Author Topic: A collection of small scenarios for BattleTech / Alpha Strike  (Read 1648 times)

gwaedin

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This has originally been published in the General Discussion section, before the present section was born:
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,67335.0.html
I'm now continuing it here. I created a collection of small scenarios to play with either CBT or AS.
The first one were really just slightly a variation of the standard scenarios types, but later on I began putting together a lot more fluff in my works, with some mini-campaigns which have a very definite setting and special rules to go as well.
The last addition was again inspired by the Wolf Pack novel (as the Elder and Children first mini-campaign, https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,79822.0.html), but this time satisfying a request of my gaming partner (my son) who wanted to have something settled during the final confrontation of the Wolf's Dragoons civil war. You can find it here, together with the other 5 scenarios:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BF8ZxxMr6uLbibH2gQ53tKnL7aVzGkcy/view?usp=sharing
It features a 2 vs. 2 lances fight between Beta Regiment pursuers and loyalist forces, with the former likely destroying a dam to flood a river crossing area. We play AS on hex maps, but you can easily adapt it to 3D gaming terrain.
I hope you enjoy it!

gwaedin

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Re: A collection of small scenarios for BattleTech / Alpha Strike
« Reply #1 on: 02 September 2023, 05:15:18 »
This week we had a couple of hours to begin the Rebel Crossing scenario, playing it up to the third, critical turn. I'm gonna post here a provisional AAR which I will update as we go on, to give you a feeling of how the scenario plays out.

T1-T3: I played the pursuing Beta regiment force. My forward lance took position in the woods near the lake, severely damaging the dam as the two enemy lances approached the river. That was enough to pinn most of the Wolf Pack units, with the exception of a few jumping 'Mechs  (Thor, Catapult, Thunderbolt) and of a sprinting Loki; the Loki also carried a squad of Elementals, soon eliminated as they dismounted on the north bank. Meanwhile shots were traded, with the loyalist Masakari and my opposing Catapult taking the worst of it.
On Turn 3 my assault lance also entered, and I split them with the heavies (Guillotine, Archer) bordering the south-east woods and the assault machines (Highlander, Annihilator) tooking partial cover behind the south-west hills. It was a perfect setup to inflict heavy damage, but my MechWarriors displayed a really unusual example of poor marksmanship, leaving the Masakari crippled but still walking. The Annihilator also received a leg crit, but happily it need not to move a lot (and it was not doing it in any case, given its speed). On the other hand, the loyalist Stalker IIC and Marauder IIC tried their luck crossing the river but my Shadow Hawk promptly destroyed the dam, causing water to flood the riverbed: the two IICs were knocked down and dragged downstream a bit, with the MAD getting its engine damaged by water and the STK losing speed to actuator damage. The Loki, which had taken some damage from my units further north, pressed on and exited the map on its legs.
« Last Edit: 15 September 2023, 09:40:42 by gwaedin »

gwaedin

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Re: A collection of small scenarios for BattleTech / Alpha Strike
« Reply #2 on: 15 September 2023, 09:40:53 »
T4-T8: While the rebel assault 'Mechs regained their feet and set forth to crawl out of the water, their fellow Catapult joined the Loki by exiting the map. The Masakari plunged in deep water, evading enemy fire as it slowly made its way through the river. Only the Atlas IIC remained on the south bank and there it suffered badly from the combined fire of the Highlander IIC and the Annihilator: the latter was damaged by the powerful return fire, but in the end the Atlas fell.
The first (and only) casualty on Beta's side was the other Catapult, crippled and then killed by the Thunderbolt as it was trying to retreat. The Thor helped, but it also took some damage despite its speed and good cover in the heavy woods. Beta's Shadow Hawk ignored it and patiently waited for the Masakari to emerge, finally killing it after a few missed shots by everbody else - including the Archer, which ended up taking a beating from the still dangerous Clan-tech assault machine. The daring maneuver however put it in excellent position to eliminate the enemy Thunderbolt, whose armor has been previously stripped off by Beta's 'Mechs, half-submerged to gain better cover and increased firepower thanks to the more efficient heat dissipation. The Marauder IIC and the Thor waited briefly to cover the exit of the Stalker, which even managed to cripple the Annihilator on the opposite side of the battlefield. They forced Beta's Thunderbolt to hide in the water to avoid getting blown up. Outnumberd two to one and with no other easy target to pick off from the distance, the three remaining loyalist machines left the battle.
In the end, Wolf's Pack managed to get only one lance safely across the river, with a single 'Mech from the assault one joining them; both points of Elementals have been wiped out. Still a good booty for the units of Beta regiment, whose only loss was a single Catapult.

I forgot to take pictures of the situation, I will try to do that in the future: I realized that it could help a lot in visualizing the battle.
We played the scenario in two sessions, for less than five hours total. Although I complained a bit about poor dice rolling, my units did a very good job. I think that our next endeavour will be going through the Fourth Succession War Battlepack, that I will adapt to our needs: I will reduce the size of some scenarios (those sporting a full company on each side), balance forces to even the fight against my son, and change what is needed to play them with Alpha Strike rules. Lorenzo again asked me to try playing with CBT rules, but I still believe it's a bit too early (he's still ten).

« Last Edit: 15 September 2023, 09:42:41 by gwaedin »

Daryk

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Re: A collection of small scenarios for BattleTech / Alpha Strike
« Reply #3 on: 15 September 2023, 10:32:54 »
If he can do 2d6 math, he shouldn't have any trouble.  Maybe a simple duel to start?

gwaedin

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Re: A collection of small scenarios for BattleTech / Alpha Strike
« Reply #4 on: 16 September 2023, 03:27:54 »
The reason why I am not convinced is that the more complex the game is, the more advantage you get from skill.
Right now there's already a marked gap, myself being a relatively seasoned wargamer (I used to play BattleTech and Advanced Squad Leader quite a bit) and Lorenzo being a very enthusiastic 10 years old.
To keep things fair and fun for everybody (including myself NOT playing to let him win, but doing my best to win), I decided to adopt a strong balancing in PV - the PV system is great for this purpose: it is something we also do in other boardgames (he starts with an extra card, or I have less pieces with chess, some achievement already unlocked), but the BV/PV system allows for fine tuning of this handicap as we go.
We started with him having 180% of my PV, then progressively decreased to about 150%. With 150% there's now a about a 50/50 chance of either of us winning, which I think should be the case (I have a linear model set up for that, but I don't want to bring in excess geekiness telling you the details  :wink:). I would like him to get closer before switching to CBT rules, otherwise I would have to push back the ratio to very high values again.
Moreover, I expect that once we switch to CBT it will be hard going back to AS again, and at the moment we are enjoying a lot the game as it is, with faster gameplay and/or the possibility of handling larger forces. He only longs for those Battletech Record sheets he sees whenever he creates a new 'Mech on Mordel...
By the way, I think that it is already remarkable that he enjoys playing AS so much (we played 50+ games so far) at such young an age, when his schoolmates struggle to get away from a screen. And I think he is definitely good for his age, he would probably hold his own against my friends who are hardcore boardgamers but don't do much wargaming.

Daryk

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Re: A collection of small scenarios for BattleTech / Alpha Strike
« Reply #5 on: 16 September 2023, 08:49:05 »
Ah, I see your point about the handicapping mechanics being easier, and that makes perfect sense!  I'm sure he'll get there some day! :)