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Author Topic: Menkalinan Blues - a Campaign Blog - Game2 (Day at the Lake) added 4/28  (Read 702 times)

Calimehter

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Menkalinan Blues

For much of the 3rd Succession War, the world of Menkalinan on the Marik/Liao border was one of the few worlds garrisoned by forces from more than one Successor State.  Of course, it achieved this “distinction” by being a backwater border world with few resources worth deploying heavy forces to secure, so it was a bit dubious and unremarkable as honors go.  There were skirmishes between conventional units over the years, but for the most part an uneasy peace prevailed between the two sides.

In the year 3025, however, both the Free Worlds League and the Capellan Confederation began secretly smuggling lances of Battlemechs and extra supplies to the world, in the hopes of turning the balance to their favor.  Given that the League was saddled with S.A.F.E. and the Confederation was saddled with Maximillian Liao, it is not overly surprising that both sides were convinced that they would catch their foes off-guard and finally gain the upper hand.  Instead of a swift victory over an unprepared foe, each side was going to face a tough fight!

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Last year (how did the year go by so fast?) we ran a campaign featuring Clan Omnimechs and Lyran heavy units clashing for control of the world of Hood IV.  After taking a bit of a Battletech break, we are back at it again, this time with some lower tech and lower point values to go with a more combined-arms approach.

This campaign is being run on a rules set we started working on many years ago (i.e. the late FASA days), set aside for a long time, and have recently revisited and refined. It is (mostly) based on the “Supply Point” system from Battleforce2 and the FedCom Civil War books. Given its age, it should come as no surprise that our rules set is heavily “hybridized” between the old BMR/BF2 rules and the current TW/Stratops rules, picking and choosing what we liked of the old and the new. I’m not going to infodump right off the bat, but there is some basic campaign structure to know about before we begin:

- We are using a modified version of the Linked Scenario rules from Strategic Operations.  We simplified the orders phase down to just 2 options: Combat (ready for action with penalties to repairs) and Non-Combat (behind the lines, with bonuses to repairs and Fatigue recovery).  We are fighting one Battletech-scale and one Battleforce-scale fight each campaign turn.  We also strung out the scenario list(s) from the StratOps charts into a single column for each type of battle, rolling a 2d3 with bonuses or penalties depending on how each side is doing.

- Each player starts with a maximum of 40 elements and a fixed BV budget to buy starting forces, with roughly 1/2 of them generated via random rolls vs. the appropriate RAT.

- Repairs, replacements, skill upgrades, and a few other things are done at the end of each campaign turn, with rolls for success determined after all of the Supply Points (representing abstracted logistics) are allocated to each task. The pool starts out reasonably sized and does get incremental ‘resupply’ boosts, but repeated heavy losses could drain it before the end of the campaign. 

- Each Battletech scenario is worth 1 point to the winner, and each Battleforce scenario is worth 2 points.  If the attacker wins the Base Attack scenario, they get 4 points instead of 2.  First one to 9 points claims victory in the campaign . . . though with limited supply and Fatigue rules (from StratOps) in play, one side may feel compelled to surrender or even be unable to field enough forces to fight if they get too beat up or are unable to rest their troops

The Combatants

The 948th Marik Militia - unit symbol is a penguin standing tall in the middle of a colony of other penguins singing “I just gotta be me!” - units in italics are from the RAT tables:

PHX-1 Phoenix Hawk, WSP-1A Wasp, VL-2T Vulcan, PHX-1 Phoenix Hawk
DV-6M Dervish, QKD-5A Quickdraw, WVR-6M Wolverine, OSR-2M Ostroc
BLR-1G Battlemaster, HBK-4P Hunchback, WHM-6R Warhammer, ON1-K Orion
AWS-8Q Awesome, STK-3F Stalker, CN9-A Centurion, WTH-1 Whitworth

Manticore, Scorpion, Hetzer, Manticore
Condor, Harasser, 2x Heavy Hover APCs
Striker, Hunter, 2x Heavy Wheeled APCs

Motorized Rifle Plt, Motorized SRM Plt, 2x Motorized Field Gun (3x AC-5) Plt
Foot Rifle Plt, Foot MG Plt, 2x Foot SRM Plt
3x Foot MG Plt, 1x ‘Heavy (Divisor 2) armor’ Foot SRM Plt

