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Stage 2 - Mission 1

Indomitus Space Hulk

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#1
Brother Tyler

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SKIP ME! >>>Go to current playtest version<<<

Mission 1
FORCIBLE ENTRY

FORCES & DEPLOYMENT

Space Marines: The Space Marine player has a Sergeant with storm bolter and power sword, a Space Marine armed with assault cannon and power fist, and three Space Marines armed with storm bolters and power fists.

Genestealers: The Genestealer player begins with one blip on each of the squares indicated. In addition, the Genestealer player receives two reinforcement blips per turn which may enter play through either of the entry areas on the map. Once a bulkhead is secured, the Genestealer player receives only one reinforcement blip per turn. Once both bulkheads are secured, the Genestealer player no longer receives reinforcement blips.

SPECIAL RULES

Bulkheads: Bulkheads are much tougher than ordinary doors and can be sealed permanently shut. Bulkheads are placed as open doors at the start of the mission. During the mission the Space Marine player can close bulkheads in the same way as any other doors. Once closed, bulkheads cannot be re-opened. Bulkheads are so thick that they cannot be destroyed.

VICTORY

The Space Marine player wins if he secures both bulkheads and destroys all of the Genestealers on the map. Failure to achieve either objective is a Genestealer win.

gallery_26_7751_159424.png

DESIGN NOTES

This mission is based on the Seize and Secure mission from the Harbinger of Despair campaign, though it has been reduced (one squad of Terminators vice two, smaller map). I've also rearranged the map, though not with any serious forethought, so I imagine we may see some significant changes as a result of playtesting. The intent with this mission is simply to introduce players to the basic rules of the game. It is intended to be fairly short without a complex strategy for either player.

PLAYTESTING

I've provided a cartesian grid underlay to enable clear communication of which spaces players may refer to. For example, the first Space Marine to enter the map is placed on square AG19, whereas the initial Genestealer blips are placed at squares T22 and P27. Feel free to suggest changing things around, though the desired end state is that we'll have a fairly simple map and strategy. The mission should by no means be a cakewalk for the Space Marine player - he should suffer 3 casualties on average. This one is a beginner mission.

The one thing that I'm worried about is the inclusion of the bulkheads. These are not part of the 3rd edition game, but players can easily represent them using standard door tiles. Still, they may be considered "advanced" even though the concept and mechanics of the bulkheads is merely an adaptation of the standard doors. I think that we can get away with them since Indomitus is additive to Space Hulk - anyone playing must already have Space Hulk and will likely be familiar with the rules and game play.

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#2
deathspectersgt7

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Like the bulkheads idea thumbsup.gif


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#3
JeffJedi

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The bulkheads were in second edition right? Could someone make a bulkhead that fits in a door base then? (without stepping on IP) Or even a free standing bulkhead like a square of cardboard with a triangular bit slotted in.



#4
Brother Tyler

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Just use a regular door tile.

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#5
JeffJedi

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Brother Tyler, I just set up the board to test out the mission and found you have an extra single space corridor that is not in the boxed set. There are two single space corridor sections and this map calls for three.



#6
JeffJedi

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This was the first time I've played even a solo game with the 3rd edition rules. As I remember from playing 2nd edition the game is desperate for the Marine Player. Close Combat is deadly and the amount of reinforcements the Genestealer Player gets is scary.ForcedEntry_zpse6107a01.jpg

 

At one point there were 17 Genestealers in play. The Sergeant and one Terminator were dead and things looked very good for their side until the shooting started.

 

Overwatch fire ripped apart stealers again and again making them pay for every step they took. Another Terminator died as the Assault Cannon reloaded, it's barrels glowing hot. The last two terminators pressed their attack, but there were too many stealers and the fourth Marine was brought down.

 

The Assault Cannon Terminator pressed forward to square X19 and opened fire, however as he depressed the firing stud his assault cannon exploded killing him along with his target.

