Three Urban War Battle Reports; 11Aug11

In a change from our regular scheduled programming, I decided to post a non-Warhammer article today.  Only time will tell if this is a one-off or a normal part of the blog.  I’ve been interested in a skirmish wargame called Urban War lately, and I finally took the plunge to play a few games since there are free quick-start rules available.  It’s a bit of a long story how I got there, so I’ll recap quickly in case anyone cares.

Step 1:  I stumbled upon their excellent miniatures when looking for something else at Wayland Games‘ website.
Step 2:  When visiting Claymore 2011 at the weekend with Furycat and Justinmatters, I saw a demo game set up, but despite wandering past the stand periodically for a couple of hours, I never got to see anyone there to actually demonstrate it.  Still, I was even more impressed with the miniatures having seen them in person.
Step 3:  A quick check on the internet shows that the basic rules are available for free, and that a new edition has just been released.

So after printing the rules and having a quick game with Justinmatters last night (I lost, for the record) to learn the rules, I arranged some geek time with Forkbanger today.  I’d initially only printed out the rules for VASA (based on Cold War-era Soviet secret police) and the Syntha (robots and cyborgs) since they’re the ones I most liked the miniatures, so we just played a game using either side.  After that, Forkbanger printed out the rules for the Junkers (Roman legions… in space) for a third go.  For all three games, we kept the same set up, which I’m pleased to say looked somewhat more gritty and futuristic on the tabletop than I’ve managed on Battle Chronicler.  The basic rules specify the teams to be used:

VASA: Suppressor Sergeant (SS), Suppressor Sniper (S), Archangel (AA), two Suppressors with Gauss Rifles (GS1 and GS2) and two Suppressors with Force Batons (BS1 and BS2)

Syntha: Artemis Biomech (AB), Pointman (P) and four Androsynths (A1 to A4)

Junkers: Decurion (D), Exosuit (E), four Legionaries (L1 to L4) and two Auxilia (A1 and A2)

Game 1:

For this game, I took the Syntha and Forkbanger used VASA.  Deployment zones are only 6″ from the board edge, and no-one had any serious long-range weapons, so turn 1 was just everyone moving forward as quickly as possible.

The Sniper gets turn 2 off to a flying start by missing an Androsynth, and the Artemis makes him pay by using one of her Calibre points to follow-up (i.e. take two actions) into close combat and kill him.  There’s a whole load of ineffective shooting in midfield, so our elite fighters obviously need a little more practice.  The Suppressor Sergeant shows everyone how it’s done by shooting the Pointman before it activates, but the Archangel fails to do anything useful despite using her Calibre point to get a two shots on an Androsynth.

One of the Force Baton-armed Suppressors charges into combat with an Androsynth (who fails its command check to take an overwatch shot) and smashes it down.  Later in the turn, he’s shot in the back for his troubles.   In return for the ineffective overwatch, the Archangel also fails to interrupt an Androsynth taking a shot at her, but it misses anyway.  The Sergeant, tiring of the Archangel’s ineptitude, charges in and kills another Androsynth in close combat.  Finally, the Artemis charges a Suppressor, misses her attacks and is shot in the face.

After a couple of ineffective shots between the Androsynths and Suppressors, the Sergeant charges another victim.  Sadly, she misses her attack and is swatted aside by the construct, although one of the Force Baton Suppressors finishes the job.

This one probably didn’t merit a picture, but here it is anyway.  The last Androsynth misses a shot at the nearest Suppressor and is gunned down by the Archangel.  Victory for VASA!

Game 2:

For the second game, we simply swapped teams.  Following our usual highly tactical doctrine, the table edge was selected by being closest to it (we’re far too lazy to move round to the other side).  Again, turn 1 consisted of a lot of moving forward and not much shooting.

There is a completely ineffective exchange of gunfire between the Androsynths and the Suppressors over the middle ground, so just to break the deadlock I rush in with the Archangel.  She misses a shot at the nearest Androsynth then uses a follow-up move to get into close combat where she cuts it down.  The Artemis assaults one of the Suppressors but neither side can get a telling blow through.  The Sniper takes out the nearest construct and finally the Sergeant assaults an Androsynth but misses her attack and dies to the return swing.

Despite being at point-blank range and having three shots, the Pointman fails to down the Archangel.  Sadly, she can’t take advantage of it, first missing a shot at the nearest Androsynth and then being beaten senseless by it in close combat.  There is yet another ineffective round of fire between the Suppressors and the Androsynths.  Shooting is apparently not their strong suit.  The Artemis kills off the Suppressor in his activation, then uses her own move to assault another.  It goes less well, and she is duly shot with close-range Gauss fire.

The Pointman misses again with all three of its shots at the on-rushing Suppressor (the chaingun must have been loaded with blanks) and then the VASA team remember how their guns work, shooting an Androsynth and the Pointman and finishing the final Androsynth in melee.  Victory for VASA!

Game 3:

For our final game of the day, I kept VASA and Forkbanger (somewhat arbitrarily) selected Junkers.  Everyone begins the game moving forward, although in a rare first-turn event, the Exo-suit tries to shoot down the Archangel.  It misses.

