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769 hits since 28 Oct 2012
©1994-2014 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Oct 2012 10:31 p.m. PST

The brave PHR forces again tried their luck against the Scourge. And again they found themselves out of luck.

The objective was to cross the center line of the table and at the end of turn 6 have more points in enemy killed and your guys in the enemy table side than the other side does. Infantry in buildings on the enemy table side count for 3x points.

Each side had four units, two armoured units and two infantry. The scourge had one unit of hunter grav tanks, one unit of rapier AA tanks and 2 units of infantry. All were carried in medium dropships, the infantry were in APCs.

The PHR had one unit of AA mechs, one unit of anti-armour mechs and two units of infantry. They were all in medium dropships and the infantry were in APCs.

The Scourge went first and were able to move from their table edge to the center of the table. All three Scourge units moved to the left center. The PHR responded by moving their ships up as far as their lower speed would allow. The PHR then went first on the 2nd turn and moved up their anti armour troops and deployed them in the center of the table at a cross roads.

The scourge moved their infantry to the far right side of the table.

The PHR then moved their dropship with the AA walkers into the Scourge table side.

In turn three the real fighting broke out with the Scourge moving their AA tanks to target the PHR dropship with the AA walkers in it and the hunters swinging around a corner to fire on the anti-armour walkers.

The hunters were lucky enough to get 3 hits but then failed to inflict any damage on the heavily armoured walkers.

The AA tanks were unlucky in their shooting too only inflicting one point of damage on the fully loaded drop ship.

But then luck swung around in the favour of the Scourge, they got the initiative on turn four. The Rapier AA tanks brought down the PHR dropship but it managed a very skilled crash landing that saw all of the walkers survive unharmed.

The PHR infantry took up position in a building just on the Scourge side of the city.

The Scourge took up a position in the building on the opposite street corner just inside the PHR table side.

Both troops decided it would be a pretty key idea to fire on each other.

The scourge were able to eliminate the heavy walkers, one of the APCs and all three PHR drop ships. The PHR had to be satisfied in dropping one Scourge dropship, one of the grav tanks and one stand of infantry.

Overall the Scourge won with 627 pts to 585 pts. A close game all around.

It was a fun game. The Scourge are tough. I played against them last time but used them this time. The high strength weapons combined with their speed and agility make them a tough army to go up against. Their ability to avoid incoming fire by moving quickly enough is tough to deal with. The PHR force almost looked like it was standing still in comparison.

Even with the Scourge getting very unlucky on their first turn of shooting (9 shots needing a 2+ to hit and a 3+ to wound and only 1 pt of damage inflicted) and still were able to take out most of the PHR stuff on the table, except the infantry. If it had been a slightly longer game the grav tanks would have probably taken care of that too.

Personal logo MrHarold Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Oct 2012 6:50 a.m. PST

Cool AAR… sounds like it was a fun game, the close ones are always the best.

What do you think of the rule system itself?

Chief Lackey Rich Supporting Member of TMP Fezian29 Oct 2012 7:08 a.m. PST

Interesting report, closer game than I would have expected – the Scourge shooting whiff early on may have been a big factor there. From pushing proxies (still no minis locally – maddening) I know those two forces are polar opposites. Speed versus toughness with comparable firepower (albeit very different ranges). Scenarios where you need to cross the table quickly will tend to favor Scourge, since they're doing it anyway, while PHR are forced to stay embarked longer than they might want to and can't exploit their longer reach as much.

Just out of curiosity, how many casulaties had the not-destroyed infantry taken at games' end? I always find ours mutually evaporating in assaults, so I don't have agood feel for how well they hold up to shooting.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Oct 2012 7:18 a.m. PST

The Scourge infantry had one base with two hits on it and the PHR infantry had one base with two hits on it.

They were both in buildings which tends to make infantry pretty difficult to take out. Even an Energy 13 weapon with a 2+ to hit will need a 4+ to hit and hurt on a 3+. So the Plasma hose was doing nothing to them on wide setting, even the fire from the Scourge infantry only really harmed the Immortals when they got three hits.

The whiff of Scourge fire did really affect the game. Still the PHR made the mistake of mixing up which scourge tank section was which and tried to drop the AA walkers right next to the AA scourge tanks. That was a visit by the Bleeped text up fairy that didn't have to be paid for thanks to the bad shooting.

