Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Betrayal at Calth

The Boxed Set
This past weekend, Games Workshop released The Horus Heresy: Betrayal at Calth board game.  I had pre-ordered it the previous week because it is an amazing deal for the miniatures that come with it.  Anyone interested in playing games set during the Horus Heresy should pick it up, even if you do not intend to play the game that comes with it.  The exact contents of the box can be found various places, like these unboxing videos.

I have been weighing two options for its contents. 1) Build the set as it is sold to play through the scenarios, much like Execution Force (another project still on the list to do).  2)  Use the models solely for building out larger Heresy era armies.   Having played a game with and lost to my son (after the break); I am going to go with option 1.

I felt the game was good and had quick easy mechanics.  A few questions came up in my mind as we went, but we kept it simple and played through.  We played the first scenario, racing to the safety behind the blast doors of the acrologies. It is a race between two opposing Veteran Tactical squads.

My son got to play the traitors, using my World Eaters Legion squad.  We kept everything as "as-modeled" and so he had a Vexallia and Power Fist, but no special weapons.  I pulled ten Ultramarines from my 41st millennium forces and he and I decided that my force would get a plasma gun and Vexallia. This kept the amount of special gear simple, avoiding over complicating the game for our first play through and focusing on mechanics.

The World Eaters setup 3 units of 3 and 1 unit of 1 in the Traitor deployment area, while Ultramarines setup 2 units of 3 and 2 units of 2 in the Ultramarine deployment area.

End of Turn 1

On turn 1, we both advanced up, our respective sides, The World Eaters were much more aggressive in their advancement and worked hard to deny line-of-sight to the Ultramarines on covering the center of the steps into the arcology.

End of Turn 2

On turn 2, the World Eaters continued to rapidly advance, drawing the Ultramarines into the open.   In a hail of Bolter fire, the Ultramarine's Sergeant and Vexilla fell.  Their brothers enacted Swift Vengeance (Command card) and unleashed an improvised Heavy Flamer using a Promethium Pipeline (Command card) upon a nearby unit of World Eaters.  Another unit of Ultramarines unleashed Bolter fire and slayed the World Eater's Vexallia.

Rules Note:  The Vexallia should not have fallen in this case, but the other none special Legionnaire.  The target player gets to choose who makes the saves first unless a special card is played.

End of Turn 3
On turn 3, both sides would be further blooded.  The two units of Ultramarines, in an attempt to strike down a unit of World Eaters, unleashed Coordinated Fire, only to have it stifled by Would You Fire Upon Your Brother?  Thus, the two units of Ultramarines only felled a single traitor.

In response, the World Eater Sergeant and one of his men Frenzied Charge a unit of Ultramarines with every intent to Strike Them Down, which they successfully achieved.

On the Ultramarines flank, two brothers continued to make their way into the acrology, successfully passing a set of blast doors.  This would leave them unable to assist their brothers.  Critically, 2 World Eaters reached safety behind the thick blast doors that closed behind them.

End of Turn 4
On Turn 4, as the surface temperate continued to rise, the World Eaters consolidated and advanced under a hail of Bolter and Plasma fire from the remaining Ultramarines. The Ultramarines went so far as accept an Improvised Fire Solution and target the World Eater Sergeant and his comrade, despite cover.

Despite a fusillade of fire, the consolidating traitors accepted the deaths of two of their comrades and raced for the last blast doors.  This setup a desperate attempt by the Ultramarines to kill the World Eaters blocking their path to safety.

End of Turn 5
On turn 5, the remaining Ultramarines ran forward to get within sight of the door, only to have a brother fall to repeated World Eaters fire as they advanced.

On turn 6, in desperation, the two remaining Ultramarines moved to the door and then faced the melee attacks of the World Eaters.  Another Ultramarine fell to the Sergeant's Power Fist.  In response the remaining Ultramarine threw a Melta Bomb, taking down one of the Traitors.  The remaining Ultramarine conducted a Precision Strike, hoping to fell the World Eater Sergeant, only to fail to damage them entirely.  The World Eaters too failed to slay the last Ultramarine as the blast doors began to close and the heat of the dying star overcame the Ultramarine's power armor.

End of Turn 6