Monday, July 25, 2011

New Siberia!

Hello again!

Here are some snaps and a quick run-down of our last playtest of "Ground Wars: Future Skirmish!". Having a large collection of AT-43 figures, I did not want to see them collect dust, so I co-opted them for a playtest. The Red Blok troops became RSSP (Republic of Soviet Socialist Planets) men, and the Therians became members of the Cybernetic Collective (CC), two example factions that will be included in the rules.

In this scenario, the CC - ever hungry for material resources - launches an assault on an RSSP mining facility on the ice planet of New Siberia. After an orbital first strike that destroyed much of the RSSP's facility (but left the mining operations intact), the CC dropped its troops nearby. The RSSP, caught by surprise, is left to scramble its defenses into position.

The CC troops are tough, with even the lowliest being hard to take down. The RSSP must use its men to hold off the CC's assault long enough for them to get their harding hitting assets into place. Helping them is a frozen river between them and the CC, one that may not support the heavy CC troops as they cross. The CC must get to the mining operations and capture or kill the techs before they can terminate the system running the operations, thereby denying their immediate use to the CC.

Some initial deployment shots from opposite corners of the table. We played on a 6'x7.5' surface. The destroyed buildings are by Battleworks Studios - a great team that makes excellent scenery. The mining facility is made up of pre-painted scenery from Tablescape. The surface is a piece of white felt, with a thinner piece of the white "snow cloth" you can get around Christmas time at the craft stores. It is very thin, which allows for the frozen look of the river (which was placed between the felt and the snow cloth). All the figures, vehicles, and ice crystals are from the now defunct AT-43 line. Everything except the figures was liberally dusted with Woodland Scenics "snow" to give it that snow planet feel.

The CC assault well and ready underway! Heavy Legionnaires assault the RSSP infantry holed up in their ruined command center.

A view from inside the command center. These guys are not long for this world...

The assault develops! The CC walker in the foreground has taken three hits, and can only sustain one more before being destroyed. Part of the damage was incurred by crashing through the ice on the frozen river!

The CC, not impressed by high casualties, continue to press on the mining facility. The battlesuit in the shot will turn out to be pivotal in the defense. I'm sure its pilot earned himself a "Hero of the RSSP" star after the battle!

The situation becomes desparate for the RSSP infantry in the lead building. Overwhelmed by superior numbers of superior quality CC troops, they were mowed down in droves.

The scarey (and goofily named) "Death Balls" continue their rush through the RSSP forces. Originally intent on assaulting the RSSP infantry, at some point their commander decided they would be better used by rushing the technicians at the mining facility.

Battlesuit versus Death Balls!

The Death Balls won.

The RSSP managed to squeak out a victory, in spite of what appeared to be overwhelming odds. When they finally got their heavier assets into the battle (three walkers and three battlesuits), things started to tip in their favor. Combined with a sniper one-shotting the CC commander (which seriously impacted the CC's ability to command its troops), eventually the CC assault fizzled out and the RSSP techs were able to shut down operations in time.

This was truly an epic battle! We will certainly be revisiting these forces in the future for more GWFS fun!

Our next playtest of the rules (this coming Sunday), will feature a bank heist in a contemporary US town. By playtesting across different technology levels, I can better determine what's missing and what needs fixing in the rules prior to wrapping them up for publication.


The Gang! Here they are at one of their favorite morning activities - bird watching out the front door. :)


- Rod

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