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Author Topic: [Rogue Stars] Boarding Action AAR  (Read 3118 times)

Offline Raedwald

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 55
[Rogue Stars] Boarding Action AAR
« on: January 11, 2018, 12:56:43 PM »
First of all, apologies for the lack of photos. I decided this was the lesser of two evils, as the alternative was pictures of mostly unpainted miniatures on cut-out floorplans with a bit of scatter terrain – and I figured nobody really wants to see that.

[Photos in 12/12/2021 post below].

This was the only game of Rogue Stars I’ve played to date, and despite that basic set-up it was full of cinematic-style action and unexpected events that drew a laugh or raised an eyebrow or two. This style game wasn’t what I bought the rules for, but was great fun nonetheless.

Crews:

Crew of the Butterspinne – Bounty Hunters
Matthias Haas – Veteran Leader, Assault Rifle (Warzone Cartel Agent)
Elsbet Silber – Tech, Plasma Rifle (GW Escher Heavy)
Ildeng Haesa – Reptiloid, SMG, two bionic legs (Zombiesmith To’ok militia)
Thorsten Erl – Sniper, Laser Rifle (GW Orlock Ganger)
EFE300M – Medibot (Pig Iron Productions droid)

The Merlin, Rogue Trader – Merchants
Reuben Locke – Veteran Leader, Power gauntlet (GW Commissar)
Odoen Pacheng – Reptiloid Psionic (Zombiesmith To’ok militia)
Manus Fry – SMG (Warzone bodyguard)
Carver O’Donnel – SMG (Warzone bodyguard)
CFE400M – Medibot (Pig Iron Productions droid)

The Butterspinne crew were assigned as attackers from the initiative roll.

The random mission and conditions generation really appealed to me with Rogue Stars, so I made sure to stick to the results regardless of what was rolled. As it turned out, I found a very suitable story could be constructed that really helped make the game.

Mission: Boarding Action, reach the bridge and take control of the ship.
Location: Insectoid Hive, regenerating frenzied aliens!
Conditions: EMP, weapons and equipment may malfunction.

For me this meant cut-out floorplans had to be resorted to, to create Locke’s ship: the Merlin. This consisted of a large bridge and a larger cargo hold, connected by two corridor networks (starboard and port), from which various cabins adjoined, plus some small engine rooms at the rear of the hold. The aliens were represented by Oldhammer Squigs.

The backstory was:
Reuben Locke had a long history captaining cargo haulers in the Imperial Merchant Navy. His service had come to an abrupt end when he was discovered to have been smuggling contraband live cargo along with his regular runs on the freight ship Merlin. With a bounty placed on the seizure of the Merlin and the capture (dead or alive) of Locke, he had turned rogue and fled.

Haas and the crew of the Butterspinne were professionals in this field, and having located and intercepted the Merlin, they quickly disabled it with the Butterspinne’s EMP generator. The pulses posed some risk to the boarding party’s weapons and equipment, but this risk would equally affect Locke’s crew, and should enable the ship to be taken with minimal damage. However, an unseen consequence of this was the failure of the holding cells, in which Locke’s latest live cargo was being transported. The vicious alien creatures scattered throughout the Merlin, traversing her vents and ducts while slavering for fresh meat.

Action is joined on the bridge, as Locke and his crew detect the anticipated breach of the stern engine rooms by the boarding party of bounty hunters and begin to mount their desperate defence.

Haas led his crew into the Merlin, beginning their sweep at the stern and quickly moving through into the cargo hold. Here, two gibbering alien creatures were lurking, their wild eyes bulging as combined fire from the Butterspinne crew cut them down in a hail of bullets, laser and plasma bolts.

Meanwhile, Locke’s bodyguards Fry and O’Donnel moved into the starboard and port corridor networks respectively, each encountering an escaped alien which they engaged in combat. In a bizarre coincidence, both bodyguards had their SMGs crunched to pieces in the snapping maws of the creatures they fought, and had to resort to their martial arts training to continue to fight unarmed. In the starboard corridors, Locke waded in, crushing the skull of Fry’s alien assailant with a mighty downward drive from his power gauntlet. On the other side of the ship, O’Donnel laid into his alien, landing multiple punches and kicks in what turned into an epic combat. He took a horrific bite himself while continuing to desperately fend off the maimed creature (which by this stage had a crippled leg, 3 wounds and innumerable pins itself), and he was on the verge of passing out from his injuries. Locke’s medibot, CFE400M, stepped in at this point, rapidly injecting O’Donnel to stabilise him and spraying salve over his bite before grappling with the enraged alien to keep it off.

