Gates of Antares – Lee vs Jimmy

We decided to run a small tournament day at Janco Toys with 600pt forces over 3 games.  The missions to be fought were:

  1. Let Battle Begin
  2. An Unexpected Encounter
  3. Recover at all costs

My first mission was drawn against Jimmy and his Freeborn, with the Forces looking as follows:

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Algoryn (6 units / 6 order dice)

2 x 6 man Infiltrator Squads (Leader – Repeater), spotter, Camo Drone

2 x 5 man AI Squads (2 x Micro-X Launchers)

1 x X-Launcher (Net Ammo), Spotter Drone

1 x Light Mag Repeater, Spotter Drone

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Freeborn (5 units, 6 Order Dice)

3 x 6 man Feral squads with Soma Grafts

1 x 6 man Vardanari squad

1 x X-Launcher team

1 x Attack Skimmer with Batter Drone

Deployment

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On initial deployment I chose to seek as much cover as possible.  whilst maintaining lines of fire (the rocky slab bases were classed as dense terrain, the woods as light).  Not shown above is my Infiltrators moves… the left Squad sprinting into the building (and gaining a Pin for their exertions) and the right squad moving further up into the woods.

Turn 1

My building occupying Infiltrator squad opened the firing, shooting on the X Launcher squad bit somehow managing only to kill 1 crewmember.  The X Launcher responded by shelling the building and killing a number of my Squad.  Jimmy concentrated most of his fire on my Infiltrators, while I finished off the X Launcher team and set to work on his right most Feral squad.

Turn 2

With Jimmy concentrating on finishing my Infiltrator squad in the building and AI squad on the left, I pummeled the Centre and Right feral squads.  The turn ended with Jimmy have lost 2 units and me having lost 1.

Turn 3

Whilst my AI squad on the left was shot down and routed, my Firebase on the right pummeled Jimmy’s remaining squads, finishing off the Ferals on the right and leaving the feral team on the left with 1 man.  I had now broken his Forces, and simply needed not to become broken myself.

Turns 4-6

Over the following 3 turns we whittle each other’s units down, but no further Units were destroyed.  Victory to the AI!

Conclusion / Thoughts on Tournament Setup

Infiltrator and AI Squads support each other so well.  with good access to cover, both units can deal out a lot of punishment whilst soaking it up themselves.  Those 4 squads (2 of each) are an auto-add now in any size force for me.

We’ve played quite a few games of Antares (but had a couple months gap) and it has to be said that after getting used to it, it does play fast and clean; especially at these kinds of point levels.  The general feeling was that the points could be raised to 650-700ish and still play a nice game on a 4×4 table (the table size was chosen due to the space available).  We had set up to be able to run a 10 man tournament but unfortunately due to various issues only ended up with 5 players.  That said, it was a very fun day and we were able to square off 3 games each in under 6 hours.

It’s definitely something I’ll be looking to run again in the new year, and hopefully we can get the right numbers next time!

 

 

 

 

 

Team Yankee Battle – Lee vs Paul

We recently talked another member of our group into Team Yankee (incidentally the chap that paints all my Team Yankee stuff!) by letting him near a Russian Starter Box with some money in his pocket…  After a week or two of furious painting he wanted to get some tarmac on his tracks…

It’s a pretty short BatRep, the reasons for that should become evident pretty quickly…

I chose defence and he chose Hasty Attack, once again using the ‘More Missions’ supplement.  Rolling on the resultant chart gave us the Breakthrough mission.

breakthru

We set out with 100pts each, with me choosing a Mech Platoon based Formation and Paul going Tank heavy.

I set up fully in the lower right portion, thinking anything placed in the upper left would be isolated and easily destroyed.  My artillery was set up well back, hidden from view, with my spotter and ITVs covering the direct approach and my Cobras taking cover in the refinery and covering the board distance-wise as best they could.  My VADS deployed just in front of the Artillery to ensure good coverage of my forces.  My 4 team Aabrams unit waited in Ambush.

