I had a ton of fun playing this game because of the smaller table and central objective. I used a 35″ by 35″ section of my table with a 5″ deployment zone, so there wasn’t a “long” side like when I play 4x3ft. This made melee deadlier and also meant everyone could get stuck in early on. To add to the chaos I put a Cannon in the middle of the table as an objective. This report used v1.1 of the rules, so it was all the latest and greatest.
The two posses involved were Hope’s Wardens and Tribe of the Blood Pact. I originally created them for the v0.91 rules, so you can see some of the thought behind the posses in an earlier post. Both posses ended up with 3 members and 1 dinosaur even after the update to v1.1, and mostly just had better equipment with some of the extra money from recruiting the first Member for free.
Note on images, all of them are clickable and will open the image at the full 1280×960 size. Apologies for any blurriness, I think my old camera is having issues focusing.
The smallest objective and totally change the feel of a game session, and adding a Cannon into the middle of the map certainly proved this. The little metal Cannon figure is actually from San Juan off Puerto Rico, and I bought it at an old Spanish fort down there on my cruise holiday. Dinosaur Cowboys is always on my mind and it was the perfect size for the game, so I’m happy with how it looked in this game.
Bit of a tangent here, but plain “capture the flag” objectives can be tough in skirmish games. For one thing you don’t have a lot of troops to throw at the objective, and certainly can’t hope to spread thin and cover multiple objectives. And with a single objective and no turn limit the question comes up of “Why even go for the objective?” since it might be easier to hold back and kill the enemy.
To alleviate this concern I think that objectives should do something beneficial. In Guild Wars MMORPG capturing the flag gives you a +10% boost to stats, for example, so that’s a huge motivation to go for it.
In this game the Cannon could actually be controlled and fired if a human was close to it. Basically whoever had the most humans (dinosaurs don’t count) within 4″ of the Cannon could spend the Action Phase of any of those humans (max of 1 per Turn) to fire the Cannon. It has similar stats to a Field Gun, except the damage is less crazy since these were fresh Posses.
The Cannon: 1A-5D 2″ Explosion, range 1-6/7-15/16-21, no Reload
Posse: Hope’s Wardens: 3/110 IP, 10/1000 ND, 3/3 Traits
My posse representing a high tech Neotechnoist party that is new to the world outside The Wall. They were well equipped and had plenty of Armor to compensate for their low HP. Generally good shooting scores would help. The one limiting factor was range, as the furthest weapon as Limeskull with 16″ max on his Light Repeater. I figured Nedevan and Red Dove would advance together, then dismount and try to cause disarray by getting into melee with separate targets. Limeskull’s purpose was to grab cover up high (for the elevation bonus) and fire forever. Glowstar would be midrange support, probably moving a step or two behind Red Dove.
Limeskull (Neotechnoist Leader)
MV 5, AR 2, RMC 7, MMC 8, BRV 7, HP 10. Light Repeater, Padded Armor.
Red Dove (Bandit)
MV 4, AR 1, RMC 7, MMC 7, BRV 6, HP 9, Whirlwind. 100kW Six-Shooter, Motor Blade.
MV 4, AR 2, RMC 6, MMC 8, BRV 6, HP 8, Neck Shot. Auto Shotgun, Padded Armor.
Nedevan (Trained Ducky Dinosaur)
MV 6, PMV D6, AR 0, MMC 7, DIS 4, HP 18, Bonus HP I.
Posse: Tribe of the Blood Pact: 0/110 IP, 0/1000 ND, 3/3 Traits
The idea of this posse was to get into melee and make things ugly for the enemy. Everyone had high Movement and a ton of Hitpoints which would facilitate them living long enough to reach close combat. The inexpensive melee weapons and low cost ranged options meant I could go for a higher priced Armored dinosaur, which is ridiculously terrific at low IP since it’s AR 4 is very tough for people to hit. Having a ton of HP meant The Crimson Terror could soak up a bunch of damage too. I figured he’d remain unmounted, although if anyone was going to ride the dinosaur it would be Sendar as she had the lowest MV. Otherwise the posse would stick together and advance using as much cover as possible, and most likely sacrifice shooting to Run each turn.
Bloodscar (Savage Leader)
MV 6, AR 2, RMC 9, MMC 7, BRV 7, HP 13, Retreat! I. Pickaxe, 100kW Six-Shooter, Quilted Armor.
