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Author Topic: Recon Scenario  (Read 494 times)

imperator

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Recon Scenario
« on: 05 August 2020, 18:27:02 »
How do you run Recon Scenarios in your games? What are the the advantages of having Recon lances or companies go out?  How does a successful scout scenario look like and what advantages does the successful scout give during the campaign?
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dgorsman

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Re: Recon Scenario
« Reply #1 on: 05 August 2020, 18:48:04 »
As inverse examples, failure to do reconnaissance or screening can lead to encountering ambushes with hidden units and minefields; headhunting groups conducting strikes or directing artillery against your command group; leading your own strike groups on a merry chase against decoy forces rather than intended targets.
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Col Toda

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Re: Recon Scenario
« Reply #2 on: 05 August 2020, 19:06:52 »
You go somewhere to do an objective raid or mission.  Certain level of intel such as maps and topography should be known  . The actual location of what you want to hit also should be known  . So all recon somtimes does is signal what your actual target is after you land . I land 31- 150 km from objective  . Roll out attacking force with embedded  active probes and artillery to clear mines as needed get to target  zone .45 minutes to  3+  hours depending on topography and range  one way . If valuable targets are spread far enough apart you only engage in place defenders and maybe a fast reaction force . Give the militia time to redeploy units they will .  The firther from military bases the target is the better to a point  . Too far it will be heavily defended as it cannot get support from a local militia base . If somehow you are going in completely cold the Uziel 2S is a nice scouting unit
« Last Edit: 05 August 2020, 19:20:48 by Col Toda »

Sartris

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Re: Recon Scenario
« Reply #3 on: 05 August 2020, 22:01:16 »
i run my missions chaos campaign-style so they're self contained. generally how i plan the mission is that there is some sort of element that has to be inspected - a building, a high point on the map, enemy forces that have to be visually ID'd at close range, find the hidden tanks in the woods, etc.

the player selects their force and i have a predetermined ratio to form the opfor - usually 150-200% BV for this kind of thing. they should not be tempted to try to win the field in a pitched battle. alternatively, you can have a small force on the map with a warning in the briefing that a big, nasty force they don't want to fight is due imminently (set up to arrive on a fixed turn, random chance, etc).

i also like to add bonus objectives that either show up on the briefing or become an opportunity mid-mission. for example, once on the way to inspect an abandoned base, the players came across a convoy moving prisoners from one POW camp to another. they had the option to attempt to disable the heavy APCs and call in a friendly karnov to pick up the friendlies. you can also have added elements not in the mission intel like an unexpected processing plant, ammo dump, etc. securing these objectives can yield additional benefits in future missions - once the players opted to blow up an ammo dump after they had completed the main objective with the bonus of enemy mechs and vehicles having no SRM ammo for the next two missions.

succeeding in the recon objective gains some bonuses for later - scanning a communications building might give important info regarding troop movements that can be used to avoid heavier elements in future missions or out a double agent that was reporting on the players' ops.

regardless, a recon mission should ask the player to do things that aren't strictly combat related and that reasonably simulate the act of intentionally moving in to an area to see what there is to see or find something specific. once i had a mission where every three turns another lance of mechs or armor would enter the battlefield. the more units the players saw, the more points they got and the more elements were firmly ID'd for future missions. they had the option to pull out whenever they wanted, but the lure of bigger rewards kept them around long after it had gotten very dangerous.

overall they can be fun and demonstrate the value of units that might not normally shine like a cicada, clint, or assassin.

Colt Ward

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Re: Recon Scenario
« Reply #4 on: 06 August 2020, 11:33:22 »
From the light mech topic

You also have two different types of recon, though both get thrown around and sometimes folks mash them together in the same answer.

General recon . . . we know the DS landed over that way in the mountain chain.  They could have (and most likely did) have a last minute alteration of their trajectory to hide their actual landing zone.  Send out the strategic recon assets to see where they might have landed . . . this means sats are re-tasked, you send out the Boomerang or clones in grid searchs to look for initial signs, VTOLs in search grids, or dispatch wheeled transports to roadside vantage points.

