Monday, 12 September 2011

5150: Star Army Campaign Mission 1

A pivotal moment in the game

I played my first game of 5150: Star Army today. Here is the report.

I chose to play Star Army (my UNSC figures) against Lhurgg.

I was counting Lhurgg  as PDF (planetary defence force) armed with SMGs and electric swords (1H close combat weapon) and the combat artist (+1 in melee) ability. There are no rules for nudity, so I classed them as in soft body armour.

The Lhurgg mutant counts as a squad asset.

He is hard as nails (3d6 for knockdown tests)
carries a 2h weapon and a Heavy Machine Gun.
Counts as wearing HB armour due to his size and extra head.

Star army Squad is Rep 5
Led by LT Duke, Rep 5, Star Power 5
They have 1 RF Laser and 1 grenade launcher. (I don't have any grenage launcher figures, but I'm going to modify one of my UNSC SAW troopers into a grenade launcher model.)

To begin the campaign , I rolled on the appropriate charts and got the following situation:

Campaign Morale:
Star Army 8
Lhurgg 5

The Star Army is Contesting a Lhurgg held planet. The Lhurgg have been raiding at will through the region for decades and the SA has finally been tasked with putting a stop to them.

1st mission: Patrol
(A campaign's first mission is always a patrol)

Star Army Investment Level: 6

Command: "This beach-head operation is vital to the attack on the planet!"
Lt. Duke: " So what assets do I have access to?"
Command: "The maximum allowable on a mission of this type!"
Lt. Duke: "Which is?"
Command: "None! Get your boots dirtside this instant, maggot!"

Weather: OK (I didn't roll a 1)
Ariel Recon: Successful.
Intel level: 4

Lt. Duke "That's good to hear, brainy. So what do you have for me?"
Pre mission Intel: Bad Intel.
Lt. Duke "…"

I rolled up the terrain and got this:

Initial setup as prescribed by the dice...

Lt Duke: "Holy crap. Tell me we're not footslogging it across that open ground."

Insertion roll: walking in.

Command:"Congratulations, you are footslogging it across that open ground."
Lt. Duke "Tremendous."

PEF (Possible Enemy Forces) markers are rolled and placed. Two in the ruins, one out in the open on the left.

The Star Army deploys in a long skirmish line in sectors 8 and 9.

Roll for initiative. Star Army Wins and activates with a 5. The first PEF is in plain view, so a First Contact roll is made… Pass 2 on first contact: Mission does not "go wrong". Whew.

PEF Resolution: Enemy investment level is it's maximum: 3

Pass 0= False alarm.

Lt Duke "Don't un-clench just yet ladies, double time to that cover line up front! Move it!"

I "Fast move" my squad up the table. Fast moves are rolled per figure, so it takes a pretty long time. Still, it spreads out the squad into an interesting shape.

The remaining PEFS, both Rep 6, quickly break cover and move rapidly into the open. Both are false alarms as I do not manage to roll 3 or lower (The enemy investment level) on any of my PEF resolution dice. The last one was in the best defensive position, so it was a little tense, but soon it swung violently out of cover...

Pvt Jones:"Sorry sir, scanner glitch. I think it might have been some kind of native... Cat. Or something. I'll recalibrate."

Another False alarm. No more PEFs.

Huh? No enemy troops? Not much of a battle.. I double checked the victory conditions for a patrol. To win I had to spend one full activation in each of the top 3 sectors of the board. This meant lots of activation rolls. Each activation roll carries with it the possibility of enemy reinforcements. Aha.

I played on.

Lt Duke "No napping you apes, keep 'em peeled while we scan the area."

The activation dice rolled time and again as I moved up and checked out all 3 sectors. All remained quiet until what turned out to be the the penultimate activation roll came up Star Army 2 and Lurggh 5.. a 7! Possible reinforcements!

Lt. Duke: "Heads up troopers, I smell trouble!"

But as the Lhurgg's dice read 5, which was greater than their investment level of 3 (their maximum), they passed 0 and got no reinforcements.

Pvt Jones: "Say again sir?"
Lt. Duke: "Uh, nothing. Just clearing my throat. Koff."

