Register Register

Author Topic: ISaW Game, epic style  (Read 5743 times)

Sir Chaos

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1820
  • Artillery Fanboy
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #150 on: 14 October 2018, 14:33:10 »
I do wonder about abuse if not properly tested.  Players may change their focus from stompiness and conquest to political manipulation.  Still,...ya know,... the more one thinks about it (thinking hard)

You say that like it´s a bad thing.
"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl."
-Frederick the Great

"Ultima Ratio Regis" ("The Last Resort of the King")
- Inscription on cannon barrel, 18th century

The Purist

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 397
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #151 on: 17 October 2018, 09:58:13 »
Well,  that depends on what you sort of experience you are looking for. Do you want a game like the old Avalon Hill "Origins of the Second World War" (politics to set up a military campaign) or "Advanced Third Reich/Rising Sun" (global conquest with some politics)  8)

I am not sure if you know those games but an old war gamers will understand the reference.
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #152 on: 17 October 2018, 17:26:13 »
Wave 3 of Operation Rat and the follow up attacks in Lyran Space proceeds.
Tikonov is invaded now, and while the Crucis Lancers gain early air superiority,
the STAGGERING amount of artillery on the Capellan side evens the scales.  12 total
artillery batteries (4 artillery regiments???) open up a can of whoop ass on FS troops.  Capellan
troops are deeply entrenched, and force the FS to engage at near close range in many fights, with
casualties incredibly high.  Capellan forces have been preparing for 3 months for this fight, and aren't
at all bothered by other reverses.  In the end, the Capellans retreat off-world with close to 60% losses
but inflict a great deal of damage to the Crucis Lancers.  The Lancers punish the Capellans in the end
by destroying the dropships of the 1st Tau Ceti Rangers as they attempt to escape, killing all aboard. 
Other Wave 3 targets are also successful, mostly hitting worlds protected by militia. 

Comstar threatens interdiction on both the FS and the LC, and is bought off with substantial upgrade fees on HPGs to reverse their stance. 

On the Lyran front, the follow up attacks net several worlds, but Draconis counter-offensives hit 8 worlds.  Meanwhile, the FWL again cautiously joins the war, with several more raids and
an attack to reclaim Galisteo, and conquer Gienah.  Both attacks are successful, though FWL losses are higher than expected. 
The Draconis counter-attack destroys the 2nd FCCT on Buckminster, at the loss of the 4th Arkab Legion.
Buckminster remained in Lyran hands for less than a month.. 5 other worlds fall back into DCMS hands, though 2 attacks are repulsed by Lyran garrisons. 

In a major supply and order screw-up, the 37th Dieron is given conflicting orders, and ships out, abandoning
the Sabik militia, to counter-attack at Vega...while having no supplies.  Sabik and Weingarten continue to stalemate. 


Agent # 703

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #153 on: 17 October 2018, 17:29:38 »
Game changing (almost) - the Comstar Interdiction stepped in and was lifted, for both the FS and LC in one round. 

An earlier interdict was interesting, and without revealing too much, even one round of it has hurt the FS economy substantially.  The rules for interdiction and comstar involvement virtually guarantee Interdiction in large offensives, as both the FS and LC qualified in many ways.  The FS for taking a Regional Capital and Major Industrial World AND for taking over 15 worlds in the last 3 rounds.

The LC for the large offensive and ALSO for taking over 15 worlds. 

Agent # 703

The Purist

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 397
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #154 on: 20 October 2018, 12:59:03 »
I am bit surprised that with a TN of 8 the interdictions hit right away but as they were lifted just as quickly the pain should not have been too great. That is why IndTech and ComTech at Lvl 4 is so important before launching a major war (at least for 3025).

Don't forget that FAX orders only delay implementation by one turn.   ;)
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #155 on: 22 October 2018, 00:16:53 »
Well, the key is that it's for EACH of the events.

So, for the Lyran side, they captured 15 or more worlds AND captured
a total of 10 worlds.  That's 2 rolls of 8+ after the 1st round of Operation
Gotterdammerung

On the FS side, the first month saw the capture of a minor industrial and several other worlds.
So, no test the first round.

Second round the Lyrans STILL have to test as they captured 15 or more worlds in the last 3 turns.
The FS now tests for the same.

Third round, the FS now has to test three times; twice for Tikonov (as a Major AND a Regional), and once for 15+ worlds.
The LC still has to test for 15+worlds AND captures another 10 worlds. 


The FS player has been very careful about not attacking more than 9 worlds a round to prevent an additional test.  The Lyran...
not so much.


So... in three rounds, Comstar tested an Interdiction 4 times for the FS, and 4 times for the LC.  Probability is that they would get it for sure; most likely on the 2nd round.  Which they did.  Standing orders prevented the Interdiction from having much of an effect... that round... due to the LC and FS having created war plans and given standing orders as to what will happen next for the offensive.  It STILL had a minor effect; orders to move troops to Gienah to block an anticipated FWL offensive never arrived, and thus Gienah was only defended by militia, and conquered handily by the 20th Marik Militia.  It also prevented a Lyran Regulars regiment from getting move orders to retreat off the FWL front, and was caught and nearly wiped out on Galisteo.  They only got to retreat due to "overwhelming force" rules. 

