Over the weekend/geekend, I was lucky enough to play six excellent games of Stargrave, giving a good start to the story of my crew. These games were played against fun opponents, with gorgeous crews, on stunning scenery. Seriously, look at the photos below… they wouldn’t be out of place in an official Stargrave supplement! Anyway, here’s a bit of background for my crew:

The ‘Notorious Valkyries’: The 32nd Fremorian Guard had served with distinction during the Last War earning the moniker, ‘The Victorious Valkyries’. That all came to an end with the defeat of the Trisystem Empire at the Battle of Plarios. Captain Earhart managed to gather the remnants of her female-only company and procure one of the last space worthy craft. Now flying as the ‘Songbird’, Captain Earhart takes her ship and crew where they are needed and where they can earn enough coin to survive.

And on to the games…

Game 1

The first game of the weekend was against Dan (D2) and it was our first foray into Quarantine 37, a zombie-filed research facility that promised both perilous dangers and wondrous bounty. The recruits, led by “Delta” Lovelace pushed forward on the right, but encountered strong resistance. “Dee” seized a data loot and then called on the crew near her to fall back. On the left Captain Earhart moved up with a pathfinder to claim some look on top of a pylon. Meanwhile, a team including a case breaker moved towards the broken robot intent on reclaiming some valuable parts, but misfiring weapons and the opposing crew kept them back.

Game 2

The second game was against Dan (D1 this time) and this one really brought the pressure of the shambling zombies. We could only exit through hatches in the surface, spread along the centre of the battlefield. These had to be broken open first. I also ended up with a Warbot fixated on taking out my captain! This mission felt like a desperate fight to escape, where you’d carve out a bit of space only for something to block your route. I nearly became undone by a big brawl with zombies, but eventually managed to get a number of my crew away safely (and with some loot)!

Game 3

This was my first of two games against Phil. It centred around a lucrative loot located at the top of a tower. Before either of us could get going we each had a crew member succumb to the virus carried by the zombies, each turning into a mindless enemy! A recruit had to try to deal with their former shipmate on my left. In the centre, my first mate, Lt. Dee “Delta” Lovelace, used Antigravity Projection to give my Captain Levitate, giving me an edge in getting to the top of the tower. That said, I soon became bogged down fighting zombies with the rest of my crew as they made their way to find a buried advanced combat armour, a worthy prize. The found the hatch it was hidden in, only to discover a pit monster had made its home there. It lashed out, grabbing a case breaker and pulling them to a gory death. My lieutenant tried to run, but she was too close and it ensnared her… dragging her to the same fate. The Notorious Valkyries quest amongst the stars with optimism despite the forelorn universe they find themselves in, but a little of their optimism died that day in Quarantine 37. Charlie returned with the lucrative prize, but upon learning of Dee’s fate that small victory became hollow. Sgt. Loretta Lovelace, Dee’s sister, felt the loss most acutely. She stepped up as second in command.

Game 4

This was Ray’s first game and a really fun battle it turned out to be. Several Ruffians tried to interfere with our plans, and while the crews clashed they managed to make off with a pretty even split of the loot. A fun game fought against a great opponent with gorgeous models over stunning terrain. This is what Wargaming is all about!

Game 5

This game was played using a standard scenario from the Stargrave book as it was Steve’s first game. All of the terrain over the weekend looked great and I really like the different element the jungle terrain brought. Things went very well for me in this game – rolling two natural 20s helped! I advanced aggressively, but then took my time to make sure I only exposed a model when they had good cover and a limited potential to attract incoming fire. I made off with a pretty good haul of loot!

Game 6

My second game against Phil and final one of the weekend. We (almost) had a pact of non-aggression as we fought local fauna and zombies while trying to escape from Quarantine 37. I pushed up around he nose of the shuttle, but was slowed by creatures. I (mostly) managed to extricate myself and pushed for my exit point collecting a loot along the way. Some of Phil’s guys moved towards me… not aggressively he claims, but their posturing was enough for me to open fire. A firefight ensued as I withdrew. It was a hard fought exit from the game and the weekend!

So many zombies! I really should have kept count of how many I had to kill over the weekend. The missions really give a sense of shambling horror as the mindless enemy close in on you. This sets a ticking clock as if you dwell too long, you will be overrun. Highlight of the weekend was probably my first mate dying. It’s a strong narrative hook and exemplifies the reason for playing narrative games. I’m not sure there were winners or losers in any of the games I played, but I do know each advanced the story of my crew.

I continue to enjoy Stargrave. Playing it in this setting against a variety of opponents (and crews) really offers an excellent narrative experience.

Until next time,