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"Alien Squad Leader - Human Imperial Vs Mechanoids" Topic


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Dropship Horizon08 May 2008 2:11 a.m. PST

I'm off work with a heavy bout of flu. So, during one of my more lucid moments, I thought I'd cheer myself up and play a solo game. I chose Alien Squad Leader as it's simple enough that it wouldn't tax my already hurting and bunged up head.

The basic scenario was that Human Imperials were mounting a recon in force in a shattered city, as are all future cities of course. I chose 200 points as a suitable size to the game. This worked out as:

HUMAN IMPERIAL: 196 points

4 Armoured Transports with turret mounted heavy weapons and aiming devices (2 upgraded to mobile command centres)
Old Crow tracked Lancer APC's

8 stands of Stormtroopers – Regular Infantry
ex-MJ Space Marines

4 'A' Class Heavy Battle Droids with aiming devices and energy shields
GZG Guncrabs


MECHANOIDS: 193 points

2 Titan Class Battle Mechs with aiming devices and energy shields
Giant mechanoid walkers from 15mm.co.uk

10 stands of Robotic Infantry
from 15mm.co.uk

3 stands of Assault Droids with aiming devices and energy shields
ex-MJ robots

THE GAME

The Human Armoured Transports made it unopposed to the south side of the main city square, where they disgorged their infantry into the ruins. Scanners reported nothing on the other side of the square but just in case, the Humans own Battle Droids clanked forward.

This move provoked a savage response. Two Titans emerged from the cover of a tall building and 2 phalanxes of robotic infantry clambered from the ruins to assault the Human positions.

The first two turns of firing was quite desultory with bad dice rolls all round. But as the Robotic infantry were about to close with their Human counterparts I decided to change tactics and mass all the fires of humanity on the robotics, rather than having the APC's trading shots with the Titans. This resulted in the loss of one APC to a Titan for no return, but the change is tactics also brought a change in the luck of the dice. No less than 8 hits and 3 double hits turned the Robotic stands into scrap metal who were only able to compensate with 3 successful saving rolls.

The tempo of the game had definitely moved up a couple of gears. It was the Humans turn to take the initiative. Two stands of human infantry were lost crossing the square and another in close combat with the remaining robotic infantry.

With another APC going up in a meson cloud the Humans were only needed to lose two more units to reach their break point. Mechanoids being, well, mechanoids, don't have a break point, so you have to turn every last one of them pile of rivets to win.

The pressure was on and the game could easily go each way at this point. Human infantry swarmed the Titans in close combat whilst the APCs brought their guns to bear one last
time. One Titan collapses into the ruins but not before another APC evaporates in it's blue Meson beam.

It's still not over, but the luck of the dice remains with the humans. The last of the Asault Droids fall and with it the remaining Titan with humans tightly clustered around it's legs. I always knew those power saws on the end of their rifles would come in handy!

Victory to Man! But it was a close run thing.

Some Thoughts on The Game

I enjoyed the fact that the game increased in tempo (helped by the dice) and the finish was a nail biting struggle as the humans wrestled to bring down the Titans before losing one last element that would have pushed them to their break point.

If I'd played the Mechanoid commander for real, I would most likely have won, even with the genuinely bad dice rolls. I would have used the Titans superior range to engage the human APCs far earlier and probably have left the robotic infantry in cover to make the most of their combined armour & cover save roll. The human infantry would have been cut to pieces in the open. But to me, the classic
scene of Robotic infantry is of hordes of them advancng over rubble as in the Terminator movies and I wanted to recreate that on the tabletop.

The fact that the humans had a break point and the Mechs didn't means that you can be aggressive as a Mech commander. Giving energy shields to the robotic infantry would have made them incredibly tough nuts to crack and imcreases your confidence as a commander.

The gamey way to win, would have been to pick off enough of the 'soft' targets on the human side, in this case the 'stormtroopers' classed as regular infantry, to max out the human's break point.

