Apocalypse: Earth Battle Report- The Battle Of Kubica Pass (Pt. 2 – FIGHT!!!!)

And thus was battle joined…

Turn 1

The Atlantic Alliance won the initiative and opted to move first.

A Silverbug gunship leapt from cover, skimming over the treetops to hover inside the ruins of the church, securing Objective 6 and sending a terrifying volley of fire at the Soviet superheavies – two Stinger/TOW  missiles rocketed towards the Colossus and a burst of deadly Rosewellium tipped shells from the Avenger cannon pattered lightly of the Rampager’s incredibly thick armour. In return, the Colossus stomped forward, lightning launcher and machineguns failing to damage the second Silverbug, who managed to blow out a sensitive knee joint with it’s Avenger cannon. The pride of the Holy Soviet Army, slumped against the ruined wall, immobilised but still very much in the fight!

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Stompy Uncle Joe is immobiilsed by the Avrocar Silverbug flight

On the other side of the field, the crew of the SU-152, (their resolve hardened by a “Take Aim” Order Card) prepared to fire their first shot in anger… the massive artillery shell arced straight and true, landing square on the top armour of an M60A3 Centurion.

Which promptly exploded.

Cue much fist bumping amongst the Soviet artillery crew, reinforced when the SU rolled onto Objective 1, and cue loud swearing from the Allied side as one of their most powerful assets was demolished without firing a shot..

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“Comrades- drop an M60A3 on the first shot?”
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“YES WE CAN”

The M42 Stealth Tank and the Rocketeers manouevred their way through the woods and hills in front and below the SU-152 and it’s frantically high-fiving crew while the Soviet Artillery Observation team (who were feeling a little redundant by this point, it has to be said) followed the assault gun up the hill to consolidate Objective 1. Meanwhile, on the Soviet right flank, the Rampager ground forwards, it’s twin 140mm cannons and multiple machineguns spraying a wall of lead at the lead Silverbug but the damnable Alliance contraption bobbed and weaved in a physics defying fashion to deny the Soviet behemoth a hit.

Realising they had better get their remaining Centurions into play quickly, the central Allied MBT advanced forwards, 120mm cannon and Stinger/TOW systems entirely failing to miss the Soviet Elektra tank, but was rewarded with at least downing a Siberian.

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M60A3 Centurion surveys the scene….
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“PHIIIIIIIIIIL!!!!”

Elsewhere along the frontline, the Holy Mystic struggled, beads of sweat on his forehead as he desperately tried to summon forth the psychic energies around the battlefield- to no avail. Meanwhile, the Stinger/TOW equipped Humvee missed the SU-152 and the Cherno Alfa, a Soviet T-48, immobilised the Stealth Tank before it could cloak and Cherno Brava took down the railgun-equipped Humvee with a single shot!

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“In Holy Soviet Empire, gun rails you!”

Rushing toward Objective 3 in the centre, the Soviet Shock Drones took position to prepare a lethal ambush for the Allied infantry, but an M113 with a 20mm cannon took down the first, also killing a rifleman from Soviet HQ in the process, while the Allied Dreadnaught squad paused on the low hill to take aim with a Stinger/TOW and with a beautiful shot brewed up Cherno Troika!

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“Watch this”
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“OH YEAH”

Inspired by their example, Charlie Squad and support M85 ‘bot try the same on the Cherno Brava and Cherno Draka, but their missiles fall short. More range time, gentlemen (and robot)!

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No. 4 (Support) Squad take position on Objective 2…
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Promptly gutting Charlie squad, killing the sergeant and demolishing the support M85!

This was not without cost though, as Ghost 7 dug in on Objective 5 drew a bead and sent a 7.62mm round straight through the forehead of a Soviet heavy machine gun crewman.

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The Soviet Lightning Storm Squad deploy onto the walls of the tenement block, losing two bodyguards to fireteam Delta 2
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Elektra rolls forward, her lighting launcher immobilising an Avrocar Silverbug and stripping off one of it’s Stinger/TOW launchers
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FInal M113 pulls into the gulley and fires on the advancing No. 3 squad – this goes VERY wide…
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..Straight into the middle of No. 2 squad, in fact – killing four of their number!
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At the end of turn 1, Soviets occupy objectives 1, 2 and 4, Atlantic Alliance are on 5 & 6, closing on 3

Turn 2

The Atlantic Alliance won the initiative and decided to move first. Bobbing up and down serenely in the ruined church that was objective 6, the first Silverbug gunship unleashed two volleys of fire at the Soviet Colossus – a dozen Roswellium tipped armour piercing rounds, and no less than FOUR Stinger/TOW missiles crashed into and around the massive mech…. but at the end, it still stood firm, albeit with a second knee joint blown out. So all we had accomplished was immobilising an already immobilised target. Great. And that was one of the most powerful Allied assets!

Stompy Uncle Joe was displeased. With Lightning Launcher, heavy flamethrower and heavy anti air machineguns, he did vent his wrath on the Silverbug squadron…

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F*CK YOU.
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AND YOU.

Two gunships destroyed and one VERY worried Atlantic Alliance commander! Did I mention one of those Silverbugs was holding Objective 6?

Meanwhile Elektra led the Soviet advance into the gulley to assault Objective 3, Lightning launcher firing wild but machine guns downing a member of Bravo 2.

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Meanwhile, a humble Stinger/TOW equipped Humvee decides to get this party started…
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First shot blows the SU-152 off it’s perch on Objective 1, spinning it round and immobilising it – effectively making it a 40-ton paperweight…
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Second shot brews up a T-48, which explodes, killing a member of No. 4 (Support) Squad and suppressing them!
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A suppressed Support Squad, you say? Rocketeers zoom up to Objective 2, claiming the entire Soviet Heavy Weapons Squad as POWs!

Elsewhere the momentum was starting to turn… The surviving Soviet Shock Drone leapt on an M113, ripping off it’s main weapon before being destroyed an M60 Centurion..

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“Git yo’ claws outta mah buddy”

..which went on to slaughter five Soviet infantrymen and brew up yet another T-48!

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BOOM!
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“You know what today is? A bad day to be a T-48, fool”

Elsewhere in the centre the Soviet APC managed a lucky shot, killing a member of Charlie Two and suppressing the rest of the fireteam, whilst in return an M113 managed to kill a Soviet Lightning Storm trooper, also suppressing the Soviet elite troops.

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The sole surviving T-48 crests Objective 1 and destroys the Stinger/TOW Humvee after the Allied Dreadnaught squad miss with their Stinger/TOWs
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Carnage around Objective 3 – M60 blows Elektra’s turret off…
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Whilst Inferna’s brutal assault saw rips the other M60 in half!
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“Today’s weather forecast – fire. Lots of it.”
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Rampager super heavy moves in on the Allied left flank
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Charlie One demolish Inferna with another superb Stinger/TOW shot
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Assault saw whirling, an M85 heroically charges the Rampager..
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….scratches the paint, but that’s about it.
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Soviet infantry and HQ hustle up to the gulley to support the attack on Objective 3
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Immobilised, the Stealth Tank decloaks to fire at the surviving T-48.. futilely, as it would turn out..

