Tomorrow’s War: Operation Snakepit
Once again, Josh and I had the day off, and so with snow in the forecast, we decided to sneak in a quick game of Tomorrow's War. We used our previous scenario as the jumping-off point for this battle.
Colony World: Fornacis III
Area: New Tupelov
Following their decisive victory in New Tupelov’s urban core, the Subathi empire has begun redeploying its heavy weapons in preparation for a long-expected seige of the city by Terran armored divisions. Sensing an opportunity, the Thunderbolts mercenary army, operating under its own agenda, has prepared an ambush along one of these resupply corridors, hoping to catch the Subathi off-balance and inflict a devastating defeat. A setback here would give the Terrans an opening for their massed assault -- and it would serve the Thunderbolts’ own strategic purposes.
In game terms, the Subathi empire (represented by Josh's shiny Tau figures) had to escort a deactivated heavy weapon battle suit across a long table into a designated resupply zone on the other end of the table. My mercenary army, Colonel Markham's Thunderbolts, would attempt to ambush the escort and destroy the heavy weapon suit. Here's the battlefield (the bunker on the far end of the table represents Josh's destination):
The big rocky bluff in the center of the table proved to be an interesting terrain piece. It was large enough that it completely blocked line of sight across the table, effectively turning the battlefield into two smaller avenues and forcing Josh to choose a route through the broken ruins of New Tupelov.
(The awesome latex mat is from Zuzzy and I just finished painting it for Josh. Hopefully we'll see it again soon in games to come!)
We added a few new tweaks to this game. Josh kept the initiative the entire game, which meant that my Thunderbolts could only react to his actions as per the Tomorrow's War rules. Also, his Subathi had shield drones that generated a forcefield around his heavy weapon suit. I could target and destroy the shield drones, but that proved difficult and costly as the game wore on.
Josh's opening moves sent his guys around the right flank, seizing some ruins and laying down covering fire with some of his Subathi warriors. These initial maneuvers proved very effective, as it hampered my ability to move across the battlefield and respond to his flanking move. Here are two photos of a typical engagement from the opening turns of the game: my guys moving from cover and getting caught out in the open!
Oh crap! Run guys!
Eventually I slogged my way through Josh's firepower and deployed a couple fireteams on the rocky bluff in the center of the table. These guys spent the rest of the game lurking in the wooded hills, firing on Josh's shield drones as they tried to move across the table with their heavy weapon suit.
Josh's reinforcements arrived on turn 2, and he sent them up the left flank, which I had been busily evacuating so I could focus on the right flank. Oops! I had a couple fire teams on the left side of the board, so I put them into cover in the ruins of New Tupelov and prepared to return fire.
These figures are from Pig Iron's Heavy Infantry range and they're absolutely fantastic -- chunky, mid-tech near future warriors with appropriately sized weapons and a lot of character.
Shortly after I took this photo, a squad of Subathi warriors shot this fireteam to pieces, leaving only wounded, moaning troops lying in the dust. While the battle raged on the other side of the table, Josh sent a squad to capture my wounded mercenaries -- no doubt to give us a reason for a follow-up game! Here's the capture:
Across the table, I was doing a pretty good job of throwing roadblocks into Josh's path. In one notable engagement, he sent a squad of Subathi warriors charging into a mercenary squad that was already weakened by casualties. In a miraculous turn of events, the mercenaries rallied, fought off the Subathi, and proceeded to annihilate the opposing squad to a man.
As the game entered its final turns, I was finally able to shoot down a few of those pesky shield drones, thus exposing Josh's heavy weapon suit.
But my fireteams were out of position and I was only able to get off a few rounds of fire before we reached out turn limit. We actually played 1 turn beyond our limit because it was clear that Josh was on the verge of victory. And indeed, with his Subathi warriors providing covering fire, the heavy weapon suit marched into the resupply zone and secured the win.
Look, here's weapon suit. He's the one with missiles for hands. He's dancin'!
Once again we had a very enjoyable game of Tomorrow's War. With both players now pretty experienced, our games have begun to hum along quite smoothly. Josh and I agreed that the next game would be an all-out assault to free the captive mercs, so stay tuned for that one in the near future!
-- Patrick, Chicago Skirmish Wargames club member, with photos by Josh