Thursday, September 16

Weekly Grunts Playtest Update

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This week we tried out a couple of different models in a small playtest game. It was a combination of using a few Grunts squads of the 15mm infantry from Old Crow Models and a couple of the GZG Cyclops walkers which are piloted by a single Grunt. Kevin, my opponent also had a e grav bike skimmers which have significant movement value, making them a great fast strike unit. He had just the two skimmers, when the normal unit size for cavalry type units is four models.

My force had a Battltech mech being used as a medium 15mm walker, which was a larger heavier walker than the two Cyclops walkers Kevin used. As a comparison my damage points were 18 for the Mecha compared to 14 each on the light Cyclops walkers. The mecha also had more powerful laser weapons with a longer range and higher damage.

Both forces had a unit of three spider drones which are a great fast moving unit to use with a move of 6inches or 12 on a double flank speed move. Spider drones have force field based shielding which gives them a +4 to their soak against damage. However when they take a damage point which has beaten their Soak of 12 plus the 4 shield (they have 4 wounds each) they lose the shielding because it has been overloaded, making them more vulnerable to damage. All shielding can be recharged after it is overloaded and on subsequent turns a unit with shielding can use one action to recharge shields. An ideal way to deal with spider drones is to mass fire against one Spider Drone from a unit of Grunts. If you get lucky with one of the first shots, you may overload the shield and push a damage point through from the Grunts weapons. If you do, subsequent Grunts will easily damage the spider drone because their Soak value is low without the force field shielding.

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Due to a rather hasty setup and poor planning on my part, we did not use the correct statistics for the Cyclops walkers, so they were at a disadvantage due to have an underpowered main weapon. So my opponent Kevin was struggling to make them deliver enough damage to take out my larger walker, they did manage to cripple with a lucky critical strike where I lost TEK and ENGINE systems, reducing my shoot and movement.

The Grav bikes were very unlucky because after their initial fast move to flank me I took a long range pot-shot with a unit of Hammers Grunts and rolled two DoubleSix critical attacks. This waxed one of the bikes, suppressing the unit, so the remaining biker took to cover. From a game design perspective, it was good to see how a rapidly moving unit can really deep strike but we needed a couple more on the table to really see how effective they can be.

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There were some short videos taken of the game, which will be up on youtube soon with a better overview of the turns.