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Author Topic: [Alpha Strike] Rolling Hills Conquest (~370 points)  (Read 1611 times)


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[Alpha Strike] Rolling Hills Conquest (~370 points)
« on: 05 September 2015, 14:28:07 »
So I got together with a friend on Tabletop Simulator, and we're trying another battle--two companies clashing this time, with 3039 tech.  As neither of us really knows what we're doing yet, we just adapted the Davion and Kurita forces from the book, changing everything to it's 3039 variant, and when the mech on the list doesn't exist, we swapped it for the nearest tonnage mech with the same role.  The resulting forces were:

House Davion

Command Lance - Atlas, Stalker, Black Knight, Jagermech
Striker Lance - Dervish2, Clint3, Hatchetman2, Enforcer3
Pursuit Lance - Centurion, Clint, Javelin, Spider
We improved the piloting skill of the Striker Lance so the PVs were even from lance to lance.

House Kurita

Fire Lance - Atlas, Thug, Hatamoto-Chi, Dervish
Calvalry Lance - Marauder, Dragon, Dragon, Lancelot
Pursuit Lance - Vindicator, Jenner, Panther, Mongoose
We used a d10 & d8 on each card to track armor & structure, and a small d6 set to their TMM.

Rules:  We're using Standard Rules (including Forced Withdrawal), plus Lance Movement, and using the TMM rule I proposed; occupied terrain reduces your TMM by the additional movement cost for your movement type.  In woods for example, TMM for mechs is reduced by 1, unless you jumped.

Map:  We're using a doosy of a map this time, Rolling Hills 1 & 2, two of each, arranged in a 2x2 board.  This is approximately 54"x68", so should be plenty of room.  However, Rolling Hills is just that--a lot of hills with plenty of scattered forests!  Will likely mean a lot of close range fighting!

Scenario:  Initially we were going to use King of the Hill, then we saw the Domination variant which seemed cool, and finally we decided to try a Mechwarrior Online scenario, with a similar victory condition to it.  There are 5 objective points (the large white pawns).  If only your units are adjacent to a pawn, you get one control token each turn; the first side to reach 20 tokens ends the game.  (We went with 20 because King of the Hill is 12 turns, and it will take 10 turns controlling only 2 objectives, then longer or shorter depending on how contested the center objective is.

Each side will get 50 VP per token in addition to kill scoring.

The command and medium lances all set up 5 hexes in, near each objective.  Both Pursuit Lances set up in the middle of their deployment, ready to start the initial fight for the center objective.  I really like that everyone gets to move before shooting starts, unlike say, W40K where units can be lost before you even get a turn.  It makes agonizing over your deployment silly; just place them approximately where you want them, because you'll be able to react to final deployment on your first move.

TURN 1: Kurita initiative

Very simple first turn.  All of the heavier lances got someone adacent to their objective, and pushed up to partial terrain and forests.  Any unit that could jump did so.  A few units tried some hail mary 12+ shots and missed. 
The turn ended with no hits being scored, and both sides received 2 control tokens each.

TURN 2: Davion Initiative

The Kuritan and Davion forces both advance further towards the center objective, leaving a trailing mech to guard each objective.  The light lances on both sides positioned themselves around the central marker, but the Davion forces, winning initiative, jumped into the cover of the trees to take possession.  There's a volley of fire exchanged, but with so much partial cover and woods, no hits are scored.  Closest chance was a Davion Javelin at the center objective firing on a Panther in the woods at medium range (4 skill + 2 jumped + 2 range + 2 woods + 0 tmm) = 10+
Davion earns 3 control tokens to Kurita's 2, leading 5-4 now.

TURN 3: Kurita Initiative

Deciding that staying out there now that positions were settling would be a bad idea, the Davion recon lance scattered back into the hills after scoring their quick point.  The heavy and medium lances on both sides formed up firing lines on the ridges and started exchanging volleys.  The Davion Jagermech, Atlas, and Stalker hit the Marauder (in that order) inflicting an engine crit before outright destroying it!  Then the Enforcer and Hatchetman scored hits on the Kurita Dervish, dropping it to 4 structure, but failing to crit.

