Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mini-Campaign: the Sin of Alacrity Game Two, p. 2

++++[BUT FIRST, don’t forget to check out a very important CONTEST / SWAGFEST , all the relevant details of which you can find here. Everyone is welcome to enter, and anyone who does so wins something. Do it. Do it.]++++ 

A quick recap (if this is muddled or otherwise nonsensical to you, please see the Mini Campaign tag for a bit of insight… I hope):

Scouts (x7): PW, HB
Terminators (x5): AC (there’s a TH/SS in the photo that acts as a standard Srgt. in gameplay)

Scouts (x5): PW
Tactical Squad (x5): PW
Terminators (x5): AC

Scout Bikers (x3)
Tactical Squad (x5): PF/PP
Terminators (x5): TH/SS

Berzerkers (x7): PW
Bikers (x5): PW

Berzerkers (x7)
Terminators (x5)

Berzerkers (x7): PW
Bikers (x5): PW

And away we go…

Without any targets, the early turns were mostly a glut of running. Thankfully, we were basically playing a mini-40K game, so the units acted as such (requiring one roll each) instead of the mess we encountered in our first effort.

Recon Teams E and F both converged toward the Central Corridor. D-Team headed in that same general direction, but with a significant measure of caution. They were relatively isolated and I wanted to be sure that they didn’t get caught out by a KT full of Berzerker mayhem. At worst, they could act as a placeholder for the nearby Brig Mission (which was precisely where E-Team was headed). As such, they tended to shuffle around a bit, and were sure to keep the Terminators in the path of any potential muss. Particularly as the “disintegration” rule was still in effect, I didn’t want to let some soft kills wipe out my Scouts and put the more valuable members of the Team in jeopardy. More on that in a bit.

Pitmann’s Bikers from KTs 4 and 6 threw caution to the wind and sped with merciless haste toward the Central Corridor. I think Pitmann knew that I intended to pool my strength there and he was keen to disrupt that thought before it fully formed.

And indeed, his gambit nearly paid off. In turn two, the first group of Bikers from KT6 caught a group of Scouts flat-footed, while the second wave from KT4 stood on the doorstep to the Central Corridor. I had some serious firepower just inches away, but the Scouts were on their own for a desperate round of combat… in which they performed brilliantly.

Unbelievably, the Scouts traded casualties with the Bikers and pushed into the next turn of Combat when help was certain to arrive. Pitmann cursed his luck, and stood amazed that the dice gods had nodded so kindly in my favor. It was a rare moment of truly good luck on my part, but I’ll take full credit for acumen nonetheless.

In the next turn, I was able to bring in my Terminators and finish the first wave of Chaos Bikers, losing only another Scout for the cause. At the same moment, the Scout Bikers from F-Team plugged the gap in front of the next wave of Chaos Bikers at the doorstep. The Scout Bikers were going to get it good, without doubt, but F-Team could add grist to the mill in order to save the potential collapse of their comrades. Moreover, I didn’t trust my regular Scouts to weather another storm like the one they’d just come through. Luck is luck, after all.

Sure enough, the Scout Bikers got pummeled, but Pitmann’s last group of KT4 Bikers were caught in the lurch. They had no choice but to charge the Onorevoli Scout Bikers but hopelessly exposed themselves by doing so. They would no longer have such easy picking for opposition.

For his part, Pitmann had his Iron Warriors swapping places on the North end of the table, with KT5 and KT6 dancing a bizarre Conga line. Finally, the Berzerkers from KT4 marched cozily onto the Bridge, unchallenged and unfazed. I wasn’t to know it yet, but there was something fishy about this fact.

The TH/SS Terminators from F-Team charged the Chaos Bikers for the first of two epic showdowns. The Terminators made reasonably short work of the Bikers in two turns (Pitmann was, once again, stunned by the generous Invulnerable Save afforded by their Storm Shields), and the road was suddenly open leading toward the admittedly contested Bridge… which is precisely where F-Team needed to be.

With quite a lot to play for, Recon Teams D and E flooded the rather large area composing the Barracks, just North of the Central Corridor, in an attempt to hammer the Iron Warriors before they could properly regroup from their setback in the early turns.

And that’s where it all went pear-shaped for Pitmann. The tail end of his Conga line (made up of the Berzerkers from KT6) got caught out. Having lost their Bikers, the squad was dangerously close to its “disintegration” number. Forced to choose between targets, Terminators or the tail end of the Berzerker Conga, my Terminators opted for the Conga as a matter of principle as much as strategy. There will be none of that tomfoolery on the sacred ground of the Alacrity. Two Berzerkers fell, and Pitmann would subsequently be forced to take a Ld test before their next movement.

Fingers crossed.

On his turn, and after passing a truly miraculous number of Ld rolls last game, I suppose Pitmann was feeling Fortune’s smile when rolling for his Conga Berzerkers. Oh, she was smiling all right. Pitmann pulled up double-sixes and the Berzerkers were gone. KT6 melted back to its extraction point.

In fact, the Berzerkers were gone so quickly that a rather curious fact here almost slipped beneath the Onorevoli radar without comment or commotion.  I noticed with some interest that KT6 was undeniably winding its way toward the Bridge (and not the nearby Filtration Chamber as I initially suspected), which meant that the Berzerkers currently sitting on the Bridge were simply holding the spot. This was a tightener for the Iron Warriors, who were  now capable of capturing only one Objective at best. Suddenly, the Alacrity looked a bit brighter.

That didn’t last.

In a classic bait-and-switch move, Pitmann’s KT5 pulled its Terminators back behind closed doors in the North quadrant while his Berzerkers from that Team simultaneously claimed the aforementioned Objective at the Filtration Chamber. Pitmann's hand was completely revealed at this point, but he had also quite cleverly activated the Zombies in the Barracks corridor where all my units were muddled. It was a devious, desperate ploy.

