Tuesday, May 29, 2007

StarGrunt - Star Wars game

On Memorial Day I had 2 friends come over for Beer, BBQ and a game of Stargrunt. The DAWGS are a great group of people whao share in the common interest of war gaming. So when ever there is a chance to sneak in a game with even one of them I jump at the chance.

Now I have never played Stargrunt so I was interested in the mechanics. The rules can be used for a wide range of eras, I have heard of WWII and modern combat games played with the rules so I was curious. The rules based on dice adjustments, so the more effective the group the higher the die type, i.e. a 12 sided die is the best, a 4 sided is the worst. A defender may have a base die type of a D6 but in cover he would roll a D8.

Rules: StargruntBasically you have 5 types of dice, a D4,D6, D8, D10 and D12. To put it simply you roll your dice against your opponents roll, the higher rolls win. Attackers roll up to 3 dice , one for quality type, one for squad weapons and one for support weapon, so an attacker may roll a D6, D8 and D10 in a single roll depending on several factors The range band is determined by the quality die type, so a D8 die type quality has an 8" range band, aD10 die type qulity has a 10" range band, etc.

The defender starts with a D4 and adjusts up in the die type by the number of range bands he is in and cover modifier, he then rolls a single die against the attackers Example: a D4 target in the second range band is a D6 defensive roll in the open, if in soft cover he has a D8 roll.

Determine the number of Hits:The defender must roll higher then the attacker and beat all of his dice rolls with his single die roll. If the defender rolls lower then add up the value of all of the attackers dice and divide by the defenders die type to determine the number of hits.
Example: the Attacker rolls a D10 = 9, a D8 = 7 and a D6 = 1, the defender rolls his D8 = 2, tha attacker won so add up 9+7+1 = 17, divide by 8 = 2.1 rounding to a 2, for two hits.

Determine the hit results:
Now roll weapon impact vs armor, so a Rebel blaster D8 vs a Stoormtrooper Armor of D8 means both sides roll a D8, the higher roll wins. If the attacker wins then a wound, kill or Suppress result is determined by how much you beat the defender by.

Each squad activates with 2 actions and a squad can perform several actions but can only fire once in a turn. A commander can use his 2 actions to activate a squad by passing a command roll, even if the squad has taken its actions that turn, but if the command roll has failed, then the commanders turn is over.

Figures: Star Wars miniatures by Wizards of the Coast

The figures are inexpensive, pre painted to a medium to good standard, and already based. Alien races can be used in any SCI FI game and are 28mm in size so the match well with most lines. They are proprtioned accurately and a bit slim compared to other 28mm like Pig Iron or EM-4.

So the game was set up with the Rebels defending a communication station and the Imperial players trying to destroy the communication station before a transmission was sent. The Rebel forces were deployed around their Comms center, a unit of Imperial scouts was close by hidden in bushes and scrub reporting on the situation. On Turn 1 the Stormtroopers entered in their subtle camouflage of brite white armor, perfect in the dark green and charred black environment. The Rebel squad sees the Imperial troops come running up the road in their predictable frontal assault.

Han Solo is in the rear with the gear and issuing orders to move troops more quickly. All troop types had difficulty in the terrain and bad rolling for combat moves did not help, rolling a D6 x2 = the inches you can move , so a 1 result means a 2" move.

At this point the Stormtroopers start to enter, the most forward deployed Imperial troops are a squad of scouts that have been deployed forward to report on enemy movement. So the Rebel player and Imperial player alternate moving squads until All of the squads have activiated on both sides. At the end of Turn 1 there are 4 units of Stormtroopers and a command squad on the board. The Imperials know they must close fast as they have open terrain to cross to reach their objective.

The Imperials fire as they advance losing a few troops along the way and hitting nothing, the gang that couldn't shoot straight, just like in the movies. To relieve pressure on the Stormtroopers the Scouts decide to move out and draw fire,and they make it to the rubble losing only one trooper to a hail of laser fire.
Finally the Imperials have anchored their flank, but the Rebel forces continue to shift the reserve around waiting for Imperial reinforcements to arrive on the flanks. There are 4 squads of Stormtroopers in reserve waiting to enter at a moments notice.

Now in a daring display of tactics we did witness the seldom heard but never seen Imperial Stoormtrooper flanking maneuver. That is right, the Imperial players decided to try tactics instead of marching into an endless stream of laser fire. Of couse General Solo committed troops to check the move. The second ring of the Rebel defense also remained in cover.

Time starts to run short, now the Imperial players know that the shortest distance between to points is a straight line, so the Scouts charge ahead. A wild melee ensues and high tech troops armed with lasers, comms systems and targeting computers result to the basic, beat each other with a big stick approach. Han Solo now is worried, he draws on his reserve and shifts the second ring of defense to meet the new threat. In an unbelievable turn of events the Scouts beat back the Rebel Commandos, but it is too late. Time has run short and the Comms system is activated, the Imperials have failed to achieve their objective.
All in all it was a fun time with friends, the rules are easy to catch on to if you have an experienced player, luckily we had 2 during our game. For Man to man combat I do prefer 5150, but squad level cambat is very fun with Stargrunt.

The next scheduled game is Rapid Fire which is set in 1940 France. Hopefully all goes well and another report will be forth coming.