Friday, December 5, 2008

Sin City Dispatch #7

Hey everyone, welcome to the seventh issue of the Dispatch!

In this issue, we will be start out by looking over the fence as we continue with our Meet the Neighbors segment for the Cogs. This time we will be taking a look at the game mechanics side as we check out the stats for three of their officers. Then we head to the Battlezone for another Battle Report, this one again featuring Ork vs. Tyranids as the hivemind seeks revenge! Will the Orks remain victorious or will they just become more food for the brood? You'll have to read on to find out, so sit down and strap in because we are about to hit the ground running!

Meet the Neighbors
Continuing Our Closer Look at the Cogs

In the last issue, we looked at some of the fluff that had come out for the Cogs. Conveniently enough, Rackham has released more information about one of their factions, the A-Volution. This gives some interesting information but right now I want to take a look at the stats of the officers that A-Volution use to get an idea just what these bad boys will be like in game.

The three officers listed in the A-Volution preview are equipped with a mix of what look like the four most common weapons for the Cogs; quantum blades, quantum rifles, quantum machine guns, and the rocket launcher. The first thing that you can't help but notice about all of the ranged weapons is they all have extremely long range. The quantum rifle has a 50% chance of hitting out to a range of 90cm while the more powerful rocket launcher can reach out to 70cm and still has the same odds. As if this wasn't nasty enough, all of these ranged weapons roll a minimum of two dice to hit and have a re-roll making them that much more effective. Combine this with a penetration comparable to the better UNA weapons in the game and you are looking some serious firepower.

What will make this firepower even deadlier is the Cog movement rate of 18cm, putting them on par with both the Therians and the Karmans as far as the mobility of their troops. This will let the Cogs quickly take up strong fire positions early in the game and could make them very difficult to counter.

As far as armor, the three officers are all equipped as type III units and have an armor value of 11. This makes them better protected than any of the other type IIIs except for the Kolossus, but with much better ranges and movement these overall look to be a much better unit.

Even with these bits of information, there are still a lot of unknowns. How many troops compose a basic unit and how many points do they cost? How strong are the basic units compared to these officers? Even without all of this information, I think we can definitely say that the Cogs will a force to be reckoned with in the AT-43 universe.

Battle Report: Orks vs. Tyranids

This past weekend, Matt and I got together again for a re-match but this time we increased the point value from 500 up to 750 points. Still not a massive battle but 750 points just seemed that much more flexible while not being too massive for a couple of noobs to manage. Even with the change in points, I think that the biggest difference between the two games was the fact that the battlefield actually had terrain on it this time! This is what the battlefield looked like.

As can be seen, the set up for the game was a little different as far as table dimensions. We decided to just use one table at the store and set up short edge to short edge to make life a little easier. Most of the terrain just blocked line of sight though the shanty buildings on the right and left sides of the board counted as area terrain (blocked LoS and counted as difficult terrain). As far as the mission, it was a variation on Capture and Control using three objectives; one in each deployment zone and one in the center of the table (these are shown with the red circles).

On my side of the board, I was fielding a Hive Tyrant and Carnifex which were both equipped with barbed stranglers and twin-linked devoureres, two broods of nine genestealers each, and a brood of fifteen gaunts with fleshborers. On Matt's side, he had a Warboss attached to a Boyz mob (seventeen slugga boyz, two big shootas, and a Nob), another boyz mob kitted out the same(seventeen slugga boyz, two big shootas, and a Nob), an eight ork Nob mob, a six ork mob of Kommandoz, and three Dethkoptas with twin-linked big shootas.

With the battlefield set, we deployed our forces, followed by the Dethkoptas taking their turboboosted scout move and the Kommandoz infiltrating right onto the objective in the center of the board!

With all that done, it was time to get the game underway!

Taking the first turn, Matt moved up both of his mobz of Boyz while the Nobz, koptas, and Kommandos held their ground.

Moving into the shooting phase, the Kommandoz opened fire on the Carnifex with a skorcha, a big shoota, and a bunch of sluggas. Between the crappy Ork ballistic skill, and the high toughness and armor on the Carnifex (everything in my army had the extended carapace option to improve their armor saves...) I really wasn't that worried. At least I wasn't until I rolled snake eyes for my armor save on the two slugga shots that actually managed to hurt him. He hadn't even moved yet and he had already lost half his wounds and that was to a couple of slugga!

The Dethkoptas opened fire next and inflicted another wound, leaving him in very rough shape. On the other side of the table, one of the boyz mobz fired their big shootas at one of the broods of 'stealers but luckily they only managed to score one kill. With nothing in range of a charge, Matt's turn ended and it was time for some payback!

Moving forward everything except for the gaunts, I was able to get everything into a good position to be able to crush those Kommandos by the end of the turn!

