Campaign: First Battle

To refresh the memory, you can check out the campaign backstory, campaign map and campaign goals before you get started.

As per the campaign rules, Richard chose the site of the battle, the special objective and any restrictions that would apply to our forces. He choose to have the battle take place at the Scattershot MIne, where the special objective would be to gain and hold the giant magnetic accelerator system that fires blocks of ore into orbit. The restriction was that there would be no artillery attachments allowed. Nobody wated the valuable mining equipment to be blown up by random shelling.

I’ll say now that due to excitement and forgetfulness, we didn’t take any photos. Which is a bit silly really. That will be resolved next time.

The table was set up with the mine control buildings in the centre, surrounded by workers accomodation, powerplants, slag heaps, rubble fields and the detritus of mining. Playing down the long axis of the table, the all-important accelerator was down in the bottom right hand corner.

The forces panned out like this:

CMF (Me): 6 mechs, 21 attachments (points per: 3, total points: 24)
Miners Union (Simon): 6 mechs, 19 attachments (points per: 4, total points: 32)
ADD (Richard): 4 mechs, 14 attachments (points per: 7, total points: 49)

Now, the Army isn’t that interested in the mines. So my plan was too have pretty intimidating force, but sit back and let the others duke it out for control of the special objective. Hopefully the strength of the battlegroup would deter the two other forces from attacking me, knocking my mechs out and reducing my points. But, when things got set up, I noticed that I was within striking distance of the special objective. Huh.

The battle started quietly for the army: not taking offensive action, establishing a perimeter and watching what the others were doing. ADD were pretty much hunkering down with their heavy units and using two light scout units to probe from the front line. The Union forces were tightly grouped, mostly in cover, but preparing to fan out towards the ADD lines.

Let’s put it this way: ADD got smashed in this battle.

Much of this was due to tactical choices: keeping the two heaviest (four attachments each) units behind cover and not moving them at all during the battle was a bad choice. They should have been up front and the lighter units scurrying around the back holding on to stations or darting out to take the stations of the enemy. As it was, the two ADD light units got crushed into dust and both ADD stations (including the special objective).

The Army spent most of the time not fighting the Miners. Until the very last turn, when it was clear that there was no way I was losing the special objective and could afford to start a confrontation with them.

Things might have turned out even better for the Army had it not been for some stunningly mediocre dice rolling throughout the game, which was a point of no little frustration. However, the end result vindicated the ‘make a plan and stick to it’ tactic. When the battlefield was set up, I’d changed my plan and resolved to get the special objective. Despite bad rolling, I stuck with it, avoiding combat as much as possible and succeeded in the end.

The points at the end were like this:

Miners (Simon): 36
Army (me): 27 (plus special objective gained)
ADD (Richard): 14

The Miners had the points victory, but took a bit of a battering (but no units lost) from ADD and then the Army. My Army guys took zero damage. Yes, not a single lost attachment throughout the entire game. Crazy. ADD lost two mechs and two stations. Harsh.

The campaign points totals now look like this:

Combined Military Forces

Government (x2): 54
Mines (x2): 54
Population (x2): 54

Miners Union

Government (x1): 36
Mines (x3): 108
Population (x1): 36

Allied Defence Dynamics

Government (x1): 14
Mines (x3): 42
Population (x1): 14

ADD are now seriously on the back foot in all areas, even in Mines, where the Army have overtaken them. The Miners have a huge lead in Mines, which is going to take some effort to reel in. But suddenly, the Army has an interest in the mines.

In the fiction of the game, we decided that the Army had taken the mine while the Union had won a serious propaganda victory amongst its own people, showing that it could defeat ADD and stand up against the Army.

Next time round, Simon gets to set the battlefield and special objective.



7 thoughts on “Campaign: First Battle

  1. mechachronic

    This game convinced me that I really have no idea how to play multiplayer. It’s a very different game from two-player.

    I suspected Malcolm would be taking a lot of mechs. My strategy guide recommends taker fewer than your opponent, but I thought a bit of a bluff might be in order – he’d think I was taking a smaller force, and go high. If I could go high, but take fewer attachments, I could place myself in a very good situation. The plan worked perfectly, with Malcolm having only two more attachments than me, but a huge points deficet. The only fly in the ointment was Richard taking five mechs. That was too many for my liking.

    In play though, it worked out fine. Richard’s deep defensive deployment – effective in real life – was a liability in the game. I was able to take on his army piecemeal, destroying two weaker mechs while largely ignoring his four-attachment juggernaughts.

    For the most part, I think the precepts of my strategy guide are holding up well. One thing I am reconsidering though is my position on Spotting. Some well-placed spotting enabled me to destroy mechs very quickly against very high armour. Spotting, though hard to pull off effectively, is very powerful. I’m still not sold on spotting attachments in large numbers, but I’m coming around to spotting as an essential part of a strong strategy.

    Another issue I noticed in the game was defensive play. We all tended to put our highest dice on armour, even when the mech was clearly not in danger. More attention to movement, and less to armour would have led to a much more mobile game, and that’s something I’m going to focus on in future.

  2. mechatonic Post author

    The point about assigning armour:

    I think you hit the nail on the head at the end of the game when you commented that we were still playing an ‘artillery’ game, assigning armour against a potential long range hit near the end of the turn. Of course, the fact that there was no artillery in play didn’t seem to affect our thinking very much!


  3. Chief Consultant Arnold

    I noticed you were moving slower than you ought to. This was fine by me, I was hoping the game would end just as contact was made!

    The deep defence was something of a mistake. I too use to thinking interms of real life efffective ranges. Which is problematic when playing wargames, where weapons’ ranges an be meassured in lengths of the model!!

    I had hoped to peel pack the picket line back to my own area and then pound anything that came on to the objectives. Unfortunately you two were too disciplined and didn’tattack each other till the last turn!! which meant I wasn’t able to focus firepower on damaged mechs as they came into the KZ. Also the game ended just as you came into range, perhaps I ought not to have ticked down the dethklok, since this game me less time for a counter strike.

  4. mechachronic

    That’s an interesting point actually Richard. Usually it’s in the defender’s best interest to tick the clock down as fast as possible, but an extra turn would have meant only good things for you, and only bad things for me. An extra turn of shooting, and possibly recapturing your objective could have made the battle look quite different by the end.

  5. Pingback: Campaign: Second Battle « Mechatonic

  6. Pingback: Campaign: Third Battle « Mechatonic

  7. Beb Fett

    There should be someone making some new frames for you guys and maybe in a different style, possibly some inverse, MGS rex style.


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