From the Human side? Well, regular infantry are great as long as they are defending in cover, whilst Power Armoured infantry or droids are clearly better for assault. Engaging the Titans made me feel the need for at least one Main Battle Tank, but that's another Human Imperial Army waiting in the wings for another day.

Cheers
Mark

Joep12308 May 2008 9:21 a.m. PST

Hi Mark;

Very good write up, much appreciated.

I have the rules, but haven't played it yet.
I'll be sharing this post with some of my gaming buddies to entice them to play.

Good gaming;
Joe

Dropship Horizon09 May 2008 2:50 a.m. PST

Thanks Joe

I'm still at home, but finally recovering from this flu nastiness and plan a Terminator vs human resistance battle to fill in my afternoon. Again using Alien Squad Leader.

I'll write it up tomorrow.

Mark

nazrat09 May 2008 5:12 a.m. PST

Pictures, please, too (if it's possible)!

Joep12309 May 2008 3:30 p.m. PST

Looking forward to your next report Mark.

Joe

Dropship Horizon11 May 2008 5:02 p.m. PST

Managed to keep my cityscape on the kitchen table overnight, so decided to play a second Terminator vs Humans game with Alien Squad Leader.

MECHANOIDS Vs HUMAN RESISTANCE (HUMAN COLONIAL)

This time Mechanoids vs Human Resistance (using the Human Colonial list with a few amendments) based upon a scene in one of the movies, and true to TMP, did I research it and watch the movie again, did I hell. I just went with the images I remembered.

I also dropped the game to 150 points as I needed to get to see my doctor after lunch. Sorry Nazrat, too hurried to take pics this time. Turns out I did right thing going to the Docs, flu symptoms were actually masking a bout of viral gastrointeritis.

For the Human Resistance miniatures I decided to use some QRF Modern Rangers in caps and Peter Pig French Foreign Legion conversions (from the AK47 range). I previously thought the FFL bodies had a lot of Mid/upper Mid-Tech Sci Fi potential about them and used them as the basis for two sets of headswops. One with Israeli tank commander heads (look cool, very cool) and the other with German WW2 peaked field caps (painted grey, they were for a half-baked 15mm Firefly project that never came off). However, a classic look for the Human Resistance seen in the Terminator movies.

Now, the Human Colonial list doesn't allow Heavy Weapons to be mounted in light vehicles, so I decided rather than the defence turrets, I'd allow my Human Resistance, pickups with improvised Heavy Weapons, again as depicted in the Terminator movies. In this case, Old Crow Gekko's and Peter Pig Toyota SUV's from the AK47 range press-ganged into service.

I also decided that for this semi-Holywood bash, one of the Regular Infantry (Colonial Veterans) stands had John Connor attached. Connor was from the Citadel Traveller Adventurers boxed set – A neat figure that fitted the bill perfectly with an ACR and one arm raised.

I chose to keep the Human Resistance force simple. 4 Pickups with Heavy weapons and a table full of Inferior Infantry, Regular Infantry and Heavy Weapons teams to represent varying types and experience of Human resistance fighters. Boy, you can get a lot of cheap infantry for 150 points. I had to encroach on my Sci Fi mercs made up of various GZG NAC Marines in helmet and beret to fill out the numbers.

The Mechanoids were 10 stands of skeletal Terminators (Robotic Infantry with aiming device) and 2 Robotic Attack Craft (Distant Flyers) – 150 points. The Terminators were mechanoids from 15mm.co.uk, the Flyers were Old Crow gunships ahem! Chose to leave off the Robotics Energy Shields this time to be closer to the movie (and give the Humans a chance!).

THE SCENARIO

A Human habitation had been identified by the Terminators who were moving in to distroy it. The Human Resistance had to hold out whilst women, children and dogs (Refugees in the rules) were evacuated and escaped to safety.

The only House Rule I used was that Human Regular Infantry/Heavy Weapons stands could set up in 'ambush'.
But I'll explain more about that with the game report.

Unfortunately, it's almost 2am here, so I'll write up the game itself later on.

Cheers
Mark

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