Saturday, July 4, 2015

Is the album selling? Cuz I only see two of you.

I played my first battle of Warfare in the Age of Madness.  I must be mad because I played the game solo.  The two forces that were recently painted were the combatants.  These are the 4th Reich and the Leftist Gureillas.  The game dispelled the theories that I had about how the game performs.  I will give my thoughts at the end of the report.  All of the terrain is scratch built except for the blanket.  I apologize for the sun in several shots.

The objectives are set up in the general center of the board.  The Infected horde is near the middle as well.  It is contesting the objectives.  A supply marker cannot be scavenged if a enemy or non player enemy is within 8 inches.  A NpE is an infected stand, Marauders (armed looters and bandits) and booby trap/mines/IeD stands.  You have to neutralize the threat before scavenging the supply markers.  The 4th Reich won the dice off and decided to be the blue player.  This forces the other player or red player to set up first.  Their recon stand gets to move for free (they do not have one).  After the recon move the entire blue player force gets a free move.  When the game starts the red player gets to move first.  Being the blue player is advantageous but it can tip your opponent off to your strategy.  

Another caveat is the game's weapon ranges.  A bound is 4".  Units fire according to the number of bounds.  An assault rifle team can fire 2 bounds.  A HmG team fires 4 bounds.  Rifle/Mg teams are 3 bounds.  It never felt realistic to me.  I changed it to this method.  
The game ranges say 1 bound is a 3+ to hit.  Ranges out to 4 bounds are 4+.  Anything beyond that is 5+.  A rifle team's range is 3 bounds.  The ranges now have 3 bound.  This means a rifle team can fire a 3 / 6 / 9 bounds.  The rifle team hits on 3+ from 1 bound away.  It hits on 4+ on bound 2-4.  Bounds 5 - 9 hit on 5+.  Hitting at more distant ranges can be difficult if units are in cover.  It means that units caught in the open are likely to be pinned and hurt by fire.  It appeared to be balanced during my playtest.  I talked to the game designer by email about this.  He said that the shortened ranges was to make the game more tactical.  It makes close combat oriented forces able to get into melee much more easily.  I realize that this makes close quarters battle and blade teams harder to use well.  I think the range changes accurately reflects modern combat.  Just look at the Civil War for an example of how accurate fire affects troops moving in the open.      

 This is after the 4th Reich's elements have moved out.  It is hard to see but the tracks are in column on the bottom left corner of the field.  The recon Rifle/Mg and the sniper team are near the center beneath the swamp.  The mechanized troops deployed out of the truck and went on alert.  The M113s  also went on alert.  I made a mistake with the recon team by leaving it in the open.  The leftists are set up in the woods on the opposite side of the board.
 The Leftists moved up the board.  Half of the force headed for the irrigation fields and cover.  The other half moved around the barn.  The FO set up at the corner of the barn and called down medium mortar fire on the 4th Reich recon team.  They took a wound.  The 50 cal team set up at the edge of the woods to cover the advancing infantry teams.
The infected activated and started to move.  This set off all the alert marker teams.  The Infected ate two volleys of .50 cal rounds and an assault rifle team's shooting.  It finally went down.  If used correctly Infected can really cause problems for you.
The 4th Reich turn went well.  The recon pulled back into the woods and scavenged a supply marker.  The m113s advanced into the cover of the woods and put some fire on the leftist teams in the fields.
The Leftist turn 2 was more moving and not much shooting.  The mortar team was silent.  The 50 cal team fired at the m113s but did not cause damage.  There was some rallying of the infantry teams.
The 4th Reich turn 2 started with the infantry teams and the MG team deploying from the m113s.  The Recon team stayed put while the medic team moved to heal it.  The Opel Binz truck started to move across the river.
 Turn 3 was pretty bloody for the leftists.  The m113s and the mg team accounted for at least two team losses and some suppression.  The Leftists in the fields were pinned down and unable to do much.  The rest of the leftist army moved into position.  The Opel Binz truck moved up to the swamp.  The recon team was patched up by the medic.
 Turn 4 was unfortunately the last turn I was able to play.  The Leftists set off the booby trap set by the 4th Reich.  A Leftist Rifle/Mg team's LAW took out an m113.  A few more Leftist infantry teams were hurt by fire and pinned down.  A lone CqB team took fire from several 4th Reich teams.  It was down to one wound and was pinned.
 This is where the game stopped.  The tally at this point was probably in the 4th Reich's favor.  They had inflicted several losses on the enemy and taken a supply marker.

The battle was a fun one.  I definitely play mechanized forces better than foot based ones.  The 4th Reich had Hawkeyes as a special trait.  It makes them better shots.  This ability really made up for their lack of numbers.  One nice thing about WitAoM is that you have the option to make large forces of poor troops or small elite units.  The options are endless!  The 4th Reich's tiny force performed very well even though they were outnumbered.  The leftists rolled a very poor deployment set up.  They had some open space to cover and could not reach it quickly enough.  The m113s were able to scoot up the board and pin them down.  Close quarter battle teams really need some troops in front of them to cover their advance.  Putting them up against long ranged teams is a sure way to get them killed.  I am surprised that the Leftist force requires more finesse than the mechanized one.  On the last turn the Leftists started to hurt the 4th Reich's troops.  But I doubt it would be enough to turn the battle.  I should have used the mortar team more.
This kitteh earns the most annoying player award.  He repeatedly tried to walk into the middle of the battlefield.  His goal was to sit down and stare at me while his tail bumped terrain and figures.  To make matters worse he weighs around 25 pounds.  He settled for the tupperware container as a compromise.  Chairman Meow won the MaP award.

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