Bridgehead with Nick

I’ve captioned the photos, so it should be reasonably easy to follow the battle’s progress.

Long story short, Atis devastated my foot soldiers. I compounded the error by dedicating my Wing Troops to Atis suppression; the dice were cold and her grims came out nigh untouched. She followed that up with some flamer blasts and my infantry was cut drastically.

A few tactical errors might have made it more of a match, but Nick built an excellent army and would have been tough even if I’d played flawlessly. Though I do look forward to a rematch come tourney time!

Grand Battle Report: Attack!

Quick overview: Three of us played the Attack! scenario from Cry Havock 2. Mark played 3000 points of Therians against me and Bryan, who each fielded 1500 points. My army was UNA, while Bryan played Red Blok. The struggle was mighty, but in the end the Therians were victorious.

A note on setup: We ran each side with two commanders, so the Red Blok and UNA each had a commander and the Therians had two separate platoons, each with a commander. Initiative was strictly alternating; for example, a Therian authority test victory might lead to Therian A – Red Blok – Therian B – UNA. Having two separate commanders for each force led to a lot of LP floating around.

Warning: I took notes along the way and took a lot of pictures. The post is below the fold because of its length. Continue reading “Grand Battle Report: Attack!”

Random recent links

Saga Character Sheet (pdf), Random dungeon maker review
4e:
Free 4e character manager, 4e power organization tip, Good GMing advice for beginning players and GMs
Free 4e trial reviewed and direct link.
4 commonly missed 4e rules
4e Skill challenges revisited, More card substitutions

Candids as 3.5 race

RMap web builder
Game to try: Passage
Random Average Wiki home

PTA: Have games, will travel talks about their season of PTA
Doyce tries PTA again… Home, Pitch Session, and Pilot Episode.

Mouseguard: Doyce, MJ Harnish and Martin
Burning Wheel Resources

Larping with kids
Character background development with: Cards and online

Official Map of the Verse

http://culturesofplay.com/
http://tsuyoshikentsu.wordpress.com/

Minis:
AT-43:
Operation Damocles Errata–
Phase 1:
• Mission 1: The asterisk (*) on the secondary objectives means that the defender cannot access these benefits.
• Mission 4: The area shaded in blue is the defender’s deployment zone. The defender also has an access zone on the lower edge of the map.
Phase 2:
• Mission 4: The node must be controlled to be able to influence the nanodisturbance.
AT-43 cards

Haywire’s Hobbies: Modding AT-43 figures
Star Ranger’s Full Thrust page

Other Games:
Board Game Quick Reference Sheets (Awesome!)
Zombie Cinema sounds like a very interesting game.
Roll through the Ages: The Bronze Age (2009) Playtest Review by Shannon Appelcline (5/5): A well-designed and fun dice game that gives you all the enjoyment of building a Civilization to last the ages in 45 minutes or less.
Fun little (free) dueling game
Small World (5/5 by Shannon).A terrific fantasy war game that tracks the rise and fall of civilizations and plays in just 90 minutes.

Food:
An easy polenta meal
Cooking w/ dried beans

Work/Misc:
ASCE journal RSS feeds
James Tyner’s poetry
Free SF (claimed as scientifically accurate)
An interesting traffic phenomenon & A tale of two exurbs
Credit crisis explained (11 min video)
Hilzoy’s video
Easy wine guide (for Dad)
Poor non-gnomes
Comic to Investigate
Honest and mostly my questions too
Kiva/Microloans

Red Blok successfully holds defensive position outside of mines

Rough Action recap from yesterday’s Hold the Position scenario featuring the UNA Oppressors (1500/500) as Attacker and the Heroes of the Collectivist Ideal as Defender (1000/1000).

