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wilsongrahams
11-09-2009, 09:41
I'm currently battling my way through each mission one after the other and deciding whether they are easy or not and if any certain tactics worked well.

Mission One - Very easy for the marines if they get a high first cp pick or stealers get several 1 blips in the first turn, otherwise it's a pretty fair game for both sides but not too hard on the marines.

Mission Two - The first mission to play differently to 2nd ed. By being able to deploy your best model first and which room etc, the marine player can start off well but the genestealer player gets to fight back with second pick, and by placing a useless marine in a room he doesn't want a normal marine in he can start his plan straight away. Good marine tactics and being able to secure half the board with one well placed marine will win for them but the stealers really need luck on their side to win.

Mission Three - Mush easier now as the genestealers can't swarm ahead and block your path, however you have less forces to get good cover at the start. The first challenge in tactics and time! This mission is slightly more in the genestealers favour. Giving the CAT to a non-combatant marine such as flamer guy will serve you best here.

wilsongrahams
11-09-2009, 09:52
Mission Four - Easier than the white dwarf battle report makes out - the marines will win this three out of four times probably. Good sovering fire and a fast advance will usually save the day. A good genestealer player can pull a win out of the bag by waiting for the marines to come to him though. The most fun mission out of the original set.

Mission Five - Pretty hard if you don't plan it well for either side. A fine balance exists between delaying the marine advance and swarming in the lower sections. The marines can gain a technical victory by leaving forces covering the rear whilst others go ahead for the victory - a REAL marine player will advance all his men with careful covering fire to the rear - you should AIM to get them all off after all. This can be a bloody close range mission in the later parts but if you save your heavy weapons til the lower half you will do alright.

Mission Six - The first new mission, and refreshingly different. The Librarian is very powerful and is your best asset as a marine player. Genestealers here have a hard job to surround him or bring him down so should concentrate in the lower and right sections of the board and prevent the marines having an easy time waking their brothers. Some nuisance attacks to tie up the librarian will make this task easier. The jammed doors have a negligible impact on the game in all honesty. This mission is a close call every time played and is very fun and entertaining.

Mission Seven - The first misison I was daunted by in deployment and planning from looking at the map as you don't appear to have as many stormbolter marines as you'd wish for to cover all the corridors. Saving the flamer to hold off the rear half of the board for a few turns will allow your librarian to grab the artifact and retreat with it - the flamer will cover his back and psychic barrier can block any route zael can't. Easy for the marines in the first half, but trapping them from retreating in the second half is easier than it looks if luck is on your side. The marine's are best sending the librarian straight down the middle for the artifact as all other marines (except zael who should follow the librarian) cover the sides. He can easily look after himself and is the best model to carry the grail. A very fun mission again and one that can go either way. Definately a game of two halves and the genestealer player must play it this way - either concentrate on delaying the advance, or letting them get the artifact easily and stopping them from retreating after.

Sleby
11-09-2009, 10:23
Mission 7 was a nightmare as the marines. My friend and I both lost, I almost made it off the librarian. Was great fun though.

Mission 8 is such a cakewalk for the marines, I really don't know what they were thinking with that one.

wilsongrahams
11-09-2009, 12:49
I agree, just finished misison 8 now -

Misison Eight - As stated, very easy for marines. Only close combat was my librarian opening a door. Most exciting part was having to flame a stealer twice to kill it. Hardly impressive. Didn't lose a single marine, but Claudio finally survived a mission - though he did avoid combat so hardly surprising.

There are simply not enough genestealers in the first part of the game. The only tactic I can see being viable for the stealers is to ignore all the upper and lower entry areas and only use the ones to the right and swarm ahead and into the two rooms whilst the space marines are struggling to get a clear line of fire through the doors. Once you have some forces ahead to slow them, bring some in from the two sides to make them turn around. The librarian and flamer can block you off for six turns each and make it nigh on impossible to close so make it hard for them to advance instead, at least until you are getting the regular three blips per turn. Afetr the campaign is played, I will be trying this mission again with these alternative tactics.

Looking forward to the next misison as I get Gideon back again.

Anyone having different luck to me and findiong the misisons vastly different to my findings?

wilsongrahams
11-09-2009, 14:42
Mission Nine - Regroup

Just finished it now and loved it. It was a very very hard struggle for the marines and I lost three men though it was almost another five by my reckoning. With six survivors it was a win despite the dodgy win conditions which I disagree with - it shouldn't come down to a dice roll.

