Monday, April 9, 2012

BATTLE REPORT: MechCommander Op 1 Mission 1

Okay, so my first test of the map. This mission has an 85 ton drop weight. I selected a Firestarter, a Commando and a Hornet.

There are a number of turrets on the map, they all count as 'laser turrets'.
Laser Turrets: Armour / Structure: 1 / 2, Damage: 1 / 1 / -

Sensor Blips: Blips are placed everywhere an enemy may spawn. The moment I am four hexes from a blip, it is revealed. For every 2 levels higher than a blip, it can be 1 hex further away when identified.

Qty of Mission 1 enemies:
5 x armoured cars
2 x J Edgar Hover Tanks
1 x 5 point Battlemech (randomly selected from enemy QuickStrike cards)
1 x 10 point Battlemech (randomly selected from enemy QuickStrike cards)

Encounter Table:
When a blip is identified, roll 1d6:
1 - Armoured Car
2 - Armoured Car
3 - Armoured Car
4 - J Edgar
5 - 5 pt Mech
6 - 10 pt Mech

Once the qty of units listed above is used up, rolling it again means you must just roll again for something else.

Turn One
Enemy wins initiative.
My Firestarter (Lynx), Hornet (Beast) and Commando (Hunter) are set down on a hill in the north west of the mission zone. The objectives are to take out a natural gas tower and camp HQ in the middle, another camp HQ in the east, and a Garrison Building in the south. Two enemy mechs have been reported in this area, so I've got to be careful.

Upon landing, I am within 4 hexes of the blip north of the hill.
"This is the Beast - new contact. It's just an armoured car."
"Take care of it," I order.
They stomp down the hill and surround it, blasting it to scrap.
"Lynx here. Enemy vehicle destroyed."

Turn Two
"Okay guys, looks like there's a resource cache just north east of you - other side of those trees. Approach through the light woods and it should give you some cover against any defenses," I order.
"Roger," Lynx says, and they head east toward the light wooded area.

Turn Three
"This is Lynx. Moving into cover, sir. Looks like some turrets up ahead."
Hmm. I don't want them too close to those lasers. "Engage from range."

Turn Four
Lynx's Firestarter and Hunter's Commando move to medium range, sticking in the trees for defense, and the turret explodes in a hail of laser fire.

Turn Five
"Beast, I think they can take care of that remaining turret. I want you to scout ahead, check out that camp south and east from you." I mark a waypoint on my touch screen, and Beast heads his Hornet forward while the others take out the other turret.
"Just a scratch," Hunter says, as the turret blasts some of his armour off.
"This is Lynx. Turret destroyed."

Turn Six
"Hunter, secure that Cache," I order, and Hunter parks his Commando next to the cache so he can tag it with his wireless transmitter.
Lynx follows after Beast's Hornet.
Hornet moves into range of the sensor blips, near the east camp.
"This is the Beeast - two enemy contacts.. I got me a J Edgar and a... damn! A mech's powering up! Enemy Hunchback! Enemy Hunchback!"
Uh oh. I rolled up a HBK-4SP with that J Edgar Light Tank.
"Sir! My Hornet's no match for that Hunchback!" Beast shouts over the comm.
"Stay calm Beast. I know what I'm doing," I tell him. That is, I think I know what I'm doing.
"Uh, yes... sir," he replies.
The Hornet is the only unit with long range attack on the map, so he gets a pot shot.
"Beast, hit him with your LRM's. Get his attention," I order.
Beast opens fire, but his shot goes way wide.
The General peers over my shoulder at my tactical display. "I trust you have things under control, Commander?"
"Come on guys," I tell my team. "I know we can do this."

Turn Seven
I win initiative this turn!
The Hunchback stomps toward Beast's Hornet. Can't let it get too close, it's a big hitter up close. The J Edgar hover tank moves off to the Hunchback's left and turns to cover the Hunchback's rear in case the Hornet jumps behind him.
"Okay Beast, you got jump jets. Use 'em," I order.
Beast jumps up over the Hunchback, but off to the right, coming down behind a small hill for cover. Meanwhile, Lynx moves his Firestarter in front of the Hunchback - but not too close - to attract its attention.
Again, Beast is the only one in weapon range with his long range attacks.
"This is the Beast - missiles away!"
Missiles stream past the Hunchback and explode harmlessly into a cliff face.

Turn Eight
Enemy wins initiative!
"Sir, we have to risk moving in," Lynx tells me. "We're getting nowhere with Beast pot shotting from afar."
I hesitate. Getting in close to a Hunchback is sure to be a disaster, but Lynx and Hunter don't have long range attacks. There's nothing else to do.
"See if you can surround him," I say. I can feel the General standing behind me.
The Hunchback opens up with everything on Lynx, and his Firestarter shakes as armour blasts away under the assault. Somehow, Lynx is still standing, but with engine damage. However, he is able to return fire, and with the combined attacks of Hunter and Beast, and bonus for rear attack, they deal a tremendous blow to the Hunchback, destroying some of its weaponry - but it's still standing.

At this point, I realise that with the QuickStrike rules, a mech that hits will deal all of its damage. Unlike Battletech Rules, there is no range of damage between 1 and max damage. This means, toe to toe with a heavier mech, a lighter mech stands no chance. I decided that I would introduce a more Battletech style of damage, and for every additional point (above 1) of damage, a die is rolled. On an even number, a point of damage is dealt. On an odd number, no damage. This means if you hit, you deal between 1 and your max damage, and are not assured of always dealing max damage.