 

Total number of Genestealers: 35

Total number of Genestealers killed: 23

 

No bulkheads closed, but this was my first game since 2nd edition came out and I was learning the rules.



#7
Brother Tyler

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JeffJedi, on 01 Oct 2013 - 20:31, said:
Brother Tyler, I just set up the board to test out the mission and found you have an extra single space corridor that is not in the boxed set. There are two single space corridor sections and this map calls for three.

D'oh! I'll make some minor adjustments to the map (and this time I'll be sure to ensure that all of the required tiles are in the game). Five minutes in the pain glove for me for making such a rookie mistake.

My interim solution is to simply slice off one row. So the single tile corridors at P24 and T25 would be removed, the two tile corridor at X24 and X25 would become a single tile corridor at X24, and the four tile corridor at AD22-25 would become a three tile corridor at AD22-24. This brings us down from three single tile corridors to two,

JeffJedi, on 02 Oct 2013 - 01:21, said:
This was the first time I've played even a solo game with the 3rd edition rules. As I remember from playing 2nd edition the game is desperate for the Marine Player. Close Combat is deadly and the amount of reinforcements the Genestealer Player gets is scary.
...

At one point there were 17 Genestealers in play. The Sergeant and one Terminator were dead and things looked very good for their side until the shooting started.

Overwatch fire ripped apart stealers again and again making them pay for every step they took. Another Terminator died as the Assault Cannon reloaded, it's barrels glowing hot. The last two terminators pressed their attack, but there were too many stealers and the fourth Marine was brought down.

The Assault Cannon Terminator pressed forward to square X19 and opened fire, however as he depressed the firing stud his assault cannon exploded killing him along with his target.

Total number of Genestealers: 35
Total number of Genestealers killed: 23

No bulkheads closed, but this was my first game since 2nd edition came out and I was learning the rules.

Thanks for the playtesting and feedback!

Your assessment of the number of genestealers being scary is probably an indicator that we need to dial things back a bit. The mission on which this one was based had two blips per turn as reinforcements and I consciously maintained that in this version, even though there were two squads of Terminators in the original and only one squad in this one. Perhaps the genestealer reinforcements should be reduced to one blip per turn. If that is too few, then the likely solution will be to add an additional room (as part of the interior decorating penance I'm about to embark upon) and have the genestealers start with three blips total (instead of the two they currently start with).

If you are willing and able to playtest again, go ahead and use the adjusted map (based on my text above - I'll try to get a map up soon) and reduce the genestealer reinforcements down to one blip per turn. Hopefully you'll be able to get at least one of the bulkheads closed regularly.

Also, Dark Angels fans may enjoy seeing a Space Hulk batrep (on a flawed map, I know) with the mighty Deathwing in action. msn-wink.gif

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#8
Brother Tyler

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Okay, I've adjusted the map (five variants) and the mission:
 

Mission 1
FORCIBLE ENTRY

FORCES & DEPLOYMENT

Space Marines: The Space Marine player has a Sergeant with storm bolter and power sword, a Space Marine armed with assault cannon and power fist, and three Space Marines armed with storm bolters and power fists.

Genestealers: The Genestealer player begins with one blip on each of the squares indicated. In addition, the Genestealer player receives one reinforcement blip per turn which may enter play through either of the entry areas on the map. Once both bulkheads are secured, the Genestealer player no longer receives reinforcement blips.

SPECIAL RULES

Bulkheads: Bulkheads are much tougher than ordinary doors and can be sealed permanently shut. Bulkheads are placed as open doors at the start of the mission. During the mission the Space Marine player can close bulkheads in the same way as any other doors. Once closed, bulkheads cannot be re-opened. Bulkheads are so thick that they cannot be destroyed.

VICTORY

The Space Marine player wins if he secures both bulkheads and destroys all of the Genestealers on the map. Failure to achieve either objective is a Genestealer win.

Note that the genestealer reinforcements rule has changed, reducing from 2 blips per turn to 1 blip.

PLAYTESTING

When providing feedback, please let me know which version/variant you playtested and provide cartesian grid coordinates based on the map for that version/variant.

