Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Alien Squad leader - the first outing for the 2nd Global War Soviets

Last Sunday was the club AGM, but there was some time for games afterwards, so Alex and I played a 150pt game of ASQL, as we had discussed a week before. I was keen to get my Soviets on the table and Alex wanted to see how they would perform.

Here is my force;

From left to right, starting at the back, there are;

2 stands of suit wearers (power-armoured infantry)
2 unarmoured light transports with rocket artillery
3 heavy tanks with superior weapons (allows a re-roll)
4 stands of crewed weapons (heavy weapons)
1 political commissar
4 stands of veteran regular infantry (2 upgraded to command stands)

I chose this force before we chose the mission, which turned out to be Scenario 2 - Meeting Engagement, which meant that the defender has been out-scouted and the attacker may deploy certain troop types on the table. Everything else is off-table and must enter the game from a previously-placed deployment point. I was the defender.

Alex's army was a Rebel Alliancce one, with Birdmen flying infantry, Human troops and a few characters, including two warrior monks with inspirational leadership and considerable fighting skills, plus a medic.

The table looked like this. I would start on the left-hand side.

Immediately, a limiting factor emerged. Crewed weapons can only move 10cm per turn. This made their deployment a painfully slow business and they never managed to do anything at all useful during the game. Clearly, their role is much more suited to a game where they don't have to travel any distances to get stuck in.

My armour and mobile rocket artillery would be my main threat, and soon one of my tanks forced Alex to withdraw his only vehicle with a long-range weapon. I advanced my power-armoured troops and a commander into the woods, where the commander would be able to call down indirect artillery fire onto Alex's Human troops. This proved to be immediately successful and he began to sustain a lot of hits. Unhappily, I was unable to keep this artillery fire going due to poor command rolls and his medic was quickly in action healing the hits. Then, his annoying flying infantry appeared, causing me to withdraw a command stand that had sustained a hit. My power-armoured troops proved to be pretty hopeless and after a few rounds of combat, including against the Jedis warrior monks, they were utterly wiped out. I really cannot remember ever having much success with the 5+ saving roll for power-armoured troops.

Elsewhere, my tanks rumbled forwards, shrugging off fire from Alex's Human defenders and making sure that his guys kept their heads down.

Here is the unhappy demise of the power-armoured troops, plus the commissar and the regular veterans.

 However, elsewhere my main forces slowly moved into strong defensive positions where I am sure they would be hard to assault.

Unhappily, we ran out of time before we could reach a result. Totalling up the score, Alex had caused more damage than I had managed, but the result was a draw, albeit one that went against me. Overall, the rwal deciding factor in this battle was Alex's group of characters, who pretty much won the battle in the woods and mitigated against my early artillery success.

So, what conclusions can I draw from this battle? Well, here are a few thoughts;

  • Power-armoured troops are not really that good
  • Crewed weapons move too slowly in a mobile environment
  • Tanks rule the battlefield against lightly-equipped forces
  • I should have taken more tanks instead of the power-armoured guys
  • Indirect fire artillery can be devastating
  • I hate flying infantry


  1. I hate flying infantry too! This goes way back to playing Starguard in the 80s! Almost all the infantry had jump backs it was a nightmare lol. Under these rules Powered Armored infantry is not as effective as they are in Stargrunt, regrettable but then tanks are twice as effective here, so a reasonable trade off. As for the crewed weapons they always present a mobility problem in every system I've ever used, I tend to but them in a strong position and try to funnel the enemy on them. I think overall your forces made a good first showing here and
    will only get better as you tweak them. Very well painted I must say, lovely work !

    1. Yes. The scenario didn't suit the force I'd picked and taken along to the club. I'd never not take any crewed weapons with this army, the extra punch from heavy weapons is an essential component of the overall force, I think. my ASQL yardstick for success tends to be "Is this army as good as my Alien Imperials?". So far, I think that my Human Imperials are the closest, but I think that this one has potential, especially in a 200pt game.

  2. Lovely to see someone else using those hawkmen in a game; great figures.