15mm Sci Fi: 5150 Battalion Commander3
June 17, 2017 by wargamerchris
15mm Sci fi started for us the way many things do – a small bag of figures that came with another trade on B-town. It’s probably obvious how the next part goes…. like what we saw, started painting/ buying/ playing/ buying/ painting etc etc…
This is the first battle report and is unique because we used 5150 Star Army: Battalion Commander by Two-hour Wargames. Many folks are familiar with their reaction system mechanic – I wanted to try it. Frankly this scenario had its roots in a battle report that they had done – with tons of bug-like aliens swarming around infantry and armor… BUGS! – S5150: Star Army Big Battle Report
I loved how the Grik miniatures from the D&D miniatures range in his blog, and admittedly I got north of 100 of them, but the market dried up on Ebay and elsewhere, and I knew I needed to go in a different direction. (They still reside in one of my ‘travel games’ bags with micro-machine Starship Troopers Mobile Infantry, but that’s a different blogpost…)
So a very long time ago someone beat me to the Pendraken 10mm Alien Bugs which turned into a collection of Warrior Bugs and a handful of Plasma bugs from a flea market at an HMGS show. I had about 100/3 but I knew I needed more – so a quick order to Pendraken and two weeks later the four-legged reinforcements were on the painting table.
The range also has some smaller bugs which got grouped three-to-a-stand for some variety:
One of the choices I faced early on in my 15mm Sci-fi journey was whether to individually base for the collection. As you can see in this batter, I started with multi-figure bases. These are mostly rebel minis from their excellent range, plus a number from the GZG catalogue (Love them, hate their postage calculator). You can see how the addition of a few mechs (from the clix range) some matchbox repaints, and we were ready.
To be honest, looking at these again, I like the way they look on the bases. I’ve mostly gone to Gruntz for my alien games and single bases but these guys are still lurking somewhere in the furnace room…
So the game was a vignette from a low-level guerrilla conflict near a mining concession – four or five player each with their own force and motivation. The table was bisected by a slag channel (impassable to bugs that are otherwise very mobile – it turned out to shape the game heavily).
Basically the Guerrillas/ Militia/ Miners had to survive until the Star Army arrived. Here are some shots of the goodness
The game was pretty brutal – two whole human factions were wiped cleanly from the table – the miners and the guerillas. The planetary militia deftly used the bridge to avoid the swarms while using steady fire to wear them down. The Star Army guys landed mid-way through and used the terrain effectively. Fun game – always good to see bugs swarming around and lots of interest from the crowd at the convention.
My clinical conclusion is that 5150: Star Army Battalion Commander is a good set of rules, but the mechanics were harder to explain to new players, and the flow of the game started relatively slowly. We’ve moved onto Gruntz for con games, but I have these on my rules shelf still. They have tremendous solo-play potential as well.
Great looking troops and game AAR, I normally do STARGRUNT myself but have picked up both 5150 Battalion Commander and Hammer & Anvil for solo play
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Thanks for your comment. I think the 5150 rules can be fun but do have some of their best use as a solo set. As a convention game it was fun for most players, but when a player unit gets in trouble it can be wiped out quickly – leaving a player without a command early on. I like Stargrunt too.
Well working nights as I do the solo aspect has allot of appeal ! I’m looking at the rules and wondering if I can’t combine the best of the two systems…..we’ll see.