Now.  We DID have a rules discussion about whether if you had tested once for 15+ worlds in 3 turns whether you had to KEEP testing for it til you no longer had captured 15 in the last 3 (due to expiry).  That's a rules question going to ask, I think.  Thoughts?  We went with that it still keeps being tested for.  Which means that the major offensives are tough to throw without interdictions. 
Agent # 703

The Purist

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 397
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #156 on: 22 October 2018, 13:36:30 »
...Now.  We DID have a rules discussion about whether if you had tested once for 15+ worlds in 3 turns whether you had to KEEP testing for it til you no longer had captured 15 in the last 3 (due to expiry).  That's a rules question going to ask, I think.  Thoughts?  We went with that it still keeps being tested for.  Which means that the major offensives are tough to throw without interdictions.


Discussed this with Worktroll in the review of the Insterstellar Communications rule section. If you pass a check, that check is now null and void. So the 15+ worlds in three turns check is not repeated every turn. You do not check for those planets again but you do reset the counter to zero. It is the same with Major and Regional planets. If the check is successful and interdiction avoided you get a pass from ComStar. Take Tikonov and pass? Next check for a region capital would be Sarna or Capella.

The 4th SW 'history is a good guide here. The fall of Tikonove did not trigger an interdiction nor did the fall of 'other planets. What finally triggered the interdiction was the (faked) attack on a ComStar facility. It took many months before the interdiction hit.

« Last Edit: 22 October 2018, 13:38:33 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #157 on: 22 October 2018, 16:14:40 »
Fair nuff.  So, we have had an extra couple checks, looks like.

Still.  For the first 4 waves, Operation Rat still would be 5 checks in total for amts of worlds, and Tikonov (which gets 2 checks).

The Lyrans then will only get 4 checks looks like, barring taking a major world. 

Odds are good for an Interdiction. 

Agent # 703

The Purist

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 397
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #158 on: 22 October 2018, 22:41:29 »
Fair nuff…<asnip>...Odds are good for an Interdiction.

Absolutely, one thing we've seen in the FWL offensive into the LC was 'pacing' and avoiding 'broken supply lines'. This means an average of 6-7 planets attacked each turn at most. It an interesting strategy but then again the forces involved are not nearly as concentrated as those that took part in the initial waves of the 4th SW.

As GM I was waiting with baited breath to see if the FS would strike at Galedon V of the FWL would make a go Hesperus II. Sadly,... neither offensive has gotten that far so my 'Interdiction Meter' has remained in the green.   :(

Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #159 on: 23 October 2018, 13:50:21 »
turn 46 (october, 3028)

A big month.  Another part of the Lyran offensive launches, hitting 6 more DC worlds while
the FWL cautiously attacks another couple worlds, formerly owned by them.  The LC also launches a limited FWL front, with a counter-offensive at Gienah and a strike at the border world of Thermopolis. 
The DC falls back from Weingarten, but continues to reinforce on Heiligendreuz and Sabik.
The war against the Dragoons continues on the FS border. 
The CC launches their counter-attack; not blinded by stupid pills, they hit Styk with the entire Big Mac.  Meanwhile, an attack is launched on Axton - no raid, but a full attack, and a raid is also launched on Kathil.  A final, smaller counter-offensive is launched from Bharat at Arboris by a mixed bag of Capellan surviving units - 2nd Ariana
Fusiliers, Hamilton's Highlanders, Trimaldi's Secutors and MacGregors Armoured Scouts. 
Fed Suns meanwhile rolls ahead with wave 4 of Operation Rat.  A surprise raid on Sian is also launched. 

Several mercenary units leave the Capellan Confederation and the Taurian Concordat.  Their contracts are picked up by the FS in some cases, or by the Taurians in a strange trade.


Notes: The CC has a larger budget this month due to a serious lack of forces to have to supply.  Between losing some mercs as well as severe losses at Tikonov and then subsequent desertion/mutiny, the CC is a shadow of their former self.  It's what allows the counter-offensive to go ahead. 



The Axton strike for the CC fails, as the Red Lancers and Freemont's Cuirassiers run afoul of the 11th Avalon Hussars.  The militia
of the world is destroyed, but buys the Hussars the time they need to badly damage the Cuirassiers, while the Red Lancers
run afoul of repeated air strikes when the Hussars gain air superiority.  Repeated artillery strikes badly damage the Hussars,
and several engagements prove the superiority of the Red Lancers, but they are unable to land a decisive blow, and so retreat by the
end of the month, rather then being drawn into a prolonged campaign.  The net result is that the Cuirassiers 2nd battalion and battle group is effectively destroyed; the 11th Avalon hussars sustain approximately 60% casualties.  The Red Lancers lose a few armour battalions and infantry
units, but remain combat effective. 

Devon's Armoured Infantry successfully raid and damage Kathil facilities, hurting the FS economy that is already drained fighting the CC especially in light of a recent and brief Interdiction.

