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Author Topic: Alpha Strike Campaign 3148:-- the Raid on Remagen  (Read 3148 times)

Tai Dai Cultist

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Alpha Strike Campaign 3148:-- the Raid on Remagen
« on: 31 August 2015, 16:58:31 »
I'm going to step on Thorvidar's toes here a bit and kick off an AAR thread for our campaign following on to his victory in our prior campaign.  Much like the apparently canonical outcome of PERCEVAL, the Davion-backed mercenaries successfully hit targets in Kurita occupied space and achieved their campaign goal of pushing back the timetable for the invasion of New Avalon.  So now we're fighting out the Dragon's response: Operation TSUJIGIRI on the planet Remagen to bring a cessation to any further PERCEVAL raids.

We're 1200 PV each side again.  I'm still representing the noble and honorable samurai of House Kurita and my opponent the forces of the AFFS.  Near as I can tell the only Kurita forces in TSUJIGIRI are Ryuken, and I'm still not in a mindset of upgrading my pilots' skills wholesale.  So to represent my overall average skill of "4" I'm calling my force a battalion-sized reserve for the Ryuken regiments, mainly composed of transfer warriors from lesser regiments that have not yet proven themselves worthy of line positions in the esteemed Ryuken.  I'm facing a Davion force that to my knowledge does not yet have a backstory, so in my own mind I'm picturing them Erik Sandoval's personal guards.  I'm envisioning the campaign story is when the Kurita raiders realized the Prince's Champion was caught onworld, they mobilized their reserve battalion to capture the VIP before he can escape offworld.  Obviously, the defender's force's goal is to prevent this.

Battle 1: Meeting Engagement, each side roughly 396 PV

Our terrain featured an urban campus on a crossroads at the center of the board, with hills and woods along the edges of the board.  I finally remembered my promise to myself to bring artillery to an open field battle.  I also decided to try out playing with battle armor.. I used mimetic Kages for my spotters, and was not only surprised but nearly appalled at how good they were for that.  My opponent didn't bring artillery or ASF of his own, and thus had no plausible way to deal with the little ninjas calling down Arrow IV POIs.

Thanks to that artillery, I ended up destroying 3 mechs and putting a 4th into forced withdrawal by the time he put my first mech into forced withdrawal.  That didn't win me the game yet for a game that size, but the AFFS lost the will to continue before the DCMS did, and the defenders ceded the field before suffering further losses. 

Afteraction thoughts from my POV:  The AFFS had tactical control of the board when his two lances of heavy tanks made it into the urban campus at the center.  Where he put points in Skill 3 upgrades, I invested instead in artillery and spotters.  His battle line, despite early losses, was probably still stronger than mine when he decided to cut his losses and begin pulling back. I may have only had one mech formally crippled, but I also had 2 heavies stripped to structure and pussy-footing near my home edge and ready to withdraw at a moment's notice.   If my opponent was willing to suffer a few more losses and pressed his attack from the center of the board, he probably would have forced me from the field and then recouped those losses as salvage anyway, plus whatever wrecks I'd have been forced to leave behind.

Battle 2: Breakthrough!

The course of this game was set before the first initiative roll: The defenders showed up with 3 lances to face off against 7 attacking lances.  My opponent ended up taking the opposite strategy I used as defender the last time we fought this scenario... he's conceding an attacker victory but aiming to deny salvage.

The game was short and unsurprising: He stood and fired for two rounds, then withdrew.  My fast pursuit and skirmish lances were already on top of him by round 3 anyway.  I blasted a couple of Sprint helicopter spotters down and managed to score an immobilization on a Rommel Howitzer before it made good on its retreat.. at a cost to my own side of about a dozen or so pips of armor.

Lessons learned from my POV:  I see a definite method to the defender's madness.  He'll have a catastrophic defeat on the line since we've gone straight to Assault, but that's a scenario that will be very tough for the attacker to win when the defender has suffered so few losses.  His entire 1200 PV force is out 3 lances and a handful of mechs.  I can economically repair all my battle damage and hit him with my entire 1200pv force, but I need to score a complete wipeout before he scores only 50% of my force.  If I fail to do so, he not only earns a windfall of WC points but I shudder to think of all the salvage he'd get from a battalion on battalion sized fight.

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Alpha Strike Campaign 3148:-- the Raid on Remagen
« Reply #1 on: 10 September 2015, 20:52:01 »
This campaign came to an anticlimactic conclusion, and was largely decided by factors other than gameplay. For the Assault track, Kurita showed up with every damn thing they had.  (except the MFB)  And I took a look at the attacker's option to spend 400 whopping WC points for artillery support, and said "F that..".  2 Schiltrons and 2 new crews cost way, way less than that.  And since I was buying new stuff, why not put that Rommel Howitzer I captured in the last scenario into service, to boot?  I showed up with a force worth more than 1300 PV out of an initial strength of 1200PV for the campaign.  52 units strong, with two entire lances of artillery.  I was ready for an epic conclusion.

The Davion side couldn't use the units that fought in the previous track, and ended up with 7 lances of troops to fight my Draconis Horde.  His mechs outweighed mine, and had 3 skill levels to my 4s, but I simply outnumbered him... and badly.  Despite the victory condition favoring the defender with his having to kill only 50% of my force to win, he STILL had to kill 26 units to my having to kill all 27 of his tanks and mechs to wipe him out.

To make matters even more lopsided, my numbers were propped up by 4 lances of Battle Armor.. and most of them were recon lances and I universally picked Eagle Eyes SPAs to gain the RCN specials.  That ensured I won Battlefield Intelligence, to boot.

In this battalion on battalion clash, there were no clever maneuvers or tactics.  I simply surged at him from every direction, backed by sky-darkening artillery cover.  After three rounds, we had each lost a like number of units but his heaviest units were down and my 2 Skirmish Lances and a Pursuit Lance had flanked his lines and his survivors were taking fire from every direction.  The AFFS threw up the white flag and turned over their VIP to the clutches of House Kurita.

Lessons learned: As much as I dreaded having to come to a decision about whether and when to cut my losses and retreat from the track before I give up too much salvage, the matchup itself turned out to be lopsided.  With the forces we put at each other, I'm not sure the Davion side had a chance.  I went too much for swarms and he went too much for heavy, elite units.  Quantity was worth more than Quality here.

I'm sure Thorvidar would be quick to point out as well that I was using Artillery wrong.. we didn't find it until after the game but Pre-plotted POIs are supposed to be public knowledge.  "Luckily" I only actually used the preplotted POIs once in the game, but it was dropping two lances worth of auto-hitting artillery on a Cerberus.  Surprise!  Yeah, it was obvious even to me we were doing something wrong with that.  It certainly could have helped take the will to fight out of him, knowing that could happen again virtually anywhere and at anytime (again, since the POIs were secret when they shouldn't have been)

So, apparently just like the canonical outcome, Kurita runs roughshod over the AFFS at Remagen.  But it's a victory that doesn't feel clean... between how the TO&Es and wrongly using preplotted artillery impacted the climax in my favor.

« Last Edit: 10 September 2015, 20:55:30 by Tai Dai Cultist »