“You don’t take a knife to a gun fight”

At least, that’s what Dave Luff, my opponent in last weeks game of Command Horizon, told me after he left the majority of my army a steaming pile of junk on the battlefield.

Dave Luff – My ‘Command Horizon’ opponent

It all seemed to start off well enough, although looking back my deployment wasn’t the greatest. My battalion of Medium Tanks was left out on a flank so it would be a while before they got into battle. (In fact, they hardly saw any action at all)

Part of Dave’s Centaur forces

More of Dave’s Centaurs

Guys that did the most damage – Gunships and Quad AA guns

The battle started with the Centaurs advancing on the right, towards my Heavy Tank Battalion.

The Centaur Gunships loom into sight

In trying to stop this advance, I ran into the first shortcoming of my army. The Heavy Tank Battalion is primarily armed with guns – and a couple of rounds of firing soon showed that these simply bounced off the Centaurs Force Field Generators. With the extra complication that I forgot that Small Arms can target gunships (so I thought that I couldn’t shoot at the Centaur Gunships) the Heavies were soon overrun.

Going…going…

…gone

Meanwhile, in the middle of the table, I foolishly advanced my Light Tanks forwards, only to have them shot to pieces by their Centaur counterparts.

Into the valley of death…

The Centaurs advance through the middle, and a close range firefight ensues

The end is near – the Centaur gunships start to roll up the center

I’d brought a couple of units of artillery, but they were outranged by almost a third by the Centaur Super-Howitzers, and so fell quickly to counter battery fire. After that, I had nothing left to touch his artillery of FFGs. The result? I lost 14 units of troops to Dave’s 2.

They say you learn much more in defeat than victory – that much is very true. My army has a generic set-up, and in it’s current format is not suited to fighting Centaurs. I’ve identified several issues that I need to address.

  • I need to get both AA & Shield cover for my units (to counter those pesky Centaur Gunships and give my units extra Defence Dice) – this can be done with a couple of HQ units (Twin ECM + 2 Gatling AA guns)
  • The Centuar Super-Howitzers & FFGs really dominated the game – I couldn’t kill many things because they always saved the hits due to the use of the FFGs, and the Super-Howitzers essentially blew up at least one unit every turn. I thought I could counter this partly with using my own artillery, but because my artillery units are outranged, I need a couple of Hunter-Killer units to take out the Centaur units. Skim Fighters & Fighter-Bombers should be able to fulfill this role.
  • All my units need to use weaponry that is not so badly affected by Centaur FFGs, and so I need to equip one of my Heavy Tank companies with Beamers rather than Guns (My Medium & Light Tanks are already pretty well balanced)

So, another order placed to Baccus, and hopefully these new forces will be ready to go before our next game.

2 Comments on “You don’t take a knife to a gun fight”

  1. There’s a maxim out there along the lines of “It takes 50,000 casualties to make a Major General.” Thank the gods ours are lead and cardboard.

    How did the rules play?

    • The rules are pretty neat. It’s actually a very uncomplicated system (units have 360 degree LOS, other units do not block LOS or movement) and also very interactive.
      Essentally, the Active player activates a unit, the his opponent gets to react to it. The active player may have more orders to perform than his opponent has reaction orders, however.
      Combat is a ‘buckets of dice’ affair, and there is actually very little record keeping. Units are either OK, Pinned, or Destroyed (hence the white and black acrylic markers).
      There are several question marks over the end game at the moment (especially the break point of Human armies) and idealy the game needs a set of scenarios to sort out deployment and victory conditions – but all the basic mechanics produce a fast, fun game – even if it does mean that I get beaten into the mud 🙂

      So, for a game that is still in development, it’s certainly worth a look.

      More details coming soon to a podcast near you…

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