Friday, December 27, 2013

Logic vs. Faith: 600pt Warzone Battle Report!

     With new models in hand, B97 & I settled in for a nice relaxing evening of beating each other senseless.  To get a better grip on the new Warzone: Resurrection rules, we started with a "Basic" game, and a small point total at that.  600 points. What followed was far from Basic, and sure didn't feel small!

     We've been looking forward to this game for a long time- months even. This one had been planned waaay back in the early days of the Kickstarter:  the Student playing a game with The Master, in the the reincarnation of his favorite game of all time.  We had brand new models, we had brand new rule books, we had brand new dice, we had a brand new table.  Win or loose, this was going to be good!

I'm too sexy for my paint,
 too sexy for my paint- lack of brush time it ain't...
   B97 brought a force containing mostly his starter box (everything but The Cardinal), a squad of Valkyries (with Persistence of Time), and Blessed Vestal Laura (with Guided by Cardinal's Foresight and Might of Reckoning).  since our deployment was the diagonal one and he won initiative, he chose the far corner with our new Buildings in it.  Six troopers (two with scopes), five Valkyries (one with an AC-31 flamethrower, an Inquisitor (with Cardinal Censure), and a Judicator (with Visage of Ghostly Light).  

From no brush time, to ADD Painting...
     For my own slice of resin eye candy, I brought five Chasseurs, five Chaseurs of the Armored variety, a Cuirassier, and The Immortal.  Both of the Troop choices were fielded with no upgrades, and the Atilla was graced with the LMG.  Those of you really sharp on the senses will notice my Cybertronic are in the midst of a "color dilemma," you'll be hearing more about that very soon.  With my forces needing to set up in the other corner, I opted for swinging my Chaseurs to my left, the Armored Chasseurs to my right, and the Atilla and Immortal up the middle.  

Welcome to the Wasteland! Enjoy your stay!

One of the greatest threats for Cybertronic is meat-head
Chasseurs getting distracted by their reflations and muscle
posing while the enemy closes in...
    The Scenario we had was Take and Hold, so it was going to be necessary to pull all my units
just to midfield... eventually.  My plan was to take advantage of my RoF, establish crossfires, and whittle down threats as they appeared.  As you can see, we made sure the table had a lot of cover on it to balance the long fire aspects of the game.  There was very few lines of fire without some form of cover somewhere if you were shooting more than 12", which I think is probably ideal for scifi small-model-count skirmish games in general, and Warzone in particular.  Consequently, in a setup like this, Cybertronic really demonstrates it's tactical superiority in urbanized settings- between "light armor" and "blink", I had a mobility my opponent clearly lacked as the game went on.

Keep your eye on the prize: The Objective Markers are painted!
     Turn one was pretty straightforward.  The Brotherhood Troopers took up firing positions, the Valkyires ran towards the objective to my left, the Judicator started to move out, and Blessed Vestal Laura (henceforth abbreviated BVL cause that name is just way to long!) sat comfortably off the board awaiting her Rapid Deployment.  The Immortal blinks from the cliff into the building along the road, "'cause he's a boss, and I can do that."  The Armored Chasseurs ran up alongside the same building, the Chasseurs ran to positions between the refinery silos, and the Cuirassier moved to support the Chasseurs.

     B97 wins Initiative again, and wisely decides the first thing to move is the unit most in danger. The Valkyries move to the ruined vehicle/barrels & barbed wire positions, and all take Hide actions to make sure that they're getting the full -4 to be shot at regardless of firing angles or only having barbed wire between them and an enemy.  My Chasseurs respond in kind, opening up a withering hail of chaingun fire. That RoF2 is impressive.  Even with the aim bonus only applying to the first half of the RoF, and only half the unit aiming while the rest moved to firing positions then shot, those ten shots were blistering.  Four hits, plus two critical hits- The Valks pass two armor saves, and the five woman aCapella group is now only doing duets.  The Inquisitor moves up to use Cardinal's Censure on the Immortal, and misses.  My Cuirassier swings wide (who needs cover with three wounds?) and opens up the LMG onto the Inquisitor two of the four shots fired land, and while the Inquisitor cannot seem to make a single Armor roll, he passes both Heal(3) checks as B97 taps resources. The Immortal blinks out of the building to a position behind the APC terrain on the table, and takes a shot at the Valkyries, missing wildly.  Armored Chasseurs take pot shots at the Inquisitor, and accomplish nothing- not many hits, and all of those don't even scratch the paint. (Err... resin... you get the idea.)

 Turn Three begins with the Armored Chasseurs opening up on the Inquisitor, who is within line of sight once half the squad shifts upfield a pace.  Four more armor saves required and a pair of ones signifies that he's down for the count.  This really causes Belgarath to have to go sideways... so he opens up with his ace in the hole:  BVL.  She uses Rapid Deployment and comes in as a move action, putting her within close combat weapon range of the Chasseurs- meaning her next action she can simply attack them without first needing to "engage" according to the rules currently.  She tears through three Chasseurs like they were made of paper.  The two lucky enough to be out of her devastating inch and a half reach open fire to lethal effect:  one miss, two hits, and a critical.  Laura passes both armor saves, but takes another wound. The Judicator moves up into range and whilrs his gatling gun into my Armored Chasseurs, after saying prayers to enhance his chance to hit. Rerolling misses he lands four hits, one of them a critical, and an Armored Chasseur is torn to pieces. The Cuirassier turns around and moves into range to attack BVL...and one his first attack roll scores a critical, killing Laura outright. (For those of

you keeping score, that's Cybertronic Dice Rolling Criticals: 4, Probability & Statistics: 0).  The two remaining Valkyries vault over the barricades and charge the Immortal, scoring a total of three hits. He makes all saves (two armor, and one via his Repair Protocols). The Immortal swings back, destroying one of the Valkyries as turn three ends.

