2015's last weeks have been quite busy so no painting for me those last weeks.
Yet, some gaming. With my friend Pulm we recently fought for the third part of the mini-campaign we started for Warzone Resurrection. The campaign is based upon scenarios provided on cards with the limited edition Icarus Jetfighter pilot.
It was also an opportunity to test afain new faction rules Prodos released some weeks ago. Balance overall and remake of faction's gameplay. We've already tested it once during the second part of the campaign, with a few mistakes.
But some units of my Dark Legion army became far more interesting to field. So i decided to play an army almost only composed of new units i've never played before, and spare my opponent the presence of the dreaded Razides.
Previously, on Warzone: Roberto Feltordo, the Archangel, Icarus Jetfighter pilot for the Brotherhood, had crashed beyond ennemy lines on Mars. During the first act of the campaign, he was captured by the Dark Legion forces. Second act saw his Brotherhood brethren rescue him. Now to finish the campaign, the Brotherhood army must escort Roberto to a working Icarus landed nearby an ennemy base. If he succeed, he will be able to leave the place and give some shooting on the Legion before. My mission is to prevent that by killing him. Since we were a bit short on time we chose to not take a secondary objective, even if the main objective is extremely basic.
1 Sacred Warrior custom Warlord with 2 Guardia Oblati
2 x 5 Sacred Warriors
2 x 5 Troopers lead by an Inquisitor, Roberto joins one squad
1 x 3 Inquisitors
1 x 7 infiltrated Mortificators
Alakhaï the Cunning, Nepharite Warlord (named character)
2 x 5 Nécromutants (one squad is played with partially painted undead legionnaires to make it easier to recognize)
1 Necrobeast Rider
1 Praetorian Behemoth
1 x 2 Praetorian Stalkers with Scythe of Semaï HMG, held in reserve to use Rapid Deploy rules.
1 x 2 infiltrated Praetorian Stalkers with Reaper of Semaï
So i'm quite outnumbered here, but with several big guys. A good way to see what they have in stock.
Stalkers infiltrate nearby the plane Roberto must reach, forcing Mortificators to infiltrate far from it...
... And then redeploy on the other side of the plane, thanks to Alakhaï tactician abilities, letting them stay at good distance of the assassins but still close to the objective
Since the Legion must prevent Roberto from reaching the plane in order to kill him, Alakhaï immediately summoned a Dark Symetry power: Call of Corruption. Any miniature ending its activation at 3ps or less to the black base can be injured. Combined with the Strategy Card Strangulation of Algeroth which makes any mini using more than one Action Point rolling for armor, the Brotherhood will start by walking slowly and cautionnously.
In the mean time, Necromutants get in the ruins to have good line of sight on the plane, and even draw first blood by killing a Trooper. Stalkers are blessed with a Genetic Reconstruction, a Gear Card which improves their already great armor.
Hidden in the woods (lower right corner), Mortificators disappear in the Void, waiting for the best time to strike the ennemy to the heart.
Alakhaï takes position close to the Jetfighter, decided to slaughter anyone fool enough to come, et summons again the Call of Corruption. On the same time, the Behemoth receives a Dark Blessing, a Gear Card improving its psychic defenses, highly useful against the powerful Brotherhood Psychics, and unload his ammos on an Inquisitor.
But the Inquisitor endures the shooting without sufferins any injuries, and then he and his brethren proceed to the execution of a Stalker. The second Stalker engages the Sacred Warriors in an attempt to block the Brotherhood front line.
Counting on the Call of Corruption to kill several Sacred Warriors, the Necrobeast Rider charge on to them to start the killing job. Unfortunately, none of its attacks will manage to pierce their awesome defense.
Since the Necrobeast is well handled by the Sacred Warriors, the Mortificators get out of the Void and take good position to storm on the Legion.
Several Necromutants are shot down by the Brotherhood forces.
And suddenly, everything falls. Forgetting to protect Roberto, the Brotherhood forces are not ready for the attack of the Stalkers storming from another dimension. A young Trooper tries to protect the pilot but is swiftly killed, before Roberto himself get cut in two parts by the Scythe of Semaï HMG
The Brotherhood answers to the death of their pilot with a zealous fury. Stalkers responsible for Roberto's death are slaughtered by the Inquisitors right away.
