Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Legion Imperials First Battle and Thoughts

 I have found that when it comes to understanding a new game system, you can read the rules all you want but until you play it, it is hard to see how the pieces fit together. For this battle we used mostly the contents of the Legions Imperials (LI) starter box, both sides were approximately 900 points each. The game was played on a table 4 x 4ish, (the mat is a meter wide so deployment was done on and off the mat). The intent for this game was to try and forget as few rules a possible, we came close but certainly not perfect. This meant that deployment and the first round or two were quite slow but picked up quickly as rules became more familiar and the model count dropped. I was curious to see if garrisoning detachments in structures was worth the benefits, how fragile flyers were, and how robust titans really were.

Building lists in LI is quite straight forward. Armies are made of formations and formations are described pictorially and contain detachments. In modern terms detachments are platoons. Since the opposing forces were essentially drawn from the starter box there was little choice on what to take. It also forced the core detachments of formation to include all the supporting units. In hindsight, even if I had access to all the models I would still make combined core detachments. Since the owner of the detachment can choose what stands are removed the specialized units can be protected by their “normal” infantry units. Also, the specialized units became the anchor in close combat for the detachment but more on that later. The Solar Auxilla did make one detachment as small as possible (four stands) and the other core detachment twelve stands.

In addition to the core models we also used a Fire Raptor Gunship and two Questoris Knights for the marines. Also the marines took two battle tank detachments when their formation technically restricts them to one. The list building rule of having only 30% of your points on strategic assets (knights or titans) was also violated slightly for each list.

I have enjoyed the list building aspect to all GW games and I think this game is no exception there are quite a few choices to make, and your force can certainly be tailored in many ways. Maybe all the flyers form a single detachment to get the discount or does each formation take a few. This decision will effect a formations break point, when a detachment takes a moral check and also number of activations. In general I think large detachments are better, except for maybe flyers. The other choice is the weapon selection for your more powerful units. Some choices seem to be no-brainers, Vanquisher Cannon!, but weapon selection on Knights and Titans makes a huge difference on how the unit is employed.

The table was set up with one side mountains, then hills and urban terrain in the centre, and moving into a more open space. Both sides set up their armoured detachments in the open area and infantry in the urban centre with agile walkers preparing to move through the ravines. The mission was simple, break the enemy lines and steal one of the three objectives in the enemies deployment zone.

Round 1

In the first round the detachment orders were a nomination of march and advance. This is probably quite typical. The only exception would be if Titans were facing other Titans then I would definitely put the Titan on First Fire orders. In this game the Warhound had a Gravitation Gun and a Turbo-Laser. Since the Grav Gun has only a 30” range, medium range for titans but longer than most vehicle or infantry weapons, it advanced. In future games I think I would try and give Titans weapons with ranges that are 40 plus so they can reach most of the board from their deployment spot and spend the entire game on First Fire. In this game the hound got lucky as a large marine detachment (8 stands) occupied a building within range and the building was brought down with a single grav gun hit (most weapons can't do this but buildings are far from invulnerable) all but one marine stand was destroyed in the collapse. I don't think the shot had a lucky roll, just that the opportunity was lucky. Even through the fire raptor had advanced orders and could have deployed to the board, it chose not to since it could not get into the rear arc of its desired target, the armoured units. Every turn flyers moves onto the board from the deployment zone edge (including the small bit on the sides), and then removed in the end phase of each turn. This means that it would take two turns of an enemies advance before the Raptor could get rear shots on the tanks. Otherwise the armoured detachments blasted away at each other. Typically each main battle tank has a one dice primary weapon and possibly an anti tank secondary weapon. Each system hits on around 4+. The Leman Russ would save vs a lascannon on 3+ but the predators saved vs the vanquisher on a 5+, not to mention the range advantage of the vanquisher. Dice were on the marines side, one Predator and two Leman Russ were destroyed.

