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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Amarillo Design Bureau Game Night #2

This is Steven Petrick posting.

SVC and I conducted the second "Game Night at Amarillo Design Bureau". We again did Space Hulk. Once more, the Space Marines managed a victory. It was all the more dramatic in that the only Genestealer that made it to hand-to-hand combat lost to a common Marine who was not even prepared for hand-to-hand. His weapon jammed, and as the Genestealer closed in, through the hail of storm bolts and gatling bolter fire from the supporting positions (all of which missed), he raised his bolter and brought it down on the Genestealer's head, killing it instantly. (The Marine rolled a 6, and the Genestealer did not beat it with its three dice, a complete surprise to both of us who thought sure the Marine was a goner.) All through the action, that Marine held the most exposed defensive position in the sector under assault, and while his hand-to-hand victory was not the concluding moment of the battle, it was clearly the decisive moment, breaking the morale of the remaining Genestealers. (Okay, so there is no morale factor, but given that two complete hoards of Genestealer assaulted the Marine positions and not only failed to kill a single one, but lost the one and only hand-to-hand fight they achieved . . .)

While there were two hoards, they were going up against the full contingent of Space Marines, and the Marines managed to set up a strong defensive position, and by dint of luck, managed to hold it right to the end (the Gatling was down to just one shot).

Great fun was had at the expense of the most powerful Marine, who earned the immortal name of "Sir Jams A Lot" (his bolter jammed about every other shot it seemed).

We noted the usual problems. The restriction of only one figure in a passage way makes advancing extremely difficult. The Genestealers literally threw almost every Genestealer they had at the Marine right flank, only to see them mercilessly gunned down (towards the end, there were four Marine Bolters blazing away on covering fire at the hatch the Genestealers were trying to come through, the Gatling blazing directly down the corridor hitting any Genestealer trying to enter the room (except the famous one) that the bolters missed, and Sir Jams A Lot using his psychic powers to bombard the Genestealers (he had only two psi points left at the end of the fight, and the Gatling, as noted, had only one shot remaining when the fight ended).

Seriously, neither SVC or I have been able to figure out how to advance with the Marines. The Genestealers, if they opt for defense, can pretty much mass just around the corners until the Marines are close enough they can charge into contact against the lone Marine that can shoot, and things will just go down hill from there for the Marines very fast. I am so aware and fixated on this that I tend to just try to find someplace to dig in and hope the Genestealers attack.

SVC and I discussed that perhaps in this last fight the Genestealers should have redirected the attack towards my left flank, it certainly appeared weaker, even if it did have the heavy flamer.

While I initially sent four marines to each of the three rooms that would make up my front line, eventually having to shift to my right (as I grew increasingly concerned about the intensity of the Genestealer assault) put five men there, four in the middle (only two with bolters), and three on the right (again, only two with bolters, but SVC was very concerned about the Flamer over there on the right). And the set up in the middle room allowed converging cover fire down the corridors from the two flanking rooms across the front of the defenders in the middle room.

My best guess is that he should have attacked on my left, simply because the Flamer, while an area weapon, is not a guaranteed death weapon, and has fewer shots than the Gatling. He might have been able to run it out of fuel sooner, and then overrun the two bolters present before I could shift forces back to that side.

It does seem to comedown to the Genestealers have to trade bodies to run the Marines out of ammo (what SVC was trying to do on the right, and there were times when almost every storm bolter on that side was jammed, but never when it would do him any good).

To be fair, I did offer to take the Genestealers tonight, so that I would have a better chance to see the problems on "the other side of the hill".