As both of the 'stealer brood ran forward, the Carnifex opened fire on the koptas, lobbing a strangler shot long while the devourers only managed to inflict one point of damage.

The Tyrant fired next, again completely missing with his strangler while the devourers splattered harmlessly against cover. Well, so much for payback! This brought my shooting to an end and led right into the assault phase.

Charging forward, both my Carnifex and 'stealer brood smashed into the Kommandos. After a violent flurry of claws, the entire Kommando unit was decimated.

With their enemies completely crushed, I consolidated both the 'fex and the 'stealers, moving the 'fex toward the koptas while the 'stealers moved themselves into cover.

Heading into Turn 2, Matt moved remaining three mobz forward as the koptas continued their usual tactic of advancing to the rear.

Letting lose a torrent of fire in his shooting phase, this the Carnifex managed to hold its own against the massed fire of the slugga mob. The 'stealers didn't fair as well though as three of their number were gunned down.

Moving into the assault phase, the two boyz mobz charged forward, one engaging the 'fex while the other engaged the 'stealers. With their higher initiatire, the 'stealers were able to inflict some early loses, pulling down two boyz before having five of their own chopped down. The carnifex did not fair quite as well.

After dealing this massive blow to my army, the Orks used their consolidation to move closer to the objective in the middle of the board.

Bloodied but not beaten, it was now my turn. On the right side of the board, the 'stealers moved up through the shanty to get into position to assault the boyz, while the Tyrant moved up against the ruins in the center.

I also moved the Gaunts forward slightly so that I could try to get a few shots off against the mob with the Warboss though I really didn't expect too much from them.

Next, the 'stealers ran forward some more to get along side the boyz while the Tyrant fired at the other mob. The devourers managed to take down three of the boyz while the strangler... Well, let's just say that the blast template found new purpose in life right about now.

To wrap up my shooting, the only Gaunt that actually had range on the boyz mob fired and actually managed to inflict a wound on the Warboss!

Now it was time to kick some Ork butt! My 'stealers and Tyrant slammed into the mob on the right, ripping apart eight of the boyz in the process! Shocked at the ferocity of the 'stealers attack, the remaining boyz failed to do anything and decided that the it was time to call it a day.

The 'stealers didn't want to stop playing though and ran after the Orks while the Tryant moved over into the cover of the shanty.

Heading into turn three, Matt tried to rally the mob that was on the run but they really weren't interested and continued their sprint for the edge of the board. The Warboss turned his mob away from the objective and headed toward the 'stealers while the Nobz and the Koptas stayed where they were and enjoy the show. See what happens when your objective marker is a couple of barrels of fungus beer?

Da Boss, da Boyz, and da Nobz opened fire on the 'stealers, blasting apart five of them in a rain of slugga shells before da boss led da boyz forward into close combat.

Eagerly meeting the charge, the 'stealers surged into the green tide but only managed to pull down two of the Orks before being mercilessly hacked to pieces by the Orks while the Boss once again sat back and watched the mayhem unfold.

With my 'stealers dead, my only hope was to kill as many Orks as possible so my Tyrant turned his menacing gaze on the boyz and opened fire. The devourers let loose their streams of maggots while the strangler fell short, catching the Tyrant under the template! Amazingly enough (especially considering my luck so far this game) the Tyrant escaped unscathed while both the Boss and the Nob were wounded and eight of the boyz were wiped off the board, making the large template the deadliest coaster I have ever seen.

Trying to capitalize on this momentum the Tyrant charged forward into the mob, pulling down three more of the boyz before the Warboss lunged forward and inflicted three wounds with his power klaw.

This shifted the balance of the game back in my favor but with the Tyrant so badly wounded the future was still looking bleak.

Moving in turn four, running boyz didn't even break stride while the Nobz surged forward to join the melee against the Tyrant. It lashed out and killed a Nob and a boy but in the end the Nobz were able to pull it down and strike the ending blow.

With only a small brood of Gaunts left on the board, the hivemind turned its attention elsewhere. The greenskins would have this day but in the end the hivemind would return to consume all...

Overall this was a really good game and we both agreed that it was a lot of fun. Matt and I are really getting the hang of the rules so things went a lot smoother and the addition of terrain made the whole game a lot better experience.

As for the gameplay, I realize that I need to pay more attention to what my plan is. The carnifex is the prime example of this. Even though it was only equipped with ranged weapons I charged him forward into close combat, banking on his monstrous creature status carrying him through to a victory. If I had kept him back and used him as a fire support unit like he was equipped things might have gone differently. Then again, considering how bad my template shots were it might not have mattered.

Still, the game was a lot of fun and I can't wait to get down there again for another re-match. Vengence will be mine! Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!

The Parting Shot...

Well, that brings another Dispatch to a close but there is more on the way, including a look at the latest LGS here in Las Vegas, Battlezone Comics. So until next time, may all of you dice come up Dragons!

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