Results-  Boomerang 12 is missed the 1500 radio check in and did not RTB, Kestrel 11 picked up a thermal signature on its Ferret's sensor 10 klicks off X position which could be a landed DS in that valley, and Rover 4 thought they spotted some smoke from Table Top Point on the M4.

Interception force is mustered and heads towards the mountains . . . depending on what paths come out of the mountain or how good the fixes are- or what assets are available- you send out the scouts.  Lighter/smaller/less combat capable mechs are going to be sent on the furthest out tasks, your more combat capable lights and faster meds (aka scout killers) are going to be your screening elements.  The screen is to prevent your movement formation from running into a ambush or trap while killing or driving off any enemy scouts who are trying to find your formation and determine your specific forces.  Your scouts are going to check the most likely approaches, try to find the enemy axis of advance, their DZ and get specifics- its better to plan your fights knowing the enemy has a pair of Longbows and a lance of Archers than saying they have at least two assaults & four heavies.

Pushing for the detailed information, you are going to draw fire . . . you need to be able to survive that fire, which is why mechs are better as scouts trying to get that detailed information.

BUT proper doctrine means that its not a single scout out there alone . . . a pair works an area rather than a singleton.  With a pair, its a LOT harder to kill two units at the same time to stop a report from getting out (such as the general recon example of a missing Boomerang) . . . if you put out singletons you can get false data points (no radio link for 10 minutes b/c a bad reception zone) where the usual sign a singleton runs into the enemy is a absence of data.  So a pair of VTOLs, pair of scout vehicles, or infantry/BA squad are the proper tactical element (see bounding overwatch) to conduct scouting operations because the redundancy of observers is on par with the survivability of mechs.

Another concept which gets referenced or insinuated though is the Recon in Force.  When you absolutely need to know what is coming your way- to plan your defensive line/positions or to find out what is on the defensive line- you dispatch a recon in force.  You already know where they are, general scouting has revealed this information but you need specifics.  For this force you pick the fastest & most survivable designs to rush in, get shot at and rush out- with the most important part being the ability to penetrate the screen and get the message out.  For me, this role is not Bugs . . . this is Jenners, Spiders, Venoms, Ostscouts, and others with that profile, maybe led by a Phoenix Hawk or similar.  Recon in force is also a mission attacking units are more likely to need . . . defenders can seed infantry LPOPs along the attacker's axis of advance to get nearly the same information at much less of a cost.

So IMO, it all comes down to what type of scouting you are talking about . . . and if you are a offensive or defensive unit in the House's military.

Recon matters more in campaign or linked scenario play as Sartis was mentioning.  It also has a greater importance if you are willing to run un-balanced force scenarios, though provide objectives that allows each side to 'win.'  FREX if you scouts can determine that a lance or two of mechs are operating in relative isolation you might be able to bring a company plus support in a attempt to exploit local numerical superiority for how many ever turns you think you will have it.  If I have 10-15 turns to let my company of mechs and lance of hovertanks work over your pair of medium lances before I have to retreat, the odds are pretty good I can eliminate those lances for at least a bit of time for strategic purposes (get repairs) if not completely through destruction.

Your recon/scout elements are also going to be what lets you avoid terrain problems . . . your scouts can tell you that there are bogs, quicksand, and sinkholes on your flank that will give anything heavier than 35 tons difficulty to move through.  The other flank has a maze of foothills as part of this coastal plain . . . which direction you may decided to advance or retreat into will depend on what you know of the landscape.  It means that on my advance I would keep a responsive distance from the edge of the bogs on that flank to prevent light units from sniping at my forces with impunity and standing orders would be to NOT pursue attackers into the bogs.  I would also try to put more of my jump capable mechs on the flank that has that maze of foothills- they COULD pursue for a short distance any attackers due to their JJs improving their options through mobility.

