I managed to finish my Concord Starter Army for Beyond the Gates of Antares this morning (I haven't had the chance to take pics of all of the finished units) and with a free afternoon I decided to throw them against my Boromites in a solo game. I set up a quick table layout and decided the Bormoites needed to destroy three caches of supplies secured at a Concord forward shuttle base. The quality of pics are a little dodgy because I took them with my phone...
Basically, the Concord could set up anywhere within the fenced area or six inches of the south edge (the side closest in the photo above). The Boromites could deploy up to twelve inches from the north edge. To destroy the supplies a unit simply needed to shoot them and beat a Resistance value of six, but the shooters needed to be within twenty inches to confirm the destruction (so no sniping with the X-Launcher). I deployed both starter armies - I don't have the full rule book yet (it is on the way), so I don't have the point values for the Boromites. I don't know if the armies are exactly even, but it was a solo game so I'm wasn't really bothered about that.
I'm not going to describe every round, but I will cover the highlights and give my first impressions of the game at the end.
The bulk of the Boromites set up as far forward as possible on their left edge, while the Lavamites were placed on the far right to give the Concord troops something to think about.
The Command Squad, X-Launcher, and Targeter Drone Shard set up int he compound and the other troops spread out along the table edge.
The game opened with a deadly salvos by X-Launchers from each side which managed to cause some hits and place Pin Markers. The Boromite Overseer and Work Gang were quick to find some terrain that blocked line of sight from all of the Concord Spotter Drones! Sadly, the Concord Strike Command Team were not as cowardly (wise) and were wiped out by a direct hit (rolled a '1' to hit and a '5' for the number of hits) from the Boromite X-Launcher on turn two! On the Concord right flank, a Strike Squad sent the Lavamites scrambling for cover as soon as the creatures crested the ridge, killing one and prompting a Run Order in the opposite direction when the next Boromite die was drawn.
Concord troops rush to reinforce the base, but find themselves confronted with the Lavamites. The Boromite die comes up first and the creatures charge, goaded by the whip of their master. The troopers managed to react quickly and got off shots as the monsters barreled in and killed the handler, but the resulting melee saw the squad completely wiped out!
A Concord Support Drone poured fire into the remaining creatures, but failed to kill them. However, the additional Pin Marker and the Lavamite poor Command stat ensured they remained 'Down' for the rest of the game.
By turn five the situation looked desperate for both sides. The Bormites succeeded in destroying one cache, but their numbers were dwindling. The X-Launcher fell back to get the attackers back beyond minimum range, but failed to cause any more casualties.
By turn seven (I think, I lost count at one point) the Support Drone had wiped out the Work Gang, but not before they had destroyed the cache sheltering the X-Launcher. I left the mid-range cache for last because it was in range of the Gang Fighters and Overseer without moving... who subsequently destroyed it when another Boromite Order die came up.
What a fun game! I made a lot of tactical errors because I was flipping around the rulebook quite a bit and was often struck with, 'Oh, I shouldn't have moved there!' (Sorry Concord Command Squad). I'm sure the subtleties will become more apparent after a few games.
- Shooting ranges are really long compared to most table top games you may be use to, with infantry standard weapons being able to tag targets at up to 50 or 60 inches (albeit with penalties to hit).
- Cover improves the survivability of your little metal men immensely - don't muck about in the open if you can help it.
- The Targeter Drones are more effective if you zip them to hover around targets that have already been given orders in the turn - else when an enemy die comes up, they simply walk away from them.
- Lavamites are dangerous if they make it into close combat - two of these monsters wiped out five Concord Troopers on a charge. Shoot these buggers every time you get an order die and can draw a line of sight to them!
I love the die activation and order mechanics (very similar to my own Victory Without Quarter ECW rules). After a few turns the combat mechanics were automatic, though with more variety of weapons on the board you may need to apply a few additional rules. I'm sure I missed a couple of things. It took me about two hours to play the game, but I spent a lot of time reading through the book, searching for weapon stats, taking photos, etc. I am going to run another game in a week or two for a pair of my normal gaming pals and I will report on the results of that game as well.