Battletech Tuesday saw KuriboGoomba take control of his favourite Clan, the Ghost Bears, as they begin their invasion of Tukkayid. He chose a Timberwolf D with twin head-capping PPC's, two forward firing Streak SRM 6's and two rear firing Streak SRM 6's for taking a piece out of any sneak attackers, as well as a Mad Dog (no surprises there...) A. The A variant is capable of dealing 20 damage at range, with its PPC and LB-5X AC, but it really steals the show up close with its six SRM 6 launchers. Switching over to cluster rounds on the autocannon would also provide Goomba with even more chances of hitting critical systems. Both of his Mechwarrior were elite; 1/2 gunnery/piloting.
I teamed up with Heinz for this game, and chose a Crockett (Dragon model), Shadowhawk SHD-5M (Zeus model) and a Hussar (Cicada model). We had a Precenter with gunnery/piloting 2/3 in the Crockett and the other Mechwarriors were both veterans (3/4). We started the game in hidden positions, choosing hexes in the middle of the board to provide the best fields of fire early in the game, whilst keeping cover in reach for when things start to heat up.
The Ghost Bears positioned themselves in the prescribed hex rows (07XX, 08XX or 09XX) and fell into the Comstar trap perfectly. In the hex immediately behind the Mad Dog the Crocket opened up with all weapons, grievously damaging the Clan Mechs rear torso armour.
With the Crockett now locked in a duel with the Mad Dog, the Timberwolf challenged the Shadowhawk and proceeded to pummel it. It was not an even match-up, but Heinz and I were hoping that the Mad Dog would go down hard, leaving a more favourable three-on-one battle that Goomba had no chance of decisively winning. With that in mind the Hussar opened fire on the Mad Dog as well, breaking the dueling rules and opening it up as a second target for both Clan Mechs.
Our plan to eliminate the Mad Dog quickly was a good one, but for the second time in recent memory, the Mad Dog just wouldn't die.
Just. Wouldn't. Die.
The Crockett caused massive amounts of damage but spread it across locations. At some point Heinz made an error and broke a rule of the Shadowhawk's duel with the Timberwolf. Jumping on the opportunity, the Mad Dog got a good shot off at close range and hit with 22 (!) short range missiles. This is what that looks like, and he wasn't even done yet:
The Shadowhawk disappeared in the blizzard of fire, its centre torso utterly cored. The heat produced by all of that weapon fire caused the Mad Dog to shut down, so payback came quickly. The Crockett opened up on the Mad Dog's rear armour again, punching through to the critical locations and causing two head hits. It also sustained heavy damage to a leg, reducing its movement points.
The next turn the Mad Dog's systems came back online and it moved a short distance, shadowed by the Crockett. Both Mechs prepared to unload broadsides at each other, twisting torso to unleash hell at point-blank range.
The Crockett destroyed most of the locations on the Mad Dog in this final salvo, whilst the Timberwolf put some very lucky shots into the Hussar that chewed through it from arm to engine. Dead in one unlucky round. One-on-one, plan in tatters, the Crockett squared off against the essentially undamaged Timberwolf.
The Crockett lasted two turns, but put up a hell of a fight. It scored multiple head hits against the Clan Mech and had an opportunity to cripple it through engine or gyro hits, but my luck had run dry. At the end of the last turn the mauled Crockett failed a piloting skill roll at 3+ on 2d6 and we decided to call it a night.
KuriboGoomba is always a challenging opponent in Battletech and he knew how to make the most of the tactical error we made; the Ghost Bears were well deserving of the marginal victory it afforded them. I think they probably picked up a skilled Bondsman as well, that Precenter caused some havoc!
See you across the table,