The Middle Turns ended with One Objective Secured and One Objective Contested for the Iron Warriors, while the Onorevoli merely Contested a single Objective. 

ENDGAME (7-8):
Thankfully, the random nature of Zombie movement (we rolled each turn for control) kept them from really muddying the situation. Still, they managed to claim one precious Terminator and soak up more shooting than they should ever be allowed to. House Rules! How I loathe and love thee.

The Scouts and Tactical Marines from E-Team slipped behind the Zomb-pocalypse that had erupted in the Barracks, and threaded their way into the Brig in the Northwest. The Scouts guarded the door while the Tactical Marines secured the prisoner, who remains an unknown quantity. Is he Loyal? Is he a double agent? Why is the Inquisition so interested in him? Regardless, reports suggest that the subject was “compliant” and his information will undoubtedly serve the Onorevoli will in the upcoming confrontations.

One Objective secured for the Onorevoli.

With nothing to lose, and in no danger of reaching a “disintegration” point, the Onorevoli Terminators charged into the breach at the North end of the table in a desperate attempt to disrupt the Iron Warriors control of the Filtration Chamber. No dice. The Iron Warriors were able to crowd the bulkhead and keep the Onorevoli from pressing the full weight of their numbers into the conflict. It was worth the effort, to be sure, but the Iron Warriors proved their mettle. Pitmann would enjoy full control these nefarious, inexplicable Zombies for the next three games. Surely, this was a clue to the fate of the Alacrity.

This left only the Bridge to play for.

F-Team Terminators were once again called upon to test themselves against the unit of Berzerkers sitting on the Bridge. Dutifully, they marched up the corridor and met the Berzerkers head on. But something happened here, once again, the full significance of which I didn’t quite realize until it was too late.

Pitmann (quite astutely) maneuvered his Berzerkers into the corridor some distance from the entrance to the Bridge. At first, I presumed that this was merely his normal aggressive style and an attempt to plug the hole, so to speak, before both my Terminators and the Tactical unit behind them could level the full brunt of their righteous fury. In fact, it was much, much more. Pitmann was playing for the tie.

Here’s a quirky thing. The Onorevoli needed to make space in the corridor so that the Tactical Squad could slip past onto the Bridge. In a bizarre, counterintuitive twist of fate, if the Terminators simply wiped out the Berzerkers, all was lost. Having already lost one Kill Team, the annihilation of the second would trigger the end of the game before the Onorevoli could secure the Objective. Pitmann wanted his Berzerkers to die, horribly. Moreover, if the Terminators fell, the Tactical Squad would be caught flat in a struggle that spelled failure either way: if they won, the game would end, if they lost… the point would most certainly be moot. (this, by the way, lead to some beautifully rare comedic moments in which we were each cheering the other’s dice).  

It was a delicate situation. Here’s a checklist of what needed to happen for the Onorevoli win:

1. The Terminators were unlikely to survive a Berzerker charge, and so were forced to charge into the fray themselves: check.

2. The Iron Warriors, having taken several casualties in the first round of combat, needed to pass a Ld test to continue in their turn: check.

3. The Terminators needed to survive two rounds of combat with drooling, savage Berzerkers: check. (in the end, only one Terminator survived).

4. Having sustained a significant number of casualties themselves, the Onorevoli Recon Team needed to pass a Ld test as well to stay on the table: check. 

5. In two rounds of combat, the Terminators needed to be certain NOT to kill all the Berzerkers: check.

6. In two rounds of combat, the Terminators needed to kill enough Berzerkers that a path could be cleared for the Tactical squad to sneak past and onto the Bridge: check.

7. The Tactical Squad required a run roll of 3+ in order to get close enough to claim the Bridge Objective: check.

As the last Terminator buried his hammer into the helmet of a Traitorous Archenemy Pawn, the Tactical Squad arrived to secure the Bridge. And there it was. Perhaps improbable, but a superb effort from the Onorevoli nonetheless. It was quite a day for the fortunate fellows.

The Onorevoli secured Two Objectives. The Iron Warriors secured One Objective.

Sweet Victory.

As this is already a rather lengthy post, on Friday I will briefly discuss the significance of these results on our Mini Campaign… See you then.


Brent said...

That's it!

I'm building a Space Hulk.

Next week. I want cool-guy games like this.

I'm going to do it I am!

Big Jim said...

Good to see a winner this time! These battle reports are a pleasure to read and the pics are fantastic.

I look forward to more updates on the campaign!

If I make it out for Adepticon next year we gots find a way to throw down some Killzone on the Sin of Alacrity!

Brian said...

@ Brent. Cheers. The dream could be yours. The Alacrity may go up for sale sometime next year.

@ Big Jim. It's a deal. If, indeed, the Alacrity goes up for sale, we will do Special Ops battle on its bigger, more ambitious, replacement.

Gotthammer said...

Cool writeup - the low angle pics really work for the Hulk.

Khorneguy said...

Are those the zombies i sold you?

Brian said...

@ Gotthammer. Cheers.

@ Khorneguy. These are some older Zombies I did a good, long while ago. Yours are still on the block, and will round out my force to a nice, clean 75 undead. braaaaiiins.

Skarvald the Troll-faced said...

Aw, man! I remember this Space Hulk! You brought it at our GW over at Deer Grove, Palatine and it was in there for a while. Sadly I never got a chance to participate in any of the games that were featuring it. Let me tell you guys, this bad boy is a sight to behold! :)

Brian said...

Cheers Skarvald!!! I'm glad you remember The Sin of Alacrity. We'll have to remedy the fact that you never got a game. ha.