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Subject: Mission IV: Cleanse & Burn rss

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Hugh Grotius
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My daughter and I played "Cleanse & Burn" tonight. She had the Stealers, and I had the Marines. In this mission, my objective is to move "east" through two parallel corridors and then to shoot into two different rooms, one to the south, one to the north. I have to shoot the rooms with either a flamer or two shots from the assault cannon.

Brother Valencio, wielding his door-slicing chain fist, led the way along the topmost (northernmost) corridor. I set him on overwatch at the first intersection to interdict stealers attempting to enter on our flanks. Brother Noctis passed him and charged east, shooting doors to open a long field of fire in front of us. Sergeant Gideon, hammer in hand, came next, followed by Brother Leon, wielding the assault cannon. One marine with a storm bolter brought up the rear. (Perhaps I should have had Gideon in the rear, as he does not have a ranged attack.)

Along the southern corridor, Brother Scipio took up an overwatch position at the first intersection, again to interdict aliens seeking to flank us from the rear. Sergeant Lorenzo charged forward, waving his sword, and behind him Brother Zael trotted along with his all-important flamer. Two marines with storm bolters brought up the rear.

At first things went well for my team. Noctis and Lorenzo mowed down doors and aliens alike, and for a few minutes it looked as if the way to the target rooms was clear. But then the aliens wised up and started lurking just to the side of the long corridor, out of sight.

I responded to this tactic by putting Zael in front in the southern corridor and letting him flame the intersection ahead. That cleared out some of the lurking bugs, but it also used precious ammo. I crept forward and repeated this move twice more until I was just 3 squares from the intersection leading to the southernmost target room. I had 3 shots left.

Meanwhile the team to the north also made slow progress. Lorenzo dashed ahead past the lurking aliens while Leon covered him on overwatch. This tactic worked, for a while; the aliens tried to kill Lorenzo by running after him, but Leon got them all. This, too, cost precious ammo. So I decided to put Gideon on guard, his back to Lorenzo and Zael as they crept forward toward their target.

That plan backfired. Despite his high proficiency at melee while on guard, Gideon fell to the first bug who attacked him; he rolled and re-rolled 1s. Ahead of him, Lorenzo's guns jammed, and his sword failed him; he fell. So Leon had to fire his assault cannon repeatedly to keep himself alive, and eventually he ran out of ammo. On the turn he needed to reload, I drew 1 action point, so he couldn't go on overwatch. I tried putting him on guard instead; that didn't work, and he died.

So my last hope was Zael, with his flamer, and his escorts. As I mentioned, he got within 3 squares of the intersection that looks into both target rooms. My opponent carelessly left *both* doors open, giving Zael a free shot at both rooms -- if he could muster the action points to shoot. But again, I drew a "1". Not enough to move forward (3), turn right (4), shoot the flamer into the target room (2). All I could do was flame the intersection to buy another turn to try again, but in the meantime the bugs were swarming me from the north, as they no longer were concerned about the now-deceased Zael.

The end came swiftly. Zael actually managed to kill a couple bugs in melee, but the third attack got him.

We loved this scenario! It was tense and exciting, and there were a number of shouts as die rolls went good or bad. Both of us punctuated our dice rolls with screeching alien sounds and storm bolt noises. I love the time pressure -- it forces me to think fast, and it means I make mistakes that can be quite entertaining. In this particular game, I think I left my guys on flank-overwatch too long, and I should've put Gideon at the end of my northern line. I also probably was too profligate with my ammo. We're going to replay this mission tomorrow; we'll see what happens. My daughter likes playing the Genestealers, which suits me just fine -- I get a huge kick out of "roleplaying" my team. Perhaps it will help if we do a bit more prayer next time.

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Jonan Jello
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Nice review Hugo and what an opponent to play against. I hope when my daughter's old enough, she'll try a few sessions against me with my favorite games.