The Big MAC reclaim Styk for the Confederation, destroying garrison forces and the 20th Avalon Hussars... in exchange for losing 3 entire
regiments of the MAC.  Analysts are uncertain if the cost was worth the gain...

On Arboris, a counter-offensive doesn't find the expected Davion forces, instead finding only the bolstered Blue Star Irregulars, who had
so victimized Capellan industry years before.  Both sides hated each other with a passion, as the BSI had suffered head-hunter attacks at the hands
of Capellan troops.  No quarter is given, nor received between these 2 forces.  In the end, the Capellans are victorious, with the once proud BSI managing to withdraw
a single armour battalion and an air wing covering it.  The Capellans after salvage are STILL down a mech regiment and an armour battalion, plus 1
air wing by the ferocious defence mounted by the BSI... observers again ask if it was worth it...

On the DC front, the DC reinforces at Heiliendreuz, but so does the LC - and where the DC sends Green forces in the form of the 13th Rasalhague Regulars, the
Lyrans send the Veteran 8th Donegal Guards who proceed to crush the 13th.  The beleaguered 22nd Rasalhague look on in horror as their relief are utterly destroyed,
and now face numbers almost triple their own...  Meanwhile, on the FS front, they continue their war with the Dragoons, which shows no sign of ending.

The FWL recaptures Epsilon, badly damaging the Lyran Guard regiment there.  However, an attack on Mcaffe fails, as the Lyran Royal Guard regiment there is too much
for FWL forces to face; in the end, while they inflict more damage than they take, the FWL commanders enact a fighting withdrawal against the Veteran regiment.

On the LC front, the next wave of attacks capture another 5 DC worlds.  The battle of Sabik continues, though the LC starts to seem to gain the upper hand, having landed
3 regiments against the 8th DR after destroying their reinforcing units as well as finally obliterating the pesky militia that somehow survived 4 months against the Lyrans (GM note; I was sad that the Lyrans finally managed to pin down and destroy this militia, that almost had become a Veteran unit due to experience). 
Lyran assaults also begin the 3rd Battle of Buckminster and the 3rd Battle of Vega, in an effort to pin down or destroy more Draconis regiments.  On Buckminster, the 10th Lyran
Guard spearhead an attack with the 23rd Arcturan Guard dropping directly on top of the 6th Arkab Legion while an air battle commences around them.  The 6th are utterly shattered by the surprise tactic; the newly deployed 18th Benjamin Regulars attempt to face down the long odds of the 2 elite Lyran regiments, but in a battle that quickly overwhelms them are completely destroyed.
Buckminster again falls into Lyran hands.  On Vega, Theodore Kurita's Legions of Vega and Dieron Regulars face elite units of the LC; the 20th Arcturan Guard, the 4th Skye Rangers and
the 3rd regiment of the 12 Star Guards.  While the DCMS forces put up a valiant defence, the quality and numbers of troops that the Lyrans land, in addition to using the same tactics as Buckminster
of landing directly on top of the DCMS forces shatters them.  The Dieron Regulars are crushed, and the Legion of Vega manages to get off-world, with Theodore Kurita again shaking his fist impotently at the Lyrans. 
The LC also flexes their military might, counter-attacking at Gienah and launching an attack to claim the industrial facilities at Thermopolis.  However, the 3rd Sirian Lancers
accompanied by Fuchida's Fusiliers repulse the attack at Thermopolis.  Oddly, the Lyrans inflicted more damage than they took, but their morale was shaken and decided to withdraw before a disaster could occur, preserving precious forces. 
The Lyran counter-offensive at Gienah destroys the 20th Marik Militia, at the expense of the 5th Donegal Guards. Lyran forces are still perilously thin on the FWL border, but holding...

As November rolls in, and 4 months of conflict have ended, a look at the results shows:
the FWL has re-captured 2 worlds from the LC that were lost years before
the LC still holds 5 worlds from the FWL that were captured years previous, as well as 42 worlds from the DC.  There are 2 prolonged campaigns, at Heiligendreuz and Sabik, where the worlds are disputed.  Both worlds have Lyran forces outnumbering local DCMS forces 3:1
The DC has so far gained no worlds from the FS, disputing 2.
The FS has taken 37 worlds from the CC, after accounting for losing Styk and Arboris to a Capellan counter-offensive.  Admittedly, one of those worlds captured is Tikonov, a Regional Capital and Major Industrial World. 
The CC counter-offensive restored some national pride; losses at Axton were tempered by a successful raid at Kathil and the re-capture of Styk, along with almost completely destroying the Blue Star Irregulars once and for all.  War industries have kicked in for a desperate attempt to rebuild what they can in preparation for a better counter-attack. 

So far, canon results are being basically upheld, though the Capellan counter-attack at least is a bit better than canon. 
Agent # 703

Daryk

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5811
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #160 on: 23 October 2018, 16:50:00 »
I hope the FS rebuilds the BSI... they put up a heck of a fight there...

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #161 on: 23 October 2018, 20:11:53 »
I hope the FS rebuilds the BSI... they put up a heck of a fight there...

