Thursday, November 13, 2014

Green Hell!

Welcome back. Now that I finished some jungle terrain on my own custom bases, I decided to use them in a game. I have a small force of Kroot painted and we decided they would go best up against a unit of Crimson Fists scouts. My friend had brought along some of his old Gorka Morka cardboard terrain with him and we thought it would make perfect tents for a Kroot encampment. We decided that the scouts should be on the attack attempting to ambush and destroy the xenos camp. We also decided that the prey should have some special skills of their own. As before, we used Disposable Heroes: Point Blank. This time, we used the spotting and hidden rules from the optional rules section in the back of the book.

We gave the Kroot a few jungle fighter type skills to fit the scenario. As jungle fighters they were given a -2 to all enemy models trying to spot them. During their Activation, they were allowed to ignore the first action that would normally cause a spot counter to be added (such as shooting or moving). Also, the normal automatic spotting distance was reduced from 12" to 9". This made the Kroot tough to spot, More agile in stealth, and better at blending into the terrain.

These rules would prove to add some great flavor to the scenario and made for some tense action. I was very happy with the way the scenario played. It was very cinematic.

The scenario started with the main group of Kroot on one side of the river set up in their camp. They had two lookouts posted outside the camp up on tall rock formations. On the other side of the river, the Kroot had two patrols of a Kroot and a Kroot hound each. These patrols would be randomly patrolling during the game. The Crimson Fist scouts would enter from the far side of the table on the opposite side of the river from the camp.

The first few Activations went well for the scouts. They moved into positions on both sides and advanced their Heavy Bolter onto a rock outcropping in the middle overlooking the Kroot camp. Everything seemed to be going well, with the scouts moving into position to attack the roaming Kroot patrols on both sides...until one of the Kroot patrols spotted a scout. He fired off a round at the scout from his long rifle, but missed and then sent the hound at the scout. The scout snap fired at the hound and killed it, and the unleashed a volley of Bolter rounds into the Kroot, killing it as well. 

Unfortunately for the scout, the camp was now alerted and they spotted the scout almost immediately. On the other flank, the scout sergeant and another scout rushed forward through a jungle defile to get into range of the other Kroot patrol. They were spotted, but much like the other side of the jungle, the scouts killed a hound on a snap fire and dispatched the Kroot patrol with a rush and volley of bolt pistol rounds. Now things began to heat up. The Krootox with a gunner riding on top strode out of the camp and began looking for the scouts who by now had added several spot counters to themselves by firing their weapons and moving. So much for stealth...

Both sides began to actively try to spot the other as they moved towards the river. The Krootox spotted the scout sergeant and began unleashing deadly hails of blast through the jungle. The scout sergeant took a wound from this fire, but pushed forward to the river edge. On the other side, several Kroot came down from the camp and started shooting at one of the scouts picking his way forward. Under normal circumstances, the scouts would have dominated the Kroot with superior firepower and accuracy. The problem was that the Kroot made good use of their jungle fighting skills of being able to ignore their first spot counter and get off lots of shots that would normally have made them easier to spot. The Kroot also made great use of the sharing Action Points rules to allow several Kroot to fire at one time without endangering their hidden positions by adding spot counters.

The scouts found that the river edge spit death at them from many locations without revealing the Kroot warrior's positions. Frustrated, the heavy bolter scout tried in vain to draw beads on Kroot targets from his superior vantage point. Finally, after taking fire for several turns and having much difficulty returning fire at the ghosts over the river, the Krootox was spotted. Swinging his heavy bolter around the scout unleashed a deadly hail of fire, felling the beast and rider. Despite this, the Kroot remained elusive. The scouts pushed right up to the edge of the river to try to get within automatic spotting distance, but here again the Kroot player fell back out of spotting range just enough to remain invisible. Kroot warriors would be spotted from time to time, and a few were killed by lucky shots from the scouts, but the Crimson Fists were in no position to advance across the river. And by now, they had taken several wounds.

After a few rounds of this deadly exchange, the scouts were becoming bogged down in a firefight with ghosts they could not pin down. During a particularly vicious round of firing from the Kroot, the scout sergeant and two other scouts are killed. This prompts the remaining two scouts to withdraw from the fight. The heavy bolter provides cover fire while the other scout falls back out of sight of the Kroot. Then, under heavy fire himself, the heavy bolter climbs down off the rocky outcropping and escapes.

That night, as the moon rises over the caopy of the jungle, a Kroot shaper leads his warriors in a victory celebration with a feast of the flesh of man. The Crimson Fists learned a valuable lesson in warfare. Never underestimate an enemy in his home terrain. The Kroot, while not near as skilled in combat, and fighting with much more primitive weapons, were able to fight and kill even the Emperor's finest with cunning and skill. The hubris of the marines was their downfall.

The game was a great, tense, nailbiter of a scenario. It made a great story and played out very cinematically. As the scout player I really felt like I was chasing ghosts. I just couldn't spot the enemy, and they were almost continually able to spot me. I could just see the scouts peering out from the river edge only to be met by deadly fire from everywhere around them, Their best asset, the heavy bolter, even in a good position, was unable to help them.

It was a great game, and I look forward to more Point Blank in the Warhammer 40,000 universe.

The Kroot encampment.
A Kroot patrol spots a scout!
All stealth is lost as the sergeant wades into the fray.
The heavy bolter moves into position, only to find...nothing.
The Krootox moves into action, spitting death at the scouts.
Firing from the cover of the river edge, the Kroot pin down the scouts.
A scout advances towards the river.
The heavy bolter covers the retreat of his brother scout.
The Kroot feast tonight!

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