Thursday, July 7, 2011

Gruntz 15mm After Action Report

Chris from the Trumpeters Society dropped by the other day to play Gruntz. We cooked-up a  patrol scenario featuring a mid-tech force trying to move past a smaller group from a much more advanced civilisation. The setting is tropical (surprise!) and features ample opportunity for ambush!

In Gruntz terms my GZG New Israelis are bog-standard troops with SAW Squad Attachments. All Gruntz (infantry) ride inside Medium Wheeled APC's. The big assets are the UAV, armed with light missiles and a rotary cannon, as well as the tank. The commander is in a Light APC at the rear of the column and a smaller Scout car leads the way. A flying Scout drone stands by.

Chris was playing the much more advanced UNSC forces. Although he has fewer vehicles and troops, they have significant advantages. The UNSC Gruntz would be riding grav-APC's capable of doing serious damage to my vehicles. Each infantry squad has an anti-armour Squad Attachment. A group of three Spider Droids and two Specialist HMG teams round out Chris' UNSC ground troops. Two Light attack flyers are off table but can join the fun on any turn.

Numbered markers, called blinds, track the 'Bogint' units.
The UNSC have the  'Bogint' Perk, (bogus intelligence) allowing Chris to use TWO Blinds per unit until I bring one of my units into LOS and 10" of the Bogint marker.
At that point Chris may choose which blind to place his unit under. Tricky!

This is Chris' first game so we use the basic 'I-go-you-go' turn sequence, perfect for learning the game. However an Alternating Activation and a dynamic Playing Card Activation option are features of Gruntz.

Objective Turn-1: get over the bridge!
My N.I. get initiative and I move up the column, unloading the rear-most Gruntz squad and hustling them up onto the bridge.
That's my turn done.

I normally play 20mm games on this terrain. My 5'x3' table seems so much larger playing in 15mm.

Chris moves his Blinds, varying the movement rates so I can't tell which marker is what sort of unit, creating threatening groups along my route ahead...

"We have movement! Enemy Activity all over the grid!"
Chris' Spider Droids and a UNSC Gauss Canon Specialist unit reveal themselves and start firing on my Mantis UAV. This begins an ground-to-air duel that lasts most of the game, tying up my air support.

Fire from the woods draws the Scout Car's attention.
Before ending his activation, Chris reveals his second UNSC Gauss Canon Specialist and opens up on my Gruntz exposed on the bridge! "We're taking fire! Squad leader Down!"
My squad is suppressed, but fortunately for me the limited Area Effect of the canon failed to damage the APC or Wax (wound) additional squaddies. That's Chris' turn.

Uh, hello...
My response is direct and effective; the tank fires on the Gauss Specialist team, managing to take them out using both of the tank's weapon systems. The suppressed Gruntz choose a new squad leader and manage to move along the bridge.
I want to know what those other Blinds are hiding in the nearby copse and the scout car has enough mobility to get into the light woods, so off he goes to see what he can see... Surprise! It's a UNSC Grav APC!!!
The rest of the column moves up, and my second squad unloads from their APC, a Push Move from the Commander gets them into the woods ready to support the Scout Car. My turn-2 done.

Chris has me where he wants me now; my air support is tied-up and his ground troops are better than mine. He unloads his squad of Gruntz and opens fire on my infantry, Waxing two figures. My Scout car is toast; a victim of the Grav APC's Medium Plasma Canon and the Squad Attachment's RPG. His Grav APC is out of LOS of the rest of my forces, except for the Gruntz in the woods. One ray of sunshine in all this: Chris' squad of Grunts got caught in the Area Effect of one of his weapons, now his squad is also suppressed having lost a member.

But his turn is far from over. "Fast movers, incoming from the North-East!" Chris brings in his flyers, strafing from his table edge in an attempt to get a K.O. on one of my APC's.

Luck is with me this time as the leading High Mobility Wheeled APC soaks up the combined fire of the two attack fliers. As Chris' turn-2 activation comes to a close, I'm wondering two things: Where is his other APC? How long will my luck hold out?

Heading into turn-3 I return fire on the fliers with my Medium APC's. My dice are hot; I score solid hits, forcing Chris to roll for criticals with a damaged system result on each of the flyers. One takes a mobility hit, and the other won't be shooting as accurately!

