Category Archives: Battle Reports

BattleTech in 2018: Clan Ghost Bear vs Mercenaries

I recently took to the table again, this time with the trusty forces of Clan Ghost Bear.

ProbableKoz and I decided that we wanted a bigger Alpha Strike battle, so we each dropped 750 PV on the table. Having just completed my first battle armor project for the Year of Battle Armor, I wanted to bring along the Corona Heavy Battle Armor and give them a trial by fire on the tabletop.

Because of the nature of how this battle was covered, I’m going to change up a bit about how I’m covering this one. I’ll share some pictures below to show off the action and talk about what’s going on, but we actually recorded this battle! ProbableKoz did a full on Battle Report over on his YouTube Channel. I highly recommend heading over to his channel to check out his take on the action. 

 

Watch ProbableKoz’s Battle Report for this game!

Battle Pictures – Early Game

Rasalhague Dominion forces deployed heavy to the left flank, with the bulk of the Mercenary forces congregating in the trees across the field.

The Mercenary “Ost Lance” and other elements took positions near the power plant while the Ghost Bear Fire Support Star mobilized from the `Mech hangar.

Fore Moths and Vipers (carrying Battle Armor) advanced deep into the Mercenary flanks, preparing for a lightning strike, while the Ghost Bear Battle Star moved in to engage the Mercenaries.

Mercenary forces moved up to gain firing positions on the Ghost Bears attempting to leave the hangar.

There were early casualties….

….on both sides.

Mid-Game Plans Go Into Action

Then the Ghost Bears put their plane into action, deploying Battle Armor units at close range.

Off the other side of the table, the battle for control of the hangar intensifies. Neither side gives ground.

ERROR – Battlefield Surveillance Data Missing – Suspect possible data breach. Reporting incident to MIMIR and Watch Field Stations for analysis.

Basically, there is a whole turn of the game missing from my picture records. To find out what happened that turn, ProbableKoz’s video is a great resource.

Late Game, Sweeping Up the Rabble

Having cleaned up the Mercenary threat on the left flank, the Ghost Bears move in to route the remaining Mercenaries.

While having lost the entire Battle Star, one Mech from the Fire Support Lance, and a few units of Battle Armor, the Ghost Bears had managed to reduce the Mercenary forces to just two BattleMechs. The Mercenaries decided it was time to leave and sped off the table, back to their DropShip.

Victory for the Dominion!

The Mercenaries picked the wrong day to poke the bear, and they paid for it. While losses on the Dominion side were not insignificant, the Mercenary force just couldn’t handle the rate of loss subjected from the Ghost Bears.

As for the Corona Battle Armor, it served its purpose well, and a couple of the units actually survived the reprisal attacks from their hammer strike style deployment. The Corona that was able to attack at Short Range really messed up the Mercenary plan by applying extra Heat to the Mechs they hit.

As always, ProbableKoz was a great opponent, and I think this loss galvanized him to come back stronger in the future.

The Dominion will be waiting.

 

First BattleTech of 2018: Republic vs Free Worlds League

This year brings with it new gaming goals and challenges. One of the chief goals that I have set for myself is to properly chronicle and record every game of BattleTech and Alpha Strike that I play on the tabletop this year right here on Sarna.

On December 31, 2018, I want to look back at all of the articles and games recorded and see a big year of gaming and fun times with friends.

With this first battle report of 2018, I begin my story.

“Hey, since I’m coming over today to pick something up, want to throw in a quick game of BattleTech?”

That was what my friend asked me the morning of January 6. Quick game of BattleTech? I shrugged when I considered it. We both knew that kind of thing didn’t exist, but he knew how to hook me. (Hint: It’s not difficult when BattleTech is what’s offered!)

And so, I set about pulling together a game.

Before I get to the Battle Report, let’s take a look at the forces. I used what’s become my default Lance from my Republic forces while my opponent wanted to take a stroll down memory lane with some well-known BattleMech chassis.

Free Worlds League Rabble

WHM-8D Warhammer – Gunnery 3/Piloting 4
CRD-6M Crusader – Gunnery 3/Piloting 4
MAD-9M Marauder – Gunnery 3/Piloting 4
TDR-9M Thunderbolt – Gunnery 3/Piloting 4

XII Hastati Sentinels

PRF-1R Prefect – Gunnery 3/Piloting 4
HVC-P6 Havoc – Gunnery 3/Piloting 4
DLR-O Doloire – Gunnery 3/Piloting 4
LMT-2R Lament – Gunnery 3/Piloting 4

We decided to keep things simple by just choosing `Mechs and taking all 3/4 pilots. The BV2 had a slight skew when I went to look at it later, but the game was interesting in spite of (or because of?) it.

Table and Scenario Setup

After deciding on the maps we would use, we wanted to come up with at least a basic scenario that would make it feel like we were doing more than lining up and shooting. We decided on an escape mission, with the Attacker trying to get one `Mech to the DropShip.

I rolled and won choice, and I set up as the Attacker.

The Hastati Sentinels set up to make their way to the DropShip.

Round One

The opening round saw Initiative go to the FWL, as the Hastati Sentinels moved into the base section of the map. The FWL `Mechs broke into teams of two, with the Thunderbold and Crusader exchanging ineffective fire with the main Hastati group.

