Events at Sakuracon prevented the BT game I was hoping to get in last Saturday night. To compensate, we managed to get in a game at the last minute this Saturday for ITTD at Gabi’s in the new upstairs section. As a bonus, I managed to paint this Victor in a little over half an hour, while my opponent was stuck in traffic.
Deets below the break.
• Me: MAD-4A (Marauder II), VTR-9B, DRG-1N, SHD-5M (295t)
Strategy: Flank and draw off enemies, forcing opponent to spread fire whilst I jackhammer his Awesome. Brawl with targets of opportunity.
• Opponent: AWS-9Q, ARC-2R, CN9-D, VND-1R (240t)
Strategy: Set up killzone in the area between the buildings and the lake at center left of board 2. Confine and destroy attack force.
We set up Lake Area 1 and Skyscraper, with assorted tiles from the Roads and Buildings set (and the Dropship tile). I started at the intersection in the bottom right corner, he debarked from the Dropper, with us both moving onto the map the first turn. We agreed to treat all the buildings as Hardened, just to simplify matters. The dropper was reduced to scenery.
We also used Floating Crits, because the rules-as-written are horseshit.
Turn 1 & 2: (lost, then won initiative)
Just basic movement here, with no failed piloting checks and nothing with a clean LoS to shoot. The MAD gets particular notice here; it had to pull something like 7 PSRs all game and passed them all.
Turn 3: I lose initiative.
I advanced my Dragon into the woods first to suck up fire with a +4 TMM, while the Shad leapfrogged off the lower building onto the skyscraper to get a clean shot with the UAC-5 and LRM-20. The Victor hopped along the roofline waiting for a clean shot, but couldn’t quite get into range.
He locked down the Archer on a ridge-line, which was a bad idea in general because he did it without taking cover.. The other ‘Mechs all ran to get a line on the Dragon, which means most of their fire was on 11s and 12s.
Fire was, therefore, mostly indecisive, but the Vindie clipped the DRG and the Shad landed a 16-missile salvo on the Vindicator.
Turn 4: Won Initiative
The MAD plugged along, hoping for a clean shot someday. My Victor and Shad moved into a firebase position. He held his ARC back for a clean shot, hid the Vindie, and advanced his AWS and Centurion. My Dragon sprinted in behind the AWS, angling for a left-side shot.
Fire this turn was much more positive. The Archer and Awesome combined fire on my Victor, with both scoring a few hits. He reserved the 4th PPC for pimp-slapping my DRG. The VTR, in turn, capped the AWS – with a single SRM. The Centurion ate a 20-missle pimpslap from the Shad, though it continued to miss (but not jam..) with its Ultra. The Dragon missed its long-range fire at the Centurion, but landed a solid kick on the AWS’s left leg. Everyone else whiffed.
Turn 5: Lost initiative.
I brought the MAD into cover, then jumped my Vic into hugging range. The AWS backpedaled furiously, only to be charged by the Dragon. The Centurion backed into cover, and the Vindie continued to wuss out.
Everyone hit with something this turn; the DRG, VTR, and AWS all had to take PSRs from damage. Unfortunately I missed the charge, but made the PSR to stay upright, as well as a consciousness roll when a stray buckshot pellet hit the Dragon’s head.
Turn 6: Won initiative.
He continued to back the Centurion into the woods: I whipped past it and turned/twisted enough to get a clean shot at the AWS. The Awesome retreated, but I caught it with the Victor. After a bit of twisting, we opened fire: I shot damned near everything I had at the AWS (reserving an ML on the Dragon for the Centurion). Mean while he split fire between the DRG and Victor (which he hurt pretty badly, stripping the LT completely and nearly cracking the left arm). The Awesome opened up a can of Alpha strike on my MAD, but only hit with one PPC.
Which immediately TAC’d my engine. *sigh*. The next couple turns were pretty much playing “cool off the spectacularly overheated Marauder”.
In the Physical phase, the Vindie booted my Vic – and the Victor hit the Awesome again in the left leg. And it still wasn’t into internals yet.
Turn 7: Won Initiative.
The Awesome waddled over to the nearest building, covering its rear arc from the Vic’s autocannon. Unfortunately, the MAD and VTR could both get within kicking range this turn. The Centurion and Dragon continued to sprint around the battlefield after one another, “Yakkity Sax” blaring from the Dragon’s cockpit speakers. He finally remembered that the Vindie could jump, and set up an excellent cross-fire on my MAD.
I blew every round from damned near every weapon I had in range at the Awesome (the MAD had to hold back most of its firepower to cool off), managing to sand the CT down, critting the gyro and engine. He stayed upright, and landed a nasty kick on the MAD. In retaliation, the Victor kicked the crap out of his RL.. and the MAD landed a 20-pointer on the already-stripped LL, blowing it off. The piloting rolls (three of them..) auto-failed, and the AWS’s pilot sucked up another hit as the big boy faceplanted.
