Sunday, February 26, 2017

Rogue Stars Official Miniatures. Scale Comps and Review

North Star Rogue Stars Official Figures

Osprey's Rogue Stars has been out since December and following its fan Facebook page and thread over at the Lead Adventure Forum (LAF) the seems to generate a decent initial interest and modest following. Nothing like Frostgrave, but if I remember correctly it took Frostgrave close to the year to build up its momentum.  I'm liking Rogue Stars, the game myself quite a bit and at this point, now that the official errata , quick reference sheets and rosters are all released, its good time to give it try if you have the interest and have not yet.
L-R  North Star, Reaper, North Star, Reaper, North Star, Mantic

I wasn't going to pick up any of official miniatures produced by North Star ( and I believe all sculpted by Mark Copplestone) mainly because the initial reports on the figures people had in hand were not good, even thou painted production figures looked great, pics of miscast figs with tons of bubbles and flash is not somewhere you want to put your time into with metal figures.

Of course there was also the fact the I am swimming in miniatures..while Sci Fi is probably my least crowded genre I've still got lot I wont be using and alot of that has to do with Scale. which prompted the Scale pics.  Reports of bad casts, no scale pics to be found  with other miniatures I use, and that I am have too many miniatures I wasnt going to use already. Didn't exactly bode well for me buying any.

Above line up with  Reaper's popular Nova Corp, 2nd from Left.

After playing the game for a few weeks in my free time, The pics from the rule book started growing on me, and since I basically run a store on ebay selling in its majority all the miniatures I never got around to using or from games I was no longer interested in, my 2017 Miniatures "IN" was only at "2" and my "OUT"  through ebay sales is at around 70 . I figure it was OK to pick up some models.
And I am glad I did!.

Crisp casts, some flash (mainly pour spurs,) no massive mold lines , bubbles of mis shapen or deformed casts, The only downsides for me are cast bases which I hate..(and which as you can see I always cutway) and scale isnt perfect for my uses but damn close.

L-R, North Star, Reaper, North Star, Mantic, North Star, Mantic

Admittedly  I am pretty militant about scale , I  use Reaper's chronoscope line and Mantic's Deadzone figures for my Sci Fi projects as I like what they do, all they all tend to run in the over-sized 28mm category. when you are dealing with Aliens you get a lot more wiggle room with scale variations and while Humans are of course every shape and size imaginable when I put a put a bunch of Hasslefree or Hersey figures up against my Reaper stuff , they dont look to me like cool "Tom Cruise" sized humans they just look weird..

So despite my box of Hasslefree, Hersey and AE bounty Sci Fi figs in the eBay shop pile, I am happy to say North Star's Rogue Stars figures wont be joining them anytime soon. as you can see they fit right in with the figures I use, I dont think some of the bigger aliens could be a bit bigger, but of the 8 figures I bought ,I like them all enough to paint them.

Big Guys, L-R   Mantic's Teraton Shock Trooper, North Star's Turtle Alien, which I wish was bigger, North Star's Lion man Alien , again wish it was a little bigger, but not as big as Super Sized Teraton in Power Armor by Mantic

The figures recently went through a repackaging at North Star. there are selling them in pairs as opposed to single figs , probably to move some of the figs that werent selling, but if what I read is correct they'll all be back for sale tomorrow. In conclusion, I didnt have any problem with these miniatures as far as poor quality and the scale works for me, it was also a quick ship from the UK here to Michigan (about  10 days)  So I have to give them a big thumbs up and call them a great addition to any sci fi collection, especially mine. I am sure I'll pick up a few more  once I make the room.

L-R  Mantic Plague Zombie, North Star,  MPZ, North Star, MPZ

                                 L-R  Mantic's KS super enforcer, North Star, Heresy, North Star, North Star, Hasslefree.                                                              The Hasslefree , and Heresy Figures shown here are much larger compared to most of their own lines. 

All North Star Official Rogue Stars Figures

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Rogue Stars Part 2, AAR , The Rescue

The Setting: 
In some distant backwater on the fringes well-traveled  space, The Crew of the Leif Erickson, a band of motley humans and aliens squeak out a meager existence as trade transporters, scavengers,  hired guns, sellers of unique antiquities and data brokers.  In the mainstream world of interstellar mega corporations, they are simply Pirates.

