On Friday 25 March Greg and I managed to play test the StarGate 1900 campaign system. The rules used were Flying Lead by Ganesha Games.
To recap, the basic idea is a set of three short connected skirmish games. Together, it makes a campaign narrative, played in a single night, with one side carrying forward their losses. The setting is the science fantasy world that I have called StarGate 1900: a world occurring around the inter war period and incorporating the ideas of Pulp, Flash Gordon adventure and the StarGate instantaneous travel device.
In these games, Greg had a French SG team, arriving on an alien world. The mission profiles looked like this, based on the randomisation table I put up in a previous post.
Mission profile: A. Game 1 – arrive via Stargate. Game 2 – travel through hostile territory. Game 3 – arrive at destination.
Stats: Legionnaire SG team. Leader (x1) Q3. C3. SMG. Fearless, Hero, Leader. Trooper (x4) Q3. C3. SMG, Fearless, Hero. Medic (x1) Q3. C3. Pistol, Fearless, Hero, Professional Medic.
- Start at the stargate.
- Opposition 1: Passive civilians (farmers)
- Opposition 2: Civil authorities (police)
- Action: Meet. An agent from Earth has been previously inserted into the community. They now have information about a place far inland that must be investigated. The SG team must get to the agent so that he can pass on the information. For this scenario Greg had another figure which is placed in one of the buildings – I did not know which building he was in.
- Dominant terrain feature: Rugged.
The ground was cut up by numerous ridges. The whole thing put me in the mind of a desolate farming community. The cactus came naturally. In the central plaza there was a guardhouse where the cops were playing card. Peasants were spread about in twos.
Greg boldly stepped out of the StarGate and promptly put a withering fire into a couple of farmers, driving them to cover. He then took cover for himself and put two men on overwatch against the police station.
Two policemen burst out of the building to investigate the noise. The guarding SG Legionnaires killed one outright and grievously wounded the second. Learning from this, two other cops exited the from the back door in an attempt to circle behind the invaders, while the last two kept Greg’s cop-killers pinned with accurate but ineffective pistol fire from the windows.
Meanwhile, the rest of the SG team had moved to the target house and had contacted the agent.
With his objective achieved, Greg pulled back his team, and so the first game wrapped up, a clear win for the invaders. Total playing time: one hour, which is not bad for a set of rules we were only partially familiar with.
Stats: Cops (x4) – Q4. C2. Pistol, Green, Handcuffs. Farmers (x12) – Q5. C1. Green, Reluctant.
- Travel through alien territory (board edge to board edge to win)
- Opposition 1: Automated fences.
- Opposition 2: Big game hunters (word has got around that there are alien marauders and some alien hunters have intercepted Greg’s teams’ path and hope to bag one or two).
- Action: Investigate, see below
- Dominant terrain feature: Transport terminus. We decided that this was a centre of civilisation, with roads and cars and buildings. The target was a building which we declared was a telephone exchange. The team had to come past this place on their way to the main mission site to record the machinery used, probably by making a number of silver-amalgum photographic plates. To do this, a single team member must make entrance to the building and while unmolested by locals score 3 successes.
Almost instantly, the SG Legionnaires were driven into cover by the accurate fire of concealed machine guns on the roofs. In a state of almost constant shakenness, they inched their way along the building sides.
They were ripe for destruction. However, much to my growing frustration, the big game hunters strolled forward, never really coming within cooee of the invaders. They turned out to be big talkers, wanting the kudos of having faced the aliens, without having to suffer the danger. Only one came to grips with the enemy as the Legionnaire exited the target building after having successfully photographed the telephone exchange. But it came to nothing; the Legionnaire sprayed lead in reply, and my brave hunter fell back shaken.
Greg’s team ran off the board, and the second game fell to him too. Technically, the campaign was won, but we played the third game to round off the mission.
Stats: Auto defence towers (x4) Q4. C2. LMG C+3, Auto fire, Stable. Big Game Hunters (x6) Q4. C2. Large pistol, Semi-auto rifle, Scope, Climber, Crack shot, Danger sense, Stealth, Jungl craft.
- Arrive at destination and complete mission
- Opposition 1: Military
- Opposition 2: Aggressive civilians
- Action: Infiltrate
- Dominant terrain feature: Crash site. So, know we knew what the team was doing. Somewhere inland there was a crash site of advanced technology. It was under guard and the SG team had to get into the compound and examine the machinery.
This time Greg split his force, sending one team wide around a hill and the other straight forward. Since I had a military force this time I placed my Sergeant and a trooper on a hill in prone position. The others I dispersed and had them in cover. The militia were behind barricades.
The flanking SG group cut right through my militia and made their way to the crashed vehicles where they tinkered unmolested as the militia turned out to be easily shaken. However, in the centre the aimed shots from my military professionals killed the SG Legionnaire commander, no less, and a trooper.
Dragging their wounded, the remaining Legionnaires exited the board.
Stats: Sergeant – Q3. C2. Carbine, Leader. Corporal – Q3. C2. SMG, 1IC. Trooper – Q4. C2. Rifle. Militia – Q4, C2. Assault rifle.
Conclusion: the campaign was clearly won by Greg, effectively scoring three out of three. From a story viewpoint, it all worked perfectly. The conclusions were logical. The Frenchmen were too good for the locals. Game-wise, the rules worked extremely well. Neither Greg nor I had any complaints about the mechanisms. Our only points for future reference was the importance of statting the forces correctly – until the final game the defenders had little chance against the attackers – and that there are still several rules in the book that we need to become more familiar with.
Overall, the system, both game rules and campaign, worked well. A successful night of gaming, with lots of wine consumed as well.