Well a couple of us thought we’d thought we’d pick up a game of Rogue Stars and have a game or two of it.
The game has a very detailed and flexible character development system. Characters are part of a small squad which has a theme.
So the first squad we decided would be a mercenary squad made up of dudes that just like helping out other dudes for a few bob. Squad sheet is below.
The total squad is 200 points.
The next squad is a bunch of filthy misfit pirates. Squad sheet is below.
Now the back story goes that the filthy misfit pirates had taken some cool stuff from a good dude that goes by the name of Vader so he’s got his mercenary buddies to go over and grab one of the pirates called Solo so that he can ask him why would he do such a thing. Vader just wants to talk. That’s all. Honest.
Ok so the game is played with missions. This mission is going to be a Manhunt. Kinda makes sense doesn’t it.
They are playing on a bit of a desert world, around a space ship hanger with a couple of out buildings.
Under this mission the pirates deploy first, anywhere they want and then the mercenaries deploy on any table edge. The objective is to grab Solo, alive if possible, and then drag him off the table so that he can catch up with Vader.
It’s a 3 x 3 table. Initial deployment by the two squads is shown below (one full table picture and one a bit closer).
So the first thing we need to do is to roll initiative.
Pirates d20 = 5 + 1 for all being veteran = 6
Mercs d20 = 9
Mercs go first.
The game works by picking a figure to attempt to activate. They can attempt up to 3 times and for every time they fail an opposition character can attempt to react and if they do react they get to go first.
Greedo will attempt to activate 3 times. He’s a vet and needs to roll a 9 to activate and rolling 3d20 he gets a 6, 10 and 4.
The pirates choose not to react as they would prefer to not get stressed (each action or reaction adds a point of stress to a figure).
Greedo is fast so he can run 4 +1 = 5 inches and runs around the corner and takes cover behind the crate.
Next IG-88 decides to go. He rolls a 1, 13 and 6 and activates once. The pirates again decide to not respond. He moves up to the crate at the corner of the building and takes cover and receives 3 stress.
Bossk decides to go next and rolls 2, 4 and 12. Chewie decides to react twice and rolls a 7 and 1 and gets two points of stress but doesn’t react at all. He sprints 6” to behind the power generator, putting himself into a great flanking position.
Fett goes next and rolls 12, 16 and 18. He’s got a jump pack (naturally) which enables him to jump up to 8” with a single activation. He cannot resist it. He jumps over the intervening building, gets into line of site of Solo and fires his laser pistol twice. The range is about 6” and so he needs a target number of 10 – 3 for his marksman skill and + 3 for Solo’s difficult to hit modifier = 10. He rolls a 14 and 3 hitting Solo once in the right arm for 17 - 4 for damage + 1 for toughness = 14 = 1 pin and light damage. Solo winces as his right arm is temporarily Crippled, receives a pin marker and drops his pistol.
In Rogue Stars you can keep activating characters it’s just that you keep accruing stress and the opposite player can try to steal the initiative from you.
So Fett tries to activate again. He doesn’t want to try three times because the opposition might steal the initiative before he gets to have a go so he just tries once and rolls d20 getting a 14 – 3 stress + 2 for being elite = 13 and gets to go again. He’s tempted to fire at Skywalker, because he’s not too keen on that big glowie sword thingie that he’s waiving around but Luke is just outside of short range so he fires another round at the crippled Solo. He rolls a 3 and misses.
He decides to go again and rolls a 13 – 4 stress + 2 for being elite = 11 and successfully activates again and he fires another round at Solo this time getting a 20 – a critical hit. This time he hits pretty boy Solo in the face and rolling a d20 for damage gets a 5 + 4 damage + 2 for a critical hit = 11. Solo receives another pin marker, is knocked to the ground prone, only just passes an Endure test and is barely able to stay conscious and turns his head at the last second, narrowly avoiding being blinded.
Solo is in a world of trouble now.
Having not lost the initiative, Fett decides to go again and rolls a 8 for activation and fails to activate. He’s now got 6 stress.
