Author Topic: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War  (Read 13168 times)

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #30 on: 06 January 2024, 17:54:19 »
Interesting developments! :)

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #31 on: 09 January 2024, 20:47:42 »
The wonders of randomness and how it always tends to throw a curve ball into things.

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #32 on: 13 January 2024, 13:39:33 »
The Kuritans attack the Stalker-3F, with the Clint damaging its engine; however, the medium Combine ‘Mech doesn’t notice the Atlas sneaking beyond the hills to have a clear shot which cripples it (ouch!). The same fate occurs to the Trebuchet, which moves out from cover to strike the Cyclops: while it succeeds in also damaging the engine of the opposing assault ‘Mech, it is badly hit by the other Stalker. The Tyr regiment ‘Mechwarriors showed an incredible marksmanship and with a few well-placed shots managed to cripple 4 out of 5 Combine units. Their opponents didn't do too badly with the enemy engines, but this is not going to stop the Tyr juggernauts.
The Trebuchet and the Catapult find some cover behind the hills while the Tyrian assault lance cautiously advances. However, the disruption caused by the sudden revolt delays the retreat orders which only arrive a few minutes later (T13): Combine units must disengage and head to the south. It is too late to do it safely: the Catapult and the Trebuchet try to find cover in the western lake, while firing all they have against their pursuers. The pilot of the Stalker-3F decides to ignore cover fire from the Kuritans and the heat coming from its own damaged engine, and it eventually destroys the Catapult. With no other target for the attackers, the limping Trebuchet is next on the list…
« Last Edit: 13 January 2024, 13:47:13 by gwaedin »

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #33 on: 13 January 2024, 13:59:00 »
Heh... it's not looking good for that Treb! :D

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #34 on: 13 January 2024, 16:00:39 »
Indeed. I will try to sprint and dive into the level 2 water two hexes away. The Tyrians will have to move their units adjacent to finish it off. Meanwhile, I will try to score at least a kill (both the Cyclops and the Stalker-3F are in quite a bad shape).
But I don't have much more left... the only healthy 'Mech is a Quickdraw. Dervish and Clint still have their full firepower, but I have to be very careful with them (especially the Clint which barely holds together). That Atlas is nasty and the other Stalker is a deadly foe, too.

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #35 on: 13 January 2024, 16:01:42 »
The Clint pretty much started off that way, so no real change there... ;D

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #36 on: 14 January 2024, 03:50:10 »
At least it could merrily jump around!   :embarrassed:

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #37 on: 15 January 2024, 17:28:50 »
AAR (T14-T20)
Both sides maneuver defensively: the damaged Cyclops and Stalker retreat behind the hills, as do the Quickdraw and Clint. The Dervish exits the stream using thick woods as cover, with some ineffective shots traded with the enemy. The Trebuchet dives in deep water as the Stalker-4N advances menacingly. The Atlas turns east, its pilot seeming to always anticipate the opponents’ moves. The Clint ‘MechWarrior realizes it can’t be of any use without taking some big chances, and leaves the battlefield. The Atlas corners the Dervish, forcing its pilot to retreat as well or be attacked with full power – and the Kuritan warrior decides to live and fight another day. The Quickdraw has a chance to jump behind the Atlas, but the Stalker effectively covers it back. Then the STK-4N enters water to hunt the Trebuchet. The combine ‘Mech ambushes it from beneath the surface and has a single chance to cause a hull breach, but incredibly it misses and the juggernaut is upon it. Too slow to evade, the Kuritan warrior partially emerges from water for a close-range shootout, which unexpectedly survives losing only its firing control system. However it will have to face another salvo before disengaging, and there’s almost no armor left.
« Last Edit: 17 January 2024, 15:49:52 by gwaedin »

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #38 on: 15 January 2024, 18:06:01 »
The Treb was lucky to survive the first volley... I doubt it's luck will hold for the second...

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #39 on: 16 January 2024, 06:08:42 »
Yeah, especially since with half its movement it can only go so far  :huh:
I wouldn't bet anything on it, but I have to try.
Maybe try a diversion with the Quickdraw...

