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):
So after that we decided to make some significant changes to the map. You can see the results below:
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):
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:
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):
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 1FORCES & DEPLOYMENTSpace 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 RULESBulkheads:
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:
Variant 5-2 Map:
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.