Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dust Tactics Game Night!! 03-18-2012

This week we met up and played at Red Castle Games. This was a fantastic venue with at least 5 tables big enough for a 4x6 map and troughs on the edge to place your units and dice. Lots of parking and an awesome staff who were very accommodating to our group! We even managed to entice a WH40K player to play a demo with a small army. Thanks for your interest Tony and we look forward to your addition to our group!

In addition the father and son combo from our Guardian Games event two weeks ago, Stuart and Austin, surprised us with their attendance. Not only did they enjoy their experience from that demo, they went back to Guardian Games and bought a Revised Core Set, Hero Pack (both), Medium and Heavy Walkers, and much more!

We had a bigger group than anticipated, so there is not a whole lot to the battle reports, but we took many pictures and I'll definitely run down some of the highlights. So, after discussing some options for the league we are organizing, I played a 130 Point army demo battle with Austin to help clarify some game play and rule questions. Major Headcase also played a demo with our new friend Tony using the same army and map after we finished our game.

The Allied Army I took into battle was:
The Priest + BBQ Squad
Bazooka Joe + BBQ Squad

The Axis Army Austin took into battles was:
Recon Grenadiers
Heavy Laser Grenadiers
Sigrid Von Thaler + Laser Grenadiers

There are no pictures of the game I played with Austin, but it was a good battle with a victory for the Allies. The Wildfire was able to position itself away from the Ludwig and did some damage to Sigrid and her squad, as well as the Heavy Laser Grenadiers. It was eventually eliminated by the Heavy Laser's, but not before it did it's fair share of damage. Joe and the BBQ Rangers also did well as they were able to bypass the Recon Grenadiers and get in close to the Ludwig for the kill. Sigrid and her squad did their fair share of damage to The Priest and his squad, but the Crackshots were able to help eliminate a wounded Sigrid, as well as clean up the rest of the Laser Grenadiers. I don't recall how the Recon Grenadiers bit the Dust, but it may have involved lots of fire and shotguns...

Below are the pictures Headcase and Tony played using the same armies. The Wildfire scored an early kill on the Heavy Laser Grenadiers. The Ludwig was placed in prime firing position on The Priest and his squad, but they were able to escape LOS before any losses were sustained. Sigrid and her squad also did some serious damage to Joe and his squad, but ultimately Joe and a couple BBQ Rangers were able to pull through the battle. The Priest and his squad were able to take out the Ludwig, after sustaining a few losses. It came down to a few of the Recon Grenadiers vs. the Crackshots, Wildfire, and The Priest and Joe, who only had a surviving BBQ Ranger or two each. The Recon Grenadiers did a fine job going out in a blaze of glory by of finishing off the Priest and his BBQ Rangers with their STG 47's, eliminating the Crackshots with Close Combat, and scoring 2 hits on the Wildfire!

Joe and his BBQ Rangers deal some damage to Sigrid and her Laser Grenadiers

End of Game Picture

During Headcase and Tony's demo, Jiltedtoo and Stuart played a game out of the Victory Bridge scenario book. Jiltedtoo, our Axis regular, opted to play the Allies, while Stuart played the Axis. I tried my best to check in on this game, but didn't get too much information. I know that Jilted make the comment that the Blackhawk would be one hell of a light walker if it had a range of 3, which I have to agree with. Ultimately the Axis prevailed as the Allies took a chance that pretty much sealed their doom as a Hero and the Hell Boys made a valiant effort in an attack, and out of about 20 dice, only rolled a single hit.

The next game was a "play-test" of sorts for Jiltedtoo's campaign idea. It was a 4x6 map and is the beginning of an Allied attack on an Axis city. The Axis player comes into the map from the bottom 3 tiles on the left had side (from the Axis players perspective), and can place anywhere in those 3 tiles. The Allies enter the field along the entire 4 tile edge on the opposite side of the map. There is 1 structure in between the city line and the Allied entry zone. The Allied player is to have at least 1 unit in the Axis deployment zone by the end of turn 10 to gain the victory. 

