Space Infantry: That’s a Wrap

When I spend five hours writing about a game that took maybe 45 minutes to play, I suppose I can be accused of obsessive behavior. So it’s time for me to put a quick wind up on my expanded AAR of Space Infantry.

After collecting the two “rescue” points in the last episode, our intrepid Cav squad backtracked a bit into the desert — entering previously explored nodes — then proceeded to enter Cave Complex B. On Turn 18, they entered the complex’s first node and made contact with a force of four AI drones.

The squad leader’s command check earned a command point. He used that point to burn an “I” resource and give his squad an Ambush order, which allows the squad to conduct one “free” round of attacks before the enemy can respond.

I decided to burn another Grenade resource — Sergeant’s Time — and scored 4 hits. The squad drew 5 successes, including a success from the Assault Team that scored 2 wounds. Against the total of 10 wounds, the defenders drew two armor saves. The total of 8 wounds eliminated all four drones. That’s a pretty good ambush. The node contained an “I” resource cache, and I drew RN 4 for a total of three Intelligence resources.

The area of operations for the mission.

The squad continued deeper into the complex, entering the “rescue” node on Turn 16. Again they made contact with the enemy, this time a team of two AI drones. The squad couldn’t get to Melee range, and a combination of average shooting and good draws for armor saves extended the combat for three rounds, but the result was inevitable. The robots managed to score wounds in a couple of rounds, which I assigned both times to the Close Combat unit. Unfortunately, Corporal Miller (who could take 3 wounds, due to his “Bear Strength” talent) blew both armor saves. I expended a Medikit — “M” resource — to remove one wound, leaving him down a wound by combat’s end.

After the combat, the rescue check pulled an RN5, resulting in 2 more “rescue” points — bringing the total to 4, which was the number required to successfully end the scenario.

The scenario scored a large bag of Victory Points for my ongoing campaign. The squad earned 3 VP for a successful mission, 2 VP for finishing with 5 resources in their resource pool, 2 more VP for selecting no Strategic Options at the beginning of the game and 1 VP for completing the mission before Turn 14 — a whopping total of 8 VP. A minimum of 24 VP is required in order to “win” the eight-scenario campaign I’m playing, so this mission was a major contribution to the cause. My total for the campaign’s first three missions stands at 19 VP, which means I only need 5VP more over five missions in order to be a Happy Camper.

For those of you keeping score at home, who were the heroes and zeroes? No zeroes this time, only heroes. Obviously, Corporal Miller (the Close Combat unit) gets a Purple Heart for taking the only wound. In fairness, all of the wounds generated by the AI attacks were assigned to the CC unit because of its armor save. But the biggest grunt always carries the heavy gear, so that’s the way it goes.

Interestingly, although all but two of the combats were conducted entirely at melee range, the combat results were fairly evenly distributed. The Fire Team (Buergel and March), Assault Team (Phillips and Oppenheimer), Close Combat unit (Miller) and Shotgunner (Basinger) all scored 7 combat successes during the mission. The APC gunner (Coyle) scored one success in just two rounds of combat, and “Sergeant’s Time” (Grenade resources) was responsible for 8 more wounds on the enemy.

As I noted in my first post about the game, I think Space Infantry is indeed a clever solitaire design. Obviously, with only a little bit of imagination you can build a top-notch narrative around what’s happening on the game board. Anybody who decides to dive into this game, I highly recommend moving into a campaign as quickly as possible. The “meta” elements of campaigning add a lot of flavor and decision making into the mix.

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