We are back again with another Saturday Battle Report, this time the valiant Shasvastii are desperate to secure vital data and resources in Acquisition, vs the wild men of Ariadna, the Caledonian Highlander Army.
Acquisition has 3 consoles in the middle of the board, 12″ from the edge of the board, all in a line. The console in the middle is a Tech Coffin. The other two are Antennae that need to be connected. Points are as follows. 1 point for each connected antenna. 1 point for each controlled antenna at the end of the game. 3 points for controlling the tech-coffin at the end of the game. 2 extra points if you control it with your DataTracker, or 1 extra point if you control it with your Xenotech.
Oh, that reminds me, there is a Xenotech in this mission. So that means there is a -1 point penalty if you don’t place the Multiscanner Marker by the end of the game.
Each player also has one Classified Objective for 1 point.
Sam won the initiative roll and opted for first turn. I had him deploy first. My classified card is Test Run (Engineer a STR model to regain a wound).
You could call this a “Why would you play Shasvastii” list. Whenever someone asks this question, online or otherwise, the answer is always the following; 2 Speculos!, 2 Q-Drones, 4 Shrouded! Ok that last one I made up, but 4 Shrouded is really good.
Its a pretty good list, but I think it needs a couple of changes. Obviously the first change would be to get rid of the Caliban Engineer, and go back to Dr. Worm. For 5 points less you get a Doctor and Engineer. With the extra points I could bring a slave drone, or maybe upgrade another unit. The most obvious change would be to swap out the Gwailos LT for a Aswang.
I probably swap out one of the Minelayers for a Forward Observer Shrouded, especially in this mission where I needed to push two buttons, one on each side of the board.
Lastly, although I really love having 2 Speculos, I’m not sure I’ve quite figured out the best way to utilize them, and maybe I can swap that out for something else. On the whole, I really like this list, and look forward to tweaking it in the future.
You can check out Sam’s CHA list here.
In the above picture you can see a good chunk of my deployment zone. From left to right I have the R-Drone, then the Caliban Seed hiding under the balcony. The seed is close to the HMG Q-Drone that is covering the left side of the board and the middle chunk between the two Eclipse smoke zones.
Next there is an Ikadron in the middle of the board, and on the far right side. Just in front of the second Ikadron is a slave drone masquerading as my Xenotech. To the right of the slave drone is the Plasma Q-Drone, and on the second level is my prone Gwailos LT.
Across the middle I have my 3 minelayer Shroudeds. The two shroudeds covering the flanks are on the second level, but they left a mine on the ground level. My Shrouded hacker is in the middle of the board on the second level, next to a ladder for quick access to the left console. There is one more Shrouded in the middle on the ground level, with a mine laid as close to the middle line as possible, hoping to pick off one of my opponents impetuous models.
I have one Speculo on the second level prone, next to a ladder near the objective room on the back left side of the map. My second Speculo is on the ground level on my side of the board, behind the main pillar on the middle left of the map.
Sam set up his Core link of a Highlander Grey, 3 Volunteers, and Isobel McGregor on the middle left of his deployment zone. One volunteer is inside the Objective room guarding his obvious LT of Wallace. That group also has Uxia, infiltrated near the middle line near the left side console. Rounding out group one is a camo marker behind the eclipse smoke generators on the right side of the map. This turns out to be a Cateran with a T2 sniper.
Sam’s second group has 4 Chain Rifle Highlanders that deploy mostly in the middle of the map, looking to throw smoke and move up into my zone. He also has a Haris of 2 Mormaers, one with a HMG, and a T2 Rifle Highlander Grey. They are deployed on the right flank. Sam’s Xenotech is attached to one of units here, but I can’t remember which one it is.
Sam has the first turn, and his 4 Impetuous Highlanders move up and throw down some smoke cover. One of the Highlanders falls victim to a mine in the middle of the board, but the rest are able to throw their smoke successfully.
Sam then activates his Haris link team, and moves down the right flank. It takes a couple of orders, but he does finally discover the far right mine, and shoots it. The Haris continues to move, taking a defensive position on the right flank near the console. He trades shots with the Q-Drone HMG, but ends up taking a wound on his HMG Mormaer.
Sam then sends one of his Highlanders toward the Q-Drone with Plasma, and after throwing smoke goes into base for a CC attack. He waffles back and forth on going berserk, but decides because of Electric Pulse, he will not go berserk and make it a face to face. He rolls a 2. I am a bit lucky here, but Electric Pulse is such a strong cc deterrent. I love it.
