28 November 2011

Coastal Raid

And now for something else entirely.

I haven't played many games this past month, busy with preparations for the tournament and then, feeling a little tired of all things DW, turned to painting some Uncharted Seas ships and putting together components to try playing a game of Spanish Fury Sail!

Lacking any guide for running a DW tournament, I spent some time looking into how Warmachine events are organized, etc.  And it got me interested in actually trying out a game of what, at first glance, appears to be the skirmish land conflict equivalent of DW.  So, my Usual Opponent and I split the cost of a battle box, I dug out some figures I had painted last year but never put on the table, and we tried a quick game with 15 points on each side.

We used Khador figures as Protectorate proxies using Vladimir for Kreoss and a squad of Mechanics to represent Cinerators (I'm sure this is an action which would brand both of us heretics, but we didn't even have his figures assembled), and I loaned a Manhunter solo to my Usual Opponent to give him the single point he needed to form a 15-point force.  I explained that the Manhunter had gone rogue and was working as something of a mercenary; maybe he had been captured and brainwashed?

I put out some paper buildings from Dave Graffam, some excellent and affordable pieces, and we deployed on opposite corners and commenced the game.

We learned plenty while playing through this game.  First, we played with alternating activations, just like in a Spartan game, and only until the end did I realize that one player moves everything on a side and then the other player moves everything.  No wonder we couldn't find anything detailing initiative rolls for the start of each turn!  I started as player 1 so I ended up playing the first activation in each turn.  Second, it was clear the Khador troops are nothing like T-Elves.  Even if the mortar didn't fire, the best I could figure out how to move was a mere 4" per turn!  And we started five feet apart (on opposite corners rather than opposite sides), so my mortar didn't get into range of anything until turn 4, and then it stopped and fired a shell on turn 5, missing the rogue Manhunter and damaging my Warcaster in the blast.  Third, the light infantry died very fast.  The warjacks are something like battleships and dreadnoughts while the light Winter Guard infantry die faster than frigates in a Spartan game equivalent.

The above picture was taken at the end of turn 4; I had lost most of the infantry which had moved to the center of the street, incinerated from the fireball weapon my Usual Opponent's heavy warjack was toting around the corner of the large carriage house, and the manhunter took out 2 Winter Guard troopers himself, leaving a final confrontation with the sergeant.  My warcaster cowered behind a shed, still getting blasted by shrapnel from a mortar shell gone short in the next turn, and finally the squad of heavy Protectorate infantry, after taking a lot of damage, moved in for the final kill by end of turn 5.

We enjoyed wading through the condensed rulebook and throwing some dice around.  A welcome change was only rolling 2 or maybe 3 dice for any one attack rather than more than a dozen dice (along with rerolls for natural 6 results).  I love the model ships produced by Spartan, but I'm looking for some alternatives to the rules, and I'm still excited to try the Spanish Fury Sail rules with my collection of Human Imperial ships.