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Sunday, 23 July 2017

Escape from Libuscha Prime (Rogue Planet Battle Report and Scenario)

Alex (who's aged 7) and I played a quick Rogue Planet game just prior to dinner on Saturday night.  He helped set the board up whilst I threw together some bits-and-pieces to make for the setting.

The resulting game was both entertaining and high on the 'Got you Dad!' stakes, which is always good in our book ūüėČ.

I've concentrated on capturing battle's narrative rather than recording a detailed catalogue of Actions, Skill Checks, Counter Actions etc.  I have included some mention of various game elements, especially those that resulted in shaping the narrative - upon reflection it was often the free Move Actions that were awarded following a Skill Check's Partial Success or Failure result, which happens

The Background

Despite the heroic efforts of the Libuscha Prime garrison, the city was all but lost.  Even Captain Stonnet realised that the local forces were overwhelmed and a tactical retreat was the only sensible course of action.

Even now packs of Tani hunters are closing in on the last of the city's defenders, each hoping to secure the remaining humans for themselves.

An APC took Stonnet and a ragtag squad of trooper within a few hundred meters of a waiting cloaked Sparrow Hawk shuttle... but is it close enough?  Will Stonnet manage to escape Libuscha Prime or will he be added to the Tani's already bloated organ banks?

The Battlefield and Deployment

The battlefield reflects a portion of Libuscha Prime's streets - a chaotic urban landscape seemlyíng the product of a deranged 7year old's imagination.

You'll notice there are 7 Tani Contact Tokens scattered around the map - their use is detailed under special rules below.

The Objectives

  • The Humans have to battle their way to the Sparrow Hawk and make their escape.  If they can do so, they'd achieve Victory.
  • The Tani intend to destroy, or more precisely slaughter, the remaining garrison force.  With their body bags full, the Tani will be Victorious.
  • If the game lasts more than 8 Turns, neither Force is victorious.  The Sparrow Hawk would take-off, mow down any and all Tani it could before fleeing the city.  As for Captain Stonnet?  He'd have to turn his focus from escape to survival.  We'd call this outcome a Draw.

The Forces

The Human Garrison

The Humans have three Units: Captain Stonnet (Leader/Hero), a squad of Troopers (designated as a Group) and Buster (Power Suited Fire Support) and a 5 Point Energy Pool.
Captain Stonnet, Libuscha Prime's Hero
Captain Stonnet (Leader) CQ 3, RAT 5, DEF 5, ARM Light and equipped with a Power Sword and Melta Pistol (Blaster) (78 Credits)
Sanchy, Aler, Meson and Stewart, Troopers CQ 2, RAT 5, DEF 4, ARM Group and equipped with Fusion Carbines (51 Credits)
Billy "Buster" Jenker, Power Suited Fire Support CQ 2, RAT 5, DEF 4, ARM Medium and deployed in a Mantu Power Suit (Powered Armour and two Carbines with a Scope) (88 Credits)

The Tani Hunters

The Tani are operating as uncoordinated packs of hunters, mopping up the last of Libuscha Prime's humans.  As such, they have no Energy Pool available nor Leaders/Heroes.
Squads of Tani Gilli and/or Quarra CQ 4 RAT 5 DEF 5 ARM Group and equipped with Particle Accelerator Cannons tipped with an axe-head bayonets (70 Credits at full strength i.e. 4 models) 
When models are designed as a Unit in Rogue Planet, their normal Armour Rating (ARM) is changed to Group.  Does it make sense to 'group' heavily armoured Units?  Not really.  There's a bit of interplay between ARM and DEF which could be tweaked some... maybe it's something we'll try in the future. 

Special Rules

Accessing the Sparrow Hawk

To board and then escape on the Sparrow Hawk takes 1 Action to open the hatch and 1 Move Action to enter the vehicle.  Opening the hatch requires a Total Success Skill Check.  Each Partial Success adds +1 to the following attempt and a Failure result means that the Unit attempting to open the Sparrow Hawk is blocked from further attempts that Turn.  Once opened, all Units can enter the vehicle without requiring further Skill Checks.

