A few weeks ago Battletech Tuesday was dedicated to the final climactic battle of the Luthien campaign. Over the course of a year, Wade, KuriboGoomba and I had played 13 heavily modified games inspired by the scenario book. The vast majority of games have been nail-bitingly close and the campaign victory points standings have swung like a pendulum. Recently, the Draconis Combine had just edged ahead, despite the death of Takashi Kurita (I'm still proud of that one!). In the penultimate battle, Wade achieved a minor victory, placing him in the zone for a decisive victory over all.
The Clan forces were represented by a Dragonfly (piloting 4, gunnery 4), a Warhawk C (piloting 3, gunnery 2) and a Timberwolf Primary (piloting 2, gunnery 2). Both the Warhawk and the Timberwolf have been absolute scourges during this campaign, so we simply had to include them in the finale.
The Inner Sphere force was lead by Theodore Kurita in a Clan Warhawk Primary, hard won on the planet Wolcott. Backing him up was Morgan Kell of the Kellhounds in a modified Archer, who has a special ability that allows him to use his own targeting system to scramble enemy targeting systems. Rounding out the force was a Mercury and Mongoose from the very first scenario, and two hijacked Clan mechs from another scenario; a heavily damaged Stormcrow B and a Hellbringer A missing some head armour.
|My daughter insisted that Stormfly and Toothless watch the game :-)|
To open up the account, KuriboGoomba unleashed the Warhawk's PPC's on the damaged Stormcrow, with the hope of taking it out before it could get a shot off with its Ultra AC 20. The final shot from the salvo vapourised the Mech's head, which is the best luck that Goomba has had all year (usually he is the opposite of a good luck charm; sorry champ!).
|The Dragonfly begins its reign of terror. Unfortunately, it is not the only light Mech with pulse lasers bouncing around.|
In retaliation the Draconis Mech's pounded the Timberwolf as it moved to target Theodore's Warhawk. My Dragonfly jumped behind the Warhawk as well and the whole Clan force focused its fire for a turn. Once again, Goomba came up trumps with another stunning head-shot. Theodore Kurita, heir to the Draconis Combine, joins his father in the afterlife. Despite a heavy to-hit modifier, the Archer smashed the Dragonfly with a swarm of LRM's.
|Wade lines up his shot on my Timberwolf's cockpit.|
Hoping to silence the Archer that was efficiently stripping all of my Mechs of there armour indirectly, I raced the Timberwolf forward. The last time these two met, the Timberwolf disabled Morgan's Archer with his final desperate shot, so you could say there was bad blood between the two. Many (all?) of my Mech record sheets bear the scars left by that bloody Archer's indirect fire. Even within minimum range, the Archer slammed another two LRM 20 volleys into my Mech. In an effort to protect their last surviving hero, the other Draconis Mech's opened up as well, causing three mortal engine hits. In return, the Timberwolf mauled the Archer, knocking out its LRM launchers and bringing it to the brink of destruction. A speculative shot on the nearby Mongoose immolated it instantly.
|We reach that point in the game where all the light Mechs shoot each other in the back.|
As the Hellbringer exposed itself to fire on the Timberwolf, I again snuck my Dragonfly in behind to try and take it down. Despite causing several critical hits through exposed internal torso structure, the Dragonfly failed in its attempt and finally succumbed to the fire of the Mercury right beside it.
|...and stay down.|
Amazingly, the Hellbringer survived another three turns of fire from the Warhawk. Finally, the Mech went down, as Goomba split his fire to take down the Mongoose in the same turn. For a Mech with paper-thin armour, that Hellbringer took an incredible amount of punishment and held the midfield for close to 2 hours of the game. The last of Takashi's Dragon Claws had finally found his beautiful death. The return fire took off one of the Warhawk's arms, halving its remaining weapons.
At the end of the game we had an Archer that had sustained heavy damage and lost its main weapons systems, being stalked by a heavily damaged Warhawk armed with a single remaining Large Pulse laser. Considering the time and the lack of Draconis presence on the board, the mercenary Archer opted to withdraw, denying me vital victory points for killing the hero. It was somehow fitting that these two champions of the campaign survived to the bitter end.
Tallying up the points a few days later, it became obvious that the game was a draw (-5 VP). When applied to the campaign points tally, it was just enough to drag back the Draconis score to a minor victory. Considering that both the Coordinator and his heir had been killed during the course of the campaign, this seemed like a very appropriate result.
Final Campaign Victory Points Tally: +45 VP
Result: Minor Draconis Combine Victory!
What an amazing experience this campaign has been! My sincere thanks and congratulations go to Wade, for facing me across the table so many times over the past year. It was a hard-fought victory bought with the blood of the ruling family of House Kurita, various beers in responsible amounts, Kam Ying (Rainbow Steak FTW!) and Best of the 90's playlists. Thanks also to KuriboGoomba for being my stand-in while I put the kids to sleep and for reaping an incredible toll during the last game. Love your work and happy 20th Anniversary of Battletech ;-)
Se you across the table,