Sim Gear 2000

Well, Eden was spoiled last week on Late Night Wargames, so I can finally release this battle report. If you want to see the spoiler, have a look here:

Adam has been going a little hard into his Heavy Gear terrain, and this was the result:

Not gonna lie, we spent a good 30 minutes playing with the table setup and reminiscing about playing Sim City 2000. The work that Adam’s put into his neoprene roads is really stunning, and quite easy to do. Just add some additional white paint to add more lanes, and then some light weathering with dark washes, and boom, you’re done. he’s added some shading and flock to some 3D printed rocks which make them look really nice, and there’s a bag of trees on his workbench that I would expect to see soon.

Overview

I’ve been quite busy lately, without much time for gaming or hobby, so when Adam suggested we get some more Eden testing in before our LNW episode with Rooster, I jumped at the excuse to get a game in. Unfortunately, this did not give me much in the way of time to prep a list, but I made do. I knew I wanted to have some Constable Golems on the table, because I had gone through the effort of modeling polearms on them and was really keen on using them. I’m also a huge airdrop apologist, which meant I was taking a bunch of SO upgrades on my Golems. In fact, I took an entire squad with 2IC to allow me to split the group.

I’m playing Eden Noble Houses, which let me build a budget Griffin with the vet upgrade to linked LGL on the Grenatum Golem. It also let me get a duelist Griffin with some buffs. I’m not sold on the Field Armor Gargoyle. Is adding Field Armor bad? No, certainly not. I would’ve preferred to spend those points and the veteran upgrade slot elsewhere though. I think there was a more efficient way to deal with that. The Gargoyle is already a pretty big beefcake, it’s not like I needed to further disincentivize Adam from shooting at it, I think. Leaving an action on the MFG to react with is disincentive enough.

Name TV A Weapons Traits
CG1
FS
Warlock Adept 8 1 »LSMG(Combo), »LAPGL(Combo), »LCW(Reach:1,Haywire), LHG Hands, Airdrop, Jetpack:8 ((Aux)), Comms, ECM+, Sensors:24, CGL
Melinite Gargoyle 26 2 »MFG, »HVB(Apex,Reach:1), HFM, MRP(Link,AA) Hands, Airdrop, VTOL, Shield, Brawl:1, WeF, Field Armor
Spatha Griffin 12 1 »MAC(AA), »MVB, LGL(Link) Hands, Agile, Airdrop, VTOL, Brawl:1
CG2
SO
Dominus Constable Wizard,Special Operations 10 1 »LSMG(Combo), »LAPGL(Combo), »MSG(Reach: 2), LHG Comms, Hands, Jetpack:8 ((Aux)), ECM ((Aux)), ECCM ((Aux)), Airdrop, Stealth ((Aux)), Brawl: 1, CGL
Ignus Constable Wizard,Special Operations 10 1 »MFL, »LRP, »LVB, LHG Hands, Jetpack:8 ((Aux)), ECM ((Aux)), ECCM ((Aux)), Airdrop, Stealth ((Aux)), 2iC
Grenatum Constable Special Operations 10 1 »LGL(Link), »LRP, »LVB, LHG Hands, Jetpack:8 ((Aux)), Airdrop, Stealth ((Aux)), WeF
Constable Special Operations 8 1 »LSMG(Combo), »LAPGL(Combo), »LRP, »MSG, LHG Hands, Jetpack:8 (Aux), Airdrop, Stealth (Aux), Brawl: 1
CG3
SK
Spatha Griffin 13 1 »MAC(AA,Link), »MVB, LGL(Link) Hands, Agile, Airdrop, VTOL, Brawl:1, CGL, WeF
Ignus Constable Wizard,Special Operations 10 1 »MFL, »LRP, »LVB, LHG Hands, Jetpack:8 ((Aux)), ECM ((Aux)), ECCM ((Aux)), Airdrop, Stealth ((Aux)), 2iC
Agni Hellion Anti-Tank Armor 7 1 »LIW, »MFL(Auto), »HICW, LAVM VTOL, Airdrop
Agni Hellion Anti-Tank Armor 7 1 »LIW, »MFL(Auto), »HICW, LAVM VTOL, Airdrop
Total 125 12

I also took the opportunity here to try out the Agni, which I’m pretty excited by. I was on the receiving end of Adam’s Killer Koala MFL last game, and I wanted to get him back! I’m trying out the Ignus Golem Wizard upgrade, to get some ECM support in the midfield, but I’m less convinced that I should put the Wizard upgrade on the Ignus. Having the ability to threaten high armor with Fire is quite good, and I’m incentivized to be pretty aggressive with them to flamethrower stuff instead of using the hacking.