MV 5, AR 1, RMC 9, MMC 7, BRV 5, HP 13, Bonus HP I. Pike, 80kW Six-Shooter.
MV 4, AR 0, RMC 8, MMC 7, BRV 6, HP 12. Staff, 80kW Six-Shooter, Small IRP.
The Crimson Terror (Feral Armored Dinosaur)
MV 4, PMV D4, AR 4, MMC 7, DIS 4, HP 28, Runner.
In the roll off for table edge Hope’s Wardens got the west side (towards the kitchen) and Tribe of the Blood Pact got the east side. Hope’s Wardens had to setup first. Each posse could deploy up to 5″ from their respective table edge.
Hope: Setting up first is always rough as you don’t get to see what the enemy is planning. Looking at the terrain I tried to anticipate how Blood would deploy. I knew the tall terrain near the south would be tempting, so I positioned Limeskull opposite it near the high hill with a tree. This would give him a bit of cover but more importantly force melee combatants to waste Movement trying to climb the hill. It also left me at long range of the central Cannon, so I could provide supporting fire. Let’s just hope Blood doesn’t go for a denied flank and deploy way in the north out of my range.
I mounted Glowstar and Red Dove on Nedevan and plopped him in the middle. The fast MV 6 (9″ effective Run) would put him very close to the Cannon early on, so I could hopefully dominate any incoming groups.
Blood: I had a bunch of deadly warriors at my disposable, and enough terrain that I figured most of them could reach the combat alive. I knew they’d be faster on foot so I left The Crimson Terror unmounted and put him in the northern corner behind a hill. Even with the Runner trait he was ponderously slow (7″ effective Run), but he had a ton of HP and super high Armor so I hoped to hold the middle with him until the rest of my melee group could work their way through cover. Advancing directly across the open would mean his slow speed would balance with the faster humans who would be dodging hill to hill.
I put all my human members in a clump in the south. No one could get to the Cannon in the first Turn so I was safe keeping them clustered. I planned to flank one of them (probably Illit’taex) towards Limeskull on the hill. Bloodscar and Sendar would approach the middle and hopefully control the Cannon to bombard anything left alive, or at least contest it from Glowstar and Red Dove enough to prevent them firing.
Turn 1 – To the Cannon!
1a. Blood wins Activation
Blood: Since two of Hope’s members were mounted they technically only had 2 entities to Activate, so I outnumbered them 2:1 and needed to Activate two of my figures as a result. I decided The Crimson Terror would Run 7″ directly towards the Cannon, as planned. Bloodscar also Ran (9″) forward, but didn’t expose himself to Limeskull and stayed behind the tall hill. Blocking line of sight is such a lifesaver for a melee focused group such as mine.
Hope: I wanted to keep Limeskull in reserve until the rest of the enemy posse had moved, so I activated Nedevan and Ran him forward. His massive 9″ Run meant I would be a the Cannon next turn, which was great.
1b. Blood wins Activation
Blood: Time to Run some more. Illit’taex Ran in a straight line west, and would be in the cover of the hills approaching Limeskull soon. Sendar followed Bloodscar’s approach with a Run.
Hope: Limeskull was out of range and out of sight of everyone so he Ran up the tall hill he had deployed by, which gave him a commanding view of the field.
Turn 2 – Enemy Sighted
2a. Blood wins Activation (again!)
Blood: Time to keep on moving up. I Ran Illit’taex down the flank of Limeskull. Next turn he’d make the deadly approach across the open terrain, but hopefully I could distract Limeskull with more tempting targets until Illit’taex was closer. Sendar also Ran, but couldn’t quite make it out of line of sight. Unfortunately she was inside the long range of Limeskull, but maybe the modifiers would save her.
Hope: Tribe of the Blood Pact had made a bit of a mistake in leaving Sendar exposed, but I didn’t need to waste an early activation to take advantage of it. Instead I had Red Dove and Glowstar dismount Nedevan, which used all of their Action Phases. It left them all with a Movement Phase though, so both humans moved right up to the Cannon (close enough to fire it now!) while Ducky headed south towards Sendar, hoping to slow down her and Bloodscar before they reached the center.
2b. Hope wins Activation (for once)
Hope: Time to start the shootin’. Limeskull lined up on the distant Sendar who was basically at maximum range. She was in Cover (-1 Damage) but Limeskull was at a high Elevation (+1 Damage), so no mods from that. He managed to hit 4 times, one of which was a Critical. In total he did 6 damage and Sendar failed her Bravery Test and is Fleeing.
