Goodbye-boy was in his last session of my SO's 3.5 game, and I must say, she put us through our paces. This was her fourth session of her first real GMing run, and it was pretty cool.
* 3.5: Wolf-shifter Elf and my this-that-and-everything character scout up to the outskirts of 'Gaehile' > sp? < (Wilderlands of High Fantasy), and my PC remains somewhat hidden while he goes back to fetch the rest of the party. Hobgobs detect me, and a fight erupts, a horn is sounded, reinforcements arrive as the party enters this alleyway. Classic error on our part. We slog through the first wave (my remarkable hits were met with crummy damage) and soon we are really taking hits left and right. Two party members each break to either side and flush out the Hobgob archers pincussioning us as their better armoured buddies stop the rest of us in our tracks. We eventually waste the first wave and move a bit just as the reinforcements begin to perforate my PC to within 3 of unconsciousness. The fight really engaged us, and she felt pretty good afterwards. --We said our fare-thee-well's to 'Ray', and headed for the other LGS.
* AT-43: Bought about $100 of 3 for 2 deals, and now have four of the (5?) faction Army Books. I purchased the Twins and Urod for my Red Bloc faction after using them in our intro-game a couple of weeks ago; picked up the MedTec set (2 busty nurses, and a doctor, plus a few cargo boxes as dressing); and purchased my SO a King Buggy flying vehicle for her Karman Gorilla faction.
--We played, and I had the twins piloting Urod alongside my much liked UNA Wing Troopers (Jump Packs) in a joint anti-Ape mission. Since this was our first unsupervised game, we had to dig around and find rules, making it a 3+ hour experience, but some of that was purchasing stuff, etc.
---I won this one (Urod with the Twins is a really tough cookie) with only two UNA troopers lost, to her entire force killed and the Buggy 'esplowded'.
* Thoughts on the two combats: While this is an 'Apples-to-Oranges' comparison, I'd say that the flexibility of the RPG, especially one in which the non-combatants Wizard was forced to crossbow a lot, and my 'not-a-meleer' only affected one Hobgob with Colour Spray, and thereafter missed with Acid Splash, and hit for 1 HP with Ray of Frost, reinforced the fun chaos of largely uncoordinated fights (arising from the on-the-fly stop-gapping and 'flanking'), while demonstrating how crazy it is for goobers like PCs to be doing the business of grunts and grogs.
--AT-43, for the variety of gear/attacks/movement capabilities the units possess, illustrated how deadly tight clusters of troops can be when 'bad stuff goes down' in their area. Fortunately, SO's last-stand AoE attack against my troopers wouldn't have been able to wipe them out due to the 6cm Command Radius and the standard wargamey rule that the Commander is the last figure to die, even with a drift, but still, it could have been messier. Likewise, Eligibility for Cover saved my UNAs (minus one) while my propitious Overwatch took out two of her damned dirty stinking apes pretty early on.
:: Which do I prefer?
--Lemonade. No, seriously. I like running in a more martially-informed RPG crew who are also quick-enough to adapt to new circumstances and be able to operate as meaningful detachments for as long as necessary, or conducive, before shoring up again and pressing on.
The Troll combat from last Friday, in which I got to illustrate the grogs' more tactical understanding (holding the chokepoint with a heavy flamer, while coilstock archers were harrassing the caster and his guard, made the PCs' defending those elements with melee support a really nicely oiled death machine ('skill + chance' as another blog has mentioned the wisdom of Ken St. Andre).
--I am hoping that as the SO GMs more, and plays AT-43, more, her playing tactically in my game will be a natural outgrowth.
I love the challenge. :)