Author Topic: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War  (Read 1758 times)

gwaedin

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Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« on: 21 September 2023, 05:17:28 »
Hi! We decided to take this old supplement from FASA and play it as a campaign in our Alpha Strike games:
https://www.sarna.net/wiki/BattlePack:_Fourth_Succession_War
We already did something similar in the past, going through the 17 scenarios of the Battle of Coventry.
I am adapting these scenarios to Alpha Strike and the PV/BV based victory conditions system, typically with some size reduction (e.g. the first one goes from a 3 vs. 2 lances to a 2 vs. 1), with a careful eye to balancing.
I won't put a complete scenario out as my previous scenarios/campaigns (e.g. https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,81355.0.html) for obvious reasons, but if anybody is interested I can share the tweaks we are applying.

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #1 on: 21 September 2023, 08:29:58 »
I'm all about the 4SW!  Please share your tweaks... :)

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #2 on: 21 September 2023, 09:21:43 »
There you go  :cool:

Scenario 1: The Hammer Falls
The Davions are luring Capellans out of Jerome using a Recon Lance as a bait. As the two Capellan lances move out, the AFFS counterattacks with two more lances (Command in T6 and Assault in T9). The game maps are BattleTech and Woodland, originally published with the FSW scenario pack (not mine, but I have it from Map Set Compilation 2). No special rules.

The defender has only the Recon Lance and a Command Lance entering on Turn 1.
In particular, my son wanted to replace the Firestarter with a Wolfhound, but in 3028 only Kell Hounds and Wolf's Dragoons in service of house Steiner had those; therefore, he settled for a Phoenix Hawk (wisely choosing the 1D variant, gamewise identical but for the ENE special - no dangerous MG ammo bins around). This is what he starts with:
Recon Lance                   Role                   PV   Tons   Skill   PVmod   
PXH-1D Phoenix Hawk   Skirmisher   26   45   3   31
ASN-21 Assassin           Scout           22   40   4   22
JR7-D Jenner                   Striker           26   35   4   26
SDR-5V Spider                   Scout           21   30   4   21

We opted for a single lance entering on T6, which is the listed Command Lance reinforced by the Stalker:
 Reinforced Command Lance   Role                   PV   Tons   Skill   PVmod   
CPLT-C1 Catapult                   Missile Boat   32   65   3   38
JM6-S JagerMech                   Sniper           26   65   4   26
GHR-5H Grasshopper                   Skirmisher   37   70   4   37
ENF-4R Enforcer                   Skirmisher   32   50   4   32
STK-3F Stalker                           Juggernaut   42   85   4   42

In the original CBT scenario, the Defender started with a force equal to 27% of the Attacker's BV; the Command Lance entering on T6 increased the ratio up to 70%, which went all the way up to 120% with the entrance of the Assault Lance. If you take the product of BV ratio times turns as a balancing criterion, you have to consider an effective game duration of 26 turns (not that anybody expects the game to last that much).
I wanted to balance the game with the current Defender roster (100PV for the Recon and 175PV for the Command Lance, respectively).
Doing some math and trying to keep the same proportions in terms of PV ratios / turns (since we play Alpha Strike), I set a 243PV value for the Attacker forces which will hunt down the Recon lance until T6, when new guests will join the party.

I find victory conditions in old CBT scenarios (before the BV system) a bit messy and unfair. For example, the attacker must eliminate the Recon lance to win a decisive victory (irrespective of the losses); if that's not the case but at least 6 enemy 'Mechs are eliminated, it is a marginal victory. I wouldn't say that having all enemy 'Mechs taken out but a single scout is just a Marginal victory; the same goes for wiping out the recon lance but then losing two full lances to do it, which hardly looks like a victory. Then there's the (independent) victory conditions of the defender  :huh:

My solution is quite simple: we use the PV system, with the standard scoring system (2xPV points gained for each enemy unit destroyed, the enemy loses also PV points). The only change is that the Attacker scores 3xPV points for each 'Mech of the Recon lance, and only 1xPV for the other 'Mechs. The Defender scores normally. This way, the Attacker is encouraged to actively hunt the scouts, trying to score big before the Davion reinforcements force them to retreat.

