After destroying the AFFS underground base on Texlos and fled the cascading, the Hexare Grenadiers had broken the AFFS’s defensive grip on Texlos. Between reports of AFFS dropships moving towards the body of water connecting to the mountain and the cargo ships that had been at the base, the Hexare Grenadiers sent five lances to investigate their hunch that the AFFS was in the midst of retreat and hoped to catch them with their pants around their ankles.
Falconer 8R, Ostroc 6D, Rifleman 6X, Cestus 6Y, Wolverine 9D, Phoenix Hawk 3PL, Centurion D5, Javelin 11B, Wolfhound WLF-2, Cataphract 3D, Stalker 5S, Victor 9K, 2 Rapier Class Destroyers (Naval Vessels), Union Class Dropship and Mammoth Class Dropship.
Lords of the Night: Gargoyle, Enforcer III 6T, Shadow Hawk 7M, Argus 2D
Sendo Tenshi: Dragon Fire 4F, Thunderbolt 7SE, Rifleman 6X, Marauder II 5A
Bethlens’ Irregulars: Men Shen F, Dervish 8D, Huron Warrior R4N, Ostsol 8D
Piotrowski’s Predators: 2 Regulator Arrow IVs, 2 Bandits, 2 squads of Cavaliers w/ flamers, Puma Custom, Hellspawn Custom
SLAAP: Stalker 6S, Barghest Custom (UAC 20 & Gauss Rifle), Daikyu Custom, Ajax Prime, 2 Zhukov Customs (2 AC10s & SN PPC)
The map was 2 by 2 map sheets with the right (east) flank primarily a lake (theoretically connected to the river running through the mountain base we just destroyed). Along the left (west) flank, the southwest area was hilly and forested with the northern portion of the battlefield quite open with some sparce forests. The Union was set up in the far Northeastern section of the map. The Mammoth was placed halfway in the water on the Northeastern side. The two Rapier Destroyers were in lake to support the retreat. These things were armed to the teeth, 8 ER PPCs, 3 ER LLs, and 2 Arrow IV launchers each.
The Davion company was set up about 10-15 hexes into the map sheet facing the South. 4 hexes in all along the Southern map edge the Hexare Grenadiers deployed. The jumps set up primarily along the western side with the non-jumpers centralized. On the left flank, my hovers set up just on the parameter of the forest along with Sheno Tenshi’s Dragon Fire and Rifleman.
Our strategy was basic, pepper the open ground behind the AFFS with T-Aug. This would force them to jump around or run through the woods in either case slowing them down, allowing us to catch up with them. On the left flank, my goal was to get my 2 Bandits inside the Union to attempt boarding action and hopefully secure the dropship.
Turn 1 – Since the confines were close, the AFFS company decided to perform a fighting withdrawal, figuring they’d have to sacrifice a few ‘Mechs for the greater good. They hoped that those Destroyers would be able to punch us in the mouth just enough to let them escape. The Men Shen TAGs the Stalker and my Puma TAGs the Cestus as 2 Arrow IV homings land into the CT and LT respectively. The naval vessels reply with some indirect Arrow IV fire, splash damaging a few of our clustered ‘Mechs. The Marauder II rips up the Wolverine, critting the SSRM 6 and MASC later kicking it, sending it to the ground. The Barghest lights up the Wolfhound, goring it with a UAC 20 double tap and headcapping it with a Gauss round. My Hellspawn and the Bethlens’ Dervish and Huron Warrior spread some T-Aug, putting down four 9 point fields and two 6 point fields, providing some solid overlap.
Turn 2 – The Stalkers issue challenge and essentially go nose to nose. The Centurion attempts to cross the mine field, but get’s a leg blown off and falls. The AFFS continue to fall back, expect jump the Cataphract forward to lay down some suppression fire. We land TAGs on the Cestus and Ostroc, forcing the Cestus to fall. The Gargoyle and Marauder II combine on the fallen Cestus to core it out. The two Zhukovs soften up the Cataphract, which is then finished off by the Enforcer III’s gauss rifle shot. The Stalkers tear into one another exposing internals everywhere. The SLAAP Stalker falls over, down but not out. Over on the left flank, the Rifleman gets LOS on the Union and starts shooting it up. Again, we pepper the area with T-Aug, further reducing their options to escape. I position my Bandits to make a dash for the doors should they open to let a friendly ‘Mech in.
Turn 3 – Having seen the fate of the Centurion, the Rifleman, Ostroc, Phoenix Hawk and Javelin run or jump into the central woods to avoid the mines. The Victor and Falconer continue to backpedal to the water, hoping that the Destroyers can protect them. My Regulators plow two more homing Arrows into the Ostroc forcing it down. In return, the battered Wolverine TAGs the Daikyu, which gets punished by 4 homing Arrow IV missiles and is later taken down when one of the destroyers ravages it with ER PPC fire, knocking the left off. As retribution for the TAG, the Wolverine is ganged up on by the Gargoyle, Enforcer III, Mad II, and finished off by the Barghest. The Zhukovs make mince-meat of the fallen Ostroc, finishing it off. The SLAAPAFFS Stalker, taking its left leg off and sending it to the ground. The left flank has the Dragon Fire entered in on the Union with the Rifleman. I position my Bandits to make a dash for the doors should they open to let a friendly ‘Mech in.