I move my Tank up the wooded hillside into LOS of two more Blinds, revealing the other Grav APC! Meanwhile my Grunts converge on the the woods, one squad concentrating fire on the APC in a desperate attempt to stop the well armoured craft, and the other driving off the UNSC squad.
My activation for turn-3 ends with my UAV at last finishing off the robust Spider Droids. Now we are in the thick of the fight.

The first thing Chris does as his turn-3 activation begins is to destroy my lead Medium APC with his wounded flyers!
A stalemate is brewing between my 2 squads of Grunts and his Grav APC; neither of us has the right type of weapons to quickly defeat the other. But it's a different story on the wooded hillside, where my Tank takes heavy blows from Chris' Grav APC and another Grunts squad with RPG. Only great rolls save me from critical damage.
Suddenly that's it... I've made it through turn-3 mostly intact!  My Medium air support is one move away from dealing some serious damage to the UNSC.

We decide that the Ambushing forces at this point would most likely withdraw; accepting light casualties in exchange for having destroyed two vehicles. Our objective was met, namely to get Chris up to speed with this great new game.

An easy system to learn and fun to play, Gruntz offers depths of play we will definitely be exploring in the near future.

Peabody out.


  1. Anonymous7/7/11 18:29

    cheers nice to read a report just bought the rules myself

  2. Thank you for the awesome AAR! Beautiful models and paint jobs on here!

  3. Very nice layout, models and great report!

  4. Amazing terrain, figures and vehicles - very impressive!
    Great AAR, too...

  5. Anonymous8/7/11 04:30

    Great AAR Peabody. The minis and terrain look sweet! I had planned to use FWC for sci-fi, but now you have me considering Gruntz.

  6. This is a fantastic looking table and a thorough batrep to boot, thanks for posting.

    Who makes the flyers by the way?

  7. Excellent table excellent report. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Gents, thanks for the kind words.

    Mik, the groovy green flyers are 'Hasbro Titanium Series' Raptors of Battlestar Galactica fame.

    Credit for the awesome paint job on those goes to the talented, but oh so modest, Bravo Six.

  9. Really great looking game!

  10. A really great looking game! And you have one of my favorite tanks on the board, the GZG Cougar!! It's such a cool tank. Glad to see it hanging in there despite all the shooting at it. It's a lovely simple kit that paints up really nicely! I'm using them for my Colonial Marines. Also, Gruntz looks great. I have a copy but haven't tried it out yet. Maybe next game!

  11. Scott,
    Thanks for dropping by. You have a very cool blog; the Liberty setting is excellent!
    I'm looking forward to giving 5150:Star Army a read soon.

  12. Aces all around Bro, very nice!

  13. Good write up there, TR.

    I hope to see my name in lights after an Iron Ivan game!

    David aka Sturmpioneer

  14. Oh yes, we have some 'Nam gamin' to do there Dave!

  15. Really great looking hex terrain and minis! I'm inspired to build some blind counters similar to yours fr solo gaming, as Star Army is looking more and more like getting bought soon.

  16. Thanks SJ! Just finished adding 60 new hexes to the collection for a big campaign game coming up.

    The blinds were originally made to represent PEF's, PEC's and objectives for FNG and other Two Hour Wargames.

  17. What a great looking game! I don't suppose you've done a tutorial on your hex terrain system, have you?

  18. Thank you! By the way, you have a sharp looking blog!

    No tutorial, sorry. But if you are itching to try, here's what you need to start:

    Real hexes are necessary! I used 5" hexes, in 1", 2" and 3" thicknesses which I had cut for me by a local CNC hot-wire company. I ordered bags of 100 in assorted thicknesses but you need 1" & 2" more than 3".

    To sculpt and decorate them I followed the advice given in the GHQ Normandy Terrain Maker book. A must read for this sort of project.

    If you take it on, you can look forward to a project that will hone ALL your hobby skills and increase your tool-count significantly! Both are good outcomes, all things considered.

    I still make a few new hexes from time to time as a scenario or inspiration moves me. My collection of finished hexes is somewhere close to 200.

  19. Thanks a lot for the information-darn near as good as a full-blown tutorial! You've given me some crucial leads to look into.

    Thanks for the blog compliment, as well! I recently split off a 15mm sci-fi blog from my historical miniatures site-hopefully it will be as inspiring as "Peabody here!" one day.