Sunday, May 18, 2014

Clash of Arms

To inaugurate the finished Free Cities Force Book, I broke out two small forces for the following battle report.

The Forces

The Colonists [743 points]


Command Squad w/5 models [50 points]
Infantry Squad with 8 infantry and 1 gun team [122 points]
Infantry Squad with 8 infantry and 1 gun team [122 points]
Infantry Squad with 8 infantry and 1 gun team [122 points]
Infantry Squad with 8 infantry and 1 gun team [122 points]

Medium tank with Medium Gun [205 points]

The Free Cities [775 points]


Lanceatores with 3 Lances and 2 Reaper Heavy Rayguns [112 points]
Scutari with 7 models [98 points]
Venatores with 7 models and 2 launchers [258 points]


Draco w/ Ramus Raycannon [265 points][

The Game

I decided to try a new scenario (see below), one that brings the foes into combat more rapidly.


I treated each base as providing Concealment but not Cover.  The ruins offered Concealment and Hard Cover to anything firing across their walls.

One objective went in the woods close to a table edge.  The other went in a ruined structure in the center.  Both players put their troops as far forward as possible, while still being protected by cover.  The two armored vehicles faced off in the center, but the Colonial tank had the benefit of concealment.

Turn One

The Colonists went first and advanced their four infantry squads up to the cover of the rockfields and walls on both flanks.  Their LMGs fired at reduced RoF at the Scutari and Venatores.

The Scutari were in Concealment, and of higher skill, so the Colonists needed 6s to hit them.  On the other hand, they only needed a 5 to hit the Venatores.  All the Free Cities models had armor, making them harder to wound.

The buckets of Colonial fire cut down three Venators, including an important Launcher, but failed to do much of anything to the Scutari.

Turn Two

In the second turn, the Venatores advanced into the ruins on one flank, and the Scutari into the ruins on the other.  On the far flank, the Colonists seized a building of their own, with the squad there laying down covering fire.  The other unit and the Command Squad took on the more dangerous task of advancing through the woods.  There they seized control of the red objective.

The ruins granted a 1+ cover save for units inside; both sides endeavor therefore to Suppress rather than kill the squads opposite them.  The Lanceatores and the Draco had clear line of sight, decimating the Colonists in the open.

Turn Three

The Draco took a risk by turning its firepower against infantry instead of the Colonial tank.  If either vehicle could destroy the other, the survivor would be free to wreak havoc for the rest of the game.  The Colonial tank managed to miss again.  

Turn Four 

This was the critical turn.  If the Free Cities legionaries could not contest the red objective, then the Colonists would win at the start of their next turn.  The Draco moved up to the objective, into Assault Fire range.  The Venatores, too, abandoned the cover the ruins to participate in the firefight.

In Assault Fire, the participants all have reduced cover saves.  The resulting exchange of fire wiped out the Venatores.  It killed the Colonists completely, so no one was left to charge.  A good thing too, because in Melee, an open-topped Vehicles is automatically destroyed!  It's a risk getting that close, but one the Free Cities Triarch felt he had to take.

On the other flank, the Scutari were close enough to assault the remaining Colonial squad near the Blue objective.  After inconclusive Assault Fire, the Scutari charged into melee.  There, their superior skill and three attacks each massacred the Colonial infantry, but they ended the Phase Suppressed.

Turn Five

Make or break time for both sides.  If the Colonists could not contest both objectives, the Free Cities would win. The heroic Colonial tank Buttons up and drives towards the reorganizing Scutari.  It kills five of them, and then Charges into Melee.  Neither side is willing to back down, and each combatant makes a ludicrous number of saves over a several Continuing Melee phases, but eventually the tank squashes the defiant Triarch beneath its treads, and the tank rolls forward onto Blue objective.

On the other flank, the Colonists move their last squad into Assault Fire range with the Draco. Because it is Opened-Topped, it could be Stunned on a double-six.  The Colonists are not so lucky, and the Draco kills all the soldiers near enough to assault.

With no remaining enemy troops close enough to contest it, the Draco claims the Red objective for victory!

Closing Thoughts

This game was more of nailbiter than I expected.  (Especially since I was playing both sides.)  The Free Cities infantry are durable, but not unkillable, especially in the open.

The Clash of Arms scenario is I think a great success.  Too often the Symmetrical scenarios end up like WWI with both sides dead crossing no-man's land.  But starting closer leads to more exciting Assault Fire in only a few turns.  I may make it my new default Scenario.

Clash of Arms Scenario

In this Scenario, the players attack each other.  Both their Forces are on the offensive, and have collided.

Attacker and Defender

 Both players build an Attacking list based on 100% of the Points level.

Setup and Objectives

Set up Terrain however you like.

Roll off.  The winner becomes the nominal Attacker.  (This designation has no effect on their list or its support options.)

The Attacker picks a table edge.

His Deployment zone is within 18" of his edge.  The Defender takes the opposite table edge.  His Deployment zone is within 18" of his edge.

The Defender places one objective anywhere on the center line of the table, 24" from both long table edges.  The Attacker places one objective anywhere on the center line of the table, 24" from both long table edges. 


The players alternate placing squads in their deployment zones.  Roll off to see who places first.
Game PlayRoll off to see who has the first turn. 

Victory Conditions

Either player wins, if, on or after turn four, at the start of his turn, he has a Unit within 6" of an objective, and the enemy does not. 

If either army breaks or is completely destroyed, then their opponent wins.

If neither player has won by the end of 10 turns, the game ends in a draw.


Retro said...

Hey Tom, sorry for posting here, I don't see any other contact info. I've been following your blog for a while now and love reading about your process. Thank you for sharing all this with everyone. I've been working on a simple, 3-page WWII ruleset and was hoping you'd be able to take a look at it and offer any feedback. Here is the link: http://www.retroboom.com/hail-of-fire.html

Any help is appreciated. Thanks again!


Tom de Mayo said...

Sure. I can do that.