Heh.  That's exactly why my FS player was asking for a discount on repairing merc units.  See the merc thread. 
Agent # 703

Daryk

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5811
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #162 on: 23 October 2018, 21:02:29 »
Aha... I suspected as much when I saw that post... :)

The Purist

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 397
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #163 on: 24 October 2018, 12:13:37 »
Cracking good stuff,  Epic.  Congrats to Max Liao in driving into Fed Sun territory deep enough so that a raid could reach Kathil.

Our CC has also found that losses make supplies easier, at least in the short term. The loss of six or seven commands can make shifting reserves a bit easier. They have slowly been rebuilding lost commands to fill the gaps in the front.  It will be interesting to see how long the CCAF can hang on before the lack of commands, albeit ones with supplies, begins to accelerate the loss of more systems.

Then again the pace of the FS offensive seems to be higher than the canon 4th SW and the leap frogging seems to be working well. Do you think the FS might need a month or two of lower intensity battles to catch their breath?
« Last Edit: 24 October 2018, 14:31:38 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #164 on: 24 October 2018, 13:14:14 »
Cracking good stuff,  Epic.  Congrats to Max Liao in driving into Fed Sun territory deep enough so that a raid could reach Kathil.

Our CC has also found that losses make supplies easier, at least in the short term. The loss of six or seven commands can make shifting reserves a bit easier. They have slow Ben rebuilding lost commands to fill the gaps in the front.  It will be interesting to see how long the CCAF can hang on before the lack of commands, albeit ones with supplies, begins to accelerate the loss of more systems.

Then again the pace of the FS offensive seems to be higher than the canon 4th SW and the leap frogging seems to be working well. Do you think the FS might need a month or two of lower intensity battles to catch their breath?

Oddly, the FS is actually behind the canon results.  With the loss of Styk and Arboris, they are 4 worlds behind what they had captured in canon. 

The LC is ahead, looks like. 

Without revealing the turn stuff too much yet (some players still have to submit their next turns), I suspect that there will be a rest here for some of them.  It's well known that the FWL has a lot of RP to burn still (he's been bragging, you see...) but the rest at their present rates of expenditure are probably running low. 

In this case, the difference is that the war technically began 2 months earlier than canon.  Started in early July, rather than late August/early September.

I can say with all honesty that the reason the LC is succeeding so well is their strategic reserve being so big.  Also, capturing worlds from the DC has meant that more of those worlds start contributing RP sooner.  Only a few of the CC worlds captured by the FS are ready to finally start contributing some resources to the FS war effort, due to Poison Pill.  Originally, I didn't think that ability was going to be worth it, but the requirement of having to leave garrison forces there for that length of time to keep it pacified REALLY slows an offensive down.  In the 4SW Atlas, there are a few brief mentions of specific garrison forces rotating in, freeing up the Front line units to then fight again.  You also have spoken about that in your campaign.

The FS... didn't build those.  Perhaps an extra turn or two to build several green combat commands that could have done it would have helped.

The LC just built more front line units to begin with, due to having the economy for it.  Then slowly training them at training centres for 3 years from wet behind the ears to regulars. 

Then only having to garrison for 2 rather than 4 turns on a given minor world... they can keep the pace of their offensive far higher than the FS.  Net result; the LC really prepared for a war, and is doing well because of it. 

Agent # 703

The Purist

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 397
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #165 on: 24 October 2018, 14:50:47 »
Your mention of the supply challenges your team is facing is what we have been seeing in our version. In our game we are wrapping up Dec 3020, and going into Jan 3021 at least three of the five Houses will likely come up short of supply by nearly 300 RP. That means a lot commands will be unsupplied, with all the risks that come with it. Thankfully, the enemy never knows exactly who is unsupplied so the impact can be muted somewhat.

One tactic the FS has used when supplies become scarce (a fairly regular event for the AFFS) is to select a number of commands and have them shuffle to the rear and given repair orders. This way when 'prolonged neglect' begins to bite the 10% armour loss can be repaired (even with +50% cost) without the command suffering too much.


Interesting that the LC doesn't seem to have this problem  8) ,....unless they try very, very hard. 
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #166 on: 25 October 2018, 15:43:07 »
Turn 47
As suspected, November 3028 has a serious lull in the fighting. 
On the CC front, all is quiet.  Too quiet?  Forces rush into different areas for both the FS and the CC, and while a few skirmishes occur between patrols in systems,
nothing significant occurs. 
On the DC front, the DCMS tries to extract their seriously outnumbered forces from Heiligendreuz and Sabik.  The 22nd Rasalhague Regulars manage to evade their enemies and get off of Heiligendreuz.  The 8th Dieron Regulars do not make it off Sabik; having taken too much damage and lacking supplies, their forces lag behind and this allows Lyran forces to catch them... and obliterate them before they can make a withdrawal.  Both worlds fall to the LC.
Worse, the 21st Galedon Regulars are stung repeatedly by Delta and Epsilon Regiments of the Wolf's Dragoons on Glenmora, losing a lot of personnel.  The Dragon's embarrassment is widely felt by the warlords.
The FWL launches new attacks, this time into the Isle of Skye.  Zavijava and Lipton both fall to surprise FWL attacks. The Duke of Skye protests vigourously over these newest FWL encroachments, and the LC high command considers their next moves...
LC forces show a number of troop movements along the borders in a series of adjustments. 
A Lyran raid is supposedly dispatch to a pirate jump point at Tamarind to hit FWL facilities there... but the ship never arrives.  A massive jump failure causes the raiding force to never materialize.
« Last Edit: 25 October 2018, 15:44:57 by epic »
Agent # 703

