Register Register

Author Topic: LVO BTCC Battletech Championship Circuit tournament report  (Read 340 times)

DevianID

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1184
LVO BTCC Battletech Championship Circuit tournament report

Howdy all.  I had the opportunity to head to vegas and play in the (third?) BTCC event.  I had played the first one at ACO and made sure to practice every mission, and took a list really designed to grab and hold objectives.  My killing power was weak, but I had the tools to beat up anyone who was over extended into my short range so it worked out really well.

I took a Thug 11E, three Wolverine 7Ks, an Urbanmech r60, and a Stinger 3R.  The thug was my brick to hold an objective under fire, the urbanmech was my relief objective guy, who could take over sitting on a back objective from the Thug once he finally got there turn 6 or so.  The stinger was my annoying sneaky objective skirmish unit, and when not needed to contest the enemy objective could hop around sinking initiative (aka moving first, obeserving enemy movements and reporting back to the unit).  The 3 wolverines were my tough midrange bullys to push enemy units off an objective, or to use the SRM6s with infernos to weaken enemy mechs with heat damage/kill elementals.  All my units were there to take objectives first and damage the enemy second, so id often lose wolverines standing still in front of assault mechs just to body block the objective for the stinger for example (see game 3 below).

Fair warning I am bad with names, sorry if I messed up any of these names or got the battle details wrong—I completely forgot to take pictures too despite my phone being with me the whole time lol.

Game one I played Andrew and his young son Loren.  I remember Loren was in a catapult, while his dad had 3 or 4 of the classics—Marauders, Archer, Warhammer and maybe one other small thing im forgetting.

The mission was “Send them Packing”.  This is the asymmetric mission where the attacker has to get 3 units off the board.  Seeing the 4/6 classic profiles, I won the roll off for attacker/defender and made Andrew the attacker, banking that his mechs wouldnt cross the map in time.  The defender's job isnt easy either though.  The defender has a very weird scoring system where you want to first cripple, and then destroy, then cripple a unit.  You dont score kill points until you cripple or destroy the enemy 3 times, so its possible you can 'lose' kill points depending on the order you damage the enemy.  Example: You cripple then kill a stinger, then headshot a marauder.  You earn 20 send them packing points for the first cripple, 20 for the kill, and then 40 for the kill without first crippling the marauder, to a max of 60.  So 20 points (from the headshot) are 'lost'.  Now if you first cripple the marauder, and complete your 60 points in 'send them packing', and then kill the marauder, you get the kill points for the marauder now as you completed the primary objective earlier.  Its wonky and badly written, as you can get penalized for killing things the 'wrong way'.

So anyway, in our game the hills on the map really separated his forces.  I drove up my whole unit, and in return his Marauder made a break for the side edge.  I managed to cripple the warhammer and knock it over, and would have killed it with an amazing ammo TAC hit location roll, but the player remembered he had AMS so we rerolled it and the TAC sadly went away.  It took a few turns pounding the prone crippled warhammer with secondary stuff, but he later died.  The stinger went after the marauder, as the stinger has two hands.  It would have been amazing to push a fresh marauder off the map, but sadly he blew off my torso so I didnt have enough hands to push by the time physicals came around.  Should have death from aboved lol.

After, the Archer was next to get crippled, which fulfilled my send them packing.  I then killed the Crippled archer, meaning I could start scoring kill points.  His son in that Catapult killed my torsoless stinger, and killed either my urbanmech or wolverine.  Andrew killed the other mech, so the son killed twice as much as the dad.  On the last turn when time got called, we kinda rushed and I picked up my last points for kill points, while Team Andrew were 3 turns from getting off the board with the catapult.  In hindsight, since we kinda rushed that last turn, Andrew had already maxed his kill points with 3 kills, so his marauder that moved up to shoot and kill me should have hid.  It wouldnt change his score either way, but the marauder not hiding was an easy target that I got points from, thus he could have hid it to lower my score since time was called so I wouldnt have another round to chase it down for my final points.  Andrew seemed ok with the result, and was real happy I showed him how BSP strikes and cover work and hopefully kept Loren entertained, so at the table we kinda were happy with him not hiding to run out the clock after losing a few minutes to list and BSP construction stuff to potentially deny me 26 points (which at the final tally didnt matter after 4 rounds, thank goodness).  Great opponent and any dad that gets their son into the game is my best sportsman award recipient!

