Sunday, April 20, 2014

Spine City? Sinspur? Who cares, it's a Spinespur Batrep!

Spinespur Book 1: ThresholdHaving just received a bunch of terrain from Mr. Walter Anstiss in the post (gods I love the smell of mdf in the morning!) Ali and I decided that before we started painting them, to set up a game with all unpainted sepia looking terrain, and completely painted models.  It'd give the game a "Sin City" kind of look.  So, artistic license in hand, we settled down for a 200 point game of Spinespur, the Dark Faith versus the Institution...

     I'm not sure if "the look" worked as well as we wanted, but I'll let you be the judge.  All the buildings are untouched MDF or sepia finished ceramic.  The scatter terrain is barbed wire or rusted metal.  The streets of Spine City are unfinished cork.  And, as you can see, the models are lovely!!!

     Ali Alcatraz really wanted to show off, so she brought the Anti-Pope, all three Cardinals, a pair of Sisters of Obscenity, and eight Torn.  All the models save the Torn are official Comfy Chair models.  Those of you that have been reading her Zombie of the Month articles might have noticed an apparent base change for the zombies.  It's actually so much simpler than that- Gaming Rings from Firebucket Games, primed and just dropped over top the models!  Those things are so well designed that they stayed in play be freaking gravity- just drop them down, then remove them after the game and your models are 25mm-to-30mm ready in an instant.  She wants to order enough of them for her whole horde now.

     As for my force, I brought the good(?) Doctor himself, a pair of Little Ones, Hack, the two new Primes, 2 Trauma Hounds, Bellsaw, John Henry, two thugs with Bludgeons, and one thug with a Molatov- because I can't not bring Broad Street! Hometown Pride for the win! I don't have the Comfy Chair models for Little Ones or Trauma Hounds (yet!), so those needed other options.  The Little Ones are a simple conversion of 28mm scale children models with adult heads, and the Trauma Hounds were borrowed from Ali's Last Night on Earth: Zombies with Grave Weapons set. I figured the "tied up in barbed wire" look subbed for straight jackets pretty well. 

     Setup was pretty straightforward.  Due to Cardinal Inferni's buff to powers within 5", it was a forgone conclusion that Ali was going to set up her force in a "circle the wagons" kind of deployment, probably pick one spot on the table she thought she could defense, and make me come into her since she had range and I didn't.  Expecting that, I was hoping I could force her into a two-front war she didn't want by swinging models wide on the table and coming at her from a blind side.  I knew she was concerned about Hack and Bellsaw's mutilation sticks, so I was hoping that would pull her out of position a bit.

     Her Deployment was pretty much as expected- one huddled mass hiding behind a wall of zombies.  Ah, Torn, the ultimate in disposable meatshields.  I didn't realize they were all wearing suicide bomber vests as well, but we'll get to that in a minute.  I split my force in what looked like three factions, but with only two ways to go it was a lot more direct than it looked.  Hack, Bellsaw, and Heavy Bat swung the flank, while everything else was planning to wrecking ball through the zombie wall. Turns one and two were really straightforward, just moving up into positions.  (Side comment for anyone fielding a pack of Trauma Hounds- two Primes are perfect. One Prime each turn double moves, the other one uses "Heed me, Fleshlings!" to keep the goofballs focused, so this doesn't happen.  This leapfrogging technique worked out a lot better than trying to rely on just one Prime, and I think you could probably run four to six Trauma Hounds bouncing two Primes this way.) 

     Turn Three, just like normal, was when the party started.  Ali wins the Control phase, and starts moving torn into "rend the living" positions.  One Torn starts clawing away at a Trauma Hound, who in response does little to it.  To be fair, it's a flailing dead guy versus a headbutting lunatic in a straightjack- not the best way to engage a zombie.  Another Torn moves up into engagement with the Trauma Hounds, and both have done some damage.  Broad Street lobs his Molatov, and it scatters off target from the Torn- catching the Torn, a Stun Nun, and a Cardinal Anhelitus instead, so I'm all broken up about that.  About this time the Putrid Tide breaks free of the dam, and the zombies decide to have a picnic with my thugs.  That's fine, that's why you bring them along in the first place. Zombies eat the face off of a baseball bat thug and Broad Street. A Prime and a thug with a baseball bat come to the aid of the Trauma Hounds, dropping both of them. That's good right?  That means no more damage on that flank, right?  NOPE.  Anti-Pope comes out of hiding just far enough to detonate the first torn-corpse, hitting both Primes, both Trauma Hounds, the Thug, a Little One, and Doc Akron.  Little bugger did five times as much damage in death as he did when he was alive.  That ends turn three.

