Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Live field test, beware the EX-01; A Horizon Wars AAR

Happy with the way the first attempt at modified damage allocation went, I decided to run another game, this time including something I've been looking at since the release of HW; Super Heavy units.

A Super Heavy unit is basically any unit with a P of 4 or more. These powerfull elements are sure to change things up a bit and in the rulebook it's suggested that whenever used the scenarios should revolve around them since they are such potent units. I decided to forgo using any of the traits exclusive to the SH elements, trying out the SADU's prototype EX-01 mech as a P4 unit.

With several EX-01 prototypes completed and run through all the tests possible in the lab, it was now time for the first real field test beyond the one proof of concept use some months before.

A suitable target had been chosen; A small NTC outpost not too far from then last stalemate fought in the desert. Eager for a quick victory and a chance to prove the new designs worth in actual combat conditions, the SADU deployed..

The NTC base was quiet, one squad was on patrol and the other inside the compound.

The defenders currently in the camp consists of two Bazooka Warriors and two regular Warrior mechs, the Warrior with the brown base is the CHQ for the NTC. The patrol, currently off table, consist of three Warriors and one Bazooka warrior mech. 

The attacking SADU force consists of five Turtle-class mechs, a Beetle-class and the EX-01.
As they enter the rocky area leading up to the outpost one of the NTC's sensor arrays is triggered, they know that company is coming!

One overly brave SADU pilot moves his mech up fast, opting to stay in the open to reach his target quicker. This turns out to be something of a mistake, as one of the NTC Bazooka mechs move up to some nearby rocks and open fire. The heavy round hits, blowing chunks out of the stricken mech, but it remains standing.

Eager to try out the new unit, the pilot of the EX-01 fires his thrusters and starts a targeting lock on the only visible enemy, lining up his twin auto cannons..

..And he scores a series of devastating hits, blowing his target apart in a ferocious explosion!

Meanwhile the bulk of the SADU mechs have gone right, stacking up behind the rocks there to begin their assault. The pilot of the Beetle mech pops out a bit early to take a shot at the lone buildings outside the base and manage to cause some superficial damage. It does however expose him to a counter attack from a NTC Warrior mech and the autocannon rounds tear into the machines legs and armor, rending them.

The start of the second turn. The SADU is strongly positioned to attack the unshielded buildings, but the NTC reinforcements could arrive at any moment..

Returning fire at point blank range, the Beetle pilot has better luck than his opponent, and the Warrior mech grinds to a halt, toppling over.

On the other side of the rocky line, another Warrior pilot engages the already wounded Turtle-class mecha in a firefight. Both mechs take a pounding..

..But the Turtle gets the better of the Bazooka Warrior in the end and the defeated mech crashes into the sand.

It's not looking good for the NTC defenders, the commander is forced to retreat after a short firefight with the EX-01, both units take some damage, but the NTC mecha is clearly the looser and falls back inside the protective walls. At the same time the first of the patrol mechs return in time to engage the attacking Beetle mech.

Soon another of the patrol's number joins the fight, and a well-placed bazooka round knocks the Beetle out of the fight.

The mechs keep returning and engages the attackers with fierce determination, but it's all a little too little a little too late, and the buildings outside the walls crumble under the onslaught of the SADU assault!

Braving fire from the new experimental unit as well as it's companions, the commander charges into one of the Turtles at full speed, thoughly wrecking both his own and the enemy mech. The Ex-01's pilot is told over secure comms that SADUCOM has all the data they need and the remaining units are to fall back at their best speed, the mission is accomplished.

The remaining NTC pilots starts chasing after the retreating enemy, trying to take out and capture as many units as it can before they slip away. short-range auto-cannon fire takes care of one Turtle close to the patrol..

While two others hunt down and cripple another. While it could still fight back, it's legs and locomotive systems were damaged enough that the pilot chose to surrender rather than be shot to pieces as he was a sitting duck anyhow.

Halting momentarily, trying to decide if he could take out the remaining Warrior mechs and rescue the SADU pilots by himself, the EX-01's comm system insistently tell it's pilot to fall back, to do his duty. The pilot finally turns to follow his retreating comrades, swearing to come back to rescue his fellows or to avenge them them if that proves impossible.

A decisive SADU win, and a great first run for the EX-01's production model!

With hindsight I realize that I should probably have set the bar for mission completion on the SADU's part a bit higher, either by increasing the hp of the buildings or just having them destroy at least two of them to make things a bit more even. There was a fair bit of crits being rolled on both sides however the early double crit from the EX-01 gave the whole thing an explosive start!

I'm currently thinking about producing some more terrain for both my 6mm mechs and some for 3mm games and with a few new mechs coming my way during the next week or so I think I'll have some more things to share before too long. There is also a few mecha front minis on my painting desk that I hope to finish up before the new arrivals get here.

Til next time!

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