The crew has intercepted message about the existence of little known research facility on a nearby low tech world, used by the infamous Mega Corp:  Optimus Pharmaceutical Systems (OPS)  as a designer drug testing facility.  The message reads events have gone terribly wrong there, and the lone surviving scientist needs an immediate EVAC. OPS response has been to destroy all research and prepare for an orbital strike from their inbound cruiser- Demeter, which is 48 hours out. The Scientist, unhappy with his expendability has powered down the facility and its location beacon and has transmitted on open channels offering 10,000 CR to anyone for an EVAC.  The Crew of Leif Erickson, have responded and have headed in for the quick score to grab the Scientist and get out.  Little do they know, OPS has already sent a local security squad on planet in to eliminate the problem and power up the facility for when the Cruiser arrives.

The Crew of the Leif Erickson  200XP
Theme: Pirates
Tactical Discipline: Determined.

Crew of the Leif Erickson ,Clockwise L-R,  Taturo, Mason, Clark, Najidi, The Sorak.  

Mason- Leadership 1, Veteran, Fast Draw, Danger Sense.
Accurate Molecular Slug Thrower, Vibroblade, Kevlar Jacket, Refraction Field Harness.

Taturo- Big , Tough 1, Weapon Master 2
Cyber Monowire Blade, Flamer Pistol, Combat Dress

Najidi-  Stealth 2, Difficult Target, Fast, Tech 1
Assault Rifle, Light Combat Dress

Sorak- Reptiloid, Reactive
Plasma Rifle, Knife, Kevlar Jacket.

Clark- Martial Arts 2, Chucker 1,
Molecular Slug Thrower, 2 Frag Grenades, Light Combat Dress.  

Optimus Pharmaceutical Systems Security Team, our "Star Cops", The Lieutenant is the unhelmeted one.

OPS Corporate Security Team  200 XP
Theme: Star Cops
Tactical Discipline: Opportunity Fire

Lieutenant- Leadership 1, Veteran, Marksman 1, Reactive.
Laser Rifle, Patrol Baton, Combat Dress, Night Visor, Electromagnetic Shackles

Corporal- Medic 2, Tech 1
Laser Rifle, Patrol Baton, Combat Dress, Night Visor

Private X 3
Laser Rifle, Patrol Baton, Combat Dress, Night Visor

While I went into the game with particular narrative in mind, the book gives 20 missions and suggests you weave your won narrative based on rolled mission, location and complications..
I pre planned this mission based on what we wanted to run but for XP purposes we use a book mission to stay on track with the level of characters and games intent.

The Mission: is #3- Bodyguard Work (framed by me as a Rescue/Evac)

The Scientist, in Lab 2
Pirates = Defender and the Star Cops = Attackers.  
The Scientist =Civilian VIP.
The VIP is a noncombatant  (but Medic 3, Tech 2 and Light Combat Dress)  starts in lab 2 and activates with defenders once he comes within 1” of defending team member.
Defenders must get VIP to exaction point get 8 XP if he gets out unharmed, 3 XP if he’s OOA,  and 1 XP for any enemy or Zombie put OOA.
Attackers must Kill VIP (6 XP) and (3XP) turn on main power.  And 2 XP for each Pirate put OOA  and 1XP for each Zombie put OOA
All team members must be moved to EVAC point for their team anyone left in the base OOA or not is considered killed.

The Location: is  #16 Laboratory, it’s a designer drug lab so well use ‘Superfood” from the options and just call any designer drugs seized as “stress reduction” drugs there will be 5 tokens to represent these on the board

There is also one set of lockers and 3 small crates and one large red crate (2 rolls) that can be searched on the board using the container chart on page 39 to determine contents.

Complication: I am using my own here.  Plague Zombies!  , The lab was of course testing/developing a bio weapon, the virus of which was leaked into the lab by now deceased scientist who morals got the better of him, The remaining scientist, after realizing the entire lab was lost engaged a decontamination protocol which bathed the base in lethal Radiation which is killed most of the infected staff, There are 6 Zombies that survived the decontamination, 

3 Techs – Space Suits – Cargo Bay
2- Soldiers- Light Combat Dress- Main Hall
1 – Scientist- no armor.- outside Lab doors

Zombies are Non Reactive, Tough 1,  and all melee attacks are Damage 2 count as primitive attacks in terms of armor penetration but don’t have the -1 to hit. ,  Zombies suffer no morale, or stress and All get to try to react once for each teams failed activation dice before they other teams reactions. They cannot “seize the initiative” but automatic get a free action on critical failures

Any Character wounded by a Zombie must pass Endure check TN 10 or be infected.  Infected characters may have the wound or wounds removed via first aid which removes the infection.  Any Infected characters who try to activate turn into zombies on their first failed activation
Any Character put OOA by a Zombie, rises as a zombie as soon as initiative switches between players.

