HIGH GROUND PLAYTEST

By: J.J. Alexander

Mission: High Ground

Forces

Me
Phil


Deployment

  • Green: RC CGs
    • South: Jager + Jager (Leader, near middle) + Recon Squad + Elan
    • Black Talon: Gamma Raven + Sigma Owl (behind blocks on left)
  • Red: FS CGs
    • South: Command Naga (Leader) + Hetairoi
    • Black Talon: Omega Vulture + Alpha Owl + Dark Naga Theta
  • Yellow: SK CG: Jager + King Cobra Gunner (Leader) + Jager
Phils backline

Objectives

  • South: Break the Line, Wipe Them Out on Phil’s FS CG
  • Black Talon: Assassinate on my Jager in the RC CG and King Cobra

Turn 1:

South (S) RC CG

  • Elan tries to Scan marker, gets crippled by Naga MRC
  • Others move up and hide.

Black Talon (BT) RC CG

  • Raven Hacks and Forward Observes (FOs) Cobra, Naga MATM’s do total 4 damage from Fire Mission (FM). 
  • Sigma Owl FMs with MRP and kills Cobra. (the Veteran Cobra pilot was like “dude I just got he-” KABLAM)

S FS CG

  • Hetairoi goes Top Speed (TS), Focuses and does 3 damage on Vulture with MFG, Naga goes TS does 1 damage with Focused MATM. 
  • Drone attacks Sigma Owl, misses and is Crippled by Owl’s Bazooka. 

BT FS CG

  • Owl does 2 damage on Jager leader with MRF, Vulture moves up Naga moves in to ruins.

S SK CG

  • Jager kills Vulture with MRP
  • Other Jager misses Owl with MRP

Turn 2

BT RC CG

  • Sigma Owl Hacks Nag
  • Raven FOs Naga, Naga MATM kills my Naga. 

S RC CG

  • Recon Inf. fail at FO on Owl
  • Elan tries to Scan marker gets killed by Owl.
  • Left Jager misses and gets Crippled by Raven. 

BT FS CG

  • Naga moves back, Owl Jet Packs back behind ruins. 

S FS CG

  • Hetairoi misses Naga and Owl on left.
  • Drone shoots Owl, misses and gets killed by Owl’s Bazooka

S SK CG

  • Jager on right Scans marker, fails, Naga shoots it and misses. 
  • Other Jager shoots Naga and misses with LRP.

Turn 3

S RC CG

  • Left Jager fails Scan on Marker, Recon Squad Scans marker scoring a point. Right Jager hides in forest. 

BT RC CG 

  • Raven Hacks Hetairoi and FOs it, Naga puts 4 damage on it with MATMs.
    Owl Scans marker kills Jager with LBZ. 

S FS CG

  • Hetairoi Braces, Focuses with MTF, misses Owl. 

BT FS CG

  • Owl Kills Jager leader

S SK CG

  • Left Jager misses Owl with LAC, Right Jager hides behind stonehead.

Turn 4

S FS CG

  • Hetairoi Braces, Focuses with MGF against Owl – Owl puts up ECM Protect with Owl, Hetairoi misses.

BT RC CG

  • Owl FOs Hetairoi, Jager misses with Retaliate. Naga MATM kills Hetairoi (see a pattern here?)
  • Owl on left goes TS, Jager shoots it after first move, misses, then Owl kills Jager with LBZ.

Final Score

  • South VPs: 1 for Scanning a marker.
  • Black Talon VPs: 5: two for both Assassinate targets, 2 for Wipe Them Out and 1 for Scanning a marker.

Points left:

  • South: 10TV
  • Black Talon: 76TV.

Final Thoughts

  • Not crazy about the scannable markers – it favors certain lists and certain factions too much and might make for a cluttered battlefield when combined with Hold and/or Capture markers.  I much prefer the invisible zone style objectives such as “Sector Control” – I think they synergize well with all of the generic objectives.
  • I don’t like the way Blast is currently working – we might start house ruling that Blast never gets back arc bonuses vs. Secondary Targets, cover is determined from the center of the impact point (similar to 2.0 rules), and will also negate Smoke and ECM Protect on Secondary Targets (Primary Target will still get cover, Smoke and ECM Protect).
    • For example, in certain situations – targeting a point on the field with a direct fire Blast weapon (MFG) was probably my best chance at damaging/killing the Owls and Raven which kept hiding in full solid cover. Relying on FO+FM may skew the game in to EW heavy lists, thus marginalizing direct fire weapon playstyles. 
    • The Way Blast works now punishes direct fire weapons too much.
  • Hack + TD + ATMs is very strong and enables a potentially crazy alpha strike if you have first activation of the game. Granted, the first turn activation advantage can and should be mitigated by terrain placement, but as it stands now it may force certain kinds of lists which have ECM/ECCM, and favor factions such as Peace River. I feel this is something to keep an eye on…
  • Area terrain should block LOS but not Sensors if more than 2” of it are between models. Or maybe have it like Warmachine where if you’re touching the area then you can be seen and see out of the terrain, but if not touching it and it’s between models then it blocks LOS. The reason for this is to give models more hiding places and make sensors interact with more types of terrain. 
  • Wipe Them Out actually seems to be ok as-is with the tournament scenarios. This is because killing models is obviously it’s own reward, leaving your opponent with less models to score with. So WTO only potentially scoring 1 point is offset by this IMO.
  • Playing against Black Talon reinforced the need for 2 lists – I needed longer sensor range models and at least a couple ECM/ECCM models, although I do think the list I played here could work if I play it differently. 
  • We playtested having a reaction window after the first MR move of a model at Top Speed, if no actions are declared during that move. What we learned is that it’s difficult to get cover at the end point of that first move without sacrificing some of your movement to do so.
    • It opens up a whole can of worms and I don’t know if it’s good or bad. We also ruled that if a Reaction is declared against the acting model in such a way, then the active model can then decide if it wants to do an action at that same point before it continues moving, and by the way if it’s Crippled at that point, then it stops there.
    • While this is interesting, I realized the real issue is when a model starts in the enemies front arc(s) and then moves past their front arcs and behind them at Top Speed. I think maybe reactive models should get a Reaction window as the active model leaves their front arc if at Top Speed.