Category Archives: Battle Reports

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

A Year of Alpha Strike – 2016 Leader Board, Week 4

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

Real life travel has delayed the Week Four report until now, and as such much of my memory of the Week 4 games has faded. I do, however, have army lists and the game results, so I will try to fill in the details the best I am able.

Week 4 of the 2016 Leader Board Season was played on Thursday, February 18.

The Lists

Clan Sea Fox

A wild Clan Sea Fox Star has appeared!

A wild Clan Sea Fox Star has appeared!

The Mercenary player decided to shake things up a bit and introduce a new force. The rules of the Leader Board do not prevent this, so he took to the field with a Grand Summoner, a Karhu, a Mad Cat Mk III, a Cave Lion, and a Tiburon. All units were at Skill: 3.

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A Year of Alpha Strike – 2016 Leader Board, Week 3

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

Week Three of the 2016 Leader Board Season was playing on Saturday, February 6. Clans Jade Falcon, Ghost Bear, and Snow Raven were represented, along with Wolf’s Dragoons, Draconis Combine, and Mercenaries.

The Armies

Yay! I got shots of all of the armies this time!

Clan Snow Raven2016-02-06 17.02.29A carbon copy of the Snow Raven list used in Week 2, the CSR player wanted to gain more understanding of the list in the hopes of mastering the rules and tactics involved in the combined arms force. The Mad Dog and Linebacker were both Skill: 2 with all other units at Skill: 3.

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A Year of Alpha Strike – 2016 Leader Board, Week 2

My local group is partaking in a year-long Leader Board for 2016. In cased you missed it, here’s Week One

Week 2 of the 2016 Leader Board Season was played on the evening of Thursday, January 21. The Jade Falcon, Snow Raven, Wolf’s Dragoons, and Ghost Bear players were able to make it. Additionally, we had two players play in their first intro game that night, with one of those guys even picking up a list and playing a Leader Board game after two people had to leave!

Huzzah for new recruits!

The Lists

I was a little better about lists this week, but still not good enough. The Wolf’s Dragoons player managed to get away without me getting a picture of his force, so his list will be to the best of my memory.

Clan Jade Falcon

Nothing like a nice, full Star of Clan OmniMechs to wreck someone in the...wait, is that a Turkina?!!!

Nothing like a nice, full Star of Clan OmniMechs to wreck someone in the…wait, is that a Turkina?!!!

Two of the Jade Falcon `Mechs, the Turkina and the Flamberge, were at Skill: 2, while the rest of the force was at Skill: 3. This force was fast and jumpy. It can pretty much always be where it wants to be, when it wants to be there.

Clan Snow Raven

This Clan Snow Raven force is well-rounded and swift.

This Clan Snow Raven force is well-rounded and swift.

The Mad Dog and Linebacker were both at Skill: 2. All other units were at Skill: 3. A massively dangerous Aerospace fighter, the Kirghiz has the potential to deliver a killing blow to just about any unit in the game. Oh, and side note, nothing is more annoying that Battle Armor that can fly by you and drop bombs.

Wolf’s Dragoons

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Wolf’s Dragoons hit the field with seven (7) BattleMechs of mixed Inner Sphere and Clan manufacture. It was a generalist list that managed to have everyone at Skill: 3.

Clan Ghost Bear

What, no Kodiak? I thought you guys were Ghost Bears.

What, no Kodiak? I thought you guys were Ghost Bears.

The Bruin and Arcas were both at Skill: 2. The SolitaireArcas 3, and Beowulf IIC were at Skill: 3. This list is very similar to the Jade Falcon list, fast and mobile. The differences between the Bruin and the Turkina allowed the Ghost Bears to have beefier heavy `Mechs.

New Blood

One of our new players jumped into the fray right after his Intro Game, and he loved the game right away. We think he’s going to keep coming back. His list was based off of my Draconis Combine intro unit, which was expanded to 250 PV with supplementary Mechs from the group for his game against Wolf’s Dragoons.

The Games

Week 2’s scenario was one of simple point control. Two 6″ diameter objective zones were established in the center of the board, 12″ apart. To score, there must be no enemy units contesting the zone during the end phase of a turn, and each player scores objective points equal to the PV of the units controlling the point. First side to 150 objective points wins. Scoring begins at the end of Turn 3.

Round 1

Wolf’s Dragoons vs Clan Jade Falcon

Disaster struck early for Wolf’s Dragoons as its Vulture found itself in the sights of the Turkina on Turn 1. A roll to hit, succeeded, and one vaporized Vulture. The early hit to morale proved too much for Wolf’s Dragoons, and Clan Jade Falcon continued to pummel the mercenaries, grabbing a swift and decisive early Objective Win.