The J Edgar fires into Lynx's side. It's too much for the heavily damaged Firestarter.
"Ejecting! Ejecting! Ejecting!"
I slam my fist against my console, then turn to Tactical Support, "Track that pod!"

Turn Nine
Luckily, I won initiative this turn.
The Hunchback and J Edgar move into the gap between the cliffs, where Lynx was before. Beast jumps his hornet up onto the hills, among the trees, for another rear attack on the Hunchback, while Hunter moves his Commando to put the J Edgar between him and the Hunchback.
The Hunchback fires over the J Edgar. I was hoping he would miss Hunter and hit the J Edgar, but he manages to hit Hunter's Commando. With my 'damage range' rules though, he only manages 1 point of damage.
With the damage range rules, luck is on my side when I roll, however. Beast and Hunter deal 6 points of damage against the Hunchback, and blast it apart!
"Spare parts for everyone!" Beast shouts with laughter.
"That was for Lynx!" Hunter says.
"Good work, but don't get cocky. There's still that J Edgar," I remind them.

Turn Ten
Enemy wins Initiative.
Hunter and Beast try to surround the J Edgar, but it moves up over the hill, following the cliff line, to come back down behind Hunter, though off to his side and not his rear. However - drawing LOS, it places the J Edgar's rear face in Beast's line of fire!
The J Edgar misses Hunter's Commander, but the return fire from Hunter and Beast stuns the vehicle crew.

Turn Eleven
They finish off the J Edgar with no problems.
"This is the Beast - vehicle destroyed."
"Good work, Commander," The General says from behind me, then he moves on to look at the other Commanders' displays.

Turn Twelve
They take out the Camp HQ building that the Hunchback was defending.

Turn Thirteen
"Sir, this is the Beast. I think I can take out that Natural Gas Tower from up on the hill. No point going round the other side - and engaging those enemy blips, if we don't have to."
"Do it." I agree with him. "But don't get too close when that thing blows!"
Beast detonates the gas tower, and the explosion takes out the other Camp HQ and the laser turret as well.
"Good work, team," I say. "Now we just need to take out that Garrison Building in the south to complete our mission objectives. There's another cache off to the west too, if we can manage it."

Turn Fourteen
They head south.
"This is Hunter - new target!"
"Just an Armoured Car, sir," Beast chimes in.
Beast and Hunter exchange blasts with the car and the turret.
"Agh! Fire Control hit," Hunter says, as his Commando shakes under enemy fire.
"Come on, Hunter. Hang in there!" I tell him. His Commando is flashing red on my display.

Turn Fifteen
Enemy has initiative!
"Beast, get up on those cliffs," I order, and he jets his Hornet behind the car and the turret, up onto a hill.
Hunter can barely move.
"Don't let that car get in your rear, Hunter," I tell him. He backs away, to the side, keeping the car and turret in his firing arc.
Hunter opens fire on the car, but misses!
It blasts away at him with the turret.
"Ejecting! Ejecting!" Hunter screams.
The Commando blows apart!
"Track that pod!" I shout to Tactical Support. "Beast, get out of there!"
Beast fires a parting shot at the turret - and takes it out!

Turn Sixteen
"This mission is over," the General says grimly.
"Sir," Beast says over the comm, "Don't let this all be for nothing. If I can take out that Garrison Building to the south, we'll have achieved all objectives, even if I get toasted in the process."
"That's quite a risk, Commander," the General says to me, but he does sound impressed by Beast's willingness to hang in there.
I'm not so confident after losing my Firestarter and Commando. "Beast, are you sure about this? There's two enemy contacts right next to the building, and there's another mech still in this area."
"Sir, all it takes is one good hit," Beast says. "With my jets, I can rocket in and out of there and strike before they know what's going on."
"But will you make it back to the Drop Zone afterwards..."
"Just one hit, sir, and all objectives completed. Let me do it. For Lynx and Hunter, sir."
The General is watching me.
"Do it," I order.
Beast jets away from the armoured car, and heads south, revealing one of the blips next to the Garrison Building.
"Just another armoured car, sir!"
One blip is still unrevealed...

Turn Seventeen
"I'm going to set down right next to the building, and open fire!" Beast shouts, and jets into the air.
The other blip is revealed...
"Just another armoured car, sir!" he laughs.
"Don't get cocky. Concentrate on the building!" The whole command center falls quiet as people watch to see what happens next.
Beast opens fire... and obliterates the building!
The armoured cars open fire... and they all miss!
"Objective down! I'm getting the hell out'a here!" Beast shouts.
Cheers go up all around.

Beast spends the rest of his time jumping about the map, staying out of weapon range of enemy units, and avoiding revealing any more blips incase he stumbles upon the unrevealed mech.

Mission Complete!

(Though it would have been nice to capture the other Cache)
Also, because there were still enemies in the area, I was unable to salvage the Firestarter, Commando or the Hunchback chassis.


  1. Wow, that was a lot of fun to read! I feel bad for Hunter and Lynx, hopefully they get some new rides to replace their lost 'Mechs. I also love your idea for insuring that units don't always get maximum damage. It is an easy mechanic and works well for this level of play.

  2. I really like that printed layout. Can you get hex's onto them?

    1. Hi! Yes, it's got hexes printed on it. I did them in a medium-grey to try and make them not stand out so much - the result though, was that you can only make them out if you look at it close and at the right angle :( I'm going to make some other maps at some stage, and make some better choices (like more visible hexes)