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Playtester Battle Reports & Feedback Here!

Post your raw Night Brood playtesting battle reports and feedback on this thread! We ca then evaluate it, and we'll post the summarized accumulated feedback in the parent Night Brood 2.0 forum. 

We really need as many hands on deck with this as we can get. The Night Brood are an important part of the Silent Death canon, and for too long the have languished in a state of neglect, poorly playtested and grossly imbalanced in game terms in their originally published format.

We want to correct this, and in doing so, make the Night Brood a faction people will want to game with, whether running a Night Brood swarm or battling to save Terrestrial civilization from annihilation at the claws of these weird and terrifying alien beings.

So grab yer flight helmets, people! It's time to go light us up some Grubs! Cool
"Pathetic earthlings. Hurling your bodies out into the void, without the slightest inkling of who or what is out here..."

- Ming the Merciless

(09-14-2017, 09:47 PM)Karelian Suomi Wrote: Post your raw Night Brood playtesting battle reports and feedback on this thread! We ca then evaluate it, and we'll post the summarized accumulated feedback in the parent Night Brood 2.0 forum. 

Apologies for clogging up the thread, but where might I find the Night Brood 2.0 rules?  I recall hearing they were a Work In Progress in the spring but I must have overlooked their actual release into the wild.

I'd also like to help, as best as I can being a new player still. I have the Brood tokens from the old book but not sure how/where to get the new stat lines.

(09-18-2017, 03:35 PM)Tom McCarthy Wrote: where might I find the Night Brood 2.0 rules?  I recall hearing they were a Work In Progress in the spring but I must have overlooked their actual release into the wild.

     Not yet released-- my guess is that Karelian Suomi has them nearly ready to go, but is prodding for just a bit more input on v.1.0 beta rules before he adjusts and then unleashes v.2.0 on us. 

I'm preparing to introduce SD to my local group and I was going to just demo a 450 Colos/450 Sigurd game and wait for Brood v.2.0 to introduce the hatchlings playtesting, but I'll get some games in with beta v.1 as requested. Going to play a small solo game today & a family member and I are playing this evening: a small 2v2 game taking a couple hours is the goal- more points/variety as time permits.

I've had my local game postponed this month in a reverse "Butterfly Effect": A hurricane in the Carribean caused a Monarch's wings to lie still in the Midwest kind of story... (but instead many games of Eldritch Horror were had!).

(09-18-2017, 03:41 PM)Dr_Funke Wrote: ... not sure how/where to get the new stat lines.

There was a link to the beta rules pdf on the old forum, but it hasn't been set up here yet. As soon as he spots the oversight, Karelian will throw up a new link for ya.

While reviewing the beta test packet to plan a scenario, a few questions came up:

 1. Realized the Regeneration rules are not in the packet (they were in a thread on the defunct site) Going off memory:
  • Pre-conditions similar to using Damage Control: no attacks made that turn (damage received okay?), D10 roll at or below regen value is number of points to repair hitboxes/regenerate munitions
  • Hitboxes 1:1 ratio bringing weapons repaired along the track back online, ignoring jump pod or drone loss boxes repaired
  • Drones recovered at ratio of X:X per type of the drone (2 points to regen Type 2, 5 points/Type 5)
  • Jump pods same as drones- (2 points for a J2 pod, 3 points for a J3 pod...)
  • 1:1 -Beam ammo/Spores/Leeches
Was that about how it worked? Are the rato's off? All I can remember is several testers tried out their own homebrew variations like allowing Regen every turn regardless if the vessel fired or not.

 2. With Betas skill values all being bracketed in the 5-8 range, and Alphas upper limit raised to 10's, is it safe to assume the Alphas still have a lower cap of 5 and must have at least a Pilot skill equal or above the highest Beta in the swarm?
  • Example: Lamprey Betas A, B & C [All have Pilot 7, Weapons 6], Alpha [Pilot at least 7, Weapons: any mix of skills allowed within 5-10 bracket]
  • by extension would the "Monarch" Delta have a similar Piloting skill proviso?
  • Worm Pod Weapon Systems- exempt from skill limitations? Any reason not to just have them fixed (similar to satellites) at say P1/G1 since they are built as biomechanical Blood Worm transports? Does the skill variance represent the skill of the builder?

 3. From beta v.1:  (Jump Pod disorientation penalties) "Any Brood ship that uses a Jump Pod suffers a -2 to normal movement"
  • Does this rule overwrite the previous standard -1 movement cost to engage a jump pod (effectively doubling it),  or an additional disorienting movement penalty (bringing the total offset to -3) thereby relegating Jump Pod 2's use to exclusively torpedo evasion? (which was its previous main utility anyway)
 4. This statement under organization: "Any Beta may *command* a Gamma not already under another Beta or Alpha’s control".
  • What does this mean? Does it have any bearing on game mechanics or strictly an organizational detail?
    • i.e. is a Beta that is not subject to Killing Frenzy during the current turn able to attempt an influence roll to subdue/invoke frenzy on Gammas they *command*?
 5. X-Beam standard ammo in the rules packet states:
X-Beam-  S/M/L Ranges, Target Speed Restriction, Base Ammo: 6