The Environment- Standard Atmosphere and Gravity.

The Power is out so everything darkness in effect -2 to shoot, spot and terrain rolls to those without night visors. Due to LED emergency lighting LOS is 10”

While power is out all doors must be forced open with damage or wired to open with a Tech TN 10 check. When the power is on, all door automatic open when approached

Reactivating  the power is complex task Tech TN 12/2 
All Zombies in darkness more than 8” away are assumed to be hidden., requiring a spot check

Intelligence-  The OPS squad beats the TN 16 on the  intel checkmeaning they know about the pirates and there capabilities.

(Activation Notations are often written as (2/1,  0/2, etc.. 2/1 for instance meaning the character tried to activate 3 times , rolling 3 dice...passing 2 successes and one failure)

Initiative goes to the Crew of Leif Erickson.

Pirate Leader Mason activates first with 3 dice

Rolling 3 Successes

Sees a Zombie in the Corner by the Big Red Crate

(play example)

Fast Draw, Free,  Aim  (1) Shoot (2)   Aim +1 Accurate Weapon +1  -2 Darkness = 10 Misses. Argh.
Normal shot, need 12 , due to darkness…rolls…17!  5 over TN  pick the Torso
Damage Die is a 9 – 4 weapon damage +1 Space Suit +1 , +1  Tough  = 7
2 pins, 1 wound , Knocked Prone.

Taturo (Teraton)  rolls 3 Dice…
Rolling 3 Successes
Moves X 2 to engage prone Zombie in melee…
Melee Attack + 7, Weapon Master +2, Big +1 , Zombie Prone -2, 2 Pins -2
Hits with a12! +7 = 19….Damage Die is a 3!...  its OOA…decapitated we say!!...

Clark tries to activate rolling 3 dice!
 1 Successes and 2 Failures,  It could not last now, could it?

 All Zombies get a chance to react ( needs a 12) anytime a character fails to activate.
In this case they are responding to 2 failed activations.

Zombies Reactions  
Closest (Ghoul) Zombie to Clark 19!  Sprints 6” toward Clark
Pale Zombie in Cargo Bay Fails to react
Soldier Zombie Helmet 13! Activates walks 2” into hallway
Soldier Zombie Bad Haircut  fails to activate
Scientist Zombie Fails to activate.

Zombies Reactions  (failed activation die 2)
Ghoul Zombie Fails to react
Pale Zombie Fails to react
Soldier Zombie Helmet Activates walks 2” randomly  East! Toward Void Corp
Soldier Zombie Bad Haircut  Activates walks 2” randomly into hall.
Scientist Zombie Fails to activate

OPS squad 2 Reactions
Corporal-  Reacts tries TN 10 at +1 to open doors- Fails
Lieutenant-  Reaction succeeds Tries to Steal Initiative
TN 16,  +1 Leadership +6 Stress on Pirate Team
 Rolls 10! success

Pirate Stress Cleared

The firefight continues with Pirates battling there zombies in the cargo bay while the OPS squad is tied up trying to enter the base.

The Pirates take out their Zombies first, not with a close call of one giving a good bite to Taturo but its doesn’t end up getting thru his armor (no wound) and result is critical melee response from the big Pirate splattering the last of the Plague victims on the wall. The gives them a bit more time to position they break off into two teams,  the Melee oriented characters  (Taturo, Clark) move toward the OPS team (who is still tied up fighting zombies ) thru the center of the Cargo Bay, the other move down the north hall headed toward the lab and the Scientist.

The OPS squad makes it to the Cargo storage area but the more armored zombie soldiers are hard to take down, they get involved in hand to hand, finishing the last Zombie with some well placed shot. By the time this resolves itself the Pirates are set up at the end of the hall and directly across from the OPS squad waiting to strike

Leading to this exchange.

