Friday 19 January 2024

Board Games Are Good For You – The Science Behind It

There is an interesting article on this subject on the Tabletop Gaming site:  Link


Wednesday 10 January 2024

Classic Battletech - The Battle Of Butternab Ridge - After Action Report

Scenario Name:  The Battle Of Butternab Ridge 
Side A:  House Liao
Side B:  House Steiner
Points Per Side:  3,200
Game Duration:  Eight turns
Map Hex Size:  34 x 22
Entry Points:  Short Edges.

Side A Forces:
Rifleman    RFL-3N 
Jenner    JR7-F   
Hunchback    HBK-4J

Side B Forces:
Thunderbolt TDR-5SE
Javelin JVN-10F
Blackjack BJ-1

Scenario Background
The god fearing clean living peaceful traders of House Steiner have been provoked into raiding into the Liao holdings.  An operative embedded deep with the Liao military industrial complex (such that it is) has obtained info that the Liao forces are experimenting with a new revolutionary powerplant for the Manticore Heavy tank.  Field trials are underway but due to poor maintenance and lack of experience the prototype vehicle is breaking down almost daily.  Current intel indicates it is abandoned awaiting recovery in the small settlement of 'Butternab Ridge'.

Scenario Objective
House Steiner - Secure the abandoned Manticore Heavy Tank.  
House Liao - Deny House Steiner their objective. 

Victory Conditions
For each turn a player had an active Mech (not shut-down or dead) within three hexes of the tank, they received one point.  Player with the most points at the game is the winner.    

The Battle
Successful suppression of Liao planetary defences saw an unopposed Lyran Dropship landing.  Steiner forces entered the battlefield from the south at the same time as a hastily assembled scratch force of Liao mechs entered from the north to intercept them.

Turn 1 
Steiner win the initiative.  Initial moves onto the Battlefield by both sides (using Blips to represent Mechs) saw no shooting as line of sight was obscured by terrain.

Turn 2
Steiner win the initiative.  The Steiner Blackjack secures a good vantage point on top of a building and commences firing with its twin ACss.   An aggressive run forward by the Steiner Javelin towards the Manticore ended in disaster when the Pilot failed his Piloting Skill Roll (PSR) when he tried to make a turn.  Skidding forward he damaged his head armour in the fall and knocked himself unconscious !  WTF !   The Capellan's making the most of this disaster rush their Jenna forward to close the range and pound the rear of the immobile prone mech.  In all the excitement their Rifleman unloaded with both AC5s and both Heavy Lasers (which with only 10 Heat Sinks gave him a Heat problem).  The screaming over the radio from the rest of his team fortunately brought the Javelin pilot out of his slumber at the end of the round !      

Turn 3
Steiner win the initiative.  The Javelin gets up and seeks cover behind the nearby tree, and the Thunderbolts runs up the junction and the Blackjack jumps down.  The Hunchback starts loosening off with its LRMs as he gets a bead on the Blackjack.

Turn 4
Steiner win the initiative.  The Jenner takes the safest option and jumps to cover its rear, the Thunderbolt and Blackjack rush forward, all three Steiner mechs are within 3 hexes of the objective now.  The Blackjack takes some damage as again does the Jenna.  The Hunchback is out of position and doesn't have line of sight to a target, so doesn't fire.

Turn 5
Steiner win the initiative again !  The Jenna ends up behind the Blackjack and then the Javelin jumps behind that.  The Rifleman takes some punishment and the Javelin almost has a Torso blown off now the Hunchback is making its firepower felt!

Turn 6
Liao win the initiative for the first time.  The Javelin receives yet more damage and takes a Medium Laser to the head which goes critical and takes out a Heat Sink, the pilot managing to keep conscious despite this blow.  Further damage takes the other torso down to just one piece of internal.  The Rifleman has lots of eternal armour blown away now and loses an upper arm actuator.  

Game End
The game was meant to go onto Turn 8 but we had run out of time at the end of Turn 6, so we called it at that point.  The Steiner forces had more victory points at that time and so were determined to have secured the objective.   A very very close game, the Javelin as you can see from the record sheet was virtually scrap.  Overall a really entertaining game with my opponent Steve M :)  I'm looking forward to the return match with the same forces when we plan to switch sides.