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Subject: Sorenson's Sabres: Mission #4 rss

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Merric Blackman
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I now own Total Warfare and two Map Compendiums, so the scope of our BattleTech games is increasing. I used the tables in Total Warfare to generate the maps for this scenario ahead of time, as otherwise I would have needed to carry all the maps to Randy's.

For the first time, we managed to have four players at once: Josh and Rich were controlling the Sabres, and Randy and I were their opposition - some House Davion militia.

Mission: Supply Run
Terrain: Heavy Forest #1, Heavy Forest #2

Sorenson's Sabres:
Hatamoto-Chi Daniel HTM-27T = Daniel Sorenson (P1, G1)
Grand Dragon Emory DRG-1G = Emory Wilk (P3, G3)
Hunchback Shakir HBK-4G = Shakir Jerrar (P3 G3)
Grasshopper GHR-5H =Seyla Teresa Martinez (P1 G2)

House Davion Militia (all P5, G4)
Wolfhound WLF-1 (commander P3, G3)
Wolfhound WLF-1
Assassin ASN-21
Trebuchet TBT-5N

Mission Report
Randy and I were against it from the start; our mechs were out-piloted and out-tonned. Our best hope was to concentrate fire on one of the Sabre's mechs and take it down, then move to the next. The trouble with this plan was that the Sabres just had so much armour! As it turned out, they were lucky as well.

This was the first time we used the map-pack terrain, and it was very, very different than the open maps we were used to. In this picture, you can see the two forces approaching each other. The Sabres are to the right of shot:


Where's Sorenson? His Hatamoto-Chi hasn't even entered shot! For some reason, Josh kept turning his 'mech so it would walk through the heaviest woods (and up and down hills). It had a speed of 6 when running, and heavy woods and a level change is 4 MPs! No, it wasn't going anywhere quickly.

It took until the third round for us to even reach LOS, on either side of the woods. We opened fire... and missed. It would be the fourth round when the first hit came in: my Wolfhound hitting Emory's Grand Dragon with a Large Laser. This was going to be a grinding combat.


Daniel Sorenson is now in shot, but still quite a way away. Mechs with Jump capability were gold in this scenario, but only two were in play: the Sabre's Grasshopper, and the Militia's Assassin. You can see the Assassin in that shot directly between two Sabre mechs. I'm proxying miniatures, and they're still unpainted - apologies for the unclarity of the photos.

That little group is (left-to-right): Grand Dragon (K), Assassin (B), Grasshopper (I). The mechs are identified by letters I've scrawled on their bases.



From rounds 5-12, the Assassin jumped behind the Grand Dragon and shot it in the back. One of the Wolfhounds and the Trebuchet spent a lot of time doing so as well. Amazingly, it was still standing at the end of this. Yes, it has a lot of armour, but we just weren't able to break through and inflict criticals. Didn't stop the Dragon and the Hunchback from inflicting a critical on my command Mech and destroying one of its medium lasers!



It was our Trebuchet that was the first to go, in the ninth round of the combat, cut down by sustained fire from the Grand Dragon, which had been pretty much the only mech to engage it. My Wolfhounds were keeping back as much as possible, but were really hampered by the terrain. Mechs that run like to have clear terrain to run in!

The Assassin had a leg shot off while it was on a hill. Combined fire and punching made it the second 'mech to go, but one Wolfhound wasn't that far behind. The Grasshopper hit it with a Death from Above - a very cool manuever - and that was that for the Wolfhound.

One remaining Wolfhound against four uncrippled Mechs? Oh, dear!



My commander tried to get behind the Grand Dragon to inflict some criticals, but the die rolls were horrible; despite the Grand Dragon having no armour left on its centre or left torsos (either side), could I hit them? No!

The Hunchback went and scanned the buildings, finding a Wolfhound and a Hornet, whilst the others took out my Wolfhound. And that was it for the scenario: about 14 rounds or 4 hours of BattleTech in punishing Terrain.

Post-Mission Notes:
We didn't have much of a chance, but you would have thought the Grand Dragon might have gone down. Guess not. We agreed that my proposed warchest spending to improve skills didn't really work, and reverted to the XP system. Seyla Teresa Martinez in the Grasshopper gained the bonus XP; you've got to love anyone who tries a Death From Above attack!