The next few turns are spent inspecting the remaining top 2 board sectors and the activation dice bring no more surprises.

The squad breathes a collective sigh of relief. What looked like a potential killing ground turned out to be a literal walk in the park. Mission Complete.

On their return to base, Lt. Duke racks up 1 fame point for a successful patrol.

Lt. Duke "I call that a 'Duking'."

I rolled for campaign results and the Lhurgg force's morale was reduced by 1, as news of 1st Squad's historic unopposed landing spread through their ranks. I guess.

Campaign Morale:
Star Army:8
Lhurgg: 4

Post cakewalk thoughts:

Uh.. What? I had a nagging suspicion I didn't do everything right, but as far as I can tell from exhaustive checking, I'm 99% sure I did. It seems that rolling a 4 or better consistently for PEF resolution against an investment 3 enemy means... No action.

As a solo game? A great Success. I was drawn into the battle before it began while rolling for intel and setting up the board. Making my way across the board was a tense experience and I guess I can say I was certainly surprised that I met no enemy.

As a battle? Not exactly action packed by anyone's standards. I was entertained by the result in any case.

The rules held up very well with me having to flip around to find out everything I needed, mostly because each reference to a different rule is followed by a page number. eg: Roll for situation x (page y) which makes it all very painless.

Unfortunately I ran out of time to play another game, so fingers crossed for another report in the near future that tests the actual combat rules ;)


  1. I... envy you... so much.

    My gaming days are long gone and terrain making departed along with them. Not only your minis but your scenery, etc. looks so lovely I could punch you in the face and steal it all.


    Your blog keeps being both a great source of inspiration AND motivation. Cant' wait to see what use you will give to those hooded snakes you painted recently :)


  2. A classic TWH result. I often wish more folks 'round here would pick this up.

    Your campaign is off to a good start. Looking forward to more...

  3. There is an errata on the THW site. I had the same problem. If Investment Level is under 4 it would be impossible to get any reinforcements. Ed said to just forget that part about activation dice same or lower than IL.
    So in this case your Lurrghs would have had some troops on the table.

  4. Sorry, I've just checked the files section in the THW group and the errata isn't there :-(
    I discussed this with Ed on the group. Just check for my posts regarding reinforcements in 5150 SA.

  5. Brutpaul is right: forget the sentence p. 59 "if the number is equal or less than the IL of that army..."
    And check the files section in the THW group for the 5150:SA erratum: there is only one, new campaign moral rules (pp.47-48).

    As usual you figures and scenery are great!


  6. Nice AAR, I like the "real soldiers chitchat" part. Maybe it lacks of pictures.

  7. Excellent report, wonderful terrain and figures. Very inspiring. Thank you!

  8. Nice report, awesome terrain. As you have had a successful patrol, your next mission will most likely be an attack mission and then you can redline the combat rules.

  9. Ulu- I'd have taken some pictures if any enemy showed up.. What you see is all that happened! Next time for sure though ;)

    Thanks for the positivity guys..The figures and scenery are all pretty old on this blog though. I plan to do a lot more on CD bases that should be more fun to photograph and easier to set up. I'm thinking expanding foam blobs might be the quickest to make. I also have a whole lot of aquarium plants left over that I ought to mount on bases too. I need to admit that I have a terrible terrain-making compulsion!

  10. QUOTE: Lt. Duke "Tremendous."

    Haha, you can tell a great AAR even without a battle. Good stuff, I love the bits of conversation.

    Whiteface / Oliver

  11. A good start...take the easy ones when you can get them, as things can surely turn against you quickly in some missions...well done

  12. Yikes! Fixed all the copies going forward last month but forgot the clarification in the THW Group 5150 Files section.
    Can just download the page.
    Should be higher side on 7 has chance for reinforcements.
    Roll 2d6 versus Investment Level.

  13. Thanks Ed, much appreciated.

    IIs there a way I could get an updated PDF? I'd cut and paste the errata myself but the PDF doesn't allow it (understandably).

    Kudos on these rules, I'm really impressed with everything about them and looking forward to the New Beginnings book :)