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Author Topic: Alpha Strike at Black Diamond Games in Concord, California on 2/20/22  (Read 1165 times)

MarauderD

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We had a 600 point match, Clan Invasion Era game this past weekend.  Kerfuffin played as the Inner Sphere, fielding a FedCom reinforced company against my Clan Smoke Jaguar binary.  We had previously played two stand up fight scenarios, so this time we had some objective based play.  We used our challenge coins to denote 3 capture points near the middle of the map.  Then we picked a commander for each of our forces and placed a challenge coin underneath.  The match was set for 10 rounds, and points were given only for objectives--capture points or destroying the enemy commander.  Total of 5 points possible if one side were to have their commander survive, capture all three points, and eliminate the enemy commander. 

We used a gigantic table, and perhaps had TOO much space.  We rolled out two 4 by 4 mats, so we ended up playing on an 8 by 4 table.  We played with standard Alpha Strike rules, including extreme range, and standard full damage to keep the match moving.  We also used formation rules for the first time--I fielded a Fire Star and a Battle Star, while Kerfuffin was able to field a mix of formations thanks to the high point total:  Command Lance, Fire Lance, Battle Lance, and Recon Lance.  We alternated turns placing some 3d terrain (perhaps not enough of it, as I'll discuss later) and rolled initiative for round 1. 

Round 1
I placed my Fire Star (Dire Wolf Widowmaker, Dire Wolf Prime, Warhawk Prime, Thor Prime, and Mad Dog Prime) center left of my edge of the map, with a clear field of fire for the Sniper SPA.  I placed my Battle Star (Executioner TC, Timber Wolf Prime, Stormcrow Prime, Shadow Cat Prime, and Mist Lynx B) on the right side of the map in order take advantage of the stand of trees and hill cover as they approached. 


Opposing me across the map from left to right was a Battle Lance (Bushwacker, Flashman, Griffin, and Wolverine), Fire Lance (Catapult, Archer, Marauder, Thunderbolt) Command Lance (King Crab, Banshee, Zeus, Battlemaster), and Recon Lance (Commando, Commando, Locust, and Wolfhound. 

Round 2
Round 2 sees some initial extreme range firing but no major damage done.  We both are a bit surprised that the Sniper SPA is so effective when you have 60" LoS to your enemy.  The fact that we are already connecting with some shots is definitely eyebrow raising. 

Round 3

As forces advance, a few more hits are scored.  The recon lance makes its first foray toward a capture point, and is greeted by fire from 2 elite pilots in clan assault mechs.  The Commando becomes first blood and several other hits are taken.  My Elite Warhawk takes some hits from Kerfuffin's Fire Lance.


Round 4

Heavy fire is exchanged for the first time.  The Thunderbolt makes it into long range from the Clan Fire Star and is pretty much instajibbed.  The Locust makes a run for another Capture point, but is gunned down by the Battle Star, which has LoS on the point through a cleft in the hill adjacent to it.  The Warhawk takes another set of hits at long range, and takes a Weapon Crit. 

Round 5

More fire is exchanged--Banshee loses it's armor, and we see our first spectacular crit death--the Widowmaker hits the Archer at long range, getting into internal structure, and as we roll the crit, we see a 12--and the Archer retires spectacularly.  My Battle Star advances into the cleft, and my Timber Wolf takes heavy fire, but luckily stays standing. 


Round 6
The Command Lance and specifically, Kerfuffin's King Crab commander finally lumbers around some woods and into the open, and I charge my Battle Star off the hill and engage at medium range.  Heavy fire is exchanged, and The King Crab falls.  My Battle Star loses our Timber Wolf and its Elite pilot in return.  The Fire Star also takes down the Marauder and a Commando.

However, Kerfuffin's Battle Lance Spreads out and caps both the center and leftmost capture point.  So he takes a 2-1 lead in the match during this round.  This was also the round that we started mentioning how absurd the Sniper SPA was when each side had good LoS. 

Round 7
I realized when I charged my Battle Star into his Command Lance it was going to be painful--and this round the chickens came home to roost.  His Battle Lance closed the distance, and the Stormcrow, Mist Lynx, and Shadow Cat all withered and died.  However, the Fire Star took down the Catapult and Wolfhound--meaning he couldn't sink as much initiative.  Also, the Executioner capped the third capture point--making the score 2-2. 