More generally, the Golems are interesting. By themselves, they’re rather unremarkable, but you can add so many little upgrades and have other variants that dramatically change their battlefield role. I liken it to the flexibility of the Shinobi chassis. At the time of the game, I was using an already out-of-date version of the unit profiles to build my list, so fair warning, things are subject to change!

I was pretty excited about the Griffins and their linked LGL. I had high hopes for the Gargoyle and its mega gun as well.

Adam decided to go heavy into his Eastern Sun Emirates with a bunch of gears from other TN factions pulled in. Of note were his two brawlers and the Xyston Crusader. The rest of his list is quality South stuff, namely the Iguana and the Hetaroi.

Name TV A Weapons Traits
CG1
FS
Command Hetairoi 27 2 »LLC(T), HRC(T) Airdrop, JumpJets:2 (Aux), Comms, SatUp, ECM, ECCM (Aux)
Nemesis Jaguar 16 2 »MAC(Link), »LVB, MRP, »MVB Hands, Agile, Airdrop, Brawl:2, Vet, Duelist
Jackal Melee Specialist 8 1 »LAC, »MVB, LRP, LMG Hands, Airdrop, Brawl:2
CG2
SK
Arbalest Mameluk 5 1 »LRP(T), »HMG(T) Airdrop
Xyston Crusader IV Crusader V 14 1 »LFG, »MVB(Reach:1), LAPGL, MRP, MFM Hands, React+, Brawl:1
Black Box Iguana 10 1 »LAC, »LVB, LPZ Hands, Agile, Comms, ECM+, ECCM, Sensors:36 (Aux), TD (Aux)
King Cobra Gunner 23 2 »HRC, »MVB, MRP, LAR, LGM, HMG, MAPGL Hands, Vet, Brawl:1, Duelist, Precise:1Wpn, Agile
CG3
GP
Hittite 9 1 »HMG(L,Link,Auto), »HMG(R,Link,Auto), HFL(T,Apex) Amphib, Offroad, Smoke, Transport:1 Squad
Lizard Rider Team 5 1 »MIW, »LIGL, »HICW Agile
Lizard Rider Team 5 1 »MIW, »LIGL, »HICW Agile
Command Team 3 1 »LIW, »LICW Comms
Total 125 14

Deployment

Adam won the deployment rolloff and elected to take the side that would have heavily favored me. I had all airdrop-capable combat groups, so I was hoping to deploy behind the buildings in the middle of the table, with more buildings to retreat behind immediately adjacent. I think this played a big part in the game and was an excellent decision on his part.

He started by deploying his Lizard Riders and all that in the back of his deployment zone, which is pretty uncontroversial.

I deployed my Agni group next, which is very typical for me–I generally want to put the fastest stuff down first, because it matters less where they’re deployed as they can “fix it later.” I just split deployed them with 2IC, figuring I could cover more ground. Adam then put down his Cobra/Iguana squad next, which was rounded out by a Mameluk.

I wanted to save the big boys for last, so I deployed my all Golem SO squad next. I split them up with a pair on the right and a pair in the middle. I think I should’ve been even more aggressive and put them on the left and the middle, but I was worried about where Adam’s Hetaroi/bonk squad was going.

He put them on the right to basically eat my Constables over there. I wasn’t really happy with any of the positions for my Gargoyle squad, so I went conservative and put them slightly shifted forward in my deployment zone. I really wasn’t happy with their deployment, but putting them all the way on the left behind the big rock felt… not great, as it would mean I would engage immediately with the Hetaroi, and I wasn’t sure I wanted that.

Objectives

We’re playing Sector Control, which means I need to keep my stuff alive and out put Adam’s stuff in 4 quadrants at the end of the game.