Round 2 was the vet from canada Steven.  He was a fan of the Wolverine 7k like me and brought two of them, but the rest of his list was the clan large pulse and medium pulse packing wolf dragoons mechs.  With those 4 clan pulse lasers and 16 streak srms plus 40 LRMs on the clan archer, he had me significantly outgunned at range.  Fortunately the mission rolled was king of the hill.  I won the roll for hill placement (why isnt it just in the center of the table?) which was a big deal cause it meant I could slide it so that there were woods cover in hill scoring range to the left and right.  We both agreed this made it much easier for me to bully him off the objective, as I just focused on not dying and jumping from cover to cover.

Turn 2 we both got to the objective, with me having 3 mechs to his 2.  I used smoke which had an area effect that provided even more cover and line of sight blockage, so the wolverines (both mine, and his which used the cover just as much) were really hard to hit.  Turn 3 I was rotating the stinger in with a wolverine, but maintained a unit advantage in the center.  Part of the issue for him was that his expensive clan mechs are not designed to stand still in the middle of the board with their long range guns... they are too high value to expend dying on the hill, so Steven had to keep them back out of pounce range of a wolverine.  Thus he pretty much gave up on the objective early game until he could prune some of my mechs safely, hoping I would run out of mechs before I hit 100 points and ended the game.  Turn 4, his clan large pulses clipped the stinger's gyro, but didnt kill it, so turn 5 he had to waste another turn killing it.  On turn 4 though my thug replaced the stinger, and literally stood facing a wall not shooting just to keep that brick alive as long as possible.  I was full on ignore everything but the objective at this point.  The thug stayed there for 2 more turns, just wracking up points as me and Stevens wolverines jumped from cover to cover lightly tickling each other.  Infernos served to keep his heat high so he could shoot me less... I was trading permanent damage for temporary penalties to hit for his units overheating, anything to stay alive on that hill longer.  With the urbanmech 1 turn away from relieving the thug he wiped it out with clan pulse lasers, preventing me from getting another mech on the point but pulling fire from the wolverines and thug.  With the unit count now 4 to 4 he moved his Archer up to try and contest my 6th and final point.  Sadly for him my Thug took this opportunity to stop staring at the wall, and rounded the corner to point blank blast the Archer, along with wolverines jumping out to back shot him—which was the reason he kept it back for as long as possible.  My thug took just a truckload of damage, but I got several knockdowns on the Archer, and... my opponent CT crit himself and then engine+gyro'd his own mech!  That was game, a crippled unit cant score/contest, so I earned my final point for capture the hill.  Whats worse, now I had a 2200 BV unit laying at my feet, which when killed is worth exactly enough points to bring me up to 100 and end the game.  So my 8th turn I literally just stood still with everything, and while he had a chance to earn some points the dice forsook him and his archer died without him doing much more back.

My opponent round 2 was a great sport about it all though.  He had lost the roll for turn 1, his strafe on my mech column going top speed to the objective missed every single roll, and the only TAC or headshots we got that did anything was the one he delivered to himself lol.  My 'only focus on the objective' game plan worked really well here, as I was able to close out the game only 1 turn after completing the objective.

