Monday, August 18, 2014

Quar! - Song of our ancestors. "The folly of prohibition"

A bit late posting this up. At the beginning of August I managed to make it to the regular club game night, trumpeter. I ended up gaming with Cameron (of Cameron's Tiny Men), Grace and Dan (whom I played my Gruntz game with). Cameron is a great painter, and routinely collects both sides of a fight and terrain so he can host games; a marvelous set of traits.

The Quar are from zombie smith and are strange anteater like humanoids engaged in some sort of WW1 era type war. The history is present in the rules/sourcebook 'Song of our ancestors'. The basic rules are a 'Song of....' clone (Ganesha games) which has been successful enough to reskin to many eras and settings. It seems to work quite nicely.

You choose how many dice you want to roll (1-3) to activate a model (or group sometimes). You attempt to hit their competence rating (i.e. 2+, 3+, 4+,...) and successes give you actions. 2 fails, however, and you turn over to your opponent. Thus, with good rolling, you can activate and move most/all of your force before your opponent. Not all is lost, as you will eventually get to move everything (that doesn't double fail their rolls) before the turn ends and the insanity begins again.This mechanic works well to keep all the players invested in the action, as the active player can switch at any time.

Dan and I arrived a bit late, but got handed commands with no problem. The story is that a fairly green unit of Quar soldiers is traversing a rough area of backlands controlled by some moon shiners. The shiners think the soldiers are there to destroy their still, and lash out violently. The soldiers leaders, a green lieutenant and a veteran NCO disagree over fighting for glory (the former) and getting the hell out of the ambush (the latter). A dice roll decides to skedaddle, but if the NCO is killed, the objective reverts to fight. Each objective has entirely different VP scoring, so the Quar soldiers have some difficulty if they take the wrong casualty.

 As we arrived, the shiners were ambushing the column from 2 sides.

Already the poor government troopers had taken a drubbing with heavily wounded figs bleeding out. The government forces had a figure (cookie) who could 'heal' heavily wounded folks, but he has killed very VERY early on. 

The shiners even included a mounted trooper (who had some good stats), and a scary partisan tank; a machine gun mounted inside a wooden cask.

Luckily the crack government sniper was able to eventually knock it out, but not before it reaped many of the troopers. 

Cookie is bleeding to death on the left. He even had some pigs (ambulatory food supply) in attendance with him, which (in theory) would reduce his chances of getting hit (random hit allocation). Unfortunately only one pig copped a shot instead of him, and he went down suddenly.

The other group is an automatic shotgun. This was an expensive item, but had to be emplaced, and had a poor activating team. It didn't contribute much to the flight...fight. No wait, it was flight. 
 One of the rear guard troopers takes up position to help cover the retreat. Overwatch is interesting in this system, as you drop a marker on the table representing the area you are covering. If anyone (friend or enemy) enters a certain range of the marker, you take a shot.
 The government column is splitting up. The front rushing forward to safety, the rear dropping away. Shiners can be seen closing in from the sides at 4 oclock and 10 oclock.

The rear guard are fortunate to have a lot of cover. I run up the figs to the wood edge to try and suppress the rabble moving along the edge of the board. By rabble I mean 'better quality than me insurgent moon shiners'.

This would eventually be a mistake, as the victory conditions needed me to evacuate my troops, and they would be caught in some stray gunfire and help tip the scales.

Here we see the partisan cask tank blow up. Other partisans/shiners take cover behind it, as they continue to punish the forward half of the government column. Most of the government column went down shaken.

Standing up from being shaken takes 2 actions, so you risk turning over activation, AND you probably can't do anything. Also, another shaken result while you are done equals a kill. 

Some action location, but looking the other way. You can see there are 2 government troops still on their feet, and a swarm of shiners. Not seen are the second group of shiners approaching the other side (back left). 

Here we see the shiners vs the rear of the column. They are moving to kill the forward half of the column, which has almost escaped/been completely destroyed.

As soon as they turn to face the government troops at the back, the game hangs in the balance (i.e. can the government evacuate enough survivors to not be in fiasco territory). 

The shiners moving up to finish off the survivors at the front of the column.

Meanwhile, I'm now facing problems with command ranges through the woods. I am just managing to pull back my over extended troops, when a young shiner lad puts on a surprising turn of speed and demonstrates his faculty with a chefs knife.

The model in question is armed with a knife and sprint, and races forward to knife down one more trooper. It is now impossible for the government troops to win, and morale checks are probably over due. We call it a strong win for the shiners.

So demonstrates the folly of prohibition. 
How many gamers does it take to funnel the sandmix back into the plastic container?

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