After some coffee and scotch eggs helped bring us back to something approaching sobriety, Tom and I launched into our second game of the day, this time a game of ‘Coffin Raiders’. As the table was already set up with an objective room in the middle, all we really had to do was move the consoles around a little, and add some tech-coffins [represented by some Antenociti’s egg cars]. Shelving my Pan O, I switched to my Qapu Khalqi.
I won the WIP roll again on a crit, and chose deployment, taking [mostly out of laziness] the same side I had been on for the previous game, and making Tom deploy first. Tom chose to go first, which I was happy with, as I felt I could lock a lot of his army down in ARO.
Holding the Djanbazan back, I was originally intending to put him in the building with the antenna, with the Nasmat behind. However, with Van Zant in the back of my mind I realised he would be too exposed, so tucked him by the large ‘H’ shaped building instead. Learning…
USAriadna Turn One
Gunning their engines, the Mavericks realise they have forgotten to put them in gear, with Tom cancelling their ‘Impetuous’ orders. The Grunt Sniper then drew a bead on the Ghulam HMG. With both in optimal range, the number needed was the same, with the Grunt possessing one more dice. Crit! Tom’s luck continues where it left off, with the Sniper going unconscious.
What time is it? Van Zant time. Roping in just to the left of the building with the Ghulam HMG, Van Zant creeps towards the Djanbazan Sniper. Slinging their rifles and drawing their pistols, Van Zant wins the F2F roll, but the Djanbazan’s armour holds firm, although his nerve fails him, and he seeks better cover. Roger then advances on the Sniper, who fires as he comes into the open, but this time it is Van Zant’s armour that saves him. Roger continues his merciless advance, and after another ineffectual round of shooting, moves into B2B contact with the Djanbazan, locking him in combat. Grinning, Van Zant goes through a series of martial arts maneuvers at blistering speed, seeking to confuse his opponent. The Djanbazan waits patiently until Van Zant gets into range, then pistol whips him round the head, winning an unlikely F2F roll. However Roger goes dogged, using the last of his strength to throat punch the Djanbazan unconscious. The Grunt HMG, knowing Van Zant is going to die at the end of the turn, fires into combat, killing the Djanbazan outright.
Having used up all of his orders from one pool on killing the Djanbazan, the Marauder link moves into the objective room, with the two Paramedics successfully downloading the med-data packs. The 112 then uses his fire-axe to bring the Grunt Sniper back from unconsciousness, netting Tom a Classified Objective.
USAriadna 3 – 0 Kapu Khalqi
Qapu Kalqi Turn One
Using her ‘Impetuous’ order, the Yuan Yuan roped onto the board, out of LoS. As there was nothing else to do with the orders in her pool, they were all used to run her into chain rifle range of the Grunt link. Rounding the corner, she unleashed the template weapon on the link, covering all but one. Declaring ‘Dodge’, two of the Grunts fail. Expecting at least one to go down, the Yuan Yuan is disappointed to see them shrug off the blast with their seemingly impenetrable Grunt armour. While Tom wasn’t doing great in the F2F rolls, he was rolling his armour saves like a boss. With the orders from her pool expended, the Yuan Yuan waited patiently for the USAriadna turn and her inevitable ARO.
Time to get moving on the objectives. Declaring himself the Link Team Leader, the Kaplan Sniper made his way around the back of the ‘H’ shaped building. Showing why he is now my new favourite model, the Kaplan Sniper then put not only the Grunt with HMG down, but also the Grunt Sniper, a Paramedic Grunt in the link team on the roof, and then a Marauder carrying a med-data pack for good measure, forcing him to drop it.
The marksman then moved to bring the Mavericks into his sights, killing the first one outright with his double action ammo, before turning his attention on the other. Crit! Despite negative mods for range and mimetism, the Maverick showed the magic number on her dice, putting the marauding Sniper down. Not a problem as there were two Kaplan Doctors in the link. Re-forming the link with a Command Token and and an order, the Doctor moved up to his fallen comrade, before slicing through an artery and killing him outright. FFS. Running low on orders, the link team then spread out, fearful of the heavy flamer on top of the building.
