"Deploy a scouting force to retrieve the relics"
"Sir that's not all. The area around the points shows heavy damage to space time. Shard estimates seven eight point risk of heavy Ghar presence. Furthermore there's a nine eight point probability that heavy losses are sustained, but the Shard suggest deployment anyways. It's a suicide mission sir."
Commander Josen lowered his Visor to check the facts his aide had just given him and they were correct. In any other situation this specific spot would just have been avoided. There was no need to sacrifice resources, but three source points were a treasure throve and he had no choice, but to play the odds here.
"Send Commander Bar"
"You heard me. Send Fu with a battle force. Oh and deploy a strategic support unit. Let's say an X-Howizer. We might as well give him a chance."
The scenario we played was the 3rd scenario from The Battle for Xilos -campaign book for Beyond the Gates of Antares. A battle force led, by the infamous Commander Bar was deployed to pick up 3 builder relics from a site of old ruins. A similar sized force of Ghar arrived at the scene and battle ensued.
In this scenario C3 got victory points from picking up relics and getting them off the board (1 for having the relic at the end of the battle and 2 if they got it off board). The Ghar on the other hand got 1 VP for each C3 unit destroyed and 1 VP for each relic which would not be in C3 hands by the end of the scenario.
So... C3 Try to get relics. Ghar try to blow up C3 -simple. Also the Ghar get to the board only on turn 2, which means C3 have the first turn before hell breaks loose.
I'm sorry for the quality of the images. There's just nothing that I can do about this before I get a better camera somewhere. iPhone --> and this is what you get
Since this is a quite new game I know it would be prudent to include commentary on the rules. As I'm extremely lazy I'll post this - link to youtube videos about the rules - and this - link to official game page - which supposedly have all the answers for a seeker of knowledge
Check out the pics of my opponent's Ghar. I think they must be close to most beautiful ones I've seen so far.
- C3 command squad with 5 man total and a scout drone led by the infamous Commander Bar
- 3x C3 strike squads with 5 man each, a scout drone and plasma lance support weapon
- C3 X-Launcher team with all the available special ammo and a scout drone
- 3x C3D1 light support drones with light plasma supports. Two of the weapon drones had a batter drone
- X-Howitzer with a spotter drone and net ammo upgrade
- Targeted probe shard with 4 probes
- Superior shard and two extra shot army upgrades
- Command Crawler
- 2 Ghar battle squads
- 1 Ghar assault squad
- Unit of 10 (I think) outcasts with disruptor cannon
- Flitter unit
- Tectoris scouts
Commander Bar deploys all of his forces roughly at the middle of his side with him at the middle and strike squads flanking supported by the batter drone wielding D1 combat drones. The artillery, meaning the X-Launcher and X-Howitzer are deployed right at the middle back at the deployment zone.
Being that the Ghar do not get to the board before turn 2, basically what happens is that everyone sprints towards the two closest relics with some units getting some pins and some not. The X-Howitzer sets up an ambush and one of the weapon drones is temporarily malfunctioning because of the distortions in space time (distort die).
|Two groups of strike squads run in the cover of batter shields. Their aim is to secure the two relics, each of which are located next to an ancient tower with a distinctly feudal look and impressive skull architecture.|
|In the Background the artillery is heating their barrels and calculating trajectories|
The Ghar begin to arrive at the board. and Concord continue towards their objectives. The relic in the middle of the board is secured by Commander Bar himself, but the advance at concord flank is slowed down.
The Ghar deploy two battle squads to the left (concord left) flank. The command Crawler and outcasts arrive from the middle and the Ghar assault squad begin a devious (right) flanking manoeuvre.
Vicious firefights erupt around the board. Command Crawler is mostly kept at bay by the artillery, but manages to still shoot and force one unit down and cause some casualties. The concord left flank advance is ground to a halt by the shooting from the Battle squads.
|Ghar battle squads exchanging fire with C3 troops|
|The Command crawler draws quite a lot of fire and has to use some of its time rallying to stop pins accumulating too much|
|By the end of turn two the C3 forces are pretty much where they were at the end of turn one|
|The brave men of C3 advance towards the left relic objective under heavy fire (which forced them down and killed one guy)|
Nothing much happened on turn three at the left flank except that the Ghar suits began accumulating pins a bit faster than the C3 (mostly because the artillery support turned their barrels there).