Finally, you might be wondering why I haven't included a roster for the Capellans, too. The reason is that playing with my son we are currently using a strong balancing in his favor. By applying it to my side (the Capellans), the Attacker PV total decreases from 243PV to 138PV. Below is the composition of my Command Lance, but to have a fair fight I recommend beefing up CCAF forces with extra points up to 243:

Command Lance   Role                   PV   Tons   Skill   PVmod   
GHR-5H Grasshopper   Skirmisher   37   70   3   44
VND-1R Vindicator   Brawler           27   45   4   27
CPLT-C1 Catapult   Missile Boat   32   65   3   38
TBT-5N Trebuchet   Missile Boat   29   50   4   29
« Last Edit: 07 October 2023, 17:14:24 by gwaedin »

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #3 on: 21 September 2023, 10:10:15 »
Thanks!  Those all sound like reasonable changes. :)

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #4 on: 23 September 2023, 17:04:23 »
The Hammer Falls [T1-T10]
My Capellan troops entered from SW, sprinting behind the cover of the hills to engage the Davion Recon Lance before the arrival of the reinforcements. The defending Jenner was hit and the Trebuchet pushed forward trying to finish it off, allowing the other light 'Mechs to sneak behind it. Its target was crippled but still standing, at the cost of most of its armor. Covering fire by its lancemates failed to hit the fast moving Davions, while the reinforcements made their entrance on the battlefield.
The Jenner fled while the Capellan began falling back. Taking advantage of good cover, they managed to place some good shots on the advancing foes. In particular, a lucky shot disabled the Jagermech's targeting system and a mightly alpha strike from the Trebuchet nearly crippled the Davion Phoenix Hawk. The pilot of the Capellan Grasshopper decided to sacrifice most of his armor allowing the Phoenix Hawk to slide behind it, but at the same time exposing it to deadly fire by the Vindicator. Living up to its name, the 45 tons 'Mech PPC eliminated the Recon Lance leader: a very good bounty. Its two remaining lancemates circled the Capellans, forcing the Trebuchet to hide below water. Yet, good maneuvering by the attackers prevented the enemy heavier 'Mechs from getting good shots; the Stalker was lagging behind, while the Davion Grasshopper also had its armor penetrated and its targeting system compromised. Its Capellan counterpart moved to the flank, from where he caught the advancing Jagermech in the open: all its lasers struck their target, and a second enemy was down. Time to leave, but it won't be easy.
« Last Edit: 25 September 2023, 16:59:47 by gwaedin »

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #5 on: 23 September 2023, 17:23:59 »
PaperTech FTW! :)

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #6 on: 23 September 2023, 17:45:55 »
Yep, a nice thing is that we print full-color (most often) custom standees and AS cards with the images of the actual 'Mech variants we are using  :cool:

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #7 on: 04 October 2023, 01:07:44 »
By the way, I just noticed that the illustration on the front cover of the FSW Battlepack is the same one on page 93 of AS:CE (in the Special Abilities section)   :wink: It looked familiar (poor Firestarter)...

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #8 on: 07 October 2023, 17:45:18 »
The Hammer Falls [T01-T10]
Time to leave, but it won't be easy.
The Hammer Falls [T11-T21]
And indeed it has been not. Feeling confident about how the battle was going, I tried to stay and nail down the enemy Grasshopper. While I got some very good hit chances, my forces didn't manage to stop its retreat and meanwhile my Catapult was backstabbed and crippled by the enemy Assassin (with some help by the Spider). The only good news was that my Trebuchet left the field in one piece.
However, as the Stalker finally got into effective firing range, my forces were encircled and the Catapult was destroyed by a point-black attack made by the Enforcer. Pursuing the enemy Grasshopper was too dangerous, therefore I decided to play it safe and keep mine behind cover. The Vindicator tried to evade the Feds hiding underwater, but the Assassin finished it, despite taking some damage and experiencing a hull breach. The Grasshopper played guerrilla for a while, crippling the Enforcer which however escaped easily thanks to covering fire by the rest of its allies. The last Capellan unit even managed to damage the opposing Catapult's engine, but then it received a critical strike which compromised its fire control system. Alone facing four 'Mechs, including an undamamaged Stalker and Spider, was way above any kind of sensible proposition. The Grasshopper started playing hide and seek while jumping in the woods. The Fed hunting team decided it was enough, and the battle was over.
Two 'Mechs lost in the second part of the battle turned it from a decisive victory to something slightly short of a draw for the Capellans, and a much less worrisome report to be filed in by the Davion commander.
« Last Edit: 11 October 2023, 10:02:54 by gwaedin »

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #9 on: 07 October 2023, 18:26:28 »
Yeah, I'd run from an undamaged Stalker too!  Yikes!

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #10 on: 11 October 2023, 11:48:06 »
Scenario 2: Rise of the Revenant
For the second scenario, we move to the forests of Marfik, on the Kurita-Steiner border. The Lyran Commonwealth is staging a very successful invasion on 23 star systems at once. Marfik is very important because Kuritan troops on this world are led by the heir to the Dragon throne, Theodore Kurita. Lyran units send their 'Mechs beyond the support given by allied armor and infantry against the Eleventh Legion of Vega. Theodore orders his troops to keep the enemy at bay exploiting guerrilla tactics.
The battle reenacts one of these battles, with an Assault Lance of the Fourth Skye Rangers ambushed by a company of light Kuritan 'Mechs. The Combine troops must eliminate at least one assault 'Mech, and then they can withdraw. They have automatic initiative for the first two turns.

