Todd Reed
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2nd game of BT and went a little differently than the first excursion out.

Using the Quick Start Rules - this pits the CDA-3MA Cicada and Rommel Tank against the HER-SSA Hermes II and Saladin Assault Hover Tank. Goal: Kill or be killed. Again, I soloed this one.

I didn't do any silly rushes like I started the first one. I tried to look at the stats, ranges, etc to better place the equipment. Basically I used Flanking and Running a lot more trying to get flank shots etc. Got a couple pot shots off doing a little bit of damage to the Mechs and Rommel. (Whoa, this has a lot of circles to black out!)

Until, the round of death. There was a time when the Hover tank had placed itself in a small gap in the light woods. The Rommel and Cicada saw their chance. It would mean putting them in extreme close range, but it was going to fun to try and I was excited to see this opportunity to use the limitations of movement in my favor. The Hover tank had moved first to get in a flank shot on the Rommel. Seeing the opportunity, The Rommel moved in behind the Saladin. Not wanting to leave a brother alone, the Hermes moved into the edge of the woods looking the Rommel in the "eyes". Finally, the Cicada moved in for the "kill".

Then the firing began. The Saladin tried to hit the Cicada, but because it had moved so much I believe it's modifier was 3. Plus the Saladin had flanked, so that was another 2. They were so flustered by the quick surrounding and their lack of ability to move away, they muffed their shot and shot wide. Next came the Rommel. One shot from the AC20, hit the front and goodbye Saladin. The Hermes pilot, dismayed by the complete destruction before his eyes, let loose on the Rommel, completely decimating it's front armor, thus destroying it. (All the hits to the Rommel for were to the front armor, so it didn't last as long as I thought it would. (This is where I learned that once a section is destroyed, so is the vehicle. Makes sense.)


The Bloody Round: The Rommel at the bottom. The Saladin in the middle. The Hermes at the top right, in the woods. And the Cicada to the top left.

Was this move worth losing a Rommel and putting the Mech in such close proximity? Probably not in the big scheme of the things, but it was fun doing. I would have preferred to leave the Cicada a hex back to be out of the arc of fire of the Hermes, but it took everything I had to get to that position.

From there it was mech on mech. It was about 5-7 rounds of chasing until, after winning the initiative for the 4th time in a row, the Cicada was finally able to get a flank shot, out of the arc of the Hermes to hit. And hit it did. First the head. (My first head shot, a beautiful thing.) And, the right leg was destroyed.

One more round. As a sportsman, I would've let it go and let the warrior live to see a new day, but this is a training scenario and I need the practice reading the charts, etc. So, all shots landed. In the center torso. Nice work.

Lessons learned, questions to the pros:
1. Realized, as I was typing this: I didn't declare fire in the proper order in the Bloody Round. This was important, because I would've probably declared the Cicada fire for the Saladin. Which would've been destroyed before I shot. This would have prevented me from doing some of the damage to the Hermes. The real question becomes, in this situation, it seems best to concentrate fire. However, knowing that the Rommel was firing the AC20 first and knowing that if it hit, it would destroy the Saladin, would it be better to have declared on the Hermes? Most of my shots had been missing on both sides, because I was having everyone move max hexes, hiding in forests, etc, so my to-hits were 10's and higher. So I think in this case laying it all on the line and declaring both for the Saladin was best. Thoughts?

2. Can the Rommel go through the light forest? It's not hover or wheeled. Or, do they consider tracked, wheeled? In the wargames I play, wheeled can go through forest, but tanks often can't, so it's seems a little odd.

3. Also had my first use of the cluster weapon. So, to make sure I understand. I declare I'm rapid-firing, then roll on the cluster table to see if it hits, correct? In this case I rolled a 2..nice. So it says "1". Meaning one shot hit dealing 5 dmg to a location that will be determined by a roll of the 2D6. And yes, it jams. Great. I had forgotten for the first three shots that it was rapid-fire. The first time I realize it, I use it and it jams, blasted guns. Anyway, because I declared rapid fire, it would take 2 shots off the ammunition, correct? Not that it mattered in this case.

