Thursday, June 22, 2017

horizon wars first game experience

sadly it's almost a month later after playing, but finally i'm getting this post up with my report of the battle and the photos. the report is geared heavily toward my experience, but then I'M WRITING IT! and i was buy learning the rules, so not concentrating on how badly gary felt while i was pasting him... (hint to the serious good luck of the magic die cup!)

First turn 2 of 3 of my airborne units try scooting up my right flank

Gary shot down the first unit.

I think I then brought a p1 mechanical or perhaps a land speeder on.
Gary brought up infantry and mechs to support. To counter my air assault and go for the table objective, the high rise at the centre of the table.
2nd turn, finished my air assault. more of the same from Gary.
Worried a little about giving up the objective so easily. But let's see how the game plays is most important.
My transport aircraft have disembarked their troops and ​are on to making a pain in the arse out of themselves. Flaw in rules? (the rules suggest transport aircraft will be carefully used. mine were until they dropped off their passengers, and were then used very egregiously!)
I was worried about not having my mechs or my tanks on yet. Expensive and heavy firepower not being used. Not being used before it's too late? 
Gary had his stuff on the table. Or his artillery was off table but still effective.
A few turns into the game and my p1 mech and land speeder have arrived in the middle of the table and combined to kill Gary's hq!

Apparently infantry dies if you get a critical hit. This would be a big recurring theme during the game (at gary's expense!). I also managed to kill his recon unit on the right too.
Next turn, or 2 later, I i killed his infantry holding the objective. Another critical hit! The dice cup is starting to glow with magic!
My recon deep deploy on the opposite end of the table (left side) from my airborne infantry. Opposite what I expected (i had intended them to deploy with the airborne infantry for protection), but the airborne were taking stiff resistance and I wanted the recon to survive to call in heavy fire from my p3 mech. 
I had also talked up deploying the recon with the airborne for at least 1 turn, leaving me starting to feel like they should come on somewhere else gary might be less prepared for...

The recon deployed behind a hill in gary's rear, on the far side, to protect them from getting shot upon landing. that also meant they weren't in a good spot to perform their job function (spotting), at least without suffering heavy incoming for it. So they boogied over the hill into the nearest high rise.
My tanks and heavy mech were finally on the table. But too far away to be useful?
The heavy mech started first. Indirect fire directed by the recon unit. Miss. Direct fire. Also a miss. Should have been able to put a good hurt on Gary's artillery which he had brought on table for lack of clear targets (or my killing his spotting units? i don't remember...) 
The heavy mech didn't do much the next turn either. Disappointing. Think it was bad luck with the dice, despite having otherwise tremendous luck with the magic dice cup.
Tanks moved up next. Maybe effective, but not really used enough to know. 
End of game left Gary with little if any infantry, but 2 P2 mechs, all his artillery, and his p3 mech. 
I had 4 tanks, 2 p1 mechs, and my p3 mech. 

Judged in my favor. I should have been able to kill his artillery. With indirect fire from my mech, or direct fire from the mech or the tanks. His p2 mechs were a problem. But outnumbered by my tanks. And I had indirect fire from the p3 mech to call on if needed. Assuming it didn't take long to wipe out his artillery. His p3 mech presumably cancelled out mine. Although I still had the advantage of indirect fire on my p3 mech.

apologies for the pictures, they seem to lack oomph and maybe a bit distant. yes this is micro scale! but my cwc commander pictures seem to come out better. i will probably try using our pocket camera and tripod, but even then most of my cwc pictures are from the camera phone.

Thoughts about the game?

Lots of fun. It plays well, reasonably fast paced. took a while, we started playing i think 4:30ish, went till 9:00ish. only a couple of potty breaks. we used large forces - 20 points. but that gave a proper combined arms experience - tanks, infantry, mechs, and transport (gary had at least one ground transport instead of air transport). look forward to playing again.

rules observations and queries:
disembarking airborne troops wasn't entirely clear. can the aircraft land, disembark, and the troops move all in the same turn? we played it over 2 turns, i don't remember the exact order. think it was landing, then disembarking and moving the next turn.

