Author Topic: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War  (Read 15094 times)

Horsemen

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #60 on: 09 February 2024, 22:54:29 »
As I always say, if you're not ready to accept some bad dice rolls, you'd better play something else.  :wink:

Any game where dice is involved that holds true. But that is part of the fun! What will the dice do to shake things up today!

gwaedin

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Scenario 6: Line in the Sand
« Reply #61 on: 29 February 2024, 17:32:47 »
The name reminds me of a SSI geopolitical wargame I played many years ago, that I bought again recently – set during Gulf War. I have fond memories of the diplomatic game, although having played it recently I found its gaming experience flawed. It is very realistic, but this means that some players during a turn only make a diplomatic move (which in the end can make them winners) while other players (the US one) move hoards of units and actually play a wargame.
Anyway, let’s not talk more about real world wargames, with their tragic burden of lost lives, and turn back to our Fourth Succession Wars campaign. We’re looking at the catastrophic attack that Davion forces made on Sarna during the 5th wave. The Fifth Syrtis Fusiliers was pushed into battle by General Hartstone, ahead of the other AFFS units; they were unaware of the presence of all four regiments of McCarron's Armored Cavalry on the planet. Hanse Davion and very few of his circle knew, but because of the questionable loyalty of the 5th – especially after the death of Michael Hasek-Davion at hand of the Capellans – they let Hartstone and his men fall into a deadly, muddy trap – right in the middle of the Big Mac.
While according to the records most of the Fusiliers were wiped out by aerospace fighter and hovercraft attacks, this scenario features only BattleMechs on both sides. Two lances belonging to the Fusilier’s 1st Battalion drop in a swamp, right in the middle of the battlefield and in sight of a full company of McCarron’s Fourth regiment. Their objective is to break free of the swampy ground and find safety on the nearby hills on either side, while the mercenaries (who choose on which side of the swamp they deploy after the setup of the attacker) try to eliminate them.
I made this scenario an obvious breakthrough one, in which the Davion attacker will score points for units safely leaving the map, and only half the points for killed enemy units; the mercenaries instead will score as usual. The open terrain hexes in the middle Woodlands map represent a treacherous swamp in which unit can easily become mired – sitting ducks under enemy fire. This is the only special rule of the scenario.
Lorenzo freely picked units from the two Davion lances (Assault and Fire), also swapping a Stalker for a Longbow, ending up with this formidable reinforced Assault Lance (231PV):

Fifth Syrtis Fusiliers, First Battalion, Second Company (AFFS)       
   

Assault Lance (Reinforced)   Role   PV   Tons   Skill   PVmod

Longbow LGB-7Q   Missile Boat   45   85   3   54
Atlas AS7-D    Juggernaut   52   100   3   62
Awesome AWS-8Q    Sniper       39   80   3   47
Catapult CPLT-C1   Missile Boat   32   65   3   38
Dervish DV-6M   Missile Boat   30   55   4   30

In the original Battlepack scenario the defender had a nearly 20% BV advantage. Applying our usual 3:2 balancing we ended up with a 177PV opposing force for my Big Mac units: I took three ‘Mechs from the Command lance and added a Charger and a Cicada from the other two (Strike and Recon), building up a force well suited for close range engagements:

Fourth McCarron's Armored Cavalry Regiment (CCAF)       
 
Command Lance (Reinforced)   Role   PV   Tons   Skill   PVmod

Cataphract CTF-2X    Brawler   35   70   3   42
Grasshopper GHR-5H    Skirmisher   37   70   3   44
Vindicator VND-1R    Brawler   27   45   4   27
Charger CGR-1A5   Juggernaut   38   80   4   38
Cicada CDA-2A   Scout   22   40   3   26

My plan is to assault the opposing ‘Mechs who I hope will inevitably struggle to leave the swamp, or find a good defensive position to attack the bulk of Lorenzo’s forces should he decide to stand and fight where his forces are.
« Last Edit: 18 June 2024, 16:18:17 by gwaedin »

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #62 on: 29 February 2024, 17:47:41 »
Well, two of his 'mechs should be able to leave pretty easily... it's the other three I'm worried about... ;)