OPS SQUAD INITIATIVE (pirate stress cleared)

OPS LT rolls 3 Dice, 3/0

The Lieutenant doesn’t really have LoS on any Pirates without exposing himself to a lot of potential fire, He moves to cover and doesn’t use is other 2 Successes only picking up 1 stress

Corporal rolls one die to activate and succeeds she moves a couple inches in to get cover from the doorway for the oncoming fire fight, 1 stress

Private B rolls 2 dices to activate 1/1 

Taturo tries to react and does with an 11, he then tries to force the door and does with a 16 (1 stress)

Private B now seeing the the hulking armored pirate in his LoS turns and quickly fires- missing (4) picking up 1 stress.

Private C now tries to activate rolling three dice  but its 1/2 

Both Najidi and Mason take this as que to get themselves across the hall  both  make their reaction attempts  Najidi sprinting a  full 7 inches with fast , while mason stops to cover the hall from the other side ( 1 stress each)

Private C doesn’t want to get caught in Melee with Taturo so he backs off the door looking for cover (1 Stress)

Private A tries to activate now seeing Mason with cover in his LoS
He wants to shoot and move so he rolls three dice…2/1 
Mason wants to react by shooting first..but fails

Private A -takes a shot a Mason misses and runs forward along the wall, 2 stress.

(note : equipment use , changes outcome here)
OPS squad needs a break here so we are going to activate Private A this time due to stress he needs 12’s rolls a pair of 12’s   he takes an aimed shot at Mason..
In  heavy cover.  The Security grunt needs a 12  and rolls a 16, 4 over .   We pick arm since he’s only wearing a Kevlar the damage die is ‘4” bad news for the pirate leader he’s going OOA but he’s wearing a refraction field harness and rolls a 16 the laser is deflected…he got seriously lucky.

Private A is going to risk going again dropping a hail of fire on mason and rolls 2 dice 1/1
Mason makes the reaction and tough call, either play it safe and get the hell out of the way or steal the initiative at +9, Pirates play it safe and Mason drops back if the Lone OPS private advances they’ll have him a crossfire  (Mason picks up another 1 stress)

Private has lost line of sight to Mason,  The Private knows the Pirates don’t have there night vision using the ark he hides and moves 2 inches  (1 stress)

OPS LT activate 1/1  back off for better cover ,  and Initiative steal attempt fails
Private B activate  rolls 2 – 1/1  Pirates react and try again -Initiative stolen

This ambush went bad real fast for the Pirates..its just with combat dress and "tough" Taturo was very hard to put down..the dice just werent there.


(morale rolls team members on both sides starting going down, the tank character , lives up to his name)

Sorak activate 3/0  spots hidden and shoots Private A with his Plasma Rifle  putting him OOA with a good damage roll

OPS squad morale checks but the Corporal and Private 3 both pick up 1 pin and 1 stress

Taturo activates 2/1  moves and tries to shoot private B with his flamer pistol but gets shot doing so

Najidi activates  1 / 2  Moves to the Lab door , the scientist is in reach.

But subsequent OPS squad reactions result into Taturo getting shot up bad taking 4 pins and 3 wounds and getting knocked prone, he manages to get back up (using 2 of the team 4 determination tokens) rolling 1/1 with a critical managing to avoid reactions but cant act.
Najidi tries to activate again to get the lab door open rolls 3 dice  1 / 2  and initiative is stolen by OPS.

OPS INITIATIVE (pirate stress cleared)
OPS decides the best move now is to finish off the big guy, and get to cargo bay access corridor to be able to cover any escape attempts by scientist.

First thou they want to get the power on they’ll lose the darkness bonus they are enjoying but they not have time later to do it and they are a man down.

Corporal manages gets power on making the dual activation require tech roll but gives up a reaction in process that allows the now standing Taturo to back away to cover,

Additional failed OPS activation allow addition reactions resulting in throwing of a earlier  primed grenade the Private B down prone

Shots are exchanged private B goes OOA, Taturo ends up carring 6 pins , 4 wounds and his cyberweapon is damaged needing a complex task to repair (no time)

Corporal makes it to OOA private B and stabilizes him and starts carrying him to exit zone

Taturo runs(limps) back toward Cargo Vehicle.

Najidi gets door open makes it to scientist

Private C  lucky shot puts the Sorak OOA down the hall.

Pirates all make morale check, Najidi’s   is a 20 so removes all stress.