Round 2

In this round everyone left the buildings after seeing the destruction of the grav gun last turn. All the infantry continued the advance and the armoured detachments that were in position went on first fire as other detachments moved closer. The knights moved into a position to see the Warhound hoping to draw some fire. The maximum amount of damage this Warhound could do in a turn was only enough to kill a knight if it got perfect shots. This round the Raptor was able to get in behind the Solar Auxilla armoured detachments but only did a bit of damage to the heavily armoured tanks. The Solar Auxilla tanks however ripped the marine tanks to pieces since initiative allowed them to fire the first detachment in the First Fire phase and the first detachment in the Advanced Fire phase. As predicted the Warhound damaged but did not destroy a knight, unfortunately the sentinel detachment was able to sneak a missile through for the last point of damage. In this round the Warhound started taking shots and lost all of its void shield and took some damage. Also this round all but one of the marine tanks were wiped out by the Solar Auxila armour. The lone marine tank failed its moral check and was issued fall back orders.

Round 3

This round saw a lot of close combat with an Ogryn charge into the Contemptor dreadnoughts. The dreadnoughts managed to kill one with over-watch and was then engaged by the remaining three. The marine commander anticipated this and also charged in to the combat to fight beside the dreadnoughts. In the centre of the board the marine detachment (8 stands including 2 terminators) charged into the large (12 stand) detachment of Auxilla. While the Orgyns were defeated by the dreadnoughts it was only because of some lucky rolls and the presence of the commander. The marines and terminators were torn apart by the axe-wielding solar auxiliary, Veletarri, however managed to stand their ground because of the determination of the terminators. The standout ability in close combat is Rend, the extra d6 for the axe warriors and Ogryn completely offset the superior close assault factor (CAF) of the marines. 

 For shooting, the gunship took the two remaining wounds from the Warhound, thanks to the rear armour bonus, but after the Titan had destroyed the last knight, again with sentinel support. The Rapid Fire weapon attribute also seems powerful, it makes to-hit rolls of a 6 become two hits. This is powerful because when firing on over-watch or firing at flyers 6 are needed to hit anyway.

Round 4

Not much was left in this round the dreadnoughts tried to charge into combat to help the remaining terminators, one was shot by over-watch of the sentinels. Sentinels have 4 dice per stand against walkers and infantry, and since any detachment with first fire or advance orders can over-watch, even after they have moved the sentinels were able to move into a position to cover the Auxilla before the dreadnoughts charged. The gunship showed up again to try and kill the Auxiliary armour who had taken a marine objective but again failed to do significant damage (their armour is the same as the Warhound, but it was against their front armour). The dreadnought and commander were able to break the Solar Auxilla but only after the last terminator and marine stands were destroyed.

Round 5

Round 5 was played briefly but the victory was given to the Solar Auxilla as they were able to take one enemy objective and the marines were unable to get any.

Playing the game is the best way to learn a game. In Legion Imperials the infantry do feel like cannon fodder, fodder that can secure objectives. Tanks can be tailored to either infantry support with lighter weapons or for engaging other tank units with heavier weapons. Flyers darting onto and off the board feel like fast air and not hovercraft. The Titans are interesting, they are very powerful but even a stand of marines with heavy weapons can knock out void shields, and the Warhound did get destroyed. I think their advantage is the tremendous range on their weapons and their towering height. Structures are definitely a double edged sword providing great protection against most weapons and being an easy target for a few.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Alpha Strike Post 3. Do I have the Way


Is it ironic that heavy doses of salt create fertile soil for ideas? Another clever name for this post could be Fighting the System.  It seems that in my view of boardgames, as with much of my life, I demand that it unfold the way I see them being played out in my head.  Maybe you have just finished painting a beautiful centerpiece to your army, but it got vaporised immediately, maybe you only need to roll a certain, and likely, number but it never comes up, or maybe you don’t ever win initiative, not even one time, until you only have one mech left and everyone else still has multiple lances… argh….  Oh, I like to think the ideas in this article are mine, but I have read someone else’s article a while ago talking about how to deal with the vaunted double turn in AoS, it is a discussion on initiative as well.

Spoiler alert, I was the first of three to be eliminated in the latest game of BattleTech I played. I could blame the dice as I didn’t win the all-important initiative until it was too late.  Or I could admit I was playing the game I wanted to play in my head and not the game that was in front of me and governed by a set of written rules that my imagination couldn’t change.  I think in both of my recent posts I have mentioned, or alluded to, the disproportional importance of initiative.  But maybe I should have said, if you want to play aggressively you need initiative.  If you are going to storm the center of the board and be the first on the objective, it certainly helps to move last so that you can get the best arcs on your opponent or choosing to remain out of arc entirely.  If you don’t you will just move aggressively onto the objective and then watch the opposing mech take up ideal firing positions and tear you to pieces.

