Thursday, 17 November 2011

Solopalooza Day 2: 5150 Star Army

Main Stage: 5150: Star Army
Lt. Duke and 1st squad head out on patrol against the ruthless Zeig
With handy card sized QRS charts in hand, I set off on another 5150 adventure. After a lot of intel and weather rolls, I set up the terrain for a Patrol mission. I used my new CD based shacks and rocks.

Handy Cards I made earlier
The lay of the land
Our Intel was " Bad" which means a different chart to roll on when the first PEF (the counters with tiny orange dice embedded in them) are spotted.

Although the mission didn't "go bad" as a result, once my men deployed onto the table edge in sector 9, 2x PEFs were immediately visible. This actually kind of annoys me about the terrain system in 5150. In future games I'm going to change the way I do this.. It's nice not knowing what you'll be heading into, but there is a strong possibility you will also get some pretty dull terrain as a result.

Anyway, I rolled a lot of dice to see what the first two PEFs were. One was a false alarm, the other was 2 squads, with an asset in a defensive position. Talk about almost walking right into them!

Those guys managed to keep pretty quiet.. Gulp.
I had split my squad. The Rapid Fire Laser was with my Star, Lt. Duke, and the grenade launcher and medic were with Sgt. Lewis on the other side. 
I included a medic just to see how they worked, as I had a new one painted. In fact every model and piece of terrain was non-proxy and fully painted..  Solopalooza Sub-goal achieved!

Not sure if splitting up was such a great idea now...

As Duke and his 1/2 squad hurried to cover, the Zeig squads (counted as PDF in hard armor) and their robot SAW operator (counted as exo armor) made their in-sight rolls and poured a hail of fire into them. Their assault rifles got 3 dice each, but as Duke's men were all in cover the Zeig with Rep 4 needed 6's to hit them. They didn't, but the Robo-SAW took out the Rapid Fire Laser trooper. Uh oh.

Duke and his remaining 2 men active fired, Duke blowing the head off the Robot, raising a cheer from the unit. A cheer that was cut short when the Zeig passed their received fire/man down tests and shot back, Obviously-deading another Star army soldier. The medic was unfortunately on the other side of the table.

Ow, ow, ow!
Over on the other side, the other 1/2 squad led by Sgt. Lewis tried to suppress the Zeig enough to get a grenade launcher shot into their position. The Zeig reaction fire took down the pointman, and no other Star Army fire was effective. Things looked grim.

A new activation roll put the Star Army on the offensive. 

The Grenade launcher operator stepped out into the street to get a clear shot into the Zeig position. A Zeig trooper reacted, snap fired and missed. The GL trooper passed his received fire test and fired back.. With a 6. With his grenade launcher.

It turns out that an impact 5 weapon (grenade launcher vs hard armor) is pretty nasty. A hit model will only even get a chance at survival if I roll a 6 on the damage test. A big chunk of the Zeig force was blown in all directions. It was still his activation, so he active fired into the red mist.

Hey man, nice shot.
Well that was unexpected. The second grenade did just as much damage as the first.

Somebody get a mop.
The medic quickly attended to the Pointman, managing 2 passes and getting him back in the fight.

Get up... You're fine!
Only the Zeig Elite squad was left. Their REP of 5 made their fire a lot deadlier than the Zeig regulars

(muffled breathing)
Rep 5 troops are really dangerous.
They took down the GL trooper, and only Duke's laser fire forcing them back stopped the slaughter...

I have 1 figure left on each flank. Uh.. Oops.
The Zeig fell back firing and shot up every member of the squad except for Lt. Duke and Sgt. Lewis. It was at this point I called it quits and narrated a speedy withdrawal.

Overall, a good game that took less than 2 hours to finish. It had thrills and spills, but I did get the feeling that the whole thing boiled down to a lot of dice rolling from the get-go. 

This brings me back to my original niggling complaint.. The terrain setup. I think any further games I play of 5150 will have terrain setup work like this:
  • Set up the terrain in a dense and well distributed way as I like.
  • Roll randomly to determine which side I get to deploy from. 
  • Set up PEFs normally.
I think this will be not only more fun, but a lot faster.

I'm too tired for any more cards or rules.. I'm going to play Batman: Arkham City for the after-party. My girlfriend loved watching me play Uncharted 2 (Which is awesome if you haven't played it, and cheap nowdays!) but doesn't enjoy the Batman so much. But that's what Solopalooza is all about.  
See you tomorrow folks!


  1. This was so cool. The table and miniatures look GREAT and it sounds like such a fun game. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great game report (GR), Jacker. I like your game map: colors of the earth, structure and accessory positions. There is harmony in the color scheme of all the elements in your war zone. I agree (and practice myself) the principle of setting up the scene for the scenario with lots of different types of terrain and structures as you desire. Also, amen, to a roll of the die to determine where on the map the troops enter. This action can make for some very quick combat between the good and the bad guys. "Sologamers everywhere... want more Solopalooza!"

  3. Glad you guys are enjoying reading the reports! I'm spoiled for choice tomorrow night, should be something a little bit special.

  4. Great AAR and fantastic figures and scenery. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Great pictures!
    I use the terrain generation rules only as a vague guideline myself. After placing it on the table I usually throw in some terrain pieces for cover where I think it's needed.

  6. Great pictures and a great batrep - thanks for posting that!

  7. Great stuff - I'm planning a couple of solo games myself over the next week: can I steal "Solopalooza"?

  8. Thanks guys!

    Donogh- Sure! You can steal the banner too if you like, Solopalooza is for everyone ;)

  9. Games look great. This is a perfect size for some quick games with my boys.

  10. More great stuff - thanks for sharing. I'm having a lot of fun with Star Army too, but I often tend to do as you suggest and pick my own terrain.

    I am loving Solopalooza - please keep it coming!

  11. +1 to brutpaul's. Generating terrain has always a weak point in THW and I rarely follow it.
    Great terrain and miniatures!