(right here we screwed up because when someone goes OOA initiative automatically switches sides but in the heat of the fight we missed it ended up happening on its own anyway)

Here the OPS Lt tries to activate  1/ 2 but gives up 2 reactions that result in very lucky reaction  rolls by the Scientist who sprints x 2

The OPS Lt tries to ambush him and almost does rolling 3 dice  2/1 but the failed activation gives Pirate Leader Mason the reaction he uses his teams other 2 determination tokens, make the reaction then succeeds in Stealing the Initiative with a

Team leaders face off.

PIRATE INITIATIVE.  ( OPS stress cleared.)

Mason activate x 3   3/0   Runs, aimed shot at OPS Lieutenant  +2  (acc weapon, aim)  rolls 11 +2 = 13 hit To Torso..Damage 4  armor 4
Damage Die is a 9,   2 pin , 1 wound, knocked prone.

The Rest of the Pirate turn looks like this:

Scientist tries to activate on a 12  1/1

Private C tries to react fails

Scientist sprints across the  hall

Najidi tries to activate x3 rolls 5,5,5  OOF  three OPS reaction attemps

LT tries to react fails on a 10 (needs an 11)

Corporal reacts 13  yes, moves and drops private B in evac zone , tries to react again – fails

Najidi g activates  again 2/1 
OPS Lieutenat tries to react fails on a 9…he just cant get up too wounded.

Najidi somehow finds time to search a crate here an finds needler pistol picks it up.

Pirate team is operating on high stress here

Mason manages to get across the hall and pick up the fallen Sorak and  start carry him toward the bay

Clark gives up 2 reactions that allow the OPS Lieutenant to get to his feet, but he manages to shut the cargo bay doors.

OPS Squad steals back initiative as Taturo tried to activate

Limping back to get the hell out of dodge, Orbital bombardment inbound.

OPS SQUAD INITIATIVE (pirate stress cleared)

OPS Lt 2 stress from reactions during the Pirate turn not to mention 5 pins and 1 wound
Tries to react 2/1

Games end rather non climatically as one the scientist get  a  sprint off a reaction and Mason had caries the Sorak to the cargo bay and Najidi made it across the hallway…all on reactions.

At which point OPS team concedes.

Retreating to fight another day.

The “Star Cops” needed a serious break couldn’t really do anything except have the Lieutenant  rally away all those pins and look for opening that never came.  Trying to chase the pirates down the back all exposed them to all kinds of fire and rushing the cargo against the guys with the grenades was a bad idea..

At The OPS squad realized they couldn’t catch the pirates, without potentially taking more losses
They’d rather recover their men and, let the Orbital bombardment do its job,

In retrospect the OPS team should have rushed the cargo bay to cut off the pirates escape from the get go, they spent way too much time dealing with zombies and never getting that far into the base at all.

XP rewards

Crew of the Leif Erickson –(Pirates)

Getting the Scientist out uninjured 8xp
3 Zombies , 2 OPS squad members  5 Xp

13 XP

The Sorak who was taken off the table OOA without being revived by a medic failed is TN10 endure roll so he died.

So the 13 XP can be divided among the surviving 4 crew..with no more than 7 going to any one character..

Pirates also recovered 2 Frag Grenades, a motion detector and a needler pistol.

OPS Security Squad (Star Cops)

Turning the Power on  3xp
3 zombies   3xp
1 Pirate KIA   2 XP

8 XP

The  OOA private (A) that went down first came off the table post game (we assume with the pirates gone they had no trouble reclaiming there man,  he does make the TN endure with an 11
So all the OPS squad survive.

OPS team recovered 3 doses ( 1 marker) of the Stress reduction drug..

Overall …I like the game a lot….need to play a few more mechanics are cool, I think the zombies just being roadblocks didn’t real do much no one of them managed to get into melee, while in previous test fight I ran they did. Just the odds of the dice.  The pirates seems to get around the zombie easier mainly because of position.

I also think 5 characters per side is quite a lot to run while its sounds like a few…I found 2 pirates I barely used and one them ended up dead…even a 3 vs 3 in this game would be interesting .
Tactically there is a lot going on with the game we barely scratched the surface of, the Star Cops needed to make way better use of Opportunity fire for sure, but we focusing mainly getting down the basics (why again I think the zombies were too much, I just have like 30 of them so I want to get some use..)

I’m going to run another smaller scenario coming up focusing on tactics and gameplay coming up but first I need to jump over to Fantasy for awhile and wrap up a few things…I’ll be back soon , I hope. In meantime go pick up Rogue Stars.


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