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Subject: The Smashface Rebellion: Tour of Duty AAR rss

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Steve DeBaun
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Hey! Here's an AAR report of a game using the new Tour of Duty campaign game expansion. Find out more about it:

Design Diary: Special Objectives
Expand Different: Have More Fun By Reducing Choices

The Battle for Colony 499

PROLOGUE

Quote:

Colony 499 was an Imperial outpost on the border of the Ancient Hegemony neutral zone. Early in the war, renegade Hegemony pirates conspired with the local indigenous mutant population and incited them to throw off the shackles of Imperial bondage.

The Imperials were not keen on losing a strategic position, and certain elements of the Hegemony priesthood were not keen on their pirate brethren's success. The Imperial Dragoons and the the Hegemony priestess Mother Slys embarked on a joint venture to end the rebel threat.




Red chooses NEVER GIVE UP as her strategy card, with a HOLD LINE Special Objective. Her goal is to try to keep the middle tile rows clear of enemy pieces. To achieve this, she selects the following regiments:
Smashface Clan (30): Three Brutes
Wild Scourge (15): Wayfarer, Amazon Corvette
Winged Brothers (13): Archon, Corvettes, Wardens

Along with the +2 bonus glory from her Strategy Card, she starts the game with 24 Glory.



Blue has selected BOOT TO THE HEAD as his strategy card, with an ASSASSINATE Special Objective. That means he needs to push his HQ as far forward as he can, while holding back Red’s HQ and trying to kill it. He brings the following regiments:
Mother Slys (24): Sibyl, Two Reavers
The Imperial Dragoons (24): Assault, Two Cavalry
Wild Sisters (16): Wayfarer, Sirens, Amazons
With the +5 from his card, that leaves him at 21 Glory.

SCOUTING & VANGUARD

The Objective Card dictates that four of the maptiles must be played on their "B" side (terrain-heavy), and the other five must be "A" (terrain-light). Red focuses on keeping one of her flanks heavily saturated, and Blue tries to keep one flank fairly open. They both get what they want, with Red getting a slight advantage in the terrain density in the center.



For her vanguard, Red starts with a heavy right-flank setup: all three of her Brutes are clustered over there, with her single Wayfarer camping a spot on the left. Her setup leaves her positioned for a first turn rush on two of the cap points -- and more importantly for her HOLD LINE objective, the center map tiles.

Blue tries a dangerous single-suit vanguard, deploying all of his troops on the silver square banner. He’s in a position to respond to an early Red rush, and hopefully capitalize on Red’s weak left flank.

TURN ONE

Red opens with a middleweight card: five of towers is enough to move her entire flank forward to threaten the middle and right cap points. Because of her HOLD LINE objective, this basically forces Blue to get onto those tiles to avoid the 2 Glory loss from each of them.



Blue responds with his big seven of swords, giving him enough command points to move his entire force, and bring on his HQ. He even has enough for a harassment attack by his Wayfarers; it scores a push, which the Brutes can’t Standfast against due to Ambush. Blue has a fleeting glimpse of the possibility of locking Red out of the center tile early.



TURN TWO

Alas, it is not to be.

Red’s five of swords lets her bring on her HQ, and send two of her Brutes into the fray. Her leftmost Brutes sit happily on the cap point, while her center Brutes charge forward to engage the Reavers. An awesome Hit-Hit-Push forces the Reavers to take cover, falling back two hexes and taking a hit.



Blue’s response is to spend the measly four of swords to assault the center Brutes.

The first attack with his center Reavers is a disaster. He does two point of damages, but is forced back by the Brutes His follow-up attack is a little better, forcing the Brutes back and getting a piece on the maptile.



TURN THREE

The top of turn three starts with Red scoring the first Glory in the game. Blue loses three points: one for the center cap point, and two for the center map tile (due to the HOLD LINE objective). Ouch: one seventh of his glory gone in a single turn!

Red tries to solidify her position on her right flank. With a little three of towers, she moves a piece onto her right flank cap point and then tries to drive off the Reavers, with no success.



By this point, Blue has nearly run out of silver cards, and is desperately looking for a way to counter the impending bleeding from HOLD LINE. He figures the best defense is a good offense, and rushes Red’s left flank. His HQ gets on to the cap point, and his Cavalry pin the enemy Wayfarers.

He is hoping that not only with the control of the cap point help, but that he'll be able to push his HQ forward and start bleeding Red from his ASSASSINATE Special Objective.



