Games played: WarEngine and In the Emperor’s Name
Last week's game night saw two events being run concurrently: a WarEngine scenario hosted by Mike, and a guncrawl game run by Tim at an adjacent table. Tim used the 40k-lite skirmish ruleset In the Emperor's Name for his scenario.
I had a chance to play through both scenarios in about 3 hours. In the WarEngine game, we decided on the spot to make use of the excellent 2-story warehouse terrain piece that Karl had brought in. We plopped it in the center of the table, put a tank inside and said that both sides were racing to claim to vehicle for themselves.
The photo below shows how close my scavengers (from Pig Iron's Kolony Ferals line) got to the tank before being thrown back by the opposing troopers.
The game was a bit of a bloodbath for me. Both Mike and I concluded that WarEngine tends to play best at around 2,000 points per side, which is generally a far larger game than our club plays. In WarEngine, 2,000 points per side is at least 20 models per player. For this game, we played 1,000 points per side, and consequently we just didn't get a very robust experience in terms of mobility and morale. It was just too small for the game's rather epic firepower mechanics.
Karl also ran his Void Junkers through the same scenario. Here are a few pics from his foray. Note the sandrunners...they devastated their enemies, but then one fell to enemy fire, and subsequently fell off the table and broke. Karl decided to put the stricken sandrunner back on the table where he died, hence this photo.
Over at the other table, Tim had set up a bunch of interlocking floor tiles taken from the Doom board game for his guncrawl. To my surprise, he had written a short bit of fluff that set the scenario in our Galactic Frontier setting, which was completely awesome and really helped set the scene for me as a player. In the game, a handful of Terran troopers were investigating a derelict stellar wreck (or space hulk, if you'd prefer) which was infested with bugs. Here are Karl (left) and Tim prior to the start of the game.
Tim is developing this scenario to maybe run at a convention one day, so we played it less like a by-the-book battle and more like a competitive brainstorming session. We both suggested new ideas and modified existing elements on the fly. I particularly liked the inclusion of one-time-use batteries carried by the troopers. These batteries could be used to open doors, activate various utility robots scattered throughout the ship, or attempt to download sensitive information from the ship's mainframe computer. The Terrans received only 10 batteries at the start of the game, so they became a precious resource that had to be shepherded throughout the scenario.
I found that I really liked In the Emperor's Name. The ruleset is solid and the gameplay is fast. I also love that it's a fan-made supplement that appears to be supported by an engaged group of players. The average game calls for 6 to 10 models per side — almost exactly the same amount as Song of Blades & Heroes — so I predict we'll dig deep into this ruleset for sci-fi skirmish.
— PatrickWR, Chicago Skirmish Wargames club member