Thursday, 1 November 2012

Mummerset 10.28.12: The 3rd Battle of South Boring AAR


The set up, and all is quiet with House Steiner forces with hidden deployment.
The players plan was to hide their mechs in hidden prepared positions, and wait for the anticipated attack by the Freedom Army of Mummerset on the day when the next pirate jump point opens.

Background

The Freedom Army of Mummerset have a four part plan to bring their ten year campaign to a successful conclusion.

The first part of the plan is how to neutralize House Steiner's deployment? Over the last year FAoM high command have come to the conclusion that House Steiner forces will use their dropship to deliver forces to stem attacks made against their ally General Whales. Therefore the Circinis Federation dropship will engage the House Steiner dropship in orbit and prevent it from landing during the planned offensive. The plan is to deploy a short-battalion size force with a demi company of battlemechs, drawn from  FAoM and Circinus Federation assets in support. This force will be deployed to destroy House Steiner non-battlemech ground forces that remain in South Boring.

The second part of the plan is to simultaneously attack General Whales in South Boring and reduce his assets so that he no longer has an effective force. It is imperative that his battlemech forces are eliminated, and if possible capture, or kill, both General Whales and last remaining heir to the throne of Mummerset. A second short-battalion sized force, again with a demi company of battlemechs drawn from both FAoM and Circinus Federation assets will be in support. This force will deployed with the objective of eliminating all Royalist forces.

The third part of the plan is to also attack the remnant forces of the Mummerset Republican Guard, defeated at the hands of General Whales and House Steiner allies, who retreated to the capital Clear Water Boring. A third short-battalion sized force will be deployed for this objective with two FAoM battlemechs and one Circinis Federation battlemech in support.

The fourth part of the plan is to detonate the mines that have been placed at Landfall to deny the enemy use of the refueling and repair facilitates that are currently neutral, and supporting both Rufus Marx's Republic of Mummerset government and General Whales Royalists.

In reserve at Newten are a full battalion with air mobile assets for deployment for the follow-up operational phases.

OPFOR Composition (Freedom Army of Mummerset & Circinus Federation Pirates)

Urban Mech UM-R70P custom modified 3062 Inner Sphere tech (move 2-3-2, armour 99 points, and 11 single heat sinks). Loadout 1 x Rotary AC5, 1 x ER medium laser, and 1 x ER small laser.

Rifleman RFL-PAC custom modified 3025 Inner Sphere tech (move 4-6-0, armour 72 points, and 10 single heat sinks). Loadout 4 x Ultra AC2s.

ConstructionMech 30 ton MOD-P custom modified 3132 industrial (3-5-0, armour 48 points, and 1 single heat sink). Loadout 1 x SRM6, and 2 x lift hoists.

Ostol OTL-6PM custom modified 3067 Inner Sphere tech (5-8-0, armour 188 points, and 14 double heat sinks). Loadout 2 x ER PPCs, 2 x ER medium lasers, 2 x ER small lasers, and 1 targeting computer.

Ostroc OSR-4PM custom modified 3067 Inner Sphere tech (5-8-5, armour 179 points, and 14 double heat sinks). Loadout 2 x ER large lasers, 2 x ER medium lasers, 1 x small pulse laser.

Ostol  OTL-5PM custom modified 3067 Inner Sphere tech (5-8-0, armour 120 points, and 10 double heat sinks). Loadout 5 x LRM 10s, 2 x medium lasers, 2 x small lasers.

One Company of vehicles:
4 x Vedette light tank
6 x 3039 GEV APCs each carrying one platoon of infantry
2 x 3039 GEV scout vehicles
Two Companys of Infantry (Reinforced):
2 x Mechanised infantry platoons
2 x PAL infantry platoons
2 x Jump infantry platoons
2 x Foot infantry platoons
Long Tom artillery (off board): 1 battery of 4 tubes

4th Battalion of the House Steiner 4444 Regimental Combat Team

Zeus 2C XP custom modified 3132 Clan tech (move 4-6-4, armour 240 points, and 16 double heat sinks). Loadout 1 x ER PPC, 1 x LRM20 (with Artemis), 3 x ER medium lasers, 4 x ER small lasers, and 1 targeting computer.

Scorpion 2C XP custom modified 3132 Clan tech (move 6-9-0, armour 192 points, and 10 double heat sinks). Loadout 1 x ER large lasers, 1 x ER medium laser, 1 x LRM5, 2 x SRM2, and 1 targeting computer.

Firestarter 2C XP custom modified 3132 Clan tech (move 6-9-6, armour 58 points, and 10 double heat sinks). Loadout 1 x ER Large laser, 2 x ER medium lasers, 2 x flamers, and 1 targeting computer.

Commando 2C XP custom modified 3132 Clan tech (move 6-9-0, armour 86 points, and 10 double heat sinks). Loadout 2 x ER medium lasers, 1 x Streak SRM4, 1 x LRM5, 1 x ER small laser, and 1 targeting computer.

