Sunday, September 28, 2014

Gruntz Batrep - Rear guard action

This report is from a game Nick and I played a week ago.  Both of us were a little rusty, but the rules came back pretty quickly.

The Lt didn't like how this briefing was going.  By the look on his face, neither did Capt Al Tharki.  Things had been going great.  They'd fought the United Nebula Space Command (UNSC) peace keepers and pushed them back.  The Federation's own recon units were in other areas so they had been fighting mercenaries of one unit or another and more than holding their own.

The abandoned base.  Only the scouts and snipers are in residence.

Now the UNSC had brought in more troops.  They were making a major offensive in this sector and the 47th Infiltration Bn was going to serve as the rear guard, delay and harass.  That was normally a standard mission but there was a lot to worry about.  Intel said the UNSC didn't have any air.  That was good because the 47th had lost its AAA vehicles in an ambush the week before.  Lt Badani also didn't like the fact that there was almost 100 km of ground to cover before they could turn the fight over to the heavy line units.

The Brigade Ops officer promised him a platoon of tanks and priority air support.  Badani's platoon would be setting up in a recently abandoned base.  They just had to delay the enemy recon units, give them a bloody nose, then fall back to the next position.  Again, a standard mission.  Badani didn't know why he was so apprehensive this time around.

Things started to go wrong from the start.  Badani's APCs were delayed trying to get to the base.  His scouts reported that the enemy was in site at the same time he spotted the buildings.  Badani gave the order to rush forward and get his units into cover.  As his driver floored the electric drive, Badani's threat receiver reported two airborne bogies inbound.  They were coming from the enemy lines and didn't respond to IFF.

The sniper team.  They are actually inside the building.
Badani made the call to higher, asking for his air support.  His heart sank as he was told that all friendly air had been diverted to attack a breakthrough in the sector of the 184th Infiltration Bn.  His heart hit his boots when he pulled up beside the tank guarding the road through the base.  His line of site (LOS) laser link brought up the tank commander, a Cpl, who reported that his platoon leader was dead and the other three tanks were destroyed or broken down.  No air support, enemy air inbound and only one of the four tanks he was supposed to have.

The enemy tank.
The tank roared to life and fired a bolt of plasma down the road, sending sparks and flame rising from one of two wheeled tanks opposite.  Badani ordered his APC forward towards the buildings where his scouts and a heavy MG were positioned.  His heart finally rose a little bit when his sensors picked up a Sand Viper scout mech approaching from the rear.

The tank, the Viper and Badani's squad moved up the center.  The Lion scout car and the 3rd squad raced towards the right flank, where there was a fortified gate and tower, while the 1st squad moved into a forest on the left flank.  The sniper team was dug in like ticks on a hill, left of center.  From there they engaged an infantry squad and a heavy laser team, dropping enemy infantry with every shot.

3rd Squad and their APC burn.  The Lion lasted one more turn.
The air arrived, two small one man scout/strike craft.  The one on his right flank swooped in and blew up 3rd Squad inside their APC.  No one made it out.  Badani pushed forward and he and his infantry moved into the barracks facing the road and the square.  The tank and the Viper exchanged fire with the two enemy tanks while the enemy APCs moved forward and dropped their own infantry in cover.
The burning tank.  The Viper would follow soon.
Badani was tied into the base's instruments and saw three tuna boats (large APCs), two tanks and five anti-infantry drones, in addition to the two VTOLs.  Things were not looking good.  He was supervising the positioning of his men when he heard the tank outside brew up.  That left him with no armor and two enemy tanks bearing down on him.  This mission was going bad fast.

1st Squad in the woods while their APC burns behind them.
1st Squad had exited their vehicle when they heard the news of 3rd squad's fiery death.  The APC and the infantry all engaged the enemy flyer, damaging it but not slowing it down.  The flyer on the left flank traded blows with 1st Squad's APC while the VTOL on the right flank took out the Lion scout car, then swung around and finished off the tank.
My thoughts on the flyers.  They killed every single one of my vehicles and I had nothing to answer them with.
1st Squad's APC brewed up and the infantry was left with no target as the VTOL raced for the main road.  The Viper managed to kill one of the VTOLs before it was destroyed by missiles and gatling guns.  The two tanks rolled forward, followed by a pair of UNSC APCs.  Badani's missile team engaged and destroyed both tanks in the square.

Just imagine flames and cheers from the infantry on the left.
From his position in the center of the base Badani could see that the fight was all but over.  His sniper team had finally died to an enemy missile.  His scouts and HMG had been killed by APCs and an infantry assault.  His vehicles were all gone and the enemy had him surrounded.  He ordered the 1st Squad to break out through the forest while he and 2nd Squad held the enemy for as long as they could.

In the end, Lt Badani's death slowed the enemy thrust on this axis for a critical 24 hours.  The enemy infantry was largely intact but their remaining vehicles had been savaged and their air scouts were either dead or back at base being repaired.

Nick had some good dice, nicely complimented by my just sub-average rolls.  The real tipping point was his air.  my ground forces were doing a good job of holding him up but his air units just tore me apart.  I think the APCs are going to need a software update to help them deal with enemy aircraft.

This was a fun game.  I'll need to change my list a bit.  Infantry are great when they are dug in but are much less useful in most other situations.  Nick had a heck of a time digging my grunts out of their barracks fortress.  They finished off the two tanks, killed one of the drones and had an APC and two more drones damaged.


  1. Cool report. Re: the lack of AA cover, your picture truly speaks a thousand words!

  2. It was mildly frustrating. I was actually OK with it since that's what happens when you run around without a way to deal with one of your opponent's weapon systems. It's one of the things the rules model pretty well.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks! It's really much better to play on than it used to be.


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