Turn 4 – The Javelin and P. Hawk jump around, looking for back shots on us while the Rifleman breaks away from the pack, heading towards the Union. But opts to not try and get in. Sensing that we wouldn’t be able to take the Union by force, we decide to go full alpha, as I rush forward for point blank shots on the dropship. We TAG both the P. Hawk and Rifleman, each of which receive a free Arrow IV missile for their troubles. In return, the destroyers ravage the Gargoyle with Arrow IV, losing it’s right arm and torso.
We collectively push out about 150 points of damage on the Union, breaching the hull and gutting the structural integrity. The Huron Warrior, using the TAG, Semi-G’s the P. Hawk and takes it out. Our Ostsol makes a break for the Mammoth, hoping to beat it into submission. The Zhukovs and other assorted ‘Mech shoot at one of the Rapier destroyers, hoping to knock it out, but only go internal.
Turn 5 – My Cavalier squads board the broken Union to take prisoners. The AFFS ‘Mechs take up defensive positions, now trying to fall back to the Mammoth. I TAG the Rifleman, finishing it off with two Arrow IV homing missiles. The Barghest received the Arrow IV barrage from the Rapiers and then a volley of ER PPCs, ripping it apart, knocking out two legs and a torso. The 2nd Rapier ravaged a Zhukov, destroying it. Near the Union, the Javelin gets ganged up on by the Rifleman, Puma, Men Shen, and my last Bandit, falling to gyro destruction. The Huron Warrior finishes off the battered Stalker. The lone Bethlens’ Ostsol breaches the Mammoth’s armor, battering the structual integrity, but not enough to finish it off. The remaining Hexare Grenadiers combined to knock out the damage Rapier.
Turn 6 – The final turn doesn’t even make it into the firing phase. The remaining Rapier boards the Mammoth with the Falconer onboard. The Victor jumps into the water to swim away. The Mammoth proceeds to lift-off. My Regulators get some parting shots with their Arrow IV launchers using ADA ammo but fail to land either shot. With that the mission concluded, a signficiant victory for the Hexare Grenadiers and success at liberating Texlos.
Our victory wasn’t without cost. Although no ‘Mech loss was unsalvageable, we took some pretty serious damage. The Barghest lost two legs, a side torso and head. A Zhukov was destroyed, but the turret was salvaged. The Stalker got ravaged with multiple internal locations and damaged components. The Daikyu lost a leg and took a beating everywhere else. The Gargoyle lost it’s right side torso and arm. One of my Bandits was immobilized as well.
The Davion’s suffered some heavy losses. The only managed to have 2 of their 12 ‘Mechs escape, the Victor and Falconer. They were also able to get the Mammoth and one of the Rapier destroyers out. Everything else was pretty well destroyed or crippled, which will lead to some solid salvage.
We had a great plan to start the game and just implemented it successfully. The T-Aug was very effective, knocking the leg off the Centurion which scared it’s company-mates into fleeing through the woods or jumping, which ultimately slowed them down enough for us to catch up and gang up on them. We definitely underestimated those Rapiers, hoping that between the movement and range they’d have a hard time to hit us. Unfortunately, when they have that type of volume of fire, they’re going to hit. We probably needed to take those out earlier, which would have reduced the damage we took overall.
Our plan to board the Union failed due to our slightly over zealous use of T-Aug. By limiting their ability to get lose to the Union, the doors were never opened. It ended up being alright because we knocked it out in the end. However, we would have probably taken out the Mammoth as well, as I held my Bandits in reserve another turn or two waiting for the doors to drop.
It was definitely a plus that we didn’t take out the dropships first. I know we thought about it for a second, but in the end, we would have gotten chewed up earlier and the AFFS would have fought to the death instead of feeling like they had a chance to escape. By leaving them some avenues to flee, they attempted to get away instead of standing their ground to fight, which ended up being the right call. We put just enough pressure on the dropships that the AFFS company needed to hurry to escape, which ultimately broke down their fighting retreat and gave us an opening to finish them off. It would have been nice to bring down the Mammoth, but it just didn’t work out because we thought we’d have another turn.
Next up, we head to Warlock, the home world of Warlock Fusiliers. I’ll be posting up my TOE in the forums for everyone to look at. I’ll provide some of my thoughts as to how the various units are supposed to work and evaluate their strenghts and weaknesses.
As always, feel free to comment or join the discussion at https://ourbattletech.com/forum/mission-reports-analysis-and-discussion/.
Sun Tzu was right about the surrounded opponent and you applied it quite well.