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #40 on: 17 January 2024, 16:28:38 »
AAR (T21-T22)
I just added a pic for the last AAR (T14-T20). But what a finale!
The Stalker-4N waits in the water for its chance to finish its prey, while the Atlas tries to keep an eye on the Quickdraw. However, the Trebuchet pilot sees his only chance: running out of water (as much as its damaged leg allows), ignoring the two assault 'Mechs and aiming for a tight spot of the battlefield where he would be out of their firing arcs. Well, not completely, since the Atlas hits with its two rear medium lasers: enough to take out a side torso, but nothing The Treb can't live without. The Combine warrior was already thinking about what to do next, but the other Stalker rapidly puts an end to it: leaving its cover behind the hills, it advances in the woods to deliver the killing blow. However, that was precisely the occasion the Kuritan Quickdraw was waiting for: the heavy 'Mech pops out on top of the southern plateau, out of the Atlas' sight, and fires at the Stalker-3F with everything it has. The trees provide some cover but one of the two LRMs hits, tearing off whatever engine shielding remained and disabling the Lyran juggernaut. When its pilot sees the swarms of LRMs coming, he decides to make sure he brings that damn Trebuchet with him. The Stalker discharges all its weapons with no more concerns about overheating and shutting down, blasting away the enemy medium 'Mech before its own destruction.
The Trebuchet was almost doomed, but taking out the Tyrian 85-tons machine does a lot to ease the pain. Next, the Quickdraw spots a good position behind the rocks from which it could confront the enemy Atlas, but... no way. Its MechWarrior feels he's been lucky enough, and decides against facing a superior machine, with plenty of armor and not a single scratch on it - not to mention the second Stalker, a little behind. He jumps off to safety, away from the battlefield. His single kill, together with the three Combine 'Mechs which made it away, almost makes up for the loss of the Cat and Treb. I guess the Tyrians did not quench their thirst for Kuritan blood, yet.

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #41 on: 17 January 2024, 18:11:51 »
Well, it sounds like the Stalker is quite salvageable... I'm less sure about the Treb and Catapult...

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #42 on: 18 January 2024, 03:43:44 »
Yeah, they were both cored out, while the Stalker can be put back to service somehow.
Gamewise, it was still sweet to take out at least one of them before retreating.  :grin:
I regard this one as a draw.
So far, we are quite even in this campaign. The total score for the campaign is 275-250 to my advantage.
I got a victory in scenario #3 (Draconis Combine vs. Lyran Commonwealth), while Lorenzo prevailed in scenario #2 (Federated Suns vs. Capellan Confederation); both victories were marginal. Scenarios #1 (again Feds vs. Cappies) and this last one had no clear winner.
Historically speaking, not very accurate - but I assume that whoever designed the scenario pack tried to isolate balanced skirmishes among the initial stages of the war, which had been pretty much one-sided.
« Last Edit: 18 January 2024, 03:58:18 by gwaedin »

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #43 on: 18 January 2024, 04:51:49 »
Thanks for sharing the whole campaign with us! :)

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #44 on: 18 January 2024, 12:54:52 »
I will! We still have 6 more scenarios to go.
In parallel, I'm reading the Warrior trilogy.
In the next scenario, the personal account of the battle before the Situation features one of the character in the books!
I'm halfway book one, and have to speed up to keep up with our battles.
I'm reading 1 March 3027, and the next one is 14 April 3029.  :huh:

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #45 on: 18 January 2024, 18:42:24 »
I look forward to the next installment! :)

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #46 on: 18 January 2024, 23:30:04 »
Keeping it tight always makes it more fun and allows for better war stories.

gwaedin

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Scenario 5: Operations Intruders Communion
« Reply #47 on: 29 January 2024, 17:37:12 »
The fifth scenario, set in April 3029, is very interesting, story-wise. The Capellan Confederation launched Operation Riposte, hoping to sever Davion supply lines and stop the invasion. Unfortunately for them, false information was fed concealing the presence of heavy fortifications protecting the six stockpile planets holding vital materiel. In the debacle that followed, a separate operation launched against another world revealed the whereabouts of a major NAIS facility research on the planet Bethel, working on the formula for triple-strength myomer. The main force of the Liao Fourth Tau Ceti Rangers was then sent to the city of Oakland, drawing most of Davion Light Guards’ Delta Company away from the NAIS facility. This allowed a smaller force of Liao ‘Mechs to pin down the defending token force and enabling a special commando squad to steal several NAIS research projects, including the one about TSM (we all know how it ended for the Capellans…). The scenario is introduced by an excerpt from “The Capellan’s Dying Breath”, featuring Captain Andrew Redburn – one of the main characters of Michael Stackpole’s Warrior Trilogy, which I am reading as I write this. I’m still a couple of years before these events, when Andrew was captured by Kuritans while escorting the Archon-Designate Melissa Steiner to New Avalon – but I guess that the Kell’s Hounds fleeing from the Kuritans will save the day.

