It's time to reflect on a fantastic weekend of gaming with Phil and Fig. The session began Saturday morning, through the early hours of Sunday morning, a short break for sleep, and gaming again until mid afternoon. Whilst it sounds a marathon, the gaming was interspersed with chilled conversation, memories of games past, and a lot of wholesome eating thanks to Lucy.
Most of the time was spent miniature gaming, however we did have a Sunday morning break fighting for survival in 'The Dead of Winter'. Phil had brought his Greeks for a game of Impetus, instead we played sci-fi!!! As ever, the best laid plans changed. What I was hoping for was to play test my Sci-fi rules 'Force Agenda'. Although the reason and ethos of the game was clear in my mind, with the rules designed to reflect this, it was really important to see if the game played the way I hoped with people who came to the game cold. We played about 5 games, with little tweaks being added as we went.
The first game was kept simple with two basic troop types. On one side was a Colonial Defence Force, and on the other, a band of marauding thugs. The mission was kept simple with the marauders attempting to capture a truck in the centre of the battlefield with the CDF trying to stop this. The Marauders quickly closed on the right flank through the spaceport to close for an assault. The CDF reaction was to whittle down the marauder teams into manageable sizes.
The Marauders did manage to make it to the truck, however their strength was not enough to take it; end of game one. The bits of the game that went well included the Blip phase where units are monouvred without the opponent's knowledge of their disposition, and the use of the coloured dice with their unpredictable results. The bit that didn't work well (which we continued to scratch our heads over) was line of sight on a squared grid.
The next game was played twice, with players swapping roles, but keeping their forces. Phil kept the CDF as he was understanding their weapon systems and tactical usage. Fig took the Marshborn Crusties, who were slightly more advanced, but not as strong. I'd added some attachments including some rocket launcher troops, these became a firm favourite ( and target) during the Following games. The two sides were allowed to bring forces on from two adjoining sides, with the defenders protecting the spaceship on the landing pad in their corner. The first game saw an aggressive flanking attack by the Crusties which was brought to a halt amongst the industrial sector of the board.
The second game saw a lightening attack reminiscent of Vietnamese sappers 'amongst the wire'. The rapid strategic movement of a rocket launcher equipped section caught the defenders before they could adequately deploy to protect the spaceship. As much fire was poured into this section, including the introduction of mortar teams. However this was not enough to deter the squad from steadily destroying the spaceship.
The final game we played on Saturday was a race to grab a package and return it to friendly lines. The Crusties rapidly deployed across the centre of the table to cut the battlefield in half. The CDF used their strategic movement to rapidly deploy a small force at the package.What followed was a cinematic series of encounters with the package being passed from vehicle to vehicle by the CDF, whilst being actively harried by some leap frogging Crustie jump troops. In the end, A CDF sled threw off a final jump trooper to escape off the board.
Our very last game was played on Sunday afternoon. The Crusties were tasked with capturing a de-activated droid by breaking through a light screen of CDF troopers and set up a perimeter to protect it. The CDF tried to cause as many casualties as possible to enable scheduled reinforcements to mop up any enemy left. The game ran out of time with the Crusties attacking strongly down the left flank, through the trees and residential area. This game began to show the value of maintaining the impetus of an attack using support weapons in an aggressive manner.
A big thank you to Phil and Fig for their patience whilst I often scratched my head considering a new rules contradiction. It was pleasing that they felt the game system had legs and was worth developing further. I particularly liked that after the first game, most mental energy went into the tactics rather than understanding the rules. My next considerations are to refine the Line of sight rules, develop the affects of terrain, and try some of the other troop types I have in my figure collection.