The game uses 4 stats: Grit, which is your saving throw – Fighting Value, which is for Hand to Hand – Shooting Value, which is for, well, shooting – Speed, which increases reactions and movement. The balance of character and cost of them is still in some development. You create a retinue of 4 or more characters that you will take through the combat scenarios. These can be one-offs or as campaigns (they have some rules for that). My son Tom and I are going to run a campaign, where we take turns running our respective retinues while the other plays the opposing forces. I created an Imperial Inquisitional retinue and Tom made a Tau Investigation Force retinue.
In order for us to have shared Tau and Imperial “good guys” I went ahead and invented a new area of 40K space called “The 20 Worlds Compact”. It consists of 18 star systems on the border between the Imperium and the Tau Empire. These star systems are jointly controlled by the Imperium and the Tau, based on a treaty set to last for 500 years. They are 100 years into the treaty. Under this treaty the two races can share the star systems and even worlds. Trade of raw materials, commodities and foodstuffs is allowed, just no trafficking of technology. there is continual tension between the two races, but they found that in this region it was better to work together than to fight, largely due to constant troubles with Orks, Tyranids, Eldar and Chaos forces in the region. There seems to always be someone who wants to try to break the peace and bring the region back to war…
Using the random generator Tom got the campaign “The Curious Case of the Crazed Inquisitor”, where his Tau investigation team has to keep a radical Imperial Inquisitor from causing something terrible to happen.
The first scenario, also randomly generated, is an Investigative Mission known as “No Stone Unturned”. The mission is to investigate 6 buildings in a cluster and search them for clues. Each clue is worth Victory Points and allows you to accumulate reinforcement points to make your retinue stronger.
Buildings are investigated by having one member of the retinue stand by the door for one turn. A die is rolled and on a 5 or 6 a clue is found. On a 1, 2 or 3 then that many members of an opposing retinue appear in cover just out of sight of the investigators. They attack the next turn. The real kicker is that you only have 6 turns to do this. Time pressure makes things interesting.
The table layout is about 40 x 40 inches here. It worked pretty well.
I realized that the scenario needed a little tweaking, so I didn’t start the “six-turn-clock” until the Tau retinue actually started checking doors.
Tom split his unit up in order to start by checking two buildings at a time. The dice spirits decided that Tom was not only not going to find anything in the buildings, but that he would summon trouble…
Tom’s die rolls brought one enemy by each building. I chose the two tougher individuals that were generated for this “opposing retinue” team – Interrogators belonging to the Radical Inquisitor’s retinue. Both were armed with melee and ranged weaponry. The minis are old Necromunda hive gangers.
The two thugs (Renegade Interrogators) leaped out (me having rolled well for initiative) and engaged the Tau. The one on the left went immediately to melee combat, having moved into base contact with a Tau Fire Warrior. The other thug ran out to get better aim at the blurry image of the Tau Stealth suit. Even in the open the Tau Stealth suit gets a “cover save”.
The Tau Stealth Suit and Gun Drones moved away from the building to get a clearer shot. Hmmm, that is a total of SEVEN guns that are brought to bear on the Radical Interrogator. Tactically a poor move on his part.
While one member of the Tau retinue was tied up in melee combat the others blew smoking holes through the Radical Interrogator.
The other Radical Interrogator (thug) was dogpiled by three Fire Warriors in melee combat. This was still a net positive for the thug, since melee is not a Fire Warrior’s strong suit.
Taking them on hand-to-hand, well sword-to-gun butt, was a better tactical option. However…
One sword and two gun butts equals another Radical Interrogator eating street.
Meanwhile, other buildings were being investigated and other bad guys were coming out of the woodwork.
Two more members of the Radical Inquisitor’s gang – Renegade Stormtroopers – show up to give the Tau a taste of Hellguns.
Two Stormtroopers armed with Hellguns face off against the Tau leader and a Fire Warrior. A fairly even fight.
One Stormtrooper goes down. The other ends up heading for cover.
The Stealth Suit’s investigation of a building stirred up three Renegade Guardsmen. They moved in for the attack. They had the initiative and fired away with their lasguns.
The exchange of fire leaves on Renegade Guardsman and one Gun Drone down.
Meanwhile the other part of the Tau team finds the first clue while engaging in fire with the Renegade Stormtrooper.
One Tau find the first clue while the others successfully hit the Renegade Stormtrooper with a shot. He rolls his “Grit” roll and exactly meets it, causing him to go down for the turn. This also made him an easier target the next turn.
Turn 6 ended with the Renegade Stormtrooper getting finished off and the two remaining Renegade Guardsmen turning and fleeing. I allowed Tom a “free shot” at them and both Renegade Guardsmen were downed. I also gave Tom a free roll against the remaining building and he successfully discovered a clue there too.
End of game had Tom with 2 victory points and 10 reinforcement points. He quickly traded in the 2 Victory Points for an additional 20 reinforcement points and added 2 Kroot warriors to his retinue in order to give himself some better melee combat ability.
We had fun, it only took about an hour to play and we definitely plan to keep playing.
A good link for this game is here: http://thegamesshed.wordpress.com/2011/07/02/in-the-emperors-name/
Also, look for the forgeofwar Yahoo Group. Good folks there and they love their games and their players.
Thanks and have a good day!