Anyway, back to our scenario. Fairly straightforward to adapt, a Stand-Up Fight and standard scoring (*) and only a couple of special rules: the attacking 4th Tau Ceti Rangers cannot withdraw before the end of Turn 12, so that the commando forces can extract as much data as possible from the secret NAIS facility; additionally, swarming tactics adopted by Delta Company grant the defending player a +2 Initiative bonus for the whole scenario.
The original Battlepack scenario had two Capellan lances (medium and assault) pitted against two reinforced Davion lances (both light) with better pilots, for a total of about 12,600 vs. 11,300 BV.
I took the same 111% ratio and modified it with our 160% balancing for Lorenzo, who chose these units:

Delta Company, Davion Light Guards (AFFS)   
            
Fox Lance (Under-Strength)           Role   PV   Tons   Skill   PVmod
Rifleman RFL-4D   Sniper           27   60   3   32
Valkyrie VLK-QA           Missile Boat   22   30   3   26
Hunchback HBK-4SP   Juggernaut   30   50   4   30

Cat Lance (Under-Strength)   Role   PV   Tons   Skill   PVmod
Wolfhound WLF-1   Striker   24   35   3   29
Hatchetman HCT-3F   Brawler   20   45   3   24
Jenner JR7-D           Striker   26   35   3   31

These amounts to 172 PV, to which I opposed my 121 PV force:

Fourth Tau Ceti Rangers, First Battalion (CCAF)

Command Lance   Role   PV   Tons   Skill   PVmod
Vindicator VND-1R    Brawler           27   45   3   32
Hunchback HBK-4G   Juggernaut   28   50   4   28
Trebuchet TBT-5N    Missile Boat   29   50   4   29
Catapult CPLT-C1   Missile Boat   32   65   4   32

My son designed a specific Hunchback variant for this scenario, but since it featured Lostech (double heat sinks and CASE) we decided there was no way for it to fit in a regular Davion unit, and he swapped it for another variant combining an energy loadout with twin SRM6, the -4SP version. If you are interested, you can find it on Mordel listed as HBK-2Q, a likely SLDF variant of the original Star League model. I also have an Hunchback, the standard, slightly less powerful (at least in AS terms) HBK-4G.

(*) Going back at the scenario, I considered introducing some slight change to the victory conditions. I always feel the need to add some kind of driver to prompt one of the two sides, to avoid the potential situation in which both players would see turtling as a good strategy (then why should a fight occur)?
The +2 Initiative bonus is quite juicy for the Defender, considering that the attacker cannot retreat any damaged unit until Turn 12. Despite the default assigned attacker/defender roles, I see the defender as the one who should actively move against the opponent. The more so, since in the hypothetical situation in which everybody stays put, the Liao Rangers would just say "thanks, we're done here" and happily retreat after 12 turns - the Davion guards don't know that their Prince actually WANTS Capellans to put their hands on the flawed TSM...
To spice things a bit, I am giving the attacker a flat PV bonus if its units survive until the end of T12. This is also somewhat consistent with the original victory conditions, in which the defender should score a little bit more points of the attacker to win (on a BV basis, considering the 50% higher average unit BV of the original roster). I think that a 20% of the running PV total should be OK (30 PV in our case).
EDIT: Not 10%/15PV as firstly stated. Actually, had I designed the scenario, I would have changed the scoring so that the attacking side scores points for keeping the Davions off for a certain time, without worrying too much about damage they inflict (thus half points scored for kills, but the potential to score as much for accomplishing their objective). However, the original scenario was clearly designed in a symmetric way, so that the objective of the attacker was to inflict casualties on the defender (maybe to distract them from the NAIS facility and dissimulate their intention to simply cause a delay), therefore I decided to stay closer to it.
« Last Edit: 05 February 2024, 09:23:15 by gwaedin »

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #48 on: 29 January 2024, 18:40:29 »
Does your son have no respect for the AC/20's bubble of doom? ???