It is the first portion of an 8 player campaign idea (4 Allied vs 4 Axis) where the Allies must invade an Axis city to save a squad of Red Devils who have obtained very valuable information. The Allies attack from all sides, so there would be 4 different battles at the beginning, then *hopefully* two battles in the second portion of the campaign, then 1 final battle with all 8 players, provided all the Allied players were able to achieve all their objectives in all their 2 previous battles. The idea is that the Axis player must retreat into the city to join with it's other forces in the middle of the city, but is trying to cause as much damage as possible to the incoming force. The Allied player must win in order for their portion of the campaign to continue. Whatever survives of both armies would then be carried into the next scenario, with the Allies getting 100 points to refresh their existing units (not to purchase new units), while the Axis would get roughly 50 points to do the same. Also, if the Allies manage to win the scenario, any Axis unit still left on the board at the end of turn 10 are considered lost to the Axis player. So if it's not off the board by the end of turn 10, it's gone for the rest of the campaign. It might sound a little confusing, but we will have the campaign document posted soon for all to see.

The Armies were Austin and Jiltedtoo each had their own Axis army at 175 points each, and Headcase and I played as the Allies with each of using bringing a 200 point army to the battle,. Though the armies are "separate" and each player rolls their own initiative, they would still work as a team so each army was still limited to all unit restrictions.

The Game Map, from the Axis perspective. They would enter on the bottom 3 tiles on the left hand side. So not the tip of the building on the left, only the bottom row of the structure in the middle, and nowhere in our in front of the structure on the right.

All in all a very interesting game... The shortest distance to cover with no feasible form of valuable cover or tiles that block all LOS was 6 spaces... With Artillery ignoring all cover (which I still call bullshit on), minus structure cover, it was very difficult for the Allies to get any type of advantage for the approach. They could hide behind tank traps to avoid the Beobachters, but then the Heinrich and Luther would have clear and sustainable shots. Granted the Allies could have developed a better strategy, but without enough units to absorb the hits there was no way to even approach the objective without it being a suicide mission. A heavy walker would have been very useful for this mission, but I was trying to keep in mind that the army would carry on into the next battle, and the next battle would be tighter quarters, so a heavy might not have been the best choice in the long run... Which brings me to the other side of the play test... It wasn't really a play test, because the Axis were playing to win, not defend. There was no regard for the fact that any units lost would not be carried over to the next round, and very few points would be available to replace said units. Yeah, by the end of turn 7 the Allies did a fair share of damage, but there was still no way to reach the objective in the final 3 turns without each action being a double move for every unit, and even further, there was not enough units left to eliminate what remained of the Axis forces.

I really like this idea for a campaign, and look forward to the finished product. All in all, the consensus of the Allied players were that there needs to be a larger force for the Allies (especially if there will not be any additions of tiles that block all LOS), and the addition of tiles that block all LOS. The Allied players did disagree on the degree of the consensus as much of it does have to do with the units and strategy, but there is nothing the Allies can do to fend off attacks coming from Artillery, Angela and her Snipers, and that damn unlimited range Heinrich with those other unlimited range walkers, and cross a minimum of 6 spaces and a maximum of 13 spaces with no real avenue of approach or cover. Also, there were maybe 4 or 5 squares in the entire Allied deployment zone and second row of tiles in front of the deployment zone that the Axis didn't have the option of obtaining LOS to upon placing their own units.

Here are some random picks of Pegasus 3D terrain that fit's well onto the Dust Game Tiles, and all of our stuff that we need to cart our units around in since we many of us have yet to purchase or build carrying cases.

Pegasus Cathedral for Major Headcase's campaign idea!

The Boxes on the left belong to me, where the bags on the right belong to Stuart and Austin. They look empty, but that's because they placed their stuff on a third table (to the left), of which I did not take a picture :-)

We are back at Knightfall Games this Sunday for our regular game night. Hope to see more players this attend and our group grow even more!

Good Gaming!!

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