And Sacred Warriors slay down the foolish Stalker who thought he could stop them alone.
On the other side of the battlefield, their brothers are tearing to pieces the Necrobeast Rider, losing one them to the Call of Corruption.
Although victory is his, Alakhaï must now try to survive to savour it. He engages Mortificators, but their fury seems to know no limits, and the assassins manage to dodge almost every attack, losing only one of them to the hand of the Nepharite.
Remaining Mortificators not charged by Alakhaï destroy almost every Necromutants on their way with their Blessed Frag Grenades. The Behemoth decides to get in the game. However, disappointed by its Decimator Handcannon, he chooses to reap off some part of the building to bury the assassins under, killing one of them.
Elite troopes of the Brotherhood are ready to claim vengeance upon Alakhaï the Cunning...
... But most end up smashed under a rain of rock! Reacting quicker than everyone, the Behemoth reap off two big chunks of building with his four arms and smashes a Guardia Oblati, two Troopers and hurt an Inquisitor with it.
Unfortunately, it is not enough to save Alakhaï. Although the Nepharite endures combine assaults of the ennemy Warlord and his bodyguard, he ends up with the Mortis sword of a Mortificator through his back. Once again, the Brotherhood assassins honor their reputation of ultimate predators.
The behemoth will also end up dead, attacked by the remaining Mortificators but mostly shot by every weapon the Brotherhood had. Their forces don't hesitate to kill the brave Mortificators by friendly fire, determined to kill the beast whatever the cost. Someone will surely pay for that later...
We decided to stop at this point. Most of the Dark Legion forces are dead, but i still won by the objectives thanks to Roberto's death.
The game itself was great. Obviously not thanks to the scenarios which is extremely basic (you may say plain stupid..), far too hard for one side and easy for the other (and it could have been easier if i played Razides, who can shoot from far away without allowing any cover). Yet it could have been harder if Plum had been more careful with Roberto. He forgot to stick him with enough allies to take shots for him, and neglicted Sentry actions. But let's be honest, having to shoot one poor guy to win is just foolish. That's why we kept the game going after his death, we never counted on him to make the game last ^^
Nevertheless, we were able to see new units in action. Alakhaï the Cunning, former stupid close combat too expensive machine, is now quite cool: affordable (220 pts), tough (good armor, 5 wounds, ignore first wound each turn), he also have fun skills and a Psychi power. Not invincible, as every Warzone characters, but a good surprise. I'll enjoy fielding him in the future, which is good news since the new miniature is really beautiful and so will join my collection.
Behemoth is also playable now with its price downrised to 220 pts, and he is very funny to play with. Yet i'm still not sure if he's worth its points. His shootings are far from being as dangerous as its cost would mean to you. He probably deserve a second test though, since his close combat abilities seem interesting too. Maybe a good use of both is a way to use him. We'll see.
However, close combat Stalkers were as disappointing as expected (see what i did here ? ^^ ). Shooting version with Rapid Deploy is extremely expensive, but at least put pressure on your opponent big time, and are outrageously effective against heavy and expensive vehicules. Yet their effectiveness depends highly on your cards, since their dreaded flamers are effective only against vehicules, unless you draw the good card to bring death to infantry. Long story short, i'm still not sure they are worth the points.
On the Brotherhood side, we mostly took pleasure seeing Mortificators in the heart of action. Since their grenades are highly boosted against Legion, they usually just bomb away. This time they draw their swords to take the head of a Nepharite, much more serious! The ending against Alakhaï really surprised me, it was a very epic and cool moment.
Inquisitors are still great. Tough, hard hitting and versatile as hell, they may be the nastier unit in the army in my opinion.
Sacred Warriors are still good with their impenetrable armor of 14, but they are not the death roller they were with their 2 wounds. Cost was reduced to reflect that, but it is not the same unit any more. I think it is better this way, since they are only humans and basic troop unit after all. Moreover, they still hit hard and are more resilient than most.
Question remains about Guardia Oblati. Great caracteristics and skills, but still we never see them doing anything in particular. Feels like it's a very complicated unit to play effectively.
With this renewal of the army rules, Warzone is an even better game than it was. I find it very satisfying as a SF game in 28 mm: not too many minis, but yet some, big things, little things, strong rules and great universe and background. Nothing to grow tired of at the moment.