To that end, I think the correct choice here would have been to take Assassinate, targeting the command team and the Iguana, but I took Raid, mostly to give it a shot. I think Raid is actually a terrible choice to pair with Sector Control, because it adds an additional constraint on my positioning in an already overconstraied system.

However, with so many of Adam’s actions tied up in his FS group, Wipe them Out was a natural choice. I could ignore the Hetaroi and just kill the Jaguar and Jackal, giving me two points.

  • Eden
    • Raid
    • Wipe Them Out
  • South
    • Hold
    • Pave the Way

Adam chose Pave the Way on my Agni and Constable Golem squads, and then took Hold.

Fight!

It’s worth nothing that in addition to Eden testing, we were testing a change to how sensor lock functions with respect to Medium Cover. We were allowing sensor lock through one Medium terrain feature, not two. In effect this meant you were only sensoring through one, not two buildings.

My plan was to achieve Wipe Them Out, then Raid, and then figure out how to respond to the evolving situation for controlling quadrants.

I won initiative, but immediately ceded it by rolling like crap. Adam’s Nemesis Jaguar was visible, so I started by trying to engage it, first with a hack from the Warlock, which failed. I then attempted an LGL burst on it with the Griffin. Failure. Finally, a shot with the Gargoyle’s MFG. Fail. I’d now spent 4 actions, not advanced my positioning, and drained absolutely no resources from Adam. This represented a waste of 1/12 of my combat output, which was quite disappointing and frankly demoralizing.

I chose to engage the Nemesis Jaguar first, because it was so close to my units and I was trying to preserve my units for Sector Control. It also represented 12% of Adam’s forces, so it would have been a pretty good return on investment had my dice decided to work for me. That said, It was actually on 3d6 for defense on basically all its rolls, which is quite hard for me to deal with.

Should I have decided to do something different? Perhaps attacking with the Constable that was about to die would have been more appropriate, going for a MSG hit on the rear of the Hetaroi would have been good. I wasn’t confident in my ability to really make that work, so I second guessed myself. In any case, that Constable was immediately crippled, as was its compatriot Ignus Constable in close combat with the Nemesis Jaguard and the Jackal. The Agni did manage to put a point of damage on the Jaguar with Fire, which was pretty cool.

I really committed to that area and put two more points on the Jaguar with my Griffin, and the Agni hit the Jackal, crippling it.

The other Agni grabbed the Raid objective on the left, which was a huge mistake, as it gave Adam all 4 turns to target and kill it. He started almost immediately by firing the Xyston Crusader’s FG at it thanks to some fancy footwork from the Iguana FOing. MOS 1 put four points of damage on my Armored Agni.

I activated my constable squad next, and the crippled Ignus with only 1 hit point left killed both the Jaguar and the Jackal! Wild.

Another turn saw me try to take down the Iguana, but ECM and agile kept it alive in spite of the Flamethrower.

I snuck the damaged Agni to a spot that I thought would be safe, in the river.

My aggressive push with the Ignus Golem in the Agni squad did not go unnoticed, and I ate some precise HRC fire.

I did, however, have a moment where the back of the Iguana was exposed to one of my Constables, so I attempted a Joust backstab! I was feeling pretty good, 4d6 versus 2d6, but agile and a reroll saved the Iguana from doom.

I decided to try and kite Adam back towards his deployment zone by taking the Constable’s second Jetpack move to a building behind his lines, but I just got shot.

The King Cobra crippled one of my Griffins, and things were starting to look pretty dire.

Adam’s Hittite did some serious work with an HFL, but it got too aggressive and advanced to a place where my Gargoyle could see it, so it ate an MFG round and was crippled. It broke line of sight, but that brought it into range of my crippled Griffin. A crippled Griffin is still capable of doing some damage in melee to the rear of a tank, so the Griffin’s MVB finished off the Hittite.

At this point, I’m having a really hard time getting anything to stick, damage-wise. I try taking out Adam’s Lizard Riders with an Ignus Golem but fail to even hit them. My Agni tries to burn them off a Hold objective, but also misses and dies shortly after. The Xyston snipes my other Agni with the other Raid token with a lucky field gun shot. I rolled terribly on an ECM protected defense roll and the re-roll was worse.

