Monday, November 4, 2013

More Games - Level 7 and Mercs

More from the w/e

After the Slammers game we played Level 7 from Privateer Press.

This is a cooperative place a tile/explore/fight game, the aim being to find the lift to escape level 7.  The back story involving our characters waking in a government lab which is overrun with aliens and security forces.  We (should...) work together to find the lift.  Unfortunately there was some misunderstanding over locked doors leading to our escapees splitting up, when the lift was found only one was able to get out, the other being left to be harvested by the aliens.

Then we read the blurb only to find out that the sole survivor was doomed, as the lift only went to level 6 -  they would have to do it all again - all the way to level 1.  They had no chance.

"Chomp Chomp" say the aliens.

This was a fun game, playing coop was different to the usual back-stabbing in games like Zombies.   As its a structured game I'm not sure how replayable it is, once a player reaches Level 1 would they really want to go back and try L7 again?

Sunday was a short morning.

Mark's lad plays Mercs and has some really nice figs.  He was kind enough to walk me through the basics and we played a short game.  I picked the red guys (Sefadu) as I liked thier paint job, I was up against the Yellow ones (CCC), it was great playing with nicely painted figs (sorry, got no pics).  It was tricky picking up the card mechanic, but it was an intersting approach to to a skirmish game.

After that it was home time.

Hammer's Slammed

More from wargaming w/e at Mark's.  After some chinwagging and a couple of beers, and a very helpful suggestion from John Treadaway (adv rules, use extra LPs to double fire!) we decided to rerun the Slammers scenario.  For this game I wanted to field my 'mosquito fleet' of light tanks and drone-equipped infantry.

The scenario is the same a before, my forces (the Free Foreign Legion, in green armour) hold the town, while Commonwealth Marines (guard force O'Higgins) hold the flank.  The FFL (Div Legere), have medium tanks and two tank destroyers, the Cmmwlth Marines are equipped with two heavy ATGM APCs, two ATGM drones, one 6cm Powergun drone and three 3cm tri-barrel drones, the infantry have two heavy aTGM launchers and three light ATGM launchers.  All non-specialist infantry have buzzbombs

A sleepy town

With dug-in infantry - Commonwealth Marines occupy the area around the farm

Infantry debussed in place, drones circulate in guard positions
Heavy ATGMs cover the main road
FFL tanks cover the approach to the town
FFL tank destroyers cover the roads, while FFL command provide airdef
Uh OH, the Slammers are on their way
Slammer Tanks enter the town and are met with a volley of missiles
Combat cars enter in parallel to the tanks, they too are met by a swarm of missiles
View from the heavy ATGMs
View towards the Combat Cars
The Combat Cars intercept all incoming missiles
Three missiles get through the tank's tribarrel screen
Medium tanks take out two Combat Cars
Then a third
The missile volley takes out one blower
"NO NO! That never happened" said the Slammer's PR guy
Satellite imagery confirms the loss of three Combat Cars
Slammers respond by shooting the heck out of everything, including buildings
Drones and heavy ATGM APCs
The Tanks destroyers sneak up on the blowers
Immobilizing one (skirt holed) and destroying another
[I have no idea why this is rotated?]
Medium tanks attempt to flank the blowers, the lone combat car dives among them hoping wreak havoc with its tribarrels
[this is rotated too?]
It takes all four Med tanks to take out the Combat car.  Seriously, three weapons per tank and it was the twelfth shot that takes out the Car!
The Med tanks are gutted by the blowers
The Commonwealth Marines use their two surviving tribarrel drones to gain rear aspects on a blower.  the Blower reacts by destroying the first drone, but just misses the second.
The second drone hoses the blower in the rear, puncturing its skirt, walking fire up the tilting rear deck until it hits a weak spot and BOOM! the blower is gone.
With only one immobilized blower the slammers surrender
The town belongs to the allies
Barely...   ...if that combat car had survived this town would be in Slammers hands
The only serious firepower left to the allies is two medium tank destroyers and one tribarrel  drone
The allies will have to rush some reinforcements into the town if they want to keep it out of the Slammers hands

This was a really fun game (thanks Mark!), despite the early losses the Slammers really had an edge, and the defense was desperate.  Volley after volley of missiles were intercepted, medium tank rounds were bouncing off the Slammers superior armour and the slammers were whittling down the defensive forces quite quickly. The game turned on the action with the combat car.  If that last (of 12) shot had not gone through the slammers would have won.  We we tried it out by rolling for hits as if the car survived, the result: 4 dead med tanks, leaving both blowers to face the two med tanks destroyers and drones.

