Saturday, March 30, 2013

Gruntz: Nova Cisterna

Last week, Maurice and I sat down for a little Gruntz action. One of the takeaways from the con was a re-interest in narrative games, so Maurice threw together a scenario for the battle of Cisterna (based on this article he was reading.)

The EHTC launched Operation Laser Shingle as an attempt to dislodge the Kontrol Battalions from Nova Cisterna before Kontrol could completely secure the planet. Kent's "Power" Rangers dropped in before dawn, behind the Kontrol bulkhead for a nighttime raid. Unfortunately, the drop put them farther behind the front lines than they intended, so taking stock of their location, they chose to seize the relay station to disrupt communications and sow havoc.

Kontrol troopers man the defenses. The game started with nighttime conditions, dramatically limiting range. The beginning of every turn, we rolled to see when dawn would arrive.

The map layout, which my esteemed opponent took right from the historical battle. The outmanned elite Rangers were marching up the drainage ditch in the center of the board towards the relay station in the upper northeast corner. Kontrol forces, more numerous but less well-trained and less well-equipped, took up defensive positions on the north side. On the east side, the "Chocodile" APC took up a flanking position near a field. It would accomplish... very little all day.

We actually randomized the Kontrol deployment to a certain extent, to show their lack of preparation for a stand-up fight. This lead to a couple turns of running around in the hopes of being ready for the coming Ranger assault.

The Rangers made good time while the darkness held out, seizing the initiative and moving north quickly, inflicting decent casualties on the closest Kontrol troops, while only taking light incoming fire.

Due to the randomization, the Kontrol leader ended up in the northeast corner, far from the bulk of his squads. However, he was in the same area as the Mantid mercenaries, aliens employed by Kontrol as shock troopers, notorious for their vicious assaults. As dawn arrived, the Kontrol leader ordered the Mantids to bounce into combat, and away they flew. The initial charge didn't inflict many casualties on the Rangers...

...But the Mantids' melee prowess was matched by their stamina and determination. They tied up and bloodied the Rangers, wearing them out with a protracted fight and slowly but surely taking the upper hand.

(Not pictured: the APC in the backfield, which after multiple turns of misses, finally makes a single hit, taking out the Rangers heavy weapons soldier.)

The Rangers eventually defeated the Mantids, but between those losses and the Kontrol support weapons picking off stragglers, only two Rangers were left standing. The Kontrol troops lined up and opened fire, putting an end to the surprise attack.

Excellent game, definitely could have gone either way. The first few turns were all him, and then initiative and the dice swung things towards Kontrol.


  1. Great looking AAR, nice terrain and minis!

    Sounds like it was fun.

  2. Nice batrep mate, looks like it was a blast!