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Author Topic: The Marshall City Bank Job (Now with images fixed)  (Read 1886 times)

Simon Landmine

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The Marshall City Bank Job (Now with images fixed)
« on: 06 April 2020, 02:43:42 »
It is sometimes said that, in the life of every mercenary unit, there comes a point when they have to do something foolhardy. This may come in the heat of battle, a daring move to save the day. Or this may be another kind of decision. So it proved for the well-named Desperadoes.

Having taken a contract when, in hindsight, they should probably have checked the small print in more detail, they were on a backwater planet and running out of money. The salvage clause had looked especially attractive, outweighing the generally poor basic rate. Unfortunately, with no raids hitting the planet, there was no salvage. And the local prices were higher than they had anticipated. It was 3025, they were pretty much broke, and if money wasn't forthcoming in short order, the company would be dissolved, as the individual mechwarriors took their mechs to try to find better opportunities. A fair few of the technical support crew had already found work elsewhere, and things were looking bleak.

And then a potential saviour appeared. Some would have described him as being somewhat suspicious, others as obviously untrustworthy, but to the commander of the Desperadoes, he was their only hope. He revealed to them that the planetary governor had a secret nest egg, a not-so-small fund that had been salted away by studied, but effective, embezzlement. He also knew how to get hold of the information required to access the fund. Once they got the data file and got it to him, he could then access the fund, and they would all be rich. Or at least, in the case of the Desperadoes, functionally solvent again. The problem was that the governor would likely pull out all the stops to prevent this being accessed - partly to avoid his crime being exposed, but mostly to keep his money. And those stops would probably include the Marshall City Militia, a reinforced company roughly equal in size to the Desperadoes own unit, whose base would be between the target and the Desperadoes extraction point at the spaceport.

However, a conversation with a mildly inebriated member of the Militia in a bar revealed that a combined arms exercise was planned in the near future, which would place the Militia forces several kilometres away in the wrong direction. A perfect opportunity, and not one to be missed.

At the appointed time, the Desperadoes powered up their 'mechs, and set out to conduct the most gratuitous bank heist that Marshall City had ever seen.

Unfortunately for them, and entirely true to their usual luck, the Militia's exercise had been delayed by several hours due to technical mishaps. Thus, at the point when the Desperadoes began their entry into the northern reaches of Marshall City, to be covered by a sudden fall of artillery rounds, the Militia were also powered up and pretty much ready to move out. And, to make things even more dramatic, the governor, in sheer desperation, had signed off on artillery support for the Militia. Also firing into the city itself.

This would potentially be a good day for anyone running a rubble-removal-and-reconstruction business, but probably not for anyone else ...


-----

And all of that was simply the overblown introduction for yesterday's MegaMek scenario, constructed and arranged by Marshall on one of the Discord servers. The map was built by me (roughly to order), and the forces for the players were pre-picked by Marshall (Marshall City Militia) and me (Desperados), without seeing each other's selection. Marshall picked first, giving me a target of 15,703 to aim for, and I got within 1.6% of that, which was deemed good enough for criminal work. The mercenary forces were split between three players, while the Militia was controlled by two, and Marshall and I acted as referees (and enjoyed watching the destruction in 'godmode'). Double Blind was on, as befits a frenzied city fight, as were a number of rules from TacOps - including Sprinting and Infantry Sprinting.


FORCES

The Marshall City Militia

Light Lance - UrbanMech UM-R60  |  UrbanMech UM-R60  |  UrbanMech UM-R60  |  UrbanMech UM-R60
Med Lance - Vindicator VND-1R  |  Hermes II HER-2S  |  Javelin JVN-10N  |  Commando COM-3A
Med/Hvy Lance - Hammerhands HMH-3D  |  Thunderbolt TRD-5S  |  Merlin MLN-1A  |  Phoenix Hawk PXH-1
Vehicle Lance 1 - Vedette Med. Tank (AC2)  |  Goblin Med. Tank (SRM)  |  Von Luckner Hvy. Tank VNL-K65N  |  Bulldog Med. Tank (Std)
Vehicle Lance 2 - Striker Lt. Tank (Std)  |  Striker Lt. Tank (SRM)  |  SRM Carrier (Std)  |  Bulldog Med. Tank (LRM)
Infantry - Motorised Platoon (MG)  |  Motorised Platoon (MG)  |  Motorised Squad (SRM)  |  Jump Platoon (SRM)

The Desperadoes Mercenary Company

Light Lance - Phoenix HawkPXH-1  |  OstScout OTT-7J  |  Firebee FRB-2E  |  Hornet HNT-152
Med Lance - Guillotine GLT-4L  |  Wolverine WVR-6M  |  Griffin GRF-1N  |  Panther PNT-9R
Med/Hvy Lance - Thunderbolt TDR-5S  |  Catapult CPLT-C1  |  Crab CRB-20  |  Hunchback HBK-4H
Vehicle Lance 1 - Galleon Lt. Tank GAL-200  |  Galleon Lt. Tank GAL-200  |  J Edgar Lt. Hover Tank(Std)  |  J Edgar Lt. Hover Tank(Std)
Vehicle Lance 2 - Kestrel VTOL (Std)  |  Kestrel VTOL (Std)  |  Warrior Attack Helo H-7  |  Warrior Attack Helo H-7
Infantry - Jump Platoon (SRM)  |  Jump Platoon (SRM)  |  Mech. Hover Platoon (SRM)  |  Mech. Hover Platoon (SRM)

All 'mechwarriors were regular 4/5 skills, except for the 'warrior in the Mercenary Thunderbolt, who was a 3/4.