USAriadna Turn Two
A short turn for Ariadna as Tom is again in ‘Loss of Lieutenant’! Turns out it was the Grunt with HMG! With only irregular orders, one of the Grunt Paramedics brings his friend next to him back up. The 112’s axe proved inadequate to the delicate nature of the Grunt Sniper’s wound, killing him outright. The Grunts moving on the roof trigger the Yuan Yuan’s chainrifle, but they again make all of their armour saves, before putting the Yuan Yuan down.
The infiltrating heavy flamer Grunt then leaned out to hose down the Kaplan/Hafza link with flame, but they both successfully ‘Dodge’, watching in glee as the Grunt is exploded by an AROing Sekban with HRL.
The Maverick then guns its engine, squealing towards the Kaplan Doctor, who uses his blitzen to ‘Immobilise’ it, before the spitfire Hafza puts it unconscious.
Kapu Khalqi Turn Two
The Kaplan/Hafza link moves into the building, with the Kaplan Doctor leading the way. Slicing the pie, the Kaplan takes down the Marauder Haris Link Leader and a Grunt on the roof behind him, before moving into the room. The remaining Maverick successfully dodges out of the way however, cowardly exiting the objective room. The Kaplan/Hafza link team move in to the empty room, successfully downloading med-data from three of the four tech coffins. Having failed to read the mission properly, I didn’t realise non-specilaists can pick up the med-data packs, so left two on the floor, one that Tom’s Marauder had dropped, and one that I didn’t pick up..
The Kaplan/Hafza link then make their way towards the transmission console closest to GoGo Marlene, hoping to complete the classified on the way by successfully inoculating her.
With the last order the Sekban with HRL, bored after having so little to do, took a pot shot at the Grunt link on the roof through a gap between two advertising holograms, hitting one but failing to get through her armour.
USAriadna 3 – 3 Kapu Khalqi
USAriadna Turn Three
Counting up the points, we realise that the Ariadnans are in a state of ‘Retreat!’, which means that the game will end at the end of Tom’s turn! With only one play left, Tom uses all of his remaining Command Tokens to convert the irregular orders to regular, and the Marauder with the med-data pack sprinted towards the transmission console. Declaring a Move-Move, the Marauder gets within two orders of being able to transmit the data as he survives five HMG shots, one from a spitfire, and two from combi-rifles [Grunt armour – we all know what ‘Grunt’ rhymes with…] Tom then moves the Marauder towards the console again, but this time the weight of fire proves too much.
USAriadna 3 – 4 Qapu Khalqi
I really should read missions before I play them! We actually thought this one was a draw on the day, as Tom had downloaded two med-data packs and completed one of his classifieds. However, when typing this up, I realised that an extra point was available for controlling more med-data packs than the opponent. I had two at the end [each Kaplan held one] and Tom had none, as his Marauder had been killed. If I had actually read the scenario properly it would have been a more convincing win for me, as I would have downloaded a fourth med-data pack. Also, if Tom hadn’t gone into ‘Retreat!’ I would have easily been able to transmit the data and inoculate Marlene too; that will teach me to get bloodthirsty. However, with two wins on the day I was more than happy, and, more importantly, both games had been an absolute blast, and we were both pretty drunk too.
A strong candidate for model of the game goes to the Kaplan Sniper, who gleefully butchered his way through Tom’s army before going down to a lucky crit. The mimetism combined with the +3 range mod and +1 burst makes him a bit of a beast, and he shone in the last Campaign Paradiso game too. I think I might have to change my top five models list… However, the overall award goes to my Djanbazan Sniper, who beat Van Zant in one round of close combat, effectively killing him, and although he died, sucked all of the orders from that pool. Enjoy the 72 virgins son, you deserved it.
Link to Operation Flamestrike here