VARIANT 2-1:
gallery_26_7751_14962.png
(Download)
This version adjusted the map as above, getting the 1-space corridor tiles within the amount that come in the actual game.

VARIANT 3-1:
gallery_26_7751_69910.png
(Download)
This version is as variant 2-1, but replaces the junction tile with a 4-door room. A genestealer blip starts the game in that room. This creates more blips at the start of the game, which may offset the reduced reinforcement blips that the genestealer player gets throughout the game.

VARIANT 3-2:
gallery_26_7751_85925.png
(Download)
This variant removes 2 spaces horizontally, but is otherwise as variant 3-1.

VARIANT 3-3:
gallery_26_7751_64576.png
(Download)
This variant removes 2 spaces vertically, but is otherwise as variant 3-1.

VARIANT 3-4:
gallery_26_7751_58666.png
(Download)
This variant removes 2 spaces both horizontally and vertically, but is otherwise as variant 1.

In retrospect, I should have created additional variants for Variant 2-1, but I ran out of time. If one of our conclusions from playtesting is that the extra room and starting genestealer blips is too much, we'll revert to variants on Variant 2-1.

Edited by Brother Tyler, 17 November 2013 - 02:45 AM.
Updated after playtesting (SKIP ME! at the top, downloads and download links removed).

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#9
Brother Tyler

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For this variant I've gone back to the original rules where the Genestealers received two reinforcement blips per turn. I've significantly reduced the map size, though, which reduces the number of Genestealers on the board. The pdf version has one rules element in red - the blips. Initial playtests should include the blips in the rooms indicated. If this setup is too difficult for the Space Hulk player, playtest without the blips.
 

Mission 1
FORCIBLE ENTRY

FORCES & DEPLOYMENT

Space Marines: The Space Marine player has a Sergeant with storm bolter and power sword, a Space Marine armed with assault cannon and power fist, and three Space Marines armed with storm bolters and power fists.

Genestealers: The Genestealer player begins with one blip on each of the squares indicated. In addition, the Genestealer player receives two reinforcement blips per turn which may enter play through either of the entry areas on the map. Once a bulkhead is secured, the Genestealer player receives only one reinforcement blip per turn. Once both bulkheads are secured, the Genestealer player no longer receives reinforcement blips.

SPECIAL RULES

Bulkheads: Bulkheads are much tougher than ordinary doors and can be sealed permanently shut. Bulkheads are placed as open doors at the start of the mission. During the mission the Space Marine player can close bulkheads in the same way as any other doors. Once closed, bulkheads cannot be re-opened. Bulkheads are so thick that they cannot be destroyed.

VICTORY

The Space Marine player wins if he secures both bulkheads and destroys all of the Genestealers on the map. Failure to achieve either objective is a Genestealer win.

gallery_26_7751_58253.png

(Download)

Edited by Brother Tyler, 17 November 2013 - 02:46 AM.
Updated after playtesting (SKIP ME! at the top, downloads and download links removed).

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#10
Brother Tyler

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I was quite fortunate to have a chance to playtest the missions today. Okay, maybe "fortunate" isn't the correct word (for reasons which I'll explain later).

First, a big "thank you" to Gillyfish, blackoption, and Alex for being sporting about playtesting a homegrown Space Hulk mission. The event was initiated by Gillyfish who was visiting the USA from the UK. He and I were able to carve out some time to finally meet in person and to enjoy the hobby. And then blackoption was also able to join in the fun. He and I have crossed paths, but our schedules never seemed to work out so that we could actually play. Alex, meanwhile, was at the GW store when we arrived and very kindly moved his models and stuff so that we could set up the game. We invited him to join in the fun, which he did. All in all, it was both fun and productive, and the chance to actually enjoy the gaming aspect of the hobby with people with whom my primary interaction has been via the B&C (Gillyfish and blackoption) as well as someone who started the day as a stranger (Alex) reminded me why I enjoy both the hobby and the B&C so much.

