Today Deadzone campaign came to an end. Originally we had planned a ten mission campaign, but since Deadzone second edition rules are going to drop to kickstarters any moment now, we just played an improvised 100 point game. Well it was the ninth game, so we didn't miss the mark that much.
As Plague had had terrible start in the campaign, we decided to triple the victory points gained from the game to give Plague an actual chance to win.
First half of the board was alien battleship. We placed the control zone accordingly. That was homebrew on the fly. Is this what I have become? Ahem...
It was time to pick missions. I had two choices, Close In and Fight Another Day. Considering the placement of control zones I couldn't bring myself to pick Fight Another Day. Gaining two victory points per turn until Enforcers would be even close to objectives on a 16x8 board, and then continuing to gain two more as long as I had over 50% of my troops remaining looked like an anti-climatic ending.
So, my old beloved Infiltrate missions it was, with a little bit of killy objectives, too.
My strike team was:
Ethereal Stage 3A General (Slow mutation, one veteran die and jump pack)
4x Stage 3A trooper mutons with various handicaps and disabilities. Hello, 7+ Shoot and 6+ Fight troopers, for example)
3x Fresh Recruits (They actually looked like they might do better than older troops...)
HMG Heavy Plasma muton
2x Plague Hound & Silacoid
Stage 2A Chryssalid with Agile mutation. That was almost as scary as Chryssalids in the '94 X-Com.
Chovaar Sectoids with Mind Probe
Opponent had just seven models in their 100 point list.
1x Strider (which explains extremely low model count I guess)
Enforcer with Thermal Rifle
... possibly the rest were regular Enforcer troopers?
Their mission was Zulu.
First picture is the deployment from within my battleship. It's a shame the humanoid figures in greenish vats don't show too well. They were pretty awesome. A miniature was put inside a small tube and then filled with some kind of shower gel. Brilliant.
Second picture is from the end of round one. Nothing really happened yet, but it shows the absurd threat range with Plague models plus... shenanigans.
I found a smoke grenade from inside my ship, and went into offence with that. I thought the LoS blocking would be enough, but how wrong I was... An Enforcer, probably the one with thermal rifle, just huddled a little closer and lobbed a grenade over my stack of three mutons adjacent to another space with two. Wound were caused. Reducements in aggression were made. It had a major psychological impact on me. It gave too painful flashbacks from missions 1-5...
Another Enforcer secured position one the metal barrels in the middle of eastern map. So. Chovaar psychic is awesome. Ethereal used command action to move Stage 2A one cube. Then it used Sprint and Move actions. Then Chovaar psychic took away the activation marker, and Stage 2A activated again. I intuitively played it so that I wouldn't be able to use Agile twice in a turn even if there were two separate activations. Without even using battle cards the Stage 2A moved six cubes, possibly seven with battle card or potentially eight cubes if I played the Agile wrong...!
Attack in itself wasn't too shabby. Only one wound was caused to the Enforcer.
Then another Enforcer enters the same combat to help his friend, but no damage is done to anyone.
Next turn a muton with Reinforced Spines (Tough) mutation comes to help the outnumbered Stage 2A. And I guess it does that, in a way... It fails the combat so miserably that the target gains a free escape. Now Stage 2A was able to finish what it began. Attack roll was doubled or tripled, so Stage 2A got to move one cube. Then Chovaar removed the activation marker again. Stage 2A used Sprint and then Move to enter combat with Enforcer who had thermal rifle. It was a bloody slaughter, and doubles or triples again. Another move. That's five cubes of advancement, and combat in two different cubes not next to each other. Damn it. That Chryssalid truly was living up to its name!
Though all was not that fuzzy and cute on Plague side of the board. Original non-fresh mutons started dying left and right. It's possible that the muton in the middle is the only trooper muton still alive. Oh, the little sectoids are my fresh recruits, by the way.
I was worried about the Strider, though. I boosted Celatid swarm with everything I got and launched it against the hulking behemoth - and no damage. At all. I thought that cost me the game, but Enforcer shooting was extremely inefficient that turn.
The Stage 2A Chryssalid entered the middle once more to cry havoc on a bold, yet foolish Enforcer who had entered to contest the barrels once more. But then Stage 2A failed everything. Everything!
A plague hound, the silacoid there, had to come and help the melee beast. Yay, one injury in.
Two Enforcers were in the second story of the building behind the melee. They shot the Chryssalid down. Well. That's the way you need to kill them anyway. Somewhere high with no entryway, possibly because you shot the stairs yourself to prevent the Chryssalid from climbing...
But that was a serious blow to me. One of my two killers that were worth something was dead now - and the other one was tied down to melee with Strider.
Or so I thought.
Plague Hounds charged to the Enforcer that had been in melee with Chryssalid. Bam. Dead Enforcer.
The second one went to help Celatid swarm in melee with Strider. Bam. Two wounds in.
Jealous of the performance of pesky Silacoid, Celatid wanted to show what it was made of. It managed to cause two additional wounds. But this is no Plague strider, no. This one has five wounds. So it was not over yet.
A hail of continuous bullets rain down from the building that was occupied by two Enforcers. But as far as I remember, only Silaoid actually died, though Celatid became injured and lost enraged status. Losing enraged status only made the Celatid real pissed off, and it wrecked the Strider. Things started to look pretty good, then. I started to move all of my remaining troops so that they might possibly get to infiltrate. A plague hound and one fresh recruit had already done that.
Enforcers lobbed a grenade on top of Celatid, but now the Celatid was really pissed off, and totally flipped out and killed everybody.
I'm not even exaggerating. Grenade pushed it one cube to exactly wrong direction... to the Enforcers, that is. I had Get Mean card in my hand. I played it on the Celatid, who then moved one cube and used Agile to make short Climb action to Enforcer on the highest floor of the building. It killed the Enforcer and doubled or tripled the result, and moved down to last remaining true Enforcer. There was also one some sort of support drone.
Now Chovaar psychic is moved with Move -card, and yet again it succeed to rouse passion in the... uhh... whatever can be considered a heart deep inside of the Celatid. It activated again, killed the Enforcer with doubles or triples, takes a move to the drone and wrecks that also.
I don't know how all of this was possiible, but I know that the Chovaar was far more influential in this game than my actual strike force general.
In the end I received exactly forty points . 13 times three, plus four for completing core mission minus three for using a mercenary. This brought me to 81 points.
Opponent had 78 total reputation.
Well... of course this wouldn't have been possible without the tweaks in the reputation rules for this grande finale. But hey, AI cheats.