Thursday, 15 October 2015

Containment - Alien Invasion

If you fancy a project that is both quick to complete and relatively cheap, then a marine V's alien encounter might just fit the bill.
The October 2015 issue of Miniature Wargames magazine (issue 390) had my Sci-Fi submission based around an alien incursion and the forces deployed to deal with it. The article offers a background narrative, game rules and thee linked scenarios.
This post provides an overview of my most recent game using the same system, forces and scenarios outlined in the magazine article.
Please tap the 'read more' tab to see the rest of this post.

Out of respect for MW magazine and in recognition of copyright laws, this post will not set out to replicate the magazine article and rules, but rather tell the story of the most recent playing. I have included a link to the magazines website in case anybody is interested in getting the back issue.

The game before you is played on Kallistra Hexon II terrain. I have taken their blank black hex boards and created a cityscape for my WWII games, which works out well for this game. The figures are Pendraken 10mm figures and the putting together of the army was covered in another post (link shown at the foot of this post together with other useful links in the resource section).

Briefly the basic background is that somewhere in England, there has been an alien incursion. The occupied town has been attacked by the Air Force and now, on the ground, the specialised 1st Bio-Tech Battalion are about to engage this unknown enemy.

Other than for a few fires and the odd gas explosion as domestic appliances rupture and ignite, the town had taken on a somewhat ghostly character. As 'C' Company of 1st Bio-Tech formed up outside the town, there was nothing to suggest the terror that awaited them.

Hidden amongst the ruins, there were stirrings of an enemy growing in strength and taking up ambush positions. Here juveniles hide in the cellar of an office block, just waiting for the tell-tale vibration of human feet to pass by.

Nests quickly developed to bring on a generation of Alien Warrior soldiers. This nest (below) uses the cover of some abandoned rail carriages for concealment. Some juveniles can be seen moving out away from the egg cases.

The Marines enter the town cautiously. The Command vehicle has a Walker and Flamer Team for support. They lead the way, with the rest of the team a short distance behind.

Their orders are to capture the four buildings that sit on the crossroads, taking control of the centre of the town. Almost instantly, coming out from the smoke, juvenile aliens clattered and scuttled over rubble as they made their way into the first building occupied by 'C' Company. Their speed shocked the soldiers, but they held their ground, driving off the critters with minor loss.

Luck was with 'C' Company as the alien nests and Queen were slow to produce new broods, perhaps due to the icy weather, but it allowed the soldiers to penetrate deeper into the town without too much interference.
It had all felt rather too easy for the soldiers, when suddenly a flame team and heavy weapons team, who were holding an office block at the crossroads, came under attack from two Alien Warrior squads. The aliens raced from cover, but took too many hits to fully press home their attack. They fell back towards the parkland, but the ordeal had given the soldiers a respect of their enemy.

Close by, the Command Vehicle, the Dreadnought and a flamer team were caught out in the open. The mighty Dreadnought was at its weakest in close combat. Although the aliens were forced back, the number of hits taken by the Command Vehicle and the Dreadnought forced them to fall back and take cover and for fear of losing these prime assets, they stayed back for the rest of the firefight.
By the end of the initial firefight, the soldiers had captured all four buildings, but then lost one to a last minute counter-attack. Their total permanent losses had been one flamer team (a flamer, a support weapon and a walker had managed to recover sufficiently to be brought back into play for later firefights).
Believing that the Alien had nest sites that were generating the Warriors, 'C' Company received orders to seek out and destroy the nests. Their success in the initial firefight had given them control of the town centre and so they were well placed to launch their seek and destroy missions.

They quickly discovered and destroyed the two nests, but with the aliens now so incapacitated, the Company instead of standing down after a 'job done', pressed on to corner the dangerous Alien Queen, who was skulking in the large red brick building shown below.

They managed to concentrate huge firepower at the Queen and her personal guard. Her aggression compelled her to make two counter-attacks rather than pulling back and though the company lost two flamer teams and a Walker in the final assault, it led to the Queen's final demise.

But dealing with the Queen had not ended the alien threat. Reconnaissance showed that two large alien forms were drifting northwards and were close to leaving the town. It was feared that if these 'seeding factories' escaped into the countryside, then the alien attack might prove impossible to contain. Orders were given to capture or destroy the seeders.

On the western side of the town, the seeder was easily captured, but on the eastern edge, the seeder made good progress, depositing nests as it travelled. The Dreadnought commander reasoned that the Seeder would leave town before it could be captured, so he switched his mission priority from capture to destroy and blew the seeder away just as it was about to escape into the open.

All that remained was to simply to destroy the two deposited nests, with the one in the woods proving the more difficult to take out, but in the end, 1st Bio-Tech could claim the town as a safe and neutralised zone.
Mankind had won the day (at this landing site at least!), with the victory point tally set at 9 - 4 in their favour. The alien force had been slightly unlucky in their spawning die rolls, leaving 'C' company with an easier time in the town. It has been a couple of months since this game was on the table, but it really was a fun session. It just goes to show how for a relatively small investment in both time and money, a project can really get to the table quickly and be a success with good replay value.
Miniature Wargames is a lovely magazine, with the editor's (Henry) passion for wargames and the hobby really coming through . If you have not read it of late, then perhaps if this post has interested you, you might like to get hold of this issue or get the latest issue off the newsagent shelves. If you already have the magazine that covers this game, then I hope this replay will encourage you to have a go. For a non-hexed table, simply convert 1 hex to four inches and allow up to 3 friendly bases to touch each other to form groups (in the hexed game, 3 units can exist in a hex at any one time).
Building 10mm Sci-Fi armies, LINK
Building a hexed cityscape, LINK
Miniature Wargames magazine - LINK


  1. Thanks Andy, I actually started the game 'not quite in the mood' and after just a couple of moves was thoroughly engaged. Good fun.

  2. Hi mate! Are you interested in covering a new sci-fi wargame coming to Kickstarter? It features drone tanks, programmed orders and building new units during the game.

  3. Hi, Thanks for the invitation, but I currently have a full plate and to be honest, this site is not a review site, I just write about the things that I have bought and like enough to want to write and so in that regard, everything here is not commercially associated- but thanks for thinking that the articles here are good enough to do your product justice, good luck with your project.


Thanks for taking the time to comment