TokenGamerChic and I were in a state of wanting some more Spinespur action, trying to utilize one of the scenarios in the Spinespur: Threshold rulebook. When we happened to read over the "Be Afraid" scenario, we knew exactly who we had to get involved in the game...
For those of you (lucky sods) who don't know her, Alcatraz is a strange combination of a fine artist mixed with a kick boxer, and she has an unhealthy attraction to all things zombie. Sometimes I swear she trains so hard just to be prepared for the Outbreak. So, when we saw there was a scenario that could lead to a mass zombie attack, naturally she was the perfect choice for the "nonplayer" of the scenario.
The Scenario "Be Afraid" is this:
- Conflict has escalated between rival forces, and the few remaining combatants on either side approach the battle with hearts heavy with fear.
- Force Composition – Opposing forces may be of any size agreed upon by both players, and players build their forces using the Agenda Force Construction method. [Okay, so we fudged this one a little bit, but we wanted to play with our guys plus the contest models, so we played based on Philosophy force construction, with a heavy bend towards our favored Agendas.]
- Region – This scenario can take place in any Region, and the special rules selected as well as the terrain pieces used should match the Region selected for the game. [Not a problem, we chose "The Ghetto" as it works well for the current state of the DYI Urban Sprawl Table.]
- Deployment – Forces should deploy a minimum of 24” apart for this scenario using Standard Deployment.
- Scenario Rules – Double the quantity of Fear Tokens each player has at the start of the game. Any time a player would gain 1 Fear Token, he gains 2 Fear Tokens instead.
- Victory Conditions – Kill all members of the opposing force.
- Variant – If either player rolls 666 on the dice, a third player is immediately added to the game. This player places as many Zombie models as the players can find within 6” of any board edges. Those models may Activate normally beginning this Round. Whichever of the two original players survives longer is the winner. [And this is why we needed Alcatraz...]
TGC decided to try out her Slaughterhouse force backed up by Cerebeast (in all his "early Albino" glory) and a pair of Gormandizers (being repped by Dark Age Brood hounds, as we don't have them just yet, those'll be after the kickstarter ends). Along with this she got to play with pretty much all of our painted Thugs except for Broad Street, and she got one unpainted one, as I'm not going to have a guy in a Cowboys helmet on my force, even if it's not painted yet.
Not to be outdone (and because well, I'm not about to loose two battle reports in a row!) I choose to bring Doc Akron, Hack (temporarily represented by a Dark Age Brood Murtos), the Caretaker and incredibly lovely Grave Golem if I do say so myself, all the Contest thugs except for the Cowgirl, and Broad Street.
My game plan going in was simple: split the field into two forces lead by Hack and the Grave Golem, supported in the middle by limited field support in Broad Street and Doc Akron. I wanted to garner as many Fear tokens as possible, and that meant keeping the good doctor in human mode as long as possible. The advantage to that was (in theory) that Hack of the Golem should be able to soften up a lot before the went down, leaving Doc to sweep up the pieces. As they say, no battle plan survives contact with the enemy....
TGC's plan seems to be an old style American Football punt formation- come mostly straightforward, watch for wingers, and don't let them square up on anyone just yet. Fine by me.
The game starts with the Cerebeast pouncing onto the wrecked car, glass shattering and debris erupting in all directions as it launches itself down the other side of the wreck. Pigskin, one Gormandizer, and a few thugs maneuver to come to the west side of the table, while a number of other thugs split off to the east.
My force moves up in a ragged line, not yet really showing their intended movements. Hack is centralized in the middle of the street, and the Golem is wide east. (As a side note, I think the work on the table so far looks really good in this shot. I can't wait to update the DIY blog!)
TGC decides to throw one thug to the wolves.. the chap with the sledgehammer who she aptly nicknamed "Bait" winces in expectation of unpleasantness as he moves forward, hugging the side of an abandoned car for safety. Mr Happy waddles up alongside him, cackling as he attempts to cut "Bait" with the chainsaw... which might have worked better had it been turned on. Sigh. The motorcycle thug with a Louisville Slugger runs up, thwacking Mr. Happy over the head. Which causes my Motorcycle thug with an axe to split into her motorcycle thug like he's cord wood. which causes a Gormandizer to run up and gore my axe biker thug, followed by an unknown thug running in doing nothing, and the Golem whomping on the Gormandizer. Holy Crap, a hockey game broke out!
Meanwhile on the other side of the world, I move a poor chap with a baseball bat up enough to draw the attention of the Cerebeast, who bee lines for him... coming close enough for Hack to and two of my thugs to counter charge. the last one is unfortunate enough to be close enough to the Gormandizer that the big pig can charge him. Broad street, realizing the only one of my models to be caught in the blast will die from the flames anyway, lobs his Yuengling Special on to the big pig, catching both the Cerebeast and a poor thug of mine in the blast. Ah well, one down, many more to recruit. As the downed thug was armed with a short blade, we swapped his model for Broad Street's so I'd remember the molotov was used.
