So we tested one of the missions in the new rulebook. Three objectives along the centerline. One critical location 12″ in from each player’s table edge in the middle that awards points each turn and if it is the commanders holding it then you search at -1 in the buildings.
The forces were
Thunderstorm Lvl 4
Gun wagons in Kraken
Gun wagons in Kraken
Fighters, Veterans and Sappers in APC in a Lifthawk
2 Bases of Freeriders
The new Lifthawk “light dropship” with 4 bases of Berserkers.
Mehmeds in Lifthawk
2 of the new version of the Cyclones; Typhoons.
The Scourge list consisted of
Overseer Lvl 5
6 Hunters and 3 Reapers sharing a transport with super gun.
Warriors in light dropship
Warriors in light dropship
4 Monitors in transport
4 Prowlers in transport
Destroyers in light dropship
Reapers in dropship
So I’m not going to give a full battlereport. Just some mentions of what happened.
The Overseer (which currently looks like a Desolator) held the critical objectives. I think that Resistance should consider the Zhukovs a bit more now as long range AA can take down pesky aircrafts at enemy critical locations.
The Scourge were first into the buildings. I think this is key to the mission. It forced the resistance player to shoot buildings and it really hurt as after the building was without infantry the Scourge player just sank the buildings. Scourge came out with one objective. and in the last turns used the Prowlers to hold it’s own critical objective and have the Overseer move up 12″ at the end of turn 5 and 6 so it could hold enemy critical location at the end of turn 6. Just one turn where the enemy doesn’t get points for the critical objective is important.
The Thunderstorm parked at the critical objective on the resistance side. It was kind of boring. It feels strange to have something so big for a critical location. Because it was hard to contest just by positioning the models. It was awkward.
The Mehmeds didn’t do that well, the barrel bomber missed so the demolish from the Resistance was low. In the end the Scourge didn’t get any objectives off the two buildings the Resistance player aimed to demolish. But the rule that the commander makes it easier to find objectives worked nicely. The Scourge player found 2 objectives on 5 searches. One was destroyed as the building collapsed but the other one got off well. Although after some nasty maneuvers and plans within plans.
The extra range for the Hunters that the Overseer provides means that Scourge now can attack those pesky Krakens from afar in turn 2. It is an important difference and means that some players will be pushed back even more. The sad part is that the Overseer is clearly one of the better choices for the Scourge as HQ.
The new Feral “light-dropship Lifthawk” did it’s thing but it made little difference in this game. The problem being that it is so large but still it is very easy to place the template so no enemy is within 3″. I kind of hope Hawk sometime change it so that you can not land nor disembark units within 3″ of an enemy from flying transport’s landing zone template. It would mean hot LZ is so much more important.
For the critical locations it was a very standard draw until the last turn. I have had some concerns that it would mean large deviations in points but it wasn’t really that large difference as it was easy to keep it until the last turns. I would perhaps have the Scouts being the units that should hold the critical locations but that is very easy to have a variant of the mission. As long as it is clear beforehand people can prepare.
The game ended 7-4 for the Scourge with almost 900kp against the Resistance 650 so it was one extra point for that for a tournament result of 16-4.
Thoughts and conclusion
The new missions will absolutely mix it all up. I love that critical locations is just not a point producer but also something that add flavor to the game. The mission played is what I would call “killy” but it might be different after a few more playtests.
For the downside; first I think that the Shaltari will just be insane. Entering buildings in turn 1. Having long range guns. And infantry that can go from one side to the other even after loosing almost all transports. I think people will need some special rules to stop the turn 1 entering buildings without the secret entrance card. It is a really large advantage. I also thought that large vehicles need tweaks to work well with critical locations.
It feels much more like a new game that really spice it up. It was really fun and interesting. I suggest to test it and let me know. As we test the new missions I will post more.