Revealing and Revealed Tani

Upon a Human finishing a Move Action from which the Tani player can establish a LoS from a Contact Token, the Tani Player rolls a d4 to determine the number of Gilli and Quarra that are revealed as a Group at 100%-25% strength (roll d4 to determine the number of models deployed).

Once revealed, the Tani cannot be activated by the Tani Player until their Turn but if engaged in Melee, they are able to fight aggressively and defensively.  Upon Activation, the Tani are provided with one Action Point that may only be applied to Counter Actions e.g., if, upon discovery, they are shot at, they may attempt a single Dodge or Return Fire during the Turn.

Our Battle Report

Stonnet and his men disembarking from their APC.
"Stonnet is that you? I can't believe you've made it this far!  Look, it's Peters here: we're nearby and haven't been spotted yet.  You've got maybe 500 meters to cover from your current position - 250 due West, then a switch-back and the same again Eastwards.  I'm patching though Tani contacts to your tactical display right now.  All the best Sir - we'll hold out as long as we can."

"You heard the man, we've made it through worse just getting here.  By numbers, out and off, double-time," commanded Captain Stonnet to his handful of remaining troopers.

The first of the Tani revealed by Buster -
the Troopers quickly made their way forward
to complete a pincer attack.
Alex was keen to get into the action and spent two Action Points moving Buster up the stairs and along the ramp to establish Line of Sight (LoS) with the first Tani Contact Token - a roll of 3 resulted in a Group of 3 Tani being revealed.  With the first of the Tani revealed Alex then moved his Squad of 4 Troopers past the nearby cargo crate and into firing position.

Up here you Xenos!
The Squad's Fire Action on the Tani resulted in a Total Success, eliminating a single Gilli.  Then Alex ordered Buster to move onto the gangway and jump down on top of the remaining two Tani.  We decided to resolve the outcome as a Charge Action, upgrading Alex's Collison die from d4 to d6 to account for the drop.  Luck was with Alex and Buster inflicted 3 points of damage, crushing the Tani before they had a chance to react.

CRUNCH!! Buster touches down

Alex commenced his next Turn by moving Buster under the gangway and approaching the Coolant Tank to the West where he spotted another three lurking Tani.

Alex then moved up his Troopers in support of Buster and Captain Stonnet brought up the rear, ensuring that the first Tani were well and truly destroyed.

With his remaining Action, Alex had Buster Charge the Tani - the Charge Skill Check resulted in a Failure and neither party was harmed.  Buster's movement did however reveal another two Tani who were at the street's Western end, in the confusion (using the two free Moves awarded for Buster's Skill Check Failure) they moved around the building's corner and then climbed the ramp to the East, leaving them with a clear line of sight of both the Squad of Troopers and Captain Stonnet as well!
Get the Human!

Commander Alex directs his troops
with his usual clinical precision.
The next Turn saw the Tani engage in a fierce melee with Buster near the Coolant Tank - Buster's absorbed a huge onslaught of blows (offsetting damage using the Team's Energy Pool) and dispatched one of the Gilli in the process (the Tani's Melee Skill Check's Failure).

Leaving Buster to the Tani, Captain Stonnet hurried around the corner of the building (availing himself of the free Move awarded due to the Tani's Failed Melee Skill Check) and then, through the open Sector Gate's doorway, spotted yet another Gilli blocking their path.

The Tani weren't going to let the Human's escape that easily. First, they opened fire from the gangway taking out Trooper Stewart and then moved West from the gangway, traversing above the street and straddled the Sector Gate, providing them with line of sight of all the Alex's Human forces.

Buster finally managed to dispatch the last of the Gilli and hurried North to support his comrade's struggle.

Captain Stonnet burst through the gateway, smashing the lone Gilli defender with a mighty blow using his trusty Power Sword.