(By this point, victory points had kind of gone out of the window – we were just enjoying the epic slugfest! The battlefield itself looked truly apocalyptic, blast markers blazing everywhere- check out this video on our Facebook page)

Turn 3

The Atlantic Alliance won the initiative and went first.

Fresh from capturing both Objective 2 and the entire No. 4 Soviet Support Squad, the Rocketeers decided to take a gamble, given the relative paucity of Holy Soviet forces  in this area of the battlefield. Jet packs roared into life and submachineguns delivered death from above as the Holy Mystic was riddled with 9mm rounds before he could summon up his supernatural powers!

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No throwing tanks for you today, Ivan!

Meanwhile, a turretless but still game Elektra forced her way onto Objective 3, ramming an M113 in the process as the battle in the centre hotted up.

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The M113 is flipped over and destroyed by Elektra’s attack, Allied HQ barely escaping!
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Immobile, the Stealth Tank looses twin burst of rapid autocannon fire against the surviving T-48 on Objective 1, scratching the paint but that’s all..
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Humvee sweeps around the gulley to attack Soviet HQ in the open, wounding Lt. Polikarpv and killing the Soviet RTO…
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…Before being rammed by a reversing Soviet APC and losing it’s minigun!

To the Soviet right the Lightning Storm Squad shook off their suppression and marched doggedly forward, but it would be another turn before their lethal Lightning Launcher would be in range, whilst in the centre an M113 advanced up insupport of the Humvee and immobilised the Soviet APC with it’s .50 calibre heavy machinegun.

Further back the shamefaced bodyguards of the Soviet Mystic vent fury on the Rocketeers, filling the air with lead from their submachineguns and downing one of their number – checking morale, the Rocketeers were rewarded with Frenzy, which allowed them to instantly vault back to Objective 2!

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Dreadnaught squad line up the final T-48 with a Stinger/TOW…
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..and are rewarded with ANOTHER big juicy explosion!
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Pushing forward in the centre, the sole surviving Siberian assault trooperhurls himslef at Platoon Sgt. MacAuliffe – CCR 7 + 1 for charging, vs CCR 3…
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Mac, you are one bad ass mutha***ker – Hero Save on two wounds and put the Siberian DOWN!
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As the Rampager closes in, a desperate manoeuvre from an M113 crew – light autocannon, point blank, rear armour… the shots bounce harmlessly off (however side machineguns kill a Tesla trooper and suppress the squad yet again!)
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However, this in turn left the vehicle exposed to the Lightning Launcher of Stompy Uncle Joe, who promptly immobilised it

Vasily the Noble Sniper drew a bead and picked off a member of fireteam Alfa 2, suppressing them, while chaos erupted in the centre as a vicious grenade battle raged between Soviet and Allied infantry:

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“There’s too many!”
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Lt. Polikarpov falls and Commissar Kuryakin leads the charge!
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ZA RODINA!!!

By this point we had completely forgotten about victory points and were just in it for the sheer love of the game – would the Soviets pierce the thinning Allied lines? Because if the Rampager completed it’s flanking manoeuvre, it would all be over….

Turn 4

The Atlantic Alliance won the initiative and went first.

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Allied Centurion crew manoeuvre for the perfect flank shot on the Rampager – one 120mm cannon round later and it turns into a fireball!

With that, it pretty much seemed like game over for the Holy Soviet army – all their heavy weapons and armour were destroyed, but Commissar Kuryakin was not going to go down without a fight! He lead his HQ into the gulley, guns blazing and grenades flying, but to no avail…

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..as the final M113 rolls up to the rear of the surviving Soviet infantry squad. 2 light and one heavy machine gun, point blank range. Nothing to do but drop weapons and raise hands..

And with that, Dan had to concede defeat. The Lightning Storm squad (suppressed), the surviving members of the Mystic bodyguard and the immobilised form of the Colossus were all that remained, whereas most of the Allied infantry fireteams were still intact, along with the Dreadnaught squad an M113 and an M60.

It was a close one, and props once again for Dan for being a hard but fair opponent, but the Atlantic Alliance held just long enough and got just lucky enough to pull this one off. But it could so easily have gone differently….

Conclusions:

The Holy Soviet Army:

CURSES! I’m starting to feel like the Jervis Johnson to Jim’s Andy Chambers (’90’s White Dwarf readers will know what I’m on about). I could blame the dice, but we both had good and bad luck – yes, I lost the initiative each turn, but that’s how the Soviets roll.. big and slow, but when they get you you’re in trouble!

Where did I go wrong… I think my big mistake was not holding Elektra and Inferna back (and the Shock Drones too) until my infantry were ready to close assault, if I’d have concentrated them together that would have enabled me to break through the gulley and slaughter those capitalist running dogs. Instead I let them get destroyed piecemeal going after targets of opportunity. Next time, next time… Other than that, the lads all gave a good account of themselves, particularly my SU-152, and Stompy Uncle Joe – two Silverbugs in one turn!

So, enjoy a well won victory, Jim lad – because next time it’s going to be the clenched fist of Holy Soviet fury,  infantry and tanks and Siberians and drones all in one go, let’s see how you imperialists like that!

Atlantic Alliance:

On paper, it looks like a pretty respectable victory – I still had a coherent force of infantry and vehicles to hunt down any Soviet survivors while Dan was reduced to a few scattered survivors but it could so easily have gone differently. Had we not won the initiative on the last turn, that Rampager would have got into the Alliance rear areas and caught everyone out in the open, slaughtering them. Once that was out of the game, we were safe, and when my last running M113 captured his rifle squad, that was it.

The Silverbugs were a bit of a disappointment, clearly rather more vulnerable than I’d thought they were going to be! Lightning Launchers are clearly very effective anti-air weapons, so Stompy Uncle Joe will have to be dealt with by other means in future. I also had a weird time trying to get the infantry into a place where they could accomplish something without being fried, so most of them spent the battle hiding behind the gulley. Maybe a freak of terrain placement, we’ll see what happens next time!

Meantime, we’re planning a scenario game based on Operation IRON HEART – those of you familiar with the fluff will know that this was the moment when the Atlantic Alliance entered the Great War – as the Holy Soviet Army crashed into northern Germany, the 1st (Allied) Air Cavalry Division mounted a heli- and saucer-borne attack into a large Soviet logistics base near the German coastline on February 14th, 1954.

If you want to get in on the action, pick up a copy of the rules here or click below:

 

Detail page of Apocalypse: Earth Miniature Wargame Rulebook
Apocalypse: Earth Miniature Wargame Rulebook
£5.99

 

 

And we’ll leave you with this rather haunting shot showing the blast markers we made (thanks for the tutorial, The Terrain Tutor)!

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Stay tuned, stay thrifty, we’ll see you again soon!

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Stompy Uncle Joe! Superheavy Soviet Mecha

Dan here – I wasn’t going to do a post on this (going to wait to the Grand Unveiling of my new look Holy Soviet Army) but Jim saw it and I thought he was going to shit out a lung – he convinced me it deserved a blog post in it’s own right.

So I began with a Steam Mech papercraft template that I downloaded from http://www.toposolitario.com a couple of years ago (although sadly it doesn’t seem to be there anymore). I built up the main sections of the hull and legs and wound up with this:

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As you can see, I’ve added a few bits – rivets are cardboard using a 1/8″ hole puncher like this which as an essential in doing this kind of stuff. I cut out a couple of bits of cereal box card for extra plating, around the feet, built a Lightning Launcher from card, greenstuff and cocktail stick and one of those ring pull inserts you get in milk cartons and sauce bottles became the anti aircraft radar dish and gun mount.

