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"Rules Suggestions Please" Topic

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Henry Martini11 Jul 2019 8:40 a.m. PST

I have a bunch of old SF figures as follows:

About a platoon of 25mm Stargrunt marine types in light armour and some power-armoured figures.

A couple of platoons worth of Blade Miniatures 20mm infantry of two different types.

80 or so Stargrunt not-predators.

100 or so Platoon20 not-aliens

A platoon strength mixed assortment of old Citadel figures that would make reasonable space pirates

A few resin 25mm light vehicles (hover cars and so on).

I want to be able to use all of these without making any additional purchases.

The background would be the fringes of a vast interstellar human empire that's fighting more than one serious, large-scale, existence-threatening war against technologically advanced alien species, but in this backwater the only threats are, in relative terms, of merely nuisance value: space pirate raiders seeking ships, freight, and anything of value; a predatory species with highly advanced camouflage technology raiding outer colony planets for slaves; lightly equipped rebels; infestations of a non-technological but deadly parasitic species.

To deal with these threats the low priority frontier force has to make do without armoured vehicles and heavy weapons because they'e needed elsewhere for those real wars.

Aside from making use of what I've got, such a setting also means that the skirmish games played would represent entire actions and not just segments of larger battles.

Can anyone suggest a state-of-the-art rule set that best suits this concept?

Thomas O11 Jul 2019 9:02 a.m. PST

Check out Starbreach.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2019 9:45 a.m. PST

And the Voice of Cynicism asks

"In what manner may we distinguish 'state of the art' from 'height of fashion' when it comes to miniatures rules?

John Leahy11 Jul 2019 11:27 a.m. PST

Fubar will handle that many figs. I have run games with 200+ figs and 30 plus vehicles in 3 hours. Star Breach is set as a small skirmish game I thought?


Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Jul 2019 1:21 p.m. PST

My "another glorioys day in the corps" will work. Free at

Oberlindes Sol LIC11 Jul 2019 4:40 p.m. PST

Robert Piepenbrink for the win

Henry Martini11 Jul 2019 5:15 p.m. PST

Thanks gentlemen. I'll check out all your suggestions in due course.

I note from its intro that Starbreach is a squad versus squad game Thomas, so it might be a little too individually focused and not up to handling platoon and larger size games particularly swarms of hive-mind-controlled unarmed nasties with no regard for casualties.

I merely meant clever, streamlined rules that take advantage of decades of tabletop experience and development, as opposed to those that employ mechanisms that have been around as long as my figures, Robert.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2019 6:45 p.m. PST

Art, fashion????

There-in lies madness.

I want hard-science for my Sci-Fi rules………..

Or, at least hard-science based "fantasy".

Henry Martini15 Jul 2019 4:40 p.m. PST

When I posted the OP I didn't have the Blade Miniatures to hand. Having had another look at them and measured them I found that they're true 20mm, and really just too petite to work with even smaller, close-to-true 25mm figures such as the GZG stuff even on the basis of my planned rationale for the size difference, 'it's SF, so human anatomy will have become even more divergent under the influence of radically differing environmental conditions than it currently is'; pity, but they'd just look like midgets.

My new plan for the rebels the Blade figures would have served as is to use 25mm (as opposed to 28mm) figures to represent them, and the most promising option at this point is the 1st Corps range. These figures size well against GZG, and there are three different factions of light-armoured troops that can be mixed to create an irregular effect; some head swaps will help. The rationale behind this decision is that, along with captured equipment, the rebels are being supplied from two other sources.

I'll use one faction exclusively to represent the planetary defence forces fighting the rebels, to whose assistance the 'federal' forces represented by the GZG figures are called when the going gets tough.

Importantly, despite each having its own armour and equipment, and therefore its own 'look', the three factions are all armed with the same weapons. Logically, the source for most rebel weapons would be the enemy, so this feature of the range is ideal for my purpose. The only additional improvement would be if !st Corps made a few packs of ragged, irregular figures in various combinations of civilian and military clothing and gear that could go into the mix.