With your forces trickling on the marine player needs to create a beachhead with some of the least useful men at the front! My Librarian was caught in three rounds of combat and almost exhausted his psi points just to stay alive so had very little effect on the game as a whole. I actually liked this though. The corridors are twisty and short and this makes it hard to cover everywhere at a distance.

A skilled marine player should be able to spread out and advance pretty well. I was lucky and had some amazing overwatch shots where the genestealer was only in view for one turn! At the end I used the last of the librarians points and the flamer to hold off the enemy whilst I ran off the board with a lucky high command point roll. The trick here was to hold the sergeant on the board to keep his reroll until the rest had caught up with him. Behind the psychic barrier and wall of flames were sixteen genestealers and a horde of blips so you can see how close I came, with the assualt cannon needing reloading and with no time to stand still and block everyone, couldn't do it, the flamer fired it's last shot at the end and the librarian used his last points in the last turn too.

Very exciting and came right down to the last few rolls. Without five command points I could not have got into the exit corridor to clear the shot for the flamer and with the whole corridor full of stealers they'd have had plenty of time to rip through my men.

I can't wait to play this misison again. Claudio was my first marine off the board having avoided all combat again, and gideon had his back most of the way, using guard to good use. I now feel confident sticking the maverick sergeant in combat and trusting him to hold.

Next mission is Defend and is the last of the original missions so I know how this one shouls go even if there are differences. That game will be played tonight or tomorrow and the last two after that. Back tomorrow then guys and keep space hulking!

Sleby
11-09-2009, 18:54
I feel like with these missions that require you to roll a dice to see if you win they should have made it that you only roll if you got 3 or less marines off. 4+ should be an auto win.

wilsongrahams
11-09-2009, 19:20
Yeah I agree with that - I suppose that way it is marginal, but why bother anyway? Other missions allow you to draw, so why not none = lose, less than 5 draw and 5 or over win?

Anyway, just finished the next mission.

Mission Ten - Defend.

Upon deployment I realised that this was going to play a lot different ot the previous version. With different armaments and deployment locations and only nine marines, it made me think carefully about where to put my men. Immediately it was seen to be best to withdraw from the lower rooms pretty quickly.

I managed a win with this mission but it was probably pretty close and would have gone the other way pretty quickly. Only careful positioning and luck saved me.

The stealers will have a hard time attacking from the entries closest to the room as they will be covered by overwatching stormbolters. This was realised after a few turns. The next tactic was to drain the ammo from the heavy weapons. Clever use here - not going on overwatch but using command points to blast away after the corridor was full. The assualt cannon soon ran out of ammo. This was when the tesnion built up. With the two cc marines having to take their fair share of the combat they went on guard and each took down a horde of stealers before they bought it. In a desperate move, gideon killed three in one turn in his own turn without the benefit of guard. They bought enough time. Once they were down I was left with Goriel covering one of the lower entrances and one of the upper corridors. This was where the stealers got their chance. By this time the stealers were already on their second stack, and with less than forty stealers worth of blips things were looking grim for both sides. Goriel cleared the corridor but could not turn in time to defend his original corridor and kill them. One stealer got to him and attacked with it's last action point. With a roll of three sixes it was the high point of the mission. Goriel then rolled a six too and then in his turn blasted the SOAB to hell. If he had fallen, Lorenzo would have been cornered too and be the only man between the stealers and the duct room. Zael managed to intervene - I always save him till needed - and waited til the stealers were close and bunched before firing. He soon ran out of ammo after the stealers stopped bunching up. Finally with Zael out, he got out of the way and left Goreil to it who also moved clear with his last AP allowing Lorenzo to blast away too. With the last dice roll, and stealers close enough to kill goriel and zael in their own turn, Lorenzo finished the rest off.

There had been three casualties but two others were out of ammo and almost useless. That left four marines covering six directions. The marines had been lucky, simply as!

With the stealers concentrating their attack but the marines unable to move away from their positions else the genestealers attacked from that direction it really was left to just one or two marines to do most of the work.

Much more fun than 2nd edition as you can't deploy in the perfect positions and don't have the perfect wepaons. With a lot of maneouvering and thought the marines managed it but this mission is vastly improved from before. Very fun, and just bad luck for the stealers on the day.

It is now I've noticed that the marines have so far won every misison but it has been clear to me that three or four have been purely by good luck and plenty of command points. Competitive play of the levels I've mentioned will be very close and therefore exciting.

Just the two last missions and the broodlord to face now. Back again tomorrow!