In the middle Commander Bar and his mates ran towards the back lines carrying the relic. They got fired upon a lot, accumulated pins, men died and finally they were forced down, but got up at the end of the turn with a lucky roll. The supporting strike squad in the middle was left fighting in the middle ruins.
One way of looking at this would be to say that Commander Bar demonstrated an age old military strategy of running and leaving your men to die. It is fortunate that the people of Concord are happy to die for the great cause and hold no grudges.
The command crawler slowly crawled forward shooting and making a lot of noise, I would think. The Ghar assault squad ran forwards towards the C3 flank.
|"Run you fools", shouts Fu and whips his men with a belt of grenades apparently|
|Flanking Ghar assault squad|
On the left flank the Ghar battle Squads finally gave away. One of the squad got hit with a salvo of rapid fire plasma carbines at close range and two of the three beasts fell (I think he got hit six times and rolled two tens). The other squad got hit with so many shots from so many directions that it went down with a lot of pins. One of the C3 Squads got the other relic.
In the middle the C3D1 drone with the batter shield was destroyed by the command crawler. The strike squad in the ruins was almost destroyed. Bar and mates got the relic off the board.
Again the worst shooting from the command crawler was stopped by the C3 artillery net shots.
|My opponent carefully measuring and moving his models. What an inspiring sight!|
|Finally the other relic is secured. Its represented by some kind of cockroach looking miniature sold by the Warlord Games.|
As more and more troops got shot, the pace of the battle quickened. The Ghar battle squad at the left flank was destroyed by a shot from the X-howitzer. I'm assuming some kind of gravitational pinpoint crushed the suits from within, The pitiful monkeys screamed terrible screams as they were mangled to bits by their own gear. I kept my thoughts to my self and tried to concentrate on the game.
As my opponent's outcasts and the command crawler shot like demons at the poor strike troopers in the middle ruin annihilating that squad, I imagine similar thoughts of vivid carnage and feeling of invulnerable might went through his mind also. However being a civilised person he kept his cool as well as I did.
For an outsider this epic moment would have probably looked just like two calm and composed gentlemen rolling dice and playing with plastic toys...
Yeah so this turn the... Lost my thought for a bit there.
Anyway this turn the left (concord) flank of the Ghar finally fell. The strike squad holding the second relic ran towards the edge and the strike squad in the middle ruin was destroyed. Nothing much else happened basically.
|Another cockroach relic being carried towards table edge by the C3|
Turn six in the middle the Command Crawler was destroyed by combined shooting of both of the C3 artillery units and a couple of D1 weapon drones. Not a single hit in the whole game managed to penetrate its armour, but 9 pins destroyed it.
The second Concord squad ran towards the edge of the table. They did not quite get there, which meant that wether or not there would be turn seven, would determine the winner of the game (the Ghar had killed 2 units and one relic was unclaimed putting the Ghar at 3 VPs. The C3 had taken one relic off the board and procured another one putting them as well at 3 VPs.
We rolled a d6 and it was.......... a five.
|With three Targeted probes you can't really miss with OH fire|
We didn't actually play turn seven, because the only thing worth mentioning was that the C3 took the other relic off the board.
Thoughts on the game
Ok the Concord won this time, but only barely (it was down to a roll of 4+ at d6 to see if the game ended or continued at 7th turn).
The fact that the ghar came onboard only on turn two maybe gave my side a little bit of advantage on this scenario and we thought that one might try the same game with the Ghar arriving at turn one to see how that would go. I'd imagine in that case the Ghar will get to the relics first as they are faster (with their plasma amps) than Concord.
The Command Crawler is a nasty piece of machinery, being nigh invulnerable with its rerollable res of 13. However its effectiveness was severely hampered by the pin spouting X-whatevers.
I would say based on experiences from this and previous games, that concord has a (more than) slight advantage because of the X-howizer and X-launcher, but without them it would be the other way around. What I'm trying to say is that these equipment are a very effective (and only) way to keep the Ghar at bay.
The Ghar could possibly counter them with the bombarder guys they have in their list. In any case I think that the different launcher variants could easily become unfun and would discourage spamming them for this reason.
Anyway, it was a fun and tight game and I hope to get to play again soon.