The Kuritan right flank returned fire at the Jagermech, but only one Dragon hit!  The Jagermech's TMM1 was reduced to 0 for standing in the woods, so they all needed 8+ to hit.  I couldn't believe my luck!  The Davion Clint received several volleys of fire next, with TMM reduced to 1 by the woods, medium range shots were needing a 9+ to hit him.  The Kurita Mongoose and Vindicator both lit up the Clint on the ridge, dropping it to 1 remaining internal structure, but failing to cause critical damage.  All remaining shots missed.
Both sides score 2 control tokens, it's now 7-6 Davion.

TURN 4: Davion Initiative

The assault mechs on both sides set up in their firing positions on the high ground, while the Kurita medium lance (down a Marauder) fell back fully into partial cover.  The Davion mediums (the Clint in Forced Withdrawal) stayed on the ground this turn, shifting right to keep firepower on the cresting assaults opposite them.  The recon lances on both sides dropped back to maintain control of their respective objectives.  The Jenner & Mongoose for Kurita, and the Spider & Javelin for Davion.  The Panther and Vindicator took up treeline positions in a narrow channel, while the Clint and Centurion kept overwatch on the center objective.
The Lancelot and both Dragons failed to connect with the stationary Black Knight (8+ needed) but the Panther, lobbing a shot in from the cheap seats, scored 1 damage to its armor (3 left).The Dervish & Vindicator sent ordnance downrange to the Centurion, scoring 2 armor damage, and the 3 assaults all fired on the Enforcer failing to hit the unit through woods and partial cover.
The Enforcer scored a hit on the Hatamoto-chi, reducing it to 6 armor, and the rest of his lance missed (some easy shots, too).  From the assault lance, all four mechs fired on the Lancelot, the Black Knight scoring a hit, dropping it to 2 remaining armor.
Both sides score 2 control points again, 9-8 Davion.

TURN 5: Kurita Initiative

Outside of the initial dash to the center objective, it now seems crazy to try and hold it while so much firepower can be brought down on it, and only light units able to advance up to it so far.  Both recon lances devote two units to hold their objectives still, with the other lights looking for shots where they can manage them.  The Davion assaults, fortified on their ridge-line, all go stationary to cause as much destruction as possible.  The medium side shifts over further towards the map edge, with the Hatchetman skipping from cover to cover while the others just keep moving behind partial cover.  My Striker Clint leaves the board under Forced Withdrawal.
In response the Kurita assault lance moves up into treeline positions on their own ridge, while the heavy lance on the other flank goes stationary (the Dragons) behind partial cover and woods to try and get some payback for the Marauder.  The Jenner & Mongoose are relegated to baby-sitting the objective, while the Panther improves his treeline position and the Vindicator shifts over to help with the medium lance.
The Davion assault fire on the Lancelot again, but only the Stalker hits, dropping it down to 3 structure but failing to crit.  The medium lance opens up on the Hatamoto-chi again, scoring 2 hits and reducing it to 2 armor.
The dice are just hating the heavy lance, as out of the three of them, only one Dragon (stationary) manages to hit the Black Knight--it's down to 3 armor now.  On the Kuritan assault flank, they open up on the Enforcer (cleaner shot for the majority) and just as I think I'm going to get away with a string of misses (4 skill + 2 range + 2 woods + 2 cover), the Atlas puts up a 10, stripping away all of the Enforcer's armor in one volley!
2 more control points for both sides, the score is now 11-10.