Clan Snow Raven vs Clan Ghost Bear

The Ghost Bears deployed aggressively, hoping to bully the relatively lighter Snow Raven force from the first moment. The fighting over the control points was brutal, with the Snow Raven plan betted everything on bombing the smaller Ghost Bear BattleMechs off the board. Several bombs missed their mark, however, and only caused superficial damage to the Ghost Bears, who pushed the Snow Ravens off of the objectives and claimed a strong Objective Win.

Wolf's Dragoons prepare to counterattack against the advancing 5th Sword of Light.

Wolf’s Dragoons prepare to counterattack against the advancing 5th Sword of Light.

Intro Game Time!

The two new players played out their Intro Game concurrent to Round 1. One side had a Lance from the 15th Avalon Hussars, while the other side had a Lance from the 5th Sword of Light. Good ol’ Davion vs Kurita match. For some reason, I did not write down who won, but neither player really cared. They both jumped into the game and found it incredibly easy to pick up and play.

Round 2

One of the Intro players and the Snow Raven player had to leave after Round 1, so the other Intro player was outfitted with reinforcements for his 5th Sword of Light, and the battles commenced.

Wolf’s Dragoons vs 5th Sword of Light

The 5th Sword of Light deployed its Daishi just a little too far out in the open, and Wolf’s Dragoons decided to punish the new player for his mistake. With their heaviest hitter out of the fight so early, the 5th Sword of Light rallied and pushed back, contesting the control zones to the very last man. In the end, Wolf’s Dragoons triumphed by destroying just enough of the 5th Sword to claim an Objective Win.

Clan Jade Falcon vs Clan Ghost Bear

Showing no fear of the Turkina, the Ghost Bears went right after the menacing Assault Mech on the first turn, with the <em>Bruin</em> landing a devastating blow on the heavier BattleMech. However, the Ghost Bears paid the price for their aggression, losing the <em>Bruin</em> on Turn 1 for an instant 4 v 5 situation. The fates battled back and forth for the rest of the game, with the Ghost Bears relying on the stalwart nature of the two <em>Arcas</em> BattleMechs. In the end, the Jade Falcons could not stand up to the Ghost Bears' repeated all-out assaults, and the final roll (Double Ghost Bears!) to take out the last Jade FalconMech is memorialized in the picture below. Clan Ghost Bear claimed the Win.

The Flamberge did manage to kill the Solitaire with its dying breath.

The Flamberge did manage to kill the Solitaire with its dying breath.

End of Day Results – 

Moving into Week 3, which is tentatively scheduled for either the first or second Saturday in February, the standings are still anybody’s to take. We have only played a handful to games so far, so fortunes could shift at any moment.

FactionGames PlayedWinsLossesTies*Win %Scenario Victories*Scenario Victory %*Kill Score*Units Painted
Clan Snow Raven20200.00%00.00%200
House Davion0000#DIV/0!0#DIV/0!00
Mercenaries211050.00%150.00%220
Clan Jade Falcon422050.00%125.00%750
Clan Ghost Bear3300100.00%266.67%720
Wolf’s Dragoons211050.00%150.00%150
Undecided10100.00%00.00%100

My personal goal for Weeks 3 and 4 is to start getting numbers up in the Units Painted category.

So that’s it for Week 2 of the 2016 Leader Board Season. Week 3 commences on Saturday, February 6.

Has your group talked about starting something like this? Need any advice, tips, or ideas? Use the comments section to tell me about what you’re up to, and let’s see how many groups can get their own Leader Board going for 2016!

Want to know more about BattleTech: Alpha Strike? You can pick up the free Quick Start PDF at the Catalyst Game Labs website

A Year of Alpha Strike – The 2016 Leader Board, Week 1

This year, my local BattleTech group is trying out something new. Instead of just simply getting together for games once in a while, we decided that we wanted to make our games count for something.

The collaborative effort that came out of our many emails on the topic birthed the 2016 Leader Board Season.

We decided that the group would be able to meet 1-2 times a month between two locations, and that each player who wants to participate in the Leader Board should concentrate on a specific faction for the whole of the season. In this way, it feels a bit like a relaxed league that tracks a few more stats than just wins and losses.

Ghost Bear forces advance on the mercenary position.

Ghost Bear forces advance on the mercenary position.

The Stats

And speaking of those stats, let’s go over what all we’re tracking and why.

Games Played, Wins, and Losses – The basic stats, from which most of the other stats will be derived. Beyond being a rough estimate of who wins most often, it pretty much just shows which of us show up most often.

Win % – One of the four primary stats we are tracking. It’s not about how often you play, it’s about how often you win when you do play. This is one of the stats that will award a trophy to the highest scorer at the end of the 2016 season, also granting to the recipient the title, “The Victor.”

Scenario Victory % – This stat is important for any group that wants to get beyond the “line up and kill each other” style of game play. Each time we meet for a Leader Board round of games, a scenario that includes alternate win conditions to just killing the enemy will be selected ahead of time. While it will always be possible to win through the Forced Withdrawal rule and by wiping your opponent’s forces off the board, adding in scenario objectives adds a tactical level to the games that we all decided would be a good thing and add to the depth of play. The winner of this trophy also gets the title, “The Tactician.”

