This was a game against one of my favorite opponents. I have never had a bad game against Blackthorne. He has handed me my own butt in quite a few games but win or lose its always a good time. Many of our games are like this one, true back and forth, not knowing who will win up until the end and often not until the last die roll of the last order.
Tohaa win Lt roll, Haqq deploy first, go first.
I have quite a task on my hands. He has 12 regular orders, 6 irregular, and 4 impetuous.
I spend a command to strip his only two regular orders from his second group, hoping to limit their capability.
His first 4 orders are Muttiawah impetuous: first one, left, move/dodge, killed by Gao Rael sniper; second, center/left, move/dodge, unconscious by Sakiel LRL; third, right, move x2; fourth, center/right, move/dodge, killed by Gao sniper.
On to the Ghulam link, they move up into a building and his near antennae, safely behind cover, activate the antennae – CLAIMED – The Ghulam link then attempted to use their HMG against the Gao sniper in link, crit vs crit, no effect. Round 2 HMG takes a crit, goes unconscious, link broken. One of the Ghulam doctors moves up, revives the HMG, link reforms. Ghulam HMG in lead again goes after Gao spitfire this time, 3 HMG hits, 3 saves! Gao Rael, figuring his luck has probably run out, chooses to fail guts to total cover behind a shipping container. The HMG turns his sights back to the Gao sniper on the rooftop, crits the Gao to blow his armor and send him to prone and total cover. Leadership of the Ghulam link passes to a Spec Ops who leads them to defensive positions mid field.
The impersonation marker near my Nikoul and Kosuil link team reveals to be….Big surprise!.. a Fiday who drops a mine in the doorway in front of my Nikoul, threatening him.
The lone surviving Muttiawah moves up the right side.
A rooftop camo marker shows itself to be a Daylami who threatens my Nikoul. Now, do I shoot back and eat a mine, dodge, or eat the shot? Go big or go home is my motto for this game. The Nikoul is outshot takes 2 unsaved from the Daylami panzerfaust but saves vs the mine, Nikoul unconscious.
Back to the Fiday, he moves and places a mine just outside a door covering the antennae nearest me.
I have my work cut out for me, near antennae mined, middle with heavy coverage and far one? Not gonna happen.
The Kosuil link (Kosuil, Makaul, Kamael) moves up with Makaul in the lead, tosses ZV smoke and chokes it with a 17…. Tries again and lays down cover this time, clouding the near antennae and the mine. The Makaul continues to lead the team, rounding the corner for position to deal with the Fiday, dodges the mine then an intuitive Flamer attack vs the Fiday’s engage. The Fiday fails and its Fiday night BBQ! This frees up the Kosuil to successfully claim the near antennae – CLAIMED -.
The Gao Rael spitfire team (Gao Rael, Spec Ops, Makaul), Gao steps out to break up the Ghulam link, proceeds to eat two HMG hits and two (yes, count them TWO) missile crits for a total of six unsaved wounds turning him into a thin red paste and breaking the link.
Keesan’s link (Keesan, Sakiel, Makaul) moves up with the Sakiel in the lead and successfully dodges a panzerfaust from the another Daylami camo’ed on the right. They continue up the left, into a building until the Sakiel can engage the right side Daylami in retribution for the Nikoul. Light rocket launcher vs panzerfaust leaves the Daylami dead. Threat removed, Keesan takes over moves to the enemy HVT and scans successfully – CLASSIFIED -. The link continues its rampage with the Makaul in the lead, moving to test its Heavy Flamer vs the new Ayyar’s viral pistols. Ayyar misses and takes one wound from the flames but survives (damned 2 wound HI….). The Makaul then hopped the lift to the roof to wash the Lasiq there in flames, the Lasiq successfully dodges, and a nearby Barid shoots the Makaul but the Mak saves.
Things are looking better for the home team!
End of turn
Down a few orders, Blackthorne begins his second turn.
His remaining Muttiawah moves up on the right with impetuous.
Next he drops a Ragik in his backfield near Keesan’s link to try and clean things up a little. The Ragik shoots Keesan’s Sakiel in the back, blows his armor and forces him into cover in the building under the Lasiq. The Ragik then turns his weapon on the Makaul on the roof with the Lasiq, again in the back (whats with this guy and shooting people in the back? “well, that’s the side that was facing me”), killing the Mak and breaking the link.
The Ayyar backpeddles out of the building, shooting the Sakiel with twin V pistols on the way out. The Sakiel returns the favor with his combi, Sak hit but saves and is forced to prone.