That means I’ve only got Wipe Them Out from taking out the Jaguar and Jackal, and I’ve lost so much material I can’t hope to hold more than one quadrant with the Gargoyle. I make one last ditch attempt to take out a full-strength Hetaroi with the Gargoyle but only manage to do one measly damage.

Adam got all his objectives and 3/4 quadrants, making it a

9-2 South Victory!

Post Game Analysis

Off the cuff thoughts:

  • Flamers reliably killed a bunch of stuff in our game (highlight: a crippled ignus golem split and killed the nemesis jag and the jackal ’cause all 3 fire went off).
  • ENH feels like the correct sublist right now, AEF feels better than EIF, but both are worse than ENH (definitely to support a melee build). The fact that I can get +1A on 3 duelists at 125TV to get more melee attacks off or more ECM hacks off is really important.
  • Eden is weirdly bad at area control, because they want to trade up with the golems, and the lance isn’t doing it reliably enough for the cost. halberd is reasonable. If you trade up, you’re still losing out on area control.
  • Eden is not very good at EW, as they pay an opportunity cost to get into the EW game. Adam’s one Iguana fended off the warlock all game, and I lacked the tools to do anything. melee didn’t work very well either, as 3d6 on 4+ from the lance versus 2d6 on 3+ agile wasn’t enough to make any damage stick.
  • I think for the cost, Griffins and Doppels are very good. I’m less enthused about the other stuff, and I’m kicking myself for not taking doppels this game.
  • Agni + Armor are super good.

What follows is a sanitized Discord feedback brain dump, so please excuse the informality and unstructured flow:

I don’t have much to say about the Doppel yet. I think they’re very good on paper and I want to take them, I just haven’t yet so I’ll hold comments for now. And yeah, that table is suuuper fun to play on. I think it would be pretty awful without the 1 building not 2 sensors rule, as then Adam’s Iguana could’ve hid in the back and hacked me or whatever with impunity.

I took two Spatha Griffins. I like them. They’re all rounders and make for good duelists. I can make a bad version by taking a Grenatum Constable and giving it a linked LGL with the vet upgrade from ENH. It’s cheaper, and I can take it in SO, which is nice. I don’t have much else to say, griffins are expensive but worth it, and they have a lot of capabilities that you can use in different ways. I think it’s really important to consider making them a duelist with +1A in ENH, that’s where they really start to look good, either by firing the MAC and LGL or by whacking something twice with the MVB.

Honestly I’d consider taking the wizard griffin or whatever, ditching the LGL, and spending the 5 Tv to make it 2A. That I think is more my speed. I can hack something and then whack it. That’s 20 points though, and now we’re in Gargoyle range… so… hard to say. Have to see what else the list is trying to do. The linked LGL is nice but I can have a Grenatum Contstable take the vet upgrade.

Eden as a whole is interesting. They get a ton of access to ECM like PR does, as there are bunch of wizard variants, and due to airdrop access it can be wherever you need it. None of their EW is good, it’s just there and easy to deliver. It feels good when it lands, and eventually you’ll get one to stick, so that’s probably fine. They don’t need to get better at it, I just need to reframe my use of it. I’m used to good ECM from CEF and PR right now, so having 4+ on 2d6 with the Warlock feels really bad. It can get fixed with vet upgrades, but… then you’re spending the ENH vet upgrade on it… ACS and ECCM duelist though, that’s starting to look reasonable.

Right now my approach to Eden has been exploring trying to deliver lances and other melee, because I really like the idea of that. It’s proven to be really hard, but maybe I’m just not being cagily aggressive enough. Eden in general is pretty flimsy; they have some survivable things, but there’s a lot of 3/3 and that’s a big deal. So you sort of end up throwing something under the bus to get a melee hit off. I think for that reason the SO role for Assassinate is pretty important to my play right now. I want a return on that investment. I may even consider taking RC for Detailed Scan with all the constables hopping around on their jetpacks.

I think Eden has some key weak points (like ECM and brawl on their line gears) that you need to shore up with upgrades. As someone who really didn’t like taking upgrades in other factions, I’m really liking the list building puzzle of ENH. It lets you shore up the weaknesses of the Eden portfolio and make things more consistent. To be a little stream of consciousness-y, I think that’s why I’m harping on Eden’s EW. My attitude has always been: “I have 4 activations over the game to do something, it better be reliable.” but Eden kinda goes the other way and asks me to take multiple EW platforms so I can try again, or take the Advanced Control Systems upgrade so i can literally just try the action again.