#TheRealMenkalinanMilitia (or ”1st Capellan RMM”) - unit symbol a gauntlet being thrown down - units in italics are from the RAT tables

LCT-1V Locust, LCT-1E Locust, JR7-D Jenner, ASN-21 Assassin
WSP-1L Wasp, CLNT-2-3T Clint, JVN-10F Javelin, PXH-1 Phoenix Hawk
2x GHR-5H Grasshopper(s), VND-1AA Vindicator, CPLT-C1 Catapult
DV-6M Dervish, VND-1R Vindicator, MAD-3R Marauder, ARC-2R Archer

2x Hetzers, Vedette (ML version), Manticore
Sturmfeur, Hunter, 2x LRM Carriers
Peregrine VTOL, Ferret (Cargo) VTOL, 2x Karnov VTOL
4x Maxim

Foot Rifle Plt, 2x Foot MG Plt, Foot SRM Plt
2x Foot Rifle Plt, Foot Laser Plt, Foot SRM Plt

Pre-Battle Thoughts from the GM

I am amused by the force names and logos.  :)

With the Battleforce system in use, both players (unsurprisingly) arranged their lances to keep similar movement and range profiles grouped together.

The Marik player did a bit better on his RAT rolls in my mind - better weight results and some nice models like the 4P medium laser “Swayback” Hunchback - and chose to invest more in Mech and infantry firepower, and not so much in vehicles.  Only two lances with movement faster than 5 (with one being half APCs) might hurt, but the two medium jumping Mech lances seem well equipped to ‘scout hunt’ should the need arise.

The Liao player got some odd ducks on the RAT table (The 1AA Vindicator and the VTOLs, for example, and that odd Sturmfeur that must have been pilfered from somewhere) and ended up placing a bit more emphasis on speed and on vehicles.
« Last Edit: 28 April 2021, 18:41:03 by Calimehter »

Calimehter

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Re: Menkalinan Blues - a Campaign Blog
« Reply #1 on: 12 April 2021, 21:34:15 »
Mooks and Missles . . .  Battletech-scale Game 1

As the 948th Marik Milita was assembling to begin operations, a series of remote sensors was placed along their projected path of advance.  Most of these sensors did not detect anything of note, but one of them reported a number of Liao units approaching before it switched over to ‘record-only’ mode to avoid detection.  One of the fastest scout Mech lances of the 948th was tasked with checking the area out and retrieving the sensor data.  They expected to perhaps find a Liao patrol in the area at most . . . little did they know that the Capellans were in the preliminary stages of setting up a full scale fire base!

Each of our campaign turns features one Battletech scale fight followed by one Battleforce fight.  For the leadoff clash, we rolled up the Extraction scenario with the Marik team as the attacker.  We once again rolled the Desert Mountains set of maps (we saw them a lot in the last campaign . . . I do own more, honest) for the field of battle.  The Marik team secretly set hex 1305 on the Liao map as their extraction objective.

It is worth noting - our campaign rules (this year) allow players to mix and match from different lances/units from their main roster for Battletech-scale scenarios . . . however, each whole *unit* gets 1 point of Fatigue if even one of their *elements* participates in a battle of any scale, so the use of whole lances is encouraged, but the option is there if a player wants to ‘cherry pick’ from multiple units for a Battletech fight, as long as they are willing to risk the extra Fatigue buildup.

It is also worth noting at this point that we use some house rules for vehicles and infantry.  In brief:

- Vehicles use the BMR to-hit table, including the old school motives and crits.  This makes vehicles a bit easier to kill, but also makes them a bit harder to immobilize

- Infantry use a “d6 damage per hit” system (there is a bit more to it than that, but that’s a good enough description).  We’ve tweaked it to be roughly halfway in-between the old BMR rules (in which infantry took too much damage) and the TW rules (in which infantry take too little damage, in our opinion anyway).  Their cost is about halfway between the old rules and new rules because of this.

The Combatants

House Marik:

2x PXH-1 Phoenix Hawks, 1x WSP-1A Wasp, 1x VL-2T Vulcan

The fastest Mech lance in the 948th, and the best equipped to get in, get the objective, and get out again.  There were a few points to spare to add something like a Harasser Hovertank or an APC+infantry platoon, but the Marik player decided it wasn’t worth the extra Fatigue cost for such a small add-on, and decided to risk going with just the Mech lance.

