Tuesday, 6 July 2010

CR 3.0 Mini Battle Report: Adventurers vs Kra'Vak.

Now that I have completed all the terrain and figures I need to run through an full encounter, I got stuck into a small game of Two Hour Wargames Chain Reaction 3.0 tonight.

I took a group of 5 adventurers with mixed small arms and a SAW.
  1. Jack Fayte REP 5 (Leader, Agile) AC1, SMG, Grenades
  2. Diaz  REP 3 (Engineer) AC 0, Heavy Pistol
  3. Dale REP4 (Nerves of Steel) ac 1, Shotgun, Grenades
  4. Kranski REP 4, AC 1, Assault Blaster
  5. Jonson REP 4, AC 1, Heavy Blaster
I set up the board rolled random edge for entry and placed PEF (Potential Enemy Forces) markers. The system for these is excellent, but involves quite a lot of dice rolling. I think I'd like to try and figure out a way to streamline it using a Space-Hulk-Like counter draw system.

It didn't take long for fireworks to start. In the first turn, I activated first and moved Jonson into an elevated firing position in cover. Next, Kranski scaled a platform and immediately resolved a PEF about 18cm away in cover, which turned out to be the Main Force...With Commander in tow. I rolled 7 (1.5x as many) Power Armored Elite Kra'vak. Whoops.

Kranski promptly failed his "in sight" test. (The rules aren't very clear about wether you take one when you resolve a PEF, but it seemed to make sense so I did it) But Jonson managed to snap fire with the heaviest gun in the group.. And miss.
The Kra'vak Splattergunner snap fired back and blew Jonson's head off. The rest of the group (still in their deployment positions) only passed 1 dice on the "Man Down" test and all ducked back... Or more accurately threw themselves screaming against the nearest wall. This ended my activation as far as I could tell. (Duckback status confuses me a bit.. I think the idea is it disrupts your turn if it hapens during your activation.)

As the fight progressed, the Kravak kind of fumbled around a little bit after doing badly on a received fire test as Kranski ineffectively laid into them with his assault blaster. This stunned one and had enough of them duck back from the Man Down test that it gave the Adventurers a slim, desperate chance to whip around the side and try to use the "Auto Kill Or Capture" rule to take out some enemies.

Diaz was up first, and rather impressively used his heavy pistol (and the "Pitiful shot" rule, as his REP of 3 made his chances against a Kra'vak elite zero) to blow the head right off the Kra'vak Heavy weapons trooper who missed his snap-fire oppertunity. Lucky!

A messy exchange followed, that saw the humans blown apart one at a time until only Jack Fayte was left. When the smoke cleared, only 2 Kra'vak and their commander remained. Jack dashed through the reeling Kra'vak, knocking them down with his SMG and ruthlessly dispatching the fallen. What a guy!

Finally, it came down to Jack and the Kra'vak commander.. Who was armed only with a power axe and managed to get the drop on Jack due to a particularly bad activation roll, and charged him in the back just as Jack put a burst of SMG slugs into the last Kra'vak soldier.

A REP 5 Alien with a Power Axe against Jack got 5 dice to 2 and got an immediate Obviously Dead result. The Alien Commander was the last man standing.

Jack, as a Star, used the "Cheat Death" Rule and would be reduced to REP 4 for further games in a campaign.

Post-Game Thoughts

Overall, it was a great game.. It had some real shocks, highs and lows. Here are some observations.

Despite being assaulted by a superior enemy at close quarters,  my crew did very well, inflicting 80% casualties before being power axed into oblivion. This was entirely down to the Star kicking ass. This is fine by me.

Freakishly, all the Kra'vak were taken down by SMG and pistol fire then dispatched during movement. (The Kra'vak heavy weapons were quite effective however.)

The home-brew space armor rules from the THW Yahoo group I was using (built into the shooting chart) were not very good/fun. They basically meant that most models needed a 6 to hit their targets 99% of the time.. Which didn't really "feel" right for science fiction. I think in future I will use the normal CR shooting chart and just use simple GW-style saving throws for heavily armored models.

I totally forgot to use the attributes (nerves of steel etc.) of the characters. I think in most cases they weren't very relevant anyway, as my guys got their faces blown off in short order. I'll try harder next time.

The turn sequence is great and I love it, but it's very easy to forget who has activated and who hasn't. My first 2 turns got so messed up that I had to Mulligan and start over. I ended up using little plastic counters to mark activated figures.

The rules worked very well, and I only had one big question:

"If an inactive model is fired on and forced to Duck Back.. Does he get to take an In-Sight test when a second, active model runs around the corner and tries to shoot him?"

I ended up deciding no. Inactive models forced to duck back basically cowered until their next activation. If they were fired on and survived they were allowed to make a received fire test and shoot back though.

I don't know if this is correct, but it played pretty well.

To sum up, the rules are really brilliant, but have a lot of grey areas due to the language used in them. I'm ok with this, and I imagine I'll just tweak them until I'm happy.


  1. "If an inactive model is fired on and forced to Duck Back.. Does he get to take an In-Sight test when a second, active model runs around the corner and tries to shoot him?"

    He gets the Insight test. This is the difference between duck back and hunker down.

  2. "If an inactive model is fired on and forced to Duck Back.. Does he get to take an In-Sight test when a second, active model runs around the corner and tries to shoot him?"

    Yes that figure will get an In-Sight test should one of your active figures come around the corner like that. Not always a good idea to do that with only one figure.
    I would wait for the figure to come around on my inactive phase.

  3. Haha.. I managed to not do any hunkering down with either side as everyone passed their received fire tests. But yeah I get it now. Duck back is purely a movement response that ends a chain reaction.

  4. Nice report. Do you find the received fire tests and duck back rules can slow things down a bit? I was also trying to remember if it is squad by squad activation or if one side moves all squads before moving back to the opponent?

  5. You only do the received fire test if you were fired on and didn't get hit. The system has small changes to CR2 that make a big difference. Only inactive models taking in-sight tests makes it much less confusing for example.

    The activation is dependant on an initiative system which I think is brilliant. Each turn you dice to see who activates first, but only with REPS equal or greater to that roll. It's as unpredictable as SoBH, but with less dice rolling.

    As I'm only using 5-6 player models at a time, "squad" often means 3 or less models for me at the moment. I'm much more interested in skirmishes than pitched battles.

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