Brighton: Breakthrough #1 After Action Report

Our BattleTechHexare GrenadiersBrighton: Breakthrough #1 After Action Report

Our primary objective is to hit an underwater base.  In order to get there, we have 2 separate breakthrough scenarios, that occurring on the same time in game.  All forces that make it though are able to make it to the underwater base and participate in that mission.  Those that do not make it cannot be salvaged if they are incapacitated, but other ‘Mechs can fall back and retreat to our base if possible.

For this particular mission, we are bringing in a special guest to play the OpFor, Peter Smith.  For this mission, each of Hexare Grenadier forces will be sending through at least one lance.  The player for Shengli Armed Asset Protection is bringing two lances this mission, since he will be OpFor’ing the next breakthrough mission.

Kestrel Grenadiers supported by Conventional Divisional Forces:
-Conventional Forces: 2 SRM Carriers, 2 Scorpion Light Tanks, 4 Bulldogs, 2 Von Luckners, 2 Challenger XII,
-Kestrel Grenadiers: JagerMech JM-DG, Penetrator PTR-6M, Nightstar NSR-9FC, Hammerhands HMH-3D, Emperor EMP-6D, Caeser CES-4R, Blackjacks BJ2-0, Rifleman RFL-8D, Warhammer WHM-8D, Marauder MAD-5R, Longbow LGB-13NAIS, Marauder II MAD-5A.

Mercenary Coalition Forces:
-Piotrowski’s Predators (PP): 3 Defiance ASFs w/ LB-10X, LPL, and 3 MPLs
-Shengli Armed Asset Protection (SLAAP): Crab Custom, Lancelot, Ti Ts’ang 9J,Ostsol 8M, Thunder 2L, Daikyu, Braghest Custom, Templar Custom, 1 Platoon of Grenadiers BA on a Badger, 1 Platoon of Trinity BA w/ Plasma Rifles, and 2 Danais (deployed off board)
-Taku No (TN): Penetrator PTR-4D, Shadow Hawk SHD-5D, Archer ARC-8M, Marauder II MAD-5A
-Warlock Fusiliers (WF): Tempest TMP-3M, Cudgel CDG-2A, No-Dachi NDA-2KO, Koschei KSC-4H, 2 Platoons of Fa Shih w/ Gyrojet Rifles and Light Recoiless Rifles
-Bethel Irregulars (BI): Cerberus Custom, Griffin 6S, Marauder MAD-5R, Caeser 4R, 2 Warrior VTOLs (‘Mechs upgraded with C3)
-Lords of the Night (NL)t: 4 Ti Ts’angs and 2 Demolisher Arrow IV Variants (deployed off board)

Set up We deploy 4 hexes in.  OpFor deploys within 11 hexes on the opposite side.  The side we start on is 2 plains with sparse forest.  The OpFor defended terrain has 2 larger hills with a nice valley right now the middle.  OpFor places ‘Mechs primarily on the two hills off the flanks.  The vehicles are focused on holding the middle.

We bring a little artillery support to help us punch through in the form of Danais and Arrow IV Demolishers.  Reliable intelligence says we are going to encounter heavy resistance.

The Action:
Turn 1 – We run forward as fast as possible. SLAAP runs down the left side using evasive movement rules making him harder to hit.  BI and WF head down the center.  NL and JF hit the right flank, but shift down the right and down the center as well.  The firing phase sees little fire connecting, but the oft ridiculed JagerMech headcaps the Bethlan’s Irregulars’ Marauder.  JagerMech takes damage, and a gauss rifle explodes, but doesn’t cripple it.

Turn 2 – We move forward again, SLAAP puts pressure down the right side forcing the Davions to respond to cut off his avenue down the sideline with jumping ‘Mechs.  The tanks move out to block the center passage.  I elect for a strafing run on the 2 VonLucks, 2 Challengers, and 2 Scorpions down the middle to help soften the center up.

The JagerMech and both Challengers get TAG’ed.  The JagerMech loses a leg to Arrow IV and the Challengers eat the remaining missiles.  I rack up a ton of damage but don’t knock out any of the tanks (probably about 300 damage total),  but immobilize a VonLuck and Challenger.  My 1st fighter takes 50 damage, fails PSR and lawn-darts.  The 2nd eats 3 UAC 20 shells, taking over 100 damage but doesn’t crash.  The remaining fighter takes minimal damage.  The remaining Merc Coalition ‘Mechs fire on the Caeser (on the right flank) and Nightstar (on the left flank) both of which fall.  Additional damage on the tanks, but we don’t take any of them out.

