Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Battle Report - FUBAR - The Orks Make Another Escape

The "deal" goes down on 24601.
Last week Dallas hosted a game of FUBAR, 6mm sci-fi skirmish.  The game provided an opportunity for Dallas to premiere his excellent new 6mm detachment that he received for Christmas.  The game would pit Dallas's corporate mercenaries against the nefarious Ork mercenaries who had been a plague upon Mining Colony 24601.  Here are some pictures and a short recounting of the game.
Ork mercenaries pre-game

The Ork mercenary commander

Dallas' awesome troops - infantry from Brigade, and tanks from GZG
Dallas and Brian took command of the Corporate Mercs, while Dave V rolled with the Orks.  The Orks had to hold the mercenaries back while they loaded their stolen components onto the transport craft (working on behalf of parties unknown).  The Mercenaries had hard-hitting power armour troops and sleek grav tanks.  The Orks had some clunky tanks and gun trucks and less-armoured troops, but also sported a pair of anti-tank guns.  They also had the mercenary commander and his mega-armoured bodyguards - very vicious customers.

Ork skirmish line at the start of the game

The corporate power armour enters the table...slowly....
The table was about 4' x 4', with an unmarked but suspiciously well-equipped landing strip at the back corner of the table.  This was the target for the Corporate Mercenaries - if they could spend a whole turn beside the transport and then escape from one of two pre-designated table edges, they will have managed to - ahem - "transfer" the goods in question to new management.

Corporate tanks advance.

Now that's a flank shot! Dave's near-suicidal tactics pay handsome dividends.
Dallas and Brian tried to use the armour to go up the flank, while the infantry punched straight up the middle.  This simple-sounding plan did not pan out very well, as they suffered from awful dice-rolling, particularly on command rolls.  Time was of the essence for them, and the troops struggled to move at all while the Scottish Number held sway. As a result, the armoured thrust moved ahead of the power-armoured troops, and became vulnerable.

Armour without infantry support - it ends in tears for the Corporate guys...

The Ork mercenary commander and his bodyguard literally tear the corporate tanks apart
Dave rolled quite Vegas for his part, and got major mileage out of his outmatched-on-paper tanks.  The Ork tankers made very aggressive, high-risk dashes for the flanks of the merc hover tanks, and managed to sell themselves dearly.  The Ork AT guns also held out very well, knocking out some mercenary tanks before the power armoured infantry overwhelmed them with missiles and assault rifles.

The key decision point in the game came when the un-supported merc armour got within reach (literally) of the Ork mercenary commander and his body guards, who used their power claws etc to rip the tanks apart.  I'm sure the power armoured infantry might have had something to say about this, but all those "1"s for activation rolls were hurting...

Dallas and Brian gave it their best to make up for this loss- the merc power-armoured infantry mowed down a number of the Ork grunts, but they could not get enough command rolls to move forward to the objective.

Heavy fire from the Ork infantry slows the corporate troops down, but does little harm in the end.

The transport prepares to take off - the transaction is complete...
Final result - win for the Orks.  The mysterious components stolen from Binary Petroleum have now moved elsewhere. What will this mean for the humble Colony 24601? Only time will tell...

Final shot of the game - the corporate troops are sweeping toward the target, but it is too late.
We have played several FUBAR games now.  Overall, I think it gets high marks for being simple and fun, but it does suffer in one respect - the whole "roll to activate" approach.  I think this is a great mechanic from an abstract game design perspective, but it sucks as a player.  In the end, bad luck with the dice is bad luck with the dice, whether it is a roll to hit, or a roll to "activate", but in the mind of the player, I would rather have a "chance to shoot" and miss rather than have no chance to shoot at all.  

As it stands, units that fail to activate get to go on a kind of Overwatch, but it's still not that fun to go through, and when you are putting on a game, having fun is the key! I am going to fiddle with the rules a bit to try and ensure some basic options (i.e. a move, or shoot at -1, or something) are always available, even on a failed activation.

Stay tuned for further FUBAR adventures...


Michael said...

My power armour troops suck at activating too.
Glad I only have one squad of them.

Dallas said...

Great report, Greg!

I've been thinking of tweaks to the activation system, keeping the fog of war thing going but minimizing the unrealism of elite troops standing around picking their a$$e$ while the battle goes on around them.

Considering something akin to DBA "command pips", perhaps having a random number of "free" activations based on commander quality. D3 for a crummy boss, D4-D6 for a good one, perhaps even D8 for a superstar. At the start of your turn you'd elect whether to use unit-by-unit activation as normal or have the boss get on the comm-net and give direct orders - in which case you can't try to activate unit-by-unit and are committed to the result of the die roll.

Lasgunpacker said...

You could also use the Warmaster command system, whereby a commander makes several orders on increasingly difficult command checks.

The drawback of that system is that it allows for a single unit to shoot across the battlefield, which may not be an issue when you have to maintain a battleline of melee fighters, but it could be when you can have a super heavy tank or something.

Craig said...

Pips and Warmaster activation are both excellent ideas. if any of you try them let us at FUBAR 'HQ' know how it goes.