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Author Topic: ISaW Game, epic style  (Read 5744 times)

The Purist

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Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #180 on: 28 October 2018, 15:08:50 »
…<snip>...CC player feedback:
...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…<snip>...

Well,.... first thing I'll say was that followed your narrative over the past months quite closely, thanks for taking the time. It's just my opinion but might your preconceptions of what 'raiding' should be not have undermined the Capellans?

1) For example, your refusal to employ garrison aerospace wings made protecting planets extremely difficult. Tikonov, Sarna, Cappella and St Ives each rated from 150 to 300 PV. Major worlds, 250, Minor 100 and 'other' 50 PV. In the case of Ambergrist above, as an example, if it had its 100 PV of garrison wings, a single command with just two medium wings could have brought it up to 200 PV for the -2 to Insertion DR. If a small patrol was on St Ives this places it within range of a patrol for another -2 DR.  Raids suddenly become far less likely until something is done about all those fighters (namely a Naval Battle) as they tend to regenerate slowly.

2) The second issue is not your doing but as we have discussed, the raiding rules have the almost unstoppable Disruption Raid and the 'Quick Resolution Method". Both are slanted heavily in favour of the attacker if no negative mods are available (yup, fighters again). Once you get to the planet (Insertion) and if you bring along only a +1 to the 'mission' DR, the odds are very good that two light tank companies can shut down any planet in reach for a minimum of two months. Now it may just be my lack of reading in Uni-lore but I don't recall any system similar to Tikonov or Hesperus II being completely shut down for two months (on a bad day for the raiders no less) because a company of Scorpions paid a visit. The rule as structured literally means you can give up 12-16 armour points to stop the production of as many as 240RP over those two turns. Do this to Sian, Capella, St Ives, Sarna, and Tikonov and the CC is down 1200+ RP for the cost 80 armour (1 RP), if every attacker dies, and 110 RP for supplying five small commands (merc size).

1200 RP vs 111 RP. Why would you not make the attempt every turn (especially without fighter garrisons)

This is a major miss in the rules especially since the ISaW rules actually make placing factories inside fortresses (minimum Std-2) a wise defensive move. Yet there are no mission modifiers for a "fortified factory". The reason we use BF and SBF so much for raids is that getting at a fortified factory is far more difficult and the damage inflicted considerably less than one might think. It's just my opinion but that entire table needs to be redone. Perhaps a disruption raid might reduce a percentage of the planets output but it should be graded against the size of the planet's potential RP generation. An "Other World" might be brought to a halt relatively easily, a fortified major industrial world that is also a Regional Capital would likely lose only a fraction of its output to a raid.

On the other hand throw three large commands at Tikonov for a two month campaign and the rules have plenty of scope for damaging a factory or two. Infrastructure Damage "Battles" and full "Invasions" all have the means for damaging a factory without conquering the planet. In both cases the attacker must expend far more resources and take far greater risks to knock a planet like Tikonov 'out of action' for as long as two months.   ;)

3) This next is about the rules for raiding and range. The rule itself is not specific and leaves one with many questions but the other rules surrounding movement may be a guide here. We had started limiting raids to one hex some month ago after further review of the rules surrounding movement. As noted on page 355, if a command (or, presumably, even part of one) moves more than one interstellar hex from its starting point it is not allowed to use "offensive" orders. This would preclude a raid. and limit them to one 30 light year jump.

Now, I'm not saying that a CC that uses a Raid order (1 pt) must also use Assault Move and/or Attack but the introductory paragraph in Movement Orders on 355 does state "Unless otherwise noted, all movement rules apply." I have raised this question with Welshman so we may get some claritty. If unchanged, the rule is broad enough that a CC could raid planet X, assault move to planet Y, Attack' the planet there and set up a Counter-insurgency mission all with 4 orders point. Seems a bit over-active to me.   :)

Thanks again for your posts.

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epic

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Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #181 on: 28 October 2018, 15:51:25 »
Yup.  On one hand, simplified raiding sped the game up.  On the other, it DEFINITELY worked against the Capellans in this game. 