The Hastati Sentinels exchange ineffective fire with the FWL Mechs in Round One.

Round Two

Seizing the Initiative, the Hastati move forward into the base and begin the setup for their breakout moves. No fire is exchanged this round as the FWL `Mechs move to cover as many angles as possible.

The Hastati and FWL `Mechs hope to outmaneuver the other team in a round of no shots.

Round Three

Keeping the Initiative, the Hastati Sentinels pause to regroup, in yet another round of no shots fired. The FWL `Mechs, sensing a ruse, move to press into the base should the Hastati be up to something sneaky.

The tension is high as `Mechs on all sides seek an advantageous position.

Round Four

Regaining the Initiative, the FWL is able to respond to a high stakes gambit employed by the Hastati, the Republic forces send the Havoc over the wall and try to throw the FWL forces off balance. The Doloire is able to help add to the maelstrom and the Lament and Prefect are caught trying to prevent the Thunderbolt and Crusader from vaulting the wall.

The result is mixed for both teams, with the Marauder and Havoc both taking heavy fire from enemy units.

The forces finally clash.

Round Five

The Hastati win back Initiative and push all-out, with the Havoc making a break for the DropShip, and the mission objective. The other Republic `Mechs move into support positions to attempt to cover their smaller friend’s run. The Lament and Doloire attempt to cripple the Warhammer that stands in their way, while the Prefect savages the Thunderbolt that has turned to give chase to the Havoc. Somehow, the already badly damaged, yet operational, Havoc avoids all incoming fire from the FWL Marauder.

The Havoc makes a break for it.

Round 6

The Hastati retain Initiative and continue their push out towards the Drop Ship. Unfortunately, the paved roads are more of a hazard than the entire enemy team, and the Havoc careens into a Hardened Building at top speed. The damage is not favorable, leaving a side torso badly damaged and vital critical spots exposed. Fortunately for the Havoc, no enemy was able to take advantage of the calamity.

The FWL Warhammer was able to forestall the advancing Hastati heavy elements for a turn longer, refusing to go down despite taking a withering amount of incoming fire.

With the Havoc down but not out, the Hastati continue to push the FWL `Mechs to try to gain a numbers advantage.

Round Seven

Tragedy struck twice in a row for the Hastati Sentinels, as the Havoc was able to stand and make another break for the DropShip. However, fate was against the pilot that day, as one slippery patch of asphalt saw the Havoc taking another dive, landing on its already badly damaged torso, and crushing the XL Engine in the process. The Havoc was permanently out of the fight and unable to win it for the Hastati, making it a 4v3 in favor of the Free World League.

With the Havoc a non-issue, the FWL turned to attempt to down the biggest threat on the field, the deadly Doloire OmniMech.

Havoc no more! Now outnumbered, the Hastati must defeat a numerically superior force.

Round Eight

The Free Worlds League wins back the Initiative for the first time in four rounds and is able to press the numbers advantage into the Hastati Sentinels, making the Republic forces adopt a slightly defensive stance.

Despite a heroic last stand, the focus-fired Doloire is unable to withstand the amount of firepower coming from all directions, and it goes down in a ball of fire and laser blasts. Trying not to make their companion’s sacrifice count for something, the Lament and Prefect are able to down both the Warhammer and Marauder, with the Warhammer‘s Center Torso completely vaporized by Heavy PPC fire. The Marauder, however, is not out of the fight just yet.

The Warhammer finally falls, and the Doloire joins the Havoc as the Hastati Sentinels are now outnumbered 2v3.

Round Nine

The Free Worlds League kept the initiative, but the Hastati Sentinels had no choice but to press the attack. Downing the Thunderbolt, the Prefect managed to help even the odds even as the Lament exchanged fire with both the Marauder and the Crusader.

The Prefect manages to down the Thunderbolt as the Lament tries to finish off the Marauder.

However, not all goes as planned for the Hastati Sentinels, as the combined return fire from the Marauder and Crusader score an unprecedented three head hits in a single round! The Lament sags to a stop as the pilot is dead in his cockpit. Well, what’s left of the pilot, anyway.

Faced with the horrible reality that the rest of his Lance is out of the fight, the Prefect surrenders, and the Free Worlds League wins by preventing any of the Republic forces from reaching their DropShip.

Alone on the battlefield, the Prefect surrenders to the Free World League Rabble.

Wrap Up

Some astute observers out there will notice that it was actually the Hastati Sentinels who had a distinct BV2 advantage in this matchup.

Discussing the game afterward, we agreed that the turning point was obviously the three head hits on the Lament in a single turn of weapons fire. The Lament and Prefect had more than a fair chance of defeating the remaining FWL BattleMechs before that happened.

What a fun game!

There’s no telling what will happen when the dice start rolling, and this game is a great example of that.

The Hastati Sentinels now have a new grudge to settle in future games, and hopefully, the Free Worlds League Rabble will have a paint scheme to show off for the next game.

So that’s it for BattleTech action for now. I can’t wait to hit the tabletop again and report on the next game.

Until next time, MechWarriors, don’t forget that no fight is decided as long as dice can still be rolled!

