Warlock: Cross at Witch’s Peak After Action Report

Our BattleTechHexare GrenadiersWarlock: Cross at Witch’s Peak After Action Report

Back on track!

Author’s Note: Sorry for the hiatus!  Between the vacations, travel for work, promotions and new jobs, we’ve had some scheduling conflicts.  But we’re back on track and ready to get back on track.  And to top it off, my camera died.  But my goals is to start taking pictures at the end of every movement phase, to better depict out the action unfolds.

The forth mission on Warlock worked out to be a two phase mission with half of our forces chasing down two separate AFFS forces fleeing from the CCAF and Hexare Grenadier liberators.  As the St. Ives and AFFS forces were being corralled against mountainous terrain, they turned to fight off their pursuers in the mountains’ passes.

Phase One

2nd Janissaries & AFFS:

Griffin 1DS, Javelin 11B, Eagle 1M, Snake 1V, Valkyrie QD1, Enforcer III 6M, Shadow Hawk 9D, Thanatos 4S, Marauder II 4S, Stalker 7D, Templar OC, Victor 10D, 2 Manticore Tanks (Pulse)

Hexare Grenadiers:

Shengli Armed Asset Protection: Snake 2Br, Yu Huang 10G, Thunderbolt 10SE, Lynx 9Q, 2 Zhukov (customs)

Warlock Fusiliers: 3 Transgressor 13A’s

Lord of the Night: Bandersnatch 01A, Caesar 4R, Archer 8M, Starslayer 3D

Home Guard:

Vindicator 3Lr, Hunchback 5N, 2 Mortar Carriers

Special Rules: Heavy snow

The Setup: I OpFor’ed this game, and set my troops up as follows in lances from right flank consisting of the Snake, Valk, Javelin, and Eagle, the center consisting of the Mad II, Griffin, Templar, and Stalker, and finally the Thanatos, Enforcer III, S. Hawk, and Victor off on the left flank.  Additionally, one Manticore was placed on either flank.

The Hexare Grenadiers set up behind a level 4 hill off on the left flank.  Their plan was to position during turn 1 and then climb and jump over the hill during turn 2.

The Action:

Turn 1 – The Zhukovs round the perimeter of the level 4 hill, to skirt the edge of the left flank, along side the Bandersnatch.  The AFFS Enforcer III and Thanatos exchanged fire with those units, pegging one of the Zhukovs which had bogged down.  In return, the Thanatos took a TAC, suffering an engine hit in the right side torso.

The AFFS lights, stuck on the right flank start running for the Grenadier’s location, getting LOS on the Home Guard Hunchback.  The Hunchback takes heavy damage, suffering TAC’s to the right torso, critting out the AC 20 housed within.

Turn 2 – The Grenadiers climb the hill or jump around, inundating the AFFS forces with targets.  The Hunchback lays down to provide spotting for the mortar carriers.  On the left flank, the Enforcer III takes heavy punishment striked by 2 Transgressors and others and was eventually head capped by one of the Zhukovs.  Additionally, the Victor gets it’s UAC 20 critted out and fails to hit the Lynx that  crippled it.

In return, the assaults focus down on the Archer, which takes heavy damage, leaving its’ center torso internal structure exposed.  The remaining units focus on the Thunderbolt, beating it down, crippling it’s ER PPC and knocking it into the snow.

Turn 3 – Turn 3 sees the Archer falling prone behind partial cover to protect its’ center torso and provide indirect LRM fire.  The AFFS assaults move to the edge of the level 6 cliff to see down to on the targets below.

The Griffin gets punished by combined fire, eventually cored out by the Caesar.  The Eagle’s side torso is destroy and the AMS ammo cooks off, coring it out as well.  The Snake takes an engine crit, falls, and crits its’ leg out as well.

In return, the Lynx had jumped poorly, exposing its back to the Stalker which had lumbered forward.  While not cored, it suffered three engine hits to various torsos.

