The Linebreaker Mission Review.

To begin with I was going to write a review of the Battlemissions book. However that would really require me to have played all the scenarios (in my mind at least).

That isnt likely to happen in the immdediate future. So I will do reviews of the missions I do play from the book.

Now the first things first is to lay out what this mission is. Basically it is based around Three Baneblades being dispatched to take out an enemy shield generator, they have to break through the enemy lines to do this.
  • One side has 3 Baneblades.
  •  The Defenders get a 1500 Point Legal Army List
  • The Baneblades have to advance Length Ways down the Board towards one of the short Board Edges. They may deploy no closed than 36" from their intended Target.
  • The Defending side can setup upto 500 points of their army. They get to start at least 18" away from the Baneblades.
  •  The Defending rest of the Defending sides forces arrive from reserve and can come on from the Long Board edges.
  •  The Defenders Get First Turn (no stealing the initative).
  • The Game lasts until all of the Baneblades are off the Table or are destroyed
  • When the game Ends roll a D6, Add 1 for each Baneblade with a Functioning Primary Weapon & Ordnance Weapon.
  • If the Score is 7 or more then the Defenders lose.
Now I managed to get 5 Games of this in during the Week, and in all 5 of those games the Baneblades lost. On 1 Occaision they got 1 Baneblade off the Table and didnt manage to roll the 6 that they needed.

So here are my problems with this scenario. Please bear in mind that GW themselves said that the scenario would not be balanced and was aimed at more just having fun. However this mission is all against the Baneblades, the deployment rules for the Defenders make it very hard to win against them, and also tend to mean that you arent fighting a line to break through.

The 18" Deployment from the Baneblades is my first issue. This basically means a smart opponent can get their Assault elements on the Board from the Get go and can be in close combat with 1 or 2, maybe even all 3 of the Baneblades on turn 1. As the defenders go first this means they hit the Baneblades automatically (melta bombs are excellent in these cases). This can potentially take out a third of your force in one feel swoop...

Three Baneblades deploying across a 48" width is not ideal either as it ends up feeling very cramped, making it alot easier for the Defender to move from one tank to the next.

The Reserves arriving from the Long board edges also doesnt help as they can easily arrive in the Baneblades rear arc early on in the game. This basically negates a lot of the Baneblades advantages.

Drop Pods in this mission are very overpowered. You basically get limited to 500 points of your force gets to deploy at the beginning of the game, plus your Drop Pods.

We introduced some house rules in the latter games that made it alot more enjoyable. They were very simply rules.
  • The Baneblades got First Turn.
  • The game was played on a 6 x 4 board in the normal manner. The Baneblades got a 12" deployment and the Defenders got a 12" deployment.
These two changes made all the difference and the games were a lot more enjoyable for both players, however still the Baneblades chances of Victory seemed slim (and were).

So I have a list of house rules that I suggest people use when playing this mission. The rules in the Battlemissions rulebook do make for an interesting game, mainly for if you want to see how quickly you can destroy 3 Baneblades.

These House rules will mean that the Baneblades actually stand a chance, and that they have to break through a Line... much like the mission name suggests.

The Defender Sets up the terrain in their half of the board.
The opposite half of the board is left empty
The Defender may deploy upto 18" in from their Board Edge
All of the Defenders infantry units get a 4+ cover save until they move. This is from being dug in defending a vital location (I included this incase you dont have any defensive terrain, if you do you can forgoe this rule and just bunker down in trenches, bastions etc).
The Defender must deploy 50% or more of their Kill Points on the table.
Any Kill Points not deployed arrive from the Defenders Board Edge.

At our local store we actually have a lot of Trench terrain and wall sections, all of which make for a very very good looking set of terrain to defend. This also means that the defending force has a line to hold, and the Baneblades have a Line to break through.

I think the other thing to remember is that no matter which set of rules you are using either ones in the rulebook or the ones outlined here the Baneblades are in for a very tough time. They get few options and very little in the way of tailoring. However the 1500 point army is being build to Kill three Baneblades and is likely to be very good at it.

The best option to win this as the Baneblades is to focus on wiping out your enemy out, if you can do that and not lose any Baneblades then its an instant win. If you do lose a Baneblade then you can spend as many turns as you need repairing yourself until you have all your Primary Weapons and Ordnance Weapons up and running.

Overall I dont think that this mission was written to be a linebreaker... it was written to be a fun mission for fighting against Baneblades. My problem is that it is called a Linebreaker... and it should live upto thatm, so I have to give this a 6 / 10. A fun mission but needs tweaking.