In these you can see the powerfist/flamethrower arm built from drinking straws, a piece of scrap foamboard for the fist with the fingers built from cocktail sticks chopped down to 1cm ish lengths, snapped in half and the break sealed with superglue. I’ve also added more armour plate, hatches, and HUNDREDS OF BLOODY RIVETS.

Primed with £1 black spray paint and based with Vallejo Russian Green.

Washed with Army Painter Green Tone.

From there, I drybrushed with Russian Green which I lightened with tan craft paint, then a pin wash of Vallejo Brown ink around the hatches and the HUNDREDS OF BLOODY RIVETS, before weathering . This was sponge chipping, first black and then Vallejo German Grey, and I went HEAVY on this, I like a grungy look for my forces. Then I gave the legs, arms etc a drybrush of Burnt Umber dark brown, which I highlighted with a final drybrush of a mid brown tone.

 

Stompy Uncle Joe leading the Holy Soviet Army to inevitable victory! Za Rodina!

Side note – the template was designed with 28mm in mind, I believe – in 1/72 it’s MASSIVE, we’re talking Imperial Knight size. Jim lad, prepare to be crushed beneath Emperor Stalin’s iron fist!

 

Hold The Line! – Apocalypse: Earth Battle Report

(Might as well get this out of the way straight away)

The ARPANet alarm barked in Lt. Grant’s Humvee, jarring the tired officer from a much needed nap. Code Red. Urgent. He swore softly and lit a cigarette as the dashboard communications panel pulsed into life.

The news was unwelcome. Heavy Soviet activity in his sector – no mistaking the signs. Ivan was preparing a major attack and the forward logistics/ R & D installation Grant and his command had been assigned to secure was almost certainly the target. Grant cursed the Soviet remote viewers who had penetrated the most sophisticated Allied shielding to learn of this facility’s location. He clicked his communicator.

“All units, this is Sunray. Say again, this is Sunray. Stand to. Maximum alert. Prepare to evacuate scientific personnel. All units to their stations. The Russians are coming.”

 

Scenario:

Deep in the heart of Central Germany, a forward Allied R & D/ logistics hub is about to be attacked by an overwhelming Holy Soviet Army force. Buffalo 2-7 have to hold the line against an Endless Horde (more on that in a moment) long enough for the scientists and their research to be evacuated.

Evacuation – there are 20+ scientists (I never did count them!)

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Each turn, D6+ Turn Number would be evacuated, so on Turn 1 D6+1, Turn 2 D6+2 and so on.

Now, this Endless Horde – every time a Holy Soviet unit (vehicle or infantry squad) was completely destroyed, it would respawn in it’s deployment zone, which would stretch 10cm further forward each turn). Infantry squads would rush forward to maintain their platoon coherency, representing reinforcements rushing forward to find their officer, and then behave normally.

We deployed along the narrow table edge, the Soviets having to run the gauntlet of Alliance fire to capture the scientists for their own nefarious purposes…

Deployment:

The Red Tide approaches…

 

The Allies hunker down…

 

Turn 1

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The Rampager leads the charge.. and is duly immobilised by an Alliance Centurion..
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Soviet infantry pour along the forest floor, following close to their armour
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Behind the central gulley, minigun-armed Humvee and Allied power armour Dreadnaught squad prepare a devastating ambush for the Soviets
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Impressively, an Allied Humvee equipped with Stinger/TOW GUIDED missile manages to miss this shot… back to the range, gentlemen!
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Learning from previous battles, the Siberian assault squad watch their ride ripped apart by Allied anti-tank fire and decide that there are worse things in life than a gentle jog.
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The battlefield at the end of Turn 1 – Soviets coming from the left, Alliance on the right
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The first two scientists are away clean…
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Just leaving these guys…. Hmm, this could get tricky

Turn 2

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Elektra menaces the Allied lines with her fearsome Lightning Launcher…
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…Briefly… before an M60A3 Centurion gets in a lethal flank shot..
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Cherno Brava, a Soviet T-48, demolishes Allied plans for an ambush
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Allied Rocketeers raid the Soviet lines, cutting down Lt. Polikarpov and leaving the beloved/ dreaded Commissar in charge – however, two fall to Soviet rifle fire…
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..and then the other two are downed by the Holy Mystic telekinetically hurling the wrecked APC at them!!
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Soviet infantry stream forward past a wrecked T-48
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As another six scientists are safely evacuated

 

Turn 3

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In the opening salvoes, a T-48 is destroyed and the M85 Autonomous Combat Platform (robot to you and me) destroys the weapon systems on the already immobilised Rampager..
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Seeing as it has outlived it’s usefulness, the Soviet Holy Mystic uses his telekinetic power to chuck the 75 ton behemoth at the central allied position, destroying it and causing a nasty scratch on the paintwork of an M60A3 (as well as breaking it’s ARPANet link)
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Allied Dreadnaught squad (bottom right) springs it’s ambush, two miniguns and a missile launcher rake the Soviet forces caught in open ground… 32 dice account for TWO Soviet infantry. More range time needed. MUCH more range time.
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Disregarding it’s smoking, leaking fuel line, a T-48 lines up the now exposed Dreadnaught squad..
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..This does not end well.
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And so it falls to No. 4 squad and their heavy DsHK machine guns to reduce the Alliance power armoured elite to red mist!
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Firing from cover, a Centurion reduces the final T-48 to scrap metal
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Flamethrower destroyed but Assault Saw VERY much alive and well, Inferna crashes into the Allied lines. Cement and bricks fly as the massive buzzsaw engages the armour on the Allied M60A3 Centurion
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Attempting to move up in support of Inferna, the remaining Siberian assault troops are gunned down by an Allied M113
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Soviet infantry are really in the fight now, engaging the Allied left flank position at heavy cost — but the Allied lines are stretched ever more thinly… 
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Soviet artillery enters at the end of turn 3 in devastating style, destroying a Centurion
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Another six scientists are evacuated..
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..and stretched to their utmost, desperate Allied forces see another wave of Soviets appear!

Turn 4

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The inexorable Soviet advance continues, thinning out Allied infantry with rifles, machineguns and artillery while the next wave of troops and tanks move up… meanwhile the Soviet Holy Mystic uses pyrogenesis to start a fire in the left flank defence position and Alliance HQ is forced out of position by the threat of Soviet artillery. Turn ends with 7 scientists being evacuated, leaving only 5. This will, therefore, be the last turn as each turn we evacuate D6+(turn number) in each end phase… can the Soviet steamroller do it?

