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Author Topic: FlintCon 2015, Alpha Strike Aftermath  (Read 2798 times)


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FlintCon 2015, Alpha Strike Aftermath
« on: 09 February 2015, 00:54:35 »
So ran an Alpha Strike event at the first annual FlintCon here in well... Flint. The overall con had a pretty good turnout for a first year. As for my event, I had room for six people, four ended up playing.

The Setup:
- I decided on the Reconnaissance scenario out of the Alpha Strike Companion. I thought it'd make for a more interesting game than just your typical line-up-and-shoot.
- Scenario took place as a 3145 raiding action with the Magistracy of Canopus attacking the Marian Hegemony. Seemed about right, given what I read from FM:3145.
- Terrain was the Hawk Wargames Cityscape box set, arranged nicely, if not quite following the rules of the scenario.

Magistracy Cavaliers
     Assault Lance
     - Stalker STK-3Fb
     - Cataphract CTF-4L
     - Ti Ts'ang TSG-9J
     - Crusader CRD-8L
     Striker Lance
     - Eyleuka EYL-45B
     - Agrotera AGT-1A
     - Raven RVN-4Lr
     - Sha Yu SYU-6B
     Support Lance (Not quite a cohesive lance of Vees, really...)
     - Pike Support Vehicle (RAC_ "Assault Pike"
     - Maxim Heavy Hover Transport (Standard)
     - Light SRM Carrier (Standard)
     - Pegasus Scout Hover Tank (3058 Upgrade)

VI Legio
     Command Lance
     - Victor VTR-9K
     - Catapult CPLT-C5A
     - Penthesilea PEN-2H
     - Command COM-2Dr
     Medium Battle Lance
     - Orion ON1-MA
     - Dervish DV-6Mr
     - Dervish DV-6Mr
     - Icarus II ICR-2S
     Medium Vehicle Battle Lance
     - Schrek PPC Carrier (Armor)
     - Manticore Heavy Tank (Standard)
     - Manticore Heavy Tank (Standard)
     - Hetzer Wheeled Assault Gun (LB-x)

The Rules:
- Standard Alpha Strike (Would have been Introductory Alpha Strike, but for the unit special rules and the Vees.)
- Used the optional Variable Damage rule.
- To make initiative easier, each player was dealt a card during the initiative step after their side's initiative was rolled. That way there was no debate over which player had to move their unit first.
- The Force Rules from 3145 were in effect, so the Magistracy side was +1 to all initiative rolls and the Hegemony side had the Force Initiative ability. I did not make them roll for preexisting damage.
- Despite listing the type of lance in each force above, the Formation Special Rules from the ASC were *not* used in this game.
- Battlefield Intel was not used.

The Game:
- Okay, this won't be the most interesting of battle reports, despite being only about seven turns as I was busy hopping around the table for shooting and such and didn't take notes. So I might be slighly off with turn numbers and events but should be mostly chronologically. With four players, two on each side the vehicle lance was split between both players on each side. So in effect, it felt like two ComStar/ WoB Level II's facing off instead of three lances. Especially since both players on each side pretty much operated independently from one another.
- Turn One was fairly uneventful, with shots taken and most if not all of them missed. The Hegemony player with the Battle Lance deploying fairly conservatively, and using his indirect fire ability to little effect. The MoC player in charge of the Assault Lance, as well as the Light SRM Carrier and Pegasus simply focused on scanning buildings, while the other player took some potshots at Marian forces. The players did goof this turn and moved the entire force under their control, rather than just a single unit, so it was an entire Level II moving. While it sped things up, and I let it go that way for the rest of the game. It did have some unintended consequences, however...
- Turn Two. Also fairly uneventful, as target numbers were still pushing 10 and 11. The Ti Ts'Ang leapt upon a building and got pelted a little bit, but was still in pretty good shape. Otherwise, more scanning was done by the assault lance, and the striker lance took more potshots.
- Turn Three. Could have been much more interesting, had one of the Magistracy players rolled better. The Striker Lance was paired off against the Hegemony's Command Lance. The Hegemony won initiative this turn, but the Command Lance had to go first of their forces. After his maneuver, the Striker Lance moved, and had either the speed, or jump capability, to leap behind the Command. Thus they were able to shoot them up without any return fire. Remember what I said about unintended consequences? Lucky for the Hegemony, the Striker Lance either flubbed his attack roll, or his damage roll. The Ti Ts'ang, on the other hand, received the entire firepower of the battle lance, and ceased to be.
- Turns Four through the end of the game. Ended up being a bit of a blur. Mechs jumped around, ran around. Shot each other. While all the fighting went on, the Pegasus Scout Hover Tank, ran around scanning building furiously. It wasn't until about turn seven when the last of the buildings had been scanned and the MoC just had to exit a lance did the Hegemony actually pay attention to the Pegasus. It did get knocked to the ground and immobilized by the paired Dervishes, but it was too little too late. The six objectives had been scanned, and the Crusader left the table that turn. The Light SRM Carrier, Sha Yu, and Raven were able to be off the following turn. Victory went to the Magistracy.