 

Want to learn more about BattleTech? Start Here:

Classic BattleTech Universe Book
BattleTech: BattleMech Manual

BattleMech Models from IronWind Metals

 

The BattleTech Match Of The Century: Mitch Gitelman vs. Jordan Weisman

The BattleTech Match Of The Century: Mitch Gitelman vs. Jordan Weisman

If you missed Mech_Con, then you missed one of the greatest duels of all time. Mitch Gitelman, co-founder of Harebrained Schemes, and Jordan Weisman, the other co-founder of Harebrained but also of FASA and all things BattleTech, fought to the death in their highly anticipated turn-based strategy game, BattleTech.

The stakes had never been higher for these two giants of industry. At Weisman’s suggestion, the pair agreed that whoever won the duel would take their opponent as his bondsman for a period of one week.

“Will you kneel to me, Weisman?” Gitelman asked.

“No, but you’ll kneel to me!”

“Bring it, old man.”

And thus, the battle was joined.

Continue reading

BattleTech Fall Classic – Republic Gunslinger Tournament

Back on November 4th (just shy of five weeks ago at the time of writing) six Middle Tennessee area MechWarriors descended on one location to fight it out in a series of matches that would determine who was worth of the title “Gunslinger”.

With the gracious hosting of The Game Cave in Hermitage, TN, I was able to organize the tournament and invite the Middle TN group to have it out in a series of four 1v1 matches, each at a different weight class.

I further upped the stakes by adding environmental conditions into the mix, much to the groans and mixed chuckles of all of the participants.

A link to the full rules for the tournament is HERE.

There was some prize support present as well.

The prize support for the Fall Classic.

Modeling tools (provided by the Wargamers’ Reunion), 3D printed 6mm terrain (provided by Dicey Ventures), and even a CAV model (given to the lowest ranked player at the end of the day) were among the prizes. Also, there was one prize above all, seen to the far right of the picture (No! Not the DQ cup!).

I speak, of course, of The Gold Malice Gunslinger Trophy!

The legendary and much sought Golden Malice trophy went to the winner, along with the title “Gunslinger”!

Here are some shots of the hex map action from the 4 Rounds of the Fall Classic.

Josh Koziura (ProbableKoz on YouTube) took home the Best Painted award with his Mercenaries!

Photo by Josh Koziura (ProbableKoz)

This was my first tournament as a Catalyst Demo Team Agent, and while there are definitely things I would have like to change (like not bumbling through a couple of rules calls), it was still a great first start to getting more regular stuff planned, not only tournaments, but also special events.

After the first of the year, the next step is to organize an Alpha Strike event, and then to get ready to defend my Championship Belt at T-N-T 2018.

There’s so much more exciting BattleTech ahead, `Mech fans!

BATTLETECH Multiplayer Review – A Battle Of Titans

BATTLETECH

It’s certainly taken some time, but as promised in our previous look at the game, I’ve finally found someone to test out the BATTLETECH multiplayer experience. Tony “Deux” Wendover agreed to be my honorable opponent-cum-guinea pig, and we shared a grueling hour-long battle, putting every aspect of BATTLETECH to the test. How’d the game hold up? Read on to find out!

The Setup

We decided to stick with a relatively light engagement believing that it would allow us to get more than one game in (which we were very wrong about, as it turns out). I decided to go with a pair of Centurion CN9-As, a Panther PNT-9R, and a Commando COM-1B as a scout ‘Mech. Unlike in my vs. PC games, I wouldn’t know what my opponent decided to field until I met him on the field of battle.

Setup

Before commencing our duel I took special care to ensure that my Commando pilot had the Sensor Lock skill, as I knew from my previous experiences that it would prove invaluable for long-range combat. Without it, it can be very difficult to exchange fire at extreme range.

I should have known this wouldn’t be as easy as fighting a computer, but this was why I’d brought a dedicated scout ‘Mech.

The drop counter ticked down, and then I was presented with a brand new map as our combat arena. The terrain was basically a rocky desert much like Arizona, filled with buttes and mesas, as well as curious mineral fields that Deux kindly explained to me acted as amplifiers for energy weapons. Not only would the crystal formations make any ‘Mech’s energy weapons more powerful when standing inside them, it also made that ‘Mech harder to hit for the enemy. I tried to keep that in mind as I ran my lance north trying to stay on top of a ridge.

My Commando scouted ahead as it was significantly faster than the rest of my lance. The game gave me a general direction of where my opponent would be coming from, but besides that, I had precious little information until I made contact.

The Battle Begins

As my Commando passed what appeared to be a gas station and approached a butte its sensors rang out with contacts: two light ‘Mechs of unknown type. Excited, I gathered my lance on top of a small hill on the opposite side of the butte and ran my Commando into a nearby forest for cover and so he could keep his sensors on the approaching ‘Mechs.

My enemy must have detected my lance as well since the two blips stopped approaching just as I’d gotten my lance into firing position. I should have known this wouldn’t be as easy as fighting a computer, but this was why I’d brought a dedicated scout ‘Mech. I ran my Commando into a mineral field to the east of the butte and used the pilot’s Sensor Lock ability to identify one of the enemy ‘Mechs: a Panther.