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #167 on: 25 October 2018, 15:43:40 »
Yup.  That was a quick round.  Pretty much everyone had to catch their breaths.
Agent # 703

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #168 on: 26 October 2018, 11:41:20 »
Notes: it's after the 4th Wave completes of Operation Rat that the 4SW really has difficulty being fully simulated by the rules as presented in ISaW.  Some scenario rules can be implemented to create this, but it would be even more unfair for the CC player. 

While we toyed with the notion of a straight non-aggression treaty as Candace Liao had Xiang deliver to House Davion so that the St Ives Commonality couldn't be attacked, and the formation of the Tikonov Free Republic, these options would make an already taxed CC even more vulnerable.

So... at this point, we fully diverge from the canon events.  Reasoning here was simple; the FS player simply refused the St Ives offer, and begins attacks there, reasoning (somewhat correctly) that an untouched St Ives still will supply a fair amount of RP to the Capellan war effort. 

With also attacks closer to Terra, the FS prevents the formation of the TFR, in an effort to fully destroy the units and claim the entirety of the Confederation. 

While I was planning on finishing the rest of the 4SW - and will still with my players - I will end posting here as the divergence is sufficient.

What I will post is the scenario rules that we DID create as well as final thoughts and feedback. 

Agent # 703

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #169 on: 26 October 2018, 12:11:48 »
Scenario rules:
FS player MUST engage in at least 3 Successful MOS 7+ Propaganda operation before 3028 (Operation Galahad)
LC player MUST engage in at least 2 Successful MOS 7+ Propaganda operation before 3028 (Operation Thor  and subsequent moving of troops)
CC player must engage in at least one Successful MOS 7+ Black op before 3026 (turning Michael Hasek-Davion or alternatively, the Hanse Doppleganger)
CC must conquer 1 FS world before 3026 (CC did attack a world in 3025)
DC must build at least 6 new Combat Commands before 3028 (Ryuken, Genyosha - also to deal with the possible loss of mercs in 3028, the Ryuken would go on to become the de facto patrol units and commerce raiders)
DC must invade Galtor before end of 3025  (Galtor Campaign)
DC must attempt to conquer one additional FS World before end of 3026 that has a defending combat command
DC must successfully raid any 2 border worlds by end of 3027 of a major power (non-periphery)
LC must create at least 1 Assault Mech regiment Combat Command before 3028 that has its own jumpships (the Tyr)
LC must create at least 1 more Combat command before 3029 (the First Federated Commonwealth Combat Team)
FWL must conquer 1 Lyran world before end of 3025
FWL must successfully raid one Lyran industrial world before end of 3026

There would be Faction Traits assigned/lost if these conditions were not met.  The above was an intent to at least force the basic canon events to be paid for by Houses (such as Operations Galahad/Thor).  Each player was given these conditions in secret, so that the other players did not know.

Additionally:
Until the start of the 4SW, no House or power can attack more than 4 worlds on each front per round.  Failure to adhere to this (attacking more) would cause all attacks to get the uncoordinated attack penalty.

Wolf's Dragoons change to Questionable Loyalty in 3028, to signify pending contract renegotiation
Northwind Highlanders are changed to Questionable Loyalty in 3028 to signify pending contract changes.

No Capellan March Militia unit or unit of the Syrtis Fusiliers can be moved out of the Capellan March until 5 turns after the war is declared.

FWL units must be built as either Provincial forces or Federal forces.  Provincial forces get a 10% discount, but only 1/4 Provincial units are available at any given time to be on a world that was not an FWL world at game start.  Federal forces have an additional cost multiplier of 10% but can always be used. 

FS and LC players were free to exchange intel and assist with research every turn.
CC, FWL and DC players were only allowed to exchange intel and assist with research every 3rd turn until the 4SW started.  This was to simulate Concord lack of cooperation.
CC and FWL players can not have a trade treaty due to mutual distrust. 

Starting January 3028, a penalty begins accruing monthly for Mercenary retention in the DC, until a failed roll results in mercenaries leaving service.  At this point, this triggers the possibility of the FC alliance declaring war.  They can not do so until mercenaries have attempted to leave service from the DCMS, whether or not they successfully hire said mercs or not.  Penalty then disappears for merc retention for the DC player. 

The 4SW begins when the Lyrans and FS begin their full Operation, "declaring war" on one target apiece (they could have chosen any single target).  At this point, the uncoordinated attack penalty disappears for all invasions barring standard rules for such.

Once the 4SW begins, the CC also begins to accrue a penalty to merc retention rolls to signify that they could/will lose the Northwind Highlanders.  Once a failed retention roll results, whether or not they successfully re-hire said mercs or not, penalty then disappears for merc retention for the CC player. 