Finishing up his turn he moves his Cateran Sniper to the second level on the right side, and trades shots with the Q-Drone. It takes two orders, but he is able to take the HMG Q down to 2nd level unconscious. He also is able to destroy the Ikadron in the middle of the board. With the last of his orders he moves Uxia to the left side console, and flips the switch.
Shasvastii ROUND 1
Start of my first turn, I could be in a lot worse shape, but for the Hero Plasma Q-Drone. With 9 Orders in Group 1, and 2 in Group 2, I start out with a Hatch/Move with my Caliban Engineer to get into base with my HMG Q-Drone. (YES I KNOW, WHY DIDN’T I JUST BRING DR. WORM!!!!) Next order I get the HMG Q-Drone repaired, at the cost of a command token.
I then move my Shrouded on the right side up toward the Cateran Sniper. I get into a spot and drop a mine right next to the sniper. I move my Speculo toward his Core link team, but I mistook which model had the chain rifle, so I had to waste an order back tracking a bit.
Next two orders I move into base with Wallace for a CC Attack. The Volunteer in the room hits the Speculo, and I fail the armor save. I really, really need this CC attack with Wallace to work. Sam decides to berserk with Wallace, and I’m not sure that is the right move. Yes, he gets a free attack, but if I crit, or he doesn’t pass his armor save, he’s in Loss of Lieutenant. I don’t end up getting a crit, but as prophesied by the Speculo Killer’s of yore, Wallace fails his save and is no more.
I then move up my Gwailo and Xenotech to drop the multiscanner, to get that tax out of the way as early as possible. I’m feeling pretty good to get it on the first try.
Can’t ask much more of Speculo, and I’m feeling real good with my position. With only one Order left in Group one, I have to deal with the Immobolized Highlander next to the Plasma Q-Drone, and I’m able to take him out no problem.
Unable to get in a good spot to force an ARO from the Cateran, my first turn ends. I wish I would have been a bit more efficient with the Speculo, but all in all, a good first attack from the Continuum forces.
Sam’s round 2 is a lot more complicated now that he is in Loss of Lieutenant. His two remaining Highlander’s move toward the right side, throwing smoke again for cover.
Sam, turns a couple of orders green with command tokens, and moves his Haris more in the middle of the board. The HMG Mormaer trades shots with the Q-Drone but the Q-Drone comes out on top, with the Mormaer falling dogged. His Highlander Grey is able to land a speculative grenade onto the Shrouded on the second level. I continue to show how good I am at armor rolls, as both the Shrouded and the mine fail their roll. Sam spends his last couple of irregular’s in group 2 to drop his multiscanner, and put his Mormaer with T2 into suppressive fire.
The Cateran is now freed up to try and take out Q-Drone again, but he splits his fire. He ends up removing my second Ikadron, but is unable to hit the Q-Drone.
Uxia spends her irregular order to move more into the middle of the board close to the Tech-Coffin, but still in a good position.
Not wanting to move his Core link yet, Sam sacrifices the rest of his irregular orders, and the turn ends.
Shasvastii ROUND 2
Round 2 for Shasvastii starts with 8 orders in group 1 and 1 in group 2, so I spend a command point to move the R-Drone into group 1.
First order I trade shots with the Cateran, and finally remove that menace from the middle of the board. If I had been a bit more efficient turn 1, I could have used the Shrouded that laid the mine to force a tough ARO. There’s another wasted order, hopefully it doesn’t come back to bite me.
Having cleared out the Cateran, my Shrouded attempts an AutoMediKit, and MAKES IT. Sorry, had to scream, as that never works for me. Shrouded stands up and moves to look down on the Mormaer in suppressive fire. Luckily I’m in the back arc, and I’m able to take him out.
The HMG Q-Drone now has a clear path to my opponent’s side of the board and starts his attack run. Moving forward he first takes out Isobel McGregor, but only to unconscious. The theme of this attack run is 1 hit. Unfortunately I was rolling very high, and missed a bunch of shots.
I manage to remove one Highlander, but the other gets off a smoke grenade. Next on the list is Uxia, and she is dispatched. Now, here is where I make a pretty big mistake in hindsight. I could have left the Q-Drone where it was, covering his side of the board, and using the rest of my turn to push a button, or moving the rest of my army up to prepare for turn 3 and securing the tech-coffin.
