This was one of our first games under the new Warzone Second Edition rules. I thought I'd try out my teeming hordes of Bauhaus Ducal Militia; John fielded his First Edition favourites, Cybertronic. Fearful of all the stupid mistakes we'd make because we weren't used to the new system, we grabbed our plentiful dice, gathered our miniatures and set up the table.
We both fielded 750 point armies and didn't use any scenario rules or
unusual deployment practices.
John's Cybertronic force featured a mix of Cybertronic troop types.
Starting off with one Chasseur squad and one People's Volunteers squad,
a Shock Trooper squad and a small group of Machinators was added. Throw
in a Shock Trooper Hero and a Death Egg for fun and there was just enough left
over for one Chasseur Hero.
Shock Trooper Hero with Gehenna Puker
Chasseur Hero with Shotgun
Eradicator Deathdroid, the Mighty Death Egg
Chasseur Squad of six including one Sergeant and one HMG specialist.
People's Volunteers, or rather, Voluntold, ten men total including one Sergeant and one LMG specialist.
Shock Trooper squad of six including one Sergeant and one LMG Specialist.
Machinators, squad of four.
My Bauhaus army's composition was largely dictated by the massive numbers of Ducal Militia I wanted to field. 2 squads of 9 left enough for a squad of Blitzers and a Blitzer Kapitan, both Must Haves on my list. With Parachute Deployment, Rifles for long range and Machine Pistols for close-range unfriendliness, the Blitzers rock, even if their Explosive Charges would be useless in this game. I worked for a bit trying to figure out what to fill out the army with before settling on the Northern Sons; with machine pistols, +1 RC attack and Infiltrate they're a nasty bunch.
Blitzers, squad of six including one Sergeant and one PLR Specialist.
Ducal Militia, two squads of nine, including one Sergeant and one HMG Specialist apiece.
Northern Sons, a four man squad of Sons of Rasputin tribal allies.
Deployment was fairly quick. I put my Militia on either edge of the table, positioned to take advantage of local cover. John fielded his Volunteers in the lee of a tower with his Chassuers in the far corner. John's Infiltrating Shock Troopers took to the refinery, with a killer LOF into the ruins, into which I had just deployed my own infiltrators, the Northern Sons. John put the Deathdroid and the Chasseur Hero in the center and dropped the Shock Trooper Hero in with the Volunteers, just in case they harboured any thoughts of running away.
Last were the Machinators. Into the cover of the woods, they faced my Sons. This would get ugly.
The field was set. We rolled for initiative and John won.
John advanced the Volunteers forward. I was happy about that flank; I had lots of cover to advance into, which John didn't, and the Militia are the best light infantry in Warzone, facing the worst.
A few bursts of fire punctuated the first turn. My Militia advanced; on my right, towards the ruins, where they took a few shots at the Shock Troopers to no effect. On my left, they advanced into the cover of a stone wall and cargo container. One Volunteer died to Militia rifle fire.
Revenge was quick to follow. John marched his Death Egg forward and took a shot at the only model it could see, one Militiaman who has strayed too far to my left. Phosphor cannon fire quickly reduced the poor militiaman to a stain.
The Blitzers paradeployed onto opposite edges of the table. The squad landed into the bunker-studded right; my Kapitan landed into the rows of cargo containers, with an eye to supporting the Militia advance at close range in turns to come.
Other than this, the units just edged forward, watchful for opportunities
The next turn started with a bang. John advanced his Shock Troopers and slew one Northern Son and one of my Militiamen. In retaliation, the Militia opened up, but the Shock Troopers were so well masked by cover that I only managed to kill one, who fell very theatrically to the ground three inches below. Nearby, the Machinators and Death Egg advanced. I didn't want to let them get into close quarters, but without any Anti Tank weapons on the table, what could I do?
On my right, the Blitzers started kicking ass and taking names. Rifle fire cut the Chasseurs in half, breaking them in one fell swoop and leading to a failed panic test. The terrified survivors cowered in the shadow of the half-track and tried to pull themselves together.
On the left, a brutal firefight broke out. The Volunteers suffered hit
after hit, felling three more of their number, as the Militia took shelter
behind sandbags and stone walls. At this point John asked if troops could
shelter behind the bodies of their fallen, since we were leaving dead models
where they lay, and we decided they could (rules for this are now resident
in the New Rules section of this page, if you're interested). Return fire
dropped one Militiaman. The turn came to an end.
John won the initiative on this, the bloodiest turn of the game. On my right, John's Shock Trooper LMG tried to shoot my Blitzers but missed. The Blitzers returned fire; my PLR specialist spectacularily failed to accomplish anything useful, but a Rifle-equipped trooper dropped the LMG specialist. In the corner, the Chasseurs failed to rally.
In the center, things got personal. One of the Sons machine-pistoled the Chasseur Hero to death and in retaliation the Machinators went in. Things got very unpleasant for all parties.
