Monday, February 20, 2012

The Greys

Rebel Miniatures excellent 15mm Alien Greys are finally photographed.  I wanted to highlight the retro 50s sci-fi look so I went for garish metallic cloth for the leaders.

And there are actually two skin tones here - most clearly seen in the group shot.  One has a slightly bluish tinge.   I did this so that I could have civil war scenarios between the aliens.

You know -- the Blues and the Greys.   <groan>

The Christmas War: Scenario One - Breakthrough AAR

Initial Deployment


(Note: I was so frustrated with my first attempt at playing this scenario with 5150:Star Army that I decided to replay it after changing up some stats.  I'll discuss all that in another post.  For now, this scenario was fought with two PDF squads (Assault Rifles and SAW, SB armor, PDF QRS) against Cylons (Assault Rifle, HB Armor but using BTA Penetration Chart, Custom QRS).  All were Rep 4.   I "reset" the game from Turn Two of the initial game since the flanking manuever the PEFs pulled off (in their table driven movement) was a cool maneuver. )

As we join the action in progress, Green Squad has sent a fireteam (2 figures with ARs) forward to see what PEF Alpha is.  The rest of Green and the entirety of Blue remain behind the defensive line about halfway down the board.  A severe thunderstorm has cut ranges down to 12cm.

Green Fireteam A moves through cover until it can spot PEF Alpha.  The PEF resolves into two squads, Cylon Alpha and Cylon Beta (with leader) placed in line one behind the other (using some chart I found somewhere on the Yahoo group - there's no guidance in the rules for this).  (Oh, and according to the PEF resolution they were supposed to be in defensive positions -- but I've made it a house rule that PEFs on the attack can't be in prepared defensive positions!)

Green Fireteam A uses its two inch move to drop down out of sight.  Fireteam B holds position, hoping that A can Fast Move back to join them in cover and bolster the line.

The Feds roll an initial intervention roll of 5 (see the scenario, but basically they will intervene in the next linked scenario if the PDF can hold out until this total reaches 35)


Cylon:1 Human:5 (Fed Intervention Total:5)

Cylon Alpha moves forward to cover to fire.  Green Fireteam A (GFTA) is the only element able to see this due to the rain.  Insight test results in them firing - and knocking down one Cylon who resolves to OOF!  A good start for the PDF boys!

Red stones are OOF; blue are stunned
Cylon Alpha snap fires back, resulting in stunning one member of fireteam A. 

Cylon Beta moves up to cover to fire.  The remaining figure in Green Fireteam A passes zero on his Insight -- uh-oh!  Beta easily puts him OOF but only stuns the already stunned survivor of GFTA. 

PEF Beta moves up to cover just out of sight of PDF Blue Squad.  PEF Theta moves up as well.

Fed intervention roll: 3  The distant sounds of gunfire are barely heard above the rumble of the monsoon.

Cylon: 5 Human:3 (Fed Intervention Total:8)
Blue Squad activates first and sends a single figure up to scout PEF Beta on the right flank.   If that's another Cylon squad, Blue needs to stay put.  Otherwise they can move to the center to flank Cylons Alpha and Beta.  

And indeed the PEF resolves to reinforcements....Strafing Run! first thought is that I didn't think about what happens to the intervention roll if the Feds get strafed! However, the run proceeds from section 3 through section 1 -- the top third of the table so no humans are at risk.  Phew!   (And geez those rules are hard to figure out -- I mark them to be re-written in clearer language)

I decide to detach a second scout from Blue Squad to go check out PEF Theta while the rest of the squad moves to attack Cylons Alpha and Beta.  The SAW can't quite make it into the 12cm sight range so the squad holds back -- discretion being the better part of valor and all that jazz.   Green squad will suffer slightly but that's better than putting Blue squad in the thick of things without all their firepower.

The remnant of Green Fireteam A recovers from being stunned but stays prone behind cover.

The rest of Green squad shuffles left, staying in cover and putting the SAW in the middle of the line, waiting for the rush from the Cylons.

Fed intervention roll: 7!  The strafing run was duly noted by shipboard sensors and causes some concern.  Mr. Spork and Dr. Hatfield get into a heated argument over the Prime Directive. 


C: 3 H:6 (Feds: 15 - halfway to intervention)

With the cylons gaining the initiative, Cylon Alpha leads the attack and with the 2 inch move all 4 advance far enough to bring the last figure of Green Fireteam A into sight.  Green A snap fires and misses (due to it being snap fire - dang! - that could have been a glorious last stand).  Cylon Alpha takes a  received fire check and....kills, kills, kills Green Fireteam A oviously, obviously, obviously dead.

Cylon Alpha continues their move (only the first figure had moved into sight of Green A.  The rest moved up under the 2 inch move rule).  This brings them immediately into sight of the rest of Green Squad and the entire Cylon fireteam is able to advance under the 2 inch move rule to being in-sight.  This is going to be bloody! 

Green Fireteam B passes in-sight and knocks down 2 Cylons -- 1 stunned and 1 OOF!
The Cylon received fire OOFs a single figure -- but it's the SAW!  The leader and squaddie remnants of Green B duck back.