House Liao:

Infantry Company 1:  Rifle platoon, Laser platoon, SRM platoon - all deployed as squads
Infantry Company 2:  Rifle Platoon, 2x MG platooons, SRM platoon - all deployed as platooons
Firebase Prime:  2x LRM Carriers, 1x Sturmfeur
1x Ferret (Cargo) VTOL

Sooooo . . . yeeahhh.  A bit of history is needed here - during one of the urban scenarios for last year’s campaign, we spent a lot of time debating the viability of making indirect LRM fire a primary strategy, even posting a bit about it on the forums.  We did not really get a chance to try it out, as bad repair rolls from the prior scenario left one of the players short their best LRM units.

It’s going to get tried out here.  Knowing that the enemy has to close to their side to get the extraction objective, they have the numbers to flood their zone with foot infantry and get at least some infantry shots off regardless of where the objective is.  The infantry will also spot for (and guard) the 8(!) LRM-20 launchers that will be tucked behind a hill somewhere, bombarding the enemy as they approach.  The Ferret will aid in spotting and in getting a couple of infantry squads to higher ground to help spot too.  The Capellans are putting Fatigue on a whopping 4 units to get the combo of elements they want for this, but they want to make sure to give this novel strategy its very best chance of succeeding!

Turns 1 and 2 - Cautious approach:

The Liao infantry marches forward from their map enterance edge, looking to spread out around their DZ/firebase.  The LRM vehicles move to camp out behind a Level 2 ridge, while the Ferret moves further forward and drops a pair of rifle squads on a Level 6 viewing perch to help out with future spotting.

The Marik Mechs move forward and gather in the shelter of the Level 5 slope to get as close as they can before breaking cover (see TURN 2 picture) and running the gauntlet.

After spending a bit of time goggling at the Capellan hordes and making noises about cheese, the Marik team debated the best course of action.  Taking the “south” approach (away from the Ferret, the ‘right’ side of Pic 1) would give the most cover and give them good shots at the LRM carriers after they turned the corner . . . but with the objective on the other side of the map, they would spend precious turns moving away from the extraction target (the sensor probe) and would have to move through pretty much the entire infantry horde to get to it.  Instead, they elected to move more or less straight toward the objective, trusting to speed and possibly diverting one or more Mechs to attack the LRM vehicles to help cover the eventual escape once the sensor probe was retrieved.

Calimehter

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Re: Menkalinan Blues - a Campaign Blog
« Reply #2 on: 12 April 2021, 21:35:39 »
Turns 3and 4 - Fighting in the Shade:

The Mechs break cover (see TURN 3 picture) at maximum jump, with each PHX-1 (to be known as Pixie 13 and Pixie 19 moving forward, to match their counter numbers)  firing its large laser at the rifle squads spotting from the Level 6 rise (both miss).  In return, the Capellans launch their first 160-missle LRM salvo(!) all aiming at Pixie 13.  Despite needing 10’s to hit, they score with 3 launchers, and even with low rolls on the missle tables they manage to strip 27 points of armor off of Pixie 13.

Being beat up and thus being a bad candidate for objective retrieval (and the subsequent focus fire it would suffer for doing so), Pixie 13 elects to jump towards the carriers, hoping to take one out and/or divert Liao fire from its teammates, while the other 3 Mechs jump toward the objective.  See TURN 4 picture. 

On the Capellan side, the Ferret shoots past the League Mechs and out of the fray to act as a long range spotter from the safety of the Marik mapsheet.  The Sturnfeur crew belatedly realizes their beefy armor slabs are just as good a shelter as the hill, and thus they don’t need to be tying up a spotter or taking the +1 indirect penalty . . . they trundle up to the top of the ridge and direct fire at the Vulcan, as it is in the 7- hex range ‘sweet spot’, but miss with both launchers.  The LRM carriers tag Pixie 13 with a pair of launcher hits and 24 missiles total despite needing 10’s to hit again.  One of the clusters hits the head (now down to 1 armor), and the remainder force a piloting check, which Pixie 13 fails and falls forwad . . . also failing the check to avoid the 2nd pip of pilot damage . . . and then failing the consciousness check after that.  Pixie 13 is out for at least a turn, and out of most of its armor to boot.