We started thinking about an alternate rule for simplified raiding, one that would also encourage some units to have JS built with the combat commands:

Raids can only be undertaken by CCs with their own JS.  This would have then limited the types of units and amount of units that could do such a thing, and have encouraged the production of CCs to a limited extent that had them as both yours and my campaigns noticed very quickly that combat lethality meant that producing combat commands with their own JS was just... not economically sound.
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epic

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Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #182 on: 28 October 2018, 16:27:49 »
FS player feedback:

"My ally rocked.  I mean, sure I got to stomp the Capellans, but I only got to do it because of the Lyrans. 

Most of my espionage was actually done by the Lyrans.  They had the income to locate forces, and then simply shared the intell with me as I couldn't afford to do it myself.  Same on the Draconis front when we did our first few attacks there and I claimed the world of Huan. 

I really struggled with the notion of what to do, and whether to attack House Kurita instead in a double attack there, and leave the CC alone.  What decided it for me was that I was crippling their economy in raids; something I knew wasn't happening with the DC.  If they were that crippled, I figured the war could overwhelm them.  So I maintained the raiding pace as much as i could.

Also, I loved my mercs.  The BSI were phenomenal... I think I rebuilt them 3 times.  When they finally were killed on Arboris in the Capellan  counter-attack, they STILL managed to get out with an armour battalion and a fighter wing, but everything else died there.   

The Capellan campaign to hit my mercs back worked; I ran out of cheap expendable units mostly to do my raids.  However, they had done their job, and I was able to hire a few new units to keep up the occasional raid. 

One thing that worried me was that my raiding campaign had very much increased the experience of some Capellan units. 

I also used my disruption raids as "cover" for recon raids into areas.  I found that recon raids are a very economic way to get intell rather than espionage in areas, due to the fact that a good roll would give me intel on some surrounding hexes too.  I didn't have to worry about false info either.  So whenever the Lyrans weren't doing espionage for me, I dropped a recon raid in.

My allies got my industry up to tech 4, and the extra money was a saving grace.  Then, I managed to upgrade a couple worlds to minor, to give me a bit more money. 

After ther early turns, I didn't engage in special ops; my opponents were to heavily invested in counterintelligence.  The few I did were targetted at: Capellan industry or alternatively, FWL technology.  By keeping the FWL away from having industry, we figured that the other players wouldn't be as good at focusing their rp.  I also hit Capellan research on occasion, but only when I could afford it, which was not very often.  Again, my Lyran allies did a lot of the heavy lifting work there. 

I never built any extra units; mostly, I was focused on supplying what I had and rebuilding what I lost.  The war actually could have started a turn earlier, but I got a bad merc retention roll right near the start of the war, and had to spend an entire turn worth of income keeping what mercs I wanted, and letting some go (I got the result where ALL mercs contracts were up).  It was brutal. 

The FS income made it very hard for me to build up a treasury.  So, I turned to supply raids using expendable units (aka mercs) to hit up large, green formations of my enemies.  The DCMS mostly blocked me on this; I think I only succeeded once there, against a Galedon regiment.

The Capellans though... oh man, I stole so much stuff from them!  Again, though, they got wise to this (and gained their own xp) so it didn't last long.  Still, it was worth it. 

The funny thing was, these raids usually only broke even for me even if succesful. But, they built my own experience up, wasted Capellan rps on combat supply as well and that prevented any black ops from hitting me fromt he Capellans. 

The FWL, CC and DC all would get hit by Lyran saboteurs and my own on occasion.  Meanwhile, the DC sent their spec ops against the Lyrans and so did the FWL.  The CC never could afford it, so it meant that my economy didn't suffer the same disruption as everyone else.  SOMEONE hired pirates to hit my outback, and while I covered it up, they destroyed a Crucis March Militia unit!  Had to scramble to get mercs in place to go on patrol for that, and that also screwed up my timetable for war.

Oh.  The damn Kuritans kept raiding Marduk and Quentin.  I had to post some really good troops at both, and that was frustrating.  Also, the Dragoons were a menace along the border, constantly raiding and damaging stuff, stealing supplies mostly.  I did have a great moment when the Alpha Regiment of the Dragoons - either Elite or Heroic by that time, had their raid beaten back by the Bell Training Battalion, which was Green at the time.  Heh. 

