Viva Las Vegas, Viva Las Vegas
Day 2 Since I had played both of the other Shaltari players on Day 1, I knew I would be facing at least one PHR opponent, with the options for 2 of the other games being more PHR, UCM, or Resistance. All of these factions are slower, yet sturdier than what I had faced in Day 1. First game was against Scott and his Resistance.
The scenario is Seize Ground (I am pretty sure that is the name). It is where players score points for having the most points wholly within the four table quarters. Air units also count for this. I had played Freerider heavy Resistance in prep for this, and though I was not nearly as fearful of them as I once was, they were still a concern. Scott’s list has three, and it also has Pathfinder Archangels which I absolutely love. Nothing feels better on the gates than an Archangel that hits on 2’s and is hit on 6’s. The general consensus after Day 1 was Scott’s list was tough. This would be a good test. No Fast Movers turn one. My Freerider fear melted pretty quickly as my Firedrake came in and killed a squad of 2 bases in one shot across the board. We played it wrong, as you only get the d6 hits on a base if the template is over the center. I offered to let him put a base back on, as one was under, but the other was only clipped, but he declined. I had an Eden going to my left, depositing Braves into a large building early to help deter the Resistance. The rest of my force moved towards the center. A Lifthawk shot down the Eden I sent wide left, and with the Fast Movers coming in I started hugging my Kukri. Meanwhile he was moving towards my Braves with the exception of the Alexander which was dropped off center table with Freeriders around him, and the third Freerider squad he sent to my right flank. I was working on a large building near the Braves to make Scott utilize a building closer to me if he was going to deposit his infantry anywhere. The Braves would eventually change targets to long distance shots at Storm Wagons. In the center I put my Tarantula down behind a building giving them the opportunity to assault the Alexander, who was peeking around another building trading shots with my Jaguar. His Pathfinder Archangels were shot down eventually, but the Hellhog was hovering in the center assisting there. The standoff in the middle was tense and both of us were playing coy, neither willing to make the first move. The Tarantula ended the stand off and he sent his central Freeriders full speed into my lines. Few lived and little damage was done, but it did tie me up and push me back for a turn. The surviving Tarantula went towards the left, but was quickly gunned down. On the right I put a pair of Havens down to allow me to jump infantry between the two flanks. These were killed off by the Freeriders, which in turn were eating by the Firedrake. It is late in the game by now and he finally committed all his Fighters to a central building which was in the quadrant on my right. I moved my Coyote there to counter, having to use my Firedrake as a gate as I only had 1 Eden left. My Firstborn went into a building across from the Braves, and my Caiman found its way to the same left Quadrant. The Kukri held my starting quadrant. Meanwhile Scott had his Kraken full of Gun Wagons and Battle Buses straddling his starting quadrant and my left flank. All those Fighters were fresh, and infantry in buildings count double. In the last turn I played a Monorail which let my firstborn get to his starting quadrant, which in turn made him commit to the left. With the dust settled it came to a draw. I held my own and his starting quadrant but he had more points on the flanks. After kill points were calculated I came out with the win, 11-9. The second game had me playing Rich’s PHR on a modified monorail map
Our forces start in readiness and move on from opposing corners. The Monorail snakes between the other two corners through the middle, starting on my left and ending on my right. It leaves the table at the beginning of Turn 6. The Monorail is a hardened structure with 30DP. For every 10DP done, a car falls off and becomes a Focal Point. I knew I wanted to knock a focal point out either early or late so that it was in a corner allowing me a better chance of getting it. I shot at it a bit first turn but decided to opt for the latter. There was a big central building which we formed up on opposing sides. He pushed his Erebus into my lines causing havoc. I love those guys, what pains; if I played PHR I would definitely have them. The rest of his force methodically plodded towards the center. On Turn 3 he started shooting the Monorail, nearly dropping two of the three Focal Points on the same spot. Luckily the dice gods prevented this, the second Monorail car hanging on with 1DP. At the time I felt this would have cost me the game, but in hindsight it may have made it easier to draw since his forces would have hugged those points and I just need one unit to contest both. It didn’t play out this way so no matter.
So the second focal point fell off 12” away, and I would knock the final one out 12” after that, into the last possible place. By this point the Erebus were dealt with and a lot of my force had gated right to that last FP. I tried my Tarantula against his Hades, but the dice didn’t come up the way I needed and little damage was done. My plan was to win the second and third FP dropped and contest the first, as he had committed his CV5 Zeus and Odin there. Everything went to plan, but with one error. The Eden I needed to pick up and drop off my Coyote, to join my Yari winning the second FP over the Hades, could not clear the buildings in the most direct path and set down the LZ template. This made me go the long way around the building and drop down a half inch out, meaning I contested two FP, won the third, but he contested the third with his Helios. 4-5 to Rich, which went to 8-12 tournament points. It was a close game and I think with a bit of work that mission could be a really good balanced Tournament scenario. Last game of day 2 was against Cameron’s PHR on a modified ODL scenario.
The 5 bunkers were out in their normal pattern (like the “5” side of a die). The ODL was to my right flank, with a river cutting it off. Players would search the bunkers for objectives as if it were a large building. This represented them trying to use the laser. They could continue to search every turn, firing the laser once per bunker for a successful search roll. To fire the laser the player would put down 2 points within 6” of each other and roll to hit. These points would scatter the difference and then a line would be drawn between them hitting everything w/ E13. It was also Demo-2d6. As the laser took damage it would become less accurate. Players would score 1 VP for every intact bunker they had infantry in which had fired the laser at least once during the game. Pretty wild scenario. I came on with my long range firepower on the right flank near the laser as the Caiman could skim the river and have good line of sight. The Caiman and Firedrake worked on the bunker across from them on Cameron’s side. I put Braves in both my bunkers. Cameron moved everything on in dropships, only putting down his pair of Phobos. He had Sirens in one bunker and his Immortals in a building near the bunker my Caiman and Firedrake were working on. This caused some of the fire to go into the building, and eventually those Immortals moved to the bunker. I dematerialized my Kukri last, as there were multiple dropships that would be within their range after they move.
Beginning of 2nd turn my Kukri shot around the corner and blew the Neptune carrying his Zeus up. His Helios deployed and with the Hades dominated the center. My Kukri didn’t last long afterwards. He sent a squad of Sirens in after my Braves in my left bunker and destroyed the bunker on my right, but not before I saved those Braves. I returned the favor, destroying the bunker closest him and the laser. So 3 bunkers left, which had cover from the laser from buildings. The laser would deal me more damage than him as I had most my units near it. Turn 3 I waited to activate my Braves as I had an Escape Gate card to get my Braves away from the Sirens. I stuck both Firstborn squads in that bunker before using the card. My Tarantula were put down where the Kukri’s had during Turn1 and contributed to the fire fight between the PHR in the center and my forces on the right flank. During the game I was lucky to make a few passive saves as my Coyote, Jaguar, and Caiman were close to each other to shoot through buildings, but it made them a prime target for the laser. I destroyed the central bunker preventing Cameron from winning, and so the game drawed as we each scored 1 VP. The kill points gave me a 12-8 victory. 6 games down and 2 more to go. The night was spent being merry w/ Dave and Simon over a buffet at the Cosmopolitan. The games were close, which is just the way I like’em, and I was looking forward to the conclusion.