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #63 on: 01 March 2024, 02:33:44 »
I'm also a bit worried... of what they could do to my units during the long time it will take them to leave  :huh:

gwaedin

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« Reply #64 on: 04 March 2024, 12:13:42 »
The Big Mac units approach the swamp from the west, while the Davion ‘Mechs begin moving east. The Dervish easily puts some distance between itself and the attackers, while the Longbow slowly makes its way up and down through the woods. Further south, the other three Syrtis machines also advance through the swampy terrain, trying to provide some long-range cover. The pilot of the mercenary Cicada is a bit too confident and immediately gets stuck, having its armor obliterated by the rain of LRMs coming from the Longbow. The assault ‘Mech loses a good amount of its armor from the concentrated attack, also suffering critical hits to a leg and engine. With a damaged leg it will take ages for the Davion missile boat to move through the swamp, and the mercenary units turn at the Atlas. Unfortunately for them, the Charger also becomes stuck and return fire from the 100-ton juggernaut cripples the Vindicator, which begins overheating because of damage to the engine shielding. The Big Mac units insist and succeed in peeling off layer after layer of armor from the Atlas, but really poor marksmanship (against a slow target in the open) prevents them from crippling the Davion monster. The Cicada flanks the Longbow in the woods, forced to close the distance to avoid covering fire from the Dervish: a choice that proves to be fatal, as the assault ‘Mech twist its torso and takes advantage of his tonnage to place a devastating physical attack, which eliminates the mercs’ medium. Before receiving the killing blow, the Cicada manages at least to damage the other leg of its opponent, which is now nearly immobilized. However, the Big Mac must still eliminate it and the Atlas to win the battle, without suffering further losses.
« Last Edit: 23 March 2024, 09:06:01 by gwaedin »

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #65 on: 04 March 2024, 20:26:11 »
I'm skeptical of the ability of the Grasshopper and Cataphract to pull a victory out of this...

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #66 on: 05 March 2024, 02:03:10 »
If Captain Joseph Torrance insists on missing an Atlas at medium range, in plain sight, with ALL the weapons on his Cataphract, I'd have to agree  :undecided: Anyway, don't forget about the Charger. It's not the wimpy 1A1 model, it's the actually useful 1A5. It only needs to avoid getting stuck in the swamp again  :grin:
« Last Edit: 05 March 2024, 04:41:57 by gwaedin »

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #67 on: 05 March 2024, 04:22:46 »
Ah, I thought it was more FUBAR than that... ;D

gwaedin

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« Reply #68 on: 23 March 2024, 09:35:23 »
The Feds continue their retreat; the Big Mac cautiously pursues, trying to staying behind cover. The Capellans are outgunned and outranged by the Atlas-Awesome-Catapult trio, and they need to be careful. Their leader again proves to be a rather incompetent shooter: it tries to push the Dervish back, but it cannot land a single shot on target, and return fire from the medium Davion ‘Mech vaporizes large patches of armor, leaving the internal structure underneath exposed.
The rest of the Capellan Mechwarriors are not performing much better, as they fail to destroy the Longbow which is slowly crawling out of the woods on its limping legs. They only manage to disable one of the LRMs, which the huge beast is not using anyway, to limit the heat output from its damaged engine and keep on moving.
It is up to the Charger to immobilize the 85-ton machine, and the Vindicator, firing safely from the distant woods, finally takes down the tough opponent. The Longbow however drew most of the Capellan fire so far and its companions do not just stand by: while the Atlas’ missiles land short of their target, the Awesome cycles its trio of PPCs with deadly effectiveness, crippling the Cataphract as it tries to look for cover in the woods overlooking the swamp.
The Capellan commander would like to nail down at least another enemy ‘Mech. The Atlas, with most of its armor gone, is indeed is a very juicy target, but two of the attacking ‘Mechs (including his own) are in pretty bad shape and further losses should be avoided.