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #49 on: 29 January 2024, 21:34:25 »
I guess it's Disney's fault. The first time we watched The Hunchback of Notre Dame, we had to stop soon because they were crying - it was the scene in which Quasimodo is humiliated by the crowd. It took years for us to go through it again.
So maybe it's more of a Hunchback vs. Swayback thing  :laugh:
Joking aside, I think that Lorenzo realized how the construction rules really favor energy weapons over ballistic ones in most situations. He couldn't help but notice the higher efficiency per ton, with whatever few disadvantages lasers have being more than offset by removing ammo dependency and the risk of blowing up because of a lucky crit by the opponent. This is even more obvious once you introduce double heat sink technology, unless you go so high with the tonnage that available slots become an issue.
By the way, I'm making a small change to the victory conditions. I'm editing the previous post right now.

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #50 on: 30 January 2024, 04:18:18 »
Ah, ok!  And interesting modification to the victory conditions! :)

gwaedin

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AAR (T1-T5)
« Reply #51 on: 31 January 2024, 17:05:28 »
The 4th Tau Ceti Rangers immediately realize that they’re at a disadvantage, outnumbered 3:2 and against a more skilled force. To buy more time, they take position at the NE (Catapult and Trebuchet) and SE (Vindicator and Hunchback) corners, covering the mostly open ground that separates them from the woodlands the Davions are coming from. The Light guards also split in two groups: Rifleman, Hunchback and Valkyrie advancing along the north side; Jenner, Wolfhound and Hatchetman on the opposite one.
The Catapult and Trebuchet engage the enemy Hunchback at long range, with the second one placing several LRMs on target. Unfortunately, the Rifleman snipes the Catapult from far away with its twin PPCs despite range and cover: a lucky shot disables one of the two LRM-15. With a patch of woods between them and the closer enemy, the two Capellan missile boats trade shots with the Valkyrie, causing some light damage.
On the opposite side the two Ranger ‘Mechs try to use hill cover to their advantage, but fail to inflict significant damage on the nimble Fed lights (the Hatchetman struggles to keep their pace). As soon as it enters firing range, the Wolfhound lands several laser hits on the Hunchback, melting off a worrying amount of armor.
The Capellans feint a retreat behind the hills and towards the center of the battlefield. The northernmost Davion units take the bait and, when the Catapult and Trebuchet turn back and skirt around the northeastern hills, they concentrate fire on the Rifleman which is the only unit able to fire back. They strip off most of its armor, but a return salvo with twin large lasers backed up by a PPC almost erases the Catapult one as well.
The Liao lance is literally cornered, facing a superior foe and not in very good shape. And the allied commando forces will need a lot more time to steal the NAIS secrets they have come for. Things don’t look that good for the poor Capellans.

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #52 on: 31 January 2024, 18:54:59 »
No, they certainly don't! :D

gwaedin

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AAR (T6-T10)
« Reply #53 on: 04 February 2024, 04:19:22 »
The Feds keep the initiative, squeezing the enemy in a pincer maneuver. Yet, the 4th Tau Ceti Rangers hold their own and the combined firepower of the Vindicator and Hunchback ravages the Jenner’s armor, while a similar fate is suffered by the Hatchetman attacked by the Trebuchet. However, much of the Capellan Hunchback’s armor is gone for good: first its Davion counterpart cripples it, and the Wolfhound finishes it off – not before losing its right arm and most of its right torso armor to a last AC/20 shot.
The Swayback than moves on to bash the Vindicator, which hides behind the hill to face the Jenner at short range. The Hatchetman is in the position to finally lunge at the enemy in melee, but courage of the Davion Light Guards falter: instead of joining their lancemate for another kill, it and the Wolfhound, with very little armor left, dash away from the enemy to seek cover. In the resulting duel, the Vindicator and the Jenner cripple each other, but it is the lighter machine which is nearly falling apart.
Meanwhile, the Catapult jumps in deep water to gain some time while the Trebuchet does its best to keep the only remaining Hunchback and the Valkyrie at bay. The Rifleman instead slips away in the distance, trying to gain some cover from where to strike again. The Capellan commando is almost done with their infiltration of the NAIS research facility, but this has already costed one ‘Mech to the Rangers.

