Stargrunt II

What You Think

A.H. Lloyd (
I picked up Stargrunt II on this advice of this august page and I am quite pleased with the results. It really is a great game. I don't know how I'll be able to go back to WH40k.

The rules could be laid out better with perhaps more chart-like graphics, but on the whole they're pretty decent.

Not to repeat the earlier comments but not only does SGII have a "realistic" feel, it is broad enough to allow you to simulate almost any sci-fi genre.

I am still using my tough ol' Space Marines, equipping them with Light Slow Power Armor and Advanced Assault Rifles. I figure the Terminators are Heavy Slow Power Armor and the Assault Marines are wearing Light Fast Power Armor. Moral of the story: So far it's more fun to fight WH40k battles with these rules than it is with the WH40k ones!

I will give this caveat: This is a Wargame. If you want to march 'em in and mix it up, it will not work well for you. Newer gamers may find terms like "suppression" and "point fire" intimidating. My advice is to take a deep breath and work through, it's not as hard as it sounds.

My other problem (and it is only a minor one) is that they do not give point values, which is a mistake in my opinion. I understand the point of view of the designer in that he wants to avoid a GW "eternal tournament mini-of-the-moment" mentality. I would, however, prefer to see if they have found a way to balance the abilities and weapons of the troops. WWII micro-armor games often give point values for AFVs and you rarely see folks using the all-Tiger II panzer division (and if they did, they'd do it without the points anyway).

I like being able to build my own armies, which is why I think a simple "layered" approach would work. As in Battletech, equipment and weapons might be modified by troop quality to find a reasonable balance. The instructions in the rules of "just have fun and real battles aren't exactly balanced" rings a little hollow for a game.

As it is, we are finding our own balance, but even a short-hand guide would be a help.

Otherwise, it's a pretty cool game.

Jay Arnold (
Let me start out by saying Stargrunt II is quite simply the best, most realistic infantry-based sci-fi miniatures game available. Period.

Allow me to point out some good points:

I want my squad of newbies to move forward and slay. No can do, they've lost two guys and now they're suppressed in place. Hmm, I want them to shoot at those big nasty guys in power armor? Nope, suppressed. All they can do is call for support and try to buck up. They're screwed aren't they? Yep.
No charts!
This is really one of the best parts. All units have 2 chits that are assigned to it - Troop/Leader Quality and Confidence. All rolls are based off the Troop/Leader Qual chit. Everything! From Communications to effectiveness of fire to ability to maintain discipline and morale. No looking at the army list every 2 minutes to check weapon ranges, effectiveness, etc.
A list of forces and equipment that nearly everybody I know tosses aside
We make use of our own. Truly the best part. Don't get me wrong, some of the unit descriptions and TO&E's (Table of Organization and Equipment) are really ok. But they may not fit my exact style of play. One thing that does fit my style of play is the force I use!
The official figures are not mandatory.
The official figures are sort of ok, but they're not my cup of tea. My primary opponent uses the old Traveller Marine figures. I myself use the GW Gadian Imperial Guard figures. To each his own.
Flexibility and Realism.
Everything I learned and practiced as a U.S. paratrooper applies on the table. Tactics and equipment I used in real life I can use on the table. Chem, off-board arty, spotters for said arty, mines, mine clearing, commo, you've got it all.

My only gripes are the layout of the book itself, and that some of the concepts may be a bit tough to get at first. Let's just say it takes a lot of getting used to in order to maneuver through the book. Definitely play with an experienced Stargrunt player to help break you in.

Give it a shot if you haven't already.

Cameron Fairchild (
My gaming friends and I have played it about a dozen times, and unanimously agree it's superior to WH40K or Warzone or Tactical Strike. You can use any minis - we started with our Warhammer 40K and Warzone troops - but they also make their own line of figures which are superb (especially the ones sculpted by Australian Mike Broadbent).

And the service is amazing; not only did game designer John Tuffley answer two of my rules questions personally the same day I sent them, but I also received a minis order from GZG (in England) five days after I sent it via e-mail. Since I live in Texas, that's a heck of an accomplishment, and a lot faster than any service I've ever gotten from anyone right here in the USA by regular mail.

