Friday, 15 May 2015

Leave No Stone Unturned.

Please don't be a bomb, please don't be a bomb, please don't be a bomb.

Hello, long time no write.
Its me Edchopp (Dan insists I note here that I am AKA Techboy 2000) and I'm here to write up an idea that Mega Mike and I had on Tuesday regarding a scenario.

Mega Mike and I played the Search mission on Tuesday and it was very clear to us that this is NOT a balanced tournament worthy scenario. Its far too random as a mission. As was made clear by the fact that of the five objectives available in the scenario underneath the 32 counters, four of them ended up in Mega Mikes half of the board. Which I, as a plodding PHR player, was always going to struggle with, especially as I couldn't not search my possible objectives.

But it was still fun, when we turned over the objectives to reveal what was underneath it was like opening a present on Christmas day, were you going to be ecstatic by getting what you wanted, or disappointed with socks?

Firstly an explanation of the scenario, we played at Clash level 1500pts. The point of the scenario is that on the board there are 32 possible objectives randomly placed, Of those, 27 are just place holders and not Objectives, five of them are objectives, ready to be extracted upon being found. Obviously find the most objectives and you win as per standard missions. 

A rough approximation of the scenario map from the rulebook.
The way we placed the possible objectives was fairly straight forward but difficult to explain clearly but I shall do my best. Mike and I split the board into quarters, and took four tokens at a time. Then we alternated opposing quarters placing tokens down, half-way through we swapped sides and started placing tokens in each others half (we decided this would be fair so that each side would have roughly equal amounts of objectives in the open and safely hidden ones.) until we had every token placed face down. See picture to the right.
Then we played the game.

So through the course of the game, as I lamented my dice rolling and general lack of match fitness (I've been unable to go to the late evenings our club has had to endure until recently), myself and Mike came up with ways of making the scenario more fun, and hopefully ramp up the tension a bit as well.

So here are our suggestions.

Firstly, change up composition of the tokens. We thought the following would be fairer and more enjoyable.
  • Four Objectives
  • Two Focal Points
  • Four Bombs
  • 22 Possible Objectives
The presence of Focal Points would add an interesting dynamic to the scenario. Especially as they could be right out in the open or hidden behind a building, who knows?! The presence of bombs would add a little frisson of fear to the tension. (I would suggest maybe an E9 small template placed over the centre of the token or just E10 (as in the Recon mission). Tokens inside buildings would work exactly the same as the booby trap in Recon.) As your units approach cautiously towards the Possible objective token like they just walked into the Hurt Locker!

Secondly, a suggestion on placement of Tokens.
Split the tokens evenly, objectives, bombs, focal points et al, into two face down pools then each player mixes up their respective pools. Then swap sides of the table and begin placing the objectives as Mike and I did, four at a time in opposing quarters, i.e. place four down change quarter place another four until you've exhausted your pools. Then swap back sides (round and round the merry go round.) and play the game as lined out in the scenario.

So hopefully that would make the game a little more interesting for you and hopefully a little more balanced. That said I still don't think this is a scenario that would fit well into a tournament, set up takes too long and it slightly favours the quicker factions, (Scourge, Shaltari I'm looking at you!). Plus the placing of the focal point could really swing it to one side or the other but this scenario would work well in a casual format very nicely.

The guys over at the Sweden Blog wrote an excellent post on this scenario and its well worth a read.

Anyway hopefully I made it clear as mud for you and that you have fun playing this different version of the Search scenario.

See you for my next blog post, should be around the time of the next blue moon!



  1. Great idea Sir.

  2. Hey Edchoop! Greetings from Sweden championship early morning! Great post, and some interesting idés for a change of the mission. We tried Search again last night after the tournament, PHR against Shaltari (I think Egge will post a blog about details later) and I would say that I think the twix we tried worked really well, maybe not ready for tournament play yet but still. The bonus we tried (or punishment if you like) was that if you want to pick the objektiv up you have to stand still on it with one unit for one turn passively and not do any thing els. If the opponent kills ya you have to start over... (more on this later by Egge I suspect)

    Never the less my point is even if I agree with you that the setup takes a bit more time then the other missions we should not give up on the mission for tournament play as I think a diversity of missions bring the fun and uniq experience as DZC always have been.. and we should not yield to the world of bad tournament experiences from GW...

    Best regards Lord Falkstål

  3. Great idea to tweak the mission. I'll definitely try that.

  4. We tested Search where you are not allowed to move the objective until you have had a unit starting and ending it's turn carrying the objective before the objective is movable. It was a much better fight over the objectives then. /Egge