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A Home Raiders Solo Play and Solo Learn Experience

A Home Raiders Solo Play and Solo Learn Experience

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Project Blog by lawnor Cult of Games Member

Recommendations: 84

About the Project

I'll be teaching myself how to play and playing some games alone

This Project is Completed

Introduction

Tutoring 8
Skill 8
Idea 8
2 Comments

A long long time ago in the ancient days of 2015 Vesper-On games ran a kickstarter for a game called Home Raiders about tiny people from tiny dimensions opening tiny portals in to our houses and fighting battles in our living rooms.  The models were 1:1 scale and the forces of New Lilliput were coming to our defence primarily against the Gremlins who wanted to steal gizmos and doohickeys from our devices, the Lords of Dust (Egyptian Penguins) who wanted to dump their toxic waste (dust) under our sofas and behind out TVs, and the Fair folk, fairies and lost children looking to bring nature back to dominance in our world.  Battles would be fought on our carpets, tables and bookshelves, and terrain would be whatever was there naturally.  If you put your coffee down on the table mid battle it became a new piece of terrain.

It was a charming delightful idea and myself and many others backed it and were happy when our deliveries arrived many months later.  However before I could finish building and painting the game, and before they could finish releasing the initial line,  the company went bankrupt and the game died there and then.  TTCombat have bought the license and still sell the products but they have done nothing with it.  I’m assuming they are only selling inherited stock and haven’t been making any more.  I have been hoping to hear that they are going to develop the game now that Carnivale is up and running (They bought the games in the same deal), but I have yet to hear anything.

Anyway, due to everyone around me having children and changing jobs or moving away I find myself in a period where it is temporarily hard to get a game in so I am using this time to dig out games I’ve bought but not tried and learning them solo style.  I’ve just tried my hand at 40k and now I’m going to give Home Raiders a go.

 

The forces of New Lilliput and the Gremlins, along with a Mercenary pirate elephant.  Obviously.The forces of New Lilliput and the Gremlins, along with a Mercenary pirate elephant. Obviously.

The Models

The metal models look fine painted up, but are a little fragile in places.  Those spear tips want to bend and snap off.  The clear bases are nice, but once I started drilling them to attach the models they started to crack.  The superglue also caused a little frosting in places.  Still, I got it all to work well enough.

The sculpts themselves were kept basic.  Lots of open surfaces with minimal sculpted detail.  The design choice was similar to a kids colouring book.  Keep it simple so a child can block colour it.  However as an experienced painter I found the lack of detail and texture to be a hindrance at times on some sculpts.  I know how to use the texture to do the work for me.  I also found some of the detail that was there was flat and got lost in the paint at times.  I painted these a few years ago so I’m writing this from memory.  I don’t think I did too bad a job all things considered.  I also bought the Fair Folk as they were going to get dragon riders and I don’t own any real dragons yet.  Those models never got released in the end.

 

Reading the Rules

The rules (Available here) were a very quick and simple read.  I was surprised when I’d gotten to the end of them they were so short.  Its mostly self explanatory and a lot of them are optional.  The game is aiming itself as an entry wargame for children.  Something for parents to use to get their children started.  As they get used to moving and firing then you can “turn on” special abilities etc.  Nice idea.  I’ll be using everything from the beginning I think.

The game runs off custom dice with either, blanks, Aces, or Crit Aces on them.  This is mildly confusing because the symbol for an ace is an exclamation point, which I kept reading as an “i”.  The rules kept talking about rolling aces and I didn’t know what that meant.  I think this could have been worked a little clearer.  Either by changing the term, changing the symbol, or including the symbol anywhere they use the term.  It’s a niggle though, but a point of confusion.

The turn order is decided by drawing gems from a bag.  Every unit or solo puts a gem in a bag coloured for its faction so you can spend it to activate any unit you choose, but only once each per round.

The Stat Cards (Available here) are nice and simple.  They are one sides and have lots of symbols, which take a small amount of getting used to.  They keep the numbers simple.  There’s no huge points costs requiring maths skills.  Everything costs 1-3 points so young children could cost up an army without running out of fingers, at least at battle box level.

The special abilities are not included on the stat cards.  Instead each stat may have a coloured background.  You can then check that colour to the tables on the last 2 pages of the rules to see what special ability (IE Push, Shied Guard etc) they have access to.  This is great for not overwhelming new players who want to play just the basic rules as they don’t even need to know those colours have any significance.  However, when you want to use these abilities it gets confusing.  Firstly, telling the colours apart isn’t always simple.  The pink and the red look a lot alike.  My main issue is that I forget that stat has a yellow background, and even when I remember I have to keep looking it up.  It doesn’t help that a yellow background for the Melee stat will mean something different to the Defence stat having a yellow background.  The backs of the cards are blank.  You could easily put the relevant text on the back there.  if they really want to keep some cards simple then printing two sets of cards, one with and one without the extra info would surely have not cost more than a few pennies more?  I will be making my own card backs for any future games and keeping them back to back in card sleeves.