DC player MUST attack any Merc units that left and joined House Davion on the FS border (within 1 hex) before launching any other attacks into FS territory.  Each merc unit must be attacked with a minimum of 1 Combat Command (to simulate the private Dragon/Dragoon war) 

ANY R&D beyond starting levels, when a level of tech is gained, is a trigger for Comstar Interdiction roll.  This was a big one, attempting to limit the amount of R&D.  It could be removed if the player simply relinquished the level of tech again.  Players still did their R&D, hoping Comstar wouldn't find out. 

Comstar also had roving spec ops teams trying to take out any R&D

As stated previously, we used simplified raiding rules rather than the full rules.  The major advantage of using the simplified rules is that it fits the 3SW and speeds turn resolution.  Doing SBF or ACS for each raid would have vastly slowed down turn resolution.  It DID create some oddities for xp; most of the Wolf's Dragoons, for instance, at the start of the 4SW were Heroic status due to xp gain from raiding the FS border.  Some defending units in the CC at Ares and St Ives experienced the same, as did Chisholm's Raiders. 

As mentioned earlier, we toyed with special rules for the creation of the TFR and St Ives Compact.  One other thought was to use special operations to create rebellions in the worlds that would become the TFR, but it's 20 worlds; gaining 20 successful special ops while there are also combat commands there, even with MORE successful Terrorism ops would have been nigh impossible and cost far more than the cost of simply just invading. 

In the end, the FS player decided he was just going to want the worlds anyways, so we scrapped the rules.

The original notion was to have a test every round after all wave 4 targets were captured at an 8+, and if this occurs, the TFR would form.  It would then test on a regiment level for each unit remaining in the area assuming they had morale 7, with a penalty of 2 (nullifying the bonus CC gets for their Faction Trait for desertion) to the roll.  Anyone that "fails" the morale check, joins the TFR.  Any that succeeded would either desert and escape to the Confederation, or be purged by Ridzik (effectively destroyed). 

The CC player could choose to have an independent Non-aggession pact with the FS after 30+ worlds are taken by the FS; doing so "freezes" all St Ives units in the Commonality (they can't move) and/or also forces remaining St Ives units to return to the Commonality but also prevents the FS from attacking or raiding anywhere in the St Ives Commonality.  The CC player chooses whether to offer this, and the FS can choose whether to accept. 

The St Ives Compact would only form with a successful raid on Sian and then a test of 8+, with the conditions that: 1.  The TFR formed.  2.  All other worlds in the Tikonov and Sarna Commonalities had fallen to either the FS or FWL.  3.  The non-aggression pact with the FS was agreed to and adhered to.

« Last Edit: 27 October 2018, 13:51:08 by epic »
Agent # 703

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #170 on: 26 October 2018, 12:23:59 »
Additionally, we used the talked about options about upping the Lyran RP to match what is in IO rather than what they ACTUALLY had when counting worlds.

This mean upgrading a few worlds to minor AND we went with upgrading Hesperus II to a Hyper.  We didn't quite use the same recommendations on a previous thread, but the balance worked out the same, so that the LC had the listed RP as in IO. 

In retrospect... I think this was a mistake.  The LC player dominated precisely because they had so much RP that they just churned out units en masse. 
Agent # 703

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #171 on: 26 October 2018, 12:26:13 »
Additionally, we had a rule that ALL Periphery borders not inhabited by a major Periphery power (OA, MoC, TC) had to have patrols.  Any hex that did not have a patrol automatically was subject to possible pirate attacks - in the form of either Commerce Raids or supply raids.

Periphery powers were controlled by the GM.  They each had aims; the TC was to secure its border with the FS, and occasionally throw special ops at the FS industry, to prevent them from attacking.  The MoC wanted to build up forces and industry to prep to someday invade the CC - the goal was to get to battletech level 3 and industry tech 4, and then invade neutral worlds in the future Fronc Reaches/Aurigan and establish bases there that could then supply the CC invasion.  If this occurred before the end of the 4SW, then the MoC could have entered as a combatant.  As of early 3029, they still don't have these pre-conditions. 
The OA was originally going to be neutral, but the DC so badly ticked them off by forcing a trade agreement that the OA aims changed to: once the DC starts getting its butt kicked by the LC, they would end the trade agreement, and then would commence special ops against the DC.  They would also bolster their military to prevent a DC attack. 

Lastly, we had some minor pirate powers available for hire that could also do targeted raids on the Periphery border, having yoinked that idea from the Purist.

