Note: This was one of the first playtests using the new version 2.0 characters in STA. This version of the characters uses a revised formula designed to close the gap between Recruit and Elite characters with regard to cost. Playtests and careful analysis of character cost revealed the earlier version disproportionately favored strength in numbers for weaker characters over smaller numbers of stronger characters, even if the total character value was the same. This skirmish was also a 80 Elite skirmish, which is somewhat usual (we usually stick to 40 points or so after making significant changes to the rules).
Date: 24 April 2013
Gamescape: Streets of Ruin
Skirmish Points: 80 (max character level: Elite)
Scenario: Kill 'em All - six scavenge tokens
Fight it out for 10 rounds. The winner is the player who has the most Victory Points. Victory Points are earned by claiming scavenge tokens and getting kills.
Factions: Combine vs. Erthen
Combine: 1x Elite Inferno, 1x Elite Vanguard, 1x Elite HARPI, 1x Veteran Commander, 3x Recruit Hellfire
Erthen: 3x Elite Ion Core, 1x Veteran Tremor, 1x Recruit Geomancer
Overview of the skirmish:
The Combine player won the roll to choose his side of the board. The layout was fairly even, so he chose the right because he thought it offered him the best line of sight to his targets and path to the scavenge tokens. The Combine player had to place his characters first, so he spread them out in an attempt to be ready for whatever strategy the Erthen player used.
The Erthen player grouped his characters together. He was planning for a very specific tactic with the Ion Cores and Tremor.
Each faction moved quickly to grab a scavenge token, but things then shifted to finding tactical locations for cover, as the groups danced around the central building.
The Erthen player used a creative scheme to cover a great deal of distance with his Tremor. He used one Ion Core to Magnetic Force a second Ion Core forward. Then that Ion Core used Magnetic Force to move the Tremor forward. This required a couple decent rolls, but he pulled it off and placed the Tremor in contact with two Hellfires. The Tremor made quick work of one Hellfire, crushing it in a single attack. The other Hellfire quickly retreated. The Tremor took a couple points of damage, went to retreat, and then the Combine player killed him by using his Commander to extend everyone’s Weapon Range, which allowed the Vanguard to take a shot. At this point, the Tremor was dead, but so were two Hellfires. Also, each faction had captured three scavenge tokens.
Things were close, but the Combine player felt confident with his Inferno. The Inferno moved forward and with used his awesome Defense to keep him alive. The Ion Cores focused fire, but eventually they were taken down. In the end, only a single Ion Core survived.
Analysis: Although the final outcome might not reflect it, the game was close until the last couple rounds. The Ion Core rolled poorly on their attacks against the Inferno. The Ion Cores’ Magnetic Force ability proved useful, but the Erthen player should have probably used it to force his opponents to come to him, rather than sending the Tremor forward.