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Author Topic: First Alpha strike game  (Read 1100 times)


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First Alpha strike game
« on: 06 December 2013, 15:01:21 »
So I was at my bi-weekly boardgame night with friends and we were fishing around for what game to play (#3 of the night) and some how we landed on battletech (5 of us there).  Knowing that for 3 people who've never played and one person who played 10 years ago, this would be an intense learning curve, I suggested we use the Alphastrike rules (they've been sitting on my computer for the last 6 months or so since I got that pdf).

I had them just pick 3 mechs from the strater box based on the looks, used the MUL to find the first 3039 profiles I could, and adjusted skills on units to even out point discrepancies between squads (ended up being about a 38 points per squad game.

The scenario: two map sheets placed longside to long side.  each player chose a map side to deploy along (in initiative order).  A structure in the middle contains a weapons researcher who is seeking asylum.  4 different upstart merc groups were contracted to recover the scientist (possibly all hired by the same client, this is battletech).

To recover: must hack/sync with the building (a skill+2 roll within 4 hexes, cannot fire weapons at the same time).  Then, adjacent to the building must complete a skill roll to convince the scientist to board the mech.  Multiple units from different players could vie for the scientist, with the greatest margin of success convincing the scientist.  If a mech carrying the scientist is shot down the scientist waits in that hex for retrieval.  Once obtained, the player with teh scientist must retreat off edge.

4 turns to complete.  Victory points awarded for surviving units, destroyed units and hacking and retrieving the scientist.

The game took me 20 minutes to set up (looking up the unit stats on the MUL) and explaining some basics.  The total time to complete took about 1:45, and most everyone had a hang on the rules (basic rules of course).  In the end, the player that missed every single attack the entire game collected the scientist and ran off, achieving the mission and winning (as by that time no other units had been destroyed.  One player almost destroyed the complex (on purpose) just to deny everyone else the target.

My impressions:  The game went really smoothly and alpha stikes streamlining let me explain each phase as we played, without exposing players to too much tactical risk.  Rear attacks didn't happen as often as I thought, but were pretty brutal.  That the player that missed every shot (with a skill of 3 on all his units) succeeded at the objective was priceless.

Light fast units are very powerful and frustrated a couple players with how hard they were to hit.  Also, inferno attributes actually made a pretty significant difference in the game.  Also, the rules while streamlined were close enough that I felt confident making a couple assumptions.  One thing I did flub up on is the to-hit penalty for forests, which in AS on the hex maps may need some re-thinking in terms of optimal play.

They all seemed to enjoy it, and I'm sure I can convince them to play another scenario (one that isn't made up right then and there) if I asked.

TL:DR all in all, a positive experience with a bunch of noobs and me.  :)