Round 3 versus Doug the big gun player.  He had a nightstar, king crab, and that same clan archer.  So one close up ac20 bully and some great all round death dealers covering its rear.  The mission was First contact.  He posted his king crab up on his objective to cap it by not moving, I posted my wolverine pair behind my building to cap mine, as one would always be hidden thanks to his slow speed meaning he couldnt cross the mid line with that nightstar to get eyes on past the LOS blocker.  With the early game tied 1 objective to one, the thug stayed back to soak fire until the urbanmech could relieve him from guarding my building, while my 4 jumpers positioned themselves to take over his building.  On turn 6 I pincered his king crab on the building with wolverines, so the stinger behind the building could stand still and cap.  With his Nightstar and Archer too slow to swing around the building, and my wolverines literally standing still with the Stinger to physically block the king crab from moving to kill the stinger, I grabbed the objective earning me 60 points to his 30.  The stationary wolverine got his leg knocked off for his body blocking trouble thanks to the 100 tonner's bulk.  Didnt die though.  Turn 6 with my thug finally up forward he moved his Archer into short range to savage it with an alpha strike, hitting his streaks and driving his heat up, and my return SRM inferno fire at medium range saw +8 heat, bringing him to 11.  Turn 7 I stood and fired one last time before another kick took out my wolverines XL engine.  Elsewhere on the same turn as his AC20 shot killed a second wolverine with a boxcar, he rolled snake eyes for his pilot head hit on the archer after I destroyed his ammo and did neurohelmet feedback for 2 pilot hits, so he went from 12 to 2 one to another.  With the archer asleep he failed his PSR for damage automatically, so my thug and remaining wolverine and my stinger all jumped into point blank.  He beat the heck out of the thug with the king crab, but with aimed shots versus a prone asleep archer I killed his mech.  This put me at 100, and him at 70.  The only reason I was able to put so much damage into that archer is that he over extended it, and when it alpha striked I did a few points of heat to it, reducing its speed to just 2/3.  This meant he couldnt back up the next turn from the wolverines even if he lost initiative, which allowed me to get that rear damage ammo hit.  So even though he died on turn 8, it was cause he overextended on turn 6 to move closer to get into 4 hex short range of the thug, and the heat damage meant he couldnt rely on losing initiative to back up before my unit 4 hexes away jump behind him and blocked his escape route turn 7.  So a good game, he definitely killed more stuff but more or less never planned on running to my objective, so he could earn no more then the 70 points.  The archer plus 2 objectives got me the 100.  We kept playing for a bit, I jumped my stinger over and tried kicking the nightstar every turn for like 4 turns straight.  He ignored my stationary stinger with the nightstar nibbling on his mech but not getting close to eating through the assault mechs armor every single one of those turns, as he fired everything into my remaining thug and wolverine looking for revenge kills.  Great fun was had, that stinger was hilarious.

So end of day 1 I have 300 points, and day 2 I have to play my MRC test buddy Chris “Jesty”, who played 3 practice BTCC games with me and was my most common test partner.  I had a pretty commanding lead due to sacrificing everything for the objectives.  We needed 5 rounds for the event to not be mine, but everyone wanted to drop after round 4, which I hated but I cant force them to play the full thing.  This was made worse by the 4th mission, which was the simple take and hold.  This mission was not a zero sum mission, both players could score the objective at the same time.  So, obviously, he sat on his objective and I sat on mine, and we both got 60 points for the objective instantly.  He tried to threaten my objective with a Koshi taking its time moving up, but while he blocked some LOS I still had 2 mechs that could see it, which was enough to put it in forced withdraw.  On my side, my wolverine outmaneuvered him and got into contesting range, but I failed to cripple his objective holding single unit of elementals with my alpha strike, and he got really lucky 2 damage cluster rolls and put a few points of internal structure damage on my left and right torso, crippling me so I couldnt even contest, let alone control the objective after failing to kill 3 out of 5 elementals.  At the same time on turn 6, he rolled a few medium pulse hits (bringing his average up, he needed 7s to hit for 3 turns in a row and got 2/5, 2/5, and 4/5 hits finally).  His target was a fresh wolverine, and first of 4 Mpulse was headshot.  Second of 4 mpulse, second headshot.  BOOM, headshot, 2 boxcars in a row out of 4 total hits.  This, combined with the lucky cripple damage on the other wolverine meant he hit 90/100 points on turn 7.  So turn 8 was going to be the last turn of the game, as he put everything on his objective to make sure it was impossible to not hold the objective, guaranteeing the game end.  I put yet more fire into the elementals, who had been shot every turn of the game, and failed to do literally anything to any of them.  This left him with multiple damaged elementals but only the koshi killed, thus the final score was 78 me to 100 him. 

So he jumped up, and while I still was ahead of everyone by 55+ points, if there was a round 5 (the very difficult attack the base mission), it was quite likely the 2nd (doug the big gun player from round 3) and Jesty (the clan pulse + elemental player from round 4) would have played and one person (probably the defender in that mission) would score 100.  I would have played someone new round 5, and if I was the attacker (which has very hard objectives, even for my objective focused list, in that mission) its very possible I could have gotten a low score and would not have won.  But, sadly they committed to cutting the 5th round of the event the day before I guess, so I technically won on day 1 as game 4, with that mission, I couldnt not score 60 points minimum.

Overall I had a great time.  In place of the round 5, they set up 2 narrative battles as so many people dropped that no 'official' round 5 occurred.  I played some clan mechs and elementals, Paolo had a ghost bear Kodiak with fast skirmisher mechs, and Chris had 3 of the new clan partial wing jumper omnis. while the defenders had a mix of tanks and assault mechs and were defending an air base.  The clan side had 3 player to 2 IS players and so clans had +50% BV on the attack, so we destroyed all the stationary aerofighters earning a minor win.  By the time the game ended the IS players in their remaining assault mechs had a BV advantage in terms of kills, but we still had more total BV on the field (we started with more), and all the tanks were eaither dead or swarmed, so the writing was on the wall.  Minor win for the clan players Brad (me) Paolo and Chris versus las vegas locals Terrance the tank player and another local with his '7 gauss rifle Terrance inspired' assault mech list.

Overall thoughts.  I played for the objectives hard, and only killed the bare minimum.  My opponents all out killed me, but thats to be expected with this playstyle that aggressively goes after the objectives.  At ACO I took a massive damage list with LRMs, with elemental objective holders, so a very different play style.  In ACO, I had to kill everything first and then nab their objectives with elementals, meaning I had some close calls grabbing the final objectives in a few games but usually pounded the enemy players to dust with LRM volleys.  Here in LVO, it was the opposite.  I struggled to get the final kill points and had no issue getting the objectives, like in the Jesty game where I just couldnt finish off those elementals despite focusing on them pretty hard all game.  ACO had a very different attack the base mechanic though, where you just had to shoot the buildings, which was why I ran so much LRM damage to indirect down the buildings in that one mission.  Here in LVO, instead of the attacker autowinning that mission like in ACO, the attacker had to put 5 units adjacent to a building, FIVE, to kill it in one turn (most lists didnt even have 5 units).  So its super hard for the attacker now, hence why I went so big on tough objective holders (but we didnt play that mission lol).  The urbanmech was fun, and barely tough enough for 500 points thanks to zero evasion, but I think anything else for 500 points would have probably been better.  A locust or elementals maybe—the elementals are 50% faster then the urbanmech too lol.

I love BSP, but smoke is bad for the game.  I used it every round to make my objective holders harder to hit, so I was adding +2 cover to them for free.  Smoke of any kind does not belong in any competitive format, adding +2 TMM to a unit badly breaks its BV.  A wolverine jumping in smoke is +5, +7 potentially with the extra ring of smoke or heavy woods.  There is literally no way to balance the ability to put +2 or LOS blocking cover wherever you want it.  I only could take a single smoke artillery, but even just one instance of smoke was far too much.  The no duplicate rule for BSP prevented more then 1 smoke, but when even 1 smoke is legit far too much, I cant imagine games where all 5 BSP go to 5 smoke artillery rounds.  Smoke of all kinds needs to be banned for the health of the game, or you make impossible to hit evasive things that just auto claim objectives with no counter play.  I think a simple no duplicates and zero smoke would be fine and way less confusing then the 'one of each category, but whats a category' the LVO packet had.

Other BSP felt fine, though the mission sequence needs to change to balance BSP choices.  In the packet, you place objectives and THEN pick BSP preplots, meaning you can easily mine or autohit with artillery on all the important enemy objective spots.  If we had to preplot first, you'd have to guess where your opponent was going to put his objective, and you could only protect your own base as you can place your base around where you placed your artillery and mine markers.  This makes a ton more sense—you can protect your own territory with mines and artillery since you obviously know where you will put your own base, but have to guess where the hidden enemy base is with your preplots meaning your likely to guess wrong.

Other things, the mission balance is off.  Some missions are harder on the attack versus defense, so those need tuning.  Also some missions are zero sum, aka only one player can score an objective point, while other missions both players can score objectives at the same time.  In a battle points total game this is mostly ok as all players play the same mission and just need to fight for points, but in a win loss the asymmetric missions can drop a player from the running on a single bad roll, and no good play to grab as many points will matter as win/loss is usually single elimination.  It was also a bit too easy to end the game early.  Game 1 we started behind a bit, but all my games ended at 100 points at like turn 7-8, meaning we didnt ever make it to the full 12 turns before the game was decided.  If it was a little harder to rack up points, especially kill points, the game would go for more turns before being cut off at 100, meaning the total scores would likely decrease.  Finally, sad to play only 4 rounds out of 5.  I got 5 games in, thank goodness, but not playing a tournament round 5 made round 4 a wash for first (though round 4 did see 2nd -4th  place swap I think).  That 5th round after losing to Jesty would have been a nail biter as so much would be up in the air.

