For this weekend’s Tentfinity, Sean and I tried out the new Code One ruleset from Corvus Belli. We split a box of the Operation Kaldstrom, Beyond Kaldstrom, and Dire Foes set and read through the new rules to put this “simplified” version of the game through its paces.
We decided to run the minimum set up with a 15 point group (30 points is considered the “full” game). This is roughly the size of the figures that come in the base Operation Kaldstrom box but I haven’t really started painting those figures up so I used some existing Red Veil units.
I decided I shouldn’t just stick with the old figures and did a quick paint up of the new Jujak Regiment, Korean Shock Infantry.
With my figures ready and my team created in the online army builder, I hit print and was ready to go. Except I wasn’t. The print functionality of the new Code One builder is pretty dodgy. Maybe I’m too old school and printing is just not in the wheelhouse of these companies anymore but there was a lot left to be desired.
While the stats online seem fine, the print out misses a lot of the weapon options (namely close combat ones). Sometimes the skills of the figures have the appropriate effect with them like they should and randomly, sometimes they don’t. Then, even with “inches” set up some measurements are in metric instead of imperial.
Altogether an odd miss from a company known for producing quality online resources. Lastly, there is no “courtesy list” option for your opponent. While Code One has simplified several elements, there are still aspects of hidden information that make it difficult for you to just hand over your list to your opponent directly. The N3 (current ruleset) has this feature so it is odd to see it missing here. Not the best start for a rule system built on trying to get new players into the fold.
A few edits later and we were good to go. I set up the 24″x 32″ mat using the Kaldstrom map and a little more than a full set of “starter” terrain. The smaller board setup let me spread the table out to give Sean and I more room to keep our stuff separate and maintain a more comfortable distance between us. While it may seem overboard if we are outside and with masks, the whole point of this exercise is to play in a safe environment and any minor discomfort is a welcome trade off to get to play some live games with friends.
I won the roll off and chose to have the choice on deployment. Sean then gave me initiative and I had him deploy first. His Pan-O set up mostly central to cover the middle with as many reaction orders (AROs) as he could.
I split my team with most of my squad on the right side of the map, with a lone Zanshi in the middle and my camo marker (skirmer) infiltrating all the way up to the middle of the map near one of the supply boxes (mission objective material).
I decided if I was going first, I’d try to play aggressive so I sent my Jujak out to try to and control the right side where Pan-O was weakest. Unfortunately, the fire lanes were brutal with a total reaction remote, a heavy infantry Orc, and a Nisse sniper all seeing me run this gap. Five shots were coming my way (we missed that the remote should have thrown 4 dice, not 3) but I was able to dodge 4 of them. The 5th shot was from the sniper and my armor save held for half the damage coming in. Jujak made it!
Now he was coming in to take care of the weaker remote bot on that side. We sport the same weapon but the Jujak is the better shot. Our first rolls cancel out for no damage but the second round of shooting sees the dirty bot crit the Jujak. Crits were my bane last game so it was unwelcome to see them out again so soon. Luckily, Code One weakened the crit mechanic so instead of doing instant damage and dropping my guy, I get to make an extra armor save.
It doesn’t matter, I fail half the saves again (even with a +6 against a Damage 13 weapon) and with 2 wounds in him, my newly painted Jujak goes down. It’s ok. I came prepared as several of my chaff Zanshi fighters are paramedics with ranged medikits. She saunters in and shoots the medikit mcguffin directly into the unconscious body of the Korean Shock Trooper only for him to fail his physical roll and die. Dirty crit bot.
I use the rest of my turn to get my other Zanshis into position. Showing my lack of good command, I really don’t know what to do with my heavy Hsien sitting up at the top of a building. I took the slightly cheaper option with a Marksman Rifle (thinking it was the same as a Multi Rifle). It is not and seems far weaker than the HMG option. So he just kind of hangs out, not wanting to get a face full of AROs.
The Pan-O start things up with the Snipe singling out my Hsien leader. It isn’t the best firefight but it could be worse. The Hsien take a wound but in the second exchange, drops the sniper instead. Not wanting to let me keep my heavy still up, Pan-O turns to their HMG remote and opens up on me. The remote is all about volume of fire but can’t hit very well. I sneak another shot through and the weak armored remote drops as well. I’m feeling pretty good except there was an engineering remote bot that starts working on it immediately and bring it back online.
I can’t take the next volley of 4 shots and my Hsien drops. He’s also my Lieutenant but luckily in Code One there is no penalty for losing your Lieutenant. Worse is the fact that he’s 33% of the points of my list and it leaves me with both my heavy hitters down and no clear path to get my paramedics up there.
With the remaining orders, Pan-O sends in their doc to go revive the Sniper. While I don’t have an answer for the remote cutting off my running lanes, it will be impossible if the sniper comes back up so I expose my Guilang Skirmisher and take a shot at the doc before she can try to wake up the sniper.
It works and I drop the doc to the dirt. That Sniper won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Unfortunately, my skirmisher is now exposed. The face off between the Orc doesn’t go well with him throwing out two crits on my lone figure. That’s four armor saves and the Guilang is extra squishy. He does his best though and passes three saves but the last one catches him and now he’s dropped.
Things are grim for the Yu Jing. I try to drop my airborne Tiger Soldier but she fails and has to start back in my deployment zone. I have to try to get my Hsien back up to take down all this central fire but the stairs up is a suicide run. I lose one paramedic going up the stairs and with no real options left, I lose the other in a shoot out with the Orc.
None of us have gotten the objectives and knowing that my next turn will end the game since I’m almost out of troopers, Pan-O runs a specialist up out of the two weak fire lanes I can cover and captures an objective. The Orc comes out and takes a few rounds but drops my last Zanshi.
I have one order left (sounds familiar as I seemed to be in this situation last game). I can’t when the victory point game but I can stop Pan-O from getting any objectives if I can drop that supply toting soldier.
I run my Tiger Soldier up the death staircase and blast the soldier while simultaneously taking 6 incoming ARO shots. She doesn’t survive but her heroism was not in vain as she drops the Pan-O soldier, denying them any objective points.
Game score, 0 – 0, tiebreaker goes to Pan-O for leaving me with zero victory points and still having around 10 points of figures still up.
Code One is interesting and it was a nice game learning the new ruleset. I don’t know if it feels quick because we don’t have a lot of figures or if the streamlining really helps but either way, we were excited to see the game wrap up quickly (something I am not known for).
I think my list has promise but I did a terrible job using the figures and maybe even worse counter-setting up against Pan-O. I thought I chose a good side to deploy in but seeing how Sean dominated that center right from his deployment showed me the error of my ways. And maybe a bad board set up on my part.
We hope to try again next week so it sounds like I have some time to either work out the kinks of this list or paint up some more Kaldstrom figures to switch things out a little more.