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Author Topic: Alpha Strike Campaign: Eridani Light Horse (3rd SW)  (Read 4442 times)

Tai Dai Cultist

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Alpha Strike Campaign: Eridani Light Horse (3rd SW)
« on: 21 September 2015, 01:44:23 »
(AAR thread for Eridani Light Horse campaign)

The 21st Striker Regiment has its hands full standing up a trustworthy planetary militia on their new homeworld while simultaneously shaping new recruits and newly promoted officers following the twin battles of Hesperus II only a few months prior.  The 5th Striker Battalion is particularly green: all three companies are commanded by newly minted Captains.  The Battalion CO ordered all three companies to engage in a field exercise to prepare themselves for combat: a three way game of capture the flag!

(I didn't take notes so Orders of Battle are from memory/pictures)
4th Company:
Assault Lance (Banshee, Catapult, Rifleman, Black Knight)
Battle Lance (Hunchback, Quickdraw, Commando, Centurion)
Support Lance (Rommel, Rommel, SRM Carrier, SRM Carrier, LRM Carrier)

7th Company:
Command Lance (Marauder, Crusader, Griffin, Champion)
Battle Lance (4x Von Luckner)
Recon Lance (Flea, Locust, Wasp, Spider)
Support Lance (Ballista, Ballista, MG APC, MG APC, Flamer Infantry, Flamer Infantry)

25th Heavy Assault Company:
Assault Lance: (Atlas, Hunchback, BattleMaster, Orion)
Striker Lance: (Javelin, Commando, Wasp, Jenner)
Fire Lance: (Archer, Catapult, Griffin, Trebuchet)

As the GM I set up terrain and placed the flags.  I knew there was one position that was much less defensible than the other two, but I figured "what the hey.. see what happens".  The players diced off to pick their flags.. sure enough the sucky flag was picked last and the 25th Heavy Assault Company was stuck defending that one.

Once the scenario began, the 4th Company came heavily for the 25th through the bottleneck between two hills, and the 7th pressed against both other companies.  Under siege from both sides, the 25th just hunkered down for a fight.

With the 4th only putting half a lance to defend its flag, and the 25th aggressively targeting the recon elements of the 7th, the 7th swung its thrust against the 25th over to mass against the 4th's flag.

The heaviest fighting takes place between the massed numbers of the 4th against the heavy armor and firepower of the 25th.  While this takes place, the 7th completely overruns the 4th's picket.

Artillery from the 7th's Ballistae finally provokes the 25th to send its strikers on a headhunting mission, but they're stymied by a lucky shot from a Champion that kills the lead Jenner just as it begins to engage the artillery.

Time is called just as the 'mechs of the 7th seize the 4th's flag.  The 4th had just crushed their way through the assault mechs of the 25th but hadn't yet reached the still-defended flag.  Major Winston decrees the 7th Company the victors of the wargame, with the 25th Heavy Assault Company edging out the 4th Company for 2nd and 3rd place respectively, based on value of kills achieved.

GameMaster's observations: I was concerned about the 25th's chances given the terrain, but they fought admirably!  The players running the 4th and 25th companies are both new to Alpha Strike, and that inexperience may have manifested in their force lists.  Their forces were top-heavy and not very tactically nimble and ended up outmaneuvered by the 7th, who enjoyed an advantage of having played more Alpha Strike previously.

Their next battle won't be with paint warheads and powered down lasers.. hopefully they're ready for the real thing!
« Last Edit: 21 September 2015, 02:17:24 by Tai Dai Cultist »


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Re: Alpha Strike Campaign: Eridani Light Horse (3rd SW)
« Reply #1 on: 22 September 2015, 09:48:03 »
Great Report!  O0
I may have a low amount of posts but I have a PHD in Battletech and mechs older then most people on this board!

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Alpha Strike Campaign: Eridani Light Horse (3rd SW)
« Reply #2 on: 07 October 2015, 00:32:28 »
Battle of Kent Bridge

In the early hours of 02 October 3001, the 5th Striker dropped onto New Canaan to begin its campaign to degrade and destroy the rebel forces in control of that continent.  The planethead was 100 km away from the rebel-held port city of New Canterbury and on the other side of the Kent River.

