This Month ahas seen a slew of new miniatures released from Pendraken Miniatures for their 10mm Warband game.
I have played a few games of Guild Ball now and I am struck by a few things.
THIS IS SPARTAN!
So I volunteered to write an article about Spartan Games and, more importantly, their game systems. Spartan has existed since 2008 and was founded by a chap called Neil Fawcett. It is a family business. Neil is the creative lead and his wife has a fantastic mind for business. Even their son is heavily involved in playtesting.
Dystopian Wars Back to Basics Pt 1. Or I stopped worrying and learned to love the Brits.
So I have been a long time player of Dystopian wars across the last two editions. In many game systems with high entry costs we find we need to identify with one faction that appeals to our aesthetic taste and play style, then put all our cash and resources in that one faction (or get a better paid job, re-mortgage, sell a child to the acid mines).
One of the great things about the D-Wars is the low cost of the miniatures making it very easy to afford multiple fleets. I don’t put my factions as my forum signature because the list would be longer than most of my posts! I currently own 14 draws and three cases of Spartan products, make that four cases once I get some storage for my HALO fleet stuff.
I tend to lean towards competitive play having done the odd tournament. To that end I tend to base lists around a combination of balance board control and the ability to devastate my enemies ships. What I have forgotten recently is how to take characterful fleets with fun over the ferocity. The French and Covenant are strong for competitive play. High Damage output and fast alpha strike ships make for good tournament lists. Tournaments tend not to last past 3 turns due to time constraints so you want a force that can capitalize on the aforementioned traits.
The Kingdom of Britannia were my first fleet. I still recall the excitement of opening the first naval box set Spartan did and playing a game on the spot. I often say this but the Kingdom’s Fixed Channel torpedo’s taught me how to play the game. They taught me how to use movement to my advantage and get as many guns in use as possible.
After finishing low-mid at the recent Ironclad event I straight away hit the drawing board and tried to conceive (in my brain, I cannot father awesomeness) my next list of ultra-competitive doom. I then had a thought and spoke to my fleets: “it’s not you, it’s me”.
I have set myself a task: I am going to immerse myself in the British again. I am going to enjoy it, and I am going to buy a very British hat to wear whilst I do it!
I own all of our close allies sans the Raj (next month!). I am due to play an old adversary whom tends to rock the dastardly science men the Covenant of Antarctica on Thursday. I intend to field my core units similar to the units found in the 1.0 Naval box:
Ruler class battleship (with guardian gen, but not with the second shield generator it used to have!)
3 Tribal class cruisers
4 Attacker class small frigates
The rest of the list will have an additional Ruler, some silly torpedo shenanigans and most probably Vanguards because they were the first addition I bought to the box set.
I have no big tactics, no hard counters and we will most probably play an Ironclad scenario at random.
The Ruler class Battleship:
With the latest Orbat’s out the older starter set is a very nice little force. The Ruler is tough as old boots. It is a good price at 205 (always take guardian generators!) and has very good firepower at RB 2-3. Getting it all on the same target is nigh impossible but that isnt a bad thing. at RB 3 the Ruler can put 2x8AD turrets and 7-8AD torps on three mediums, enough to cause a point of damage and with decent dice, a crit. It is also relatively quick with move of 7″ compared to it’s previous incarnation. That additional inch is a massive boon to brits, we need it not to engage but to maneuver all the turrets and those FC torps in.
An additional HP and a bit more AA would be nice, but you cannot have everything.
On Tribal Class Cruisers:
Tribal’s were the angry kid at school that didn’t get bullied but were often overlooked when picking teams. Girls came up to them and gave them a note that said “I fancy you”, but the note was to be passed on to their stronger more handsome mate Agincourt.
Well Tribal focused all that frustration and abandonment and it took up martial arts. It went down the Gym every night and did pull ups to the sound of Slayer.
In the 2.0 Bombardment Orbats it exploded out to flex its muscles. It is now an incredibly tough little ship with great damage output for its price. 70pts buys you redoubtable guns that outclass its handsome mate (whom is now settled down with a homely partner, and won’t be coaxed away for less than 90 pts) but lacks the piercing on all firepower. the best bit is for the points you save taking Tribals over Agi’s you can nearly get a Dominion to add to the party which will push the squadrons firepower to terrifying levels and make them a legitimate boarding threat. Tribals are now a backbone unit for KoB,
On Attackers. Our Dangerous little boats:
Attackers have changed little. -1 AP and +5 pts to a ship that didn’t need 2AP each and is still worth 30pts with the amendment (I won’t accept the word “nerf”). They obliterate smalls, cripple mediums and if you get three in RB1 of a battleship the 16 turret dice will blow a big ole hole in it. Best bit about these whisky distilleries on a boat (check out their plumbing, then look at the apparatus used to make lovely scotch) is that they will put firepower in four directions, such a rare thing for a small.