Calimehter

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Re: Menkalinan Blues - a Campaign Blog
« Reply #3 on: 12 April 2021, 21:37:09 »
Turns 5 and 6 - Extraction Without Anesthetic:

The FWL Mechs surge toward the objective again at max jump (see TURN 5 picture), and begin the work of clearing out some of the infantry from the area around the objective.  Pixie 19 murders 19 MG infantry, while the Vulcan puts paid to a pair of infantry squads.  Liao return fire is OK, but not great.  Pixie19 suffers some infantry damage, and the Sturmfeur adds a further 9 missles to force a piloting check, but it passes.  The Vulcan is tagged at long range by the SRM infantry platoon (#17)  on the ridge next to the Sturmfeur, which stings, but all 6 LRM 20 shots from the carriers miss the Vulcan!

Pixie 13 recovers consciousness and is happy to have not suffered any further damage while down!  That pilot gets up and starts running toward the LRM carriers - and is joined by the Vulcan, who jumps 6 hexes to land right next to one of them.  The Vulcan’s jump keeps infantry fire damage to a minumum (just a pair of 2-point hits) but also means that it misses with both the medium laser and the kick, only hitting with the MG and Flamer, which even LRM Carrier armor can handle.  Pixie 13 isn’t quite so lucky . . . it engages with the SRM platoon (#17 again) and kills 7 troopers, but the SRM team in return lands their hits, and with 2 more 2-point hits to the head manages to finish off the unlucky Pixie 13 pilot!  Pixie 13 crashes to the ground once more, and for good this time.

Meanwhile, Pixie 19 jumps only 3 hexes, to land in the objective hex to retrieve the sensor probe in the end phase, with the Wasp playing escort. See TURN 6 pic. Only 1 of the 8 LRM-20s aimed at Pixie 19 manages to hit despite good target numbers, and that bit of good fortune and the earlier work thinning out the infantry in that part of the board pays off in the form of very little damage this turn., while Pixie 19 (down to 1pt of right torso armor but otherwise in OK shape) and the Wasp thin out even more infantry.

Calimehter

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Re: Menkalinan Blues - a Campaign Blog
« Reply #4 on: 12 April 2021, 21:38:32 »
Turns 7 and 8 and beyond - Run Forrest, Run!:

The Vulcan bravely elected to stand still after seeing the LRM carrier in front of it *also* stand still to try to shoot Pixie 19.  Bravery was rewarded, as the Vulcan’s fire managed to dig exactly 1 point into the internal structure - and one roll of “12” on the critical table later meant the carrier crew’s bootleg vodka still touched off the ammo and created a column of smoke and fire where a vehicle once stood.  Bravery also paid it dues, as the multiple infantry units nearby poured damage into the Vulcan, stripping the armor off of it, stunning the pilot, and sending it crashing down.  We didn’t bother rolling the dice for the subsequent swarming of the downed Mech the following turn, instead pausing to watch a Youtube short of the “Compy” scene from Jurassic Park.

Meanwhile, the surviving Marik Mechs looked to jump away with the sensor probe in hand, hugging the board edge as they go.  Pixie 19 makes a jump . . . and suffers 21 LRM hits and *falls*.  Now the Marik player had another hard decision to make.  Keep the objective with Pixie 19, or hand off to the lowly Wasp hovering in the next hex over?  With its torso armor stripped way down and being prone, the Pixie 19 pilot “laterals the football” over to the Wasp (who had only suffered a single 2-point torso hit from some rifle infantry up till now) and tells him to burn his jets for home.  See TURN 7 pic.

Wasp pilot:  “Yay, I’m important! . . . OH CRAP, I’m important!!!”  :ugly_stupid:

The Wasp jumps away at full burn, while the Pixie pilot (possibly attempting to make sure the post-battle reviews made his call look like the right one) fails *2* checks to get up before finally stumbling to his feet.  See TURN 8 pic.