Back on the eastern flank, the game lives up to it's name- everything dies. The Gormandizer eats my biker... literally... Mr. Happy makes gruesome work of the Louisville Biker, and The Golem punishes the Gormandizer severely- but not enough to finish him off.
The Golem finished off the Gormandizer, as the Cowboys fan comes in to take a swing at him... loosing his helmet in the process. That's a personal foul, 15 yard penalty, and pinning required.
Meanwhile Hack turns the Cerebeast into burger meat, moments before the Gormandizer and chainsaw thug finish him off. All the while the zombies advance menacingly. Doctor Akron begins screaming "Nein! NEIN!!! Ve vere so close to vinning!!!" as he begins peeling off toward the non-zombified eastern table edge.
Zombies are now pouring across the table. Alcatraz asks if there's a mechanic for them infecting downed bodies. TGC and I agree that we're facked in the usshole as it is, so sure why not! One action to infect a downed body and have it stand back up as a zombie next turn. A poor cowardly thug trying to wait until after Hack was killed to come out of hiding finds himself running from a trio of zombies... unsuccessfully.
Pigskin moves in, grappling the Caretaker with his weighted chain, and pulling him into close combat range. Assisted by Sledge, Pigskin is able to dispatch Caretaker, which also removes the Grave Golem from play... but now he has bigger problems. An entire zombie outbreak is closing in on him, and the Good Doctor has used the distraction to move farther out of reach.
Back on the western side of the table, it's a nightmarish picnic. Anything not knocked down is getting eaten by zombies, and anything knocked down is getting eaten by zombies! A few surrounded thugs make a valiant stand, and the Gormandizer manages to each about half a dozen of them, but it's simply too much for them, and the feasting on flesh consumes all who stand before it.
As Pigskin and the Luchador thug close in on Herr Doctor, he continues to maneuver to buy himself more time, and more Fear tokens (Doc Akron gains a fear token- or in this encounter two- during each end phase. Thus why the Beast has waited so long to come out. Deciding there's no more time to redirect left, he moves one more action north along the eastern edge of the table, then transforms into the Beast!
So now if has come to this: Pigskin and the Beast, squared up... again. Pigskin pulls the Beast, but not enough to get him into combat. The Beast rushes towards Pigskin, mauling him with massive teeth. Zombies tear at the back of Pigskin and the Luchador, damaging both but not falling either. With the next Control phase, I take control, and finish off what's left of both Pigskin and the Luchador... leaving the Beast and a few dozen screaming zombies....
Result: Well, on paper, that's a win for me. In reality.... nobody escapes the Zombie Apocalypse...
A few things learned from this matchup:
- Don't discount base thugs. We used unarmed thugs basically for the stats of the zombies (we...couldn't find them?) and it was frightening just how quickly their damage piled up when the effectively 7 point thugs double and triple teamed things.
- Gormandizers are sick. First off, 20 health. Second off, spend an action to eat a downed model and gain a fear token. Oh, and their attacks aren't soft either. The number of Gormandizer models TGC wants to order steadily crept up as the game went on...
- Once you have a solid understanding of the game mechanics, it's actually a very easy game to teach to a new player. Alcatraz isn't much of a TTG type, and she picked up the mechanics quite easily by her third of fourth victim.
- Big nasties are big and nasty. The Grave Golem is a monstrosity but you have to protect the Caretaker a bit, and to have the Golem be fully effective the Caretaker needs to be near the front lines, so he's tricky to protect and use to full effectiveness. Nice game balance there.
- Pigskin's weighted chain keeps catching me off guard A 5" move followed by an 8" chain attack means he's able to affect a lot more of the board than you think. Add to that the 4 inch drag and the free followup attack if the model is drawn into close combat, and you can be in a world of hurt before you know it. Two games in a row he messed up my day with that thing... gotta watch that more.
- Doctor Akron begins the game as a support character giving a "grit bubble" and shock sphere attacks, then wait until the time is right to transform him. So long as you still have major threats, I'd wait. Don't pull the hammer too quickly on him, or you risk taking injury as well as not gaining tokens.
If you have not yet backed the Spinespur Kickstarter, I highly suggest you do so now. You only have a few days left. a pledge of $38 gets you a free model, and a pledge of $65 or more not only gets you another one if the kickstarter clears $13k, but also can get you into the Spinespur Kickstarter Contest, where you have a chance to win basically half of the Spinespur models used in this battle report for free. So.... get on that. Do it! Do it NOW! GET TO THE CHOPPA!!!!
The Second Class Elitist
The Second Class Elitist