Who Ordered The Fish?


Desperate to get my newly painted Garn and Pelagic Dominate (PD) figures on to the table (both excellent 15mm sci-fi ranges from  Khurasan Miniatures), my regular opponent Neil and I decided to play a quick pick-up game using every figure I had on each side in a simple attacker/defender scenario. The Garn fielded a platoon of Garn warriors; two very strong Felid Household Companies (each one heavy and three medium Battle Circles of ten cats each); one scout Household Company of three light Battle Circles; and two of the ridiculously powerful Garn Crocodile class superheavy battle tanks. Facing them, the PD fielded a platoon of Karkarine Landser; a platoon of Myzontid Rangers; a platoon of Orca Assault Warriors; three Man O'War MBTs; two Man O'War SP Guns with Sea Wasp FOO; and two Sea Wasp scout vehicles. 

That's 110 Felids and 24 Garn verses 48 PD infantry and 16 Orca. Hmmm...looks like the PDs will be defending! The rules used were the Get Your Frickin' Tentacle Out Of My Face variant to the TooFatLardies I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! company level rules for WW2.

The terrain was simple: the Garn began the game at one end of the table in a shanty town, the PD at the other end positioned in and around a more substantial settlement made up of some of the Critical Mass Games excellent ARC Fleet buildings. The two built up areas were connected by a rough track running across largely open ground with the odd hill and alien looking bush giving some cover.

The game began with the Garn storming out of the shanty town at top speed towards the PDs, who had their infantry under cover in the buildings, the Orca behind a hill to the left, and their armour hidden behind the buildings nearest the edge of the table. The Garn advanced under Blinds (IABSM, and therefore GYFTOOMF, operates a Blinds system, where units enter the table concealed under Blinds, and are only revealed either when firing or when spotted by the opposition) but were soon spotted by the PDs, who were taking advantage of the Tech 3 Scanner mounted on the FOO Sea Wasp. The Garn battle line shook itself out into an edge to edge line of Felids, all of whom quickly started blatting away at the PDs. Fire was returned, and the odd casualty sustained by either side.

Up with the Felid battle line were the two Garn Crocodile superheavy tanks. They were quickly spotted: hardly surprising as they are the size of two of the smaller or one of the larger ARC Fleet buildings! The PDs then made a fateful mistake. Their MBTs and Sea Wasp Scouts were hidden behind the buildings and, using their grav plates, raised up and took a quick snap shot at the Garn Crocodiles. No damage was done, the Crocodiles' force shields working as planned, and the Garn vehicles returned fire. Three turrets per Crocodile, each turret manned by its own gunner, meant twelve shots came smashing back: blowing one MBT and both Sea Wasps into smithereens! For the rest of the game, the remaining MBTs quite sensibly stayed hidden behind cover at the edge of the table, only popping up for a hasty (and usually wild) snapshot at the Crocodiles.

The Felids were still pushing their battle line forward, but now the Pelagic SP artillery came into play. Round after round began landing on the left end of the Felid line, driving it to ground and effectively halting their advance. Meanwhile, the Orca and the Felid scouts backed up by a heavy battle circle had been exchanging fire. Honours were largely even (the shoulder mounted Orca mortars compensating for the superior numbers of the Felids) until the Crocodiles intervened: laying down a suppressing area fire on the Orcas that had bits of killer whale blubber flying everywhere! The superheavy tanks then swapped their fire onto the PD settlement, blowing the nearest building and its occupants to kingdom come! The Crocodiles' multiple turrets meant that their main gun could hold over its action waiting for a PD MBT to show itself whilst the other two turrets concentrated on opportunity targets on the battlefield.

Lurking behind the now stationary Felid battle line was another Garn Blind. Taking advantage of the confusion in the PD settlement, it charged forward at incredible speed, smashing through the main gate and into the settlement itself. The Blind was revealed as being the Garn platoon, who immediately close assaulted the nearest two buildings, annihilating the occupying Karkarine. A lucky Uraaaaagh! card allowed the Garn charge to continue, and although several casualties were taken from close range Myzontid fire, another two buildings (there were six in total) were close assaulted and cleared.

At this point the PDs decided that discretion was the better part of valour and fled! The Orca had been reduced to half strength, the Karkarines and half the Myzontids wiped out, and the Felids were about to follow their Garn masters into close combat with anything PD that was still moving. A massive victory for the Garn achieved in a very Garn way: send the Felids forward to keep the enemy occupied, weaken the enemy with the Crocodiles, then charge the Garn warriors into hand-to-hand combat to win the day! Last reports had the Garn trying to decide how to cook their fish: one Hegemon favouring a fishy bouillabaisse, one a more simple meal of fish steaks grilled over an open flame. To the Garn there is a fine line between war crimes and lunch!

A rip-roaring game that played out in only about 2 hours. The sides were obviously grossly unmatched, and I may have to tinker with the power of the Crocodiles...or perhaps just buy more PD MBTs!

Robert Avery

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