Sunday, September 27, 2015

There's a muton under my apron!

Last Wednesday I played two Deadzone games.

They were mission seven and eight from an ongoing ten mission campaign.

So far my Strike Force of angry mutons hasn't been very lucky. In fact they have been so unlucky that my army didn't have enough models to make a 70 point game any more.

My Strike Team for first mission (Careful Carnage, I think... survive and get a few victory points for killing enemy models) was:

- Plague General, the Ethereal
- Stage 3A muton with 7+ Shoot, 6+ Melee and two veteran dice
- Stage 3Amuton with 7+ shoot and two veteran dice
- Plague Hound (Orange one in pictures) with 7+ Melee and 5+ Survive and Spotter skill
- Plague Hound with AP1
- HMG specialist with Spotter skill
- 2x HMG specialists with no experience
- 4x Useless Cannon Fodder Stage 3A's (Fresh recruits)

Enforcers had:

- Assault Enforcer
- Regular Enforcer
- Engineer
- Strider
- Some sort of a spotter drone

Enforcers started game. First picture is from the same turn, but in different angles. Red oval marks the same space for a Stage 3A HMG specialist in both pictures.

Zombies are the fresh rooks. As there were only two buildings on the board, I was happy that deployment was the exact edges shown in the pictures. It was easy to try and hide from the cruel and unforgiving world that had been beating the aliens so harshly earlier.

As opponent had so few models on board, they couldn't make that many attacks in the same turn. However, I didn't feel like I had chances of taking out the Strider - or, at least I couldn't risk it by throwing enough meat against it and whittle it down. I needed to survive. But I also needed to keep Strider busy and possibly contest objectives. I was almost ready to just hide under a rock and score as many survive points as I could before Enforcers eventually would march to their objectives and win the game.

That wouldn't have been a very exciting game, so instead I decided upon a compromise between reckless abandon and hiding and pretending my aliens were alone. I'd try to shoot perhaps one or with amazing luck two Enforcers and then pull back - or if my points on board would go dangerously close to 35.

In the first picture there is a plague hound and a HMG specialist on second floor of my side's building. The muton space would become a point of interest in this game, as well as a certain ledge in the second picture.

They were the cubes both parties were concentrating on in shooting. My main plan was to make massed Blaze Away! actions with the HMG on second floor assisted by three models on ground. It worked fine enough until even the mighty psychic powers (command actions) of Ethereal and Battle Cards were not enough to raise the main shooter's morale. One of the most annoying aspects of the situation was a well placed sentry gun, who launched a volley of suppressing fire again and again against the HMG muton.

Since there had been surprisingly few casualties, I felt bold enough to sacrifice the redshirts I had gotten for free. One of them ran right next to the Strider who was checking up objective on the left. Perhaps I might buy one round with this action, who knows? At least the mental image was quite fun when Strider used it's mega sized range 12 super cannon on a wimpy model right in the next cube. Also the AP1 silacoid dog I had hiding in the rubble on the right got rabid and charged the Enforcer Trooper who had come to look at the objective on the right. I think the dog inflicted a wound on the trooper.

Now. Game had lasted already quite long, and I started to raise a little bit of hope in actually winning the mission - though I half expected Enforcers to claim victory any moment now. Somehow it never occurred to me that the HMG muton on the second floor was actually contesting the objective on the middle. No wonder it had taken quite a few bullets into his general direction during the game.

When I had something like eight victory points from survival only, the suppression wars between Plague and Enforcers finally ended to the relative victory of Enforcers. Assault Enforcer and Engineer on the ledge were able to move out of the same cube, and somewhere in the process even my muton died from the second floor. My troopers started to go into hiding and I had to face the fact that even one additional death would cost me the victory now.

It was tenth turn when somebody, I forget who, was being shot at and I was absolutely certain that this is it. Deadzone was truly twisting the knife this time. Only one more turn, damn it!

Oh wait. Nobody died.

What's this? What happened? Why the guns fell silent so suddenly?


I had won my first game in this campaign, and it came from survival victory condition? Nonsense. But sometimes nonsense happens.

As a fun side note... that also meant I had been shooting Enforcers with three and four man Blaze Away's, and not a single wound was ever inflicted. Except by the dog, of course.

But this victory felt hollow, as both of my dogs died. Also the HMG muton received a penalty to its Shoot stat, but that's nothing. The dogs had died!

Game 2 (or 8)

Finally I had at least a little leeway in my Strike Team composition. My mission was nothing else but kill enemies. I had purchased one Plague Swarm with the sweet, sweet reputation points of last game. And a plague hound, too. But it's just not the same... I can't name it Scruffy II.

My team:

- Plague General, the Ethereal
- Stage 3A muton with 5+ Shoot & melee, 6+ Survive and Brawler
- Stage 3A muton with 7+ Shoot, 6+ Melee and two veteran dice
- Stage 3A muton with 7+ Shoot and two veteran dice
- 2x Not-so-fresh-recruits anymore
- Fresh Plague Hound
- HMG specialist with 6+ Shoot and Spotter skill
- HMG specialist who hasn't Ranked yet to be anything special
- Plague Swarm

Now opponent had some models on board I had learned to fear already:

- Assault Enforcer
- 2x Regular Enforcer
- Enforcer Sniper
- Enforcer Missile Launcher
- Some sort of a spotter drone

Enforcers started game. Their Sniper quickly took a kill shot position from the highest peak on the board. From my earlier experiences that was bad. And surely enough the spotter HMG muton died very early in the game, and I thought that I just had to weather the fire somehow and go to the offence.

I got one surprise melee muton to the Enforcer far there in the back of the picture by using command action, move card, agile sprint and move. But that long distance charge was useless. Nothing really happened there. No damage done, and then the immoral Enforcers used Blaze Away to knock both of the participant down.

But this had bought time for Plague Swarm to huddle closer and come to help the green guy. Swarm charged in and scored a kill. Muton was now free to activate, and it tried to challenge the Assault Enforcer. This time the result was even worse - it managed to get a wound himself instead.

What was sort of a deciding moment in the game was when Enforcers were then unable to suppress the Plague Swarm - it merely lost its enraged status.

Come next turn, and all hell broke loose. It was the moment the aliens had been waiting throughout the campaign. A lucky Blaze Away suppressed both Enforcers on the cube next to Plague Swarm. Plague Swarm then climbed up to them and ate the missile launcher, doubling or tripling the score. That triggered a free action, so Swarm got to fight against the other Enforcer, too. Again tons of damage in and doubles or triples, which triggered a free action. Swarm jumped down on Assault Enforcer and butchered it to pieces.

And the slaughter didn't end here. A random muton near the objective on the middle went on almost equal killing spree. Well. Maybe I'm glorifying that a bit. But still it climbed up to Enforcer Trooper and killed him. This was more than enough to give me a victory.

The beast that hungered had now been satiated. My only concern is... how long will it stay in torpor? Because this was eight mission in the campaign, and total victory is decided on the most total reputation points. Thanks to really poor start (if you can call seven out of ten mission a start) I need victories that equal or even surpass these to have a chance at winning the campaign.

1 comment:

  1. Enforcer view is finally readable (took only 2 weeks):