Register Register

Author Topic: Combat Manual: Mercenaries Beta Test Game (400PV)  (Read 1661 times)

Tai Dai Cultist

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7127
Combat Manual: Mercenaries Beta Test Game (400PV)
« on: 17 November 2015, 19:06:15 »
My local demo agent and I played a game to test out the rules in CM: Mercs.  He always liked Wylie's Coyotes and was tickled to get to try them out.  I've got lots of soft spots for various mercs, but I ended up settling on Richard's Panzer Brigade.

Both of us built lists that ended up costing 0FP.. since there are no other CMs out yet and we didn't want to bother with house ruling how much something not explicitly on the merc availability table should cost.

My Panzer Brigade force was:
Battle Lance: BattleMaster, Orion, Hunchback, Centurion
Fire Lance: Longbow, Warhammer, Rifleman, Rifleman (False Flag)
Probe Lance: Dragon, Dragon, Quickdraw, Quickdraw (Off Board Movement)

Coyote Force (best as I recall):
Command Lance: Trebuchet, King Crab, Enforcer, Hunchback
Battle Lance: Warhammer, Thunderbolt, Centurion, Wolverine
(Recon?) Lance: Wasp, Firestarter, Assassin, Locust (Brawlers)
Little Git Lance: 2x Scorpions, 2x Saladins (Off Board Movement)

We played SW era (obviously, since Coyotes only exist then) and without variable damage.  We also play with the proposed erratum to Pursuit lance types where the Blood Stalker SPAs all designate a common lance rather than individual units.  My Probe Lance declared his Command Lance as prey.  We also used forced withdrawal.  My opponent tried out alternative ammunition, picking AP rounds for his Hunchback and Saladins.  I'm not sure that's a legal choice in the SW era, but didn't make a big deal about it on a try-rules-out game.  (note to self: ask about that in the rules thread!)

During setup, I began to have second doubts about the false flag ability.  My opponent outnumbered me 16-8 before the game even began, thanks to my being tricksy with my Fire lance.  But I did the worst possible thing about those doubts and simply ignored them.  I deployed and played like I wasn't about to be swarmed.  Come at me, bro!

Of course I realized how stupid I was being, but the damage was already done.  I put my hunchback out in the open w/o cover on its opening move and it would not survive to see round 2.  Bad mistake and now I'm even more badly outnumbered.

I swung my center back behind the hill to try to buy time for my false flag lance to show up.  Like I should have from the get go, tbh.   Unfortunately my forces were not consolidated and I lost a Quickdraw in the open before it could complete its dash for cover. My other Quickdraw was alone on my right flank and ended up getting absolutely ganged up on by the pack of light brawlers. Oh my god, the bites!  The little, painful, bites!  His fast saladin hovertanks thrust directly into my force, and began their game-long game of "Stab The Mech In The Back".  (at least I got to kill one of the buggers)

Not Pictured: DRG-1N and 2x Scorpion tanks playing off-board movement games on the left side of the table.

Is it turn three yet? OMG when is my false flag gonna show up?  I'm getting utterly overwhelmed with 1/3 of my force not even on the table.  I surrender board position to keep playing for time, but at least I'm not hemorrhaging as badly.  When it is finally time for my fire lance to arrive, I roll a 7.  Per the rules, on an 8+ I get to pick anywhere.  On a 6 or lower, it has to be my half of the board.  So on a 7, the game breaks.  A singularity opens and consumes the planet we were fighting on, apparently.  We decide to treat a 7 as being "6 or under", and my Fire Lance can't show up on his board edge and start raking his force in enfilade.  That was pretty much my sole hope of turning it around at that point.. but still getting to place a lot of reinforcement tonnage swung the tempo at least temporarily in my favor... my right flank suddenly just got solid and now I have 2 Riflemen standing in water to stiffen my center.

I had one good turn of seeing my fire lance laying down the pain.  His light brawlers scattered and saved my Quickdraw from destruction.  While the center of the board was in his hands, I had a lot of firepower and OV starting to finally hurt his mechs.

The game would switch back firmly in the Coyote's favor though with an amazing round where the Coyotes killed 4 of my mechs all at once, two of which to stupid crits (boxcars AND snake-eyes!).  My DRG finally came on the board, comically just in front of his Hunchback that was in forced withdrawal.  But I threw in the towel; I had lost too much and killed too little for the game to be anything but futile from here out.

Outcome: Wylie's Coyotes victory!

Observations, CM: Mercs:  I'm very eager to see more CMs so that the Faction Point system can be better explored.  Oh, and I do really hope they take the fan-provided suggestion to be able to spend FPs on buying contract types and/or special Force abilities.  Seems like a cool dimension of the game.   

I was a little sour on the False Flag ability at first.  But even if you fail to show up behind the opponent, being able to show up anywhere along your own half of the table STILL gives pretty powerful flanking ability, or the ability to shore up a flank.  Best of all for the False Flag ability though, is that we did it wrong!  I needlessly screwed myself by not closely reading how it works... they come on the board before initiative is rolled on the 3rd turn, not during the endphase like with off-board movement!  Missing only 2 turns of the game rather than 3 is a very, very big deal.  And I bet it could have made a big difference, even if I still had to show up on my own side of the table.

Observations in general:  Maneuver is king in Alpha Strike.  My opponent got to do to me what I've been doing to him lately... little fast gits are awful powerful.  His scorpions were virtual MVPs... I had to give someone my back because of his numerical advantage, and those little tanks tore me up out of all proportion to their value.
« Last Edit: 17 November 2015, 19:11:15 by Tai Dai Cultist »


  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 179
  • Dark Horse Company Commander
Re: Combat Manual: Mercenaries Beta Test Game (400PV)
« Reply #1 on: 17 November 2015, 19:42:05 »
A few things.

Dervish not Trebuchet in the command lance.

The light lance was a Fast Striker Lance. With the Wasp, FS and Assassin with Speed Demon.

One thing I have learned from my opponenet is that speed kills. So thats what I have tried with this list against him. Nice thing was that I was able to swap out a SPA from the Cmd Lance, the one for the king crab, and gave it speed Demon. Now its Speed 8, still slow but able to keep pace with most of the other units.

With the Saladins being the only unit using AP ammo for their A/C's, which managed to hit and roll 10+ for the crits on  turn one, they rolled a 5 and 9 respectively and thus no crits. For the rest of the game they only managed to iritate my opponent.
« Last Edit: 17 November 2015, 19:44:18 by Thorvidar »

"I don't care what people say, there's no "One True Battletech" way to enjoy this title.
There are many roads leading to Terra, many jump points, let them come." ATLAS3060

"Long story short, if you got a Masakari Prime for IF, you're doing it wrong anyway :)." -Nckestrel