The first game pitted me as the Space Marines versus Gillyfish as the Genestealers. We decided to try variant 4-1 because it seemed like the one where they Space Marines had the best chance of winning. It ended up being more like the new inmate shower introduction at the local penitentiary. I barely got into the map before losing a model and eventually ended up with Sergeant Lorenzo going down in a bloody mess after being surrounded by Genestealers. I'd like to say that the dice gods weren't kind to me (which is sort of true), but the map was just too difficult for the Space Marines. With Genestealers coming from three different directions right off the bat, the Space Marines never really had a chance (unless Gillyfish had rolled a statistically unlikely series of 1s and 2s).

Here's a picture of Sergeant Lorenzo's last moments (sorry for the blurriness):

gallery_26_7751_48505.jpg

So after that we decided to make some significant changes to the map. You can see the results below:

gallery_26_7751_8419.jpg

And then blackoption took over as the Space Marines while Alex took control of the Genestealers. Here you can see the start of the game (not really an interesting picture, I know):

gallery_26_7751_30187.jpg

The hand in the center belongs to blackoption while those to the left, leaning on the table, belong to Alex. Ultimately, victory ultimately ended up going to blackoption who established a position of supporting overwatch fire up the middle as the main part of his force first took care of the bulkhead nearest Alex and eventually secured the other bulkhead. It should be noted that blackoption's propensity for rolling 5s and 6s was uncanny, though his streak of jams provided Alex, Gillyfish, and me with several good occasions on which to laugh loudly at his misfortune. Five terminators entered the map and five terminators walked out at the end, though, so bravo zulu to blackoption.

After that, Gillyfish and I took our turn on the new map, reversing our roles from the first game. While discussion between the four of us covered several possible changes (which I'll go into in a bit), the only change we incorporated in our game was to replace the assault cannon Terminator with the heavy flamer Terminator. Having all five terminators survive the game led us to believe that nerfing the Terminators a bit might be in order (the assault cannon proved deadly in the key role of clearing out the sole room, an event which tipped the balance in blackoption's favor).

Something I picked up from the Alex-blackoption game was the importance of the Genestealer entry point near the room, so I weighed my effort there. While a few blips entered play at the other entry point, those were meant primarily as a diversionary effort (ensuring that Gillyfish kept some of his combat power focused on that side of the board) and were laying the foundation for an eventual attack from that side in the latter part of the game. The vast majority of my blips entered play from the key entrance.

Early into the game, Gillyfish fired the heavy flamer at the junction tile smack dab in the middle of the map. I had a lone blip in one of the spaces of that tile, out of sight of storm bolter fire but susceptible to the area effect of the heavy flamer. Worse, it was a 3 blip. Luckily for me, he rolled a 1 to wound and my blip survived. I backed it out as soon as I could. The rest of my blips on that side ended up being fed into the meatgrinder against the Sergeant (leading from the front). His overwatch fire whittled through their ranks, but numbers eventually won through and the Sergeant was killed. A similar sequence of events occurred as I pushed the expendable Genestealers down the line through another Terminator and then the Terminator with the heavy flamer.

Eventually, Gillyfish was down to two Terminators and lots of blips:

gallery_26_7751_68486.jpg

The dice gods were with him, though, as his accurate overwatch storm bolter fire cut a bloody swathe through the xenos. A few bad dice rolls, however, led to some Genestealers right in front of their armoured opponents and a bunch of blips/Genestealers moving up behind them. Inevitably, the Genestealers killed all of the Terminators.

Here is a picture of Brother Scipio's last moments (apparently he was trying to find a hiding place beneath the deck panel):

gallery_26_7751_23945.jpg

So here is the revised mission.

We've reverted to two starting blips - one in the room and one in the corridor terminator (what I referred to as the "garbage chute"). We've also swapped out the assault cannon for the heavy flamer.

