Starship Troopers Rules

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Rules to play Starship Troopers Board wargame from 1976, a map-and-counter board wargame featuring a number of scenarios as written in the novel.

Transcript of Starship Troopers Rules


    Game Research and Design: Randall C. ReedOriginal Book and Idea: Robert A. Heinle inComponents Design and Execution: Randal l C. ReedProduction Assistant: Richard HamblenProduction Coordinator: Thomas N. Shaw

    Artwork:Logo Design: Emily MarchBox Cover and Mapboard: George GoebelCharacter Illustrations: Emily MarchMontage: Richard HamblenCounter Art: Randall C. Reed and Richard HamblenSculpture: Richard HamblenPhotography: Looking Glass Photographies

    Play-testing: Dave Hram. David Govacker. John Desmond, Arvinvan Zante, Rick Archer, Timothy Wiedel. Greg Turner. JamesMichael Crockett, Mark Nicholson, Walter Mings. Larry Robbins.John Marv in . Bil l Larsen. The Univers i ty of PennsylvaniaWargamers, and members of Interest Group Baltimore.

    Typesetting: Colonial CompositionPr in t ing : Monarch Services

    Copyright. 1976. The Avalon Hill Game Company, Baltimore.Maryland

    Printed in the Uni ted States of America

    REPLACEMENT PARTS COSTFor current replacement parts price list, send a stamped self-addressed envelope to: Parts Dept.. The Avalon Hi l l GameCompany, 4517 Harford Road, Balto.. Md. 21214 .

    OUR DESIGN DEPARTMENT will be happy to take the time toanswer queries regarding play of this game but ONLY whenaccompanied by a self-addressed envelope containing first classpostage. Starship Troopers is based upon the popular novel

    of the same name written by the dean of sciencefiction writers, Robert A. Heinlein. In the novel,Heinlein describes a futuristic war involving homosapiens from our Earth (Terrans) against aHumanoid race (nicknamed the 'Skinnies' forobvious physical attributes) and their co-belligerents, the totally alien Arachnids. Since thisis a story of future wars and future advances intechnology, much is changed in the fields ofweaponry and tactics and strategy. One thingremains the same, however; the fighting still restson the shoulders of the individual infantryman.Although great starships has shuttle men betweenthe distant solar systems and the power ofindividual weapons has risen to awesome heights,wars still cannot be won unless men venture ontothe face of alien planets and fight the enemy ontheir home ground. As Juan Rico, the protagonistof the novel, relates:

    "We are the boys who go to a particularplace, at H-Hour, occupy a designatedterrain, stand on it, dig the enemy out oftheir holes, force them then and there tosurrender or die. We're the bloody infan-try, the doughboy, the duckfoot, the footsoldier who goes where the enemy is andtakes him on in person."

    Although the mission remains the same, futureinventiveness has changed the method considera-bly. In a galaxy-wide war, manpower is at apremium. Platoons fight where entire armies oncetred. But these platoons possess the firepowerequivalence of a Twentieth-Century mechanizeddivision. More importantly, each man in theplatoon is provided with a piece of hardware thatallows him to fight and survive in the holocausts offu ture combathis powered armor suit. As Ricodescribes it:

    "A suit isn't a spacesuit although it canserve as one. A suit is not a space ship but itcan flya little . . . Suited up, you looklike a big steel gorilla, armed with gorilla-sized weapons. But the suits are considera-bly stronger than a gorilla. If a Mobile

    Infantry man in a suit swapped hugs with agorilla, the gorilla would be dead, crushed;the man and the suit wouldn't bemussed . . . The real genius in the design isthat you don't have to control the suit, youjust wear it, like your clothes, likeskin . . . Even riding a bicycle demands anacquired skill, very different from walking.But a suit you just wear."

    With the suit and the incredible array of weaponrythat go with it, the Mobile Infantry soldier is anexceedingly formidable opponent. He had betterbe. The enemies he faces are the mose awesomeadversaries in the galaxy. Of the two extraterres-trial races f ighting the Terrans, the Humanoids arethe least revolting. Rico describes them as

    " . . . humanoid, eight or nine feet tall,much skinnier than we are and with ahigher body temperature; they don't wearany clothes and they stand out in a set of'snoopers' like a neon sign."

    But the 'Skinnies' were mild looking in compar-ison to the Arachnids:

    "The 'Bugs' are not like us. The Pseudo-Arachnids aren't even like spiders. Theyare anthropods who happen to look like amadman's concept of a giant, intelligentspider, but their organization, psychologi-cal and economic, is more like that of antsor termites; they are communal entities, theultimate dictatorship of the hive . . . Butdon't make the mistake of thinking thatthey act purely from instinct . . . theiractions are as intelligent as ours (stupidraces don't build spaceships!) and weremuch better coordinated. It takes aminimum of a year to train a private tofight and to mesh his fighting with hismates; a Bug warrior is hatched able to dothis . . . "

    Warfare in the Twenty-second Century is theultimate test of survivability of the human race. Itwas a very near thing.


