We played the "what's mine is mine" scenario, where you have 3 objectives and have to take and hold them, with points gained each turn. and extra points for taking an objective from an enemy. The 3 objectives in this scenario were the comm tower on the northern hill, the grey shipping container in the centre and the small green building to the south. The terrain was a rough valley with a colony outpost in the centre. Protolene forces had been detected landing on the planet, and the colonial militia were racing to intercept them at the remote Epsilon outpost.
|Table set-up. North towards the top.|
|Militia set up. Gruntz squads are mounted in the Bobcats|
|Protolene set up. One Gruntz squad is actually in the dropship, although the figures are still on the table. Protohounds and handler could infiltrate, so were deployed 18 inches forward.|
The first turn was mainly uneventful, with lots of manoeuvring into position. The colonists got into position to claim all three next turn objectives, but didn't have the actions to do so yet. The pirates moved up through cover. There were a few rounds of ineffectual fire on each side.
|End of turn 1|
|Militia disembark and take cover next to storage tank.|
|Colonists set up the mortar (guest starring a Sahadeen raider) in cover behind the hill, as the commander and medic move up.|
|Protolene pirate squad led by Rin-Tin-Tin and pirate commander, Brian.|
|End of colonists second turn.|
The Protolene responded in force, however. To the south the Gruntz squad around the southern objective was close assaulted by one of the pirate squads, then the proto hounds and handler pitched in too.
|Start of the close assault...|
"BARK BARK BARK CHOMP GNAW SCREAM GROWL"
|End of the close assault...|
The sounds of furious barking and screams echoed down the valley and the southern gruntz squad lost 5 men to the claws and jaws of the protolene and the protohounds....
To the north the dropship acted as spotter for the two grav tanks and they launched a salvo of missiles at the Gruntz contesting the centre objective and the northern gauss Gatling cannon:
|Seconds after the twin missile strikes.|
The lightly armoured Gruntz squad was devastated by the missile strike, and the bobcat and mech took some light splash damage. The dropship then opened fire on the damaged mech with it's particle beam and blew a glowing hole right through the chestplate and out the back.
At the end of the second turn the Colonists had lost one mecha and both Gruntz squads were combat ineffective. Reasoning that the pirates weren't going to hang around anyway, and 14 dead bodies was too high a price to pay, they elected to bug out and let the pirates ransack the outpost.
A couple of observations on the Gruntz rules. Firstly, I have to say that I really like Gruntz. It's fast paced, easy to learn and quick to pick up. The rulebook is laid out well, mostly, although the rules for indirect fire are located in three different places. We didn't use the optional overwatch rules - which might have helped the colonists had they been able to interrupt the charge and close assault to the south with the nearby gauss Gatling team.
We also didn't use the newer 1.1 version of the assault rules. The original version of the assault rules leave a lot to be desired, as you get no chance to counter attack until it's your turn. The 1.1 version are an improvement, but still not what I'd like to see. My personal opinion is that an assault test should be an opposed roll, with opportunity for the assaulted unit to attack back and defend themselves. I'm working on a revised set of assault rules to submit to Robin for potential inclusion in the 1.1 update as optional rules.
Finally, we also felt that the range bands were too short, and the penalty for extreme range too high. with most weapons having a 8-14 inch range, and -4 penalty for firing out to double range, it meant that you had to be more or less on top of your target to stand a chance of hitting them. It also meant that the missiles and mortar had a very small effective range band, as they can't fire within 1/2 of their range, and they get a -4 to hit at extreme range. We may implement a range band mechanic for the next game, whereby each increment of the range beyond the first applies a cumulative -2 penalty. This allows for longer ranges and less severe penalties.