But what if you played defensively when you didn’t have the initiative?  Moving your mech forward slowly, keeping them in cover, keeping them with arcs that covered both the objective and the most likely place you opponent would move?  Letting the person with initiative go to the sole objective first…  By doing this you are mitigating the effect of loosing initiative and biding your time until you do get it, at which point you turn up the aggression with what forces you have left.  At least in games you can plainly see, even if you choose not to, who has the initiative and then you can decide your actions based on a fact. In real life you need to sense if you have the way, thankfully giant war robots aren’t real...

I am sure that with this approach sometimes you will bide your time, fight tooth and nail and just die. But I for one prefer to look back on a game like that and know I made the right decisions, so then I am fully justified in blaming the dice. 

As for the game itself.  It was a three player “capture the flag” scenario where the team that moved the objective token from the middle of the board back to their starting location would win the game.  The objective token could be carried without penalty but if two opposing mechs were in base-to-base contact with it one had to be destroyed before it could be moved.  This led to a fairly silly “Rings of Steel” situation.  The flag was also located on a hill with large structures to give the appearance of a defendable position.

All three of us had a rag tag assortment of mechs that we arranged into two lances each so that we could all begin with an equal number of activations.  And yes, this time I did look at my opponents lists, and I did destroy the Archer, Huzzah!!

To be honest, I was not the first at the objective but did charge a large mech onto it to tussle with another mech who had staked a claim.  After both mechs had been shot to pieces by every other mech the captured flag was placed within a well painted ring of steel, this did take a few turns as the rule was you had to stop once you contacted the flag.  The following turn the fastest mech of the bunch was able to scuttle off to victory.

BattleTech is growing on me, and maybe with time and experience I will be able to appreciate its subtleties.  But for now, I still consider it very beer and pretzels, which are wonderful as a mid-week distraction.  But most importantly, rolling dice on a table with quality scenery, beautiful miniatures, and friends you can banter with is never a bad evening.  Oh, and this one player did use a death from above attack, and it worked….

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Alpha Strike Post 2

Sometimes it takes a while to get your thoughts down on paper. Several weeks ago, I had my second game of Battle Tech Alpha Strike.  This time we each took a Battle Group (BG) comprising of two lances and a command mech.  For this game we tried the Command and Control (C2) rules as well as allowed mechs to improve their pilot skill.  Both BGs were close to 300 points.  We played the C2 a bit different from the rule book, we limited the range of the inter-mech communication to 12” and each lance was its own network that couldn’t talk to an allied lance, the commander could choose a network if they were in range. Both BGs had the same C2 networks.  We didn’t play a scenario, but hope to do it next time, this was just a “learn the rules” slug fest. 

For our deployment we both set up one lance in the center and one lance on our respective rights.  During the battle, my opponent consolidated his forces and was able to focus fire with his entire BG effectively against one of my lances at a time.  I began a right flanking with my light lance, and tried to support by fire with my other, heavier, lance from the terrain in the center. My flanking was unsuccessful, as I did not commit.  When they should have closed with the enemy, to get into their blind spots, they moved out of the line of fire. While the light lance gained some concealment from the terrain, they were not in a good position to damage the enemy until the end game when it was too late.  The lesson learned is likely that (cheap) mechs with low damage, short range weapons benefit tremendously from the additional damage when attacking into the back of an enemy mech and really should get stuck in no matter the cost.  If they are tasked with a harassing screen, they will not cause enough damage to force the enemy to react.  While I was not tabled it was convincing victory for my opponent, I would attribute it to their ability to select and maintain an aim (even if it was to methodically destroy one mech at a time) and their list building (we will get to this later).

If you are unaware of the C2 rule; essentially you take the range modifier of the closet mech in the network to the target.  This rule combined with damage being resolved at the end of the turn allows you to hang a mech out to dry and reap huge benefits for the rest of the lance.  The effect can be quite powerful, but I don’t think the rule is broken as long as both sides have equal access to the ability.  I feel it just speeds up the game with every mech hitting more often.