The Larva is the only design with that number though, with the majority of the designs having either 4 or 8. Likewise none of the ships with Z-Beams have the standard 2 ammo. Since all Y-Beams have the "correct" ammo of 4 (barring Monarch), it makes me wonder if a late change to either the rules section or ship designs got overlooked on the other side...
  • Which is correct for this beta test iteration- the ship displays or the ammo guidelines in the rules?
  • Are there any exceptions where a ship design paid for extra ammo? (8 shot X-Beams on Lamprey, Musk, Scarab, Tiger Moth...)
  • 9/25/17 edit: There was also an old  post that nerfed beam ranges down even further than what was printed on the displays- X-Beams trimmed to a range of 3 for example (I found some sheets I edited to reflect the proposed new ranges). I'm disreguarding the shortened ranges for now.
Shaggai Erratta:
  • Critical Hit #4 Drone Extruder- (Shaggai doesn't have drones) Replace with: 'Gish! Self-healing membrane- Shaggai avoids additional damage'?
  • Hitbox #25: probably should be lower case as it would be the only weapon system left remaining? (unless I'm misremembering the Regeneration rules)
"Fiery the angels fell; deep thunder rolled around their shores; burning with the fires of Orc" -Roy Batty bastardizing William Blake


My first playtest entry. I decided to keep it simple and test out a flight of the hatchlings cheapest entry- the Muckworm. I matched them up with a flight of Kosmos that had slightly better skills and had enough points remaining to add an element of Spirit Riders.

Brood Forces:
Muckworm A: Pilot-[3]; Weapon 1 [3]; Weapon 2 [3]; Weapon 3 [3]; TPV: 49
Muckworm B: Pilot-[3]; Weapon 1 [3]; Weapon 2 [3]; Weapon 3 [3]; TPV: 49
Muckworm C: Pilot-[3]; Weapon 1 [3]; Weapon 2 [3]; Weapon 3 [3]; TPV: 49
Muckworm D: Pilot-[3]; Weapon 1 [3]; Weapon 2 [3]; Weapon 3 [3]; TPV: 49
Flight TPV: 196

Terran Forces:
Kosmos A: Pilot [5]; Gunner [5]; TPV: 37
Kosmos B: Pilot [5]; Gunner [5]; TPV: 37
Kosmos C: Pilot [5]; Gunner [5]; TPV: 37
Kosmos D: Pilot [5]; Gunner [5]; TPV: 37
Spirit Rider A: Pilot [3]; Gunner [3]; TPV: 24
Spirit Rider B: Pilot [3]; Gunner [3]; TPV: 24
Flight TPV: 196

Optional Rules:
  1. Variable Speed Torpedoes
  2. Easing Target Speed Restrictions (no- issue this match as none of the weapon systems had any)
  3. Damage Control
  4. Drive 0 Turns
  5. Sideslips
  6. Turning Restrictions
Forces set up opposite each other along edges 2 & 4 and turn 1 play commenced...

Turn 1

[Image: dq6ljhs.png]
Torpedo/Missile Launch Phase: none
Initiative Phase: Hatchlings-13     Terrans-8    
Movement: Muckworm gammas lurch hesitatingly forward, Kosmos pilots advance enough so that the hatchlings are within the long range band of their miniguns and line up for fire...
Cannon Fire Phase:
Kosmos A @Muckworm A {Rng 9 Long -1} Roll: 6-5-6 = 17 -1 = [16] Hit! Low- 5 (Doubles! x2) = 10 damage, Muckworm A in FrEnZy! closest target: Kosmos A
Critical 7: Jump Pod Misfires- J4, Direction- 6, 15 hexes
Kosmos B @Muckworm B {Rng 12 Long -1} Roll: 1-2-6 = {9 -1} = [8] miss
Kosmos C @Muckworm C {Rng 12 Long -1} Roll: 3-3-2 = {8 -1} = [7] miss
Kosmos D @Muckworm D {Rng 12 Long -1} Roll: 4-2-1 = {7 -1} = [6] miss
Missile Results Phase: N/A
End of Turn

Turn 2a
[Image: lOQnLEA.png]
Torp/Missile Launch Phase:
Spirit Rider A-- 1Mk.10 @ Muck C; Spirit Rider B-- 1Mk.10 @ Muck D
Missiles all out of range
Initiative Phase: Hatchlings-4     Terrans-9
Movement: Hatchling maggots, jolted from the opening salvo of tracers flying past, and having been split, lose the initiative. With the buzzing of their dispatched brethren on their right flank filling their linked-consciousness and detecting fast-moving incoming entities (torps), the clutch bank right- taking a turn to regroup. A pair of hatchlings uses J2 pods shaking one of the Mk.10's tracking them. The Spirit Rider pilots throttle down as their torpedoes streak away- waiting to see the direction the bugs break. The Kosmos teams pursue only just enough to stay in the sweet spot- just close enough to attempt missile lock-on for next turn and fire miniguns while at the same time staying out of reach of the bug's X-Beams, which they were now in the arc of  since the enraged alien had looped around for an apparent forward attack run.
Torpedo Results Phase: 1 torp still tracking, none at target

Turn 2b
[Image: Gm2lVrl.png]
Cannon Fire Phase:
Kosmos A @Muckworm A {Rng 9 Long -1} Roll: 1-1-6 = {8 -1} = [7] miss
Kosmos B @Muckworm A {Rng 10 Long -1} Roll: 4-1-4 = {9 -1} = [8] miss
Kosmos C @Muckworm B {Rng 10 Long -1} Roll: 5-5-4 = {14 -1} = [13] Hit! Low- 4 (Doubles! x2) = 8 damage, Muckworm B in FrEnZy! closest target: Kosmos C
Kosmos D @Muckworm B  {Rng 10 Long -1} Roll: 4-3-5 = {12 -1} = [11] Hit! Low- 3 damage
Critical 8: Drive Apperatus Destroyed- Drive = 0, DV = 5
Missile Results Phase: N/A
End of Turn

