The Polar Bears

The Polar Bears
4th Battalion, 31st Infantry

Sunday, March 27, 2011

First Battle Report: 5150 Grab and Run!

I decided to try out a few of my 'new' toys this weekend.  These miniatures aren't really new because I purchased them a couple of years ago at Historicon. However I painted them up only a few weeks ago and this is their first outing.  Needless to say, I was rather pleased with them.

I also have to say that I've never played 5150 before.  I'm familiar with THW's newer games like NUTS 2.0, ATZ, and CR3, however I've always stayed away from 5150 because of its ties to the older CR 2.0.  I once tried to play FNG (another CR 2.0 derived game) and was rather frustrated by the rules.  So after doing some research on 5150 I decided to give it a try.  After all, it seems to be the basis for CR 3.0 and I've had a lot of fun with these newer rules.

I decided to keep this game pretty simple so that I could get learn the rules.  I assembled a pretty basic USCMC rifle section (9 marines with 3 Rep 5 NCOS, 6 Rep 4 EMs, 2 smart guns, 2 flamers, and 5 pulse rifles) and elected to use only the Basic and Military Operations rules.  In addition I wanted to try out the "Bugs" rules.  After reading the rules I decided to set the Bug Rating at 3 thinking that would make for a really easy game... boy was I wrong!  Here is the map layout.

 I only took a few minutes to plan out the scenario since this was going to be a one off battle.  After looking over the 'scenarios' in the Military Operations section I decided on a modified Reconnaissance Patrol.  The section's objective was to travel along the central road and check out each of the building ruins for survivors.  To check the building a marine would have to come into contact with the building and use his 'fire' action to search the ruin.  The searching figure would roll 2d6 and find survivors on a roll of 7.  If the 7 came up then another 1d6 would be rolled to see just how many survivors were there.  The civilians would be unarmed and REP 3.  Boy was this a bad, bad idea...

On last important scenario rule was for the creek which ran across the board.  I decided that the creek's sides were very steep and the creek was a fast flowing on making it a bit hazardous to cross without care.  So to cross the creek the model would move up to the edge and roll against their Rep.  2 successes means that the figure spends 1" to cross the creek and could continue moving.  1 success means that the figure can cross the bridge but had to stop on the other side because it took so much effort to cross.  Finally 0 successes means that the figure would have to stop at the edge and try again the next turn. .

Here is the set-up.  I place the squads parallel to each other with the gunny in the center  While I was setting up my son, Jeremy, decided to check out what 'daddy' was doing and then insisted that he be allowed to play.  Being an old, experienced gamer I jumped at the chance to bring in some new blood.  Besides, young kids have the best luck!  I learned that Jeremy's luck cut both ways!

The first turn was pretty easy.  I don't remember the iniative roll exactly but it was good enough.  No bugs on the board means that we can just cruse along and check out the building at our leisure.  In fact I was wondering if I had the bug rating up high enough!  After all, Mr. Bug doesn't come out to play until a 7 is rolled for iniative.

Any how, we split the section up along squad lines.  I moved 2d squad (along with the gunny) up to the ruin next to the bridge while Jeremy investigated the ruin that was in our deployment area.  My search came up empty but Jeremy found 5 survivors!  Great job Jer!  At least that is what I thought at the time...

It was second turn when things get interesting!  Jeremy tossed a 7! (Ignore the die roll above, this was taken later!)  It was a Bug 5, Marine 2!

Okay, I thought, no big deal.  So we rolled for the bug hole placement... a 6....

A Puker??? You've got to be joking!  The follow-up roll placed him roughly 14" in front of us BUT his 5 iniative roll pinned him in place.  Time to get shooting!

I thought this would be easy, after all, we had a full USCMC section between us.  So I opened up first and scored several hits.  But that critter was tough!  He soaked up my whole squad's small arms bombardment.  So I pulled up the heavy artillery.  Flamer anyone?????

So what did Private Jordan roll for his shot? I measly 1.  I'm serious.  How do you miss a target larger than a building and nearly empty your flamer to boot???  I was seriously sweating now.  This puker has a serious ranged weapon!  I just knew that he would zap half the section next turn.

Only, Jeremy got his turn first!  Jeremy moved his marines (and civilian charges) up into LOS and opened up on that nightmare in our way.  He had the same luck with his pulse rifles and smart gun: a lot of ineffective hits!    I'll tell you what, exo-armor is really tough!  So it finally all came down to Jeremy's flamer.  Can you believe it?  My little boy tossed a 6 to hit AND a 1 on the Ranged Combat Damage Table!  Good lord, the kid OD'd a puker!!  HIGH FIVE little guy!  8D

Just one problem though.  We fired two flamers down the road AND across the bridge!!  I think we should have read the rules on flamers a little closer before we set-up those shots.  Now we had this ugly 5 turn flame trail running down the road AND across the bridge.  Talk about a roadblock...

We didn't have much choice.  Our iniative roll, sooner or later, would bring up yet another bug hole so we had little choice but to cross the creek itself.  For the most part we got lucky.  All of the marines made their rolls to cross the treacherous little nightmare, but that wasn't true for the civilians.  One of them lost his nerve and refused to cross it.  Big mistake buddy... big mistake!

