Stephen reports on a recent Sci Fi solo game using Black Ops
Since it was a wet weekend I thought I just fancied a game of something. Since I hadn’t played Black Ops for a while I thought that’s what I’d do.
I went with a simple meeting engagement. Each side had 100 points each. The human squad had two fireteams of five men – in the first was the leader, heavy weapons support, a technical expert, and two troopers. In the second was another heavy weapons support, a sniper, and three troopers. The droids had three fireteams of five, each consisting of a heavy weapon support and four troopers.
The idea behind the scenario is that the droid army has captured a human communications station and the human squad has to go in, recapture it, and get it online. They have seven turns to do that and get to safety.
Black Ops is a card activation system. Each troop type has two cards in the deck and when they are drawn a model can take one action (e.g. the human Specialist card is drawn – the technical expert and sniper can each take an action). In addition, the leader gets a bonus third card which can be used to activate a third time or he can order a model within 6” to take a third action. Simple enough.
On the first turn it seemed like there were only droid cards in the deck, all the droids had taken one action, and the droid troopers had taken their second, before one of the human cards came up. This allowed the droids to make a quick advance and move up to halfway across the board (I was using my smaller 2’x3’ board). This put the humans on a back foot, particularly the sniper (private Urek Ricci) who I had wanted to move up to an advantageous position but this was now denied because the droids, ZX81 and CPC464, had moved so far forward.
The human leader, Sergeant Waylan Gomez, led his team up through some cargo containers. Urek Ricci advanced on another position and took a quick snapshot with his rifle at ZX81 – he missed. I’d made the terrain nice and close, to eliminate too many long-range avenues of fire that could dominate, so models had to move carefully to ensure they couldn’t be seen. The droids well and truly moved into the comms relay station area and crossed it safely to cover the approach of the humans.
The humans had to get a move on. Private Yan Obrand, with his M77 plasma gun, saw the droids Dragon 32 and HP85 moving around the back of the comms relay. He let rip, but missed. He then took a second burst and this time both droids went down! First kill to the humans. Urek also had a go with his sniper rifle at the droids in the station compound, this time with a steady hand and good rest for his weapon. But he missed again! Close to Urek was private Cove Longstern and he moved up to put some suppressive fire down. The droids responded by moving an entire squad against Ricci and Longstern. They opened up but failed to hit anything. Sergeant Gomez with specialist Sorel Marsden and private Dorian Zenward continued to sidle through the containers trying to find a way to the relay station.
Again, Urek Ricci took a shot and again he missed! Some sniper he was turning out to be. That would be his last shot though, because ZX81 returned fire and he went down. Two of the droids moved up to occupy his position where they would be able to make a flanking attack on the rest of the human squad. Private Longstern gave fire and a droid went down. But then C64 took a shot and it was bad news for Cove Longstern – it was the end of his game.
The droids sought to consolidate their position and see if they could exploit the flank they’d opened up. More droids moved up. Another pair of droids, one armed with a heavy kinetic lance, tried to counter the advance of Yan, Sorel Marsden, and Dorian Zenward. These three had advanced to the side of the comms station, but were waiting for the right moment to break cover and make a dash for the doors. Sergeant Gomez took private Uriah West to shore up the weakened flank left vulnerable after Ricci and Longstern had been taken down.
With not much time left it was obvious the humans had to get a move on. It was already looking extremely unlikely they would have time to re-enable the relay station and get off board so if they were to they would have to get moving. With that in mind, Yan, Sorel, and Dorian moved up to the station. Immediately the droids opened up and took Dorian Zenward out. But on their second activation Yan put down some suppressive fire and Marsden managed to unlock the station and get it back online. First part of the mission complete!
Last turn syndrome – go for it! So the station was working but could they get away? It pretty much happened how you think it would – the humans made a dash for the table edge and the droids opened up where they could.
In the end none of the humans escaped. The station had been reactivated but they hadn’t quite got away. Human loses were four models, and droid loses were six – so a pretty even ratio. The humans could claim a partial success.