You want a interesting scenario where recon will matter?  Two part battle . . . The Ambush
Set up-  Either both players or player is told this will be a meeting engagement and have their rosters.  Attacker will be told to select his scouting elements (25% to 33%) from his force list, this will be what is used in Scenario 1.

Scenario 1- Send in the Scouts
Defender-  Hides whatever BV is determined for the ratio using Hidden Unit rules.  Anything that reveals itself or is discovered goes into forced withdraw, escaping to its home edge.

Attacker-  Scouts are the vanguard for the main advance, they are crossing the map to discover any defenders on their way to the objective.  Scouts are under forced withdraw rules as well.

Set up
Attacker only has a set amount of time to check the map, starting on their home edge and exiting off the defender's home edge.  For each BT map sheet between Home edges in use the attacker gets 4 turns- so for a 2x3 map that has 3 maps between Attacker and Defender Home edges the Attacker will get 12 turns to scout at GM/player's discretion.  After the 12 turns that portion of the game is over and all scouts & discovered defenders are determined to have left the map.  Damage & ammo for everything is carried over.

Objectives
Defender
Avoid detection, if detected kill scouts while fleeing

Attacker
Find hidden units in the allotted time, avoid damage so that scouts can continue mission


Scenario 2-  Main Body Advances

Attacker-  Remaining forces from the roster enter the home edge and proceed to exit off the Defender's home edge.  Since the area has been scouted, the remaining troops move at the best speed of the slowest unit- if you have a bunch of 4/6 & 5/8 meds and heavies then everything is using 6 MP to move directly to the Defender's home edge.

Defender-  Spring the ambush

Set up
Use same map and same Defender Hidden Unit locations that were not discovered.  Damage to discovered Defenders and Attacker scouts from previous scenario will carry over.  Beginning turn 4 or 5, discovered Defenders and Attacker scouts roll for the chance to enter the map to help their side on the Defender home edge.

Objectives- GM/players should agree on a point system or use one from other Chaos scenarios

Attacker-  Force the defenders to retreat, mission kill as many as possible

Defender-  Force the attacker to withdraw or halt advance; mission kill as many as possible
                Preserve as much of defending forces as possible



Pretty simple scenario that really drives home the need for proper scouting since anything not found could end up outnumbering the advancing attackers.  This was really off the cuff, and I typically like to refine the Objectives that give both sides a chance to claim a marginal victory even if their definitions are different while not necessarily in opposition.  I set the speed requirement for the scouts based on a 6/9 bug mech being able to get across 1 BT map in a expeditious manner.  You can add all sorts of refinements to this- like the defenders having pre-positioned minefields, artillery for both sides, airmobile infantry/BA reinforcement, time limit after ambush is sprung (you have 10 turns from the moment you open fire to retreat off your home edge, anything left on the map after that is *dead*).

I may actually refine this and try to find someone to play it out in MM.
Colt Ward

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Colt Ward

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Re: Recon Scenario
« Reply #5 on: 06 August 2020, 11:34:23 »
Here is another 'what happened' related in the Hidden Unit topic-
My ideal . . . and I did it once to some speedsters . . . is to have them come within short range before unmasking.

Situtation-
Enemy mixed company of meds & lights is following a medium lance as it retreats back down the road.  My vet mercs were higher tech than the regular locals & oppo mercs- ERLL and LPLs were forcing them to keep a respectful distance & stay to cover especially as the road ran between a river (5-9 hexes to the edge of the map) and some hills on the other side.  On the other side of the hills were some fields and crop land . . . I use double blind on MM as well as some of the more advanced rules, but I quit seeing a pair of Locusts, another 8/12, and something 7/11 trying to get around between hills & river.  Then they popped up as seen from my vet hidden lance- 2 Wolverine 8K, Uziel 2S and Nightsky 4S.  I watched them run across the open spaces trying to get behind my med lance (Men Shen, Wraith, Chameleon & Bloodhound) while staying out of LOS of them.  They crossed the ridge that had the woods hexes my mechs were hiding in, all within 6 hexes, some with their backs to my hidden and the last one to move was actually adjacent to the wooded hex.  The flanking lights came apart under the pounding that turn since they activated on firing . . . I needed 7s or better for 2 ERPPC, 2 PPC and 1 LPL and the smaller guns had good numbers too.  Final insult was a Wolverine and the Uziel were able to stomp on the Locust that had fallen at their feet.