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #69 on: 23 March 2024, 10:04:19 »
Interesting developments! :)

gwaedin

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« Reply #70 on: 28 March 2024, 13:23:32 »
The Davion ‘Mechs continue their retreat, with the Capellans pressing on – except for the badly damaged Vindicator and the Cataphract, which remain in the rear. The Grasshopper and Charger concentrate fire on the enemy Awesome, and they succeed in crippling it. The Dervish and the Atlas flee at full speed, but their limping companion can do little to avoid the enemy fire. Even if the Charger again gets stuck in the swamp, the two Capellan ‘Mechs relentlessly eat chunk after chunk of armor from the Awesome, which bravely returns fire against the Charger. In the end the Charger delivers the killing blow, not before having a leg disabled; it immediately seeks cover, as the Grasshopper faces the Catapult, ready for a duel. At medium range the odds are in favor of the slightly heavier ‘Mech, and the remaining Davion warrior leaves the battlefield.
Although the AFFS managed to save three of its units, the destruction of two assault machines makes this a win for the Capellans – the loss of a single Cicada can be tolerated.
This marginal victory is enough to recover the terrain lost in this campaign to Lorenzo’s forces. On the Davion/Liao front he still leads 2-1 (with a draw), but I’m ahead on the Kurita/Steiner front with one victory and one draw. The global score of the campaign is 458-451 in Lorenzo’s favor, a very balanced situation.
The next scenario, featuring Marik and Liao forces, will likely tip the scales in one direction or the other.
« Last Edit: 28 March 2024, 13:26:43 by gwaedin »

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #71 on: 28 March 2024, 18:19:13 »
Balanced indeed!  Talk about a cliff hanger! :)

gwaedin

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Scenario 7: The Janos Mistake
« Reply #72 on: 04 April 2024, 15:18:05 »
At last we have a scenario involving the Free Worlds League, clashing against former Capellan units, now fighting for the newly formed Tikonov Republic as allies of House Davion. In fact this has first led Lorenzo to assume that he would play the FWLM and I would keep the Capellans, but then we decided that it made more sense for him to keep on with the pro Davion-Steiner alliance and I to take the opposing forces.
Scenario 7 revolves around one of the few battles where the Marik troops opposed a strong resistance to the invading Tikonov Free Republic attackers. Janos Marik later decided that his troops were outstretched after receiving news about the war between the Duchy of Andurien and the Capellan Confederation, opening a second front that the FWLM was not able to cover. Fearing a strong Lyran offensive, the Captain-General ordered his forces back Terra-ward and lost 14 worlds without a single shot fired. In fact, the LCAF had no such plan, but the deception worked perfectly.
Nevertheless, before the retreat, the Marik militia was successfully holding its own on the world of Wasat against the Third Republican forces – thanks to the determination of the League’s troops, and the battlefield acumen of their commander, Colonel Hawkins. To put a stop to this, Republican forces sent a strike team to find and destroy Hawkins’ HQ. The HQ is a medium target, not moving but neither considered immobile, whose location is hidden to the attacker. To find it, enemy units must bump into its hex or end their movement adjacent to it.
The original scenario put a reinforced heavy lance attacking against a Marik assault lance, with an almost perfect 1:1 BV ratio. Lorenzo had originally opted for a heavy lance when he thought he’d be taking the FWLM side, but then settled for a fortified medium lance (the original scenario calls it “reinforced” even if it’s 6 ‘Mechs and not 5). He just replaced a Trebuchet for a Grasshopper and a Jenner for one of the two Spider. His force amounts to 181PV, which with our usual 5:3 balancing leaves me less than 110PV to oppose him. Sticking to the assault ‘Mechs originally provided, I decided to pick a short lance with an Atlas and an Awesome, both with good pilots. It won’t be easy, since my troops will be heavily outnumbered.
The original victory conditions granted the attacker a decisive victory if the HQ was destroyed, and nothing otherwise; the objective of the defender was to defend the HQ, with a marginal victory still possible otherwise if 4 enemy units were destroyed. As usual I modified them, assuming that the attacker only scores half of the usual points but gains a number of points equal to the opposing force PV if they manage to destroy the HQ; the defender instead scores points normally.

Third Republican Regiment, Third Battalion, Second Company (TFRA)

Command Lance (Fortified)   Role   PV   Tons   Skill   PVmod   
Cataphract CTF-2X    Brawler   35   70   3   42   
Trebuchet TBT-5S   Skirmisher 33   50   4   33   
Catapult CPLT-C1   Missile Boat   32   65   4   32   
Vindicator VND-1R    Brawler   27   45   4   27   
Jenner JR7-D   Striker   26   35   4   26   
Spider SDR-5V   Scout   21   30   4   21   

Fifteenth Marik Militia, Second Battalion, First Company (FWLM)