I can only speak for myself, but besides the fact that John Tuffley and whomever else is involved with GZG have shown themselves to be top-notch, considerate, service-oriented people who care about the people who buy their products, everything about this game is appealing.

A few words about the nuts-and-bolts: It's much more a military, squad-"feel" game than WH40K or Warzone, which "feel" somewhat like roleplaying games to me (which is fine). The SGII rules are concise, thorough, well-organized, and very fast-playing. We are just stunned that none of our game store managers, and so few gamers in our area, really know anything about SGII!

Captain Winki (

As far as the rules go, they are great. The rules move very fast. A local hobby store has a big game every couple of weeks.

I think that some of the miniatures are good. In the bubble pack, They don't look very nice, but once you get the paint on them the details stand out rather nicely. They look like lumps of metal, but once primed, they look excellent. The vehicles are very nice too.

Heavy Gear (small scale) makes some excellent power armor. That's the only problem I have with the Stargrunt power armor.

Paul Lesack (
Stargrunt II is by far my preferred (25mm) ruleset. It incorporates a realistic feel without being bogged down by charts and modifiers, etc.

As mentioned in many other reviews, morale plays a pivotal role, and adds flavour to any game. Rather than describe the mechanism, here are the end results. . .

My green troops refused to budge while a squad of elite troopers fired into them from a distance. Finally (after 3 turns), they managed to charge the enemy (a desperation ploy). In the resulting melee, the elites fell back, having dropped one of their wounded. My squad now had injuries of their own, plus a wounded enemy soldier to content with. Morale dropped as the injured were screaming in pain.

After treatment, my squad dropped back, keeping the prisoner within the squad to reduce the likelihood of enemy attacks. Naturally, this doesn't work, and they take enemy fire. Unfortunately for them, the prisoner gets hit by his own side (and dies), and my own wounded man now dies. This allows the squad to move faster, as they no longer have to carry the wounded. They scuttle off to safety, leaving a trail of bodies in their wake.

Meanwhile, on another corner of the battlefield, two opposing squads were sniping at each other over a wall, each too scared to move into the open.

In keeping with the morale/quality base of the game, ranged fire in Stargrunt is based on the quality of the firing troops, on the assumption that better training equals better results. Small-arms fire is assumed to pin an opposing squad more often than causing severe casualties. This results in troops trying to pin each other with fire until one side or another can mount a close assault. Heavier weapons, however, have no problems dealing with enemies at a distance. Snipers are deadly.

Vehicle combat is well integrated, and a design system allows anything you desire on the battlefield. Ranges of vehicle-mounted (and heavy) weapons are much longer than, say, 40K. In Stargrunt, vehicle-mounted weapons can actually fire several km, just like real life, so almost anything on the battlefield is in close range (with appropriate results).

The rules encompass air combat, artillery, biological and gas warfare, terror weapons (eg. flamethrowers), and more, enough to satisfy almost everyone. A future (hopefully near future) supplement will encompass alien races for both Stargrunt and Dirtside.

Stargrunt is marketed as a generic ruleset - as such, the amount of fiction is limited (a page). Conversions are available for 40K, etc. The GZG timeline is frighteningly plausible, however, and details are becoming more and more available on the internet.

As the rules are based on realistic modern combat, they can be used as is for WWII and modern combat. I have heard them being used to simulate conflicts back to the Boer War. Detailed conversions are readily available. There is an Ancients/Medieval/Fantasy conversion available as well.

If you hate 40K, you should play this game. Even if you don't like the SF genre, I recommend these rules, not least because of their versatility in modelling a variety of situations.

Francis Healy (
I like the rules. They work well for those interested in the fate of individuals. The rules are fairly comprehensive, without requiring a 300-page tome with monthly 'official' amendments.

The game is well supported with miniatures and models and stuff from GZG. The figures are 'true' 25mm scale, so they may look rather anorexic next to many other manufacturers' products - but that helps to make the larger alien thingies even more scary! Some of the poses are a little pedestrian, but overall they are a great set of miniatures.