     Turn Four begins with Ali winning Control, and the first thing she does is hit that other Torn-corpse token.  Three more wounds to everyone who took zombie-shrapnel last turn.  That finishes off both Trauma Hounds, the second Little One (who was in the blast this time), and takes another bit out of the Primes and Doc. Oh, and it makes sure that the Anti-Pope is my PFT (Prime Freaking Target) for the rest of forever, because that's just dirty.  One Prime rushes the little hunchback in robes. He lays a solid right hook into the Anti. Both Stun Nuns pull back from the Zombie Wall flank, to help Falsifer try to slow down the Terrible Trio currently trucking down Pain Street towards them.  Dunno why Falsifer doesn't wanna stare down Hack, Bellsaw, and Heavy Bat by himself. I guess it's their awesome paintjobs.  Oh, and the chainsaws probably. 

     A Stun Nun tries hitting Hack with a throwing knife, and manages to hit. A timely spent Fear token means the knife strike will cause a Bleed effect as well. The Bleed effect from the knife will counter Hack's Regeneration, but I don't want to spend a half action to pull it out- I'd rather spend the time chainsawing the other Stun Nun like she's a giant redwood.  On his first action Hack charges...and misses. The counter strike from the Stun Nun hits home stunning Hack, so he looses his second action point. Whoops. Cardinal Anhelitus shreds the Prime to pieces with his weighted chain. Doc and the other flank try moving in to full court press the Anti-Pope and the Cardinals, while trying to avoid the zombie-bombs (zombombies?) that the Anti-Pope is detonating left and right like a really, really grizzly Fourth of July. Doc Akron also lobs a shock-sphere at a Torn, loosing due to a tie where his blood die is lower. Falcifer is much better with his throwing weapons, and at this point if Hack survives the game he's going to be able to open a used knife stand. A dose of Virulence on a Torn manages to finish off a badly wounded John Henry, who takes damage from it at the end of the turn.  

     Next turn Doc Akron decides he's had enough of all this, and hulks out.  He lashes at the Torn encircling him, killing two- which really only succeeds in giving the Anti-Pope more access to zombombies. Sure, at this point, ol' Staff-and-Rags is doing as much damage to his own hoard as he is to me, but that's really not a concern.  Did you ever put a blood sausage in the microwave for, say, fifteen minutes?  That's what one entire flank of this fight felt like:  nothing but bodies just exploding everywhere, showering my models with blood, gore, and apparently anthrax. A stun nun activates before Hack, stunning him and robbing him of one swing.  I really hope she was happy about  that, because the next thing Hack does is lumberjack her intestines right out of her.  The other nun engages Hack, keeping him tied up while body blocking Bellsaw and the fattie with the bat.  Falcifer manages to dig into Hack pretty savagely, and my game play is distracted by a fat lady working on her singing voice. 

     The final round begins with everything of mine that's left engaged, and nothing in contact with the Anti-Pope of the two Cardinals in the backfield... which ain't good.  Falcifer devours Bellsaw, and Hack lays into him- but not enough to finish him off.  Another zombombie from the Anti-Pope, coupled with "splash damage" from a pair of Virulent Torn getting caught in the blast sets off a chain reaction of exploding zombies that finish off The Beast. The Anti-Pope's second action it to detonate Bellsaw's body, which finishes off Hack. Fatbat does a pretty solid number on the remaining nun, but after the exploding corpse tore out his spleen, she manages to finish him off.

     And that's pretty much the game, seeing as I've got nothin' left on the table.  Chalk this one up to the Dark Faith.

     Thoughts on the game:  200 points of Dark Faith is brutal, because all their toys are in play at the same time, and there's a lot of really good synergy in that list.  Even with my faction limiting how much Blood Magic they could cast to some degree (half of my faction crumbles to dust and therefore doesn't leave tokens), there were still more than enough corpse tokens on the table to make sure everything died.

     The Primes definitely help the faction work better- and I have a feeling in bigger games I'll run 2 Primes rustling a four-man herd of Trauma Hounds.  However, yet again, the total lack of ranged ability in the Institution really hurt me.  I either need to hire me Hidell in the next match, or make some Primes with track star legs, because my closing speed just isn't there.

     All in all a fun game with beautifully painted figures.  Now time to blacken that cork table, and get crackin' on those buildings.  Look for more paint on them in future battle reports!

See you on the other side of the table,
The Second Class Elitist


  1. I have picked up some Spinespur stuff over the years, so seeing this battle report was cool. Thanks for posting. :)

  2. Spinespur... WOOT. Love the batrep and nice to see some spinespur action

  3. Huh. I was going to wait a bit longer to order some Institution stuff but you know what? Why not do it now?