Turn 3a
[Image: Rtu86El.png]
Torp/Missile Launch Phase:
Kosmos A @Muckworm A; Roll: 8 = Lock-on failed
Kosmos B @Muckworm A; Roll: 3 = Lock-on acquired (5 missiles launched)
Kosmos C @Muckworm C; Roll: 4 = Lock-on acquired (5 missiles launched)
Kosmos D @Muckworm D; Roll: 9 = Lock-on failed
Initiative Phase: Hatchlings-4     Terrans-9
Movement: Feeling cornered with the situation looking worse by the minute, the hatchlings put themselves at risk in an aggravated attempt for desperate revenge. The Terrans surmising they had put their prey on tilt based on the brazen eagerness of the Brood to close and trade fire, obligingly folded the distance on their quarry, trapping them within favorable deflection arcs for the burst of depleted uranium streams about to be unloaded in their direction.    
Torp Results Phase: Muckworm dodge attempt- Roll = 4; ((4 + Plt 3 = 7) -10) = -3 doge failed; Damage roll: 10, Critical 8: Drive Apparatus Destroyed- Drive = 0, DV = 5 Muckworm D in FrEnZy! with a drive of zero, so he just sits and stews in it. Angry

Turn 3b[Image: UROESzq.png]
Cannon Fire Phase:
Muckworm A (X-Beam 1) @Kosmos A {Rng 1 Short +1} Roll: 5-6-1 = {12 +1} = [13] miss
Muckworm A (X-Beam 2) @Kosmos A {Rng 1 Short +1} Roll: 7-1-1 = {9 +1} = [10] miss
Muckworm C (X-Beam 1) @Kosmos D {Rng 7 Long -1} Roll: 8-5-2 = {15 -1} = [14] Hit! Low(2)x3 = 6 [6 - 2DR] = 4
Muckworm C (X-Beam 2) @Kosmos D {Rng 7 Long -1} Roll: 6-2-3= {11-1} = [10] miss
Muckworm C (X-Beam 3) @Kosmos D {Rng 7 Long -1} Roll: 5-6-2= {13 -1} = [12] miss
Muckworm D (X-Beam 1) @Spirit Rider B {Rng 1 Short +1} Roll: 3-8-4= {15 +1} = [16] Hit! Low(3)x3 = 9 [9 - 3DR] = 6
Muckworm D (X-Beam 2) @Spirit Rider B {Rng 1 Short +1} Roll: 3-5-1= {9 +1} = [10] miss
Kosmos A @Muckworm C {Rng 1 Short +1} Roll: 3-5-3= {11 +1} = [12] miss
Kosmos B @Muckworm A {Rng 1 Short +1} Roll: 4-4-4= {12 +1} = [13] miss
Kosmos C @Muckworm D {Rng 1 Short +1} Roll: 4-6-3= {13 +1} = [14] Hit! Low- 3
Kosmos D @Muck D {Rng 1 Short +1} Roll: 5-6-6 = {17 +1} = [18] Hit! Low- 5 (Doubles! x2) = 10
Spirit Rider A @Muckworm D {Rng 8 Long -1} Roll: (4-4-3)+1 = {12-1} = [11] miss
Spirit Rider B @Muckworm D {Rng 8 Long-1} Roll: (5-3-1)+1= {10 -1} = [9] miss
Missile Results Phase:
@ Muckworm A- Roll: 6-4-5-3-3 = 21 Hit!  High(6)+5 = 11
Critical 4: X-Beam-1 Malfunction- 1d8 damage as ammo burns off (5)
@ Muckworm C- Roll: 1-6-6-5-2 = 20 Hit!  High(12)+5 = 17 Muckworm C in FrEnZy! closest target: Kosmos A
Critical 2: Penetrating Wound- 2 more damage
End of Turn -Muckworm B Regeneration attempt: 10 (fail)

At this point the pair of Muckworms with remaining drives (1 had a Jump Pod 4 intact) lost their frenzy in an epiphany that the situation was doomed & high tailed it off their map edge.

