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Author Topic: Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!  (Read 571 times)

Weirdo

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Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!
« on: 04 June 2019, 11:53:33 »
Due to it coming up in the "Mechs I don't like" thread, and it being a fairly small scenario, I decided I'd post this challenge, being that of a single SLDF Exterminator ambushing a hostile command lance, with the intent of eliminating the commander.

Game Setup
Recommended terrain: Any mapsheets acceptable to both players, with a mix of open terrain and cover recommended. (When I played, we used Battletech, a Rolling Hills, and the Liao Jungle Arena double map.)

Arrange the maps in a 2x2 fashion. Defender chooses a home edge. Attacker's home edge is the opposite edge.

Attacker
Attacker's force consists of a single EXT-4C Exterminator. The pilot is elite, with skills of Gunnery 2, Piloting 3. In addition, the Attacker may use any two Special Pilot Abilities(found in Campaign Operations beginning on page 70), with Fist Fire being highly recommended but not required. The Exterminator's LRM-10 may be loaded with any era-appropriate ammunition.

Defender
Defender receives 6,000 BV to build a single lance of mechs. Improved skills must be paid for from that BV, they are not free. Star League era is preferred, but not required so long as the other requirements are met. Going slightly over 6,000 BV is acceptable if the opposing player agrees. Any era-appropriate ammunition may be used. Defender secretly marks one of his mechs that weighs 50 tons or more to be the Commander.
(In my playthrough, my force was a g4p5 ON1-K Orion, g4p3 BNC-3M Banshee, g3p5 RFL-3N Rifleman, and g4p4 WVR-6R Wolverine, with the Orion as the commander.)

Deployment
Defender deploys first, placing their forces anywhere along their home edge. After Defender has deployed, Attacker deploys anywhere on the map as a hidden unit, provided the selected hex is legal for a BattleMech to hide in, and is more than ten hexes away from the nearest enemy unit. In addition, if the Attacker chooses to load the LRM rack with Thunder munitions, they may secretly place 1D6 10-point conventional minefields anywhere on the battlefield, with the same 10-hex restrictions as above. For each minefield placed, mark off one salvo from the LRM's ammunition.

Special Rules
Eeney, Meeney, Miney...You.
The Attacker does not automatically know which defending unit is the Commander. It can find out by closely analysing the comms emissions of each enemy 'mech. Once per End Phase, the Attacker may select one enemy unit, and roll 2D6(1D6 if either unit is within an ECM field). If the result is greater than or equal to the range to that 'mech, the Defender must honestly tell the Attacker wether or not that unit is the Commander. This roll may be made even while the Exterminator remains hidden(if hidden, the roll may be done out of the Defender's view to avoid giving away information).
(Obviously, this requires the players to trust each other, or a neutral referee.)

Forced Withdrawal
Forced Withdrawal rules are not in effect for this scenario. The Attacker is an elite pilot who will not abandon their mission under any circumstances, and the Defender knows there is nowhere they can run that the Attacker cannot catch them.

Objectives

1. Get to da Droppah! (Defender only) Move the Commander off the Attacker's home edge.
2. I have you now... (Attacker only)
Destroy the Commander's 'mech, then escape off any map edge.

Victory Conditions
Commander escapes, Exterminator crippled or destroyed: Not only did their attack fail, but we also know exactly how to stop any future attacks! Major Defender Victory
Commander escapes, Exterminator still active: We stopped them this time, but they'll be back... Defender Victory
Both Commander and Exterminator destroyed: Defender has lost a valuable officer, but at least it's all over now. Draw
Commander destroyed, Exterminator escapes but crippled: Defender has lost a valuable officer, and knows that sometime in the future...it will happen again. Attacker Victory
Commander destroyed, Exterminator escapes and active: Oh sure, everything seems quiet. That's when the screaming and the dying starts! Major Attacker Victory

This is a small fight, but surprisingly challenging for both sides. Try it yourself, and let us know how it goes!
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
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Fear Factory

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Re: Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!
« Reply #1 on: 04 June 2019, 12:15:38 »
Okay... this looks very fun.