Dexter099
12-09-2009, 00:26
Mission ten is a very fun mission. Did you have squad 1 haul it ASAP towards the objective, or did you wait a little bit?

wilsongrahams
12-09-2009, 11:17
I rushed straight to the uppermost corners and also kept two models in the original rooms. I kept the flamer and lightning claws marine together until thew assualt cannon could take over. Gideon also retreated to hide in a corridor ready to cover either side. I tried a steady withdrawal from my lowermost marines with bolters from squad two but one of them bought it. The other eventually replaced the flamer and assualt cannon in the other room and i left the low on ammo heavies and two close combat guys to then defend against anyone running the length of the hulk. It was close but they did it. Once in position, the four marines with bolters were mostly innactive as they were slaughtering everything but could not afford to be moved in case the attack direction changed.

destroyerlord
12-09-2009, 12:20
I found mission 1 to be difficult, although I must admit it was my first attempt at space hulk, and as such I did not realize the key to success with the marines is speed.
Mission 2 can go either way depending on the win condition the marines aim for. It is incredibly hard for the genestealers to win if the marines simply hold back and attempt an extermination victory, whist it is very hard for the marines if they try to move forward to shut down the entry points, as it becomes much to easy to surround them. This game turned into a stalemate when we played it, with neither side wanting to move any models, as the genestealers were waiting near the corners so they could get short runs at the marines, but the marines had no reason to move so sat on overwatch in the long corridors. I suggest putting a turn limit on this mission for the marine player to prevent this problem.
Mission 3 was very easy for the marines. 10 is way to many for this mission, I only lost 2, and most of them really didn't do anything much the whole time anyway. Gideon is killer! He is like a brick wall of genestealer destruction! I gave the cat to Lorenzo and had him second in line as we walked out. No worries.

wilsongrahams
12-09-2009, 16:48
Mission 3 was no walk in the park in second ed - you could try deploying both squads in the two corridors where Lorenzo's squad deploys to see how it goes then.

Still waiting for a check with others about mission eleven before i play it. Any htoughts on whether the power fields need to be attacked with all 6aps in one turn or piecemeal over several turns?

wilsongrahams
13-09-2009, 10:08
Misison Eleven - Unknown Lifeforms.
As mentioned, this mission was really easy for the marines. I had been expecting a little bit of a hard time even getting to the target room with the blips converging from all around and with the windy corridors, but no. With the powerfield generators slowing genestealers down for at least two turns and the librarian able to block any route not blocked off by them, they can rush forward to the target room.

I had achieved my objective and excaped with the sample before I even lost a marine, and that was through not really bothering to play after winning.

The other note, was that the broodlord died to one shot from the assualt cannon - using a command point to fire after it jumped into view. It faired badly on the day but will get a chance to redeem itself.

The powerfield generators make this too easy for the marines. The librarian will never be threatened and so will remain powerful, and in my game the broodlord never got the chance to show what it could do.

For almost the last misison it should have been much harder in my opinion.

Back tomorrow with the last misison.

StefDa
13-09-2009, 15:32
I disagree - the key to Marines is always being in Overwatch. My experience.

GirathonB
13-09-2009, 15:43
I disagree - the key to Marines is always being in Overwatch. My experience.

You are wrong. No matter how many marines you have in overwatch, you will not blow through 22 genestealers waiting for you between you and the objective.

Sleby
13-09-2009, 19:06
You are wrong. No matter how many marines you have in overwatch, you will not blow through 22 genestealers waiting for you between you and the objective.

Maybe that's true when you have an objective to get to, but on the 2nd mission this is exactly how my friend beat me after I wiped out the other 4 members of his squad.

He put his last marine at the end of the longest corridor he could find. I built up the maximum number of genestealers I could and began the charge...30 dead genestealers later and he'd won :p

Wintertooth
13-09-2009, 19:45
The Marine player does have an objective to get to. As the Genestealer player, you focused on killing Marines rather than your real objective: preventing him achieving his. Running down corridors at a prepared Marine position in Mission 2 is the equivalent of ignoring an opportunity to kill the Heavy Flamer in favour of killing the other four guys in Mission 1. The Marines are the ones with a job to do. Don't go to them.

wilsongrahams
13-09-2009, 20:19
Well said wintertooth. It is nice to hear others that have different views to mine, but although I value overwatch, I find you have to get into the best positions first else you'll get trapped and bogged down for infinity. Marines do need to stand and shoot at times but are best keeping moving forwards at every opportunity and only waiting whilst another marine moves to cover his back.

Mission Twelve set up and ready to play tomorrow. After plenty of studying I have my route planned. I just hope I get the average roll of 7 shots in the assault cannon and not less. With five or less it is next to useless...

wilsongrahams
14-09-2009, 13:17
Right then, Twelve.