Final thoughts
While I don't want to put too much into an individual match, especially one with as low a points value as this, one thing stood out...  --the Muckworms felt like they were outmatched. A few reasons for this:
  • The Kosmos has the right tools for the job. I thought the miniguns having limited ammo would put them in the same camp as the Gammas, but that extra range and the fact that the Doubles God was favoring them really made them shine. [Image: j5nQWG8.png] And missiles too? Yes please.
  • Gamma Defensive Value cap. With the gamma skill cap currently at max 4, the Defensive Value is at best 11 for most gamma critters, and in the case of a pair of them (Bright Thorn & Shaggai) the range is an ugly 6 to 9. A small ship with a price tag hovering around 50 points having a drive that competes with the fastest of ships is as easy to solve for a fire-control system as a lumbering Betafortress? If this is a feature, the hatchlings had best step up their bio-screening game something quick. Compare with a few similarly pointed designs-
    • Bloodhawk: 15 - TPV 47 (P1/G5)
    • Chupacabra: 15 - TPV 28 (P5/G5)     or these core designs...
    • Dart: 16 - TPV 31 (P5/G5) [The DV on these would be a headache for any gamma I think -due to being saddled with that accursed d4 ADB! More on that below.]
    • Hell Bender: 12 - TPV 43 (P5.5/G5.5) [best Muckworm match-up?]
    • Talon: 14 - TPV 44 (5.5/5.5)
  • Continuing with Defensive Values- taking into account for ink, the gammas as a group can sometimes get to parity with Terran designs (as long as they max the Piloting skill to 4) by using ink clouds as cover, but to hide in a temporary defensive cloud  just to tie in terms of DV seems a bit off. The cover of ink should make them a bit harder than their human opponents to hit while it lasts, not merely match them as if it was a handicap.   If the Gamma skill caps are to remain in place, the formulaic value for brood should be scrapped in favor of a static value, or bumped 3-4 points upwards (DV= 11 + Pilot Skill) putting them in the 12-15 zone as default, and 15-18 range while hiding in ink -as it should be. Relaxing the skill restrictions to make them 3 - 7 [edit: from 3-6 because 3d8 x-beams start getting ugly in a hurry] (maggots pulled from the goo with skills of 1-2 are food) is another possible solution.
  • Gamma odds to hit with X-Beams courtesy of the skill capped D4 ADB die. The Muckworm weapon design has an interesting trade off- multiple low chances to hit at limited range for increased damage. From[Image: 9qua1cT.png]
    • From this data- a muckworm's x-beam has a 51:256 chance or 21.31% of hitting a Kosmos at range 5-8 for each individual shot. The chance for a Muckworm firing all three x-beams at a DV 14 Kosmos and connecting at least once  at long range (15 on the dice needed to account for the range drop off) can be calculated at nearly 50:50 (49.4% hit vs 50.6% miss). Once the first X-Beam goes the odds drop to 1 in 3. Damage comes in quanta of 3, 6, 9, or 12 (depending what the d4 ADB die came up as) for an average of 9.47 points of damage per beam that hits (this factors in the four possible 24 damage spike sets: 7-4-4, 8-4-4, 4-7-4, 4-8-4; but not multiple beam hits). There's a slim chance of getting double 4's in the mix making for a stinging 24 point spike.  Additionally there is a small chance you hit with two beams or rarer still- all three. By comparison the Kosmos minigun (with ADB of a D6) had the same odds for it's single shot as the muckworm's triple x-beam shots combined  at exactly 50% (11 to-hit DV 10 at long range), gets doubles 19.44% of the time on the hits that total at least 11, with those doubles dealing an average of 10 damage and spiking as high as 30-36. Enough math- let the sods on engineering deck fiddle with that. The Kosmos comes out way ahead due to better range, the ability to get an even better ADB and Pilot skill for better hit odds, higher damage spikes, initiate, and tight turns, a missile launcher as a bonus, 2 damage reduction, and still usually coming in a bit cheaper. And this was just against a DV of 14- most of the craft I would expect gammas to be tasked with are small and can be even harder to hit.  The TL;DR- Are gamma's x-beams up to the task of dealing with small fast craft when their ADB capped at a d4?
  • Killing Frenzy: didn't much matter as it was a brief match and the target held back to move after the angered grub was forced to move. Would probably have just forced the gammas to stick in a losing fight longer. Can a frenzied brood ship that is out of ammo auto pass it's pilot skill check in order to “come to its senses” so that it can break away and try to regenerate? What does an out-of-munitions gamma that repeatedly fails to roll under it's paltry pilot skill do? Ram?
  • Despite all this, gammas aren't meant to fight alone- a proper C-Cubed formation should be tested next. The typical formation of 1 Alpha, 4-5 Betas, 4 Gammas hover near the 1000 point mark crewed so perhaps with the combined arms of Alphas & Betas in the mix, the Muckworm will perform a niche role of laying down additional X-Beam fire (at damaged or easy to hit targets) better than going at it alone? Perhaps it is destined to harass retreating ships injured by the Betas and Alphas...
     Next battle will see more of a broad battle with at least two more weapon system types like ink, drones, or spore mole launchers... all if I can fit them in, and will be 1000 points per side limited to the core ships on the Terran side.

     Thanks for reading, suggestions are welcome. Too long? Diagrams too easy/difficult to follow? Opinions on optional rules used, tactics missing, conclusions drawn? Got a force list you would like tested?

See ya next battle rocket jockeys...

Just noticed in proofreading that Kosmos A & B both should have hit in turn 3 (they only needed 9's)

Quote:Kosmos A @Muckworm C {Rng 1 Short +1} Roll: 3-5-3= {11 +1} = [12] miss

Kosmos B @Muckworm A {Rng 1 Short +1} Roll: 4-4-4= {12 +1} = [13] miss
oops - AND Spirit Rider A too!
Quote:Spirit Rider A @Muckworm D {Rng 8 Long -1} Roll: (4-4-3)+1 = {12 -1} = [11] miss

 This should have walloped those muck-ducks for 12, 24, & 10 points of damage respectively. Major oops. Turn 3 blowout was worse than reported. Must have been comparing the number needed to-hit to the the Kosmos DV of 14 in error during that turn. That '7 + Pilot skill' DV really sucks!
"Fiery the angels fell; deep thunder rolled around their shores; burning with the fires of Orc" -Roy Batty bastardizing William Blake


Do Schizoids Dream of Frenetic X-Beams?