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #54 on: 04 February 2024, 08:01:55 »
It's getting sporty! :)

gwaedin

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AAR (T11-T18)
« Reply #55 on: 04 February 2024, 21:57:14 »
Delta Company’s training in fighting against a numerically inferior foe gives an edge to the Davion Light Guards, who always have the initiative against the remaining three Capellan ‘Mechs. Yet, this is not the decisive factor as the Feds switch to a defensive posture, trying to minimize any losses – instead of crushing the Tau Ceti Rangers. In fact, the outcome of the engagement is determined by the vast difference in attack precision exhibited by the two sides during the final stages of the battle.
This is immediately obvious as the Jenner safely limps away in the open, ignoring the shots by the Vindicator which in turn suffers an engine critical hit by the Hatchetman. The Liao ‘Mech corrects its aim and eventually takes out the enemy, but it is too late: this time the Jenner has a chance to fire back and gets through the engine shielding, killing the larger opponent, too.
The Catapult in the water lures the Valkyrie close, ready to strike at it from beneath like a crocodile. A tactic which could have worked, hadn’t it failed twice to grab its thin legs and twist them underwater; instead, the light ‘Mech kicks the 65-tons machine in the head, killings its pilot as the canopy is cracked open and water floods the cockpit.
The Trebuchet attacks the Rifleman and destroys both arms, rendering it almost harmless but not being able to nail it down as it slowly retreats. Then it engages the Hatchetman and cripples it, again failing to take it down and also suffering damage to the engine shielding. Its pilot continues to fight resorting to hit and run tactics, trying to keep thick woods between itself and the dangerous Hunchback. However, again the Treb’s missiles are not precise enough to score a kill, while the 50-tons Davion ‘Mech hits it heavily despite being barely able to spot the Ranger’s missile boat silhouette hiding behind a wooded hill. The attack finally breaks the morale of the only remaining Capellan MechWarrior, who grabs its final chance to escape before it is too late. While they managed to buy enough time for the commando to steal plans from the NAIS facility, the rest of its lance has been wiped out and a single eliminated Jenner is a prize to small to redeem a sound defeat.

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #56 on: 04 February 2024, 22:13:27 »
It's getting sporty! :)
I'd say it got quite ugly from then on. I think Lorenzo made a mistake when he retreated with a couple of units, giving me the chance to hit back instead of taking some risks and pushing for the kill. Yet, I wasn't able to eliminate anything but the doomed Jenner. The Cat missing twice the adjacent Valkyrie and getting kicked in the head, followed by the almost impossible hits scored by the Hunchback against the Trebuchet, was the final nail in the coffin. So maybe he was right in the end...
The decisive victory scored by the Davions now gives a 403-275 lead for the FedCom alliance in this campaign, which was previously even. Now we're halfway through the 10 scenarios. The next one is again Davion vs. Capellans, but I'm not sure we'll play it that soon as it deals with events in the Warrior trilogy which I haven't read about yet: I just began Volume Two, and I think I will need to get past it to Volume Three to be up to date. Since my main PC is still broken and I'm waiting for it to be fixed, tho, I am reading more than usual (no videogaming once in a while) and it won't take too long, hopefully.   :wink:
Anyway, Lorenzo is clearly becoming better. Our force balancing started pretty high after a series of victories for me in our previous Outreach scenarios (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,81355.0.html and https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,79822.0.html). However, as I adjust it dynamically, we're now down from 5:3 to about 3:2   azn
P.S. I edited the previous post with the scenario setup since Lorenzo and I agreed that the Capellans should receive more points as a reward for resisting at least 12 turns, since this was their main apparent objective.
« Last Edit: 04 February 2024, 22:22:26 by gwaedin »

Daryk

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #57 on: 05 February 2024, 04:22:27 »
Ugly indeed, wow!

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #58 on: 06 February 2024, 00:20:58 »
Sounds like there was a lot of fun in all of that!

gwaedin

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Re: Battlepack - Fourth Succession War
« Reply #59 on: 06 February 2024, 04:04:56 »
The end of the last scenario has been a bit frustrating with my forces shred to pieces, while being totally incapable of striking back effectively, but so far the campaign has been a blast. We are eager to continue with the next scenarios!
As I always say, if you're not ready to accept some bad dice rolls, you'd better play something else.  :wink:

 

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