That being said, oddly I was never too worried about the Dragon.  They would send raids and did launch attacks, but their Fanatical attack and their other trait where they get a penalty of 1 to initiative meant that on defence I had a +2 on initiative against them (1 for Superior Doctrine and then their penalty of 1) and then would be doing a minimum of +20% damage to them.  I could do defensive tactics to reduce my own damage if I wanted, or go full offense and badly damage good combat commands with just militia troops.  The extra initiative was huge as it meant that my regular troops could usually stand up to veteran troops on the DC side.  We proved that with the battles of Kesai.

Naval engagements; they were my bane.  I had so many patrols and little aero engagements on both my borders!  Repairs are cheap, but were constant in that field.  I can only imagine FS aero manufacturers greedy little hands rubbing together at the thought of what was happening in the aero fights and the lucrative contracts they had. 

There was even an "incident" with the Taurian Concordat that happened as well.  It "may" have been because of some raids I threw into their space, which then caused them to react.  Heh.  Silly Bulls.  Anyways, they retaliated and crushed pretty much every aero wing I had on my border with them, and did a few supply raids.  I asked the Lyrans to pay them off with intelligence favours and a promise to not raid again (which I never broke).  It was a silly mistake, to see if I could get more $$$ but did not pay off.  I also did propaganda to cover up that skirmish too.  Didnt want my main foes to know what was going on. 

Now.  We built our lineup of troops based on canon FS units.  Apparently, this was a saving grace; from what I understand, the FS cant afford what they have if they were all the standard rct.  It gave me enough RP to be able to do some things, which I nursed into a big enough treasury to sustain a war. 

I meta gamed a bit; specifically, I knew that we would be playing only up to the end of the 4SW.  So, I set a target treasury for the war, knowing that when it started, I only had to last my treasury until the end of 3029 really. 

However, the (short) Comstar Interdiction screwed up my economy.  Also, I overspent hiring mercs or retaining them, and so my treasury is a lot lower than i want. 

Oh well.  Still stomping the Cappies.  Superior Doctrine ftw!  Any unit that I had equal experience with, I still had the advantage.  My green units could stand up to Regulars, and that was huge.   I also was finding that anything that could force a morale check was handy in ACS, because the CC was bad at morale checks.  This shaped my ACS strategy against them.  The DC, I just focused on killing them.  The +20% meant that wasnèt too hard.  The CC, it was just easier to break them, and then I would let them leave a world.  Their morale would then be bad... and apparently they started deserting or mutinying, which was the goal.  Formations would just evaporate due to this. 

The DC apparently this turn has launched attacks at the Galtor Thumb, so I will be starting to lose worlds there, but the Cappies are just toast.  I cant see them regaining what they have lost now. 
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epic

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Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #183 on: 28 October 2018, 16:47:22 »
FWL Player:

Being the Captain-General is frustrating.  My allies depended on me to fund research efforts and share with them, which required me to every 3 turns dump lots of income into that, rather than doing stuff I wanted, like attacking the LC.

My plan was to snip off the Isle of Skye, plus Hesperus II, and gain all those tasty industrial worlds around there.  Plus get a common border with the DC.

However, we had a house rule for the provincial forces.  It was that only 25% of the provincial forces could be on a world that wasn't a beginning world at any given time, and worse, this would be affected by the roll that determined economy.  So, on a given turn, the actual provincial forces available could be anywhere from 10-40%.  If over that, they would have to withdraw back to a FWL world.

And that meant that I had to mostly rely on the Free Worlds Militia units, who were; 1. on the capellan border mostly and 2.  not half as good as several key provincial units.

Yes, I got a discount on provincial units.  I briefly thought about building more so that I could use more, but it just didn't seem worth it.
Instead, I focused on making a couple of these units really, really good.  Also by raiding the LC whereever I could.  The problem is, the LC ALSO raided, and I had more industrial worlds on the order than they did.  Plus, I was getting constant saboteurs and terrorists.  Oh SAFE, why you so bad? 

Still, I worked on building up my economy.  Upgraded a few worlds to minor, established trade treaties.  Rebuilt losses from the Lyran invasion - THAT scared me though.  They threw a lot of units at me and established their buffers.

What made it worse was that I had inferior intelligence as a trait, and I just COULD NOT get any espionage actions to work.  I spent huge amounts of RP on espionage and got no return for it usually.