On turn 8, one LRM (needing 10’s) of 5 manages to hit the Wasp - but for only 6 missles, which even the Wasp can handle.  Feeling his oats, the Wasp pilot keeps on jumping, only to suffer one more LRM-20 hit (1 of 5 needing 12’s this time)the next turn for 12 missles, which spread all around and don’t take it down.  Also a bit foolishly, since he had won initiative, the Marik player moved the Wasp first, which gave the forgotten Ferret pilot a chance for a long distance Charge attempt at the Wasp!  Drama and tensions were high, as the Wasp failed to hit with its desperate shots at the speeding VTOL, and the VTOL failed to connect with its charge.

The Marik player won the subsequent intiative check, and this time saved the Wasp for last and jumped out of LRM range and away from the crazy VTOL pilot, and was able to get off the board next turn with the football.

Victory to House Marik!  It cost them 2 Mechs and virtually all of the armor off of the other 2, but they had the valuable sensor probe data in hand, and had managed to knock off a LRM carrier and about 50-some infantry to boot.

Postbattle Thoughts:

Well, that was different, but in a good way in the end.  That was a surprisingly tense fight that had a lot of nail biting and a few (at least for the Marik Mech lance) interesting decisions to be made, and turned out to be rollicking good fun instead of the slog or beatdown it threatened to be.

We are still kind of undecided on whether the Indirect-LRM strategy can work.  On one hand, it came very close to succeeding, with only a few rolls separating success from failure.  On the other hand, its hard to imagine a better setup for it, with an enemy that has to move in and move back out again under fire, and with more LRM tubes than the enemy had in total tonnage - if you can’t make it work here, can you make it work anywhere?  The Liao player said that if he had to do it all over again, he would have traded the Sturmfeur and some of the infantry for one or two “hole punchers” with PPCs or AC/10s or such, as the LRM/infantry combo had a tendancy to have to work through *all* of the armor before getting to any juicy vitals, barring nice head hits like they had against Pixie 13. 

I could see that working, though part of me says that if your post-battle thought is “if only I had brought a pair of UrbanMechs”, you might not be on the best path to victory. :D

In any event, the Free Worlds League has drawn first blood in the campaign for Menkalinan!  One campaign point is in the books for them, with bigger battles waiting.
« Last Edit: 12 April 2021, 21:42:19 by Calimehter »

Calimehter

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A Day at the Lake - Game 2 (Battleforce Scale)

Intel from recent recon raids suggested that a surprisingly large Liao force was going to try a very indirect attack on Marik holdings.  This attack was going to go through the Ergun wetlands, an area of lakes and deltas that was only lightly patrolled due to the difficulty regular combat forces had moving through it.  Elements of the 948th Marik Militia were dispatched to head off the Capellans!

The second fight of each campaign turn is fought at Battleforce scale.  For this battle, a Stand Up fight was rolled up, with the Capellans as the attacking force.  The more interesting roll was for the terrain though . . . wetlands were rolled up, specifically River Delta #1 for the Capellan side and Large Lakes #1, some of the “wettest” maps available!  Each player had some tough choices to make during force selection to take the difficult terrain into account.

A note on “Rental Units”:  One of the features we added to this year’s rules-set to add some variety to things was the option to “Rent” up to 6 elements in a campaign turn.  Such rentals were paid for in the same fashion as buying replacement elements, but went away again after they participated in a scenario.  Surviving rentals gave back half their BV at the end of that campaign turn, to discourage their use as sacrifices (unless they were cheap enough, of course) and to make up for the fact that they were less efficient over the long run than normal replacements (that could fight throughout the campagn if not destroyed).  Rental units could also pull from categories that weren’t allowed when rolling up the “core” campaign forces, so this option would enable players to field aero, artillery, engineers, etc. on a temporary basis (vs. last year’s rules where they were just made available by scenario) IF they were willing to pay the cost for doing so.

1st Capellan RMM forces:

The 1st RMM did not elect to go with any rental units, feeling like they had a good set of vehicles and Mechs capable of handling the terrain on their own.  They also went fairly generic with unit names.