Hey! Vsauce, Karpav here.

I played another round of Kosmos-Muckworm-Thunderdome! "2 teams enter- no Muckworms leave" -due to time constraints it was the quickest to reset and dive into. Teams were swapped, starting positions were blind, and the Muckworms upped their Pilot skills to 4 in order to nudge those defensive values up to 11! (Literally)

Brood Forces:
Muckworm A: Pilot-[4]; Weapon 1 [3]; Weapon 2 [3]; Weapon 3 [3]; TPV: 50
Muckworm B: Pilot-[4]; Weapon 1 [3]; Weapon 2 [3]; Weapon 3 [3]; TPV: 50
Muckworm C: Pilot-[4]; Weapon 1 [3]; Weapon 2 [3]; Weapon 3 [3]; TPV: 50
Muckworm D: Pilot-[4]; Weapon 1 [3]; Weapon 2 [3]; Weapon 3 [3]; TPV: 50
Flight TPV: 200

Team Terran threw 4 extra points into Spirit Rider stats. The objective for the grubs this time was to get in close at let the triple threat x-beams work at short range. This means they only need a 13 on the dice to rake the human's metal coffins; bumping their shot accuracy to 39.06% per shot, and a comfy 77.37% chance that they'll be able to connect at least once out of the three.

"Bzzzzt! Revennngggezzt vill zee ourzzzzt!"

...said no Muckworm pilot that ever returned to the humid clutch-den alive.
Total blow-out again, but was fun trying and they lasted until turn 4 this time.
 Starting positions:[Image: 3kc4aqi.png]
 Turn 1 Moves:[Image: wu3iFSI.png]
The Muckworms were already feeling like: [Image: Z9aLI89.jpg]

with the Kosmos rushing them like: [Blindfolded_screamimgKids_rushing_wPinata_Bats.jpg]

To save space and time* the net result was the same for the reasons talked about previously with emphasis on:
  • Missiles- the swarming horrors. When they roll that 4 or less to lock, which they eventually do, it's a d6 hoedown throwdown. A fiver spread sends a message. Spreads of ten often creatively persuade maggots to wear their ship's equivalent to a spleen... on the outside. But this is old news.
  • Muckworm Critical Table Dance Party- I didn't mention this one in the last post, thinking perhaps the critical dice were just hot, but 2 games in, the table is gaining a proven reputation for transforming Muckworms into amusing Rube Goldberg machines of self-destruction. Example: Kosmos lines up a long-range shot with the miniguns at a Muckworm with 3 damage received previously. Rolls: (6-3-3){-1 for range}=11 ...Awww! You're still takin' a hit muck-boy! Low die (3's) puts the damage at 6, but don't forget the doubles Spike! Apply 12 points of carapace ventilation to the lucky muck, first x-beam fried, roll critical: (4) random x-beam cooks it's remaining ammo- take 1d8 more pain, rolls a 7, second x-beam out, another critical...    the ride never ends Big Grin  The critical (#4) doesn't clearly specify whether the d8 is rolled for each remaining ammo (brutal) or just once for the lot. We ruled it was just 1d8, ammo cooked, weapon module still available to be marked off on an upcoming [w] box. it's not like the muck is going to easily regenerate ammo w/regen 1. All of the critical hits forced on the air-breathers fell on the bell-curve-of-lameness effects-wise in the grubs greatly biased opinions.
That's about all to add after the second go at it. The Brood blew up a Spirit Rider valued at 26 TPV and brought a Kosmos to the very brink of destruction, but at the cost of all of its vessels. The pair of Muckworms that made a run for the border in turn 5 was turned into colorful wet blossoms of bone and bio-fluids by 10 & 15 spreads of missile mayhem before they could make it back.

After pondering on the gamma + x-beam = skill cap equation and realizing the disgusting damage output and spikes possible when 3d8 & 2d8+1d10 die codes come into play (doesn't the x3 multiplier make the X-beam the spikiest of the lot? An 8-8-10 roll does 20 as a z-beam, 32 as a y-beam, and 48 in x-beam flavor, with the 8-8-9 roll being just as good. Can the heavy y/z-weapons hit Jesus-mode on triple 8's dishing out 72 points of damage? Nope. Just (a still respectable) 48. Oh, and the Y-Z's come with speed restrictions on top of it all**), some alternative concepts emerged:
  • New equipment: the Beam-Emitted-Protractive-Isotropic-Spectroscopic Lens. Attaches to an x-beam mount similar to how ink dispensers do, looking like this† kind of-
    [Image: NYyQigU.png]
    How does it work? Instead of firing its x-beams, a Muckworm may instead use the weapon mount to shape the beam energy into a circular (or oval --personal taste) energy lens above its anterior dorsal region. Other brood in the clutch seeing this distinctive aureole may on their turn arc a beam -any beam- at the lens which thereby down converts the energy, refocuses it, and redirects the beam at a target in it's forward firing arc thereby extending the range of the beam a further 10 hexes. A lens-equipped gamma may form as many lenses as it has X-beams remaining by forgoing firing the X-beam up to a maximum of 3 aligned lenses per gamma. A gamma that is shaping beam-lenses announces at the start of the cannon fire phase how many lenses it is erecting in its lens array and the player marks the weapon as such. If an X-beam mount that is projecting a Bepis Lens is destroyed in the cannon fire phase, it immediately disrupts the lens it was projecting and it is instantly unavailable for use from other Brood. Each lens a redirected beam passes through increases the damage die multiplier by one. A single lens thereby redirects x-beams, y-beams, and z-beams through it as a (Low) damage code attack, two lenses step it up to (Low x2), and all three lenses focus it to a (Low x3) energized beam. The firing brood must be in the RQL/R/RQR arc of the gamma providing the lens. The range is calculated from the gamma arcing the shot through its beam-lens as per it's x-beam range but with an extended long range out to 10 hexes. By foregoing it's shot(s), the gamma grants allied vessels the opportunity to use their superior-attuned beams to strike from a distance. This weapon system grants lens-equipped gammas the ability to advance to forward drone picket line positions allowing Alphas & Betas to hang back slightly and use the lensing maggots as spotters extending the threat range of their beams by firing through their gamma's beam-emitted-protractive-isotropic-spectroscopic lens halos.
  • Linked X-beam firing- one roll, +1 to hit for each additional beam firing, +2 damage for every point of success above the target's DV. Or something along these lines that will mitigate Black Widow Pilots and other 17 DV vermin from running roughshod through shoals of gammas with nary a concern.
  • A beta-playtest update dripping with genius ideas...