Colt Ward

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Re: Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!
« Reply #2 on: 04 June 2019, 12:54:45 »
Did you use Ghost Targets or any advanced TacOps rules besides SPA and the -4C's equipment?
Colt Ward

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TigerShark

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Re: Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!
« Reply #3 on: 04 June 2019, 12:57:02 »
Did you use Ghost Targets or any advanced TacOps rules besides SPA and the -4C's equipment?
Ghost Targets coming from where..?
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dgorsman

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Re: Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!
« Reply #4 on: 04 June 2019, 13:09:13 »
Nice use of specialized rules for the Thunder LRMs up front, and ID'ing the commander.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!
« Reply #5 on: 04 June 2019, 13:34:52 »
Ghost Targets coming from where..?

Quick read the Cham LPS on Sarna and skipped over the 'not' part on required.  Question still sort of applies, and it is that difference that I have been considering makes Stealth Armor more useful.
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TigerShark

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Re: Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!
« Reply #6 on: 04 June 2019, 13:38:17 »
Quick read the Cham LPS on Sarna and skipped over the 'not' part on required.  Question still sort of applies, and it is that difference that I have been considering makes Stealth Armor more useful.
Stealth armor weighs more and requires the Guardian ECM while NSS/CLPS weighs nothing and doesn't. There's pros and cons to both, but Stealth not being disabled when a limb comes off is probably the biggest, IMO.
  W W W . M E K W A R S - D O M I N I O N . C O M

  "You will fight to the last soldier, and when you die, I will call upon your damned soul to speak horrible curses at the enemy."
     - Orders of Emperor Stefan Amaris to his troops

Colt Ward

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Re: Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!
« Reply #7 on: 04 June 2019, 14:01:11 »
Yeah, and if playing with Ghost Targets, switching it off when in close b/c of heat load gets another use out of the ECM if its not needed to break C3 nets.
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Scotty

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Re: Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!
« Reply #8 on: 04 June 2019, 14:17:45 »
This is basically exactly what I would use an Uziel 8S for (with Jumping Jack instead of Fist Fire).  A terrifying cover-hopping predator.
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Weirdo

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Re: Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!
« Reply #9 on: 04 June 2019, 14:37:02 »
As has been pointed out, nothing on the board was capable of generating Ghost Targets. Had there been an ECM in play, then yes it would be allowed. In my group, if a TacOps rule like that isn't being used, it's only because either nothing present can use it, or none of the players present remembered to use it. Someone wants to use a weird movement mode or new use for a piece of equipment, the answer will almost always be "Go ahead".

This is basically exactly what I would use an Uziel 8S for (with Jumping Jack instead of Fist Fire).  A terrifying cover-hopping predator.

You want really scary? Check the scenario, the bit where the EXT gets two SPAs. Fist Fire was a given, but I was expecting the other guy to go for Antagonizer or Demoralizer - he chose Jumping Jack, which I had completely forgotten about. :yikes:
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
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Colt Ward

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Re: Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!
« Reply #10 on: 04 June 2019, 14:52:54 »
Jumping Jack is so go to for something 5/8/5 or greater, it is almost like my inclination to replace IS LPL with Snubs or UAC/5 on fast units with Plasma Rifles.  It is something I have to steer away from b/c it makes so much sense.
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Scotty

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Re: Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!
« Reply #11 on: 04 June 2019, 14:54:43 »
Given an 8S, I'd probably pick Sniper, for that pants -shitting realization that it's hitting you on 3+TMM at 6 hexes, and better than that up close. :D

The Exterminator though, those are definitely the two I'd pick.
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massey

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Re: Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!
« Reply #12 on: 04 June 2019, 17:00:54 »
Jumping Jack and Sniper are two of the best.  But the melee SPAs (specifically the one that gives an extra melee attack) are amazing.  They're so good they're almost unfair.

