Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sword & Dragon. Alpha Strike crossover.

It's been awhile since Bryan and I got in a battletech game. We were working our way through the Sword and Dragon campaign set-up, but decided that the larger set ups (more than 4 mech a side) were going to be hard to fit in with our schedules. After playing alpha strike a number of months ago, I finally grabbed the rules, and we had a go at the game.

The transfer from a classic BT campaign setting to alphastrike I think will have some bumps (there are mech and pilot specific rules that probably won't be useable) but for a first game it went well.

A recently acquired set of heroscape tiles made up our board. We didn't play with them as hexes (we measured), but it was handy. The blue is a lake, and the light grey/tan are forests.

The fox's teeth are completing a probe against the local opfor. After choosing their six mechs (Enforcer, Dervish, Javelin, Black Knight, Cataphract, and Centurion) a series of random tables determined the opposition. They are house (Kurita) mech pilots with a skill of 4. Mechs are 2 light (panther and Jenner), 2 medium (Assasin, Trebuchet), and 3 heavy (Dragon, Jagermech, and quickdraw).

The defenders set up first on their 1/4 of the board, and the attackers get 2/3 (4 mechs) running on the far edge. After 6 turns the other 2 attackers arrive, the following turn a lone mech that was left off the table. Victory conditions are based on the attackers surviving 10 turns, and/or killing the enemies heavy mechs.

Dice show that the mech has moved and what it's modifier to be hit is.

End of Turn  we see the Fox's teeth (FT) in the lower edge, mostly hiding against the superior defender numbers.

Turn 3(Right), The defenders lighter mechs race forward to engage the FT. The assassin in particular is REALLY hard to hit, so mostly gets ignored. A few hits are starting to land.

Turn 4 (Left). The battle continues to mostly focus on the lighter defenders harrasing the attackers and trying (and suceeding) in sniping their back (increases damage in alphastrike). The defenders mechs hangout in a tree line mostly missing at moderate range against obscured targets. The defenders light mechs continue to accrue damage, but they are hurting the attackers.

Turn 4(Right). The congo line of back shots that was set up.

 I missed turn 5 picture.
Turn 6 (Left). The attacker reinforcements show up. Top of the map the Javelin lines up for a back shot against an injured Treb (which has a broken fire control computer).

Near the bottom left the cataphract arrives, meanwhile the black knight is flanking the defenders in the trees, but has had all it's armour peeled by frequent back shots.

An enforce is in the lake (with the assasin back shooting it), while the centurion (with negligible armour remaining) remains in the small stand of trees.

Turn 7 (right). One of the defenders (trebuchet) is forced to withdraw as it has less than 1/2 of it's structure. The assasin has gone down from shooting (left of the lake). The black knight is engaging the heavy mechs in the woodlands, while another congo line of backshots has set up on the left side of the plateau at the bottom.
Turn 8. Everyones mech is pretty heavily damaged armour wise. Critical hits are starting to accrue for most units.

The attackers are now trying to get their objective to take down the heavy mechs, and focusing their attacks to that effect.

The dice rolls in this game continually went hot to cold for each side, and during this phase the defender was *just* missing a lot of shots.
Turn 8 (right). The dragon defender mech has moved into the water to protect it's back against the plateau. Some crit damage has reduced it's damage output substantially.

The jagermech has been ID'd as a soft target and is being picked on. Meanwhile the defender light and medium mechs are still hassling the attackers back armour. The reinforcement mech has arrived (Jenner) bottom in red.
Turn 9. The second defender mech (panther near the top) is now withdrawing as well. The attackers have now gotten advantages in numbers, but things are looking a bit frail all around. Couple good hits could see everything change.

Battle is focused around the wood to the right.
Turn 10 & Turn 11. The next two turns see a succession of defender mechs fall in quick order. Forced withdrawals are chased and shot before they escape for a solid attacker victory. The game is called with one attacker mech on the table and looking like it has a tough chance to withdraw without destruction.

Thoughts: We started around 715. And finished by 10pm. Including a few interuptions by phone, chit chat and lack of knowledge of the rules (I've played once, Bryan never).

Not having the crit hit table on a quick reference sheet definitely slowed things as well.

Considering we had 13 mechs on the table, weighted towards heavier classes I think this was great time.

Bryan remarked that there is still a tactical feel to it where you need to make some decisions about what unit to move next and generally where to push your attacks and retreat. I really like the change from classic where you spend so much time calculating odds to hit followed by most shots missing.

The weapons do very little damage in this era, but the mechs don't have a lot of hits either. It seems to work. Crits do bad things. We didn't end up using the overheat values at all, mostly b/c a number of mechs didn't have them, or the odds of hitting were pretty low.

I'm definitely thinking I should get back to painting my mechs, as I suspect we will get some more games in.

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