Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Upcoming Releases: Operation Damocles Campaign book and a sneak peak!

Hey everyone,

It is now official! Rackham will be releasing a seperate compilation of the Operation: Damocles missions from Cry Havoc magazine soon. Here is a picture of the cover...

This book will be 64 pages of full color goodness and it will also include 6 exclusive cards. There are no details about what these cards might be but I am guessing they are probably the cards for things like "Propoganda" and "UNSS Battleaxe" along with the other cards released in the Cry Havocs to represent various game effects. There are also supposed to be rules for playing the Karmans in the campaign as well as the new errata!

Overall, I think that this will be a great addition to the AT-43 line up. Not everyone was able to get the Cry Havocs that cover the game and this will finally let anyone who is interested pick it up and give it a try. It also doesn't sound like there will be a bunch of material that people need to play the game (a good example is the Errata which is already available for free online) so that people who aren't interested don't have to get this book. Already have the rules for the campaign? No problem! You can pass on this one and save up for Frostbite, though I am planning on getting it just because I like the idea of having all of the rules gathered in one spot. Less to forget at the Shop then as well. : )

As an added plus, here is the latest concept picture for the COGS! This is the original image just to give you an idea of how the three compare to each other for scale.

Here is a closer look at the first picture (which I am guessing will be a type I infantry)...

and the second picture (thinking type II for this one)...

and finally the third picture (which I think is the type III. funny how that works, isn't it?).

No details have been released yet, but going by the pictures they seem to have no problem with close combat (note the swords that the two on the left are carrying). It should be very interesting to see where they go with this race and as soon as more information becomes available I will get it posted.

That is all for now, but come back soon for the latest Battle Report (Therians vs. Karmans in the first of our Operation: Damocles battles!) and also for more pics from GTS of the DUST miniatures. Until then, may all your dice come up Dragons!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Related Gaming News: DUST miniature game coming soon!

Hey everyone,

Just a quick post about a new gaming coming later this year. DUST, created by Pablo Parente, will be released as a pre-painted miniature game and from what I have heard they will be using the AT-43 game system for the game mechanics. Should be very interesting indeed!

Here is a picture that I took at the Little Shop of Magic of a few of the concept minis that they had on display.

I know that John Coviello (the owner of the Shop) also took some pictures of the walkers that will be part of the game, but I need to get copies of these to post here. More on this soon!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Unit Review: the Easy Trike

Yep, that's right. I am finally doing the Easy Trike unit review. Come on now, it only took me how many weeks to get this done? Seriously though, lets take a look at this piece of hardware for the Karmans.

The Easy Trike is one of the many anti-grav vehicles that the Karmans can field. This feature alone is a nice plus since the Trike can just fly over any terrain that might get in its way unlike all of the other vehicles in the game. See all those low walls that your striders have to walk around? Not this puppy. It also mounts some pretty decent armor as well, sporting a armor value of 12.

Even so, all of this is not the most unique feature of the Easy Trike. That would have to be the twin jammers mounted on the front of this nimble little vehicle. The first time that I had one shoot at my Golgoth, I was expecting to get hit and take a couple of points of damage. An annoyance, to be sure, but not enough to seriously damage my walker unless I was really unlucky. Then I found out that each of the jammers rolls two dice for damage. In one turn, I watched my Golgoth suddenly get crippled by a shot from one of the two Easy Trikes that were on the board! And I thought that Urod had been annoying to deal with...

The irony is that as effective as the Easy Trike is against vehicles, it is virtually useless against anything else. Jammers are completely ineffective against all types of infantry (even the heavy power armor such as the Kolossus and TacArms) so if your opponent surprises you by going completely with troopers it means that you are out 250 points for each of the Trikes. Sure, they can still run over troops easy enough (though in the case of the Karmans I think it would be more a case of roasting the troops with their jet exhausts) but compared to what some of the other Trikes can do that is a very poor substitute.