Turn 4 – The Mad II’s pilot forgets the Transgressors are coming back around for a strike and bends over and presents his rear to their flight path.  The Mad II takes heavy punishment, mostly on arms and legs, and an ER PPC is destroyed.  The Thanatos takes repeated head hits, the pilot blacks out, and falls on his face, killing himself.

The T-Bolt which has persistently hounding the AFFS gets pummeled again, getting its MASC and TarComp destroyed, falling again.

Turn 5 – The AFFS, sensing defeat, begin falling back, leaving the Stalker and Mad II to fend the Grenadier’s advance as the remaining ‘Mechs turn back.

The Marauder II, after weathering a heavy barrage of fire was not long for the world as the Mortar Carriers keyed in on it, blowing it apart with over 50 damage worth of mortar fire.  The Mad II didn’t go quietly, unleashing an alpha strike on the damaged Caesar, destroying a side torso.  The Starslayer which had been skirting the Grenadier’s center flank, finished off the ailing Snake.  One of the Zhukov’s finished off a Manticore, which had been stunned the turn prior.

Turn 6 –. With most of the AFFS forces falling, the Victor, Templar, and Shadow Hawk continue to jump back.  The Stalker is focused on, weathering the onslaught well, but ultimately suffering a leg crit which knocks it down.  The Templar, which was fleeing, got striked by the three Transgressors, which it returned fire on, but did not knock any out of the sky.  It’s savaged by the fighters and is knocked down.

Aftermath:

With the Victor escaping and the two remaining assaults, the Stalker and Templar on the ground, the remaining AFFS and St. Ives troops surrender.  Overwhelmed and outnumbered, the AFFS Javelin, Valk, Stalker, Templar, Shadow Hawk, and one of the Manticore tanks had to give up, especially since their forces had been shattered from previous battles and morale was low.

The major learning point from this mission was don’t leave your butt exposed to ASF strikes, especially thickly armored fighters like the Transgressors.  They packed rocket launchers, which are oddly effective on striking fighters because of just that reason.  They can be used when striking, and do not require the plane to go on a bombing run as with bombs.

Phase Two

2nd Janissaries & AFFS:

Valkyrie QD1, Enforcer III 6M, Thanatos 4S, Shadow Hawk 9D, Marauder 7D, JagerMech 7D, Penetrator 4D, Cestus 6Z, Pillager 4Z, Warhammer 8D, Longbow 12C, Emperor 7L, 2 Pilums with snow mods.

Hexare Grenadiers:

Bethlens’ Irregulars: Victor 10B1 (custom – UAC10 & TarComp), Grasshopper 6k, Axman (custom), Hunchback 5S, 2 Warrior VTOLs

Tenshi Sendo: Marauder M2, Rifleman 6X, Dragon Fire 4F, Caesar 3R

Piotrowski Predators: 2 Custom Schiltrons with two Sniper Artillery pieces per unit.

Home Guard: Charger 1A5, Thunderbolt 9M, Blackjack BJ-3, Vindicator 3Lr, 2 Mortar Carriers

Special Rules: Heavy snow

The Setup: The AFFS and Janissaries set up on a high mountain, spread out for coverage.  The Bethlens’ Irregulars (BI) set up along the right flank and the Tenshi Sendo (ST) forces out on left flank, with the Home Guard split between the two flanks.

The Action:

Turn 1 – BI jumps forward, ST runs up left side with hurried movement.  The opposition stands fast except Enforcer that jumps close and Pilums that advance into woods. The AFFS forces pepper the H-Back and T-Bolt and the Marauder jamming the RAC-5. The H-back has an opened LT from the barrage.

The battle on the right flanks heats up early as the Enforcer takes a beating, losing a leg and laser before a TAC SRM from the Grasshopper takes out the engine. One chopper immobilizes a Pilum with infernos and sets its’ woods on fire. Massed fire tears up Davion Marauder, exposing the torso and critting an engine slot.