The confidence I’d gained from knowing one of my opponent’s chassis was short-lived, as that same Panther jumped forward and fired its PPC into my own Panther. It struck the right arm and exposed its own PPC to critical hits as all the armor had been melted off.

Missed Panther

I’d thought the jump into combat would prove risky for my opponent as it brought it well within the range of my Centurion’s AC/10 and LRMs, but my return fire proved ineffective as the AC/10 missed wide as did most of the missiles fired.

Then from the west, a mysterious flight of 5 LRMs struck my beleaguered Panther in the side. My sensors hadn’t picked up anything that far out, so it caught me entirely by surprise. An LRM-5 I knew could mean a Shadowhawk or a Vindicator, both capable long-ranged designs. It also left me in a strange position: I knew there was a ‘Mech far enough to the west to be out of range of my sensors, but there were two light ‘Mechs just ahead of me within firing range. I could split my forces as my opponent had, or I could press onward and try to take the light ‘Mechs before they could retreat.

Two centurions in a forest

I decided to press, jumping my Panther forward into a mineral field to get it out of the sights of the mystery ‘Mech and into cover, while my Centurions juked into a nearby forest. Along the way they opened fire on the enemy Panther, again missing with their AC/10s. This would become a theme for the rest of the game.

For their part, the enemy decided to start targeting my Commando that had been using Sensor Sock and allowing the rest of my lance to fire on them. Their PPCs missed, and only a few errant SRMs managed to touch my forward scout. My light ‘Mech then crept forward to continue to bear witness to the enemy when the fourth and final ‘Mech appeared on my sensors behind the butte. I now knew where my enemy was, but I only knew that one of them was a Panther.

LRM raining on Panther

Sensor locking the Panther again allowed my Centurions to fire indirect LRMs as it retreated behind the hill, with around half pocking armor all over the enemy light. One Centurion opened up with its deadly AC/10 and finally struck its target. The savaged panther limped back into cover while my Commando dogged it, while the mystery ‘Mech in the west tried to provide covering fire by lighting off its LRM-5 on my scout, again with most missiles missing.

The tag team of LRM carrying ‘Mechs like my Centurions and a scout ‘Mech with Sensor Lock was proving to be my best asset, and I was loathed to lose it so early in the engagement.

Then, in a surprise move, a second enemy Panther jumped on top of the butte and fired down on one of my Centurions. It managed to do some damage, but the tactic left me confused as it exposed this newcomer to fire from my entire lance. But game mechanics managed to save him as he jumped away before my heavier ‘Mechs could open fire. The enemy Panther took a shot in the leg from my own Panther before firing its PPC at my Commando, pegging it dead in the chest and exposing its center torso before jumping back behind the butte.

With my scout ‘Mech grievously wounded I decided to maneuver him to behind my side of the butte so as to avoid enemy fire entirely. The tag team of LRM carrying ‘Mechs like my Centurions and a scout ‘Mech with Sensor Lock was proving to be my best asset, and I was loathed to lose it so early in the engagement.

A Change Of Tactics

We were once again in a bit of a stalemate, with three of the enemy ‘Mechs on one side of the butte (two of which were certainly Panthers), my lance on the other, and a still unidentified LRM-5 carrying ‘Mech somewhere to the west of me. I decided it was time to move on that mystery ‘Mech and get out of this silly business with the butte.

I kinda wish there was another word to describe it, but it’s too small to be a mesa and too big to be called a hill. Butte is basically it.

Anyway, my paired Centurions began to maneuver to the west while my damaged Panther and Commando stayed behind to keep the enemy at bay. My Panther and an enemy Panther traded fire, with mine ending up the worse for wear, while my Centurions closed to within sensor range to ID the mystery ‘Mech as a medium. No surprise there – Shadowhawks and Vindicators are both medium ‘Mechs.

One of the enemy Panthers exposed itself a little too far around the butte and took fire from my Centurion’s LRM-10 and AC/10 for its trouble, taking its PPC-carrying right arm clean off. Sensing blood I doubled my Centurion’s back so they could continue to wail on the open Panther.

Firing On Griffin

Suddenly, the western mystery ‘Mech decided to make a break for it and managed to get itself close enough to my Commando that I could finally identify it: a rare Griffin GRF-1S. Not what I was expecting, and certainly a tough foe to handle as it was faster and more armored than most of the ‘Mechs I was fielding.

While I was distracted by the Griffin a third enemy Panther peaked around the opposite side of the butte and managed to get a bead on my Commando. The PPC blast took the right arm Large Laser clean off, while the SRMs further damaged what little armor remained on my poor scout.

Commando Arm Blown Off

My Centurions again chased away the encroaching Panther, but not before the Griffin launched a spread of LRMs into my Commando, taking off its other arm. My armless Commando then tried to bury itself into the wall of the butte to save itself and just use sensor lock for the remainder of the engagement.

Frustrated, I decided to take a move out of the enemy’s playbook and jumped my Panther on top of the butte to fire it’s PPC down on its closest foe. The PPC missed, but the SRMs savaged armor all over the previously damaged Panther as well as providing targeting data for my Centurions to rain LRMs from afar. I was also finally able to identify the last enemy light ‘Mech: yet another Panther PNT-9R. 

