As mentioned in my previous post Batman is a game that needs a lot of tokens. Two-Face also needs a coin. Finally, you need a bag to keep the ‘Taking the Lead’ tokens in. How to store all this stuff? Enter the Bat-purse :)
I’ve been reading a lot of good things about the Batman game from Knight models. I picked up a joblot of second hand miniatures that included a decent sized Two-Face gang and a smaller Poison Ivy gang. A couple of friends we’re interested in playing too so we booked a date and got a rumble on :)
Dodgy dudes! Anyway, the table set-up is similar to what you might find in Infinity: plenty of raised areas and ample scatter terrain to give cover. In addition a number of lampposts and sewers are placed which act to illuminate areas of the board and as tunnels for hiding/fast movement respectively. This is something unique to the Batman game (as far as I am aware) and rather cool.
Joining Two-Face and Poison Ivy was a Joker crew for a three way scrap. We played the first scenario pretty faithfully to what’s in the book but decided to use just loot counters for objectives and play to 10VPs.
Deployment was semi-random which made for bloody action right from the start!
The mechanics of the game are quite straight-forward but there are lots of special rules and effects that make the game play interesting. After a couple of turns we found that it’s actually quite difficult to take a model down unless you focus a lot of effort on it. It’s certainly a more forgiving game than WarmaHordes or Infinity in that respect. We did find that you need a lot of tokens for the game. In the main these are placed on the cards that go with the models, and there is a lot to keep track of. I’ve ordered some tokens to help with this and printed and laminated the character cards so they can be written on too.
In the game itself Two-Face managed to get a good win. It was his machine gun that really made the difference and he is a pretty tough cookie to boot. The Joker seemed to have a lot of sneaky characterful rules that made him interesting while Poison Ivy’s ability to take control over opposing models make both of these other gang leaders viable and fun choices. We picked up the rules quickly and only came across a small number of difficulties. It was a good night’s gaming that left me wanting more.
In conclusion I would say this is a very cinematic and characterful game with a well designed rules engine. The miniatures are nice and there is depth in the game play that make this more than just another throwaway skirmish game. I would say it shares some common ground with both Eden and Infinity. In fact it sits somewhere between the two being not overly simplistic or complex which arguably are downsides of those games. I’m impressed and looking forward to playing more.
Hmmmmm. So, back to the Combined Army and back to horrendous dice and another shocking defeat this evening. We were playing scenario 4 from the book with the Nimbus zone. I decided to take a Charontid as Lieutenant with a Skiaviros hacker, Yaogat sniper by my usual Shrouded, Malignos combo and a handful of Morat cheer leaders. We spent a long time setting up a good table of scenery taking care to have cover at the 12 inch line and limiting sniper nests. We also went for mainly solid scenery which helps to speed the game up. Having played Infinity regularly in recent weeks I’ve come to the conclusion that getting the table right is just as important as the game itself – well worth the effort.
In the game itself I took first turn and made a few tentative moves forward including setting up Supressive fire with my guards through a combined order (this is proving to be a first turn must) and I managed to disable one of the Nimbus field generators. All looking good so far. The Nomads took their turn and made some moves forward themselves. A flying remote used aerial deployment to enter in the back field and target my Yaogat. This enabled another Drone to use guided weapons to take him out. A bit of pain but there was worse to come.
The Nomads had a Chimera with Pupnicks who came down the centre of the board and proved to be near untouchable through a mixture of my shocking dice and hyperkinetic that gave them +9 to dodge. They wrapped up my Skiaviros and I wasted most of my next turn trying fruitlessly to take them out. In hindsight it appears that key to success was to remove the Chimera who did not have hyperkinetic – we didn’t quite play this right but damn, this is a nasty group to deal with.
While this was going on the flying remote had targeted my Charontid and guided fire took it out. It was looking desperate for the Combined Army at this stage and time was running out. He called it a day with the Nomads clearly in charge.
In this game I learnt the importance of covering the rear of the army. To be fair I have got a lot better at this, but my mistake was to cluster my guards rather than cover all of the backfield. I think taking two elite choices was also mistake. I only had 9 orders in the pool which simply is not enough. Finally it was a good experience facing the Pupnicks and I will be more alert to taking out the Chimera when this happens again.
I haven’t painted anything for ages. Not good. Truth be known I’ve had too much on at work and there simply hasn’t been the time. When this happens I often find it difficult to get back into the habit and something a bit different is needed to get the creative juices flowing again.
As it happens I have had my eye on Knight models Batman game for a while so when a chance advert on Facebook for a Two- Face gang popped up this tipped me over the edge. A friend ninjaed the rule book from Salute for me and another friend offered me a game. Perfect – this was just what I needed, so without further ado my work in progress Two-Faces.
It’s a decent enough model and required a fairly simple colour scheme. The light part of the suit is done with PP Frostbite with a bit of GW Mordian blue mixed in for the shadows. Apart from that it’s pretty standard fare and good to be back slapping some paint on minis again :)
Another cracking game of Infinity this evening. This time the Armoury Scenario and Aleph vs. Yu Jing. I took Achilles and an Asura as I knew there would be a lot of action in the objective room and points would be scored for high value models inside. I got off to a good start combining my orders well to safely get Achilles into the objective room supported by a few other models.
