I played a new game of Showers of Blood this past week (see rules here). The idea for this scenario was to play a game seen from "higher up" (larger, or perhaps smaller in scale) so that virtual "stands" would be necessary to represent groups of "figures." I adjusted the distances in the rules, though after I played I realized I could've just made the ruler smaller, since I'm playing in PowerPoint and can do that sort of thing.
The scenario was inspired by a manga I read recently about pirates and mercenaries fighting each other (see my recent review here). Mercs would be attacking my pirates, and I just had to help the pirates survive (I could've just as easily played as the mercs and had the same result). I had a nice image of a locks area to use as a virtual table from the Ghost Recon video games, and JuniorGeneral.org provided perfect 2- and 3-man stands as well as vehicles. The pirates had an unmanned truck parked near the boat that they could use to escape, as well as a motorcycle parked on the boat, while the mercs had an M706 armored car and a HindD helicopter. The pirates also had a TOW anti-armor weapon.
To make the game last longer, I let the mercs be elite and the pirates be super elite, so that both sides would take a lot of damage before they'd be neutralized. And the pirates would be more likely to initiate each turn and to opportunity fire.
Here's the setup with the pirates on the boat (left) and the mercs on the right.
In turn 1, the mercs initiated the turn, but before the chopper could fire, I allowed the pirates' TOW team to opportunity fire. They damaged it a little, and the chopper did them some damage in turn. The chopper then turned its fire on the pirate leader's 3-man unit, causing significant damage. The mercs drove their armored car near the pirates' truck to destroy it, doing a ton of damage.
The pirates left the boat to try and make their escape. Their leader's squad moved behind the truck for cover, hoping to get inside. But the mercs in the armored car opp fired and did them a great deal of damage, bringing them to half strength (one of the pirates must've been taken out of the fight). The pirates weren't able to do much harm to the mercs' vehicle at this point.
One of the pirates had left the boat on the motorcycle, and he moved to engage several mercs who were approaching the boat on foot. Unfortunately, they were ready for him and nearly killed him before he could get a shot off. He did them a little damage, too.
In turn 2, the pirates initiated, and the biker got himself to safety after firing wildly with his pistol and missing. The TOW team moved forward to get in better range to hit the chopper. They fired another missile and did major damage to it, but it was still flying. It fired back and hurt one of the TOW's crew.
More pirates moved forward to engage the armored car, and one of them must've had some kind of mine or something, because they were able to reduce the car to half strength, receiving only a slight wound in kind. The pirate leader team kept pounding on the vehicle, doing it even more damage. The mercs inside the car were unharmed and kept returning fire before getting out. But before they could get out, the pirate leader team unexpectedly destroyed the armored car during a return fire phase, negating the merc leader squad inside! This was a huge positive swing for my pirates.
The mercs on foot kept moving forward, and one group came into view of the lead pirate team and the truck. The pirates couldn't opp fire. The mercs had a choice of targeting the pirate leader team or the truck that was giving them cover. I figured in real life they would probably try to destroy the truck, so I had them throw a grenade, which did indeed destroy it and caused damage to the pirate leader team behind it.
Meanwhile, the chopper kept targeting the pirate TOW team and reduced them to half strength (probably took out the loader). The chopper lost strength too, maybe representing overheated guns or pilot exhaustion or something. I choose to trivialize such details, which is one reason I created these rules.
In turn 3, the mercs initiated and moved forward to finish off the pirate leader team. They opp fired, doing some damage. The mercs' return fire missed, but their active fire nearly ended the pirate leader (the leader himself was probably the only one left standing on that stand). More mercs moved in to take on the healthier pirates, which put them in LoS of the TOW gunner, too. Both pirate units opp fired, doing tremendous damage to the merc stand. The mercs missed on both return and active fire.
Meanwhile, the chopper kept on firing at the TOW team, doing yet more damage, and their return fire nearly took it out of the sky.
On the pirates' activation, their healthiest group was able to finish off the forward merc team, while the TOW gunner finally brought down the chopper (probably using small arms at this point). The pirate leader himself, barely standing, decided to move to safety so he could still direct his crew.
In turn 4, the mercs initiated and activated their last surviving unit. They fired at the healthiest pirates and damaged them severely. The return fire missed.
The pirates activated everything they had left, which wasn't a lot. The stand that had just taken a big blow active fired, causing small damage. The return fire missed. The TOW gunner moved into LoS. The mercs failed to spot him in time, and he reduced them to half strength with his pistol. The return fire missed again.
Since return fire was missing a lot at this point due to low unit strengths, I took a chance and moved my nearly dead leader and motorcycle stands in LoS simultaneously. The mercs had no cover against the biker, and they failed to opp fire. My nearly dead pirates were able to finish off the last merc unit. My gambit paid off. (I would add another picture here, but the forum only allows five).
While the losses to my pirates were extremely heavy, interestingly I didn't lose a single stand except for the unmanned truck. Each stand still had someone standing. Through careful tactics I used them to take out every one of the mercs.
This was a fantastic scenario in terms of balance, and what more can you ask when you never know which way the game might go until the very end. It was really fun.
This game also proved that you can kill a chopper even though it's nearly always in LoS of all your units with these rules. That's good to know. I only had one anti-armor weapon, and though it took three turns, it did the trick. It helped that I never needed it against the armored car, which was lucky.
1989 - PRESENT AD
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