Clan Jade Falcon and Clan Snow Raven forces clash.

Clan Jade Falcon and Clan Snow Raven forces clash.

Kill Score – Using the Basic Kill Scoring Table, found on page 159 of Alpha Strike: Companion, we will also be tracking how much sheer damage and destruction is caused over the course of the season. The winner of this trophy will earn the title, “The Destroyer.”

Units Painted – The hobby side of the aspect is an important facet to the game, and we wanted the Leader Board to reflect that. As the only non-game dependent stat, we felt it was important to track and honor the hobby efforts of the group as we grow our armies and progress throughout the year. The winner of this trophy will earn the title, “The Maker.”

We still have to have a little discussion about the requirements for winning some of the awards in order to set a minimum number of games that have to be played in order to qualify. This ensures that we are all kept honest and don’t sit on a good stat halfway through the year, mitigating the risk of falling in the rankings.

Truthfully, I do not fear that anyone in the group would do this, but it’s still a good idea to have rules like that in place.

Week 1 Report

Week 1 took place on Saturday, January 16. Four of us were able to make it, and a total of three games were played due to one of us having to leave early. I remembered to snap a few pictures of the games, something at which I need to get better. Our Week 1 scenario was a basic scenario that was outlined in the Alpha Strike book that included two objective markers on each side of the board, with each side attempting to capture the objectives on the opposite side.

For now, all games are at 250 PV. The only restriction we have placed on force rosters is that each force can only have a maximum of two (2) units at Skill: 2 and a maximum of one (1) unit at Skill: 1, with the total maximum number of units at either Skill: 1 or Skill: 2 capped at two (2) units.

The Lists –

I don’t have the rosters for all four of us, something I might fix in future Leader Board reports, but I’ll briefly explain the lists used below.

Mercenaries – The Merc player went with a “quantity over quality” approach and fielded two full Lances of BattleMechs all at Skill: 4. The force overall stressed maneuverability, with half or more of the units sporting jump jets.

Clan Snow Raven – This force was the only one of the day with an Aerospace presence, in the form of one heavy fighter. The ground force was a full Star of Medium weight OmniMechs, all of at least Striker speed. All units were Skill: 3.

Clan Jade Falcon – The Jade Falcon force was a full Star of BattleMechs, featuring several Omni designs, that ranged from Medium to Assault. The force overall was sturdy, packing a huge heavy hitter in its Turkina Assault OmniMech, and had several jump capable units. The force featured mixed Skill: 3 and Skill: 2 units.

Clan Ghost Bear – The Ghost Bears fielded a speedy, combined arms list that featured 5 Fire Moth OmniMechs all carrying Gnome Battle Armor, supported by a lone Solitaire BattleMech. Speed and rapid redeployment, as well as swift objective capture were the main tactics of this force. The force featured mixed Skill: 3 and Skill: 2 units.

End of Day Results –

In the first two games, Clan Ghost Bear won a Scenario Victory by running circles around the Mercenaries, only losing a total of one `Mech and one Battle Armor squad all game while reducing the mercenary force to two BattleMechs. Clan Jade Falcon achieved a board wipe against Clan Snow Raven, even eliminating the Snow Raven Aerospace support when it came onto the board for a run.

The mercenaries move on an objective as Clan Ghost Bear rapidly redeploys to counter.

The mercenaries move on an objective as Clan Ghost Bear rapidly redeploys to counter.

The Snow Raven player had to leave early, so the Ghost Bear player only got one game in. In their second game, the Jade Falcon and Mercenary players slugged it out with both sides taking losses. In the end, the Mercenaries won out by numbers and achieved a Scenario Victory.

Below is the 2016 Leader Board as it now stands, heading into Week 2, which is scheduled to take place this Thursday, January 21. The errors currently displaying on the spreadsheet are due to lack of data for the formulas to compute. Two of our group could not make it to Week 1, so as they get in games, the spreadsheet will begin to look more complete.

FactionGames PlayedWinsLossesTies*Win %Scenario Victories*Scenario Victory %*Kill Score*Units Painted
Clan Snow Raven10100.00%0#DIV/0!150
House Davion0000#DIV/0!0#DIV/0!00
Mercenaries211050.00%1100.00%220
Clan Jade Falcon211050.00%00.00%500
Clan Ghost Bear1100100.00%1100.00%300
Wolf’s Dragoons0000#DIV/0!0#DIV/0!00

 

So what is your group doing for BattleTech and/or Alpha Strike this year? Perhaps you would like to take the 2016 Leader Board idea and adapt it to suit your own local group. Feel free to do so, and do let me know how it goes if you do!

Stay tuned for more 2016 Leader Board Weekly Reports as we dive into the year.