I just completed setting up the Mission IV board and am waiting for my opponent to show up for tonight's games. If I'm the marine player, I'm still not sure what the best approach in completing the goal will be. The rooms adjacent to the goal rooms seem a good route to take, if only because there only one stealer entry point in the area. Perhaps Overwatching the long hallway while the flamer/AC and a bolter or two enter the rooms to the south and north, respecitvely.

We'll see.....

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Calvin Wong
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Thanks for sharing. Entertaining read!
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Kris Vezner
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Very nice.

In the White Dwarf mission report, an experienced marine player plugged the main hallway doors to the first rooms with sargeants on guard or overwatch and then the rest of the squad pushed ahead to the main hallway intersections leading directly to the target rooms. Marines won, but it was close and due to a huge genestealer error in the last genestealer turn.

I agree that those first rooms as an alternate path look tempting. If an experienced player pushes straight ahead there must be a reason for it, but you'd probably have to play it to guess why and evaluate.

Haven't played yet myself.
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Steve R Bullock
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Nice report- and you are lucky to have a daughter who will not only play the game with you, but also can beat you at the game (sometimes).

I always liked "Cleanse and Burn". Yes, it is tense and keeps you on the edge of the seat, but hey, that's what its all about!

Thanks for filling us in on your Space Hulk moments.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Rock on for getting a girl to like these games!

Father of the year in my books

-shnar
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Hugh Grotius
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Thanks! At first she didn't seem enthusiastic, but I talked the game up and demonstrated it while making blaster noises and stuff. Once she saw that the game involved some tough tactical decisions, she was hooked! She's 10, but she's very smart; she doesn't need any help kicking my butt at this or other games. She routinely thrashes me at Agricola, Through the Ages, and other Euros.
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Jonan Jello
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Last night, my buddy took the marines first game and scored a victory.
If I recall correctly, he placed his assault cannon and flamer third in each squad.

Heh, in my defense, I was having terrible blip draws and pulling a 1-blip in nearly every reinforcement phase. As well, we weren't using the timer for the marines. Scott is an amazing game player with solid strategies in any game. He likes to think things out and I obliged by forgoing the timer. (heck, without the sand dropping, I may have a chance when I played the marines!)
But for full SH effect, I really need to instate the time in our next session.

With one of my 1-blips and just to keep the rear-heat on the marines, I entered the hulk at the northern entry point above the marines' starting area. Hopefully I could keep the rear marines occupied with this rear threat and it worked for a while.

I put a couple blips at the far, north entry point. This proved hazardous when I failed to advance a 3-stealer blip in a previous turn.
The aliens were caught in involuntary reveal and faced backward. When I went to activate them, each one did as they tried to spin around. Total xeno-suckage. Reinforcement-wise, whatever else I pulled went to the north and south, middle entry points.

In the northern room (adjacent to the goal-room), I lost too many stealers to overwatch and a crucial, well-played CP action that found the AC moving and firing once at the lone stealer blocking the path to the goal. The following round found the northern room blasted by the AC and he began moving into that room to focus on the southern-room goal.

The eventual turns found me unable to stop or effective threaten the marines. Overwatch was decimating whatever else I had left. The last turn for the marines found either the AC shooting across the hulk and into the second goal room, or the flamer moving up and blasting the room with a sacrificial marine inside.

It seemed too simple for the Marines to waltz in accomplish the victory. I wished the mission found the stealers with blips, but after discussing the session, we agreed I was pulling crap 1-blips way too much. This proved true in our second game.


~

As the marines, I started similar to Scott's deployment - AC and Flamer third with the sergeants second. Scott pulled the 3-blips with more success the I had done. With 6CP's on my first turn I managed to move fast and blast doors in my advance. But that southern room (adjacent to the goal-room) was insane! The situation found me using the mini-interection (before the first true intersection), shuffling bolter and sergeant so the Flamer Zael could stave off the huge threat. This looming danger and fire retaliation completely tripped me up and provided a stronger avenue for stealer threat from the starting-area entry points.

