Having encountered the newly formed alliance of Reptoids and xenomorphics on planet Ryll, known as The Ravagers, The Outriders rush to warn the galaxy: the Imperium has created a chaotic fighting force of terrible scale. To send this warning, our heroes must hold a remote uplink station on Ryll long enough to send the FTL data packet. Can they hold the uplink against the flood of Ravagers? Let's play to find out.
System: War | Maker 2.0 Prototype
Table: 48"x 24", neoprene battle mat
Terrain: Elonganted 'peak' with central uplink station
Players: Alvarez/Gilhelm as The Outriders (also known as the Planetary Rangers)
Ropp as The Ravagers
Both sides may create 100 points of forces
Each time the rangers occupy the uplink, they deliver D3 data packets. If 15 total
packets are delivered, the warning is sent and victory secured.
If the signal is not fully sent, The Ravagers are victorious
If either side kills all enemy forces or the enemy commander, victory is attained
Play Time: 3 hours including
of armies and setup
Location: Mythic Con, Charlotte, NC November 11 2023, Earth
After transporting almost 100 miniatures to the con, I used the awesome crafting room to start on our terrain centerpiece in the morning.
With a little modification to the priming booth, I got the UPLINK done in time for our battle Saturday afternoon.
Right before I took the picture at far right, detailing my piece, I yelled "Wave, Scotty! Wave!"
I hustled up on the elevator, ready to dive in to this big battle. Ropp and Alvarez were ready to go, unpacking all the Ravagers, terrain set to go. We took 20 minutes or so to point-cost the two armies. As WAR | MAKER (my ever-improving wargaming engine) grows and refines, we had to work out a point-build system, and it was smooth and easy to use. We used WAR | MAKER battlefield deck cards to mark our forces' abilities, agreed on victory conditions, and placed start points at opposite corners.
At left, the Outriders are set to deploy. We actually gave our opponent a 10 point advantage, believing our two-player army would out think the enemy. At right, at a full 100 points, you see the Ravagers set up. Yes, that's a massive xeno queen in the back.
An aerial view of the board. We had a classic 'King of the Hill' setup, but a few ideas on both sides how to crack a potential turtle or flank our foe from a covered line. We used Runehammer sharpies as our measuring sticks. At right, a closeup of my uplink terrain I had just finished, adding an LED light 'fuel cell' for extra effect. We also added autoguns to the uplink that forces could claim on contact.
The stage was set and we started to deploy. Ropp came out swinging, using fast moving xeno spiders and his dashing xeno queen to close distance fast. We chose a more 'march' like approach, moving in bulky teams, with a detachment of marksmen and snipers breaking off to get better sight lines.
Two views of the deployment. We took the uplink first, then a tidal wave of Ravagers hit us.
In about 2 turns, all hell was breaking loose and blood was flying. Using gunfire against Ravagers is, of course, the best move. We were shredding them, but some really bad rolls hamstrung our flank. A critical error was made in deploying regulars before heroes, and suddenly a win seemed pretty far off for Alvarez and I. On it went.
A chill of fear ran down our backs as the Ravagers gained momentum. We started getting progress on our uplink, but there were so many of them: swarming everywhere. When our covering fire broke, the crazy was unleashed. We had to change our strategy to a kill-all-at-any-cost method, thinking we could just do the uplink if all enemies were killed.
The Ravagers flooded our ranks. One by one, some with destructive, heroic blazes, our Rangers went down in heaps of xenos. The brutal reality of a simple fighting force deployed in a dense, decisive line. Ourt only hope? Commander Cody (our nickname for him) shredding their numbers while fleeing across the rear of the map. Despite an unbelievable last stand, withering the foe to a mere TWO survivors, Cody was killed.
In an epic final scene, the Ravager commander and a single heroic xeno took down our commander. "Noooooo!"
It was amazing to play our rules-improved version of WAR | MAKER play to such a close and balanced finale. Resting in our defeat, we had to admit, that 10 points of "take it, we'll beat you anyway," may have been our undoing! This is a huge victory for me as a DESIGNER though... could that small point differential been the difference between victory and defeat? It's arguable the case, and that means the new systems are working perfectly. What a blast.
For all you WAR | MAKER players out there, and those curious about getting into an innovative way to rock huge, dynamic battles without cumbersome rules-reeferencing mid-play, stay tuned. WAR | MAKER's new 2.0 release is in the works, and after Mythic Con, none of us have any doubts it will absolutely rock.