Thursday, July 19, 2012

AMBUSH!!! Play-test 1

Play-test Part 1.

Date of Play: 07-07-2012

Your intelligence network has discovered the movement of an enemy platoon, but you must act quickly and travel fast to reach them in time and set up an ambush! Prevent as many units as possible from escaping the ambush until your reinforcements arrive.

What is the point of this game? The point is for the Attacker to eliminate as many enemy units as possible, and the Defender needs to escape as many of their units as possible before more Allied units join the party! The Defender’s forces are spread out and the remaining units will come onto the board in later turns.

The Rules and points were designed to keep the Attacking force light, but still capable of packing a punch. Also, the Attacking force has a great element of surprise that has the potential for creating a great deal of damage early on in the game. To combat this advantage the Defender will have a gradual deployment in the first 4 to 5 Turns (depending on the size of the army) which allow them to keep from getting annihilated in the first couple turns, and gives the Attacker something to think about when they spring the Ambush and expose their units.

Victory Points were the hardest aspect to determine. How does each player score Victory Points? Does the Defender get any points for kills (full or half)? Does the Attacker get double or single points for each kill, since they are an inferior force? In the end the decision was made to look at the objective of each player to determine how they score Victory Points. Since it is the Attacker’s objective to eliminate enemy units they get full points for each enemy unit they fully eliminate. The Defender’s objective is to escape, so they get full points for each unit that is able to escape the Ambush. More information will be presented after the battle report regarding the different scoring options and what they would have looked like.

Special Terrain Rules:
  • Forest Tiles:
    • Refer to OperationGhostlight for rules on Forest Tiles, but here are the basics:
      • Blocks Line Of Sight, except for a unit occupying the space.
      • Blocks Vehicle Movement
      • No Cover Elements may be placed on this square
      • Provides Soft Cover for Infantry Units.
      • Can be set on fire to become a Forest Fire Tile by Heavy Laser Weapons, Phaser Weapons, and Flame Weapons. See Operation Ghostlight for more details.
  • Rubble Tiles:
    • Provides Soft Cover for Infantry Units.
    • Does not block movement for any Unit.
    • Does not block line of sight for any Unit.
    • Ammo Crates and other Soft Cover elements may be placed on this tile.

Scenario Guidelines:
  • 8 turn limit (250 points) or 10 turn limit (300 points)
  • Army Points:
    • Attacker: Approximately 70% of Defender’s forces
      • Limited to:
        • Armor 1 & 2 Infantry
        • Armor 1, 2, & 3 Vehicle
        • Maximum of two Armor 2 Heroes.
        • No Aircraft
  • Defender: Approx. 250 – 300
  • Examples:
    • Defender has 250 points in their army. The Attacker’s army should be around 175 points.
    • Defender has 300 points in their army. The Attacker’s army should be around 210 points.
  • Cover:
    • The Attacker places 3 rubble tiles on the road between, but not in, the Defender’s deployment zone and objective squares.
  • Special Rules:
    • Attacker Deploys army in secret before Defender.
    • Defender Deployment:
      • Deploy up to 100 point in Turn 1, however they may not move into the Attackers deployment zone during the first turn.
      • 50 additional points are available to Deploy units in Turn 2 (50 + unused points from Turn 1).
      • 50 additional points are available to Deploy units in Turn 3 (50 + unused points from Turn 1 & 2).
      • 50 additional points are available to Deploy units in Turn 4 (50 + unused points from Turn 1 & 2 & 3).
      • If the Defender has a 300 point army; 50 additional points are available to Deploy units in Turn 5 (50 + unused points from Turn 1 & 2 & 3 & 4).
    • First turn:
      • The Defender deploys units during the first turn. Once the last unit has finished their activation the Attacker shows the Defender his secret placement and then places their army on the board.
      • The Attacker then activates their units as normal, with 2 actions. Once the last unit has finished their activation the round ends and turn 2 begins following normal Dust Tactics game play (roll initiative, and alternate activations, etc…)
  • Attacker:
    • Eliminate as many of the Defender’s units as possible before the end of the last round!!
  • Defender:
    • The goal of the Defender is to “Escape the Ambush” by moving as many units as possible to the objective tiles and off the edge of the map. Moving to the edge is not enough to leave the map. The unit must have enough movement points available to move off the map.
  • Points & Victory:
    • Attacker:
      • Normal points for each enemy unit fully eliminated
    • Defender:
      • Normal points for any units that escape the Ambush
    • Victory Conditions:
      • All rounds are played out in full with one exception; the game immediately ends when the Defender has lost and/or successfully escaped all of their units off the board.
      • Tally all points. Whoever has the most points wins the scenario.
        • Note that it is possible for the Defender to eliminate all Attacking units and still lose if they don’t score enough points.
Justin v. Christian
  • Attacker:
    Justin – Allies: 173 points
    Johnny One-Eye – The Chef – 13 Foxtrot – BBQ Squad –Hell Boys – The Gunners- Blackhawk - Wildfire
  • Defender:
    Christian – Axis: 251 points
    Lara – Markus – Axis Gorillas – Axis Zombies – Heavy Flak Grenadiers – Recon Grenadiers – Sturmpioniere – Heinrich – Heinrich – Luther
Turn 1 saw a little action when The Sturmpioniere’s set fire to a forest, which blocked Johnny and his BBQ Squad from moving into a safe position from which to launch their attack. However, Chef and his Hell Boys were able to move into a great position and fire on the Axis Zombies to eliminate the undead unit. The four flamethrowers rolled 10 hits on the undead unit, whose Damage Resilience only saved against 1 of the hits! The Axis won the second initiative and focused Lara and her Heavy Flak Grenadiers on Chef and his Hell Boys, doing a great amount of Damage. The Luther then placed and followed up with a long ranged attack on Chef and the Hell Boys, while focusing its Kampfzange on the Gunners in the adjacent forest. By the end of Turn 2 the Allies lost Chef and his Hell Boys, the Axis lost its Sturmpioniere unit, and Lara and the Heavy Flak Grenadiers took some heavy damage from Johnny and his BBQ Rangers. Turn 3 saw more Axis Reinforcements as Markus and his Gorillas, the Recon Grenadiers, and both Heinrich’s entered the battle. The Blutkreuz Ape unit Charged in and eliminated the Blackhawk with little effort. Lara and her Heavy Flak Grenadiers fell to Johnny and his BBQ Squad. The Gunner Rangers were not able to fend off attacks from the Luther and fresh Recon Grenadiers. Turn 4 brought no eliminations or escaped units, but Johnny and his BBQ Rangers took charge and rushed the Axis units with little effect as the unit dreadfully underperformed. Turn 5 started with another Axis initiative, which meant a quick end for Johnny and his BBQ Squad at the hands of Markus and his Axis Gorillas. The Axis Gorillas fell in Turn 6 to the Wildfire, but Markus was still alive and kicking with one wound remaining, so he Charged the damage Allied Light Walker to finish it off, and secure safe passage off the board! The Recon Grenadiers were able to make short work of the 13 Foxtrot unit taking cover in the forest. Turns 7 and 8 saw the Axis unopposed, which allowed the remaining units to escape the Ambush with ease.