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Paul then set up the whole of his forces excepting his infantry company.  The tank hordes were ready to pounce, an imposing sight to be sure…

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Turn 1

The Soviets advanced quickly, with the majority of units dashing across the board towards the objectives.  The little shooting that did occur accounted for a VADS and Cobra loss for the Yanks, with the VADS shooting down 3 of the HINDs with anti-aircraft fire.

The Americans responded with firepower, with Aabrams ambushing the dashing Soviet tanks and the ITVs and Cobras firing down range.  The dust settled with 4 less T72s; a poor response, caused by me not flanking with my Aabrams and some pretty good saving throws from Paul.  My first reinforcements, one of the Mech Platoons, made a road dash to protect one of the objectives.

Turn 2

The T72s decided to punish the Aabrams, pushing past them and firing into their side armour, destroying 3 of their number and swarming onto the Hill objective.  In response, the solo Aabrams remaining moved to contest the Hill objective and destroy a T72.  The Mech Platoon deployed to defend the town objective whilst their transports doubled back to protect the ITVs from the Russian Infantry moving in.

Turn 3

The Russians pushed forward and fully occupied the hill objective, having completely outmanoeuvred me and leaving me with no tank units in tactical move range to contest (and infantry unable to get close enough).  I tried in desperation to clear the hill using Salvos, Dragon fire and VADS but was only able to offer light wounds to the Russian Bear.  On the opening of Turn 4, it was game to the Russians.

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 Conclusions

I was utterly unprepared for the Russian mad dash across the board.  Whilst Paul’s HINDs were thrown to the wolves, his tank rush threw me off kilter immediately.

With hindsight I should have placed at least 1 unit in the other table quarter behind his advancing line.  This might have slowed him down, or given me easy kills.  If my Aabrams had ambushed from there it could have stalled his whole attack or cost him many more tanks.

I also need to ensure my Infantry are on the board in the first turn so they can get onto objectives and dig in early.

Other than that, any advice appreciated!  It was a great game and looking forward to the next.

 

 

Dropfleet Commander – First Run

So Jimmy took possession of his Kickstarter package a couple of days ago.  Scott has had his notification and picks his up on Monday, and I’m still waiting to be told when mine is coming.

Jimmy handed me the Scourge portion of his Starter yesterday and we set about assembling our starter fleets ready for a trial run today.

We had overlooked the inclusion of the starter scenario, so we set up a modified version of Scenario 1 with only 2 clusters and no Debris.

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Our forces were the Starter packs, but for those that haven’t got a hold of the game yet we fielded as follows:

Scourge : 3 Battlegroups

BG1 : Wyvern Cruiser (close combat specialist)

BG2 : Shenlock Heavy Cruiser (all rounder Heavy Cruiser with Stealth capabilities), 2 x Gargoyle Strike Carriers (troop carriers)

BG3 : Ifrit Cruiser (Ship to Ship vessel with Burnthrough Weapon), 2 x Harpy Frigates (All round small ships)

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UCM : 3 Battlegroups

BG1 : Moscow Heavy Cruiser (well armed all rounder), 2 x New Orleans Strike Carriers (Troops Carriers)

BG2 : Berlin Cruiser (Ship to Ship with Burnthrough Laser), 2 x Toulon Frigates (All round Gunships)

BG3 : Seattle Cruiser (All rounder with launchable Fighters and Bombers)

Turn 1

Turn 1 saw 2 Battlegroups move onto the table for each side, all in Silent Running.

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Turn 2

Jimmy Activated first, moving up his Berlin and going Weapons Free with his Toulons, managing to do no damage whatsoever.  I countered with my Shenlong, which fired upon his frigates inflicting 2 damage on 1 of them, and dropped my Gargoyles into the atmosphere ready to drop troops.

Jimmy then moved up his Seattle, firing on my Wyvern and launching Bombers.  After the firing had stopped, he had inflicted 4 points of Damage.

My Wyvern responded, moving up to point blank and unleashing my Occulus Beams and Plasma Tempest.  Through my good rolling and Jimmy’s failure to roll virtually any saves, the Seattle ended up with 2 HP left.  I rolled on the Critical chart – a 5 then a 6 – the Ship took another 3 pts of damage and exploded, inflicting 2 pts of radtiation damage in revenge.  My Wyvern crawled out of the encounter with 4HP left.