Heavy Mech Lance:  2x GHR-5H Grasshoppers, CPLT-1 Catapult, VND-1AA Vindicator
Light Mech Lance:  WSP-1L Wasp, CLNT-2-3T Clint, JVN-10F Javelin, PXH-1 Phoenix Hawk
Medium Mech ‘Demi’-Lance:  DV-6M Dervish, VND-1R Vindicator

VTOL Lance:  Peregrine, Ferret(Cargo), 2x Karnov
Hover Lance:  4x Maxim (standard model)

1st Infantry company:  2x Foot Rifle Platoons, 1x Foot Laser Platoon, 1x Foot SRM Platoon (deployed with VTOLs)
2nd Infantry company:  1x Foot Rifle, 1x Foot MG, 1x Foot SRM (deployed with Maxims)

948th Marik Militia forces:

Without as many jump capable Mechs to choose from (especially with the losses from the earlier Battletech recon raid scenario) and with the large lake right in the middle of their map, the Marik player was in a tougher spot.  He elected to rent some units to help hold the lake, going for the heavier pure naval elements rather than more flexible (but lighter) hovertanks . . . not only did the Marik player figure that he would be on the defensive in this one, but it was the first time we can remember that our group had fielded actual boats!  Kudos for trying something new.  A few rolls on the RAT table netted him a Monitor and a Sea Skimmer, which he then filled out with further rentals and units from the 948th.

Slammer Lance:  BLR-1G Battlemaster, HBK-4P Hunchback, WHM-6R Warhammer, ON1-K Orion
Cavalry Lance:  DV-6M Dervish, QKD-5A Quickdraw, WVR-6M Wolverine, OSR-2M Ostsol (the jumping variant)

Skimmer Lance:  Condor, Harasser, 2x Heavy Hover APCs
Foot Infantry Company:  1x Rifle platoon, 1x MG Platoon, 2x SRM platoon (deployed with hovers)
Motorized Infantry Company: 1x Rifle platoon, 1x SRM platoon, 2x Field Gun (3x AC/5) platoons

Riverboats:  2x Monitors, 1x Sea Skimmer
River Rats:  2x Laser Frogmen platoons (rounding up to use the last of the BV from the supply points spent to rent the boats)

Calimehter

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Early Turns:

The 1st Capellan RMM advanced up the center of their delta map, easily able to traverse the broken terrain, and keeping their options open as they advanced toward the large lake. 

The 948th Marik Militia had a tougher choice to make around the lake itself as they deployed and moved in.  The Slammer lance, in particular, would have to pick a side early on . . . they elected to take the north approach with the heavy Mechs (i.e. the side opposite the map labels), while the motorized infantry+field guns took the south approach.  The Riverboats and hover units all headed toward the center of the lake, while the Cavalry lance held back to see which way the Capellans were going to go.  See TURN 3 pic, with north on the “left” of the picture.

On turn 4, the Capellans (having won initiative, so being able to react to Marik movement via the StratOps BF turn sequence we are using this year) jumped hard for the right side of the map, seeming to intend to concentrate on the weaker Marik south shoreline, while the VTOLs saw a cheeky opportunity to get an uncontested rear shot on the heavy Marik Mechs . . . but only the Peregrine could shoot, and it missed outright.  See TURN 4 pic.

Calimehter

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The Old Statue of Liberty Play:

Liao won initiative again on Turn 5, which turned out to be surprisingly critical.  Marik reacted to the Liao push to the right, moving the Slammer lance as quickly as it could to the south to help, while finally committing the naval elements and the Cavalry lance to the south shore as well . . . in response to these moves, the Capellans (despite a Hello HQ command freezing up the hovertanks) completely reversed their axis of attack, and pushed hard toward the Slammer lance to the north!  See TURN 5 pic.  The VTOLs made a push toward the objective to the north as well, and scored some occupation points by dropping their infantry on it. 

Not much came of the Turn 5 shooting phase (one 2-point hit on the Marik Warhammer), but the Marik player lost initiative again at the top of Turn 6 and knew he was in a bit of trouble.  The powerful but isolated Slammer lance backed up a hex to the security of some woods, while the other Marik forces pushed to try to relieve them in the future turns.  The Slammer lance risked building up some heat and managed to go internal on one of the Grasshoppers and roll a “12” to take it out, but suffered significant damage to the HBK and the WHM from focused Capellan fire from the Maxims and Mechs.  See TURN 6 pic.