Blood: Sendar will have to waste some time Fleeing backwards and then moving right back in, so that’ll be annoying. I snapped off a shot with Bloodscar at the Ducky dinosaur, but I missed on 10+. Bloodscar moved forward and behind a tree, hoping to survive any early activations next turn. Finally The Crimson Terror moved closer to the Cannon and Glowstar and Red Dove. They were quite far away but I figured I might be able to reach them with a Charge. Unfortunately I failed the roll (needed 5+) so The Crimson Terror stayed where he was.
Turn 3 – Into the Barbwire
3a. Hope wins Activation
Hope: Hmm kind of a tough call who to activate first. On the one hand I could shoot with Limeskull at Sendar again before she Flees and maybe even kill her. But The Crimson Terror is going to get into melee range and it’d be great to shoot him before the -1 Melee modifier (plus he hasn’t Moved yet, so that’s another -1 avoided), since his AR 4 is enough of a problem already. In the end I decided to shoot at The Crimson Terror as it’s not like Sendar won’t be a target again in the future. To that end Glowstar aimed his Auto Shotgun at 9+, hitting 3 times for 8 damage, but unfortunately also rolling a 1 and requiring a Reload. A Panic token was added to The Crimson Terror from the damage, which should slow him down a bit. Glowstar then moved back outside the barbwire (which was counted as Difficult Terrain) but was sure to still be within 4″ of the Cannon.
Blood: Now that The Crimson Terror had Panic on him I wasn’t convinced of his ability to reach melee. Plus he could handle Red Dove’s firing if it came to that. So I left the dinosaur as is and instead moved Bloodscar into the barbwire cage. He Charged 4″ into melee with Red Dove, then savagely hit with both attacks with a double roll of 11 for a total of 8 damage. Red Dove is down to 1 HP and failed his Bravery Test and is Fleeing. Too bad I couldn’t finish the job!
3b. Blood wins Activation
Blood: Time to keep the hits rolling. I rolled for The Crimson Terror’s Panic Movement (D4 in his case) and unfortunately got a 1. So after moving and Running through the barbwire he was still 1″ short of melee with Red Dove, but at least close enough to deny a Charge. Glowstar having to Reload would mean The Crimson Terror would be a bit safer for another turn until he could get into combat.
Hope: I aimed to counter the increasing melee presence in the middle. Since Sendar was less of a threat I decided to swing Nedevan around and move into melee with Bloodscar. I hit 1 time for 3 damage. Not a ton, but Nedevan’s big pool of HP should keep the Savage Leader busy for a while.
3c. Hope wins Activation
Hope: When I look at the middle I see a giant clump of enemy just BEGGING for a cannonball. Red Dove was thankfully Fleeing which meant I could easily escape combat with Bloodscar. I fled him backwards, then fired the Cannon at Bloodscar! Yar! I hit him for 6 damage and the 2″ Explosion clipped The Crimson Terror for 5 damage, and unfortunately also Nedevan for the same. Like a true coward Bloodscar is Fleeing, and both dinosaurs have a Panic token added.
Blood: Well that was ugly, but at least Red Dove hit their Ducky dinosaur with some friendly fire. Bloodscar has seen better days though. Anyways I Fled Sendar away from the closest enemy (Nedevan), then she turned and shot at the dinosaur, hitting 3 times (with 2 Criticals!) for 5 damage, which added a Panic token to Ducky.
3d. Hope wins Activation (by one!)
Hope: Limeskull had no chance to hit The Crimson Terror at such long range, but Bloodscar was perfectly placed to get shot. I needed an 11+ to hit but managed to hit once (6A is so nice) for 3 damage (thanks Elevation!), which put Bloodscar down to 1 HP!
Blood: I finished the turn by moving Illit’taex along his hillside flank. After a big Run he was at the base of Limeskull’s hill. If he could weather downward fire for a turn I could get into melee with the Neotechnoist Leader.
Turn 4 – Roar of the Cannon
4a. Blood wins Activation
Blood: Bloodscar was in a tenuous position with 1 HP and enemy guns all around. There wasn’t any cover nearby, so I decided to make some! Bloodscar used his Retreat! Trait to move The Crimson Terror 4″ into melee with Red Dove (who only had 1 HP), but also angled the dinosaurs body to try to block line of sight to Limeskull. After that Bloodscar Fled away from Nedevan, then Ran back in behind the hill that was The Crimson Terror.