Turn 3 – SLAAP gets a ‘Mech off the board and the Davions respond by completely blocking the path down the left side forcing him to have to turn.  We punch through the center to engage the vehicles.  The two Ti Ts’angs and the Caesar move to take the right flank, and look to have a clear path out.

We TAG the Caesar, miss all the other TAGs.  It eats 7 Arrow IV missiles…we don’t even roll it.  The Thumpers on the Danais do a little friendly fire to the No-Dachi.  SLAAP attacks Hammerhands and Penetrator that are in his way.  JF focused on the Rifleman as well as 2 Ti Ts’angs and the Caesar out on the right flank.  Everything else is in a scrum in the middle.  The Thunder eats fire from the Emperor, Hammerhands, Penetrator and Nightstar, take damage to various place, but do not penetrator armor anywhere.

The NLTi Ts’ang in the middle gets focus fired by most of the tanks, suffering multiple crits, 3 of which were on the engine, knocking it out.  The Davion Rifleman eats our concentrated right flank fire and unceremoniously falls to a medium laser which destroys the head.  No’Dachi takes heavy damage from the Challengers and Longbow, takes two floaters to the center torso resulting in a a gyro and engine hit.  A Ti Ts’ang hatchet the Longbow in the back, hitting the left torso, critting ammo.  Some kicks are exchanged, but nothing of note.

It’s a gory turn, with us losing a Ti Ts’ang and a crippled No-Dachi. We took out a Rifleman, Caesar and Scorpion.

Turn 4 – Movement sees SLAAP continue maneuvering down the left side, dodging the jumping Davion ‘Mechs that are trying to slow him down.  Two NL Ti Ts’angs and 2 BL Warriors get off the board.  We continue to advance and they hold cover or drift back to block.  I bring one Defiance on the board to strike the damaged Longbow.  I am now the only TAG on the board, and TAG the Longbow and land all 6 Arrow IV Missiles on the the Longbow.  The first missile takes out the head, reducing it to scrap.  The Danai scatters a shot to the Marauder II, rolls a through armor crit, but fails to successfully crit the center torso.

Tempest lands a Gauss and LPL on the heavily damaged Challenger, knocking out the turret killing it.  We immobilize a Bulldog.  SLAAP continues to focus on the Penetrator, knocking out the left arm and floating crits the left leg, hitting hip and lower leg actuator, causing it to fall self critting the leg popping it off with a 12 on the crit roll.  The Kochei takes damage and suffers a 12 crit roll on the arm, popping it off.  It eats SRM Carrier missiles, critting the engine twice and gyro.  Falls on its head, knocks out pilot.  Cudgel falls down due to damage and Tempest takes heavy damage, but remains standing.

Conclusion:
We got to call it after turn 4 as it was already past 10 and we all have to work the next day.  The following units make it though:
Shengli Armed Asset Protection (SLAAP): Everything makes it through, but the Crab, Thunder and Ti Ts’ang are heavily damaged.

-Taku No (TN): Penetrator, Shadow Hawk, Archer , Marauder II
-Warlock Fusiliers (WF): Cudgel (No-Dachi and Kochei are destroyed, Tempest retreats, the Fa Shih save the pilots and fall back)
-Bethel Irregulars (BI): Cerberus, Griffin, Caeser, and 2 Warrior VTOLs (Marauder was head-capped)
-Lords of the Night (NL): 3 Ti Ts’angs (one was crippled due to 3 engine crits)
-Piotrowski’s Predators (PP): None, one crashed the other 2 returned for repair, refit, and refuel.

We knocked out a JagerMech, Rifleman, Caesar, Longbow, a Challenger, a Scorpion.  We crippled the Von Lucks, the remaining Challenger, and a Penetrator.  We also dealt damage to the Nightstar, Hammerhands and some Bulldogs.
Analysis:

My analysis is going to start with our failure to coordinate our attack vectors.  Based on our set up, it would have seemed obviously…2 lances down each the right, center and left.  But we ended up headed down the paths of least resistance, which were both flanks.  Our slowest lance was committed to the middle and our other units abandoned it to run down the flank.

We should have either decided to ignore the center or committed ample troops to bust it wide open.  We initially had the forces deployed to take it, but we didn’t hold to our convictions to break through.  Our lack of discipline cost us a Defiance, a Ti Ts’ang, Kochei, Marauder, and a No-Dachi.  We suffered heavy damage to the Tempest, Thunder, a Ti Ts’ang and a Crab.

We did not strategically place our TAG units.  There were two turns when we completely overkilled targets because we couldn’t spread our TAGS out.  They all ended up on the right side, which had minimal targets (Caesar, Rifleman, and JagerMech).  We should have had the Ti Ts’ang support the advance down the center since there were a ton of targets there.  Plus TSM kicks on tanks is fun.

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