Then, out of nowhere, Stonnet was brought down by Tani fire!
A Gilli sniper, positioned upon the Sector's Observation Post, managed a glancing shot that sent the brave Captain senseless (it was a Partially Successful Shoot Action, however, Alex was unable to offset the same as he had exhausted his Energy Pool).
From high above the Street a Tani Gilli Sniper took out Captain Stonnet.

Buster (using the free Move Action afford by the Gilli sniper's Partial Success Fire Skill Check) and the remaining Troopers rushed to their Captain's aid.  Quickly they stabilised Stonnet's wounds then dragged him double-time Eastwards towards the cloaked shuttle.

The battle channel opened: "Folks it's heating up - just been detected - you've got 30 seconds tops!" 

More Tani!!  Let's move it people!

Speed was now of the essence - with multiple contacts still evident, the Humans hurried on.  The Gilli sniper continued to pour fire upon and taken out by return fire (a successful Return Fire Counter-Action) from the Troopers - but not without the loss of Sanchy.  Then, as they sighted the Sparrow Hawk, yet another pack of  Tani were revealed and downed Meson, leaving Trooper Aler and Buster to drag Captain Stonnet's battered body to safety.

Buster's Power Armour soaked up an otherwise punishing amount of Tani fire (making saves with the Power Armour's Rogue Die and resulting in the Tani's otherwise successful Shoot Skill Checks being modified/downgrading to Failures) and he was able to plough a path directly to the shuttle.  The Tani investigating the Sparrow Hawk's signature were caught unawares - unable to react to Human's appearance and they could only watch as Buster reached the shuttle (2 Moves), opened the door (a very lucky Skill Check resulting in a Total Success first time!) and then managed to bustle inside whilst under fire (the Group of 4 Tani's final desperate Shoot Action on Buster Failed, providing the Humans with the two extra Move Actions they needed to alight the Sparrow Hawk before the next Turn commenced).

"Let's get out of here!" yelled Peters as the Sparrow Hawk's engines roared to life, incinerating the nearby Tani as they launched into the Libuscha Prime skyline and away to safety.

Post Game Ruminations

Alex and I really enjoyed this particular game.  The whole thing, from set-up to Alex's victory was done in around 45 minutes - talk about quick!  Alex is still getting used to the use of Counter-Actions but he's actually adapted to the absence of measured moves much more readily than me (mumble, mumble... old dogs, new tricks...).

One thing that was apparent to both of us was that the timing of his Energy Pool usage made a huge difference.  If Captain Hindsight was manning the Sparrow Hawk, he would have said Alex shouldn't have wasted Energy on his Trooper Group early on, rather saving it for Captain Stonnet's benefit mid-game.

The Tani, while rolling terribly, actually weren't a bad choice against that particular Human force.  During Melee, their Axes gave them a soft bonus against Buster's Medium Power Armour which made the difference between a Failure and Partial Success on a couple of rolls (burning through Alex's Energy Pool) and the Carbines had a similar buff verse both Stonnet and the Group of Troopers.  Now if the Tani had a decent Leader/Hero or access to an Energy Pool of their own, well Alex might have fallen short of his objective.

As for the 8 Turn Limit, well it happened to work well.  Things could have gone horribly for Alex if he had consistently rolled 1 Action Point, but he didn't and even went with the default 3 when he felt like he was getting overwhelmed on multiple fronts near the Sector Gate.  That a boy!


  1. Oopps, just noticed a slight mistake we'd made whilst playing: we were treating the Trooper Squad as if it was comprised of Lightly Armoured Troopers. A Group designation replaces Light Armour altogether, meaning that the Tani Carbines should not have been awarded a soft buff against the Squad. Maybe a small shift in favour, but worth keeping in mind for future games.

  2. I am in awe. What a great Dad. So many things gaming can teach and Alex seems to be grasping those lessons like time management(Taking the default 3 actions in a pinch). Please continue to share these.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this and have subscribed to the blog.

    1. Well that was somewhat unexpected but thank you! Yes, there is a lot of learning opportunities in a traditional, table-top war game that just aren't available in their computer equivalents. Not to mention it is two player by default.

      We've recently been donated some Orks so expect to see an Orkie piece in the near future.