This leads to the ultimate question, are they worth it? Well, that depends entirely on your situation. If you know that your opponent will be fielding either a vehicle heavy force (such as Frontline for the Red Blok) or even just a couple really nasty vehicles (Urod comes to mind) then I don't think that one or even two Easy Trikes would be a bad investment. If you are looking for an all-purpose vehicle you might want to consider something like the Jungle Trike instead. With its twin ZZ-guns, the Jungle Trike is more versatile since it can deal with both infantry and vehicles quite effectively. The armor is a little lighter on the Jungle Trike, but with their lower cost and more versatile weapons I think that overall they will probably be more effective against a infantry or mixed force.

I hope that you have enjoyed the review and remember that your comments and questions are always welcome. Until next time, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Battle Report 30032008: the Therians vs. the Red Blok...again

For this gaming session, we decided to do something a little different. Being a new and growing group, we are still in the process of ironing out some of the rules for the game. We have all of the basic rules down (for the most part at least) but we have never played using reinforcement points. Most of the games we have played have also been these giant battles with two players running 4000 points to a side.

This time we decided to play the first mission for Operation: Damocles so that everyone could get a feel for all of the ins-and-outs of the game. Unfortunatly we were suffering from a lack of containers and maps (I didn't realize that the first mission needed seven containers and we had three sets of players; twenty one containers?!?) so we decided to only use half of the map and we also set the point limit at 1000 points.

We rolled to see who we would be paired off against and as fate would have it I wound up facing Tony and his Red Blok...again. And sure enough, there was Urod...again. *sigh* Ah, well...

We laid out our terrain and then Tony and I were ready to get underway. We rolled to determine who would choose to be the attacker and who would be the defender. Winning this roll, I decided to be the attacker. Since this was only a 1000 point game, this meant that Tony had to keep at least 500 points of his force as reinforcements, getting Urod off the table right from the start. This left Tony with a reinforced unit of Krasyne Soldaty and a single Sierp to face off against a full unit of Assault Golems and a base unit of Storm Golems. Here is a view of the board after Tony deployed his units.

Rolling for Authority, Tony won and choose to activate his units first so that he could give his Krasny unit the "Take Cover" and "Overwatch" combat drills. I followed this up by moving my Assault Golem unit onto the board, keeping most of them behind the cover of the container. The two exceptions were the Golems equipped with nucleus guns.

The Krasny opened fire on these two but the range was too great for any of the shots to hit home. Hoping to remove some of his cover, I opened fire on the two low walls that his troops were hiding behind. Both shots were solid hits but they failed to actually destroy the sturdy concrete barriers.

Tony responded by having his Sierp lob its mortar rounds at the one Golem that he could see and he was actually able to take out two of them in the resulting blast! No where near enough to ground the unit, but it was enough to be annoying.

To wrap up the first turn, I dashed my Storm Golem unit forward and I was able to capture control of the nanogenerator. This left the unit right out in the open, but considering the poor range of the RB weapons I decided that it was worth taking the chance. At the end of turn one, the Red Blok had 2 VPs and 250 RPs while the Therians had 0 VPs and 75 RPs.

Tony won the Authority check for the second turn and opened fire on the unit of Storm Golems with the Sierp, only to have both rounds sail wide of their intended targets.

My Assault Golems went next. Instead of simply controlling the objectives, I decided to change gears a little and deny Tony one of his. My three heavy weapon golems opened fire on the first container and blew it apart. This took away some the RPs that he could earn and it also killed a couple of his soldiers in the process.

To get them into a better position (meaning not on top of a container that I could easily destroy), Tony next moved his Krasny behind the first set of low walls (which were now on the ground) and opened fire on the Storm Golems that were right out in the open. Thankfully my plan paid off and even with the massive salvo that he was able to fire, I only lost one Golem.

To wrap up the second turn, I advanced my Storm Golems again on the left side of the board but this time I was able to get myself into a good position to shoot at the Krasny unit.

The two medics were able to save a couple of the soldiers, but in the end both the sergeant and the heavy weapon trooper were killed. The turn ended with the Red Blok advancing to 4 VPs and 450 RPs while the Therians still had 0 VPs and 225 RPs.

The next turn began with Tony winning the Authority check (again) and the Sierp openning fire on the Storm Golem unit advancing on its side of the table. Here you have a cockpit view of the action right before it fires both of its mortars and misses with both of them. Safe another turn...