The cards, with blank backs and the occasional coloured stat symbolThe cards, with blank backs and the occasional coloured stat symbol

Setting Up The First game

Tutoring 7
Skill 6
Idea 6
No Comments

I’ll be playing a “battle box” game to begin with.  I’ll be using the models from the core box only.  This leaves the Lilliputians 1 point down so they will be taking the mercenary Mortimer so both sides are balanced.

The book says you can play on any surface shape or size you like, but objectives must be placed 15″ away from your portal (Your deployment zone is anywhere with 6″ from the object you designate as your portal, placed on a table edge either in the middle, or at opposite corners, decided by a dice roll.  One of 3 objectives are chosen from a dice roll too.  For my first game I rolled “Direct Confrontation” and “Strategic Spot”

Setting Up The First game

The rules suggest around 2 pieces of terrain for every square foot of table.  it also suggests taking a bin of dry waste and just tipping it on the surface and playing through that.  I’ve gone for option 1 and done my best.  The theme was “whats left after a board gaming evening”.  See my setup below.  I’ll be using the imaginary line the portals are on as that “edge of the table” and playing up to the sides of the table.  The 40mm circular tokens are the objectives.

The table setup, before deployment.  The Gremlins portal is the cork screw as it is mechanical, and the Liliputians will use the pot of hand sanitiser as good hygiene is a form of order and I had no better ideas.  Shut up, ok?The table setup, before deployment. The Gremlins portal is the cork screw as it is mechanical, and the Liliputians will use the pot of hand sanitiser as good hygiene is a form of order and I had no better ideas. Shut up, ok?
The forces working for New Lilliput todayThe forces working for New Lilliput today
The GremlinsThe Gremlins

The First Battle

Tutoring 7
Skill 6
Idea 6
No Comments
DeploymentDeployment

The rules state that everyone must be deployed within 6″ of their portal.  I’ve taken this to mean completely with so the whole of their bases are within this, not just the closest edge.  The game does not say who deploys first.  It appears everyone deploys at the same time.  Perhaps I am missing something?

Some models have the ability to push light terrain.  What can and cannot be pushed should be decided between the players before play.  in this game I have decided that the dice cube, Zombie Dice, board eraser, giant pen and the bag of cheesy biscuits (They were very nice!) can all be pushed.

 

Round 1

First out of the bag (Or a freshly washed sock as it was all I had) was a brown gem for the Gremlins so the Ragmen did a double move (Everyone gets 2 actions per turn and can perform the same action twice if they want.  Attached officers do not have to do the same action as their unit, but everyone with a unit must do the same action at the same time).  Then another brown gem came out so the Ragman Brute also double moved.  And another so the Gremlins advanced.  How badly did I shuffle these gems?  No one could get people in to range of their weapons so they tried to stay back out of enemy ranges.

I later discovered that you can shoot outside your range by removing the best dice from your pool.  This is something I will definitely have to remember in the next game

Then I pulled out a clear gem for the Mercenary so Mortimer moved up and shot one of the Gremlin Technicians doing 1 damage (Everyone has 2 hit points, unless they have a special rule.  One hit, no matter how good, can only ever do 1 damage).

Then finally a blue gem comes out so the EGGS move forward and open fire on the Gremlins, damaging a different model within the unit (You can never target a unit leader with your guns while other unit members are still alive.  The target must always be the closest model within the unit to the model shooting).

Then RAF the Pilot and then the Guards double moved in to a better position, because I forgot they could extend the ranges on their guns at a penalty.

And that’s the end of turn 1.  Nothing exciting, but it flowed well.

 

After Round 1After Round 1

Round 2

Mortimer got to activate so he moved up and hit RAF for 1 damage.  The Gremlins moved up and landed 2 hits on one of the EGGS, killing him.  The Ragman Brute has a 2″ range (Everyone else needs to be in base to base contact to punch them) so moved up and hit Mortimer for 1 damage.  RAF tried to finish off Mortimer with two attacks, but failed (As people get injured they lose dice from their abilities).  The Ragmen did a double move to get in to position.  it wasn’t clear if the Guards were weaker in melee or ranged, but the Brutes have no ranged attacks.  They do have better defences when in B2B contact so I was sure to maintain that, although I think I forgot to take this in to account later.

The surviving EGG shot a Gremlin and then retreated to avoid dying instantly when anyone activated.  The Guards hurt 2 different Ragmen and Sheffin moved up.  The Guards landed 2 more hits, killing one Ragman on their second action.

