Desperate Times: A “Beyond the Gates of Antares” Battle Report

Welcome back Antareans!

It’s been a long time, but work and Christmas has a tendency to eat time, so with no further ado welcome the first of three rapid fire written battle reports that will recount some of the recent battles that have been waged on Defor.  Recently the one and only Justin Shearer from the Freeborn Shard (Check them out) stopped by for a game and, with our first Tournament early next year we decided to playtest a scenario.

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The initial forces face off for control of the battlefield

Take and Hold:  Algoryn vs C3

This scenario is one that Justin and I made up on the spot.  We placed 3 objectives (Wrecked Ghar suits that obviously contained valuable intel).  One in the centre of the table, and one in each players table half.  12″ deep and 12″ on from the left table edge.  We decided that to hold an objective a unit had to have 1 or more models touching it and that you scored victory points at the end of each turn.  1 for your home objective, 2 for the central and a whopping 4 for the one in the enemy half of the table.  We decided to deploy 2M on, with half of each force starting on the table with the rest coming on later.  We also allowed for units that elected to come on turn 2 or later to come on from one of the short table edges.

Lists:

The Algoryn Defor Expeditionary Force

6 Man Assault Squad

6 Man AI Squad w/ 2 Micro-X Launchers and Overload Ammo, Spotter Drone

6 Man AI Squad w/ 2 Micro-X Launchers and Overload Ammo, Spotter Drone

6 Woman Infiltrator Squad w/ Camo Drone, Spotter Drone, Solar Charges, Slingnet

Support Team w/ X Launcher and Net Ammo, Spotter Drone

Support Team w/ Mag Light Support, Spotter Drone

4 “Man” Probe Shard

Get Up!

Block

 

C3 Hello Kitty Shard (approximately)

5 Man Strike Squad w/ Lance and Spotter Drone

5 Man Strike Squad w/ Lance and Spotter Drone

5 Man Strike Squad w/ Lance and Spotter Drone

5 Man Strike Squad w/ Lance and Spotter Drone

3 Man Interceptor Squad

Support Team w/ X Launcher and Net Ammo, Spotter Drone, Batter Drone

Well Prepared (?)

 

The Game:

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The thin blue and thin pink lines prepare to clash

Both Justin and I deployed wide to cover the three objectives.  My Infiltrators on the left, before their pre-game move cover one, the Mag Team and AI controlled the centre and out of frame on the left, my X-Launcher holds one objective.

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Advance!  The Infiltrators move forwards and come under fire.

I used the Infiltration move on my Infiltrators to move a full 15″ spring towards Justins Home Objective.  Justin responds by bringing a Strike Squad on with an Advance Order and putting some fire into them.

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Fighting immediately breaks out as the Strike Troopers and Infiltrators trade fire.

Even though the Infiltrators are at long range, I want to put pressure on Justin’s Objective.  So they advance, shake off the one pin they had and then fired on the Strike Troopers, causing no casualties, but pinning them down.

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The Pins build …

Justin sounds the advance and runs one of his Strike Squads forward to start putting pressure on my X-Launcher and the Central Objective.  However, in doing so they fail their Ag test to sprint on a ‘0’ and take 2 pins!  Not a good look when out in the open in front of an X-Launcher.

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Vroooooom!  Pew-pew-pew-pew-pew!

Justin’s Interceptors launch a blistering assault on my X-Launcher and I go down in response, a decision that saves their lives as, after the re-rolls only a few Plasma Shots hit and both of my brave Algoryn survive the onslaught.  To counter this emergent threat I advance my second AI squad onto the table.  I don’t manage to kill any but still manage to hit them, despite their fast moving nature, and pin them.

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The C3 Bulwark

Justin’s strong centre starts to advance.  He has employed a cunning leap from system where the X-Launcher sits behind the Strike Squad giving them the benefit of the Batter Drone.  This formation advances, but luckily the X-Launcher is off target and I escape unharmed.

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It’s Net Ammo’s world, we just live in it.

Eager to get some use out of my X-Launcher before it gets driven over, I manage to get cheeky LOS to the half painted Strike Squad and hit them with Net Ammo, thoroughly pinning them

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The hardy Infiltrators pick a fight with 2 strike Squads at once.

