Author Topic: Alpha Strike Moon Battle: 500PV  (Read 436 times)

Tai Dai Cultist

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Alpha Strike Moon Battle: 500PV
« on: 26 January 2017, 02:53:54 »
Sitrep:  The year is 3050, the location is a Draconis logistics base hidden away on an uninhabited, airless moon somewhere in the Brocchi Cluster.  As Clan Smoke Jaguar swept through the Coreward portion of the Combine, they overran the Cluster and soon discovered the base within.  The Clan's naval might wiped out the aerospace defense, leaving the base ripe for the taking.  A Jaguar officer won the right to lead the attack with only a binary of Omnis...

Facing them was a lance of Kurita mechs, a battalion of DCA marines, and a picket of Flak and PPC towers backing them up.

We tried out some environmental rules we hadn't played with before:  Vacuum, Extreme Cold, and Low Gravity (we used 0.5g) to represent the crater-pocked moon environment.  We also did a bit of an asymmetrical forces battle.  Each of us had 400PV in ground forces, and my Clan opponent got 100PV in ASFs and I got 100PVs in static gun towers.  Sounded fine in theory, until I went to actually create cards for said gun towers.  Alpha Strike doesn't have a method to assign PVs to gun towers.  Mobile Structures yes, but actual buildings with guns sticking out of them?  Nope.  So I winged it.  I called a flak turret with 2/2/2 damage, 6 armor, and 40 CF to be 15 points at Skill 5 (regular skill level for "automated" defenses).  I own 6 turbolaser minis from Star Wars, and I wanted to use all 6, so that kind of was the overriding directive in coming to a PV (even tho I did make up my own PV formula: basically Mobile Structure but calculating points with "structure" being 1/5 CF value).  I also have a spiffy boob gun from the Hoth battle, that ended up being a 1/1/1 PPC "ion cannon" with 10 armor.  Since I was literally making up my PVs for the towers, I went over it with my opponent to make sure he was ok with my reasoning.  He didn't seem to care.  Still, I was worried I gave myself too much firepower for 100PV.

The forces:
Clan Smoke Jaguar
Daishi (Multitasker)
Dasher (Antagonizer, because of course you put Antagonizer on a Dasher)
Koshi
Mad Cat
Vulture
Shadow Cat
Puma
Uller
Thor #1
Thor #2

The Binary was a Command Star and a Fire Star, but I forget which mechs were which.. except the Daishi and Dasher of course.  The Mad Cat was also part of the Command Star, and I remember that it was the command mech for the entire force for reasons that'll become clear later on.  Oh, and I remember that the Vulture was part of the Fire Star because it got Sniper SPA every damn turn of the game.

Aero Support:
2x Bashkir
Jagatai

Draconis Defenders:
Security Lance (I'm the defender...I picked "low gravity specialists"  Heh, joke's on me.  By RAW it didn't do anything... my opponent graciously allowed the "clear terrain" combat specialist bonus as an alternative benefit for the lance.
Mauler
Dragon (not a Grand Dragon.. just an ugly 3025 Dragon)
Orion
Jenner

DCA Space Marines:
9 platoons of XCT Asteroid Marines
3 platoons of Moon Buggy "motorized" XCT recon infantry
4x Sealed Prowler Tanks

Plus the aforementioned 7 gun turrets.
I was worried I'd walk all over the outnumbered Clan mechs due to the vacuum rules.  My infantry and gun towers are immune to the free crits, but his Omnis are all begging for unlucky "space crits".  I figured that the "TACs" from the vacuum would accumulate and cripple the mech-centric side.

We set up a table with craters on the Clan side, and bunkers and buildings to flesh out the gun turrets to be the logistics base.  Since I was defending the base, I set up all my forces first and we had the invading Jaguars walk on in initiative.

BattleROM from the incoming Clan aerospace at the onset of battle:


No play by play on this AAR.  Remember how I said I was afraid that I have overwhelming advantages?  I was an idiot.  Craters for cover and the increased TMM of Clan mechs in low gravity was more than a match for my supposed advantages.  I need 11s and 12s across the board to hit anything at medium range, and I don't get any golden BBs in the first two rounds of the game. I do manage one whole point of damage in the 2nd turn, on the easiest-to-hit target there was: the Daishi.  Luck wasn't with me on the crit due to Vacuum, either.  OTOH I had numerous tanks and infantry platoons in forced withdrawal, and my Mauler had suffered a Weapon and Fire Control crits despite the armor not yet being penetrated.  His mechs bounced around from crater to crater, with no pressure to actually close with me since they're running away with the game as a long range snipefest.  And then on round 3 the Aerospace all comes in at once (the fast interceptors didn't want to brave the flak guns piecemeal... all 3 fighters arrived at the speed of the slowest)

How the battle went down:


The Dasher uses its low-g enhanced mobility to run within 6" of half my army.  Whoopee!  Argument commences about whether or not automated gun towers should even have to roll to become enraged.  Again, my opponent graciously agrees to do it "my way" and they'e immune.  And finally luck is with me, most of my ground units roll 9+ and aren't forced to shoot at the minx they'll surely miss when they try. 