(sorry for the lack of Turn 4 pics, we were quite busy drinking)

Turn 5

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Forced from their hiding position, the Alliance HQ is forced to go toe to toe with the crazed mutant Siberians…
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This does not end well for the decadent Westerners. Note the crazed gleeful smile on the Siberian Sergeant’s face..
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Don’t get too smug, boys… with two M60s and an automatic grenade launcher, this M113 atomises the Siberian brutes
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Living up to its name, the Rampager… rampages.. into the centre of the Allied lines, destroying an M113 and massacring infantry..
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The moment you realise you’ve hidden behind the wrong wall – the last moments of fireteam Bravo 2
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Finally in range, Elektra looses her lethal Lightning Launcher, cutting down an Allied robot but also crippling her sister tank, Inferna – whoops.  Still, nothing a few vodkas won’t fix.
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The Holy Soviet tide sweeps across the battlefield against hopelessly outnumbered Allied forces
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Infantry and armour bear down on the last few survivors in the ruins
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Soviet artillery is all over the beleagured defenders
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But it’s just not quite enough! The last five scientists are evacuated – the Alliance has held just long enough!

Conclusions

Wow. That was close. Dan’s hordes had almost completely wiped out plucky little Bffalo 2-7.. I had a grand total of 3 infantry models and one APC capable of moving. Everything else – everything else – was dead or destroyed. And yet.. we made it.

Fundamentally, the plan was sound, although my big mistake was in deployment – a mostly anti-infantry force held the right flank, anti-tank on the left… and Dan came at me the other way around! was a hell of a blast though, reminded me of the climactic battle at the end of Platoon with the Alliance positions crumbling under the endless hordes of Soviets and their lethal artillery.

In this instance though, Dan agreed that he played it too much like a conventional game and focused on destroying my forces, gaining tactical advantages etc, when in fact he should have just piled everything forward and gone for it. Too clever for his own good this time! It has to be said, the lack of a fast mobile unit for the Holy Soviet Army really hurt them this time – the implacable wall of steel rolled forward, with it’s firestorm of death and destruction, but just not quite fast enough.

Still, a hell of a game – and a great way to shoot my previous rant in the foot. This may well not have been realistic, but it was loads of fun. Dan wants to build a giant Soviet robot for the next one, and I want to let him – I’m going to build an Avrocar gunship! Screw the statistics, let’s play 🙂

The Battle Of The Kessenburg Hub

Following the Roswell UFO crash of 1947, ARPA worked feverishly to engineer new technologies based on their discoveries.Not all their experiments would prove successful, however, and the 1949 Philadelphia Experiment – originally conceived as a means to “cloak” a ship – was a horrific failure. An offshoot of the program carried on developing the principles of teleportation that had been inadvertently discovered, and although a couple of early catastrophic failures in testing proved that organic living tissue could not use these machines, they were fine for inanimate objects and machines. At a stroke, the Atlantic Alliance’s logistics corps was revolutionised, and each theatre of the Apocalypse War is equipped with tele-logistics nodes such as this one in the town of Kessenburg, central Germany. 

The original installation fell victim to an artillery and psychic bombardment from Holy Soviet Empire forces on a sector wide offensive, and Allied X Corps Command ordered a rescue detachment to the area to prevent the Soviets capturing the node and it’s advanced technology.

Victory conditions – to control the node, the player must have unsuppressed troops within 5cm of the outer edge and no unsuppressed enemy forces within the same distance.Your objective is to control the node for three uninterrupted turns allowing the auto evacuation mechanism time to lock on to the nearest homing signal and teleport to safety.

So, following the trip to Warhammer World last week, I was raring to go and get a game in, and on Sunday evening Dan rolled up with a crate of Carling in one hand and his Holy Soviet Army in the other – game on!

I had a few new toys to try out, so we cranked up the fire support allowance for Dan, and we both tried out the new Command Cards idea – basically, to make your CO and XO extra valuable, they can force extra actions, prioritise fire support, benefit morale etc. As it turned out, neither that or Fortunes Of War had any impact on things but it was a great game nonetheless!

 

Terrain
The table laid out – you can see the tele-logistics node in the centre

Thankfully my command team had had their coffee so the Atlantic Alliance won for deployment:

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Plucky little Buffalo 2-7 on the left, the massed Holy Soviet hordes on the right
Deployment1
Swanky new APCs make their debut, with M85 combat ‘bots in support – my infantry were deployed in the APCs, going for a “cavalry” feel today!
Deployment2
Allied right flank, Dreadnaught power armour troops (who would prove rather useless..) my Rocketeers (good ol’ Warhawk 4-9) and the armour complement of three M60A3 Centurions
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Dan’s Holy Mystic and bodyguard – I was determined to terminate with extreme prejudice after his telekinetic tank-lobbing exploits of late..
Deployment4
The Red Hordes! Notice the big scary Rampager superheavy amongst the T-48 tank platoon

The game started with both sides jostling for position and few shots being fired. My infantry deployed straight from their APCs onto the objective, securing it in Turn 1 – I noticed Dan hadn’t put his assault troops in the Soviet APC, as last two games, it’s been hit before it could be activated and his badass Siberian psychopaths have been barbecued..

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Turn 1 – Fireteam Charlie 1 take down said scary Rampager with a Stinger/TOW! They never normally hit ANYTHING until Turn 3!
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Turn 2 -The Humvee makes a sally forth with its minigun but is swamped by the Soviet infantry platoon
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Turn 2 – The Soviet Beastmen hop out of their APC and slaughter Delta squad!

Turn 2 was where it all hit the fan, the Soviet assault got its momentum and my right flank was a mass of blazing armour! However a lucky shot from a machinegunner had taken down the Soviet RTO which meant no fire support calls – lucky for me, as I was losing infantry hand over fist.. and I didn’t have many to begin with!

Unfortunately (depending on your point of view) they couldn’t quite carry the momentum – the Beastmen slaughtered Delta Squad but were blown to pieces by the heavy machineguns and cannon on the APCs.

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Turn 3 – His HQ wiped out, Polikarpov leads the remainder of his platoon in a furious vodka-induced charge, challenging my remaining Command Element member to single combat..
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..and winning! Platoon Sgt’ McAuliffe’s credentials as a hardass are somewhat dented..
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But it just wasn’t enough, with the Soviets reduced to an Artillery Observation Team, a useless Sniper and half the Heavy Weapons Squad…
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Smashed and burning armour litters the table –  a good game!
Endgame3
Soviet survivors decide enough is enough

So there we have it – Alliance victory, although only just, I literally had about three infantry left, plus the ‘bots and one operational APC. Had Dan been able to successfully call fire support, we’d have had it. Damn it was fun though! And the Charge of Lt. Polikarpov – Dan, you paint a medal on that guy!

A couple of thoughts – the Tesla troopers actually got some licks in and fried a pair of tanks, but my Dreadnaughts couldn’t do a damn thing – I think we’ll up the minigun penetration just a touch so they at least have a slim chance. The BEastmen need to be tougher too, I suggest scrap the 6+ save and go for an armour rating maybe 9, plus some kind of resurrection rule – fits the fluff better.

Anyway, more new toys to come, plus our fantasy setting – “Hyperian Wars” – stay tuned!

Here come the (Armoured) Cavalry!

I’ve always had a soft spot for the M113 – lurching, unwieldy aluminium deathtrap that the thing almost certainly was! And given the nature of the Atlantic Alliance force as having late 60’s/ early 70’s level tech in a mid-1950’s World War scenario (thank you, Roswell), it was inevitable that sooner or later I’d have to get myself a few…

A bit of Google Fu later (papercraftsquare.com) and I had me a rather nice M113 papercraft template which I printed out straight onto cardstock. Now, I did botch the first one a bit – leading to a low slung “sports APC” look, but the addition of spacers covered by some armoured skirts seemed to do the trick, and had the bonus of giving it a more “sci-fi” look.