Round 2 over.

After Round 2After Round 2

Round 3

The Ragmen hit the Guards with both their actions, injuring one and killing another.  Mortimer attacked RAF, killing him on the second attempt.  The Remaining EGG moved up and killed one of the Gremlins.  The weakened Gremlins moved up and shot back, missing everything.  The Guards moved in and killed a Ragman and the Ragman Brute stepped in and murderised Mortimer.

End of Round 3

After Round 3After Round 3

Round 4

The EGG killed a gremlin and then moved towards his allies, using terrain defensively.  the Ragmen attacked the Guards to no effect.  The Gremlins shot at the EGG, but cover and their weakened state prevented them being effective.  When the Guards activated Sheffin healed one of them (He has a special rule to do this) while the unit moved up.  They then killed the remaining Ragmen and Sheffin advanced towards the enemy.  The slow Brute did a double move towards valid targets.

After Round 4After Round 4

Round 5

The Brute moved up and landed one hit on the EGG.  The Gremlins finished him off, despite him gaining cover from the Brute.  They then advanced to cover to make it awkward for the Guards to finish them off.  The Guards advanced and got some good rolls, landing 3 hits and killing both of them.

After Round 5After Round 5

Round 6

Final round of the game so everyone ran for Objectives.  The Lilliputians could get B2B with the 2 by the cheesy biscuits, and the Brute managed to get the 1 behind the deck box, both after double moves.  I then remembered that it takes an action to control an objective, not just being base to base.  This means that no one scored any points and the game ended without a victor.  A tad anticlimactic, but a lot of lessons learned for next time.

Post First Battle Thoughts and Questions

Tutoring 7
Skill 6
Idea 5
No Comments

Its a simple little game.  It flowed well and even though I was at the table for about 2 hours it felt fast.  I was probably playing for less too, once you remove photo and note taking time, and checking the rules etc.  Should be a fast game with a little practise.

I liked this.  It was simple, quaint and enjoyable.  It is a shame it didn’t live long enough for them to release more content or for the game to catch on.

The game wasn’t supported long enough for anyone to work out what a good table set up should look like, or how big each army should be.  I do think each side needs more models for a “full” game, but I don’t think it wants many more.  Perhaps somewhere around double the points size might work well?  This is not a large scale battle game, but if you wanted to try it it might work, although it wouldn’t likely be how you’d want to play it regularly.

As for terrain, I suspect my setup didn’t lend itself to the game much.  The push abilities never came in to it.  Maybe I do need to just throw some stuff on the table and play however it lands?  Or take over an already busy surface?

I think this game would be great for a parent with kids just old enough to start wargaming.  Everyone takes a different faction and you draw up a map of the house and over a school holiday you fight for control of the different rooms with the parent acting as a GM/Storyteller, as well as joining in in the games.  Could be a good way to get housework out of your kids too.  “We can’t possibly fight over your room until you put some of your toys away.  They are in the way”.  This could allow the parent to tell some stories too.  You could play it with adults as a more relaxed game as well.  I’d enjoy a few games against my friends.

In the end, the lack of support, lack of diversity in the range, and everything being out of stock is the big reason why this won’t take off, even for people who want it to.  If TTCombat announce they are going to revisit the range and add new models, and perhaps tidy up the rules a little (They are fine as is, but a little cleaning up of language or clarifying a couple of points might be nice), and release double sided stat cards then I would be very happy and tempted to develop my teams.  If they released better sculpts all the better.  They could really have fun with this licence and attract some hobby painters with interesting models.  I was always hoping for a Mice and Mystics / Burrows and Badgers style faction, for example.

 

Questions & Thoughts

  • Does the clear Merc gem have to be used for the Merc, or can it be used for anyone from his team?
  • Are there rules covering who deploys first that I missed
  • I see that once in melee a model cannot move, but will take a free strike if they move away.  I see they cannot shoot out of melee, but I’m not seeing any rules saying you cannot shoot in to melee.  The only penalty I see is that engaging models might provide cover if they are between the target and the shooter.
  • Having an even number of objectives and no tiebreaker seems a little unfortunate.
  • The custom dice make it tricky to eyeball probabilities.  Putting some thought in to this might reveal the maths is simpler than at first glance.  Right now it is tricky to work out if I am better off shooting or punching with some models.
  • I have now eaten some of the terrain.  How often can any of us say that?

Rules PDFs

Tutoring 1
Skill 1
Idea 2
No Comments

It was recently brought to my attention by the Unofficial Hobby Hangout that the links to the pdf rules no longer work.  It appears these files may only exist on my hard drive.  I may as well add them here so they still exist somewhere people can find.

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