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Wrapping up, I dropped 2 Infantry onto the Cluster on the right.

Turn 3

Jimmy started the turn, winning the initiative with a roll-off to activate his Moscow and Toulons.  The Toulons piled into my Ifrit, bringing it down to 3 pts of damage, and the Moscow engaged my Shenlong Weapons Free, doing a moderate amount of damage.

My Ifrit and Harpys responded, the Harpys firing into the 2 Toulons and destroying them both.  The Ifrit fired at the Moscow with it’s single beam mode Burnthrough weapon, and inflicted 3 damage.

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The Wyvern activated, destroying one of the Strike Carriers.  Jimmy’s Berlin responded, destroying my Wyvern, whilst the surviving Strike Carrier prepared to drop troops.

The turn ended with both side’s carriers dropping ground groups onto their respective clusters.

Turn 4

With Jimmy owning the left side of the table and me owning the right, we jostled ship positions and scored, grabbing a VPs each.

Turn 5 and 6

Due to the UCM’s early losses, at this point it was a foregone conclusion.  The scourge swept across the board, taking down the Berlin and dropping armoured groups onto the left Cluster.  The ground fight was over quickly as the 2 Scourge armour units overpowered the 1 infantry and 1 Armour UCM units.

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The game ended 8 VPs to 3, with Jimmy’s chronically bad rolling handing me the game on a platter.

Thoughts on the game

Although it turned very 1 sided quite quickly due to some really dodgy dice rolling, we both enjoyed the game and went away thinking about fleet compositions and tactics.  The Order choices and movement restrictions really bite home when you get close in, and Close Action combat is extremely fierce.

We definitely did a few things wrong, but by the end of the game we had a good feel for the general rules.

The size of the demo table (2ft x 3ft) belies the scope of the whole game in my opinion, and we are really looking forward to moving to larger fleets and full scenarios.

The models are absolutely gorgeous, it has to be said, and are incredibly simple to assemble.  That said, I did find some items on the Scourge sprues to be damaged, and some of the wing tips cracked as I was de-spruing them.

The ship bases, whilst a good idea in theory, are far too fiddly to use in game, especially when you end up with a lot of ships near each other (and this will always happen at some point).  We are already investigating alternate solutions.

Overall, the game gets a big thumbs up from us, and we will be playing plenty of games in the near future.

Now where’s my Kickstarter….

 

Dropzone Commander – Lee vs Scott

While everyone is waiting for Dropfleet Kickstarters to be delivered, we remembered we still had this Dropzone Commander game.  Playing the first Scenario in the Reconquest Phase 2 Book, Careful Advance, my 1500pts of Scourge looked to deal with a PHR force.

My forces:

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longy-dzc

 

The PHR Forces:

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scott-dzc

 

Turn 1

I won initiative and passed first turn to Scott.  Predictably we both occupied our respective objective buildings (I placed 2 squads of warriors in mine) and critical locations on our sides of the table.  I positioned the Alpha with my Eviscerators on the right ready to challenge for Scott’s objective, and my Destroyers ready for the middle building.

A couple of PHR shots were placed on my objective building, to little effect.

The PHR Athena made a pass on my Hunters, but failed to inflict any casualties.

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So by the end of Turn 1, we were sat on 1 VP each for the CLs.

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Turn 2

I won the initiative and immediately dove my Eviscerators into the PHR Objective building to challenge his Immortals.  Scoot then activated his Hades / Odin Battlegroup and let loose at my warriors and Oppressor respectively, causing 1 damage to each.

I activated my Duo Warrior Battlegroup,  rolling a 1 and a 6 to successfully find the Objective.  The wounded Warrior squad took off with the Objective, scoring 2 VP.  On Scott’s activation he did the same, rolling a 5 for his Immortals to successfully find the objective (getting a +1 due to his nearby scouts) and fleeing the building / table leaving my Eviscerators eating his dust.

