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Subject: Play session: Tutorial and Mission 1 rss

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James Lin
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Last Friday, after poring over the manual and browsing the forums for strategies and common rules questions, I finally felt confident enough to run the game as the Invader with 3 of my friends.

The biggest complaint I heard: "This throws all my Warhammer tabletop training out the window!" Apparently, the "any-corner-to-any-corner" method of determining line-of-sight flies in the face of every tabletop game out there.

I expected the tutorial to be a quick and painless affair where the Marines would give each other fistbumps while fragging demons left and right. But even without Argent Power, I managed to get one frag with the Cacodemons. The tutorial alone lasted around 2 hours, but that was with plenty of chit-chat and constant references to the manual.

Mission 1 took a similar amount of time, with our increased confidence in the rules balancing out the additional complexity from the full game mechanics (cover, Glory Kills, Argent Power). As suggested somewhere on the forums, I took out the Chainsaw and the two closest Medkits, then gave the 3 Marines 12 max HP instead of the additional class card.

The Marines had the following class cards:
1. The one where you get a free Glory Kill card every round
2. The one where defending demon type loses 1 Argent Power
3. Don't remember (something with card draw?)

My initial spawn consisted of the following:

Blue: Imps + Argent Power
Yellow: Revenant + Imps

I dropped 3 Argent Power on the Revenant and kept him in the back so he would be ready to rock after I used my Imps to stun one of the Marines. Unfortunately, the Revenant never got a chance to activate when one Marine got a good long-distance hit and another Marine had enough movement to run in and finish the job with a Super Shotgun. Lesson learned - I should have just used one of the Revenant's attacks to stun instead of wasting my first activation for a greedy setup.

After being smart and clearing out all the remaining Imps, one of the Marines got cheeky and opened the door with the red portal, so I spawned in the following:

Blue: Imps
Red: Baron of Hell + Imps + Argent Power

Since the red portal was pretty close to the marines, I figured the Baron would have a good chance of moving up to one of them for a double attack. The blue portal didn't help much, so I went with overwhelming numbers since I wasn't really hurting on Argent Power.

Despite the Marines' best efforts, they were a few damage points short from killing the Baron. The Baron followed up with a double attack that also fell short from killing one of the Marines, but he had one last trick up his sleeve...

> "time to roll crits on this grand fireball"
> :rolls all 2's on the red dice:
> "oh wow I was just kidding"

So with 8 additional damage, the Marine was turned into a flaming pile of ash and I scored my first frag token. I also managed to bring a second Marine to critical condition with the Imps before the Marines finished off the second wave.

For the last set of portals:

Blue: Imps + Argent Power
Yellow: Revenant + Imps

I thought about bringing in the Cacodemons but decided against it since they were a bit too far for chomping and I needed a ranged attack with more oomph.

Things worked out in my favor with some early activations, so the Imps managed to finish off the second Marine since the rough terrain kept him from snagging the Medkit in the corner. The third frag came when the first Marine popped his head through the door where the red portal was and ate a face full of rockets.

Victory still went to the Marines, but I consider 3 frag tokens to be an accomplishment, especially after hearing multiple accounts of poor team balance for Mission 1. 6 frags is still wishful thinking, but I think I could have snagged 1-2 more if not for the following:

1. Poor choices for my first few activations (losing the Revenant hurt a lot)
2. MAGNUM SHOT

I made sure to focus on Marines that had already activated so they wouldn't get a chance to shake off the Stun effect. What I didn't count on was Magnum Shot being used as a follow-up to my Stun attack. If it didn't kill the stunning demon outright, it still counted as an attack from the Marine so they were no longer stunned afterwards.

Overall, a fun experience for both sides. Looking forward to the next session!
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