Panther Shot on Butte

Deux had more tricks up his sleeve. He jumped his previously PPC-less Panther not just on top of the butte, but on top of my own Panther as a Death From Above maneuver. Both ‘Mechs took damage and fell over in some sort of hilarious synchronized dance. Unfortunately, my ‘Mechs were too close to the butte to fire on the toppled Panther, while my opponent’s ‘Mechs could pump fire into my downed Panther. Which they did, destroying it. One ‘Mech down for the good guys.

Panther on Panther DFA

I responded with more LRM fire but my enemy sensed blood in the water. He brought Panthers around both sides of the butte to try and get a bead on my crippled Commando. His Panthers took devastating fire, and I sensed my Commando’s days were numbered. I did what any good commander would and decided to suicide charge my Commando into the enemy, firing its remaining SRM-2 as it went.

Commando Headbutt!

Surprisingly, the Panther’s return fire all missed and my Commando got into melee range, headbutting a Panther from behind. As the Panther turned to face its wily foe it exposed its back armor to my Centurions, allowing me to savage its rear armor and blow off a leg. It fell over, but while I was distracted the Griffin came back into range and fired its Large Laser and LRM-5 at my Centurion. It still had plenty of armor and shrugged off the assault while returning fire with everything it had. Again, my AC/10 missed and only a few missiles and a Medium Laser struck the target.

I was beginning to think my Mechwarriors would need to hit the gunnery range rather hard after this engagement. If they lived through it, that is.

Shin kick

The Panther on top of the butte got up and rained down SRMs but received a battering from my Centurion for its trouble, losing both side torsos and a leg. Meanwhile, my Commando continued to melee attack, kicking the shins of the downed Panther in front of it. Despite some setbacks, things were looking up for our heroes.

That’s when the third enemy Panther jumped on my Commando, killing it.

Dead commando

I was in a bad spot. Although two of the enemy Panthers were little more than hobbling torsos, having lost both arms and a leg, they still had an SRM-4 to fire with and jump jets to continue an aerial assault. There was also a completely fresh Panther and a mostly undamaged Griffin to contend with, while my Centurions were starting to feel a little worn from combat.

I swung my remaining forces wide into a forest for cover while the enemy Griffin and Panther continued to trade long range fire. My AC/10 again missed the mark again and again while the enemy’s PPC never seemed to miss.

Close Range Griffin Combat

In desperation I split my forces, leaving one Centurion to contend with the pack of Panthers while the other hunted down the Griffin. My Centurion pilot managed to finally catch the Griffin in the open, savaging its right torso to the point where it cooked off the remaining LRM ammunition. Unfortunately, it had already spent most of those missiles, leaving too few remaining for an instant kill but still removing the arm and leg. It was almost defenseless, or so I thought.

Down, But Not Out

Meanwhile, the Panther pack had done a number on my remaining Centurion, taking off its AC/10 right arm (not that it was doing me much good). The crippled Panthers were doing their best to hop from one side of the butte to the other, while the mostly fresh Panther on top kept raining fire down into my medium ‘Mech.

Griffin Headbutt

The opposing Griffin proved to still be in the fight as once again a Death From Above maneuver was performed, only this time on my Centurion. Somehow it managed to take off my Centurion’s leg despite the fact it was jumping on top of it, and both players scratched their heads in confusion at the sight. Worse, my Centurion was knocked over, losing precious time righting itself while the Panther pack closed in.

My other Centurion finally managed to kill one of the damaged Panthers, but the pack had closed and was now within jumping range. The remaining crippled Panther jumped on top of my armless Centurion, committing honorable seppuku in its quest for victory. I respected its decision to give its life for the cause but hated the fact it had knocked over my only upright Centurion.

Suicide Panther

A normal commander would have surrendered at this point, but I am no ordinary commander. Even while my Centurions were being kicked and blasted with PPCs, we fought on to the last. My Centurions rose like the mighty gladiators they were and continued to fight back, taking aim at the dangerous PPC-toting Panther but again failing to disarm the deadly opponent. The Centurion tangling with the Griffin also took a point-blank shot with its two Medium Lasers, and despite the fact that they were separated by mere inches one laser shot wide.

Stupid Centurion

In return, the crippled Griffin ducked its head and charged, headbutting my Centurion in the chest and disabling the engine. I was down to a single ‘Mech.

Never give up, never surrender. My remaining Centurion blasted away at the Panther while the crippled enemy Griffin did what the previous two Panthers had and hopped one-legged to within melee range. Overheating, and unable to split my fire between two targets, the Griffin closed to within headbutting distance.

Then the medium ‘Mech bowed, as though honoring its foe, before it thrust its deadly head straight through my Centurion’s chest. I had lost.

Last Mech Down

I was heartened by the fact that there was barely a single enemy ‘Mech between the two surviving chassis, and that each of our engagements had devolved into fisticuffs. Had my AC/10 shots found their marks, it could have been a very different game. Also, I’ve determined that a ‘Mech’s head is actually the most deadly weapon it possesses and will base all my future ‘Mech choices on the size of its metal cranium.

Thanks again to Deux for the delightful game, and I hope to get another one in by the time the next big BATTLETECH patch hits.