TURN 6: Kurita Initiative

I decided to go for another point lead, and pushed my remaining Clint adjacent to the center objective, jumping and landing in the woods to make him pretty hard to hit.  I knew my buddy couldn't get a unit in to contest so I went for it.  In response he adjusted his Jenner to have a shot on the Clint, his Panther sat in the treeline to take aim, and his Vindicator took up guard duty on their left objective with the Mongoose moving up to flush out the Hatchetman.  My assault lance, having destroyed the Marauder and sent the Lancelot into Forced Withdrawal, stayed right there since the plan was working, and the Kurita assault lance did the same, except the Dervish fell back a little to keep his TMM going, even reduced to 1, he was 1 damage from a forced withdrawal, and I couldn't connect with him moving.  Finally my medium lance scattered, with the Dervish moving more to the center and holding that ridge, the Hatchetman committing to the flank with the Mongoose, and the Enforcer punching his jets and getting out of there, landing behind some level 3 partial cover.  Both the Hatchetman and Enforcer are Veteran pilots, so I'm hoping that will still give him a shot.  The final lance to move was the Kuritan heavies--the Lancelot in full retreat, but stopping by the objective to free the Jenner up, while the Dragons were undamaged.  Both dropped down from the ridgeline and got LOS on the Clint, planning to punish the Davion forces for trying to claim the objective again, and denying the assault lance any shots on them.
I start off my shooting with the Clint at the Panther, scoring a hit for 1 damage (2 armor left), and then most of the assaults proceed to miss the Panther, needing 8-9+ among them, none could score a hit.  The Atlas, with no shot on the Panther, lobs a long range shot at the Hatamoto-chi, missing by one.  :(  Then the mediums lit up the Hatamoto-chi, with the Dervish peeling off the last of its armor and the Hatchetman knocking off 2 internal, but failing to crit again!  The Enforcer needed an 8+ (with his 2 skill) but rolled a 7.  Damn.
The Dragons and Jenner all need 11+ to hit the Clint after its hero-jump, and the Jenner gets a 12, stripping his armor away, but then the Panther, Dervish and Thug all fail to hit the mobile capper, and the Clint survives another turn!  The Hatchetman and Enforcer are unhittable with their high movement this turn and the Clint is out of their firing arc, so the Hatamoto-chi and Atlas are left with the Dervish for a target--the Hatamoto hits the Dervish dropping it to 1 armor.
Davion gets 3 control to 2 this turn, score is now 14-12!

TURN 7: Kurita Initiative

Curses!  I really needed initiative for the Hatchetman's flank to pay off, and I didn't get it.  I adjusted my light lance around, and Kurita declared the assaults sitting still, with the Dervish falling back to cover the objective.  I declared my assaults standing still, and he moved his Dragons back into partial cover, with the Lancelot nearly off the board now.  I pulled my Dervish off the ridge and moved over to threaten the Mongoose (clear shot!), the Enforcer jumped over a hex, staying behind his cover, and the Hatchetman flanked deep onto the enemy map, where the Mongoose at least couldn't get behind me.  In response the Mongoose got ALMOST behind me, and out of my front firing arc--so no shooting or melee!  The Vindicator moved up to get a shot on the Hatchetman as well, the Jenner returned to the objective, and the Panther jumped forward into a treeline within jumping distance of the center objective.  It's going to be risky, but he's dropping behind in points.

It's not looking good for the Hatchetman...
Undaunted by the impending hurt, the Hatchetman puts up a 12 (needed 9+) on the Vindicator, dropping it to 3 armor.  The Jagermech followed with a hit on the Panther (2 internal left) and scored a weapon crit, then the rest of my forces missed, unfortunately.
The Vindicator misses (11+) but the Mongoose hits (7+) dropping the Hatchetman to 1 remaining armor.  The Panther misses the Jagermech, the Dragons miss the Black Knight (barely), then the Thug tags the elusive Enforcer (he was the only one with no woods in the way), dropping it to 1 internal and no crit.  (Not a lot of crits this game!)  Then the Atlas and Hatamoto-Chi both connected with the Jagermech at long range, dropping it to 1 internal then scoring a fire control hit and finally triggering an ammo explosion!

Another 2 points per side, score is 16-14.  At this rate, Davion only needs to hold two more turns to win, unless Kurita can contest some objectives.

TURN 8: Davion Initiative

This is a great turn to win initiative.  Kurita moved (or didn't move) the assault lance first, and I followed by pushing my Atlas and Stalker forward, while the Black Knight held his position still.  Then the Kurita heavies pushed towards the center again, the Lancelot leaving the board.  I moved my light lance next, the Centurion holding his sniper position while the Clint made a second hero dash up to the center objective, to deny the points (if he survives) from the Panther.  My Spider and Javelin continue dancing around their objectives with jump jets.  The Kurita Panther commits to the center objective, opposite the Clint, while the Jenner babysits and the Vindicator & Mongoose move out to keep the Hatchetman from getting behind them.  Instead I just flank deeper into their back line, contesting their objective without being in any of their firing arcs, and rear arc access on their assaults.  The Enforcer jumps back towards the map edge in retreat, while the Dervish moves up for a shot on the lights evading the Hatchetman.
Because they both came hurtling up at each other, the Panther has no shot on the Clint, and misses a volley at the Centurion behind him, instead.  The Dragons and Jenner all fail to connect with the Clint, also.  Unfortunately the Kuritan assaults best shot was on the Atlas across the map, and all of them missed the 9+.
The medium lance wasn't effective; the Enforcer spotted for the Dervish, who missed an indirect shot on the Hatamoto-chi, followed by the Hatchetman missing his rear arc shot.  All my assaults missed as well, the Black Knight trying for the Panther, and the rest missing the closest Dragon.
Davion scores 2, Kurita only 1 with 2 contested objectives.  18-15 Davion.