I really should have started throwing in recon raids - which I did late in the game, once I realized what they could do.   I also asked the DC player for espionage, which he obliged once or twice, but the Lyrans had heavily fortified and had lots of units in Skye region, so the opportunity didn't present itself. 

Oh, I so badly wanted to attack the Capellans.  I figured I could have taken Sian, Betelgeuse and surrounding areas (and... Corey? I think).  Then followed up with an attack on Capella itself.  It would have been glorious. 

I mean, sure, the DC would have been screwed, but I would have been ahead and maybe even gained enough to become a superpower myself. 

However the Lyran attack convinced me that the Lyrans had chosen me as their target for war.  When they withdrew, I was still scrambling all my forces to prepare, and was finally starting to build a few new combat commands and training them.  With these all being new Federal troops, I would have the fist I needed to finally carry a war forward.  By the time of November 3028, I had 12 new Marik Militia Combat commands, all green or wet behind the ears, at Training Centres getting up to Regular experience.  I had my war group ready for reserves.  The invasion begun, and Lyran troops were spread thin based on intel.  First, retake all my original worlds (and post provincial garrisons there!) and then start hitting choice Lyran targets. 

Overall, I had horrible luck with my RP - Parliament seems to hate me.  For whatever reason, I had far more rounds with negative modifiers than positive.  Lyran troops were not shy about counter-attacking too.  His strategic reserves were just bigger than mine, and he had almost no green troops, having trained any unit that could up, or using them in raids or attacks into the Periphery to build experience. 

Still, Lyran troops sucked on the battlefield.  Whenever I faced them and had similar numbers or experience, FWL troops prevailed.  It was only when he would sling huge numbers or have an elite group leading them that I would lose. 

FYI: FWL heavy air wings rock, as per stats from Campaign operations.  Also, FWL heavy and assault mech battalions have better TMMs than anyone else's I think. 
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The Purist

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Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #184 on: 30 October 2018, 13:12:42 »
Good evening, Epic,

Just checking in on the FWL Espionage. I hope you did not penalize Espionage [or] Counter-Intelligence [edit][/b]and Sabotage Ops by +1 for the FWL. Note the trait only applies to *Spec/Black Ops*.

The inverse also applies to the Houses with the Superior Black Ops trait. Esp and Counter-Esp missions do not get the -1.


Otherwise, your experience is not that different from what is going on in our game. Well over 66% of the Parliamentary DR have resulted in negative modifiers. The +1RP for CCs that pay combat supply has been more balanced but that RP only counters the +1 RP for a few commands. All others still CCs still pay +1 for the 'Supply Problems' trait.

We have not been as harsh with the Provincial commands. Pro-Marik provinces like Oriente need only leave one CC from each brigade at home, the others can move and fight but they have a casualty limit of 50-75% before they are recalled for rebuilding. This means the Capt-Gen can't really use them for cannon fodder or he would soon find them headed home.  The anti-Marik provinces seldom let more than a few commands far from home. The Sirian, Silver Hawks and Andurien's, for example, only allow one command more than one jump away from home and they never have more than a 50% casualty cap before recall. In all cases recall means being moved back within the borders for rebuilding before another command will be released.

Fighting the Lyrans is still tough, that -10% damage they suffer for Inferior Doctrine is never a guarantee of success because of the larger Lyran commands and (generally) more powerful battalions. That said, Lyran heavy fighters are just frightening, even for the otherwise powerful FWL heavy wings   :)

EDIT: whoops, 2nd SW does add +/- 1 to Inferiror or Superior Spec Ops. My fault for posting on the fly. Corrected above

« Last Edit: 31 October 2018, 11:33:08 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

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Re: ISaW Game, epic style
« Reply #185 on: 30 October 2018, 15:35:57 »
I think the FWL was also enjoying the penalty to init and engagement that the Lyrans suffer.

As for the bonus/penalty for ops and espionage.

As Second Succession War was published after IO and thus, the traits weren't available at the time, we assigned the Inferior/Superior Foreign Intel and Counterintel traits to folks.

This meant that the FWL also got hit with inferior Counterintel.  The CC got Superior Foreign Intel.  The FS got superior Counterintel.  We also assigned the TC and OA inferior Foreign Intel. 
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