In addition, to enliven the carnage, each side was assigned a trio of Sniper artillery pieces, a couple of maps away - enough for a 1 round delay in the arrival of the rounds. A lot of units were loading Inferno rounds for their SRMs, and there was some other specialised ammunition in use as well, notably a couple of the units had found caches of armour-piercing ammunition for their autocannon.


MAP

Marshall City is a fairly small city, with a notable central business district in the middle, with a river cutting across the southern part of the map, and rising to hills to the north. To the south-west is a warehouse district and to the south-east is higher-end apartment housing around a park. To the west there are more apartment buildings, as well as a number to the east, as well as a sports stadium. To the north of the city, as the hills begin, are a range of haphazard roads with cheaper housing. The bridges were all heavily reinforced, to reduce the risk of the central business district being cut off from the drop-port to the south.


32x34 MarshallCity1.board
(Click to enlarge)
Tileset used = hq_saxarba

(Someone should have perhaps warned Marshall that, being from London, carefully planned cities with dramatic vistas and sightlines aren't entirely my thing.)


SPECIAL RULES AND VICTORY POINTS

The Desperadoes would get 15 VP for escaping the board via the southern edge with the data file, and 1 VP for each 'mech to leave the field via the southern edge after that point. Each side would lose 2 VP for each 'mech lost, making it possible for the Desperadoes to get away with the file, and still lose.

How would they get hold of this file, I hear you ask. To attempt to acquire the file, a Desperado 'mech would have to remain in a hex adjacent to the 'bank' hex, stationary and without firing, for a complete turn, while the mechwarrior desperately tried to follow the Sharpie-scrawled instructions their technical adviser had scrawled for each of them to abuse their comms gear and access the data via a questionable device plugged in by way of it. This would give them a 1 in 6 chance of accessing the file. A second turn of trying would give them 2 in 6, and the third turn and any after that 3 in 6. (As Marshall explained it - they're mechwarriors, not hackers.) Any mech with the Improved Communications Quirk would start at the 2 in 6 level - and the Desperadoes had three of those (the OstScout, Phoenix Hawk, and Wolverine).

Once the file has been acquired, it can be 'handed off' to another 'mech if they are both stationary next to each other for an entire turn, although both may still fire. One of the Improved Communications 'mechs would also be able to hand the file up to a VTOL in similar circumstances.

(Yes, this is all basically a complex game of 'mech-based Capture The Flag, in a city, with added artillery, well spotted.)

The game was limited to a maximum of fifteen rounds, with an additional victory condition that if either side lost 75%, the battle would be over for them, as the losses would be unrecoverable.

And this was the briefing map, to indicate the location of the bank, which was in hex 1720, which meant that the data file could only be acquired from hexes 1620, 1719, 1721, and 1820. Subtlety in image editing may not be my strong suit.



DEPLOYMENT

Deployment was staggered, to represent the steady arrival of the Militia forces.

Normal deployment: Militia UrbanMechs and infantry (South*)
Before Round 1: Desperadoes Mercenary Company (North)
Before Round 2: Militia medium lance and some vehicles (South)
Before Round 3: Militia medium/heavy lance and remaining vehicles (South)

* It had been intended to have the UrbanMechs and infantry with deployment 'Centre' or 'Any', so that they could be positioned near to the bank, but due to confusion during force configuration, they got assigned 'South' along with the rest of the Militia. As it was, it was still a close-run thing, and the originally-planned deployment might have skewed things too far in the direction of the Militia.


THE BATTLE

The first round saw the arrival of the mercenary forces at the top of the board, and their first movements into the town, challenged somewhat by the winding roads (and one player's limited experience of vehicles, which saw one of the J Edgars crash straight through one building and park itself on top of another. Due to a deployment error, the mercenary Jump Infantry platoons began the battle on foot, so the first round also saw them load into the Kestrels, while the Warriors ranged forward into scouting positions. Meanwhile, at the southern edge of the map, the UrbanMechs and their supporting infantry began a dash to the centre of the city. It turned out that a sprinting Urbie can acheive a surprising turn of speed. Someone must have been tipped off about the mercenaries' target. This turn also saw all six of the artillery start to fire - a trend repeated in every round of the battle.

Near the end of round one's movement, these were the positions of the forces on the board (seen in 'godmode'). The mercenaries were pretty much invisible to the militia, while the Warrior helos meant that some of the militia were spotted.


