis with tags , , on July 8, 2010 by stingersix

I was hot to trot to get this mini done for my planned Stargrunt bug hunt game. This Hasslefree’s Signee figure. She’s a nice simple mini that painted up fast and has a decent level of detail and character. I think the hair could be a little better – it’s kind of a “helmet”. But I like the pose – charging forward, M41A at the ready!





Now I just need to paint the grad student!

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!

Backed off the GW splurge

Posted in Blather, Games with tags , , , on June 9, 2010 by stingersix

I mentioned that I had backed off of going all-in on a 40K force. It’s true. I was this close to splashing out three or four hundred bucks on a 1500pt Space Marine force, and even pick up a hardcopy of the rulebook. Then I a) looked at my discretionary budget, b) played Stargrunt last Saturday, and finally c) thought about the two or three other, different platoon sized forces I could create with the same amount of money spent.

I wanted to do the Space Marines with the intention of actually playing at some point. I really like the minis and I like painting them, and I suppose I may build up a collection over time now, but I’m not going whole hog. I’d like to try the 5th edition 40K rules sometime, since I’ve never played it, but I do know that I like Stargrunt. A lot. And I know that it gives me a lot of what I want from a minis game. So I’m sticking with Stargrunt and spending my money on the indie sci-fi minis that I like. I still may buy the hardcover, because I like the 40K setting and I am a total art whore.

RIght now, I’m working up a good old fashioned bug hunt that pits my SST bugs against Chris’ ship-based marines in an alien temple complex (in the jungle). Woot!

Stargrunt AAR – Operation Icepick

Posted in Battle Report, Games with tags , , , , on June 6, 2010 by stingersix

Yesterday, Chris and I played an epic game of Stargrunt at Endgame on one of their big minis tables. Our set-up got some attention from the 40K players surrounding us, who all seemed somewhat amused with all the non-GW minis on display. They did think it was cool though! Only one or two of the grognards there had even heard of Stargrunt of course.

The scenario was a follow-on from one we played a little over a year ago, in which the Kryton Corporation heiress Liselle Theron had been kidnapped during a raid. The Altairians have been holding her secretly on a remote moonbase in orbit around a gas giant. But certain political maneuverings have the UDSS council making a secret agreement with the Kryton Corporation allowing them to mount a rescue attempt, and hanging the Altairians out to dry. Now a special team of the elite Ramstar Strikers is about to mount a surprise raid on the moonbase to attempt to rescue the heiress.

The overall concept for this game was two elite forces fighting on an airless moon. We had some interesting rules in place for this. First, outside the sealed moonbase it was vacuum of course, so wounding hits were counted as kills. Second, the low gravity meant combat moves were x3 (rather than x2) but troops that used this risked falling on grounding. In a nod to Joe Haldeman’s classic The Forever War, troops that fell risked killing themselves as their heat exchangers contacted the frozen methane ice surface and exploded (I lost three troopers to this effect!). Also, any weapons with an Impact die of d10 or higher could cause a breach inside the moonbase.

The Altairians (played by me) had to prevent the Ramstar Strikers (played by Chris) from rescuing Liselle and getting away, by calling in orbital interdiction (which essentially set a time limit on the game). Ramstar simply had to get Liselle to the landing pad alive and call for dustoff. If the hostage were killed it would be considered a loss for both sides.

The minis used were an eclectic mix that turned out looking really good on the table.

Altairian Nightshade Commandos – These are obviously Starship Troopers minis. The troopers are Elite quality, armed with Advanced Assault Rifles and wearing full light armor. The big Marauder I classed as a size 3 walker, armed with two HELs. The Heavy Armor Suits (Mongoose Grizzly) were classed as size 2 walkers and armed with GMS (guided missile system), RFACs (rapid-fire autocannon) and a HKP (hyper-kinetic penetrator). All the walkers were treated as individual vehicles of either Veteran or Regular quality.