« Last Edit: 26 October 2018, 12:32:37 by epic »
Agent # 703

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #172 on: 26 October 2018, 12:28:09 »
Thoughts: after extensive play-test, and using our scenario rules that could be created in the game, the 4SW is VERY feasible to re-create using the base rules, up to the point where the story and plot points give extra advantages to the FC alliance.  After that, I suspect the War would/could still be won (we're still going to play it out) by the FC Alliance, but it will become bloodier.
Agent # 703

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #173 on: 26 October 2018, 12:44:58 »
I will post Player thoughts on their powers at end, as they come in today and tomorrow:

LC:  With all the resources I had, plus the capture of several outlying Periphery worlds, even with a long Periphery border that I had to patrol, I was so far ahead of everyone else that it was crazy.  I built an average of 1 full combat command a round, plus replacements of those lost.  That meant that I had built an extra 36 mech regiments from 3025 until 3028.  Training them from wet behind the ears to regular was essential; Flawed Doctrine meant that the penalty to hit and damage reduction for units was painful.  Large CCs are the way to go for the Lyrans (which as per the rules, they are) so that quantity makes up for lack of quality.

I found an odd thing that was very balancing too.  The Fanatical Offence/Defence of DC units eliminated the damage penalty of Flawed Doctrine, which meant that Lyran Combat Commands were better at fighting the Dragon than the FWL.  Sure, we took more damage, but the larger Lyran commands had more armour to give up than their DCMS counter-parts.  This meant that even with Flawed Doctrine, Lyran units of similar experience could out-fight their DCMS opponents through attrition.  Only when the DCMS would head-hunt specific units (sacrificing some armor to do more armor damage to me) would the DCMS come out ahead. 

 not having this against the FWL meant that the FWL forces were better at out-fighting my troops.  This led to me choosing the DC as my target for when war was declared. 

My extra money also meant that I would buy up ANY merc units that went on the market.  I especially targeted units with Light mechs, so that I could then turn them around to use the bonus 1 provided for raiding with them, as teh GM didn't have too many of my units start as Light to begin with (being Lyrans and all).  Life was hard to be a Lyran merc, as they were constantly raiding, but it paid well!

Overall, I would have to say that using the scenario rules as posted and getting extra RP, the LC was the most powerful force in the game.
Agent # 703

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #174 on: 26 October 2018, 12:55:21 »
DC:
Initially, I went nuts with all my Rp.  I definitely misspent, and that was probably my downfalll.  I kept building all sorts of specialty units - some for head-hunting, some for Patrolling, some for garrison duties, some for commerce raiding.

The problem with this was I suddenly had a glut of units that were not useful in a general war.  When the LC invaded me, and I threw these units into the fray, they died messily.  They were great for securing my border initially and doing the raids I wanted, but my supply situation was a mess.

I think that a proper DC player, building more conventional units, would have done better.  The RP I had was great.

I was also very hard on my mercs.  I knew there were probably going to be penalties for my mercs later in the game (yeah, I meta'd that) so I usedthem up as much as I could.  It meant that I had to keep training and creating small commands for Patrols and for commerce raiding though, and these all died on the Lyran border in the first wave of Lyran attacks.  Ugh.  Such a waste. 
Agent # 703

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #175 on: 26 October 2018, 12:58:49 »
Other players forthcoming
Agent # 703

The Purist

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 397
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #176 on: 27 October 2018, 01:27:30 »
Hmmmm,... I'm surprised by your LC comments. While our Commonwealth has a steady surplus of RPs the cost of (combat) supply for troops and fortresses often exceeds 1100 - 1200 RP, often more. Mercenaries another 300-400, movement around the combat zone 80 to 150 RP. The LC surplus (1500-1700 on average) simply ensures that there are supplies available the next turn (which must come from the surplus, not from new income). Other than Patrol Commands the LC in our game has not built a single new 'full strength' command (1/2/5/7/1). The need to replace destroyed commands and maintain a guaranteed supply pool have kept our Commonwealth from expanding too much. They have built a number of new factories but as noted elsewhere these take two years to pay for themselves.

The 36 new commands you note, at perhaps 12-14 RP each per month would cost an additional 432-504 RPs for just basic supply. If only 1/3 are in combat each turn during an offensive the RP expenditure explodes:

24 commands at (ie) 13 RP basic supply = 312 RP
12 commands at (ie) 52 RP combat supply = 624 RP

Total additional RP cost for these extra troops would be 936 RP plus RP for the rest of the military (~another 1100 RP)

Throw in 300-400 Espionage/Spec Ops RPs to protect factories, basic protection for transportation, comms systems and research and the LC economy is now probably over taxed (in combat at least). The espionage budget can be higher if you need to sweep for agents, employ domestic security for interior systems and so on. We regularly have factories exploding, transportation lines broken, terrorism attacks, etc. that all chips away at the economy since it is impossible to protect everything all the time.

Just a thought but perhaps by limiting your early game to just raiding you did not tax the economies of the stronger houses enough. In the game we have going it will soon be Jan 3021 and with two major campaigns in progress four of the five houses will not be able to meet their supply needs from their surplus pool before collecting new taxes (and this is with the FS now at IndTech Lvl 4). The Lyrans will be ok but this coming month will likely cost them more than 1300 of the 1600 RPs in their pool.

All this and the borders have hardly moved more than a hex or two in the Galedon District and Isle of Skye over 21 months.  :)

Cheers.

