Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sidalis IV: The battle for Sector 115

After a long time, here is a new battle in Sidalis IV, this time played with Strike Legion. I am using 1cm x 1.5cm markers for light and medium vehicles and infantry teams and measuring distances in centimeters instead of inches.

The battle of Sector 115 marked the escalation of the conflict in Sidalis IV, with the first confrontations between armor platoons. Terraforce command, still waiting for reinforcements, decided to set up an HQ on the planet to overview ground operations. While it was still under construction, NovaCorp sent a strike force to take control of the area.


Terraforce (blue) must defend its headquarters, represented by the rectangular template with the building marker, on the left. If the NovaCorp forces have any elements within 8cm of that building by the end of the fourth turn, they win. The green areas represent brush (difficult terrain that provides cover for infantry) and the hills within them count as one elevation level.

Terraforce (blue) has two platoons of four Wolverine medium tanks and one platoon of infantry, equipped with rifles. One squad has a SAW and the other has an anti-tank missile launcher. NovaCorp has three platoons of three Omega tanks and one platoon of infantry with two squads equipped with SAWs. Both forces are considered Trained.

Battle Report

I played the Terraforce units, against the Nova Corp using the solo rules presented in the Skunk Works supplement. The overall plan for Terraforce was to place one tank platoon on the hills to the south, the infantry on the area of brush to the north and the other tank platoon as a barrier to the enemy advance. I decided that NovaCorp would go offensive, pushing with all their tanks through the middle, while their infantry would contest the northern brush.

On the first turn, I split the Electronic Warfare of my tanks equally between offensive EW and defensive EW. NovaCorp won the initiative, advancing its infantry, and I did the same. One of my tank platoons reached the hill and fired at an advancing platoon, destroying one vehicle. My other tank platoon fired at the same targets, without effect.

On the second turn, I decided to allocate 4 points of EW on defense and 2 on offense. NovaCorp won the initiative again, advanced a tank platoon and immobilized one of my tanks. My infantry fired its anti-tank missile, damaging an enemy tank, and then moved into the brush. The second enemy tank platoon advanced through the middle and destroyed two tanks of what would be my "wall" and my chances of victory. However, my second tank platoon fired very effectively, destroying one whole enemy platoon (with two brew up results.)

The NovaCorp tank platoon in the center activated first, destroying the rest of my "wall." My infantry destroyed one of those tanks and moved back, to wait for the enemy infantry. The remaining enemy tank platoon advanced towards the objective, and my tanks on the hill did not manage to cause any damage. Lastly, the enemy infantry platoon moved to engage my own.

On the fourth turn, the NovaCorp tank platoon damaged one of my tanks on the hill and moved away from them and closer to the objective. My tanks attempted to move forward and fire but caused no damage. One enemy infantry squad engaged and destroyed one of my squads.

Losing any more elements would make me check for morale but since this was the fourth turn and the enemy had a platoon close to the objective, the battle was lost.

Breaching through Terraforce defenses, NovaCorp managed to prevent them from establishing an HQ, which would be used as a rally point for captured artifacts. The loss of resources (two tank platoons) would speed up their defeat when Federation reinforcements arrived on Sidalis IV. Until then, however, this victory maintained their domain on the planet surface.


Before playing this campaign game, I had a few "test games" with Strike Legion and I really like the system, for a few reasons. First, there is little bookkeeping, as you only have to mark "damage boxes" for large vehicles such as supertanks and dropships (which will normally appear in small numbers.) Then there is the modularity of the rules. Even the "basic game" which is available as a free demo version of the game, allows some good pick-up games between tank platoons. After that you can add infantry, artillery, flying vehicles, different kinds of weapons, armor, and the list goes on -- but the point is, you only add what you want and the rules snap together. The book is well written and has lots of examples. So far I only had to check twice the rules for line of sight when units are on different elevation levels, and morale statuses for infantry.

The allocation of offensive and defensive electronic warfare points is another decision point for the player, along with the maneuvering of units. At first, this would be a problem for solo play, but the solo rules from the Skunk Works supplement work well. Marking the disposition (offensive, defensive etc.) of each unit before a turn, based on the current situation of the battlefield, is a very good idea. Also, it is something I must remember to do when playing other systems solo, too.

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