Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Institution vs... Three Martin Greyguns???

HACK BlisterMartin GreygunIn yet another example of why Spinespur is quickly becoming one of my absolute favorite games of all time, I squared off against Mordin56 for a little scrum in the slums of the city.

      I was quite keen on trying out a few of the goodies I'll be receiving eventually, as well as trying some units from the Institution I have yet to have used.  Unfortunately, this meant a whole lot of model substitution (which I generally dislike), but it's all for the best.  For this match the parts of Trauma Hounds will be played by Dragyri slaves, The Beast is substituting for Hack, and Pigskin "based up" makes a stand-in for a still-to-be-released Prime.

     By contrast, my opponent has about half of the models available to him at his disposal- mostly because the faction he's intending to play isn't fully realized yet.  What we do have is Greygun and 2 Dopplegangers- which means at the time the models are put down, what we'd see is three Greyguns.  One real Greygun and the two Caretakers will fill this role for now.  The rest of his jolly band of jokers are thugs equipped as is- blunts, short edged weapons, and chainsaws.  (You simply cannot have enough chainsaw thugs IMO...)

(One quick note on the table:  Yes, I know it looks like lukewarm ass on a hot summer's day.  It's still quite the work in progress, and that progress is behind schedule. I promise to improve this very shortly.)

 Immediately my opponent sets up his forces split left and right on the table, obviously deploying in a "Red Dog" or Double Pincer/Crushing Claw technique.   As I am both a student of Tsun Tsu and American Football, I kinda know what's coming, and that makes my game planning easy enough. My strategy is to appear to set up in a similar "open" formation, then have my left side cut across to meet up with my right side.  The theory is that since he wants to take advantage of his shooting, he'll keep Greygun at range- if he's on the side I lunge for I'll take him out quickly, if he's on the other side that half of his force will hang back a bit as well, allowing me to mop up one flank before moving to deal with the other.  

 Separation of flanks is not often a wise strategy, but it pays off when your opponent has done the same thing.  I place my Pig-Prime and two trauma hounds to my right, and Hack with the other two trauma hounds to my left.  I know from the Trauma Hounds entry that they have the "Wandering" special rule, and I kinda wanted to see just how bad it can get if they are left to their own devices...

Alright. Now that we're all set up, it's time to begin the mayhem.  I start to hug the far right side with Prime and the loonies using "Heed me, Fleshlings!" to keep a tight coherency, while Hack and the other loonies begin to swing right to support them.... or, that's the plan.  Hack manages to navigate the silos of the refinery just fine... but the bat-shit crazy goofballs begins resembling pinballs bouncing off bumpers.  Slick move that one, sending guys with a random movement in between obstacles.   Oh well, it's not a total loss- they'll have to be engaged at some point, and then they can do their damage.  At the very least their still a mild distraction, and at their points they're not really needed to be very effective anyway.   
Cautiously, Mordin moves up on his two flanks keeping his forces nestled tight together. Greygun has an ability which gains him a benefit if an ally within 3" dies, and Mordin isn't about to let one which is a doppleganger just be spreading himself out.  

We have a few more turns of alternating cautious movement (well, unless you're my left flank trauma hounds, then you have a few more turns of screaming "I"M A LITTLE TEAPOT!!!" while smashing your head into refinery silos... seriously, those daft bastards were aiming themselves at them!) until we start to get to the main show- Hack, a Prime, and two Trauma hounds descending on a Greygun and  three thugs.  The uncomfortable silence and lack of bullets flinging through the air once I close within 14" means that this isn't the real Martin Greygun, but one of the dopplegangers.  Suits me fine. Just fine.  Hack goes on a murderous rampage, rolling straights like they're going out of style, and tears though a thug and the doppleganger in a single turn of mad, frenzied charges. (A Straight- the numbers on your three dice being in sequential order- allows you to roll again to hit the same target with a chainsaw.  It's like a built in "juggling" system that makes chainsaws highly lethal.) One of the thugs actually manages to wound a trauma hound, but the two twisted patients finish him off easily, and the Prime cleans up the last one.   One flank down, one to go.  Aside form the two trauma hounds who are Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, things are moving along well.  Hmmm... is it supposed to rain today?  Because that sounds like thunder....