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I’ve gone for the “ACAV” Vietnam-style look and I think it fits rather well – each mounts a heavy weapon in the forward turret and a light machinegun in the flank turrets. Eagle eyed observes will note this is missing on two of the machines – I need to do another Sgts Mess order…

From left to right – mounting Mk 19 grenade launcher, M2 .50 calibre heavy machine gun and 20mm autocannon – lots of yummy firepower to back up the dismounts!

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Like these guys!

Some of you might notice a bit of a change in painting style – I’d gone for a heavily weathered BAOR type look previously, but after checking out this guy’s blog I just had to try my hand at some digital camo! It’s based on the 1970s DualTex scheme, and it’s just the kind of thing I can imagine UNIVAC coming up with – a kind of primitive-retro sci-fi idea, perfect for Apocalypse: Earth!

I also rather liked his way of doing headlights – so in my own cackhanded way, I copied that, too…DSCN1784

Shiny shiny.

Looking forward to getting these guys on the tabletop and deploying Buffalo 2-7 as an armoured cavalry force!

SpecForces Fire Team for “Black Ops” spinoff game

So we’ve been kicking around the idea of a real small unit skirmish/ RPG game in the mold of the classics like Space Crusade, Necromunda and video games like Laser Squad, UFO and so on. Still set in the terrifying world of Apocalypse Earth, where Uncle Joe Stalin is trying to crush the soul of every man, woman and child on the planet with his nightmarish technological and biological contraptions, this is going to focus on the adventures of a small Special Forces team from the Atlantic Alliance as they are drawn into a conspiracy that threatens all humanity…

Still working on the nuances of the rules, but we need some pretty looking toys to test them with, and so I’ve painted up a four man fireteam to represent the AA’s best of the best. Each soldier has a slightly different paint scheme as these are individual operators – I’m thinking the guys from “Predator” here!

So let me introduce:

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Lt. Hunt – sporting an M15 assault rifle with underslung grenade launcher, and rocking the US Rangers-in-Vietnam tiger stripe camouflage.

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Specialist Hill – DPM camouflage with M15

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Specialist Moss – a recent transfer from the infantry, Moss is more comfortable with olive green fatigues and a camo pattern helmet.

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Specialist Stewart – seconded from the elite SWAT elements of the Metropolitan Police, he is painted in a prototype digital camouflage pattern suit  modelled on the real world Dualtex pattern from the 1970s (thanks to Tacobat over at Modern Warfare for turning me on to this).

I’ve tried to be a bit more creative with the basing – still 20mm cardstock squares, but this time I’ve textured them and layered drybrushing on the basing before adding dabs of flock.

These guys will be battling all sorts and we’re planning to have a full story campaign in the game.. we’re aiming for the feel of “Call Of Duty” with miniatures, as the guys get more skills and equipment as they complete more missions and face more and more dangerous opponents as the story unfolds… It’s a LONG way from completion, but we’re having a lot of fun playtesting!

Thoughts on #TheBigGame

So we rolled out with everything a couple of weeks back, testing out the new Rampager, Elektra, Inferna and Siberian units on the Holy Soviet Empire side, and letting the Atlantic Alliance give their M85 Autonomous Combat Platforms and M60A3 Centurion squadron a maiden airing. The full after action report will be published in our new (free, digital, available for download here and Wargames Vault)) magazine just as soon as we can get it all written up, photographed and DTP’d, but meantime there are a few fine tuning details we can take away from what was a hard fought, close run and hugely fun game!

Dan, your snipers are way too expensive.L’il ol’ Vasily accomplished precisely squat despite being twice the cost of a rifle squad! Yes he’s hard to hit, but what’s the point of he just sits there? I suggest we halve his points cost and give him an “Infiltrate” skill to ensure he can deploy somewhere he can get shooting straight away. For fairness, we should give my Ghost 7 team the same skill, of course!

Spotting for indirect fire – let’s clear this up. For off table support, I think we can let that be targeted anywhere (“Sir, Zaplinsky reports enemy tanks on the ridgeline!”) but for on-table indirect fire such as mortars,someone in the squad needs to be able to see the target (“Rogers, shift your fire, 10 meters bearing five two!”). Although it pains me to say it after what happened to my HQ, “speculative fire” actually does make sense – “Drop a few rounds behind those bunkers, Corporal, lets flush out anything that might be hiding” – so after much soul searching I’m turned around on this one.

Objectives – For all  the fun, the game still turned into a bit of a kill-point-slug-fest by the end. I suggest making each objective 45 vps rather than 40. It still means a bit of a scuffle in smaller games (you can’t win a 500pt match without some shots being fired) but it does encourage more manueuvre. As we saw, you can’t really capture all 4 objectives in a 2000pt game anyway unless the other guy collapses so there’ll still be plenty of carnage!

This is actually a positive but I loved the way the tank fights played out! LOTS of maneuvering to get a better shot through weaker armour, the open spaces on the table east edge were a whirling knife fight between my M60s and Dan’s T-48 and Rampager!

Thoughts, gentlemen?

 

Miniature Neutrality

So courtesy of dakkadakka.com I stumbled across what looks to be a very promising Kickstarter skirmish game, “This Is Not A Test”. I checked out the blog and the first entry was about being “miniature neutral” – how you can use any type of miniature to play the game. Very laudable, and it got me thinking.

I designed Apocalypse: Earth with the intent of creating a fun, fast paced game which would be simple to learn but difficult to master, and to keep the associated costs down by using 1/72 scale plastic soldiers. Latterly our gaming and development group has stumbled across the medium of papercraft, which has enabled us to field a raft of vehicles built at practically no cost.

The connection? A:E does not feature prescriptive miniatures, and we positively encourage conversions and creations through the player’s own ingenuity. There is a whole planet, tearing itself apart through a bloody conflict involving many strange and unnatural technologies!

That said, being set in an alternate 1950s allows the base of WW2 tech – helpfully, the most well catered for time period of all! To give you an idea of what’s in our studio armies – the Holy Soviet Empire are represented by WW2 Red Army, with the T-48 workhorse a conversion of a T-54 papercraft, the League Of European Nations represented by WW2 Germans (Cougar MBT is a converted King Tiger papercraft). The Atlantic Alliance have received a tech level boost from the Roswell crash so I’ve used Vietnam War US infantry to represent them, but the background is flexible enough to conceivably include WW2 US, WW2 Brits, 1970s/80s/ Present day Brits, and their workhorse MBT is the M60A3 Centurion – armour enthusiasts will recognise a portmanteau of two iconic cold war tanks.

Taking things to the extreme, the Holy Soviet Empire has it’s elite, genetically modified “Strong Men” Siberian assault troops – represented in the game by Caesar fantasy Orcs, while the Atlantic Alliance elite Dreadnaught squad are US Vietnam infantry converted with greenstuff and cardboard… I look forward to seeing what more skilled modellers than me can achieve!

After Action Report – Weapons testing!

