Horizon Wars Zero Dark Operation Gemini 1

It’s been too long (6 months) but I finally got a game in! The first mission of Operation Gemini: Data Grab

I went in with a Sapper and a Sentry Gun ('Doc'. Don't ask), an EWOp/hacker ('Ghost'), a shooty killer with Gun-fu ('Dead-eye', what else?) and a sneak/stealth guy ('Snake'). The mission was get in, grab some data, and get out. Simple, no?

I also only took 4/8/4 upgrades instead of the recommended 4/16/4 figuring I’d upgrade as the missions go by, 1 upgrade each team member per mission. 

Facing them was the Bogey Red Force:

The team deployed in a corner. The objective was right in the middle of a 4'x4' table.

At first all went well and I was able to easily take out the bogeys (even elites) with Dead-eye. (Forgot to +1 for each subsequent attack after the initial attack).

The Boss gave some problems, though. I kept getting 3 hits which wasn't enough to kill him or even put him down as he had support tokens and he kept getting support tokens every card draw! (Turns out you can do it in 2 subsequent shooting attacks... something only Dead-eye with Gun-fu can do.)

I managed to grab the objective pretty easily... but ran into problems when I tried to game the system by leaving an Elite alive so as not to trigger bad stuff. Big mistake. The elite took Snake (who had the objective) Out Of Action. I wasted precious turns dragging him along until I was able to heal him. 

So 'Doc' did the honours by deploying her sentry gun and taking out the elite. Then because there were no more bogeys on the table, complications came in. 

The worst one was: a Mech got deployed!!! You "only" need 4 hits to put it down... but it's got armour of 4! 

The heroes spent ages dodging the Mech, and trying to get out of the way, like a dodgy cat and mouse game. 

Finally managed to exit with all 4 troopers. Phew!

And a good thing too, as I only had 4 cards left in the Command Deck that acted as a timer... and look at what I would've drawn next if I hadn't ended the game. Those 2 jokers would've caused me to roll on the Complication table again. Rolling a 3 would've re-set the objective and I'd've lost the game!

NOTE: this was also my first game with the full rules set. Hence some of the mistakes down below.

Mistakes: forgot to add visibility penalty to bogey attacks, and the visors don't work on synthetics (robots). 

Stroke of good luck: exfil point was also near the entry point so the team didn’t have to run all the way across. 

Stroke of bad luck: the Mech deployed practically on top of the team!

Duh! Moment: when I realised (after the game) I forgot to roll my save dice when being shot at! 

Lesson drummed in: try to cancel primary action on bogey card draws as much as possible. Extra bad things happen just at the wrong time when you don’t!

'Hmmmmm' moment: when I found out the EWOp seems very... situational. She can do so many cool things, but there's always the pressure of time and the action economy weighing you down. Do I do "this" with her... but at the expense of my other guy doing "that" to get the objective? I'm just keeping her on in case I run into an enemy EWOp.

Verdict: even though it took me 3 hours to play (thanks to that Mech) it was still an awesome game! Super enjoyable and as the first mission in an operation, has added layers of meaning and consequences for each decision made. For example, I didn’t want to leave anyone behind because the result would be I’d either have to run a Rescue Mission with only 3 team members in their current wounded state state or take in a new member with reduced upgrades. 

Things I like: 

  • It's very Infinity-like in that you can activate one trooper continuously. (But not a good idea in practice, unlike Infinity).
  • No "turns", just continuous action all the way. Now I find you can even put one of your guys on Overwatch and be interrupted by your OWN team member so you can pop up, shoot a bogey dead to clear the way for your guy to move unobstructed!
  • Playing with the new alternate rules for the bogeys' second action certainly changes things up as they are no longer predictable. Now, every bogey activation is a tense affair (unless they're far away).
  • (EDIT) Author is responsive to questions in the FB group 😉

Things I was 'meh' about:

  • It's so easy to be tempted to "game" the rules by NOT killing off the last grunt/elite. you can even justify it like in the movies where the heroes DON'T kill off the guards so they don't raise the alarm.
  • Rulebook... it's more or less all there, but the rules are so all over the place. Probably needs some tightening up and a few more explanations. (e.g. can I shoot while Prone? What happens when no more bogeys on table and a 1 is rolled on the complication table? Roll again? Can shoot a down bogey dead instead of spending a bonus action? Turns out the answer is Yes, Ignore, No.)

Things I didn't like:

Can't think of anything!


Post a Comment