IntroductionI've mentioned FUBAR before (here); it's a 1-page, fast-play set of rules for squad-level Science Fiction combat games. Since I was at a bit of a loss when deciding what to bring to the games club this week, I thought I'd give it another outing. It's been a while since I last played these rules.
FUBAR is adaptable to a wide variety of settings. For example, it's sometimes used as a free alternative to Warhammer 40K or for games with Star Wars clix figures. However I though that I would bring out some of my old VOID miniatures instead (note that these are still available from Scotia Grendel). In this game, the Viridians (fervent ecologists) would attack a Syntha (cold cyborgs) outpost.
I think I may be getting something of a reputation at the club. When one of the regular players saw the setup for this game, he asked nervously "Does this involve bugs?" Of course, my answer was "Why? Would that worry you?" (mua-ha-ha!). It's true that I have used my Viridians in "bug hunt" games before, but there wouldn't be any hordes of monsters on this occasion!
The ScenarioThis would be a very simple game: the Syntha have set up a base in the centre of the jungle and the Viridians don't like the mess they're making. The attackers must wipe out the base, whilst the defenders must hold on!
|The Syntha's southern defences. 2 squads (one of robots, one of humans) man the sandbag wall while "Hades-40" stands ready in the background|
Syntha troops are all deployed on the table from the start. They have:
- 2 tanks (one is much better camouflaged than the other and may be quite hard to spot in the picture above). Very powerful.
- A troop of grav-bikes. Fast and heavily armed, but unarmoured.
- Several squads of robots, big and small - a mixture of androsynths and teratosynths, if you're interested. Well armed, somewhat armoured, but not very bright.
- 2 squads of (slightly) modified human marines.
- ...and finally, a pair of biomechs - mechanically-enhanced cyborg super-soldiers.
- 2 behemoths (dinosaur-like "tanks")
- Several squads of power-armoured troopers.
- Several squads of regular infantry.
- 1 scout squad, mounted on fast, bipedal lizards.
|Oh, there's the second Syntha tank: "Nemesis-41"|
The crashing of something large through trees was the first the Syntha knew of the attack on their base. A Viridian assault behemoth broke through the foliage and its gauss cannons all opened fire on the nearest defending tank, wrecking its grav-drive. Powered infantry could be seen close behind the monster.
So, how did FUBAR work out? It's certainly quick to play and the unit activation rules force the players to concentrate on what really matters at the time. Overall I think it's a very useful set of rules, though a lot depends on the attributes you create for your models.
Being caught in the open is bad news, especially for unarmoured infantry. Not many models died, at least in part because my squads were small and therefore had limited fire-power, but the suppression certainly limited what units could do.
I'm not really a fan of "partial" damage for tanks or other vehicles (e.g. loss of a weapon, mobility or other attributes). Because of this rule, most of the "vehicles" in the north survived the entire game, albeit with various bits shot off. Only the luckiest hit would truly destroy such a model!
Unit of the match: the 2 Syntha biomechs, without a doubt. They were fast, elusive and hard-hitting. Their elite rating meant that they would activate on a 2+; this made them extremely active. Indeed, with the exception of the one dead behemoth and its crew, they caused almost all the fatalities in the entire game.
Most useless: I think I'd have to go for the Viridian scouts. For a long time they refused to come on to the table. When they finally arrived, they skulked about in the woods and hid so well that they don't even appear in any of the photographs. At least all of the other units on both sides used their weapons, even if they didn't all hit anything. Apart from the assault synths, that is - but they were an obvious reserve in case the perimeter was breached!