Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Gang war and a pair of fresh eyes.

Hi all, hope you're all fit and eager to hear my latest ramblings on the warhammer 40,000 universe!

Last night I played two warm up games of necromunda against my friend Matt (read his fledgling blog here). We stuck to the basic rules, so no falling off buildings etc, as its been 15 years since my last game. That being the case I was pretty pleased with the outcome, one win and one loss. We played with a lot more scenery than I used to back in the day, so fire lines were much more obstructed than I remember.

What that meant was that my longer ranged gangers and heavy were of much less use than I’d hoped, but realistically the table we were using was also slightly smaller than it should be too, and my opponent was extremely canny with his model placement and movement, meaning any shots I did get were hampered by lots of cover.


The first game was over pretty quickly to be honest, My set up was average at best and several guys were visible and in range from the start. Hawg went down quickly to a scatter shot blast, my opponent putting him out of action with his first shot. My close combat group, consisting of leader, 2 juves and a ganger did get into combat relatively early, though they made the mistake of getting charged. Unusually those combats were less than decisive in the early turns. On the other side of the table, my flamer heavy let rip and hit a juve, but failed to either injure or set him on fire, and to add insult to the lack of injury, he failed the resulting ammo roll – thankfully I’d had the foresight to equip him with a lasgun as a backup! The combat then swung away from me before I managed to do any damage at all, and I failed my first attempt at a bottle roll (which ironically, I’d have passed if it wasn’t my leader that had gone out of action to force me to roll it!)


The second game went much better, though it was a close run thing – my shooting was more effective, and I managed to get my leader and a juve into combat with a ganger and juve. The ganger went out of action and the juve went down in the next turn, my leader managing to consolidate just beyond range of the nearby flamers, leaving the juve to get toasted. That was when I got a bit cocky, I’d already put down another goliath ganger with a shotgun blast, so I just needed one more casualty to force a bottle test on my opponent. All my gang closed in for the kill, moving to get the clearest shots possible. And then dice impotence hit me, it’s something I suffer from regularly, but the doc says there isn’t anything they can proscribe to cure it. Two lasguns, one autogun, one heavy stubber, a shotgun, an autopistol at close range (so hitting on a 2+) and a stub gun all missed the target leaving me horribly exposed. I even forgot about my leader so no charge into combat or shooting with his plasma pistol. Needless to say after my opponent’s next turn, my combat ganger and second juve were rolling around on the floor (flesh wound and pinned fortunately) and the autogun ganger was down, my opponent needed just one more casualty to force a bottle test, and so did i. That was when my luck turned, and though my leader, who’d been charged by a couple of juves, failed to roll well enough to win the first combat and then failed to wound with the one hit he caused form his higher initiative (on a 2+ from his plasma pistol on full power!) the second combat went my way. Just. My opponent rolled a six from his three attack dice, which I forced him to re-roll using my chainsword, and the resulting die came up a four. Enough to tie the combat so I again caused a single hit from having a higher initiative. This time the dice gods looked on me favourably, and the juve went down forcing a bottle roll. Which my opponent failed, thankfully, since he’d got a squad of 4 guys about to make my leader’s life a nightmare in the next turn.


All in all therefore, a reasonably successful reintroduction to the game, and several lessons learned for the campaign opener in a fortnight. As an aside, I decided to see what would have happened to the guys who were down at the end of the game if we had been playing in a campaign – the juve recovered fully, as is the tendency for the young and virile, but the ganger went blind in one eye (thank goodness it wasn’t a campaign game!)


On to the Random Musing for today then, and that’s to do with the usefulness of fresh eyes.


I find often that the grizzled amongst us have been playing so long that we rarely consult the rulebook for certain parts of the game, and therefore we know the generality of the rules we use, but sometimes the finer points escape us. This came up in particular last night, when resolving a combat in one of my Necromunda games, and my opponent rolled a ‘6’ on one of his attack dice. No bother, I thought, as it’s only the first six he’s rolled and he needs another before he gets the bonus for a critical hit. My opponent however thought that six counted as a critical even though it was the only one he got. Now I’m not trying to boast that I knew the rule better, it was simply that having not played for so long, I had re-read the rules carefully this week, and in this instance my interpretation was correct. That meant that the combat was tied, and went on into the next turn – as it turns out, it didn’t affect the outcome of the game, but my point is that sometimes it’s useful to play against someone new to the hobby, because if they’ve come fresh from reading the rules, they may actually understand them better than you, in this instance one part of one sentence could have made a huge difference to the game’s outcome. (If you think I did come across as boasting there, I should point out that my reading of the sustained fire rules was corrected by my opponent – though if you notice there’s a subtle but significant difference in the way this is calculated between the living rulebook and the original rules, which are the ones we’re using. The original rules you roll once to hit, then see how many sustained fire hits you get, under the new rules you roll to see how many sustained fire shots you get first, then roll to hit with each of them – and with a heavy stubber that means on average 4 attempts at scoring a hit, meaning that your sustained shooting is much more likely to cause some damage in comparison to the original rules).