TURN FOUR

Red bleeds Blue again for a whopping six Glory: 2 each for the center maptiles and 2 each for the cap points. That’s over a quarter of Blue’s total glory gone, just like that!

Even though her left flank is threatened, and her Wayfarers could get murdered pretty easily, she decides to refuse her left flank, and push her right flank against the injured Reavers, to keep them on their back foot and out of the center row map tiles.

Her big seven of swords play is enough to push the entire front: her HQ grabs the cap point, one of the Brutes attacks, and the rest move up to form a wall of bodies. Her attacking Brutes manage to beat the hell out of the poor Wayfarers and do a hit and two fall-backs.



Unfortunately, Blue is plumb out of silver command cards and can only rant and rave against the cruelty of fate. He bleeds Red two Glory (yay) for holding the capture point with his HQ. He has no choice but to bring on his reserves, with the goal of pushing against Red’s left flank and trying to encircle the middle.



TURN FIVE

Red knocks Blue for another six Glory. Although she abandoned one of the cap points, she moved her HQ onto the other. Blue is inches away from death with little to no prospects of driving back Red’s right flank. All Red has to do is hold out another turn or two.

But she sees an opportunity! Blue, in trying to squeeze his reinforcements through the pass, left his Cavalry without an avenue of retreat. Blue notices that she can disengage her Corvettes and make an attack, hopefully landing a couple of hits while it can’t Take Cover or Bug Out.



And then the dice land… and what should have been an embarrassing couple of hits turns into a complete wipe-out: three skulls, and nowhere to run!



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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Good report. I can see how the playing time would be quite short. I don't yet have much feel for how much goes into the pre-battle planning though. Unit selection, objective selection, setting up the terrain and so on; how long do you figure that took?
 
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Steve DeBaun
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@Sphere:

This game was played with Tour of Duty, the campaign game expansion, so it only took a couple of minutes. TOD replaces the 'build whatever you want' phase with a selection from a handful of cards (shown). When I play with the fiance, we usually take ~5 minutes to look over our cards and pick what we're going to play with.

The Scouting phase (when the map tiles gets laid out) takes us maybe another 3-5 minutes.

This was a particularly fast game; the Special Objectives end up eating a lot of Glory. I'm going to increase the bonus Glory on the Strategy cards to compensate.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Thanks Steve - Tour of Duty was what I was missing.

Have you considered submitting Tour of Duty and the expansion promo packs to the database here as separate entries? As of now, the only hit when searching for Ars Victor is this one:

Ars Victor

To illustrate what I'm suggesting, here are the links you get when searching for C&C:Ancients:

Commands & Colors: Ancients
Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #1 – Greece & Eastern Kingdoms
Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #2 – Rome and the Barbarians
Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #3 – The Roman Civil Wars
Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #4 – Imperial Rome
Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #5 – Epic Ancients II
Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #6 – The Spartan Army
Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansions #2 and #3 – Rome vs the Barbarians; The Roman Civil Wars

Being able to quickly see the expansion options is helpful to anyone interested in the system, and I think having that resource might boost sales not only for the expansions, but for the base game as well.
 
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Beyer
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But this expansion is only in the playtest phase. I'm positive it will get its very own space on the intarwebs once it's officially released.
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Steve DeBaun
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@Sphere: sorry about that -- yeah, its still in testing. I updated the op with links explaining wot TOD is.

The promo pack is only four pieces; should it have its own BGG page?
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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sdebaun wrote:
The promo pack is only four pieces; should it have its own BGG page?

Absolutely! All the cool kids are doing it:

7 Wonders: Leaders – Stevie
7 Wonders: Leaders – Louis
Ghost Stories: B-Rice Lee
Ghost Stories: Chuck No-Rice
Ghost Stories: Jean-Claude Van Rice
Ghost Stories: Steven Qi-Gal

It may seem silly to have an entry for a single card or whatever, but the BGG Geek Store is full of promos for sale and every one has its own entry. Also, consider that many of us inventory our collections here, so this is useful in keeping track of what promos you have (they are even counted separately as 'expansions').

Note that when you submit the entry, by marking it as 'expands Ars Victor' the expansion link will be added to the Ars Victor page and the Ars Victor page will be linked to the expansion page.

To take it one step further, you should probably create an Ars Victor Family once you have entries for a couple of expansions - see the 'Family' field on the Ars Victor game page, which currently has the game listed in only one family (Kickstarter). Also, if you haven't done so, have a look at the Commands & Colors Family, which has 6 pages of entries from various publishers. If Abaddon is in there, why not Ars Victor?
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