The forces of the evil Galactic Empire have deployed their winter weather thunder troopers to the ice world of Thoth. In a lightning strike they managed to take control of the enemies’ anti-aircraft unit and hold the troopers of the native forces as hostages. However, the natives have mobilized to mount a rescue mission.
This will be the first run through I have done with the Rampant Galaxies rules since writing them. I made up some templates and armies and got ready to rumble.
Thundertroopers of the Evil Galactic Empire
3 Terror Trooper Infantry- 18 points
Infantry- Counter-measures, armored, Elite
2 Big Walkers- 16 points
Vehicles- Pursue, Armored, Transport, Walkers
2 Chicken Walkers- 14 Points
Vehicles- Pursue, Walker, Armored
Armored Task Force
2 Infantry- 6 points
2 Tanks- 18 points
Vehicles- Pursue, Armored, Armor Piercing, Tracked
2 APC- 12 points
Vehicles- Pursue, Tracked, Transport
2 IFVs- 14 Points
Vehicles- Pursue, Tracked, Armored
Points= 50 Points
The attacker sets-up the terrain per the guidelines. The defender places one unit in the approximate center of the board. Place a single “NPC” model with the unit. In this case it will be the anti-aircraft unit of the armored company. The defender deploys the rest of their force on any one board edge of their choice with one model touching the edge. The Attackers can deploy on any other board edge touching the edge as well.
The attackers must secure the NPC. They can take the NPC by eliminating the Unit accompanying it with shooting or assault and then moving the NPC into their Zone of Control. The unit with the NPC may not leave the board and if they retreat/rout the NPC is left behind. The NPC can be passed off between enemy units this way many times. The attacker must then try to move the NPC off the board. The game last 8 turns, one hour, or until one side is destroyed/routed. If the attackers have moved the NPC off the board, they win.
I am not using any complications this battle.
Outdoor, Snow world
You are fighting outdoors on a snow world. It is covered in snowdrifts, barren rocks, and frozen ponds. The terrain could be sand, snow, or worse! Moving up and over dunes /hills is considered difficult terrain.
The board had a ridge on one side and a river on the other. The river flowed between two large hills. All hills and the river are rough terrain. In the center of the board is the captured AA unit being escorted by a squad of Thunder Trooper infantry.
On one side comes the planetary defense forces. On the left flank is two APCs with troopers escorted by a tank. The IFVs are next and then another tank is the far flank. The Thundertroopers are the two heavy walkers in the center with troops onboard, while the chicken walkers are on both flanks. The Thunder Troopers are the defenders with the armored column being the attackers.
First, we allocated command points to the units. The armored column are spreading one across all the vehicle units and 3 to one of the tanks. The Imperial troops are taking two each, except the escort infantry only take 1.
Both sides move forward, with many units using their Command Points for extra movement. However, the Thunder Troopers on guard duty use their command point to use counter-measures as they are expecting to get lit up by the enemy vehicles.
Now, we add command tokens again. The Thunder Troopers took two on the infantry guard unit, two on the heavy walkers, and the chicken walker closest to the river took one. The armored column had the left tank take 1, the IFVs take 2, and the final tank took 3.
The armies move forward. The Thunder Troopers deploy from there Heavy Walkers and prepare to engage the enemy.
The enemy IFV does target infantry on guard duty at long range and behind soft cover, plus they have counter-measures engaged. It would take 4 hits to eliminate the unit, however the IFV uses a Command Point to provide an extra firepower dice. The roll is 5 hits, so the infantry unit loses 1 morale.
The rest of the units exchange fire but fail to cause injury due to range, terrain, and armor.
The Infantry unit passes their morale test and stays in the fight.
We start the turn by distributing Command Points.
The Thunder Troopers begin to withdraw the hostage unit and form a wall to protect the withdrawal. The armored company has no choice but to follow them into the valley. The APCs deploy their infantry in cover. However, the flanking tank has gotten around the hill. The Thunder Trooper infantry deploy Counter-measures.
A sharp exchange of close range firepower leaves an IFV and a Heavy Walker smoking. Both units are forced to retreat.
We start by distributing command points. The retreating infantry unit takes as many a sthey can carry to hoof it out with their hostages. On the other side, the armored vehicles get ready to try to force the gap the heavy walk has left open.
An IFV shoots the gap and engages the fleeing Thunder Troopers in a fire fight. The flank tank is held up in a close range firefight with a rallied heavy walker. In addition, Thunder Trooper infantry bravely charge in against a battle tank and an APC to slow them up. The chicken walker on the ridge comes down with flanking fire on the armored companies’ infantry. Finally, the last Heavy Walker and Chicken walker turn to try and use combined fire on an oncoming APC.
The APC and the Heavy Walker and Chicken Walker exchange fire. The Chicken Walker is down 1, and the APC loses two. The Chicken Walker comes down the ridge and opens fire on the infantry with enfilade fire. One of the infantry units is destroyed in the attack.
The IFV attack on the guarding infantry is successful and they are completely scattered and no-longer effective. The IFV is now in control of the hostages. Other firefights see another rThunder Trooper infantry unit get wiped out, and the third reduced to 2 Morale. The rest of the armored forces also take limited damage.
The Thunder Trooper Heavy Walker flees the firefight with the tank. Meanwhile, the other armored tanks falls back from the Thunder Trooper infantry.
Both sides lost some units, so their command points will need to be reduced.
The Armored Company IFV escorts the Anti-aircraft battery with them away from the firefight with an APC supporting, and the flanking tank providing cover fire. The last APC and Infantry unit charge into the Thunder Trooper infantry.
Shooting from a Chicken Walker scatters the IFV that was on the retreat. However, the other tanks takes a barrage of fire from the Heavy Walker and the rampaging Chicken Walker and is unharmed. The last Thunder Trooper infantry damages the APC and enemy infantry, but is scattered in the process.
With that, the Thunder Troopers decided to call it a day. They were not in a position to recover the hostage unit and they were no longer in a position to do so by the end of the turn 8. As the sun set on the battlefield, they withdrew into the night as the Armored Forces recovered and turned around.
Here was the big question that I wanted to answer today. Does this feel different enough from Rampant Stars or Rampant Sun to be a stand alone game? The answer is a resounding yes! The command points really change the nature of the game from the other two systems and makes you have to think at a different, higher level.
The unit interactions are completely different. This is partly due to the turn sequence where firing comes before moving. This actually took me a while to wrap my head around and I kept wanting to do it wrong. Heck, I might have any way a few times. Plus, the way certain units got to move before others forced you to think about the flow of the battle different than my other games, but closest to Rampant Hordes.
I recommend playing with off-table tracking and bases being removed as morale is reduced. However, that is all cosmetic. The core mechanics worked well.