Another sci-fi bash with Neil, this time featuring Khurasan's Garn/Felid versus a Hive bug army comprised of figures from several manufacturers. Unfortunately my camera seemed to have decided to give everything a weird tint, so the pictures aren't great...but then I put that down to the strange alien sun that provides this particular planet with light!

 The premise of the scenario was simple: a small force of Garn have been surprised by an army of bugs. The Garn have holed up around an easily defensible canyon and have called for help. A rapid deployment force of Felids has been dispatched to aid them, but the Garn must hold out until they arrive.

The Battlefield (covered in a strange alien light!)

The canyon where the garn are holed up

The forces for the two sides were as follows:

The Garn

On table at start of game:

1st Platoon

  • Hegemon Big Man 1 (Level III)
  • 1 x FOO
  • 2 x Garn Squad (8 Garn each)
  • 1 x Flesheater Team

Arrive Turn 3 (two Blinds at a time)

Company HQ

  • Felid Big Man 2
  • Topcat Command Vehicle (EW Specialist + FOO)                

2nd Platoon

  • Felid Big Man 3 (Level II)
  • 2 x Felid Jetbike Squad (6 Felid each)

3rd (Prideguard) Platoon

  • Felid Big Man 4 (Level III)
  • 3 x Prideguard Medium Battle Circle (each 10 Felid)
  • Drone Operator
  • 3 x Pounder PML Drone
  • 4 x Lion-class Transport

4th Platoon

  • Felid Big Man 5 (Level III)
  • 2 x Heavy Battle Circle (each 10 Felid)
  • 2 x Lynx Class Individual Transport
  • 3 x Puma Class Transport

Mako Platoon

  • Felid Big Man 6 (Level II)
  • 4 x Mako Tractor plus Guns

Off Table Artillery

  • “Distant Tooth” Satellite Artillery


The Hive

Enter table under Blinds, two Blinds at a time

Hive Company HQ

  • Brian Bug Big Man (Level III)
  • 1 x Adult Bug Weapons Squad
  • 1 x Topcat Command and Electronic Warfare Vehicle

1st Platoon

  • Brain Bug Big Man (Level II)
  • 3 x Adult Bug Infantry Squad (10 Bugs each)

2nd Platoon

  • Brain Bug Big Man (Level II)
  • 3 x Adult Bug Infantry Squad (10 Bugs each)

Larval Platoon

  • Larval Big Man (Level II), 1 x Crikket Cannon
  • 3 x Larval Squad (10 Bugs, 1 x Hvy Gauss Gun, 1 x Mortar each)

Assault Crab Platoon

  • 3 x Assault Crab Squad (6 Crabs each)

Tripod Squad

  • 3 x Tripod

Crawler Squad

  • 3 x Crawler

Gunship Squad

  • 3 x Gunship

Skuttler Squad

  • 2 x Skuttler


The Game

The game began with the Hive advancing one of their adult bug platoons into position behind the crest of the hill facing where the Garn were lurking. This platoon effectively pinned the Garn in place, as if they emerged from the canyon, they could have been riddled with fire. The Garn, for their part, were unconcerned at this point: they knew that reinforcements were on the way, and the only thing that really bothered them was working out where they would get enough chocolate from to dip all the bugs they could see in front of them into before eating them.

With the Garn pinned, the Hive now moved up their large larval platoon and support weapons into the wadi leading into the canyon on the Garn's left side: standard pin and manoeuvre tactics. Fire was exchanged, with the larval bugs being unpleasantly surprised at how effective the Garn's personal energy shields were.

At the same time as the larvae moved into position, the Hive's Odonate gunships swept along the wadi and attempted to strafe the main Gar infantry platoon. The first gunship got a nasty surprise as the Garn Flesheater opened fire with his huge superheavy auto weapon: it banked sharply away from the stream of fire, with its pilot struggling to maintain control. The second and third gunships did make a couple of successful passes, but those Garn energy shields were proving equally effective again their fire. Net result of the larvae and gunships' attack: two dead Garn.   

The Adult Bug platoon pin the garn down

Larvae and gunship attack

The Garn, meanwhile, had been concentrating their efforts on persuading the powers that be to let them have access to one of their Distant Tooth space-to-ground satellite weapons. Permission was eventually given, and a barrage from on high slammed into the larval platoon's position. The carnage was terrible: icky green fluid everywhere!

There were, however, a lot of larvae there, so they didn't all flee, but they were certainly pinned and suppressed, and nervously looking skywards for the next barrage.

As all the above was going on, the rest of the Hive force had arrived and was moving in on the Garn position. Two Skuttler tanks were now jamming the Garn command transmissions, delaying their calls for more Distant Tooth bombardment; and another adult bug platoon joined the first, with both now moving in for the kill. The three Hive Tripods also moved up, keen to unloose their heat rays on their lizardy foe.

The Tripods attack!

With the larval platoon still suffering from the effects of artillery, the Garn were free to turn their attentions to the rest of the Hive advancing towards them. One squad of Garn warriors emerged from the side of the canyon and engaged one of the adult bug platoons at close range. The fearsome firepower of the Garn meant that one Hive squad was routed from the field, with the other two having real difficulty holding their own.

The other squad managed to take out one of the Tripods, and, for a moment, it looked as if the Garn wouldn't actually need any reinforcements...but then a couple more Garn had fallen, and there weren't that many of them to begin with.

At that moment, the first wave of Felid reinforcements arrived: a platoon of Prideguard on jet bikes, and another mounted in Lion-class superheavy attack transports.

the First wave of felids arrive

jetbike close up

The Lion command vehicle dropped off its drone mortars and drone operator, which immediately began adding to the larval platoon's woes. With shells dropping on them from the mortars, and the threat of more Distant Tooth strikes if the Hive's jamming could be stopped, the larvae were not looking very comfortable.

The rest of the Prideguard headed forwards towards the Hive flank, with the Hive reacting by sending the Crawlers, a Tripod, and their reserve adult bugs to face them as they emerged from within/behind the weird alien wood in the centre of the table.

The second wave of Felid reinforcements consisted of their standard battle circle mounted in a combination of Lynx and Puma scout cars. As they drove onto the table, however, they were close assaulted by the Hive's Assault Crab platoon, and a very messy combat ensued.

At that point, unfortunately, the game had to end. We'd spent so much time chatting before we started that time's winged chariot had caught up with my opponent and, incredibly, rather than face the rest of the weekend in the doghouse, he had to go.

We declared the battle a draw, as the game was absolutely in the balance. Although the Garn themselves were currently holding their own, there were masses of bugs attacking them, and plenty of time for those bugs to finish them off before turning to face the approaching Felids. That said, however, the Felids had an EW vehicle with them that could perhaps have burnt through the Skuttlers' jamming signal, which would have meant more death from above for the Hive, and the four Lion transports were pretty meaty vehicles. The combat between the Assault Crabs and the second Felid platoon could also have gone either, the game was definitely a draw.

A great game, a pity we couldn't finish it in time.

Robert Avery