Sin of Damnation: Beachhead

It's the first mission in the book and it introduces us to all the Marines with the exception of the Librarian. It's a good mission to start with since the Marines face relatively few Genestealers in addition to them being limited in both movement and reinforcements for a set number of turns.

Mission changes that were made

Blind placement of the initial 10 Genestealer blips.
Keeping the initial placement of the blips random means the Genestealer player can't load up a particular flank from the start and this goes in line with the theme of being caught off guard by the Marine boarding torpedoes.

Predesignated Boarding Torpedo locations.
I wanted both Marine players to have the same starting positions so that one player didn't get some crazy random positioning that put them at a distinct disadvantage. While it's fun to see where they land, we're playing this campaign to see how we do against each other and this random placement mechanism isn't necessary.

What the Marine player needs to do

You have the first two turns to really make the most of your landing. The first squad arrives on Turn 1 and the second squad on Turn 2. The Genestealers will only have 3AP for the first two turns and no reinforcements until Turn 4 so this is your opportunity to get set up before they attack.

There are two things you need to do the get yourself positioned properly before you consider advancing and considering going for the win.

First is get control of the hallways leading up to the center rooms. You don't have to move up into them yet, just keep the Genestealers that are in there from coming down without taking casualties. 

Second and more importantly is take control and clear out the two end rooms as fast as you can. Here's where your heavy weapons are going to come in play. These two rooms are somewhat isolated and if you can clear them fast enough and get a standard Marine in position on Overwatch, no other bugs are going to come down into them.

After you have control of the end rooms, you can move up into the two center rooms. It may not be easy depending on how many Genestealers were placed there initially, but it will be easier with your flanks secure.

Depending on how many casualties you take clearing the two center rooms, you can decide if you want to play for the draw or go for the win at that point. The conditions for the win require you to keep a certain number of Marines alive in addition to having all the rooms clear on Turn 12.

Since you're trying to cover a number of approaches at once, move your guys in pairs. Do not leave anyone unsupported. Do not advance if you do not have to. You can't afford to lose many models if you're going for the win. Do not overextend yourself in this mission. The Genestealer player is limited in reinforcements and they will be looking for easy targets.

Use your Thunderhammer and Storm Shield Sergeant to your advantage. He can be brutal in close assault when the dice are in your favor, but die just as fast to one bad roll. He's best when on the defensive. Get him on guard and in position to support a fellow Marine. Use him to block off a corridor where you can, just be careful you don't limit any potential shooting trying to do this.

What the Genestealer player needs to do

You have a number of things working against you from the start. The mission is designed to give the feeling that the Marines caught you by surprise. That doesn't mean you can't inflict some casualties early on.

The big thing is the pace of the game and knowing the Marine player has to come to you if he's looking to win. He's going to have to spread out if he wants the win. Go for targets of opportunity where you can. Pick off individual Marines that are not supported.

Ultimately, all you need to do is deny one room from the Marine player to force the draw.

You'll need to watch how the Marine player deploys and starts their advance. If you can find a weak spot and you have the numbers to do it, try and attack to break the Marines from getting set up.

You do not have the resources for a protracted fight, so look for targets of opportunity that you can overwhelm. It may best best to buy time until you can get additional resources in place.

You only have 3AP for the first two turns. Playing it a bit safe is a smart move until you get your full movement or especially if the Marine player comes out strong and has his act together on his initial deployment.

You might want to spread out your Genestealers so that no single Marine can take out a number of them all at once (like the heavy flamer).

Do not mess with the Thunderhammer and Storm Shield Marine if he's in a good positon and on guard. You might get lucky, but you'll most likely you'll just lose valuable Genestealers you can't replace. If you can, catch him in a corridor and move right up to him and stop.

Make him attack you so that he doesn't get the bonus for being on guard. It also eats up his APs and slows down the overall advance.

Watch out for the heavy weapons in this mission as they can clear out more Genestealers than you can replace in one turn. 

Remember, you need to keep a Genestealer or two hidden to be able to claim an empty room as you get closer to Turn 12. You don't need to set this Genstealer aside initially, but keep it in mind as your reinforcements are limited. You can move him around and keep him out of trouble until it's the last turn and you make a dash to claim a room.

How it played out for me as the Marine player

I managed to pull out a win in this mission despite taking some critical early casualties and my right flank folding. I lost my Assault Cannon Marine and another Marine to a fully loaded room on the right flank almost immediately.

Fortunately, I was able to recover by having other Marines close enough to support and reinforce the flank. After I had both end rooms secured, I made a slow push up the center to see how far I could get without leaving any rooms open behind me. I only moved forward when I could cover my advance. 

I started out playing for the draw and gambled late in the game for the win. I was able to make it the rest of the way to secure the final room at the top of the board with my Heavy Flamer Marine near the end of the game.

Published Oct 13, 2020