By Podsy McPod
Posted by Harold
Fireteam Andromeda is available here.
Rise of the Robots: A Fireteam Andromeda AAR
One of the first sets of figures I bought for sci-fi gaming are the mini mechs pictured below. I never found a way to field more than a couple. I was also feeling a little tired of the desert colour scheme of most of my armies. So I drew up a "mekanoid" army list using low cost infantry to allow me to field eight mini mechs. It was also a bit of a gimmick army as it is all rated poor experience level which is not too much of a drawback as being robots they automatically pass morale tests, confidence checks in Fireteam Andromeda terms. The negative side is they cannot use extra commands in an activation without a commander with the overseer trait on table. So they are vulnerable if their commanders are lost.
My army is made up as follows. A field commander, 2NCO's, 6 basic infantry units, one recon unit, and two units of four battle suits (the mini mechs). The battle suits are armed with heavy machine guns giving five shooting dice per model. So I have a lot of anti infantry fire power but my heaviest anti armour weapons are the auto cannons on the recon vehicles and they are not that great.
My opponent fielded my near future Arab army the RPK. Consisting of a field commander, 2 NCO's, two units of tribal militia, 3 units of basic infantry, a recon unit and an armour unit. The infantry are average and have support weapons in the squad of RPG's and attached mixed weapons. The two tribal units are poor and have only primitive weapons so are near useless in fire fights but they also have melee weapons and close combat training making them deadly opponents in hand to hand fighting.
The game scenario roll was for fire fight. This means the winner will be decided on points scored for objectives taken and units left alive. There are two objectives indicated by the crashed drone markers. The random deployment zone roll produced diagonal corners. I got to choose sides and opted for the side with the objective surrounded by cover.
My opponent was quick to realise that I had little answer to his tanks and immediately sped forward with one to the central objective. He also forgot they were a single unit and had to keep unit coherency. He sent his recon around to the left flank to face mine. The two small vehicles are technicals carrying the tribal infantry. They have the "light vehicle" trait giving them extra move but reducing their armour. From previous experience I know the transported infantry are very vulnerable if the vehicle is destroyed with them on board. This will be my main focus as the game begins.
The rest of the RPK infantry are quick to follow. Again a tank takes the lead.
I begin my own advance taking one infantry squad into the nearest building. I lead with the mini mechs. I hope to be able to shoot up the technicals with the infantry onboard but the gap between the toxic pool and the building is tiny so I can only get line of sight with one model. Worse still the enemy recon open fire and disable one of the mini mechs.
Meanwhile the two recon units face off around the left flank. These are pretty much mirror images of each other stat wise so it purely come down to dice as to who wins. By this time I have remembered that the enemy tanks have to keep unit coherency and they duly do so.
Now things get really interesting. One unit of enemy militia successfully disembarks from transport into the central building with the objective. The other one hides behind the building but has yet to unload from the transport. I advance on the right flank and get a disabled result on the technical transport. Luckily the main force of RPK infantry is still quite far away but it shoots up my lead unit of infantry. Robot infantry can't be shaken but on a roll of any double they "glitch" leaving them in effect disabled until able to regroup. Guess what happened to my lead unit.
On the left flank I spend too much time wading through the terrain. To be honest it was a right traffic jam. No unit can move through anything else. One of the main lessons I will take from this particular game is to be more focused on planning routes. You need to be thinking how all your units plan to move for a few turns ahead.
The difficulties of moving around units is illustrated even more in the next photo as one of my infantry units winds its way between the bases of the mini mechs.
At this point I am actually feeling pretty happy. I have one building secure and I have shaken the tribal infantry around the central objective. The enemy tanks open fire on the mini mechs. I am not too concerned, being a vehicle squadron they distribute disabled results around the entire squadron. So two disabled results will not destroy a vehicle, in this four vehicle squad it will take five disabled results to knock out a single vehicle. The tanks have relatively low powered auto cannons getting a disabled result on the lightly armoured mini mechs needs a 3+ on the damage roll, only a roll of a six can destroy a mini mech with a single hit. The tanks fire, two hits, two sixes for damage, two mechs are blown to smithereens.
Thankfully fortune is not too one sided. One of the lead mini mechs is able to get a line of sight to the fully loaded technical. The ensuing fire knocks out the vehicle and takes out most of the transported infantry as well.
The enemy militia in the central building shake off their shaken status and decide to assault my infantry unit in the adjacent building. I have lots of spare commands and use one to issue a defensive fire reactive command and shoot the assaulting infantry as it comes in. Brilliant shooting from the purple droids as they score seven out of eight hits. Only to fail to cause a single casualty when making the damage rolls. The droids lose three figures in the ensuing melee.
This is where I make a crazy move. I decide to bring another two units of droids into the melee. I am figuring that the morale of the enemy militia is weak so if I can force a confidence check they are liable to run. I am forgetting that their close combat training gives them two melee dice per model compared to my one. They also have higher damage power in close combat. I am guessing they are using grenades or some similar improvised explosive device not illustrated on the models.
The survivors from the transport do not fare so well. They decide to assault the lead mini mechs. HMG's are pretty useful in this type of situation and they eliminate the assaulting infantry before it makes contact.
The game is coming towards turn four. It can finish there, depending on a die roll. Things are not looking too good for me. Basically my right flank has collapsed. Enemy tank fire disables the two remaining mini mechs on that side. The next round of assault goes even worse for me. The droids in the building are completely destroyed and the two units I brought up in support fail to break the enemy morale and take casualties themselves.
My opponent secures the central objective by bringing a command stand up to claim it. I try to advance the mini mechs to dispute it but I am hampered by having to maintain cohesion with the disabled models in the unit. Even by stringing out in single file with the maximum allowed separation I can't get close enough to dispute the objective. The melee with the droids and militia continues, badly for me.
The die roll for game end is made and it does end in the minimum number of turns, four. To be honest I am not sure if I wanted to continue. I really had very little left and most of the enemy infantry is untouched. The picture below shows the situation at game end. I have won the battle of recon disabling all the opposition recon for no loss but this happened too slowly to have any real effect on the rest of the game. So it comes down to a points count. We have one objective each so it depends on the scoring value of the remaining units. Basic choices score more than exotic ones, infantry more than vehicles and there are deductions for units having heavy casualties, being disabled or shaken. The points tally is nail bitingly close...31/30 to my good friend and gaming buddy Colin.
Although it does take a bit of care to count accurately I do really like the victory point system. It does seem to encourage taking well balanced armies. I thought the droid army had a bit of a cheek relying on the artificial trait to pass confidence checks. This was a boon and gave it plenty of spare commands. On the other hand it proved really difficult to remove disabled results from vehicles being rated as poor. The mini mechs were vulnerable with relatively weak armour but they could put out a huge amount of fire. The two destroyed results early on were a real blow and I would like to see them in action again. So an army I thought I had a bit of a cheek fielding actually felt very balanced and provided one of the tightest and most enjoyable games of Fireteam Andromeda I have had.