And just like that, I'm in Greygun's range.  Mordin has ignored the bouncy-bouncy trauma hounds all together (to the point that he stands within a few inches of one at one point, confident that he'll meander the other direction gibbering to himself about purple Czechoslovakian aardvarks... which he does... sigh)  and blazes away at Hack.  Four shots an activation is brutal.  I decide I can't spare the activation point form my Prime, to keep the hounds moving forward with him, and need to do everything I can to close the distance with my two heavy hitters as swiftly as possible.  Having officially shown his hand, the doppelganger now has scant little to do but be a speed bump.  He is sacrificed for the good of... oh stuff it, he's thrown in front of a murderous freight train with a chainsaw to slow him down for one move.  Good show.  Dead doppler without inflicting a wound, but four more shots into Hack.  After tree turns of concentrated fire from Greygun, the big man with the chainsaw is down for the count. 

Which leaves only a Prime, and four wandering idiots.  Once Hack is out of the way, the remaining chainsaw thugs seem a bit more confident, and move up to play lumberjack with the Prime- still covered by Greygun's shooting.  The Prime engages the chainsaw thugs, which Greygun decides there's no need to risk shooting into the melee and giving me an edge by turning one of his models, so he takes the opportunity to prune a few gibbering idiots. The Prime is able to take out one of the chainsaw thugs, but not both... and the sweet whirring of a Black & Decker is the closing theme on this game, minus a few more taps of the hammer for Greygun to mop up rambling morons.

 Result: Tabled.  Greygun and one Chainsaw Thug survive.

Thoughts on various model types:

Martin Greygun        Big Guns- Martin Greygun might not seem all that imposing- he's a guy with two pistols and a cigar chomping grin- but this escaped Comedian of the Watchmen stunt double is more than capable of handling his own affairs.  His rules make him arguably the best pistolier in the game- and since many of the forces lack competent shooting, he can be a major asset.  Effective moving while shooting, and doubletapping if he stands still means he can throw down a withering hail of bullets- four shots a turn with a 14" range means someone is going to have a bad day- especially if he gets a few decent lanes to shoot in.  

Doppelganger Spy     Will the real Greygun please stand up?- Dopplegangers go a long way to making someone's life difficult.  You basically have to either make a decision about which one is the real one and dedicate to it, or split your attention evenly between two or three tangos... neither is a very pleasant proposition.  Add to that the fact that the Dops are available to everyone using the Open Philosophies Build Method, and you've got quite the shell game on your hands. 

News Photo     Zombimus Prime- The Primes are a very, very effective unit.  Strong physical stats, plus the ability to make your trauma hounds into something other than mindless twonks.  I'm not going to say their a necessity in your Institution list... but I am going to say if you want to include Trauma hounds, they damn well better be present as well.  Add to that the "Dust to Dust" rule means they leave no corpse token (and thus, no resources for your opponent) and the fact that the new renders are just gore-geous (see what I did there?) and there's not really a good reason not to include them. 

Trauma Hounds
     Trauma Doggies- If properly maintained by a Composite or a Prime, these guys can inflict a world of hurt, and limit the resources your opponent can obtain from them as their "weapons" aren't removable.  If left to themselves, they're about as useful as a parachute bag full of anvils. If your opponent knows this, you're going to have to be careful with your Composites/Primes- try to use the trauma hounds as body screens (especially if your opponent has decent shooting). Remember that a Prime can affect all nearby Trauma Hounds, not just one, so keeping a pack a lunatics near the Prime is your most effective use of them.  

Well, that's about it for this one. If you haven't picked up a copy of Spinespur yet, please read our other articles on it, or visit their Forums.  It's a great little skirmish game that lends itself to the dark side of men's souls. Please comment below!  I'll see you on the other side of the table.

The Second Class Elitist.


  1. I am getting the institution and slaughterhouse for my kickstarters. Plus I pledged extra for some nightengales, extra bellsaw and extra gladiator. I also got some comfy dice too :)

    Now I am just ordering some pieces here and there. I ordered an orphan faction from bob, along with booth, sex star and some wild dogs.

    I just finished my dark faith and adding extra torn (zombies) as i can. I also want to play some All things zombie and spinespur models will work with that game perfectly also.

  2. I'm pretty sure Doppelgangers can be used in Agenda build, too.

    "Will the real Greygun please stand up?" That sounds a little familiar...

    1. You would know better than I, Cap! I'm a bit new to this one. I know Thugs are cross-Agenda, wasn't sure if Doppelganger Spies were or not... either way, it's a hell of a fun game!

    2. I'm pretty sure the Shattered and Doppelgangers are usable in Agenda builds, as they are "Indifferent/Any" just like Thugs. Holler at Merv on the CCG forums, just to be sure.

    3. Yeah, I'm pretty sure you're right about that. Good to know- helps everyone out, especially factions not completely fleshed out in Threshold!