In our AS adaptation, my son (playing the Lyran side) decided to keep the same lance featured in the original scenario:

Assault Lance   Role   PV   Tons   Skill   PVmod   
Atlas AS7-D      Juggernaut   52   100   3   62
BNC-3E Banshee   Sniper       38   95   3   46
Zeus ZEU-6S      Sniper       35   80   3   42
Zeus ZEU-6S      Sniper       35   80   3   42

The defending force has about 8000BV, while the opposing full Kuritan company has 11500BV. To keep the same ratio the Combine force should be at about 280PV, but with the usual balance my son and I apply, we decided to reduce it to slightly more than 170PV:

Command Lance (Under-Strength)   Role     PV   Tons   Skill   PVmod   
Panther   PNT-9R                 Brawler   19   35     3       23
Jenner    JR7-D                  Striker   26   35     4       26
Jenner    JR7-D                  Striker   26   35     4       26

Pursuit Lance                     Role   PV   Tons   Skill   PVmod   
Assassin  ASN-21                 Scout     22   40       3       26
Jenner    JR7-D                       Striker     26   35     4       26
Spider    SDR-5V                 Scout     21   30     4       21
Spider    SDR-5V                 Scout     21   30     3       25

Again, the pre-BV original Victory Conditions were a bit complicate and inconsistent:
Attacker decisive victory if 1 defending unit is eliminated and 10 units escape
Attacker marginal victory if 1 defending unit is eliminated and 6 units escape
Defender decisive victory if 7 attacking units are destroyed
Defender marginal victory if 3 attacking units are destroyed

I adopted a more rational approach based on the PV system, with the Kuritans scoring normally (2xPV for a kill, negative PV for losses) while the Attacker scores only the PV value for any unit it destroys.
Such a criterion would imply that, if one Assault 'Mech is destroyed, the defender should take out at least three Kuritan 'Mechs to win (four if it's the Atlas); this sounds quite reasonable.

Finally, since we adopt an Individual Initiative house rule, a +2 initiative bonus is applied for all 'Mechs in the attacking force.
« Last Edit: 11 October 2023, 12:16:20 by gwaedin »

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #11 on: 11 October 2023, 16:14:47 »
Sounds reasonable to me, have fun! :)

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #12 on: 14 October 2023, 16:52:18 »
The Hammer Falls [T1-T5]
The Kuritan 'Mechs ambushed the Assault Steiner lance blocking the way to the woods, and then scattered around to get some cover.
They picked one of the two Zeuses as their main target, trying to maneuver so as to get better shots than the enemy or even firing from the rear. Unfortunately for them, the sheer power of the return fire from the Lyran units was enough to first cripple and then outright eliminate a couple of them (the slower leading Panther and a Jenner).
The targeted Zeus found a very good defensive position in the heavy woods behind a hill, but by turn 5 the Kuritan 'Mechs managed to obliterate its armor and heavily damage its internal structure, the engine and some firing systems. The Atlas also lost half of its armor and was (further) slowed down by a critical hit to its leg actuators.
However, the remaining Kuritan 'Mechs also suffered damage, with one Spider and one Jenner saying goodbye to what little armor and a a good share of what little firepower they had in the beginning. Yet, despite the loss of their Tai-i, they will not give up on this engagement until at least one enemy 'Mech falls, as that would compensate the two lost units. Provided they don't lose more...

The attached image shows my Combine forces trying to kill the Zeus barricaded in the heavy woods, before its friends can drive the attackers away.
« Last Edit: 15 October 2023, 15:23:52 by gwaedin »

five_corparty

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #13 on: 14 October 2023, 17:03:54 »
We already did something similar in the past, going through the 17 scenarios of the Battle of Coventry.

VERY COOL! Did you post you Coventry stuff somewhere, I would love to read it!

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #14 on: 14 October 2023, 17:38:49 »
Sounds like the hammer is falling fast and often! :)

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #15 on: 15 October 2023, 15:30:16 »
VERY COOL! Did you post you Coventry stuff somewhere, I would love to read it!
Hi! Unfortunately no, we just went along playing it and I kept notes on paper.
But I have my Excel spreadsheet with the roster, from which you can see the actual 'Mechs we used and the PV calculations. Now that I think of it, you can also see which maps we used and infer victory conditions, so maybe it can be useful.
It is the comprehensive spreadsheet for all our AS games. Look for the Coventry workbook here:
https://www.odrive.com/s/055aaf21-1981-4873-ae49-dcc019cc8090-652c4b21
I'm also attaching here the present copy (while the link is to the current one, which will be modified as we play more).
It goes without saying that if you want the present FSW info, it's also already on the spreadsheet.
« Last Edit: 16 October 2023, 06:55:20 by gwaedin »

