Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Battletech: Sword and Dragon: Sabre's supply run (4)

We got this one in at the beginning of September. Supply Run is a mission where the attacker is attempting to seize the contents of some warehouses. The warehouses contain (if the attacker wins) 2 mechs, and a bunch of ammo. We have been mostly ignoring ammo for the time being....it looks fairly annoying to track, and I'm contemplating some way to make it simpler than counting each shot, but still taking into consideration ballistic weapon ammo use. Anyway, back to the mission at hand.

Due to the successful recon by the sabre's, their opponent have a negative modifier on their force generation table. The sabre's end up facing 2 medium and 2 light mechs, all driven by poorly trained militia. A whitworth, centurion, assassin, and enforcer make up the militia force.

The maps include a fairly open back table with the warehouses, and a heavily forested map where the attackers enter. The militia deploy forward to attempt to hammer the attackers as soon as possible in the close ranges where they have a better chance of hitting, rather than letting the attackers take up hulldown positions in the hills on the open map and hammer them at long range.

Quite quickly the two forces are at knife fighting range, but the woods are largely eliminating most of the available lanes of fire. The Sabre's have brought in a heavy mech (hunchback), an assault (hatimoto chi) and a light or medium mech (Jenner). All mount experimental weapon systems (ER lasers, AC10 X, and a Narc missle).

The defenders are attempting to stay away from the assault mech while focus firing on the Jenner and, to a lesser extent when the shots won't work, the Hunchback.

I often find myself tending towards 'gamey' solutions, but obviously the point of running the opfor against the Fox's and Sabre's is to bleed them as much as possible in most missions. I think that the missions are largely winnable, but the question is the degree/cost of the win for the protagonist forces.

The game was consistently marked by the inability of the militia to gain initiative. This resulted in most of their mechs going before the sabre's and resulted in set ups like this. The assasin is trying for a rear shot on the hatimoto. In return, the hunchback and jenner are ganging up for some physical attack throw downs.

 The river ended up being fought quite closely over, as it was a serious mobility barrier for a number of the mechs. The sabre's have excellent piloting skill, so it was mostly a reduced speed barrier. The militia suck, so didn't want to risk the piloting checks. Jump jets were used frequently to hop across the river.

Another factor was this was one of the few locations that gave decently long fields of fire.

 The end is close. The militia mechs have lost most of their armour, so the AC10 X on the hatimoto chi, which acts as a giant shotgun, is coming into excellent effect. Any 'open' areas of armour are way more likely to get hit, and potentially cause critical hits.

The Centurion goes down with gryo damage.
 Followed in the next turn by the assassin having it's leg shot off, and the Centurion having it's leg KICKED to confetti by the hatimoto chi.
The enforcer finally brews up in an ammo explosion giving the table to the Sabre's.

The resulting capture of a Centurion and a Jagermech, plus the mad salvage by the Sabre's brings up their warchest to a respectable 367 after repairs etc. It is noted that assault and heavy mechs are real expensive to repair, giving an obvious imperative to only bring what you need to a mission. On the other hand, the Jenner was pretty heavily damaged and could easily have ended up destroyed this mission. Can't bring things that are too light......a juggling act to be sure.

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