Author Topic: Alpha Strike: 4th Davion Guards vs. Rasalhague Dominion 9/16/23  (Read 1008 times)


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Kerfuffin and I got together for what was our 7th game of Alpha Strike in the last two years.  We've used increasingly larger forces as we've grown more comfortable with the rule set.  We chose 1000 point lists and used the Alpha Strike Box Set for Battlefield Support cards and the cardstock city setup.  I figure both factions jumped deep into the Combine for a resource/extraction raid and somehow they ended up finding each other.

Table Setup:

Scenario is one we've played several times: capture points/assassination.  We put three challenge coins in the left, mid, and right of the map, and another challenge coin under the unit commanders.  Kerfuffin field 4 stars of Clan mechs, with a Mastodon as his commander. 

Striker Star Alpha:  Adder L, Nova S, Summoner HH, Huntsman I, and Hellbringer E
Striker Star Beta: Mongrel J, Viper M, Ice Ferret J, Stormcrow T, and Hellion P
Fire Star: Kingfisher X, Gladiator K, Nova Cat A, Mastodon C, Mad Dog Mk III Prime
Battle Star: Hunchback C, Ebon Jaguar F, Horned Owl, Fire Moth Prime, Cougar E

I fielded 5 lances, with an extra mech thrown into my Heavy Cavalry Lance
Heavy Cavalry Lance: Thud NAIS, Axman 5N, Wolvie 9D, Rifleman 6X, Victor 12D
Command Lance: Atlas III D2, Nightstar 9J, Mad II 8K, Battlemaster 6G
Fire Lance: Marauder 11D, Archer 4M2, Longbow 8V, Warhammer 8R
Medium Battle Lance: Centurion 10-B, Enforcer 6M, Blackjack 5, Wolverine 9D
Recon Lance: Phoenix Hawk 3PL, Locust 5M, Wasp 3S, Shadow Hawk 5D

My strategy going in was to use the Longbow which had the ARTAIS-2 special.  I figured that would nullify some of his scary backstabbers by lobbing A4 rounds at the mechs with high TMMs and anyone else who bunched up too much.  Both Wolverine 9Ds and the Wasp 3S have the TAG special, and I took the Forward Observer SPA for the Recon lance, meaning they could spot and attack in the same round with no penalty. The entire Command Lance (minus the BM) and Longbow had skill 2 pilots, so I had some mechs that could dish out damage at range as well. 

Round 1

I placed my Heavy Cavalry on the left flank and they were able to use woods as cover to approach the first capture point.  Same with the Recon Lance on the right.  Dead center I put my 6" movers in the Command Lance as well as the Longbow.  The Fire lance hugged buildings on the right of center and the Battle Lance on left of center as the approached the city.  Unfortunately, I miscalculate the ranges and my Victor, supposedly the anchor of my Heavy Cavalry, got mauled losing most of his armor.  My Fire lance is able to take down his Nova (high priority target from personal bias) at extreme range with some lucky rolls and the Sniper SPA on the Marauder and Archer.  Ghost Bear forces at the end of round 1:

Round 2
Both Striker Stars move up aggressively on the flanks to get in range of the outer capture points.  I make a tactical error, and after winning initiative, use Combat Intuition at Long range (instead of waiting for Medium Range so it is more impactful) and miss on my attack rolls with my Command Lance.  Kerfuffin makes me pay for it by damaging but not destroying the Nightstar and Marauder II.  The Longbow claims a kill my nuking the corner of a building that a Firemoth had ducked behind.  The Battle Lance does some damage to Executioner, and a smattering of other fire is exchanged, but the Firemoth is the only fatality.  Kerfuffin gets a victory point for capping the right side, and leads the game 1-0.

Round 3
This is where things really hit the fan.  We both committed about 1/2 our forces to the center capture point in the middle of the city.  Also, everyone hit medium range, minus the Assaults for both sides.  Lots of damage flew around.  My Victor died to the Cougar on the left flank, and the Rifleman folded next to him, burned down from fresh to nothing.  The Cougar and Hunchback were with direct view of the Longbow, and this was the only turn where I was able to hit with both Arrow IV rounds on the POI.  Between the Victor, Rifleman, and Longbow, both the Cougar and Hunchback went down.  In the center of the map, the Dominion forces focused down the Marauder II and Warhammer.  Between the Atlas, Nightstar, and the Fire Lance, the Executioner went down, and the Kingfisher took some damage as well. On the right flank, the poor Wasp went down in a single hit, but the Shadow Hawk and Pixie took out his Ice Ferret.  In this round alone, I lost 207 points of forces, and Kerfuffin lost 255.  It was clear we were both driving for the center, passing up clear choices to find cover, and charging for the caps. No one received a victory point, because the units that had attempted to cap were blown to bits. 