4. The last 5-7 rounds were somewhat tedious. Now, if I were playing FtF with someone, it would be quite different. But in this case when I played the Hermes turn, who lost the initiative at least the last 4 rounds, I would try to position myself, but the Cicada would always manage a flank shot or both mech's movement modifiers were so high that they would miss. Any thoughts on this end-game situation. How to handle it. This is a big reason why I think I will prefer objective based scenarios. I'm not a fan at all of the fight-to-the-finish stuff. Again, okay in training, but not in normal play.

5. Can AI weapons be used on Mechs at all? I accidently used the flamer and actually scored with it a couple times. It was only worth 2, so no big deal. In QSR, it's somewhat vague, but it appears to be an Infantry only weapon in this version.

Looking forward to Elite Scenario and to adding some of the different mechs in both of these scenarios to see how they square off against each other. I've also got the record sheets from the "Introductory set, so I guess I could try those as well.
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Merric Blackman
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mojayhawk wrote:
1. Realized, as I was typing this: I didn't declare fire in the proper order in the Bloody Round. This was important, because I would've probably declared the Cicada fire for the Saladin. Which would've been destroyed before I shot. Thoughts?


No, it didn't matter. Damage is simultaneous - a unit that gets destroyed still gets to attack with everything. It's one of the things that makes the game a little clunky and tedious to work through, but I wouldn't want to change it!

Basically:
* Everyone declares who they're attacking
* Everyone resolves their attacks
* Damage finally resolves.

Quote:
2. Can the Rommel go through the light forest? It's not hover or wheeled. Or, do they consider tracked, wheeled? In the wargames I play, wheeled can go through forest, but tanks often can't, so it's seems a little odd.


The Rommel has tracks. It can't enter Depth 1+ water or change 2 levels at once, but that's it. (And that's according to the full rules).

The different vehicle types for BattleTech - not that you need to know this now - are Wheeled, Tracked, Hovercraft, VTOL, WiGE, Surface Naval and Submarine.

Quote:
3. Also had my first use of the cluster weapon. So, to make sure I understand. I declare I'm rapid-firing, then roll on the cluster table to see if it hits, correct? In this case I rolled a 2..nice. So it says "1". Meaning one shot hit dealing 5 dmg to a location that will be determined by a roll of the 2D6. And yes, it jams. Great. I had forgotten for the first three shots that it was rapid-fire. The first time I realize it, I use it and it jams, blasted guns. Anyway, because I declared rapid fire, it would take 2 shots off the ammunition, correct? Not that it mattered in this case.


It's a little unclear in the Quick Start Rules; I remember having trouble myself.

The procedure is this:
* Decide whether you're using the Rapid Fire option.
* Make a normal "to hit" roll.
- if you roll a "2", it jams, but only if Rapid Firing. Single Shots don't jam.
* If you hit, roll 2d6 on the Cluster Hit table to see how many shots hit. For a R2 weapon, you read on the "2" column. This means, if you roll 2-7 on the dice, only one shot hit. A roll of 8-12 means both shots hit. (A R3 weapon would use the "3" column).
* Resolve damage separately, making different Hit Location rolls for both.

Quote:
4. The last 5-7 rounds were somewhat tedious. Now, if I were playing FtF with someone, it would be quite different. But in this case when I played the Hermes turn, who lost the initiative at least the last 4 rounds, I would try to position myself, but the Cicada would always manage a flank shot or both mech's movement modifiers were so high that they would miss. Any thoughts on this end-game situation. How to handle it. This is a big reason why I think I will prefer objective based scenarios. I'm not a fan at all of the fight-to-the-finish stuff. Again, okay in training, but not in normal play.


Every so often it's fine, but you're right: hunting down lone mechs can be tedious. Luckily, most of the time it tends to be 3 to 1 or something like that and over quickly. Or you have an objective...

Quote:
5. Can AI weapons be used on Mechs at all? I accidently used the flamer and actually scored with it a couple times. It was only worth 2, so no big deal. In QSR, it's somewhat vague, but it appears to be an Infantry only weapon in this version.


