We played Beamstrike using our 15mm sci-fi figures from April's challenge this week. Beamstrike is a set of rules inspired by Imperial Commander. The original intention had been to approach Richard Halliwell and Brian Ansell for the rights to produce a second edition of Imperial Commander, but that went nowhere, so Beamstrike was born. Beamstrike is more complete than Imperial Commander and includes additional rules for vehicles, tanks and aircraft that are not in Imperial Commander. It still plays similarly, but I am not sure that is enough to get past my Imperial Commander Nostalgia (tm).
For our game, we decided on a Patrol action. This is a simple meeting engagement set up with a view to both sides driving each other off. Our forces comprised 500 points of troops and we both had similar forces. The Bwendi patrol consisted of two tracked APCs, each carrying a section of Men-at-Arms, and led by Lord Knight Gladiolus himself. The rules do include heroes, but the heroes are not overpowering. The Albion Defence Force also had two squads, each in a hover APC, and led by their high commander, whose name is not really significant. The main difference was that the ADF had one Veteran squad and one Regular squad, while all my troops bar my hero were Regular. The game began well. My Anti-Matter Beamer nailed an ADF trooper, while my Heavy Gyrobolt Gun wounded another. That was the limit of my success. My troops advanced. Steve's troops advanced. My troops got shot up. Steve's troops did not. The APCs came into range of each other and I blasted his gun off the turret, but he brewed up my APC. My second APC advanced and was nailed with a single shot from a bolt rifle and brewed up too. It took Steve three shots to kill both of my APCs. I fired a dozen shots at his and completely failed to kill anything except the driver of one of them. Ouch! With my left flank shot to pieces, Steve ran his second APC behind me to try to take out my other squad. Meanwhile, his Veteran squad was advancing on my troops. With the death of my second APC, my army was 'shaken'. I only needed to roll a 7 or higher on 2d6 for them to be 'broken'. That did not happen before we surrendered. Still, being 'shaken' is a right pain. You cannot advance, so your only option is to hold the ground you already have, or to retreat. This means that the game is effectively over at this point unless there is a chance that your opponent will break shortly. Steve was nowhere near breaking.
Close to the end of our game (click picture for a larger image):
This was a good fun game, and will be helped when we work up a better QRS to suit us. Poor QRSes is a recurring problem we have had with games. They slow play up by being poorly organised and do not always include the information that you really need for the game.
We plan to play again, but I did not think it really felt like Imperial Commander enough to benefit from my nostalgia. That may change as I become more familiar with the changes. I look forward to finding out.