Round 4
This proved to be a big round.  the Medium Battle Lance formed a line just south of the middle capture point to prevent the Stormcrow from diving behind the battle line.  The Command Lance reached medium range and the Fire Lance went for partial cover amidst the buildings.  On the left flank, the Axman melted to combined fire from the Ebon Jaguar and Nova Cat.  However, the Thunderbolt was able to finish off the Nova Cat and the Wolverine prepared to cap the point. In the middle of the map, the Command Lance, Battle Lance, and Fire Lance focused down the Mastodon and Kingfisher.  Also, the Battlemaster was able to bleed off his heat by meleeing the wounded Hellbringer to death.  So while Kerfuffin was able to cap the point with his Stormcrow, I was able to get a point for assassinating his Commander in the Mastodon.  Kerfuffin lead in victory points 2-1.  I lost the Wolverine in the Battle Lance to combined fire--he went from fresh to dead, the price of being a brick in a wall instead of using maneuverability to stay alive!  On the right flank, I lost my Phoenix Hawk.

Round 5
I finally lost initiative this round, but when I used the Tactical Genius SPA and rerolled a 10.  Then using the Combat Intuition SPA, I was able to finish off the Mad Dog Mk III and Stormcrow in the middle of the map.  Kerfuffin had lost 2/3 of his point value and had 7 mechs remaining.  I had 13 mechs remaining and had lost 1/3 of my point value.  He decided to concede the match at that point, realizing that it would be near impossible to eke out a victory in the 7 remaining rounds. 

I had a lot of fun again, as always.  I appreciate how fun gaming can be with an opponent you trust.  We had a couple rule disagreements (I turned out to be wrong on Engine crits!) but nothing that derailed the game or even changed the mood.  We just agreed to hash it out and move on.  The Longbow and its artillery was cool:  but I had to spend 83 of my 1k point list on that mech to get a pilot with skill 2 to have even a 50% chance of hitting anything!  I'm happy I finally finished some assaults for my Guards group:  the Nightstar, Atlas, Longbow, and Mad II really beef up what had been until now a very light group, with only a Victor and Beemer as my anvil. 

Fire Lances and the Sniper SPA were kept in check by the number of buildings on the map.  I think we probably could have used two sets of buildings, or maybe I should have laid them out more thoughtfully.  Once we were mid game, I was noticing how it was too easy to support each flank from the center.  Lesson for next time maybe?

Thanks for reading!
« Last Edit: 22 September 2023, 16:01:43 by MarauderD »


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Re: Alpha Strike: 4th Davion Guards vs. Rasalhague Dominion 9/16/23
« Reply #1 on: 25 September 2023, 23:11:25 »
Missed this somehow.

It was a fun game. A bit closer than maybe it should have been. We both had pretty average dice all game, aside from my initiative. I think I’ve won initiative twice in our last two games (11 turns).

Initiative problems and artillery made my faster mechs not nearly as useful, and they were a full quarter of my list.

I also think using lance based initiative groupings really hurt, as we were 5-4 (lances) but 21-20 models. Going 1-1 or even breaking my stuff down into groups of 4 for movements would have made losing initiative every turn suck a little bit less.

My heat plan didn’t work as well as it did in our 250 matches. Too much going on to notice, and the banshee was able to cool down just fine.

I think we are still figuring out terrain density. In hindsight having the buildings perfectly equal wasn’t quite right, maybe having them staggered or something.

I had fun, got to play some robots and roll some dice. And then I had my pie shake. A good game despite the result
« Last Edit: 25 September 2023, 23:14:12 by Kerfuffin(925) »
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Re: Alpha Strike: 4th Davion Guards vs. Rasalhague Dominion 9/16/23
« Reply #2 on: 26 September 2023, 15:05:03 »
Yeah--I think we'd need two Alpha Strike sets worth of those paper buildings to create a more dense cityscape.  The idea was to give each side an objective that they had cover approaching it on the flanks, and both sides had access to the middle.  What we ended up was needing more buildings so that the middle couldn't so easily support the flank capture points. 

As for causing heat--yeah, it worked, but the Marauder II that you heated up had a skill 2 pilot, so adding heat didn't really matter, and the BattleMaster got lucky and was able to use a physical attack to cool off. The third mech you were able to put heat on was subsequently lit up and died.  :P