Saturday we playtested one of my games for Bayou Wars this year. The Battle of Henderson Road is an engagement in the ongoing rebellion of the Tau Ceti colony against the Solar Alliance. We used “Fast and Dirty Scifi Skirmish”, a free set of rules that works quite well for small actions. As is typical for us, I changed certain parts of the rules up pretty heavily to simplify and streamline play. I’ll go into detail about those changes over on my blog soon.
The Earth Force Marines were tasked with occupying a small town along Henderson Road and securing access to the Culver’s Gorge bridge to the northeast. The Ceti Guard, a planetary defense force armed with second-rate equipment, are to stop this at any cost. Both sides need the bridge intact, as it provides the only means of crossing the gorge for miles in either direction.
A platoon of Ceti Guard “Centurion” tanks, with a “Scorpion” scout tank and “Swingfire” ATGM carrier advance through some scattered woods north of town. The town is off-camera to the top, and the road coming from the gorge is off-camera to the right.
Earth Force “Valiant” tanks advance on the road from the northwest, with a “Type IX” APC flanking them.
Valiants take position at the intersection (the Gorge is to north) and fire on the Guard tanks among the trees. Behind them, a Marine heavy laser section sets up in rough ground.
Ceti Guard tanks taking fire from the Valiant tanks. One Centurion is stopped temporarily (shown by the token on the turret), and a “Saracen” IFV in the background has been destroyed (shown by the cotton “smoke”). In FaD, a unit that is fired at is automatically marked as “Under Fire”, which will affect how they move and shoot on their next activation.
Saracens carrying the Ceti Guard’s weapons and command squads move up to the shuttle landing pad near town and engage 1st Squad in the woods. The Saracen on the left has taken fire and been incapacitated; it will have a chance to get back into the action on its activation.
The Marines’ command squad abandon their APC as it is destroyed by a Ceti Guard squad’s RPG gunner off camera.
The Scorpion scout tank is destroyed by the Valiants, before it gets a chance to fire.
Valiants take return fire from the Centurions, destroying one of them.
The Marine command squad hunkers down near their stricken APC, while 1st Squad’s Type IX moves to closely engage a Saracen. Beyond, the Marines’ 1st Squad engages another Saracen.
A Ceti Guard squad rushes a Marine squad in the woods, and drives them out.
A Centurion rushes forward to engage the Earth Force Valiant tanks at close range, and knocks one temporarily out of action. When a Type IX tries the same trick, the Centurion turns it back on his attacker, knocking the APC out permanently.
The Ceti Guard weapons squad opens fire on Marines in the woods.
A lone Ceti Guard leutenant is assaulted by two Earth Force marines. He shoots at them as they advance (5 + Veteran = 2 hits), and guns both of them down. (weapon damage 5, each rolled a 2 + 2 for heavy armor = 2 failed saves)
Ceti Guard 2nd Squad’s Saracen is hit by a marine RPG, destroying it. The squad abandons the vehicle, but takes several casualties.
A Valiant pushes into point blank range to get a rear shot on a Centurion, destroying it.
We called the game shortly after this; it was a close-fought battle, but the Marines inflicted more casualties on the Guard than they received. The Ceti Guard players decided they wouldn’t be able to overcome the Marines’ developing advantage with the losses they had suffered so far. The scenario and objectives felt pretty good to us (at least according to the old adage that it’s fair if everyone is complaining). I need to tinker with my modifications a bit, but it’s all fairly minor things to smooth out play. Nothing felt broken, which is always good.
As for what’s on the table, all the Ceti Guard vehicles and the hovertrucks scattered around the town are by Combat Wombat Miniatures. The Earth Force vehicles and grey buildings are by Ground Zero Games. Infantry figures are Rebel Minis Earth Force Marines and Modern US Infantry. The large shuttle and landing pad are paper models by Ebbles Miniatures (no longer available, though some of his models are available on WorldWorksGames).