And as always, Mechwarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

MechWarrior Online World Championships Second and Third Round Recap

courtesy of mechwarrior.com

It’s been another wild weekend for the Mechwarrior Online World Championship, with both the second and third round of matches having taken place in a whirlwind series of matches that pilots from all over the world battling it out at all hours of the day and night. Our resident Twitch casters must be having a rough Monday since they clearly didn’t get enough sleep last weekend. And who would with such an amazing number of games played between the best Mechwarriors in the world?

Let’s once again recap the weekend’s results and see which top three teams will be flown out to Vancouver to take part in the World Championship Finals.

The first match of the winner’s bracket brings the 228th Black Watch against EON Synergy, the top European team from last year’s championship. In the first game on Canyon Network, Black Watch tried to push through the map’s namesake canyon but lost a ‘Mech to an EON ambush. The early ‘Mech loss snowballed into a blowout, resulting in EON taking the game with 6 machines remaining. In their second game the 228th performed better, maneuvering EON into an ambush themselves on Tourmaline Desert by sending a fast group of Assassins and Arctic Cheetahs to bait EON into the open and picking them apart piecemeal.

Black Watch vs EON -

via piranhagames on Twitch

The third game was a brutal display of skill with EON eventually having three heavily damaged ‘Mechs to Black Watch’s two. It was a nail-biting several minutes as Black Watch went for a resource capture win, eventually emerging victorious with 750 points to 734. Black Watch won the match 2 games to 1 and moved on to face the winner of the Osiriz versus EmpyreaL match.

EmpyreaL had a fairly lackluster first showing against Phoenix Legion last week, coming out the winner but not showing their normal crushing display of power. That all changed when they fought Osiriz on Saturday. EmpyreaL took no prisoners, demolishing Osiriz in both games. Of particular note was an EmpyreaL Huntsman loaded with Streak Missiles that managed to use them to great effect against the Osiriz Wolfhounds. After eliminating their light ‘Mechs in both games, EmpyreaL then was able to outmaneuver and outshoot Osiriz, taking both games without losing a single pilot.

If there was any doubt last weekend as to EmpyreaL’s chances in this tournament it was silenced with this match. EmpyreaL was back, and they are terrifying.

JGx vs RJFS

via piranhagames on Twitch

Our next match saw Russian Jade Falcon Spikes against the First Jaguar Guards. RJFS continued their winning streak in the tournament, controlling both games against the First Jaguar Guards without breaking a sweat. RJFS crushed the First Jaguars in two games, eliminating them from the tournament.

Next up was the Steel Jaguars versus 228th The Wild Ones in a series of close games that showcased both team’s finesse as Mechwarriors. The first game was notable for having a series of airstrikes that totally changed the balance of power, first with a blind SJR strike eliminating a Wild Ones ‘Mech, and then with both teams launching strikes into a melee that saw each team lose pilots. When the dust settled it was down to a 5v5, with the Wild Ones just managing to come ahead in the ensuing firefight.

Wild Ones vs SJR

via piranhagames on Twitch

However, The Wild Ones would drop a heartbreaking second game. After controlling four out of five resource points for much of the game, SJR engaged in a series of firefights that would eventually leave all but one Wild Ones light ‘Mech left and only a few seconds before achieving a resource victory. But SJR managed to catch him in time and secure the win for their second game. By the third game The Wild Ones seemed to lose steam, swinging right into a firing line of SJR ‘Mechs only to be completely annihilated. The Wild Ones head home after their second loss, and SJR proceed to the next round.

The next match brought EmpyreaL and 228th Black Watch together in a clash of titans that could be a preview of the finals to take place in December. The first game began as a gentlemanly exchange of long-range fire until EmpyreaL pounced on a pair of Black Watch Hunchback IICs, quickly eliminating them and an Arctic Cheetah that came to assist. With three ‘Mechs down EmpyreaL was easily able to wipe out the remaining Black Watch machines with little effort.

Empyreal vs 228

via piranhagames on Twitch

EmpyreaL then showed their ability to brawl in the second game, converging on a Black Watch lance in the middle of Tourmaline and coming out way ahead in the close quarters combat, taking the game without a single loss. Once again EmpyreaL shows their incredible talent against one of the best teams in the world, sweeping Black Watch in two brief games.

The Steel Jaguars were hoping to keep their tournament dreams alive as their next game brought them against the European regional champions, EON Synergy. In their first game it seemed like luck was on their side as after losing a series of long-range trades SJR managed to eliminate an EON Hunchback IIC, giving them the early lead. But EON responded in kind by eliminating an SJR Hunchback with their roaming Wolfhounds. Several good critical hits then put EON Synergy ahead, who were able to then eliminate the SJR side with only a few losses of their own.

SJR vs Eon Synergy

via piranhagames on Twitch

In their second game SJR seemed to push very strongly at the beginning but EON saw the power play and pulled back before they could receive any strong hits. From there SJR seemed to go for a resource capture strategy but then again pushed hard right into the EON Synergy lines. However, this time EON was well prepared and met the SJR push with a withering fusillade that took out the entire opposing force. With their second loss SJR was eliminated from the tournament.

