Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Battle Report: [CCC] Assault Leader VS [USCR] Commissar

I decided I wanted to run through my first practice game, so this afternoon I went across the road from work and bought up my first d10 dice! As 40K uses d6, I got a whole mess of those, but I've never had a d10 before. I know I'll need more to play a full game of 5v5 MERCS, but for now one is fine. Besides, I'm holding off buying dice and counters as I'm waiting for the official MERCS merchandise.

As a side note, I played against myself, for two reasons; 1) I wanted to make sure that I understood the rules well enough before trying to explain them to my friends, and 2) I don't have any friends :)

For my first game I thought I'd try a basic scenario:
  • 1v1 Annihilation scenario. This means I didn't have to try and apply team tactics or use coordinated assaults, or worry about objectives - just killing the other guy.
  • Use a 1'x2' field instead of the recommended 2'x3'. Plenty of room for a 1v1, and ensured I didn't spend too many turns trying to get into combat.
  • No ACM, to keep the game down to the basic mechanics. Advanced Combat Maneuvers are abilities which add a whole other dimension to the gameplay - a dimension I'm not ready to explore just yet.
  • I've also decided to add some fiction - I always appreciate story driven battle reports, so I thought I'd add that too. 
  • Note, that I'm using my painted CCC Trooper as an Assault Leader, and my unpainted but primed USCR Assault Leader
  • EDIT: Please note that Leaders do NOT benefit from their own Leadership bonus and I played this rule incorrectly throughout my report. In terms of fairness, it's OK because both sides were equally buffed by my mistake.

Deployment: So, after setting up the Battleground, [CCC] won the roll for table edge and deployed first, then the [USCR] deployed:

The rest of the battle was just a diversion. While the rest of his squad distracted the USCR bastards, Smith would take flank and retrieve the objective documents. This was going to be too easy - in and out before they knew the documents were gone. Already Smith was looking forward to sloppy joes' and a few beers after EVAC.
* * *
Yuri was the last line of defense. If his men failed against the attacking force, he was all that stood between the Yellow Jackets and the documents he was sworn to protect. He was a little on edge - it was difficult to stand idle guard while your comrades fought and died. A flicker of light caught his eye. It was probably nothing, maybe stray gunfire, but his paranoia forced him to pick up his feet.

Turn 1: Initiative CCC [6], USCR [5]
CCC: Move - 2MP through the cargo containers
USCR: Move - 1MP into the open on the road

Intel told him he wasn't far from the objective now. The song of battle rang through the night;  melodies of gunfire highlighted by suppressive bursts and occasional grenade detonations. All intended to make his CCC squad seem a larger threat than they were. His men had no intention of trying to capture the objective, but the USCR didn't know that. Swiftly, and a little recklessly, Smith ran forward.
* * *
Bah, nothing. Yuri was letting his anxiety get the better of his judgment - he shouldn't have moved so far away from his ward. He hated being on the defensive, having to be alert and on guard. He had always preferred being the aggressor in conflicts, on the offensive. It was going to be a long night.

Turn 2: Initiative CCC [10], USCR [4]
CCC: Move - 2MP flush to the yellow cargo container, then Snap-to-Cover to draw LOS on the USCR
USCR: Combat - Ice Grenade Gun (Range 3 = 3 cards > CONFIRMED)
                             - FN5 + 1(1/2 Cover) = FN6
                                  - roll[4] + 1(Leadership) = 5 (MISS)

His training forced him to edge slowly around the cargo container, even though he thought he was being unnecessarily cautious. Smith's vigilance proved itself, as he made a visual on a lone USCR defender. Maybe tonight wasn't going to be so boring after all.
* * *
Yuri saw the enemy and validated his paranoia. Feeling a wave of relief, he was almost happy that he wouldn't have to spend the rest of the encounter jumping at shadows. He had just the thing to welcome his new friend - a blast from his Ice Grenade Gun.

Turn 3: Initiative USCR [6], CCC [4]
USCR: Move - Move towards cargo containers, then Snap-to-cover
CCC: Move - 1MP onto yellow cargo container, 1MP flush against grey cargo container (out of LOS of USCR)

Shit. Smith realised his Semi-Automatic wouldn't be able to dent the USCR armour. He had to get to cover to weigh out his options. That Ice Grenade had missed, but his luck could only hold out for so long. He climbed up onto the cargo container, and moved out of his foe's sights.
* * *
Fuck. If his Ice Grenade hit, Yuri could've frozen the target and moved in for the kill at his own pace. Seeing the Yellow Jacket scramble up the cargo container and out of sight, Yuri decided he'd better find some cover of his own.

