Friday, February 27, 2015

BattleTech- Alpha Strike AAR - King of the Hill - Black Jack's Campaign

I ran and played in a game of BattleTech: Alpha Strike this week.  We had 4 players in the game.  2 of us have played before and kind of know the rules, and 2 of us were new players.

I decided to play the King of the Hill scenario form the Alpha Strike Compendium.  Each side got 3 lances of 3025 era (introductory rule) mechs.  Nothing was faster than 10" and each side had 6 jump capable mechs.  

I set up the table with some buildings from DropZone Commander, some roads, and other misc terrain.  I think the table looked pretty good but could have used a bit more terrain; trees would have been nice.

The tall building on the edge of the city was the "hill" as it was in the center of the table.  You didn't have to be on top of it, just in contact with it in some way.

The Kurita forces advance.  As we will see, we should have set up with a more condensed front instead of spreading out across the whole table.
The mercenary mechs advance using their jump jets to take firing points on top of some buildings.
The mercenary mechs await the advancing Kurita forces.
The right flank of the mercenary forces stand ready to fire upon the dragons.
The Dragon takes up a position behind an industrial structure ready to blast away at the mercenaries holding the objective.
The mercenaries form a defensive position on the objective ready to hold it against the oncoming enemy.
The battlefield.
Two Kurita Mechs take to the roof tops in order to blast away at the mercenary mechs.
Kurita forces advance on the objective hoping to break their hold on it.
A Zeus advances, ready to support the  mechs holding the objective.
A Catapult hides between two buildings and blasts away at the enemy while a Quickdraw attacks the mechs on the roof.
The Kurita forces were torn apart by the combined fire of the mercenaries around the objective.  A lone Cyclops holds the line and tries to do some damage.
Can the Cyclops hold up to this beating?
The mercenaries close in for the kill.
The combined fire takes down the Cyclops and mercenaries start drooling over the salvage value.

All the pilots were skill 2 so damage was easily dealt out.  It was a pretty brutal battle and it only lasted about 6 turns before we called it. The Kurita forces still had a few mechs coming toward the objective, but they were mostly mediums and would be facing a few heavies and assaults so decided to let them take the building instead of losing their mechs to a lost cause.

I'm still a fan of the Alpha Strike rules.  They allow for much quicker and larger games of BattleTech to be played within a reasonable time.  Some of the detail of Classic BattleTech is lost, but in my opinion, this is more than made up for with the quicker game play.

Below is a write up from one of the other players.  Bill, thanks for providing this perspective.  

The Black Jacks Mercenary Company- Operation Phone Call

Client-Code Black

Company Commander: Ben “Black Jack” Johnson-Black Knight

- Lance War Pigs - 
Lance Captain: Randy “War Boss” Seybert- Quickdraw
“Ching Ching” Charlie Donovan- Whitworth
Donna “The Heat” Douglas- Catapult
Rico “Suave” Vasquez- Grasshopper

- Lance La Cosa Nostra - 
Lance Captain: Frank “Stiletto” Gatti- Banshee
“Machine Gun” Joe Paterbo- Zeus
Nick DePaulo- Zeus
“Big” Jimmy Avalon- Hunchback

- The Gun Slingers -
Lance Captain:  “Thunder” Jake Johnson- Wolverine
Blue Anderson- Wolverine
Jack “Buck” Rogers- Enforcer
“Dirty” Dan Jensen- Enforcer

Frank “Stiletto” Gatti’s Mission Debriefing

Our mission on Okinawa 12 was to knock out a Kurita deep space communication array and get out with as few casualties as possible. Mercenary companies like ours don’t have the support of one of the “great” houses and mechs don’t come cheap. Our clients as always paid well for our services and their anonymity. House Kurita has plenty of enemies so they’ll never guess who our client was.

Things started off well our drop ship put us right outside of the communication station. We dispatched the two mechs guarding the place planted the charges and got the hell out of there. We hauled steel to the pick-up point with the reds right on our tail. War Boss played rear guard for the rest of us while we secured the LZ. Luckily their advance force wasn’t any bigger than our three lances. They sent one lance in ahead to cut off our advance on the LZ and La Cosa Nostra pasted them. Their Hunchback was a burning mess in no time. Their Dragon plus another mech tried to cut us off. I could see their Cyclops contesting the LZ with Thunder’s bunch. Machine Gun Joe got tore up pretty good by the Dragon and the Hunchback before it went up like a candle. Joe retreated around a building to keep his Zeus in one piece. We sent Big Jimmy around the building to flank them and he came up right behind their Dragon. The poor bastard didn’t know what hit him. Nick and I pounded the other mech they had while their Cyclops retreated around the other side of the LZ.

Right around then there was a lot of chatter from War Bosses’ lance. They got trashed pretty bad. Most of the reds came in from their flank and they were outnumbered two to one. They must have got a couple of them. I know Donna covered our flank and got a hit on their Dragon and then went up in a ball of fire. I think Rico and Ching Ching got lit up too. Their transponders never went off so it must have been quick. Right about then Blue took out their Cyclops and I smoked another mech of theirs that jumped in from the flank. Right before the airship came in Thunder had to punch out. I think it was the Cyclops that got him. Dirty Dan picked up Thunder and we dusted off. That last round of fire broke them and they disengaged. 

That’s about it. We lost three good pilots and four mechs. Not a good day. The reds must have heard us coming because they responded fast, too fast. I wouldn’t mind going after them again but I’m not going to do it for free.

Kills & Casualties
La Cosa Nostra- 3 Kills no casualties
Gun Slingers- 3 Kills, 1 mech lost no casualties

War Pigs- 2 Kills, 3 mechs lost, 3 casualties

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