* put a cryptic ad on Craigslist and hopefully, a Doctor will see it and pay you a visit,    unless of course, you have your own tardis... (let me know Who exactly pays you a visit at least).
** obviously this material has been known since before the book was released, as the increased points for higher skills attests, but probably wasn't offset enough for the players liking even though it probably meets the design goal of making the Brood a scary, if somewhat unbalanced, enemy. Erring on the side of 'balanced for competitive play' with optional rules or just fluff that make them a bit more scary as narrative boogyman-bugs being the Mocha-Dick of our endeavors.
although the name might need a little work, the intent is real
this one may already have been spoken for, but I'm claiming squatters rights for the credit of the idea if 7 more weeks pass! Ha! " updated beta playtest release? I always said that was a sterling idea!" Sleepy /smug

[Image: WGtBlk3.png]
"Fiery the angels fell; deep thunder rolled around their shores; burning with the fires of Orc" -Roy Batty bastardizing William Blake


Game 3 -Ditched the 'core ships only' caveat. Performance testing versus a random house & random force. Method:

Made random tables weighted slightly by preference and generated forces similar to Rules of Warfare II for both sides. Skills were generated from a pool "Ottowa Red Shirt Crew Allocation" style for each bracket: [8,9,10,7] for the Alpha; [7,6,8,5] for the Betas. Gammas were tailored more specifically to ensure their DV was 11. The Rabid Worms also needed 4's in the Spore Mole Launcher slot, as having spores with anything less than skill 4 (30% lock-on chance) is absurd for a couple points. 

The swarm has a total of 42 Type I drones, 8 Type II's, 5 Type IV's, 10 Type V's, and 7 Ink bio-pods. This starting arsenal tally is before considering what gets blown off/damaged before it can be deployed.

Devil Fish:     Pilot [10]; X-Beam1 [8]; X-Beam2 [8]; X-Beam3 [7]; Y-Beam4 [9]; Y-Beam5 [9]; SporeLauncher6 [10]
Eel A: Pilot [7]; X-Beam 1 [7]    Vartak A: Pilot [8]; X-Beam1 [5]; SporeLnchr2 [6]
Eel B: Pilot [7]; X-Beam 1 [6]    Vartak B: Pilot [8]; X-Beam1 [5]; SporeLnchr2 [6]
Rabid Worm A: Pilot [4]; X-Beam1 [2]; X-Beam2 [4]; SporeLnchr3 [4]
Rabid Worm B: Pilot [4]; X-Beam1 [2]; X-Beam2 [4]; SporeLnchr3 [4]
Thistle A: Pilot-[4]; X-Beam1 [2]; X-Beam2 [1]; X-Beam3 [1]
Thistle B: Pilot-[4]; X-Beam1 [2]; X-Beam2 [1]; X-Beam3 [1]
Shaggai: Pilot-[4]; X-Beam1 [4]; SporeLnchr2 [4]

[Had to sub in the Shaggai last-minute because I only have a single Thistle display sheet printed as of yet. Same points value]
Flight TPV: 1012
[Image: Cd8OQeu.png]

The table I made for the Terrans looked like this: [Image: VBeJrwv.png] Data Sphere was randomly selected, then I went about randomly generating a ship list from their allowed forces. Ship prices are pointed out with Variable Speed Torpedoes included. Skill pool for the entire Data Sphere force was also drawn up via Ottawa Redshirt Crew Allocation (ORCA) optional rule and assigned to crew.