First after-game impressions. Was it worth it? I spent longer setting up than playing it as it was a very short misison. Was it fun? Marginally. Now to describe my game as it may make a difference.

After sorting the blip stack I set up. There was only one blip per turn to try to stop the marines getting about thirty squares. About eight turns... Looking back, it wasn't enough as most were lone stealers. The first three blip that came up was immediately converted into the broodlord as the marines were already at the uppermost junction on the upper floor. Lorenzo spent two whole turns and command points firing away before a psychic block was put in place to save him from harm. Other stealers were outflanking so he gave up the fight and left with the librarian. The broodlord could wait.

As already mentioned, my concerns about assault cannon ammo were justified - i had rolled a four at the beginning. With that in mind i decided that leon and claudio would for a rear guard with anyone trying to sneak up. Claudio managed to defend himself one turn and then acting aggressively killed a stealer in his own turn. He then met the broodlord and died. Leon managed to fall down a ladder, then using command points climbed back up that turn only to fall straight down again. Whilst there he shot two stealers to death using three ammo and then in his next turn climbed back up and by then the broodlord appeared through the ladder at the top. One burst and only one hit meant the broodlord was safe from harm. Whilst the broodlord was trying to get at lorenzo leon walked up behind the broodlord and lost the combat. the broodlord turned to face him and i opted to ry again, but he bought it too. Then Lorenzo followed the librarian off the board before the stealers in the room and on the lower level got them. Rolling for the win, the stealers got a two and the marines a four, six with the two survivors. A victory for the marines and matching results to the novel!

Right then, the initial blip stack was still a long way from being exhausted and there were far too few genestealers to pose a threat. I'd suggest just using the stack as normal or if not, two blips per turn. Single genestealers are no threat to marines.

The librarian can block all day long on this short map and still have time to escape, but you have to watch where the ladders are and the stealers on the lower deck may be closer than you think. He has plenty of psi points to do whatever he wants, and if he had been following lorenzo in my game i would have engaged the broodlord in combat and slain it using psi points and his force axe, just for completeness.

A level that needs good situational awareness, possibly some luck on the assualt cannon ammo, but otherwise an easy one for the marines.

That's my campaign now finished. I'd love to hear if more agree with my findings on the levels.

When I next play through them I'm going to modify them as needed to give the stealers a fighting chance and make them more interesting. Next though, it's out with the second ed misison book to use my new forces and weapons and see how that goes.

I've enjoyed writing these reviews, let me know how you went. I may write a proper battle report and post it another time.

Lancer X
14-09-2009, 14:32
Agreed re. Mission IV (Cleanse & Burn). Very difficult for the 'Stealers to stop the Terminators from reaching their objectives.

We played my 3rd Ed box for the first time yesterday. Three players, two of which were experienced SH vets.

Game 1: the vets controlled the two marine squads, and the new player the 'Stealers. We did not time the Marines, since we were getting acclimated to the rule changes. The Marines won soundly, with no casualties.

Game 2: I played the Genestealers, and part way through we started to time the Terminators' turn. The timer definitely makes a difference, but I realized my error in blip placement too late to help myself. Two Marine casualties, victory Marines.

(I had been placing my first-turn blips in the closest entry points to the Marine starting areas, but I believe this now to be a mistake. The 'Stealer player needs to slow forward progress at all costs - so place your first-turn blips in the middle entry areas to get GS's in front of the Terminators ASAP.)

Game 3: The other SH vet in the group played Genestealers. I voiced my suggestion about early strategy to him, and he took the advice. We also timed the Marine turn more closely. Still a pretty strong Marine victory, but harder fought and with 4 casualties. The Marines were still scott-free at the end though.

IMO, definitely a Marine-biased mission.

I seem to remember that this was one of the more winnable missions in 1st Ed though, and obviously the old addition was heavily advantaged towards the Genestealers. I think that the addition of an assault cannon trooper also makes this mission easier for the Terminators. It used to be one flamer in each squad (IIRC), and flamers are simply slower pieces even with their blocking advantage. Meanwhile, the assault cannon can move&fire, Overwatch, and shoot out the door to his own objective.

In the end, the Marines only need to get within range of the objectives, and as long as they can shoot the doors out, they can even "cleanse" the rooms from range. No surprise that this is a Marine-advantage mission.

Sustained-fire bonus during Overwatch has gone a long way to balance the game. I greatly look forward to playing a different mission soon where the mission setup is more even.

wilsongrahams
14-09-2009, 15:58
I agree with mission four. This one was also one of the easiest in 2nd ed. It is still a fun mission that can go wrong against a clever stealer player though.