Sunday, February 24, 2013

5150: Star Army Diversion

This isn't zombie related, but the other night we had a game night. My daughter was staying with a friend so my littlest and I, along with his mom, played some 5150: Star Army. I have been eager to try these rules using some of my large Warhammer 40K collection and this seemed the perfect opportunity. Ayden was all too willing!

We set up on a 4'x4' table depicting a bombed out crossroad outpost. The mission was a simple patrol:  explore the area to determine enemy activity and report back to base. For the enemy, we used some old Rogue Trader Space Orks I collected in college. It was startling to realize I painted these figures over 25 years ago! I kept it simple and used the Hishen stats for the Orks. For our force we used my Praetorian Imperial Guard as Planetary Defense Force (PDF) troops. At some point I will take a crack at creating my own THW army stats for my 40K armies.

For the PDF, we each took 4 figures equipped with soft body armor and lasguns (assault rifle equivalent).  One group had a Rep 5 leader, the rest were all Rep 4. One group also had a rocket launcher. The Orks were straight Hishen equivalents. We set up the Possible Enemy Forces (PEFs) and went for it!

Ayden is attentive during the mission briefing. I explained the situation to him as the game unfolded and let him make his decisions and roll the dice. He caught on quickly!

An Ork squad, dug in and defending, appeared on our right flank. The two squads on our right got bogged down and unable to advance.
Meanwhile, on our left, mom's squad advanced uncontested.
Trying to outmaneuver the dug in Orks we get clobbered! My squad goes down from off board mortar fire (2nd PEF). Ayden's squad loses three members trying to dash through the open and get into cover.
The game ended when mom's squad activated the final PEF at the rear of the Ork center. It was another Ork squad and they made short work of the Praetorians. We had only 2 Imperial Guard figures left on the table so we called it. Ayden played on for a bit though while we watched. Using more imagination than dice, he decided these last two guys linked up and returned to base, dodging Orks the whole way. They were able to report on the Ork locations and guide an orbital bombardment that took the Orks out and turned the tide of the war! Nice.

I really enjoy Two Hour Wargames rules, especially for coop play like this. Wargaming has always been about the modeling and storytelling for me and these rules enhance that feel. I walked away from WH40K years ago when it became more about maxing out a force to win tournaments and less about the story. I've kept all my models though because GW does make some impressive figures. Thanks to Ed and the crew at THW, I now get to use all those figures to play a game that feels like the old Rogue Trader glory days of 40K.

I also appreciate the more realistic combat of the THW rulesets. Firefights are a dangerous, bloody thing and these rules keep it so, pushing players to make careful decisions as they engage the enemy. The rules reward good tactics, something we need to work on considering the outcome of this game! It seems someone was asleep at the Imperial Guard command in the rear...
The Praetorian command mascot, Oscar, an English Bulldog mix, is unconcerned with the butcher's bill.


  1. Neat, sweet, petite. Good batrep.

    1. Thanks, Irqan. I will post more 5150 stuff in the near future. I am still working out how to use some of the rules but I want to do an Imperial Guard vs Orks campaign very soon. Would be very cool with tanks and all that!

  2. Nice batrep, Its a shame a bout GW I really lie the background to it as well. The novels always captured my imagination.

    1. Yes, it is a shame GW Went the direction it did. I understand the drive to make good profit but I hate to see the cost in creativity. The current 40K seems to be about number crunching and rule exploitation more than story telling in a really cool, imaginative universe. I'm grateful for THW and the "immersion game" concept that allows for getting clobbered like in this AAR and still enjoying the story and the game.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Z! 5150: Star Army is a great game. I look forward to more action.

  4. Sounded and looked good and great that it was a family game too!