John dropped by on Tuesday to give me a game of Tomorrow's War. Lots of the local guys have been playing Force on Force (a moderns rule-set used for WW2), by the same writers, but I had suggested the Sci-Fi version to John. He and I both have some old figs from 3rd Ed 40k and I still quite like the GW Terminators and Dreadnaughts, so John cooked us up a scenario, we ball-park estimated a fair force balance, and we had a go with the new rules. The game comes with a near-future setting so let's pretend the Terminators are UK Assault infantry in power-armour and that Dreadnaught is a lightly armoured AA platform along for some extra fire support.
A mechanized battalion from Attackers has orders to secure a town. However several heavy weapons from Defenders have taken up position on a hill overlooking the only road into town. The colonel commanding the Attackers battalion has ordered a power-armour infantry squad to take out these heavy weapons.
8 Terminators and 2 Terminators with Heavy Weapons. These may be organised in any way the Attacking commander likes as units of 1-3 models.
The Attacking commander may optionally bring a Dreadnought. If they do so then the defending commander get a Chimera.
2 Heavy Weapon Sections (each of 2 Lascannon teams)
6 Imperial Guard Fire-teams (each of 4 Guardsmen)
If the attacker has opted to take a Dreadnought then the defender gets a Chimera, which starts in reserve.
Attacker’s Victory Conditions
Major: Destroy defending Heavy Weapon Sections (both teams).
Minor: Force a defending Heavy Weapon Section to move more than 6” from it’s starting position
Defender’s Victory Conditions
Major: Keep a Heavy Weapon Section (both teams) within 6” of their starting position
Minor: Kill (not injure) every member of a Terminator unit
So the defenders had plenty of men, but many were in reserve. We actually tweaked that on the fly to two reserves arriving per roll, as I felt the defenders needed more backbone. Next time, we'd give the defenders entrenchments too. There are actually a lot of features to the game we didn't use but will next time. My troops were higher quality (D10s vs D8s) and the power-armour meant that each pair got +4 defense dice AND could administer their own first-aid if hit by enemy fire. Most of them weren't super-impressive shooters but the two chain gun equipped pairs maid up for that! I just played the Dread as similar to John's APC ( to keep things simple) and it got immobilised pretty quickly.
However, John's defending heavy weapons teams on one objective were pummeled into submission even more quickly and the higher quality and power-armour of the Blackwatch troops seemed to almost allow them to wade through fire - where-ever they willed. In fact, even the colonial militia's reserves arriving in the APC didn't seem able to faze the attackers. Chain-gun teams positioned on the hill raked those reserves with fire and the main body of their troops lumbered indefatigably forward. John had kept some infantry in hiding but they had to reveal themselves, in order to dash out and try and administer first-aid on heavy weapons teams!
There wasn't anything to suggest I couldn't so I actually just walked the assault troops right over the wounded and dying colonial militia. One Objective had fallen quickly and the other was in their sights.... Except that the battered Colonial APC had been joined by a stack more Militia and they had the weight of fire to down one of the two Blackwatch chain-gun teams. We did wonder how close assault worked in this game but shooting seemed to be doing the job, so we opted to not look it up.
At the death, John took some pleasure in having killed some of my precious Terminators (three fell in HM's service - plus the loss of the AA walker) but quality, superior weaponry and power-armour really do carry the day vs numbers - even if those numbers aren't exactly terrible or ill-equipped themselves. It was good fun, and we were really just giving the rules a go, so neither of us were too hung up on the outcome of the clash. John has kindly loaned me the book and I can see there is a LOT of very cool stuff in this game. Can't wait to try more of it out - Sci-Fi has always been my favourite genre and have enough figs already!