My Reaper / Warrior BG activated next, with 2 of my Reapers opening fire on a Triton full of immortals and destroying it.  Rolling a 6 on the Aircraft damage chart, the troops were obliterated in the explosion!

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In the following exchanges of fire, a Zeus killed a Reaper, the Oppressor wounded a Zeus and in return was wounded by it.  A Phobos / Ares team deployed adjacent to the centre building and were set upon by by Hunter squad, who killed the Ares.

So by the end of turn 2, we were on 4 VPs each.

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Turn 3

Scott won the initiative.  I played 2 repair cards on my Oppressor, with 1 being blocked.

The Hades / Odin BG came into the turn swinging hard, causing wounds on the Oppressor and killing 3 Hunters.  I activated my Eviscerators, with them moving onto the Odin team (before realising I couldn’t hurt them!) and my Minders failing to kill the Triton threatening my Critical Location.  A Neptune moved to attack my Reapers, suffering 2 damage for it’s indiscretions.  My Oppressor turned nasty, killing the centre field Odin and a distant Phobos, and took cover behind it’s landed Dropship.  The Odin Commander replied by killing one of my Reapers leaving only 1.

Pushing me into defense, Scott landed his Immortals on my Critical Location, forcing me to push to destroy them.  Causing damage with my Warriors, but not enough, I was forced to deploy my Hunters back to finish them off.

My troops in the centre building had no luck finding the objective, needing a 6.  So at the end of Turn 3 the Status Quo was held (barely) at 5 VPs each.  Scott also had his 1st set of Immortals back on the right flank, ready to challenge my CL again next turn.

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Turn 4

Scott won the initiative again.  As he activated his Hades / Odin BG I played Quick Thinking to activate my Hunters and get them out of harm’s way.  The Hades was still able to kill 1 Hunter, with the Odin failing to damage my Oppressor.  I activated my Destroyers and failed to find the objective (needing a 5).  Scott’s Triton attempted a landing on my CL, and was shot down for it’s efforts.  However, the pilot was able to stage an emergency landing and the immortals landed unscathed, challenging the CL yet again.

It took the combined firepower of my Oppressor, Reaper and an overloaded Transport to take out the 2 Immortal bases.  Threat once again stopped.

The victory was relatively short-lived however.  With all my AA having reacted to the Triton, the PHR Athena was able to fly in unchallenged and destroy my Warriors.  Luckily, my Reaper as still in range of the CL and I would still secure the VP.

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So at the end of Turn 4, once again the status quo was held at 6 VP each.

Turn 5

With Scott winning the initiative again, a played Field Repairs on my Oppressor and Abandon all Hope, removing one of Scott’s cards.

Activating his Hades / Odin BG, they inflicted 1 damage on my Oppressor and hit the centre building.  His Neptune advanced on my CL and was shot down by my Reaper.

I activated my Destroyers and failed to find the Objective (needing a 4+).  My Warriors that had returned on the left flank last turn entered the building adjacent to Scott’s CL, whilst the transport pulled off a lucky plasma shot wounding his Commander.  The PHR continued to pound the centre building as my Warriors also failed to find the objective.  Eventually, my Eviscerators, needing a 5, found the objective and handed it to the Destroyers ready for next turn.  My Hunters applied Jink and Weave and burned back into the centre, killing the last Odin there.

So by the end of Turn 5, VPs were once again equal at 7 each.

 Turn 6

I won the initiative and immediately took off with my Destroyers, getting them into their Alpha and to relative safety near my AA.

Scott activated his Neptune and attempted to kill my Reaper.  It took all my AA (I shot with my Minders first) but the Neptune was destroyed by the Reaper before it could fire.  Although this had seemed like a foolish move on Scott’s part, there was a plan…

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I activated my Hunters who used a movement card and powered up around the Hades to focus on the Commander Zeus and his Odin Bodyguard.  They succeeded in destroying the Bodyguard, leaving the Commander on his own.

The Hades responded with extreme violence, destroying a base of Eviscerators that had settled on Scott’s CL and 3 Hunters.

