Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Capellan Confederation Ambush With Conventional Forces

Okay, this was a game I waited decades to play: BattleTech with mecha versus a infantry and tanks. Seriously, the xerox copy I ran off of the CityTech infantry record form has been sitting in the box for over twenty-five years!

Here’s how I set up the game. First I calculated the repair times for the surviving mechs from the last scenario. Then, as I would with D&D, I improvised a chart to account for the most reasonable outcomes:

1-2: The Vindicator which would take an hour an a half to repair is immediately sent out on a mission by itself without the rest of the group.

3-5: The Vindicator, the Clint, and the Blackjack are repaired and sent out on a mission together, but the Blackjack’s arm could not be reattached in time.

6: The full group is sent out, the Blackjack’s arm is repaired or retrofitted, and… the mech pilot that was in the destroyed Javelin is reassigned to a Locust.

The die roll came up as a two, confirming my original instincts for how to play the next game… but adding a sense of fairness and rightness that maybe wouldn’t have been there before. I still had this problem of the destroyed Javelin. I didn’t really want to let a Green mechwarrior with any  amount of experience go to waste. But I didn’t want to hand out “free” mechs either. So I ruled that for this game… if an enemy mech got dropped in such a way that it could be repaired, the Javelin guy would pick it up as his replacement mech.

I decided that a Davion Archer and Rifleman would be ambushed by four motorized MG infantry, 2 Patton tanks, and the “green” House Liao Vindicator. The Archer and Rifleman would come onto the board… and the House Liao units get hidden placement with a surprise round. I also ruled that Davion would have a morale of 9… minus the number of criticals they received. A number higher than that rolled after any turn they received a crit and they would turn tail and run.

Basically… a totally made up scenario with the objective of introducing infantry and vehicles while giving every conceivable break to the new guy just getting the hang of the game. (I could have maybe added one light mech to this group if I wanted it to be more even.)

The game played very fast– lest than three hours, easily. The Davion guys did not care about the green mechwarrior at all. They wanted to take out the much easier-to-mission-kill tanks first! Besides, the green guy just doesn’t hit often enough to be worth bothering with.

The infantry were interesting, more fun than I expected… and way too effective. I was running the game wrong, of course!

  • Mechs get a +3 bonus to to-hit with melee attacks against them.
  • Infantry take double damage if they are hit in a clear hex.
  • Mechs also have the option to move into the same hex as them… which would have the Archer the chance to take some better cover than I allowed him.

Everything played out perfectly for House Liao when the Archer took first a medium laser shot to the head followed by an AC-10 shot that blew it entirely off. The Javelin pilot will be coming back next game with an ARCHER! (And hoo-boy, does this change the overall complexion of the lance…!)

Here’s the current XP values as calculated by Mechwarrior first edition:

  • Blackjack (7/6) — 61
  • Clint (6/5) — 92
  • Javelin/Archer (6/5) — 106
  • Vindicator (6/5) — 75 + 63 = 138

The big break for this group comes when the 6/5 guys reach 175 XP… which is not that far away. (The Vindicator and Archer are liable to both get there next session.) The Blackjack was nearly useless in the first game, but if he can just hold on until he can reach 125 XP, he will be able to at least do something.

Anyway, that’s how the second installment went. Can’t what to see what happens to these guys next!

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