Near the end of round one's movement
Click to enlarge

By the second round, the militia's medium lance had deployed at the south-west corner of the board. A certain enthusiasm to face their opponents led to a couple of unfortunate errors due to skidding - the Javelin failed to make the turn at the end of Western Bridge and collapsed through the warehouse, while the Commando ended up prone and in the river. One of the UrbanMechs, meanwhile, failed to make it onto the Central Bridge, and ended up in the river underneath the bridge, where it spent the rest of the battle due to the challenge this presented to the pilot. The mercenaries were making good speed towards the city centre, although a couple of their units appeared not to have updated their SatNavs, and got trapped among the meandering streets and high buildings. However, the UrbanMechs were also making surprisingly fast progress, thanks to the clear straight road which meant they didn't have to worry about trying to turn. The first artillery shells began to land, chewing up a number of buildings and doing some slight damage to the Galleons. The only notable effect of the mercenary artillery in this turn was a scatter that caused splash damage to the unfortunate OstScout, that had moved forward to shelter in a courtyard between apartment buildings. The first actual direct fire damage was done in this turn as well, as one of the Warriors managed an AC/2 hit on the militia's Hermes.


Near the end of round two's movement
Click to enlarge

In the third round, the other J Edgar skidded into a building, suffering minor motive damage. There were comments made about the sobriety of the mercenary ground vehicle contingent, while the Panther leapt atop a building to start trying to get sight-lines for supporting fire. The militia's medium/heavy lance deployed in the South-East, and began moving forwards towards the East Bridge, sheltered by the buildings. Artillery fire destroyed more buildings, and also killed the Militia's Jump Platoon, who were standing in the wrong place (next to Central Bridge, which was a designated target for one of the mercenary tubes). The same shell also caused slight damage to the Urbie sheltering under the bridge, presumably humming a popular song. The mercenaries continued their advance and had a little fun shooting up random buildings as they were passing, while the Merlin acheived the first direct fire hit for the militia, lightly tagging one of the Kestrels with the LRM5, reminding the VTOLs to keep their distance.

 
Partway through round three's movement.
Click to enlarge - 'godmode' image on the left, image only showing spotted units on the right.

Round four saw a little debate among the mercnaries, as they seemed to change plans about who would go for the file at the last moment. Lots of high speed movement again saw a couple of buildings receive unexpected visitors through the walls, including the Hunchback and a Vedette. The Panther leapt atop another bulding, as the Catapult got into position in the shelter of the bank to try for a download in the following turn, while the Wolverine did the same in a considerably more exposed position, next to an UrbanMech backed by the SRM Carrier, with the Hornet and Firebee behind it to the east of the central road, while the mercenary Thunderbolt rounded the building holding the bank to the West, facing another UrbanMech loitering in the carefully manicured avenue of trees surrounding the core buildings.  To the east the two Phoenix Hawks were re-enacting High Noon, while to the west the mercenary Griffin had a pretty good sightline on the militia's Hermes, as did one of the J Edgars. One of the Kestrel VTOLs took cover inside the shelter of the stadium to the east, while the other dropped its Jump Infantry platoon to support the Wolverine. And at this point, the incoming artillery barrages really showed their effect. There may have been some confusion regarding fire orders among the mercenaries, as it turned out that the Wolverine and the Jump platoon were next to a pre-designated target with a round already inbound. While there was some damage to the SRM Carrier, the Bulldog, and each of the four UrbanMechs due to the incoming barrage, the Wolverine also took some damage, and the Jump platoon was completely wiped out by 'friendly fire'. The militia's artillery caused some damage to the Crab and one of the J Edgars, but the most notable damage was a round that caused damage to not only the Panther, but also to the building on which it stood. The structural damage was enough to weaken the building to the point where it could no longer support the weight of the Panther, which fell eight levels and took several criticals to the left leg. In the desperate melee at the middle of the map, just to the south of the bank tower, a frantic exchange of fire didn't result in any notable damage, although the Wolverine was lucky to avoid a salvo from the SRM Carrier, and managed to stun the crew of the nearby Bulldog, as well as inflicting some motive damage. The Phoenix Hawk duel resulted in both missing with all weapons, although at the end of this turn, possibly due to exuberant use of jump jets and heavy weapons fire, the mercenary Wolverine, Phoenix Hawk, and Firebee were all running noticeably warm.


Partway through round four's movement
Click to enlarge
(Don't worry, I've not got one for every round!)

In round five the hurrying Javelin committed the traditional mistake of urban jumpers, and landed on a building too weak to take the weight, falling four levels and destroying its right arm. The militia's artillery managed to inflict further damage on the Panther, while the mercenary fire mission inflicted further 'friendly fire' upon the Wolverine, Hornet, and Firebee, although it did also manage to remove an Urbie's right arm. One of the mercenary gunners was getting fairly good at anticipating enemy movements, as the Merlin, taking cover in the woods on the low mound in the park to the south-east, discovered, receiving a direct artillery hit that pushed it to its knees. Although close enough to the bank to attempt to get the file, the Wolverine opted to keep firing instead, causing internal damage on an Urbie, but no crits. The militia's Phoenix Hawk managed to catch its mercenary twin from behind, stripping the left torso's rear armour. The Firebee was the unfortunate victim of a salvo from the SRM Carrrier, receiving a general sandblasting of armour, but also losing the right arm, and falling due to the damage. There was an assortment of kicking in the melee as well, but the most notable, if foolhardy, physical attack was the Hornet's Death-From-Above attack on the Bulldog, a tank three times its weight. While it managed to shunt the tank down the road, it also fell backwards and removed all of the armour from the rear of the centre torso. The mercenary Phoenix Hawk was by now overheating to the point that it had to avoid a potential shutdown. The Catapult pilot, who had spent the turn trying to access the data file, came up empty.

