Saturday, April 19, 2014

About half way into Nexus Psi

I started to play Deadzone Nexus Psi campaign recently.

Since the host here who took part in Deadzone Kickstarter had early access to Nexus Psi campaign, we started to play that one out.

I played Plague faction, though I had my X-Com alien project with me. So my troops were essentially some kind of mix of Mutons and Ethereals and some unknown plague they had unleashed upon humans, or something.

Rebs were the unfortunate faction that got stranded on Nexus Psi with this alien threat.

Anyway, my initial strike force roster was:

3x Stage 3A generals (two ethereals and one plagued human)

5x Stage 3A troopers (three mutons and two plagued humans)

6x Plague Hounds

4x Stage 3A heavy machine gunners (3x plagued humans and 1 muton)

4x Stage 3A boom sticks (4x plagued humans)

6x extra ammo

I don't have the details about Rebs, but I think the initial clearances were Yndij sergeants, Teratons and Grogans.

We managed to play three games in about four and half hours. In my book that's a really fast pace, especially if you include the fact that I was still quite a beginner when it comes to actual rules, so I had to ask a lot, and most of the campaign mechanics had to be explained to me. Then in between the games there is this updating of strike team roster.


The first game was... well, it was quite uneventful. Really. There were zero casualties on either side, and those damnable agile Yndij's managed to snatch intel marker from the center of board rather easily.

One of the plague hounds got to bite the Yndij a little, but this time the bark was worse than the bite.

Game 2: Shattered Hopes

Next the Rebs were desperate to gain control of the landing pad strategic location.

Dunno where I picked up that one.

I had deployed my leaders very stupidly - grogan with Desolator got an aimed clear shot against one of the ethereals, and Teraton was able to teleport into melee with another ethereal, which were my only leader models. I guess one major factors in how the game played was the fact that Teraton didn't kill or even injure the last remaining ethereal. Grogan on the other hand brutally slaughtered his target.

Once it was my turn, I brought one of the plague hounds (who had AP 2 melee mutation) to help ethereal in melee with Teraton. I had already told about my dream of raising a 10 point plague hound, and the start was promising - it bit an injury to Teraton!

Two Blaze Away actions with extra ammo by two HMG specialists wiped out a human infantry and a rebel sorak. But now I'm getting too far ahead already. First things first. Stage 3A HMG specialist took a Blaze Away attack at the infantry and the sorak, and afterwards he went to adjacent cube to pick up a medikit that was booby-trapped.

The story of this particular HMG specialist didn't stop here. He fell from atop of a building and was pinned or suppressed, but otherwise uninjured.

A random Yndij approaches and throws a frag grenade to the specialist. Again he takes no damage, but the shockwave throws him one cube closer to the Yndij. Enough? No, never! Next Yndij sergeant throws another frag grenade at the very same specialist, and again... no damage, but one cube closer to the first Yndij.

After the games had been played I learned that I was only a certain deviation away from a sure defeat. Well, luckily the grenades pushed my guy to wrong direction, but really... damn it must have sucked to be that HMG specialist.

Thanks to some amazing dice rolls Rebs start to slowly whittle away. At the Teraton side of things I bring a muton (stage 3A trooper) in combat with Teraton, and try to escape with ethereal. Break-off is unsuccesful and on top of that Teraton whacks the ethereal to injured status.

At the start of next turn Teraton finally kills off the ethereal, and plague is left with awesome maximum command of 1-1.

But that seems to be all that's needed and required. The plague hound shreds Teraton in melee, and another plague hound kills a human infantry and possibly Yndij sergeant.

When there was only grogan standing, Rebs finally abort mission. It felt weird to have such a clear victory, but I guess this is one of those situations where ignorance is a bliss - I never saw how close the defeat actually was!

Plague had lost two leaders and a plague hound. One of the ethereal makes a full recovery, another loses a point of ranged accuracy and the hound just... dies. Oh, here is probably essential to tell that we were playing with modified system where resurrection roll is free, and you can buy an additional die with 3 reputation.

Considering the casualties that Rebs suffered, I think that's a pretty good house rule, though maybe full recovery should be only on 7-8, with result of 6 giving some kind of penalty... Maybe choose either Slow (-1 point) or Vulnerable (-2 points) and dead if already has both? I don't know. Of course my perception might be skewed by the fact that Plague has access to medical supplies in the campaign.

Two plague hounds were amazing, however. One of them got the skill Brawler, and another one has melee skill of 4+ now. Ten point dog, here I come!

Game 3:

Next scenario is a Dreadball scenario where Rebs have to rescue a star player, and plague has to kill her/him/it. I'm not sure why plague has such hatred against Dreadball, but whatever the reason, I fully support it.

This game was a bit awkward to play. I mean... plague had 95 points and rebs had 70 points. All things considered maybe that wasn't too big of a deal because scenario didn't require actual killing, but still... playing with so many extra points without any real handicap feels just... wrong.

Well, the star player dwarf proved to be in the very first location Rebs ever checked. And of course it was the location that was farthest away from plague.

No problem, though! Stage 3A Ethereal just makes a command action, and plague swarm uses Sprint as a short action. Then it activates, uses move, and uses sprint again as a short action. It kills the Kraaw Warrior, and additional attack injures the dwarf star player. Sweet! Except... that may have been an illegal move?

Clarification: it was indeed an illegal move, Agile doesn't work that way.

Anyway, the end of story is short.

Teraton makes a speedy approach at the star player dwarf and plague swarm, and charges into melee. Despite being Really Tough the plague swarm is splattered all over the arena.

Dwarf takes a speedy run towards rescue zone, but then a plague hound with AP1 melee mutation sprint-move-sprints into him and rolls some funny numbers, and so Dreadball officially ended in Nexus Psi.


  1. Ah, the glory of loosing by so small mark. Clarification for the second game, it was "Shattered Hopes" in which we fought over one of the outposts, not landing pad. It also was my Yndij Sergeant that was last creature standing.

    I don't think that the last scenario was unfair, if my sergeant had succeeded in it's last command check (even one 6+ with 3 dice) or that dwarf player had doubled in survival against that dog, I would have won. And crippling on 6 doesn't sound fair in my ears for some reason :D

    Looking forward for the next change to fight over the control of Nexus Psi!

  2. Thanks for the clarifications, I transfered some of them into text.

    However... if it was indeed Yndij sergeant who was the last man standing... was it the plague hound, then, who took out both Teraton and Grogan? Or did the Grogan just fall to swarming mutons?

    As a side note, funny how much easier it is to completely forget to take pictures in Deadzone, because some "turn ends right now" point isn't so clear... so difficult to remember what actually happened without visual aid :P