As it was, the Slammers decimated the armour of the allies.  If this were just the vanguard of the Slammers forces the allies would be unable to hold the town without significant reinforcements.

Now I've played a few Crucible games I'm convinced this is a fun rule set and I plan expand my forces and keep on using them.  Next its time to try some more of the advanced rules.  As a quick plug, I'm planning to run a Slammers game at next year's East Coast Ground Zero Games Convention (

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pandora's Cargo

More from my w/e at Mark's.  On Friday night after a couple of beers we played the introductory game of Pandora's Cargo (Mantic, I think).  TBH I wasn't keen.  I just seemed to be clunky and a pale version of Legions of Steel or Space Hulk (1st ed).

The background of Pandora's Cargo is that mutant rats emerge from the bowels of a cargo ship and the corporate troopers have to clean them out.  So, the next morning Mark dug out his Dwarven Forge sci-fi corridors and we set up the ship to give it another go...

Spaceship Pandora

The top separate section is the lower cargo hold, accessed via a lift or ladders.  this is where the rats emerge.  The lower section is the upper deck crew cryo chambers

 The Bridge
 Central hold with access to the lower cargo hold, the lift is down here
 Lower cargo hold
 Upper cryo chambers
 Engine control room with access to the engines (hatch)
 Mutant rat-men emerge (the marker is the objective marker for the crew).  The crew have to capture the hold.  The rats have to survive
 Rats swarm up the access ladders only to be blocked by energy barrier doors
 Crew scramble from cryo-pods
 Rats 'Dark' the cargo hold.  Any rats that are killed in the light are dead, in the dark they respawn.
 Rats blow down an energy door, making the zone radioactive in the process
 Rats breach a duct and scurry towards the engine room.  My plan is to kill the power in the engine room, making the whole ship 'dark', denying the crew chem-flares (from dispensers), and opening all energy doors.

The marker is a  flare, meaning that section of the corridor is lit.
Frozen bodies move slowly from cryosleep
 Rats make another hole in a duct near engineering (the chance and location of holes were randomly rolled at the beginning of the turn).  This enables them to rush the skeleton crew there
 Blammo! Rats dead (see that flare)
 Phew, engineering is secure
 Not so for Control, rats advance
 More rats spawn
 CRUNCH!, the rat leader assaults a corporate soldier
 More rats pour into engineering
 Squeak!  Rats in engineering draw first blood
 And more...
 While at the other end, the control room is threatened
 Errr, I forgot something...
 We come in Peace, let us in!
 Mmmmmm, strategery
 Mmmm, crunchy crunchy
 The door is down, in we go!
 Where should I go?, Here?
 No, Here?
 No, Here, ah that's better
The rats capture Engineering
 And access to the cryo chambers
 Yum Yum!

  Rats enter the control room corridor
 And quickly finish off the command crew
 Leaving just one crewman left
 He legs it for Engineering, hoping to get the power up again
 Pity the Boss-Rat is still near Engineering
 Splat! The Boss-Rat easily defeats the crewman
The Rats now have the run of the ship.  If only they knew how it worked and how to turn the power on... ...after all that effort its a pity they are doomed to either freeze or asphyxiate

This may appear one-sided, it was not: the Corporation nearly flipped the result several times.  In addition, this was very unlike the training mission, it was tense with a clear need for tactical decision making.  The nature of the order-driven events does make this game stand out from the more typical battle-oriented sci-fi dungeon crawls.  If I were going to recommend these rules again I think I'd only suggest playing 'bigger' games.  Of course, it doesn't hurt to be able to set up an entire space-ship to play on, thanks Mark!