Thursday, November 29, 2018

Traveller: Interstellar Wars, using Dirtside II in 15mm

Megz and I decided to try a little Dirtside II while visiting the Tri-State Gamers Day of Games in Springfield, PA this past 17th November. Megz had never played before (though is familiar with StarGrunt II) and I hadn't played in some 4 years - time to knock some rust off.


We were joined by Cliff B. and Gil (?), which was a pleasant development (They were enthralled by the GEV APCs and first thought it was a Hammer's Slammers game - why disappoint them?)

Imperials Advance
I have no idea why my camera is tinting blue.

This was another "Assault on Alpha Centauri" scenario, first taken from the old boardgame Imperium and answers the statement "You should only attack with 3 to 1 odds." with "Sometimes, you only have  2 to 1 odds and you hope to get lucky...". Happens in Imperium all the time.


(Picture note: my I*Phone was fussing, so the first picture turned out rather blue-ish. We switched to the MegzCam(TM) for the rest of the game.)



The Vilani make a key mistake...they bunch up.

The Imps weren't playing very clever, we were just trying to close to range. Bit of a mistake, really. The Terran mortars took out an artillery scout sled, and then sustained heavy missile fire and high velocity rounds from the light tanks (nicknamed "Terridens") destroying the Area Defense sled. Loss of the AD sled is always bad, as it protects the advance against missiles and mortar rounds. And so, the defeat begins...


The line is dressed,
and the advance may now continue...

Some good news; the artillery spotters were able to deploy a pair of mortars on the reverse of the ridge. The third mortar was still in the burning hover sled. Also, an attached Electronic Warfare sled set up jamming of the Terran communications.

Dirtside II doesn't have EW rules, so we ported them in from StarGrunt II. An active EW stand receive three chits, each can be spent to spot units, jam commo or spoof enemy guidance systems. The Imperial immediately began to jam the Terran artillery spotters requests for mortar fire. This blunted the Terran mortar fire, but did not entirely halt it.

The Terrans had very little capability to counter these EW attacks - Terran Tech lags behind Imperial, so their ECW assets aren't effective except in quantity, and there had been no room to land those expensive, and limited effective units.


The ConFed Marines would defend the giant
 drink cup facility, whatever the cost...
Terran Marine platoon, dug in on three low rises. The big building is some sort of infrastructure objective - maybe it refines and bottles water. It has to be strategically important for the Vilani to capture and not simply nuke.

The marines are supported by light, airmobile AIFVs and a pair of light tanks (with hi-velocity guns). There are mortar teams behind the crests of the rises, the squad leaders are acting as spotters - something the Vilani would never contemplate.

The near squad has lost their Chariot-class AIFV to the 44mm gun of the T. Area Defense sled. These small vehicles are light enough to drop into positions, but they have thin armour. All Terran Marine Jump Infantry vehicles are built on the same light chassis, easing logistics ever so slightly.



The view of the Vilani, humping over the ridge, from the Terran ConFed perspective. The Terran mortar teams are still being jammed, as the Command Post attempts to re-activate a mortar section to hit the Imps. This was another StarGrunt II rule we imported - a command unit may pass it's activation to a subordinate unit upon making a successful commo roll.

One thing we did not get on camera was an auto-cannon armed Chariot raced down the Vilani right flank and shot up several elements - Imperial mortar section and spotter section as well as the EW sled.  Megz is a lunatic, but the attack worked. Though the "Mad Chariot" was destroyed by the 22mm autocannons of an Imperial AIFV, with the loss of the Imperial EW team, and the supporting mortar, AND the squandered T43 ADA sled, the Vilani cancelled the assault.


The Vilani have second thoughts...

Post Game Thoughts:

Designing Interstellar Wars ground actions can be tricky, especially if you're trying to stay in Traveller Canon. The first few wars must have been a nightmare, with the Ziru Sirka/Vilani lobbing tactical nukes about like lawn darts. The Terran ConFed would need to keep very mobile, which would be somewhat difficult if they're dropping light troops from orbit - unless they're dropping directly onto targets the Imperials can't (or won't) nuke.

Ziru Sirka/Imperial scouts - these poor b@stards.  Light, open hover-sleds leaves them vulnerable to all kinds of artillery shenanigans. They might need their own Area Defence Artillery, also in a light, open hover-sled.

The Electronic Warfare sled was a lot of fun to play. Blocking unit activations makes up for a lot of a beating. In hindsight, we should have jammed both mortar sections and the command post. Live and learn.

Converting Traveller vehicle designs is, in itself, entertaining. Ken Pick has several excellent articles over at Freelance Traveller - highly recommended....Ω

Marines watch while a Chariot brews up.
Let's hope the crew got out.

5 comments:

Five Alpha said...

Awesome game, nice AAR, and I've been reading Ken's work too, I second the recommendation.

Skully said...

Great AAR, lots of tanks on the table!

kmfrye2001 said...

Thanks for the kind comments, lads!

Don M said...

Nice AAR, love the idea of using Dirtside, and Stargrunt, rules together, love all the vehicles on the table!

Simon Quinton said...

Nice report it looks great!