Monday, March 4, 2013

Tomorrow's War AAR - He Should Have Seen This Coming

Table set up for Tomorrow's War
After visiting Regina just a couple of weeks ago I was very excited to host a return visit by Founding Conscript Curt C, the proprietor/editor of the Analogue Hobbies blog.  Curt is in town for business, but that doesn't mean we can shoe-horn some gaming in! 

Steel Legion Fire Team with officer, medi-bot and Schwarm Bot

Steel Legion Fire Teams
 Curt's group in Regina doesn't play too much sci-fi, so for the first game I set up a small game of Tomorrow's War. The scenario is small one, set in the 40k universe, during the time of the Horus Heresy, on a planet where a pair of Imperial Guard formations have squared off. I have been working to try and come up with a fun "starter" scenario that we can use to play at cons, demonstration games etc. that is a little more engaging than the downed pilot scenario in the Tomorrow's War rule book.

The prize - planetary Astropath, the interstellar iPhone of the 41st millennium

Kasrkin Fire Team and officer

Two more Kasrkin Fire Teams
In this scenario, called "He Should Have Seen This Coming", a convoy which had included an Astropath, a psychic used for interstellar communications in the 40k setting (and therefore very valuable), had been hit by an air strike.  The Astropath was still alive in the wreck of an APC, and one Imperial faction was sending heavy troops to extract him.  They would have eight turns to accomplish this.  The survivors of the armoured column, Steel Legion infantry, would try to block them, and worry about the Astropath later.

Kasrkin must cross the Wadi (top) and get to the wrecked APC at the intersection

Astropath ponders the odds
The table is 4' x 4', with a wrecked APC in the middle, the trusty adobe buildings from Miniature Building Authority and other bits scattered around.  The Steel Legion defenders had three five-man fire teams, each with a rocket launcher and a grenade launcher.  There was also a medical bot and a junior officer attached to one team.  I was short a rocket launcher, so I used the "Schwarmbot" of Gün Schwarm notoriety to fill in with one fire team.  The teams started in ambush, and were d8 quality.

Kasrkin prepare to move out

Steel Legion in ambush
The attacking force were Imperial Guard Kasrkin troops - three four-man fire teams, each with a plasma gun and a melta gun.  There was also a Lieutenant leading the group. The armour of the Kaskrin was rated as 2D, and I also allowed the melta-gun to eliminate 1D of cover from the enemy, so long as it did not move and fire.  The Kasrkin fire teams started a short distance on to the table, needing to cross the wadi and more to the APC.

Steel Legion troopers
Curt played the Kasrkin and I played the Steel Legion.  The Kasrkin side would start with initiative on the first turn, and we would roll for it afterwards.

Screw the ambush - open fire!
Curt maneuvered carefully, but still aggressively, using overwatch and relying on the strong armour of the Kasrkin to cross the wadi and establish themselves in the buildings overlooking the wrecked APC. I found waiting in ambush to be challenging, so I opened fire with two of my fire teams and maneuvered with my third to try and put better cover over the APC.

Couple of wounds on a Steel Legion Fire Team - great markers from Curt
At the top left a Kasrkin Fire Team has moved in to cover the target
Both sides traded fire for several turns.  My high point came with a successful reaction test which allowed me to knock out an entire Kasrkin fire team!  But Curt used the carnage to advance to the APC and collect the "cargo".  It would all come down to reaction rolls and cover fire to see if the Kasrkin could escape. Curt had one fire team on Overwatch across the Wadi and would rely on them to put out enough noise for his second team to fall back.

Effective covering fire by the Kasrkin...
The Steel Legion troops dealt some hurt too
As you can see from the pictures, the cover and reaction fire of the Kasrkin was pretty effective - I lost a whole fire team! We managed to inflict some hits and a serious wound on the team carrying the "cargo", but did not stop them in the end.  Curt had a victory just as the eight turn wrapped up. 

Kasrkin Fire Team makes contact with the target
It was a stiff price for the Kasrkin - four KIA, one seriously wounded (and the medevac did not come, despite two attempts to call for it) out of thirteen troops deployed.  But they dished out a lot of abuse too - five KIA and two seriously wounded out of sixteen Steel Legion troopers.

One casualty on the move back to the Wadi - but not enough to stop the Kasrkin
Tomorrow's War provides for very fun game with a small number of models.  It also allows for 40k gaming without 40k rules, which is really a treat. I like how the game feels more like a puzzle - how to maneuver with covering fire? If you are in ambush, do you wait, or give up and try to maneuver yourself into a better position? The effect of the casualties rules is also really neat - the men try to care for them, and are all affected when someone is seriously wounded etc. These scenarios are fun to build, and I hope to stage a little more developed version of this one for the regular group sometime soon.

Stay tuned for a couple more AARs from Curt's stay in Winnipeg.


Lead Legion said...

Nice report. A lot of the guys at my old gaming group have been keen to try 40K with Tomorrow' War rules, but so far as I know none of them have got round to it yet.

Grumpy said...

I enjoyed this AAR very much, and the eye candy was a treat too! Good post.

Mikko / DotL said...

Great AAR! The wound markers were awesome, consider the idea happily stolen.

Curt said...

The game was a lot of fun and I found Tomorrow's War/Force on Force really lends itself well to the 40K universe. It reminded me of another game we ran where the Marines were D10 troops with power armour and augmentations against stock Planetary Defence Force troops at D8/D6. As you can imagine it was complete carnage but it did a much better job of reflecting the 'fluff' of the Space Marines than any rendition of 40K. They were like gods of war compared to regular troops. I think it would be great to run a scenario where all the players are on the same side cooperating yet also competing to seize a common objective while the Referee(s) runs swarms of PDF/heretics/daemons.