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Author Topic: Atlantic City Battletech Batrep  (Read 320 times)

DevianID

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Atlantic City Battletech Batrep
« on: 14 June 2022, 02:28:30 »
Howdy!  I had a blast at AC this past weekend, getting to play 6 games of btech.  The format is new and exciting, and will only improve.

For my 6500, I guessed people would be not expecting elementals, so I brought a Nova Cat B, a Thor B, and a Koshi A, along with 3 stands of flamer elementals.  I loaded up infernos on my srm4's second ammo ton, and the Thor and Koshi have anti-missile systems to help keeps return LRMs honest.  The real star was 130 LRMs on my 2 heavy clan omni-mechs with 14! tons of LRM ammo between them.  With Elemental spotters, I could shoot for 12 turns in a row with no ammo or heat issues.  Even 12s hit when you roll enough times after all!  I had enough ammo on that Nova Cat to also load a ton of frag missiles.  Turn 1 my go to play was to clear all the forests my opponent might use to counter snipe me.

I was not surprised that most people didnt bring elementals, but I was shocked that no one took infernos, even when they had multiple tons of SRM ammo and would never run out of shots.  So I was able to use my flamers and infernos to punish anyone who overheated trying to take me out with an alpha strike--which came up multiple times!

Round 1 was versus Lawerence.  He had a good build with Highlander, Thug, Warhammer, Centurion.  All solid mechs (-him not loading infernos).  Mission 1 was scan the buildings as the primary objective for 50 points, and this first mission had the highest weighting on kill the enemy at 50 points.  My Turn 1, I advanced my Koshi and elementals into position to claim my building on turn 2.  Lawrence placed his building center, but split his forces right and left.  He also told me he split his forces differently this time... normally the same speed quad PPCs 3 SRM6 on the Thug and Warhammer stick together, while the LRM+cannon equipped highlander and Centurion stick together.  He didnt do that this game, and so the Centurion and Warhammer made an ungainly pair that I focused down the first few turns, securing my right.  He banged up my Thor a bit, and killed some elementals the hard way, but ignored scoring his objective.  Since I backed away from the highlander all the way on the back left, the Highlander didnt start getting good shots on his Gauss till turn 7, as he played keep away instead of rushing in with its brick of armor to support his right flank.  The result was that the Warhammer and Centurion were dead/fled, and the Thug was the only body tanking my entire force.  Turn 7-12 he killed my Koshi and 1 elemental unit, but by this point I brought my Thor back from his hiding hole all the way up to his objective on turn 11.  Lawrence missed 2 8s on the Gauss in turn 10/11, and then a 5 to hit on turn 12 when my Thor stood still to upload the virus.  Without those gauss connections the Thor was not crippled, and uploaded a virus at the very last second earning me a 100 match score.

My next game was versus Russel, running a gunnery skill 2 Vulture A, Thor B, Arctic Cheetah A, and 2 units of elementals.  The Vulture was needing 8s on LBx and 9s on PPC turn 1, to my 11s... not a position I could maintain despite having so many LRMs  The Thor B is the same fantastic Narc toting missile mech I run, so his list definitely had the tools to end me.  This game really made use of the battlefield support.  The theme of the mission was to capture bases, 4 in total on the map, by ending a movement next to one with no enemy units touching.  I placed a minefield in a pass that I expected his Arctic Cheetah to take, which hit and did 20 damage to its legs!  With the legs now both in the red, Russ kept his fast mech back a bit.  I moved the Thor over turn 2 to claim building 2, and turn 3 I went jumping after the nearly legged cheetah leaving just elementals to secure my backfield.  He used artillery, which I discovered arrives instantly if you predesignate a hex, to murder my backfield elementals on the Thor's objective!  This meant that turn 4 Russ, if he lost init (which he did) could flip my building by putting the Arctic Cheetah next to it before I could reposition a new defender!  Russ hadnt played this mission before, so didnt see this opportunity and instead took a defensive move with the Cheetah, which saved my bacon.  Seeing how great that move could have been, I moved my Koshi up to do the same to him turn 6, using my last battlefield support, a light bomb, to clear the elementals on turn 5, and using the koshi as my first activation turn 6 to nab the objective while no one was around!  This put me with a 3-1 objective lead, earning me all 60 objective match points by turn 7.
With the first part of the mission secured, I turned my attention to kills.  My nova cat and 2 remaining elementals were skirmishing with his thor and vulture on the right.  Russ never committed his final elementals and used them to secure his final right objective.  Since I had 3 units engaging his 2, even though his Vulture was a stone cold killer he had trouble getting angles without exposing it to too much return fire.  This freed me up to unload all my SRMs on my elementals and then use them for spotting to keep the rain on his deadly skill 2 Vulture until it was focused down, even when he tried to put LOS blocking terrain between my Nova Cat and himself.  By the time his Vulture went down, my thor had finally put a few more points of damage on his Cheetah's legs that were open from mines, killing both Russ's mechs.  With just a Thor left, I encouraged him to play for kill points since it was impossible to score the primary objective now.  He nabbed points on elementals and got some crippling damage on a mech, so it wasnt a total loss for him.  I advanced with another 100 score.