Data Sphere Squadron Name:
(Squadron name too long to print)

Pebibyte Group

MPAC- Gunboat
Orca Alpha:     Pilot/Gnr [10/8]; Gunner A [10]; Gunner B [10]; Gunner C [3]; Gunner D [2]; Gunner E [6] 
Sentry A: Pilot/Gnr [2/4]; Gunner A [7]; Gunner B [7]
Sentry A: Pilot/Gnr [2/4]; Gunner A [7]; Gunner B [7]
Night Hawk A: Pilot/Gnr [8/6]      Piranha A: Pilot/Gnr [5/9]
Night Hawk B: Pilot/Gnr [8/6]      Piranha B: Pilot/Gnr [4/9]
                                                          Piranha C: Pilot/Gnr[4/9]                                                                                 Piranha D: Pilot/Gnr [3/9]
Pebibyte TPV: 712

Reserve elements from Universal Night Watch- Data Sphere's
01101000 01110100 01110100 01110000 01110011 00111010 00101111 00101111 01110111 01110111 01110111 00101110 01111001 01101111 01110101 01110100 01110101 01100010 01100101 00101110 01100011 01101111 01101101 00101111 01110111 01100001 01110100 01100011 01101000 00111111 01110110 00111101 01010101 01101011 01011000 01100101 01001111 01001101 01010011 01110111 01100100 01011010 01010001 Predictive Analytics Squadron
Salamander NW A: Pilot/Gnr [3/8]; Gunner A [5]
Salamander NW A: Pilot/Gnr [3/8]; Gunner A [5]
Teal Hawk NW A: Pilot/Gnr [1/2]; Gunner A [5]
Teal Hawk NW A: Pilot/Gnr [1/1]; Gunner A [5]      Reserve TPV: 301

At the start of turn 1 and each turn thereafter roll 1d6:
Turn 1: 6+ (Enter on your choice of edge 1,3 or 4)
Turn 2: 5+ (Enter on opponents choice of edge 1,3 or 4)
Turn 3: 4+ (Enter on edge 4)
Turn 4: 3+ Teal Hawk NW's only (Enter on edge 4)
Turn 5+: Fallen to hive swarm- units do not arrive.
Total Force TPV: 1013[Image: coNX2Jq.png]
Fire order tracking sheet:[Image: a5B5NWz.png]
Will update the post with results. (To be continued...)
"Fiery the angels fell; deep thunder rolled around their shores; burning with the fires of Orc" -Roy Batty bastardizing William Blake


Battle of Kearns-6i
11 AL
Turn 1
[Image: 1yAJagv.png]
Reinforcements6 -passed. (since the objective for the staggered reinforcements was to limit Data Sphere's TPV at the start (and perhaps the entire game) simulating the AI's desire to collect data instead of exterminating the Brood with the help of the UNW, it was decided on the fly to incentivise holding off calling in the pest-control specialists. It was agreed the UNW ships may enter now, or at the start of any future turn as if they had passed their die roll for that turn -minus the negative effects of the Salamanders not showing up. The Data Sphere would earn an undetermined number of token victory points (2d6 v.p.?) for each turn they could hold off dispatching). 
Torpedo/Missile Launch Phase: none
Initiative Phase: Hatchlings-17     Data Sphere-19   
Movement: Both factions slowly advance holding formation. Eels, the exception, set up to buzz the line with drones.
Cannon Fire Phase: Streaks of Sentry Blatguns and Night Hawk Meld Lazers stretch out across the gap, their intent to collect reaction time data from the organic host. All miss as predicted, but processors begin to flood with observational data. 
Missile Results Phase: N/A
End of Turn

Turn 2
[Image: Ugl31gP.png]
Reinforcements: Voluntarily declined. 
Torpedo/Missile Launch Phase: Piranhas A-C lock-on 5 missiles each to approaching Gamma ships, all fire their Mk.40's at each beta.
Initiative Phase: Hatchlings-11     Data Sphere-16   
Movement: Vartak A takes the lead, turns, fires off a small jump pod shaking off its tracking torp, and sits in ink in case it might be pursued. Data Sphere's Sentry refuses to budge and anchors on the spot. Vartak B attempts a similar pod-evasion maneuver but fails to shake the torp zooming in on it. It ejects a cloud of ink and waits. Data Sphere's intentions to advance in a tight scrum start to become apparent, so the Eels boom and zoom the formation -dropping large drone clusters in their wake to pin the enemy in place. The threat of these bio-mines activating prompts the remaining ships to lay on the throttle enough to escape the threat radius, especially the Piranhas, who jet out as a shoal intent on getting priority targets in arc... a pair of them perform precision snap-turns and line up on the Devil-Fish Alpha-xenocraft.   
Cannon Fire Phase: Mayhem. Early cannon fire from the Orca and Devil Fish see a plague of low results, but then the Devil Fish manages to land a punishing x-beam shot on Piranha D, which is finished off by Rabid Worm A later in the firing order. Night Hawks, even with +5 to hit, find their shots missing the mark. [Several picoseconds spent running self-awareness routines and simulated disgust algorithms, a Night Wing pilot transmits a formal version update request into the Orca's combat logs: to have it's chassis decommissioned, integrating any befitting code into a wardrone mainframe]. Speaking of Rabid Worms, Worm B gets dissected via the scalpel of Sentry B's starboard facing splattergun multi-mount. The Data Sphere was focusing its fire on Brood ships instead of drones, and in turn Eel B decided to fire it's x-beam at the same Sentry (rather than at the Mk40 in its face) in retribution for it's port-side Gunner A attempting the same sext-splattergun dissection trick on it, nearly successfully, as the burning smoke of internally burst drone ichor filled the bio-ships interior. The dice settled on the ominous 6-6-6 result as the frenzied Eel's x-beam ripped into the Sentry's spud-like hull for 50 points post-armor reduction: "Sentry Au Gratin" or "The Devil's Hashbrowns " served courtesy of the grubs version of the George Foreman: the X-Grill...
[Image: YMyngm.jpg]
Missile Results Phase: What little was left of the injured Rabid Worm was juiced, Thistle A, weaponless, is now reduced to a drive of 6 after taking 23 points of Raid in missile form to the carapace (Roll: 6-6-5-2-6 high+5 = 23), but the Shaggai is spared the same fate (Roll: 1-2-1-1-2 = 7 misses!).
[Image: 9KrNpDC.png]
End of Turn

Suspended play here due to time limitations- will pick up Wednesday from here.