The pirates attempt to take the initiative. It’s a TN16 check -1 for every stress, pin or wound marker on the opposition. The mercs have 15 stress and the pirates roll a 10 and take the initiative back.
At the end of their initiative all the stress markers are removed from the mercs but for the sake of the next image I’ve just shown the end of the round just before that.
Solo isn’t looking so good and the wookie already has 2 stress on him.
The pirates decide to open with Leia attempting to activate 3 times. She rolls a 2, 12 and 18. The mercs decide that Fett will try to react. He rolls a 13 + 2 for being elite. He activates his jump pack and jumps out of harms way and picks up a stress point. Angry that Bobba has gotten away with shooting Han, Leia walks upto the side of the building peeks around the corner and squeezes off a shot at IG-88. She rolls a 17 + 1 for marksman level 1 – 2 for heavy cover – 1 for the robot being a difficult target = 15 and hits him in centre of mass in the torso. She rolls a 3 for damage - 4 for weapon str + 3 for armour = 2. It’s a magnificent shot which causes a critical malfunction in the tough robot. IG-88 looks down at the wound and raises its head to look back at Leia. Sparks fly from its chest and he drops to the ground Out of Action (OOA).
The wookie decides to go next and attempts to activate three times. He rolls 7, 17 and 4. Being a veteran he gets +1 to activate and the target number to activate is 8 but he’s got 2 stress already so he activates only once. Bossk doesn’t like this one little bit and so tries to react twice to Chewie’s failed activation attempts. He rolls 7 and 17 and activates once and picks up 2 points of stress. He decides it’s better to shoot first and having an automatic weapon decides to Hail of Fire getting two shots at -2 to hit (and yes Han did shoot first). He rolls 5 and 3, missing the wookie. Chewie rolls a 10 + 2 for marksman – 2 for heavy cover = 10 and hits Bossk in the head as he tries to duck for cover. He rolls 8 for damage - 6 for weapon damage +1 for Bossk being a reptile – for Bossk being tough = 4. Bossk is critically wounded in the head, takes a pin and a wound marker, is knocked OOA and must make a TN10 Endure roll or die immediately. He rolls a 8 + 1 for being tough = 9 and…..dies. Nooooooooooooooo!
Opps we forgot that every time a character goes OOA the team needs to take a morale check. So we roll twice for each of the two remaining merc characters. Fett gets a 11 and a 9 which is one pass and one failure. For the failure he gets one pin and one stress marker. Greedo rolls a 7 and a 12 and also fails once and gets one pin and one stress marker.
Luke decides to activate next. He rolls 9, 17 and 17 and activates three times. He is fast and can sprint 7” with each activation. He runs straight at Greedo. Greedo wishes that he had’ve worn the brown cords. Ohh jeez. It’s awful. Luke easily makes it into contact with just two activations and has one left for hand to hand. He rolls a 6 + 1 for Greedo’s pin marker + 2 for being a weapon master lvl 2 and just misses. Luke gets three stress for activating 3 times.
Luke decides to activate again and rolls 8 – 3 stress + 1 for veteran and fails. The merc’s try to steal the initiative and roll 12 + 12 stress on the pirates + 2 pin on Solo = 26, easily passing the Target Number of 16. And the round ends.
At this point we checked the rules and realised that you only get stress for the actions you perform, not the dice you roll.
Ok. First game. We’re still learning. Give me a break. No harm done.
Greedo is in trouble. If he tries to leave hand to hand Luke will get a free hack at him and if Fett jumps over and fires into the melee it’s a 50/50 chance who he hits. Greedo will have to get himself out of this (like Fett was ever going to help him anyways).
You can fire a one handed weapon in hand to hand, with some potentially not great outcomes, but this is Greedo’s best chance. He rolls and activation die and gets 9 + 1 for veteran – 1 for stress > 8 and he activates. He fires at Luke and rolls 12 + 1 marksman – 1 for pin – 3 for Luke being a difficult target < 10 and fails.
