MERCS: Oh god it BURNS   Leave a comment

Took Mercs out for another spin tonight.

Steve took the CCC. I took KemVar, for the first time.

KemVar is distinguished by their active camouflage (which puts them in constant cover, making them hard to hit at the best of times), extreme mobility (especially on the assassin, who can also close with the enemy and do two blood on a single charge) and flimsy armour (doesn’t deter assault rifle fire; malfunctions with relative ease).

So what would be the best way to take on an army that closes fast, is almost impossible to hit, and is readily damaged?

Everyone who said “flamethrowers”, come to the head of the class.

We played on Steve’s Xeno-Terror table, full of close quarters and corridors. This is a table that really favours KemVar’s style, and I was eager to try out the last of the factions in my MERCS toolkit. We selected a scenario based on the “Fire Station Epsilon” encounter designed for CCC and USCR, with the objective to get three uncontested figures in the centre space of the table.

Those huge burning smoke templates were worth every cent Steve didn't get from customers.

I figured I’d get my main army around one side and close the pincer with the Heavy and Assassin coming from the other side. But I got mixed up and sent the Heavy with the main group, and the Assassin and Mechanic went off on their own. Not smart! The Heavy gets a big bonus when he’s on his own, and the Assassin is a key mop-up piece. Instead, I led with the assassin, and grouped the Heavy with the rest of the squad, losing out both on his Heroic Loner bonus and the Leadership benefit from my Assault Leader.

Steve brought his Heavy, Incinerator and Medic up the east half of the table, while his Sniper and Assault Leader snaked around to engage my main force. My assassin inflicted brutal damage on his flamethrower trooper, but once again, hands up everyone who remembers how many Blood tokens the Incinerator can take before dying.

That’s right: four. In the time it took to ambush his one tank, his Heavy waltzed up and demonstrated what happens when a toad gets hit by lightning brawling heavy attacks a lightly-armoured assassin.

Though I took out his medic, it was just a bit too late to save the game for me. I managed to get my troops into the central room, only to have them largely burned out by Steve’s barely limping along Incinerator. A background swordfight saw my Leader put down his Sniper, and my Heavy was able to shut down his Assault Leader eventually. But in the end, the flames got them all.

The moral of the story? Pick those key targets and make sure they go down. Especially when you have key clutch pieces — almost always including the Heavy — in your sights, focus on taking them out to the exclusion of lower-priority troops like Assault Leaders and Snipers.

Here endeth the lesson, but the fire still burns…

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Posted February 8, 2012 by Ilan in Battle Report, MERCS

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