Rounds six's movement problems included the Panther attempting a jump with a badly damaged leg, which ended so badly that it lost the leg on landing. On the other side of the central blocks, the Vindicator, running to close the range with the mercenaries' Griffin, slipped and skidded. While the Griffin avoided being damaged by the sliding 'mech, it was displaced into the hex behind it, which in turn forced the Crab that had been there to also dodge backwards. This was another round of 'friendly fire', as the battle was taking place around pre-designated hexes where the fire missions were already in the air. The mercenary artillery destroyed the right arm of another UrbanMech and caused an engine critical, but also damaged the Wolverine and stripped what was left of the frontal armour from the Firebee. The worst recipient was the Hornet, which lost its left torso to it's own artillery strike. Meanwhile, the militia's fire mission scattered,The Panther with no damage to the mercenaries, but light damage to their own Phoenix Hawk and SRM Carrier. One of the UrbanMechs then followed up the artillery damage to the Hornet by destroying it completely, but not before it acheived minor motive damage on the SRM Carrier. A salvo of missiles from the SRM Carrier hit the Hornet just after the UrbanMech's kill-shot, to guarantee its destruction. The mercenary Thunderbolt destroyed an UrbanMech's left arm and right torso, before kicking it when it fell, destroying the centre torso. The Firebee lost its left arm to the Bulldog, toppling due to the damage sustained, while a J Edgar managed to leg an UrbanMech, which in turn lost the right torso in the ensuing fall. The most notable hit, however, was from one of the Warriors which, hitting the damaged Javelin in the right torso, clipped the Inferno ammunition. The resultant ammunition explosion triggered a 'Stackpole' which destroyed three hexes of buildings and caused collateral damage to the Guillotine and Commando 'mechs, and to the J Edgar, Vedette, and nearby Striker. Continuing the theme of running hot, the mercenary Thunderbolt avoided a shutdown, and the Guillotine avoided an inferno explosion. But the highlight of the turn for the mercenaries, except that Warrior gunner, was that, although the Wolverine failed to get the file, the Catapult succeeded on its second attempt. Now all that remained was to get across the river and away.

Thanks to an informant in the bank who had bravely stayed in the building despite the shelling and the 'mechs fighting outside the windows, the militia now knew that the file had been taken, and that it was the Catapult who had it, but they were now trying to work out what the mercenaries' next move would be. Would they try to use the Catapult to get the file off the map, or would they attempt a hand-off to something faster?

The Panther continued the theme of losing limbs in the seventh round, falling while trying to stand, and losing the right arm. The Commando also fell over, and the Merlin attempted to turn too rapidly and fell on the spot. The worst mobility disaster was the empty Kestrel. Having been peppering the militia Phoenix Hawk with rapid-fire machine-gun fire, the Kestrel attempted to fly a tight circle around the tower at 2924, but sideslipped into one of the buildings, destroying its own engine, and falling three levels to the pavement. Not only did was it destroyed by the fall, but the damage also caused the explosion of the remaining machine-gun ammunition, and some previously un-used bombs. This round's artillery arrival killed one of the militia's motorised platoons, and caused some damage to the mercenary Catapult, Crab, and Thunderbolt.  The Wolverine stripped the last of the front armour from the SRM Carrier and injured the driver, but the return salvo of SRMs caused criticals to the Wolverine's upper arm, shoulder, and SRM6. The Guillotine and Catapult both damaged the Vindicator's right leg. The Firebee and neighbouring Bulldog traded fire, the Bulldog losing the front armour and stabiliser, while the Firebee took criticals to the right leg and gyro and lost the left torso. The Wolverine also took hits from the motorised SRM platoon, destroying the left arm, and, most surprisingly, a hit from the UrbanMech trapped in the river, which destroyed the left torso. The cumulative damage to the Wolverine caused it to fall, while the Firebee, suffering the same fate, took enough damage from the fall to lose the centre torso. The Crab kicked off the Vindicator's left leg, while the Guillotine removed the right, the now legless Vindicator falling to the ground and damaging its gyro. The mercenary Phoenix Hawk missed a kick attempt, fell down, and avoided a heat-induced shutdown. The Griffin, meanwhile, not having learnt from the Hornet's lesson, carried out a Death-From-Above attack on an UrbanMech, destroying it. The pilot ejected, but was killed colliding with a nearby building. In turn, however, the Griffin took damage to the lower leg and hip.

