Hold the Line!

After last week’s rather disastrous patrols, the 5150 rules instructed us to play out a “Defense” scenario as we were being attacked by the NPC rules.  This makes sense as the last scenario was basically our PC forces being all but eliminated by the OPFOR last time.

For this evening, Eli’s Star Army platoon is holding the outskirts of town against an attacking Hishen force of indeterminate size.Eli was not happy to be facing Grath

Turn 1:  Eli deployed in the town.  I rolled for the locations of three PEFs (Possible Enemy Forces) and strangely enough, I got one on the left side, one in the middle and one on the right side.  The left and middle PEFs were Rep 6 (they activate on a 6 or lower on the die roll) and the PEF out on the right flank was Rep 2, so he wasn’t likely to do much.  What you’re seeing in the above photo is partway into the first turn; the left flank has advanced out of the ruins into open ground where Eli can see it, so it resolved into a squad of Grath which is sorta my “special forces’ guys.  The walker in the center only represents the location of a PEF and I only used the model to mess with Eli.  Over on the right side, the Rep 2 PEF couldn’t activate because I rolled higher than a 2, so the force over there just drank Mountain Dew.

Now 5150: Star Army from Two Hour Wargames is based on THW’s Chain Reaction system, so when my Grath showed themselves, Eli’s Star Army reacted.  The reaction Eli rolled was predictable; they opened fire.  In reaction to that, the Grath opened fire.  I don’t remember how many exchanges of fire there were, but the photo below shows the outcome; the Grath squad leader was Obviously dead, one of the Grath’s two grenadiers was Out of the Fight, I believe Eli’s squad had some casualties also, but the reason you can’t see them in the windows of the buildings is that they were forced to Duck Back from the volume of fire received from the Grath.

Not very self explanatory

 Now, and aside note about the buildings in the photo above.  The two brown houses you see were made from cork tiles using plans I got a couple years ago from Matakishi’s Tea House.  About a year after I had made those two houses, Matakishi (an excellent guy and a tremendous modeler) put up a warning on his site: use cork flooring tiles, NOT cork wallboard tiles.  Matakishi lives in the UK and he says cork flooring tiles are inexpensive and easy to get.  I live in Atlanta, Georgia, USA where cork flooring can not be found except on the web, and there is is very expensive.  Mine were made from wallboard tiles and they are so fragile that they are not worth repairing.  When those buildings break, they are DONE.

Back to the game.  One thing of note was that the Grath grenadier who was killed was not shot by frontal fire.  Eli had some troops in a forward foxhole defending his center, and THEY noticed the Grath and opened fire and actually scored the kill.Look both ways before crossing the street

 The fight in the center went better for Eli.  The PEF moving forward there resolved to be a squad of Hishen regulars, and when Eli opened fire, one went immediately down and the rest scattered looking for cover.

Not the toughest bunch you’ll ever meet

Turn 2: Doubles are rolled.  I really like it when doubles are rolled in 5150 because that means a random event has happened.  Of course, in the patrol scenario, the random event was an artillery barrage that wiped out half my forces, but hey, what the heck?  This time we rolled and the random event was a Hishen spider hole with a couple of submachineguns on the Star Army flank.

Howdy, neighbor!

Turn 2: normal activation, can’t remember the die rolls.  My troops activated first and I remembered my mission parameters while I evaluated the situation.  I’m not running my own army, I’m controlling the Non-Player forces attacking Eli’s army.  The scenario objective is that Eli keep any of the attacking force from crossing the table and exiting his side of the battlefield.  So… I thought like a Hishen, and decided my Hishen would follow the advancing Grath using them as really nasty meat shields.Grath meat shields

Eli shot, I shot back and I seem to recall one or two of the Star Army taking wounds.  Eli’s medic was in superheroine mode by now patching things up.  Somewhere in here the whole Grath squad got shot Out of the Fight, which left the Hishen to plan B.

Over on the opposite flank, Eli fired something nasty, can’t remember if it was a grenade launcher or a rocket launcher, at the spider hole.  Unfortunately it missed or the photo would have been more interesting.#$#%$! I missed!

Meanwhile, my Rep 2 PEF still just sat there in the crunchberry trees.

This next photo is blurry because everybody is running.  The spider hole got to activate and the mission parameters seemed clear:  Get somebody off Eli’s table edge.  So, the Hishen attempted to fast move right off the table for a rather slimy victory.  The problem is that the Star Army had a BUNCH of guys over there just waiting for a target.Run, Forrest, run!!!

The net result was that Eli’s guys shot a whole bunch and the Hishen actually ran back into the protection of the spider hole, where they hid like Hishen tend to do.

Next Turn (see?  I’ve lost track): Doubles are rolled again.  Like I said, I like rolling doubles because it adds the unpredictable into the game.  The other reason I like doubles is that the bad things seem to always happen to Eli and not me.  In this case, another spider hole popped up in front of the Star Army platoon command element, which also happened to be right in front of where the SA second squad was moving to support the SA right flank.Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

The SA center squad opened up from point blank range and… missed.  The Hishen opened up with two SMGs and killed a SAW gunner.Hit by the golden beebee

Meanwhile, over on the right flank, the Hishen once again tried to sprint out from the spider hole to the table edge and victory.  This time, the Star Army did not miss.  Two Obviously Dead.Kills Bugs Dead

The center of the table saw more gunfire exchanged.  Finally one of the Hishen was wounded and the other one did what a Hishen does in that situation: he ran away.He bravely ran away, he did…

Turn 4 or 5?: A momentous occasion.  I rolled a 1 for activation and Eli rolled a 6.  That meant that Eli would not be activating this turn.  More importantly, my lowly Rep 2 PEF in the cruchberry trees WOULD be activating.  So it did.  It split into two PEFs, and the new PEF was Rep 6, which meant it would be very shortly getting into the fight.  I interpreted the rules (possibly incorrectly) which said “splits into two PEFs” as each would move 8″ so they’re not on top of each other.  The eight inch move put them in sight of Eli’s left flank squad.  The original PEF resolved to be my second Hishen squad, but the new PEF had to be resolved into something, so I rolled on the reinforcement table and the result was one squad, no support.  So I told Eli that I’d roll one die, on a 1-4 it was Hishen and on a 5-6 it was more Grath.  I rolled a five, Eli winced, I held back laughter.More Grath…

Eli shot in reaction to seeing the Grath, and for the first time all game, Eli’s grenade launcher hit something.  I haven’t mentioned it at all, but Eli must have missed with the grenade launcher about ten times so far.  This time, BOOM.Big gun go BOOM!

Now it was time for a new activation, but the store was getting close to closing, we were both tired and Eli’s forces were REALLY out of position to repel this new squad of Hishen and half squad of Grath.  Eli declared it a loss for him, I’m declaring it a rainout.

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4 thoughts on “Hold the Line!

  1. I could not hit the broadside of a blackhole with my grenade launcher. I rolled “one” six times with all three grenade launchers.

  2. Looks like a great game! I’m always impressed when random events turn into very fun, playable things like spider holes, etc.

    What figures were you using for Star Army, Hishen and Grath?

  3. Sounds like a good game. I don’t know what it is with grenade and missile launchers, they just seem to attract 1’s. We’ve had games where they fire every turn and hit absolutely nothing.

  4. Star Army figures are old RAFM Starfleet figures, the Grath are old Warzone Sons of Rasputin and the Hishen are Martians from Flying Frog. The game was a lot of fun and moved pretty quickly.

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