Today Bacon and I played our first game of Heavy Gear in a while. We were both a little out of practice so it was good to get back in the saddle. It was a 75 TV game of my CEF with Caprice allies against his Peace River Defence Force.
Combat Group 1:
CO: LHT-71 (No pack)
LHT-67 (AA Pack)
Combat Group 2:
CGL: GREL Squad (CMD)
GREL Anti-Tank Squad
GREL Morgana Sniper
Combat Group 1:
CO: Shinobi Lookout (CMD)
2x Shinbo Lookout
Bacon’s force was mainly chosen since he wanted to play with the Shinobis – we were both expecting mine to have the advantage going in, but that’s fine for a friendly game! Since it was a fairly small game we chose just two objectives each: I had Hold as my primary and Scan as secondary, and Bacon had Assassinate as primary and Scan as secondary. We chose these for thematic reasons, picturing a PRDF special ops strike force deploying to take out a local CEF commander – something which would prove to be difficult once they realised they were deployed in a hover tank!
Turn 1 saw the PRDF push out onto the central plateau under the powerful cover of an ECM 3 defensive bubble. My tanks popped out from cover for a few shots before reversing again, with no hits on either side. On the right flank the Aphek was the victim of sensor jamming which allowed the Gladiator to get some damage in.
On Turn 2 I won the initiative, letting my tanks get a round of fire in before Bacon could replace his ECM defence. Despite the Shinobis’ formidable defence stats I managed to hit and injure both. One of them was crippled and force to limp back to try and get cover behind the plateau – but took falling damage dropping to the ground and was destroyed! The Shinobis managed to snap-fire in return, crippling the CEF hovercar.
On the other flank another Shinobi risked coming out from cover to try a rocket pack attack on the cluster of GREL, but took a point of damage from the Aphek’s RP in return while failing to injure any GREL.
It was at this point that we remembered all the Shinobi were Veterans, but hadn’t been taking advantage of their skill points! Quite a significant thing to forget.
On Turn 3 the PRDF made a concerted effort to take down the Aphek, beginning by targeting it for sensor jamming from no less than two Shinobis. Thanks to my rolling double and then triple sixes on four dice the plucky Mount escaped unjammed. The Gladiator charged forward nonetheless, firing and failing to do any damage.
At this point the hovertanks began to push forward on the left flank, not managing to damage the enemy but causing them to burn through all their skill and command points on rerolls. This, along with some more flukily high rolling from me, allowed the GREL missile team and sniper to take out the foremost Shinobi despite its position behind cover.
Turn 4 saw more pressure on the PRDF flank from the advancing hovertanks, now closing to close range and crippling another Shinobi. At this point Bacon used his two remaining Shinobi to scan two of my units, completing his secondary objective, and then conceded the game: it was becoming obvious he lacked the firepower to destroy my command tank or deny me my objectives. Final score was 4 VPs to the CEF, 1 to PRDF (allowing for my units to scan the destroyed gears at leisure between his conceding and the final turn).
Overall a very fun game, which resulted more-or-less as we expected. We were both quite rusty on the ECM rules, leading us to make some tactical errors: I forgot about Comms actions being jammed, and Bacon crucially forgot to allow for the possibility of losing initiative and being unable to renew ECM defence before getting shot! The moral of the story is probably that Shinobis are really effective units – and can be very hard to hurt – but work best when backing up something with more punch, especially against armour or entrenched infantry.