Urban War

Urban War Battle Report: Syntha vs VASA (200 points); 08Sep11

I received the second edition rule book for Urban War so Furycat and I tried to branch out into the full ruleset, including selecting our own forces from the army lists.  We each stayed with the same factions as before: Syntha for me and VASA for him.  There didn’t seem to be many major gameplay differences between the full rulebook and the starter set, so we focussed on the ‘new’ (to us) aspects of the game, particularly indirect firing.

Syntha: Artemis Alpha Biomech (calibre 2; AA), two Androsynths with Pulse Rifles (PA1 and PA2), two Androsynths with Grape Guns (GA1 and GA2), Androsynth with Plasma Launcher (PLA), Tactical Teratosynth with mini-MLRS (a big missile launcher) and heavy armour (TT)

VASA: BLack Legion Sergeant (calibre 2; BL), Red Guard (calibre 1; RG), Suppressor Sniper (SS), two Suppressors with Gauss Rifles (GS1 and GS2) and two Suppressors with Force Batons (BS1 and BS2), Suppressor with Grenade Launcher (GLS)

We start the game by slinging template weapons across the field at each others bunched up models.  Both the Suppressor and Androsynth miss their shots (at this range, not an unlikely outcome), but the Teratosynth lands a rocket on a Suppressor and the Sniper.  Sadly for me, the Suppressor dodges (another new rule to us) and the Sniper is neither wounded nor shocked.  The VASA jump troopers move up the Eastern edge of the board followed by a couple of baton-wielding thugs.

The Black Legion Sergeant makes a clever use of overwatch to interrupt charge the Artemis Alpha, but it isn’t helpful as she survives his attacks and then an Androsynth rushes in and beats him to death.  The Red Guard jumps up (an overwatching Androsynth fails its command check to shoot him), misses a shot at the nearest Androsynth then uses his follow up move to kill the Artemis in close combat.  Gunfire patters around the battlefield to no effect at all.

The world’s most boring game turn occurs.  The Red Guard fails his command check to interrupt a shot from an Androsynth, but shrugs off the hit anyway, and all other shots either miss or fail to wound.

The Red Guard tries to charge the Androsynth with the Plasma Launcher but is intercepted by another Androsynth.  Both Baton-armed Suppressors also join in combat but remarkably there are no wounds anywhere.  Meanwhile, in the gunfight across the midfield, the Syntha continue to miss with every shot and both of the Androsynths with Pulse Rifles are killed.

One of the close combat Androsynths is killed on his own activation by a Suppressor, who then uses his own turn to run over and smash the one toting a Plasma Launcher.  The last Androsynth kills off the Suppressor in combat with him, but the Red Guard is still breathing down his neck.

The Red Guard finishes off the last Androsynth, and, with only a Teratosynth who appears to be blind left on the table, I concede.  Victory to VASA!

It was a good fun game.  It took a relatively long time to play while we wrestled with the new rules, but everything seemed to flow fairly well as we got the hang of shock and so on.

I’m not sure that there are any major conclusions to be drawn from a ‘rules-learning’ game like this, but it occurs to me that I did VASA a favour by allowing my Androsynths to stay at medium range, where their guns are no better than those carried by the Suppressors.  I should have kept advancing them to take advantage of the strength and accuracy boost for the Pulse Rifle at short range.  Still, I’ll be back.

Categories: Battle reports, Urban War | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Two Urban War Battle Reports; 18Aug11

After the success of the Urban War test games played between Forkbanger and me, we got together again along with Furycat to have another shot.  Furycat surprised me greatly by rejecting Viridians after a game with them against Forkbanger, preferring instead the secret police stylings of VASA.  I thought Colonial Marines would have been more his cup of tea, but whatever.  I’ve settled on a preference for Syntha, since I enjoyed their hardiness in-game and the models are very nice too.  Anyway, the games I took notes on were still using the basic rules (I’ve ordered the main rulebook but evidently it’s still in the post), and involved VASA, Syntha and Koralon (H. R. Giger‘s Alien, with a bit of the Thing thrown in for good measure).

