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Invasion: Earth» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First impressions and overview rss

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Nigel Wright
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No surprises with the subject matter of Invasion Earth. It is what it says on box.

The objective for the invader is to move troops from out-system into the defenders home system and invade earth in order to occupy the 61 urban areas on the map so as to pacify the planet (and throttle off the supply of defender replacements).

The game map

As with most GDW games of this era, the rules are deceptively short at 8 pages (out of a 16-page booklet including background and Traveller system material). The attacker and defender each have a Troop Display chart (off map storage of up to 6 perilously large stacks, with replacement point tracks), in addition there's a Turn Record chart (with weather/climate status), an OB chart (pictured below), the essential Unit Identification chart, and a set of Combat Tables.

Order of battle

The majority of the units are ground troops, although space fleet units are also involved.



As might be expected for a GDW game the ground troops are heavily differentiated. They come in a variety of sizes from 5C-factor armies (500-factor), 1C-factor corps (100-factor), 20-factor divisions, 10-factor brigades and 5-factor regiments. There are space marines and jump troops (each less vulnerable to planetary defences), elite and armoured units (combat factors doubled for each), mercenaries (combat factors halved once they take 50% casualties - they're only fighting for the money), planetary defence units (to attack landing invaders) and a variety of tech levels (column shifts for combat), etc. The armies and corps have ZOC affecting movement and garrisoning urban areas. Some of the unit types are purely cosmetic, there being no differences between most armour types (tank, armoured infantry, armoured cavalry) and non-armor types (infantry, cavalry) which can each freely combine to consolidate combat losses. There is no specific restriction on combining the invader's regular, colonial and mercenary troops, but I think that would make sense.

The ground combat occurs in-hex (not surprising given the map scale of 1140km per hex) and is simultaneous and results in casualty markers representing percentage losses being applied (there's a separate counter sheet of primarily these markers). Each side may divvy up its attacks in a given hex - units may split their factors to make several attacks against different units, several troop units may combine their attacks, but each unit can only be attacked once, individually.

Movement is by grav sled, so oceans can be freely traversed but units may not end at sea. Only the defenders planetary defence units and the invaders bases units are static, although the bases can be transported (equivalent to a 1C factor ground unit)

As far the 'naval' forces are concerned the invader has a variety of fleet units all of which are jump-capable (can move out-system) and most of which can transport troops (battle squadrons can carry 20 factors, cruisers 5 and assault carriers 6C), although 2 of the 4 assault carriers are withdrawn on turn 2. A given fleet unit can carry multiple troop units up to its capacity, but a troop unit must be carried by a single naval unit - so bases, armies and corps are dependent on the big transports.

The defenders forces are a few battle squadrons (home system only) and quite a few system defence boats which can hide in the oceans and pop up to interfere with troop landings, although the invader can assign fleet units to 'top cover' to counter this threat. The planetary defence units are another threat to troop landings and will need to be bombarded by the invaders fleet units, etc.

For the initial turn, the invader starts off-system although troops can be loaded. For an initial solo run through, I'll try to transport as much as possible and hope the losses aren't prohibitive.

There are 7 regular and 8 colonial cruiser squadrons - more than enough for the 5 marine regiments and 1 elite mercenary jump troop regiment that can be transported by these fleet units.

There are 24 regular (OB chart says 14, but also mentions all units are available at start) and 6 colonial battle squadrons - to accommodate 1 marine division, 1 elite and 1 regular jump troop divisions, 2 mercenary, 8 regular and 4 colonial divisions; plus 6 jump troop brigades, 3 mercenary and 2 colonial brigades. For a total of 17 x 20-factor and 11 x 10-factor troop units. So no need to pack the brigades on the capacity 20-factor squadrons.

That leaves just 4 big assault carrier squadrons (capacity 6C factors) to accommodate 2 armies (5C), 16 regular and 10 colonial corps (1C), and 10 bases (1C equivalent). The armies are infantry and 7 regular and 3 colonial corps are armoured. Each transport should probably carry at least one base (as a supply hub) and the 10 armoured units should probably get deployed soonest. Not sure if I need to get the armies in there or maybe more corps. Given that after the initial invasion 2 of the 4 big transports are withdrawn, and returning out of system to pick up more troops/bases and returning to earth is a two-turn proposition it may make sense to have a few extra bases loaded on one or two of the transports in cases any bases are needed on turn 2, or just accept the risk and go all-in.

Anyway those are my initial thoughts. Now I need to clear some space to set the game up and give it a try!
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Rich Perez
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(pun intended) "Jump to it!"

- Rich
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Nigel Wright
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Thanks for the encouragement, Rich. I'll try to get it on the table this weekend.
 
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