Know your enemy.  My opponent had glass cannons that I was not targeting, I should have looked closely at their list and figured out a target priority.  One nice thing about Alpha Strike is it is very easy to get the gist of an opponents list.  Essentially you compare hit points to damage of all the mechs separately.  The mechs that do the most damage with the fewest hit points should be the ones on top of the target priority list. During the game I was constantly surprised by how his mechs of a similar type, but different variant had better guns than mine, it wasn’t until the end that I realized they had generally less hit points. It does seem that a lance of 50% glass cannons and 50% brutes would synergize well with the C2 construct.

Initiative is still king. While there are several valuable game wide factors to consider, initiative seems to be at the top of the list. Once mechs get close, and because you can turn a mech as much as you want while it moves, initiative becomes king.  Moving out of arc provides a clear advantage and if you can pull it off with a big gun you will have a distinct advantage.  Since initiative is an unmodified roll off it essentially comes down to chance.  Some special rule allows mechs to shoot and resolve damage during movement, combat intuition.  In our game only one mech had this ability so it wasn’t a huge factor, but it was able to knock out a mech before shooting in the middle of the battle.  However, if an entire side had this ability, it could be an NPE.

Battle Tech Alpha strike is a fast and accessible game that has a rich universe perfect for narrative campaigns.  Are there ambiguous rules that need more than the normal amount of good behavior from both sides, I am not sure but probably not more then any of the common wargames.  Certainly, there are a few broken special rules but nothing pre-tournament guidance from a TO couldn’t fix.  If one were to play this competitively, I would have mild reservations about competitive Alpha Strike.  I think the narrative feel of the game would benefit from mechs having less armour and more structural points so that critical damage would have a bigger impact, however this would lead to slightly more bookkeeping and another area where variance could possibly spoil the experience, detonating ammo.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Alpha Strike Post 1

Forgive me reader for I have sinned, it has been 11 months since last I posted.  But I have a good reason, I have moved to a new country and am building a new group, I hope it's possible to mitigate sins? 

Battletech Alpha Strike is a streamlined version of the classic Battletech, which I believe is called Total War as a differentiator.  For me, Battletech’s weight, as a game, is very similar to Full Thrust, see previous post.  While the mechanics are different, I think the granularity of the rules are similar, with basic core rules augmented by special rules that go for as far as the eye can see.  As well, the model count is approximately the same for a similar game length.  As far as other giant robot games go Alpha Strike is quite like Adeptus Titanicus but all the aspects (move, shooting, robot bookkeeping) are all about half as in-depth in Alpha Strike.  However, neither match Total War.   I am not sure which one I like better as a game.  I think AT has the right amount of crunch for me, sitting between the two Battletechs.  But, as far as real-world cost goes Battletech is about 1/5th the price.  And you don’t need to wait for them to re-release tanks and aerial units because they are all already in the game as optional rules!! Also, because the detail on the models is less they are perfect for printing.

The game we played was a 4-player free for all, something I have never done with AT.  Two of us were brand new and after setup the game took just under two hours (4 mechs each, which is very small) and we were just churning through the turns once you got the hang of calculating target numbers for shooting.


Because Alpha Strike is “Simultaneous” i.e. damage only takes effect in the end phase and movement is alternating (there is an initiative roll, which does become important) it is quite easy to integrate multiple players.


Since it was the first game for half of us, we did not play with all the special rules that the mechs had. So missiles could not choose warheads or shoot indirect, and we didn't worry about heat. In our game we were simply trying to be the player with the last mech standing, with verbal alliances being made and broken constantly. It was alot of fun, and swingy with me loosing three of my mechs off the hop but then sticking it out with a very small and fast mech to the end.


Essentially this boiled down to the last person who moved would try to sneak around the back of the other remaining Mechs and into their blind spots (there is no movement cost for a facing change in Alpha Strike). This also led to the very cheesy situation of sliding down the sidelines, used by those of us not interested in having a good time J


Rules are not the clearest and I am sure that some concept are described by more than one key word and never explicitly linked.  I think when they simplified the Total War rules they made some parts extraneous.  Perhaps like heat and fighting.  It never seems worth it to voluntarily gain heat and a flame weapon seems like it would be really annoying. That said, mechs that can over charge their weapons by gaining heat do seem to cost more.  Close combat seems always riskier then just shooting at short range, even when jumping.  Also, I am very new at the game and perhaps there are special rule synergies we missed out on.  I can see heat being useful when you are playing a run and gun list where mechs overheat and then take cover the next turn, and close combat might simply be an act of last resort once your primary weapons have been destroyed.