By this time, the bounty hunters had reached the corridors; Haas and Haesa taking the starboard route, Silber and Erl the port. As he reached the corner, Haesa was spotted and charged by Locke himself, but with careful aim, Haas raised his assault rifle and with a squeeze of the trigger took Locke out with a head shot.

At the head of the port corridors, O’Donnel managed to stagger to his feet, just as a second alien sprang out at CFE400M, the medibot fending off the rabid critters and protecting the shaken crewman.

Back in the starboard corridors, Haas and Haesa continued to sweep through. Fry, who had ducked into a cabin, was blasted in the chest by Haas’s rifle and went down. Pacheng, who had taken a position at the end of the corridor from which to use his psionic abilities, had been unable to sufficiently focus his mind among the screams, shots and alien screeching. A long range shot from Haesa then took him in the leg, and he too passed out.

Ultimately, the whole Butterspinne crew rounded on the brutal, bloody melee at the head of the port corridor network, where O’Donnel, CFE and the two aliens continued to grapple with each other in unarmed combat. Haas and Haesa on one side and Silber and Erl on the other took up firing positions and then opened up on the four battered combatants scuffling in between them. The badly wounded alien was finished off, and O’Donnel also went down in the crossfire. The loyal CFE, now the last man (droid) standing from Locke’s crew, somehow took on a more determined gleam in his optic lenses (becoming Steadfast in game terms).

In this rapidly changing situation, a new objective was formulated in the circuitry of CFE’s ‘mind’, and snatching up the limp body of O’Donnel he broke away from the remaining alien as it snapped after him, accelerated towards Silber and Erl, and dodging at the last minute dived through the short corridor into one of the escape pods. The bewildered bounty hunters looked on (desperate to win a reaction!) as against all odds, CFE typed in the activation code, sealing the door and launching the pod before they could respond!

As Haas began to exclaim his disapproval, the remaining alien dashed across and with little warning, bit off Haesa’s arm! The unfortunate Haesa screamed out in pain, as Haas gunned down the alien, and as this was the last one on board (and no more regenerated as a result), the game was over, with the bounty hunters having successfully taken the Merlin.

Post-game sequence: Normally in Rogue Stars, if a side loses to anyone other than Star Cops their casualties are considered dead. However, it seemed realistic to me that once Haesa had been attended to, the bounty hunters might allow their own medibot (who had sat in reserve by the cargo bay for most of the game), to treat the merchant casualties. The results therefore were that Pacheng, Fry and even Locke, who had been shot in the head, all managed to survive, to be handed over to the Imperial authorities (and suffer a far worse fate no doubt), while in the escape pod, the heroic CFE400M also successfully attended to O’Donnel, who made a full recovery!

The Butterspinne crew had accumulated 17 XP to spend. 1 XP was used to regenerate an arm for Haesa, another 8 XP were spent giving Haas a level in Marksman and some electromag shackles. The remain 8 XP went on upgrades to their medibot, EFE300M, upping his level in Medic and giving him a disentagler.

Conclusions: As I said at the beginning, this game was immense fun, with guns being munched, O’Donnel’s almost comic endless punching of the alien that wouldn’t go down and a whole series of unexpected events that kept changing the whole direction of the game at every instance. This forced a continual re-thinking of strategies (certainly for the merchants anyway). In particular, Locke was decked out as a real killing machine, so for him to go down to a single shot seriously changed the situation in a heartbeat.

The frenzied aliens, operating under the NPC rules, probably made the tactics in this game quite unconventional, as neither side wanted to retake the initiative until they were in a favourable position in relation to the aliens, who would get a turn every time it switched. This added element therefore heavily influenced who did what when.

Overall, the combination of the randomised mission and setting, total unpredictability during the game and detailed action that allowed for moments of drama and comedy in equal measure honestly made this one of the best sci-fi games I’ve played in years. Typically, I enjoy a more gritty kind of setting, but I suppose that could be adapted in with the right crews and a bit of imagination in the mission backgrounds. I’d like to play some more games using these rules in a Confrontation / Nercomunda setting, with suitably themed crews / gangs.

