Vestallas marks the first time we’re asked to divide our forces up front. The CCAF has given us 4 missions to be occurring around the same time. We find out that we have the following missions: Push the AFFS out of a Urban Combat Zone, Rescue a Stranded Home Guard Unit, Flank a AFFS Offensive, and Defend a Supply Depot. We start off with the Urban Conflict.
Davions: Dervish 7D, Enforcer 5D, Wyvern 5N, Battle Hawk K305, Lineholder KW1-LH2, Ostsol 8D, Rifleman 8D, Hatchetman 5S, 4 Goblin Support Tanks, 2 Striker Light Tanks, 2 Typhoons, 2 Ajax (Alt A Configs), 2 Brutus, 4 Hetzers, 4 Cavalier Squads, 10 Machine Gun Infantry (St. Ives militia) and 10 Heavy Magshot Infantry (Davion elite infantry)
SLAAP – Daikyu Custom, Thunderbolt 10SE, Lynx 9Q, Thunder 2L, 2 Custom Zhukov Tanks (fusion engine, increased speed to 4/6, dropped SRM6, added SNPPC and maxed armor)
Bethlan’s – Hunchback 5S, Grasshopper 6K, Victory 10D, Axmen Custom
Lords – Thunder 1L, Ti Ts’ang 9H, Lao Hu 2B, Nightsky 4S
Piotrowski’s – Flashman 8K, Grasshopper 6K, Orion ON1-M, Thunderbolt 5Sb
Tako-Nu – Shadow Hawk 5D, Penetrator 4D, Hunchback 5S, Hatchetman 6D
St. Ives Support: 3 Jump Infantry Platoons, 3 Recoilless Rifle Platoons, 3 Advance Heavy Laser Support Platoons, and 3 Heavy Machinegun Platoons – all platoons have Heavy Tracked APCs and a Scorpion Tank (3 APCs and 1 Scorpion Tank).
Prior to the mission starting, I looked to spend my hard earned cash to add some units to my growing unit. I opted to replace my Defiance ASF, which was destroyed in the last mission, bringing my flight back up to a trio. I ended up replacing the leg on my Puma and fixing the left torso and left arm on a salvaged Orion. The GM has a list of regular pilots with their own ‘Mechs that you can spend 50 points to roll a d100 to randomly determine what you get. I decided to add another lance to the unit, so I spent 150 points to roll 3 times. I ended up with 3 regular (4/5) pilots with a Flashman 8K, Sentry, and a Thunderbolt 5Sb. All in all, a great investment. I took the pilot out of the Sentry and put him in the Orion. Then I took my Grasshopper from the C3 lance reserve and put him in the lance to round it out. With that, I decided to use it in this game.
The GM tells us that we’re headed to Vestallas to help bolster the units retaking the planet. Now that all of the mercenary units are up to company size or bigger, the GM has the ability to set up more interesting situations and scenarios because we all have flexibility. So the idea is that our various forces are being deployed to 4 locations to help. Meaning, we have 4 different missions. The first of which is to help clear the capital city of Davion forces. The other three missions are a rescue mission, a flanking attack, and defensive of a supply depot. We all had to allocate our forces to each mission prior to the first mission that way we were locked in to our selections ahead of time.
Will, the GM was OpFor’ing. He spread his forces out evenly, putting the Hetzers to the front, hoping to get them in our faces early. I deployed centrally. Bethlan’s and the Lords took the right flank and Shengli and Taku-No on our left flank. The map was heavily urban, with a lot of medium buildings on our end. All 20 Davion infantry units were hidden, hiding along the main paths. Additionally, we had a restriction on the mission, to limit collateral damage to the buildings of the city. Damage could be subtracted from our contracted amounts. Additionally, LOS was fairly restricted except along main passages.
Turn 1 – The first turn started greatly for us. Shengli’s Thunder fails a pilot check on a skid, but ends up falling into a small pool of water. Fortunately, no breach. We push forward, I deploy my infantry squads to contest the center of the battlefield. The enemy hangs out of LOS for the first turn. The Hetzers rush forward, looking to land some AC 20 shells on our forward ‘Mechs. My Flashman and the Lord’s Ti Ts’ang both eat an AC 20 shot. We return fire, but fail to knock off any of the Hetzers. Additionally, we eat some minor indirect LRM fire.
