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Sunday 4 November 2012

Playtesting Fubar Sci-fi

Yesterday, we got our old Stargrunt 2 figures out to give Fubar a try.
SG2, like Full Thrust, had lost its appeal to us a long while ago, due to:

SG2: The system which allows good troops to sit an inch out of range of poorer troops and pound them to oblivion without any chance of their victims shooting back! - this sort of thing made the game very prone to gamesmanship. Its quite a complex system too!

FT: We used to love this game, but we found the optimal way to use any fleet, and defeat any opponent, which made the games predictable and rather dull. A real case of familiarity breeding contempt. Sad.

So we have given Fubar a try....


The planet of Resykilbin is on the border of ESU (Eurasian Solar Union) space. An NSL (Neu Swabian League) fleet has driven off the small covering ESU fleet from orbit, and landed an armoured assault unit to try to take the ESU military base on the Northern continent.

The terrain is desert, broken only by rocky ridges, and outgrowths of the ubiquitous Orchidia Stellarium, providing colour to the otherwise bland terrain.

Both forces took up position....

I had 2 platoons of Eurasian Solar Union naval infantry.
Lawrence, on my left had another platoon, backed up by 3 armoured cars. 
 Ian, opposite me, had a platoon of Leopard 2, sorry, futuristic heavy tanks.
 ..These were backed up by a section of Power Armour and a platoon of Neu Swabian League infantry in Armoured Personel Carriers.
 On Ian's right, Gareth had another platoon in carriers and another PA section, supported by another of Ian's heavy tanks.
 As the game began, Ian began a long string of dismal rolls to activate his units! - a single tank rolled forward to engage the ESU! (We put little white dice behind activated units, and little green dice by inactive 'On Guard' units which failed their activation rolls)
 Gareth had more luck, getting a tank, APC and PA (Power armour) section going.
 This left a good 70% of the NSL twiddling their thumbs!
 The story was different on the ESU side, 70% of their units activating.
 Things were looking organised, if the NSL couldnt move, we could seize advantageous forward positions the defend against the massed NSL armour.
 As the turns progressed, however, my co-ordinated attack broke up into 3 distinct lines.
 Fortunately, it was 2 PA sections and most of a good quality infantry section which moved most quickly.
 The NSL facing me only had 2 heavy tanks and a PA section on the move facing me.
 Back on the start line, the NSL main body was biding its time...
 Lawrence, on my left, was doing best, keeping most of his troops together.
 Finally, some of the NSL infantry under Ian's command, decided to advance!
 My forward units, by this time, were almost half way along the table!
Lawrence decided to slow and allow a defensive line to develop. 
 He had seen Gareth's force moving as a group to engage him.
 Ian's force was probing forward slowly.
 ..led by a well activated PA unit.
 ..and a tank!
(an overview of the ESU forces at this stage) 
 (a view of the forward NSL positions at this stage)
 ..and those further back.
 My infantry moved into cover to engage the advancing NSL armour. 
 The activation system seemed determined to keep my anti-tank groups out of the fight!
 Lawrence's forces were finally coalescing!
 Gareth was at the final hill facing the ESU front line.
 Ian was still trying to advance his infantry.
 I was first across the half-way line!
 My PA saw Ian's tank lurking in a bush, and in range! My first missile shot bounced off!
 Lawrence still didnt have enough men together to engage.
 Ian managed to get a second tank in range of my PA troopers.
 Their fire was inneffective however...my second missile destroyed the first tanks weapons before my men withdrew behind the hill, Job done!
 Seeing Lawrence's men holding back, Gareth pushed his men forward to a hill on my flank.
Getting the activation rolls he needed, I was soon under fire from 2 APC, a PA section and a dismounted NSL infantry section.
My flank unit was quickly suppressed, and their return missile bounced off an APC. 
  A heavy tank joined in and fired.
 My missile armed half section was atomised!
 At this point we ran out of time (The game was too big, and we had started too far apart!)

Had it continued, my men would (hopefully) got into the cover of the hills and bushes and fired back at the NSL armour, supported by Lawrence's men, but this would have only led to a stalemate, so a draw was decided on.

In the post game discussion, most of us thought the rules have a lot going for them, and we will be happy to try them again, with smaller forces! - the only big problem with these rules is the - frankly - appalling system for activating troops each turn. It means you are essentially an observer of the game, with virtually no ability to plan or execute stratagems, unless you pan to stand still and defend!!!

Lawrence took notes of several suggestions we made for making the activation system playable, and will be making some changes.....

Watch this space! (Pun intended!)

1 comment:

  1. Give this a look as the activation is a major pain to most people.