Turn 4: Initiative CCC [3], USCR [3] (CCC has higher Reaction, therefore goes first)
CCC: Move - 1MP onto grey cargo container, 1MP to edge of grey cargo container to draw LOS on USRC
USCR: Combat - Semi-Auto (FN7, WS2, 2 shots)
                             - FN7 + 1(Low Ground) + 1(1/2 Cover) = FN9
                                  - shot 1: roll[8] + 1(Leadership) = 9   HIT! > WS2vsAV2 = BLOOD!
                                       - CCC armour check AF2 > roll[6] = PASS
                                  - shot 2: roll[3] + 1(Leadership) = 4   MISS

Checking his pack, Smith breathed a sigh of relief. He'd never had occasion to use it before, but his EMP Grenade was his best shot at weakening that USCR Armour. He wasn't sure where that USCR went, but he knew he'd have a better vantage point from above.
* * *
Panic struck, but just one for a second, as Yuri saw his enemy right above him. This was not the ideal situation to be in. He drew his Semi-Automatic and fired - they were tough shots, but lady luck smiled on him as a bullet found it's mark.

Turn 5: Initiative CCC [9], USCR [7]
CCC: Combat - EMP Grenade (Range 2 = 2 cards > CONFIRMED)
                          USCR AF5 + 2(EMP Grenade penalty) = AF7
                               - roll[6] = ARMOUR FAILURE
                                    - +1 Leadership Roll is NOT added, as this is NOT an action
                                    - INCORRECT, the Leadership bonus is added for ANY roll
USCR: -2MP, -1AV (due to Armour Failure)
            - Attempt repair (Repair Skill 6)
                 - roll[4] + 1(Leadership) = 5 FAIL, Armour NOT repaired.

That. Fucking. Hurt. Already the armour was doing it's work and Smith was ready to sate his vengeance. He dropped the EMP grenade right on top of the fucker, and watched as the tough USCR armour sizzled and cackled with electricity.
* * *
Damn! Yuri had ALWAYS done his drills, and had an intimate knowledge of his armour - but with his enemy so close above him, his training failed him and his fingers fumbled uselessly as his armour continued to short-circuit and weigh him down.

Turn 6: Initiative USCR [9], CCC [4]
USCR: -2MP, -1AV (due to Armour Failure)
            - Attempt repair (Repair Skill 6)
                 - roll[2] + 1(Leadership) = 5 FAIL, Armour NOT repaired. 
CCC: Combat - Semi-Auto (FN7, WS2, 2 shots)
                           - FN7 + 1(1/2 Cover) - 1(High Ground) = FN7
                                - shot1: roll[9] + 1(Leadership) = 10 HIT > WS2vsAV2 (AF) = BLOOD!
                                - shot2: roll[6] + 1(Leadership) = 7   HIT > WS2vsAV2 (AF) = BLOOD!

Without hesitation, Smith unloaded his Semi-Automatic into his weakened enemy. Today, revenge was a dish best served with rounds of hot bullets searing through the flesh of your foes.
* * *
Yuri had a single thought flash through his mind. He remembered his mother smiling as she served his brothers dinner on the night he had been told he would join the USCR - what a feast that had been! He laughed - why was he thinking about such things, while his body was being riddled with bullets.

 Turn 7: Initiative CCC [5], USCR [4] 
CCC: Combat - Semi-Auto (FN7, WS2, 2 shots)
                           - FN7 + 1(1/2 Cover) - 1(High Ground) = FN7
                                - shot 1: roll[2] + 1(Leadership) = 3  MISS
                                - shot 2: roll[7] + 1(Leadership) = 7  HIT > WS2vsAV2 (AF) = BLOOD!

Rage had filled Smith - spawned from anger that he felt towards himself for being so damn cocky, then spurred by the pain he had felt as a result of his own recklessness. He sent another hail of bullets towards his target, and watched, somewhat remorsefully, as his foe fell, and did not rise.
* * *

Better luck next time!


Rolling for initiative at the start of every turn is a really awesome concept and is a complete game changer. With no pre-determined turn structure, each turn can only really be planned once the initiative rolls are decided.
I can imagine that in a 5v5 game, tactics have to be decided at the start of each turn, while your overall strategy should be clear, yet flexible, before the first dice roll. Your game strategy needs to be a fluid concept, as once the initiative order is determined you'll need to reassess what tactics you will use to implement your strategy.
Getting your FN to a reasonable rate of success is a little tricky and definitely requires the coordination of abilities and skills - and I can imagine it would be more evident in 5v5 games.

I've highlighted some issues in red which I wasn't really sure about - if anyone could provide some insight that would be appreciated!

So, I'd say it was a successful first game! Even though it was my first game, it didn't feel slow, and I didn't really need to refer to the rulebook that many times. I was able to learn the mechanics and get a basic understanding for the fundamental tactics. As the rules are highly realistic, at least compared to what I'm used to, it was easy to understand them and apply them to the game.

I also had a lot of fun writing up a bit of story, hope you enjoyed it!
I think next time I'll try a 3v3, for a bit more depth.

Sync out.


  1. Great report!

    Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Hi there. Nice report!

    What size table is a 5vs5 played on? Also - where did you get your terrain. It's great!

  3. More Battle Reports to come, I just need to find some time to write them up!

    @Griddon 5v5 games are played on a 2'x3' area, I did a little write-up on the basic rules and concepts here if you wanna check it out:

    Thanks guys!