As to rules, it remains to be decided, but I'll probably need two sets: one for small, platoon-size and under games, and another (Star Grunt?) for up to company-size actions.

Henry Martini22 Jul 2019 6:13 p.m. PST

For anyone who might be interested, my ideas around this setting have crystallized a little more.

Things are quiet enough in this imperial fringe sector that each solar system can get by with a company-sized garrison of the 'fire brigade' force that the GZG NSL figures will represent.

In addition, every inhabited planet has its own company-sized, even more lightly-equipped, full-time Planetary Defence Force, which is where the 1st Corps figures will come in (I've decided to use the European Alliance figures in this role because, of the three variants of the range available from 1st Corps, it's the most complete). The PDF can handle most situations, but the fire brigade (I've yet to decide on a name for it) is there when things get out of hand.

My NSL force consists of two platoons of ordinary troopers and one platoon of power-armoured troopers. A force can be assembled in various configurations depending on the nature of the mission, and usually there will be more than one mission in progress; very rarely will the whole company be needed for a single mission. More often than not the fire brigade will be cooperating with a PDF except in the rare event of an entire PDF rebelling.

The bodies of all three variants of the 1st Corps colonial troopers appear to be the same. For rebels I'll use the European Alliance recon figures in soft headgear and North American Corporation troopers in 'Aliens'-style helmets, and there'd be some head swaps, too (I'll probably use some of the heads in soft headgear from those free Warlord WW2 frames that have induced me to buy a few issues of WI recently). The rest of the rebels' irregularity will come from the painting (clothing would come from a variety of sources, with a deliberate avoidance of PDF uniforms). The fact that PDF and rebel forces will be armed and equipped the same can be explained by the rebels deriving most of their equipment from captures, with the small quantities of imports successfully smuggled in involving the purchase of mostly the same gear for logistical consistency. Only headgear is deliberately contrasting so that the two sides have different silhouettes.

I've decided not to use the Eastern Federation variant figures because the heads would be too hard to remove cleanly for swaps, and I don't particularly like the aesthetics of either the helmets or the keffiyeh-style garments they wear.

If the force dispersal I've described seems very thin I don't think it's unreasonable given the low intensity warfare setting I've created and the presumption of the use of fast and highly efficient planetary and interplanetary transport systems and there are historical precedents. For instance, in the early 19th century Tasmania had a serious problem with gangs of armed criminals (bushrangers) who engaged in plundering raids, and attacks on the persons and property of prominent citizens. Despite the bushrangers never numbering much more than about 100 even during the most serious outbreaks, when the gangs were as happened a couple of times combined under a powerful leader and organised such that attacks were planned and coordinated, the problem was perceived as such a serious threat to the colony that on one occasion the governor declared martial law, and the army became heavily involved in counter insurgency operations against them. Even then, combatant numbers were so low that engagements were never more than minor skirmishes.

I said in the OP that I wanted to avoid buying more figures, which is my general policy these days, but I think rounding out what I already have to complete a 'period' is a reasonable and forgivable overstepping of my self-imposed moratorium.

On the original point of this thread, rules, I've read up on FUBAR, and although it seems to have lost some of its shine in recent years it would be remiss of me not to give it a try. Amongst the numerous variants floating around there appear to be enough good ideas to cover all the force types I'll be fielding, and I can always further modify it myself as required. Anyway, you certainly can't beat the price.

Henry Martini09 Oct 2019 8:06 p.m. PST

Just an update to say that I put this concept 'on hold' when I learned that Dan Mersey is working on an SF variant of the 'Rampant' rules series that I (and many others) find so enjoyable.

The Rampant rules are always very open-ended and flexible as to the forces fielded under them, so I'm confident that the SF iteration will allow for all the force types I want to represent.

Hopefully we won't have to wait too much longer for 'Alien Rampant' (or whatever Mr Mersey settles on as the name of his futuristic LR variant).

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