On the other flank I decided to activate my Infiltrators before they got too pinned down.  Luckily they pass the command test, shake their pin and put another pin marker on the already pinned Strike Squad.  They don’t cause any casualties despite being in effective range, but pins is pins.

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For Algor!  The pluckiest crew survive another attack run.

Against the odds my X-Launcher crew survive again as Justin’s rolls are appalling.  Even without going down, the crew survive again.  The AI moves up in response and uses the LOS afforded by the hill to put another pin on the Interceptor squad.

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The fortress holds.  Justin’s defensive formation shrugs off fire from my AI and Mag Team.

I put what fire I can into the X-Launcher Team hoping to get a lucky shot that I could spend to take out the blasted Batter Drone.  Sadly it is not to be but I manage to kill one the Crewmen, which isn’t a bad consolation prize.  Then the Strike Troopers kill a couple of my AI with optimistic long range fire which rather takes the wind out of my sails.

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Assault Squad on the field!

I bring my Assault Squad on the right flank and pour more fire in to the Strike Squad.  This time I kill one!  Yay!

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We’ve made a HUGE mistake.

I get cheeky.  The first die out for turn three is Algoryn and I activate the Assault Squad, giving them 2 in a row!  I assault the squad on the objective but my daring plan comes crashing down.  the Assault Squad fail their Ag test and so fail the charge.  to make matters worse, the Strike Squad made a Stand and Shoot reaction and killed three Assault Troopers.  Abort!  Abort!

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Situation:  Dire

The other strike squad compounds their misery by putting more bullets into them.  They take another pin but hold out.

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“You better run!”

The situation on the left continues to be a stalemate.  The X-Launcher continues to not die.  The Interceptors continue to hit and run.  The AI team continues to not kill any Interceptors.  The Interceptors continue to eat pins.

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The centre hots up.

The Fight for the Centre starts to develop in a messy way.  Justin runs one of his squads to control the central objective.  All the other troops continue to trade fire with only light casualties on both sides.

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Victory for Algor!

In a remarkable turnaround Kuran Tor leads his surviving men on a daring assault on the Objective!  He loses both his mates on the charge, but he promptly punches out a few Strike Troopers and the rest lose their mettle and flee!  Victory!  Algor prevails!

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Kuran Tor stares down many guns

He doesn’t get to enjoy his victory as the far Strike Squad gets a fire order and pelts him with fire.  He lives!  But his morale can only take so much and he fails his morale

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The Algoryn dead pile grows.
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Desperation!  Panhuman vs Pan human in a close range duel to the deal

In the Centre my AI move in to contest the objective and shoot up his controlling squad, forcing them to flee.  Now this objective is in the hands of the Algoryn.

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The enemy objective is in striking distance.

My Infiltrators still can’t quite the the hang of this whole “killing” thing as they fail to kill and Concord, but they are nice and close to Justin’s home objective.

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Hold the liiiiiiine!

The central AI squad takes a pounding but holds on and holds objective to boot!

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These 2 squads have been duelling the entire game.  Now it’s down to the wire.

The Strike Squad fails to kill any more Infiltrators despite their best efforts.  Unfortunately for them the Infiltrators rally and they take the Objective!

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Take that bikes!

I launch an assault on the bikes and wipe them thanks to pins, though I lose an AI trooper into the bargain.

And with that last action the day was won!  I managed to eek out a narrow victory over Justin by taking his home objective in the last turn and scoring some more points that way while preventing him from taking mine.  It was pretty touch and go for a long time but there were a few key happenings that granted me victory.

Firstly the Interceptors repeatedly bounced off my X-Launcher thanks to some good luck for me, some bad luck for Justin and the Down Order.  My Infiltrators did a sterling job of holding out against 2 enemy squads and managed to not die and take the objective in the last turn.  Also, even though I misused them horribly, the Assault Squad played an import part by taking the objective away from the enemy.  Their mistimed charge nearly cost me everything, but Kuran Tor came through with the goods and paved the way for the Infiltrators to win the game.

Playing the game with Objectives like this made for a really dynamic and fun game and both Justin and I agreed that it was of the best, closest and most tense games of Antares we’ve each played.  I highly recommend trying scenarios like this that encourage a lot of movement.

 

 

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