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Friday, 1 April 2011

The campaign, round 1: Wednesday 30th March 2011

Now that we have a firm grasp of the rules, Scott and I have decided to run through the campaign from start to finish. I have opted to be the allied attacker and Scott the Axis defender.
We followed a fair and impartial method of faction selection. We rolled off, as for initiative and Scott won. Then I threatened to pack up my stuff and take it home if I couldn't be the attacker.
As Sun Tzu famously said, "Never underestimate the tactical advantages of throwing a tantrum. Also, build a fuck ton of tesla coils when playing command & conquer 2. PWND, Lolz!"

I never liked Sun Tzu.

Our first scenario was reconaissance and here's how it played out:

Axis forces:

Ludwig medium panzer walker
Laser grenadiers
recon grenadiers

Allied forces:

Hot Dog medium assault walker
recon boys

(This will not be an incredibly detailed battle report, I'm afraid. Hopefully my justification will become apparent as the game progresses...)

Round 1:

Both forces enter the board in full. There is no combat. Both sides are manoeuvring; taking up positions where they can assault to optimum effect in subsequent rounds. My gunners follow Hot Dog up the right flank, keeping the heat exchangers between themselves and Ludwig's deadly cannons. My plan is leapfrog them forward:
- Hot Dog protects the gunners from the deadly laser grenadiers by blocking LOS, or offering light cover at salient angles, (or, preferably having a laser grenadier flavoured cookout with the napalm launcher)
- Gunners threaten Ludwig with their bazooka, discouraging it from drawing LOS to Hot Dog.

Here's a fuzzy, indistinct picture of the board just before end round's end:

Mmmmm.... low quality...

Both Scott and I are congratulating ourselves on our cautious, strategic style of play when round 2 happens to us.

Round 2, (otherwise known as: "Hey, you know all that manoeuvering you guys just did? Well....)

Hot Dog stomped around a heat exchanger to face the waiting laser grenadiers as I laughed, triumphantly; spectacularly failing to notice my opponent's expression of mild confusion. "BURN!" I shouted, as I rolled the 5 dice, one for each member of the squad.
"NO!" he replied, "YOU'RE OUT OF ACTIONS AND YOU'RE ALSO SLIGHTLY OUT OF RANGE FOR THE NAPALM THROWER!" he added, (in an incredible feat of god-like lung capacity that would have killed a lesser man stone dead.)
"BALLS!" I exclaimed, angrily. I forgot that I had moved 2 squares to get into position.
"TITS!" replied my adversary, uncertainly.
"Why did you say that?" I asked.
"I thought it was some kind of rude word game."

We decided to move on quickly, with Scott's Ludwig killing 2 of the gunners, despite the light cover offered by the corner of a nearby heat exchanger block.
The laser grenadiers' laser werfer fired a shot at Hot Dog which missed, then the cheeky chaps used their remaining action to engage in some 'buggering off out of range' antics.

Nothing else of real note happened in that round, so we moved on.

Round 3

Hot Dog gave chase to the laser grenadiers, stomping forward to open up with both his .50 and .30 cal MGs. I rolled 6 dice, but to little effect. 2 grenadiers fell before their laser werfer fired back, again failing to hit before they withdrew once more.
The gunners moved up the flank, trying to put themselves in a position to threaten Ludwig next turn. The recon grenadiers were still playing cat and mouse on the left flank with their opposite number in the allied forces; neither side willing to leave themselves out in the open in order to threaten their enemy.

Round 4, (otherwise known as "Say, what's that big grey thing with the cannons? Why's it pointing them at us like that? Ohhhhh I get it. Erm... Shit.)

Turn 4 dawned and too late I realised what a carefully prepared trap I had stumbled into. With Hot Dog doggedly, (no pun intended) pursuing his quarry into the board's central area in the preceding turns, I failed to notice Ludwig slowly, patiently lining up his shot. Hot Dog never stood a chance. The allied walker exploded in a bright fireball; showering the battlefield with burning debris and flaming globs of napalm. The unfortunate crew were little more than human candles; their bodies ceasing to twitch as the flames consumed them where they lay.

"NOW!" roared the leader of the laser grenadiers "Take them away to be tortured!!!" His men looked at him for a moment. "You are ein very silly man." said one.
"I know." muttered the leader, hanging his gas-masked head in shame.

The allied gunners squad moved out into the open in order to gun down the laser grenadiers next turn, safe in the knowledge that they had range on their quarry.
The recon grenadiers moved out of cover and into the open. Their MG and STGs barked and the final 3 gunners died in a hail of bullets.
"PWNED, LOLZ!" shouted the MG gunner from the recon grenadiers.
"SUN TZU IST VERBOTEN!!" yelled their squad leader, angrily.

(Here's a shot of the Recon Grenadiers using Idioms from online gaming's greatest moments of shame):

With the gunners dead, there was nothing left to threaten Ludwig. I did the honourable thing and surrendered the day to Scott who was also doing the honourable thing. His sexy dance.

I asked him to stop.

- Cautious play is a double edged sword.
- Always follow through on your plan and let your opponent react to you.
- If you play patrol, take pounder, or Ludwig as your walker. They require less manoeuvering in order to become a credible threat and have real mileage as a psychological detterent. Forcing a squad to cower in cover while your BBQ troops race up to outflank them never gets old.
- Don't let Scott do the sexy victory dance of victory.
- Don't let Scott do the conciliatory sexy dance of defeat.


ronhome said...

Tom, I'll come along to your demo and help out or maybe give you a game if it's quiet. Static? What day?


ronhome said...

Think I got as far as turn 3 in my game against Stoney before he wasted me. When we played the second scenario we each lost half our armies by the end of turn one. I'm really not sure about the Hotdog it needs to get very exposed before it can be in any way effective - I fancy trying out a Mickey now that I got the restock from Static. Pretty useless against armour but it is going to take infantry to pieces (and it's Fast)

one day gingers will rule the earth said...

Hi Ron.

Would be absolutely great if you could come along mate.

I have to call Kenny on Monday to see whether Saturday 16th is available. That gives me time to paint the robots, heroes and last 2 squads of troops in the starter box.

Hot Dog was rubbish in that first battle, but wait for the second. The thing has serious psychological threat factor for robots and heroes ;)

It's a snowball unit though, as you quite rightly point out :(

ronhome said...

16th doesn't work for me as I am holding a house party for my missus. 11th or 23rd I'll come along - I'll have to catch you at G3 instead.