Desperate he tries to activate 3 times so that he can push out more firepower (albeit if he fails a roll the initiative might be stolen from him). He rolls 19, 14 and 19. Three activations, schweet. In a wild panic he fires all three at Luke and rolls 10, 14 and 5 and hits Luke once in the Torso. He rolls a 6 for damage – 4 for laser pistol damage + 3 for Luke’s torso armour = 5. Luke is knocked prone by the attack, receives 1 wound, 2 pins and is staggered. It’s a deadly blow and Luke is starting to lose consciousness. He will go OOA when he next rolls 1-4 on ANY die roll.
Greedo is pretty stressed by all this action and he now has a total of 5 stress so Fett decides to have a go. He rolls 3 activation dice and gets 6, 18 and 9. He’s already got 2 stress but he’s elite and so passes 2 activations and fails one. The pirates try to steal the initiative and roll 12 + 5 Greedo stress + 2 existing Fett stress – 5 for pin and wound markers on Luke and Solo < 16. They fail and the mercs take one stress marker off Fett. Fett jumps to behind the cover of a crate and fires a laser pistol round at the big wookie. He rolls a 4 and misses.
He decides to activate again and rolls 3. The wookie tries to react and rolls a 19. Chewie lines up his bow caster and fires a round at Fett. He rolls a 4 and misses and gets a stress.
Fett decides to activate again and rolls 19. He lines up Chewie and fires a round and rolls a 17 hitting the wookie in the right arm. Rolling for damage he gets 9 – 4 for weapon damage + 2 for Chewie’s armour = 7. Chewie takes serious damage and gets one pin, one wound drops his weapon and his arm is permanently Crippled.
Fett decides to activate again and rolls 7 + 2 for elite – 4 for stress < 8 and fails to activate.
The pirates decide to try to steal the initiative and roll 5 + 9 stress – 7 wounds and pins < 16 and fail. A stress marker is taken off Fett.
This is going pretty well for Boba so he tries to activate again and rolls a 6 and fails again.
The pirates decide to try to activate Leia. She rolls a 17 and activates and move into cover at the corner of the building and gets one stress.
Fett decides to activate again and rolls 12 + 2 for elite - 3 stress > 8. He decides that he’s done enough and he jumps away, back behind cover.
He’s now got 4 stress but he’s still got a pin marker. He decides to activate again and if he succeeds he’ll rally and remove the pin market. He rolls a 7 and fails.
Luke tries to react. He rolls a 2 and goes permanently OOA as he is staggered.
Leia, Chewie and Solo must take a morale test. They roll 11, 9 and 8 respectively. Leia passes and Chewie and Solo both fail and receive 1 stress and 1 pin marker each.
Fett tries again to activate and rolls a 6 and fails.
Solo tries to react and rolls a 1 and fails.
Fett tries to activate and rolls a 16 and rallies, removing his pin marker and gaining one stress in the process.
Greedo tries to activate and rolls a 10 – 5 stress + 1 for veteran < 8 and fails.
Solo tries to react and rolls a 19. He stays prone but picks up his laser pistol in his off hand. He’ll be ready for the mercs if they come his way. He gets a stress for the effort.
Greedo tries to activate and rolls a 4 and fails. Solo decides to try to react and he rolls a 5 and fails.
Greedo tries to activate and rolls a 12 – 5 stress + 2 for veteran = 9 > 8 and activates. He rallies, removes one point of pin and gains one point of pin.
The mercs declare their turn over and remove all their stress (again the following pic includes their stress just to show the end of the round.
Ok that was clearly a devastating round for the pirates. They lost Luke, Chewie is heavily wounded. Solo is already wounded and all team members have a level of stress on them.
They decide to use this round to get themselves back in order as best they can.
Solo tries to activate 3 times and rolls 8, 1 and 6. He’s a veteran but has 2 stress so he fails all three rolls.
Solo is in line of site of Greedo and so Greedo tries to activate 3 times. He rolls a 3, 8 and 17. Greedo is reactive and a veteran and so gets +2 to a reaction roll and passes twice. He fires 2 rounds at the prone Solo and gets 2 stress for his efforts. It’s a long shot for a pistol and Greedo will get -2 for range +1 for marksman and -2 for Solo being prone = -3 total. He rolls a 11 and 9 and misses both times.