The Warriors that were in the building adjacent to Scott’s CL now made their move, exiting the building and opening up on the Commander Zeus.  They his with all 5 shots with each base, so converted to E11 shots.  Both wounded, and the Zeus failed one of it’s saves, falling to plasma rifle fire!  As the Hades was out of range of the CL, it was now in Scourge hands.

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The Athena then struck onto the table, zeroing in on the Destroyer-loaded Alpha.  With no AA left to shoot, the Athena easily destroyed the Alpha but only succeeded in causing a crash landing, so the destroyers successfully made it onto the ground with the objective intact.

At this point, with a couple of BGs left to activate but none being able to affect the outcome, we jointly agreed to bring the game to an end.

Final result – Lee 10 – 7 Scott

Conclusion

A well fought game with some very strange twists.

  • We never fought a single CQB despite me rolling with an Infantry heavy force; my Eviscerators essentially did nothing all game…
  • My Hunters were once again Exemplary.  Moving to 9 in the squad as opposed to 6 really paid off.
  • It was strange being forced onto the defensive several times.  The new Critical Locations really shake things up once we realised how much they affected VPs on both sides.

Hope it was a good read, please make sure to post any comments or queries!

 

Team Yankee Battle – Lee vs Jimmy

So it was time to face down the Russian Afgantsy forces with my heavily outnumbered ‘Murricans.

100pts each, with the mission generated from the ‘More Missions’ supplement using the choose your strategy option (side note : everyone should be using this – it’s loads of fun and lets you usually play the way you want to play).

Forces:

Russians

  • 2 x Air Assault Companies
  • 1 x HINDs (2 no.)
  • 1x HINDs (4 no.)
  • 1x Carnation Artillery (3 no.)
  • 1 x T72 Tank Company (8 no.)
  • 1 x BMP2 Recon Platoon (4 no.)
  • 1 x Shilka AA Company (4 no.)

Americans

  • M113 Combat Team formation comprising of:
    • HQ
    • Mech Platoon (full strength)
    • Mech Platoon (full Strength)
    • ITV platoon (2 no.)
  • Aabrams Combat team formation consisting of:
    • HQ (1 no.)
    • Aabrams Platoon (3 no.)
    • Aabrams Platoon (2 no.)
    • Mortar Team (6 no.)
  • Support:
    • Cobra Platoon (4 no.)
    • VADS AA Platoon (4 no.)
    • M109 Artillery Platton (3 no.)
    • M113 FIST

Mission : I chose to defend, and Jimmy chose a Hasty Attack.  So with a roll of a 5 on the chart, Hasty Attack was the mission with me as defender.

SETUP

With the Russians having 3 objectives on the table, I covered 2 with my Mech Platoon and VADS on the left flank / centre and (stupidly) left just my artillery covering the right.  The Russians set up 1 infantry company on each flank, and removed the left-most objective, leaving my Mech Platoon sat doing very little.  The 6 Hinds set up tight on the right flank as to avoid my VADS initially.

Everything else was off board, and I left my platoon of Cobras in Ambush.

Jimmy removed the leftmost objective, rendering my Mech Platoon completely out of position.  I’d taken some account of this possibility by making sure my Infantry were all in range of their transports.

1st Turn – Russian

The Russian infantry on the right flank immediately began advancing down the road towards the Artillery and objective, whilst the hinds moved to the right edge of the board out of VADS range but within easy kill distance of the artillery.  The infantry on the left flank held on their objective for the time being.

The Hinds opened up on the Artillery and predictably blew two of them up, routing the 3rd.

1st Turn – American

The Mech Platoon loaded up and shot across the board to support the right flank, with the VADs moving in the same direction but taking what cover they could.

The Cobras appeared out of ambush and set up behind the advancing right flank Russian Infantry.  Dodging Gremlin AA fire, they attempted to salvo the unit but failed to range in.

2nd Turn – Russian

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No Russian reinforcements appeared this turn.  The Infantry Company on the Left Flank, seeing the counter forces leaving the left flank undefended, began to advance.

