Thursday, May 29, 2014

End to Nexus Psi

Last Sunday I got to play Deadzone, and we finished up the Nexus Psi campaign we had started earlier.

Plague had iniative to choose next scenario, but apparently there was no other choice except Intel Run.

This wasn't bad at all, since it was a 50 point game, which meant I could construct a list completely from my own models! Whee.

Game 1: Intel Run

I believe my strike force was something like:

General with 7+ ranged value and 3-2 command.
2x Stage 3A's with various advances (with extra ammo)
Plague Hound (with Brawler)
Stage 3A with HMG
Plague Swarm

This campaign was fought with Rebs, but I don't dare to try to remember the exact army list used.

This time a little more happened during Intel Run than last time around. First of all almost all of the ammo crates (one of which had the intel objective) went to plagued side of the map.

I screwed a bit my deployment when I didn't take into account that neither plague swarm or my plague hound of death, doom and carnage couldn't even check if ammo crates had the required intel.

Plague swarm was tormented by some blast weaponry, but the aforementioned plague hound ran to chew the head off from a sergeant of some kind. After the game this kill get another rank for this little doggie, so in next battle it was a 6 point model! But I'm going too far ahead.

After some heavy gunfighting on the other side of board one of the Stage 3A mutons revealed intel. Since most of the rebels had gone down (either hugging ground or in a bit more permanent way) from the many Blaze-Away attacks game ended quickly when Rebs fell back before my bloodthirsty hound ate them all. Well, there might have been some other reasons, like the intel being in a very hard place right next to escape zone, but I'm sure they were just afraid of the hound.

Slowly I'm starting to realise why plague loves cover so much. Cover actually gives penalties to defender when doing Blaze Away attack option... and plague doesn't really use any other method of attack except melee and Blaze Away. That's a little bit annoying, but hopefully that changes even a little bit when plague enforcer and strider are released.

Game 2: Ambush

Second game was ambush scenario, where Rebs had 100 point strike force and plague had 95.

As I forgot to take any pictures at all during last game, I tried to make up for it in this one. First two pictures are from deployment phase at a different angle. Being fully three dimensional game it can be difficult to get a proper picture that shows both sides, and no, all of the Rebs aren't even showing in these two pictures.

There was a large ruined building at the center, which meant multiple stories for deployment. Funny thing, though - if there had not been such a building, deploying a 95 point force legally could have been problematic.

Anyway, anyway. Do you see the Teraton Brawler in second picture? Well, probably not unless you're familiar with the game, but it's the large based model down on right, showing its back to the camera. That big fellow has a one-use frag grenade.

Now... being a fully three dimensional game, all kinds of explosions affect the target square and any other squares too that are next to it. Even above, and diagonally.

Here, let me show another picture that's showing the situation only after first activation made during whole game! Oh wait, no, it was the second activation, actually. Kraaw warrior had attacked one ethereal earlier. If I remember it right, Teraton's grenade caused four 4+ rolls for all but two of plague models to survive. Both my beautiful 6 point plague hound and a stage 3A muton in target cube exploded into bits, and every other plague model was at least pinned, many were pinned and damaged. Kraaw warrior died, too. What did that Teraton use, really? A mini-nuclear detonator?

Uh, oh. Well, plague started getting up. Two boom stick Stage 3's on top of the building were quite effective, and they did kill something in the north-east corner. Possibly some kind of a commander and/or a human soldier?

HMG specialists one the other hand were much less effective and wasted their extra ammo doing pretty much nothing. Possibly one pinned Rebel Sorak, but I have to say it looks very standing to me in the picture. The other one might have pinned or suppressed Teraton, but that was all for nought when Stage 2A charged the beast and failed to do anything other than to tickle it to stand again.

Other plague hound charged to back up Stage 2A and made much more impressive attack rolls than the mutated monstrosity, but sadly the Survive/Fight rolls for Teraton were rather good, too. Later it doubled plague hound's attack and killed Stage 2A with resulting attack. Thanks, doggy.

In next picture Stage 3A muton with spotter ability ran to engage a rebel yndij that had come to shoot at one of ethereal generals. The yndij is just out of picture, behind the house. The little rebs started to slowly die off to grenade fire from boom sticks and Blaze Away from HMG's, but plague had lost most things that might even scratch the Teraton. Teraton had quite a bit of weight on its shoulders.

Finally Teraton whacks the dog and charges to ethereal in the basement, killing it. After this the battle card deck started to give some blessings for plague to this Teraton-situation. Two "distract" cards would keep the thing down for at least two rounds, and one of the HMG's managed to suppress it. The muton version of HMG had this acid spitting mutation, and, well, after some three-four activations worth of drooling on the Teraton, the monstrosity was killed by a lucky roll.

Last act of the battle was fought in the west side of map. Grogan, who was annoyingly resilient, was the last Reb model to die.

I'm not sure what went wrong for Rebs after the first devastating grenade attack? Well, most Shoot actions did pretty much nothing and I remember there was at least one failed command action for them. For the Shoot actions, it really pointed out again why I'm starting to think that plague, as a faction, cares too little about terrain penalties. In the whole 95 point strike force there was exactly one model that suffered from shooting into cover - the HMG with acid spit. Well, sure, generals and Stage 3A troopers take penalties if they use Shoot action, but since you pretty much just enrage all of them at the start of game you're not going to use much 2 dice Shoot action with them anyway - not when you can easily sprint + move into melee with 5 dice against enemy models.

But these thoughts come mostly from facing Rebs. Blaze Away probably isn't going to do so much damage against factions that have a little more armor or toughness, but 5+ ranged skill with 4 dice and no penalty from enraged status really does damage to the little peeps. Much more than honest shooting, anyway.

So. Nexus Psi fell to plague. So, what world is next?

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