VASA crucially win the initiative and the Archangel charges into a Legionary to avoid being turned into swiss cheese by the Exo-suit, although she fails to actually achieve anything.  Every other shot also misses (at least the Junkers have an excuse, since they’re supposed to be bad shots) and at the end of the turn, the Archangel is killed by the Legionary she hoped to be her victim.

Turn 3 begins with yet another round of useless shooting from the Suppressor and the Sniper (who even used a follow-up move to get a second shot), but the Legionaries clearly know how to do it right; both rifle-armed Suppressors are put down.  The Exo-suit lumbers toward the table centre and is set upon by the surviving Suppressors, but neither side can do anything.  The Suppressor Sergeant charges a Legionary but fails to kill him.  An Auxilia jumps in for good measure, but also can’t land a blow.  Sighing at his inept minions, the Decurion strolls over and cuts the Sergeant down himself.

The Legionary in the  East charges one of the remaining Suppressors and kills him before he can even react.  The Sniper fails to wound the Decurion, and then the Exo-suit shrugs off a hit from the last Suppressor on his heavy armour and mashes him with his Cestus.  We don’t even bother to finish the turn – the Sniper isn’t going to last long on his own, and I haven’t managed to kill even one of the Junkers in the entire game.  Victory for the Junkers!

My initial thoughts on the system: I like it.  We are still at the stage of checking the rulebook every couple of minutes (obviously, it doesn’t hurt that it’s only 12 pages long), but we still got through three games in about two and half hours, including coffee-making and other breaks.  I like the alternate activation mechanics as a change after playing mainly Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000 and Blood Bowl lately, though I’m having trouble playing in a way that uses it well.

So if anyone out there has played Urban War, I’m happy to have your thoughts on how we played, and on whether we missed anything important in the rules.

Categories: Battle reports, Urban War | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Three Urban War Battle Reports; 11Aug11

  1. I’m reasonably sure we were doing it right (or at least, we were playing by the same wrong rules).

    • I think the main ambiguous thing is whether the Suppressor Sergeant gets a second attack for having two one-handed close combat weapons. It makes sense (and is consistent with other games we play) but I couldn’t find it explicitly in the rules.

      Anyway, I had enough fun that I decided to order the rulebook. Ten pounds is pretty reasonable considering you seem to get everything needed to play the game.

      • As one of the people responsible for Urban War 2nd Edition, I can answer your question about the second attack.

        No, you don’t get a second attack when you have a second weapon. You choose which weapon you want to use, but you do get a +1 to your to hit and damage rolls in close combat. If you are using our Stat Cards you don’t have to worry about these bonusses as we’ve already incorporated them in the stats for each model. So a model with 1 pistol might have 0/4 as stats for close combat and a model with 2 pistols would have +1/5 listed.

        Multiple to hit or damage rolls do exist however, but this is indicated with a multiplyer below the stat.

        Anyways, glad you liked the game and the fact that we’ve tried to make it a game with a low threshold (rules wise AND investment wise). A 140 page full colour rulebook for 10 pounds is something revolutionary indeed 😉

        And once we have confirmation from Battle Chronicler I’ll make sure we post your reports in our Battle Report section.

        • Thanks for the explanation; that makes sense. I’m happy we played it correctly (i.e. by the rules rather than by feeling from other games).

          Also, thanks for taking the time to comment. I hope your second edition release goes well, but it seems to me that it isn’t well publicised by the bits of the internet I look at (which admittedly is not much). It is a good ruleset with excellent models so it would be a shame for it to fall due to lack of advertising.

          • We haven’t really started our marketing offensive yet as the second edition rulebook is only just hitting the warehouse this week. We just involved our current players as soon as we had the Quick Start rules finished.

            But nonetheless we can always use good tips as to where to promote and advertise. We intend to do a lot with Beasts of War and in fact have had our first appearance on their “On the Table” show recently. See our site for more on this

            • I certainly wish you good luck with this game. Have you considered posting the news of the new edition on a wargaming forum such as Dakkadakka or Warseer?

              Anyway, I’m looking forward to my copy of the rulebook arriving in due course.

  2. Hello
    First off i’d like to apologise for you not being able to get a Demo game at claymore this year. As it was me who was running the games. the next event i intend to bring a 4’x4′ table with 4 strike teams for people to use.

    The games you have played seen to have been played well,(no mention of shock or panic) but there must of been soome poor dice rolling for the syntha to lose a gunfight. otherwise great battle reports and i hope you enjoy playing Urban war


    • Thanks for commenting. It’s no problem that I didn’t get a demo game with you – as you can see, it didn’t put me off getting into the game. If the models at Claymore were your own work, then I must congratulate you on your great painting skills.

      Regarding the games I’ve reported here, we didn’t use shock at all since it’s not in the basic rules. Panic didn’t have any big effect in these games, though we did generally remember to roll for it. What is it about the Syntha that makes it such a surprise that they would lose a gun fight? Their stats didn’t strike me as being so great, though of course they are no slouches either.

  3. johnnythenomad

    Great stuff guys, I’ve posted this in our forums here:

  4. Reararding the gunfight the syntha have longer range guns and at short range they have +1 bonus to hit and the weapons are stronger.

    Thank you. The minatures not on the Demo table itself were all painted by myself.

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