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"Lessons from our SW:A campaign" Topic


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595 hits since 14 May 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP15 May 2017 5:53 p.m. PST

Having played about ten games of SW:A so far I feel like I'm in a position to have some reflections on how it plays.

Balance:

The biggest thing I learned is that there are no super armies. One army that blanked another army in one game got itself taken to the cleaner in another. It didn't seem like any of the armies we used had no chance of winning at all. In a given scenario their chances were pretty slim.

I like this. Sometimes your army is designed for defense, sometimes for attack. However it is designed the exigencies of war might force you into an uncomfortable role. SW:A does this. The Harlequins on the attack are vicious. On defense . . . not so much.

Although I have to say we didn't have many close games. You either got your clock cleaned or you won in most of our games.

Over all it seemed to have a lot of balance. The toughness of the small elite forces was somewhat negated by the pinning rules.

Scenarios:

The scenarios in the rule book are pretty good and provide a nice mix of objectives and killing the enemy.

In practice the objectives seemed pretty irrelevant in most of the missions and in not one of the 7 games we played Saturday did someone accomplish the mission before one side or the other bottled out or were destroyed where the mission wasn't just to destroy the enemy.

This seems like a bit of a flaw but it could just have been a result of the terrain we were using.


Army selection:

If you are choosing an elite army you cannot buy them lots of goodies at the start. Go minimum on the weapons. You will not be able to buy more models later under normal circumstances. If you lose one, you will not be able to replace him. However, if you buy more models you will be able to buy them equipment later.

For less elite forces, the opposite is true, make everyone have a few different options as far as stuff goes. Always give the flamer guy a pistol and flamers are really useful in this game, especially against elite armies that aren't space marines.

Campaign:

The campaign system is very similar to Necromunda but not the same. It is much simplified. Armies only get one advance to a single model per game normally. The newbies in each Kill team probably will never advance as they don't get any advantages for the first three times they do.

The consequences of losing a leader or a special are every bit as dire as they are in Necromunda and seemingly more likely although I don't remember the table exactly.

I like this simplified system. One of the problems in Necromunda was keeping track of when guys took someone out in the middle of the game. It created artificial situations where people didn't shoot with one guy because another guy hadn't shot someone yet.

In this you just pick a model that survived and give them an advance.

It looses a little bit of the role-play aspect but it also makes it a lot faster in-between games.

Overall it is a lot of fun. I can't wait to just sit down for an evening and have a campaign with some friends where we are able to follow gangs through the whole night and have a mix up of forces.

The next project I'm going to work on is a Shadow War/8th edition campaign with a Genestealer Cult side and an Imperial side.

Probably we will have 3 Cult forces vs. 3 Imperial forces: Inquisitor, scouts and Astra Militarum or perhaps we will toss out the scouts in favour of Mechanicum.

I'd like to give each for a permanent special operative. In the case of the cultists it would be one of the 1st generation hybrids, in the case of the Imperial forces it would be Deathwatch marines.

Then do a bigger 40K game at the end which is influenced by how the SW:A games go in terms of what each side can field and how they get to start the game and what scenario we will play.

So do three sets of SW:A games and each one determines one of those things.

Personal logo Landorl Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2017 6:31 p.m. PST

What is SW:A? (Sorry, not familiar with that one.)

Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2017 9:11 p.m. PST

Thanks for the insight, Pictors. I am dragging butt on finishing my terrain (though I did just pick up a Mantic Industrial Sector to drop into the mix), but hope to be going sometime next month.

In this you just pick a model that survived and give them an advance.

That's a very minor house rule tweak.

In practice the objectives seemed pretty irrelevant in most of the missions and in not one of the 7 games we played Saturday did someone accomplish the mission before one side or the other bottled out or were destroyed where the mission wasn't just to destroy the enemy.

This seems like a bit of a flaw but it could just have been a result of the terrain we were using.

It was my concern that the Necromunda system wouldn't really adequately reflect the do-or-die engagements between the professional soldiers (and orks!) of the 40k 'verse. It felt like (very violent, especially heavily-armed) gang warfare.