Further northeast, the hover lance of the 948th raced up to the objective to limit the damage . . . the Liao troops unleased an Ambush! command counter and wiped out two platoons as they debarked, but the Condor and Harasser hovertanks aided the surviving infantry and managed to take down 3 Liao platoons when they returned fire.

Calimehter

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Keeping the Pressure On:

Marik won initiative on Turn 7, but the Capellans were still able to keep the pressure up on the slow Slammer Lance.  The HBK went down this turn, and the WHM suffered a -1MP critical when Liao fire went internal on it, while bad rolls limited the FWL to a single 2 point hit on the Catapult (and a nice 3 point hit on the Vindicator 1R by the incoming Monitors).  To the northeast, the Capellan VTOLs shot toward the other objective to the south, with the Marik hovers in close pursuit, and the Liao infantry was finished off by the surviving 2 Marik platoons.

On Turn 8, the Liao VTOLs made it to the second objective, but didn’t even get a turn to claim any points, as they had miscalculated and the FWL hover lance could just get there in the same turn - see TURN 8 pic.  The Peregrine and Harasser each fell, but that meant that the VTOL lance no longer had any ability to do damage, while the Marik team still had the Condor (and the plucky field gun infantry) in the vicinity.

Further north, the Slammer Lance WHM miraculously survived another turn (down to 1 structure point and also 1MP due to 2x movement crits and the persistent point of heat), but the BLR suffered enough focus fire to go internal . . . in return, the Liao Catapult was focus-fired to death by the Slammer team and a fair amount (6 damage total) from the upcoming Riverboat lance.

On Turn 9, the Liao forces threatening the Slammer lance all move to the other side of the hill to threaten the crippled Slammers while minimizing any fire from the Monitors and the incoming Cavalry Lance (though the short Capellan infantry company is unable to get out of the way, and gets wiped out for it).  See TURN 9 pic.  Capellan fire manages to finish off the WHM and the BLR, and strip a fair bit of the armor off of the Orion to boot, while the Slammers final shots all manage to miss the second Grasshopper.  The Liao VTOL transports evade the fire of the field gun teams and streak back toward home.

Calimehter

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Taking What is Given:

The Capellans won intiative on Turn 10, and after the Marik forces hunkered up for their movement (including having the hover lance ‘stuck’ on the objective to keep the VTOLs from dashing back and getting uncontested occupation points) the Liao player had a significant choice to make.  He knew he was (slightly) ahead on points, and rushing the main Marik position was risky - the Cavalry lance had finally arrived, and the Monitors were still untouched and dangerous, and the Capellans had lost 2 of their heaviest Mechs.

Liao elected to jump back to their own zone - see TURN 10 - and possibly hoping to lure the Cavalry Mechs away from their Riverboat support.

The Marik player was not about to leave the protection of his gunboats (being slightly outgunned even with their support), so he held postion by the lakeshore on Turn 11, while the Liao team backed further into the delta on their map.

At this point a stalemate of sorts ensued, as each player spent a couple of turns not doing much.  With our IRL time running out, and neither player willing to budge, the GM stepped in and said that if nothing happened, Liao would have the win . . . but the Marik forces would have the salvage (as their troops were within an easy 1 turn of moving to claim it).  The Liao player was a bit unhappy with this at first, but realized he had moved his forces too far back into the Delta to contest the move, and had forgotten about the option to grab salvage altogether until it was too late, so accepted the decision in the end. Liao was still unwilling to engage the concentrated Marik leftovers and risk losing the scenario victory, and so we ended the game.

Victory to the Capellan Confederation!

Post Battle Thoughts:

The Capellans won a battle of maneuver in this one. 

The Marik player had a tough problem to solve with the large lake - though the Monitors helped and did a fair bit of damage during the fight -  but admitted that he overcommitted to the Liao push to the south early on and was also too cautious with the Cavalry Lance initially, and left himself exposed to the early isolation of the Slammer Lance as a result.  The Liao player in fact admitted after the battle that the Turn 6 “reversal” was actually not part of the initial plan, but was a last second decision based on the Marik moves that turn when they saw how close and alone the Slammer Lance had become.

Oddly, the losers of each of the first two games ended up with the field salvage at the end.  The Capellan player could have perhaps changed that, as he still had a bit of an edge on the FWL forces after Turn 10, but he decided to book the victory rather than risk bad dice and/or a lot more damage