Over the weekend I found myself with some unexpected free time and with a fair few new models cooked up for both the Holy Soviet Empire and Atlantic Alliance armies, organising a pick up game to let these new toys loose on the tabletop seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up!

We set up both factions with a fairly simple scenario – the Atlantic Alliance forces had a communications relay bunker close to their deployment zone which they had to move forward and secure. Dan’s freshly painted Holy Soviet Empire forces had to take it from them.

We set up on the 6′ x 4′ table with both forces on opposing long table edges as per standard deployment in the rulebook. The bunker was roughly two move actions (24cm) from the southern edge deployment zone where the Atlantic Alliance set up, while it would take two or three turns for the Soviet horde to reach it from the north.

Seeing as we weren’t running a strictly point based game we didn’t bother with fire support, and because we forgot (!) we didn’t run Fortunes Of War either…

Atlantic Alliance:

Platoon Command Element

Alpha Squad – Rifles

Bravo Squad – Rifles

Charlie Squad – Stinger/ TOW Missile Launcher

Delta Squad – Light Machinegun

Dreadnought squad – Flamethrower, 2 x minigun, Stinger/ TOW Missile Launcher

Ghost 7 – Stealth Sniper Team

Warhawk 4/9 – Rocketeer squad

3 x M60A3 Centurions

Humvee – Minigun

Humvee – Light Railgun

Holy Soviet Empire:

Platoon HQ

No.1 Squad – Rifles

No. 2 Squad – Rifles

No. 3 Squad – Rifles

No. 4 Squad – Heavy Weapons (2 Mortars, 2 Heavy Machineguns)

Holy Mystic and Entourage (Mind Control and Telekinesis powers)

Lightning Storm Squad

Noble Sniper

Strong Men  Assault Squad in BTR-166 APC

3 x T-48

Rampager Super Heavy tank

T-48 “Elektra” variant with Lightning Launcher

T-48 “Inferna” variant with assault blade and heavy flamethrower

The armour faced off in the relatively open ground to the east, while the bulk of the infantry used the denser cover in the west and central sections of the board.

I’ll spare you the gory details (some of you may have caught the tweets of the best bits), but it was a BLAST! Particular highlights – swirling armour melee on the eastern part as the Allied armour desperately tried to outmanoeuvre the monstrous Rampager which finally succumbed to a point blank shot to the rear.. the Soviet Holy Mystic up to his usual tricks, hurling a Centurion and a Humvee at the Dreadnought squad.. the charge of the Inferna, sawing a Humvee in half with its massive assault blade and incinerating Bravo squad.. the final desperate counterattack led by the Allied Command Element hurling frag grenades.. great fun!

Suffice it to say the Alliance held the day, but only just! A VERY lucky opening shot from the Railgun equipped Humvee took out the APC containing the hideous “Siberian” Strong Men close assault troops before they got a chance to do their stuff – had these made it to Allied lines, they would have caused serious problems for the defenders.

There’s a couple more units still to add – I’ve got some anti-tank Robots to add to the Alliance, and Dan wants to add a Forward Observation team to the Soviets to better spot for their artillery (when we next use it..) He’s also found a papercraft of a Steam Mecha which just looks too good not to use!

We’re going to upgrade some more scenery and get a bit of practice taking better photos, so look for a full battle report in the next couple of months. Til then, enjoy these cellphone snaps!

 

The Battle Of Relay Station Echo Six Actual

“Buffalo 2-7, this Six, do you copy. Over.”
The ARPANet link pulsed briefly. Lieutenant Grant woke with a start as his commander’s voice broke the silence in the billet.
“Buffalo 2-7, say again, this Six, do you copy. Over.”
Grant fumbled with his headset, thumbing the “transceive” button.
“Buffalo 2-7 receiving, go ahead Six.” Grant glanced at his platoon sergeant, asleep in the Humvee with his helmet tipped over his face. Amazingly enough, the big sergeant had a cigarette clamped beween his teeth, it’s tip glowing brighter as he inhaled. Sergeant Macauliffe was actually smoking while asleep. Grant was entranced.
“…2-7, can you confirm?”
Grant tore himself away from the sight of his supine second in command.
“Six, say again, we had, uhh, bad reception”
“2-7, your orders are to proceed to relay station E6-A and secure. Soviet forces are known to be active in the area and we have picked up the EM signatures of a psychic. Close air support is available.”
Terrific.
“Confirm, Six. We are on our way”
“Co-ordinates to follow. Six out.”
The ARPANet link pulsed a second time with co-ordinates as Grant kicked his sergeant awake.
“Time to saddle up, Mac. We’ve got work to do.”
Scenario:
Holy Soviet Empire forces have been making a push across this sector, threatening a vital ARPANet field relay station. Your battlegroup is tasked with securing it against hostile activity.
The objective is Relay Station Echo Six Actual – whichever side can get undamaged, unsuppressed forces in base-to-base contact with the building for one uninterrupted turn with no undamaged, unsuppressed enemy forces in contact (ie. an Alliance fireteam spends a turn in base-to-base contact with the building and no Holy Soviet Empire forces manage to get in contact with the building) will be considered the victor.
Atlantic Alliance:
Command:
Platoon HQ
Line: 
A & B Squads – Rifle
C Squad – Missile
D Squad – Light Machinegun
Support: 
Ghost Seven – Stealth
Dreadnought Squad
Warhawk 4-9 – Rocketeers
Humvee – Stinger/ TOW Launcher, Roswellium armour
Fire Support – MLRS strike
Holy Soviet Army
Command:
Platoon HQ
Line:
Nos 1, 2 & 3 Squads – Riflemen