Partial notes so far:
  • Frenzy observation- redacted this because I forgot that frenzy, as it is in beta version 1, makes the affected brood home on the closest enemy vessel and not necessarily on which ship sent it into the frenzy through damage.
  • Frenzy observation II- redacted as above.
  •  Frenzy observation III- The first of our Alpha frenzy influence checks will come up at the start of turn 3 since several Gammas & Betas are buzzing madly at the Smoking Sentry with 7 boxes left on its track. If the rolls come up "bad", the hatchlings won't be the only ones flustered with rage Angry
  • The -2 to shoot from jump pod disorientation modifier- is easy to forget! Probably due to being new? Luckily it wouldn't have made a difference in the shot once it was remembered.
  • Since noting the devastating effects of missiles, could consideration for Brood making ink-tech improvements so that it hinders missile lock-on be made? Alternatively, as a benefit to entering a killing frenzy, the carapace emits a cicada-like buzz- a cacophony of simulated frequency jamming screeches and vibrations that simulate the effects observed in captured Terran electronics, making their DV+1 (or +2) and -1 (or -2) to lock-on attempts that do not stack in ink? This tradeoff of protection for loss of player agency would make those ships that invariably will be stuck chasing down crippled hulls more palatable. This is likely all moot considering the expected update.
  • This fight seems to be going well for Data Sphere so far with the exception of the baked potato Sentry and a Piranha that are expected to suffer high loss rates anyway (the Brood's ship displays are more bloodied overall), and despite the Hatchlings benefitting from the speed restrictions impeding the Orca's Disintegrators; only a pair of Data ships have been drone-pinned;  Spore Moles haven't gotten close enough to come into play yet in part because the Vartaks made the error of forgetting how favorable the odds on dodging lone Mk.40's is with Pilot Skill 8, and also in part because initiative was lost in turn 2 and it was decided to get the Eels to perform later phase drone strafes putting the Vartaks earlier on the movement-order roster for better or worse.
  • Data Sphere might call in those 300 points of UNW reserves at the start of turn 3, or instead delay another turn- the verdict has yet to be decided by the controlling player.
(part 2 pending...)
"Fiery the angels fell; deep thunder rolled around their shores; burning with the fires of Orc" -Roy Batty bastardizing William Blake


Battle of Kearns-6i
Turn 3
[Image: lhqnW0y.png]
This cluttered infographic is an attempt to show the status of ships at the start of turn 3. Damage (if any) is indicated along with the damaged ships current drive values, the closest ships that Gamma & Betas marked for killing frenzy are indicated pre-Alpha influence checks (Thistle A was equal distant to four possible candidates so it was rolled off- with a drive of just 4 its rage towards the Sentry will be recorded over the coms channel more than anything). Missile & Spore Mole lock targets have also been marked.
Alpha Influencing- Killing Frenzy Quelling: Eel B- 9, Thistle A- 11 Thistle B- 2
[more Frenzy questions, had Eel B failed its test, how exactly are its actions carried out? Is it required to try to wait for the Night Hawk to move first? Since it is a highly specialized drone launching platform, is it allowed to streak ahead of its target, laying drones along the way, and reserve enough move for a tight turn attempt at the end of its movement so that it may fire its single X-Beam at its prey? If it no longer has said X-Beam, or if it is out of ammo, is it obligated to do anything while frenzied? Implementing Killing Frenzy in its current form, while flavorful, feels a bit clunky.
     Brainstorming alternate means to achieve the enraged & bloodthirsty agitation style of play... As previously hinted at, making it a trade-off of features rather than solely a hindrance would possibly fare better. Barbarians in role-playing systems often get a mix of bonuses and penalties while enraged, berserking troops in miniatures games often gain enhanced performance at the cost of being harder or impossible to control (goblin fanatics).

     Rewards for frenzy could be heightened levels of adrenaline production granting boosted regeneration each turn condition-free (Regen dice spread +5 bonus boxes), or beam damage only getting their 2x & 3x multipliers as long as the hatchling is frenzied, and the aforementioned cicada-harmonics defenses, or, preferably, all of the above.
     The downsides? As the blinders of rage cloud the situational awareness of frenzied brood, torpedos are more difficult to dodge [-3 or similar penalty on dodge attempts], any gunnery duels between a ship targeted by hatchling frenzy and that hatchling force the hatchling pilot to roll twice and take the lowest result because the grub is overcharging the beams and otherwise flustered, criticals are at disadvantage [roll twice, opponent chooses result or take an extra 3d6 (Low x2) damage on a critical while frenzied] due to adrenaline overexertion.
     Something like that. Make it a feature that rewards as well as hinders for choosing or being forced into the thematic playstyle and it will be used more often and with better effect.]

Torpedo/Missile Launch Phase:
Initiative Phase: Hatchlings-0     Data Sphere-0   
Cannon Fire Phase:  
Missile/Spore Results Phase:
End of Turn

Intermission Muzak:

"Fiery the angels fell; deep thunder rolled around their shores; burning with the fires of Orc" -Roy Batty bastardizing William Blake


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