Referee's introduction: When you learned that the Free Trader Beowulf went down on the planet, you hit dirtside to see what there is to discover...

When referring to Dirtside, spaceship or starship crews talk about to the surface of planetary objects, where landing or living is possible. Unlike the (usually) sterile and air-conditioned inside of a spaceship, Dirtside is considered unhealthy, unhygenic and, well, dirty. Needless to say, most spacers try to avoid "hitting dirtside" if they can. Still, as most starships have to to pick up new cargoes, passengers or refuel from time to time, it is not easy to get around it.

This derogatory reference to a planet's surface is also the reason Ground Zero Games named their Science Fiction miniature tabletop Dirtside. Dirtside II is designed to provide a battalion level ground combat game, designed for the 1/300, 1/285 or 1/200 scales. Originally published in 1993 (replacing Dirtside I (1989), DS II uses GZG's Full Metal Anorak rules system. For smaller battles, Stargrunt II, which uses platoon level combat, also based on FMA, is recommended, while starship combat is handled by Full Thrust. All three are excellent games, fun and fast.

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