 
« Last Edit: 29 October 2018, 13:35:06 by The Purist »
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought upon the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

"...Remember also the two "prime directives" in playing BattleTech:
1. HAVE FUN
2. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SO CAUGHT UP IN THE RULES THAT YOU STOP HAVING FUN"
Page 168 - Reunification War

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #177 on: 27 October 2018, 13:45:58 »
In regards to not having a lot of conflict to begin with, and why the LC had so much income; that was the point of the experiment, after all.  To simulate the conditions that led up to the 4SW.  If the Concord worked together better, or was allowed to, then it would have been an entirely different war.

Heck, as is, they still fought a war in the Periphery, had a smaller scale border conflict with the DC, attacked the FWL and claimed a buffer of worlds AND were slinging special ops around at the FWL and Cappies (and occasionally at the DC).

What the LC player failed to also mention is that they had industrial tech 4 gained very early in the game, working with the FS.  The extra 20% RP they gained, plus extensive trade (they traded with everyone in the game other than the DC) made their economy incredibly robust.  The LC also invested in upgrading worlds to minor; they maxed out their worlds that could have this, as the long term investment advantage was worth it after the math was done.  They did this also early; so that by the end, they had 20 minor industrial worlds built up. 

Another point though; I strongly suspect that without the Concord alliance, the FWL would be able to gut the CC very quickly.  Even a limited offensive by the FS in support would be absolutely devastating because the FWL has the income and initial troop placement (most of the FWL militia units and the Defenders of Andurien) to launch some good attacks into Capellan space. 

 
« Last Edit: 27 October 2018, 14:23:11 by epic »
Agent # 703

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #178 on: 27 October 2018, 14:20:22 »
CC player feedback:

My allies sucked.  :P   I kept asking them to attack more, to give me more money for research, but they had their own plans.  The Capellan Confederation stood alone!

In all seriousness, I was crippled by a serious inability to gain any RP during the game.  Due to research costs and time, it took me apparently 6 times as long to get industrial tech 4.  I only got it active a month or two before the war.

From the start of the game, saboteurs and terrorists, as well as raids, targeted Capellan industry.  Tikonov for instance, basically did not produce its full RP for most of 3026 and 3027.  Either terrorists or saboteurs would hit it, even with security heightened.  In mid 3025, this was my situation:


FS forces - mercenaries mostly - would launch raids up and down the front, hitting supplies, raiding industrial worlds.  Green troops would get their supplies stolen.  Commerce raiding was enacted covering every hex within 2 hexes of the border, which meant that I had to pay for constant patrols.

My only real option was to scrimp and save for limited attacks to deal with these raids.  Espionage to locate them, and then I would send head-hunting missions to kill the mercs.  I found headhunting missions worked really well against merc units, because they don't have the stamina to take the damage.  It no doubt wouldn't have worked against a House unit, but I didn't have to fight those.

When I started killing off the mercs, it seemed like the raids started to slow down.  So... I guess taht worked?  However,t eh damage was already done.  Also, some of my indstrial worlds had only elite regiments on them now, so they were far btter defended against raids.

Commerce raiding only affects worlds that don't have a garrisoned Combat Command, which is why I think the CC was split up by battalions to cover so many worlds, so it didn't have THAT high an impact... except it did.  Because even the loss of 20 rp was precious to me.  Teh FS was clearly usng espionage to find out where my troops were, and was using the info to focus commerce raiding to best effect. 

Patrols and aero duels were constrant on the border, and aero losses were always having to be replaced.  This was more cost to me.  It was clear that the FS somehow didn't have the same economic problems - I tried to sabotage their research but they and the LC gained industrial tech 4 early, so that didn't work. 

I never really got to use my special ops either; I just never had the income for it.

By the tie I started to have income, the war started.
This was me in mid 3025 at one point:
Tikonov: terrorized so at half production
St Ives: raided and shut down for rp
Sarna: raided and shut down for rp
Sian: sabotaged and reduced to lower income
Indicass: raided and shut down for rp
Nanking:raided and shut down for rp
Styk: raided and shut down for rp
Ares: raided and shut down for rp

I was starting the turn with 740 rp in the bank and after combat supply (fighting off raids) and then without ANY other expenditure but basic supply of units I was going to go into the next turn with 640.  I was already at a deficit.  There were MANY turns like this, where I was paralyzed and had no income. 

I shudder to think what would have happened if the FWL had invaded at that point.  The FS didn't have the money, at least.  However the FWL could have thrown an attack at me and the extra cost of combat supply around then would have wiped the Confederation out.  I wold have issued stand and die orders to my troops; cuz if they retreated, I wouldn't be able to afford to supply them! 

I told my allies this, and tey promised to step up raids.  I saw that they did that, but against the LC, not the FS!  I asked for special ops, and they threw them at the LC!   Meanwhile, the FS slowly built up strength.

"Oh, they're a paper tiger.  the FS doesn't have the income to launch attacks beyond these raids.  You're good" was the response.  Sure, but they slowly were banking up RP, and were stealing supplies from my troops to increase tehir own!

 
« Last Edit: 27 October 2018, 14:27:03 by epic »
Agent # 703

epic

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1114
Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #179 on: 27 October 2018, 15:17:48 »
Gm sidenote: Capellan budget also included counterintelligence costs as well, not just unit supplies.
Agent # 703