Another point worth commenting was that although I had to step away from this game several times due to time constraints, it was left set-up and was really easy to pick up and get right back into the action. I used little beads as on-board markers for stuff, which made this very easy.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on for far too long. If you’ve made it this far, well done, thanks for reading!
« Last Edit: December 12, 2021, 05:07:11 PM by Raedwald »

Offline Ockman

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1668
Re: Boarding Action AAR
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 01:45:06 PM »
Great AAR, although I would have loved at least ONE picture (unpainted or not) :)

Offline Hobby Services

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2070
Re: Boarding Action AAR
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 11:21:29 PM »
Great read.  You really ought to post this over on the Rogue Stars facebook group, I don't think many of their readers frequent LAF.

Offline vodkafan

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 3111
Re: Boarding Action AAR
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2018, 09:30:11 AM »
Glad you enjoyed Your first game of Rogue Stars.
I am going to build a wargames army, a big beautiful wargames army, and Mexico is going to pay for it.

2019 Painting Challenge :
figures bought: 500+
figures painted: 57
9 vehicles painted
4 terrain pieces scratchbuilt

Offline Raedwald

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 55
Re: Boarding Action AAR
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2018, 09:36:09 AM »
Thanks for comments all.

@Ockman - Sorry, I knew there would be some disappointment either way!

@Hobby Services - I'm afraid I'm part of that small minority of Earth's inhabitants not on Facebook. I've certainly got no objections if you wanted to share a link though. It would be good if more people got onto LAF.

While I've got some attention, perhaps someone can clarify a rules query for me? In this game I played the droid's Non-reactive trait as -3, as this fell in between the -4 stated in the reactions modifiers table (p.9) and the -2 stated in the trait description (p.50).

I've not seen this covered in any errata, does anyone know what it's supposed to be?

Offline Raedwald

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 55
Re: Boarding Action AAR
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2021, 05:04:58 PM »
Well, almost four years on, and I’m now the owner of some Battle Systems terrain. I’ve also taken a break from painting sci fi platoons in 2021 and painted up some individual figures that I like, including the outstanding Butterspinne crew. So, I’ve finally got a few photos for this post!

I’d hoped to insert the photos in the report above, but to do that you appear to have to import them from some external site or blog, so I’ve just had to attach them below instead.

Incidentally, if anyone’s been desperately awaiting the answer to the Nonreactive question: it’s meant to be -4 (confirmed online by Andrea Sfiligoi).

I did play a second game with the Butterspinnen. Hopefully I’ll get it written up with photos in 2022.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2021, 07:47:32 PM by Raedwald »

Offline Codsticker

  • Supporting Adventurer
  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • *
  • Posts: 2768
    • Kodsticklerburg: A Mordheim project
Re: [Rogue Stars] Boarding Action AAR
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2021, 05:27:24 AM »
Great looking game; your figures are very nicely painted.

Offline Hitman

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1960
Re: [Rogue Stars] Boarding Action AAR
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2021, 06:04:28 AM »
Thanks for a very entertaining AAR and pics. I bought the rules but have yet played any games. The terrain looks awesome. Where did you get it?
Regards,
Hitman
😎
Victory is guaranteed to the last man standing, but always remember those whom you stepped on to get there!!

Offline Raedwald

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 55
Re: [Rogue Stars] Boarding Action AAR
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2021, 10:38:47 PM »
Hello chaps, thank you both for the kind comments!

The piccies didn’t come out as clear as they are on my tablet. Probably due to my techno-illiteracy somehow.

I’m certainly a fan of these rules, although they don’t seem to have been positively received on the whole. I very rarely manage to play any games, but I had my third game of Rogue Stars just the other day (I’m now using them in combo with the 5 Parsecs from Home campaign rules - loving it), and once again RS produced an unpredictable and exciting story, while seeming to realistically simulate a quick flashpoint sort of action.

All of the cardboard terrain and the mat are from the Battle Systems ‘Gothic Core Set’. The bits behind the crew shot are the back of Microart Studio food booths, and the oil drums are from them too. The large crate was from the TT Combat landing pad set I think, and I got the wooden crates from Hovels Ltd a long time ago.

Thanks again,
Raedwald

 

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