Monday, May 19, 2014

Just Another Bughunt, Drums at the Rapids 2014

This past weekend was the HMGS-GL convention Drums at the Rapids. Organized and run by Doug Johnson and the Colby Street Irregulars group, and held at Fort Meigs in Perrysburg Ohio. It is, in my opinion, one of the best small conventions I have ever attended.

The HMGS-GL guardian on duty outside the Ft. Meigs Visitor Center.
My contribution this year was my newly finished "Just Another Bughunt" game.  The rules are simple and the players really only need a 3x5" roster sheet to play.  Loosely based on the Aliens franchise using Khurasan Miniatures' 15mm Space Demons, Federal Defence Force "Exterminators", plus a mix of 15mm figures from Rebel Minis, a few RAFM, and even some old Martian Metals figs from way back for civilian/Merc types.  The terrain is mostly home made or free card buildings from Toposolitario along with one one of Blue Moon's fine buildings, and craters generously provided by The Plastic Guys.  See my earlier post on how I made the mining facility.  There were five human factions with more or less similar objectives (some more, some less) and loads of "bugs" (unlimited really).  Designed for six, I ended up with  seven players total. We had five for the humans and two for the bugs. With players wanting to play the bugs I was able to focus entirely on my GM duties!  

The situation: Marines have landed near the Prin-Gles Mining Co. on mining planet LV-4347. It is a routine mission to re-establish contact or retrieve civilians if the situation dictates. At worst they are expecting just another bughunt. Unknown to them, there are other human factions who want to retrieve what is at the Prin-Gles Mining Co. research facility. Meanwhile, the miners, Sheriff Ric and his deputies, along with the other civilians, just want to survive.  
Everyone carefully watched the opening moves of the others.

Things went well for the human factions as the bugs got eliminated (as planned) almost as soon as they spawned.

The WY Corp. Operatives and the Colonial Marines form an unholy alliance as bug spawns increase.
Now things begin to come unhinged.  Bugs seem to be coming from everywhere (no one checked any buildings!) and shots start to fly between the human factions. Human casualties mount, as more and bigger Bugs arrive. 
The commo tower, only link to the orbital extraction ships, is ready to be breached as bug numbers continue to increase.
At this point, the WY Corp. operatives were wiped out due to poor tactics, and the Marines were down to just a few men. Still, the surviving PG Security relief force, PG Lab security, and the civilians managed to work together to fend the Bugs off.  If the remaining groups could negotiate their way to fulfill at least some of their objectives, they might all survive.
The Queen appears, leaps the power fence and attacks the gate while hordes of bugs gather.
In the end, the civilian survivors ran for the refuge of the lab building, while the scattered PG Security teams fought for their lives.  Unfortunately for them, the lone Marine Corporal (yes really), reached the now deserted commo tower and announced his plans to call for extraction and nuke the planet from orbit.  As he put it: "It's the only way to be sure."

I had a nice mix of enthusiastic players who all had a great time.  They all grasped the basic rules, if not the tactics, well.  But then, tactics take time to learn and we had some young players. Even the young lad who got wiped early ran off to get a hot dog and returned to watch the outcome of the game!  

Drums was a great event as usual this year with many outstanding games, run by great GMs. The only game I played was the 15th Annual Toledo War.  This is a "what-if" game based on the actual "war" of 1835-36. Played with some of  Doug Johnson's elegantly simple Home rules, this annual game is always a bloody affair.  It can literally come down to the last man!  This year it did, for Michigan!
My Ohio Militia on the right.

My Ohio Militia on the ground, while our cavalry flanks the Wolverines as the rest of our boys close in!
The lone surviving Michigander was then run down by the Ohio cavalry before his initiative came up.  It was a resounding victory for the glorious Buckeyes! So, the record stands at: 
 Ohio 10, Michigan 5!!!

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