Unfortunately the Osiriz versus RJFS match was played at the same time as EON Synergy versus SJR, so I wasn’t able to view both matches. However, I was able to watch a replay, and the first game was a very steady progression of long-range fire turning to short range brawling, with both sides losing armor by the ton. Finally one Osiriz light ‘Mech snuck into the RJFS lines and began to take down machines left and right, leading to Osiriz taking the game.

Osiriz vs RJFS

via piranhagames on Twitch

The second game went in favor of the Russian Jade Falcons in a horrific brawl that saw both sides take massive losses. The third game on Polar Highlands, a very rare map to see, went in favor of the Russians as they pushed into Osiriz early on with the Osiriz warriors responding sluggishly, losing machines along the way. The remaining Osiriz Summoner succeeded in robbing RJFS of their final kill by running out of bounds committing the Mechwarrior Online equivalent of seppuku.

Ultimately Osiriz were sent home after a series of tough games leading to Eon Synergy and RJFS meeting for the second time in the tournament. Eon Synergy took their first meeting, but the Russian Jade Falcons put up a hell of a fight. Will they manage to defeat their rivals in the second match up?

Airstrikes and long range fire defined the first few minutes of their first game, with EON Synergy coming ahead and eventually savaging two RJFS lights. As has been shown so many times in the tournament the loss of your light ‘Mechs early on can be disastrous as it allows your opponent to outmaneuver you while denying any ability to respond.

EON Synergy vs RJFS

via piranhagames on Twitch

EON took the first game easily, but the second game wouldn’t be so simple. RJFS changed tactics, bringing an aggressive lance of Linebackers and Executioners to quickly ram into EON and force a firefight. At first it seemed to work, getting four quick kills for only two losses of their own, but the tide then turned in favor of EON Synergy as the armor of the RJFS machines began to fail. With the final RJFS ‘Mech falling they were eliminated from the tournament losing once again to EON Synergy.

With the elimination of RJFS, we have our remaining three teams to meet in Vancouver at the World Finals: EON Synergy, 228th Black Watch, and EmpyreaL. Two of these teams are veteran World Finals contenders, while Black Watch are making their first appearance on the world stage. But will either team have the strength to overcome EmpyreaL, who seems to have once again become the unstoppable juggernaut they were in the previous tournament?

Top 3 teams

Find out at the Mechwarrior Online World Championships this December 9th in beautiful downtown Vancouver Canada, where your very own Sarna reporter will tweet you the live play-by-play.

 

Forging the Road Ahead – Local Level BattleTech on the Rise

Hello, Sarna!

It’s been a while since you last heard from me, and so much has happened since I last wrote to you about our favorite game and science fiction universe.

What have I been up to?

Well, keeping the discussion to just BattleTech, there’s still a lot to talk about.

For the past year I’ve been getting progressively more involved in the Middle Tennessee BattleTech scene, growing gaming relationships and working for ways to establish a home and give the scattered players in the region a place to gather. I wanted to sit down and take a moment to share some of what the journey has been like so far and tell about what the future might have for our group.

The T-N-T Gaming Convention, in its first held on May 19-21 in Nashville, TN, was our first stop of the year, and our Demo Team Agent organized a great Alpha Strike tournament for us at that event.

The stakes at TNT were high, with the Grand Championship belt going to the tournament winner! (Photo by: Josh Koziura)

The championship game of that tournament is here chronicled:

After T-N-T, our intrepid Demo Agent Josh once again planned an event for us at Nashcon, held June 2-4 in Franklin, TN. This time it was a multi-player mega battle that was semi-narrative, and recreated the conflict on Tukayyid between the GomGuard and the unfortunate Clan Diamond Shark.

One of the rare Diamond Shark achievements, first blood went to the Clans! (Photo by: Josh Koziura)

Sadly (depending on your perspective), history repeated itself at Nashcon, and the Diamond Sharks once more ran away to their DropShips and away from Tukayyid.

It was after the Nashcon event that I had dinner and a conversation with Demo Agent Josh, and in that conversation it was decided that I, like him, would become a Demo Agent. Together we would share the task of trying to get local level BattleTech back on the right track in our area.

Fast forward about a month, and all of my paperwork was accepted and processed, minting me as Demo Team Agent #880. Now the fun could begin.

In the time since my official commission as a Demo Agent, I have been searching for a game store for us to call home, one that would like to see us grow and that would be willing to support us.

This past week, I made inquiries at a local shop in Hermitage, TN called The Game Cave. I was already acquainted with the store owner, so earlier this week I went in with some Alpha Strike demo materials and showed him what we’re all about. He observed a demo game of Alpha Strike, and afterwards we discussed things.

The first Alpha Strike demo game at The Game Cave ended in epic fashion, with the Dragon taking a 12 Critical roll from the Zeus. (Photo by: Dave Martin)

I’m happy to say that the Middle TN BattleTech Group has tentatively found a new home at The Game Cave, starting Wednesday, July 19, and continuing on Wednesday evening for the time being.

This is a great leap forward for the local group, and I’ve already begun putting the word out that there’s a place that wants to see us come in once a week to play BattleTech and Alpha Strike!