Next, the same Storm Golem unit advanced to get right behind the container in the hopes of getting some safety from the Sierp and to gain control of the container and nanogenerator. As an added plus, they were also able to open fire on the Soldaty unit on the other side of the board. After a flurry of nano muntions flying toward them, the Soldaty unit emerged with only two more casualties thanks once again to the steely resolve of the Red Blok medics.

The Soldaty activated next and Tony moved them forward to try to get a better shot against the Storm Golem unit. Assault rifles chattering away, the Soldaty were able to hit the Golems but the simply could not penetrate their armor.

Next the Assault Golems advanced while firing on the Sierp in the hopes of damaging it. Even with the heavy firepower of the nucleus guns I was only able to inflict one point of damage on the frame of the Sierp. Even so, I was able to gain control of the last container on the right side of the board with their superior numbers, giving me precious RPs and more importantly denying Tony the last few that he needed to bring Urod into the game. The turn ended with the Red Blok at 6 VPs and 450 RPs while the Therians were at 0 VPs and 325 RPs.

Having finally surpassed the 266 points that I needed to bring in my remaining Storm Golem unit, I hastily added them to the activation sequence. Tony still could not bring in Urod so there was still a chance that I could win the game. The third turn began with Tony moving the Sierp around the container that it had been behind so that it could get a good shot at the Storm Golem unit. At such short range it was nearly impossible for him to miss but thankfully he was not able to wipe on the unit.

When the smoke finally cleared, one final Golem remained to contest the control of the container and the nanogenerator.

Next Tony moved his Soldaty back toward the container in the hopes that he could inflict enough casualties to regain control of it. Even at such short range, the poor peneration of the assault rifles was too much to overcome as only a single golem fell. In response, the Assault Golems charged forward and as they clambered on top of the low wall two of them were even able to engage the Soldaty.

Both of the golems managed to hit their targets but unbelievabily they failed to pierce the thin armor of the Red Blok troopers! (must tell my golems in the future to attack with the edge of the blade, not the flat...).

As his golems moved to engage the Soldaty, the Assault Golem overseer (who was also the platoon commander) took advatage of the confusion to reconstruct one of the fallen Storm Golems again denying the other two objectives from the Red Blok.

The turn ended with my second Storm Golem unit dashing onto the board and taking up position behind the Assault Golems. Now the Red Blok were at 8 VPs while I was still at 0 VPs but I had again managed to deny Tony the objectives so he was still only at 450 RPs, close to what he needed but not quite enough.

The fourth turn started with Tony winning the Authority check again (need to work on my die rolling in the future...) and the Sierp taking the first action. The mortars managed to hit the Storm Golems but neither of them was destroyed. In a fit of rage, the Sergeant on board the Sierp then charged forward to crush the morphos beneath his giant metal feet. Unfortunately morphos are quite nimble even when they are lying on the ground and he managed to miss both of them.

The Assault Golems moved next, advancing toward the Sierp and ignoring the Soldaty completely. Their only goal was to hit the walker with everything they had in the hopes of destroying it but it proved to be in vain as none of the shots managed to pierce its armor.

Tony then moved his Soldaty forward to try to slow down the newly arrived Storm Golem unit but in the end they were not able to move far enough forward to keep the golems away from the container.

The Storm Golems dashed forward to engage the troopers but again the medics proved their worth saving their fallen comrades. With this turn drawing to a close, we realized that though the Sierp had failed to destroy the Storm Golems when it tried to trample them, it did force them far enough away from the nanogenerator that they could not contest it anymore. The Red Blok was now at 550 RPs, a mere 20 points away from bringing on Urod and effectively ending the game.

The fifth turn, I was finally able to win the Authority test (after investing a hunk of my LPs to do so) and I moved my Assault Golems closer to the Sierp while I transfered one of the regular golems into a heavy weapon golem. Even with three nucleus guns I failed to damage the Sierp and with time running out I decided to concede the game. There was simply no way for me to keep Tony from getting the last few points that he needed to bring in Urod and once that monster was on the board there was no way to keep it from wiping out what was left of my force.

All in all, it was a great game. There was a lot of tension there as I struggled to keep Urod off the table but in the end I just could not keep it from happening. Perhaps next time I will just blow up all of the objectives on the other side of the table... Until next time, may all of your dice come up Dragons!