21 January 2015

Welcome to the Jungle

A couple of weeks ago we played a small, three-player game of Gruntz. We used the jungle terrain I finished making a week earlier.

Each player could make a force of up to 50 points with no vehicles, jump packs or the like - the aim was get a "traipsing through the jungle" feel. For those unfamiliar with the Gruntz army builders, 50 points equates to maybe a couple of 5-man fire teams or a single powered armour team.

The scenario background was deliberately vague as it fits into a loose, mystery narrative arc I'm using for some of our games. Each player had to place two objectives away from their deployment zones (which were the three corners of a 4 x 4 table). The aim was to collect as many of the objectives as possible and carry them off the respective deployment corners. No alliances were allowed.

My GoR forces are nearest the camera. James' Blitzkreig AG scum troops are opposite. Ant's New Commonwealth Gurkhas are in the left corner (by the empty chair).

Plan showing the six blue objectives. The river can be traversed on foot but halves movement.
 My plan was to send one team left to capture that lower objective as well as denying it to Ant. The other team were to cross the river and take the objectives at the base of the hill and on top of it.

Ant's men have beaten me to the first objective but I take a short cut through the terrain to ambush him. This triggers an opposed skill check....

....against these fellas. Since I fail the check, a pack of "things" appear nearby. Luckily, they are out of charge range.

Although I managed to kill the monsters, doing so tied my chaps up leaving the Gurkhas to escape with one of the mysterious missiles. They looped round this copse and annihilated my men!

From the hill, my second fire team spot the BlitzKreig troops are using bounding overwatch to advance.

With the New Commonwealth already retreating with one objective, my remaining team crossed the river and collected the easy target from the base of the hill. They proceeded to climb the slope, entering terrain again and drawing the attention of another pack of creatures some distance away.

What I should have done is retreated with two objectives and let Ant and James fight it out. What I actually did was press on, deliberately entering terrain and choosing not to test for stealth! With one team gone I suppose I saw the writing on the wall and hoped I'd get lucky and have BlitzKrieg set upon by the pink things.


It sort of worked. BlitzKrieg were attacked but their overwatch fire was successful and put paid to the creatures. Unfortunately for me, more monsters piled in and finished my force.

Even in hand to claw combat, the Gurkhas make light work of these monsters with their energy-kukris. These beasts had regenerated after my earlier encounter with them.

Battle for the Hill

As the Gurkhas close on the hill, their colleagues (off camera) are ready to leave the table with two objectives. James' BlitzKrieg AG have collected two of their own McGuffins so whoever secures the two missiles I dropped will be the winner.

It looks dicey for James as he is caught between a pack of pinkies and the Gurkhas. His overwatch takes care of the humans and...

...he wins initiative against the beasts, easily finishing them off.

The other Gurkhas leave the area for final scores of:

BlitzKrieg AG: 4
New Commonwealth: 2
Guardians of the Revolution: 0 (and a poor one at that!)

Ultimately, James' choice to keep his fire teams together and use overwatch properly won him the game.

Other stuff:

We used card based activation for the first time. This was great fun for representing the hack through the jungle. Since the creatures were assigned cards too, it made interaction with them that bit more tense.

I should probably have clustered the terrain pieces into larger areas so there was more emphasis on choosing to go round the long way or risk summoning monsters by taking short cuts through the undergrowth.

There was some other stuff too but...well...you know how it is writing these things...

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