TURN 9: Kurita Initiative

So the game is ending this turn; Kurita can't stop me from hitting 20 tokens--but since we're close on tokens it could come down to battle damage still.
I lead off by moving my medium lance.  I need to put off moving the lights and I want to make sure the assaults have a clear target.  So the Hatchetman flees over the hills by the Kuritan edge, the Dervish jumps into forest/partial cover in medium range of the assaults, and the Enforcer moves four more hexes to the edge, nearly off the board now.  Next he moves his Dragons, both advancing up to treelines, and I respond with my assaults, getting the best shots I can on them.  Next is the Kurita assaults, jumping the Dervish back onto the rear hill for a straight shot on the Hatchetman, while the fatties sit still.  Finally my Clint gives up the center objective, taking the rear arc of a Dragon, while my Javelin/Spider secure the game end with their objectives and the Centurion breathes real slow, hoping not to miss his final shot.  To finish the last move, the Kurita Jenner holds his point, the Vindicator moves over to retake their left side objective, and the Mongoose scrambles up the hillside in the corner for a shot on the Hatchetman.  It's 100 points per token and with a 2 token lead, it's probably still my game, so the Panther hangs his balls out and sits still next to the center objective.
The easiest unit for the most attackers to hit, Kurita focuses on the Black Knight.  One Dragon hits, followed by the Hatamoto-chi, putting it at 4 structure, but no critical.  The Dervish is the only one able to fire on the Hatchetman (it got woods and partial cover against the other two lights), and the Dervish fails to connect!

The Hatchetman misses his return shot, end their brawl ends without any excitement, followed by the Dervish missing his final shot at the Hatamoto-chi.  Then the Clint opens up on the Dragon at point blank in his rear arc, dropping him to 2 armor, followed by a volley of fire from the assault lance, but all three of them missed, with the Stalker and Black Knight both overheating for the last round.  The final shot came from the Centurion on the same Dragon, connecting for 3 damage, taking him one point into structure, and causing an MP crit.
Kurita takes 3 tokens to 2 this round, and the game ends, 20-18 Davion.

Final Score:
Davion: Marauder destroyed + 20 tokens = 1035 points
Kurita: Jagermech destroyed + 18 tokens = 926 points

After battle thoughts:
@Scenario:  5 objectives was too many; two mechs were useless on either side just holding the point (though I did flank in and interrupt one cycle).  We're going to adjust that to only require ending your turn adjacent (non-contested) to claim an objective, and it stays yours until the other team can claim it, which should reward getting to the objective quickly and fighting for it.
@Map:  This was a very dense map of hills and woods, so it was hard to get a clean shot most of the time.  Still, jumping lights were able to get around without much damage and the assaults had some spots to set up and pound home damage.  Deploying our assaults on opposite corners kept them from really slugging it out, and my mediums fared better than his heavies.
@TMM Rule:  It was perfect.  TMM1 mechs hold treelines.  TMM3+ mechs aren't giving up the farm to leave the woods.  TMM2 mechs have a choice to make between holding still (-1 to hit, +2 to be hit) or moving (+3 to be hit), or for my mediums versus the assaults, usually the answer was jump and don't stop jumping.

I think I would have liked to see a little more carnage in this battle, but we're both new to AS and I think a little timid.  Every mech that leaped in to take the center objective came away from it fine--jumping into woods with partial cover is pretty tough to hit, really.

We also didn't realize there were no victory points for a unit that successfully withdraws; we would have tried to finish them off in that case.

Another game or two and I think we'll be ready to try a campaign!