Tomorrow’s War: The Slums of New Tupelov
Since we both had the day off on Monday, Josh and I met up at his house for another game of Tomorrow's War. We both enjoyed our first game back in October and were eager to add some tactical depth to this upcoming game. Here's the scenario we sketched out:
The Slums of New Tupelov
Colony World: Fornacis III
Area: New Tupelov
New Tupelov, long prized for its position overlooking the primary spaceport on Fornacis V, has been the scene of low-intensity urban fighting between the expeditionary elements of the Subathi empire and the Terran heavy infantry. During a brief lull, a squad of heavy infantry was able to deploy a heavy anti-infantry cannon to cover a key approach used by the Subathi to move soldiers and material in and out of New Tupelov. Within days this strongpoint was responsible for the destruction of three reinforced platoons. Subathi expeditionary command quickly drew up plans for a coordinated assault against the strongpoint and the additional Terran squads presumed to be operating in the area. Shortly before twilight, Subathi pathfinders deployed into the slums to find and destroy their well-hidden enemy.
Yes, this is a homebrew sci-fi setting. In my mind it's a non-grimdark, near-future universe where a race like the Subathi (represented by Josh's newly painted Tau) are obviously high-tech compared to the Terrans, which still use advanced slugthrowing rifles and missile launchers and whatnot.
We set up a nice, cluttered tabletop -- a must for Tomorrow's War, because most weapons can shoot the entire length of the table and are only blocked by intervening terrain. A squad of planetary defense militia (represented by ShockForce tac troopers) occupied the central bunker with their heavy cannon. Here they are, peeking out from behind their fortifications.
Nearby I had deployed a few fireteams of Terran heavy infantry -- these guys have better arms and armor compared to the planetary defense militia, so they would be tasked with defending their dug-in comrades as the battle developed. These figures are Warzone plastics with converted heads from Pig Iron.
On the other side of the battlefield, Josh deployed his Subathi warriors. The paint was barely dry on these guys and we were very excited to get them onto the battlefield. He fielded fireteams of warriors, heavy weapon suits, and assault drones.
And with that, we started the game! This was a nighttime raid, so remember to imagine all of this happening on a dimly lit battlefield punctuated by muzzle flashes and explosions.
As we've reported in past battle reports, Tomorrow's War uses an innovative reaction system that allows fireteams to interrupt each other as they maneuver around the battlefield. It's a lot of fun and keeps both players on their toes (even though we haven't quite ironed out all the bugs in the rules).
As Josh committed his forces to assault the bunker, I cautiously deployed my reserves to anticipate his maneuvers. He took note of this and began a series of actions that ultimately outflanked me by the end of the game. Oh well! Here are my guys moving through the slums.
Cover was abundant, and both sides took advantage of the battlefield as they exchanged fire. Josh's Subathi had weaker armor but they were higher-tech, so they had an advantage over the Terran infantry.
In particular, his drones proved to be a bit overpowered. I gave them laser support weapons, which were just devastating against my lower-tech infantry troopers. And the drones were in groups of two, which effectively doubled their firepower. I think in the future we'll give them regular lasers and run them as singles, rather than groups. It was a lot of fun to try out all the rules for robotic drones, though.
We had rules in the scenario that allowed Josh to use his heavy weapon suits to attempt to breach the bunker, and let me tell you -- Tomorrow's War is brutal on troops defending a bunker! They get a nice cover bonus, but the breach attempt counts as an attack so they must make a damage roll against it! Despite that, it took Josh several turns of "knocking on my door" before the whole thing came crashing down around me.
Here's the destroyed bunker.
By that point, my squads had been decimated and Josh was pulling off a very nice flanking maneuver, so I wisely decided to concede. Also, I had forgotten to deploy my orbital artillery (one of the special rules given to the Terrans in the scenario) which no doubt contributed to my defeat. The Subathi empire won the day in the slums of New Tupelov, but the Terran heavy infantry was still a threat!
-- Patrick, Chicago Skirmish Wargames club member