22 August 2010

Incursion, part 3 "Orders of Battle, a look at the units"

In this last part of my take on Incursion I take a look at the individual units and their function in the game as well as the Secrets of the Third Reich crossover rules.

INCURSION UNITS INCLUDED IN THE BOXED GAME
All models shown are the metal models you can buy from the Incursion store in single blisters or starter packs.


Starting with the Allies.

Slugger Murphy – this is the “hero” character of the Allied player in the boxed game. As such he really kicks ass and is a really tough opponent. His .50 cal pistol is actually the bane of any opponent caught in the way of fire. Not only does it receive +2 to damage rolls when firing normal or in reaction fire, the bullets punch thru models in a straight line,  and continue to inflict damage (though with less and less strength for every model it punches through) until you run out of models, fail to inflict damage or just hit a wall.

Sluggers nailed baseball bat is also excellent for smashing the forehead of any zombie coming a bit too close, action points spent in close combat vs zombies count as automatic kills. Against everyone else Slugger get to reroll the damage die once for every action point spent.

Last but not least Slugger has a special rule where he can shake of the effect of any card placed on him for 1 command point, this means he does not need to spend 3 command points to reach the “kill value” of cards such as “Critical Hit [3]” but only ever has to spend 1 command point.

Grunt
– These are the regular soldiers, armed with a light machine gun which fire in bursts of 3 ranged attacks per action point spent.  They really lack any special rules as such, but form the backbone of any allied Incursion party and are the workhorse that you can experiment and take risks with. Often you will want to boost them with Battle Card to enhance their characteristics.

HMG APE – Heavy weapon specialist, armed as the name says with a heavy machine gun. This weapon fire in bursts of 3 ranged attacks TWICE per action point spent on firing. They are of course more expensive than the Grunt, and they are not much more durable in terms of wounds. But they are great for cleaning out those corridors. They are also better used as an offensive unit than forming a defense line since their reaction fire is no better than that of a regular Grunt.

APE BLAZER
– Now we’re talking. This is in my opinion one of the most specialized unit in your roster. This unit is best used with defense in mind, his weapon sets tiles on fire, so he is excellent for cutting of hallways, filling rooms with fire and deny the enemy easy movement unless they want to burn to death taking their chances through the flames! And let me really emphasize on the insane danger of taking such a chance. As long as you stand still you can avoid taking attacks from burning tiles. But as soon as you start to move you take 1 damage dice, and you add one additional damage dice for every more action you make in a burning area. 3 actions = 1+2+3 damage dice! Thus you can actually “lock” enemy models in place with fire, and finish them off with bullets from another model.

APE SARGE
– Basically the second in command in your allied roster. He is armed in the same way as regular Grunts, with a light machine gun. Though he also have a grenade launcher fitted under it – and these grenades have no range limit like regular hand grenades, thus they can be fired from one board edge to the other if within good line of sight.
The main reason to include the Sarge is not the fighting capabilities of this model but the special rules and perks he provide. You will get one additional Command Point every turn above the mission limit as long as Sarge is alive. But the most usefull skill is the “Tactical Fulcrum” – you use this ability to transfer action points from Sarge to any allied model. So the best way of using Sarge is to park him somewhere on the board where you know he won’t take a lot of heat, leave him in reaction fire and just allow other models to use his Action Points to boost their own actions.

Moving on to the Germans.

Sturmzombies – The thematic enemy of this entire game, the zombie form the backbone of any German force and should always be included.  Zombies are complex creatures and have not many uses but a few tricks up their sleeve. First of all, you buy zombies in packs of 3. The more packs you buy the more zombies will spawn every turn. That’s right, you get new zombies every turn regardless of whether the previous wave has been killed or are still in action!
This game of numbers is the main German tactic for bringing down the US player. You can either annoy the enemy by disturbing his movement and plans with small units of these fast but fragile zombies, or build up and unleash an endless wall of walking dead that even Slugger will have a hard time to beat into submission.
As I mentioned zombies are fast, though they die easily, there are zombie specific Battle Cards that boost their Fortitude (toughness), their speed as well as increase the number of spawned zombies.
They are also best used to swarm a single target from many sides at once. The first zombie always only roll 1 damage die vs the opponent, but the second zombie roll 2 dice, the third 3 dice and so on – per action point spent! As you can imagine this increasing amount of clawing and scratching can bring down even the toughest of armor rather fast.

Zombies suffer from their fragility especially at times when they have to move in a straight thin line through a single square corridor at an enemy. Because even if they reach the target model you will only get that 1 damage die for every action point spent and at the same time block your own movement.

Bomberzombies – A variation of the regular zombie, these fellows are bought per model and do not
respawn. They have a blast radius attack that instantly kills the Bomberzombie but also have an easier time wounding the tough APE’s  than regular zombie scrathing. This unit have some special rules – when killed you roll a D6 and then compare the result with a mini chart to see one of 3 results. 

Blitzhund – This very fast, very agile and very angry werewolf unit has no ranged attacks but specialized in close combat and closing in very quickly. 3 attacks per action point spent in close combat makes even an APE nervous. As for the agility of this model, he never has to pay any action points for changing facing – which saves a lot of action points in some parts of the gameboard. He also has the ability to jump over models that are blocking his way!

