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Tuesday, 26 December 2017

The Joys of playtesting!

Hi all!

I finally felt confident enough about my newest set of rules to give them a try!

Having a lot of figures from 'Imperial Assault' - but not being enamored with the rules, I wanted to write a set of tabletop skirmish rules so I could use these lovely figures!

So, giving myself an easy scenario to play, I set up a game!

The Scenario: 

Ahsoka Tano, better known in the outer rim as 'Fulcrum' has been sent by Senator Bail Organa to steal information from a remote Imperial communication relay base on the 3rd moon of Steera. 
To avoid the extensive sensor array around the Steeran system, only a specially stealth equipped shuttle is provided able to carry 10 men at most-- One only hopes the Empire hasn't provided a strong garrison!

Setting down a couple of clicks away from their target, Ahsoka, R2D2, and half a dozen troopers, all that could be spared, cautiously approach the base...

A rough track leading to the installation.
Ahsoka didn't want to tempt fate by marching up the track, despite Artoo's scans showing only a few life forms, the Clone Wars had taught her caution.
The installation, the target is the building on the right. The small black counters are portals, which are possible entry positions for enemy figures. 
Other portals are placed with as good a line of site on the table as possible. 
Artoo, Ahsoka and the troopers. 
Only one portal can see them, which means there is no chance of meeting any hostiles, unless they are alerted to the Rebels presence.
Although Ahsoka is close enough to command the troopers, they automatically choose the right course of action! 
 The Rebels decide to sneak round the trees, where there are less portals. 
As the rules indicate, the more portals that can see you, the more--and worse things you can meet! 
Still only the one portal can see us. 
 There is no avoiding the portal on the hill to their front though!
 As the other portal is now out of sight, only the one ahead can see them.
 One section moves forward towards the portal...
 ...once within 8" of the troopers, it retreats up to 12" to the next piece of cover, still in sight of the troopers (though they are still hidden by the hill here).
Unfortunately, even on the back of the hill, there are portals able to see them from the other side of the road. 
The troopers would be unwise to sit there, as each turn, the enemy rolls a dice, and sooner or later a high score, and some enemy figures, would appear.
As they reach the top of the hill, the portal ahead activates, and a fire fight ensues! Fortunately - the 3 men in the front squad are not hit! 
As can be seen from the chart, a 7, or 8 would have been needed. 
 The 4 Stormtroopers get 2 hits from the plucky rebels...
2 'Duck backs', sort of a Suppression. It means they cannot shoot in the next turn, and as hey are in cover, cannot be hit themselves. 
The first squad stands, while the next moves up in support. 
 The Stormies make one of the rebels duck, but the heavy Rebel fire is Ducking the Imperials more often. Neither side is hitting though!
As the Stormies recover from their suppression, each turn, the portal is dicing to see if they get reinforced! 
 To break the impasse, Ahsoka moves forward...
 The Stormtrooper's fire isn't even close! 
I had saved Ahsoka's Force action to deflect any hit back at the 'Bucket Heads' as well!
Another duff D6 roll for Imperial reinforcements! 
Ahsoka orders the troopers to outflank the Imperial position, while she prepares... 
 ...to Force jump into the enemy position!
With one 'Ducked' and 2 in melee, only one Stormtrooper can engage in shooting, and only has a clear shot at the nearside troopers. 
A fire fight ensues... 
...the Stormtrooper falls! 
Ahsoka makes short work of the 2 Stormtroopers she is facing! 
The last one decides he is rather...overfaced! - he retreats to the crates behind! 
 Ahsoka does not need to use the force here, she simply runs!
 'Surrender, Rebel scum!'
'Not likely!' 
 Ahsoka gets on the com-link, and R2D2 jets over to the panel, and plugs in.
'Do your stuff, Artooee!'
 The troopers stay behind, keeping out of sight of the other portals...
...and cover Ahsoka and the droid as they retire with the vital info!
 So, how did it go?

I am fairly happy that basic troopers and Stormtroopers can fire all day if in cover and only rarely hit anything! Jedi are rather good!

The rules needed a couple of slight clarifications which came out in this playtest.
I will get my friends to help next time, so I get some outside - and less partizan, opinions on the systems it uses!

Monday, 25 December 2017

Thanks to all!

May I wish all my readers and especially the followers of my blog a very...


Thank you all so very much for your kindness and support over the last year!

Saturday, 16 December 2017

A bloody encounter

Today, we did something we haven't done for a while, WW2 skirmish!
Phil got command of a British platoon, and Lawrence and I got section commands.
Phil had a section with the command section, plus a PIAT team'.
Lawrence had a section, supported by a Royal Artillery 6pdr towed by a jeep.
I had a section, supported by a Sherman tank!

We randomised the Germans so we would not be sure how many - and what type of forces we would be facing.

Our forces before deployment.
The battlefield, our aim to take and hold the stone bridge. 
Phil started, sending his riflemen into a field. 
3 men were sent forward to check out the next field. 
 They saw nothing...
 ... so the rest of his men went forward, which left room for the command group to follow.
Phil's scouts went forward again to check out the next field. 
...again, they saw nothing... 
...Where were the Germans?  
 Suddenly a group of Germans opened fire from their left, Phil's men ducked into cover, luckily avoiding any loss.
  His supporting line, so far unseen by the Germans, returned fire with their Bren gun.
A German fell dead!
The rest advanced, firing 
 They ran into a lot of British fire which halted them! 
 On the dirt road, my section appeared...
...and came up to support Phil's men.
Suddenly, in the German rear, Lawrence's men appeared. 
 The poor Germans were surrounded! 
 The survivors broke...
 Only to be gunned down ruthlessly by Phil's hidden Bren team.
 Phil's 'scouts' pushed forward. There was a crack as a German sniper killed one of them, before disappearing unseen. 
My tank finally came on table!... 
...A PaK 40 fired... 
...but he was not firing at the tank. Lawrence's men had been spotted and shot at! 
My tank fired at a German AFV further up the road, which had fired and missed the Sherman. 
I missed too! --The Hetzer fell back to the bridge. 
The Pak 40 was still shelling...
...Lawrence's riflemen. 
The Hetzer decided to move in support of the PaK... 
 Lawrence's men were caught between 2 fires and hugged the hedgeline!
 My Sherman reacted fast enough to shoot at the Hetzer as it raced across its front... 
A hit! - The crew baled out as the Hetzers' ammunition began to 'cook off'. 
The German crew decided to leave! 
Lawrence managed to push his men forward to engage the gun crew, the Hetzer was no longer a threat to their flank.
Behind the PaK, a MG team was inching forward... 
 ...the gun crew - assailed by rifles and grenades...
 ...abandoned their gun!
 My infantry was supporting the tank, but the Bocage ahead erupted with fire! 2 of my men fell killed or seriously wounded!
My riflemen returned fire ineffectively.  
 Back on Lawrence's side, his advance came under mortar fire, he was lucky to avoid casualties - but his men were shaken!
 Belatedly, Lawrence's 6pdr team set up covering the bridge.
 On my wing, the Germans moved forward to engage my tank with Panzerfausts...
...but they were shot to pieces as the tank and its supporting infantry fired back.
 With their loss, the British rolled across the bridge... 
 ...the remaining Germans, over-faced, made their getaway.
So, we had won! - but at heavy cost! A full 25% of our men were dead and wounded. But victory is victory!