I don't remember, is Fist Fire available in Megamek?

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Re: Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!
« Reply #13 on: 04 June 2019, 19:54:01 »
Jumping Jack and Sniper are what I'd go for too, but I can see the attraction of Fist Fire in this scenario.

Out of the four 'mechs listed, I'm not surprised the Orion survived... those things are notoriously hard to kill...

Weirdo

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Re: Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!
« Reply #14 on: 04 June 2019, 20:18:50 »
It was luck, honestly. He didn't do well on those 'detect the commander' rolls, and circumstances just lead to the others being targeted instead. They all died brutally, too: The Rifleman died in the very first attack of the game when the Exterminator jumped out of hiding, executed a single laser punch through his spine, and screamed while brandishing his still-beating gyro. The Banshee took a few hits but died to a laser punch to the back of the head, and the Wolverine got face-punted eventually.

The Orion got DFAed twice, the first one knocking him into water and flooding the left torso. In the end, he was so beat up that we both agreed the entire game ended up resting on a single die roll: The second DFA actually snapped the Exterminator's leg off, dropping him behind a L1 hill. If he had been able to stand, he had perfect back shots and the Orion was so torn up that death was certain. The Orion lived only because of a single failed 8+ roll.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer

Daryk

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Re: Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!
« Reply #15 on: 04 June 2019, 20:24:36 »
Ok, that's more like the Weirdo I've come to expect here on the forum...  >:D

Still, the fact anyone else got you to that point means the 'mech was designed somewhere close to right.

massey

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Re: Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!
« Reply #16 on: 04 June 2019, 20:57:25 »
Okay, I tried this on megamek vs the bot.  No human opponents around to play, and I know you can do online megamek, but I am not an online gamer.  I took the Exterminator.

Result:  Major Attacker Victory

Damn, this thing plays like a Clan mech.  So I modified the scenario just a little bit.  My version of megamek doesn't have Fist Fire as an option.  I also forgot to turn off Forced Withdrawal, not that it really mattered much.  I didn't bump up the BV of the command lance all the way to 6000 (forgot to do that too).

Exterminator 4D with a 2/3 pilot, I took Jumping Jack and Melee Master (2 attacks per physical).  I think Melee Master actually has a prerequisite that I didn't take, but it doesn't really matter because I only got in like one round of physical attacks (two kicks to the Thunderbolt, hitting each leg and doing only armor).  I have Quirks active by default, and my opponents ended up with a +1 bonus to Init the entire time, so I had a hard time winning Init.  I also had Extreme Range turned on.  Regular LRM ammo because my megamek won't do Thunder ammo.

Defenders had the following:  Archer 2R, Thunderbolt 5S, Centurion 9A, Hunchback 4G.  All with 4/5 pilots.  BV was 2521 (me) to 4798 (them).

I used a 2x2 set of maps.  Upper left corner was Countryside 2 (with the twin lakes), upper right was Rolling Hills 1, lower left was Scattered Woods, lower right was Countryside 1 (with the two little lakes).  I started on the north edge, they started on the south.

Victory on round 67.  Every enemy mech destroyed.  The Executioner is down one jump jet, and I am completely out of missiles.  AMS never had to fire.  Left leg is completely stripped, only 3 IS left.  I hopped around most of the game with it wide open, but I kept the to-hits at 10+ for the bad guys and because of Jumping Jack and a better pilot, I needed like 6s and 7s to hit them.  Otherwise I was pretty fresh on armor, just some scattered damage but nothing internal.

Attacking from the rear didn't help me at all, the bot was smart enough to keep everybody together.  That Hunchback was effectively guarding everybody's back.  I had to jump around hills a lot, tried to keep to woods as well, and minimized LOS as much as I could.  The extreme mobility allowed me to engage when and where I wanted.  6/9/6 is awesome when everyone else is 4/6.  About every 4 or 5 rounds, I'd hit with all 4 mediums (or 3 mediums and the LRM when I still had ammo) and force a piloting skill check.  They usually made it, but when they'd fail that's free damage.