Come round eight, and the Panther fell once again, as the mercenaries attempted to break out of the pocket in which the militia were attemping to keep them. One of the Warrior pilots, in an apparent attempt to copy the Kestrel, bounced off a building due to a fishtail, but only took minor damage. The badly damaged Wolverine positioned itself to block the road towards the docks to aid its unit. Further inbound artillery fire destroyed the UrbanMech under the bridge, caused damage to the Bulldog (LRM) and the Von Luckner - and finally destroyed the crippled Panther. The Hunchback finally turned up to the battle line, and blew the left arm off the Vindicator's legless torso in passing. The Crab stunned the Vedette crew, the Griffin jammed the Bulldog turret, and the SRM Carrier obliterated one of the mechanised mercenary platoons. After a hit from the militia's Thunderbolt, the mercenary Phoenix Hawk fell. The surviving UrbanMech destroyed one of the Galleons with a kick, while the Crab finally did the same to what was left of the Vindicator. The overheating Commando managed to avoid an Inferno ammunition explosion.

Round nine saw a lot more running on pavement but, unusually, there was only one fall - but it was a major one. Making a break for it, the Wolverine skidded on the edge of the docks, slid into the river, and then the SRM ammunition went off, destroying it, with the wreckage left at the bottom of the river. The mercenary artillery fire caused some damage to the Hammerhands as it approached Central Bridge, and stunned the crew of the LRM Bulldog. The mercenary Thunderbolt removed the right leg from the Hermes, while the remaining mechanised hover platoon finally destroyed the SRM Carrier, just after it removed the Griffin's left leg. The J Edgar destroyed the motorised SRM squad loitering on the south bank of the river. One of the Warriors destroyed the engine of the Goblin, before having it's own engine destroyed by the SRM Striker. The now engine-less Warrior fell twelve levels and exploded, while in return the surviving Kestrel put a machine-gun burst into the SRM Striker. The one-legged Griffin fell to the concrete, with the pilot blacking out as a result. The Hunchback continued it's journey through the militia by destroying the Vedette with a kick, as the OstScout giving the Hermes a kick in passing. The Commando again avoided an inferno explosion, but succumbed to an engine shutdown.

In round ten, the Hammerhands finally made it across the river, to the surprise of the mercenaries who had forgotten that it had jump jets, and began to head towards the docks to cut off the Catapult's line of escape, while the Von Lucknerheaded along the southern bank of the river to do the same. The LRM Bulldog was following, before it was destroyed by incoming artillery. The Hammerhands immobilised the remaining Galleon, which was then destroyed by the Von Luckner. The Hunchback blew off the stricken Commando's right arm, before coring the centre torso, while the Merlin destroyed the right arm of the downed Griffin. Another burst of rapid machine-gun fire from the Kestrel did minor motive damage to the Von Luckner. The Crab missed a kick and fell, but managed to avoid shutdown. The mercenaries' Thunderbolt landed a heavy kick on the prone Hermes - sufficiently heavy to destroy it, but unfortunately also sufficiently heavy to trigger the battle's second Stackpole, destroying four hexes of buildings, and causing collateral damage to the Thunderbolt and Hunchback, as well as the Goblin and Striker. At the end of this round, the Griffin pilot awoke, although not for especially long as it turned out.

The one-legged Griffin attempted to stand in the next round, and then fell over again. The Guillotine moved to hold the north end of West Bridge as the Catapult jumped the warehouses to reach the bridge embankment. The remaining Warrior sideslipped into a building on the south bank, destroying the building and its own rotor, but was fortunately low enough that it simply settled on the rubble. Unfortunately, it was then destroyed by artillery fire from its own side, which also caused minor motive damage to the one of the J Edgar tanks. Meanwhile, the militia's artillery fire scattered to damage their own Hammerhands, UrbanMech, and do enough damage to their Phoenix Hawk to cause it to fall. The militia Thunderbolt destroyed the J Edgar that was on the river, while the J Edgar blocking the road south of the docks was blasted by the Von Luckner's AC/20. The Hunchback punted and destroyed the standard Striker in its ongoing rampage, while the Crab was ineffectually swarmed by the remaining militia platoon.


Positions in round eleven's physical phase
(Click to enlarge)

In round twelve, the Griffin again attempted to stand, despite the missing leg, and the pilot blacked out again when it fell. Most of the 'mechs started to congregate in the docks area for a final showdown, as the militia made a final attempt to cut off the escape of the mercenaries, and the mercenaries attempted to guard the escaping Catapult with the payday file and then make their own bid for the drop-port. The Von Luckner attempted to accelerate down the southern docks road to cut off the Catapult but, due to previous motive damage, suffered a serious fishtail and spun out in place. Having a turret, however, it could still do some damage, and the AC/20 stripped the armour from the mercenary Thunderbolt's left torso and destroyed the medium lasers. The militia's Phoenix Hawk destroyed the Thunderbolt's left arm and the remaining medium laser, and the Hammerhands followed by removing the left torso. The militia's Thunderbolt killed all but one man of the remaining Mechanised Hover Platoon with a barrage of fire. The prone Griffin lost its right leg to the Merlin, and then lost its head to the SRM Striker, which was in turn destroyed by a kick from the Crab, carrying its cargo of clinging militiamen. The Hunchback removed the remaining UrbanMech's right leg. At the end of the firefight, the Thunderbolt somehow remained standing after taking over eighty points of damage, while the UrbanMech and Hammerhands both fell. The latter was due to taking critical leg damage from the merc's Thunderbolt, which followed up with a kick that destroyed the Hammerhands left arm. The overheating Hammerhands and Merlin both avoided shutdown - but the overheating militia Thunderbolt suffered an Inferno ammunition explosion and spontaneously spread itself across the riverside road. And the Catapult successfully made it to the edge of the map.