So this is where this article leaves you, at the jumping off point for a new chapter in a local BattleTech group’s journey. As it’s my group that I’m writing about, I plan to keep you updated on how things go. Josh and I are working together to get fall tournament events planned, and if The Game Cave works out, that would be the preferred venue for any future big events.

If you’re reading this in the Middle TN area and you’re not connected to the group, please reach out using any link scattered throughout this article or leave a comment below with a way for me to get in touch. We’d love to bring you into the fold!

GenCon is coming up, too, and like usual I plan on attending, with a schedule this is mostly BattleTech related. I hope to have things together enough to do another summary for you all like I did two years ago.

Be on the lookout for more in the story of the Middle TN Battle Group, and I’ll be seeing you through my crosshairs!

 

Dave

MRBC Season Wrap Up!

The season has ended! And it has been a wild ride for every team in the MRBC. It’s been a bit of a while since we last checked on the MRBC, for which I blame the release of the Battletech Backer Beta for. But let’s not sit here and play the blame game for who screwed up what – instead, let’s take a look at the standings are seen how MRBC’s Season 9 shaped up.

  Eon Synergy

In Europe it was Eon Synergy that took home the crown, having pulled away from the pack in the last few weeks with commanding victories over every other team in the division, finishing the season with a reputation score of 15,450. It seems that Black Spikes Team 2 (Yellow Submarine) just couldn’t maintain the momentum they had halfway through the season, as they lost a crucial match at the end of May to Eon, losing all 5 drops. Their performance remained strong, however, leaving them with a second place finish and a score of 13,275. Rounding out in third were the White Death Mercenary Company with a reputation score of 12,650.

   

The fight in the Americas was a bit closer with Dropship 5 emerging as ultimate victors. Their last match against second place Steel Jaguar resulted in a bit of an upset, with the Jaguar’s taking the match 3 drops to 2. But the MRBC is a score-based league, and after the final tallies were made it was Dropship 5 taking the pennant with a score of 14,750. Steel Jaguar with a score of 13,350, and barely squeaking into third place were the 228th IBR “Black Watch”, a mere 275 points separated from fourth place with a final score of 12,775.

  VETO

With only 4 teams, Asia/Pacific’s Division A finals took place a month ago. Team Veto swept the remaining games in the division, taking nearly every match played 5-0 (barring matches against the 228th IBR), and securing a first place finish with a final score of 9,275 reputation points. The 228th IBR “The Wild Ones”, while beginning the season with an early lead, eventually settled into second place with a final score of 7,500 points. Third place was taken by The Cheapskate’s with a score of 4,700 points.

 

Division B Winners Rise To Division A

   

According to the MRBC rules, the winner of the Division B seasons will be bumped up to Division A starting next season, so there will be several new teams to welcome into the premier division. In Europe, Division B saw the Antares Scorpions taking home the gold, narrowly edging out the Phoenix Legion with a final score of 15,825.

  ISENGRIM

In North America, the tight four-way race eventually came down to two teams: ISENGRIM and the Blackstone Knights. The rivalry for first between the two teams soon came down to a final match, and on June 22 it was ISENGRIM that emerged victoriously. They’ll be moving on to Division A with a final Division B score of 15,325, and a league leading 373 confirmed ‘Mech kills. An outstanding performance.

 

Asia/Pacific’s Division B was a similarly tight race between the [ISRC] Innersphere Rustbuckets and Clan Crossfire. While both teams fought valiantly, it was ultimately the Innersphere Rustbuckets that achieved victory, a bare 375 points ahead of Clan Crossfire with a final score of 13,725. They’ll be moving on to face a new challenge in Division A.

Congratulations to every team that took part in the MRBC season making it the largest one yet.  The MRBC will be taking a bit of a break for now as the MechWarrior Online World Championships begin to start in the coming weeks. We’ll be sure to cover that tournament as soon as it begins.

A Year of Alpha Strike – 2016 Leader Board, Week 6

My local group is partaking in a year-long Leader Board for 2016.

Week 6 of the 2016 season kicked off Quarter 2, as players met on Saturday, April 16 for another round of quick and bloody ‘Mech action.

Four players descended on the battlefield that day, including a new player who sported the colors of Clan Sea Fox.

The Forces

Due to the nature of this Week’s scenario, players had the option of bringing two rosters, one for Attack and one for Defense. Not everyone did so, but the option was there.

Clan Sea Fox

Our new player, representing Clan Sea Fox, came prepared for battle with a force of OmniMechs that showed off what a front line Clan force should look like.

Over a Star of Clan Sea Fox OmniMechs descended on the League.

Over a Star of Clan Sea Fox OmniMechs descended on the League.

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A Year of Alpha Strike – 2016 Leader Board, Week 5

My local group is partaking in a year-long Leader Board for 2016. In cased you missed earlier Weeks, here’s Weeks OneTwoThree, and Four.

Week 5 for the Leader Board Season was the last Saturday game for the 1st Quarter of the year, and we decided to cap off the accomplishment with a Mega Battle!

The lines were drawn between Inner Sphere and Clan, and we all met on Saturday, March 12 to determine which side would reign as Quarter 1 Champions.

The Teams

Each side brought 900PV, split evenly between the players on each side.

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