The second game of Zone Mortalis was upped to 1,500 points. We played on a 6' x 4' table and spread out the terrain some more.
The mission was the Encounter Mission. We chose to play with objectives AKA Capture Ground. Since this was a 6' x 4' table we used their recommendation of using 7 objectives. The center objective was worth 3 points.
The Optional Rules we used were Reactionary Fire and Enemy Unknown.
The Reactionary Fire rule I have already discussed in a previous post. But I will go over some points about that rule again here after having thought about it more. One of the problems with the rule is that it is an Initiative test. Now don't get me wrong, I think its a good idea to include more characteristic based tests, but for certain armies Initiative just isn't any good. The Initiative test is fantastic if it is always space marines on space marines, but if you have guard or orks or tau, they will never get to use Reactionary fire because their I is so low.
I think a possible fix to this rule is to use Leadership. Add to this test the ability of all friendly squads who are within LOS of the unit doing the assaulting and within 6" of the unit that is being assaulted to also take a Leadership test to add their fire, then the rule works better. I would also add that cover from the other units who add their fire to the unit being assaulted should be granted to the assaulting unit if necessary.
Reactionary Fire as I modified above I think will balance the game away from assault armies taking over this variant of 40k. It will give shooty armies more of a chance.
The other rule we used in this game was Enemy Unknown. This rule states that each unit must be deployed as a counter where only the owning player knows what unit is assigned to what counter. A counter is revealed when an enemy counter comes in LOS of an enemy counter. If a counter goes back out of LOS of an enemy then it goes back into counter form. I made paper counters with number on their reverse sides and we played the game with them.
The force organization adjustments for this game made it a bit difficult for me to make a 1,500 point force from my Apostles of Contagion army. I normally take 3 Rhinos and 2 Chimeras and 3 units of Plague Marines. I couldn't do that for this game. I had to take extra units like Enforcers and Psykers.
One of the strengths of the Vrak's Renegades lists are their advisors. They are an interesting way to customize an army. The Enforcers can be very powerful as can the Psykers.
Also in this mission we decided to use Strategems from the boarding actions rules from the Badab War Forgeworld books. Using those rules we each had 3 points to spend on strategems. I used my three points to give me three 6-man squads of guardsmen with shotguns. My Marines Errant opponent used his three points to allow one of his units in reserve to enter off of my table edge.
As anyone who has played 40k for any period of time knows that the ability to "outflank" an enemy is incredibly useful, and I was a bit nervous when he told me that was the strategem he picked. I good thing about it was that there were 7 objective with the most important one in the middle being worth three points. All I had to do was grab the central one with my Plague Marines and tie up his out flanker with several squads and delay them.
Anyways, on to the battle report.
So here is a picture of the table set-up:
And here are two more pictures of the set-up, the crates are objectives:
Our secret forces begin to move across the table disguised as pieces of circular paper....
At this point in the battle his dreadnought rounds a corner and a HUGE squad of Vanguard Vets arrives from reserve off of my table edge and prepares to assault a squad of traitor guard.
The Traitor Guard squad gets a bit nervous as the Vanguards approach.
The combat is joined and it is revealed that there happens to be a huge squad of zombies just waiting to be charged.
Meanwhile on the other side of the battlefield, a rather large squad of zombies surrounds a crate and the Marines Errant decide it time to take that crate........easier said than done.
The other traitor guard squad decides its a good idea to get a birds eye view of the battle. Unfortunately for them so does the Marines Errant Chapter Master. Precious to this combat though, the Rogue Psyker in the squad attempted to cast Quagmire on the Chapter Master, its a cool spell that makes a unit in line of sight within 24" of the caster move in difficult terrain its next movement phase, but the rogue Psyker promptly rolls double sixes on his psychic test and he becomes possessed by a daemon, hence the Plague Bearer. That was pretty awesome since in all the time I had played the army that was the first time it has happened!
At this point in the battle, both of us had had several beers and I had forgotten to take some key pictures, but a pretty cool thing has happened right before the below picture was taken. The large Plague Marine squad in the top of the picture had successfully used Reactionary Fire on a 5 man squad of Honor Guard that came through the door and tried to charge them. They opened up with two melta guns and a plasma pistol and a bunch of rapid-firing bolters and killed three of the Honor Guard forcing them to fail a leadership test and run away!
Now Necrosius decides to climb up the ladder and take take on the Chapter Master. Necrosius however is not up to the task and dies in hand to hand combat, cursing the fact that he doesn't have an invulnerable save.
And with that the battle is over. I ended up winning the game because I controlled the center objective and I think two other objectives. The Marines Errant had only two other objectives at that point.
Another fantastic Zone Mortalis game. I have to say that I think with a few tweaks here and there, that Forgeworld has a real winner here.
Thanks for reading, until next time....