I had one really bad round where I was stupid.  For some reason I thought I'd won initiative, and went stationary when I had no line of sight.  Then the Thunderbolt ran right up adjacent and I was like "oh yeah, they haven't moved yet".  He hit with nearly everything and that's when he went internal on my leg.  Fortunately all I lost was the jump jet and my sense of safety.

The T-Bolt was the first to drop.  I'd scattered some damage on the Archer and the Centurion, but then the T-Bolt moved to nail me when I was stationary.  I made it away and managed to slowly strip his armor while the other mechs moved around hills and through woods.  Eventually I blew off his arms, damaged his hip, and just slowly picked him to pieces.  Lots of keeping no sight to his allies and shooting at him on 6s and 7s.  Eventually he was down to two medium lasers and I blew off his leg and put a gyro hit on him.  He fell, and then he ejected.  That's when I remembered I was supposed to turn off Forced Withdrawal.

I thought about fleeing there.  I didn't know if I got the commander (I forgot to check that at the end of each round), but thought some of the other mechs were injured enough, I might be able to get one more.

The Centurion went next.  I got chased around all four mapsheets by the remaining mechs, but particularly the Archer and Hunchback (Centurion could never get good sight).  2 LRM-20s and an AC-20 are a nasty combo to fight. Eventually I had a round where only the Centurion had LOS, and I lit him up.  Got him in the ammo bin, and he exploded.  During this time I got the Archer in the ammo as well, but the bin was empty.  What a jerk.

Thought about fleeing again, but I was getting cocky.

A bunch more turns while I slowly whittled down the Archer and the Hunchback.  The Hunchie still had a lot of ammo for the AC-20, and I was giving him a very wide berth.  Finally I penetrated his RT and knocked out that AC.  I knew I had them then.  More jumping around, more dancing, and then I put a gyro hit on him as well.  He fell and couldn't get up.  Next round I got him with 4 mediums and got his ammo.

Then it was just me and the Archer.  By that point, he had one LRM with 6 rounds, and his medium lasers, but he was stripped of armor almost everywhere.  I just bounced around and let him shoot at me, usually needing 11s and 12s, and I shot back needing 6s and 7s.  Eventually I took off a side torso, and at that point it was safer to be in front of him than behind him.  Last round of the game I took off a leg and hit his gyro.  He fell and then ejected.

--

TL;DR, I have to say it's got a great combination of speed, firepower, and armor for a mech from that time.  I ran it against 3025 tech because I figured that's mostly what the Star League was fighting.  I didn't take any opponents that were thin on armor or were known for torso bombs.  Every mech was a good solid badass.

The Executioner ripped them apart.  I definitely have a newfound respect for this mech.  If I'd had the Fist Fire ability, and didn't lose initiative two-thirds of the time, this would have been a lot shorter.  As it was, it plays kind of like a less ridiculous Black Hawk.

Iceweb

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Re: Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!
« Reply #17 on: 07 June 2019, 01:04:52 »
I wonder if the SPAs to pick here might be Jumping Jack (1+ to hit while jumping) and Rangemaster (swap long and short range modifiers).   The idea of jumping 6 to be 9 hexes from my target and unloading the 4 mediums as if they were point blank and I had walked would be pretty tough to beat without the enemy having some dedicated counters.  (A bunch of Snub PPCs come to mind) 

Of course the way the initiative systems works when you lose, and the fact that the enemy can eventually leave the map show the hard time limits of the strategy.   But that restriction is a given in a game where in universe an invisible jumping mech that was faster than it's prey could have a good chance at controlling the range and following the enemy to just about anywhere.   

Weirdo

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Re: Challenge - Survive the Exterminator!
« Reply #18 on: 07 June 2019, 01:22:46 »
I consider the map edge to be an abstract representation of "you've gotten far enough that the reinforcements you've been screaming for all this time can now intervene".
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer

 

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