The attacking company instantly went into retreat since they had already taken losses and lost most of a lance that turn.  The other commander was not happy to find the lance that way.
Colt Ward

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imperator

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Re: Recon Scenario
« Reply #6 on: 08 August 2020, 23:00:51 »
Thanks for all the good replies!!!
Their is no problem Jump Jets and an assault class auto-cannon can't handle.

imperator

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Re: Recon Scenario
« Reply #7 on: 03 September 2020, 21:31:18 »
Here is another question, I didn't see this covered but Im posting tired.  How do you do a "Scout" action on TT, say using MM?  How do you actually model scouting?  A number of turns onboard, or like reaching a certain part on the Map?  When is the Scouting Scenario won in your games?
Their is no problem Jump Jets and an assault class auto-cannon can't handle.

dgorsman

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Re: Recon Scenario
« Reply #8 on: 04 September 2020, 00:39:35 »
Several possibilities:

Spend several rounds (less with active probe) close to certain buildings to "scan" them.

Scan enemy units long enough to get specific details.

Spend several rounds close to the far end of the map, or try to exit off the far side (getting "home", or pushing through the enemies lines).

Have opposing teams of scouts or scouts/scout hunters fight it out for control of the map for a later fight.
Think about it.  It's what we do.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Recon Scenario
« Reply #9 on: 04 September 2020, 00:54:04 »
Here is another question, I didn't see this covered but Im posting tired.  How do you do a "Scout" action on TT, say using MM?  How do you actually model scouting?  A number of turns onboard, or like reaching a certain part on the Map?  When is the Scouting Scenario won in your games?

Are you using double blind?  What LOS rules?

MM makes it REALLY easy . . . blind drop (so you do not see what is loaded in the lobby), double blind, and I have grown to like Diagram LOS.  It means you are going to have to get to places that have the best vantage point . . .

Really easy is Scouts have to slip past the pickets and can see the enemy laager which has 1-2 companies shut down.  The shut down mechs are scrambling and so each one rolls to start up.  See as much as you can of what mechs are in the laager- see if they are damaged, or how damaged from previous battles- and then get off the board before the scouts are lost.  If all scouts are lost, none of the information gets back to your side.

If you DO have the information, you know what mechs and particularly variants your opponent has- as defender you could then pick the maps.  Or if it is in the midst of a re-arm cycle then the scouted mechs might have to go into battle with half loads of ammo.
Colt Ward

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Major Headcase

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Re: Recon Scenario
« Reply #10 on: 04 September 2020, 02:57:09 »
X
« Last Edit: 18 September 2020, 16:28:06 by Major Headcase »

Mohammed As`Zaman Bey

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Re: Recon Scenario
« Reply #11 on: 04 September 2020, 05:55:31 »
  My GM was a wargamer and recon in campaigns was critical for success.

A.  Recon:
1) Determines the location, movement, size and composition of enemy forces.
2) Maps terrain features not identified on maps, including man-made structures that were constructed after the map was published.
3) Screens the main body against incursion by enemy recon units.

  Recon helps command plan and control ambush sites by estimating the travel path of hostile units. A successful battle is won before it is fought, so if the scenario is balanced, somebody screwed up. A good recon will help your 1,000 lb gorilla jump that 100 lb chimpanzee. Recon will also help your 100 lb chimp avoid the enemy's gorilla...

B.  Recon should not:
1) Fight. Scout elements are too valuable and usually scarce. If they are evenly matched, they should pull back while bigger guns move up.
2) Raid. See 1. They report targets for ground or land units to attack.

