Surprise Attack – Strategic Victories and Plot Twists

Well now, it seems you have a temporary reprieve from my ruthless conquest of your backwater planetary system: My wife gave birth to our second child and future plot twist, and things are a little hectic at the Ol’ Lair. While I’m sure he’ll be a capable and trusted lieutenant in my jack-booted legions, I am a little bit saddened that by the third or fourth movie he will inevitably grow to sympathize with your wholesome cause and plucky heroics, and that one day he’ll betray me to you at the worst possible time to foil my grandiose plans. On the bright side he’s already become a tricky little scamp, villainy must be in his blood.

The Hobby Bombs will be absent for a bit while my house scrounges for every spare minute of sleep we can, but I have something special brewing. Several somethings. Begin evil cackle…now. In the meantime I took a mere draft of an intro paragraph and stretched it out into the World’s Worst Battle Report because there’s two things in this crazy world I don’t fuck with: Grain liquor and Lauby’s deadlines…and where there’s one you can usually find the other.

I suggest using all this extra time you have to fortify that command post in the southeast sector. Hint, hint. See you soon.


It starts with a 1750 point game of Late War FoW this weekend with Spudnick down at the FLGS. We arrived shortly before they opened, kicked dirt at each other in the parking lot, then spent the day locked in the throes of deadly combat. As one does. For all sorts of IRL reasons, we haven’t been able to finish a game with each other in SIX MONTHS…seriously, it’s become a running joke, so we really took advantage of the day and dragged it out for maximum carnage. Last weekend I had planned to change this and showed up to the Saturday game day with my Angry D-Day British Paras in hand only to discover that, while I’d been out of town, the 40K nerds had conspired with the store owner and stolen the tables for a tournament. Those wily fucks. Enjoy that next price raise, fanboys.

They still haven’t figured out how to charge you for lava, but they will.

Not to be dismayed, I carried them back into my truck and left them there all week. With the windows rolled up. I starved them, gave them just enough muddy water that only the strongest survived, and poked them with sticks on the way to and from work each day while I loudly mocked their mothers’ sexual proclivities and choice in partners. With their rage at an all time high I opened the box lid and they swarmed Spudnick’s kraut Mech Infantry list. By “swarm”, I mean they played defense and held a crossroads village in a Pincer Scenario. Angrily. Deciding to forgo the air cover usually provided by Petey the Wobbly Typhoon, I asked myself “What would SinSynn do?” so I took a  big battery of 25 pounder artillery and Dug The Fuck In. Too bad I couldn’t take an aerial spotter plane and really lame it up. Gotta run Market Garden lists for that, and those juicy AT15 big guns. I may be evil, but I’m not a douche.  Long story short it was a nine-turn game (screw turn limits, we play to the pain), and it took no less than twenty assaults to dislodge my right flank while my half-strength force waited for their buddies to sober up and come in from reserves. High points included my CO and attached platoon on the left flank assaulting out of buildings into a platoon of Panthers (because Fuck You We’re Angry Marines Paras!), and the two PIAT teams that somehow survived this, and somehow won, auto-popped his bailed out kitty-cats, kicked his fleeing, half-track mounted CO out of town, blew up his pimpmobile, then gunned him down (with primitive, spring loaded goddamn bazookas) when he charged them in some kind of vain, weak-ass attempt at heroics. This ain’t Hollywood, the bad guy always wins in these parts. Too bad he got a platoon into assault range of what was left of my plane-strafed 25 pounders in the same turn. Whoops. Surprisingly, my crumbling artillery park didn’t do too well in the melee.

There ya go, this vignette should make your Xenos tentacles all hard and tingly. Here’s some paper towels.

I initially thought the Panthers/CO match-up would be the flank to crumble, but the slaughter ended up being on my right where Spudnick eventually ground through enough defenders and reinforcements to force a company morale check (thanks for waiting until Turn 4 to even start showing up, you dicks), which resulted in my little dudes boldly retreating. The result: Strategic Victory! Yes, as a result of my minions’ deliberate sacrifice on one battlefield I was able to lure Spudnick’s over-confident forces out of their capital city, which I waltzed into and razed. The survivors were mind-controlled into joining my endless legions and promptly attacked and devoured their former countrymen. Demoralized, the rest of the planet surrendered and I cut another notch on the belt of my galactic conquest. It was almost too easy, and now I get to brag about it as I fold space to the next star system. If I’m reading these charts right it’s called ‘Victimus-VII’. Sounds promising.

Bring it. That lone dude in the cornfield is my 2iC, when the platoon in front of him was finally wiped out he ran in to contest that objective…by himself…and held off the auto-loss until my reinforcements started showing up behind the half-tracks. Then he finally agreed to die, because that’s how paratroopers fuckin’ do it.  

In the after action report, I decided I definitely need to find the mangled corpses of 1st Platoon and clone them for my all-powerful horde. Those guys are literally too stupid NOT to win, and I really admire that in a minion.

“Follow me, men! That single smoke round will protect our advance!”

Pense du Jour: Having half-strength Fearless Veteran troops, while extremely frustrating, can make games a real nail-biter and forces some tough choices. I know its not a popular method of running scenarios, it’s certainly not my preference, but it does force you to pause and really assess things when you only have four friggin’ drops at the start, and no throwaways. Do I need that artillery park right now or the AT guns? Which one is less vital and, pleeze Jeebus, will show up before its too late? It’s an annoyingly artificial way of playing out of your comfort zone and seeing what you can do with less. Even the ROFLstomp of my artillery took a couple turns to play out and helped lift the pressure off my right flank long enough to keep the auto-win objective there out of his hands. Both myself and Spudnick were convinced the game was a foregone conclusion for ourselves and each other over and over again. “I got this in the bag…damn looks like you’re gonna win it….Ah ha! Time for my comeback!” It was neck and neck up until the last second, and in the end it didn’t feel like a loss or a win but a calm relief: “Wow, that’s finally over. Well played, good sir.”
Also, I felt like using a sniper for the first time ever and they are SUPR LULZ!1!!!1. I will be bringing them along in the future. I’d read a lot of mixed opinions on them and finally just ran one to get my own, so here it is: They’re like the FoW equivalent of mages, “I cast ‘sit down and do nothing’ on your assaulting platoon… For the third turn in a row. L-O-L! Oh, and remove that stand over there, too.” Maybe not worth 50 points but screw it, I had fun and that’s what I came out for. Infantry pretty much always defend, FV troops get shit for drops while waiting for reinforcements to show up, so anything that makes the other guy sloooooooow dooooooooown whether he wants to or not and lets me last long enough to get my reinforcements while not even counting as a drop is A-OKAY in my books. The maximum three in my list would probably send someone to the crazyhouse but cost me the equivalent of a line platoon. Mad props to Spudnick for falling for my cunning plan of letting him thrash me. And to both of us for finally finishing a damn game.

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