     For turn four, I open with my Armored Chasseurs spewing lead into the Judicator behind cover. Of the four Armored Chasseurs, 3 hits and a Critical Hit land. (New Dice: 5, Physics: 0). Belgarath's Brotherhood Snipers sitting in the backfield are now close enough to take shots at the Immortal... in close combat... with cover.  Somehow two shots land, but between armor and Repair Protocols he's still unscathed- more impressively, the Valkyrie wasn't shot in the back of the head by accident, meaning she's still engaging the Immortal! The Immortal decides he has no time for this, squishes the Valkyrie in close combat, and then apparently engages a "Cheat Code" to gain another action to blink back into the building again. (It literally wasn't until prepping the Batrep that I figured out that I cheated. Fortunately, it has not far-reaching affect on the game, as his next actions would have resolved the same way.)   The remaining Chasseurs move towards the left objective marker, to be in position to take it next turn.  
It's okay Mikal, you just walk on up to that marker
     Turn five opens up, and it's looking like this is going to be it.  The question really comes down to if I can pull out the full win in this turn, or score the half-win instead.  The Attila moves towards the Judicator, and opens fire. Scoring a Critical hit (to the "1" location, just for further insult), and one additional Structure Point. New Dice: 7, Universal Constant: 0) The Judicator opens up, and blasts the Mirage Generator to shreds, taking his last shot into the Immortal who absorbs the impact in his armor. The Chasseurs move to the left objective, and one of them trips just into the Sentry range of a Brotherhood sniper.  A Split second later, the two surviving members are down to one, and he's looking at a really lonely walk the rest of the way to that objective. The Troopers activate, and renew their sentry positions as best as possible. The Armored Chasseurs cause 6 more hits on the Judicator, but no further structural damage. The Attila also opens on the Judicator scoring two more hits as well, one of which is another crit. The Judicator saves the other one. (Dice 8, Reality: 0) The Immortal Blinks to a position holding the objective- triggering a sentried sniper round to bounce harmlessly off his armor- opens fire on the Judicator, getting the final Structure Point from the Judicator's main hull. Turn Five comes to a close with me only holding one objective, which isn't enough to close the game with a full win.  

   Turn 6 the Armored Chasseurs Powerblink to the far right objective. Even with this move, only one model in the unit is within three inches of the objective, and that guy triggers another sentry response- which fortunately he survives. The Brotherhood troopers activate taking one more shot at the Armored Chasseur (which misses), and a few more pot rounds into the Immortal- all of which fail to stick a wound between armor and Repair Protocols. (B97: "That guy just won't die!" Me:  "Dude, what's his name???") Another Trooper goes on sniper to take shots at the Chasseur who has to walk into the line of fire.  The Chassuer steps up to the spot where his squad mate got ventilated... and survives. That closes out turn six with me having all three objectives.. just a bit late for a full victory, but still clearly coming out on top. 

     Postgame Wrapup: Belgarath set up just a bit too far backfield. He had cover with height advantage to took it, and while that did allow his fire support to cover the objectives, it did not in any way give him range on me until I walked up to the objectives on turn 5.  I don't expect I'll get that lucky again.  The Valkyries were impressive... for what little they were allowed to do. Chasseurs are great anti-recon fire units with their high rate of fire, and their ridiculous rate of criticals meant all his well-planned ideas about cover and hiding and other special skills to reduce my ability to hit simply didn't matter. The Inquisitor also fell to insane dice, otherwise obviously would have played a larger role in the game, so it's unfair to criticize that element.  The Judicator I think also fell prey to poor positioning, needing to spend half the game to bring its guns to bear, and never actually being brought forward enough to use its close combat weaponry- which seemed like an error to me.  All in all, chalk it up to "new game, new rules, new army, and loaded dice" and the next time I won't be so lucky.

     As far as my end of things, the Chasseurs continually impress me.  Their RoF2, even without all the ones, means they laid waste to far more than they have any right to claim on the field.  Most of the Valks, half of Laura, and still claim an objective- that's none too shabby there.  The Armored Chasseurs did their job- stood their ground, approached the most heavily defended objective, and eventually claimed it.  These guys will never be flashy, but their armor and movement means they're a mid and late-game threat even if slightly out of position. Had I been playing better, they could have taken the game in turn 5 by powerblinking then instead of waiting, and they should have. Live and learn.  The Attila is really the most surprising unit in the basic box to me. I really didn't understand this unit at first, and it really is impressive. Every game so far it's done more than I expected. This time it finished off Laura (granted, with a crit, but still), and sheared off three Structure Points from the Judicator. 

     There's still a bit of getting the nuances of the game down, but all in all it was really a lot of fun.  The final game time came down to 98 minutes, and that was with a lot of verifying things as we went along. I'd expect that if we played with these lists again next month that drops about 20 minutes or so.  

"Ones happen... although apparently on these dice nothing else does."

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