A 'Wild Hair' Batrep

Today's Lesson: If you're going to try some new tactics, study them before the battle. Don't wing new tactics on the fly.

I had been lamenting to my son last week about how much I like my Bushwackers, but those two LRM-5's just don't do a lot for me, You know, it's at most 5 points, delivered at long range, most likely when the target is untouched. Whoopie.

So, I got to thinking about "alternative munitions" for the LRM. Bingo! I go diving into TacOps, and found the Thunder-Augmented LRM rules. The regular Thunder LRM's lay down a one hex minefield equal to the strength of the LRM. The Augmented version does a half strength minefield, out to range one. That means a seven hex area. That's when the wheels started turning (or in my case, grinding). Hm. Forcing the enemy to maneuver how I want them to, or make it expensive for them to go the way they want to go...

On 8/17, Tony posted he wanted to throw down with some Battletech. Tony, Kenny, Jeremy, Ernie and I attended. Because we had an odd number of players, we rolled and Ernie got to double his forces. Ernie and Kenny got to take on "Rorvik's Raiders." I decided to run a RAC Rifleman, two Bushwackers (with the Thunder-Augmented LRM's) and a Raven, with the NARC Bola ammunition. Tony ran a pair of Stalkers, with a 100 ton bomber (who wasn't carrying any bombs, you'll learn why later) and a single group of Battle Armor. Jeremy was running five 3025 Mechs, Assassin, Dervish, Jenner (which looked like a Cicada), Jagermech and a Trebuchet. Ernie selected a Blood Asp, Mad Cat, Ryoken and a Vulture. Kenny took a pair of Locusts, a Toro and a pair of Lightening fighters.

I apologize for the low quality pictures, I set my camera on a lower than normal resolution for something else, and didn't turn it back up. Here's how the board was set up:

8 17 Battlefield at Start

I immediately identified a couple of choke points I wanted to make it expensive for them to come at us. Turn 1 We continued to use the "card system" to determine initiative, everyone likes it. Turn one, there was no shooting, except for my Bushwackers laying down a couple minefields. One shot missed and went 4 hexes long, so I had 7 and 2 point minefields.

8 17 EoT 1

Turn 2 Most of the heavy Rorvik's Raiders went to our left flank, while the targets opponents split due the minefield. I added a second 7 point minefield on the other side of the compound, and beefed up the first 7 pointer to a 10. Turns 3 and 4 Our battle was cut short because Mid-South Hobbies is only open for 4 hours on Sunday, but it was enough to see who would be the winner.

I had inadvertently left a narrow unobstructed path to the far side of the compound for Ernie's Ryoken to run through, and the Vulture ran through the minefield and didn't trigger any mines. The Ryoken and Vulture were now inside our center, their other mechs quickly overloaded our right flank. The Stalkers and Rifleman, on the wrong side of the battle, might as well had not been there. The Bushwackers went down from being shot in the face by the Blood Asp and the Toro and in the back by the Vulture and Ryoken. The Rifleman failed his PSR and ended up on the ground. Ernies Ryoken finally went down, cored out by the Rifleman after having taken alpha strikes from the Stalkers, a Bushwacker, the Trebuchet and Dervish. The Raven was in the rear arc of the Mad Cat, but of course was nothing more than a mosquito to it. He never hit with the NARC Bola.

The Jagermech deserves his own mention, because Jeremy had been commenting on its non-existent rear armor since we pulled up to the store. Well, it took a Mad Cat to the face at the end and failed its' PSR.... Fell on it's back..... 7 points of falling damage, all to the RCT, one hit got through the armor... Caused a crit... And hit the AC/2 Ammo. Boom. The aircraft never hit the field because they were dogfighting the whole time. That part was painful to watch. Tony in his bombless B-52 versus a pair of F-16's. Tony did manage to capitalize on a mistake Kenny made and got one of the Lightnings in front of him, then hit it hard enough to force it to withdraw. The other one settled in behind Tony and Tony was not maneuverable enough to dislodge it. The Lightening couldn't hurt Tony's ship, so it became a stalemate.

Final picture, Rorvik's Raiders were down a heavy and two mediums and the promised air support was not going to arrive. The other side was short the Ryoken, while their Blood Asp and Toro were in a commanding position of our forces while in partial cover and were playing Anvil to the Mad Cat and Vulture's Hammer, as they were swinging in to crush our center, with only a Raven in their back. Yeah, this was not going to end very pretty.  I had a plan, but then again, Custer had a plan.

8 17 EoT 4

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