Victor: Justin - Allies

Victory Points:
  • Justin – Attacker: 128 points 
  • Christian – Defender: 122 points
What an interesting game! Overall the Play-test went much better than anticipated. The biggest concern at the end of the game was to look at the points and identify the different options available for scoring. The decision was made that only full enemy kills would count for the Attacker, and escaping the Ambush would count for the Defender. This left a 6 point difference at the end of the game. Very close! Other ideas were to give the Attacker double points for full unit kills, while the Defender would get half points for full unit kills and full points for each unit that escaped the Ambush. This would have resulted in the Attacker scoring 256 points and the Defender scoring 209 points. Another idea was to just count kills for each side. The Attacker would have stayed the same at 128 points, where the Defender would have scored roughly 173 points. With the 3 different examples of scoring we felt confident we choose the correct method of scoring by sticking to each unit’s objective. This setup was just for the first round of Play-testing. The next round will definitely see a few modifications to the structure of the scenario, with a possibility on changing the scoring system.

What are some things I can try in the next Play-test?

Have an objective. Defender chooses 1 unit as the objective. That unit will reward Double its value in Victory Points. The Defender will get the points if they are able to escape the unit. The Attacker will get the points if they are able to destroy the unit. No points if the unit is not destroyed or does not escape.

Maybe a small structure could assist with the ambush? Grim Reapers and a well-placed Sniper could do a lot of damage… A well placed Light Walker in a small garage brings many options to the table. It could also make for a great distraction.

Only 2 x 3 for the Defender Deployment Zone. A slight increase in the challenge of escaping the map.

Perhaps Attacking units in cover or not in L.O.S. are not revealed until:
  • The Attacker activates the unit and takes any actions other than “Nothing”. 
  • The Defender places a unit in an adjacent square. 
    • Could eliminate the need for the rule that the Defender cannot enter the Attacker’s Deployment Zone on the 1st Turn. 
    • If the Defender’s movement would end in the hidden units square, resolve a single close combat engagement and place the Defending unit in the adjacent square that follows its movement. If that square is occupied, then any square adjacent to that square is valid for placement. If no adjacent squares are available the unit is eliminated.

More importantly, what do you think? Try this scenario out with your local gaming group and email us your results at What changes would you make? What do you like and what would you like to see changed? 

Stay tuned for more scenarios that we are currently Play-testing and other announcements.  Good Gaming!!

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