Red Blok: Frontline UNA: Standard Deployment
Starting Forces:
12 Krasnye Soldaty lead by the heroic Captain Vrachov (RIP) and geared with a Medic, Mechanic, and three grenade launchers.
1 Sierp w/ Sergeant (Twin Mortars)
1 Hussar w/ Sergeant (1 Med Rocket Launcher & 1 Med Missile Launcher)
Starting Forces:
9 Wing Troopers w/ Sgt., 2 Laser Gun, 2 Medics
6 Steel Troopers w/ 1 Volcano MG & Medic
6 Steel Troopers w/ 1 Laser Gun & Medic, led by Captain Frunz
1 Iron Rain, Sgt.
1 Defender Cobra
6 Shock Troopers

Reserves, in the order they came onto the board…

1 Nakolvny (Twin Light MGauss) 1 Fire Toad
6 Dragonov Kommandos w/EW, Medic, and 1 AT-Gauss Gun
1 Nakolvny (Twin Light MGauss)
8 Star Troopers w/ 1 Volcano MG & Medic led by a Lieutenant
2 Steel Missile Team
10 RPG Soldaty lead by Sergeant w/Two Medics and 1 MGauss
6 Dragonov Kommandos w/EW, Medic, and 1 AT-Gauss Gun


(You’ll benefit if you expand to full screen and click “show info” at the upper right corner.)

Red Blok Communique:
The Sierp and the Krasnies grounded two UNA squads with indirect fire, which slowed the UNA advance. The Cobra hit the Krasny with their mortar, but didn’t get enough guys to ground the unit. The Hussar hit the Cobra and immobilized it with both missiles hitting and penetrating legs. The Sierp and Hussar were hit but everything bounced off of collectivist steel.

The Sierp continued to dish out the damage and also continued slowing the UNA advance before it was destroyed by the Firetoad with lasguns. The Hussar destroyed the Cobra, but not before another mortar round wrecked the valiant Krasny. The Hussar then destroyed the Firetoad with the lasguns when everything hit (3 rockets and two missiles).

By now, the UNA was reaching the VP areas, but it would not be for long. While the UNA jump troops devasted a group of Dragonovs and polished off most of the Krasny, Captain Vorchav and the Mechanic made it around the back side of a container after making their morale test. The UNA captured points Alpha and Bravo but the UNA troops were getting whittled down by the Hussar, and the two Nakolvnys.

Just as the UNA shock troops took point Charlie, the RPG Soldats came into play and slaughtered the valiant UNA men without a single loss. Backed up by the second unit of Dragonovs, points Charlie and Delta were in total Red Blok control.

Over at Alpha and Bravo, the UNA jump troops polished off the Dragonovs trying to save Captain Vrachov and then the UNA Firetoad with machine guns flanked the container and gunned down Vorchav and the mechanic in an act of revenge for the death of the UNA Force Commander earlier in the turn. The Hussar responded to this tragic event by blowing the MG Firetoad to smithereens with twin missiles hitting dead center.

The outcome was sealed after the Nakolvnys swept points Alpha and Bravo clean. The final score was 12 to 4 (ten to win) in favor of Red Blok’s heroes.

Enemy casualties were very heavy including all three striders, and all but four UNA soldiers (or was it five?).

Red Bloks fallen were:

Captain Vorchav and his entire unit (12 KIA)
Sergeant “Ivan” and his Sierp (1 KIA)
The first Dragonov Kommando squad in full. (6 KIA)

Light damage to the Hussar

No other casualties to report.

Footnote: I lost this battle the first time I played Scott (as attacker) by a 10-3 score. It is very tough for the attacker, but it isn’t impossible. My dice were very hot today (for a change). That is always nice. 🙂

UNA Report:
Along the right flank (from the attacker’s perspective), I advanced with the Max Wing Trooper squad, Volcano MG Steel trooper squad, and the Cobra. The left flank was anchored by the Iron Rain (which ran up the center against the container), Shock Troopers, and my Captain leading a laser gun detachment of steel troopers.

Because Bryan deployed his striders first, my infantry squads didn’t have many targets. (The armor on his striders is impressive!) Because the defender pops into position without moving, overwatch wasn’t triggered. The indirect fire was brutal, tripping up the wing troopers on the right [2 grenade impacts] and the shock troopers on the left [one mortar impact].

After the first turn, I secured the neutral access zone near point Alpha, and brought the fire toad on here in round two and the star trooper reinforcements in round three. The missile team also entered in round three but approached from the attacker’s access zone and crouched by the low wall near the container.

His Hussar was a star performer– enough armor to shrug off everything [even medium missiles], and powerful but erratic fire. The rocket pack was flaky– often missing my striders [until he closed to a point blank clinch], but blowing large holes in my infantry squads.