Final positions (and a number of destroyed buildings)
(click to enlarge)


THE OUTCOME

At this point, the militia declared a victory for the mercenaries. However, when the victory points were totalled, it was decided by the scorekeeper that, although they had managed to get out of the city with the data file to enable their employer to unlock the embezzler's account, the amount of damage taken to do so meant that the Desperadoes were still pretty much finished as a functional mercenary unit. Due to the damage to their forces, the city, and the forthcoming arrest and trial of the governor, it was a loss for the militia side as well.
« Last Edit: 06 April 2020, 05:51:17 by Simon Landmine »
"That's Lieutenant Faceplant to you, Corporal!"

Things that I have learnt through clicking too fast on 'Move Done' on MegaMek: Double-check the CF of the building before jumping onto it, check artillery arrival times before standing in the neighbouring hex, and don't run across your own minefield.

"Hmm, I wonder if I can turn this into a MM map."

Simon Landmine

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  • Posts: 1059
  • Enthusiastic mapmaker
Re: The Marshall City Bank Job (A Partially-Illustrated AAR)
« Reply #1 on: 06 April 2020, 02:46:19 »
AWARDS

As has become traditional, it is time to dispense some awards.

The Tom Daley Swan-Dive Award - this goes to the Panther, for that eight-level drop when the building disappeared from beneath it. With the Javelin being an honourable entry for jumping on a building too weak to take it, and losing a limb as a result.
The Monty Python Self-Inflicted Black Knight Award - also goes to the Panther, for continuing with attempts to move, even though at one point it seemed each attempt was costing it a limb.
The Bouncing Bug Award - to the Hornet, for trying to DFA a tank three times its own size (and being caught in its own sides artillery barrage on the way).
The Slow Learner Award - to the Griffin, for following that example with a DFA of its own in the following round.
The Shibuya Slide Award - to the Von Luckner, for that spin on the riverside which confused the mercenaries, until they realised it had been a mistake.
The Pirouette Award - to the Merlin, for the on-the-spot fall at the beginning of round seven which must have been the picture of grace.
The Blue Thunder Award for Urban Aerobatics - to the Kestrel that clipped a building while attempting to fly a tight circle around a tower.
The Urban Renewal Award - this has a crowded podium, being shared equally among the crew of the Warrior who set off the Javelin's momentous destruction, the mercenary Thunderbolt pilot whose punt caused the Hermes to also Stackpole, and the enthusiastic efforts of the artillery teams from both sides, who did a lot of work to reduce property values in the city.


ANIMATED IMAGE


And, as a reward for reading through all of that (or for jumping to the end), I've attached the .zip file for the scenario, which includes the .board file and the .MULs for each force.
"That's Lieutenant Faceplant to you, Corporal!"

Things that I have learnt through clicking too fast on 'Move Done' on MegaMek: Double-check the CF of the building before jumping onto it, check artillery arrival times before standing in the neighbouring hex, and don't run across your own minefield.

"Hmm, I wonder if I can turn this into a MM map."

Rince Wind

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 143
Re: The Marshall City Bank Job (A Partially-Illustrated AAR)
« Reply #2 on: 06 April 2020, 05:01:13 »
Only the (first?) two images are showing for me.

Simon Landmine

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1059
  • Enthusiastic mapmaker
Re: The Marshall City Bank Job (A Partially-Illustrated AAR)
« Reply #3 on: 06 April 2020, 05:48:26 »
Only the (first?) two images are showing for me.

Damnit! Hosting settings issue. Should be fixed now. Thanks for letting me know!
"That's Lieutenant Faceplant to you, Corporal!"

Things that I have learnt through clicking too fast on 'Move Done' on MegaMek: Double-check the CF of the building before jumping onto it, check artillery arrival times before standing in the neighbouring hex, and don't run across your own minefield.

"Hmm, I wonder if I can turn this into a MM map."

Rince Wind

  • Sergeant
  • *
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Re: The Marshall City Bank Job (Now with images fixed)
« Reply #4 on: 06 April 2020, 06:20:59 »
Works fine now!  :thumbsup:

Thanks for the write up.

Simon Landmine

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Re: The Marshall City Bank Job (Now with images fixed)
« Reply #5 on: 06 April 2020, 06:33:02 »
Works fine now!  :thumbsup:
Thanks for the write up.

Thanks for the confirmation. Glad you appreciated it!
"That's Lieutenant Faceplant to you, Corporal!"

Things that I have learnt through clicking too fast on 'Move Done' on MegaMek: Double-check the CF of the building before jumping onto it, check artillery arrival times before standing in the neighbouring hex, and don't run across your own minefield.

