Page 1 of 1

3/10/18 Batrep: Cities of Death 2018 rules

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:25 am
by MrScotty
Swerd and I played a game using the new Cities of Death rules this sunday, and I went in curious to see how much the new terrain system would matter to the game. The mission we played was the "infested city" variant, so we had 3 units of 5 genestealers and a broodlord on the board, and we substituted the usual Linebreaker secondary for a point if you killed the last of the infestation units. We placed 6 objectives, deciding that each one would be worth 1 point at the end of the battle round, or 3 points if you score an objective that your opponent had held in their last turn.

The new terrain system gave a universal -1 to hit if all models in your target are partially obscured by terrain (vehicles and monsters must be 50% obscured), and it also made Ruins and other building structures a +2 rather than a +1 to your save. To counteract these extra defenses, if you have a height advantage on your shooting target you ignore 1 layer of cover, and any grenades or autohit weapons score the maximum number of hits against units in Ruins automatically.

We played at 1500 points, I had abou 1250 points of thousand sons and 250 left over for summoning daemons, and Swerd had one detachment of tallarn leman russ tanks and 1 detachment of steel legion mechanized infantry in chimeras.

I got to choose the deployment map and so I selected hammer and anvil hoping that if I made the front narrower, my small number of melee units could be more impactful and tie more things up. Swerd deployed first and I did not seize, so he took the first turn and dedicated his army to wiping out the genestealers and scoring the secondary point. I rolled for the poor bugs hilariously poorly, but it was worth noting that against most of the firepower directed against them they were saving on a 2+...I just rolled a ton of 1s.On my first turn I summoned an exalted flamer and some screamers and started moving up the board, but couldn't get to any objectives so Swerd led the game 3 to 2.

Turn 2, the impact of those new cover rules really showed heavily. With my two rhinos and defiler (thanks to a psychic power) having an extra -1 to hit and being obscured, all that happened was 4 wounds on 1 rhino and 5 wounds on the defiler on top of a few cultists dying on an objective in the back. Then when I disembarked my rubrics into ruins in the midboard and started opening up on guardsmen and they were still getting 5+ and 4+ saves against my inferno boltguns. The most effective piece that turn was the defiler, who moved out into a more vulnerable position to get a clear shot on a chimera, and took it down using a stratagem for rerolls to hit and wound. The score changed to a tie because the defiler successfully contested one objective in the middle.

Turn 3 swerd was able to move several of his vehicles to gain clear lines of sight on Rubrics, and while both squads were still alive at the end of the turn he killed about 2/3 of the rubrics on the table, thanks in no small part to his Hellhound getting the full 12 autohits against one squad. He also killed a rhino and the exalted flamer, but his biggest problem was the defiler and screamers locking one of his tanks in combat, meaning he was unable to kill the defiler which had only 3 hit points left. On my turn 3 the defiler kept up its rampage and nearly killed another leman russ tank, and the rubrics and scarab terminators in ruins started making progress against the guardsman squads which had disembarked from their chimeras and entrenched into ruins in swerd's half of the board.

Turn 4, two more leman russ tanks and 1 more chimera was destroyed, and the hellhound was tied up by the scarab terminators as it tried to reach the cultists in my backfield to get them off the objectives they were on. I had my terminators, two of my sorceror HQs, my one unit of screamer daemons and a few rubrics. My opponent had 2 chimeras, 1 leman russ, one full unit of guardsmen and one company commander remaining, and we decided it was unlikely that he would be able to make up the one point lead I had at the end of this turn, so we called the game.

Overall I was a really big fan of the new terrain system, I counted at least a dozen times where one of us changed targeting priority, made a movement decision or gained an objective because of the increased impact of terrain. It did add significantly to the length of the game, as we were playing only 1500 points and when we packed up it was the top of turn 5 and it was 4:45. I feel this was primarily because there was just more stuff on the board every turn, and the only time anyone ever really "gave up" the movement phase was turn 1, when it made more sense for swerd to clear out the genestealers and score the extra point for that than try and advance up and possibly get charged by them. I did also notice that it was occasionally a little tricky to figure out "ok, you've got +3 from cover and Get down, and my guns are -2, so you've got a...four plus save" and determine whether or not we could fully see any units from an infantry squad to see if they were obscured.

I think the "quick version" of the cityfight terrain rules I played with Kenji last week amounted to most of the added impact (we just played with the Obscured rule in place, none of the other stuff) and it would definitely be what I'd prefer in a larger game. But this made 1500 points really feel like a meaty, back and forth game.

Re: 3/10/18 Batrep: Cities of Death 2018 rules

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:16 am
by AngelusSperi
This sounds really cool! I knew there was a stratagem to make variable grenades get max hits, but nothing for flamers. Did you two decide to houserule that? If it is, it's one that makes sense and i support (even hoping something like it shows up in main 40k).

Re: 3/10/18 Batrep: Cities of Death 2018 rules

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:55 am
by MrScotty
AngelusSperi wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:16 am
This sounds really cool! I knew there was a stratagem to make variable grenades get max hits, but nothing for flamers. Did you two decide to houserule that? If it is, it's one that makes sense and i support (even hoping something like it shows up in main 40k).
That was a suggestion I found online on Reddit as a way to increase the relevancy of flamer weapons as "bunker clearers" - the idea being that it is a major increase in firepower, but almost all units in ruins using the COD ruleset will be seeing at least 3+ saves against flamers. In the BRB version of cities of death, Fire in the Hole was a USR, rather than a stratagem, and this rule piggybacked off that.

Since I didn't have any autohit weapons in my list but I knew my opponent would, I figured I would give the suggestion a shot to see how it felt in game. We did not use the CoD specific stratagems, since I felt I was already adding in a lot of variables to the game, though reading through them there are definitely a few I think are interesting!

At this point, I think the CA2018 CoD ruleset offers something of a toolbox to create a satisfying terrain ruleset for a particular mission. I think there are elements to it that might work really well for certain setups but for others would make the game not very fun (Roads are a great example of this. In a game where the players have a lot of tanks, or other maneuverable elements, they would possibly work really well. But in a game where one player is a shooty army and the other player a fast melee army, they would seem to tip the balance heavily in the favor of the melee army).

There's also a lot of things that seem like a lot of bookkeeping work, like all the various stratagems and rules that make stuff into dangerous terrain where you're rolling and doing mortal wounds on a 1 to any models that advance or charge while in them. And other stratagems that are just so non-impactful that you don't feel like they'd ever really be useful, that just add to the unwieldy amount of rules you have to remember.

I'm probably going to continue to do what I usually do: Suggest a ruleset to play with to my opponent in advance of our game and try to design it to be an interesting, close game.