the freedom of the transport aircraft to fly around and make a pain in the arse out of themselves had entertainment value, but did seem to violate the spirit of the rules which as mentioned suggest they should have left the table. this deserves further explanation; the aircraft were lightly armed, with only 1 attack die, which is what they were meant to represent (think a transport helo with a door gunner rather than an attack helo with some troop carrying ability like a hind...)
so there was a limit as to how effective they could really be. that said, they still got some good shots in (magic dice cup to the rescue!), and so presented gary with a pressing need to shoot them down. which meant distracting his fire from my other stronger units.

artillery is punchy. i didn't have any, but i did worry about what gary had, since i couldn't hit any of it while it was off table. that said, i still appeared to come out stronger in the end, albeit not decisively.

infantry is tough, but brittle. takes a lot of hits to kill them. or, 1 lucky critical hit where you can reduce their armor stat. fortunately for me, the lucky dice cup rolled quite a few critical hits!
that leaves a question as to whether infantry should occupy an objective, which is traditionally their job. not clear what else would be better, however, except from probably a mech. but mechs are expensive toys to squander on occupying objectives.

cover rules were strange. we played anything could take cover and benefit, which maybe is a little excessive? but then i remember the rules weren't quite so generous (we may have played a house rule? it was almost 1 month ago)

action tokens of some sort are strongly suggested. i bought these at £4.50 each, could easily have used more for our 40 point game (20 points each side). we also used smoke (painted cotton) for kills.

4Ground Marker Light/Lock On Token Set (Blue)MG-TAM-148B1£4.50£4.50
4Ground Marker Light/Lock On Token Set (Green)MG-TAM-148G1£4.50£4.50
a spreadsheet for your army is strongly suggested, as there is record keeping. the record keeping doesn't detract from game play if you set up a spread sheet. but i hadn't done mine quite right - the columns were justified left i think, whereas the headers weren't, which made it difficult (not really, less easy) to do the record keeping as it wasn't quite as easy to see what belonged where.

i messed up the aircraft design somehow, not figuring the allocation points right. don't think it made a big difference, but maybe, and git gives gary an excuse to argue otherwise!

freedom of army design: i haven't played any other scifi games. aside from 40k years ago. so the freedom of design is both very novel, and also works well i think. it does introduce record keeping, but i don't think this will be a significant drawback (and i abhor record keeping for tabletop games).
a few questions about the rules, however. 1, recon is limited to infantry. what about other sorts of recon units? my old epic troops (never used before this hw game!) include recon bikes and lightly armed land speeder type things, which i also would have intended for recon. but they don't seem to be allowed (infantry only). so instead i just made the speeders light cav, which played a decent role in the game (see above, including the pictures). but would have preferred them as recon.

i remember questioning what exactly mobile infantry was. something like regular infantry (at least as that's between light infantry and heavy infantry), which can mount up on transports (but distinct from airborne infantry, which tend to be airborne...)
to me, all that means is they lose the benefits of the other infantry classes, but i don't really see the offsetting advantage. i mean, all the other classes can mount up too (but can't drop from the sky like airborne, although this didn't stop me from loading my heavies onto air transport and landing them...)

i have significant amounts of airborne transports and attack aircraft, both vtol types (think avatar) and a more traditional fighter (something that might be star wars or battlestar galactica, but isn't).

look forward to getting them all out on the table again!

1 comment:

Precinct Omega said...

Great to hear about someone making use of transport aircraft for a change! Hardly anyone does, but it's a really interesting combination that can be super-effective in the right scenario.

Infantry are excellent at taking and holding buildings but, yes, they are vulnerable to critical hits. A popular solution is to use Command Resources to increase their A to 2, so they can weather at least one. Once they're in situ, M can become a dump stat and it can take a lot of firepower to kill them off unless your opponent gets really lucky. Still, using transport aircraft to harass the major threats to protect their deployed cargo is an excellent idea.

Mobile infantry is intended to cover infantry in light armoured vehicles, true cavalry, motorcycle infantry and light jump infantry types under a single header. I blogged about the various permutations and approaches to transported infantry back in 2016:

I'm assuming you actually have the cover rules from the FAQ? They were actually left out of the main rulebook (very annoying), so you may get confused if you're letting everyone use the Dig In rule instead. If you've not got it, it's here: