Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Seek Out, Close With, & Destroy: Sci-Fi - Four-Zero-Kilo"ish" AAR

Greetings All,
Played a very down and dirty game of Seek Out, Close With & Destroy Sci Fi this afternoon with some makeshift rules and values for Disposable Heroes/SOCWAD games set in the "grim, dark nightmare of the [far future] millenium."

Game featured a small action between 2 patrols, a Guardsmen patrol and a "Sanguine" Pact patrol to reconnoiter a station outpost on a far, distant planet.  I had a whole story line developed, but this post is long enough as it is...

No large support in the way of artillery, air, or vehicles.  Just straight up infantry teams going at it.  The Guardsmen did have a "heavy" crew served weapon with them, as well as light support weapons with each fireteam.  The Pact troopers had light support weapons and a flamer to use.  The ending will surprise you.

Pact troopers (Wargames Factory Greatcoat Troopers) advance towards the outpost.

Anxious Guard fireteam moves out to contact.

Pact Light Support Weapon

Guard Heavy Weapons Team in cover.  Scanning the outpost grounds for targets.

The command bunker was reached!

Pact team crests the hill overlooking the complex.  

 Game started out with both sides advancing from their starting positions.  The Guard lucked out and started in close proximity to all the buildings and the good cover.  The Pact did have the advantage of higher ground but no weapons that could range the Guardsmen yet...

Pact troopers advance into a defile and find the generator turbines intact.  This information is quickly radioed back to their command post via the 'caster.
Guard team behind the command bunker, as of yet, unpainted.  By the way, the painting trays at home depot are about $1.79 and look awesome for 28mm sci fi.

Pact team

Guard heavy weapons opens fire on a Pact team as it crests the hill.  The battle is on!  2 Pact down.  

and eventually 3 pact down...Team lost!

The pact is in a bad way, as their movement is under almost constant observation.  Not their style at all...

what's left of the pact left squad advances and reaches the barracks.  Solid cover and much harder to hit inside!

On the other side, in an attempt to break out from the turbine defilade, the pact send the flamer forward.  He kills a trooper before he is cut down from fire in the command bunker.
The game was a turkey shoot so far for the Guard.  Any time a Pact trooper showed himself he was treated to a fusilade of heavy bolt fire or lasrifle fire.  The left most squads started to withdraw under the pressure.  Then the Guard broke from cover to attempt to hunt them down.  By now most of the pact was in cover of their own - a whole new game at this point!
blood pact Radio operator watches the flamer go up in flames...

Guard support weapon operator knocks down the flamer and puts fire into the turbine defilade.

meanwhile, the rest of the left squads pact teams are consolidating towards the barracks.  They catch a nice little surprise...the imperial command team and a fireteam moving to the barracks!  and the light stubber was in the lead!  Good pact shooting fells 3 troopers...

The officer and squad leader NCO are all that remains of the movement group and are quickly pinned...

The lone pact trooper joins in the firing.

"this is bad, sergeant this is very bad"

Then the sergeant is killed...
 The reversal of fortune at the barracks was staggering.  Unbelievably, the Guard officer loses his morale check again and breaks for cover - with another Guard fireteam coming up to assault the barracks.  The pact troopers move to the rear of the building.  It's gonna be a long day...

Guard team assaulting the barracks!
 They pass the morale test to close assault the barracks but are all wiped out either in snap fire or close combat.  3 successive assaults on the barracks are beaten back, with 1 pact fireteam holding the barracks along with their evil, fanatical officer.
unsung heroes.  "even a man who has nothing can still offer his life"
What a reversal of fortune.  Seems that the force who stays hunkered down in cover has a great chance of staying alive.  That was the guard at first - but then they had to root out the enemy, switching the roles around.  The officer actually failed all of his morale checks and ran off into the desert.  I hope the heat kills him before the commissars find him...


Well this was an experimental battle testing out my SOCWAD Sci Fi tweaks against the rules set and they worked out well.  I have already played some very, very small battles with my "Galactic" Marine troopers and, true to form, and all the damn 40k books I've read, they are able to mesh with the DH system nicely.

Not too dominant, but a very, very dangerous opponent.  In other games, 5 marines, split into 2 fireteams, were able to hold their own against about 20 pact troopers.  Granted they were wiped out completely, but, like I said, it "feels" right.  Now onto the tactics!

Suppress the Enemy:  This mantra of the modern military professional holds true in DH, and, as it turns out, the "grim darkness of the far future where there is only [Disposable Heroes]"  3 and 4 man fireteams are efficient especially if you have a light support weapon, but if you can't combine your firepower with quick, aggressive action, you've relegated the battle to 2 sides taking pot-shots at each other until someone wins.
When 1 team suppresses for a turn or 2, send another team around their flank or in their general direction.  Their teams will inevitably fire on your advance unless you can cover the ground quickly, with supporting fire.

My rule of thumb would be to have the entire squad (2 teams) fire for 1 turn, then send a team in next turn.  I'll have to try that next game.

Go Big, Go Fast, Go Early: My blood pact troopers in little teams were no match for a heavy crew served weapon with a ROF of 5 and a morale modifier of -3.  Moving out with the entire squad not only increases your assault chance for success in the advance, but ensures you have enough bodies for the inevitable close combat to follow.

Assign Cover Values right away: More for scenario design and a good rule of thumb for any gamer/scenario designer.  I kept forgetting what the cover values were for each building, bunker, etc.  Would have been nice to have written down but I was in a hurry...

Next time I play this, I will most likely incorporate artillery, air, and of course vehicles and more troops into the fray.  had there been a commissar present, he could have shot the officer and taken over but it wasnt to be.  I need to paint up more marines and scouts, as well as a huge host of greenskins and see how I can work them in as well.  Not to mention more pact troopers.


  1. Sounds very interesting, so does the disposable heroes system have a sci-fi supplement, or is this something you're working on yourself?


    1. Steve,
      They don't, as of yet, have a sci fi supplement. They do have supplements for horse and musket, modern, and most conflicts in between (if not all). According to the authors, a sci fi supplement is right around the corner an in the works now. In fact you can view the cover art for the sci fi supplement on the Iron Ivan Yahoo Group page. They have a host of great resources.

      I am using the Seek Out, Close With and Destroy supplement for DH and have tweaked it for sci fi. Also added numerous 40k specific rules in there and found the system handled it very well without any disruption to the flow of the game.

  2. Looks like a fun game. For a second there I thought you were doing 1/72 sci fi, but alas no. Still a good batrep though.

    1. Sean,
      If I could find good 1/72 sci fi miniatures i would totally buy them. Especially good space marines or guardsmen. I have to admit, though, being the only 28mm I play with, it's kind of fun to push the bigger troops around. Almost like I'm a kid playing with toy soldiers again :)