Sunday, 16 March 2014

Luthien Campaign Update

For the past couple of months, my mate Wade and I have been playing through a Classic Battletech campaign based loosely on the Luthien scenario book. The games have been incredibly close and hard fought, with many memorable moments to chew over in the aftermath. Most of the games have gone right down to the wire, with decisive moves made in the last turn or the last 10 minutes of the game. Here are the first couple of battle reports to get things started. I know some of my mates have already read these, but for posterity I wanted to have them all in the one place and provide a central location for new reports. Over the next week I should have all of the reports posted, so that I am up-to-date before the next game. It is scheduled to be an Alpha Strike match pitting a Clan Binary vs a DC Company. This is how it started…

Scenario 1: Hunting Cats

In this scenario, Draconis reconnaissance elements attempted to infiltrate the Smoke Jaguar landing sites. The defender was an Ice Ferret armed with an LB-2X AC and 2 ER Medium lasers. The attacking units included a Mercury, a Mongoose and a Rifleman. The Ice Ferret spent several turns evading fire and causing damage with its medium lasers. It was finally crippled, which triggered the arrival of a star mate in a Shadow Cat (Gauss Rifle, 2 ER Mediums). The Draconis Mechs attempted to withdraw with the intelligence they had gathered, including the appearance of a new, unidentifiable Mech. The Rifleman was destroyed with a devastating gauss rifle hit (below), whilst the scout Mechs escaped. The final result was a nail biting draw (-10 VP).

Scenario 2: Sleeping Dogs Lie

This scenario enacted a Draconis raid on a crippled Clan star of Omnimechs, having softened them up with explosive booby traps. The Clan forces included a crippled Dire Wolf (Gauss Rifle, 3 Large Pulse Lasers and 2 Streak SRM 6 variant). It had sustained 80 points of damage, including a 10 point hit to the head which had rendered the pilot unconscious. The other Mechs were a Timberwolf Primary and a Stormcrow (Ultra AC 20, 6 ER Mediums variant). Both had sustained 40 points of damage, but the pilots were conscious. The Draconis forces included an Archer, a Battlemaster, a Warhammer and a Phoenix Hawk. The Dire Wolf pilot regained consciousness on the first turn (7+) and attacked the Warhammer at punch hit with his Gauss Rifle and Large Pulse Lasers. The Timberwolf also engaged the Warhammer, decapitating it with two “lucky” ER Large hits. The Battlemaster pounded the Stormcrow, which failed to make an impression with its Ultra AC 20. The Archer blew off the Dire Wolf’s head with a salvo of LRM’s. The Timberwolf continued to dominate in direct fire combat, eventually taking down the Battlemaster. The Archer rained damage on both Clan Mechs. The Stormcrow was quickly crippled and forced to withdraw, only to be shot to pieces the next turn. The Timberwolf was also forced to withdraw, but lost a leg (a legacy of the damage it started with), so could not leave the board. Stuck without an indirect fire support spotter for the Archer, the Phoenix Hawk jumped out of cover but was mauled immediately. The Archer responded by finishing off the Timberwolf, which crippled it in return before falling for the last time. The final result was another close draw (+10 VP). It was agreed that the Timberwolf mechwarrior had performed valiantly, and would be the subject of a “prisoner exchange”. The Archer mechwarrior reduced his gunnery by 1.

Scenario 3: Fish in a Barrel

In this scenario both sides arrived in waves. The Draconis forces began the game with an aerospace advantage, but were under-gunned compared to the Clan force. They fielded an Archer, a Cyclops and a Stalker in reserve. The Clan force were without aerospace support for 1 hour of game time, but fielded a Warhawk Primary and a Summoner Primary, with a Mad Dog primary in reserve. The game began with the Cyclops running into heavy cover to avoid the Warhawk. The Archer began a barrage of LRM’s, whilst the Summoner hunted the Archer down single-mindedly. The Archer was hit turn after turn until it was left sprawled in the dust, whilst a lucky airstrike forced the Warhawk to withdraw with a gyro hit. It walked backwards whilst unleashing PPC barrages. It managed to finish off the Archer at range, as the Stalker appeared from the Draconis deployment zone to destroy the Summoner over two turns of horrendous close range fire. A lucky Clan airstrike forced the Stalker to leave the battle. The Cyclops mechwarrior made the critical error of breaking for better cover to escape the punishing attacks of the newly arrived Mad Dog, and was drilled through the rear torso armour by the Warhawk at extreme range, touching off an ammo explosion (140 points of damage, no case). The end result was a minor victory for the Clan forces (-20 VP).
Scenario 4: A Murder of Crows

In this scenario a trapped Clan Stormcrow (LB 10X AC, Large Pulse, 2 Medium Pulse variant), attempted to escape the clutches of a Draconis ambush. Facing down a Shadow Hawk, a Thunderbolt and a Kintaro was going to be a tall order. To win, the Clan side needed to destroy at least two mechs and escape, whilst the Draconis forces received points for surviving mechs and taking out the Stormcrow. The Stormcrow and the Kintaro slugged it out for a long time, which bought the other Draconis mechs time to get in closer, all the while launching LRM salvos indirectly using the Kintaro’s firing telemetry and Narc mssile beacon. The Stormcrow finally destroyed the Kintaro in a massive ammunition explosion, but fatefully sought refuge in partial cover. The Stormcrow was messily decapitated by medium lasers on the Thunderbolt. The end result was a minor Draconis victory (+40 VP).

So, four games in the campaign was poised on a knife’s edge, with an aggregate score of +20 (a draw according to our campaign victory conditions), leaning slightly towards the Draconis Combine. Stay posted for the next four games, which will see the Kuritan defenders blow the campaign wide open, only to allow the Invading Clans to claw their way back, albeit excruciatingly painfully.

See you across the table,