Friday, July 8, 2016

In The Emperor's Name - first battle report

I have had a copy of In The Emperor's Name since 2nd edition, never played it nor really read much into it.  Then I was googling, looking for a sci-fi skirmish ruleset to use with my new EM-4 miniatures.  I came across ITEN (In The Emperor's Name) now in its 3rd edition and decided to give it a try.

So I got some stats up for a five man Space Ranger squad.  Three of them carry bolters, one has a plasma gun, and the leader has a plasma pistol and chainsword.  All five took the Gun Kata ability.

Space Rangers!  They have different colors because I'm planning on them being like Star Knights, chivalrous heroes from different families/clans/star systems that unite to defend humanity.
Then I made a motley crew of mercenaries led by a Rogue Trader.  The Rogue Trader had a powerfist, autogun, and jokaero digital weapon.  Then some Reaper Bones to play a Medic, a two-gun Mercenary, and an IMEF gunner with Stealth and tricked out autogun.  

The IMEF Sarah Blitzer model was modified, hacked off her giant gun and replaced it with a more serviceable assault rifle with scope.  The three Chronoscope minis seemed to fit in a Rogue Trader style, crew members of some starship or perhaps as a retinue for an Inquisitor.
To fill out the Rogue Trader's crew were the EM-4 Gangers; two veteran mercenaries with plasma pistols and power weapons, a bionic merc with autogun, merc with heavy stubber, and merc with sniper rifle.

I modified all five EM-4 Gangers.  Easy additions were shoulder plates and knives and skulls (some from Mantic and some from GW).  The leftmost Ganger has arms and gun from a Mantic Enforcer.  The next in line has a cobbled together heavy stubber.  In the middle is the sniper rifle made from lots of little bits, using Mantic Dwarf Ironwatch arms as the base.  The veterans at the end aren't too changed except replacing their swords with better weapons.
This was my first time playing, so it went slow as I tried to figure out the rules as I was playing solo.  Eventually I got into the flow of things.  The gameplay was smooth and things picked up faster by the end.  I think next time I'll try a scenario instead of kill 'em all, which became apparent as casualties started mounting.

Space Rangers would deploy on the right, Rogue Trader and Mercs to the left.

Space Rangers deploy!

Mercs advance!  Look at all them books in the background.

The Space Ranger plasmagunner would set up shop on the third floor, clear sight across the board.

The heavy stubber and merc with autogun would attempt to take out the red Space Ranger from this doorway.

Merc sniper had a nice vantage point, but failed to capitalize on any of his shots.

The yellow and green-white Space Rangers would dominate this side of the battle.

It was about turn 5 and things looked grim for the Rogue Trader and Mercs.  So in a mad, daring rush, the Rogue Trader attempted to end this battle by taking out the Space Ranger leader.  With a powerfist, it seemed the perfect opportunity to inflict a major blow to the Space Rangers.  The yellow Space Ranger joined the fray to help his leader out.

Since melee combat is all simultaneous, things ended poorly for both teams.  The Rogue Trader's powerfist proved too dangerous for the Space Ranger leader, but he was avenged by the yellow Space Ranger.  Both teams would gather their injured and retire from the battle.
Note to self:  higher armor and cover versus weaker units equals game over.  The Space Rangers had stats like Space Marines (3+ everything and an 8+ armor save), which is why there is only 5 of them versus 9 regular mooks.  Once they were behind hard cover, that armor went up to 10, which is impossible for the Mercs only adding 2 or 3 to their die roll to hit.  So having an objective is key, and perhaps more ganging up with shooting and melee is the answer.  Then again, with Space Rangers moving cover to cover, blasting away, knocking down targets and shooting again thanks to gun kata, they acted like the brutal Space Marines they were emulating.

And I'm not sure why the dice gods were so ornery, but some odd things occurred.  For example, in one bout of Space Ranger shooting three mercs were hit, and all three rolled exactly their Grit which made them all knocked down.  Then in the post game, the Space Ranger leader recovered, the Rogue Trader made exactly his Grit so he would miss next match and the other mercs all died.  Fickle dice.

In this pic you can see the the Medic, a Veteran Merc, and the heavy stubber Merc are all laying on their backs.  They got shot, but when they rolled their Grit they rolled the number exactly.  So all three were knocked down, in one bout of shooting.  Crazy luck.

The Space Ranger leader recovers without a problem.

The Rogue Trader rolled exactly his Grit, so he would miss the next match but at least he is a live.  The other four Mercs that 'died' in the match all failed their post-game Grit roll so are now officially dead.
All in all, it's a great skirmish game, obviously designed for Warhammer 40k but you can easily stat up any sci-fi miniatures. I want to explore more of their scenarios especially the campaign system.  I think I'll try to make more random crews without allowing too many powered armor units on the same team and see how that plays out.  I still have some Mantic Deadzone Enforcers, Marauders, Veer-myn, and Corporation figures, along with the EM-4 Troopers, Sedition Wars Vanguard, and Haqqislam starter set to use.

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