Hello again to what I think will be the last instalment of the ‘pre-game’ section. Well at least until I get engrossed in something new. So probably about a month. This week I’m going to cover Afterlife the sci-fi game by Anvil Industry. Unlike most games it isn’t designed to be played in an overtly competitive manner and instead shines in a story driven campaign…
Deceptively simple to read through the rules are at their core a you go I go game with reaction fire mechanic that allows units to shoot in retaliation. Each subsequent firefight diminishes the effectiveness of the unit being targeted which obviously makes it a good idea to build good fire-arcs and really lay into one unit. All of the dice are d10s which makes working out your odds of success is pretty straight forward so that’s pretty good too.
With a swathe of high tech gear and specific rules I think that from a collectors point of view it’s very much a one of everything affair. But to start with at least I would suggest choosing a pair of core units will allow you to expand your force with a couple of elite choices. A third core unit would then get you a support choice to round off your force. That gives you a pretty decent fighting unit that should allow you to cover all your bases during the games. I would suggest that whilst small arms might look weak even the puniest guns can take out all but the toughest opponents so your core units should consist of many light weapons.
Your elite choices should be geared towards specialist tasks and importantly hold the keys to removing your opponents non-core selections, particularly smaller more heavily armoured ones. Faster moving units or particularly long ranged ones would be a great asset here so that you can pin down and eliminate your enemy one unit at a time…
The support slot should probably then be in charge of mincing the lightly armoured nuisance units that your opponent will be fielding in his core slot. The Goliath excels in this role because it is pretty much immune to small arms fire and can be armed with great weapons for smashing aside such trivial foes but it is expensive so perhaps the weapons platforms might be a better investment?
I’m collecting a mercenary force which allows me to field selections from either faction but at the expense of a 10% tax. I actually don’t think that it’s probably worth it but I like the idea so I’m going with it. My finished force will probably be something like;
Commando Strike Team x 6 – 150pt (core)
Marine Corps Infantry x 7 -140pt (core)
Crane C-25 Heavy Infantry x 5 110pt (core)
Commando Assault Specialists x 5 190pt (elite)
Pulse Mechs x 4 245pt (elite)
Taurus Weapons Tractor w/Minigun 65pt (support)
That brings the Mirakuru crew up to 900 points for a 1000 point game and gives me some pretty decent punch. The one thing it probably lacks is a sniper style unit which may prove problematic but I can always buy more! Given the intended narrative nature of the game I feel that force selection should be player preference on their look and feel though and that the scenarios you play should be based around the strengths and weaknesses of each of your armies.
For example if you really like the look of the Unity Guard then they will lack range and any high strength weapons but are really good at clearing light/medium defenders out of cover. Scenarios involving them should be geared appropriately to have them clearing a densely packed terrain whilst somebody that really enjoys Recon Tracers will have fewer faster moving troopers that require less cover but are a bit more ‘jack-of-all’ trades.
Even if you’re not sold on the game itself (which is free so there’s no reason not to look at it…) check out Anvils website because the figures are glorious! Over the next few weeks I’ll be taking the theories I have run through to the table to see if I’m even a little bit correct and reporting back my findings. Until then happy gaming! -Mark
images copyright Anvil Industry Ltd, used with permission.