While the river was not much of an obstacle to the mechs and hovercraft of the Light Horsemen, the best ford would still need to be secured to deny its use by the rebels to harry the planethead.  That crossing was the Kent Bridge: constructed during the heyday of the Star League when what is now the Hot Zone was populated.  In the centuries of disuse trees have reclaimed most of the roadway but testament to the Star League-era engineering is in the bridge's continued structural integrity today.  The 25th company was given the task of seizing the bridge.  They were met in the first hostilities of the campaign by elements of the 12th Workers' Militia battalion.

The ELH mechs traded fire across the river with farm tractors and city buses jury-rigged into an approximation of war machinery.  A lance each of imported field guns and vedette tanks provided additional firepower, and a lance of militarized industrialmechs were hidden in the woods on the rebels' side of the river to ambush any invading mercenaries that made it across.

The mechwarriors played it cool and traded fire with the rebel rabble.  Their discipline and superiority of materiel won out over the rebels' swarming numbers, although a few ELH mechs will require hangar time to patch various amounts of armor damage.

Outcome: Player victory!  The bridge is in secure hands, and the road is open to New Canterbury!

Observations: I made a big 100 ton militarized Diomede a scenario objective, but since it was hidden I didn't tell the players of this "secret" objective until it revealed itself.  By then they were committed to their successful plan of "just shoot them from here.. we're winning the range war and have no reason to subject ourselves to point blank attacks".  Ah well; if I wanted the players to cross the bridge and engage in some demolition derby action I should have given them their incentive to do so up front!

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Alpha Strike Campaign: Eridani Light Horse (3rd SW)
« Reply #3 on: 18 October 2015, 12:55:02 »
Battle of Red Eagle Down

I decided to give a scenario I created earlier some playtesting during this campaign.  I changed part of the calculus up in giving the attacker 5 tokens irrespective of his force size, and let him place them anywhere on the defender's half of the board.  Unsurprisingly, they all ended up strung across the midfield line.

200PV of 7th Company raced against troops from the Revolutionary Guards Recon Battalion to locate and rescue the ejected ASF pilot somewhere in the wilderness.  Of course, the mechs of the Eridani were vastly outnumbered by swarms of infantry and APCs despite having like PVs.

Both sides motored into the vicinity of the last radio transmissions, but only the ELH mechwarriors knew which possible location was the true hiding place of the pilot.. this ended up stringing the superior numbers of the rebel infantry out to literally cover all their options.

Soon enough Eridani light mechs moved up to pick up the pilot before all possible locations could be swarmed by rebel infantry.  A Locust deliberately went to a false location to draw heavy rebel response while a Wasp discreetly went to the true location on the edge of the board.

Swift Wind Scout Cars disgorge elite anti-mech trained commandos all over the Locust but they fail to cripple the mech, meanwhile the Wasp rescues the grateful pilot.  The rebels can only bring a few platoons and hovertanks over to bear once the location became realized.  One Pegasus gets a lucky hit through the woods and strips the Wasp to structure.  The Eridani forces form a screen to protect the Wasp's withdrawal, and a Von Luckner gets close to bodyguard the prize.

That same Pegasus would flank around the woods to take a desperation shot on the Wasp, and it hit again!  It destroyed the Wasp and the pilot would have to be rescued again, this time by a Griffin falling back from the protective screen.  The rebels would never seriously threaten the much bigger and tougher mech as it retreated back to safety.  They had to settle for vindictive spoiling attacks on targets of opportunity as the Eridani forces withdrew.  Additional damage came from an unarmed Scout Car ramming the Locust, which did enough damage to cripple the already-damaged mech, but the worst damage came from another commando strike, this time on a Von Luckner... the critical hit from the AM attack scored a Crew Killed result!

End Result:  Another Eridani win, but some losses are beginning to mount.


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Re: Alpha Strike Campaign: Eridani Light Horse (3rd SW)
« Reply #4 on: 18 October 2015, 14:06:21 »
great pics and awesome report TDC

Thank you Hikage
Agent 694 N. Idaho

Louie N

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Re: Alpha Strike Campaign: Eridani Light Horse (3rd SW)
« Reply #5 on: 18 October 2015, 22:00:22 »
A neat sceanario

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Alpha Strike Campaign: Eridani Light Horse (3rd SW)
« Reply #6 on: 04 November 2015, 16:12:36 »
Battle of New Canterbury

With the rebel forces remaining entrenched in urban areas, the ELH forces have the opportunity to defeat pockets in detail.  The first such pocket targeted was the garrison holding New Canterbury, the city near the planethead and unsympathetic to the rebel cause.

