Tuesday 31 January 2017

January's Testing Out of Rogue Stars

Time has been at a premium this month, for reasons that I shall cover in another post, so I'll just have to quickly summarise some of the sessions over the last few weeks.

Rogue Stars was released in December, so it was inevitable (and keenly anticipated) that the rules would be run through after the Seasonal Festivities had died down.

First proper run through was with a visit by MacSver. He was accompanied by his newly painted (but not quite finished he'd like to point out) Apes from Ganesha Games (stats used above).

Character generation was making my head hurt, so I raked together some models to represent the robotic brotherhood example warband from the rulebook.

The scenario saw the robots guarding an unarmed civilian from the simian assassins.

There was quite a bit of page flicking as usual for a first run through, even with MacSver's QRS. One of the characteristics seemed to be the amount of damage that a character can sustain. This is no single shot take-out game, although I think that a cinematic feel was probably part of the design remit.

The civilian ended the night in one piece, but more importantly we'd run through most of the key features.

This encouraged MacSver to suggest a run through session at Falkirk Wargames Club a couple of weeks later. The take-up was enthusiastic, with 5 separate 1-on-1 games running on the night.

I had out the robots again, against a group of mercenaries.

The scenario had the robots trying to get to the top of the central spire and make a couple of difficult Tech tests to  win the game. The Mercs were there to stop them.

The robots eventually made good head-way and all was looking rosey. The Tech roll then started to prove to be a major stumbling block (especially as it gets harder the more you attempt if due the to "stress" (fatigue) of doing actions.

This (and the fact we strangely forgot to take weapon damage into consideration for the first half of the game) brought the Merc's back into the fore. And a withering rain of automatic fire cut down the automatons, with their leader routing at the end, cursing his lack of forethought to include a Tech savvy character in his warband.

The general feeling from the night was that the system was fun and dynamic. There is an adaptation of the reaction system from "Advanced Song of Blades and Glory" et al. to keep both sides in the action all the time. There is no automatic turnover however. The active player changes either when the current player chooses, or when is "won" as a reaction. Activated characters can do multiple activations, but as they tire from every action they become more prone to mistakes and injury. There are a few different tokens required, which had confused us during the game, but nothing that wouldn't become clearer with in extra game or two.

More shall be played....


  1. I have to say that I like the 'idea' of the game but find myself putting off playing it because it seems a bit complicated and fiddly.

    I'm sure it would come together after a few games but as my main opponent is a ten-year old being on top of the rules is my job and so I find my enthusiasm waning!

    1. I know exactly where you are coming from, Gordon. The huge list of attributes that each character (can) have accompanied by the different status markers being added and taken away had my head spinning. It has taken a couple of games to get the system to start sinking in. I'm glad I went with one of the example warbands - I would never have made the table otherwise. Worth the effort though I think.

      I fear it may be a bit fiddly to play with a 10 year old (I'm going by experience of playing with my lad here). Even the damage\wound system is granular and would slows things down at bit much. For Sci-Fi with the lad I'd used Two Hour Wargames [free] Chain Reaction rules (just approximating any sci-fi weaponry). It's all action and at has the bonus that your can run through solo and even play on the same side against the game mechanics. Although most son's I see playing any game prefer to blast Daddy to bits!

    2. Yep...blasting Daddy to bits is certainly high on the 'fun' list! I shall head off to look for Chain Reaction now...thanks!

  2. I purchased the rules yesterday so this report was perfectly timed.

    1. Happy days. I find it takes a bit of brain storming, there were more status tokens than I am used to, but the dynamic activation keeps the action flowing from both sides and I can see could get quite tactical.

    2. Thanks Sam I have already watched a few Youtube videos so I have a rough idea of what to expect. That is until players get hold of the idea and want to create "Super" Crews with EVERY bizarre combination they can ever think of.

    3. I try to avoid those match-ups. If the rules are followed though your warband has to fit into different classes, all with restrictions to try and avoid the Super Crew by design.