Belated update

Antares: Recover At All Costs!

On the planet Xilos ... the Algoryn are engaged in combat with a Ghar force. Battle transmissions indicate that this Ghar force is carrying some discovery of great importance.

Post-battle analysis of the transmissions indicate that the Ghar have found information leading to a cache of Builder artefacts!

The Algoryn sent a strike platoon to retrieve the data, probably from the wreckage of a Ghar battle suit.

Unknown to both sides, a ship of Freeborn Adventurers circling Xilos has intercepted and decoded the Algoryn transmissions. 

Obtaining a Builder artefact is extremely rare and potentially world-shaking and so the Freeborn forces land a strike team that will attempt to retrieve the data. 

The side that goes base to base with the downed Ghar battle suit will obtain the data. They have to physically carry the data cache off the field so the respective sides can extract and decode the data... not something that can be easily done on the battlefield. 

+ + +

The Freeborn forces enter from one corner of the table...

... while the Algoryn enter from the opposite corner. 

Both sides make their way to the objective in the center, trading shots and pinning down units. The Freeborn start the ball rolling by landing 4 pins on an AI squad right on the first turn via an advance & fire order.

Then the squads trade shots at each other, not doing much damage (except to one Feral squad that still gamely remains on the field despite taking 50% casualties) but definitely putting down the pins. 2 Algoryn AI squads are so badly pinned all they can do for two turns is rally to remove the pins.

Several squads have firefights over the objective but the Algoryn come out top on turn 3 and reach the objective first!

That galvanises the space hippies Freeborn forces who assault the Algoryn AI squad! It’s a normally foolhardy move but the Freeborn do outnumber the Algoryn 6 to 5, so who knows?

The Freeborn are victorious! They win the shooting round then defeat the Algoryn in hand to hand combat. Having taken more than 50% casualties, the Algoryn squad fails its leadership check (pass on 4 or less) and falls apart!

The Freeborn attempt to carry the data cache off the field but the Algoryn pour withering fire at the units carrying the objective. The freeborn all either go down one after the other or are so badly pinned they need to rally to remove the pins. 

Through it all, the determined Freeborn crawl forward under the weight of fire from all remaining Algoryn units while doing their best to pin down the Algoryn forces.

The Freeborn X-launcher does sterling work, landing pins on everything it fires at … in the beginning. Then the toll of battle begins to tell on them and they miss some crucial shots. The Mag-light support… laid in wait in ambush but was never able to trigger because of limited LOS. It finally was able to fire but didn’t do much damage.

In the end the Freeborn manage to drag the objective back to their extraction zone, winning the scenario! (If the side carrying the objective is within 2 Run lengths - 20” - of the extraction zone at the end of turn 6, they win.)

RESULT : the Freeborn decode the data and now know the location of the Builder artefact. Armed with the data, the Freeborn will receive a bonus, that is when they go looking for the artefact, they will receive a one time +1 bonus to their Initiative stat when they make a discovery roll. (So if they would normally succeed on a roll of 7 or less, they will now succeed on a roll of 8 or less) 

AAR: it’s been more than a year since I last played the game and I forgot how good it is and how much fun it is to play. Lots of tactical decisions to make on the spur of the moment as the dice pull activation ensures that your plans can be upset at any moment and you have to improvise on the fly. 

While the game can be bloody, victory doesn’t normally come from killing off the other side, but rewards narrative objective play and short mini campaigns. 

(NOTE: I replayed the scenario subbing the Mag-light support for another X-launcher and the forces came on the table directly opposite each other. It all came down to the draw of the dice on turn 2 to see who would reach the objective first. It was actually the Freeborn Ferals. Then the Algoryn AI squad assaulted and wiped out that Feral squad. After that, the Freeborn made the error of trying to assault the unit carrying the data cache instead of first softening it up with pins. Big mistake. Both Feral squads fell apart trying to assault Algoryn AI squads, and the Freeborn did not have anyone in range to prevent the Algoryn from moving off the filed despite landing a lot of Grip special ammo shots).