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Stargrunt II - Specific Rules Interpretations Back to Top

My Quick-Reference sheet suggests a different set of statistics for an IAVR than the rulebook text on page 34 of the Stargrunt II rules. Which do I use?

[Tomb] Use the one that suits you. Mike Elliot (a longtime playtester and developer and a right-hand man for Jon Tuffley (the creator of Stargrunt II and owner of Ground Zero Games) indicated he thought you should use the ones from the QR sheet if my recollection doesn't fail me.

[Adrian] I use Firepower d8, Impact d12*. The book itself actually has two different ratings for the weapon. It says "Firepower d10" in the chart on page 34, and then "Firepower d8" in the discussion of "Unguided Rockets" on page 40. I think Firepower d10 is too strong - at close ranges, it makes an IAVR better than a GMS/L (unless you're fielding Superior guidance GMS systems, which the forces in the rulebook do not). The GMS/L is obviously better at long range and does not have the same effect versus dispersed infantry, but I can't see any reason that a GMS/L should be less effective than an IAVR at closer ranges against point (armoured) targets.

I thought an IAVR was a portable disposable anti-armour weapon. Yet it seems very potent against infantry. What is up with that?

[Tomb] It seems obvious, working backwards from the statistics to the rationale, that the IAVR is a multi-mode weapon capable of being dialed into either an anti-infantry or anti-armour mode just prior to firing. Such weapons are theoretically possible, though as of now no one I am aware of has deployed exactly such a weapon. Note however we are talking about 200 years hence. If you wish to simulate today's IAVR, I'd consider making the players specify the warhead type and that will determine if it is HE (anti-personel) or HEAT (anti-armour). Modern IAVRs would have one role or the other.

My quick reference card says I can only fire once per turn with any weapon. Does this mean I can't fire during a command re-activation?

[Tomb] No. It just means you have one of the old QR cards. I think this has been corrected in the newer releases. It should have read that each weapon can be fired only once per activation.

[Adrian] From discussions on the Ground Zero Games e-mail list, it is quite clear that everyone (including Jon Tuffley) interprets this as Tomb has indicated. Firing is once per activation.

If I can only fire a weapon once during an activation, can I then switch weapons (if I have both a rifle and an IAVR) and take a second fire action?

[Tomb] This is a contentious issue. Whereas the letter of the rules may seem to allow this, it fails the test of logical sensibility. If you could fire twice in a round by doing this, and therefore be nearly twice as effective, wouldn't every soldier carry an IAVR? Would it then make sense to issue my troops two rifles? Should a rifle not be able to fire twice in the same period, given that you would not require the time to switch weapons? The truth of the matter is units were limited to one shot per weapon (which really should have been per figure) per activation to limit the effect of firepower on the game. If you could take every action as a fire action, the movement present in the game would go away - everyone would get in to about range band 3 or 4 and shoot shoot shoot. That might have some similarity to certain real life conflicts, but it really kills the entertainment in Stargrunt by removing manouvre. So each figure should be allowed to fire one weapon once per activation. If you're truly daring, and don't fear the impact on the game, you can allow each figure to take two fire actions per turn, thus putting a lot more firepower into play. I can't advise this course of action.

[Adrian] This on is simple for me. One figure, one shot per activation - that's it. I believe that is the clear intent of the rules, and though there are arguments for both sides, I prefer keeping this limit on firepower in the game. As Tomb says, it encourages manoever, which makes the games more interesting.

How exactly do you run a Stargrunt close assault?

[Tomb] This is very complex. The rules, although pretty good, leave some things unaddressed and create some odd situations in other cases. This requires a whole separate article to look into in appropriate depth. I refer you to (close assault rules discussion article).

Can support weapons fire without rifles?

[Tomb] This is another example of where the intention of the rules is good, but sometimes the implementation of RAW (Rules As Written) creates an odd circumstance. The authors of Stargrunt II wrote the rules in such a way as to allow a single support weapon to fire separately from rifles (resolved with Quality Die and Firepower of the support weapon) for a cost of one action (refer to Stargrunt rules, pg 37). However, to fire two support weapons without rifles would therefore burn two actions, even if engaging the same target.

Being ludicrous for a moment, if we had a squad of 7 soldiers with support weapons, only two could fire every turn. But if we added an eighth soldier with a rifle, all of a sudden all of these support weapons could fire in support of the rifle (refer to Stargrunt rules, pg 35). This, as we can see, is a little bit of an artificial restriction and quite silly (having your rifle essentially firing in support of a horde of support weapons). This would seem to be a glaring problem except for the fact that any sensible TO&E that acknowledges issue of logistics, supply and employment of weapons will NOT construct squads of 1 rifle and 7 SAWs except in very unusual circumstances. Doing this would be what I term "Cheese".

So how do we fix this to handle the special cases like machine gun detachments (MMGs and HMGs in groups)? My answer is simple. You can fire any number of support weapons with your rifles for 1 action at the same target and the support weapons are resolved by adding their FP dice to the rifle FP (per the Stargrunt rules, pg 35). If you want to fire multiple support weapons without rifles, do so. If you are firing at the same target, add all their FP dice and resolve the fire costing 1 action. (Obviously, must be against the same target). Wow, isn't that going to produce casualties? you say... well yes. But then, if your squad is the single target of half a dozen Heavy Machine Guns, you probably aren't long for this Earth anyway. This situation should rarely arise, but if you happen to have an infantry squad with two SAWs and all the riflemen get killed, the two SAWs should still be able to fire together at the same target for one action. This is the most likely place you will see this situation arise unless fighting some sort of WW1 battle with large machine-gun formations.

[Adrian] I have a slightly different take on this than Tomb. While I agree that it does not make sense that 6 SAWs and one rifle firing together is a legitimate fire action while two SAWs firing together is NOT, I prefer the solution that Allan Goodall proposed on the GZG e-mail list when a discussion of this came up in March of 2000. His idea was that you should allow the support weapons to fire using only one fire action, but the effect of each weapon would then be resolved individually. So, in the case of the squad with two SAWs who have been reduced down to just the two SAW gunners, they could indeed fire together at the same target with one fire action. The effects would be resolved as if they had fired separately, however, with two rolls of two dice (firepower, quality). Tomb's solution will see a higher potential for damage. Allan's would see a higher potential for suppressions. I see this as a slightly better balance between the rules as written, common sense, and game playability/balance. Pick either one and try it - they both offer a decent resolution to the problem.

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