Two days at Origins
Friday and Saturday I ran two sessions of The Hive and the Flame. Both times I had 8 players at the table. The scenario was the British combined arms assault on the Hive. British forces consisted of 5 heavy assault flyers, three squadrons of ornithopters several companies of infantry and a mixed force of armoured vehicles.
The terrain was mostly scratch built. Roads and trees are from Adventure terrain and the river is an old reliable from Armourcast.
The Hive fielded a nearly endless supply of bugs.
The objectives were simple. The British had to destroy the mass of larva exposed by a bombing raid and the bugs had to prevent that from happening.
The Saturday game opened with the British launching their air units across the table. The ornithopters were screening for the bigger ships. They left their ground troops for later. Almost immediately the ornithopters ran into clouds of flying lancers and were quickly overwhelmed, losing an entire squadron as well as taking casualties in both the other ones. The flappers retired behind the heavier assault fliers.
The heavy fliers proceeded to have to deal with the flying lancers as well as the supra major shooters.
The bigger ships took damage both from the Supra Major Shooters and swarming flying lancers.
While this was going on the land column attempted to move forward. The ground bugs used their ability to open up tunnels and flank the attackers. The ground columns, which were not capable of mutual support quickly found themselves over run and engaged in dire melee combat. Only the timely arrival of the surviving flappers which straffed the bug hordes allowed the British ground forces to survive.
At this point we had been playing for over seven hours and were about to run into a hard limit. I looked over the battlefield and gave the victory to the bugs. They had once again roughed up the flappers and even the assault fliers took a beating. The ground forces were badly scattered and incapable of mutual support.
We had a really good hot wash and one of the players suugested a different tactical deployment for the British. His suggestion was for a very stately advance, tied to the speed of the ground units. Ground columns would support each other the heavy flyers would fly above the forward edge of the ground battle force. These two forces would support each other . The flappers, generally very weak, would fly over the ground columns and provide fast reactions to any bugs units that popped up.
This seemed like an excellent idea and I looked forward to seeing it in play on the table the next day. The player who suggested this didn’t show though so the second game was much like the first one, although luck was generally with the British players. they were able to get a flyer within rocket range of the Hive itself. 48 9.2 inch rockets fired in a massive salvo won the British a marginal victory.
I had 16 players between the two days and dozens of folks came by to see what was going on. There were a lot of positive comments on the terrain, the models, the miniatures and the game as well.