Cylon Beta squad passes zero dice on its (non player) movement roll, causing them to "advance to cover".  Hmm.  They are already in cover.  And they did pass zero dice so -- they pause.  (Again this was a judgment call -- there was no one in-sight due to the inclement weather so they couldn't fire.  They could have advanced toward the next piece of cover, but I judged there should be some penalty for passing zero dice.)

Fed intervention roll: 6
Dr Hatfield, losing the logic battle to Mr. Spork, turns to appeal to Captain Quirk.  "Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a politician!  We can't let these machines commit genocide!"


C:1 H4 (Feds: 21)

With the Cylon advance stalled due to the bad movement roll, the PDF get a chance to regain initiative in the fight -- and boy, do they!

The situation after Blue Squad's "Mad Minute"!

Green squad advances back through the woods to fire at Cylon Alpha.  In retrospect, this was a bad move but it turned out well as the cylons missed both shots and on the received fire check Green Squad manages to stun both.  Green then active fires and stuns both again.

Blue squad advances to fire on the flank of Cylon Beta.  The leader, SAW and one squaddie manage to find cover while the other two squaddies go prone in the open. 

Cylon Beta fires on the In-Sight check and takes one of the squaddies in the open OOF.
But on the received fire check -- omg!  Blue Squad opens up with a mad minute of firing which results in THREE OD results, including the leader.  And they follow this with active fire, hitting the last remaining Cylon twice.  The damage roll comes up snake eyes and Beta is _dead_.

Fed intervention roll: 4
"He's right, Spork.  These people are potential new conquests of the United Confederation of Planets.  Those robots will never accept our rule and more importantly they won't buy our trade goods.  Besides this won't be the first time we've flushed the Prime Directive when it's convenient to a plot point.  Take us back to the Apathy and we'll see what Starfleet Command has to say about it."

C:4 H:2 (Feds 25)

I fudged this one. :-)  With only two Cylons left on the board, I decided to charge them into combat.  I didn't know what might happen, but it would be glorious!   Or not.  The PDF manage to stand their ground and fire at the approaching toasters, knocking both down and sending them out of the fight (no doubt some circuitry was knocked loose).

And PEF Theta turned out to be reinforcements, limited to the Pass 1d6 column of the table due to the strafing run earlier -- and with a 6 on the roll it turned out there was nothing there at all. 

With no PEFS and no ememy left, the PDF are the victors!  They've managed to slow down the Cylon advance, and more importantly have shown their potential Confederation allies the danger of the Cylon menace.  (Might the Cylons be the distant ancestors of the Borg???)

I'm pretty satisfied now with the play balance of the two sides, so I'm going to up the numbers on the Cylon squads to 5 members.  (Clearly the 4-man squads used here were simply recon units.)  Nevertheless, this battle easily could have gone either way.  The resolution of the second PEF was critical -- had that been another squad or if the strafing run had done damage then the result would have been different.  Or if the devastating fusillade from Blue Squad on turn 5 had been just slightly less devastating.  Or if the weather hadn't reduced visibility....

A good game leaves you wanting to try it again.  I'm sorely tempted to set this up and play it again from Turn Two just to see what happens. 

The Christmas War: Scenario One - Breakthrough

Mr. Spork raised an eyebrow.  "Your ancestors did, of course, build them in accordance with the Three Laws of Robotics?"

"The what?" replied Balsa Guitar.

Mr. Spork turned away and flipped open his communicator.  "Spork to Apathy.  Spork to
Apathy.  Tell Captain Quirk that we may have a problem --"

The brains of the citizens of Capricious were having a rough day.  And the reason that the brains were having a rough day was this -- they were trying to believe two impossible -- or at least highly improbable -- things at once.

One, that the 13th Colony had returned (Oh, they called themselves the United Confederation of Planets and said they were from "Colony 13" but clearly they were the 13th Colony returned).

And two -- that the Cylons had returned.  Violently. 

By necessity this second revelation became the most pressing issue on the minds of the brains (so to speak) of the citizens of Capricous as the Cylon forces marched inexorably toward Capricious City.

Elements of the 3rd Caprician Militia were rushed into a blocking position to try and slow down the Cylon attackers.  Heavy equipment was pushed into place as hasty defensive positions.  And nearby a small group of oddly dressed humans watched as silent observers -- one in gold, two in blue and red shirts.

Cylons will be run as PEFs per the 5150: Attack scenario.   See Appendix for Cylon rules.
3rd Planetary Milita are PDF. 

Confederation forces are merely observers for this fight and will remain in cover.  They are never "active".  If an In-Sight test is triggered they will retire.   Each turn, roll 2 dice for the Confederation group and keep a running total.  If the total reaches 35 before the end of the game the Confederation observers are convinced that the Capricians need their help to repel the Cylon menace.

Red shirt rule: If a Gold or Blue shirt goes OOF/OD within 4", then the Red Shirt is OOF/OD instead.  Man Down tests are taken as normal.

Cylons for 5150: Star Army
Use Bugs reaction except substitute Fire for Charge.
Exo armor but use BTA penetration table.