Brighton: Homeward Bound After Action Report

Our BattleTechHexare GrenadiersBrighton: Homeward Bound After Action Report

After a successful mission to destroy the underwater Davion command base, our battered forces begin the long trip home.  Unfortunately, a skirmishing Davion reinforced company came to harry us along the last leg of journey.  We just had to break through one last time in order to rendezvous with Capellan forces in the area.

Davion Forces:
JagerMech JM6-D5,Watchman WTC-4DM, Valkyrie VLK-QD3, Phoenix Hawk PXH-6D, Ostsol OTL-8D, Argus AGS-4D, Stealth STH-2D, Wolverine WVR-8D, Sentinel STN-4D, Sentry SNT-W5, Javelin JVN-11D, Assassin ASN-30, Maelstrom MTR-5K, Hellspawn HSN-7D, Locust LCT-3D, Dervish DV-9D, and 2 Sparrowhawk Aerospace Fighters SPR-6D

Mercenary Coalition Forces:
-Jerry’s Force (JF): Penetrator, Shadow Hawk 5D, Archer 8M, Marauder II A5 (all units undamaged)
-Warlock Fusiliers (WF): Cudgel CDG-2A (damaged), 2 Huron Warriors HUR-W0-R4L, Lao Hu LHU-2B (moderately damaged)
-Lords of the Night (NL): Ti Ts’ang 9H (damaged), Phoenix Hawk PXH-4L
-Shengli Armed Asset Protection (SLAAP): Crab Custom (damaged), Lancelot, Ti Ts’ang 9J, Ostsol 8M (damaged), Thunder 2L (damaged), Daikyu, Braghest Custom, Templar Custom, 2 BA units on a Badger (move reduced to 3/5), 1 Platoon of Trinity BA w/ Plasma Rifles, 1 Platoon of Grenadiers
-Piotrowski’s Predators (PP): C3 Lance Shadow Hawk, 2 Falconers, Wraith (light damage) & one Defiance ASF

Again, we are supported by the Danais and Demolisher Arrow IV artillery units are our forward base.  Additionally, since Ken is OpFor’ing, his Bethel’s Irregulars units took a alternative path to make it back to the base.  Additionally, our the commander of Jerry’s Forces was not here, and was run by the commander of the Lord of the Night.

The Setup:
Again, we have our 4 mapsheet battlefield, which is comprised of mainly open terrain, with a fair amount of forest cover and a few scattered hills.  The Davions, under the command of Ken, deployed in 3 clusters, with his speed on each flank, and his slower forces in the center.

Our side’s right flank was heavily forested, and would have significantly hindered any movement over there, we all deployed on the left flank.  We were fairly clustered, but we hoped our strength in numbers we could push through the lighter flank.  With most of our damaged forces clustered out on the extreme left, we were going to try and convoy them across the map.

The Action:
Turn 1 – This was a very uneventful turn.  We pushed forward.  The Davions advanced, and swung their left flank (our right side) down to sweep in behind us as we continued to push forward.

Turn 2 – The action begins.  Again, we push forward, and the Davions send light ‘Mechs into the mix to clog running lanes.  Also, his left flankers continued to sweep in behind us.  My Shadow Hawk TAGs the Maelstrom with the C3 Master, unleashing 5 Arrow IVs on it, and it falls to two gyro hits.  Big TAG for us.  We spread our damage out on a Sentinel, Stealth, and Phoenix Hawk (which falls).  The SLAAP Crab finally goes down to combined fire and loss of both torsos.  The NL Ti Ts’ang gets barraged by 7 inferno SRMs, and promptly shutdown.  The dual Sparrowhawks strafe in from behind, ravaging a Lao Hu, Huron Warrior, Falconer and Shadow Hawk (which took an engine hit).

Turn 3 – With movement lanes clogged, we trudge forward were possible, but we also set up for good shots.  The Davion lights penetrated our backfield searching for rear shots. I actually jump one of my Falconers and Wraith out to the now vacant right flank.  We focus fire the Sentinel, which loses a leg, falls and ammo crits itself.  We knock down the Argus and put engine crits on both the Valkyrie and Hellspawn.  The shutdown Ti Ts’ang take a beating and falls down.  The Cudgel takes some punishment and eats a handful of inferno SRMs and an engine crit.  The Stealth lands a lucky thru-armor crit to the side torso of the Marauder II, critting un-CASE’ed ammo, and goes kaboom…which sucks because it was completely undamaged.

In the air above, the Sparrowhawks come calling on my Defiance.  I luck out, and I tie one of the Sparrowhawks on a dogfight roll, putting us at extreme range.  The other Sparrowhawk dictates range, we we go nose to nose.  I win the engagement, and I force him to lawn-dart.

In the physical phase, the Cudgel kicks the Phoenix Hawk, kicking through the leg and side torso, killing it.  In return, it takes a head punch and the overheating ‘Mech’s pilot ejects.  A few kicks are exchanged, but nothing substantial.