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #16 on: 16 October 2023, 14:55:13 »
The Hammer Falls [T6-T14]
Another hit on the Zeus damaged its leg actuators, making it more vulnerable and forcing it away from its safe spot in the woods. Meanwhile, the light Kuritans 'Mechs began picking at the Banshee, disabling some of its weapons and making it a modest threat.
Return fire from the Lyran units (with a delay for the Atlas, slowly limping back after killing the Panther) crippled the Spider and a second Jenner. They tried staying in battle for a bit longer, but it became soon very dangerous: a single lucky shot from the enemy could be fatal. However, the undamaged Spider found an opening and jumped behind the crippled Zeus, finally coring it.
The two damaged Combine 'Mechs immediately left the battlefield. Their three remaining comrades slowly picked apart the Banshee, one bit at a time, while making themselves almost impossible to hit by the other Steiner assault machines (although the Atlas got a few times dangerously close). The Banshee tried to retreat to south-east but the Kuritans performed a final flanking maneuver with the Spider and Assassin, and the Jenner landed the killing blow with an Alpha Strike from the other side of the central clearing. The attackers finally retreated in the woods: they lost two light 'Mechs, but took out two Steiner assaults. A victory for the Pillar of Steel, with no doubt.

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #17 on: 16 October 2023, 17:07:06 »
Indeed!  That would definitely be a victory for the light 'mechs! :)

five_corparty

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #18 on: 16 October 2023, 20:22:38 »
Hi! Unfortunately no, we just went along playing it and I kept notes on paper.
But I have my Excel spreadsheet with the roster, from which you can see the actual 'Mechs we used and the PV calculations. Now that I think of it, you can also see which maps we used and infer victory conditions, so maybe it can be useful.
It is the comprehensive spreadsheet for all our AS games. Look for the Coventry workbook here:
https://www.odrive.com/s/055aaf21-1981-4873-ae49-dcc019cc8090-652c4b21
I'm also attaching here the present copy (while the link is to the current one, which will be modified as we play more).
It goes without saying that if you want the present FSW info, it's also already on the spreadsheet.

very cool, thanks!!

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #19 on: 21 October 2023, 17:11:47 »
Scenario 3: Strike at the Heart
The third is already a decently sized one for our standards: a lance vs. lance breakthrough scenario.
An inexperienced Davion Assault lance (2 assault and 2 heavy) must march across two maps to take the city of Ghiziga, while the Capellan defenders (a medium lance with only one heavy ‘Mech) must stop them or significantly reduce the forces which make it through.
My son decided to change the unit assigned to the Second Crucis Lancers, keeping only a Catapult and using it to reinforce a Heavy Lance (2 heavy and 2 medium), with slightly better pilots:

Second Crucis Lancers, Third Battalion, Second Company (AFFS)                  
Support Lance (Reinforced)   Role      PV   Tons   Skill   PVmod   
Marauder MAD-3R       Sniper      35   75   4   35   
Shadow Hawk SHD-2H      Skirmisher   30   55   4   30   
Wolverine WVR-6D      Skirmisher   29   55   4   29   
Catapult CPLT-C1      Missile Boat   32   65   5   29
Black Knight BL-7-KNT      Brawler      34   75   5   31

The original Fed units had 5300BV, as opposed to the 5900BV of the opposing Ariana Grenadiers. Starting from that and using our usual 5:3 balance ratio, I ended up with a 105PV force against the 154PV of Lorenzo: I dropped a Vindicator and kept the other 3 ‘Mechs as an Under-Strength lance:

Ariana Grenadiers (CCAF)                  
Command Lance (Under-Strength)   Role      PV   Tons   Skill   PVmod   
CTF-2X Cataphract         Brawler      35   70   3   42   
VND-1R Vindicator         Brawler      27   45   4   27   
DV-6M Dervish           Brawler      30   55   3   36   

The only special rule in this case is a -1 modifier on Initative rolls for the Lancers (we use Individual Inittaive).
The usual Breakthrough victory conditions apply: the Attacker scores only the PV values of destroyed enemy units (instead of twice the PV), but also the PV value of any unit successfully exiting the map off the opposite edge.
The original victory conditions gave victory to the Attacker with 3 or 4 units exiting, and to the defender with 1 or 2 units destroyed. With our VCs, I know that I need to eliminate at least two ‘Mechs while losing at most a Vindicator to get a win. I will need to make the most our of what little skill advantage I have.
« Last Edit: 04 November 2023, 11:54:25 by gwaedin »

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #20 on: 21 October 2023, 19:33:52 »
Good luck!  That looks like quite the challenge! :)

Horsemen

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #21 on: 27 October 2023, 21:36:17 »
That definitely looks challenging.