Back Again

Here's the replay batrep.

As it turns out my homebrewed scenario wasn't as homebrewed as I thought. It was scenario 6 of the 6 battle scenarios in the main rulebook. "Retrieval", where you have to get the top secret plans for a new machine prototype stashed in the head of a Terminator.

This time, I took the time to calculate the points and as it turns out I had made a few mistakes in my previous game. The Human Resistance took a captain with command 2, and 10 troops and a TDD agent. Total 11 troops as opposed to the 7 I used the other day. The Terminators were about right, with 5 of the machines, but they didn't rate a commander at 250 points. But they did get to take 2 TDD agents instead.

I set up the table, this time with some better 3D terrain, and went at it.

The game proceeded pretty much as yesterday's. With the exception that the machines were a bit more accurate this time round and still took first blood.

The highlight was when the Resistance rocket launcher guy took a shot at a Terminator... and missed! It was a crucial point in the battle, so John Conner sent an agent back in time to ensure the guy got advanced training in special weaponry. 

Skynet did the same, but the Resistance agent dodged the machine infiltrator, and ensured the trooper got the extra training he needed to give him the edge in this battle where he took a shot... and blew the Terminator up! (In game terms, he didn't move, and Aimed, thus upping his skill roll to a d8 from a d6).

The grenade launcher guy also did sterling work later, managing to make a Terminator reel, and blowing up a second one (with a 10 on a d10!) Skynet could not afford to have the precious data fall into the hands of the filthy humans so it sent another agent back in time, this time to give the Resistance grenade launcher guy bad experiences with machines so he would freeze and fumble the shot at a critical time.

Alas for Skynet. The human was made of stern stuff and steeled himself to overcome his fears and rolled another 10!

By this time, even though the machines had shot down all Resistance fighters headed for the data, one eventually made it through and got hold of the precious robot head. 

A Terminator took a shot at her from short range. She was out in the open. No cover... and STILL managed to dodge the shot and come out unscathed! (The Terminator needed 4+ to hit and flubbed both rolls). EDIT: Looking at the photo again... I realised the Resistance fighter HAD cover!!! (Which just emphasises the awesomeness of the occasion).

The Humans poured a flurry of fire into the machine and sent it reeling, its internal circuitry gone amuck. Then another fighter moved close up and "Hasta La Vista, Baby'd" it to oblivion. (A special rule where you can move up close into CC range, use any weapon that would hit on 2+ and use d20's to determine damage. Hasta la vista baby, indeed!)

With just one Terminator left, there wasn't much Skynet could do. And indeed the Resistance Captain made an end to the final machine, turning it into a pitiful crawling stump.

Scenario victor: Resistance!

Now, to be fair, I tried to play the Terminators like a relentless machine, walking and firing relentlessly at everyone they came across. No running. They lost all times.

Next game, I need to let them run and get up close and personal with the humans and see what happens. Or is it not thematic to have them run like that? From the movies, they seem to be relentlessly advancing and firing at every target they see while the Resistance humans dodge from cover to cover and fire back when they can.

AAR: The game's rules are pretty fun and solid. No tricky stuff to memorise and no need to make mental contortions calculating "to hit" and "to save" bonuses. You got a bonus? Up your dice type. The target number dosn't change. Movement is simplified with the movement and range rulers, although I'm sure some tabletop purists will decry the "dumbing down" of the game into a boardgame-like experience.

Lesson learned: Humans have a chance, and "quantity has a quality all of its own". Sheer rate/weight of fire is telling.

250-300 points feels just nice on the smallish, not-quite 2'x3' game mat. Enough room to move and shoot, place some terrain and off you go! If I were to play at 500+ points, I think I'd go with either a 3'x3' or 4'x4' and some special forces, tanks, up-gunned "technicals" and the like on both sides.