They are pretty opposite forces but I still think the Scourge are going to be tough to beat by anyone if you have a pretty terrain filled table and we had 19 of their print out buildings on a 4x4 for this game.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Oct 2012 8:32 a.m. PST

I like the rule system itself. I think that the rules are pretty simple and don't really have anything new really but when you combine them with the army lists it makes for a very unique game.

The way it plays is something that I've been looking for.

There are a few things we will house rule. For example the chances of your guys dying if they are in a ground transport is about the same as you stuff being destroyed if they are in an air transport. I think we will change this and make troops in ground transports survive on a 3+ instead of a 4+ on a result of 2-5.

I do need to make up army lists so that I'm not constantly flipping through the book though when I play.

Skipper29 Oct 2012 9:45 a.m. PST

For my Scourge I've put together unit costs.

102pnts Lt Inf. (2 stands) on a Lt Tranport:
184pnts Hvy GT 3 on md transport

and so on…(points not correct, just for demonstration). This allows me to build from the lowest common denominator (the individual units) in a battle group. Works pretty good for all except the (mind is blank) teleporting aliens… Their build is kind of unique.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Oct 2012 10:25 a.m. PST

The Shaltari are unique in that they don't have dedicated drop ships. I guess if I were building them I'd put mass points on one side and teleport points on another and make sure they equal out.

Chief Lackey Rich Supporting Member of TMP Fezian29 Oct 2012 4:35 p.m. PST

That's the beauty of the Shaltari, though – they can skimp a bit on gates if they want to and get more points worth of combat troops on the table instead. Risky, and their stuff will show up slower and have less potential for being gated around after the initial appearance, but it's still potentially a viable strategy.

Probably works best if you're going heavy on grav vehicles, who can move themselves around the table just fine once they've been deployed.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Oct 2012 6:43 p.m. PST

But it seems like the strength of the Shaltari will be in their war striders. The basic strider has the combination of being hard to kill, very good at destroying enemy vehicles and even carrying around some significant anti-aircraft armament.

The grav vehicles seem to be their weak point with their low armour they are vulnerable to even AA fire from a lot of units, although with their grav status they will be harder to hit.

Against the Scourge it will be tough to see how the Shaltari will fare but against units with slower transports and slower stuff in general lots of moving might be the way to play it.

I had thought about using a couple of heavy gates in a force vs. 6 medium ones or whatever. If you ran one down one side of the table and one down the other you could move a pretty significant amount of force around the table pretty easily.

The biggest down side is that they are so slow and if one gets destroyed you basically have a single drop ship only really useful for transporting war striders.

Chief Lackey Rich Supporting Member of TMP Fezian30 Oct 2012 5:58 a.m. PST

Limited experience, but striders are a lot of eggs in one basket. They're very good and pretty tough, but I'm not convinced that the Shaltari really need very many of them, at least in smaller games. If you do spend a lot on them, taking plenty of gates so you can shift them around as needed is nearly mandatory, but that's got drawbacks too. Every turn the striders spend teleporting is a turn they aren't shooting things, and the bigger gates aren't all that durable or fast themselves, as you noted.

I'll admit the grav vehicles are relatively fragile and don't like to see a lot of AA weapons tracking them (although the Scourge ones are little threat, at least), but they're fairly cheap, quick to deploy, and with their speed and range they have an easier time picking their fights than most ground vehicles. The AA versions are even better than the Scourge at hunting enemy dropships, which isn't something striders do well – they can deny an area, but chasing fliers is not an option at walking speeds.

I've had good results skimping on gates and striders in favor of a few extra gravs, but that's been in smaller games where you can't blanket the table and even a few extra guns can mean a lot. Larger ones probably call for a hard core of strider support to concentrate your strength – although you might be able to substitute more fliers for them instead.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Oct 2012 6:39 a.m. PST

The games we played before we had any Shaltari skimmers were all striders vs. the Scourge and the Scourge didn't stand a chance. Striders are tough.

Chief Lackey Rich Supporting Member of TMP Fezian30 Oct 2012 7:07 a.m. PST

That is a bad matchup for them, yes, even worse than against PHR heavy walkers. Scourge gravs have such short range they're forced in close, though – Shaltari are just as fast, but they have the range to dance around and snipe more. Like I said, they're a lot better at choosing their fights than most ground units are, especially against slow enemies and in moderately built-up areas.

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