If you are choosing an elite army you cannot buy them lots of goodies at the start. Go minimum on the weapons. You will not be able to buy more models later under normal circumstances. If you lose one, you will not be able to replace him.

That was my take on Necromunda. I often started with one or two heavies, armed like regular gangers (also, they can get going on the EP's).

What is SW:A? (Sorry, not familiar with that one.)

Shadow War: Armageddon.

Pendekar15 May 2017 10:17 p.m. PST

I played one game at the store with my son (7). It was fun. It had been years since I played 40k or Necromunda,
and was his first game. I would like to get some more games in.

The newbies in each Kill team probably will never advance as they don't get any advantages for the first three times they do.

The newbies will get to tick one box each time they survive a mission. Thus happens in the next step after choosing advances.

GreenMountainBoy Supporting Member of TMP16 May 2017 2:26 a.m. PST

I really appreciate this, thanks for sharing. I haven't played 40k in years, but have a few models still kicking around and am considering picking up these rules… this may have just swayed me!

FincasKhalmoril Inactive Member16 May 2017 2:36 a.m. PST

I was in Nottingham last week and had a lovely day at the Warhammer World where I picked up the rules.

They read like a slightly streamlined version of 40k/Necromunda when I left active gaming like 20 years ago.

That was a nice surprise for me and I liked it. The book is the quality I expected from GW and thankfully wasn't hardcover and cluttered with art in their current style, which I personally don't like, but nice photos of painted minis! Another good thing.

Then what really got me hooked was the incredible amount of army lists in it! All the Ork clans of the RT era, several Marine chapters and Guard factions, various Eldar forces, Mechanicum, Chaos, Genestealer Cults etc. etc.

Even though I haven't played it yet, I must say that I'm really looking forward to use my model collection of several decades and play.

Plus: as 40k goes a more streamlined approach (which I do like btw), this is a nice way for veterans of the old days to have a game with the high details they enjoyed when they started playing!

Judge Doug Inactive Member16 May 2017 5:07 a.m. PST

. You will not be able to buy more models later under normal circumstances.

There's very few things you can't buy with your 100 points + a promethium's 100 points. In those very rare cases you need to roll extra spacebucks on the Hunt in the Promethium Sprawl chart, or execute a prisoner :)

Judge Doug Inactive Member16 May 2017 5:13 a.m. PST

My main lesson is: terrain, terrain, terrain!

I try to never have more than 6 inches of unobstructed line of sight. When I set up my boards, I cover the ground in impassible, LOS blocking terrain – so there is no LOS from one side to the other. Then I build upwards. I have built enough SW:A terrain to comfortably cover a 3x3 with approximately 2 levels of SW terrain. This forces the players to move up, to move forward.

picture

picture

picture

picture

And I just got another two boxes of terrain which I just built including the servo-haulers :)

This is seriously one of my favorite games…

infinite array16 May 2017 5:26 a.m. PST

Great looking setup there. It's also why I'm a little worried about a local store's SWAg campaign. Their terrain situation is fine for when they play 40k, AoS or Warmahordes, but may be lacking if more than a single table is being played on.

Judge Doug Inactive Member16 May 2017 5:40 a.m. PST

If the local store has a GW trade account, I _believe_ they can ask their GW rep for Shadow War support. From what I understand, GW will send extra tokens, roster pads, and provide some boxes of terrain for deep discounts for the store to use.

Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP16 May 2017 5:49 a.m. PST

That's a pretty impressive layout, Judge. And It gives me a few pointers on other assembly options.

I have built enough SW:A terrain to comfortably cover a 3x3 with approximately 2 levels of SW terrain.

One of my problems moving forward is I'm a bit obsessed with moving UP- three and four levels. We used to play with multiple starter sets and/or pooled collections of terrain for Necro, and it could get pretty lofty. grin

Judge Doug Inactive Member16 May 2017 6:22 a.m. PST

I am totally obsessed with moving "up". As I mentioned, after those pics, I got some more terrain boxes to add to that setup.

