Towards the end of last month, the club gathered again to play Mech Attack and Panzer 8, two rulesets we've been enjoying recently for 10mm scale sci-fi mass combat games. We had played these games two weeks prior, but we decided to give them one more evening of play before jumping into our winter post-apocalyptic campaign.
There were four of us present, so both games ended up being multiplayer affairs. For the first game, Terrence put on a nice Mech Attack game using a few home-brew rules and the Solaris 7 game map from the Mechwarrior CMG. Each player was given an entry point and a light mech. When that mech was destroyed, the player received a medium mech from the same entry point. When that was destroyed, the player received a heavy mech, and when that was destroyed, the player was out of the game.
I had previously run a similar game where each player started with a light mech, but had to "earn" heavier equipment by making a kill and returning to their entry point. My scenario went on for quite a long time and resulted in many folks repeatedly dying, and lots of time spent just running back to the entry points.
Terrence's scenario was more fun, as it was faster playing and there was ample opportunity for sweet revenge when a defeated player quickly returned with a tougher mech.
The game moved pretty quickly. It didn't take long for every player to have lost his light mech. As you can see from the pictures, we are using Mechwarrior CMG prepainted plastic figures that have not been rebased. This, combined with the hex map, felt a bit odd for a game club that makes a point of playing on real terrain. However, the mechs did have some great stock paintjobs, and Terrence had prepared all the requisite stat cards for us.
A few bad dice rolls, and Terrence ended up getting eliminated from the game first. The game quickly wrapped up from there. We had a rarity in the game when one mech managed to take full damage to every single location before finally succumbing to a critical hit. You can see its mangled stat card in this photo.
The game came to a dramatic end when my mech managed to take down its nearly-undamaged enemy with a ridiculously lucky double laser hit. The shot immediately burned through the target's armor and resulted in a mech-destroying explosion. Folks seemed to really enjoy the scenario and I look forward to playing it again. The jury was mixed, however, on the virtues of playing on a printed hex map as opposed to a traditional miniatures wargame tabletop. On the one hand, counting hexes for movement (one hex equals 2 inches of movement) and using hex sides for shooting is an extremely fast and time-saving method that allows you to dispense with rulers. On the other hand, no map, however nice, is as pretty as real 3D terrain.
The group seemed to be evenly split, with half the players favoring the map and the other half wanting 3D terrain instead. For me, playing on the hex map may prove to be the impetus to someday paint up some of the Battletech figures I have in my collection so I can use them on their hex-maps as an ultra-portable Mech Attack game that could be played on a a smaller tabletop.
We were running a bit short on time, so for our game of Panzer 8 sci-fi, we each fielded just a couple of platoons of armor and a few mechs (no infantry) in a two-vs-two game. Tim and I controlled the grey force, and we set up in cover preparing to ambush two columns of tan force armor controlled by Mike and Terrence.
The tan force was relentless, sending its lead elements veering off the roads to engage the ambushers.
The ambushers were cut up piecemeal as they attempted to waylay the tan force, which used the movement bonuses granted by the roads to quickly move into position.
The tan force's Mad Cat was particularly fearsome, ripping into the enemy's armor with ease. Likewise, the tan force's jet bikes had incredible speed, which allowed them to be remarkably effective against much heavier opponents.
The battle quickly became a rout. By the time grey team ceded the field, it had lost 70 percent of its forces, compared to about 25 percent casualties on the tan team.
It was a fun game. I only wish we had time to run a larger game with infantry. Panzer 8 is such an enjoyable and fast-moving game that it really inspires large-scale engagements. I prefer the game without clicky bases, but one of our members who has a lot of based units wasn't able to make it, so we had to use minis that had not been rebased yet.
I've also put the finishing touches on a slight modification of the games rules. Among the main changes:
- Shooting and movement modifications to better accommodate 10mm scale units on bases, which comprise the bulk of our collection.
- Slightly more specific rules for indirect fire artillery.
- Moving all the unit guidelines and other extraneous info to the end of the rules, resulting in a ruleset where the game rules fit on one page!
- A full list of ready-made units with corresponding point values.
-- Karl, Chicago Skirmish Wargames club member