Recently I played a game of Stargrave, the sci-fi skirmishing game by Osprey Publishing. This time I played a proper crew vs. crew game in a scenario from the main rulebook called 'Overgrown Factory'. Two rival crews attempt to pillage an old overgrown factory in the midst of the jungle, risking both the local wildlife, still active and dangerous bits of machinery and a fully armed and operational warbot that'll enter the game shooting at some point. Sure sounds like a recipe for
disaster fun. here's our game setup.
|I've always dreamed of having a cool table to play miniatures games on. This one manages to fulfil that dream quite nicely. |
|The crane and tractors set by GW (Sector Mechanicus Galvanic Servohaulers is the official name) is one of the better sets of scatter terrain they've put out in recent years. I'm quite happy to have picked up a set as they really make any sci-fi themed table pop.|
I created my crew around a biomorph captain, using one of Die Hard Miniatures' Twisted Sisters as the model. She is an escaped lab experiment with a toxic claw, the ability to form armor plates and (I suspect) a rather nasty temper. Her number two is a mystic with a Dark Energy bolt as his main power. I rounded the team out with a hacker, a safecracker and a few shooty people (the other Twisted Sister, a Dark Eldar Archon and a commissar with a flamer) and cannon fodder (runners represented by Mechanicum troops).
|These generators are an MDF set by TTCombat they make for nice terrain at a good price. Another pair (not mine) featured in my recent Bolt Action battle report. I also highly recommend these if you're starting out on a sci-fi table.|
My opponent brought a freshly build Ash Waste Crew from the new GW Necromunda line. Those models are quite interesting. It's taking a lot of self-control not to buy myself one of those warbands in a box. I forgot to write down the details from the crew, but one of the captain's main powers was a holographic wall that makes it impossible to draw a line of sight. We marked it on the battlefield using a 'wall' of green dice. Our objectives were big equipment crates (the blue and yellow cylinders you see on the table) and data terminals (represented by data terminals from the Necromunda game). After a first turn of manouvering our crews for advantage the warbot entered the scene.
|Its funny how a stack of dice can bring such a big grin to my face.|
|Seeing this chock-full 2x2 table makes me wonder how much fun it could be to play a full scale wargame in heavy terrain. I'll add that ambition to the bucket list :).|
Meanwhile as my team took position on the top of the rickety walkway, my opponent's captain entered the height on his side walking towards the cargo there while stylishly igniting a light saber. At the bottom of the construction, the main part of my crew approached a centrally placed equipment crate. My captain suffered a hail of deadly gunfire, almost getting killed in the proces. Luckily her regeneration ability worked, slightly alleviating the damage.
|One of the fun things about Stargrave is that I get to pull out a lot of one-off miniatures from the display case and slap them on the table.|
My hacker got to the top terminal and (after a failed attempt) managed to get the data. Time for a hasty retreat. After a quick risk assessment he jumped down. That caused a lot of damage, but most likely less than getting shot at would've done.
|I suspect the miniature representing my bloody useless safecracker was the oldest model on the table, none other than Inquisitor Obiwan Sherlock Clousseau. Come to think of it, perhaps he was only posing as a safecracker, best check our gunboat for bugs...|
|The fallen data terminal of to the left signifies a hacker has succeeded in cracking it. The fact that it's still lying there signifies the warbot has reduced the hacker in question to little blobs of meat.|
As time progressed, the skirmish got a lot bloodier (more shots fired in anger from both sides as they were fleeing for a table edge). At that point we realized we read the rules wrong for the warbot. It turned out it could move a lot more then we thought. That was very bad news for my team as it moved into a more advantageous firing position (it started rounding the holographic wall).
|You could argue the scale of the crates is a bit over the top, but if you knew how much speed you lose carrying one in game, you wouldn't.|
With a killer robot coming our way, we left a few opportunities for loot behind, but the central equipment case was cracked so we couldn't leave that! That's against the pirate's code and all that. My flamer wielding trooper almost got killed by a roaming plague zombie. Luckily my mystic killed it with a Dark Energy bolt before it could strike and potentially infect my crew member.
|Make no mistake about the facing of the models, they are all fleeing towards the table edge before the holographic wall fails.|
In the end I had more crew members jumping from the platform in their haste to reach the table's edge. Most of my people managed to get away, except for two runners that were gunned down by my opponent. He, in turn, lost almost half his crew, most of them due to withering fire by the warbot.
|I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more warbots!|
I couldn't resist sending him this final picture from the display case with the words: 'Shall we field three warbots next time?" I'll spare you the reply, but there will most definitively be a next time. Stargrave is a very fun and easy to play skirmish game that gives plenty of excuses to get your old sci-fi scenery out of storage and on the table. As a certain other sci-fi wargame (let's not name names) has dropped the ball for the past few years (edition after edition) when it comes to fun gameplay, it feels like breath of fresh air to have actual fun playin in a pew-pew setting. Now if only I had taken pictures during a recent trial run of A Billion Suns I could've had all four of Osprey's main titles on the blog (Gaslands, Frostgrave, Stargrave and A Billion Suns). Don't worry I'll get to the starship battle game at a later date :).