Poor Communications

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.

Droids occupy the relay station

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.

Moving through the cargo crates

Turn One

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.

Get some! Get some!

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.

Sniper Ricci takes aim

Turn Two

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.

Droids advance in strength

Turn Three

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.

Yan Obrand lays down covering fire

Turn Four

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 firefight hots up

Turn Five

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.

You go that way and we’ll give you cover

Turn Six

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!

Behind the back of the bike sheds

Turn Seven

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.

Hurry up! We’ve got company!

Black Ops – Into The Junkyard

Stephen gives an unredacted report on a Black Ops mission…

Thought I would have a game of Black Ops.

It’s been a while since I played it and having enjoyed it before I decided to have another go.

I decided not to use the stealth rules and have a simple encounter game – just to refresh myself with the rules and because I just wanted a simple face-to-face scrap.

Each side had 75 points. On one side was a group of droids and on the other a section of special forces troops. The game was simple enough – seven turns to see who can cause the most amount of damage. Both sides comprised a leader, a heavy weapon, and 5 troopers.

I used my smaller (3’x2’) board and set it up as a huge junkyard/recycling plant with loads of cover. The humans deployed in 3 groups (two lots of 2, and one lot of 3) and the droids deployed in 2 groups (one lot of 3 and one lot of 4).

Into The Parking Lot

Due to the amount of terrain both sides managed a couple of activations before shots were fired. The humans, deployed on a wider front, managed to get some troops around the flanks, forcing the smaller droid unit with the Leader into the middle. However, the large droid unit had deployed on a different flank and their numbers looked strong against the 2 man human team facing them.

The Droid Leader Commands

The humans came up through the parking lot and took fire from the droids. No casualties this time – the blasts struck the assorted junk and barricades. Locking and loading, they took up their positions and returned the gesture – one of the droids went down so it was first blood (Ed: oil?) to the humans.

Ctrl-Alt-Del

The droid leader had found himself in a difficult position. With two of the droid troopers (one of which went down under fire) he was taking crossfire as one human team took up position behind a large piece of junk and another team edged around behind some trashed vehicles. Then, bang! Down went the droid leader.

Droid Down!

And then in the following round, down went a couple more of the droids. I wasn’t convinced this was going to last 7 rounds. That said, the droids had managed to squeeze themselves into a good position and it was hard to see how the humans could advance on them without taking casualties. So a firefight ensured with both sides digging in.

The Droids Dig In

This firefight didn’t last long though. One the human teams took a casualty, and then so did another.

Man Down!

With the human position suddenly weakened the droids were able to move up and advance on the humans, despite having taken more casualties and losing their leader.

Working Around The Flanks

The game was starting to change. The droids managed to hit another human and down he went as well. On one of the flanks the humans had made good headway, but they now needed to fall back and consolidate or they would be picked off. The human leader ordered his men to take cover behind some barrels and crates. The droids moved on them, and a lucky shot took out the human leader! Just two troopers left.

Droids Bypass the Bodies

Then crafty shot from one of the human troopers dropped a droid and he rushed round, to outflank the final droid. As he did, his colleague put in a fresh clip and with gun at his hip, let rip and down went the last droid.

Game Over

Victory went to the humans. Just.

Black Ops is a great game. Once the shooting starts it can be quite deadly. A modelling project for early 2021 is to make some sci fi themed objective markers.

%d bloggers like this: