After quite some time we finally got a game in. Since it has been a while the game was anticipated and it basically gave everything I love with DZC. Balance, exciting movements, second guessing of how the opponent should act and very exciting game where you don’t loose the feeling that something can go wrong or that you have missed something.
But I thought to discuss Recon a bit more. We used the latest version in the Phase 2 book. And I do miss the objectives.
The simple explanation of what Recon is can be summarized with that each player have an intel in each building. Occupier can search a building with infantry and you roll a die and can find bombs to points to focal points. It becomes a game of jumping between buildings in a smart way.
The first version we used only had one Intel in each building. That is because we are stupid and don’t understand the blunt and sub-par instrument that is the English language. It also meant that when the stupid clarification came that Shaltari can gate into buildings from stupid ranges this missions became mute. We quickly accepted the two Intels in each building as a better mission (though rumor has it that a whiny Swedish blogger moaned about it for some time).
Now the initial version had a list where a roll of a 1 is a bomb, 2-5 a point and 6 a objective. It was considered by some as a very random mission. I have shown a couple of times that that wasn’t the case as rolls of 1 tend to balance out and rolls of 6 meant you had to handle the objectives. Also, after following a couple of tournaments where the vast majority of games was won by the player that searched the most. And show that for instance missions like Targets of opportunities have much more randomness as it is vastly less important die rolls. But people still didn’t like it.
It later became a roll of 1: bomb and a point, 2-5: a point and a 6 a objective. And this was tested at invasion. But the older version meant that a roll of 2-5 was the best result. Now you got also a point on a roll of one. And the rolls of six (finding an objective) meant you had more difficulties in the game. So stuff like Berserkers got actually better to search with than normal infantry as they didn’t find any objectives. Instead you always knew you got a point. The mission still had a group that complained it was all about luck. Even though it statistically was not.
Then came in the focal point-era. This is the time where everything had to be focal points. Invasion was all about holding focal points and it dominated the games. So instead of a 6 and finding an objective we got a focal point and a point. This is the way it is today. I feel this type of mission is ok but not optimal. The best thing is that you get a point no matter what you find. The worst is that we have had several games where a single search means 3 points with only luck in the last turn. One point for searching and 2 points for holding the focal point. Since smart people tend to do these searches as the last activation in turn 6 there is little chance to counter it. It was much more random than the earlier version but since it was focal points and thus more like 40k people loved it. While I do agree this version is a very game-friendly version I have a opinion of the best version:
The Swedish version
The Swedish Recon however have the following chart (note that Swedish Recon could also be called “Egge’s Recon” as there isn’t actually anyone else here that use this mission like this except in the tournaments I hold):
1: Bomb, does automatically D2 damage on the infantry searching – no passive save or anything (not even DF). And a point.
6. Point and objective.
The main part is that you get an objective instead of a focal point. Which means there is still a part chance here. You can still get a objective in the last turn and get it off the table. But then you need to have a transport that survived, not be in CQB and pretty close to your own table edge. In Recon you tend not to be so close to your own table edge at the end of the game. An argument is that you can find the obejctive in turn 5 and get it off in turn 6 but that leaves you open for double tap and fast movers. A risky move if the opponent have played their cards right.
But the main thing is that I like Objectives more than Focal points. For me Objectives is what pushed me into DZC. Focal points is a sacrifice and one of the reasons I left 40k. Last turn point grabbing just isn’t as fun. Also, the objectives gives you a hard choice; do you take it off table for extra points early on? Say you find a objective turn 2 and takes it off table. Your other units thus move to other buildings. In turn 3 you succeed with the 4+ roll for your reserve roll and the unit off table is back in the game. But now your other units most likely start in buildings near your table edge meaning you will not get your reserve-unit into a building this turn. Also you missed a search roll this turn.
Finding an objective turn 2 means most likely you loose a search roll turn 3. Turn 4 you enter a building so another point lost for a new search turn 5. Now you can with smart movement prepare so the reserve unit that enters turn 3 can get into a building turn 3. But it becomes extremely much harder as the game progress. Finding 2 objectives is actually most likely not worth to take off directly. But then you need to start risking stuff. It is way to easy to focus on getting your own points instead of stopping your opponent from searching. It makes for a interesting choice and I have seen many players just getting objectives off and then realize that they doesn’t automatically roll a 4+ for their reserve roll next turn and also they do not have the same amount of infantry in the game to fight off the opponent’s infantry.
So I like the objectives more. They feel much more like DZC.
For the Bombs. We had this rule to make sure people didn’t like the bombs and that the basic infantry are better to search with and exotics with only 3 models on a base really get hurt. It also means that units with -1 on the roll tend to blow themselves up a bit more which is find and more fitting. For say Destroyers it means we go from 0,19 damage points to 1,5 when finding a bomb (ish). For normal Warriors you go from 1,55 to 1,5.
Recon for me is a good clean mission. It could also be combined with other missions (put a critical location in the center of table as well) for variation. As well as have a few bunkers here and there for extra variation (5 bunkers in this mission really adds to it). By using this mission in a tournament you can get close to using pure missions:
- Targets of opoortunity or Military complex
- Focal points/Bunker assault
- Ground control/Dominion
- Swedish search 3.0 or the mission with 3 critical locations in buildings.
It do feel good to blog again though I still feel that time doesn’t permit to go through the language as much I would like. I hope you can survive.