Hans the Hunter – The oldest of the von X Children, and the most experimented upon this dimwitted brute is fond of Bomberzombies to the extent that including him will remove their unit cap.  He doesn’t have any boosting rules like his sisters, but he is a brute in close combat. Armed with a harpoon gun and a club (the weird mechanical arm) he can harpoon enemy models, drag them into base contact and then crush them with those hard hitting attacks from his club.

There’s not much more to tell, you may want to have him in reserve or have him lurking around a corner until you can manage to push the APEs down his direction with some zombies before you decide to attack with Hans.

Gretel von X – Probably the more deranged von X sister Gretel is one of the commanders of the defense of Gibraltar – specializing in handling Sturmzombies. As such you get additional command points that can be spent on Sturmzombies whenever you include Gretel in your force. She is also the most durable of the Von X family in terms of wounds. I would say that using a combination of both sisters in missions that allow that much requisition points as to letting you include both models to support your force is recommended.

Ilsa von X – My favorite character among the German lot, Ilsa had her face messed up in experiments so she always wears a gasmask (protecting her from V-gas attacks), she overcompensates her lack of good looks by wielding dual MP40 smg’s, being able to leap over models standing in the way pretty much like the Blitzhund as well as the most useful trait that grants you one additional Battle Card above the mission limit as long as Ilsa stays alive.

In terms of deciding “who’s in command” I agree with the fluff, Ilsa is in command of the defense of Gibraltar. If you don’t have points to include more than one character – then Ilsa is probably the best choice for beginners and veteran players alike who want to maximize their chances of success in the dark tunnels of the underground complex.


Incursion units in Secrets of the Third Reich

The game Secrets of the Third Reich and Incursion are both part of the same game universe. And Incursion takes place at a critical point in the timeline of the SoTR universe as the last entry in that timeline – 1st February 1949, state that the Invasion of Gibraltar has begun and everything is at stake.
Rules for these units can be found in the Doomsday expansion, the first expansion book for SoTR which expands greatly the “weird” elements for all 4 nations involved.

APE squad
A much needed heavy support infantry unit for the US platoon (and if you want to you can field them in a platoon of their own “APE platoon”). I prefer to use these guys as a regular support option. You could compare them to British Steel the most, heavily armored slow troops. The APEs have some movement penalties for terrain and weather conditions so I prefer to park them in a good spot and lick the enemy lines with high volume of packed LMG fire. You will also benefit from upgrading one ape to carry a HMG to enhance the deadliness of this unit. You have the option of including a flamethrower as well but I find that the APE squad played in support/covering fire role benefits more from a ranged weapon than a flamethrower in the mix. The rate of fire from this platoon and the amount of special weapons make this squad perfect for inflicting that critical suppressing fire against something you want to deny the enemy from using.

Sturmzombies – Bought in smaller packs than their completely braindead zombie cousins these enhanced zombies are intelligent enough to control their movement instead of following their stomach out of cover and into certain death (again?). Their attacks are also much more hard hitting than those of a regular zombie. Sturmzombies can just like regular zombie be equipped with bombs as a unit upgrade, these bombs are of even higher AT strength than those of regular zombie bombs.
Just like the APE’s may be fielded as a platoon of their own, you may opt to field an all out zombie platoon led by the von X sisters and filled with regular zombies and sturmzombies only with mechas, tanks and whatever else you find enjoyable to play with in support.

Blitzhund – is actually a unit upgrade for the werewolf pack you find in the regular German OoB from SoTR:1949. Rules for this pack leader can be located in the Doomsday expansion. The upgrade of one werewolf per pack into a Blitzhund is rather cheap and if you only have 1 pack in your platoon to begin with I would recommend it as you get an even faster Werewolf than those regular already fast ones!

Drohne squad – These are actually included with stands in the boxed game, but have no rules in Incursion yet. However they have rules for Secrets of the third Reich. Floating brain in a jar mounted on a metal torso floating around with the help of a jet engine armed with twin linked packed LMG and clawed arms they make a fun to play addition in a German platoon that have the support option slot or requisition points left to include them. They are actually good for suppressing fire, if you can control the urge of firing normal fire (as it is sometimes much more fun to actually kill stuff then deny the enemy an activation).

MI-13 Commandos
– As it looks now their Incursion rules are free for download in PDF form and can be downloaded from the Incursion store homepage.
As of yet I have not given them much testing myself, hence the lack of description in the Incursion part of this guide.

In SoTR they are a support option squad found in the Doomsday expansion. Armed with assault rifles and specialized Piat-D guns that fire flaming ammunition they are also able to field special shotguns that can take care of zombies with less problem than your regular Light Infantry class weapon.
Including a unit of MI13 in support also enables your UK platoon to include the special flaming ammunition for mechas and tanks as well.


This concludes my 3 part guide to Incursion - for now, as I'm sure the universe of this game will be expanded in one way or another in the future.

2 comments:

  1. Lets not downplay the lethality of APE Grunts chuckin' hand grenades in Incursion. I have lost many zombies, and killed a few myself, thanks to hand grenades.

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  2. Unfortunately with my luck (or lack of luck) hand grenades are always a gamble and for 2RP I prefer 3 damage dice against a single model. But sure, there have been times when a hand grenade killed 5-6 zombies at one time, most often however I always manage to kill all the zombies I’m least worried about with this attack haha.

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