Round 8
This was about when we knew that the Smoke Jaguars would be able to clear the opposition--but perhaps NOT be able to win the game because of the distance and speed necessary to cap the points Kerfuffin had already taken. 
The Inner Sphere losses continued to mount, as the BattleMaster, Bushwaker, Griffin and Zeus all fell.  The Flashman was able to take out the Mad Dog, which was the first casualty for the Fire Star. 

Round 9
The Executioner, the last hold out from the Battle Star, goes down here, as well as the Flashman.  We both realize now that Kerfuffin can still win--because my Summoner can't sprint to a cap point, but his Wolverine, his very last mech, can cap the only point I had taken--which would give him a 3-2 objective victory. 

Round 10
After a full game of hot rolling and absolutely tearing things apart at range--both my Elite clan pilots (Dire Wolf Widowmaker and Warhawk Prime) MISS on 6's.  My last mech, the Summoner, hits, gets a crit, and I roll a 2.  The Wolverine happens to be a 7K, no case.  The Wolverine explodes in dramatic fashion, and I get a pyrrhic victory. 


Notes

Black Diamond Games has a nice place to play--lots of tables, mats, and 3d terrain that you can use.  Now that we've played with Fire Stars/Lances, we know that we either need to house rule it or use a lot more cover.  Open fields of fire were absolute murder.  We both had a lot of fun, and it was exciting to play for objectives instead of just a stand up fight.

This was my first match playing as Clan--and I wanted to field a very CSJ flavored force for 3051-2 or thereabouts.  It was fun to field the Assaults--but honestly the most fun was the Mist Lynx B--he bombed around, did 8 points of damage during the match, and the +3 TMM kept him alive longer than I thought.  When Kerfuffin rolled the 8 he needed to hit him, I was bummed!

Cheers All~
« Last Edit: 24 February 2022, 12:15:55 by MarauderD »

Kerfuffin(925)

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Had a lot of fun. I agree the map might have been just too big. 6*4 would probably have been a good inbetween size.

Sniper was brutally effective. I should have used some better skill pilots, it wouldn’t have slowed down the damage I took, but I would have been able to more reliably take down your mechs. The lack of long range on a table so large really hurt my couple battle lance guys, your long range fire kept them pinned down for far too long.
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MarauderD

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Yep, if we play with that Formation and SPA again it needs to be on a shorter map with double the cover, give or take. 

Valkerie

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If you gents don't mind a question, what did you think of playing with the extreme range rules?  I haven't tried bringing that into our group yet.
There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.   -Machiavelli

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MarauderD

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If you gents don't mind a question, what did you think of playing with the extreme range rules?  I haven't tried bringing that into our group yet.

I can tell you without enough cover and the rules for Fire Formations/Sniper SPA it can be gamechanging.  For non-sniper pilots, it is fine— plus 6 to hit is a major penalty.  You also need a lot of clear LoS to make use of it—so if you are using a lot of 3D terrain it probably won’t be a huge factor.

Kerfuffin(925)

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If you gents don't mind a question, what did you think of playing with the extreme range rules?  I haven't tried bringing that into our group yet.

Yeah sniper really skews it.
A base pilot is hitting an average IS heavy mech at 11s at extreme. In general it shouldn’t happen a lot, especially on a map any smaller than what we did. 8’ was a bit long.
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Valkerie

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Thanks for the answers guys!  :thumbsup:

We've played with Sniper before, but we've never done it on a map that wide open.  I could see it being a game changer there.
There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.   -Machiavelli

Greetings, Mechwarrior!  You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against...Oops, wrong universe.  -unknown SLDF Recruiter

Because overkill is underrated my friend.  -John "Hannibal" Smith

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MarauderD

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Thanks for the answers guys!  :thumbsup:

We've played with Sniper before, but we've never done it on a map that wide open.  I could see it being a game changer there.

I think it ended up being a science experiment to the power of Fire Formations:
1. 600 point game
2. Playing as Clan Smoke Jaguar in the Clan Invasion Era
3. Had 3 Elite skill 2 Pilots, two of which were in a Warhawk Prime and Dire Wolf Widowmaker
4. Had Objectives on the map, in the open for both sides to battle over.

It may have been a perfect storm of conditions for it to 'overperform' compared to the other Battle or Command Formations on the table.