Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mechanized Cavalry In Stargrunt II

Mechanized Cavalry Rules

by Brian Bell

Cavalry is described on p. 25 of the Dirtside II rules but not addressed in the Stargrunt II rules. However, this describes cavalry as men on animal transportation and does not address how to handle Mechanized Cavalry (Motorcycles, Gravbikes, Gravboards, etc.). Following are rules on how to deal with Mechanized Cavalry.

These rules do not apply to Infantry Walkers. Infantry Walkers are addressed elsewhere in the rules.


Mechanized cavalry (MechCav) refers to one-man vehicles. Two man vehicles are considered Size-1 vehicles. (DS2 ruling by Mike Elliot).

A mechanized cavalry vehicle (MCV) has 1 capacity point that may be used to mount a SAW or IVAR in a FIXED mount facing either Forward or Aft; or forward observer equipment (rangefinders, Target Acquisition Gear (TAG), etc.).

MCVs are usually powered by Hydromagnetic Turbines (HMT) or small Fusion Generation Plants (FGP). Both of these types of powerplants make the MCV not much noiser than an infantry soldier (and in some cases, such as gravboards, may actually be quieter). On less advanced colonies, Chemical Fueled Engines (CFEs) are still used for wheeled or tracked MCVs. MCVs with CFEs are are more noisy, and are unsuitable for stealth dependant operations.

Unit Organization

Like sniper or forward observer teams, MechCav units tend to be comprised of 1 to 3 elements. This is not always the case, but is done more often than not to increase the unit flexibility and effectiveness.

MechCav are often used for Forward Observer, Sniper, Scout, and Courier missions. MCVs are occasionally used to transport troops behind enemy lines (Special Forces), or to an enemy flank.

Base Movement

MCV movement is as other vehicles (12" or 2xd12) while mounted.

Terrain Type

Terrain type, while mounted, is based on the mobility type of the vehicle:

Mobility Method Example
GEV GEV Scooter, Hover Platform
Grav Grav Board, Grav Bike, Grav Platform
Tracked Snowmobile, Tracked ATV
Walker See Walker Rules
Wheeled Motorcycle, Wheeled ATV


Elements that are dismounted, but keep the MCV with them, are treated as encumbered (see SG p.22). If elements abandon the MCV, they revert to their normal infantry movement type (also SG p.22).

Going In Possition

Mounted MechCav may NOT go 'In Possition' in the open.
Dismounted MechCav with thier MCV, may NOT go 'In Possition' in the open, unless they abandon the MCV (becoming normal infantry).


Mounting or dismounting a MCV requires a movement action. A mounted or dismounted chit should be used to indicate if a figure is mounted or unmounted (if you have mounted and unmounted figures, the actual figure may be switched instead of using a chit).

The procedure is similar to entering/exiting an APC as described on p.24 or the SG rules.


An element must be within 6" of a MCV to mount it. It requires a movement action to do so. Once mounted, a Mounted chit should be placed by the element. If the entire unit is mounted, one chit may be used for the entire unit. An element must be mounted to take advantage of the added movement of the MCV (see Movement above). Mounted elements that engage in combat do so at a penalty (see Combat below).


A unit may spend a movement action to dismount all or some of its elements. Dismounted elements may move upto 6" away from the MCV as part of the dismount. For elements dismounted, remove the Mounted chit for that element. Dismounted elements do not gain from additional movement and, if they keep the MCV with them, they are treated as encumbered (see Movement above). Dismounted elements do not, however, suffer any penalty to combat. If MCVs are used in a close assault (CA), they are considered to have dismounted by the second round of CA.

Mixed Units

If only part of the unit is mounted, place a Detached marker with the part of the unit that does NOT have the leader in it. That is, if the leader is mounted, put the detachment marker with the unmounted part of the unit; if the leader is unmounted, place the detachment marker with the mounted part of the unit. A seperate Detachment action need NOT be performed (it is included in the mount/dismount action).

Abandoned MCVs

If an element moves more than 6" away from the MCV, place an abandoned marker next to the vehicle. Any element that comes within 6" of the abandoned MCV, may utilize it (however, see rules about Mixed Unis above). An element that abandons its MCV is now treated as normal infantry (may be light infantry depending on how the soldier was equiped).

  • Mounted Combat.
    • Quality in Small Arms combat, while mounted, is shifted DOWN 2.
    • Other weapons may not be fired while mounted unless built into the design of the vehicle (see Difinition and capacity points above). In such instances, Quality die is shifted DOWN 2.
  • Unmounted Combat.
    • Combat while unmounted follows normal infantry combat rules
  • As targets
    • Units of mechanized cavalry are treated as infantry for purposes of targeting.
    • If not in a unit or detached as individual figures, mechanized cavalry are treated as individual figures (see p. 26)
  • In Close Assaults (CA)
    • Mounted Mechanized Cavalry are treated as infantry for CA. They still suffer the downshift to their quality die in the CA.
    • Unmounted Mechanized Cavalry may not bring their MCVs with them in a CA.
    • If a CA lasts more than 1 round, the Mechanized Cavalry are assumed to have dismounted on the second round of the CA.
    • If the defending unit voluntarilly retreats from a CA, a MechCav unit that participated in the CA may continue conduct the Overrun and Followthrough attack. It may NOT mount/dismount between the CA and the Followthrough/Overrun attack.
  • Under Suppression
    • Unmounted MechCav use the normal suppression rules.
    • Mounted MechaCav are trained that speed and escape are better than ducking and covering. A MechCav unit that is under suppression does not follow the normal suppression rules.
      • A mounted MechCav unit, in cover, under suppression uses the normal rules for infantry under suppression.
      • A mounted MechCav unit, not in cover, under suppression will attempt move to cover or out of range of attacking units on its next activation.
      • If seeking cover, the cover must be within 2x base range of the MechCav unit. If unable to obtain cover with the use of its 1st action, the MechCav must use its 2nd action to move into cover. If it fails to obtain cover, it ends its movement with all suppression markers that it started with. If it obtains cover, remove all the suppression markers from the unit.
      • If seeking to get out of range of the opposition, figure the maximum range for the units that applied the suppression. The mounted MechCav unit must be able to get out of range in 2 movement actions. If this is the case, the MechCav unit must spend a Movement action moving AWAY from the unit(s) that applied the suppression. If it fails to get out of range with the first action, it must spend the second action moving AWAY from the unit(s) that applied the suppression. If it fails to get out of range, it retains all the suppression markers it started with. If it succeeds in getting out of range, it removes the suppression counters.
      • If cover is out of range and it is impossible to move out of range in this activation, the mounted MechCav unit must spend its next activation to Dismount the MCV. It may then attempt to remove suppression as normal (or perform other actions that are legal under suppression).

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