No. 4 Squad – Heavy Weapons

Support:
Lightning Storm Squad
Cherno Alfa, Cherno Brava, Cherno Troika – T-48 tanks
Noble Sniper
Holy Mystic with bodyguard, Mind Control and Telekinesis powers
Deployment
Holy Soviet Empire
I elected to concentrate my heavy armoured striking force on the right for maximum impact and shock value – this was the three T-48 tanks plus my Lightning Storm Attack Squad. These would be the units that hit the Alliance line first while my infantry platoon would hold in cover in the centre, ready to follow up. This gave me the advantage of letting No. 4 squad set up mortars and heavy machineguns early on in the game. Depending on how things played out they could either follow up the advance in the centre or make a flanking manouevre around the left of the relay station. Either way, I felt the sheer numerical mass of my rifle squads would give me the advantage when it came down to close in fighting around the objective.
Atlantic Alliance
Looking at the terrain, I saw there was only one area of “tank country” where the Soviets could use their armour effectively – so I set up an ambush there with my anti-tank firepower from the Humvee and Charlie Squad’s missile launcher. The best plan with the Alliance when facing outnumbering armies is to get into good enfilade/ defilade deployment positions and cut them down to size before counterattacking, but with a five turn limit and needing to spend one turn in uninterrupted contact with the relay building I wasn’t going to have time to mess around. Everyone was going to need to be in a good firing position by the end of Turn 1 at the latest, and as the most protected unit I planned on using the Dreadnought squad to cross the open ground to advance on to the objective. With their fearsome CCR, healthy armour rating and formidable firepower I was confident they could handle any challenges.
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The battlefield – Atlantic Alliance troops to the left, Holy Soviet Empire on the right. The relay station can be seen visible between the radar dish and the cooling tower in the centre of the battlefield
Turn 1
The Atlantic Alliance won the initiative and opted to move first.
Tyres squealed as the Humvee darted forward into cover, setting up a beautiful flank shot on Cherno Troika – only to see the Stinger/TOW plow into the ground short of it’s target. The crew froze as the T-48 swung it’s turret to face them and opened up with everything it had. When the onslaught was over the Humvee’s crew couldn’t believe their luck – out of a 100mm cannon, a heavy machine gun and two light machine guns, only one bullet had hit, and that had been stopped by the Roswellium composite armour!
A few metres behind the Luckiest Humvee In The World (TM), sniper team Ghost Seven dove into position, chancing an oblique shot at the exposed Soviet HQ. The young Soviet Lieutenant ducked (and was rewarded with a contemptuous look for his Commissar) but that was all.
Hidden behind the ruined department store, the Holy Mystic cast his mind forth over the battlefield and sense the presence of the Alliance’s power armoured elite Dreadnought squad. Twice he tried to enslave them, and twice he was rebuffed. On the other side of the battlefield, the Rocketeers leapt forward opening up a murderous – but ineffective salvo of shots on the Soviet HQ.
On the Alliance left, it looked like the Luckiest Humvee Crew In The World might have sighed in relief too soon as a 100mm cannon round from Cherno Brava destroyed the Stinger/TOW launcher, whilst in the centre Lieutenant Grant saw an opportunity to cripple the Soviet armoured thrust before it got going – Alliance HQ moved swiftly into cover and Grant called in an MLRS strike on Cherno Alfa and the Lightning Storm squadron. The ARPANet link pulsed briefly before a lethal firestorm engulfed the exposed Soviets, destroying Cherno Alfa’s weapons and killing two of the Tesla-armoured infantrymen. First blood to the Alliance! At least the Holy Soviet Army could be proud it’s elite heavy infantrymen kept their nerve.
The driver of Cherno Alfa, realising that a) he had survived the MLRS attack and b) his tank was now weaponless, drove his stricken vehicle forward as planned, nobly reasoning he could provide mobile cover for the less protected Lightning Storm squad. Meanwhile, fireteam Charlie 1 flanked round using the relay station itself as cover to set up a Stinger/TOW shot on Cherno Troika, disabling it’s weapons, and as the Soviet’s Noble Sniper failed to take down any of the Dreadnought squad, their squadmates in team Charlie 2 double-timed up to the relay station itself in support.
In front of them, protected by the cover of the trees, the Soviet No. 4 (Heavy Weapons) Squad sweated and puffed as they hauled their mortars and heavy machineguns into position around the Nissen huts to cover off the Alliance’s approach routes to the objective. Fire from teams Alfa 1 and 2 was ineffective as the Allied troops scrambled into cover, and in the Soviet centre the Lightning Storm squad began to move up behind the cover of the T-48s.
The Soviet infantry assault began in earnest now, Nos. 1, 2 & 3 (Rifle) Squads double timing past their Heavy Weapons comrades into the woods, each losing a man to fire from the opposing Bravo Squad who had managed to successfully deploy into cover. Their morale held, however – no doubt helped by the inspiring presence of Comissar Kuryakin and the Soviet HQ unit, which opened fire on the Rocketeers (albeit to no effect). Lieutenant Polikarpov and his RTO sent a fire support request back to company headquarters.
It was time to unleash the Alliance’s big guns – the Dreadnought squad. The Stinger/ TOW scored a direct hit on Cherno Troika, immobilising the T-48 while the two troopers armed with miniguns opened fire on the Soviet infantry moving up through the woods. The lethal multibarrelled weapons screamed mechanically as they pumped a hail of shells into the woods, shredding trees, bushes, one rifleman from No. 2 Squad and the entirety of No. 1 Squad! Nine infantrymen dead and a T-48 immobilised – the Alliance’s finest had made their presence felt.
In the administration phase of the turn, Soviet STAVKA High Command authorised the Lieutenant Polikarpov’s fire support request and a Tesla Storm munition was duly deployed – unfortunately the Alliance’s intelligence group managed to hack the request and send it off course, dropping the lethal lightning storm onto the densely packed Soviet infantry of No. 3 Squad and Lt. Polikarpov’ HQ unit! The air broiled with electricity and the screams carried across the battlefield as lashes of lightning incinerated the helpless Soviets, leaving only four survivors from the two units! Disaster for the Soviets – the only silver lining was that both units passed their morale check, and the survivors of No. 3 Squad rolled a Frenzy, firing maniacally at the Allied Platoon Command Element and downing Platoon Sgt. McAuliffe.
Tactical Notes – Fortunes Of War Cards
These cards attempt to replicate the chaotic nature of warfare – no plan ever surviving contact with the enemy. In this instance, the Alliance were fortunate enough to misdirect the Soviet fire support request onto the HQ itself, and the Soviet player was unlucky enough that his lethal Tesla Storm arrived with 100% accuracy on his own HQ!
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Massed Soviet infantry deploy into cover
Atlantic Alliance troops prepare to receive the Soviet offensive
Atlantic Alliance troops prepare to receive the Soviet offensive
Soviet Heavy Weapons squad deploy to cover approaches to the objective
Soviet Heavy Weapons squad deploy to cover approaches to the objective
Turn 2
The Holy Soviet Empire won the initiative.
Cherno Troika and fireteam Charlie 1 had both been placed in overwatch to cover off the other, but it was the Soviet tank crew who were quickest off the draw, grimly wiping out the Alliance fireteam in a hailstorm of cannon and machinegun fire.
Inspired by his comrades, Cherno Alfa’s driver gunned the engine on his weaponless tank and rammed the Alliance Humvee, crushing both front wheels and killing the crew, while the Rocketeers finished up the work of the Tesla storm – mercilessly gunning down the remnants of No. 3 Squad and the HQ at point blank range.
The Luckiest Humvee Crew In The World's luck runs out..
The Luckiest Humvee Crew In The World’s luck runs out..
Once again, the Holy Mystic tried to summon the psychic energies to enslave the minds of the Dreadnought squad, but to no avail. His attempt at telekinesis ended in abject failure, and even his bodyguards missed the Alliance riflemen moving towards the relay station. Clearly the massacre of his comrades had gravely shaken his ability to focus!
Over on the other side of the battlefield, fireteam Delta 2 realised the Alliance’s right flank was pretty secure so wheeled left into cover to fire – ineffectively – on the Soviet Heavy Weapons Squad, while in the centre Cherno Brava’s driver crashed his crippled tank into the relay building itself to provide a covered approach for his supporting infantry, sheltering them from Bravo 2’s fire.
