Sunday, September 8, 2013

Alpha Strike with Hexes - Guest AAR

Savage Coyote from the Battletech forums has given me permission to post his recent AAR using hexes and Alpha Strike.  After his post, there's some very good discussion around his game and Alpha Strike tactics, etc. Go check it out for more discussion and more pictures. He makes references to pictures, so go check 'em out.

So my group (DFW Mechwarriors Guild of Arlington TX) just wrapped up an Alpha Strike game.  I took pictures with my phone so they aren't all that great, though I was able to bring my Alpha Strike company I painted for the book and had cards on hand thanks to Charlie Tango's amazing ninja job at GenCon.  so... the forces:

Roughly 160 point limit.  Two Teams

Team One:  Inner Sphere
Alpha Strike Marik company
Alpha Strike Lyran company
Davion force with a Devestator, Pillager, some BattleMaster variant, and a 5J Grasshopper along with two ziblers, two sorteks, two grenadier points, two gun trailers, and two artillery pieces of some sort.

Team Two:  The Clans
Clan Hells Horses (maybe) from the 3070's:  Dire Wolf D, Mad Dog D, Warhawk unknown, Gargoyle E, royal Thug, four points of elementals Clan WiE: Dire Wolf Widowmaker, Hellstar, Pack Hunter, Wolfhound IIc, 2x Timber Wolf A's, elemental point.
Ghost Bear Klondike company: (most are royal or star league variants) Atlas II, Orion, Guillotine, Marauder, Vulcan, Wolverine II, Shadow Hawk, Assassin, Hunchback, Black Knight, Rifleman II, Panther

Anyway, we played several turns (probably two or three) before I remembered to start with the pictures.  In a nut shell, the WiE and Bears deployed in each other's midsts while the Lyrans (me) deployed closest, the Davions in our corner, and Mariks on the opposite map edge.  I quickly decieded to put my Pursuit and Cavalry lances (minus the Hollander who went up stairs to the Tower of Doom) in the woods to form a road block until we could get organized.  My assault lance and hollander discouraged any backstabing adventurisim on the Bear/WiE's part.

You can see on the far left the Mariks making it to the edge of the mountain range and start engaging the horses, while the Davions slowly catch up to my position.  The Horses take up position in the trees, engaging in My Little Pony tree hugging antics while sending out long and medium range fire into the Mariks, which starts to take it's toll.  His elementals were also surprisingly effective.  In this turn, I introduce the Bear Guillotine to five or six of my faster medium and light 'mechs, and it dies.

So after the Guillotine goes down, the WiE assaults move up.  The Hellstar catches some love from my assault lance and from some of my line holders and I believe I managed to get a weapons hit on him.  The Mariks and Horses trade more shots with the Mariks coming up on the short end of the stick IIRC.  Other than that, we pretty much wiffed with most of the TH numbers needing 8+ across the board.  The WiE Pack Hunter and Wolfhound IIc start to pile up the damage on my Stalker though as only the Zeus landed a hit right before the files started to strip all of the armor off of the pack hunter.

Okay, in my area, the Bears Orion moves up, as does the Hellstar.  The Davion player and I decide to try and humiliate the Hellstar for the final kill (it needed two damage to internals to kill it.)  His Zibler's get to fire first, both connect, and each does a point.  My Vulcan wasn't needed after all!  The rest of the forward unit fires on the Orion, taking it to one internal with the Zeus or Banshee finishing it off with extreme overkill.  Other that, our flank was quiet as most of the shots from the Bears/Wie missed (my Falconer took the final fury of the Hellstar, stripping it's six armor off.)  Mariks and Horses keep playing tag... Davions are starting to creep up to reinforce my line.  I believe i lost my Bushwacker this turn, though he'd passed out at least six damage throughout the game.

My Stalker has drifted back to partial cover as the two clan lights have gotten it to two internals.  The rest of my force minus the Falconer are doing well enough.  The Atlas II moves up to the spot that the Guillotine died and the Hellstar received most of it's punishment, misses it's shot, and all but the Hollander fire on the Atlas, killing it.  From pristine to the Zeus overkilling for the finish.  The return fire wasn't too bad for me, though the Mariks are starting to enact our on-the-fly plan and start to move over towards us while the Horses let the elementals "rush" forward while they hug the trees and engage at medium and long range.