Casualties were:
- Penthesilea, Commando, Orion, and Catapult for the Hegemony.
- Cataphract, Ti Ts'ang, Eyleuka, and Pegasus for the Magistracy.

Post-Mortem Observations:
- So, things went bad for the Hegemony. While casualties weren't terribly high, a combination of poor dice rolls, conservative play with a focus on trying to fire indirectly (Giving up 13 potential damage points from direct fire), and being spread too far out kept them from being able to be victorious.
- Both sides had each player operating independently facing the opponent directly across from them instead of rolling up together and hammering on one point of the line. Made sense for the MoC. They had a lot of buildings to scan. Less sense for the Hegemony.
- Next time, I need to make sure that the players fully understand that they move units, not lances. Again, while it sped things up greatly, it was much more punitive for the side that lost initiative. The only time I'd *ever* do lance movement is if it was battalion versus battalion.
- Despite attacker movement (other than jumping) not affecting the to-hit numbers, I noticed that the numbers were almost always fairly high. Yet I also see that there is no reason *not* to take the long shots. No ammo and no heat to worry about.
- I can see indirect fire is not something you want to focus on, but something you do if you don't have any other shot available to you or if your IF value is the same as your standard damage value at the same range bracket. Most shots were at medium range, where most of the damage the Hegemony could dish out sat at. Dervishes traded 4 damage for 1, the Orion 5 for 2, and the Manticore 3 for 1. The Catapult never took indirect shots, nor did the Commando with it's IF0* ability.
- MVP of the game? Pegasus Scout Hover Tank. He only ever took one shot the entire game. The rest of the time he spent scanning buildings, making the run into the defender's half of the board by himself to scan the rear buildings. Once again, I am reminded that I need to acquire one for my merc company The Brotherhood of Outreach.
- Next time I run Alpha Strike, I'd like to have some more varied terrain. The buildings were nice, but really reduced the game to, "Can I see him, does he have partial cover?" Trees and hills and some smaller level 1 buildings may have been a bit more interesting.

And now, without context, some pictures of the game. Sadly I didn't take very many because I was busy helping people do their shooting.

The MVP doing his thing. This was about turn five. In two more turns, he'd finally be shot at.

Despite being shot at. A lot. This Victor survived to the end of the game. I think he had maybe two or three IS points left.

Somehow this did not turn out to be a bad day for *either* of these tanks. I believe this was turn five as well. Hard to remember. Notes next time.

I believe this was the turn after the Victor and Agrotera were both standing on top of the building.

The business cards on top of the buildings were the markers for whether or not the building had been scanned, and if so if it was an objective or not. (The blank side was yes, the printed side was no. Should have done that the other way 'round.)

Sadly, that was all the pictures as, again, I was busy making sure things went swimmingly. I think they did. Everyone seemed to have fun. And only one person didn't really seem to like the variable damage rule. Otherwise, for my first time running a con event, my first time with a live game of Alpha Strike, I think things went okay.

(As an aside, I love the variable damage rule, and it will be used any time I run or play Alpha Strike.)

Louie N

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Re: FlintCon 2015, Alpha Strike Aftermath
« Reply #1 on: 12 February 2015, 00:51:00 »
Still a good write up. Thanks.