Assault Lance (Short)   Role   PV   Tons   Skill   PVmod   

Atlas AS7-D    Juggernaut   52   100   3   62   
Awesome AWS-8Q    Sniper       39   80   3   47   
« Last Edit: 18 June 2024, 16:17:50 by gwaedin »

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #73 on: 04 April 2024, 18:20:21 »
That sounds like a reasonable mod... good luck to both of you! :)

gwaedin

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« Reply #74 on: 11 May 2024, 16:56:45 »
The strike team splits in two groups: the leading Cataphract advances along the southern route, together with the fastest Republican units (Jenner and Spider); the Trebuchet, Vindicator and Catapult proceed on a more central course. They carefully inspect terrain which could hide their objective.
While they approach, the two Marik defenders try to hit at long range with no success – but at least they take no damage on their own from the return fire.
The two assault machines control the center of the battlefield, ready to wait for the attackers. The Spider comes in clear view of the Awesome and a couple of PPC hits almost erase its armor, with its medium lasers barely scratching the enemy; the light Tikonov ‘Mech momentarily retreats behind its two companions. The Atlas instead used heavy woods as cover and cripples the Cataphract as it climbs on a hill. For the time being, the Leaguers are successfully holding off the enemy, but they will soon be severely outnumbered.

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #75 on: 11 May 2024, 17:34:58 »
The assaults are off to a good start! :)

gwaedin

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« Reply #76 on: 12 May 2024, 05:14:52 »
The pressure of the Republic attack shifts north, with the Jenner darting through the central woods hoping to find the secret HQ. The two assaults stay behind cover, looking for good opportunity shots: the Awesome in particular lands a few more PPC hits on the limping Cataphract, whose armor is mostly gone by now. The Spider and the Jenner attempt a flanking maneuver, but they are repelled as the Awesome almost shots the SDR-5V to pieces – happily for its pilot, there’s no ammo which can blow up.
The Atlas then sets itself in a good firing position and successfully damages the Catapult’s engine shielding, but suffers a similar fate when it is attacked by the Trebuchet, which causes it to overheat. That’s a heavy blow to the offensive capability of the FWL forces, only partially balanced by the fact that also the Jenner has its engine damaged by the PPC barrage set up by the Awesome. And the strike team is getting closer to their objective…
« Last Edit: 25 May 2024, 16:41:58 by gwaedin »

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #77 on: 12 May 2024, 07:35:25 »
An Atlas with an engine hit is in better shape than a Catapult... :)

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #78 on: 12 May 2024, 07:49:59 »
True, but the Cat comes with a Trebuchet and Vindicator as well...

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #79 on: 12 May 2024, 08:13:03 »
It shouldn't take too much attention from the Awesome to remove the Treb... the Vindy, on the other hand... :D

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #80 on: 12 May 2024, 15:57:08 »
Beware, I noticed a mistake in the listed roster. It is not the usual TBT-5N, it is the TBT-5S with two SRM 6 and three medium lasers, and enough heat sinks to use them effectively. Easily outranged by the Atlas twin LRM 20 and the Awesome trio of PPCs, but nasty if it gets close enough.

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #81 on: 12 May 2024, 17:33:17 »
Yeah, that's a tougher Treb to deal with!

gwaedin

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« Reply #82 on: 25 May 2024, 16:43:32 »
Both sides take a more defensive stance, staying behind cover and cooling down while looking for good opportunity shots. With all the Republican ‘Mechs still active, each hit taken brings the Marik forces one step closer to disaster. Yet, their opponents do not fare much better, with the Awesome relentless trio of PPC stripping off most of the Vindicator armor when the enemy advances. Eventually, when the Trebuchet and the Catapult also join the skirmish, the Marik pilot is forced to slowly retreat towards the water, losing a little bit of armor here and there. The Atlas cannot provide cover continuously, but it hits hard the Catapult when its pilot tries a flanking maneuver. The Spider, almost falling apart, takes advantage of the Awesome retreat to speed ahead and scout for the Marik HQ. In fact, it skirts by the hidden outpost as it dashes west, failing to notice it – happily for its occupants.