Turn 8: Won initiative again (and until the end of the game)
I hopped the Victor into cover, showing rear armor to the Awesome and friends, jumped the SHD out behind it, and pulled the MAD out of the crossfire. The DRG scooted around the building, still in pursuit of the Centurion’s delicious pantsu.
Meanwhile, the Awesome laid on its face and thought of England before busting a round into the CT(R) of the Vic, as the remaining ‘Mechs tried to line up shots on my MAD.
The Marauder and Victor opened up on the Archer (missing with most of their guns), the DRG and CN9 continued to trade shots ineffectively, and the SHD split fire on the Awesome and Archer. No really decisive shots here, though the AWS took another Engine crit and a crit to its GECM (the latter from the Dragon’s butt laser).
This, right here, is why you pay attention to where you’re moving, rather than simply reacting. Also, why you re-evaluate each turn based on your match strategy, not on what gets you a clean shot.
Forgetting the initial strat, he charged his Mediums into the very killzone he’d been trying to establish in the early turns. The Archer chose to back up rather than risk crossing water, leaving it with no targeting mod.
I jumped the Victor up its arse, and laid up my crossfire on the Vindicator.
The VTR alphaed, tearing the LT (and 18 of its remaining 19 rounds of LRM-20 ammo) off of the Archer.
The Archer laid in a nice pair of missile salvoes on the MAD, and fired its rear lasers into the Vic; one hit the head, but he stayed vertical.
All my fire on the Vindicator except the UAC missed. The class-five, however, hit with both rounds and started chipping away at it.
The MAD fired on the Centurion, missing with everything, and pumped buckshot into the prone Awesome. 6 frigging crit chances it scored, and not a single actual crit. Eh.
Meanwhile, the AWS busted off 3 PPC shots at the Shad, hitting with two and opening the right arm.
Turn 10 (final):
I put the Victor up on top of the building next to the Archer, keeping the ARC in its Right-side arc since the left arm and torso were blown open.
The DRG and CN9 finally got into “hugging” range again, ineffectually splattering each other with fire before a solid kick in the ass nearly put the Centurion in the dirt with its big brother.
The Marauder flipped around to get into minimums on the Vindie, as the Archer, Awesome, and Vindie tried to line up death-or-glory shots on my Marauder.
No particularly spectacular hits this turn, though most of the ‘Mechs landed something, and I finally took the other leg off of the Awesome.
The Butcher’s Bill:
AWS: Kill. Pilot wounded three times, missing its legs, 2 Engine and 1 Torso crit, and most of its locations opened up to the sky. (Meets Kill conditions)
ARC: Mission Kill. Down to rear and RA lasers, both torsos opened and into internals on the LL, CT, and RA, with the LT and LA blown off. (Meets Forced Withdrawal conditions)
VND: No internal damage, moderate armor damage
CN9: No internal damage, light armor damage.
MAD-II: Light damage. One engine crit, light armor damage.
VTR: Heavily-damaged, though mostly cosmetic. Hand critted, internal damage to RA, and five locations either cracked or with only 1-2 armor remaining. (Meets Forced Withdrawal conditions)
DRG: Light damage. CT stripped, light internal damage to CT.
SHD: Moderate damage. Both arms stripped, with internal damage to the RA
I won, but it was a tight fight.
My strategy overall worked quite well, manipulating LoS continuously to rotate his prime target, while also making sure everything had at least a secondary bead on the AWS if possible. The damage I took was more than enough to evaporate the MAD II, if it had all landed on one target.
The difference between minimum ranges on the main guns was telling. He had 5 PPCs and an LB-10X, plus a pair of LRMs. That let me get in close with the Victor, which is an utter beast, while the Dragon closed with kicking targets and shot its longer-ranged weapons at something else on the horizon.
I was packing an AC20, 2 ERPPCs, an LRM-20 and -10, and an LB-10. My only big missile rack was on a jumper, which let me manipulate the engagement range in my favor. The MAD used its lack of minimums to go brawling, and the threat of those 20-point boots to the head left it able to proceed mostly-unmolested. The engine crit sucked, but all it really meant was dropping a Peeper once I cooled down enough to get fighting again.
It also didn’t hurt that I won initiative for most of the game (lost it on one turn that didn’t matter and for a couple turns where I’d set up good moves regardless of his intentions).
If he’d been able to really concentrate fire on the Vic after Turn 8, it probably would have gone down, and the Dragon was skating perilously close to a similar fate. Another few rounds and I’d likely have lost at least one of them, but by that point the Centurion would have been out of buckshot and the Marauder would likely have finished off another ‘Mech.
My man-of-the-match is definitely the Shadow Hawk’s pilot. He hit with 5 out of the 6 salvos of his LRM-20, and never got fewer than 16 missiles on-target. The Ultra wasn’t quite as effective, but at least he never jammed it, and it still landed the odd telling blow. His constant pecking and good positioning helped dictate the flow of battle.
My opponent’s MotM is the Awesome, which continues to be exactly that. It did over 115 damage in the match, and sucked up most of my firepower for the better part of four turns.