I managed to get my flamer to the northern room and flame the the goal room in part to a mistake of Scott's. There was much overwatch guarding the northern room. His lone revealed stealer decided to try the eastern route and so turned and opened the door to the goal. By the time my Flamer got to the avenue, the door was of course already opened. The stealer died in that halfway victory move.

But the rest fell from there. In the intersection areas, I had so many avenues of overlapping overwatch going, but it all was to no avail with jams and/or misses. in one turn I lost two bolters to one lone Stealer. Such a deciding turn for Scott!

Leon with his AC was overwatch guarding a room to protect the very-much exposed and threatened Flamer Zael. But as the first stealer ran across his LOS (which Leon was hindered as he was back one space from the room to get full overwatch opportunities), he managed to take out the flamer while his proceeding kin advanced on the Cannon and destroyed Leon.
Game over, man.


My only downside to playing such a good player like Scott, is that we're moving through the missions too fast! I was expecting at least 5-6 games on each mission before was saw a victory. So far, I've only managed to succeed in completing mission I: Suicide Mission

Dang.






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Hugh Grotius
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Quote:
The aliens were caught in involuntary reveal and faced backward.

Then you got a raw deal, because page 17 of the rulebook says: "Regardless of who placed [the Stealers] the Genestealer player can choose the facing of any Genestealers when they are revealed." In other words, the Marine decides where to place involutarily revealed Stealers, but the Stealer player decides their facing.

You also got a raw deal on the timer! It is one of the Stealer's biggest advantages -- don't give it away! I just lost a game partly because of time pressure, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

We had a follow-up game of the same mission, and this time my Marines came closer. I managed to flame one of the two target rooms, by sneaking in through the intermediate room, as some posters in this thread suggested. And in fact my assault-cannon was doing the same thing on the other side of the map -- but I made a crucial error.

I ran him into the sideroom adjoining the target room; the side room had two blips in it. I had six extra actions to play with, which made me over-confident. Unfortunately, I didn't have the ammo or actions to get to the center of the room, turn, blast away two doors, and shoot twice into the target room. So instead I decided to take out the two blips -- alone. Well, with only 3 ammo, that was a dumb decision. I killed one after expending two ammo, and then it dawned on me that if I missed with my final shot, I wouldn't have had enough APs left to reload. I probably should've just fired and gone on guard and hoped for the best.

Instead, I froze, paralyzed with indecision, and the timer ran out. I died in melee the next turn. My flamer was still alive, but the demise of the assault cannon pretty much sealed my fate. So I lost in part because of the timer -- and the game was more fun that way.
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Jonan Jello
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Grotius wrote:
Quote:
The aliens were caught in involuntary reveal and faced backward.

Then you got a raw deal, because page 17 of the rulebook says: "Regardless of who placed [the Stealers] the Genestealer player can choose the facing of any Genestealers when they are revealed." In other words, the Marine decides where to place involutarily revealed Stealers, but the Stealer player decides their facing.

Well thank you for that tidbit. One of those rules I thought I knew, but perhaps it mutated in my head! Thanks man.

Grotius wrote:


You also got a raw deal on the timer! It is one of the Stealer's biggest advantages -- don't give it away! I just lost a game partly because of time pressure, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Yes and thank you again. I'm all for the timer! As host and SH owner, I need to be firm and just insist we use it.

[q="Grotius"]
Quote:


Instead, I froze, paralyzed with indecision, and the timer ran out. I died in melee the next turn. My flamer was still alive, but the demise of the assault cannon pretty much sealed my fate. So I lost in part because of the timer -- and the game was more fun that way.

See, I agree, it's more fun that way! AND owners get more mileage out of the game!

Thanks again Grotius. You've lifted my spirits for the future of playing SH with my buddy.

Good luck with Cleanse & Burn in the future.
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