Sunday, 10 July 2011

Bryss and 'Scape Versus Warpath

I'm so easily distracted. Today was meant to be a pleasing day of driving practice and casual browsing. However, it all went a bit wrong when I got this message at my favourite daily hyperbole site:


It appears IE has finally seen the real truth. I laughed so hard at that.

Anyway, as I massaged away my frustration, I came upon some notes I wrote the other day. Apparently I used 40k minis, with my usual 40k partner, but played a DIFFERENT GAME!

Yes, I tried Warpath, for the simple reasons that a) it was free, b) I can fit the entire rulebook on my Kindle for easy reference and c) it's sorta my duty as an RM author. Now, we all know that Mantic made this game for huge massive battles, but I wanted to see if it would work as a casual game at a much lower level. 700 points in fact, one of my favourite 40k points levels.

We played at 'Scape's house, hence the lack of texture and actual terrain. So this is what American FLGS tables feel like...

We rolled the Not-Victory points mission. Of the two armies, I preferred the feel of the Forgefathers, so I used them against 'Scape's Orx Marauders, proxied by his Ultramarines and Orks respectively. These were our first ever Warpath lists, built without any clue about what the other player had or what was needed to win in Warpath. Mine was:

Master Bryss' Cyberscape7's Ultramadwarfs- 685
10 Steel Warriors with Heat Cannon (10 Tactical Marines with missile launcher)
10 Hel Valkyrs with 2 Heat Hammers (10 Assault Marines with two plasma pistols)
Iron Ancestor with Hailstorm Autocannon (Venerable Dread with assault cannon)
Heavy Drakkar with Hailstorm Autocannon and two Heat Cannons ( Land Raider Redeemer)

Cyberscape7's Orkx- 690
20 Grunts with a Ripper (20 Slugga Boyz including one Klaw Nob)
5 Rifle Grunts with a Machine Gun (4 Shoota Boyz and a Loota)
5 Jumpers with a Ripper (5 Stormbouz including one Klaw Nob)
20 Stunts (20 Grotz)
Captain with Ripper and Heavy Suit (Warboss with Power Klaw)
Attackster with Anti-Tank Gun (Deffkopta with Rokkit Launcha)

Notice we didn't get to the full 700. This is because Mantic didn't have the foresight to include cheap wargear. That's minus points for Mantic there.


Deployment
I won the roll off and placed my first Heavy Suppo...oh. Wrong game, wrong edition. Anyway, we each deployed units in turn, with me leaving my Hel Valkyrs as Reinforcements and 'Scape doing the same for his Attackster and Jumpers.

'Scape won the roll off to go first. We felt a strange sense of nostalgia...



Turn 1
The Jumpers immediately enter play on the Marauder long edge, as eager as, well, Stormboyz really. The other units all go forward At The Double, bar the Riflers, who stay put.

The Rifle Grunts fire their standard 8 shots at my Steel Warriors and do very well despite the modifiers, rolling 5 6s to hit and causing 3 damage. The squad's Big Fu...Ballistic Firepower Guarantor doesn't do as well and fails to penetrate my defences. I pass my Nerve Test.


Turn 1.5
I know Mantic seems to count each player turn as a game on, but this is my format and I'm sticking to it. My reinforcements don't come in, so I move the Heavy Drakkar forward at normal speed and Halt everything else.

The Drakkar fires at the Grunt mob and manages to cause 3 damage with the Hailstorm but nothing with the other guns. I then fire the other Hailstorm in my army, that of the Ancestor, at the Grunts and cause 4 more damage. The Steel Warriors fire everything at the Stunts, and cause 3 damage with their basic guns (this 'everything is Piercing' things does a bit to make up for the fact that no-one in this game seems to know how to fire a gun properly). In the resulting Nerve Tests, the Stunts pass and the Grunts are Suppressed for the next turn.

Turn 2
Thanks to triple speed, the Jumpers charge my Heavy Drakkar. The Captain Stunts continues to move at double speed, and the Riflers and Stunts move at normal speed to get to a slightly better firing position.

In shooting, the two squads that can shoot fire at my SW (I can't help but think of Wolves, sorry) but cause a pitiful 1 damage between them, and I hold my Nerve again.

The first ever melee of the game goes badly, as no damage is caused.

