Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Business as Usual

Last week I had asked Rory if he fancied a game and if so what he fancied.  He opted for a game of Urban Mammoth' Urban War rules, which we haven't played for a long time.  Sounded like a good idea to me so I dug all the stuff out of the loft and had a quick re-read of the rules.

During the week Dave was also looking for a game so I suggested that he join, for a tasty threesome.
I opted for my hugely unsuccessful Gladiators, Rory brought his Vasa and Dave selected the Viridians from the available troops.

My forces consisted of:

4 Secutor
2 Retiari
1 Decurian
2 Pit Beasts
1 Greater Pit Beast
1 Myrmillo
1 Exo Suit
1 Taurian Howitzer

Dave had:

4 Marines
1 Marine Sgt
2 Special Forces
1 Sniper
2 Shock Marines
1 HMG Team


4 Peacekeepers
2 Archangels
2 Oni Battlesuits from the Triad List
1 Peacekeeper Sgt

The table was fairly crowded:

At the start of the game I split my force into two.  One consisting of the close combat specialists, who all headed towards Dave's forces, and the other with all my ranged firepower, which would try and hold Rory's VASA at arms length. My opening gambit was fairly successful with the Howitzer inflicting some early casualties on the VASA, and my close combat troops closing with Dave's Viridians.  Dave spent the first few turns trying to extricate his troops from his slightly awkward deployment, while Rory advanced towards my ranged contingent.

Mid game and things started to hot up.  The VASA troops moved up into firefight range of my Gladiators, while one of Rory's Archangels managed to take out Dave's sniper, just as he managed to get himself into a commanding firing position. I survived a round of firing from the Viridian Vanguard before my close combat troops got stuck in, but my close combat specialists did not manage to make much of an impact and casualties started to rise rapidly.  The VASA were quickly coming into range and I was started to get the worse end of the firefight with them as well.  

My casualties mounted quickly, especially when Dave managed to bring the rest of his troops to bear on my Gladiators, and my missile troops were quickly out shot by the VASA.  I reached my break point fairly quickly. I managed one parting shot though.  On my left flank I only had my greater Pit Beast remaining, and he was surrounded by 5 Viridian troops, all trying to finish it off in close combat. Unable to resist the temptation I landed a Howitzer shot on top of the Pit beast, inflicting a would on him and killing 4 out of the 5 Viridians fighting him.  As my force was broken I had to make a command check and with my leader dead I promptly failed, leaving Dave and Rory to fight it out, with both of them only one casualty away from breaking.  In the end Dave managed to get that crucial kill first, forcing Rory to make a command check, which he failed, leaving Dave the victor!

Pretty good going as it was only Dave's second game.

 An enjoyable game and a nice change from our usual. My Gladiators  performed much better than usual, which means to say that I actually inflicted some losses on my opponents.  An example of how bad they usually perform is shown by the fact that Rory was shocked that I brought a Howitzer to the game, especially after I pointed out that it had been present at our last few games, but had never actually managed to do anything. It excelled itself this time, inflicting the majority of the casualties caused by the Gladiators.   In the end though it was the usual with Urban war, and firepower won out above all else.  

I really enjoy Urban War, and like the setting that has developed since the days of Void 1.1, but find the game a little frustrating.  I don't think that the points values are quite right, especially for the close combat specialists. The close combat troops don't seem to hit that much harder than a lot of the basic troops, but are quite vulnerable to enemy fire. I can see why people bring things like Pit Beast hordes, as that is a much more accurate cost for a close combat specialist to me, and better reflects the difficulties faced by them.  My Gladiators have still not managed to win a game of Urban War, and to be honest I don't think they have ever even come close.  That could just be me of course but I feel that certain forces are not costed very well when put against each other, mainly the balance between the firepower forces (VASA, Viridian and Syntha) and the assault based forces (Gladiators, Junkers, Triads). Koralon I am still undecided about as they have some special rules to help them out.

Next week I am playing SAGA against Dave, but on Saturday I am off to Claymore in Edinburgh, no doubt to make some more pointless impulse purchases that I am never going to paint!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Mordheim Season 2, The Finale!

Gaming has been a bit thin on the ground lately. Summer Holidays and a couple of last minute cancellations put paid to most of my games for the last month or so, but game 10 of our Mordheim campaign finally came around.

This time we were underground, in the lair of the evil necromancer himself!  This game was a dungeon crawl, with each of us having to fight our way through the various minions in the dungeon, before confronting the final villain.

We were down to three players, as Dave could not make it.  I had my Beastmen, Andy his Sisters of Sigmar and Ian with his Reiklanders.  My warband was virtually unchanged, apart from a very late addition of a Minotaur.  Andy's Sisters were looking a bit thin on the ground, while Ian had taken light casualties in his last few games.

Deployment saw me in the far corner, with Andy in front of me, and Ian on the opposite corner of the board.

Early game saw Andy make a rush towards the necromancer, leaving a few Sisters to guard his rear, while Ian made a steady advance up the other side of the table.  I split of some of my warband to the centre of the board, as the corridors were proving to be a hindrance to my large warband, especially as the Minotaur kept blocking the passageways.  

I managed to make short work of the Andy's rearguard with a few lucky spells, and my Minotaur made short work of some of the evil denizens of the dungeon.  

Andy continued his advance towards the prize, while leaving his Elven mercenary as a rearguard. I mobbed the unfortunate elf and made short work of him. Meanwhile Andy had burst into the necromancers inner sanctum and given battle. Ian continued his rather sneaky advance up the other flank, polishing of a few evil denizens on the way. Caught between the Evil Lord and my Beastmen Andy gave a good account of himself but in typical fashion soon reached break point (set at 50% for the last game of the campaign). He promptly failed his break test and we were down to two.  

I made a crucial mistake here and split my force into three. I had my chief and shaman fighting the minions on the left flank, my Centigor and a warhound fighting the Necromancer while the rest of my warband turned to face Ian's Reiklanders.

In the ensuing fight casualties started to mount quickly, with my Centigor and the Shaman falling to the evil necromancer and his minions.  Ian and I traded blows, with Ian managing to pass a staggering amount of Step Aside tests.  Eventually Ian reached his break point but passed his first few break tests, which gave him enough time to push my casualties high enough to force me to start making break tests.  I had an unholy relic so automatically passed my first break test, hoping that Ian would finally fail his test. Alas he passed and it passed on to me.  I needed to roll 7 or under on two dice with a re-roll, and failed the first test. There was tension in the air as I took the re-roll, but it came up a nine!

My warband decided enough was enough and fled the field, leaving Ian to finish of the necromancer. Unfortunately he finally failed his break test and also fled the field!  At teh end of the campaign the victor turned out to be the evil Necromancer, Alex whose minions had defeated us (along with a healthy dose of infighting!) and escaped to fight another day.

A great end to a great campaign. No one person emerged the clear winner and in true B movie fashion the evil villain escaped to fight another day.  A them for another campaign perhaps?

Many thanks to Rory for running an excellent campaign. I had a great time.  

After some discussion we decided for a slight change of scenery for the next campaign and are heading of to Necromunda Hive for some Sci-fi action.