Resolute that the Egg had to die, I moved my rightmost Militia squad out of cover. No AT weapons at hand, they cried their defiance and opened up with their rifles. Roll after roll netted three wounds, but the beast has six. If he wins the next initiative, I thought, as he has every turn so far, my Militia are dead.
On the left, his Volunteers shuffled forward, his LMG specialist and Sergeant joining the
rest of the survivors of his squad, prone behind the bodies of their fallen.
This is a very effective tactic; winkling the living out from the piled
dead is a pain. As such, my Blitzer Kapitan strode out of cover and cut
loose with his Puker. This weapon is even worse than it used to be. With
a searing wave of liquid fire all but one of the Volunteers perished horribly.
Fingers trembling, I picked up my dice, and rolled . . . 18! Huzzah!
The Militia opened up. Again the Death Egg was hammered with fire. The chances of wounding were a long shot; 13 or less (or thereabouts) to hit, after which the Egg gets a 10 or less Weapons Immunity save, after which it gets its impressive Armour save, but roll enough dice and eventually it'll fail, and as I ran through the numerous members of the squad, at length it suffered a fourth, fifth and (almost out of Militia!) a sixth wound!
To the cheering of the Militia, yours truly and Bauhaus fans everywhere, the armoured behemoth shivered and exploded in a brilliant pyrotechnic display. Smoke pouring from its battered shell it tipped forward and crashed to Earth. Woo hoo!
Snarling, John activated his one surviving (and miraculously passing his Panic tests) Volunteer. Point blank range, he observed, to the Blitzer Kapitan, without any cover between. Anyone can make these rolls . . . and proceeded to roll 3 times, his lowest roll a 16. The Kapitan activates, coolly pulls out his Machine Pistol, and dispatches the foolish Cybertronic trooper before retiring to cover. And the Militiamen from cover go wild . . .
But such luck cannot last forever. In the center, all but one of my
Sons perishes in HTH. John's cowering Chasseurs got their heads together and
passed their panic tests, and survived the desultory fire from my Blitzers.
However, tragically, I forgot where John's Shock Trooper hero was, and pulled
my leftmost Militia out of cover. The Hero steps out from the building,
Puker in hand, and in a horrid parody of my Kapitan's heroism, barbequed
the Militiamen. But at least the survivor (singular) passed his panic test . . .
Winning Initiative again, my Blitzer Kapitan took the opportunity to Puker the Shock Trooper hero, a fitting end. The smoke of burning flesh on that flank was getting rather thick. In the center, my triumphant Militia advanced, hoping to deal with the Machinators as soon as my last Son perished, but the brave soul held out one turn more. In the background, the charred hulk of the Death Egg smoked quietly. The Blitzers took a few more shots at the Chasseurs and Shock Troopers, to no effect; the Chasseurs dared not show themselves to return fire, and the puny Machine Pistols of the Shock Troopers couldn't reach the Blitzers.
Things looked more or less over. John only had one squad left which
wasn't either broken or destroyed. The game was over. Time to tally up the
One Shock Trooper squad worth 165 points.
165 points of Survivors, 588 points of Casualties and Broken squads
One Ducal Militia squad worth 169 points.
One Blitzer Squad, unharmed, worth 218 points.
One Blitzer Kapitan, uninjured, worth 75 points.
462 points of Survivors, 285 points of Casualties and Broken squads
Result: Bauhaus victory by 600 points (42%)
This was a game which betrayed the fact that we're still getting used to the new edition. This was John's first 2nd Ed game, and only my second. His Shock Troopers would have been much more effective if better deployed. The fact that his Chasseurs spend better than half the game panicked shows that minimum sized Chasseur squads just don't work anymore. The Volunteers did better, due to the fact that they had many more models to lose before requiring a panic check, but the terrain was against them and they were hideously outclassed and had no numerical advantage to speak of.
For my part, I love Bauhaus. I was going to build a Bauhaus army as my second force in First Edition and this just clinches it. The Blitzers method of deployment really helps and they are great fighters at any range. As for the Kapitan, well, he single handedly slew a 77 point Shock Trooper hero and broke (and wiped out) a massive Volunteer squad. Caught out in the open, such individuals are cold meat, but if you can get the most out of them, they can be devastating.
The Militia worked beautifully. Hard fighters, they passed their only panic check and demonstrated that there are few better sources of sustained, massed rifle fire. The Sons, I still believe, have potential, but obviously I need to find a better way to use them.
And, of course, this game had some awesome theatrical moments. The felling of the Goliath EDD by the Militia with rifle fire ranks right up there; the duelling Pukers was fun, too. Great time had by all.
I'm going to drop the Sons and reduce one of my 9 man Militia squads to 8. I'm also going to drop the Blitzer PLR specialist; I don't think much of the PLR after its behaviour today. This should free up enough points for a six man Dragoon squad including a RL specialist.
Overall, the new edition ROCKS. The system is easy to pick up and plays
very smoothly; I like the balance of units and individuals, the role of
heavy weapons, rifles, pistols and CC weapons, and the overall feel of the
game. I'm looking forward to our next game.