Now it was time for the Warchest system to come into play, and all of the salvage. Here's how that worked:

Initial Warchest Points: 231
Mission: Supply Run: -75
Objectives:
Search: +100
No Quarter: +150
Salvage:
Sell Wolfhound: +75
Sell Hornet: +75
Sell destroyed Wolfhound: +30
Sell destroyed Wolfhound: +30
Sell destroyed Assassin: +40
Sell destroyed Trebuchet: +40
Repairs:
Repair Grasshopper: -60
Repair Grand Dragon: -60
Resupply 1 ton missile ammo: -7
Final Warchest Points: 469

At this point, Josh and Rich elected for their next mission to be a Pursuit. We'll run that sometime soon, I hope. We then made our way to McDonalds to have dinner; air-conditioned luxury on a day which was entirely too hot.
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Seth Stewart
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First off nice report!

Ive been running Btech campaigns for nigh on 3 years now and I would like to throw out some useful know how that Ive picked up on the way.

1) Battletech is awesome, but having amazing pilots really ruins it, so I either try to kill off the 1,1s or limit them drastically.

2) It looks like you are going to try the entire track in the book. I would modify the missions a bit as they are very unfair. Try going off of the BV2 system.

3) Using XP and AP are hugely fun. Award XP on all double 1s and double 6s. Award AP for something amazingly cool that happens during the match. Set some realistic goals for upgrading mechwarriors.

Battletech is by far one of the best miniatures game out there.

Good Luck
Glam
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Brian Compter
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Excellent report. I enjoyed it.

Keep those pilots, you are going to need them later. Plus, when you use your best pilots mission after mission you run a bigger risk of them getting injured or killed.

The Starterbook missions are not supposed to be fair. Supply run is a notoriously easy mission, but the rewards are limited. You are going to NEED these easy points later on when you eventually have your back to the wall later on in the campaign. I recently had to bail on a Strike mission (Wolf and Blake campaign) and took a big Warchest Point hit. I was lucky to have enough banked away to absorb the loss.

Maybe impose a house rule that you have to take a mission you haven't done before if you can afford it. Keeps you out of a boring recon-supply-recon-supply loop.

The only thing I think the OpFor didn't do well is put at least some damage on all of the Sabre's 'Mechs. If you had been forced to repair all of your 'Mechs you would not have done as well.

Cheers,
Brian
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Merric Blackman
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Thanks for the advice!

Three of the Sabres' mechs were damaged; one of them just lightly and wasn't repaired by Josh & Rich afterwards. The Hatomoto-Chi didn't really get into the combat until too late, and was never a good target for us.

The Sabres also have had their pilot/gunnery rating restored to more sane levels after that mission.

Talking of failing a mission... I've a Pursuit mission to write up shortly, which has such happen to the Fox's Teeth.

Cheers,
Merric
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Samson Fox
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The Hatamoto Chi Battle Mech should of walk up and with the Grand Dragon and targeted each enemy Battle Mech,the best way to play Battle Tech is to have all 4 Battle Mechs firing on one enemy battle at one time and have vehicles like tanks and hover craft to soften up the enemy ,another good idea is to light the forest on fire and cause the enemy to over heat their Battle Mechs.
 
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Samson Fox
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Another good idea is to remove the Short range missiles and arm the Hatamoto Chi with extra heat sinks to keep it cool while firing those P.P.C.'s ,the reason why is that you do not set off an ammo critical internal explosion,also,I would arm the Hatamoto Chi with 4 extended medium lasers too.
 
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Samson Skyvosky
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I own the
Sorenson's Sabres hand book,it's a good book and it's a good classic,I have all the specific Battle Mechs for
Sorenson's Sabres Hand Book.
 
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Samson Skyvosky
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Your lucky that both sides didn't have a flamer weapon or both of your teams would have faced a forest fire and it would have increased your battle mechs heat scale.Well I ask." Can any type of laser weapon or any ballistic weapon start a forest fire?" Our Battle Tech gaming group came up with an answer.(Of course it can).
 
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Samson Skyvosky
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Wow,it's good to have elite Mech Warriors on the battle field ,but it's not fair to fight against the elites,but the tide of battle can be surprising if veteran Mech Warriors can over come over whelming odds against elite mech warriors,nice Battle Tech scenario.
 
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