Power Armor

Power Armor
Khurasan power armor infantry with conversions

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Vietnam, 2148 A.D.---Science Fiction playtest

I just finished the first playtest of Off World, the sci-fi version of my WWII rules A Sergeant's War.  Fluff and details, with pics, below.  The playtest went well; I know some things that will need more changing from the WWII version, to make the game "feel" more like a hard sci-fi battle.

The fluff background: Two days ago, a team of mercenaries attempted a snatch-and-grab operation at the Hanoi Military District Space Port.  They were unsuccessful, suffering heavy casualties; the survivors, with several stolen combat droid units, fled the scene in a orbital lighter.  UNEM Space Command shot down the lighter before it could lift to orbit and the ship crashed near the Vietnamese/Laotian border.

UNEM Army forces cannot legally operate in Vietnam, so PAVN troops responded, tracking the crashed ship and encircling the mercenaries with infantry, APCs, and their own combat droids.  A shootout followed near a small hamlet in the jungle.

The playtest: The corporate commandos were represented by three units of elite infantry, each with 3 men, plus two 4-machine teams of combat droids (stolen from the Hanoi space port).  The Vietnamese forces are represented by two infantry squads, each with a leader and an APC, plus two small teams of their own combat droids (identical to those being used by the mercs).

The board---about 36"x36"

1 Vietnamese squad + droids and APC

The second Vietnamese squad
The mercs, set up in the middle of the board

The rest of the mercs
The Vietnamese troops approached the mercenaries, immediately coming under fire.  One APC was damaged early in the game; the other's crew was rattled by light AT fire.  The Vietnamese infantry took some early casualties.

Mercs take aim

Stolen droids move up into a fighting position, but come under heavy fire

One droid knocked out; the others are pinned down

At the north end of the hamlet, the battle over the hut began---this lasted for most of the game.  First, Vietnamese infantry overran the droids...

Then the merc commandos counter-attacked...

...but Vietnamese return fire left only one command alive to try and resist the next Vietnamese attack...

....which he couldn't!
At the other end of the hamlet, the Vietnamese forces at first hit a solid wall of merc and droid fire, suffering several casualties...

Things start to shake up as the droid section surges forward to try and outflank the commandos.

The position beginning to unravel, the commandos make a run for it---but the droids have a bead into the court-yard and shoot up the first group of mercs!

The other group of mercenaries escapes

But the remaining Vietnamese and their own droids close up on the compound.  2 mercs are taken prisoner and the surviving stolen droids are reclaimed by the PAVN.

3 mercenaries escape into the jungle---possibly hoping to reach the Longwall Corporation offices in Vientiane...

The game played well, with plenty of action and realistic (to me at least) casualty rates. The game will need more chrome for sci-fi's sake, and I need to inject more movement into the game---but the mechanics feel right to me.  Looking forward to continue testing this before it's ready to go online at the Vault.

Thanks for looking!

Vietnamese PAVN forces are Rebel Minis Sahadeen.  The droids are the Lazy Forger's excellent 3-d printed droids.  The APCs are by RAFM.  The corporate mercs are Hell Divers by ClearHorizon.

Note on the setting: Since I collect the Vietnam and French Indochina Wars in 15mm, and will be starting terrain for those projects, I think I can get lots of mileage out of that terrain by placing more sci-fi games in future Vietnam.


  1. That's a cool looking game. I really like the terrain; especially the cardboard shacks. I'll be checking out "A Sergeant's War".

  2. Thanks, Euan! The shacks are by Black Ronin Games. A great set.

  3. Great write up and accompanying pics! Thanks for sharing.

    JJ Parus

  4. Great game! The terrain and figs are excellent.
    I've picked up the "A Sergeant's War" rules and used them to fill in the gaps from the YouTube video to have a go at the Off World game (adding the move & fire). It plays fast with an excellent feel. I've played five games now, each about one hour- 25-30 figs a side. Fairly limited vehicle support so far (1-2 vehicles per side) but what we've used has felt right.
    Any rough ETA on the final rules?

    1. Peter,

      That's awesome---glad you're liking the game. I plan on Off World to be released no later than the end of May---hopefully earlier. If you are interested in being involved with the playtesting, send me an email at thedogsbrush@gmail.com. You could see what I have now, in that case. (It's mostly finished. I have a bit of playtesting on a couple rules, and will be playtesting the scenarios I've included in the book.)

      Been a busy couple of days so I didn't see your post till today.

      Thanks again!