Ok, now that I’ve got the pun out of my system, I owe you an apology: I haven’t found the time to prepare a nice and decent pdf of Wandering Star yet. So please be patient. In the meantime, here is a report of our latest game, or ‘The Massacre’ as it is fondly known in our home.
The scenario basically revolves around negotiating a bottleneck: Both teams have to set up at the eastern side of the river and may cross the bridge only when they have achieved at least one of the secondary objectives. As you will see, this premiss made for an uncharacteristically brutal game fought at close quarters.
K. again had some luck rolling up the forces and had one unit more than me. I intended to go for the easternmost secondary objective, the abandoned car, as it would provide cover for my Quar team.
I had hoped to cover K.’s advance with my weapons team but made the first big mistake when, eager to get them in position, I charged them up the hill. K., who had the initiative, had given most of her teams ‘Overwatch’ orders and was pouring fire into the poor snipers. Wearing camo suits, they would get a cover bonus, but not when charging! So I had to watch my whole special weapon team getting wiped out in turn 2.
Meanwhile, K. was positioning two of her Pasiphaean teams near the bridge and ordering her Brunt to tackle the other secondary objective, an empty ammunition crate. However, now my AAA teams took revenge and first pinned and then wiped out the Brunt.
By now, we were both a bit shaken by the brutality of the game. This was of course an effect of the scenario requirements: As we both had to approach the bridge, we got quite close to each other, which made hitting the enemy easier. Also, we both were lined up opposite each other, which resulted in a – rather fast – contest of attrition. Being outgunned due to having less units and committing tactical errors, I naturally got the worst of it. By the time K. had achieved her objective and was crossing the bridge, all that was left of my force was a single AAA warrior on the hill and the team of Quar, which was fiddling with the car and taking ages to achieve their objective.
When they finally managed, they had to run a gauntlet of Pasiphaean teams on Overwatch. K. even refrained from shooting at the valiant guys for one turn, but when they crossed the bridge, everybody let loose and that was that.
This certainly was an educating game. It’s nice to see that some rudiments of basic infantry tactics apply even to my simplified rules, in spite of its tactically challenged author. For example, never charge into the overlapping fields of fire of several enemy units! I also realised that initiative was more important than I had thought and that there are more subtleties to the Overwatch and opportunity fire rules than I have intended.
It’s fun playing Wandering Star and discovering different ways of dealing with basic situations. Hopefully, I can share the rules soon as I would be interested in how others play them.