A reinforced company strength force was tasked to enter the city and engage hostile forces within.  The peasant militia refused to allow civilians to evacuate, so high priority was given to avoid damaging the inhabited buildings during the battle.  Initial probes identified rebel strongpoints, with barricades and suspected minefields inhibiting traffic.  The ELH force entered the combat zone in a tightly packed mass.

The players knew there would be many platoons of infantry and tanks hidden among the terrain, so they limited their exposure to a single, irresistible thrust coming from the corner of the table.  Their intelligence didn't warn them however that the rebels had a lance of off board artillery.  The discovery of incoming rounds directed towards their tightly packed mass caused them to begin to spread out even before encountering any ambushes or minefields.

Rebel field guns and Hezter-clone tanks began coming out from their hiding positions to harass and bring firepower to bear on the players' ELH force.  The Eridani mechwarriors were hesitant to move into the city to engage the forces converging on them, preferring instead to trade long range sniping fire rather than coming deeper into the urban terrain.  The rebels had mined the side streets in effort to funnel the attackers into the jaws of their ambush at the center of their deployment zone, but when the players discovered the first mines they refused to go any further into the city at all.

The rebels' weren't disciplined enough to hit the ELH forces all at once.  The Eridani mechwarriors were able to engage and destroy swarms of tanks coming at them in non-complimentary waves.  Without a time constraint to work against them, the players successfully waited out the rebel armored forces and industrial mechs coming from ambush positions and dying in ones and twos as they entered the combined field of fire of the mercenaries.

Final result: Another ELH victory
Primary victory condition was to destroy 75% of the rebel non-infantry forces on the table.  Playing a "No, I'm not coming at you, you come at me strategy worked out for the players.  This time.
Special scenario condition was to avoid doing ANY damage at all to buildings... an errant aoe template deviation ruined that for them.  However a secondary bonus scenario award was in place to not destroy any buildings (THAT would have been cheddar propaganda footage), which they did achieve.  Largely by never entering the city and having to deal with the dilemma of allowing infantry to plink at them or to collapse the milk factories and orphanages the rebels were using for cover.

GM observations:  I had initially planned to include a time limit.  As soon as I saw they were refusing to even enter the death maze, I figured I made a mistake in not forcing their hand.  I figured the catch-22 with infantry firing at them from buildings would have been tough enough to deal with, but by refusing to even enter the city they sidestepped the entire problem.

This was the first game we played with ASF where we realized that you only make 1 lawn dart check per fighter per round.  And guess what happened?  1 check per round was all it took anyway to drop 2 Corsairs on their very first attack runs.  ASFs aren't endearing themselves to our little gaming circle.


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Re: Alpha Strike Campaign: Eridani Light Horse (3rd SW)
« Reply #7 on: 08 November 2015, 15:55:50 »
I'm enjoying these writeups. Sounds like a fun campaign, even with the players' preference for cautious engagement. I like how you're reinforcing the insurgency feel by having the local rebels rely on vehicle swarms and Industrials.


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Re: Alpha Strike Campaign: Eridani Light Horse (3rd SW)
« Reply #8 on: 08 November 2015, 17:12:37 »
What mechanic are you using to choose the ELH forces? equal point values?

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Alpha Strike Campaign: Eridani Light Horse (3rd SW)
« Reply #9 on: 08 November 2015, 18:08:56 »
What mechanic are you using to choose the ELH forces? equal point values?

Each player built a company with a 375 PV limit, and their 3 companies together comprise the campaign force of battalion strength totalling 1125 PV. AS campaign rules presume player vs player, and since this is players vs NPC opposition I'm drawing on the Total Chaos rules where I see fit.  So for any given scenario, they build an ad-hoc scenario task force from whatever companies happen to be able to contribute to the battle, with a PV cap that I give them.

Some of the funniest moments I've seen from my side of the table is when players A and/or B are playing with Player C's mechs in a given scenario.  The "true owner" gets mighty touchy when A/B make tactical decisions he doesn't like :D  I think that interaction is also helping to explain their very conservative tactics in play.