As mentioned I will supplement the force with at least my first blister purchase from Spartan, the Vanguard Class Medium Submarine:
Join me in part two when I square off against the dastardly mercenary captain of the Black wolf, also known as Dave.
So last night’s 1500pt game was the most fun I can remember playing a table top game. I used the aforementioned list and my opponent Dave presented me with a huge mercenary list of the Black Wolf. Dave brought:
2x Death Bringers
1x Kaiju (one careful owner)
1x Osprey Large class War rotor
2x Nemisissis’, Nemisi, Nemisa. Nemesis Plural.
3 units of 4 Protector frigates with sharpshooters
Now the eagle eyed reader will notice that my opponent is a bit over the limit (265 pts in fact) that was due to some confusion with the Army Builder app. Even with this oversight he had a lot of ships that were really hard to hurt.
I would plan to pull this apart by spreading piercing and crit results to cripple and weaken him. Death by a thousand cuts would be my motto.
I brought the list I discussed in part one, with help from a few extras such as a unit of Agincourts and some Merlin’s for killing flyers. I also doubled up on the Ruler love.
We both took objectives as 70% of our opponents sunk or captured. I was happy with this because many of the Black wolf units have strategic value added to them (the Kaiju alone was worth 600pts if boarded due to One Careful owner!).
Deployment saw me less spread out than I would have liked because Dave had his Protectors in flanking reserve. Those guys really hurt and ideally I kept out of their potential RB1 range.
I advanced my Vanguards which turned out to be the best idea in the world ever!
My first activation had me throw my Vanguards forward and Torpedo one of the Deathbringers. I got a Crit result which reduced it to half move.
he rest of the turn saw me make a nifty alpha strike putting crits or points of damage on all his medium-larges with the exception of the Kaiji, which was lurking in the back of his forces. This tactic was me hoping that the large number of Piercing weapons and Daves damage sensitive gunnery would make him slightly less dangerous next turn. Dave sunk lots of needless firepower into my Vanguards.
Dave sunk a Vanguard, offed a Merlin and did some damage to Agincourts.
Agincourt’s and Vanguards get stuck in.
Agincourt/Dominion unit float forward and cause cits and damage on both Deathbringers and a Manticore. I laugh my ass off.
Dave moves his commodore/Deathbringer up and it does absolutely nothing to my Ruler (my sheild rolls were obscene!). It fails to go back under and I retort by stripping it down to 2 crew with my Vanguards. Dave shoots down some Merlins and damages my lsft flank Dominion. I move my Commodore/Ruler and it opens up at one of his Nemisi doing nothing.
The rest of the turn was me blasting holes in his ships and boarding his Commodore. At this point I had rolled like a god and was in a position to win next turn. Dave damaged many of my ships but not enough to take them out of the game.
I was winning, by a mile and was very close to 70%
Turn Three (where it all went wrong)
The Kaiju activated…
It removed the shields of no less than four of my ships with its disruption gen. It then rammed my damaged Dominion killing it.
It’s ack ack nailed a Merlin.
Kaiju then opened up with its rockets and guns. It obliterated two Agincourts, critted a ruler and boarded the last Agincourt.
The unholy havoc wreaked by the Kaiju
My fleet then fired rubber bullets and received the Protector Frigates (which I forgot have +2” to move if they don’t turn) to the face of my Commodore which was in turn removed from waves of no less than 4 units of smalls.
The other Ruler was finished off, but after it boarded the remaining Manticore (so made its points back). Dave Still had one Nemesis, a kaiju and all his smalls left. I had three Tribals and a Vanguard!
Game to Dave
All in all we had a blast. The game was close and had some great moments. I loved how differently I had to approach problems and how dangerous some of the Britannian units have become in the newer addition.
I will continue my odyssey into all things Naval and British with trying the newer units that were released after the 2.0 rules. Tally Ho!
Looking forward to the next few days on the Calander seems that there is a fair amount going on this weekend, the Warlord show has been postponed but I have yet to find a date for the new event. A few tournaments and games sessions have been put forward.
There is still room to get more events added so if you run a store that runs events or a gaming club that runs regular events then please get in touch using the this form.
I have found a first look combat preview video for Dropfleet Commander.
Today shall see the release of several Halo Fleet Battles extras from Spartan Games. Extra dice are available as are commander packs. A Large Battle Group upgrade is available for both the Covenant and the UNSC forces, these packs have 2 Heavy cruisers and a few escorts in the shape of Corvettes and Frigates depending on which race you play.
I left you last week having spent two or three weeks preparing ourselves for a full day of the Spoils action. As usual we were not a complete team because this time Colin was unable to make the journey (some spurious excuse about real life) but Stephen and I felt confident. We were both playing heavily gearsmith decks. Mine is below;
Keep up to date on facebook as I am at the Spoils Nationals today