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Saturday, August 19, 2017

BT: Capture the Flag

Ok, I've been waiting to play this one for a while, and here it is:  Capture the Flag, Battletech style.  It turned out to be one of the most exciting and intense games of BT that we've played.

Scenario rules are simple - deploying at opposite table corners, place an objective 1ft from your corner, and deploy all forces within 2ft of the corner.  The first player to capture their opponent's flag and bring it back to their starting corner wins. Oh, and you either need infantry and a cargo hold in a vehicle, or a mech with hands to carry the objective.  Each side has 8k in BV to make up their force.

And we're off!  The heroic 1st Argyle Rangers are on the move.

Three units of infantry guard the objective within rough terrain, the objective being that blank disk.  The Atlas advances away from the objective, but will only be playing a fire support role so that I can double it back in case the enemy breaks through.  All other forces are on the offensive.  In terms of BV, that's about 1/4 of my force held in defense, while 3/4 move up.

The enemy, the notorious Red Hand, leads with a Longbow and two Demolisher heavy tanks.  Lots of damage potential there.

Initially, the enemy holds much of its force further back, with some Ost....Ost somethings?  I can't tell these mechs apart for some reason.  Anyway three Ost-something mechs and a Stalker, as well as two platoons of infantry hidden behind the hill.  However, soon enough the Longbow starts taking fire from about five mechs, and the Stalker is forced to catch up to support.

The Rangers take up position on one side of the valley at the center of the board while the Longbow is on the opposite hill. The stalker and Demolishers approach down the middle of the valley.

There's plenty of fire, and the Longbow gets chewed up. Ineffective return fire is mostly directed to the Zeus and Dervish, both taking light damage.

The Karnov makes a daring run, dropping its two infantry squads behind the enemy.

The Atlas adds its LRM-20s to the fray from extreme range, ready to pull back for defensive if needed.

The Crab makes a careful dash, aiming its large lasers into the side of one of the Demolishers. The shots have exactly the intended effect, immobilizing the short-range tank for the rest of the game.

More or less down a tank, the other Demolisher pulls ahead while the Stalker fires from cover.

The Rangers now pull back slowly, engaging only the stalker and tank, while keeping carefully out of range of the tank's AC-20 and the long range missiles of the Longbow.

With the Stalker hanging back, the tank advances uncomfortably close. In an effort to immobilize it quickly, the Dervish makes a daring rush forward, unloading its payload into the Demolisher's side, and hoping to finish it off with a sharp kick.

Unfortunately, the risky plan didn't pan out. The mech takes two headshots from the Stalker, killing the pilot.  It's a strange thing, but I've never managed to have a Dervish survive a battle.

While both side's main force is engaged at the center of the field, one of the Ost... somethings... Medium Ost we'll call it, tries to slip around the edge of the table. The Atlas turns to engage.

Meanwhile, the Rangers try to do the same thing to the enemy.  The Karnov circles the enemy objective, waiting for the Spider to catch up and distract them.

Action continues to heat up in the center, as the Demolisher advances slowly (slowed by a motive hit), and the Rangers stay out of its range, hitting it with long range weapons. The Stalker hesitates to advance into the fire.

Now it's a race for the objectives.  The enemy approaches...

And at the same moment, the Karnov's infantry platoon descends onto the enemy mech with rappelling lines, successfully executing a swarm attack.  The spider positions itself to rush the objective as well.

The spider rushes up while the infantry attempt to set charges onto the upper body of the mech.

Meanwhile across the table a platoon of jump infantry successfully executes a leg attack on the approaching enemy, slowing it down.  It takes additional fire from the atlas and foot infantry near the objective. A rifleman scores a headshot for 2 damage, but it is miraculously enough to knock the pilot unconscious!

Another mech attempts to rush the objective, this time trying to pass behind my main force. The crab scores a leg critical that significantly slows the enemy mech down, making it unlikely outrun all the fire that will be pouring into it.

Back at the enemy objective, the swarm attack is wildly successful, blowing the mech's head clean off!  The infantry scramble off the fallen mech and capture the objective.

The enemy, clearly desperate, continues to try to break through, but is getting torn apart by fire from several mechs.

Meanwhile another headshot actually wakes up the pilot of the Ost-Medium, allowing it to continue to press foward despite the withering fire.

Enemy infantry platoons severely damage the spider - it takes a Gyro hit, and it falls.  A swarm attack seems inevitable.

The Rangers pursue the enemy as it makes its desperate grab for the objective. it is looking unlikely that they can capture it and escape.

With the infantry in possession of the enemy objective, the Karnov tries a combat landing in a seriously hot LZ. Out of the blue comes 20 missiles, all of which connect and destroy the lightly armored VTOL, making the Spider the last hope of getting the objective clear of the enemy.

Ah, there's the culprit - the enemy are pulling back to defend their objective. The Longbow's powerful missiles are now in range.

The Spider (after it stands up) is passed the objective by the infantry who provide covering fire for the mech.

Meanwhile the lone Demolisher, heavily demolished itself, continues to advance, but never manages to secure range.

The immobilized tank, still alive at the center of the board, has an infantry problem. The Stalker is on its way back to help the Longbow kill the Spider before it can get clear.

Meanwhile, at my objective, things are close to their natural ending.

As the Ost-medium moves to pick up the objective, it's set upon by three units of infantry and an Atlas at close range.  This won't be pretty, but it will be quick.

One down...

And as the enemy mech picks up the objective and starts to move off, the Atlas closes to melee range, finishing the mech off with an AC-20 shot to the center torso.

The Spider, carrying the enemy objective, makes a run for it while the infantry keeps the enemy infantry busy.

That one platoon managed to take out two enemy platoons while they were busy shooting at the Spider. Medals for all!

The enemy will not let that Spider off easy. The Stalker moves into range.

The missiles, at very long range, miss the fast-moving mech.

The still somehow moving Demolisher could theoretically stand in the way of the Spider, so the Rangers move to finish it off.

With long range missiles churning up the earth behind it, the spider uses its speed to move along the table edge towards its allies.

Finally, the Spider manages to put the hills between it and the enemy, making it impossible to catch or stop. The game goes to House Davion and the 1st Argyle Rangers.  All in all one of the most intense and fun games of BT I've ever played.

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