Now, I missed a turn... fuzzy, but the Bear Vulcan jumps behind the Falconer, who pivots to avoid backstrikes, but takes a crit hit from the Vulcan who rolls a 12, killing him anyway.  The Falconer finishes off the Rifleman Iic, while the Banshee curb stomps the Bear Vulcan.  The Stalker takes a medium range hit from the Wolfhound Iic and dies, while the Mariks keep littering their advance with a military hardware... but... it's almost time for them and the Davions to charge over the hill.  Notice as a good Steiner I'm letting someone else do my dirty work for me? 

So the Marik/Davions charge (why does that sound like a bad Isis joke?) into the teeth of the WiE and Bear units, with horse elementals getting into the mix on the far right flank.  My Assault lance + Hollander fire on the Horse Gargoyle taking it to two internals, while my line of fast picket 'mechs is missed a lot and dumps a lot of fire into the Bear Shadow Hawk, doing several crits to it but not killing it.  The Bear/WiE attention is suddenly not on me for the first time of the day, so it's time to show them what true Steiner's are made out of.

I unlesh my little guys, with the Commando, Vulcan with a rear shot, and Battle Hawk knocking all of the armor off of the Dire Wolf Widowmaker.  My Nightsky attempted a 7 damage DFA but missed while the Dire Wolf ignored everyone, wasting the Marik Orion.  My Salamander or Hollander finished off the Gargoyle at long range and I lost my Vulcan to a Timber Wolf A (an unholy terror of terrifying damage, speed, and heat proportions!)  I'm starting to forget exactly what happened, but the best line of the day for me anyway was Atlas3060 telling me he'd told the WiE player to get ready, because "he's going to do all the sneaky, jumpy, bastard stuff and jump all over the map."  They were surprised I didn't, but then it's Alpha Strike!  A lot of other stuff just disappeared this turn as you can see in the next photo... stuff just started to drop.

My Battle Hawk and Commando stick with the Widowmaker and finish it off, but the Widowmaker nukes the 'Hawk and the Bear Hunchback puts down the Commando (or maybe it was a TWolf A? I can't remember...) and my Nightsky is dropped by the Wolverine II.  So in one turn my highly dangerous mobile unit is gone.  My assault launce did uh, well, i don't remember, but we were quickly running out of Mariks, though the ones left were tough and hard to hit.  The Davions were mixing it up and the Devestator was just getting to the party in time.  The Horses Dire Wolf is plain mean and was going on a killing spree as well.

Last photo, sorry it's blurry.  This turn, my assault lance focused on the Twolf A that was out in the open, taking it down to three internals while the Devestator killed it with a 7 damage shot.  My Zeus was taken down to one internal, while the remaining Mariks killed the Mad Dog and Warhawk for the Horses.  Davion lost his Grasshopper down at the bottom and thats about all I remember.  We called it after that.

Thoughts:  I held the line with my picket forces backed up by my Assault lance.  It created a no go zone of death that killed everything that came in front of it save for the Bears picket units.  We just couldn't hit each other.  This allowed my team to mass, strike, and then pour into the enemy.  We won by at least 40 points (we added up our remaining point values to determine a winner) though I feel it was still anyones game, as the TWolf A is a killer at all ranges and that Dire Wolf D still had some life in it.  My Banshee, Salamander, and Hollander were still fine, but who knows.  I was very lucky as the WiE player and Bear player missed a lot of 7's and 8's that I managed to hit to drop their units while mine were a pain to uproot.  It was also awesome to field my company with the AS cards compared some of the more "tailored" forces that were brought.

The Davion artilliary didn't do much but miss all game so I can't say much about that.  We all had 3 pilots to speed it up a little... I think it was pretty successful and numbers do win out in the end, though the Clanners can at times really scare you when they dump 7 or 8 damage into something and make it disappear (like my Pursuit and Cavalry lances!)

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