Hope: I guess Bloodscar didn’t learn his lesson that I have no problem using the Cannon on my own people if it benefits me…I guess that’s more of a Savage thing than a Neotechnoist, but I guess it could be a cold calculated call which might fit the technologically advanced people well. Regardless I fired the Cannon with Glowstar at The Crimson Terror at 10+ to hit. I was just within 12″ of Limeskull in case I needed the Yeehaw! re-roll, but thankfully the shot hit without aid. The Crimson Terror took 6 damage, and both Red Dove and Bloodscar took 5 damage from the 2″ Explosion, which killed them both! After their leader was slain Illit’taex and Sendar BOTH failed their Bravery Tests and were Fleeing, hah! Glowstar finished his epic turn by moving away from The Crimson Terror towards Nedevan.
4b. Hope wins Activation
Hope: Having Illit’taex Fleeing gives Limeskull a bit of breathing space, but I knew the persistent bugger would be back soon. So I moved Limeskull to the edge of the cliff and fired down at Illit’taex, hitting for 4 (one of which as a Critical) for 7 damage. He still has 6 HP left though, unfortunately.
Blood: The Crimson Terror still has two Panic tokens, so I had to roll for his PMV again. I lucked out and got a 4, so I was able to move and then Charge 2″ into melee with Glowstar. I rolled well and hit for 5 damage, but Glowstar managed to pass his Bravery Test. After recovering his wits the dinosaur still had 1 Panic token left.
4c. Blood wins Activation
Blood: Time to move my last two entities for the turn. Most of it would be Fleeing after Bloodscar’s untimely death. Illit’taex Fled back, almost to the table edge in fact, and then reversed and Ran towards Limeskull’s hill. If he managed to survive another turn I’d get into melee with the leader. Then Sendar also Fled away, but used her Action Phase to apply the Small IRP for +2 HP (could have been a better roll, alas).
Hope: By getting into melee with Glowstar it turned out The Crimson Terror was also in combat with Nedevan. The Ducky turned and tried to smash the dinosaur with it’s crest, but missed both attacks on a rather challenging 11+.
Turn 5 – Cleanup Crew
5a. Hope wins Activation
Hope: My ideal plan for this activation was to use Glowstar’s Neck Shot Trait on The Crimson Terror, which would have given +4 damage and meant I could possibly kill the dinosaur. But Glowstar still hadn’t had a chance to Reload from way back, so his Auto Shotgun was pretty much useless. I didn’t want to risk a Cannon shot directly into the crowd again since it’d hit Glowstar himself and the Ducky. So instead, with luck, I could get the bullet sink of Illit’taex out of the way. Limeskull aimed down the cliff again and fired, but only hit 3/6 times for 5 damage, which left Illit’taex with 1 HP! Plus he passed his Bravery Test, which meant he might be able to reach Limeskull and dish out some hurt with that Pike.
Blood: The Crimson Terror lived up to his name by stomping and goring Glowstar, who was unluckily stuck between two towering dinosaurs. I hit for 5 damage which killed the human. Also I got to remove my last Panic token…not that it mattered since it looked like a straight up brawl to the death between the dinosaurs.
5b. Blood wins Activation
Blood: Yeesh Illit’taex is really running on fumes. I moved him to the base of Limeskull’s cliff, but failed to Charge the measly 4″ needed to reach the Leader. So much for my awesome flank. Anyways after that failure I moved Sendar closer to the center and fired at Nedevan. She didn’t let me down with 2 hits (1 of which was a Critical) for 3 damage. I really wish she had something besides an 80kw Six-Shooter as 0D is painfully useless. Anyways Nedevan is down to 5 HP at least!
Hope: The titan brawl continued in the middle, but Nedevan again failed to do anything to the Armored enemy. Having a base MMC of 7 against AR 4 is really painful, especially with only 2 Attacks.
Turn 6 – Last Man Standing
6a. Hope wins Activation
Hope: Illit’taex has snuck behind Limeskull enough that I had to waste my Movement Phase turning around to face him. I unleashed another salvo, expecting a kill, but terrible dice meant NOTHING hit and Illit’taex survived!
Blood: Illit’taex was able to survive with 1 HP against 6 point blank Attacks, probably by praying to some Savage pagan god. Eagerly he moved up the hill and stabbed at Limeskull, but after ALL that running and dodging and pain he only hit 1 time for 4 damage!
