First Skirmish Report

To begin with, apologies for the lack of photos, we were so caught up in the game we forgot all about taking any.

So last night we had our first ever war rocket game. Humanities Defenders the Galacteers vs the minions of the Tyrannical Imperium of Emperor Marduk.

The forces were 3 class 1 rockets and one class 2 each.
Terrain was a single planet and it’s moon in the rough centre of the table. We wanted things nice and simple because we were each learning how our rockets manoeuvred in practice and how the others did too. The scenario? A straight-forward shootout.

As for the players, well I’ve been playing miniatures based games for 24 years! And my opponent, my partner is a novice with but a couple of games of Warhammer; Monsterpocalypse and Space Hulk under their belt.

Talk about an easy game to pick up! Once the specifics of each fleets movement system were understood from a couple turns approaching each other across the table it was on! Fast swift and exciting! The attack/damage system was a breeze with the simple table and the single roll depending on number of hits taken (there is no roll to hit, vastly speeding things up!) is elegant and effective cutting out lots of superfluous handfuls of dice and masses of special rules that bog many other games down and allowing us to focus on strategy. Though luck is always a factor and my imperial rockets suffered an appalling three 1’s in a row on a 10-sided dice… followed by a two! Surviving pilots and gunnery crew of the battle and the officer who trained them at the imperial academy will be publicly executed following the predetermined trial tonight, remember, viewing of public executions is mandatory, Hail Marduk!

The trickiest problem we faced was with movement, using a double-sided plastic school ruler which was the only thing we had on hand with inches on it was a bit awkward, especially when rockets get clustered together and there’s a temptation with hex bases to put the ruler to a side of the base and so move the miniature at an angle rather than forward. But that’s easy to deal with and a thin tape measure or measuring stick will handle it.

The Class 1 Comet rockets of the Galacteers are well deserved of their reputation, with speed determining movement order these zippy machines always have the jump on everyone else and this was clear when in one turn all three moved out of my Class 1 Scorpions firing arcs leaving them with only the class 2 to shoot at while all my rockets were hammered from behind! This will take some tactical thinking to deal with, i’m pondering notions of squadron manoeuvres to broaden the effective fire arcs of several rockets and to cover blind spots so even with such darting movement at least some of my class 1s will still get to blast away.

I’m not looking forward to trying to face the Galacteers with the Valkeeri who’s class 1s guns don’t have the normal narrow forward firing arc but can only fire dead-ahead! I’m thinking they will need at least 1 class 3 or 4 with their larger fire arcs to take on the Galacteers effectively or to make very careful use of the Delayed Action phase. I’d definitely recommend people building a Valkeeri fleet to be sure to get some of the larger rockets to use in conjunction with the little ones.

While the Imperial class 2 is tough its weaponry is the same as the class 1s leaving it far less potent in shooting than the Galacteers class 2. And while tougher i was lucky it lasted as long as it did with the amount of flack it was taking and my run of poor rolls meant the galacteers more fragile craft stayed intact more than average rolls would have resulted in. The Imperial class 2 Raptor is as tough as many fleets class 3s but it doesn’t take a huge lot of hits to bring the damage roll down to something pretty likely. The captains of big ships shouldn’t underestimate the damage of single-pilot craft in even small numbers! In hindsight i should definitely have focussed less on taking down the Class 2 Supernova and instead taken out more of those nimble Comets first! When we are ready to start using the advanced rules i’m thinking some of my beautiful imperial class 2s will get customised with some additional firepower.

So what was the end result? A trouncing! While the Imperial rockets took down one of the comets early on that’s all they managed, the Galacteers lost just one vessel while all 4 Imperial craft were taken out of action! It was all a ton of fun. The simple elegant rules allow for real strategic depth making the game more about movement and positioning and predicting the enemies actions rather than handfuls of tiny dice scattering across the table and scouring long army lists for hyper efficiencies and synergies of special rules. In other words it’s about playing the game on the table rather than designing the perfect army list with a calculator beforehand.

definitely a good game for introducing people to wargaming with as well as for seasoned gamers. And even on a plain black table cloth with unpainted rockets and unpainted planets it looks so darn cool!

Hmm now who will be the leader of my Imperial fleet? I’m thinking a beautiful wicked Princess….

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