Instead of the smart play, I’m seeing red and move the Q-Drone into a face to face with his Highlander Grey. We both are in cover, and 0-range, but I’m thinking my mimetism will give me the edge. My high attack rolls come back to bite me, and I miss, and then fail my armor save. Because of course that is what happens.
With only a couple of orders left, my Shrouded on the right side lays it’s last mine to guard my LT, and the Shrouded on the right side, stands up and moves into an ARO position.
Plasma Q-Drone tries to take out the last Highlander Grey on the right side. Unfortunately for me, I have to leave cover to get a shot, and again, I lose the face to face. This ends my second turn, and what started out so promising, ends on a real sour note.
Sam starts his last turn with a 4 man core in group 1, and a Highlander Grey and Highlander in group 2. He spends a command point to move the Grey into group 1. His impetuous Highlander uses his two orders and climbs the ladder and attacks the Shrouded on the right side in CC. The Shrouded predictably loses that face off, and is dead. RIP, little buddy.
With 5 Orders in Group one he begins to move the core up toward the tech coffin. With his first order he tries to revive Isobel with a paramedic shot, which does land, but Isobel fails her PH roll.
The core continues to move up and tries to discover the Shrouded on the right side standing guard. I think in hindsight, here is another bad mistake on my part, as I basically just gift him an order here.
I shoot, because I have the HMG inside of 16, with cover and camo. I win the face to face (HUZZAH!!!!!!), but he predictably makes the armor roll (NUTZ). Next order the Grey moves toward the tech coffin, I shoot again, but this time he finds his good range and easily takes out my Shrouded.
With his last order he positions his link team guarding the tech coffin, with his Grey in base contact with it. His Grey is also his datatracker, so I’m quite a ways behind at this point. I should mention that I’ve scored my classified objective, but so has Sam, so he’s currently winning 7-1.
Shasvastii ROUND 3
I start my last round with 6 orders, which should be enough to get the job done. I start by moving my Speculo up towards the tech-coffin. The plan is to through a smoke grenade between the tech-coffin and the container I’m behind, but I didn’t realize there was just enough of a gap that I would trigger an ARO from the link team. Ok, its going to be harder now.
Next order I just move up with the Speculo as close to the Grey, without touching. He tries a discover with his link, but no luck. 4 orders left. I move the Shrouded Hacker down the stairs and towards the console that Uxia had used earlier in the game. If I can get there and switch it, that is a 3 point swing in my favor.
On my second order with the Shrouded I attempt to turn on the console.
Notice how I used the word attempt there? What a bummer, I fail, and now I only have 1 order left. Now, what I should have done, and what I did is two different things. I spend the last order on the Shrouded to turn the console back on, this time succeeding but the damage was done.
I think I have the win, 3-1, but I’m reminded that a marker cannot control the Tech-Coffin. In desperation I move up with my Gwailos Lieutenant to take a desperate shot with the Boarding Shotgun. I win the face to face, but Sam’s armor roll comes up clutch again.I’m real disappointed here. I thought I played the last turn pretty well, but I just ran out of orders.
Sam and the Caledonians end up winning 6 – 3. A very close game that came down to one order.
There is a lot I would change in this game, but I think that is fair to say with any game in hindsight. One of the things I’ve learned playing Shasvastii the last 6 months, is I really can’t afford to waste orders. Either through giving away models, or inefficient use. Both of those came back to bite me here.
Thinking back, with my last order I would have moved into base with the Grey and try to take him out in CC. Even if I die to one of the cheerleaders ARO’s, hopefully I take the Grey out, and I get a 2-2 tie. Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda, I just have to get better.
As a side note, Sam & I played another game last night in Highly Classified that I was planning to use as a batrep, but it was such a one-sided massacre by the Caledonians, I don’t want to relive it. The losing streak continues.
I promise I’ve won a game before, I just don’t remember when.
The HMG Q-Drone really came up clutch in this game, clearing out a bunch of problem models, and making Sam use up a lot of his turns 1 & 2 dealing with it. Always love when this model does well, and if anyone has some of these old drones, I need 4 more.
Caledonia Highlander Army MVP
The Highlander Grey that lead his core link into the middle of the battlefield, and made two clutch armor saves while holding the tech-coffin wins the MVP from Sam. Not much else to say, it did it’s job, and I’ll never be the same.