Thursday, January 4, 2018

Rogue Stars Science Fiction Skirmish Rules: ExoTech Security Team

Latest project for 2018, a crew of 28mm figures for use in Rogue Stars by Osprey Wargames.  Rogue Stars is one of those minis games that also borders on flat-out roleplaying, with the rules, setting, and theme encouraging you to personalize your crews and track their successes and failures on the tabletop.  Taking that to heart, I've cribbed a quartet of models from the Gates of Antares range for use as a slightly shady corporate "security" team.


ExoTech Incorporated is a mid-sized manufacturing company that specializes in xeno-technological synthesis - the science of combining various alien technologies with human tech and each other to produce an end product whose final result is greater than the sum of its parts.  They produce a wide variety of high-end civilian gadgetry that sell well in Core Space, as well as a line of military/paramilitary gear with a distinctive biomechanical look.


ExoTech acquisition agents are common sights in Rim Space where they purchase all manner of new alien technology for use in research and development of new products.  On occasion they encounter dangerous criminals, hostile local rulers, and species who refuse to share their unique scientific advancements no matter what they're offered.  When that happens ExoTech Security is called in, dispatching heavily equipped combat specialists to troubleshoot whatever the problem may be - often by literally shooting things.


The most common Security troops are the armored infantry, wearing their signature heavy combat suits with integral powered gauntlets and generally carrying sophisticated molecular slugthrowers as primary weapons.  Each trooper is generally given some specialist training beyond their basic combat skills, ranging from medical to scientific to leadership skills.


Rarer but even more lavishly equipped are the Independent Operations Specialists, who are most often issued elaborate stealth suits, dual molecular slugthrowers with advanced silenced ammunition, and a variety of other advanced intrusion and restraint gear.  IO Specs often work alone in Core Space, but out on the Rim they're more often seen (when they're seen at all) with standard Security troopers in support.


In Rogue Stars terms, this crew is built using the "Star Cops" theme since ExoTech Security is (at least in theory) wholly legal and aboveboard.  They certainly never participate in ethically questionable activities like corporate espionage, technological thievery, or outright assassination.  Rumors of gray or black ops activity by ExoTech are just that - rumor.  Only rumor.

Their tactical discipline is usually going to be "Heavy Firepower" to exploit the Hail of Fire potential of their weaponry in the early stages of any fight.  They can easily blow through all five counters in a single flurry of shooting, but if that kills enough of the opposition then who needs to play for a long game?


Individual characters from left to right above:

Artema K-777 ("Killer")
IO Spec
70 XP

Traits:
Ambidexterity
Difficult Target 2 (3 with Stealth Suit)
Marksman 1
Stealth 2 (3 with Stealth Suit)

Gear:
2 x Alpha Class Needlers
Stealth Suit
Disentangler
Electromag Shackles


Jaro D-91295 ("Boss")
Security Trooper
45 XP

Traits:
Leadership 1
Marksman 1
Weapon Master 1

Gear:
Molecular Slugthrower
Powered Gauntlet
Combat Dress


Dev TX-0038 ("Tex")
Security Trooper
42 XP

Traits:
Marksman 1
Weapon Master 2

Gear:
Molecular Slugthrower
Powered Gauntlet
Combat Dress


Ondin MX-723 ("Doc")
Security Trooper
43 XP

Traits:
Marksman 1
Medic 1
Weapon Master 1

Gear:
Molecular Slugthrower
Powered Gauntlet
Combat Dress

In game terms, the strength of this crew is largely in their gear.  They've got pretty good armor on the troopers and Killer is extremely sneaky and hard to shoot.  All of them carry automatic weapons with infinite ammo, which means they can really lay down a lot of attacks per action in a pinch.  The troopers are also fairly effective in a melee although that's likely to be more of a defensive option than a primary tactic.  All their armor is sealed, giving them a lot of resistance to many annoying effects.  Finally, Killer's access to the rarest equipment gives them key gear like a Disentangler and Electromagnetic Shackles.

Their weaknesses include very limited mobility, a lack of really hard-hitting weapons (nothing over damage 4), and no veteran characters or other action/reaction boosters.  With only four models they'll also start many games outnumbered, although their damage output may make up for that.  They also don't have any grenades or psionic tricks up their sleeves.

Early priorities for XP spending should probably include getting some mobility gear (maybe jump packs on everyone?), improving existing skills, adding a heavier weapon or two (conversion time!), and the usual increases in experience levels and adding toughness.  As with any Rogue Stars crew you'll probably lose characters in battle pretty often.  Replacement carbon-copy troopers will probably work well enough, but if Killer goes down for good you might want to shuffle around her replacement's gear and skills to better suit whatever kind of crews and scenarios are giving you the most trouble.