Peter Schulein (

SG2 is a very good ruleset, because of the way morale, training and C2 are integrated in the ruleset. Especially the casualties and medevac rules work fine. It plays fast and furious.

We play small scenarios of 2-4 squads per side. If you make your squads, we feel that 6 is the minimum number of soldiers in a squad, otherwise the tactical flexibility is too low and the vulnerability for casualties becomes too high.

We use Legions of Steel miniatures.

Dave Daly (

I've only played a few small solo games so far, but I love the rules. The game's emphasis on troop psychology and command and control really appeal to me, as opposed to other games where the Mark VIII Super-Plasma 75 shot-per-second Cosmic Death Ray is the most important thing. (But power-armored troopers are very tough in HTH.)

Some of the miniatures made by GZG/Geo-Hex are nice too, some aren't. I like most of the power troopers, the NSL guys, and the UNSC marines. The Euries, FSE troops, PAU guys and mercenaries aren't that great IMO. (All of the above are 25mm figures, which is the scale I use. 15mm or 6mm might look better on the table top for purposes of scale, but I prefer 25mm figures for painting purposes and individual appearance.)

And, you don't have to use their miniatures, use whatever you want. The rulebook mentions this at least once.

Three squads of at least five men each is just fine for a small game. I've been using 3 squads of 5 plus a small "Walker" vehicle (something like that Scout Walker from "Return of the Jedi") vs. 3 to 4 squads of 9 guys each.

Mel Beard A.K.A DeathSkull (

SGII is a game with emphasis on squad- to company-sized battles, where the average trooper is taken into consideration and is not just cannon fodder.

It is a tactical game where you actually have to think about maneuver/counter maneuver and get the best position for winning the battle, (and not just having the most impressive fire power, either). Leaders (command and control) are a very important part of SGII games. They can pass activations to the squads, giving a better chance of surprise, vantage point, whatever.

You can set your own army lists the way you want them.

But the main attraction is that the game rules are inexpensive. The miniatures are reasonably priced, and you don't have to use GZG minis to play at convention/tournaments....

Ground Zero Games offers their own line of miniatures. The minis are 25mm and most are of good quality. (IMHO, I didn't like some of the designs)

I use 15mm figures. This scale lets you have even a more tactical playing field as they don't take up as much room. :) And of course you can use whatever figure you have, or want to use.

If you would like to add your opinion to this webpage, use the following form or send email to the editor.

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Online Resources

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The Publisher's Website
Run by GeoHex, the U.S. distributor for the game. Includes a listing of available products.
Jeremy Sadler's Unofficial Stargrunt II Website
New rules, scenarios, battle reports, fiction, images and a database of links. Maintained by Jeremy Sadler (
"Unofficial" Australian Manufacturer's Website
Eureka Miniatures of Australia manufactures the Stargrunt II vehicles under license. Website includes photos.
Andy Cowell's Stargrunt II Page
Includes rules clarifications, errata, and lots of variant rules (including adaptations for Kryomek, Star Wars, Aliens, and 40K). Maintained by Andy Cowell (
Deathskull's SG Webpage
Battle reports, house rules, advice on using 15mm figures, vehicles, and photo gallery (including hand-made wooden vehicles).
By Peter Mancini (
Jenkintown Hobby at Philcon '96
Webpage mostly features pictures of a Stargrunt II game.
The Ground Zero Games Mailing List
Focuses on the miniatures rules from Ground Zero Games (Full Thrust, Dirtside II, and Stargrunt II). Place "subscribe gzg-l" in the body of the message, and send it to This list is run by fans, though the GZG folks do "monitor" the list.

If you know of other resources for this game, please let us know by sending email to the editor. If you have material you would like to make available to the Net, also let us know.

Last Updates
25 August 1999new URL for Mancini
18 August 1999comments by A.H. Lloyd
17 August 1999updated mailing list info
14 August 1999link to Sadler's website
Cygnus Eclipsers' website is gone
13 August 1999comments by Jay Arnold
Comments or corrections?