Turn 4 – We continue forward, with only my Falconer and Wraith out on the right side uncontested, but relatively undamaged.  I run my Wraith and position my Falconer to hit a stationary JagerMech.  The Badger gets hit and takes motive system damage, reducing it to 1/2, forcing SLAAP’s Templar to head back for the battle armor as well.  The Stealth takes a gyro hit, but remains standing, but ammo crits the Lao Hu in return, taking it out of the battle.  The Sentry takes a gyro and falls.  The Argus eats an AC 20 shot to head from the Thunder.  My Falconer and Wraith pop an arm off the JagerMech, but my Wraith eats 2 ERMLs from the Dervish to the rear left torso, suffering 2 engine hits.  In return, my Defiance strikes the Dervish, giving it 2 engine crits and knocking out 2 MML 5 launchers.  The Ti Ts’ang takes more damage and a crit on the leg destroying a jump jet and the upper leg actuator.  It stays standing.

Turn 5 – The battle armor disembark from the Badger and the Templar moves back to pick the Trinities up.  However the Ostsol moves behind it.  I jump my Wraith out of harms way, since it has 2 engine hits and its back is exposed.  I position my right flank Falconer to provide firesupport since it is uncontested.  SLAAP gets a few of it’s damaged ‘Mechs off the table, the Ti Ts’ang and Ostsol.  I TAG the Hellspawn with my Shadow Hawk to reconnect my C3 network, and it eats 4 missiles, one to the head killing it immediately.  My Falconer finishes off the Sentry with 3 medium lasers knocking out the engine.  I get extremely lucky as Ken forgets his strafe attack on the rear of my Shadow Hawk, which is huge.

Turn 6 – The Templar is surrounded by Davion lights and a Ostsol in it’s back.  We get up close to the board edge.  Our relatively undamaged units take up firing position to help our stragglers make it the last legs.  My Defiance finishes off the Dervish striking it from the rear, taking out the damaged side torso.  The Stealth takes some punishment, falls due to damaged gyro and falls on its ammo, blowing it up.  The Assassin, now without any weapons, charges the Penetrator from behind, giving it a gyro hit.

At the end of the turn, the Davions propose a truce, but we would have to surrender the Templar and battle armor.  SLAAP’s commander denies the truce, hoping to save the Templar.

Turn 7 – The last turn, I get the Wraith and Shadow Hawk off the board.  The Assassin attempts to FDA the Barghest, but gets shot out of the sky.  The Penetrator fails to stand.  I pop the Javelin with a Gauss and the Templar finishes it off.  However, the Templar takes a medium laser to the head, leaving it with only 1 point of internal structure left.  Unfortunately, it takes a 1 point LRM 5 cluster to the head, killing it.  And here we call it, as the units which are going to make it and those that won’t.

Conclusion and Analysis:

It was a pretty brutal battle.  We lost some pretty heavy stuff, a Marauder II, Penetrator, Templar, Badger, Cudgel, Crab and Lao Hu.  The GM ruled that the battle armor, both with stealth capabilities, were able to hide and avoid detection (as he made some ad hoc hide rolls and rolled well).

We managed to take out an Assassin, Argus, Phoenix Hawk, Maelstrom, Sentinel, Sentry, Hellspawn, Stealth, Javelin and a Sparrowhawk.  So while we lost quite a bit, we took out over half their forces.  I think the JagerMech and Valkyrie were both pretty damaged.

The surprise unit of the game were the Sparrowhawks with regular pilots.  With their speed, they could move two abstract maps per turn, meaning they could strike or strafe every turn.  I got pretty lucky with the air combat between my Defiance and the 2 Sparrowhawks in turn 3.  Had they both dictated range, and both gotten to attack me, it wouldn’t have gone well for me.  I was able to tie a dogfight roll with one of the them, putting one at close range and the other at extreme.  I ended up getting the better of the exchange, and knocked the Sparrowhawk to the ground.

If they would have both prevailed, they could have been striking or strafing every turn.  Since they move at the end of the ground movement phase, they can essentially pick the rear arc of whatever their intended target was.  The pulse lasers are just nasty on strafing runs. I was fortunate to take out one.  Had I known they would have had air support, I probably would have taken air to air Arrow IV missiles instead of Arrow IV homing.

Ken played an excellent game in my opinion.  He spammed us with poor targets (3 to 4 move mods) and out flanked us on the our right side, getting his faster ‘Mechs in our rear arcs.  There were way to many rear shots nearly every turn between the light ‘Mechs and the Sparrowhawks.  Since we had so many damaged ‘Mechs, we were hard pressed to contain his speed and ability to protect them.

I think we worked together well, despite the scenario having an all man for himself feel to it as we ran across the board.  We focused our fire and took out targets nearly every turn.  Having only 2 TAG’ers hurt, as we only landed 2 TAGs the whole game, both of which decimated their intended targets, but were largely useless.

All in all, the 4 part mission arc was really fun.  It definitely added a little change of mentality into the gaming sessions.  Many of our ‘Mechs were running low on ammo, and most running even lower on armor.  Heavy, slow ‘Mechs showed their weaknesses, especially, in the last mission were the lack of speed really showed.  The Marauder II, Archer, Templar, and a few others, took a beating to rear shots.  It was really interesting to see how useful the different ‘Mechs we brought performed in a myriad of circumstances.

As always, feel free to comment or join the discussion at http://ourbattletech.com/forum/mission-reports-analysis-and-discussion/

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