No, AI weapons work on Mechs. In actual fact, the AI code tells you that it does *different* damage against infantry. Flamers do 2 damage to Mechs, but do 4d6 damage against infantry! (They're also known as Burst Fire weapons).

Quote:
Looking forward to Elite Scenario and to adding some of the different mechs in both of these scenarios to see how they square off against each other. I've also got the record sheets from the "Introductory set, so I guess I could try those as well.


Do you have the full Intro rulebook?

You can download them (for free) from the Catalyst Labs site here:
http://www.classicbattletech.com/downloads/CBT_Introductory_...

Note that the Introductory Rules don't use Vehicles or Infantry. They only come with Total Warfare. (We rarely use them in my games; Mechs are just so much fun!)

Cheers,
Merric
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Trent Garner
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Quote:
Note that the Introductory Rules don't use Vehicles or Infantry. They only come with Total Warfare.


Actually, the Introductory Boxed Set rulebook (not to be confused with the free QSR rulebook) does use infantry and vehicles. That book is where the scenarios Mojayhawk is playing are taken from, the back of the CBT:Introductory Rulebook from the basic boxed set. The two scenarios include the veteran scenario he describes playing above, followed by the elite scenario, which adds infantry to the mix, so each side includes one 'Mech, one vehicle and one infantry squad.

I was just reading through those scenarios myself this morning, considering them for use while I teach my young nephew how to play the game. I have scenario books, but most are a little too advanced for training in most cases.
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Jeff Johnson
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I thought the box set came with cool plastic minis instead of the cheap paper stuff in the picture.... (?!)

This training scenario sounds good. Most of the stuff I did back in the day was just with 'mechs, but scenarios that paint a picture of 'mechs, vehicles, and infantry working together are more flavorful to me.

Mech on mech and losing initiative four times in a row-- that is tough! It's almost enough to make a guy bolt unplayable slow-as-molasses phased movement house rules onto the game.
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Trent Garner
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Mojayhawk does say he is playing with QSR, but he obviously got the scenarios he's playing from the Introductory Boxed Set rulebook, as well as the rules for vehicle/infantry combat.

Learning to play with the QSR is somewhat easier, as there is much less detail regarding combat, basically covering only 'Mech vs 'Mech combat.
 
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Cantatta wrote:
Quote:
Note that the Introductory Rules don't use Vehicles or Infantry. They only come with Total Warfare.


Actually, the Introductory Boxed Set rulebook (not to be confused with the free QSR rulebook) does use infantry and vehicles.


This is where it gets a bit confusing.

If you download the rules (for free) from the web, the QSR document has all the Vehicle and Infantry rules, whilst the Intro book doesn't.

In the boxed set, the Intro rules put the Vehicle & Infantry QSR into the end of the book. I still think of them as part of the QSR and not the Intro rules, though.

Cheers,
Merric
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Todd Reed
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Jeffr0 wrote:
I thought the box set came with cool plastic minis instead of the cheap paper stuff in the picture.... (?!)


Easy, sir! These figures took me about 1.5 minutes each to print, cut, and tape. I think those plastic and metal figs are overrated!

I look forward to getting some figs at some point.

I can't speak highly enough of how great it is that you can try so much of this game for free to measure interest.
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Jeff Johnson
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A thousand pardons, sir.

They look pretty darned good to me for home made game components. I was only alarmed at the thought of the Box Set being sold with paper minis again.... A complete set of plastic minis is an incredible bargain and sets this game apart from its competitors.

(As for comparable games, Car Wars Compendium does not have a play-for-free edition available, but Federation Commander: Klingon Border does-- it just cuts corners on the damage allocation rules, if I recall.)

From your session reports, your games seem to capture the essence of "real" BattleTech. Carry on with your enjoyment of this fine game. I'm dating myself here, but if you ever get to the point where you wonder how good a Phoenix Hawk pilot it takes to knock out a Wolverine, let me know. Also... if you ever want to compare notes on what the "actual" stats of the Rifleman should be, shoot me a note.

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