All-out Assault by Andy Patrick
A community-sourced, quick to set-up, narrative scenario for equal-sized forces.
Skirmishes and sporadic fighting has been going on for some time, but now the first big assault of the war has arrived. Desperate defenders hunker down behind cover as an overwhelming force bears down on their position. If the attackers can break through the defensive line, they can cut deep into their enemy’s territory. But they must do this quickly – defensive reinforcements are inbound.
This battle, fought between two forces of equal size (and most suited to larger games), sees an attacking force attempting to break through a defensive line. Initially the attackers will have a strength advantage, and they will need to make the most of that to shatter the defenders before reinforcements arrive.
The game is fought down the length of the game board. Divide the board into three equal sections. One end section is No-man’s Land; the middle section is the Defender’s Deployment Zone; the third section is the Defender’s Home Territory. See the map below.
Beginning with the defender, alternate placing two items of terrain each, in each section. Either player may “pass” when it is their turn to place a terrain item, if they choose. Hills may not be placed in either No-man’s Land or the Defender’s Deployment Zone.
The defender must divide his units into two groups, as equal in size as possible. He then chooses one of those groups, and deploys the units in that group anywhere in his deployment zone. Any of these units may be placed in Ambush, if he wishes. Units from the other group may roll to come onto the table from turn two onwards, from the short table edge adjacent to the defender’s home territory.
The attacker’s army starts off the table. He may choose whether each unit will enter the table on turn one, or roll to enter the table from turn two onwards. At least one unit must enter the table on the first turn, and all of his units may enter on turn one if he wishes. Units enter the table from the short table edge adjacent to no-man’s land.
The attacker must break through No-man’s Land and the Defender’s Deployment Zone, into the Defender’s Home Territory. The defender must prevent this and hold his deployment zone.
Play until one side is broken, or for seven turns (and then test to play a further turn, as described on page 141 of the Antares rulebook). Note that this is one turn longer than a normal game.
The attacker scores one Victory Point for each of his units in the defender’s home territory.
The defender scores one Victory Point for each of his units in his deployment zone.
For both attacker and defender, ignore probes and other sharded units when counting victory points. However, MOD units score one victory point for each order dice they have remaining.
The player with the most victory points is the winner. If scores are equal, add up the points values of all the units removed as casualties. The side that has lost the least value of points is the winner.
Ed: As an alternative, with forces of widely varying Order dice, consider scoring 1 VP for each 10% of a force’s MOD dice that achieve the objectives (excluding probes and shards, as above).
Although the attacker has a significant advantage in terms of units on the table from the beginning of the game, he has to move quickly to reach the defender’s home territory by the end of the game. He will therefore need to carefully consider how best to balance advancing up the table, versus shooting at the defenders to suppress or destroy them.
The defender’s options are seemingly simpler, but being so heavily outnumbered for the whole of the first turn, and with reinforcements arriving in dribs and drabs from then on, he will face a very different challenge. Survival and slowing down the attacker will be paramount to begin with, then he will need to choose the right moment to counter-attack, when enough of his army has arrived.