Round 3 I played Mike, and his triple Vulture A + Dasher list.  This list was really scary, as the Vulture A is a fearsome beast (Russ played one too the prior round).  Sadly for him, he didnt think about infernos and just like all the other opponents didnt load one of his 12 tons of SRMs with any alternate ammos.  The mission was to secure an objective and keep a unit on it for 6 turns, gaining 10 points per turn.  He took a long tom too, apparently I was the only one who didnt know about the preplot shell arriving instantly.  I took a thumper and a heavy strike.  He preplotted my sniper hills, which surprised me.  I preplotted the objective hexes.  So turn 1, he killed 2 of my elementals on sniper/spotter hill and lightly damaged my 2 lrm mechs with the artillery, ignoring the objective to my Koshi.  I instead nuked his dasher with both the 15 damage thumper and 20 damage heavy strike, crippling his objective grabber.  With him now unable to nab the objective, he sent 1 vulture after his objective and 2 in a long path towards the Nova Cat on my hill in the very back.  I used my Koshi and 1 remaining elemental to spot his Objective grabbing Vulture, and had my Thor sitting on my objective firing indirect.  The Koshi made a sacrifice play to contest his objective, meaning the Vulture had to try and shoot the max evasion light mech.  He didnt cripple the Koshi with all its evasion and his run, so I denied his objective again, and by turn 3-4 my final elementals were also spotting.  With him having split his force, only 1 Vulture was ever really firing meaningful shots, so I focused down his Vulture on his objective (at the cost of my Koshi, a great trade).  Then, I used the objective to block LOS, as his 2 remaining Vultures that finally got into the fight were split by the Thor always standing flush against level 2 terrain.  The indirect crippled 1 vulture, and his string of terrible initiative (he lost init 6 out of the 8 turns) meant that I just moved my thor out of LOS after he moved, using spotting from the elementals hiding a distance away to maintain a spotter on him.  By turn 8 he was destroyed, earning me 100 match points.  His list was a real bruiser but the weakness was splitting his force.  He actually was way up turn 1, as he killed 2 of my elemental spotter with artillery.  If he just camped his objective with all 3 vultures, my Koshi couldnt have contested him like it did, and he would have scored the max points for primary.  Instead he only nabbed 10 points, the turn the Koshi died after already contesting multiple times.  The turns he did win initiative, he went for an alpha strike on a vulture to try and catch up, which DID cripple a mech of mine, but my inferno SRM-4s in return added a bit more heat to his alpha strike then he planed for, turning his 39 heat with 24 dissipation into 51 heat, detonating his ammo.

Round 4 was my friend Paul, owner of IRL games where I play battletech and one of the people I played the missions against when testing for the event.  Paul had a Nova Cat B, same as me, but went with skill 2 to make up for worse spotting via no elementals.  In place of the Thor, since he needed to save points from the skill upgrade, he took the 2 LRM20 cougar as his other missile support.  For Narc, again since he didnt have the Thor, he traded the 6 point koshi for the 7 point raven.  Finally, since he plays diamond shark and loves knife fighters, he took a piranha instead of elementals.  Paul and I had tested mission 4 already so this was a grudge match, which was cool.  This mission saw the attacker needing to destroy 3 buildings, for 20 match points each.  Unlike the other rounds, this round is a zero sum game--if the attacker destroys a building the defender loses points and the attacker gains them.  The total score both players can walk away from in this round is 140.  We roll off, and sadly for him I am the attacker.  I had talked to the organizers about this mission and missions like it, as if you can do 95 damage in 1 turn you can kill a building before the other player can react.  I took a Long tom, and preplotted all 3 buildings, meaning I could deal 50 damage at any time to destroy a building before he could fix it if I ever came up short in damage.  So Paul was in a race to try and cripple me before I nuked his buildings to the stone age.  Early on, things were going well for him.  I took a slow approach since he had that little back stabber, and did some scattered damage to his Raven and Piranha.  With 14 movement he got it in the Nova Cat's rear and unloaded, and while the damage wasnt pleasant, he didnt get any lucky crits.  With 1 LRM arm on the stationary Nova Cat, plus the damage from earlier, I put the 20 ton mean machine down.  I also used the artillery to destroy one of the buildings I damaged before he could heal it.  The Thor and elementals took out the Raven for me, so now it was a race to see if I would kill 2 buildings before he killed me.  The building I could see I pounded at max range with all my LRMs, while the koshi and thor were maneuvering to get spotting LOS on the final building flush against a cliff.  My elemental spotters held out against his 130 LRMs, so he spent 1 turn healing the building, but on the 3rd turn shooting the building I brought it down.  After that, I had eyes on his final building, and the Koshi and thor were adjacent and auto hitting it.  He killed the Koshi before I could kick, saving 5 damage, but on the second turn of point blank thor shooting plus nova cat supporting fire I brought it down.  Since so much time went into killing elementals, my mechs were still pretty fresh.  He was able to cripple my nova cat, but the nova cat, thor, and final elementals killed his nova cat, earning me max match points!  I won the grudge match.  This was another game where the Infernos were great, as he lost initiative and alpha striked the nova cat trying to kill my mechs, so I then added a bunch of heat via flamers and infernos to cook off the ammo.

