Well who'd have thunk it I managed to get a few games in recently!
First off I dropped by the club on Monday and played a couple games of space hulk against neil. Mission 1, did the same suicide run I did against Fred. Toasting my own marine was the first casualty for the marines. I could probably have pushed on to try to do it without casualty, but I didn't want to get cocky. We switched sides, and I wiped nige out to a man. We then played mission 2 (christ that board gets big pretty quickly) which was a real back to the walls job for the marines. It looked iffy but through having my two survivng marines backing into corners guns blazing yelling "you want some, huh huh?" ala Hudson from Aliens (and preying to the emperor not to share his fate) I won the game.
It's not strictly chronological to my week, but while I'm on Space Hulk...
Met up with Neil again, and played the return fixture of mission 2. Having seen what happened with me nige had a decent game plan, getting his marines into a good bundle in the centre. He won this with two marines and his assault cannon left, though by the last few turns I could see I was hoping to make his assault cannon blow up or something :oS
We then played mission 3 with me as marines. Get the cat out. I made some steady progress, my thunder hammer sergeant managing to get into position to block genestealer arrivals from near the exit point (a move neil hadn't seen coming it must be said) while team A started marching through, and the rest of B went to rendezvous. Seeing I was out of range I didn't bother to turn my sergeant and put him on overwatch... but really should have done. "He can't get me this turn" should have been followed up with "But he can get into a bloody good position for next turn!" but alas it didn't. Witha genestealer breathing down my flamers neck, I prepared to seperate my team, and torched the genie on the square next to him. I figured I was gonna lose the flamer anyway, it was the only thing that could be done to protect the rest of the team. Boy did I get lucky. Not only did I kill hte genie, but the flamer survived! He then retreated to a better position and spent the rest of his ammo keeping the enemy at bay. The rest of team A ran into some trouble at the half way point, and the team was eventually wiped out (the flamer dying valiantly by torching a room with the last flamer shot he had... killing himself and several genestealers.) Team B arrived just in time, and picked up the Cat and started to back down the corridors on overwatch. It was looking good, but all it takes is an ill timed jam...
I had however relieved my thunder hammer sergeant with a less important trooper, and he took up position to hold the rear. He did valiantly, and some good command point selections allowed the cat carrier to seriously leg it out of the hulk down the empty corridors behind the sergeant. The sergeant kicked arse thoguh - even without the command points, I'd have made it. Will have to play the return leg against Neil some time soon.
In other news, went down to the workshop on thursday morning and met Chris for a game for him to playtest his tournament army. I wrote up a mechanised list with a couple of my new toys in (the executioner just HAD to go against death guard, but as I didn't want to be a complete bastard I went for a balanced approach, and configured the other new tank as a punisher.) Also took a valk (probably won't kill much, but good mobility for my command unit) some vets in chimera and a hydra, plus a penal legion squad to fill out the army.
Rolled for mission... that'll be annihalation. Again. Chris did offer to reroll, but I said no fair is fair. We had also been discussing ways to alter kill points for games at our club, as Chris agrees with me that they're a little harsh. Ok, it is the crimp guard have to pay for the advantage we get in objective games... but that's assuming we take an infantry platoon. I can take vets in chimeras, and because they're guard (and thus shit and cheap) i'll have the same amount of scoring units as anyone else (6 at most) yet will still probably run out an army of over 20 KPs. I've lsot annihalation missions where it had got to the point I had to table the enemy. I had half my army left, he had a damaged dread and an immobilised rhino. But they were in awkward positions, and the last turn I just couldn't get enough shots at them to win. Under the terms of the mission (as in, annihalate the enemy) and you lose almost your entire army but only kill half the opposition, how exactly is that a victory?!? Under KP it is. I also don't like the game dynamic where it can get to a stage that my opponent knows I have to table him to win... and he then acts accordingly. Against Brad in the tournament, I was annihalating anything that popped it's head out. Brad realised he was in the lead... so hid his army out of LOS. The next two turns was me advancing, trying to get LOS, and him shooting anything that could possibly reach him or cowering deeper into the ruins. So when does "annihalate the enemy!" become "Oh, we're doing ok ish actually, lets just preserve our forces now..." - i must have missed that mid-game briefing. So anyway, aving had this conversation as background, CHris and I decided to play annihalation anyway, and count up under different systems at the end to see what provided a good reflection of how we thought the game had gone.
We had a spearhead deployment, and Chris set up first. I set out a tank gunline ready to meet his rhinos. He charged forward. Forgot to pop his smokes. I wanted to capitalise on this fatal error...
29 str 5, 12 str 6, 17 str 7 (4 of which TL, 5 of which small blast) and 1 str 9 (which actually hit!) shots later... I had a rhino that couldn't shoot, and a rhino that couldn't move or shoot. Woot.
Overall the game did go quite well from the second turn onwards. His chosen turned up on the wrong flank, the executioner was delicious against the plague marines, and solid fire into one unit at a time was doing well. As turn 5 came about, I gambled on dropping my command squad behind an immobilised defiler. Straken came up to it's rear with his big metal fist and... well the chaos surgeons did what they could for the defiler, but they just couldn't get the smile off his face. A quick glance at the kill points tally showed that if the game ended now, I'd win by 7 points to 6! Sadly it didn't. We carried on playing and as he got in close and chimeras broke, spilling nice squishy guardsmen, he picked up some cheap kill points. It got to the predicatable stage where I needed to table him to win. I couldn't. Final result, 14-10 in favour of chaos.
Now looking at this game, where both had such a good time, was it really so one sided? Kill points gives a healthy margin... when you look at it from the point of view that for me victory was impossible unless I wiped the enemy out it makes it look even more heavily in CHris favour. yet it felt far closer than that.
We looked at the old victory points. I had a few hundred points favour in that. Different story, but that felt too much in my favour.
We'd seen something on Bols about scoring 1 kp for troops, 2 for elites, fast attack, heavy support, 3 for HQs... and transports were valued based on what they were bought for. This gave each side a bigger score, but all it did was widen the margin. I think with that you have to know from the start which units are worth more for your target priorities.
I then came up with the idea of a perentage. Using kill points, how much of the army had been killed. Out of Chris 13 KP, I'd got 10 (I think those were the figures) and a 77% destruction of the enemy. From my vastly larger KP army, Chris had killed 70%. Score in my favour, but for a margin that narrow I'm sure it would be a draw. Certainly in fantasy a score that close would be a draw.
So we gave the victory to Chris under GW rules, but have found an interesting way of doing things. It will require some playtesting, but at least now when it comes to an annihalation mission, under this system I'll go hell for leather for the enemy... exactly like you're supposed to. Now we just have to convince the others of the value of this as a house rule for any future club tourneys or whatever.
Finally, Chris had his flagging interest in GW stoked up again by the versatility of the guard codex. SO I've issued a bit of a challenge. Knowing he has a limited budget being a student, I suggested a tale of four gamers type of event. I already have plenty it must be said, but I haven't actually painted any of my orks yet. They can be my army. Who cares what date is on the receipt! We do 500 points a month and play a couple games with our newly painted models. Me and Chris are in... anyone else fancy joining in?