Saturday, November 20, 2021

Horizon Wars Game 3

I don't know what started it, but a couple of weeks ago I felt the urge to get back into sci-fi micro/mecha gaming. I already have a low-tech Dropzone Commander Resistance force and a Heavy Gear Caprice force with 4-legged mechs, but I felt the need to own a "conventional" force with tanks, APCs, and infantry, and also a force of "traditional", 2-legged, guns-for-arms mechs.

Needless to say, several purchases were made, and I dusted off my copy of Horizon Wars, re-familiarised myself with the rules, and played a short game with FG after our Sludge game on Monday.

Despite having a better grasp of the rules this time round, we still found the bookkeeping onerous. This was made worse by the (unrelated) fact that I had chosen to mark my models using decals of 2mm tall numbers on the edge of their bases, and between the time when I made that decision to now my eyesight has deteriorated, making it a chore to see which model was which unit on the roster. 

After the game FG and I took stock and looked for other options for the rules. We found Heavy Gear Blitz and Battletech Alpha Strike too crunchy, while simpler rules like Epic required too many models, and are too tied to a background to fit what we were looking for. That's not to say that I do not harbour the dreams of one day fielding an Imperial Knight army with a few titans...

Eventually we had the idea of looking at CAV: Strike Operations ('strike' and 'blitz' are probably to sci-fi rules titles what 'eagle' and 'empire' are to Napoleonic rules titles) - we have been planning to order some terrain pieces from Talon Games, but somehow we had never taken a look at the CAV rules.

I downloaded their quick-start rules, and so far they seem to hit the sweet spot. In many ways it is like Horizon Wars: each element has two actions per activation, and performance degrades with damage, only the degradation is programmed/fixed, so you don't actually have to decide which stat to reduce, or keep track of which unit has which stat reduced.

I ordered a copy of the rules (they are not available in electronic form, sadly), and with shipping the way it is these days, the book, various sci-fi models and terrain should arrive in the mail over the next few weeks, and keep me busy for the rest of the year. If things go as planned, you should be seeing more sci-fi content on this blog next year.

1 comment:

SteveHolmes11 said...

A unit ID tip from another players whose eye's are letting the side down.
Actually two tips.

1. Paint a white strip, and number your units using the resistor colour code:

2. Carry a small LED torch (flashlight in USA English), which makes reading fine print far easier on a tabletop.