6b. Hope wins Activation (again)
Hope: Looks like that hill is bad luck for both of us or something. Anyways speaking of bad luck Nedevan failed to hit The Crimson Terror again (what is that, three times in a row?). Yep, short activation.
Blood: The Crimson Terror really was dawdling too long with that simple herbivore. Somehow I missed all attacks even though I only needed 7+ (rolled a terrible 6, 6, and 4). So it’s up to the humans to carry the team. Sendar moved in behind the hill and Charged 2″ into Ducky’s flank, hitting a solid 4 out of 4 times for 8 damage which totally killed Nedevan. That’s how it’s done.
Turn 7 – Desperate Cat and Mouse (Dino and Human?)
7a. Hope wins Activation. Only Limeskull remains against Illit’taex, Sendar, and The Crimson Terror
Hope: Eh could be a tough one. The good news is I rolled better than absolute GARBAGE (aka last turn) so Limeskull was able to easily kill Illit’taex. I was afraid that Sendar might hop on the uncontested Cannon and outrange my feeble Light Repeater, so I dropped Limeskull down out of line of sight behind the tall hill.
Blood: A dinosaur and villainous vixen against a wounded Neotechnoist Leader? I think I can win this one! I Ran both Sendar and The Crimson Terror towards Limeskull’s hiding place. He’d be out of options very soon.
Turn 8 – Gonna Take You With Me
8a. Hope wins Activation (by one)
Hope: Definitely hanging by a thread here. I moved Limeskull back down the hill and to medium range with Sendar. Too bad I shot terribly and only hit for 3 damage with him! Better than no hits I guess, but still I had kind of hoped he’d finish her off and then maybe survive the dinosaur somehow.
Blood: Sendar returned fire after moving to her medium range, but missed all the shots on a 10+. The Crimson Terror did what dinosaurs do best, and that is Ran forward towards his prey. The noose was closing.
Turn 9 – Bring Her Down
9a. Hope wins Activation (again!)
Hope: I think winning initiative has saved me so far, but The Crimson Terror can basically reach melee regardless of where I go. Ugh I should have stayed on the tall hill but I got so caught in thinking I could outrun the inevitable. Anyways since I was already trapped I just moved Limeskull into line of sight of Sendar and fired. Again I rolled badly and only did another 3 damage, which left her with 2 HP. That was actually the 2 HP the Small IRP had healed earlier, so there ya go.
Blood: Again Sendar returned fire, but this time hit with 1 Critical for 2 damage, but also rolled a 1 and needs to Reload! Good thing her Staff doesn’t need ammo…Oh and of course The Crimson Terror moved into melee with Limeskull.
Turn 10 – All Over
10a. Blood wins Activation
Blood: If dinosaurs could speak I’m sure The Crimson Terror would quip something like “Hey Limeskull, check this out!” before dealing 6 damage. I guess I’ll just have to settle for hitting 3 of 3 times and killing Limeskull, which wins me the game!
After Action Report
Hope: You know I honestly though I had this one in the bag. I guess I underestimated The Crimson Terror’s survivability, and also got a little over committed with Glowstar and Red Dove in the middle. Oh and my total inability to kill Sendar at the end was kind of annoying. But I also was able to deny Tribe of the Blood Pact access to the Cannon for basically the entire game, and ALMOST killed all their humans. I’d say I was a little overequipped, especially Red Dove who didn’t get to use much of anything the whole game. Having high AR helped as it meant more misses and less damage, although it’s a tough call whether high AR is better than high HP. But yeah, very close game and I just wish I had played the end a bit differently (like going back up the tall hill instead of taking to the ground). And I don’t want to be petty but the slightly smaller table really didn’t help matters, as it meant my turns of free shooting on the melee based posse was cut down by 12″ or so.
Blood: Ah the delicious taste of victory. It always feels extra satisfying to win with a bunch of Savages armed with polearms, especially against high tech Neotechnoists. My most valuable asset was definitely The Crimson Terror, his AR 4 is pretty tough to crack with 100 IP and the related RMCs. Bloodscar did pretty well in the middle, although he took a lot of firepower and died earlier than I would have liked. Sendar was terrible at the start but redeemed herself by only missing a single shot all game (with base RMC too!) and by finishing off Nedevan. Illit’taex was great in theory, but yeah, that was a loooooooong haul to Limeskull, and he sort of let me down when I got to grips by only hitting once. Oh well, I still won and plundered.
Complete Turn Log
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