Turn 2 – I back my Flashman off (AC 20 to the CT), and jump my infantry into buildings. We continue to push fo4rward, deploying infantry to counter the infantry popping up in our main paths. We shortly realize that rooting infantry out of buildings without being able to destroy the buildings is really hard. The Davions come out of hiding to establish LOS now that we are in range. We knock off 3 of the 4 Hetzers, but take out the AC 20 on the final Hetzer rendering it useless. My Thunderbolt ravages the Battlehawk from behind, killing it outright due to side torso destruction. We lose a fair amount of our auxiliary infantry because we deployed them right on the streets, instead of out of LOS.
Turn 3 – I surge through the middle, attempting to get to the rear forces which are spewing indirect LRM fire at us. The flanks got bogged down due to infantry and heavy vehicles in the way. We trade fire, killing 3 Goblin tanks and taking out the left torso of the Ostsol. In return we lose more infantry and the Bethlan’s Victor eats heavy fire, falling down and eating a head kick. With my infantry deployed, I decide to use my APCs for charge attacks, killing a cavalier BA suit and pushing a Brutus assault tank back (which was pretty funny).
Turn 4 – I continue to push forward achieving LOS on some of the LRM carriers. My infantry holds the center of the map, deterring anything from coming through there. The Bethelen’s Hunchback delivers an AC 20 shot to the back of the Hatchetman, killing it outright. Shengli’s lance focus fires on a Typhoon, knocking it out. Taku-No’s Shadowhawk alpha strikes the Wyvern, killing it off to 3 engine crit’s via rear attacks. My Grasshopper gets behind the Lineholder, slamming shots into the rear arc, but primarily hitting non-torso locations. The Lords and Bethlan’s forces unload on the damaged Ostsol, finally killing it off with an AC 5 shot from a Scorpion tank.
Turn 5 – This is dominated by infantry combat. Our infantry has now broken into the buildings the enemy infantry were in. In an attempt to root them out, we use some special rules that handle infantry assaulting mechanics. It’s basically one roll modified by number of infantry engaged in the battle and it determines the outcome of how many troops die. It’s quick and works well enough. Pretty interesting rules. Anyway, a lot of fire is exchanged, but the only casualty is the Davion Lineholder, which finally falls to my Grasshopper, a medium pulse laser to the ammo. We immobilize an Ajax as well.
Turn 6 – The battle swings decidedly in our favor during this turn, but not at a cost. My Orion finishes off the Rifleman. Bethlan’s and the Lord focus fire on the Ajax and Typhoon on their side, knocking both out. The final Goblin on the left flank falls as well. My Thunderbolt chalks up an easy kill, popping a striker tank. Infantry continue to duke it out, but we’ve pretty much killed off most of the St. Ives militia. The Davion elites are too far out of the combat to contribute. They harass the Bethlan’s Grasshopper. In return, my Thunderbolt eats a lot of fire, going internal in multiple locations, but receiving no crits. My Orion takes some fire in the rear, suffering an engine and gyro crit, but stays standing. My infantry attempt to swarm the immobile Ajax, but get wiped out by Davion elite infantry.
With the battle mostly decided, and the time approaching 9 PM, we decide to call it. The infantry scatter and the Dervish retreats.
Results and Analysis:
All in all, we performed well. Our only significant loss was a Victor (to a head kick) which will be salvageable. We lost quite a bit of our infantry supports, probably about 40% of those troops. In turn, we took out a majority of their combat vehicle forces and 7 of their ‘Mechs. However, it was far from a perfect game. All of my ‘Mechs suffered heavy damage, most with internal structure damage. Same was the case with many of our other ‘Mechs. Additionally, we did not utilize our infantry well at all.
The heart of the engagement was to root the enemy infantry out of the capital city. In order to do so, we needed to utilize them better. Many times, infantry platoons were deployed right on the street, in front of enemy infantry. This significantly reduced the effectiveness of our infantry because we lost numbers before we even engaged the enemy units. We rushed to get our infantry into combat, which reduced their effectiveness. We needed to deploy them out of LOS and get them into the buildings to keep them alive. Our impatience in the use of infantry really bogged us down in the end.
Other than that, we should get some solid salvage from this mission. The immobile Ajax is probably the sweetest treasure, but most of the enemy ‘Mechs were knocked out of action due to side torso destruction.
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