  Recon is a skill. Perception, Scanners, Communications and ECM all come into play. My recon character served a decade as a mercenary and never fired his weapons in battle, it wasn't part of his job.

  Mission Design:

  GM Briefing: Scouting/recon missions are always double blind, with both sides unaware of their opponent's mission. I've used identical maps in separate rooms.

  OPFOR Briefing: The unit's main body can be of any size but larger units will have elements to devote to screening/recon, so depending on how difficult you want to set the mission for the player, you may start with a lance all the way up to a regiment.
  The mission is basic -Move from point A to point B, minimal intel on enemy composition but possibly similar overall strength to keep them honest. Let them expect to meet opposition and look at every forest or hill with suspicion. If the OPFOR is on a time schedule, stopping to pursue a stray enemy 'mech may be counterproductive.

Player Briefing: Solo or a lance of appropriate designs. The player can approach from any random direction of the OPFOR path of travel. The primary goal is to establish LOS to as many enemy units as possible, speed of travel, direction, unit ID, formations, etc. There are many ways to do this, including dropping remote scanners in the path of travel, running up to the formation just outside of weapon range, or finding concealment for your 'mech, shutting down and observing on foot.
  Recon gathers data and passes that data on to the intel analysts who interpret that data in order for command to take advantage of the data gathered by recon. A scout can guess what's going on but that isn't his job. If they believe that gathering more data is in order and is worth the risk, that is their job.
  The mission can fail or be successful in various degrees, with zero to 100 percent data gathered under normal conditions. A scout isn't expected to take risks by closing to within combat range to find out how many soldiers are riding in their trucks.

  Thinking outside the box and using available technology is strongly recommended. If a remote sensor dispenser weighs half a ton and carries 30 sensors per half ton, instead of installing one on your 'mech just have a handheld unit that you can drop if you have to.
  Remote sensors can be monitored by nearby HQ units and dropships, which are usually bristling with comm. equipment. 

  One thing BT misses is the physical effects of military units moving cross country. A company of vehicles, especially tracked, will tear up the sod and 'mechs will trample the fauna and leave footprints, depending on the density of the soil. If you were outside of your 'mech, vehicle engines could be heard kilometers away, with tracked vehicles even noisier and hovers far louder. On a dry day, a company of 'mechs or vehicles could raise clouds of dust. You might hear or see the traces of a unit long before you set eyes on them, so don't forget to use all of your senses and sensors to accomplish your mission.

    I once did as recon mission during the Battle of Luthien. The DCMS pilot in a Jenner was tasked with avoiding the Clan units in order to observe activity at the Clan landing zone, particularly, the units and their compositions as they deployed and also kept track of damaged units returning to the LZ for repairs after Basin Lake.

  When I played OPFOR in the Luthien scenario, I was Clan Nova Cat and had a battery of Arrow IV missile carriers. The player sent recon vehicles, UAVs and Light 'Mechs and never found my battery. With literally decades of recon experience, I sewed mines on every dirt road in the area and scored numerous light vehicle kills. Elemental patrols kept leg infantry away and my remote sensors located the stray 'mech trying to sneak into the area. The UAVs were problematic, since the Clans lost control of the skies by the second day but my aero shot one down and the flak unit took down another. The last one that got past all my defenses...and rolled snake eyes, the operator was likely too distracted by watching porn...but, as a recon mission, locating a target and spotting for counter-battery artillery is a good exercise, as well; The target is stationary, you have a general idea where it may be, but you have to get a bead on it. My missile batteries were well under the Luthien Long Tom defense batteries and would have been vaporized by a near miss, which would make any player very satisfied.

  My GM also had my recon character do a city recon mission behind enemy lines, and he encountered an enemy Atlas...but the pilot was at a corner cafe enjoying his brunch and the event written up in one of my fanfic.

 


 
« Last Edit: 04 September 2020, 05:57:07 by Mohammed As`Zaman Bey »

 

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