Friday, November 12, 2010

Starship Troopers - This time I was the bugs...

I had another great game of Starship Troopers on Wednesday. (I really need to bring a camera.) This time I was playing the bugs and I had to defend some Plasma bugs. It was a pretty tough scenario. The 3 plasma bugs were not part of my points total but the MI got to start within the Plasma's minimum range. The MI objective was to destroy those 3 bugs. The bugs had to stop them (by killing all the MI.)

The game started out with MI Pathfinders coming out of hiding and shooting at one of my Plasmas. The MI doing 5 wounds with the Morita rifle drove home how vulnerable the Plasmas are. After two other groups MI were able to drop into within my Plasmas minimum range, I thought, “This is going to be a short game.” On my turn, I moved my wounded Plasma toward the Pathfinders, my two other Plasmas as far away from the enemy as possible, my tanker towards the dropped MI and I unleashed my defender force – 24 hopper bugs.

The next MI turn saw 4 Chicken Hawks, 2 Apes, and a Squad of MI disembark from their transports. They took some potshots where possible and wound some more plasma bugs. The Pathfinders also took some shots at the 1st Plasma bug and wounded it some more. Unluckily for them, they did not kill the Plasma and since they were within 10 inches, it got to react. Now when you react in ST, you have to focus on the unit causing the reaction. If not, this Plasma had moved far enough to shot at MI on the other side of the board. But it could not, so it charged the MI and killed two of them. The Pathfinders now had their second action and they had to kill the Plasma. If they did not, it could do serious hurt to the MI on the far side of the board. Plus, there were hopper bugs bearing down on them – enough to finish off the MI this turn. If the Pathfinders died before taking out the Plasma, it had a good chance of lasting the rest of the game. I’m stressing that as the MI decided they need to pour everything they had into the Plasma. By doing so they risked the Plasma bugs retaliate if they got an outright kill. Well, they did get an outright kill and the Plasma bug exploded taking 3 MI with it.

For the bugs turn, the two remaining Plasmas move further from the MI, the Tanker moved towards the MI and got off an ineffective spit, and the Hoppers went into action. Normally, when I play Starship Troopers I try and focus as much of my force on one part of the enemy as possible. That way I get the maximum amount of attacks possible while minimizing the number of attacks the enemy gets. For this scenario I couldn’t do that. I needed to engage every MI unit possible. This would then either force the MI to deal with my Hoppers, or if they didn’t, let my Hoppers get free reaction attacks on the MI. So with that plan, one group of Hoppers did their fly by attack and finished off the pathfinders. One group of Hoppers hit the standard MI and killed a couple. And one group of hoppers moved to attack two units of Apes and Chicken Hawks, killing one. The last group couldn’t reach any MI but positioned itself to react against a unit of Apes and Chicken Hawks.

The next MI turn was one of action and reaction by the Bugs. It ended with some dead hoppers, a wounded tanker, some dead MI, and more wounds on the Plasma Bugs. The Bug turn saw another ineffectual Tanker spit attack, some more standard MI kills, and a Plasma Bug attack. This was big it took out another Chicken Hawk which was the biggest threat to the Plasma Bugs.

The last turned ended up being close. The MI continued to focus on the Plasma Bugs. They finished off one more and brought the last one down to 1 wound. But the reactions by the Hoppers killed one Chicken Hawk, brought the standard MI down to 2 models, and allowed the tanker to move within ‘charge’ range of an Ape and a Chicken Hawk.

For the bug turn, they needed to finish off the MI. If not, they would most likely get that last wound on the Plasma Bug and win the game. The turn started with the Tanker bug charging the Ape and killing it. The Chicken Hawk reacted and brought the tanker down to its last wound. The tanker then charged the Chicken Hawk and killed it. Next, one group of Hoppers moved in to finish off the last Chicken Hawk. This left 9 Hoppers to finish off the last two standard MI, which they did.

This was a pretty fun game and everyone had a blast. The outcome was by no means certain and was well played by all parties. We forgot some rules, such as the command for the MI, but overall we had getting a good grasp of the rules.

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