It was obvious to the survivors of the Soviet assault force that the plan had failed. All that remained was to die heroically. No. 2 squad downed their hundred gram vodka and roared a tremendous battlecry, charging fireteam Charlie 2 sheltering by the relay station. Two men fell to oblique overwatch fire from Bravo 2, but the combination of vodka and rage over the slaughter of their comrades kept the Soviets going. They fell on Charlie 2 and bludgeoned the two Alliance troopers to death with rifle butts, bayonets and sharpened entrenching tools, but the victory was shortlived as deployed fire from Bravo 1 ripped through their exposed ranks, leaving only the sergeant standing with his back to the relay station wall howling his defiance. Unbelievably, the Soviets – despite their appalling casualties – were now in command of the objective and were winning!
Hand to hand fighting around the objective
Hand to hand fighting around the objective
Inspired by this incredible example, the Soviet Heavy Weapons Squad dropped Alfa 1’s sergeant with a mortar round before abandoning their mortars and heavy machine guns to hustle up toward the objective to support the sole survivor of the Soviet infantry assault. Fire from Alfa 2 dropped a man, but the conscripts would not abandon the heroic sergeant.
The Tesla troopers now entered the fray, their Lightning Launchers taking down a Dreadnought and one of Bravo 2 – and suppressing both! The Alliance’s most powerful unit was effectively neutralised!
The remaining Allied infantry began to rush toward the relay station, and in the administration phase both units were able to shake their suppression.
Tactical Notes – Close Assaults between Vehicles.
These are resolved the same way as between infantry units, with the difference that the side in contact with the victorious vehicle rolling for damage. In this instance, Cherno Alfa rammed the front of the Humvee and won the close combat, so the Humvee rolled for damage on the Front table – resulting in the immobilisation and crushing of the crew. Not so lucky after all…
Turn 3
The Atlantic Alliance won the initiative and opted to move first.
The Rocketeers led off this turn, snaking over the treetops and ruins to get the drop on the Soviet Heavy Weapons Squad, scything down all but two of them with lethally accurate submachinegun fire. The Soviet’s Noble Sniper drew a bead on Alfa 1, only to miss – things were beginning to look bleak for the Soviets, their infantry platoon had been all but wiped out and as Alfa 2 hustled up to the relay station all looked to be lost..
Rocketeers causing havoc!
Rocketeers causing havoc!
The Holy Mystic surveyed the battlefield and saw his comrades dead and dying, the hated Westerners triumphant. With a last desperate burst of concentration, he tried again to enslave the minds of the Dreadnought Squad – and this time, the gods of battle granted him success. Inside his power armour suit, the troopers face went blank as the voice of the Mystic took command of his mind. His minigun whirled into action again, but this time it was Lieutenant Grant and the Platoon Command Element and fireteam Alfa 2 who were shredded by it’s hail of bullets! The Dreadnoughts marched down the hill into the field of fire of Cherno Troika..
Riding the crest of these dark energies, the Mystic cast forth again with his power of Telekinesis – on the hill where Bravo Squad were entrenched, the air shimmered as the form of Cherno Alfa appeared twenty feet above the riflemen. Thirty tons of T-48 crashed down on the hill, crushing another rifleman and suppressing Bravo 2, while the remaining rifleman rushed down the hill toward the relay station. The last T-48, Cherno Troika, opened up on the now exposed Dreadnought squad – lest they should lose their new-found loyalty to the Soviet cause – dropping the Sergeant and Minigunner.
Over on the Alliance left, Ghost Seven came back into play, dropping one of the Tesla assault troopers with a superbly placed shot, while in the centre the fighting around the relay station got bloodier still as the two survivors of the Heavy Weapon Squads charged the Bravo squad rifleman to secure their end of the relay station. Bayonets and sharpened spades flashed – the Alliance rifleman fell, but he took yet another Soviet with him. Now there were only two Soviets in contact with the objective – only two survivors from HQ, Heavy Weapons Squad and the three Rifle Squads! Aware of this, Alfa 1’s surviving rifleman rushed to secure the objective while the Soviet Noble Sniper took on his adversary, aiming a shot at Ghost Seven – and missed.
On the Soviet side of the relay station, the Lightning Storm squad marched forward, submachine gun and Lightning Launcher fire downing a Rocketeer. To their shame, fireteam Delta 2 failed to shake their suppression and remained cowering in cover – although given the brutal bloodshed, who could blame them? – but Delta 1 rushed forward to join the gutter fighting around the now blood-drenched objective.
In the administration phase, Delta 2 finally shook their suppression and the sole remaining Dreadnought trooper regained control of himself, surveying the carnage around him in horror..
Tactical Notes – “Can I Drop A Tank On Them?”
Were the immortal words uttered by playtester Dan, and we looked at each other, shrugged and thought “why not?” – after all, telekinesis works in three dimensions… so on the fly we put together a rule that yes, you could drop a tank – we used normal deviation rules and deemed that if the infantry underneath could roll under their initiative rating (in the Alliance’s case, a 4) they would be able to get out of the way. The tank would be deemed immobilised (which, given Cherno Alfa had lost it’s weapons, effectively meant it was destroyed). All in all, a great demonstration of the ethos behind the Apocalypse: Earth game mechanic – if you can think of it, we can make it happen!
Turn 4
The Atlantic Alliance won the initiative and opted to move first.
The Rocketeers led the way again, leaping around behind the Lightning Storm squad and gunning down the exposed bodyguards.
Around the relay station, the fighting was becoming even more bitter – with his back to the objective wall, the Heavy Weapons Sergeant threw grenades into the Alliance riflemen, to no effect – or perhaps not, as an Alfa Squad rifleman failed his morale check to charge into close combat.
The Battle of the Snipers continued, as the Noble Sniper fired on Ghost Seven but the optical camouflage made it impossible to track in on the Alliance Stealth team, while a Stinger/TOW missile from the remaining Dreadnought trooper plowed into the soil just short of Cherno Troika before he ran down to join in securing the objective.
Exhausted by his activities the previous turn, the Holy Mystic failed to summon any psychic energies, meaning Delta were able to close up on the objective as the remains of the Lightning Storm Squad failed to close up sufficiently to be in contact.
With the relay station now firmly in Allied hands and almost all the Soviet troops dead, the Mystic and the remaining Lightning troopers realised it was futile to continue the assault and fell back, melting into the shadows as the exhausted Allied troops reloaded and prepared to consolidate the position.
Dispositions at the end of turn 4
Dispositions at the end of turn 4
Holy Soviet Empire Debrief:
Well, that didn’t go to plan… Rampaging Rocketeers, a misdirected Tesla Storm and Dreadnoughts conspired to massacre most of my command, as well as unusually effective Alliance anti-tank fire taking out my T-48s.. still, my plan was largely solid, and with better use of cover (and communications security, STAVKA!) I might have had a shot. Highlight of the game was the sudden reversal of fortune when the Mystic proved himself man-of-the-match.. he may have only proved his worth once, but when his powers worked they were spectacular! If only I’d had a little more luck with the dice…
Still, you won’t always have it your way, Alliance decadents.. the Rodina will have her revenge!
Atlantic Alliance Debrief:
Wow. That was close… too close. And who came up with the idea of the Holy Mystic psychically lobbing tanks all over the place??? That guy – when he works, he works. From now on, he’s a priority for termination with extreme prejudice! Beyond that, things worked largely as expected – apart from the decimation of my forces by a possessed Dreadnought trooper – I handled the infantry assault through the woods pretty much as planned, aided by a stroke of luck with Misdirected Fire.
In the end it seemed to come down to exhaustion – the gutter fighting around the relay station took a hideous toll, and frankly had I not been able to take out the bulk of the Soviet infantry before they got close I probably would have been overwhelmed.
Still, all in all a hell of a game, and we’ve learned a few things for next time!