Gritty details and play-by-play. for analysis, scroll down to the red text
Master Pathfinder (2 smoke grenades, 1 Electroshock)
Brainbuster grenade launcher
Ronin + “The Great and the Good”
Ronin + “TGG”
Hatamoto + “TGG”
Hatamoto + “TGG”
Mishima: Rising Star (Master Pathfinder) COMPLETE
Wolfbanes: Corporate Insider (Hatamoto leader #1)COMPLETE
Industrial zone (created from assorted buildings, pipes, etc. ranging from 3” to 5” high and a pack of Infinity Moto Tronica cardboard buildings) Heavily terrained and altered to 3”x4” to speed gameplay (and so the scenery board folds up on a cardboard display from Wal-Mart).
Initiative goes to Mishima.
First activation, Hiroko misses 3 shots at a greyhound and T2B to move around a corner. Greyhound responds by discharging, then moving and firing gas at Hiroko and catching Nozaki in the fumes. Hiroko takes 2 wounds from the gas.
Second activation: Ronin take position between buildings, put 1 dmg on Greyhound’s engines. Wolfbane HMG pops around the corner, finishes Hiroko and misses Nozaki.
Third activation: Nozaki moves in and uses Battlefury to wipe out the Wolfbane squad. In response, The HMG necromower took shots at a hatamoto unit, dropping one.
Subsequent activations saw the armies moving into position, with one wolfbane squad holding an objective.
Initiative to Wolfbanes
First activation, Greyhound discharges and moves to gas ronin and hatamoto standing in a corridor between buildings. Shot is effective and drops 2 hatamoto. Nozaki responds by unleashing battlefuryon the greyhound, adding dmg to the hull, drive and weapon systems. Nozaki passes the Con to avoid stun, but fails his con after battlefury and sucks gas for one wound.
Second activation: Brainbuster necromower moves to shoot Nozaki, fails the shot after its fast move. Ronin attempt shots at the greyhound, but the gas cloud proves too much.
Subsequent activations see the remaining wolfbanes, ronin and hatamoto advancing with potshots at the wolfbanes going awry.
Initiative to Mishima
First activation, Nozaki moves in to battlefury the necromower and greyhound (beautiful placement, btw Jake). Plants 2 dmg on each, but both still in the fight. The greyhound responds by trying to pull away, Nozaki’s free slash renders it a piece of terrain (secretly I hoped he would die in the explosion, but not to be.)
Second activation, Hatamoto aim and shoot at the HMG necromower, planting two damage on the driver. The brainbuster necromower moves into position and declares “off wi’ yer head!” against Nozaki. Dice shows 3, for a CF 2 power shot. Nozaki is now a full head shorter than his troops.
Third activation, the other hatamoto unit takes at the brainbuster necromower to no effect. Pathfinder moves up to pop a smoke grenade in the ronin’s line of sight.
Fourth activation, Ronin take aim at the brainbuster necromower, scratch the hull for 1 dmg. HMG necromower attempts to necromow 2 hatamoto. Both dodge as the mower lines up another mow for next turn.
Fifth activation: The other ronin aim for the driver of the necromower and take out the driver, crash and burn and now there’s more heavy terrain on board… Wolfbanes move forward and the HMG takes down 2 Ronin.
Initiative to Mishima again (why can’t he roll like that for armor?)
First activation, Ronin engage the wolfbanes. Blade to blade, the space scots can’t stand it and lose 2 of their number. Necromower attempts a necromow at 3 Ronin and the remaining 2 hatamoto in unit 1. The spikes take down 2 ronin and 1 hatamoto, but all pass their pinning tests.
Second activation, the remaining hatamoto engages the necromower and damages the weapon system. The Pathfinder launches a frag grenade and takes out 2 ronin.
Third activation, the other ronin take shots at the necromower, but cannot harm it this time. Wolfbanes engage the ronin, taking down 2 of them, but leaving themselves exposed…
Fourth activation, the remaining hatamoto fire on the pathfinder and wolfbanes. The pathfinder shrugs 3 shots, but it is not enough. 1 wolfbane stands to the withering fire due to “Cry for help” howl.
Initiative to Mishima (again…)
First activation, the lone hatamoto from group 1 swings and finishes off the necromower, leaving one wolfbane commando to stand his ground. He swings at the hatamoto, having passed the CON test, but to no effect.
Subsequent activations, a ronin group moves to take position on the objective. At this point, the game is all but over. The hatamoto move to take the second objective and the last ronin moves just short of the objective.
Per the rules, we played another turn to see whether Jake could complete the mission objective.
Initiative to Mishima (yet again)
First activation: Ronin move into position on the final objective. Valiant last stand from the last commando sees him felling one more hatamoto before falling to the hatamoto he missed with his final swing.
Result: Win for Mishima
Analysis and take-aways
This was the first time I played against Jake's Mishima without having to contend with 2 Meka. Mishima are a solid all-around force (despite what the fluff seems to argue about shooting being dishonorable). Their troops are good all-rounders with some nasty surprises (Con test to attack hatamoto, Ki powers, re-rolling LD tests). Mishima seems to benefit more from an abundance of troops than other factions. Admittedly, I suffer from "Oooh, shiny!" syndrome and cram all the "cool stuff" in rather than planning for an optimal force at times.
Wolfbanes are very much an elite force. Their basic infantry cost similarly to other factions' "elite" troops (hatamoto, sacred warriors, necromutants, etc). They can definitely get the job done and can put the hurt on, but if they cannot engage on their terms it will not go well. Last game, we rolled up FUBAR and that's exactly what I was without being able to infiltrate or control my deployment with the 'banes. So far (2 games with them) they strike me as a bit of a glass cannon, at least the commandos themselves. However, the special rules also render them a bit of a Swiss army knife. Claymores and 'mowers are great if you can line things up, but against a shooty force, commandoes do not hold up well unless they can hide and cover themselves VERY well.
The thing I love most about WZR is the flexibilty and the fact that mission focus is key. Had initiative swung my way late game, things could have ended differently, I may have been able to force a draw (at least until we got to body count) on the scenario conditions. New players, trust me, you want to be Han (real Han, not special edition warning shot Han). In hindsight, my worst mistake of the game was trying to disengage the Greyhound. Had it survived another turn, it could potentially have taken down one of the ronin units, and at least given Jake pause.
While I'm on the subject, this was our first game with gas weapons. They can be VERY gross (pun intended). 100 pt greyhound with the potential to reap 60% of a squad with Con 8 (math vs reality, mind you) is insane. Forcing a gas test for T2B 2 AND getting -4 enemy RS, yes please!!!!
This was also our first real game without decks. Due to the way wolfbanes work, this was harsher on Jake than me, but it definitely subtracted from the experience, even if I was glad not to have my vehicles messed with by the hand of fate. The cards force you to be more cautious, or at least more cognizant of the risks you are taking and can be that one "clutch" play just when you need it. By turn 4 I was sorely missing my deck as initiative and momentum had swung against me and I had little way to mitigate that fact by that point.
Loving the game, wish I could play more often. Any players in southern MN, western WI or northern IA give a holler and maybe we can get a game together. If you're wanting to try and are in the area, I have three forces (up to 1200 pts each) and would gladly loan one out for a game.
Until next time, the wolves will lick their wounds, knowing the strength of the pack cannot be broken by a single narrow defeat.
Last edited by TARDISrider on Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:03 am, edited 1 time in total.