The Sierp did a great job of slowing the advance along the left; alone it held 2 nanogenerators and 2 VP each round. Once he’d milked all the reinforcement points, it shuffled right a few cm to hold the two VP and a neutral access zone. It needed to go down much quicker than I managed if I was going to delay his VP accumulation.

His representation of my casualties is accurate; only 4 soldiers survived at the battle’s end. Two of them were the missile team at my back line.

It was a fun mission– and really illustrates that army build is huge, and good dice rolls are very nice. Many of my rolls weren’t bad, except for the penetration rolls– I could hit, but couldn’t punch through collectivist steel!

Red Blok seizes momentum

I played a pair of missions this weekend; Mission 4: Skirmish (selected randomly on the spot) with Radon/Mike at Hobbytown on Friday, then Mission 3: Hold the Line with Bryan on Saturday. Each opponent played Red Blok’s Frontline faction.

Friday night’s game was the fastest defeat I’ve suffered, due to poor army selection, bad die rolls, and bad tactics. The key to this mission is that you must seize the containers in the center for RP and a neutral access zone so you can bring reinforcements on.

Our initial placements were aggressive– I placed a max squad in one of the center spaces adjacent to the container. I took cover and overwatch, though I suspected they’d do little good. He replied by popping on a support unit of 3 Mgauss Soldaty adjacent and unloaded at point blank range. (Without moving, so as not to provoke overwatch.) They did some damage, pruning my force back a bit (away from the container, costing me figures close enough to contest control of the container).

From there, he added another unit of infantry [6] to the center, while I added wing troopers to one end and a missile wielding steel trooper squad entered at the other end. A Nakovalny started chasing my wing troopers, while a Hussar decided to teach my steel missile troopers a lesson. I replied with a unit of three fire toads, one of whom was Bad Dog. He placed a second Nakovalny next to his 3 Mgauss squad in the center and continued to chew up my max squad in the middle. End of round 1. We checked control and he controlled both containers, while I controlled both access zones. So he got the max [500 RP], but couldn’t bring them on. Unfortunately, as soon as he controlled one zone he’d be able to bring them all on…

The next round, the steel troopers in the center mangled the Mgauss detatchment. The fire toads and hussar exchanged fire, wounding the hussar, but finishing off Bad Dog. The wing troopers advanced toward the center, harassed by both Nakovalnys along that flank [and with him successfully claiming the access zone with his second Nakolvny]. Other fire thinned his Spetsnatz from 6 to 2, but their morale was exceptional. The turn ended with him retaining control of both containers, despite my scrambling troops forward to contest it.

Turn 3 began with bad news; his reserves were all ready to stream on field. The Hussar smashed a second firetoad and started around the barriers and into the center of the battlefield. The center steel squad was annihilated, as were the Wing Troopers by fresh infantry pouring from the claimed access zone. The remaining units fought as best they could, but were too few to contest the containers and gain desperately needed reserves. The writing on the wall was clear and surrender soon followed.


Important Lessons:
– Seize the containers! No, seriously, neutral zones are no good without RP from them.
– Reinforcements pouring in from an access zone are deadly. It’s a lot of fire from nowhere. As soon as I lost the access zone, the troops who had been holding it were toast. Maybe they shouldn’t have abandoned it after all?
– Build a knife fighting list. Build a list without so many officers for those matches that give out lots of VP for killing officers.

Therian Nanogenerator Plant secured by UNA forces

(This may evolve into a more detailed explanation of the battle. For now, it’s mostly a pointer to my battle with Paul. An important note: The Frostbite tiles are just a pretty design; we ignored them for game play. That’s why everyone’s wandering all over the board, apparently sloshing through lakes.)

We played mission two, bridgehead, basically a King of the Hill type scenario. The objective we were fighting over was the cluster of three Nanogenerators in the center. We used reinforcement rules and 1500/500 armies. (The reinforcement points were generated by the other Nanogenerators; 100 per round controlled, +50 for capture.)

The pictures are:
Battlefield Setup
The battlefield at the end of each round, pictures from the two player positions and the open end.
The last turn (one picture).

Turn on titles for clarity– I don’t know of a way to arrange it automatically. AT-43 Battle slideshow