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Thursday, July 29, 2010

BattleTech AAR: Defense of Fintroll Dam

Fig. 1: The Battlefield. The small tower is the powerplant, the large building a factory.

   On Bogenhafen IV, the small city of Fintroll is burning, nearly entirely destroyed by fires started by a fierce orbital bombardment. However, two key points have been left unscathed: the hydroelectric power station and a factory complex just south of the city. With assets stretched thin, two medium Mechs of the 2nd Talabheim Guard are sent to secure the structures. Opposing them, two stray Mechs, remnants of the 1st Imperial Engineers, deployed from the ruins of the town.


  • 2nd Talabheim Guard (red and white): 1x PNT-9R "Panther" [35t], 1x PXH-1 "Phoenix Hawk" [45t]

  • 1st Imperial Engineers (blue and red): 1x WSP-1A "Wasp" [20t], 1x RFL-3N "Rifleman" [60t]
Victory Conditions

  • Destruction of all Talabheim Mechs: Total Imperial Victory

  • Holding the Hydroelectric Plant: Partial Imperial Victory

  • Destruction of all Imperial Mechs: Total Talabheim Victory
The Battle

Turn One:
   Talabheim PXH-1 advanced directly up the road, into relatively ineffective fire from the Rifleman at extreme range. The Wasp and Panther maneuvered out of line of sight.

Turn Two:
   Already in heat trouble, the Engineer Rifleman moves carefully into the Fintroll River shallows. Again, his fire is ineffective. To take pressure off of the Rifleman, the Wasp pilot bravely dashes across open ground to draw opposing fire. It works - the Phoenix Hawk moves into close range and pounds the smaller Wasp. Large laser and a barrage of SRMs slam into the Wasp's arm and torso, reaching the Wasp's own ammunition supply, detonating the entire supply and vaporizing the hapless Mech. [Note: Used a Stinger model for the Wasp, as I don't have a Wasp.]

Fig 2: Phoenix Hawk burns down a Wasp
Turn Three:
   Now protected and cooled by the shallow water, the Rifleman's long range guns go back into full fire. The Panther approaches, bringing its PPC into play, and striking the Rifleman in the torso. Finished with the Wasp, the Phoenix Hawk returns to the roadway and advances toward the dam.

Turn Four:
   Both attacking Mechs advance down the road, directly into the Rifleman's fire, determined to eliminate this pesky remaining defender and seal their victory. However, the Panther masks the Phoenix hawk's fire, and takes the full fury of the RFL-3N's Magna Mk. II and III lasers and the pair of Imperator-A medium autocannons. Critical hits in the central torso destroy the Panther's gyro, causing it to crumple to the ground.

Turn Five:
   Daunted by the intense fire coming from the Rifleman, the Phoenix Hawk pilot moves onto a nearby hill. He plans a devastating "death from above" attack. In response, the Rifleman shifts his fire onto the Phoenix Hawk, blowing the left arm off, damaging the gyro, and causing the 45-ton Mech to topple off the hill, out of LOS.

Turn Six:
   The Phoenix Hawk tries (and fails) to right itself. With no other target, the Rifleman continues to fire on the downed (but not out!) Panther, causing serious damge to the useless legs of the unstable Mech. The Panther manages to prop itself up and fire its PPC at its tormentor, narrowly missing.

Turn Seven:
   The Phoenix Hawk continues to try to stand, again without success. The stricken Panther finally succumbs to the heavy and continuous stream of fire coming from the Rifleman. With its central torso totally shot away, the Panther simply falls apart. With the sun setting, the Phoenix Hawk pilot decides to sneak away, abandoning his damaged Mech. For now, the ruins of Fintroll remain in Imperial hands...

Fig. 3: Death of a Panther. Note the Rifleman is standing in shallow water.


   Honestly, once the Wasp blew, I thought I was in serious trouble. Dane had aggressively eliminated my manuever unit that I foolishly left vulnerable to a Mech twice its size. However, by advancing straight into the Rifleman's strength (long range gunnery), especially bulwarked by the cooling assistance of the river - which offset the massive heat buildup that is the RFL-3N's main weakness.

   I used some of our old Heroscape hexes to create the battlefield. It worked okay, but I think that a hex-pattern stencil may be getting ordered from Litko sometime in the near future if we start playing a lot of BattleTech. Either that, or I make a turning template and we go 'hexless' for it. Which, all things considered, might be easiest.

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