Conventional Infantry Company: 4 platoons (with 4 squads of 7 infantry in each) 
Battle Armor Support (Infantry): 2 platoons (with 4 Squads of 5 BA in each)
One platoon of GEV LRM carriers: 1 platoon of 4 vehicles
Long Tom artillery (off board): 1 battery of 4 tubes 

Initial Deployment

The players deployed their mechs along with their conventional infantry platoon,  one scout and one heavy battle armour squad in support,  and one GEV missile carrier. All hidden in pre-prepared  positions on the board.

Clive looking calm and collected as he plans his deployment. Actually, he was quite stressed by having to work out where to best deploy his hidden assets. The consequences of getting this wrong would have a significant impact on the campaign.
Oliver, our youngest player, was commanding the attackers and chose to deploy on the crest of the hills outside the town and dice for sensor contacts i.e.: spot hidden units. Also, as per my Epiphany posts, the BattleTech alternate I-go then U-go rules were replaced with a card activation system.

Oliver, with his dad Trevor, both a year older and Oliver was incredibly cool, calm and collected about his mission.
We were playing with house rules for the artillery, using forward observer cards to designate targets, and allocating artillery barrages as the cards were drawn. This worked incredibly well from a game perspective, and all the players felt that the artillery was now pretty scary.

That explosion at the front is a House Steiner artillery barrage that has just blown up a Freedom Army Urban mech. The two clumps of infantry that are running away are what are left of two platoons that had to bail out of their APCs after said APCs were hit by artillery barrages. The Firestarter at the back, behind one of the buildings, had then lovingly lit up the survivors with its flamethrowers, along with a mechanised infantry platoon that had been in support..
House Steiner artillery forced the Freedom Army to advance, but it effectively disrupted the attack and caused substantial damage.

Dan rolling for his hit locations on a fleeing enemy mech. His Zeus can be seen on the lower left of the picture with more fleeing enemy infantry platoons that had seen artillery rain down upon them. You can also see that we remove the layers from the buildings that have been hit by artillery, which is easy to do with Fieldworks products.
The battle then opened up with House Steiner mechs being deployed to apply the coup de grâce to the enemy mechs.

Dan's Zeus again with the enemy mech at the left fleeing in the distance.The enemy tank on the right would bug out and have a pop at the Zeus with little effect.
The downside to this was that it allowed the enemy the opportunity to brings its artillery to bear on them, resulting in the Commando being brought down when the center torso was blown out by sequential attacks by artillery.

Though the half the enemy mechs were destroyed by our players, with the one industrial mech actually captured, what you don't see here is Clive's Commando, which had been blown up by three enemy artillery barrages that hit it, and the Scorpion four legged mech, in quick succession. The Scorpion took considerable damage, but was still battle worthy even with a gyro hit, and losing the coffee maker (player in game joke).
Oliver took the whole, you have been ambushed, very well and made a credible fist of the whole engagement. The resulting casualty list was five enemy infantry platoons eliminated, three mechs destroyed and their remains captured. Costs were one Commando gutted, one conventional infantry squad lost, and one scout battle armour both lost when caught by enemy artillery barrages.

Though the players started to turn up around midday for the game, by the time we had lunch, faffed setting up the table, and getting them to decide where to place their hidden units, the game didn't start until 15.00. We played through until 20.00, but I lost count of the number of turns, but I guess about ten were resolved? So five hours of gaming, which is okay, but still too long.

On the other hand a lot faster than just using conventional BattleTech rules, given we had 10 mechs, 16 vehicles, and just over 12 infantry platoons in play. I would imagine we would not have had enough time to lay to a conclusive outcome using the conventional BattleTech rules, especially with five players who were all a bit rusty on what they had to do.

All in all, an outright House Steiner win, and we now have to wait and see what the happens in the other two battles that are taking place simultaneously on this day.
   

3 comments:

  1. Certainly for the size of forces that's a remarkably fast game. Also fewer dead 'Mechs than I'd usually expect - withdrawal at sensible damage levels?

    I have a fondness for the old Scorpion platform, though the classic -1N has a design blunder that probably justifies its bad reputation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oliver took my advice when I told him that he really needed to run away, or risk losing his whole force. At that point he had only lost one mech, but another was down, and two others were pretty beat up. He lost the mech that was down and one of the badly beaten up mechs in the withdrawal.

      What I have observed is that slow mechs, less than move 4-6 appear, to be impossible to withdraw successfully. Move 4-6 mechs can be withdrawn, with a little bit of luck. The best mechs are those that can move at least 5-8.

      This Scorpion as you can tell from the stats is a custom mech using Clan tech, so really kicks ass.

      Still looking forward to trying out your hit location dice.

      Delete
    2. Quite true. Your assaults or heavies that are less than 4/6 are going to be there regardless of the outcome, unless they're at the edges of battle and are sniping, but that's just a bad use of assets.

      Delete

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