One of the things I have wanted to use Q13 for is a series of Invasion Earth scenarios set just after the end of the Second World War. For an as yet unspecified reason, various alien races are attempting to take over the Earth, leading to battles between my WW2 figures and the various sci-fi armies that I'm currently building. Here's the first in the series: Space Bugs versus Americans...
Centred around a small French town astride a main road (see picture, below) the game opened with both sides advancing Blinds onto the table. The Americans (the red, white and blue Blinds) concentrated on occupying the buildings of the town, with the Space Bugs (the Rising Sun Blinds) massing on their right of the table, attempting to outflank via a large farm near a hedge-bordered sunken road.
From their various vantage points, American troops were the first to actually spot the enemy: identifying a large 'swarm' of Bugs taking up positions in the farmhouse yard, and a column of alien fighting machines advancing down the sunken road. For those interested, the yellow markers on both sets of Bugs are Overwatch tokens: indicating that they have held over their Actions until they have something to Spot or Shoot at.
Unluckily for the Bugs, the next card out of the deck (Q13 uses the usual TFL card-operated turn sequence) was the US Blinds card, allowing the Americans to react to what they could see. A platoon of light tanks moved into the gardens around the houses on the left of the town and opened fire on the Tripod alien vehicles. Unfortunately, some kind of alien technology mean that their shells either missed their targets or just bounced off some kind of energy shields: the result of an entire salvo of shots was not one bit of damage to the Tripods.
No matter: the American commander had more assets at his disposal. A platoon of medium tanks roared over the crest of the hill near the sunken road and also opened up on the alien vehicles. With a shorter range and heavier guns, two of the enemy 'tanks' were destroyed: one of the Tripods and one Crawler-thing.
Desperate to inflict as much damage as possible on the aliens before they could manoeuvre around to a position where they could return fire, the American commander then decided to throw everything he had at the invaders. First up, the Company HQ came forward: three bazooka teams (and the Medic you can see on the hill in the first photo!) headed by the Company Commander himself. Then a whole platoon of infantry, hurling hand grenades and shooting off entire magazines into the alien column. Result: one Crawler with damaged legs! Another volley from the medium tanks, however, took out the last two Tripods.
The remaining Crawlers clunked through ninety degrees and opened fire with some kind of alien slug throwers. Although only five men in the US platoon were killed, the rest were Shaken by the intensity of fire.
More good news for the Americans followed, however, The light tanks had been shelling the swarm of Space Bugs densely packed into the farmyard and, after several turns had managed to effectively render them hors de combat: bits of alien carapace and inside-goo flying everywhere. One light tank had been lost, however: some kind of alien equivalent to a bazooka had flashed out from the farmyard and blown it to bits with one shot...but even fire from this weapon ceased as shell after shell poured down on the unfortunate bugs.
With the Tripods and Crawlers either destroyed or about to be destroyed (the medium tanks could volley over their Shaken infantry, and there were only two Crawlers still functioning), it looked as if this particular bug invasion would soon be squished. The Space Bugs had, however, one more trick up their sleeves. With a sonic boom that momentarily deafened the humans, two capsules hurtled out of the sky: one plunging into the ground behind the line of medium tanks, one plunging into the main road in the middle of the town.
There was a moment's pause and then, with a horrible chittering, skittering sound, a mass of parasachnids poured from the capsule in the centre of the town, and headed towards a platoon of infantry sheltering in the lee of the church whilst they awaited orders to move forward. Surely nothing could stop them being torn apart by the ravenous insectoid horde?!
This was, however, no ordinary platoon. This was experimental heavy infantry platoon number one: dressed in powered armour built from technology acquired from battlefield debris from other encounters with alien species. Quickly forming two lines (front rank kneel!) they poured fire from their arm-mounted machine guns into the beasties approaching them at a rapid rate of knots then, as contact was made, took full advantage of their armour to carve to bugs apart! There were, admittedly, several casualties, but this particular wave of bugs was quickly wiped out, the last few monsters being chased around the church yard.
Note that the arrival of the town centre drop-pod was so seismic that it even knocked the yellow-fronted shop upside down. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Meanwhile the contents of the other drop-pod had revealed themselves as another, but smaller, horde of parachnids and one huge mother of a beetle that spewed acidic fire from between its mandibles! One medium tank was almost immediately brewed up.
At this point, however, we called the game. The Space Bugs had nothing left able to fight except for the giant Ogre Beetle and a handful of parascahnids, and the remaining US tanks and infantry would have been able to deal with them without too many problems.
A massive victory for the Americans, caused largely by them managing to get the drop on the Bugs very early on in the game. Whenever the Bugs did manage to get a shot off, they did cause carnage...but there just weren't enough of them and, as I said, the Americans had spotted that their only chance was to hit them as hard and fast as they possible could, and had managed to do so.
The Battlefield Insertion of the drop-pods would have been a brilliant coup de grace if the Americans had already been on the back foot, or an equally brilliant deadlock-breaker but, as it was, was too little, too late.
No matter: Space Bugs breed fast, and reinforcements have already been ordered!
The historical US troops are mostly Battlefront, with the odd Peter Pig and Essex infantry figure. Their Medic was from Flashpoint's Vietnam range. The experimental US infantry and walkers (you can see the walkers in some of the photos) are from Clockwork Goblin (see the review elsewhere on this site for more).
The Space Bug infantry are from Highlander Studios. The Tripods and Crawlers are from Pendraken's 10mm range. The parasachnids and Ogre Beetle are from Khurasan Miniatures. Links to all the mentioned manufacturers can be found under the Figure Manufacturers tab on this site (see Index on the left).
Quadrant 13, or Q13 for short, are the latest rules published by the TooFatLardies, and are available for purchase. Note that for this game I used only an iPad version of the rules and printed QR sheets. How hi tech is that!