A brief batrep and analysis:
Scenario: First encounter between an oblivious Nasier patrol and an aggressive Dirz force. At stake is a clump of mana crystals, which the Dirz use to power their technomancy. The houses of the Scion Kings have thus far been oblivious to the existence of mana as their sorceries and magic lie in other directions. All that is about to change….
Each side picks a Motivation. Dirz can only use the “Fanatic” motivations (so far). Nasier chose “Sever the Head”. Dirz chose “Grisly Harvest” (harvest the stem cells of a target to bring back to their labs).
After Round 2, any side in control of the Mana Crystals gains 1 Morale at the end of a round.
The beginning was just jockeying for position. The “Scout” ability of the 2 Dirz specialists proved to be a nasty surprise for the Nasier. The Nasier continued to be wary of the Phemeras… with good reason!
The Crossbowmen drew first blood, killing and Ashmen Swordsman. Then it was a swirling battle around the Mana Crystals as both sides attempted to fulfill their Motivations while fighting for control of the crystals at the same time.
In the final Round: Nasier managed to win by fulfilling their Motivation. Dirz were already down to zero Morale when their Skorizes specialist darted in and interacted with their target Nasier unit to complete their Motivation, bringing both sides down to zero Morale. Then the Phemeras took out 2 Bloodmasks, dropping the Nasier Morale to -1. Nasier struck back by finishing off the Clone Biopsist Rank 1 leader, then took control of the Mana Crystals to bring their Morale up by 1 at the end of the round.
In the end, Nasier won despite sustaining heavy casualties. The Morale ranking:
Dirz -2, Nasier 0.
The presence of a significant force of ranged infantry has changed the tone of the game… for the better, I think. Whereas previously, it was hey diddle diddle. straight up the middle. Now, flanking movements are a must, taking advantage of terrain.
Speaking of terrain, it now plays a greater part in the game besides slowing down the troops.
Dirz made the mistake of being too aggressive. In future, use Crossbowmen to inflict long rage damage and Clone Infantry to ward off any attacks. Use Phemeras to harass and break up any solid mass of enemy troops headed their way. Specialists to harass and deal damage.
A quick overview of the Dirz troops so far:
Their driving Motivation is Fanaticism. That’s why they get big rewards for fulfilling their Motivation, but also (unlike the other factions) face penalties for failures. Very thematic according to their C:AotR fluff.
Also because they’re clones, their Will is their weakest point and they will hurt going up against enemies will strong Will attacks. Even though the Nasier won the play test game, that was because I mis-handled the Dirz. I think with proper handling, they should be able to beat Nasier (who are weak in Will attacks). That’s also why basic clones don’t have Magic combat results.
Clones: Weaker than normal Rank 1 infantry from other factions. But their attack and leader makes up for that. Very squishy, though. Did I nerf them too much?
Crossbowmen: I think these will be the mainstay of the faction. My mistake was moving them up to engage. I should have them hang back, since their range is 8″ and fire away at the enemy. Use the Clone infantry as skirmishers to protect them from any enemy attacks.
Phemeras: surprisingly useful and difficult to pin down. But I wouldn’t take 3 in the future, as the penalty for losing 1 morale point after they blow themselves up is too great. My original version had them pretty bare bones and I could do anything with them. Now I’ve had a playtest, I’ve added some restrictions on how to handle them. So they’re still useful… but tricky to use.
Skorizes: I’ve turned them into Specialists instead of Rank 3 Infantry as originally envisaged. A much better fit thanks to their Scout ability. They can do massive damage and are really great for assassination-type scenarios. But gang up on them and they’re toast, thanks to their low Resilience.
Dasyatis: I used the original v.1.1 Nemesis stats. Wow. Too tough for a Rank 1 Specialist. So I dialed him back down again. So now he’s a bit easier to damage, although the “regen” capability can be nasty.
[NOTE The troops I used are the equivalent of a normal WoK Starter Box: 2 different rank 1 Infantry and 2 Rank 1 Specialists. I added the equivalent of a “Creature Box” for the Phemeras.
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