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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

UCM vs Scourge with the Hawk Team and New Units!

On Saturday night at Templecon, we (Dave, Simon, Evan and I) had a chance to throw down a pre-arranged game. It was originally scheduled to be a 2v2, with each player bringing 1500 pts, but we only had a 4x4 table available. The fine folks at Hawk suggested we could playtest two of the new units planned on being released on the next wave, so we jumped on that opportunity. (From the fact that they had printed off some rules for them, I'd say they planned it all along!)

Please note - this wasn't to be considered serious playtesting. It was one game, had at the end of a long day, played straight through without stopping and replaying things. Many good discussions did develop both during and after the game, but please remember this was just one game and should by no means be considering "the playtesting of the new units!"

I won't spoil exact stat lines, but I'll give some general overviews. Hawk is still reviewing these numbers, and plans to post them up as a pdf before they see a page in a printed expansion book.

Meet the Ferrum Class Drone Base

The Drone Base is a gigantic rolling block. It's literally on two tank chassis. The parts all move and stuff. That runway flips out, the control tower raises, the tanks at the bottom swivel, and the rocket launchers were magnetized.

It has a decent chunk of DP. (More than anything else in the game currently if I recall correctly). It can launch up to 8 fighter drones that act independently of the drone base, and if the fighter drones are shot down, it can launch more, so you can't really get rid of the drones unless you destroy the base. The fighter drones have enough movement to get around the board easily, so you can hide this beast in a corner.

The drones, which use the swarm rules, get stronger each one within their command range. We used a varying degree of "to hit" rolls during our game. Each one counted as a scout, and while their base energy was only a 5, they do have Shaped Charge, and get the SC bonus on a 5+ instead of a 6 when there were 5 of them in the swarm

Meet the Annihilator
The Annihilator uses a new rule concept to be seen - the ability to switch between a flier and a ground unit. Currently, the Annihilator has no weapons in flying mode, and a relatively weak 5 armor, but does gain the flier rules. Once it lands, it's armor increases to a still fairly weak 7, but as with the Drone Base it has a huge chunk of DP to hopefully survive for a bit.

Once landed, it acts as an artillery launcher, launching large templates of E11 death. Got a blob of 9 UCM tanks that just dropped from an Albatross? Let's destroy them all! We used the base accuracy of the Annihilator as a 4+ (so a 6+ without scouts to spot), so it isn't hitting all the time.

Our fearsome opponents
So the lists consisted of 1500 points + the playtest unit. I brought:

Clash: 1492/1500 points
Standard Roster [1492/1500 pts]
Field Command [386 pts]
Kodiak: Kodiak(Squad Leader), Condor [174 pts]
Praetorians: 2x Praetorians, Raven A [144 pts]
Wolverine Squad: 2x Wolverine A, 2x Wolverine B [68 pts]
Armored Formation [423 pts]
Sabre Squad: 6x Sabre, Albatross [288 pts]
^ Sharing ^ Rapier Squad: 3x Rapier [135 pts]
Legionnaire Corps [219 pts]
Legionnaires: 3x Legionnaires, Condor, 2x Bear [141 pts]
^ Sharing ^ Legionnaires: 3x Legionnaires [78 pts]
Special Ordinance [464 pts]
Gladius Squad: 4x Gladius, 2x Condor [298 pts]
Rapier Squad: 3x Rapier, Condor [166 pts]

The Scourge list consisted roughly (from memory) of a Desolator, Two Tormentors, 6 Hunters, 6 Reapers, 6 Boots, 2 Corsairs, and a much better leader that we had.

The mission was the standard Targets of Opportunity

This drone base is just massive!

All folded up in it's most "compact" form.

And the eight drones that come with it!

The opposing Scourge

Look at all those grav tanks in that CD rack!

It is only fitting that the Drone Base rolls on to the UCM courtyard.

And the Annihilator hides behind a building like the Scourge scum it is.

The Condors fly on! Drop off a few Rapiers to guard the drone base while deploying four Gladii with a nice board-wide firing lane.

We sent a Raven zooming forward with some Praetorians for the far objective, but they were met with some AA Grav tanks...

Scourge unloads their blob in to the middle while the Desolator prowls forward
Looks much scarier from our side!

Some Tormentors come up the flank

The Raven gets shot down, but the Praetorians drop down at the entrance to the building!
the Gladii move forward and open fire....

Taking down four grav tanks.
The Scourge scouts drop near our Gladii ready to call down the great balls of acid from the Annihilator.

The Reapers move up and shoot down the Condor carrying our boots, the again, the APCs are unharmed!

You know, I don't even remember what kill these, but it was sweet revenge for that Condor!

So, first target of opportunity for the drones - we sent them on the Prowler scouts, two on each one...hitting on  3s, wounding on 5s...

...only killed one Prowler.

The Tormentors prowling up the flank. They just melted 10 Legionnaires.

Nom nom nom. Delicious, delicious steel. These guys are just hilarious.

So the next target of opportunity, the drones move to engage some Reapers...against, hitting on 3s, wounding on 5s....nothing. At least Dave forgot to activate the Reapers for the rest of the maybe the drones hacked their computers or something?

Two Corsairs arrived and took a run on the Kodiak, but one got shot down.

The Rapiers moved up to dispatch those nasty little bugs.

Realizing that these drones hit on 3s and wound on 5s against anything, we sent them up to the Annihilator  One playtest unit vs another, right? They manage to put two wounds on the beast. 

But not before it launches a ball of plasma, destroying a Gladius, wounding another, and taking out two Rapiers.

Our tank blob moves up to engage the Tormentors and shoot a building off to the side.
And our tanks level the building, killing all inside (but not before they got the objective out!)

The tormentors roast another 10 Legionnaires.

So Dave moved the Desolator in to our blob and unleased AoE lightning hell. Well, he killed a  single Wolverine, and one of his own Tormentors. That's a win in my book. Next time, Dave, let Simon roll those Desolator pulses =)

The two remaining Hunter MGT's scoot around and finish off the wounded Gladius.

Well, Dave didn't listen, and rolled the Desolator again the following turn. He did a little better, killing a Wolvering and a Sabre, and once again killing one of his own Tormentors. So two turns of rolling 3s to hit and 4s to kill on 12+ targets...killed three things over two turns!

One Kodiak Orbital Bombardment later and another round of drone shooting later (after we edited them to hit on a 2+!) and they  finish off the Annihilator! That was the objective, right? Kill the other unpainted thing? =)

Gladius kills a Hunter...

....then takes a Corsair to the face!

The battlefield as seen from above at the end!

So a quick recap

  • We lost something like 5 to zero
  • We did not claim any objectives, partially due to luck on not discovering and partially due to Tormentors killing all of our boots
  • Not a single drone was shot down, or even fired upon
  • The Annihilator was destroyed
  • Both sides killed a large chunk of what the other side had, with us blowing up slightly more things, because blowing things up is fun.
  • Only one building was destroyed.
Lessons learned
  • Tormentors are nasty. They single handedly wiped out 4 of our 6 stands of Legionnaires. Don't let them get close!
  • Blowing stuff up is fun, but not the objective
  • The drones are most suited towards tackling large targets on the backfield. Good Annihilator and Taranis hunters.
  • Don't let Dave use Desolators

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