I am looking forward to playing in a more narrative style and slowly including more of the special rules.  There do seem to be some neat command and control mechanics where mechs can acquire target solutions for other members in their lance (team) making it easier for other mechs at longer ranges to hit. There is also a mechanic for jockeying the mechs, taking successive hull-down positions each (other?) turn. Hopefully this will be explored in the next post.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Brotherhood and Unity Review?

 Hello readers, it has been a while since my last post.  I must say that having any readers at all makes me feel quite special, so thank you.  It is too bad I don’t know how to turn on comments but I don’t think I am actually the administrator to this blog.  Someone just gave me a key a while ago and forgot to change the locks… Anyway, since my last post I have moved houses and in fact moved countries.  Luckily I know people in my new town so I have another group to play with.  They are more board gamers than miniature gamers but I suspect some of them can be turned!

About a week ago we played a board game called Brotherhood and Unity.  It is a classic style cardboard units on a hex map (there are no hexes but operational objectives) game, perhaps a great uncle of the miniature games I now enjoy. As you can guess from the photos it is about the war that broke up the former Yugoslavia, focusing on Bosnia.  And that is the reason for this post.  I will review the game, which does have cool mechanics and historic value, but I really want to think about how I should play games that actually represent human suffering and, in this case, documented war crimes.

So, about those mechanics….  At its core this is an area control war game, expanding your control increases your victory points.  At the end of the game victory points are modified by the different nation’s special rules and the winner is the player with the most points.  All of the units on the map represent military units.  They each have a combat power, defensive value, and road move value.  The combat mechanic is simple, units that are going to engage in battle may move one location, think of it as a tactical move and not an administrative road move, then combat values of both the attackers and defenders are summed and each player roles a die and adds terrain effects which determines the combat multiplier that is then multiplied by the combat value (sounds complicated but if you can multiply by 1.5 you will do fine J). This final value represents the total damage inflicted, the enemy then subtracts the defensive value of one of its units (this unit is damaged and then flipped or removed).  This process is repeated until the combat value is too small to subtract a whole defensive value. To be honest I like it, it plays fast and has sufficient granularity for the operational level.  It also means that, often, when small groups fight each other nothing happens.  Combat is spiced up a bit by a nation specific hand of cards that each player gets.

Bigger picture, the game has four “Turns” each turn the players get a new hand of cards and new nation specific special rules.  The turns consist of the players playing their cards sequentially (which activates military units) until they are out of cards, then the next turn begins. 

I do think the game has historic value.  The place names are accurate and the setup is a good approximation of the war in its early stages.  Also, the cards have special rules on them that represent things that actually happened, all be it in a different order. Sadly, this historic setting does provide pretty big railroads so re-play-ability is limited, if I had to guess, after ten games it would start to repeat. There is also a pan game mechanic that represents international opinion and yes the Serbs can get bombed by NATO but in the game the Croats could as well.

So back to my question.  How should I play a game like this?  Should a disclaimer be read at the beginning to all players that states this game represents an actual war and then provide some details on the war crimes that were committed by all parties to raise awareness and not minimise the human tragedy? Should the game not be played at all?  Is it okay for one player to giggle after another player attacks a UN safe zone in order to efficiently gain victory points to then be bombed by NATO because their token has reach the end of the international tolerance track? I do prefer fictitious themes, as it allows me to forget about the real world and just roll dice.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Dead Man's Hand - Thoughts

Yesterday my good friend introduced me to a skirmish game called Dead Man's Hand.  I found it to be a fast paced and engaging game.  It has a very thematic Wild West setting, that pits rival gangs against each other in situations reminiscent of your favorite western.  Thanks in part to all the great scenery my friend has (but hasn't painted :) ), it is very easy to imagine your gang members crashing through saloon windows or unloading their shot guns at point blank range, and the random activation using playing cards are great!

