Retribution

This week’s wargaming was a return to Xenos Rampant, trying out Scenario Bravo from the main book. This scenario provides a secret mission for the attacker, which leaves the defender guessing exactly what it is they are defending against.

We used my Ground Zero Games figures, using the Federal Stats Europa (FSE) and Neu Swabian League (NSL). When coming up with stats for these, I settled on a cunning plan to try and make the army lists simpler. Each unit of the FSE costs a multiple of 3 points, and each unit of the NSL costs a multiple of 4 points. This makes it much easier to swap around units and still hit the 24 point target for armies.

The options for the FSE were:

  • Light Infantry 3pts (x3)
  • Sniper Team 6pts (x1)
  • Powered Armour 9pts (x1)

The options for the NSL were:

  • Heavy Infantry 4pts (x2)
  • Recon “Jaeger” Infantry 4pts (x2)
  • Mortar Team 8pts (x1)

We went for an environment which was quite heavily ‘urban’, with a lot of cover and rough ground. As per the scenario, 6 objective markets were randomly placed (by a third party), and then we rolled to see who would be attacker and defender.

I was playing the FSE, and got the attacker role, so whilst my opponent was setting up his defenders, I rolled to see what my secret objectives were. I rolled 6, which was choose, which I didn’t want to do. So I rolled again and got another choose result. A third attempt got me “Retribution”, where the goal is to destroy the highest point value enemy unit. In this case this would be the mortar team.

I also rolled for the objective markers (which weren’t needed, but it keeps the enemy guessing), and got 4, 4 and 1. Which meant if I had got the “Take and Hold” result, then the game would have been over very quickly since those markers were within 1 or 2 moves of my deployment position.

As attacker, I went first. My sniper team headed up along the southern edge of the table, using their Infiltrators ability to get a head start. The rest tried to get into cover in the buildings. The NSL also moved forward, and tried to use their mortar but we decided being more than 3″ into a building would mean you were obscured from view.

Turn two, my snipers took a shot at some NSL heavy infantry hiding in a crater. They got 4 hits and 1 kill. They NSL couldn’t return fire due to the “hard to target” ability of the snipers, meaning they can only be shot at within 12″. I used the jetpack ability of my Powered Armour (PA) troops to get over buildings, though with only a move of 6″ they weren’t getting far.

The same NSL unit in a crater shot at my PA troops, getting one kill. I returned fire, getting 2 kills. They were now down 3 figures, and needed to make a morale check. They failed badly and were routed.

The mortar team too the opportunity to land some shells on the PA, killing another one, but they held their ground (just). My previous experience with the mortar team in Xenos Rampant had been that they can be deadly, and things were threatening to turn out the same way. They can hit anyone they can see within 48″, plus other units can be used as spotters to a target within12″.

The NSL were moving one of their recon teams up through the ruins, and they were threatening to be useful spotters. So on turn 3, the FSE PA shot at them, getting one kill. Leaving my PA out in the open left them vulnerable, but it also drew fire away from my snipers. My plan was for my snipers to deal with the mortar team, with possibly support from other units.

This turn, the FSE concentrated everything they had on my PA. A unit of heavy infantry occupied the crater I had already wiped out one team in, and they now killed another one of my PA. Return fire killed two NSL, suppressing them. The spotters I had been worried about called in a mortar strike, killing another PA figure, and they finally routed.

Turn four, I managed to get a long range shot against the mortar team from a unit sheltering in a cluster of craters in the middle of the table. I killed two of them. They held steady though. I also began moving units up the northern flank, which I’d been very cautious about previously. The NSL responded by concentrating everything on my central unit.

They got one very lucky attack roll – sixes out of 10 dice. It still only got them one kill. As guerillas, in soft cover I had +2 to my armour. Mortar fire took another kill, and a final skirmish attack killed the final figure who had decided to fight until the end.

By turn five, I was continuing to move up, and had my snipers coming around the south towards the mortar team, and a unit of infantry now on the northern flank who would be threatening them soon.

Spotters however brought down mortar fire on my northern unit, wiping it out. I had taken a lot of casualties at this point, losing three whole units. If I lost another unit, it would be at best a draw. During the game I’d actually thought I’d lost at this point, since I’d taken so many casualties. I wasn’t double checking the rules – the NSL would only get +1 point for each unit they entirely wiped out or routed. It wasn’t on point value of casualties.

On turn six, my snipers were finally in a position where they could fire on the mortar team. They got three kills, wiping them out. This was the victory condition I’d been waiting for. It wasn’t entirely clear when the game ended at this point. I’d achieved my objective, so we finished the game there. Should it have continued with the FSE finishing their half of the turn? Was there a different condition that ended the game?

We decided to end though, and I had +4 points, and the NSL had +3 points.

It had been quite a close game, and the mortars had been a nasty unit. The PA had been tough, and may have done more damage if they’d got into close combat with a unit. They’d never had a chance (or I’d been too cautious) though. They had distracted attention away from my sniper team though.

The battlefield itself had been interesting with the amount of cover it provided. It had felt a bit more urban, which I think SciFi games should be.

It’d only taken about two hours for us to play the game, so bigger game would have been possible. More points (maybe 36, or even 48) would allow more heavy units into the game – at 9pts per unit (or 12pts for the NSL), Powered Armour is quite limited in the number of units you can have.

We had decided to play the rules as written for actions. If you fail an action, it’s the end of your go. I don’t think anyone failed to make an action role though. The liberal availability of free actions does mean that most units get to do the action they need to, without having to make a check for it.

Samuel Penn

1 Response

  1. Great write up, of a very enjoyable game. Congrats on the victory 🙂. Many thanks for running it.

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