Lucky for Solo he is missed twice.
Solo tries to activate 3 times again and rolls 6, 18 and 10. He activates twice. Greedo tries to react again and rolls a 9 and reacts. He fires at Solo, get a stress and rolls an 11 again and misses again. Solo’s had enough. He was going to try to get back into cover but he hates this Greedo so he takes the opportunity to Rally and remove one pin marker and then with his off hand he fires a round off at Greedo. He rolls a 5 and misses. Grrrr.
Next Chewie tries to activate 3 times and rolls 17, 3 and 11 and activates twice. Greedo tries to reactivate and rolls a 10 – 3 stress + 2 for reactive and veteran and just fails. Chewie Rallies to remove a point of pin and picks up his weapon in his off hand.
Next Solo tries to activate again 3 times. He rolls 5, 6 and 9 and fails all three times.
The mercs decide to try to steal the initiative three times and roll 3, 9 and 15. They get + 13 for all the stress, pin and wound markers on the pirates and easily steal the initiative.
Greedo is a bit stressed but Boba is looking fresh as a daisy. He attempts to activate 3 times and rolls 5, 4 and 17 and activates once.
Solo tries to react twice and rolls 16 and 16. He cannot draw a bead on Fett and so fires two rounds at Greedo. He rolls a 16 and 9. It’s a long range shot with a -2 penalty, -2 for two pin markers, -1 for an off hand shot – 2 for heavy cover + 2 for marksman – 1 for Greedo being a difficult target = total modifiers of -6. He hits twice, just. Poor Greedo. He hits Greedo twice in the Torso and rolls an 18 – 4 damage = 14 = 2 pins and 20 – 4 = 16 = 1 pin. Greedo is lucky and gets a total of 3 pins.
Fett runs around the corner and gets one stress for the effort.
Fett doesn’t want to try to activate three times because that’ll likely give Solo a reaction so he tries to activate once and rolls 10 which is enough. He squeezes off a round at Solo and rolls a 5 and misses and gets stressed.
He tries again and rolls a 3 and fails to activate. Solo tries to react and rolls a 17 and fires a round at Fett, who is really nicely out in the open. He rolls a 16 which is enough to hit Fett in the head and he rolls 8 for damage – 4 for weapon + 3 for Fett’s armour = 7. Fett gets one wound, one pin and a serious head wound which knocks him prone and he needs to pass a Target Number 10 (TN10) Endure roll or go OOA. He rolls 9 which isn’t enough and he’s OOA.
Nice one Solo.
Greedo needs to take a morale check and rolls a 13 – 3 for pins – 1 for being the last man….err alien standing = 9 which is <10 so he fails morale and gets 1 pin and 1 stress.
We pretty much call the game at this point.
Greedo is pretty stressed out with 4 stress and 4 pin markers and now he’s out numbered 3 to 1 and he’s the lest experienced guy in his group.
Final shot of the battlefield follows.
This is a cracking game. It might not have looked like it from the battle report but the game plays very quickly and very intuitively and there is a lot of interaction between the players. The turns are quick and again, whilst it mightn’t have looked like it in this battle report, you can use some pretty advanced tactics – we didn’t because we’re just a bunch of meat heads in our first game but there are all kinds of dirty little tricks that you could play.
The character development section of the game is great and you can really make what ever type of characters that you’d want from Star Wars which we obviously did here to Warhammer 40k marines or tyranids to star trek red shirts.
It’s definitely a skirmish game and would bog down if you tried to make the game bigger.
It has a campaign system too so if you’re that way inclined, and aren’t we all, then there is a system for that.
The game could easily be used for tournaments because it’s so quick and there is so much variety to be had.
Probably the only negative is that you need to use counters which not everyone likes, including me, but I think for a game of this nature it’s ok.
The pin, stress and wound markers are all important elements of the game and really affect your ability to activate and react and to be accurate in your shooting etc. It’s a small price to pay for a great game.
I fully recommend this game. Do yourself a favour and pick it up for a read and perhaps a game over the Christmas and new years break.