The Ghulam link jumps back into action with the Spec Ops in the lead. Moves up unopposed and synchs with the middle antennae – CLAIMED – He then continues forward to go light shotgun vs HFT Makaul (Kosuil team). Mak takes 3 hits, saves 2, unconscious; Spec Ops burns into unconsciousness but survives. Link broken. Ghulam doc patches up the Spec Ops and reforms the link (I’m really starting to hate Haqq docs…).
The rooftop Lasiq, freed of my Makaul, moves up and takes aim on my Kosuil still at my near antennae, Kosuil takes one V sniper hit but makes makes both saves, guts to total cover.
Ghulam link jumps in again, missile in lead vs Kosuil panzerfaust…..Ghulam dead! Link broken.
Right side, the remaining Muttiawah moves up and attempts to jammer my Kotail from out of sight but Kotail resets successfully.
Back with the Ragik, he shotguns and kills the Sakiel.
To wrap things up the right side Daylami jumps down from his perch, survives and the fall, ready to reload his empty panzerfaust.
Damage done, two antennae to my one, Haqq is in good shape.
Down a few orders but still in the fight I start the bottom of turn 2.
First I migrate a Kamael to the other command group, then create a link of Kosuil, Makaul, and Spec Ops.
Gao Rael sniper (with Kamael FO and Lt), stands back up (a mistake I’m about to learn, should have kept him prone and sliced the pie) and fires on the Ghulam HMG killing him but taking fire from a Ghulam rifle (miss) and Lasiq sniper who kills the Gao Rael sniper and breaks the link.
The new Kosuil team with the Spec Ops in lead goes spitfire vs Ghulam doc, killing the doc while taking a potshot from the Muttiawah’s pistol (miss). The Kosuil takes over and goes boarding shotgun vs Ghulam Spec Ops light shotgun, Spec Ops is knocked unconscious (again).
Keesan moves up on the Ragik and fires her viral combi vs the Rajik’s combi with misses all around. Round 2 and Keesan kills the Rajik.
The lone Kamael fires on the Ayyar from out of LoF but the Lasiq gives a warning (to no effect), the Ayyar tries to turn but is shot down (unconscious).
The Kosuil team, back to business makes a run on the middle antennae but stops for the Kosuil to gun down the remaining Ghulam doc (I’m so done with them picking guys back up after I put them down). But because of this ‘detour’, can’t make it to the antennae to synch before they run out of orders.
Keesan, with nothing better to do moves toward the far antennae.
I end the turn in pretty good shape, holding one antennae, the other two within reach, and 5 specialists on the field, Blackthorne very bloody with only a small handful of orders.
Blackthorne starts his last turn, transferring his baggage remote to the main group to consolidate orders.
Muttiawah on the right uses his impetuous to move and jammer my kotail, he jams the Kotail isolating him (this is going to be decisive soon) but takes a combi hit and goes dogged. He then continues to move up and jammer the Kamael FO on the rooftop, fails the jam and is missed by the Kotail shooting him again.
The Lasiq uses his climbing plus to position a shot vs the Kosuil, the Kosuil dodges into base with the middle antennae. The Lasiq has a number of incoming rounds that due to mimitism, jungle, and range bands fail to find him.
The Daylami uses his order to move up but can’t reach anywhere of significance.
His camo marker that has been hanging out all game in a building in the right side activates and reveals itself to be a Farazan with a boarding shotgun, perfectly lined up for a blast shot on the Spec Ops that will catch my Kosuil too (both specialists at the middle antennae). The Spec Ops fires back with a pistol but misses and is killed, the blast carrying through to the Kosuil, blowing his armor and knocking him unconscious (VERY well played Blackthorne!). The Makaul returned fire with his HFT (x2) killing the Farazan.
His Barid changes position to get a line on the Kosuil and forward observes him – Classified – . Then uses his last order to drop into suppressive fire covering the far antennae that Keesan is threatening.
With very few orders, Blackthorne has managed to turn me on my head.
I have my work cut out for me, with few orders and much to do, everything has to go perfectly for me to pull this out, one antennae with swing the game.
The lone Makaul uses his impetuous to run toward the Barid. Now, dodge or keep moving? If I dodge I may not be able to reach him with the HFT in the one more order that the Makaul has available. I gamble on moving, hoping the Barid will miss. I lose that gamble, the Barid kills the Makaul outright.
Keesan is my next gamble, she moves away from the Barid before stepping out, chancing it being outside of his 24” suppressive range…. 22”, the Barid outshoots Keesan and kills her and any chance I have of pulling out the win. I have 3 orders left, an isolated Kotail about 20” away from the middle antennae, and an FO on a rooftop about 24” from the same. With no way to reach an antennae with a specialist in the three orders left, we call the game.
Haqq – 7, Tohaa – 4
This was a great game that was a nail biter down to the end. Also an extremely bloody game with only 9 models total left out of 32 that took the field. A great game with a great opponent.