The main mechanic I had not seen before is the random activation of the models.  At the start of each turn one card is drawn by each player and then assigned to one gang member face down, the rest of the gang members are dealt face down cards.  The cards then get flipped and the gang member assigned the highest card gets to activate first.  Activation is easy, choose three; move, shoot, aim, reload (clear a jam), charge, heal?,  etc.. It is a very fast mechanic and after the first turn I was off and running.  Between each turn there is also a random western themed event. like distractions form the saloon, creates of money, or grumpy sheriffs. 

In the first game, my group of Apaches were rescuing a friend who had been sent to the gallows, while my opponent was the gang that brought in the guilty party and was determined to see justice served.  We finished it in about an hour and then my warriors were onto their second mission of busting a friend out of jail. Which raises the question, who were these Apaches hanging out with? 

If I were to have a critique, I would say that in the basic rules that we played variance was a big factor and there was little a player could do to mitigate a bad roll.  It is my understanding that if you play with the actual playing cards designed for the game then there are special rules written on each card (some cards are kept in your hand) and these special rules can modify the dice.

Anyway, shooting is done with a D20 and fighting is done by comparing D10 rolls of the attacker and defender.  There are ways to modify the rolls, so aiming gives you a plus one, every shot after the first is a minus one (this is cumulative), each "wound" that a player has is a minus one. So on occasion the modifiers do add up, but often it is a 50/50 chance of success, which is fine but it did feel a little fluky in the two games we played.

Something that this game did have some of but could have more of, is interacting with terrain or bodies of gang members.  I think it would be really cool if you could grab an improvised weapon if fighting in a saloon or take the Winchester from the limp body of a deputy.  Since the basic mechanics are so elegant I really think this would be easy to incorporate. After all you do track shots and have to reload, this doesn't slow the game down at all.

The next day my kids ask if we could invent a board game, and I decided to try and mimic Dead Man's Hand.  It turned out to be very easy and fun for the kids (11 and under).  We found some toys from the computer game "Among Us" and set up a space ship with card board buildings from an old infinity starter set.  The Among Us models worked great, they were approximately 28 mm and they were also stamps!! To keep track of the damage and equipment of each crew member we used a sheet of paper that the kids wrote their character's names on and stamped them so we wouldn't forget.  During the game they also drew skulls on the character sheets to track damage.  In the game each team of three had to run around the spaceship doing tasks, but could also shoot at each other if they got close enough.

the kids seemed to enjoy the game.  I think they really liked the fast pace, dealing the cards to their crew mates and especially drawing on their character sheets.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Adeptus Titanicus – Battle Report 2

It has been along time but I have finally got another game in that was worth writing about, and not because I won. But, because it was a fun game with some useful observations that I wish to write down, and I got some pictures.

My friend and I decided to play a 1500 point game. It was a basic game with no scenario or special skills for princeps or legions. My list was chosen based on the warlord weapon sprue I got in the mail recently, giving me a Titanic Power Glove and Sunfury Plasma Annihilators. As well as my kit bashed Gatling Blaster that I am quite happy with. My maniple was two warlords, a Reaver, and a few knights. One Warlord was going to be the fire support, equipped with carapace missiles, Volcano Cannon, and Sunfury and the other warlord was the assault titan with the power glove, Gatling Blaster and carapace mounted Turbo Lasers.

The support titan is, in my mind, the work horse titan of this maniple. It will sit on the edge of the board firing all of its guns, hopefully out of range of the enemy titans. The banner of knights was also going to hang around this titan and provide a bit of a screen if enemy skirmishers got to close. It was given an oath banner to improve the resolve of the knights and the tracking gyros for the missiles so that they had a better arcs, because first fire orders don't let you turn...

The other warlord was the core of the assault force. This one was going to stomp down the middle of the board with a Reaver in support and hopefully get a chance to charge something it could crush with its glove. The power glove is very strong but since the warlord is so slow it can easily be avoided. I also gave this titan the Turbo Lasers and the Gatling Blaster, I don't know what it is but Gatling Blasters are my favourite weapon. They are kind of jack-of-all trades, but when enemy titans start taking damage and their armour weakens the number of dice with each shot from the Macro Gatling allows you to effectively aim your shots for a killing blow. I also gave this titan the Bastion of Shielding as I was anticipating this one to be the priority target of my enemy.