  • INTRODUCTIONS T A R S H I P TROOPERS re-creates the tacticallevel action described in the novel of the samename. Since th i s is science f i c t i on , the game doesnot a t tempt to s imula te reality. Rather , th i s designis a s t raightforward at tempt to bring to life thepol i t ica l -mil i tary system described in the novel. Itis NOT necessary to have read the novel beforeplaying the game. Reading it , however, w i l l givethe game player a better appreciation of the gamesystem, however.

    STARSHIP TROOPERS is played in tu rns , witheach t u r n representing 12 minutes of real time.One player takes the side of the Terrans and theother player takes the side of the Aliens, ei ther theArachnids or the Humanoids . During each tu rn ofthe game, players al ternate movement and combatin an at tempt to accomplish the i r victory condi-tions which are out l ined in each of the eightd i f f e r e n t scenarios. The victory conditions rangefrom occupying a specific area of the mapboard todestroying enemy forces whi le m i n i m i / i n g f r iendlycasualties. In keeping wi th the unusual subjectmatter of th i s game, the Terran player wi l l f indhimself dealing with an elusive enemy employinghit-and-run tactics as the Arachnid player, movinghis units along his subterranean tunnel system,attempts to s tr ike where the Terran is weakest.

    STARSHIP TROOPERS uses the ProgrammedInstruct ion (or P.I.) method for introducingplayers to the rules of the game. This allowsplayers to gradually and easily absorb the gamesystem while the progressing complexity of theweapons used in the game more accurately reflecttheir usage and avai labi l i ty in the novel. Due to theserial construction of the rules, each scenariobuilds upon the rules presented in the precedingscenarios. It is strongly recommended that playersplay each scenario in order, before advancing tothe more complex scenarios. Approached in thismanner, STARSHIP TROOPERS will become avery simple game system to learn.

    COMPONENTSA. THE MAPBOARDThe mapboard represents a generalized planetsurface containing several different types ofterrain as well as roads and urban areas. Printedover the color terrain is a hexagonal line pattern.These hexagons, called 'hexes' for short, are usedto regulate movement in the same manner assquares on a chess board. Each hex represents ascale distance of one mile from hex-center to hex-center. The letter-number code written withineach hex is a grid-coordinate system which enablesplayers to locate and describe each hex on themapboard. This coordinate system is basically aplaying aid to assist the Alien Control Pad (seebelow).

    B. CHARTSThe two charts provided in the game are used toresolve combat. Various other charts are providedas player aids and will be found in the back of thisrules manual.

    C. SCENARIOSThe scenarios referred to in the rules are locatedin this booklet, at the end of the rules sections.


    As explained in the rules, the Alien and TerranControl sheets regulate many important gamefunct ions . Those control sheets are pr inted back-to-hack on the pad included in the game. Note thatthe Time Record Chart is pr inted on each sheet ofthe Terran Control Chart.

    E. UNIT COUNTERSI he two sets of die-cut playing pieces, var ious ly

    called uni ts , u n i t counters, or counters, representi nd iv idua l s , groups of Terrans or Aliens, and areused as indicators of various game funct ions.

    TERRAN UNITS:Mobile Infantry: (M.I.):

    Printed on each counter is the pert inent informa-t ion needed to play the game:

    u n i t upe

    For rules purposes, the d i f f e r e n t types of un i t s inthe game can he grouped as fo l lows:

    Combat Engineers: (C.E.):

    Command Marauder Scout Combat Engineer Ai r Car Special TalentSquad

    Special Weapons and Equipment: (SW&E):

    Delayed Action- Delayed Action- Listening High Explos ive NuclearProximity ( M . I . ) Remote ( M . I . ) Heavy Nerve Device ( M . I . ) Demoli t ion Demoli t ion

    Gas ( M . I . )Miscellaneous I ni ts :

    M u n i t i o n s(CE.)

    M u n i t i o n s (C.E.)

    Retrieval Boat Rocket Beacon CapturedArachnid Brain

    ALIEN UNITS:Humanoid:

    NOTK: For the Arachnid and Terran uni ts , thedarker shaded counters represent a second majorun i t organi/ation and NOT a dupl ica t ion of thel ighter shaded un i t s .

    Warrior Worker Heavy Weapon- Heavy Weapon- Strong Point DecoyBeam Missile

    Crit ical Instal la t ion Counters: Arachnid:

    Power Communications Water Warrior Worker Heavy Weapon


    Radiation ( R A D )Perimeter markerBreach marker area marker

    Damage Indicators:

    Heavy Damage Killed-ln-ActionWounded-In-Action Disrupted

    parent unit

    a t tack