Sunday, 8 September 2013

Scavenge Skirmish Survive Battle Reports

This Saturday saw me play my first ever games of PA in the form of Scavenge Skirmish Survive. Xander turned up with a KR case full of suitable models with S3 stat cards to match, and between his scatter terrain and Vanguard's snow board we put together two very good looking boards.

The end of the line - my forces appear from the right, Xander's from the left.

The bands closed quickly on each other with both of us getting used to the movement rules and activation bubble as well as concealed movement rules. Because there were only two of us playing a game intended for multi-player participation, we quickly abandoned the activation order cards in favour of just rolling dice, with odds numbers drawing event cards.

Xander's sniper laid down some fairly ineffective fire while my group swarmed up the column of rusting cars, plundering them for anything that remained. I found a medikit and a sledge while Xander's band managed to scrounge up some items as well, but no food.

Things really got interesting when Xander took up a defensive position between the Wheetabix lorry and the trees. And I drew the Wolves! event card.

Everything's worse with wolves...

Suddenly, a situation that had been looking extremely dicey for my strung out group turned on its head as, over the next few turns the wolves went all The Grey on Xander's men. They have a +3 bonus in melee.

With the canines distracting his attention and then eviscerating much of his force my band managed to regroup and push into the area around the house.

"Hands up all those who ain't dead yet..."
In a blaze of mediocrity my shotgun and SMG armed youths managed to fell a survivor of the wolf attack and Xander after pinging a last frozen paintball my way decided it was time to fall back.

After a chat about putative campaign structure rules we reconfigured the battlefield into a business park set up and drew forces randomly from among Xander's collection

The set up, half way through the game

Setting up diagonally across from each other on a 6 by 4 board meant we had a lot of space and time to manoeuvre. I went scavenging through the buildings finding food and fuel and setting up a stockpile while Xander made the smart move of making a beeline for the more resource intensive car park.

Despite getting a very nice band evenly divided between a gun and melee group, including an assault rifle my immediate plan was scuppered when the first event card drawn was Out of Ammo and we tied, meaning our men had brought guns to a knife fight, but forgotten their ammo.

A short blizzard claimed an isolated member of the opposing band while mine massed for an assault on the men in the carpark. This got a to a farcical start when my cultist ran down a youth armed with a catapult and was unceremoniously killed by a pebble to the face.

His mates soon avenged him...

The assault proceeded into the carpark, bottling up most of Xander's force while his sniper who had found a tin of ammo laid down rather ineffective defensive fire.

The final showdown, with Haribo loot.

A final push into the carpark followed by a counter attack finished things off in my favour. Things got a little dicey when a youth with a greatsword rushed into melee but by then I knew how to play the melee game and some careful positioning brought him down.

The two games were great introductions to the genre and the system, and were beautifully represented as well. I hope that the next time we meet, Team Retard as I'm calling my collection, is up to standard.

Tomorrow I'll post some notes about rules issues that came to light as we were playing.

S3 After game thoughts and notes

The games we played highlighted a number of interesting things.

Firstly, children really are worse than useless. Their deficit in Action Points (AP) means they can’t keep up with the adults, and even a single move – two at most - as part of a group will leave them out of the 3” radius activation circle requiring a whole other Order Point (OP – using this terminology to avoid having two rules with the same acronym) to move them which will probably never happen once combat is joined. I think in future we’re going to houserule that they get free activation. They’re only really worth it to ferry things around as they’re worthless in combat with their -8 penalty. Apply that to ranged combat as well and you can arm them and even then statistically speaking they will never hurt anyone even if they’re outnumbering their target.

Speaking of outnumbering, apart from some vagueness around the rules as written melee combat is fast, brutal, realistic and quite satisfying. Outnumbering gives a huge advantage although well-armed and motivated fighters can get lucky and limp away from an unfair fight. The randomness of the wound chart means that there’s always a messy chaotic element to melee (as there should be) but by making good matchups on the turn you charge or counter charge you can more or less predict the outcome of fights.

There needs to be a little clarification around the melee rules. The rule that calls for some models to get half their dice when wounded or outnumbered for instance; does this mean that you half the number rolled on the dice before modifiers or after? We played the former as it seemed to make sense and it worked for us. It made sense as the rules disadvantaged the figures ability to act and not the effectiveness of the equipment he was carrying. Also in two on one fights the rules are not explicit as to who takes wounds in the case of results of X, Y and Z, where X>Y>Z and Y is the outnumbered model’s total. We played it so that both Y and Z took wounds, the idea being that Y managed to do well enough to injure one of his attackers but was injured in turn by X.

And – segue! -  speaking of outnumbering; Don’t Mess With Wolves! They will fuck your shit up! There needs to be a little bit more structure around their use. When they act in the initiative (we gave them a separate roll) and how they react to long range fire or just people moving around outside their rather small 6” ‘zone of control’ isn’t detailed.

Finally, the campaign rules, and even objectives for single games need some work. According to Xander, a common objective is to gather enough food to feed your group, but despite having a dozen and a half search points at least in both games and searching nearly all of them, we only found one food item over the course of both games. When we were considering Campaign-asizing the first encounter we realised that the result would have been a complete wipe of both parties. Some work needs to be put into making this game work as a campaign game. I have some ideas in my head but I don't want to get sidetracked away from my own projects.

Sunday, 1 September 2013


I recently got my mitts on the new Overlord book and found that there had been some substantial changes to my para's.

While combat platoons stay the same in price, all of my anti tank has received APDS ammo giving both 6 and 17 pounders an extra point of anti-tank with a resultant increase in points cost. While this might slightly scarier for any Panzer IV's floating around and might give some of the big kitty players something to think about I'd still probably rather have the extra change.

As it is, I can play the lists I already play, by dropping the sniper and 2 dice of air support (down to sporadic - something I was toying with anyway).

My Tetrarchs have also gone up in price for no readily identifiable reason - maybe because they now have cautious movement and disengage without being recce teams.

Speaking of which there is a new list for Airborne Armoured Recce, allowing you to field an entire army of Tetrarch. Now this is probably a little much even for me and my love for the little beasties, but they can be mixed and matched with Cromwells which is heaven for me! My two favourite tanks of WWII fighting in the same list. It's also opportune as I noted in my last post, I have all my Cromwells ready meaning I can field this list right away with para infantry support. All I need to round out the list is a captured Sd Kfz 10/5 flack track.

Thing a Week 4

So four things in twice as many months. So much for forcing myself to paint things.

Here's my latest offering.

The photo's a little overexposed but I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out, despite a little flub with the highlighting and yet another technique for getting the weathering to look realistic.

With these two complete, and thanks to the repricing of units in the new Overlord book, I have completed both my short term goals of a 900pt Tank Aces force and a minimum strength Desert Rats List.