Yeah Magazine #10

Outpost Gamma – A GrogHeads AAR, part 2

The legionnaires are far from home, and facing impossible odds.  Again. ~

Michael Eckenfels, 19 July 2017

AAR: PART 2

We’re playing the first scenario, “The Last Outpost.” There are 12 turns in this scenario, and each turn is divided into ten phases. The object is for the Legionnaires to be the last side to occupy at least three mesa-top hexes, and/or destroy all Irdan attackers. The Irdans win if they destroy all the Legionnaires, and/or clear all mesa-top hexes of them. If neither of these occur, the game ends in a draw.

Each turn’s phases are:

  1. Energy Storm Phase
  2. Disruption Fire Phase
  3. Irdan Movement Phase
  4. Irdan Combat Phase
  5. Irdan Stun Recovery Phase
  6. Imperial/Miner Movement Phase
  7. Imperial/Miner Combat Phase
  8. Remove Disruption Markers
  9. Imperial Legionnaire Stun Recovery Phase
  10. End of Game Turn

I mention all of this to give you a feel for how the game flows.

Now, back to the action.

(1) ENERGY STORM PHASE

The Legionnaires peer out into the hazy distance, seeing the Irdans coming on – riled, arms raised in defiance, weapons glinting in the dull, steel sunlight.

MetalDog’s Commander suit utilized advanced optics, mainly for combat, but they could also see with more detail. He sighed with relief – there were no storms coming for the next few minutes. He’d been afraid of the Irdans using storms as cover, since they don’t seem to bother the natives at all, but play utter holy hell on their power suits and completely nullify their firepower.

 

(2) DISRUPTION FIRE PHASE

Since there are no Irdans on the map yet, the Legionnaires cannot fire during this phase.

(3) IRDAN MOVEMENT PHASE

Troopers SilentDisapprovalRobot (SDR) and mirth calmly post a warning: mobs approaching. MetalDog quickly spoke up: “Fire when they’re in range.”

 The Irdans were coming, seeking Legionnaire blood. Outpost Gamma was the last stronghold on Irda, and sensing victory, the natives felt if they could massacre these elite Terran soldiers to the last man, that the Hegemony might finally leave them be.

 

T1 – Irdan Mvmt Ph

“Sound off,” said MetalDog. “Give me numbers.”

“Ahh…” started mirth, with a shade of hesitation. “Looks like fifty from the north.”

“Same here,” reported SDR.

MetalDog used his optics; he could see the crowd of Irdans, a ragged line to the north and south, approaching steadily but without discipline. He saw the dust in the air behind them; there was obviously a lot more than just a hundred natives gunning for them. Those were big numbers as it were, but had they decided to stack themselves up and rush in as one huge crowd – it would be game over.

 

(4) IRDAN COMBAT PHASE

All of the Irdans coming out this turn are melee only; they only have a few select ‘shooter’ units, and it’s pretty obvious they’re holding them back for a push later. For now, this phase is over.

 

(5) IRDAN STUN RECOVERY PHASE

There’s no Irdan casualties yet, so again, we skip this phase.

 

(6) IMPERIAL/MINER MOVEMENT PHASE

“Hold tight,” ordered MetalDog.

“Aww,” said Trooper Staggerwing, “aren’t we gonna go out and play? Looks like they got a welcoming committee for us and everything…”

“Negative, Stags,” replied MetalDog. “This is just the tip of the native iceberg. Stay where you are and choose your targets carefully once they’re in range.”

MetalDog hoped that if they dropped a lot of them in this first wave, they’d maybe give up – but if they’ve already overrun all the other Outposts, it might mean they’d fight to the last native alive.

 

(7) IMPERIAL/MINER COMBAT PHASE

T1 7a Imp Fire Ph

In the north, Troopers mirth and Barthheart had a bead on no less than six of the incoming Irdans.

T1 7b Imp Fire Ph

In the south, SDR could hit any of the Irdans, while Staggerwing could hit two and Gusington could hit one. MetalDog’s weapons were shorter range, so all he could do is watch as the Legionnaires began picking out targets and opening fire.