"Hmm, I wonder if I can turn this into a MM map."

Simon Landmine

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Re: The Marshall City Bank Job (Now with images fixed)
« Reply #6 on: 06 April 2020, 06:42:34 »
Two more awards from this battle ...

The Anthony Kiedis Award - to the 'Bridge Troll' UrbanMech that, despite being stuck under the bridge, still managed a damaging hit on the mercenary Wolverine.
The BeeGees Award - to the SRM Carrier, for surviving far longer than expected in the face of the enemy.
"That's Lieutenant Faceplant to you, Corporal!"

Things that I have learnt through clicking too fast on 'Move Done' on MegaMek: Double-check the CF of the building before jumping onto it, check artillery arrival times before standing in the neighbouring hex, and don't run across your own minefield.

"Hmm, I wonder if I can turn this into a MM map."

marshalldragoo1234

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Re: The Marshall City Bank Job (Now with images fixed)
« Reply #7 on: 06 April 2020, 07:30:48 »
Simon truly has the gift of making maps and doing write ups. I've been trying to keep people from not going insane from boredom. This did take a while, time wise. However, the players had fun, and that's the important thing. If anyone runs this in the future, you may want to allow center deployment for the Urbanmechs and infantry.


Gooner

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Re: The Marshall City Bank Job (Now with images fixed)
« Reply #8 on: 06 April 2020, 10:52:48 »
 :clap: :clap: :clap: Great write-up.  Thanks for sharing!

Mole

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Re: The Marshall City Bank Job (Now with images fixed)
« Reply #9 on: 06 April 2020, 13:19:54 »
Really good job with the map and scenario.  As one of the merc commanders I think we should have used one of the light mechs to get the data instead of using some of our heaviest mechs. 

The panther was just unfortunately in the wrong spot when it lost its leg and had no visibility on anything which was why it kept trying to stand up. Which was just bad luck. I’m not sure why the one J. Edgar got stuck next to the bridge. The one thing though you forgot to mention was that almost all the SRMs the militia had were infernos.

My only real issues with the scenario/game were mostly choices made by the players with the exception of the griffin. It could never really be in a position where it could get a decent (need 7s or less) shot.  Still not sure why it couldn’t target the SRM carrier at one point. Also might want to inform players or limit what ammo players can use.

Simon Landmine

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Re: The Marshall City Bank Job (Now with images fixed)
« Reply #10 on: 06 April 2020, 13:58:59 »
Thanks! Also, welcome to the forum!

I agree, I would probably have nominated the OstScout as the running-back, as it was light enough to bounce off the 'medium' buildings, and the jump range is great - or the P-Hawk, given that it has better armour. Either that, or use OstScout or P-Hawk to get the file, so that you could 'hand-off' to a Kestrel VTOL while behind the building, and then run for home. Although a lucky hit at that point could have destroyed the data outright.

That Panther was unfortunate, and I was impressed by the way it kept trying to make it to the battle, despite all obstacles. The Militia had a lot of infernos, but I don't think quite as many as some suggested - firing MGs on Rapid-Fire every turn was causing unpredictable heat spikes for the 'mechs that did that (and being mostly earlier 'mech designs, they weren't built to handle possible MG heat as well as that from the other weapons) - I made a savegame early on, though, so I might have a squint at that to see just what each unit was loaded with, and add it as an edit. Thanks for the reminder!

Fair point about the Griffin - it really wasn't ideal for the scenario. When I picked the mercenary force, I didn't know what direction the battle was going to be in, so it might possibly have proved more useful fighting east/west - there were some Heavy buildings on the map that were low enough for it to jump onto, and sturdy enough to take the weight, while still offering decent arcs - but it did get unfortunately caught up in the central melee, which it definitely wasn't suited to, and once there, there wasn't much of a way out. Also, I was trying to pick something that looked like a mercenary force, rather than a bunch of urban specialists. Having both the Griffin and Panther was unfortunate, though.

And a very good point about the ammo types - this was the first time I'd helped put a scenario together, but even so, I should have thought of that in advance. I'll remember to prepare a list if I help with another one! Sorry for all of the confusion and GM-conferences. And thanks for playing - I hope you enjoyed it, despite the problems.

(Part of me wants to pit the two forces against each other on a considerably more open battlefield and see how they would fare - I might load up the MULs and see what happens - I suspect the outcome might be more clear-cut.)
"That's Lieutenant Faceplant to you, Corporal!"

Things that I have learnt through clicking too fast on 'Move Done' on MegaMek: Double-check the CF of the building before jumping onto it, check artillery arrival times before standing in the neighbouring hex, and don't run across your own minefield.

"Hmm, I wonder if I can turn this into a MM map."

Simon Landmine

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Re: The Marshall City Bank Job (Now with images fixed)
« Reply #11 on: 06 April 2020, 18:30:34 »
The one thing though you forgot to mention was that almost all the SRMs the militia had were infernos.

Having now had the check through the ammo bins of the Militia, these are the ones that had loaded non-standard ammunition in the lobby ...

