Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Meepleoids

We're no strangers to Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader in these parts.  Published in 1987, the tone is far less "grim-dark" than campy sci-fi and emphasizes a DIY approach to building forces and adapting whatever models you happen to have around to fast, light, skirmish gameplay.

My younger daughter loves meeples in all their wooden, brightly-colored nerdiness, so it was only a matter of time before they took to the futuristic, dark-age battle field.


In our latest skirmish took place in the dark belly of an alien freighter amid a maze of shipping containers (buildings liberated from the boardgame Medina).

Space Ork reavers blundered through the cavernous hold, searching for orange pods they could convert to fuel for their space junkers.  Meanwhile, a boarding party of reptilian Saurians (converted from decade-old WH Fantasy Battle lizardmen) fanned out across the same cold, metallic floor in search of brown protein matrix containers.

A pair of orks hustle to shift a yellow fuel cell off map, ignoring the smoldering shapes of a recently-roasted saurian squad or the meepleoids closing in at their flank.

No more had the two bands of raiders begun their clash then the ship's long-slumbering brain awoke and activated its own dormant defenders -- Behold the Meepleoids!

Small, quick, and utterly fearless, the synthetic meepleoids were colored according to role: reds were drones and lifters, greens were security, etc.  Composed of a particle cloud within a vaguely anthropoid magnetic membrane, the meepleoids proved surprisingly resilient.  Sustained bolter fire, however, proved effective in disrupting them, at which point they would dissipate in a colorful puff of synthetic dust.

Though the saurians (commanded by my older daughter) took a beating early in the fight, once they started directing their fire against the fuel pods that the orks were trying to carry, the tides shifted (we made a spot ruling that the pods could explode on a failed save).  By turn five the orks routed, having recovered only a single pod.

A single meepleoid drone got in among the saurians and over several turns brought down three of the brutes in close combat, but their dim, lizard hind-brains refused to admit defeat and they fought on despite the losses.

In the end only a pair of stoic saurians remained in the now-burning ship's hold ... the containers were too heavy to be moved by a single trooper ... and they dutifully dragged the three remaining protein storage units that were required off table for the win.

I suspect that we haven't seen the last of the enigmatic Meepleoids!
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Here's how we statted them for Rogue Trader:

Move 4, WS 3, BS 3, Str 3, Tough 3, Wounds 1, Init 4, Att 1, Ldr 10, Int 7, Cool 10, WillP 10
security types having the equivalent of an integrated lasgun

Obviously this invites all kinds of tinkering to create heavy weapon, fast, teleporting, phasing, cloaked, psycher, or other meepleoid types.