Variant 5-1 is what we playtested. Variant 5-2 incorporates one of the changes we discussed during the Alex-blackoption game (removing the short corridor from the room to the junction in the middle of the map). Something Gillyfish and I discussed was adding a door about mid-way down the corridor that the Space Marine player can see down when he enters the map. This door would provide the Genestealers with a way to make some movement across the sides (at the back of the map) unless/until the Space Marine player destroys the door. We figured that the best place for such a door would be on the one-square corridor tile at H16, but further playtest can refine that.

Mission 1
FORCIBLE ENTRY

FORCES & DEPLOYMENT

Space Marines: The Space Marine player has a Sergeant with storm bolter and power sword, a Space Marine armed with heavy flamer and power fist, and three Space Marines armed with storm bolters and power fists.

Genestealers: The Genestealer player begins with one blip on each of the squares indicated. In addition, the Genestealer player receives two reinforcement blips per turn which may enter play through either of the entry areas on the map. Once a bulkhead is secured, the Genestealer player receives only one reinforcement blip per turn. Once both bulkheads are secured, the Genestealer player no longer receives reinforcement blips.

SPECIAL RULES

Bulkheads: Bulkheads are much tougher than ordinary doors and can be sealed permanently shut. Bulkheads are placed as open doors at the start of the mission. During the mission the Space Marine player can close bulkheads in the same way as any other doors. Once closed, bulkheads cannot be re-opened. Bulkheads are so thick that they cannot be destroyed.

VICTORY

The Space Marine player wins if he secures both bulkheads and destroys all of the Genestealers on the map. Failure to achieve either objective is a Genestealer win.

Variant 5-1 Map:

gallery_26_7751_82180.png

Variant 5-2 Map:

gallery_26_7751_17733.png

Both maps are in the same download with the rules at:

http://www.bolterand...riants-5-1-5-2/

Again, a big thank you to Gillyfish, blackoption, and Alex for the opportunity to meet them and enjoy the hobby. Also, a big thank you to Bill at GW Tower for letting us play.

I imagine that Gillyfish and blackoption (and Alex, too, if it turns out that he's a member of the B&C) will be along to provide their viewpoints on the evening. Both are in the midst of traveling, though, so it might be a bit before they have time to give their insights.

Edited by Brother Tyler, 17 November 2013 - 03:39 PM.
Maps updated with door at H16.

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#11
blackoption

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Well, It turns out I will not be leaving for the west coast just as yet (yay car maintenance) so I'll put up my views on my engagement with alex in the mean time.

 

One admistrative note for Tyler: There was a Door at H 16 initially, but I destroyed it the moment I opened the first door (Rolled a 6,4 on my first shooting action... sign of good things things to come)

 

Now, I play tested 5-1 variant and it was a lot of fun. From the vairant that Tyler first played, I could see that the terminators were too corralled initially, having to cover three short hallways from the initial push.  This, while technially doable, isn't very good, because after one bad roll of shooting, the entire terminator squad will fall right at the beginning.  In the 5-1 variant, the first terminator move will be predictable, but it doesn't make it so the terminators all die at the beginning if the squad leader has bad luck.

 

My first move was to secure the hallway on axis 16 (storm bolter 2 with 3 behind in reserve) while sending my main effort (SGT leading, Storm Bolter 1, and Assault cannon) secures the room.

 

The hallway along J between the room and the 4 way intersections and the room (J10 through J 16) itself are key terrain to 5-1.  While the Genestealers controlled that room and hallway, they can easily pressure the terminators from both angles and just as easily reinforce each side. As I pushed towards the room, Alex flooded the majority (8 of 10) of his genestealers at my squad leader (who was leading) once he hit the corner of the hallway at O-10.  What saved me was two items.  The first was my uncanny ability to kill the genestealers in the first shot (4 of the 8) with the others being gunned down by the sustained fire rule on overwatch.  The second was decisions to destroy the doors from afar (again, in first shot) at L 10.

 

Though Alex had lost all but two genestealers in his turn, his reinforcements were in play quickly and again pressured me from two angles.

