Gruntz is a surprisingly fun and simple sci-fi rules set for 15mm figures written by Mr. Robin from Rottenlead fame. I’ll be the first to say the actual rules need a bit of tidying up, but they’re both very simple and solid. I just think there are some things inside the designer’s head that need better explaining in the text. Another thing is the number of 15mm figures I own: zero. No, I mean it, I have none. Not even a test figure. Not even a free sample. Not even a single figure thrown in one of those big online trades I like to make. Zero.
Now, figures and scales have never stopped me before, so after reading Gruntz for a couple of times I set up some scenery and dusted off my AT-43 figures for their very first combat action. Some scenery was not painted, and all figures were either unpainted (the tank) or painted by who-knows-who-in-what-slave-factory. It was a beautiful sight nevertheless. So hear kids. Badly painted figures are always a million times better than unpainted figures on the table. Learn that Warhammer crowd.
My girlfriend who only played a wargame once in her life was pretty confident about it and wanted to try it. Seems like I was showing my excitement about the nice rules and avoided me the solo experience. Anyway, I made a couple of forces using Therians, and U.N.A. troops with a Warhammer 40K Chimera tank. They passed for New Israelis and Slammers in the army lists. The forces were as follows:
Slammers (U.N.A. troops, played by me)
-Squad + RPG
Total points: 28
New Israelis (Therians)
-Squad with 2 heavy carbines and one micro missile
Total points: 26
The battle was quite straightforward but with some nice terrain to take cover. I placed a bunker near the NI’s deployment zone just because of the slight difference in points, and off we went with the game. We deployed and started moving around.
I have to say the distances are a bit clunky for bigger models (at least the coherency rules) but otherwise the game was perfectly played as written. The NIs deployed behind the bunker but at the last moment ran for a different cover, leaving the commander enter the big concrete defence. My guys ran straight into it wanting to take them out while the tank moved on the center of the board and my commander was using it as cover. Lots of shooting back and forth from the 3rd turn onwards.
Charging into cover isn’t on the rules, so we kind of improvised a bit. The commander in the bunker took quite a beating but single-handedly massacred the squad charging him. He survived with just one wound making my guys get Scared Shitless and run for a bit, so my own commander who was aiding the tank with some shooting had to intervene and fight it out with the enemy boss.
The tank kept hitting some enemies but no real harm since the cannon could only hurt one figure. Besides, the NIs squad had 3 armor-piercing weapons with them. While dealing with the NIs commander in the bunker, the tank lost patience and rammed straight into the enemy squad. It killed one of them but was left completely exposed so her guys just destroyed him and that increased their cover area. The missile launcher actually missed, it deviated back into the unit, killed a couple of its own guys, but in the end hurt the tank helping the tank busting effort.
The game was stuck with some long-range firing between the 2 remaining guys from my squad plus my commander, against quite a bunch of the enemy’s guys. In the end it was decided old west style, with only my commander and the NIs squad leader remaining. My guy had the lucky shot, game over.
A bunch of stuff happened in the game to ask the designer and already did. It was just tons of fun, and my gf was really having fun for the game’s sake and not just because we we’re hanging and doing something I really love. The game makes me want to create stat cards for a ton of troops and also paint up the random sci-fi models I’ve got in my collection like some Imperial Guard, some Drantakhs and other stuff.
And yeah, pics!