With the VADS now ranged in on any places where the HINDs could be useful, and no land vehicles able to draw a bead on them, the HINDs shuffled forward intending to exchange fire with the American AA.  The Russian infantry on the right flank continued to advance on the objective.

As the HINDs went to open fire, the VADS fire first.  When the smoke cleared only 1 HIND from 4 remained, and after firing ineffectually it routed off board.

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American Turn 2

With no reinforcements possible for another turn, the ‘Murricans needed to make some dents into the infantry companies.  The Cobras repositioned into the HIND’s vacated location and succeeded in Salvoing the Infantry, imposing some kills.  The Mech Platoon also placed some shots into the Company, inflicting casualties but still leaving a horde of soldiers untouched.

Russian Turn 3

The Russians deployed the first of their reserves, a T72 Tank Company and Artillery Support, to the left flank.  The right flank Infantry Company advanced into the ruins adjacent to the objective and prepared to engage the Mech Platoon.  Small arms fire on the Mech Platoon began to whittle down it’s numbers.

American Turn 3

With no reserves becoming available, the Mech Platoon, VADS and Cobras all fired on the Infantry in the building on the right flank.  In bulletproof cover, this proved entirely ineffectual.

Russian Turn 4

The T72 tank company moved to the centre and lit up the Amercian VADs, destroying 3 of them and routing the 4th.  The Infantry on the left advanced, and infantry on the right fired from their secure locations, destroying more of the Mech Platoon and it’s M113 support vehicles.

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American Turn 4

The Americans finally received reserves in the form of their Abrams platoon.  This moved up the centre of the board, immediately seeking to bloody the nose of the T72 company.  The Mech Platoon, overhearing Russian radio chatter about the benefits of bulletproof cover, decided to Dig in.  The cobras moved to the rear of the Russian forces and took out the artillery unit, taking casualties from AA in the process, whilst the Mech Platoon was able to take out a couple of infantry teams in the Ruins.

The Abrams fired on the T72s and took out 4 of their number.

Russian Turn 5

The Russians received further reinforcements in the form of BMPs and Silkas, which moved down the right flank.  The HINDs and T72s moved to work on the Aabrams, destroying 2 of their number, while the left flank infantry set up in the field and threatened the objective there.

On the right flank, the Russian Infantry held the building and again fired on the Mech platoon.  Amazingly, the teams weathered the storm well and only lost another couple of teams.

American Turn 6

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The Americans received their 2nd Mech Platoon and Mortar unit from reserve.  The Mech Platoon immediately relieved their beleaguered colleagues on the right flank, whilst the mortars swept in close on the right team to defend the objective and turn their machine guns on the Infantry Company there.  The Russians on the right flank were suddenly on the defensive.  On the left flank, a couple of infantry teams and a T72 were destroyed but it was starting to look desperate.

Russian Turn 7

As the infantry on the right defended the ruins the best they could, the left flank pummeled the remaining forces there, taking out another Aabrams and routing the last and destroying several of the Mortar teams.

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American Turn 7

My last unit to deploy a unit of ATVs, tried to blitz move onto the table (in order to fire) but failed.  On the right flank, the 2nd Mech Platoon fired on and then charged the Russians oocupying the nearby ruin, clearing the building almost entirely.  Their M113s rushed to support the left flank.

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Russian Turn 8

On the left flank, the HINDs, infantry and remaining T72s put paid to the Mortar Teams and set to work on the M113s sweeping from the right flank.  With several infantry teams occupying the objective, it was all but over.

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American Turn 8

Rather than delay the inevitable, I decided that 4 M113s were not going to hold an objective from 2 Hinds and half an infantry company and sounded the retreat.

Summary

A truly epic battle that tipped and swayed on a turn by turn basis.  As a new player to ‘Flames’ games (Team Yankee is my first, and only played 6 or 7 games mainly using tanks), I learnt a lot from this fight:

  • Don’t let enemy infantry get into buildings.  Digging them out is painful!
  • Make sure you get all your infantry on the board and defending from the first turn.  OR put said infantry in ambush, not your Choppers
  • Mortar units are very useful as a mobile machine gun unit