Scenario: Alien Ambush

by Mike Fischer

The young corporal's face was pale as his image materialized on the comm-screen. "Sir, we're under attack!" He was practically screaming. "We've lost almost all our scouting units! They're--"

"Get a hold of yourself, soldier," the old captain ordered. He'd been a platoon sergeant before winning a battlefield commission, and he knew how to handle panicky young men in combat. "Give me an estimate of Combine strength."

The corporal gulped. "It's--" He visibly tried to pull himself together. "It's not the Combine, sir! It's nothing we've ever seen before. They dropped out of the sky in some kind of landing pods, then spread out and started attacking everything in sight. Their weapons are similar to ours, but they look all wrong! One thing shoots missiles at us, and another one acts like a tank, but how do we know which is which?"

It was the captain's turn to pull himself together. An alien invasion? On his watch? What kind of decisions should he make until the colonel returned from his meetings with the top brass? The thought of going back to his old infantry platoon was comforting. But he had to start giving orders now.

To throw a curve ball against a skilled Ogre/GEV player, this scenario ought to do the trick. Nothing in the rules is different; it's similar to the basic Ceasefile Collapse scenario. What's different is one of the players' units. They're aliens. They fight just like "normal" tanks and GEV's, but they aren't recognizable.

One player needs to collect an army of units that don't look anything like the official SJ Games miniatures, but which bear some remote resemblance to the functions of the standard units. I recommend the "Bugs" from Brigade Models, but any unfamiliar force will do. Each unit must correspond to an official GEV unit, with identical statistics. Here's one army using Brigade's Bugs, and another army with WWII German AFV's from GHQ's Micro Armour line:

GEV UnitBug UnitGerman Unit
HVYMellifPanther G
LTAnthomPzkw III e
GEVThysanSd Kfz 231
LGEVNeptisSd Kfz 222
GEV-PCOrthonSd Kfz 250
HWZTettigon88 mm AA gun
INFBug InfantryIndiv. German inf.
HWINFHeavy WeaponsIndiv. German Inf. Hvy Wpns
CPChilonany 1/285 building

It might be a good idea to label the bottoms of each unit with their GEV equivalents, both to avoid accusations of cheating ("See, it really is a light tank") and so the alien player can remind himself of what these odd-looking units are.

Each player gets 200 points' worth of units and 3 CP's. At least 45 points must be spent on infantry. Player 1 (the "normal" units) can spend up to 50 points on Ogres; the alien player cannot buy Ogres. Player 1 sets up in the top five rows of the standard GEV map; player 2 sets up in the bottom 5 rows. None of the CP's can be within 5 hexes of each other.

Play with standard GEV rules and victory conditions. Each player's goal is to destroy as much of the other's force as possible within 16 turns. A CP is worth 24 victory points. High VP score wins.

The fun for the "normal" player is to try and figure out which units have which functions. If it moves four spaces, you know it's some kind of GEV; if it shoots from 4 hexes away, it's most likely a missile tank. But you have to figure things out quickly, and keep track of what's what, or the consequences will not be pretty.

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