Im bummed I cant make the next BTCC event in chicago/adepticon.  I think the limited record sheet (the free record sheets) makes for a fantastic balance of units and technology, and the 60/40 weighting of objectives versus kills makes the missions all a challenge.  I definitely want to play more BTCC events, and the missions can only improve with feedback.

Kerfuffin(925)

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2895
Re: LVO BTCC Battletech Championship Circuit tournament report
« Reply #1 on: 31 January 2023, 08:58:17 »
Nice review and GG on the win. Too bad about the 5th round though.

How many people were in the tournament?
NCKestrel’s new favorite.

DevianID

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1184
Re: LVO BTCC Battletech Championship Circuit tournament report
« Reply #2 on: 01 February 2023, 02:59:27 »
14 If I understand correctly, though it may have been 13 and a ringer.  Some dropped early on day 2 so werent around for awards, but they had 10 neoprene maps for top 10 and 4 squads of painted battle armor for bottom 4, and with the people that left after game 4 a couple of people got 2 prizes.

Horsemen

  • Four for the price of one!
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Private
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • CDT Agent #191
Re: LVO BTCC Battletech Championship Circuit tournament report
« Reply #3 on: 01 February 2023, 03:44:05 »
Do you know if the ranking is posted somewhere? I had a friend compete and he wasn't sure where he placed as he ended up having to leave before one of the games had been decided.

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 30636
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: LVO BTCC Battletech Championship Circuit tournament report
« Reply #4 on: 01 February 2023, 20:08:50 »
With objectives that complicated, you literally MUST take them into account to win a tournament.

DevianID

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1184
Re: LVO BTCC Battletech Championship Circuit tournament report
« Reply #5 on: 02 February 2023, 01:10:05 »
Do you know if the ranking is posted somewhere? I had a friend compete and he wasn't sure where he placed as he ended up having to leave before one of the games had been decided.
I think 'the northman' had to leave, but he qualified in the top 10 if I remember at the very least cause cause i believe he was one of the battlemats that got filtered down.  My round 2 opponent (steven?) from canada took 4th and he had to leave early too before the 4th round finished.  I havent seen anything posted about rankings or anything really on the net, though some pictures on facebook from a demo agent jason show a bit of the festivities

Horsemen

  • Four for the price of one!
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Private
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • CDT Agent #191
Re: LVO BTCC Battletech Championship Circuit tournament report
« Reply #6 on: 02 February 2023, 01:40:11 »
I think 'the northman' had to leave, but he qualified in the top 10 if I remember at the very least cause cause i believe he was one of the battlemats that got filtered down.  My round 2 opponent (steven?) from canada took 4th and he had to leave early too before the 4th round finished.  I havent seen anything posted about rankings or anything really on the net, though some pictures on facebook from a demo agent jason show a bit of the festivities

Stephen, he's from near Edmonton and is the CDT agent for that city. He's my buddy and will eventually join the MRC.

DevianID

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1184
Re: LVO BTCC Battletech Championship Circuit tournament report
« Reply #7 on: 02 February 2023, 02:30:13 »
Stephen, Ah, not Steven... Yeah he was my round 2 opponent, great player.  He took 4th in the end, behind jesty in 3rd and Doug? in second.  His pair of clan pulse laser wolf dragoon mechs were solid but I went super defensive to block LOS as much as possible, and when he closed to get into sight I pounced his jump jet-less archer so it couldnt escape.  The final nail in the coffin was his failed piloting skill roll that crippled himself, making him a super easy target.

Id love to hear how the rest of his games went; he must have played the other guys in the top too.

Horsemen

  • Four for the price of one!
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Private
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • CDT Agent #191
Re: LVO BTCC Battletech Championship Circuit tournament report
« Reply #8 on: 02 February 2023, 02:53:48 »
Next time he's conscious and we talk I will mention it to him and odds are he should pop in. Otherwise once he signs up over at the MRC you should have a chance.  ;D