Tuesday, August 10, 2010

AstroPeg 2010 Day One: Game One - Over the Top

Overview: The entire theatre has bogged down into a brutal trench war. Forces face one another across a no-man's land that has been turned into a shell churned muck from weeks of shelling and rain. Thousands have died and the stench of the rotting bodies can be detected miles away. Tonight, in the rain and darkness, the stalemate ends. You go over the top and it's kill or be killed!

The game was against MichL and his Necrons:
- Destroyer Lord with Resurrection Orb
- Immortal Squad
- Warrior Squad
- Warrior Squad
- Warrior Squad
- Tomb Spider
- Tomb Spider
- Destroyer Squad
- Heavy Destroyer Squad

Objective: You score Victory Points equal to the value of each unit you have in your opponent's deployment zone at the end of the game. Scoring units are worth double their value.

A trench line was near each side's long board edge. Each side could deploy up to 14" onto the table from their board edge. Several special rules were in effect; some are outlined below.

Everything outside the trench lines was treated as difficult terrain. Night fighting was in effect for the entire game. Each side was allowed a star shell to negate the effects of darkness for a turn. Each side was allowed a preliminary bombardment of the opposing forces.

Mich won the initial roll and decided to set up first on the northern side of the table.

Mich set up his Warriors right across his deployment zone. From west to east, he also set up the Immortals, the Heavy Destroyers, the Lord, one Tomb Spider, the Destroyers and the remaining Tomb Spider.

Looking at the Necron long range firepower (even in the face of night fighting) and the preliminary bombardment, I declined to set up the Swordwind. I could not rely on the Eldar medium- and long-range shooting, because of the Night Fighting rules. My plan was to push up the western flank and get as much of the Eldar army into scoring position. I would sacrifice the Dragons to help reduce Necrons moving into the southern trench.

The preliminary bombardment did nothing.

The first few turns went fairly quickly, as Mich made a general advance across his entire front. The Swordwind received from reserves one Avenger squad, the 2 HQs, the Warp Spiders, the Vypers and the Night Spinner. The photo below shows the action starting to heat up, as the Immortals in the advanced trench sap receive a cloud of mono-filament wire from the Night Spinner.


The Immortals and western Tomb Spider nailed the Warp Spiders. This was OK, since they were then still in range of Eldar guns.

Next turn, the Farseer Fortuned the Autarch, who separated off to get within charge reach of the Heavy Destroyers. The other Avenger squad showed up and moved flat out north. The two Fire Dragon squads showed up in the middle of the southern table edge, dismounting for ground action.

Eldar firepower reduced the Immortals and the westernmost Warriors a bit. After all the stabbing was done, the Heavy Destroyers were gone and the Autarch consolidated into the sap:


The Destroyers moved east, away from the Eldar guns. The rest of the Necrons pushed on towards the southern trench line. The Necron Lord wiped out one squad of Dragons in close combat.

In response, the Farseer Doomed the Immortals. The Wave Serpents all pushed north. The western Tomb Spider was dropped by Scatter Laser and Shuriken Cannon fire and the Immortals were wiped out by the Autarch in close combat. Below, Mich oversees the aftermath of the carnage.


By the end of the next Necron move, all the Warrior squads and the Lord were within the southern trench line. Mich set off his star shell, but the Eldar weathered the Necron shooting. The Lord turned his attention to the last Dragon Squad, who had been firing at the western Warriors. The Lord whiffed his close combat rolls, leaving the Dragons alive.


The Autarch had been pushing south, gunning for the reduced Warrior squad. The Farseer Doomed the Warriors, before moving north. The Autarch slew the last of the Warrior squad, and the Lord only killed one of the Dragons, whose morale held. As the game ended under the random game length rules, the rest of the surviving Eldar were in the northern deployment zone, and the bulk of the surviving Necrons were in the southern zone.


The large Warrior squads were worth a LOT of VPs once you factored in the doubling of their score. After losing one Warrior squad in its entirety, Mich was convinced that he had lost the game. In actuality, the sides were within 150 Victory points of each other. The Autarch's solo charge was just enough to snatch away the Necron's potential win.

Result: Draw

This was a very fast and fun game. At the end, neither Mich nor I had any real idea who had won, not until we had totaled up VPs. The game MVP award goes to the Autarch, who slew a mountain of Necrons with her Laser Lance. Special mention must go to the surviving Dragons, who held on in the face of a superior foe.

With the Swiss pairings, a draw placed me well for the second round, since I wouldn't be facing the Round One winners.

Please click here for Game Two - Convoy Raid.

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