Monday, 26 September 2016

Zone Mortalis - Battle Report

This was a fight to take control of the Imperial Fists Frigate the New Dawn. A boarding assault was conducted by Bjorn Hammerwacker (sorry Dave couldn't remember his name! Edit: that wasn't his name, but it sounds cool so I'll roll with it... Dave) and his spear-tip force of wolfy space marines!

This was our first game of Zone Mortalis and as a result of spending time chatting about how much we liked narrative gaming when we met up earlier we came up with a decent spin on one of the Blood in the Void missions from HH Book III. The mission type was called wrecker and we selected to enact an assault on the bridge of a frigate. Dave wanted to attack (not typical at all of the wolfy fellows eh?) and so I obliged by setting up in defence of an Imperial Fist bridge.

The deployment saw the Imperial Fists take one board quarter (3ft x 4ft board) and the VIth Legion take the opposite one. The game itself indicated we should be dividing our forces into reserves, but we decided we wanted to just get bloody quickly and to engage full forces in a corridor jamming frenzy! So reserves were dispensed with.

However, the game was to start tensely with 'blip counters'. Remember the colonial marines in Aliens tensely scanning and seeing 'multiple' threat signals. Well we re-enacted this (its in the rules as an option to do this) by placing poker chips with a number on them down on the board instead of our units. My units were red and Dave's were white and we set up in our opposing quarters.

The units represented by the chips would not be revealed until they came within line of sight of another poker chip. We also added another twist, only half the 'blips' were real, the others were ghost signals created by the extreme radiation of a nearby star (Edit: it wasn't a star, the leaky radiation was down to the Imperial Fists' poor maintenance regime, not that they'll admit to it! Dave).

This created a cautious and tense start to the game - it really changed the dynamic of the first couple of turns. We were both faced with the challenge of trying to sneak our forces into the best position whilst not giving away which were real and fake. It also has you constantly thinking "am i sneaking up on his tactical marines, or is that blip a bloody dreadnaught!!" As you can see in the next shot we were tip toe-ing around...

Eventually though the poker chips came into view and these two legions were enjoined in combat! The Fists burst around the corner setting up a charge into Dave's Cataphracti - its hammer time! My Breacher Squad lines up to bolter Daves Breachers...

Edit: we also added the rule that breacher shields block line of sight, so you could use a squad to block against the enemy seeing your blip counter, meaning it would remain un-revealed for a little bit longer. This sort of thing summed up the way we tend to play games, if it sounds cool and reasonable then why not do it?! Dave.

Even though the Board isn't painted (it comes black from FW) you can get some really atmospheric scenes. Here my breachers are lead by my Praetor as they hold this corridor against the onslaught ion the Wolves!

Here my terminators are making short work of the Cataphracti but Dave's units are setting up for a counter assault!

In the end...
After several turns Dave managed to kill my Warlord (Ships Captain) which was the Primary Objective, and he nearly achieved the secondary objective of getting aboard the bridge (represented by the tile below and the large dice cube) with his sneaky sneaky units creeping around the edge of the conflict.

So what do we think of ZM?
The close quarter nature of ZM turns units that are ordinary on the big open battlefields into absolute killers in the confines of battleship and the fights were very quickly bloody affairs. I have to say this was a great entrance to the world of Zone Mortals and I can't wait to get painting the board and playing some more!

We played two games, the second of which was 500points and we finished in 45mins - this is really adding the chance to play atmospheric games, using your usual 30k/40k units in quick games. As we did, its possible to play these in an evening and have them influence a bigger game the following day!

Also for you modellers our there, FW dont produce much in the way of additional scenery so if you've ever wanted to do a 'bridge' scene for a cruiser this is your chance, and you get to bring it into your game.

Happy hobbying

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