Coinciding with the Antagonizer kamikaze run, all 3 fighters begin their runs.  I had realized already that my 3" move infantry and immobile gun towers aren't going to force any reactions from the Clanners, so I've begun to get my own mechs out into the craters with the Clanners to bring the fight to them.  Of note was the Mad Cat that ended up in a foxhole with my Jenner behind him and my Dragon in BTB in the front, giving him a Cartman-style Rochambeau.  My two mechs nearly took the Mad Cat out, and then the most noteworthy moment of the game happened.  The Mad Cat calls down a "Broken Arrow" on himself. All 3 aerospace fighters dropped all their bombs on the three mechs in that crater.  All 3 mechs were obliterated, and the Jaguar Star Captain died hoping his glorious sacrifice would earn him immortality in the Remembrance.

With my still-slow-even-in-low-G Mauler playing turret tech and my Jenner and Dragon blown to smithereens, I only had my Orion to pressure movement.  The Clan Uller and Puma simply withdrew away from my infantry that was too slow to keep up, and the entire Clan flank was simply repositioning to center all mass on the center and other flank.  My Orion managed to put a Thor in forced withdrawal before it too got obliterated by concentrated Omnimech fire, and worst of all during that concentrated airstrike none of my flak guns were able to score any hits.  The only thing that went my way was a lucky shot connecting with the Dasher, killing it before it could pull another annoying Antagonizer trick.

Once my Orion went down, I threw in the towel.  I still had about 2/3 of my infantry in fighting trim as well as 6 of my 7 gun turrets were still operational.. but my Mauler wasn't going to last and was just like my infantry: too slow to prevent the surviving Clanners from just picking off the towers one by one at long range with impunity.


Observations:
On the environment: The low gravity made a hell of a bigger difference than the vacuum atmosphere rules did.  Maybe we weren't supposed to recalculate TMMs... but since we did... egads the Clans were unstoppable.

Another observation on Low Gravity:  Man that rule is AWKWARD in application.  Huge bonus for 2 turns, then if you go 3 turns in a row a huge penalty.  Gotta track who's gone at increased speed round by round.... I'm thinking I'm preferring a house rule where you just test for each unit round by round if you use the enhanced speed... 1/3 chance you take the MP hit. 2/3 chance you just get your free extra speed.

On XCT Marines:  I think its hilarious that dudes in sealed exoskeletons have more A/S than actual Battle Armor.  Sure it's a whole platoon vs 4 troopers, but still was great to tell my opponent "yeah, no.  that hit didn't even put them in forced withdrawal..."

On maneuver:  I thought vacuum "TACs" would balance in my favor where I gave away tactical initiative in my force being mostly slow/immobile.  Nope, it certainly did not.

On air to ground:  Even though air to ground provided the clear "play of the day" in this battle, it came at the unnecessary cost of one of the Clan side's own Omnis.  One that very well might have survived the battle had that play not occured :D  After dumping bombs, the ASFs did all of butkus on their next pass: the interceptors annoyed some armored XCT marines (hooray for 4 pips of armor on infantry!) and the Jagatai missed its strike on the Mauler.  And was shot down by the flak guns in turn... it was the only thing they managed to do all game.

Another observation on unopposed air-to-ground: since I had no ASFs of my own, my opponent was actually penalized on initiative.  On turn 3 when he began moving his ASFs into the central zone, I still had some units left to move.  And of course I was saving my most mobile, hardest hitting units to move last (ie, my mechs).  By the rules, he had to lay down attack paths before my mechs had moved and of course that did not sparkle with him.  Since he had been so gracious already before by doing things my way, I agreed to allow him to declare his attack paths after all my units had moved.  (note that I used to like doing it that way... I've since become not so sure.  I'm at best on the fence about whether I prefer a house rule allowing ASFs to declare ground attack paths at the end of the movement phase...)

Lord Cameron

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Re: Alpha Strike Moon Battle: 500PV
« Reply #1 on: 22 April 2017, 12:20:15 »
Quote
Another observation on unopposed air-to-ground: since I had no ASFs of my own, my opponent was actually penalized on initiative.  On turn 3 when he began moving his ASFs into the central zone, I still had some units left to move.  And of course I was saving my most mobile, hardest hitting units to move last (ie, my mechs).  By the rules, he had to lay down attack paths before my mechs had moved and of course that did not sparkle with him.  Since he had been so gracious already before by doing things my way, I agreed to allow him to declare his attack paths after all my units had moved.  (note that I used to like doing it that way... I've since become not so sure.  I'm at best on the fence about whether I prefer a house rule allowing ASFs to declare ground attack paths at the end of the movement phase...)

Maybe give him the option to declare before you move - but keep attack paths hidden until you move?
(I know it going to involve some written plotting, but maybe best option?)
Agent #395, Vancouver, Canada

 

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