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #83 on: 25 May 2024, 17:54:25 »
I hope the HQ types are wearing their brown pants! ;D

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #84 on: 26 May 2024, 07:29:44 »
Yeah, as soon as the Republican forces find it, I don't expect them to last long...

gwaedin

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« Reply #85 on: 29 May 2024, 04:19:53 »
The Republican Jenner joins the Spider in its push to explore the eastern hills. The Awesome tries to finish the enemy scout firing several times, but its PPCs repeatedly fail to strike the nimble light ‘Mech as it jumps around. The damaged engine of the Atlas forces it to use volley fire; instead of wasting precious shooting opportunities on the hard-to-target lights, it definitively cripples the Cataphract by taking out some fire control systems and weapons, and then destroys one of the Catapult’s LRMs. The two FWL ‘Mechs take a bit more damage, but their armor resist so far. However, the Trebuchet finally finds the hidden HQ at coordinates 1410. The Vindicator and the Jenner immediately attack, while the whole of the Republican forces begin to retreat under covering fire. The HQ is still standing and all the units involved in the fight are still operative, but everything is almost falling apart and soon rubble and wreckage will litter the battlefield. While the HQ looks doomed, the outcome of the battle is uncertain. Will the attackers safely retreat after destroying their objective, or will the defenders make them pay a dear price for it? Assuming that the Atlas and Awesome will resist, since their fall would spell disaster for the Marik forces.
« Last Edit: 29 May 2024, 06:34:18 by gwaedin »

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #86 on: 29 May 2024, 18:50:42 »
Sounds like it's already lasting longer than expected... ;)

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #87 on: 30 May 2024, 03:22:51 »
You're definitely right, I'm also suprised. 16 turns and no one yet scored a single point: the HQ is still standing (not for long) and all 'Mechs are still on their legs.
Lorenzo took a cautious approach on his way in, and I tried to snipe its units from afar. I can't complain about the effectiveness of my short lance, because it dished out a lot of damage. I don't think there's a single Republican 'Mech with any armor bubbles left, but Lorenzo managed to have this damage spread out on his numerically superior units. My two 'Mechs still have some protection, but not much, and the engine hit suffered by the Atlas is more than an annoyance. In the simplified AS rules, engine hit means +1 Heat no matter what the heat output level of the 'Mech was; a +5 heat output on an Atlas would not be as bad under TW rules. Happily, the Atlas is in good company, with the Catapult, Jenner and Cataphract experiencing similar issues. However, numbers are still on Lorenzo's part, unless I begin to finally take out some units before it's too late.
« Last Edit: 30 May 2024, 08:00:25 by gwaedin »

gwaedin

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« Reply #88 on: 01 June 2024, 14:48:11 »
The Republican forces continue with their retreat, leaving only the Trebuchet, behind the safety of the northern hills, to take care of the enemy HQ. There is no way for the defenders to stop it; they turn against the attackers in sight to cause as much damage as they can. The Awesome targets the Cataphract as soon as it leaves water, damaging its engine; the attacker leader is still walking despite the many hits taken, but eventually the Atlas kills it. The Trebuchet finally eliminates the objective and sprints to regroup, but suffers an engine hit as the Atlas keeps on firing, ignoring the heat surge coming from its own damaged core. Meanwhile, the Awesome tries to nail down the Catapult, but the heavy ‘Mech flees together with the faster Jenner. The 80-ton machine starts trading fire with the Republican Vindicator: its shots are way more effective, with blue PPC lightning tearing off layer after layer of armor and carving the internal structure underneath, leaving the medium ‘Mech limping and with both torsos blown off. The Vindicator then hides behind the trees and the Awesome turns its attention to the Trebuchet, also damaging heavily its internal structure but unable to score a kill. The Treb barely escapes with the Spider, but the Vindicator is not so lucky: the Atlas, after waiting enough to cool down, maneuver to have a clear LOS and sends a flight of LRMs which takes the 45-ton ‘Mech down before it can reach safety.
While the strike team fulfilled their mission and eliminated Colonel Hawkins’ HQ, they can hardly rejoice. Despite clear numerical superiority, they lost two ‘Mechs and did not score a single kill against the defenders, which did an awesome job of protecting the HQ until they could, then hitting hard the attackers with no losses on the Marik side. In the end the score is 138-40 in favour of the FWLM, which gives me a weak lead in the campaign: 589-498 after 7 scenarios (out of 10).
« Last Edit: 01 June 2024, 15:26:35 by gwaedin »

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #89 on: 01 June 2024, 15:18:44 »
Sounds like you're headed down to the wire! :)