Now I'm struggling with stopping, or buying a few more kits… height 3 seems very do-able. :)

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP16 May 2017 7:31 a.m. PST

Here is what we did for multi-levels:

imgur.com/a/tFDU5

Bob Runnicles Inactive Member16 May 2017 7:31 a.m. PST

Are you gluing your stuff together? As in is it easy to expand the height of existing pieces? I know GW said they had designed everything to have a standard height per level so I know things will fit, just wondering how easy it is to add to existing setups.

That 'oil rig' setup they had in the White Dwarf just blew me away. I would love to play on that table!

Judge Doug Inactive Member16 May 2017 7:40 a.m. PST

Look cool Pictors, I like the idea of being under the street! Are you going to the Muster this year?

@bob I am gluing setpieces together, and keeping some walkways modular. Check my imgur, scroll down, you can see how I glued the clips on some pieces, etc imgur.com/a/kphyL

And yes the supports, pipes, vats, and ladders, are all 5 inches tall. So it's as modular as you want it to be and fully compatible with other sets :)

ordinarybass Supporting Member of TMP16 May 2017 3:45 p.m. PST

@Judge,
Great looking layout. I also like multi'level terrain. I've got plenty of toybashed necromunda terrain and have been building even more walkways to connect the various sections

@Pictors
Thanks for the review. I'm a Necromunda fan that just got the rulebook this week. It looks like a ton of fun and it's great to see that the game seems balanced. I've got plenty of figs I can use, but I've bought some genestealer hybrid figs. It feels like going back in time as the first 40k book I read was the RT sourcebook with the Genestealer cult lists in it.
I was curious about this statement:
[q]In practice the objectives seemed pretty irrelevant in most of the missions and in not one of the 7 games we played Saturday did someone accomplish the mission before one side or the other bottled out or were destroyed where the mission wasn't just to destroy the enemy.

This seems like a bit of a flaw but it could just have been a result of the terrain we were using.[/q]
What kind of terrain were you using, how dense and what size table? I'm hoping that a dense table with lots of terrain might make objectives more achievable.

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP16 May 2017 6:17 p.m. PST

I try to never have more than 6 inches of unobstructed line of sight. When I set up my boards, I cover the ground in impassible, LOS blocking terrain

Judge Doug,

So very true since by doing this those 24" – 30" range weapons will not be ruling the table.

This also forces you and your opponent to move/maneuver your troops/units because just sitting there is going to get yourself flanked.

I have seen tabletops were the game was determine by who got to go first, which meant that they got to move & shoot first.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP16 May 2017 9:32 p.m. PST

Ordinarybass

You can see the terrain and pictures of the games here:

TMP link

TMP link

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP16 May 2017 9:38 p.m. PST

Judge Doug,

I am not planning on going to Muster. I will actually be working Thursday, Saturday and Monday that weekend so it is pretty much impossible for me to go. Also driving to Williamsburg on a holiday weekend in the summer is not very appealing.

Judge Doug Inactive Member17 May 2017 4:58 a.m. PST

@Pictors

damn! Our group has an entire room set aside (Central Lounge at the Doubletree, for the Richmond Leisure Society) with multiple tables, I was thinking about lugging all of my Shadow War terrain to see if you wanted to get in some games.

@Mithmee

I much prefer maneuvering in my modern and sci-fi games… I play Black Powder if I want to line up and shoot at each other :)

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP17 May 2017 5:48 a.m. PST

It is always a fun show when I go, I just can't make it this year. If it was in February it would have been easy, at least for the weekend.

I would have loved to get some games in.

Judge Doug Inactive Member17 May 2017 5:52 a.m. PST

@Pictors they just announced Guns of August is on for this year, at the VA War Museum in Newport News.

nvdoyle18 May 2017 5:55 a.m. PST

Has anyone tried it with the original Necromunda gangs? I've got a few of those in the pile, awaiting paint.

Also, many of the extra rules from Necro might work as well – I'm thinking about the expanded environmental rules, the random event deck of cards, etc.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP18 May 2017 6:39 a.m. PST

There are limited rules for different environmental things in the rules, the random roll before you play a scenario.

nvdoyle18 May 2017 7:25 a.m. PST

I was thinking of the big d66 chart from one of the old expansions. Granted, most rolls were 'no result', but the ends of each section were neat – high winds, bright lights, nasty floor conditions, etc.

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