My final opponent was Bobby, running a Thug, Skill 2 Orion M, Raven, Guilliotine, and a Piranha.  A good loadout, but again he forgot infernos.  The mission was to evac off the board.  I wanted to be the defender, as the map was a river map and that made a great barrier to prevent exit.  Sadly I was the attacker, so I had a hard bit of terrain to move across, which would tank my evasion with huge MP costs and no running.  I decided to play slow, trading turns for damage so that my evac would be easier.  I got lucky that his battlefield support was a miss on both attacks.  My plan was to try and keep the elementals attached, which I never do, so that when my thor and koshi jumped over the river I would have 4 total units available to evac at once.  That was a bad plan, as I had already decided to play it slow and not rush forward so those elementals should have been contributing not sitting attached to a mech not soaking initiative.  The end result was that my Koshi, tap dancing around with max evasion drawing fire from my slower big damage dealers, got hit on a high hit with scattered damage, got head hit, then the Thug landed an 11 to hit follow up, and rolled boxcars again, destroying the otherwise fresh koshi turn 4.  This also killed my attached elementals on a roll of a 5, as you need a 1-2 to not die.  This was terrible for me, as there was no reason to keep the elementals attached since even on foot they had plenty of time to get off the board 3 jump at a time.  I immediately detached my other elementals seeing my misplay.  My other misplay was that I split fire on the piranha and raven, since both got damaged and I was being greedy trying to kill both in 1 turn.  The secondary fire penalty coupled with scattering damage meant that I didnt kill either, and I had to spend more turns shooting light mechs while his heavy damage mechs were shooting me un contested.  I eventually killed the 2 light mechs, and his jumping Guilotine I killed thanks to him alpha-striking, running up his heat, and then taking heat damage since I won initiative and got to see how much he declared.  I eventually pushed it to 28 heat with flamers and infernos, and the ammo explosion killed it.  With my Koshi gone, I now needed the nova cat to evac along with the Thor and 1 elemental, so I had to run them into position as I lost some elementals to bad play on my part.  I knocked down and critted the Thug, and the Orion was taking a beating, but with the River the nova cat was going to need all 12 turns to evac.  On the turn I had to slow down to get in the river via a walk, the Thug put a total of 2 PPC head shots into the head of my Nova Cat, meaning my otherwise pretty untouched mech died out of no where.  Compounded with my numerous other misplays, this meant I only evaced with 2 units, earning 80 out of 100 match points.  An interesting note about the mission is that the defender only earns points for crippling the enemy force, not killing them outright.  This would mean by mission pack as written my opponent would only get 40 match points for that game, as the 2 lucky head shots and elemental's failing the carrying unit destroyed roll didn't cause crippling damage to anything.  I talked the judge into counting destroyed but not crippled units for the objective as well, as it makes sense killing things should count too, meaning I lost this round 80-100.

Overall I had a great experience.  I was really happy with how that 5th game came out despite losing.  It was good to see that my mistakes cost me the game, not lucky hit rolls.  Playing to the objectives is the point after all, and by going for kills to soften him up and not disembarking my elementals turn 1 and moving towards the objective edge, plus pointlessly/greedily splitting fire against evasive light mechs, my opponent was able to play to his outs and secure a win.  His light mechs did fantastic, and if he made a concerted push into my mechs earlier I would have probably scored even less points.

In closing, I think that the format has a lot to offer.  I definitely want to play more games like this.  I know the mission packet was an alpha product, and they are using the feedback from this first 5 round event to tighten up all the missions.  We already saw numerous balance tweaks and fixes so its only going to get better.  I will say that you need to practice the missions at least 1 time, as its important to play for the objective (kills are worth 40 points in 4/5 mission, while objectives are worth 60, so you have to know how to grab the objective).  I played each mission once in the month or so before the event, and tried a different pair of lists each time.  I also tested some builds on megamek, just to get a reality check, by playing the bot real quick for 12 turns, then switching sides and playing the bot again, and seeing which force did better (the bot cant play very well, so I needed to test both sides to see which one beat the bot faster/with less damage).  None of my games went to time and many finished early, but it took a lot of practice to get the proper dice habits and batch rolling to resolve 130 LRMs that quickly.  I also dont have the cluster chart memorized yet, which ate up a lot of time.  So you can definitely finish a 12 turn game in 2.5 hours or less, as I did it 5 times with a messy number of rolls and lots of charts to look up... but it requires some practice. 
« Last Edit: 14 June 2022, 02:46:19 by DevianID »

Tyler Jorgensson

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Re: Atlantic City Battletech Batrep
« Reply #1 on: 19 June 2022, 12:15:41 »
Out of curiosity who won overall?

But nice write up good to see how it all went down.

DevianID

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Re: Atlantic City Battletech Batrep
« Reply #2 on: 21 June 2022, 22:40:51 »
I won overall.  Mike, my round 3 opponent, was 3rd with his 3 vulture list.  Russ, my round 2 opponent, was 3rd with his skill 2 vulture+summoner list.

 

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