Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Second run of Horizon Wars

Gary and I played another game of Horizon Wars last night. Reduced the size a little, to 15 points, to make it more managable for an evening game. Also played the reconnaissance mission, which further reduced Gary's force, I think by 3 points, which equated to him taking off 1 heavy tank.

Tyson's Furies! Well most of them at least. Infantry hidden to the rear. Also the large and medium transports in the back were just there for show. To intimidate the enemy of course!
It was a good game, ran about 2 hours, still slowed down a little by my not being entirely familiar with the rules and especially aircraft and scenario rules. I should give them a closer look for next time!

Important lessons; aircraft can be very brittle. Any aircraft with any value needs at least 3 armour. Consider that criticals count twice on aircraft, at shooter's choosing, so assuming both are pinned to armour destroys a 2 armour aircraft.

As we played the recon mission, I was the defender, which -- importantly! -- meant I got to keep all my pieces. (I wanted to play with all my new toys!) And yes, getting the models out on the table matters much more than any thought of tactics or strategy!

Gary's home-made chemicals factory and adjacent toxic waste pond. We played it as dissolve upon entry! Really, Gary is doing some great work with home-made urban terrain -
The recon mission details that the attacker (the recon) is limited with how many units he can bring on at the start and for each turn of the game. As the defender I had a similar limit, but much less so. I did decide to mostly abide by the limited introduction of units, however, as I could place them in various selected spots of my choosing during the game -- having chosen the spots before the game and then announcing which spots they would come in as Gary brought his troops on. It seemed a much more appropriate and faster way to engage his troops, rather than start from my back table edge (which I did at the end of the last turn, but with triple move for aircraft who cares?!?!)

In the end, neither of us won. In theory I might have, as I might have been able to clean up Gary's force once I finally destroyed his hq, which I very luckily did with the very last throw of the dice for the game. 

But it's a maybe to that. In fact, in the spirit of the game, I think it would be much better to say Gary actually won. He would have if I didn't get a very lucky last roll for the game, and, even more importantly, if he didn't remind me of his victory condition to have all or most his starting units on the table once i had all my advance force on the table. 
Thanks Gary!

Other observations - the lucky dice cup was much more average this time than my first engagement. Pooh. Gary's defense die rolling, however, was very strong, canceling many of my would-be hits. This was critical as his HQ, a heavy tank, with spotting ability for his artillery, proved a tough - almost impossible - nut to crack.

The first of Gary's many strong defense rolls, his 11 knocking out my 11 and so canceling what I think was a long-d

I wanted to be sure to take his HQ tank out so my troops didn't keep getting blasted by artillery, but it took all game (approximately 4 turns I think) with all of my units firing on it, till the end of the game, to finally kill it. It's very arguable, maybe obvious, that I should have sacrificed getting hit by Gary's artillery to make sure I killed other units of his. Perhaps, but I'm not convinced that was the right move. Although, assuming Gary was reconnoitering for a superior reserve force, then my objective would have been to stay hidden and my tactics would have been faulty.

My landspeeder (light cav) shooting at Gary's tanks. A single 1 wasn't going to get it very far!

My attack aircraft make an appearance

Gary shoots down one of the attack aircraft in its first engagement! Brittle they prove!

No distinction between soft cover and hard cover for woods. Deploying my heavy tanks in the woods for a +3 cover bonus would have been, and was tough, on Gary for trying to hit them.

I'm still not clear on disembarking airborne troops. And, now that we've begun to use aircraft, mine were rotary, which means they can hover, but how does that effect movement and especially altitude changes? That's not addressed in the rules, which otherwise state for aircraft generally rules for 1 or 2 step altitude changes, assuming forward/turning movement etc. But if a rotary aircraft can hover, then it should also be able to change altitude more easily?

My airborne troops arrive to save the day! Literally! They fly in from my table edge, land in the crater, disembark their troops, who then spend their next action to scoot and shoot Gary's HQ tank. Both score hits from almost point blank, and the die roll shows the luck on the second! I needed a 5 to hit, with a single 5 (the kill) backed up by 2 1's! Talk about cutting it close!

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