The Reaver would follow in close support and hopefully not be the enemies priority target. It had a Melta Cannon, Reaver Gatling, and Turbo Lasers, this load-out put is a general purpose load out giving it a preferred engagement range between 8 and 24 inches.

My opponent took his newest model, a Warmaster with Plasma Destructors. This titan is monstrous. Despite having almost zero flexibility in the load-out the standard weapons are devastating and the titan's toughness is impressive (at least on paper). The enemy force also had an expensive nemesis with the Quake, Volcano, and Melta Cannon. The Reaver had a power fist, carapace Turbo Lasers and Melta, clearly this one was going to be his assault force.

The deployment saw my opponent concentrate his forces in the centre and I split my forces to set up a flanking

Turn One. Too Much First Fire. In the first turn my opponent's Reaver moved aggressively towards my support Warlord and my assault force moved slowly towards his titans concentrating their firing arcs on the Nemesis. The other Titans all had first fire orders. Unfortunately since I had more units to activate and was activating second, once his Warmaster had orders I was able to move out of arc/range of the Warmaster's missiles and cannons. The firing this turn had voids on either side get knocked down but no major damage.

Turn Two 2 Focused Fire Kills the Reaver. While there was a bitter exchange on one side of the table, with the Nemesis and the Reaver collapsing their void shields and some damage getting through the big fight was on the other side. Unfortunately my opponent's Reaver (The blue one) did not have sufficient fire power to damage the Warlord and the combined fire of the warlord and knights, over two turns, was enough to destroy the Reaver only loosing one knight in the exchange. In hindsight The Reaver's load-out was too specialized to be operating independently and it was likely doomed the moment it set out across the city unsupported, even if the dice didn't help.

Turn Three. Nemesis and my Reaver die. In this turn both the Nemisis and my Reaver were destroyed in the firefight on the other side of the city. My Reaver was obliterated by the shear power of the Warmaster and his Nemesis fell to the targeted shots of the Macro Gatling Blaster and Turbo Lasers against the Nemesis's damaged leg My support titan was able to turn and provide missile support as well as some good void saves meant that my assault warlord was unscathed. The two remaining knights in the banner were also able to get to 9” from the Warmaster, perfect for charging.

Turn Four. Charge!! Charges in Adeptus Titanicus are devastating, if they get within 2 inches, not only does one melee attack happen in the movement phase and by pass voids they also get one more attack dice for each 3 inches of moment the titan makes. Also, the Warmaster stood still and took First Fire orders, in hindsight stepping backwards so my warlord could not reach and so that the knights didn't charge as far would probably have been a better choice. However, the Warmaster chose first fire, and did get a shot with the Plasma Destructor, it collapsed the Warlords void shields but that wasn't enough to stop the warlord getting it's fist in the Warmaster's face and allowed the knights to make a text book charge to the rear of the titan. The combined might of the power fist, knight melee weapons and the extra attacks for the charge distance all targeting the Warmaster's head were sufficient to kill the Warmaster before the end of the movement phase, and that was that.


Concentrating then diverging your forces is not as effective and as splitting and then converging your forces, the later requires thought and good timing. I was able to achieve an over-match on one side of the city and on the other I got lucky due to range and arc miscalculations, as well as dice. I think if the Nemesis had been supporting my opponents Reaver and the Warmaster blasted away at my assault titan from a safe distance the battle would have gone the other way.

Servitors are always busy. In my limited experience with this game it seems your servitors will always be busy venting plasma and repairing damage. Anything you can take to help these mechanics out will pay dividends in the battle, like Bastion of Shielding.

Carapace weapons have crummy arcs and poor short range engagement. I think the tracking gyros are a must include even if they pretty much double the cost of the weapons.

Firing sequence depends on if the target is shielded or not. With shields you fire from low strength to high strength and when shields are down you fire from high strength to low strength.

I think the to hit modifiers for cover in Adeptus Titanicus need a review. A half obscured Warmaster is more difficult to hit then three knights bounding across the field even though half a Warmaster presents a much larger target. They probably need something like if you can see less than a 20mm stand worth of the model it is -2...

Oh and knights are annoying, don't forget about them. Thanks for reading, I need to paint some scenery :(