Friday, September 8, 2017

Battletech Alpha Strike - Combined Arms

Recently Bryan and I got together to play a 350 point Battletech Alpha Strike game. We went with combined arms forces, each of us had to have a mech lance, a armored lance and some infantry.

We have been using some of the advanced rules, specifically the variable damage rule, which totally changes the game. Variable damage means that for each point of damaged caused the shooting player rolls a dice, on a 4+ a point of damage is applied if not, the hit does not cause damage. Which means that if you are hit by a power heavy mech, it is not automatically the end, you take 6 points of damage. It does, of course, make the game longer as your mechs can survive a lot longer.

I went with a powerful Assault Lance of mechs with a Stalker, Atlas, Flashman and Maurauder. Then a fast, somewhat powerful, hover tank lance with two Drillsons and two Maxim transport tanks. The infantry had two teams of Grenadier BA, and two of Cavalier BA. My main punch was in the mech lance.

My mercenary Gun Dogs force.

Combined arms to the max.

Bryan had a mech lance with a Thunderbolt, Hunchback, Trebuchet and a Shadowhawk. His vehicle lance had two LRM carriers, and two Patton tanks. His infantry consisted of three teams of Cavalier BA and three teams of Longinus BA. Byrans force was well balanced with the mech and vehicle lances able to put out a ton of damage. The two LRM carriers and the Trebuchet could put out 5 damage out medium and long range each, that is rough.

Bryans force definitely had a lot of damage potential with the LRM carriers.

The board.

A dust up around a research station.

The Flashman with the loaded Maxim hover transports.

My forces moving up on the left flank.

Flashman watching for the enemy.

The assault lance watching out from the woods.
The Grenadier power armored troops bailing out of the transports.

The game progressed pretty well, I pushed up my APC's, BA and the Flashman on the left flank to take on Bryan's LRM's and BA infantry. Over a few turns I was able to destroy the LRM carriers and the infantry on that flank, but not before the LRM's put a ton of damage on my assault mechs.

In the center my slow assault mechs crawled towards the center woods and the tanks hidden within, Bryan's mechs also were hiding behind those woods. Over the first four turns my assault mechs consistantly missed his two Patton tanks or just did no damage to them when I hit. During those turns his LRM's plastered my assaults and his tanks hammered my mechs as well.

The infantry are hunting the LRM carriers who were a serious thorn in my side.

The Patton tanks were holding my assaults up way beyond their stats.

Maxims taking on the LRMs.

Bryans mechs hiding from my assaults and firing at my infantry and tanks.

The Cavalier battle armor are slowing trudging forward.

The assaults cannot take out the Patton tanks.

The enemy battle armor is also proving a pest.

The Cavilier's take out their counterparts.

The Patton tanks won't die!
By the time I had taken out his LRM's and the Patton tanks, my assault mechs were wrecked! All of them had taken structural damage and had crits on them. This was the time that Bryan pushed up his mechs for the kill.
Bryan's mechs are still very fresh.

Shadowhawk went for the weaker armor of the Atlas.

The mech battle is joined!
My mechs were in rough shape and Bryans are still fresh.

The Flashman missed... again.

That Trebuchet throws out the damage!
The last few turns were focused on the center of the battlefield in a swirling close range battle. It was a close thing but in the end Bryan's fresh mechs were able to topple my assault mechs. The Stalker missed two critical close range shots at the Shadowhawk and then at the Hunchback, as did the Flashman, three turns in a row it missed! However, Bryan's damage rolls were awful those last turns as well, so the dice do balance things out.

A fun Alpha Strike game, as always. Next game we will be running missions instead of just line up and shoot each other!

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