The Yu Jing retaliated getting a model into the room too and a rather nasty sniper popped up in a great position threatening my models in the room and outside.
Hacking was an area we were both keen to explore further and this was certainly a major factor in this game. I had not realised that my two hackers would not have access to Fairy Dust (they were carrying Assault devices) which I had assumed would be available to help me defend Achilles and my Asura. The Yu Jing hackers were able to isolate and immobilise Achilles limiting his effectiveness and I had no way to reliably defend him. It is interesting how hackers can easily close down very expensive models and I feel in N3 hackers are a much more versatile and indeed essential addition to a force. I’ve also learnt the need to pay attention to the type of hacking device as it profoundly affects what your hacker is able to offer.
Anyway, going back the game, we managed two tense rounds before wrapping up. It was a close game but a series of shocking armour rolls knocked out Achilles and my Asura meaning a win for Yu Jing looked inevitable. I had played my best game under N3 so far and felt I had a grip on a strategy that was working. On balance I think I prefer the more varied Combined Army to Aleph, so I think I will put the Aleph into reserve and go back to the Evolved Intelligence next time.
I’ve got the bug for Infinity again at the moment. This week I thought I would have a go with Aleph. Across the table 300 points of Nomads. I took a fairly basic force comprising of Tactbots, Naga Hackers, Myrmidons, a Deva and finally an Asura. My initial impression was that the models were very much comparable to equivalent Combined Army models including the Asura that felt similar to the Charontid.
During set up my Nomad opponent put a Reaction Zond in a high position and a Sniper in a similar position with a special rule that allowed full burst in ARO. This didn’t bode well and I new I would have to take these out to stand any chance of a win.
Most of my first turn was spent doing exactly this and I was successful in getting the Zond. The Sniper proved more problematic and I wasn’t able to desk with this threat. However, one of my Naga Hackers hacked a console (we were playing mission 3 again) and the Asura looked threatening down one of the flanks.
In the Nomad turn there was some interesting retaliation that were good leaning points for me. A hacker put down an area of ‘white noise’ blinding my visor wearing Asura and then an Emauler attack immobilised the same model disabling most of its equipment. Nasty. In addition the Nomad sniper gunned down a few of my models and it was not looking good.
In my next turn I decided to ‘Rambo’ my remaining Naga Hacker in an attempt to hack another console and scan an enemy model to complete my secret objective. Unfortunately I moved into the Zone of Control of a repeater and the poor Naga was brain bursted in ARO. Another important learning point!
In the final turn the Nomad player just needed to mop up and visit a couple of undefended objectives to win 3 – 1.
It was a good game with some cool new tricks to think about.
Another outing for the Combined Army this evening. Across the table 300 points of Yu Jing. This time we decided to play scenario 3 from the book and use hackers. Unfortunately neither of these factors really mattered as a terrible turn 1 saw heavy casualties amongst the Combined Army leaving the remaining action as just a rehearsal of using a few key models. Now, I must say I am disappointed about this as in my previous post I had said disastrous turn 1s should be much rarer, but the gods really were not with me this time. The Yu Jing choose sides and we had deliberately made one side better than the other – no prizes for guessing they took the better side. I then realised that there was a fairly wide open-strip along most of the front edge of my deployment zone. I didn’t fancy crossing this in turn 1 and losing a load of models to ARO so, perhaps foolishly, took the second player slot. I used a command token to bring down the order pool of the Yu Jing and set up defensively hoping to take a few models with my own ARO. Key to this was my Malignos who had a great position high up mid-table. I had chosen to give him a combi-rifle not sniper rifle as I found in the last game he was not in the sweet spot of his range band and could not use suppressive fire. I had also taken a Yaogat sniper with MSV2 and sniper rifle who I intended to keep deeper in my half of the board. The Yu Jing impetuous guys ran forward and although the Malignos was able to hit, his combi rifle just did not have the punch needed to knock his targets out. What followed was a couple of nasty double criticals from the Yu Jing that tookout both the Malignos and Yaogat. A Tiger soldier sneaking in on a flank was not a surprise in this but a sniper with a multisniper rifle and MSV2 did the real damage. Not good. I took a couple of other casaulties as well so the game was pretty much over before it had begun.
In the remainder of the game I had a go at using my Rasyat to do a Rambo job in the enemy back lines but he used far too many orders taking out the Yu Jung sniper previously mentioned. I did walk him in from the side this time, rather than jumping in, and this seemed to give a safer entry to the battlefield so worth trying this method in future I think. I also had a chance to use the Skiavaors and apart from his Strategos L2 which was very nice, his Plasma and Nanopulser looked dangerous. I liked this chap was the Lieutenant choice and will certainly try this again in the future.
So, not the best game, but some important learning points: The edge of the deployment zone needs some cover during set-up; protect the flanks and backfield against sneak attacks; the multisniper rifle hits hard and an MSV2 is the icing on the cake. Despite the frustrating start to the game I enjoyed it and I am feeling enthused by N3 :)