Ramstar Strikers – These are the old Spacelords Cybertech Bunkerbreakers, originally done in the 80’s by Metal Magic and currently available from EM4. As Elite quality assault troops they wear Combat Power Suits. The two entry teams are armed with SMG’s (close range only), and the perimeter security team carries gauss rifles. The Gun Walkers (AT-43 Fire Toads) are size 2 walkers – one with twin DFFGs (direct fire fusion guns) and two with twin RFACs. Not in the photo is a Warthog gun jeep model from the HALO toy series.

The Sterope Moonbase – For the terrain we used Endgame’s GW ice terrain boards. Yes, those room tiles for the interior of the moonbase are from my original Space Hulk set! The antenna on the hill at the bottom of the picture is the moonbase comms relay, Ramstar’s secondary objective.

Landing Pad – This is the terrain feature I slapped together the day before yesterday. If the Ramstar Strikers could manage to find and rescue Liselle, they would have to get her back here to the landing pad. The dropship on the pad is one of the excellent paper models available free from Toposolitario.

Ready – This is a shot of the board with all the terrain and obstacles placed. Went into the AT-43 stuff for the containers and barricades. You can see the layout of the moonbase more clearly here too.

Strikers Deploy – The Strikers set their entry squads one move away from one of the three base airlocks. The gun walkers and the security team set up in the landing pad area. I had already set up my troops – one squad within the base (hidden, guarding the hostage) and the rest would arrive as reinforcements from off-board.

At the north airlock

At the south airlock

Landing field perimeter

Execute! One the first turn, the Ramstar entry teams went through the airlocks. At the south airlock, a hidden Altairian commando opened fire point blank on the entry team, killing two Strikers and wounding another! But as this played out over the next turn, the Strikers returned fire, suppressing the Altarian. The Strikers used their plasma gun and the close range fire caused a hull breach! The section now in vacuum, the wounded Striker was killed. The survivors charged the Altairian and took him down in bloody hand-to-hand combat.

At the north airlock, much the same happened, only the Altairian commando watching the door was not as lucky, failing to neither suppress or kill or wound any of the attackers, who quickly mobbed him and took him out.

With the entry areas cleared, the Strikers move into the base and start searching the rooms for the hostage. The surprised and separated Altairians try to stay hidden. Meanwhile a call is made for reinforcements to return to the base from their perimeter patrols. Help is on the way!

Monitoring the radio traffic, the Striker commander hears the call for reinforcements go out. He knows the Altairians will be calling for orbital interdiction next to prevent their escape. A Gun Walker is ordered to blow up the comms relay. It moves into position and takes a shot with its DFFGs. After another volley to get the range, the comms tower is blasted to junk. Unfortunately for the pilot of Gun Walker 01, the big Altairian Marauder that was out on the perimeter reaches the base and cores GW01 with its powerful lasers, destroying it.

Seeing GW01 blown to bits, the pilot of GW02 moves to engage the Marauder. They blaze away at each other over the slagged down remains of GW01 until a solid volley of 30mm RFAC rounds disables the Marauder and it’s out of the game.

More Altairan reinforcements arrive as the first of the Heavy Armor Suit squad shows up on the north side of the base. But its volley of missiles goes wide of its target, Gun Walker 03.

The first Heavy Armor Suit is followed by two more jumping in. The Ramstar gun jeeps scurries for cover, but gets flayed into junk by a Heavy Suit’s twin RFACs. The Strikers rushed to move GW02 and GW03 to address the new threat from the rear. GW03 causes a systems failure in the missile-armed HAS with a burst of fire, but the third HAS destroys GW03 with a shot from its hyper-kinetic penetrator railgun and moves up.

While all that was happening outside, inside the base, the Altairian commander managed to get a call through to the ships on high guard. But they were pretty far away (the game would now end in D6+4 turns – I rolled a 5, so 9 turns! Gah!) As he finished the call, Ramstar Strikers charged into the room. Seeing these huge armored figures coming for him, and trying to hang onto their hostage, the two Nightshade commandos retreated to the mess hall. Hot on their heels, the Strikers kept charging forward. Again, the Nightshade commandos retreated (I blew my morale check again, and the squad broke), abandoning Liselle and retreating to the entry hall!. The Strikers had secured the hostage, but now they had to get out of there alive! With the Altairian Heavy Suits moving in, things were getting sticky!

