I'm Baaaa-aack!

As promised, my gameplay results. It was pretty easy to set up since I got the neoprene mat and I used the terrain provided in the starter set. Basic, but enough to give you a feel for the game.

+ + +

My 1st game was just to learn the rules. 3 human Resistance versus 1 Terminator.

The Terminator killed one human and was about to make mincement of the second when sheer weight of fire saw the much-needed "8" on a d8 appear to finish it off!

+ + +

I immediately followed up with a 2nd game, a home-brewed mission. The Humans needed to recover some data from a crash site. The Terminators have been sent by Skynet to prevent them.

The Humans got the advantage and went first. And they got a "Fate" result from the d6 Fate die, used to determined how many activation a side can make each round. (it's usually 1 or 2, with Fate meaning zero activations). But the commander used the "No fate but what we make ourselves" rule to overcome that and made a run to come close to the objective. Later, the other Resistance fighters dodged from cover to cover. (Cover is super important as without cover, you have a maximum 50-50 chance to survive being shot at. It goes down with more powerful weapons.)

Meanwhile, the Terminators marched forward relentlessly. And... first blood to Skynet! The machines managed an extreme long range shot at the humans, aiming at the most dangerous one: the one with the AT rocket launcher and managed to kill him!

John Conner, back at Resistance HQ, immediately used a Temporal Displacement Device to send an agent back in time to prevent this from happening, as the data was that critical.

Skynet did the same, but the Resistance agent managed to dodge the Skynet agent and attempted to save the rocket launcher handler by throwing herself into the firing path. Alas, her sacrifice was in vain and did not prevent the death of the rocker launcher guy.

The Resistance attempted to get 2 machines for the price of one by firing a grenade launcher but the shot missed!

Things started looking up for the humans when a wave of fighters threw themselves into the fray, putting their bodies in front of the machine so their comrades could search for the critical data.

And a lucky hit from a plasma rifle took down a Terminator! (Humans make a d8 skill roll looking for a target number to hit, depending on the range. In this case the TN was 5. The machines are Mindless so no Save roll is made. They immediately take Damage and you need a Power 8 weapon to take down a machine. The plasma rifle has a d8 power die so has a 1 in 8 chance of making the kill. They got it! The machine failed to roll a 5 or 6 on a d6, ensuring it didn't come back as a Crawler).

More luck was to come.

The machines concentrated fire on the human who was searching for the data. She survived TWO withering plasma gun attacks at short range, managing to dodge among the wreckage and ruins while frantically searching.

The humans retaliated and got even luckier! If the plasma rifle fails to kill a machine, the machine takes a resolution roll on a d20. A roll of 6+ means nothing happened. A roll of 2-5 means the machine is temporarily incapacitated but will recover in 2 turns. While humans might cower in fear before recovering their resolve. A roll of 1 is an extremely lucky roll, meaning the machine is down and out for the rest of the battle, while a human would have lost their nerve and deserted, running off the battlefield. The machine rolled a "1". Ha!

The humans then concentrated fire on the Terminator commander, inspired by their commander's "Come with me if you want to live!" rule, giving them an extra activation over and above what the Fate die gave them. One attack totally missed. The second attack... took it down with a Resolution roll of "1". Again!

The machines took revenge by marching right up to the human commander, killing him with a crushing blow from its claw.

Undeterred, the Resistance fought back, taking down that same machine with ANOTHER Resolution roll of "1"! What are the odds?!

By that time, the plucky human fighter had found the data, and made a run for it.

The sole remaining Terminator took a shot at her at extreme long range... and missed!

The remaining fighters took it down with a fusillade of shots, but it was a grenade launcher that blew the machine's legs off...

...turning it into ... a Crawler! (It made a roll of 6 on a d6, using the "l'll Be Back" rule. But there was now no way it could catch up to the Resistance fighter carrying the data.

The humans took another important step forward in their mission to bring down the murderous tyranny of Skynet!

AAR: The game is fun with simple (but not simplistic) rules. Unique rules certainly give lots of scope to create cinematic narratives from the skirmishes. And Advanced Rules make the game at par with other skirmish games giving you aimed fire, suppressive fire, and other weapons, overwatch ambushes, reaction fire and other vehicles and drones. I do like the use of the Fate die, as it creates that uncertainty in activations that give you the "Fog of War" without clunky rules. (My favouritest method is still the dice draw method used by Beyond the Gates of Antares/Bolt Action/Star Breach). Using range rulers for movement and firing simplifies game play. But there are rules for using a tape measure for larger game boards and battles. The starter comes with a 2'x3' (almost) game map and about 500 points worth of troops. I played this game with about 250 points.

I got the starter set and neoprene game mat for a song when Warlord Games was dumping the game. I just wish I had the opportunity to get the other units before Warlord shut the game down totally. I also pity River Horse. It seems any game designer/publisher that doesn't offer historical games to Warlord will see their games die a cruel, lingering death (*koff* Gates of Antares *koff*), only to have them dumped at fire sale prices. (There's been nothing new out for Strontium dog and Judge Dredd now for months, while Warlord's historical lineup has seen new units coming out at a fast clip). 

Hopefully, I can either proxy the needed units or find some 3D models to print so I can continue the saga of the Human Resistance vs Skynet.

[EDIT: alas, it would seem I've been rolling to hit with the humans using a d8 when I should've been using a d6. Back to the table with this scenario! After I finish painting the minis. Should be pretty fast.)