Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Jump off to Joppa part 3

 In part 2 of this series, I discussed how I hosted a game at my house.

Unfortunately we had run out of time, and Stew and P had to depart.  The kid was convinced that we ought to keep playing, so rather than wrap things up where they were, we played on!  (and on and on).

This is how I felt after the game...
Since we only completed the shooting phase of the turn, the kid decided to take over the FWL invaders, and I took over command of both lances of Capellans. Finishing out the turn, the Highlander swatted the Wasp out from behind it, causing it to crash to the ground, and the FWl Crusader overheated, failed a shutdown check [rolled a 3 on 2d6!], and fell to the ground. 

The next turn the Highlander unloaded into the Crusader, the now fleeing Quickdraw, and then stomped the Wasp to death.  In the middle of the board the Battlemaster tried to evade the AC20 of the Huncback, and on the right side the various lights maneuvered around.  The Hermes II destroyed another Wasp.
Four Wasps enter, and three are burning wreckage

On the left the Highlander and the quickdraw-crusader duo fight it out rather inconclusively, as with a mighty +4 to the target number to hit the Highlander was missing nearly all its shots.  Near the middle everything seems to be trying to batter down the Battlemaster while the other FWL 'mechs tried to prevent that.  That pretty much defines the rest of the game. 

More of the same, although now the Crusader is fleeing from the Highlander which is following very very slowly at one or two hexes a turn.  Maneuvering for a shot at the Battlemaster, the Phoenix Hawk is unceremoniously shoved off a cliff, but manages to land on its feet.  Then it overheats.  I realized here that the Highlander had the range to the Battlemaster with its LRM20, and that the Stinger could spot for it... indirect fire followed. 

Different lighting suggests that this game is going on for a long time, and that is so!  The Quickdraw decides to jump over to the action in the center, hoping to get a shot at the rear of the Capellan Crusader.  The Locust gives up on trying to kick things and charges the Gladiator, but misses. (good thing too, as it ran something like 8 hexes for the charge)  The last of the Wasps is killed. 

Final action: 
The Battlemaster rather belatedly flees the action, but is shot to death, losing 3 of four limbs.  The Quickdraw, which had been leaping about with a damaged leg for most of the game finally goes down.

Closeup of the demise of the Battlemaster
The Battlemaster finally goes down! 

In the end, with only one 'mech remaining relatively unharmed, the FWL surrendered and negotiated to get their surviving pilots back.  The Capellans gained quite a lot of salvage... unfortunately most of it pretty wrecked! 

Lessons learned from all of this:

  • Battletech is fun!
  • Battletech is slow!
  • Hosting games is fun! 
  • Hosting games is also a lot of work!

Stay tuned for part 4, where I discuss some of the rules issues we had, and a few other general thoughts about the game.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Jump off to Joppa part 2

 As mentioned in part 1, I actually hosted a Battletech game at my house last month.

On a Saturday morning, I was joined by Stew and P, and my kid joined as well to give a total of four players. I had set the terrain (Grasslands 2 and 3 with printed hills, some buildings, and unfortunately no 3D trees), and P brought along a couple of pre-painted buildings from Gale Force 9.  Both Stew and P had played Battletech before, but in colleges, which is a fair ways behind us now!  The kid and I had played a few practice games, but nothing nearly as large and complicated as this, so there was a lot of looking up rule interactions. 

Here is the initial set up, with three lances prepared for each side. 

Record sheets take up a lot of room

We looked over the figures, and decide to take a light and heavy lance per side, rather than mix them up.   In retrospect we should have taken the mediums instead for a faster game. 

The Capellan Confederation ended up taking a light lance made up of two Wasps (WSP-1A and 1L) a Phoenix Hawk, and a Stinger, and a heavy lance made up of a Hunchback, Gladiator (3R), Crusader (CRD-3L), and a Highlander.  The Free Worlds League had a light lance of two Wasp 1As, a Locust, and a Hermes II, and a heavy lance of a Crusader, Battlemaster, Quickdraw, and and Orion.  Battle Value wise, the Capellans had 7520 and the FWL had 7441.  I took the Capellan heavies, and the kid took the lights, while across the table Stew took the heavies and P the lights. 

Turn 1

(Worth clicking to make the picture larger)
Turn one we maneuvered our units onto the board.  There was a pretty heavy concentration of units on the right side of the map, with 6 Capellans and 5 FWL 'mechs on that side.  However, the Highlander is perfectly able to hold onto the left side map by itself...

Turn 2 the kid declared a DFA attack on with a Wasp on a Locust, so I spent some time looking up the rules for that.  The Wasp missed, and then I had I look up fall damage for the poor Wasp.  I was too distracted to take a shot of that turn, but here is the Capellan light lance trying to box in the speedy Locust.  The kid also learned that the Phoenix hawk can effectively move OR shoot... 10 heat sinks on the standard model is just not enough! 

 Turn 3
In this turn the Highlander starts to take (and handout) a beating of the left side, while the Hunchback emerges from the city to shoot the Battlemaster in the chest.  AC20 is delightful. Well, to shoot it is delightful, not so much to be hit with.  The Gladiator punches the FWL Wasp in the face, and puts it out of the game, killing the pilot.  The FWL Crusader learns than dipping in level -1 water when you have no leg heat sinks and leg mounted SRM6 is just not a great idea. 

Hold still so I can punch you with 90 tons of mass

Turn 4

The Hunchback ran around to shoot the Battlemaster in the back, while the Crusader on the hill retreats after missing most of its alpha strike. (and got very very hot).  On the left the Highlander mauls the Quickdraw, and takes about half the missiles from the FWL Crusader.  The FWL Wasp does what Wasps do and runs around behind the Highlander and shoots.  And hits.  And hits it in the head.  And scores two critical hits destroying both sets of sensors so that all future shooting from the Highlander will be at a +4, but at least it did not kill the pilot!  

As you might expect with two new players, and two who had not played in 15-20 years, the game did not play to conclusion!  Stew and P had to leave to spend part of their Saturday with their actual families, so stay tuned for part 3 and the conclusion where the kid took over the FWL and we continued on. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Jump off to Joppa part 1

Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Joppa, where we lay our scene, from ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. 

A couple of  weekends I hosted my first ever game. 

I have been very busy in the last month, with the printer running pretty much non-stop generating terrain, markers, needed figures, and everything else in-between.

Additionally, I have managed to successfully use an airbrush, painted two company sized units of 'Mechs for Battletech, and read through the introductory, and Total Warfare rulebooks, as well as a whole host of online material, and I had open basically all day.  I have a bunch of posts stacked up regarding all this, as well as other more general hobby catch up posts. 

Lots more to come!