Whoosh! Thunk! Grrrr! DAK DAK DAK! The Heavy Suit got it’s systems restarted then I tried a combat move with one of my Heavy Suits (since it would be x3) but I rolled a 12! The maximum! I had to use it all, and I’d planned on trying to get closer to the Gun Walker on the north side of the base, but I got too close! The HAS fired its jump jets, skimming over the landing field and landing just short of GW02! On his next activation, Chris swung the Gun Walker around and blasted the HAS pointblank, taking it out!

Upon seeing his buddy get blasted, one of the other HAS leapt forward into the landing field landing right behind the Striker security team dug in behind a barricade and spun up its RFAC to mow down the Strikers. GW02 quickly moved to engage – if the Altairian Heavy Suits could take out the last Gun Walker, the Striker teams in the base would never make it to the landing pad with Liselle! A volley of fire from GW02 drives the Heavy Suit pilot to jump back behind the dropship for cover.

By now, some of the Altairian foot patrols are reaching the fight. One squad comes in way out of position and gets fired up by the Striker security squad. As this is happening, the HAS that dropped back destroys GW02 – the Strikers now have no more Gun Walker heavy weapon platforms! I was cackling with glee but the fight was far from over.

Inside the base, the Strikers kept the pressure on the retreating Altairian commando HQ, finally routing them and chasing them out of the base. Not expecting the Altairians to come out first, the HAS watching the airlock was distracted seeing the HQ team hightailing it for cover, followed by the Striker HQ team. The plasma gunner snapped off a quick shot and took out the HAS! My worst armor roll of the game (I got a 6 or something crappy like that, he got an 18!)

With Liselle firmly in tow, the Strikers get her into a pressure suit and get ready to clear the base.

On the northeast side of the base, another squad of Altairian troopers rushes to the fight. I tried a combat move (which only got them 6″) and one of them slipped and fell on the dangerous methane ice, skidding into a container where his heat exchanger made contact with the ice and blew him to bits. Crap!

The Altairian commando HQ made it to cover and desperately tried to rally, but the Strikers kept the pressure on, blowing them all away with a volley of fire from their submachineguns! Oh, the horror!

The remaining Altarians approaching from the northeast reach the landing pad, taking cover behind it and the wreckage of the last Altairian Heavy Suit, which has been disabled by a shot from the Striker security teams Anti-vehicle rocket! These guys are all that’s left between the Strikers and the dropship.

The landing field is littered with the wrecks of Ramstar Gun Walkers and Altairian Heavy Armor Suits!

With the threat of the HASs gone, the Strikers consolidate their forces. A few exchanges of fire suppresses or drops more of the remaining Altairian troops.

With the last Altairian trooper down, the Strikers clear the landing pad and call for dustoff!

Mission complete! Liselle boards the dropship and it blasts away! A clear victory for Ramstar!

Whew! Although I lost, this game was easily the most fun I have had playing Stargrunt! The combination of unit types, the mission and the game itself were all a lot of fun! For me, the battle between the Gun Walkers and the Heavy Armor Suits was the deciding factor. The swirling melee at the landing field was intense as they took each other out. Once I’d taken out Chris’ last Gun Walker I thought there was no way he was getting out of there, since all I had to do was gun down his troopers. But bad timing and good dice saw my two Heavy Suits taken out and my remaining infantry was too spread out and out of position to have any effect.

Congrats and thanks to Chris for a well-played and fun game!

So the campaign continues! With its bargaining chip lost, and political support gone, Altair is left to fend for itself against the oncoming might of the Interstellar Corporate Authority! Can the Altairians maintain their freedom or will they fall under the oppressive boot of the Kryton Corporation?

And somewhere on the frontier of human space, a research team exploring alien ruins makes a terrifying discovery…