The more heavy gear I play the more it looks like an activation puzzle with dice to my brain. It generally takes two actions worth of shooting/melee/whatever to accomplish something, whether that be killing a thing or haywiring it, so I try to find ways to keep the # of actions to as close to 2 as possible. That’s why I’ve been thinking about using ENH to get 2A gears, as well as looking for highly consistent dice odds. I don’t generally like playing for risky scenarios “ohhh, maybe I’ll just throw 1d6 at this… maybe it’ll work” if I can avoid it.

In short, I like Eden quite a bit. They have unique weaknesses and it’s been fun exploring that. Jetpack movement has been a whole new level of “wait what?” and has made me think about positioning a lot. I need another game or two before I can really form strong opinions though. and I really want to try doppel. They sort of have all my favorite tools. I’m not sure why I didn’t take them in my last game.

As far as the game goes, Adam won pretty decisively.

I had WTO on his FS squad, took out his duelists with a combination of stabbing and flamethrowers I took Raid, snagged both tokens with the Agni, and retreated them away, but the Iguana that wouldn’t die just kept calling in fire missions from a FG and GM and eventually got lucky and took them both out. I think I rushed for the Raid tokens too early, and that allowed Adam more time to kill my guys carrying the tokens.

Aside from that, I just couldn’t beat any of Adam’s defensive rolls. Even-ish dice, but he would consistently hit 7’s and 8’s to my 5’s and 6’s. Do that enough times and my Constables die, and the activations start to run away from me Key turning point was when I rolled a 5, 5, 1, 1 on a backstab on his Iguana with a lance, he rolled like a 2, then rerolled to a 6.

I attempted again with a Griffin but couldn’t get past the agile. Eden wants to overextend and get the assassinate off. I felt really undergunned in the midfield with a MAC being the heaviest gun I had. I was going off an old Eden army list, which didn’t have the Man at Arms with SO /airdrop and MBZ, or I would’ve had that to challenge his Cobra/Crusader. In general though, I had some pretty unfocused turns and some disastrous dice… as I always say, have a plan and stick to it. My plan was fine (ish), but I didn’t really focus on the plan and bad dice sealed the deal.

Like my first activation of the first turn was throwing a Warlock, the Griffin, and the Gargoyle at a Nemesis Jaguar. failed the hack, 5d6 versus 3d6 on the LGL didn’t hit the Jaguar from the Griffin, and then the MFG on the Gargoyle didn’t hit either. I could’ve focused the FG but I threw the MRP at him with the second action, still nothing. 3d6 versus 3d6 twice–you’d think i’d get past the agile once, but nope. Then it was just me trying to open the door to taking out the cobra/crusader and failing 2 hacks, a bunch of grenade fire, and I think 3 melee attacks on the iguana.

The iguana had to die otherwise I wasn’t going to get past the ECM to take on the bigger gears with enough MoS to do anything, and it was FOing my pair of Agni which were holding 2 more points.

I over-committed and threw too much into the meat grinder, and Adam was able to hold 3/4 quadrants in the HGBTS mission we were playing. The Gargoyle wasn’t doing it for me that game. it crippled a Hittite and that was about all it did. The Hittite melted a bunch of stuff with the apex HFL, though. That was cool.

I’ve long struggled with area control missions in any game, really. It just seems so arbitrary and non-interactive in tactical games to take and hold a quadrant of the table. In Heavy Gear, I think my weakest games are quadrant control ones, and in Infinity, I just have to shoot my opponent off the table to really be successful, instead of playing a careful, measured positional game. We’ve been entertaining rebooting game night at the FLGS now that things are calming down, so perhaps I’ll have to get my reps in on area control games. Thankfully, the lessons from Heavy Gear and Infinity translate pretty easily, so I can play either game and still get useful game feedback.

In any case, thanks for reading. Hope you’re doing well out there.

WiseKensai

I primarily play Infinity and Heavy Gear nowadays, but I dabble in plenty of other game systems.

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