Out on the left flank, ST does some damage to the Thanatos and hits the Jager in the head with a LL. Emperor activates TSM with all the firing and stealth armor, Longbow is in back firing indirectly, along side the mortar carriers.

Turn 2 – ST continues hurried movement with some bogging. BI jumps close to the cliffs to hide in the dead zones. Still minor movement by the opposition, Pilum pulls away from battle to escape burning woods. Davion Marauder clears RAC but succumbs to Zhukov LB cluster shots that take out a side torso. Shadow Hawk, the only unit with LOS to the H-back, hitting it hard and getting an engine crit in the LT and leaving the CT with 1 pt. IS. The Shadow Hawk takes a beating in return, falling down with an open torso and leg damage. T-Bolt takes received some heavy fire, losing both torsos and falling over, the pilot unconscious. The Penetrator is hit hard, the Thanatos and Jager are hit a little more, and the Vindy loses an arm and is chewed up. The Warriors inferno the Longbow (to 8 heat) and the Emperor (24 heat, shut down). One Pilum burns to death.

Turn 3 – ST closes as the Thanatos jumps down to greet the Vindicator. The AFFS shuffles positions some as the Grenadiers jump into midst of them. Penetrator jumps next to Zhukov while Grasshopper jumps in its rear.

Artillery support hits H-back, Jager and Victor. The Victor is the main target but the Cestus sets off 3 ammo bins, killing the experienced pilot Lt. Peter Liao. The Grasshopper receives some punishment as the Shadow hawk loses the left torso while the Penetrator loses 4 MPLs and AMS to rear shots and side shots.

The Charger, which fell over, prop fires to blow up the Thanatos, hitting arm ammo. The H-back rear shots the shut down Emperor, blowing up the ammo in the RT, ejecting a dead pilot (3 ammo hits). Pillager takes abuse from Victor, Blackjack and Axman, 11 damage to head knocks out the pilot. Blackjack steps on its head. To end this bloody turn, the Warriors inferno the Warhammer and back shot the Long Bow (two engine hits). The remaining half of the St Ives forces defect in face of certain defeat.

Turn 4 – The Davions fall back as the Grenadiers and their new friends presse on except the Hunchback who jumps behind a cliff facing to protect its exposed internals. The Jager takes out the Vindicator but it gets revenge and shoots the leg off in return while the mortar carriers finish it off. The Penetrator is mauled, losing both torsos and falling over with a destroyed gyro. The Shadow hawk misses a DFA and falls on its back after a barrage from the Grasshopper (who hit with all MPL all game long but not once with the ERLL). The Valkyrie is peppered with SRMs from a Warrior but escapes, while the Cestus loses armor and surrenders.

Aftermath:

Similar to Phase 1 above, the combat was short and brutal.  Both games were great battles to get back into the swing of the game, since we had a quite the long layoff, we all needed a shoot-‘em-up type game.

Moving Forward

Now that we’ve pacified Warlock, brought it back under the fold of the Capellan Confederation, we’re off to St. Ives.  We are expecting to have to fight our way through in space first and then much of the ground combat in urban settings.  Because of that, Piotrowski’s Predators will be hiring some combat engineers and infantry units to help in the urban environment.  Between my mix of battle armor, infantry, and artillery, I should have some cheap and potent troop selections.  Other than that, because we’ll be fighting our way through a blockade in space, I’ll attempt a search roll on some different types of dropships…hoping for a Fortress, but might settle on Seeker, Intruder or another such highly armored dropship.  Regardless of which dropship I get, I’ll be uparmoring and AMS’ing the heck out of it.  The key is 7 AMS’s per facing, that means that you can destroy Air to Air Arrow IV missiles straight up and inflict some hefty penalties on all other sub-cap and cap sized missiles, as well as reduce damage from oncoming SRMs and LRMs.

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

2 comments to “Warlock: Cross at Witch’s Peak After Action Report”

  1. Good stuff. I look forward to hearing about the DropShip you end up with and how it fairs with the additional modifications. Keep it coming!

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