|My Starship Trooper infantry take cover on a steep hillside and prepare to open fire on the swarms of bugs headed their way|
Unlike Battle Cry and its brethren, the cards are also used to resolve combat. Each unit type has a Protection Level and Attack Level for shooting or close assault. You compare the two, and along with tactical factors like cover, this causes the result on the card to shift up or down levels. So, if flip a card from your deck that shows "Fall Back," it may shift up one level to "Shaken," or so on. It all sounded good on paper, so I was real interested to see how it played out. I had been looking for a good set of Science Fiction combat rules, and had high hopes for these.
|The Behemoth Bug exchanges fire with my infantry, who face out in all directions to hold off the enemy|
I did like how Opportunity Fire was a card that you could play on enemy units that moved in your line of sight. That was perhaps my favorite aspect of the game. I wasn't crazy about the combat resolution system, though. There are 5 levels of results from No Effect, Fall Back, Shaken, Out of Action, and Eliminated. The frustrating thing is if you have hit an enemy unit and drawn a "Out of Action" card, then hit them with another one, or a "Shaken", it has no further effect. I felt that there should be a progression...you get hit once, further hits should worsen your status.
Anyway, we decided to give the rules another chance. This time, though, we will make sure each force has an adequately balanced troop list with infantry, armor, artillery, air units, and so on. That way, we shouldn't have so many useless cards. My battle against Joel was a Starship Trooper style game with my infantry fighting against his swarms of bugs. The battle was very static, though, and we had numerous turns where nothing happened as we both waited for cards allowing us to fire or attack. So, we'll see if a more conventional force provides a better game next time...