Turn 2.5
The miracle of pre-measure means I can experiment with tactics, and in the end decide to reverse with the Drakkar (maybe the rules say I can't, but if the future doesn't know what reverse gear is then I'm worried) and move closer to the Steel Warriors, who Halt, with my Ancestor. No sign of the Valkyrs.

The Drakkar fires at the Jumpers and causes 3 damage with its guns. The Ancestor elects to attack the Grunts, causing 3 more damage. I choose to use the split fire mechanic with my Steelers (not those ones, I'm a Brit). The squad BFG fires at the Captain, but misses because the targeter clearly hasn't been invented yet. The normal Firepower of the squad goes into the Stunts again, causing 4 damage, but they hold firm due to the high Nerve of 20-man squads.

Turn 3
By this point 'Scape is understandably frustrated by how much damage I seem to be doing and how little he seems to respond with. So he does the sensible thing and charges my Steelers with his Captain and Stunts, who pass their Craven test they need to do if they try being proper Orxez. The Attackster shows up on his long edge (none of us using the quite nice outflank mechanic).

The turn goes straight to melee, and his Captain causes 4 damage. In a display proving why these Not-Grotz don't need no handler, the Stunts actually damage me in combat. Twice. The resulting Nerve Test obliterates my squad, who obviously don't fight back. It's the law here that resistance is useless.

Turn 3.5
Still no Valkyrs riding in for me. I try out the Overrun mechanic on the Jumpers with my Heavy Drakkar, which causes a disappointing one damage. This prevents me from shooting this turn too, which makes it even more disappointing. I charge the Captain with my Ancestor. The Jumpers pass their Nerve Test.

Because in this dimension Not-Dreadnoughts lose an attack for having a single gun, I only have two attacks against the Captain, and only damage him once, with him passing his Nerve check.

Turn 4
The Captain elects to re-charge my Ancestor, and the Jumpers join the one-sided fight, while the Stunts run for their lives into cover. Now they're behaving like proper Grotz!

The Attackster attempts to shoot my Drakkar, and misses. Not like we expected any less.

Combat doesn't go well due to poor rolls and the Ancestor's 10+ Defence, with no damage caused.

Turn 4.5
The Valkyrs come in at board centre, while I re-charge the Captain with my Ancestor and pivot the Drakkar.

The Heavy Drakkar suffers heavy accuracy penalites while shooting the far-away Stunts in cover, and causes 2 damage, which doesn't faze the squad, thanks in part to the Inspiring properties of the Captain.

My Ancestor damages the Captain once again, and he hold firm.

Turn 5
The Rifle Grunts move at the double through cover again, expecting the Valkyrs to be coming their way soon. The same units as last time charge the Ancestor.

The Attackster shoots the Drakkar. At first we thought it failed. Then, the next turn, we realised that equalling the Defence score means damage, and promptly put a marker on the tank. It ignored it anyway.

The Orx fail at combat again.

Turn 5.5
I move at triple speed with my Valkyrs, but I still can't quite charge anything. I move the Drakkar to get closer to the Stunts to improve my aim. Three guesses as to what the Ancestor does.

The two damage markers the Drakkar causes on the Stunts prove too much, and they are suppressed.

In melee the Ancestor's high power attacks finally kill the Captain.

Turn 6
The Jumpers again charge the Ancestor. End of.

The At gun still fails to damage the 11+ Defence Heavy Drakkar, but 3 damage is put on the Hel Valkyrs by the Rifle Grunts, but they hold.

Finally, the Jumpers' Ripper causes 2 damage to the Ancestor, but he holds firm. There is no more the Marauders can do to swing the game in their favour.

Turn the Last
And to add insult to injury, in my last turn I manage to wipe out the Stunts with my Drakkar and wipe out the Jumpers with my Iron Ancestor. The only units to survive are the Rifle Grunts I never touched, and the Attackster I did damage with the Hel Valkyr Heat Hammers, which it survived.



Clear Winner: Forgefathers...

This game has made things clear to me that I didn't consider before. I have now formulated my opinion proper on this game, something that will go on RM within a week or two, depending on Atrotos' post schedule. To close this dismal massacre, I asked 'Scape his views on Warpath. I received the following thought-provoking answer:

":O"

There you have it. Normal schedule will now resume, while I formulate a Clarksonic review of this game.

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