Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sedition Wars Quarantine Campaign Scenario 1: The Flood

Although we are still in the process of unpacking and organizing, I have made some progress on my new game room.  Pictured here is the play table and bookshelves for board games.  I also have a separate painting station for miniatures off to the right which I will show later when the place is ready. Currently I have only some folding tables holding the 6 x 4 game area but that will be replaced by a very nice table sometime next year.  

Yes, a dedicated game room at last!

At any rate I decided to try the recently release Sedition Wars Quarantine campaign, which arrived only one year and a few months after the game's actual release in January of 2013.  The Quarantine campaign allows you to use most of the figures that Kickstarter backers received, about double those included in the base game, along with the Wave 2 miniatures that arrived last August.  yes they took 6 more months to release a campaign for the late-arriving figures.  This scenario is called "The Flood" and involves waves of Strain rising up from the lower levels to overwhelm the Vanguard.  The Vanguard can win by using life support controls to purge 18 nano markers from the ventral tile, while the Strain win if they can assemble 12 markers in the central tile for a full turn.  Full rules here:

 On turn 1 the Vanguard split into two groups, rushing to the life-support controls on the two outer tiles and setting up perimeter defenses on the two choke points.  The Strain units appear on Tile 2 (center) and thus drew almost zero reflex attacks as they appeared (are placed) and attacked.

 The Strain put a hurting on Kara in Gnosis armor, Operator Akosha, Barker Zosa, and a Samaritan regular in the first turn.  I spawned 6 nano in two spots, which was an error.

On Vanguard turn 2 Zosa lights up a conga line of Strain while Kara downs a Stalker.  Samaritans mop up Zosa's leavings, leaving a trail of nano by the door.  The Vanguard purge 6 nano using the life support terminals.

The Strain on turn 2 generate more nano and then put paid to Kara's armored suit.  She ejects while Akosha is eviscerated by a Scythe Witch.

Zosa also goes down as the Strain press into Tile 1 to try to stop the venting.  

On Turn 3 Corpman Vade leads a spirited defense of tile 1, where many Revenants are met and slaughtered.  The Plague have still not wised up and spaced out their nano, so the Vanguard purge 6 more making a total of 12 purged.

Kara Black leads the defense of Tile 3 where a well-timed Inversion grenade immobilizes 3 Strain heavy hitters.  A few more Strain are mopped up on each end.

Tile 1 was cleared of most enemy at the top of turn 3. Vade kept a Samaritan alive despite her bleeding wounds.  

On the bottom of 3 more waves of Strain and nano arrive.  They make a concerted push on Tile 1 and a desultory one on Tile 3.  Note only 11 nano present on Tile 2.

A Scythe Witch and Quasimodo lead the charge into Tile 1 on Turn 3, taking out a few more Samaritans including a grenadier.

Kara and her team still hold the door to Tile 3 with ease, eliminating a few more Strain.  

 On turn 4 Kara and her men lay down more fire, including an incendiary grenade attack which sets several Strain alight.  The Vanguard continue to defend both life support terminals successfully.  The Vanguard can only purge 2 more nano, however, taking them to 14 out of 16 needed.  

At the bottom of Turn 5 the Strain get massive reinforcements and a bunch more nano, topping the 16 needed to win.  But the Vanguard only have to Purge once to win the game at the top of Turn 5, and the Strain simply cannot shut down both terminals even if they pose a threat to Tile 1.  So I called it for the good guys at the bottom of Turn 4 after rolling a few dice for fun.  

Kara and her team stand trumphant on Tile 3.

In conclusion, it was an interesting game.  The design team at Studio McVey (where I stopped play-testing in October 2013 and therefore did not work on this campaign) did a good job in making the mechanics of the scenario clear and playable.  This scenario used a lot of minis but I was able to keep track of the book keeping using small dice for wounds and most of the markers for status effects.  I did not run out as I feared! The game still suffers from the single choke points off each tile, and one wonders why none of the new scenarios have at least a 4-tile setup to remedy this issue.  I think the Strain player must spread out his nano upon placement each turn or the Vanguard will win in 3 turns from holding the life support terminals.  The Vanguard lost Akosha, Barker, Kara's Gnosis suit, and about 5 Samaritans.  The Strain lost about 10 Revenants and a couple of Stalkers and a Scythe Witch so I think the tally was about even.  I did not bother trying to infect Vanguard as nano was crucial to winning on the center tile, so all nano created by dead Strain went there.

Bottom line if you like a claustrophobic slaughter-fest, then it looks like the first scenario of Quarantine delivers.  Next up is a mission where the Vanguard try to get Morgan Vade off the station alive, so tune in for the next report and see if SW can deliver a mission not hampered by choke points!

Nexus Psi Deadzone Campaign games

Here is a quick photo dump of two games from Mantic's Deadzone Nexus Psi campaign.  I am typing with one had due t o a recent surgery so these will be summations rather than full blown reports.  

First game was intellignec run, involving finding a hidden piece of intel and getting it off the board first.  I took Rebs to Jormungandr's Plague.  The game was 50 points, I took a Rebs commander, 2 indij, a human and a Desolator Grogan and Sorak.  J took a general, a phase 2, a couple of phase 1s and a plague dog.

Rebs assemble!

Well hidden Plague.

Plague and Rebs advance.

Where the magic crate?

In turn 2 an Yndij finds it!

One human goes down to a grenade launcher.

Sorak overwatch fire blows a charging Stage 1 and the Yndij down, into adjacent sqaures!  Lucky break for me.

The pinned Yndij is safe from harm now...

...and on my turn 3 scoots to freedom by the play of a Get Mean card and taking a sprint action!  Result, Rebs win the intel mission.  

Game 2 was Scenario A of the campaign.  The Rebs attack a fortified Plague position in an attempt to seize a pre-selected point.   We played a 70-point mission with the Plague having equal points due to the advantages of owning all campaign locations.  I added a Teraton to my army and another human and J added another Phase 2 and grenade launched.  I started the game by lobbing a grenade and pinning all the Plague in the target building.

My Teraton killed a Stage 1 but his follow up attack into the pinned Stage 2 failed.  He soon found himself fighting two Stage 2s.

An Yndij loses his firefight with the Stage 1.

The Stage 1 I neglected to kill with the Teraton went on a tear, killing a human.

My Grogan tried to even the odds by taking the high ground, but his fire had no effect. 

My leader is stuck as Phase Is approach.

A human looks on in horror as his teammates are being overwhelmed in close combat in the target building.

The crazed Phase I eats my leader.

He then proceeded to survive a storm of fire from the Grogan and another human, only to charge and kill the human and wound the Grogan in close combat.  

At this point, I decided to voluntarily quit the mission while my expensive Teraton and Grogan still lived.  In the aftermath I lost two humans permanently but all my other troops miraculously recovered.  However, several of Jorumungandr's troops were promoted while none of mine were.  We will go back to intelligence run with me as the defender to determine the next phase of the campaign.