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)

Koralon: Phazon (P), Larvan (L), two Calibre 1 Broods (BC1 and BC2) and two ‘normal’ Broods (B1 and B2)

Game 1:

Forkbanger continued his quest to use all the factions, taking Koralon this time.  They have no ranged weapons, but the Phazon can create a pair of temporary portals through which other Koralon can move (including charge, which seems like it is worth avoiding against giant armoured aliens).  Both portal ends must be near a friendly model though, so you can’t just create a portal in the middle of the other force’s deployment zone and then rush through and maul them all.  A Brood moves up to the centre of the field and a portal is duly created, with another two Broods from the East moving though it.  The Artemis uses both follow up actions to try and shoot one, but there’s no effect against these tough dudes.

The Pointman surprises me by not only hitting the nearest Brood, but killing it too.  For good measure, the next one in line panics.  Panicked models can’t charge, but this one shook off the panic in its normal turn and then used it’s follow up move to get stuck into the Artemis.  Spectacular missing goes on in that combat.  The Phazon fails to create another portal, and some good shooting from the Androsynths drops another Brood and the Larvan.  The Artemis is taken out by the Brood in her own activation… curses.

Turn 3 begins with the Phazon creating another portal and charging through it into the Pointman.  I find out the power of interrupt (i.e. overwatch) charging as both surviving Broods assault Androsynths.  Despite all the close combat there are no fatalities, but the Koralon are surely happy to be safe from the shooting.

The Phazon finally cuts down the Pointman and is shot by an Androsynth while celebrating.  Another Androsynth is killed by a Brood.

One of the Androsynths fails an attempted overwatch shot on the unengaged Brood, who gleefully jumps into combat.  The other Brood kills its victim, but is stuck out in the open.

An Androsynth shows the aliens how close combat is meant to be done, first shrugging off the attack from the Brood then beating into submission.  The last Brood fails its command check to make an interrupt charge into the successful robot and is shot down.  Victory for the Syntha!

Game 2:

I stayed with Syntha and, on my recommendation, Furycat tried out VASA for this game.  The Suppressor Sniper made our first ever turn 1 kill by taking out an Androsynth at long range, but otherwise the game begins as usual with everyone moving into position.

The Sergeant is obviously in good cover as it saves her from two good hits by the Androsynths, the return fire from the Gauss Rifle Suppressors is equally ineffective.  The Artemis Biomech uses all her follow up moves to run forward, shoot the Sniper and chop down one of the Suppressors.  The Sergeant charges into close combat in search of revenge, but no telling blow is struck on either side.  The Pointman takes out a Baton-armed Suppressor, then the Archangel jumps over and shoots it (but it bounces off the armour) and uses her follow up move to assault the nearest Androsynth (also to no effect).

The Sergeant kills the Artemis, and another Androsynth is shot by the Suppressor.  The Archangel and Androsynth remain locked in combat.

The Sergeant’s cover finally fails her as the Pointman hoses her position with its Chain Gun.  The Archangel finally finishes beating the Androsynth in its activation, then uses her own to assault the Pointman.  However, the big machine continues its excellent run of form by kicking her into the middle of next week.

The Baton-armed Suppressor finally steps into the open and is shot by an Androsynth, but otherwise the tiny amount of shooting across the board is wholly ineffective.

The Pointman moves forward to get the last Suppressor into short range, but misses all its shots and is gunned down.  The last Androsynth, sick of having its shots ricochet off the Suppressor’s cover, moves for a clear shot and makes it stick.  Victory for Syntha!

Again, I’m really enjoying the fast play of Urban War.  Even including chit-chat, and teaching Furycat how to play, we got four games in about three and half hours.  I was highly impressed by the close combat abilities of the Koralon – even after having half the team gunned down I very nearly lost once the survivors got in about the Syntha.

In terms of actual tactics, I’m finding that it is generally not a bad idea to keep the Androsynths together since they’re immune to panic, and that way they can support each other.  We’re still getting used to the various options afforded by overwatch, but I think that there is probably a lot of value in knowing when to use it and when to just activate normally.  We found a couple of times that overwatch (particularly interrupt charges) made a huge impact on the game, but other times we found that no-one made an action they could affect, so effectively wasted their turn.  Of course, there is the risk that they fail the command check entirely, and stand around doing nothing useful at all, but that’s part of the mechanic.

In the interests of completeness, I might as well note that I played two final games with the basic rules.  One was a game to teach Aramoro how to play (Syntha win against Viridians), the other was a match against Forkbanger’s Triads (also a Syntha win).

Categories: Battle reports, Urban War | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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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