Which wisdom from the Little Corporal am I talking about? Read and find out...
I have been regrowing my local Battletech community. I got to face off against one of the new players, "Llama," in a 1-on-1 match. I had faced off against Llama and his friend Chris for several demo battles. This time I decided to “take the training wheels off” and let him build his own list. Before we started, I had warned him of Napoleon’s Maxim, “Never interrupt your opponent when he is making a mistake.”
Just as a historical note, my King Crab has fallen more than once to head hits, so I was a little reluctant to field him again. But hey, no guts, no galaxy.
Longbow -14C 3/5
Commando -2D 4/5
Turns 1 and 2- As usual, nothing of importance happened other than maneuvering. I had both of my ‘Mechs split aroud a building to catch Llama in a crossfire. Llama brought his units through the middle of the city, splitting the Commando away from his support. Bad move. His Catapult would have been better suited to do that. The Longbow took a potshot at the Commando, but missed.
Turn 3 – The Commando rejoined his buddies, just in time for the King Crab to hit the Commando with a Gauss rifle slug in the Right torso. This surgically removed said torso and arm (if you define “surgical” as a bowling-ball sized hunk of carbide steel moving at orbital velocity). The King Crab had his paint scratched in return.
Turn 4 – My crossfire strategy starts to pay off. The Longbow got in the face of the Battlemaster, while the King Crab got in the rear arc. The Commando actually ran past the Longbow, eliminating the opportunity for a kick. The King Crab got an engine hit on the Battlemaster by critting through the rear CT. I found out the hard way alpha striking the Longbow gets really hot. But he hit with 5 of 6 MML’s and a total of 16 SRM’s. I was looking on the MML-7 table, not the MML-9. My Bad. All of Llama’s 'Mechs pound the Longbow. The Longbow fails his PSR and falls on his back, penetrating the Right rear torso and causing internals, thankfully no crit.
Turn 5 – The Longbow, way overheated, decides to stay down. The Battlemaster and the Commando decide to take advantage of the minus 2 for shooting when adjacent to prone and proceeded to shoot the crap out of the Longbow. The Longbow used his the MML’s on one arm to shoot the Battlemaster, while the King Crab penetrated and got a crit on the Right arm, leading to a PPC disablement. The Catapult split his fire, LRM’s at the Longbow, lasers into the back of the King Crab, and missed with the lasers.
Here’s where Napoleon enters the field, Llama didn’t kick. That 19 points from the Battlemaster and 5 more from the Commando delivered to the proper locations would have hurt.
Turn 6 – The cooled off Longbow gets up, backs up and overheats again when he pulls the trigger on all 6 MML’s, aiming at the Commando. I’ll get back to that. The Commando decided to return the favor and totally missed. He needed 5’s to hit, but both weapons rolled 4. The Battlemaster and Catapult didn’t miss, and hit the Longbow again until he failed his PSR (again) and he fell down. I think I’m going to nickname this pilot “Stumble.”
Oh, yeah. Getting back to the Commando and his fate. Longbow sent 54 SRM’s to the Commando and 25 of them hit. The best word to describe the effect on the Commando would be “evaporated.” Poor guy didn’t have 50 hits total in him, so we didn’t even roll.
Turn 7 – The Longbow stayed still, the overheated Battlemaster couldn’t move from being overheated, the King Crab backed up and the Catapult advanced on the Longbow. King Crab hurt the Catapult, including a head hit. The Longbow shot the Left arm off the Battlemaster, The Battlemaster and Catapult did very little damage to the Longbow. This is where Llama conceded.
Post Battle Analysis: My Longbow had 60% of his armor removed, but only one area actually penetrated due to his own stumbling more than enemy action. The King Crab was lightly damaged in all sections.
Llama’s Commando was evaporated, the Battlemaster was in Forced Withdrawal (Right arm gone, internal damage in CT and RL, engine hit) and the Catapult was not long for this world with a King Crab in under his LRM minimum range and two Gauss rifles to play “Operation” with on the Catapult.
The missed opportunity for kicks in Turn 5 when the Longbow was prone could have changed the game. The sting of not making those kicks should stay with Llama for some time so he doesn’t forget to use them again.