Commando COM-3A  -  Inferno ammo for SRM6s
Javelin JVN-10N  -  Inferno ammo for SRM6s
Thunderbolt TDR-5S  -  Inferno ammo for SRM2
Hammerhands HMH-3D  -  Half standard, half armour-piercing ammo for AC/10s
Vedette Medium Tank (AC/2)  -  Armour-piercing ammo for AC/2
Striker Light Tank (SRM)  -  Inferno ammo for SRM2s

And yes, I don't believe that Precision and Armour-Piercing autocannon ammunition should have been available to either side in 3025 - we'll be tighter on the ammunition selection in any future scenarios.
"That's Lieutenant Faceplant to you, Corporal!"

Things that I have learnt through clicking too fast on 'Move Done' on MegaMek: Double-check the CF of the building before jumping onto it, check artillery arrival times before standing in the neighbouring hex, and don't run across your own minefield.

"Hmm, I wonder if I can turn this into a MM map."

Mole

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Re: The Marshall City Bank Job (Now with images fixed)
« Reply #12 on: 06 April 2020, 19:45:20 »
I will say I did give the J Edgars inferno ammo but I feel like it should be restricted in some way to balance things.  For example limit the amount of inferno ammo available to one side, that would help.  I doubt that both sides would have that much in this case.

Also I know someone was throwing around tandem charge weapons probably on the merc side. The Griffin could have been used better I will admit that.  The right side of the map had longer lines of sight which would have been better for the griffin.

I couldn’t figure out how to spot so the LRMs didn’t do much either.

Simon Landmine

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Re: The Marshall City Bank Job (Now with images fixed)
« Reply #13 on: 07 April 2020, 05:34:47 »
Yes, I did notice from the round reports that one of the mercs had loaded Tandem-Charge in the lobby after the units were distributed.

For a re-run on the scenario, it was suggested to limit alternative ammunition types to Infernos, and to apply the old rule that they're only available as SRM2 packs (which is why the Firebee is covered in SRM2s, and why the J Edgars mount them, too). That would have prevented both the Commando and Javelin from loading them.
(The Phoenix Hawk and Thunderbolt's overheating was almost entirely due to firing the paired MGs on Rapid Fire almost every turn, rather than Infernos.)

As for spotting, that is one of the big problems with the 'Simultaneous Firing', as mentioned during the briefing - it speeds battles up considerably, but means that you can only spot with forces you directly control, rather than making use of other spotters on your side - an obvious problem if only your team-mates have line of sight. The Catapult, Thunderbolt, and Griffin would probably have got more use out of their LRMs if the scenario was played solo. I have made a suggestion in the development Github, but it would probably be complex to implement.

(And I should have made sure that you got the Wolverine rather than the Griffin when allocating units.)
« Last Edit: 07 April 2020, 05:41:22 by Simon Landmine »
"That's Lieutenant Faceplant to you, Corporal!"

Things that I have learnt through clicking too fast on 'Move Done' on MegaMek: Double-check the CF of the building before jumping onto it, check artillery arrival times before standing in the neighbouring hex, and don't run across your own minefield.

"Hmm, I wonder if I can turn this into a MM map."

Calimehter

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Re: The Marshall City Bank Job (Now with images fixed)
« Reply #14 on: 08 April 2020, 08:00:19 »
Hilarious stuff with all the slipping and sliding and friendly fire, thank you for sharing this one! :) 

It probably goes against the spirit of the scenario as set up, but the mercs would likely have been better served using their artillery to lob smoke rounds.  Smoke would have provided cover for the elements attempting to hack the objective and cover for their eventual escape, not to mention reducing the (confirmed! ;) ) high risk of friendly fire in such tight quarters.

Simon Landmine

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Re: The Marshall City Bank Job (Now with images fixed)
« Reply #15 on: 08 April 2020, 08:13:26 »
Hilarious stuff with all the slipping and sliding and friendly fire, thank you for sharing this one! :) 

It probably goes against the spirit of the scenario as set up, but the mercs would likely have been better served using their artillery to lob smoke rounds.  Smoke would have provided cover for the elements attempting to hack the objective and cover for their eventual escape, not to mention reducing the (confirmed! ;) ) high risk of friendly fire in such tight quarters.

There was a lot less in the way of pavement acrobatics than I expected, to be honest. Whole rounds in which no-one fell over at all!
And yes, smoke rounds would have made the fight even more of a melee. Under the scenario set-up, the Snipers were only loaded with standard rounds - it might be interesting to re-run the scenario with more advanced technology and ammunition options someday.
"That's Lieutenant Faceplant to you, Corporal!"

Things that I have learnt through clicking too fast on 'Move Done' on MegaMek: Double-check the CF of the building before jumping onto it, check artillery arrival times before standing in the neighbouring hex, and don't run across your own minefield.

"Hmm, I wonder if I can turn this into a MM map."

marshalldragoo1234

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Re: The Marshall City Bank Job (Now with images fixed)
« Reply #16 on: 06 October 2020, 03:34:22 »
This scenario has been worked on and the map has been changed. Deployment will, as well, to allow the Urbanmechs to deploy in the center of town.