This was the battle where I get the criteria and decided that it would take place at the spaceport held by Richard’s off-world mercenary forces. There would be a restriction in place that no artillery could be used because of the sensitive nature of the site. The special objective was a newly arrived senior mining engineer, sent by the corporate employers of the mercenaries. So, the objective multiplier would be Mining x1.
At the outset, my strategy was to try to be the defender, hunker down and hopefully hold on to the special objective. To this end, I had the minimum number of mechs (3) witht he maximum number of attachments (12). Risky? Well, doubling up on armour seemed like a good plan, although things panned out differently from how I imagined they would.
The fiction that we decidied on once we knew what the setup was like was that the Army had air-dropped a special forces mech unit on to the spaceport to capture the mining engineer. Now they were waiting to be extracted or to be relieved by more substantial forces. Meanwhile, the mercenaries who controlled the spaceport were determined to get the engineer back. The Union forces had pretty much the same idea as the army, but without the resources to get there quick enough.
Anyway, here’s how the battlefield looked at setup. If you click through to the flickr page for any of these photos, you’ll find notes attached to them saying who is who and what is what.
Richard had by far the most powerful force. Simon, on the other hand, had four mechs, but only one more attachment when compared to me. Lucky!
On the first turn, Richard had his forces hammer down the side of the playing area in order to attack my two mechs protecting the special objective. Simon started a cautious advance. I remained hunkered down. By the end of turn one, it all looked like this:
Turn two was probably the crucial point of the game. Simon had clustered his stations together and I thought that there might be a chance to take them. My lone mech could, maybe, dash across the battlefield and take them. It meant running through the potential fire of four other units, but what the hell. Risky, but potentially very rewarding. In one of those moments where you don’t actually realise what is happening, Simon didn’t twig that this was what I was doing. By the end of turn two, the battlefield looked like this:
Over by the special objective, my mechs were taking a hammering but still standing. Richard and Simon had a small subsidiary battle going on over by the big hangar. Then Simon noticed what I was up to and started to draw all his forces round towards my brave, lone mech. Blast! I had to hope to the luck of the dice. My luck, however, was pretty good. Sure, my mech had his guns blown off but this meant he got the green D8 for movement. A lucky eith on that die allowed me to get within spitting distance of the stations. Hold on, mech guy! By this point, things looked like this:
I’ll say this: taking two armour attachments is a really good plan if you are fighting a defensive battle. Over by the special objective, my mechs were taking a pounding but still standing because of those good armour rolls. By the end of the turn, my station-taking mech had reached both stations but was down to only white dice. Eeee! Richard was valiantly trying to pound seven shades out the army but his luck on the dice was poor. The same went for Simon. I seemed to be sucking in all the luck at the table. By the end of turn four, the battlefield was looking like this:
And that is pretty much how the battlefield stayed until the end of turn five. Simon had atrocious luck and although my station taker was down too one white die, he hung on like grim death. Interesting campaign note: the Army have not had a single mech destroyed throughout the entire campaign so far.
I have to say I was crazy lucky in this game. Richard should have come out with more than he did and Simon got caught out early on, then suffered from unfriendly dice from there on in. I’ve already talked about some of the more unpleasant aspects of this game, so I won’t repeat them again here.
The points situation turned out like this:
Army (me): 42
ADD (Richard): 23
Union (Simon): 20
That means that the campaign totls after the third battle look like this:
Government (x2): 222
Mining (x3): 333
Population (x2): 222
Government (x1): 58
Mining (x3): 174
Population (x1): 58
Government (x1): 77
Mining (x3): 231
Population (x2): 154
Amazingly, the Army are now in control of the mines, have a strangelhold on government and are still pretty popular. I think that in the next game, the Union and ADD might do a bit of ganging up!