 

 

In the northernmost point of the Outpost, Troopers mirth and Barthheart knew concentrating their fire on single Irdan units (each Irdan counter represents five natives), they’d be virtually guaranteed a kill. However, if they picked individual targets, the chance of a kill would drop off significantly. With this being the leading edge of a full-on horde attack, they decided to take their chances and fire on separate units, hoping for the best.

 

 

Mirth opens up on the natives directly to their north. To conduct combat, the defense strength of the Irdan units (in their cases, 4) is subtracted from the attack strength of their attacker (in this case, 6). The result is 2 (6 – 4 = 2).

Rolling the die, I get a…

Cross referencing the die roll of 5 with the Combat Differential of 2, mirth has fried his target.

 

Barthheart takes aim and has the same Combat Differential. For him, I roll a… 

Not as good as mirth, but Barth manages to Stun his target (just barely!). That Irdan unit will come back to its senses during the Irdan Stun Recovery Phase.

Hearing mirth whoop it up after frying five natives was both a reassuring and troubling thought; there was just something wrong about slaughtering natives with high-powered weapons, but MetalDog shook the thought from his mind. After all, he had few doubts about what those same natives would have done to him or any one of his troopers with one of those mining rods.

 

 

As Barthheart called out stunning his target, MetalDog turned to look south.

 

 

SDR aims his Swerdna Model M long-range energy rifle grenade launcher and lobs an S-7 para-sonic disruption grenade at his target, while Staggerwing and Gusington each aim at their own targets.

Note: I could not find an instance in the rules that states you have to attack ALL targets in a stack, except in Close Combat. Without going down a rabbit hole discussing the rules, I’m just going to make the call that you CAN target individual units out of a stack in fire combat, but you CANNOT do that in close combat. Capeesh?

Another thing that’s confusing is the mention in the ‘background’ text that the Heavy Weapons troopers are only armed with stun grenades. This is NOT mentioned in the rules anywhere; not specifically, anyway. They’re mentioned in the Disruption Fire Phase, but not in the ‘normal’ Imperial/Miner Fire Combat Phase. That’s a rather important distinction; the Heavy Weapon troopers have a range of 10, as opposed to 6 for the regular troopers (and 4 for the commander), but there’s only two of them. That is a big advantage to give them lethal firepower, but there are so many damned Irdan units (88 counters, and that’s just counting their melee units), not to mention the storms, and the fact that these guys will be able to be adjacent to a few troopers within a turn or two…

Since it’s not in the rules specifically, I’m going to call an audible here.

 

MetalDog clicked over to the all-team channel. “Listen up. Troopers, fire on the closest Irdans. Heavies, put your stun grenades on their flanks-“

“Yeah, about that, sir,” said SDR. “We…might have packed a few lethals with us.”

Bob48 spoke up quickly. “Mate, it was more’n a few, innit?”

MetalDog hesitated a heartbeat before responding. “Against orders, you packed lethal hardware.”

“Y’know, sir, in case the situation got all, well, fluid-like, eh?” said bob48.

“Totally flexible, that’s us.”

“Jesus Copernicus, troopers,” said MetalDog in exasperation. He felt more relief than actual consternation towards them. “Fine. Use ‘em. We’ll talk after.”

“If there’s an after,” muttered someone, too low on the comm channel to ID.

 

 

So, I make three combat rolls, applying them left to right…

 …  … 

Another glorious day in the Corps! The result is two fried Irdan units and one Stunned one.

 

 

 

That’s all the fire combat the Legionnaires can conduct for now.

 

(8) REMOVE DISRUPTION MARKERS

There are no Disruption markers on the map right now, so we skip this step.

 

(9) IMPERIAL LEGIONNAIRE STUN RECOVERY PHASE

Same here; nobody’s Stunned, so there’s nothing to do here. Move along.

 

(10) END OF GAME TURN

That’s it for the first turn – twenty Irdan melee units entered the field; three have been fried and two others stunned. That’s still 75% of the Irdan units untouched…and more will enter during the next turn.

 


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