So what does Jeremy roll... again??? Another 7.  A few more dice rolls quickly show us that we made the right call about not waiting for the flames to die down.  That new bug hole appeared 14" right behind us and vomited a teeming brood of 42 bugs!! We were both left dumbfounded.

That's it man... game over man...

The bugs won the iniative and surged forward 6" before we could get in-sight tests.  I guess our marines were just as shocked.  Not one of the marines passed their insight test... not even one!

The hoard swarmed forward again and the poor, terrified man left on the south side of the creek died horribly under the claws of this nightmarish host.  Luckly, the other civilians kept their heads and passed their "gruesome death" rolls.

It was our turn... everything depended on this next couple of activations!

Private Jordan's ears were probably burning from the gunny's stinging rebuke!  He coolly aimed his nearly depleted flamer at the chittering swarm  and squeezed the trigger!  A wave of flamed "whooshed" across the creek and blasted through the serried ranks of the bugs.  It was a terrifying display of sheer power!  Bug after bug was consumed.  Some were just pushed back by the searing heat but more were cremated by the flame thrower's steady stream.

The bugs must have been shock as well.  Our next iniative roll produced a 6 for the bugs!!  I didn't waste any time ordering my marines and the civilians to double time it down the side of the road.  The civilians didn't need any coaxing.  All of them passed their fast move roll and sprinted 16" toward the other side of the board. some of the marines joined them to keep them moving.  Me and Jeremy ordered a few marines to fall back and lay down covering fire.  In an act of amazing courage, Jeremy's corporal rushed the southern swarm (the heavy woods near the bug hole forced the bugs to divide into two swarms) and took aim with his flamer.  Jeremy's corporal took a steady aim and blazed the lead bugs killing several.

Maybe we could make it out of here yet!  Once again, everything came down to the next iniative check!.   

Lady luck smiled down on us yet again.  No 7 and we once again beat the bugs.  I sent one team racing toward the remaining buildings to check them out, the civilians and their escorts again fast moved to the edge, while a very brave few hung back a bit and laid down covering fire... and picked off the front rank of the ravening swarms.  The bugs closed the gap, but not quickly enough.  It would be a foot race to the finish, but we had the edge!

Again, lady luck despised the bugs!  Iniative was ours again and everyone took fast move rolls to cross the finish line.  Most of the section made it across with the four surviving civilians.  However there were still marines on the board and Gunny Anderson wasn't going to leave until all of his marines got away.  So the stubborn old marine took up a firing stance and poured pulse rifle fire into the buggers while yelling through the tac net at his remaining leathernecks to get the F&*K out of dodge!  The bugs race forward but the distance was too much now.

The last iniative roll was the final nail in the bugs coffin.  Gunny Anderson squeezed off a few more bursts and dropped another bug and watched with satisfaction as Jeremy's corporal sprinted off the board.  The gunny turned away from the frustrated bugs, lit his cigar, and jogged off the board to catch-up with his men.

Jeremy burst into little boy cheers and gave me a high-five.  We made it out of that ugly trap.  But it was close!

Wow!  What a game!  I have few illusions though.  This wasn't all skill.  We had a serious dose of luck.  First off was the great shooting that took out the puker.before that beast could get off a single shoot.  Better still was that awesome 1-2 stroke of luck with the flamers wiping out nearly half of the bug swarms.. all in two shots!!!  Worse still for the bugs was the next activation that blew up in their faces.  That was just tough luck for them to roll higher than their reputation and being pinned in place while the civilians and marines beat feet across the board.  It didn't hurt that during that turn everyone who rolled for a fast move succeeded!  I guess seeing that vast swarm was enough to motivate even the slowest poke!

Amazingly the butcher's bill was only one civilian and that poor bloke would have make it through it he hadn't blown his roll to cross the creek.

All in all, a great game made even better because I got some quality fun time with my 7 year old AND we didn't get our butts kicked like we normally do with zombies!  So yeah, 5150 is definitely going to see use with my Colonial Marines.

Semper Fi!  Carry on....


  1. Oh, one more thought- the more figures you bring to a bug fight, the more bugs come out to play. My 'house' rule about finding civilians pretty much ensured that I would be up to my ears in bugs. We ONLY found two bug holes... and this was a BR 3 world. I shudder at the thought of us finding the THIRD hole. That could have been very ugly...

    What can I say? Lady luck loves 7 year olds! 8D

  2. Yep. Civilians add to the potential Bugs as the more humans moving the more Bugs that can be attracted to them. Thanks for posting the Bat Rep.

  3. Love Ed's flamethrower rules. Gotta watch where you lay 'em down!

  4. What a nice read! Remembers me playing my own first few games of 5150. Everything looked easy the first rounds and me too thought that the BR wasn't high enough. If I remeber right none of my troops survived ;-(

  5. Yeah the flamethrowers are awesome. When I originally started setting up for the game I was going to go guns only, but I changed my mind at the last second because I was just curious about how they worked. They really saved our butts!