 

At this point, I took my initial and largest gamble of the game. Using all of my command points but 1, I managed to get Lorenzo Into the room At K9 with Storm bolter 1 not far behind. The Genestealers charged me, but were still far enough out that they could not kill me this turn.  Now at the point of now return, The room at J-10 now had genestealers  in charge range (points J7, j6, and j5) and another three threating from J 17, J18, and J 19.  Here I put Lorenzo at J9 facing north and Stormbolter 1 at J10 facing south on overwatch. Though Lorenzo managed to gun down one of the genestealers as he turned to face them, I was worried my luck was going to run out on this charge. With two command points left, I went into overwatch.

 

Alex's charge was valiant, the northern hallway dropped just before being able to kill lorenzo both times, and the southern hallway was cleared before they got too close.  At this point in the game, the advantage swung in my favor.

 

As I mentioned, the hallway along J corridor is key terrain, I now could effectively isolate and cover most of his avenues of approach. He had one option left to threaten me (room entrance at H-10) and even though he shuffled all his remaining genestealers down that path, my assault cannon made a mess of their attempt. From this point on it was a rather systematic advance down the corridors with terminators in mutually supporting positions.  After securing the northern bulkhead, Lorenzo would still be my risk taker as he had the best chance of survival in close combat, but Alex just could not get that close.

 

My overall impressions of the map are:  This is a good and intense map that had as many hair raising moments that suicide mission has. The keys for terminator success is controlling your risk and being systematic. The genestealer player can, and will, punish the terminators for any tactical mistake they make.  Particularly with how tight and narrow map is, one mistake can wipe out the entire squad very quickly.  While the assault cannon was useful for this mission, I think the Heavy Flamer would be a better fit.  As for the difference between 5-1 and 5-2, both will be very intense games, but the owner of the room at J-10 will not have quite as strong an advantage in 5-2 as 5-1. 



#12
Brother Tyler

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One admistrative note for Tyler: There was a Door at H 16 initially, but I destroyed it the moment I opened the first door (Rolled a 6,4 on my first shooting action... sign of good things things to come)

D'oh! Gillyfish and I (obviously) missed that in our playtest. I've updated the maps above and the download file show that both maps include that door.

Thanks!

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#13
Gillyfish

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Hello.

 

So, I got back to the UK despite the best efforts of the airline!

 

This promises to be an interesting scenario if we can get the balance right. As Brother Tyler stated, the first game was far too one sided. Whilst I'd like to say that's because I'm a great genestealer player (:P), in reality that simply isn't true and the marines simply couldn't make any kind of inroad.

 

The second game, where Black Option played the marines was far more methodical in nature and resulted in a marine success. I do wonder if that was partly because the genestealer player's main push came from the south of the board rather than the north. Our third game tried that approach and it made it far harder for the marines, although the changes to the board did make them last longer than in the first iteration.

 

We clearly need to play a few more games to see if the variables are only the dice or whether there is an in-built imbalance. I'd be inclined to try the game again with an assault cannon to see how much difference that makes. If it's still hard-going for the marine player, then we need to think about lay-out again and perhaps remove that middle corridor.

 

The mission felt like it was close to being right but perhaps needs just a few more tweaks.

 

Thanks to all involved for making it such an enjoyable atmosphere of friendly rivalry. :)


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#14
JeffJedi

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I'm going to give mission 5-2 a try when i get together with my gaming group. I just introduced Space Hulk and they enjoyed it a lot.



#15
Gillyfish

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Definitely worth giving 5-2 a shot, Jeff. We found that the long corridor in 5-1 could be a real boon fr whichever side controlled it, but it might make the initial marine advance too difficult as they have to guard against too many directions. Which heavy weapon will you try?


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#16
Brother Tyler

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  • Location:The Temple of Oaths
  • Faction: VIIth Legion
I'll be playtesting the revised mission again soon, but I'd definitely appreciate if others could conduct their own playtests and provide reports and recommendations for improvement.

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Indomitus, Space Hulk

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