Well as usual I have too many periods of interest and this leads to way more than I can ever paint! I really liked the Starship Troopers movie, great Sci Fi action. I know its not a great movie by any means but taken at what it is supposed to be and not judged against other movies it is fine entertainment and gives a great platform for gaming. Hordes of nearly mindless alien bugs tearing into small out numbered Mobile Infantry units ala “Zulu” is a treat for the eyes. Real “Beer and Pretzels” type gaming. I had purchased a bunch of the plastic models with the intent of building them and using them for games with my son and his friends as a way to entice younger gamers into the hobby. As usual the models went up on the shelf and laid there for a couple of years!
I have now pulled them out and have made it a mission to paint up and play these things come hell or high water! Painting them is fun but I’m not taking a lot of time with them I have even tried a little “airbrush work” in an effort to speed up the process. I have taken quite a bit of time in putting the “bugs” together with cutting, pinning, and epoxy them into more dynamic poses.
The rules are well thought out, that is the mechanics are, however the layout and organization in the book is very poor as far as I’m concerned. It has a lot of “fluff” like most GW game books and tons of interesting but un-needed story and history. Un-needed is perhaps the wrong word, misplaced is better, the story and fluff should be in its own section separate from the game information and mechanics. Mongoose Publishing who put out the game has since dropped it but the rules and minis can be found on Ebay and other spots on the net.
Well all that aside several of us got together and did finally give the rule a try!
Steve Gausche, Doug Kendrick, and I met at the Bismarck Room for some private “testing” of SST before hopefully springing it on the unsuspecting members of the Bengal Club on a future date.
I scraped together what “other worldly” terrain I had (not much considering I mostly do WWII northwest Europe and Darkest Afrika) and set up a loose game.
Two 8 man squads of Mobile Infantry along with their fearless leader Lt. Dan’s command group (Lt. Dan, 1st Sergeant Forrest, Radioman Pfc Tunein, Pvt Flamer (he has hvy flame weapon) and the Heavy support team Cpl Crime and Pvt Punishment carrying Javelin Missile launcher were ordered out on patrol. Their mission was to patrol (and clean brush away from!) a stretch along one of the planets (Seti Alpha 7) 1000 mile long power generating “tubes”
The Troopers had been doing this same mission for months now and it had become very routine and boring as the planet had had its “bug” infestation eliminated over 2 years ago and nary a cockroach had been seen since. They patrol was about 12 clicks out, hot, tired, and dusty when Pfc Tuneinn’s handheld BD17-c “sonar sweeper” started to pick up a signal.
“Dam it corporal” said Lt Dan “cant you get that thing to work right!, I’m tired of hearing that beeping racket”
“Well sir it acts sorta like its picking up a bug tunnel Lieutenant”
“Nonsense! corporal, it’s just the liquid heavy matter moving though the generating tube here, we have had that problem before, recalibrate and sweep the area again!” barked Lt Dan.
Before the Lieutenant can berate the corporal further he is distracted by a all to familiar buzzing sound and the rising of planetary dust to the front of his squads…… “BUGS!” shout several troopers as they raise their Morita Assault rifles….
A deafening buzzing sound is heard overhead as troopers scan all around for the flying death brought by a squad of “Hopper” bugs charging down out of the sky!
We used quite a large force I think for our first game with learning and trying to find rules, but I think the game came off pretty well and we all had fun! The game lasted about 3 hours or so and would have been a 3rd of that if we had the rules down.
I ran the “Bugs” just like the Russians! Urrahh! and into the fray. I soon discovered that the bugs also die like Russians on the Eastern front! I gave the Mobile infantry quite a few upgrades to their weapons and those 8 man squads can put out a lot of fire power. My first flights of hoppers fell out of the sky like leaves under the MI’s combined firepower! I soon realized that a massed attack to close with the MI were the bugs advantage in close combat was my only chance.
I poured my troops out of the tunnel and also brought out my “ace” in the hole, “Tanker bug!” When that massive bug showed up the MI (and Doug and Steve) had second thought on this so far “walk in the park”
With the help of my massive tanker bug and the reappearance of what was left of the hoppers I managed to start putting some hurt on the MI and close at last into Close combat with my scads of warrior bugs!
Things looked desperate for the MI for a bit but with some excellent dice rolling by Steve and Doug and my tanker bug getting a turn or two of indigestion (no shot) my Warriors were blown to pieces taking only a few MI with them. The MI used their special jump jet move, moving out of the tanker bugs range. Tanker bug started taking all the fire and was badly wounded, crawling away and disappearing down the “bug hole”. The game ended with the MI retreating homeward leaving 11 of their 24 men dead on the field. The last Hopper making an unsuccessful attack before disappearing also.
All in all I liked the game very much and think the rules while tough to sort through create a very dynamic and believable simulation of battles as in the movie. We will all surly give this a go many more time. Now Mongoose start re releasing the minis!
Below we see Doug Kendrick take a shot at the last Hopper bug using the MI’s super secret F27-a Bengal Club “Bug” smasher!