Thursday, September 22, 2016

Battletech Alternative Skirmish (Elbowtech!)

Inspired by some of the fellas on the thread over at Beasts of War, I decided to unbox my Elbowtech project and give it a run.  It inspired me to start work again on the rules.

I threw together a small battle report, so here goes!

The Convoy
Simple.  The Rhodes Regulars (Green/yellow mechs) have been called in to cover the progress of a supply convoy heading for a nearby depot.  A Ghost Regiment (grey mechs) heavy reconnaissance lance has been spotted nearby.  The Rhodes Regulars must engage the Ghost Regiment and give the convoy time to make it out of the city.

 Rhodes Regulars deploy on the left with the convoy, the Ghost Regiment on the far right of the table.

The convoy succeeds if it gets off the opposing table edge.  It will move D6" along the roadway each turn (on the Rhodes Regular's turn).  It must remain on the roadway at all times and may not be targeted as the Ghost Regiment wants to steal the supplies, not destroy them.  The Ghost Regiment may stop the convoy by simply standing a mech in front of it.

The convoy heads into town...

The Forces
For this engagement I decided to run a mixed lance for each side, consisting of (drawn at random) a Heavy Mech, two Mediums and a Light.  As I hadn't played my own game in quite some time I didn't bother with random skill charts or random conditions.  This would be a simple fight.

The Ghost Regiment draws a Thunderbolt, Wolverine, Shadow Hawk and Jenner.

 The Rhodes Regulars draw a Grasshopper, a Hunchback, a Blackjack and a Jenner.

When I drew the two forces I felt the Ghost Regiment had an immediate advantage.  I simply think the mechs were better all-around, so the Rhodes Regulars would start on the back foot.  The Ghost Regiment lance also outweighed the Rhodes Regulars by 30 tons.

I drew three strategy cards for each side.  The Ghost Regiment drew Blaze of Glory, Jump Troopers, and Gun Crew.  These were all decent, and having two infantry cards meant I could hammer the Regulars when they came into town.  The Regulars drew Comms Blackout, Scrambled Comms, and Infantry Suppression.  Not a bad draw, and good on the defensive side.
The Game
I rolled for initiative and the Ghost Regiment won out.  I felt there was a bit of a good omen when I rolled the perfect activation:

In BAS you roll command dice, and may activate mechs of that class - I rolled a Heavy, two mediums and a light - exactly what I had on the table.  Full steam ahead!

 As with many wargames the first turn or two involved running headlong for cover and trying to gain the best position.  The Ghost Regiment had three of its four mechs running "fast" (making them harder to hit).  The Regulars didn't fare so well activating only a few mechs in the first two turns, while the convoy put the pedal to the metal and drove 6" both times!  At this rate the convoy was outpacing the escort!

The convoy speeds into town, heedless of the warnings.
As the two sides closed the Rhodes Regulars benefited from a perfect activation roll.  I chose at this point to play Scrambled Comms.  This would reduce the Ghosts' command dice by one next turn.  I then played Comms Blackout.  This removed all strategy cards from both sides.  This was safer than going into town with infantry nearby.  In order to gain back strategy cards for either side, they'd have to sacrifice command dice, which was unlikely given the fight about to take place.
The first shots rang out.  The Regulars' Jenner firing down a street, scratching the paint on a Wolverine.

In response the Ghosts activated three mechs.  The Wolverine unloaded on the Jenner (running his autocannon dry in the process!) His SRMs and medium laser smashed the Jenner, and a critical hit crippled the Jenner, reducing it to walking speed only.  It didn't matter.  The Ghosts' Jenner unloaded its own battery of Medium Lasers and the targeted Jenner collapsed, a burning heap.

Just as the pilot of the Ghosts' Jenner cheered himself he was battered around by a wave of fire from the Blackjack and the Hunchback.  His armor falling off in plates he dove around the corner and crunched to a halt in front of the convoy.  He was shielded by a nearby building.

 The Ghosts' Jenner and Wolverine take cover as the Regulars arrive, their Jenner already dead.

Just as the Regulars were appearing around the corner of a building the Ghosts' Thunderbolt wandered into range.  He let loose with an LRM15, smacking the Blackhawk.  In response the Regulars engaged all around.  Just as the Thunderbolt became engaged the Grasshopper jump-jetted over a nearby wall and landed - unloading his arsenal toward the heavy mech.  His small LRM package missed but his Large Laser struck home.

 The Grasshopper and Thunderbolt begin a gunfight, shooting over the convoy.

The Grasshopper scores a deadly Large Laser hit. (Note: This picture was taken later when the Tbolt has suffered even more damage!)
The Grasshopper's large laser cut through the Thunderbolt, igniting one of its ammo bins for the machine guns.  The ammunition went off, blasting a large part of the Thunderbolt's internals.
Behind the Grasshopper the Hunchback was running forward, hoping to eliminate the Jenner and allow the convoy to move or to push back the Wolverine.
As the Grasshopper was peppering the Thunderbolt from long range, the Ghosts activated their Shadow Hawk.  Using his weak jump jets, the Shadow Hawk leapt onto a nearby building and opened fire on the Grasshopper.
The Shadow Hawk delivers a bit of the ole "pew pew" to the Grasshopper.
The Rhodes Regulars were suffering at this point.  They were down one command dice (having lost the Jenner) and the Blackjack was falling behind.  With no strategy cards, they were in a bad way.  Almost all of the Ghosts were in decent positions and the convoy was static.
The Ghosts' Jenner had begun making pop-up attacks.  It was nearly out of armour itself, so it continued to jump jet, firing off medium lasers as it did so.  The Shadow Hawk was pumping out fire each turn while the Wolverine was waiting to strike when the Regulars committed to a direction.  The Thunderbolt was engaging now with its large laser and LRM15, battering the Grasshopper - setting it on fire.

The Regulars tried one desperate charge - hoping to find a way to kill the Jenner and release the convoy and maybe take down the Shadow Hawk if lucky.  The Shadow Hawk was drawing fire and covering the Jenner.  The Grasshopper and Hunchback both engaged the medium mech.  The Hunchback's AC/20 tore big chunks of armor off and the Grasshopper fired all of its weapons (despite being on fire and generating excess heat - he inflicted two internal points of damage on himself).

Last charge of the Rhodes Regulars.
The damage was intense, tearing off most of the Shadow Hawks' armour and inflicting several points of internal damage - but not enough to drop the machine.  Behind them, the Blackjack fired at the Wolverine, destroying its targeting computer.
Moments later the Ghosts unloaded on the already damaged Hunchback and it collapsed.  With this the Blackjack and Grasshopper began retreating, under fire.
The Rhodes Regulars cannot dislodge the Ghosts and begin retreating, ceding the field.
Result: Ghost Regiment Victory


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