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Author Topic: The mystery of the missing Pixie ...  (Read 2086 times)

Simon Landmine

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The mystery of the missing Pixie ...
« on: 17 April 2017, 14:30:31 »
I decided to have a brief mech-only skirmish against Princess on MM, with a Marik light lance against a Kurita light lance (generated from RATs, all pilots regular), on my custom 'Oasis' map.

PXH-11K Phoenix HawkWVR-9M Wolverine
PNT-12A PantherNX-80 Nyx
SDR-8Xr SpiderHVC-P6 Havoc
SDR-8Xr SpiderWSP-8T Wasp

Princess's Kuritan forces entered from the North, with the FWL entering from the South, with a roughly 200 BV advantage.

Unsurprisingly, combat centred around the cover in the middle of the map offered by the buildings, woods, and lake, and it got nasty. The Spiders lived up to their design, jumping vast distances and perpetually landing behind their targets. It didn't matter how fast the Nyx and Havoc could run, the Spiders could outmanoeuvre them (even if the jumps ruined their accuracy, too, resulting in a number of turns featuring misses all around).

In turn 2, the Nyx managed to start a fire which blazed merrily through the rest of the battle, spreading to two buildings (and destroying half of one of them), and causing a pall of smoke to cover the northern edge of the oasis.

The Marik Wasp went down hard in turn 3,  after being hit by Spider #1, which then followed up with a kick, critting the leg. And then the Wasp fell over, and the damage from that caused the leg to fall off. In the next turn that Spider and the Phoenix Hawk did a 'Princess special', pouring fire into the crippled Wasp - the PH's TSEMP caused a shutdown scant seconds before the Spider blew both arms off and destroyed the engine.
In the same turn, the Wolverine took the first head hit of the game, but managed to destroy Spider #1's leg, possibly in retaliation for the destruction of the Wasp.

In turn 5, to the surprise of everyone, Spider #1 managed to stand up again, despite missing a leg, and scores another hit on the Wolverine's head. Meanwhile, the Nyx and Wolverine manage to hit the Panther, which goes down, and then gets its left leg kicked off by the Wolverine.

In turn 6, Spider #2 manages to expose the rear of the Wolverine's CT, but does no more. Unfortunately, the Pixie managed to hit the Wolverine's head with an HMG burst, causing the pilot to black out after their third head hit, and the Wolverine fell, with the pilot taking another two hits and staying out for the rest of the fight. Spider #1 is still, somehow, upright.

In turn 8, the Havoc stripped the armour from the Pixie's right arm, and in return received a kick that caused leg criticals and an ensuing fall. Spider #1 is still, despite the best effort of gravity, upright. We don't mention physics around here, though.

In turn 9, the Panther declared that it was withdrawing - seeming to have taken a little while to come to that conclusion, having been legged in turn 5.

In turn 10, the Nyx managed to start another accidental fire - there are now six hexes ablaze. Shots are traded in turn 11, but somehow, in turn 12, no-one can see anyone else, due to a combination of cover and smoke, so there is a moment's peace.

In turn 13, the Havoc finally manages to down the one-legged Spider, blowing off the left arm and causing an engine destruction.

In turn 14, the Pixie, which hasn't been seen since turn 8, declares that it is crippled and withdrawing. And then that it is immobile. The pilot ejects, and seems to die immediately. Meanwhile, the Nyx and Havoc manage to double-team Spider #2, which finally succumbs to engine destruction.

I had assumed that the Phoenix Hawk had disappeared into the thick smoke and was encircling the remaining Marik forces, and had switched to Magscan on the Havoc to try to track it down. Given that the turn reports indicate that it was immobilised, and then the ejecting pilot died 'due to pilot error', I suspected that it might have tripped on one of the weakened buildings, and then the pilot had ejected into the flames. However, I then recalled a mysterious sensor echo in the lake in one turn, that never revealed itself as anything, despite the depth 1 water. I suspect that the Pixie attempted to jump into the lake to backstab the Nyx or Havoc, fell on landing, and breached and flooded the weakened left leg. Which then encouraged Princess to eject the pilot underwater, to his soggy doom. Oops.

End score ...
Kurita - both Spiders destroyed, Panther crippled, Phoenix Hawk crippled (and pilot dead).
Marik - Wasp destroyed, Wolverine down with pilot unconscious, Havoc and Nyx both badly damaged.

While I still like the Wolverine, and the HPPC is an impressive weapon, I still prefer brawl-capable Wolvies. Hit-and-run with the Nyx and Havoc work well - they needed to be treated like VTOLs, though - keep them moving fast, or they're in trouble.
On the other side, those damn Spiders with the wings are a blasted nightmare when it comes to backstabbing! That said, part of the challenge with that map is that there's limited cover in the centre of the map, and functioning Spiders can pretty much cross it in one bound. I should probably have made more use of the wadi, but by the time I thought to take cover there, the Spiders were on me, and would have just followed me.

Still not sure how hopalong stayed upright from turns 5 to 13 with only one leg, either ...
"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."

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: The mystery of the missing Pixie ...
« Reply #1 on: 17 April 2017, 16:50:48 »
Awesome write-up. Makes me wonder what happens if you have a whole-head ejection system and eject into fire or underwater.
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking