I’ve now painted enough science fiction miniatures for a first game of Tomorrow’s War. Reading the rules was a bit of a chore, I have to admit, as their presentation is sometimes convoluted. However, after a first test game, the concepts became much clearer and we were ready for a ‘real’ game.
I devised a very simple scenario: A recon drone had crashed in a small industrial settlement. Both factions sent a Special Forces fireteam with some support to retrieve the drones memory pod. We played with three fireteams per side, which is all I have painted so far. K. had her all-female team of Special Operatives, one fireteam of Sedousian Sharkmen and one of Pasiphaeans (Khurasan Desert Nomads). I had my dinosaur RAPTS team (Rapid Attack & Penetration Squad) and two teams of the Allied Alien Auxiliaries. As you can see, our background is slowly coming into shape…
The game started with K. having the initiative. Her team of Sharkmen advanced on the flank and immediately poured suppression fire into one of my AAA teams, which unfortunately was exposed from this side and dived for cover, not daring to move for the rest of the turn.
Her SpecOps advanced in the middle, covered by her Pasiphaeans. For several turns, I didn’t manage to get the initiative and had to confine myself to reacting. My RAPTS were the only ones who managed to advance, their body armour and general superior quality protecting them from the enemy’s shooting.
K. advanced much more swiftly and soon managed to get her SpecOps team in contact with the wreck of the drone. She had immediately grasped the importance of Overwatch and had very effectively covered her advance by the Sharkmen, who held a good position at her right flank. A couple of firefights later, her SpecOps were ready to retreat with the valuable information.
Having finally gotten the initiative, I put two of my fireteams on Overwatch as I knew that her first reaction would be to make a rapid move to the table edge to get the memory pod back to her base. My first round of fire didn’t do any damage and when she won the next reaction test, her SpecOps hurried back to safety, leaving my fireteams with one dead and three heavily wounded and no memory pod.
Interestingly, while our test game – which was the same scenario – lasted the whole turn limit of 8 turns and resulted in no one getting the objective, this game took no longer than five turns. Also, we had much fewer casualties than in the first game. It seems we learned a lesson: The objective has to have priority, and you have to move fast – if you get stuck in, nothing gets achieved and casualties amount. Our new approach also meant that the game moved much faster and felt more like a frantic series of short firefights than the first one.
We both like the rules, especially the reaction system, which provides challenging tactical options. As soon as some more figures are painted up, we will try the mission system from the rulebook, which looks quite interesting. And then we will start a campaign!