Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Jenner JR7-X Test Run fizzle... :(


I have just about finished with the image cleanups. The Lyran Vees are nearly done. I am sad that I had to reduce them from 2+ megs each to a little under a meg, but it was that or I would still be plugging away at the first one. Essentially, I have to pour white paint into the spaces that are filled with bluish grey artifacts. Got it tuned just right. So last night I buckled down and despite freezing fingers, knocked out four vees – the Panzerfaust, the Montgomery II, the Ural and the Stingray. I've already finished the Lyrans and have started on the Periphery - not as many there, but just as fussy. [Update: I finished all the remaining vehicles this evening! All that remains is a tank with Ian Stead and some background work by Lee Madison and the images will done as well].

Click on the images to see why I do this.

The old Monty II:

And the clean version:

Our layout man responded when I sent him the cover art – he has been down with the flu, something we can all relate to in one way or another. He should have something soon.

Jenner Test - Meh. And it's not the 'Mech's fault

Today was the day I was to test out the new Jenner. I got two machines and joined the Word of Blake (WOB for short) for an afternoon. Unfortunately, I assisted in planning a defense that was so effective, nearly all of our esteemed foes (the High Rollers) were trapped on the far side of a large minefield which got bigger each turn.

We began laying it at the start of the game – after all, we had to protect the artillery to our rear which was bombarding another battlefield several mapsheets away. And we did it. But our layered defense (similar to that used by the Soviet Union in WWII) wore the High Rollers down to the point where they actually called it a day and left with just one WOB Sniper artillery unit destroyed out of four emplacements (two Long Toms and two Snipers).

Great, huh? Well, not so great from my perspective. Sure, the High Rollers met with defeat for a change. Unfortunately, our defensive strategy included holding our light shooty ‘Mechs in the backfield behind big buildings until the enemy crossed the minefields. My two Jenners rushed out once, plastering an Orion with no less than five MRM-10 launchers (each doing six points) and four medium lasers between them. I drew them back after that and they never saw action again. Our foes chose to retire.

I think the mission profile is good and so is the machine, but again, urban combat just isn’t a good place to test these little guys. There really isn’t much data with which to work.

Would anyone out there be willing to seriously test this design for me in an actual game? Shoot me an email: ssatak AT

To my mind, two of the High Rollers could have penetrated our defenses by jumping over them – the Templar and the Nightsky were choice for this. They would have to deal with our backfield, but would probably have honorably acquitted themselves and nailed for at least two more artillery units before going down. Sure, they’re a loss, but that’s what ejection seats and credits are for, right? If I had been working the ‘players’ side that is what I’d have tried. But then, Chris might not have deployed that minefield and stuck to the plan if I wasn’t there. No telling what might have happened, I guess.

There’s not a lot happening with airsoft, but maybe I will have more next time. Weather has been uncooperative to say the least. The only problem I have with our current wooded play area is that come summer, it will bloom and begin blocking the pathways. Furthermore, you won’t be able to see folks until you are right on top of them – there is precious little cover right now with the leaves all fallen, but that will change. Well, maybe we’ll have picked up some new tactics by then, too.

Speaking of tactics, I know the High Rollers have a new respect for properly-deployed minefields. It’s not the damage they do, but the fear of damage they might do that makes them so effective. In the final round, I deliberately drove a poor Galleon tank across not one but five mined and double-mined hexes. My fellow players thought I was mad! Eight rolls for kaboom! and five went off. The tank emerged from that with about fifty points of damage here and there, a reduction of movement by one and a cumulative +3 to the driver’s skill. Not bad. I would rejoice if the consarned thing carried more than three medium lasers. But there you have it – I got a machine into our attacker’s backfield, if only just. That was a personal goal I’d set for myself from Turn One.

One disadvantage of vehicles in BattleTech is that they take motive system hits from a dirty look. On the other hand they have four locations which can soak up the damage from a minefield, whereas a ‘Mech has only two – the left and right leg. To my Word of Blake Galleon, fifty points translated to modest damage at best. Still plenty of armor left. To a light or medium ‘Mech, it would probably result in a leg blown off. So maybe the High Rollers made a good call after all, eh?

Egads. Next game I will be piloting ‘Mechs for the High Rollers. We will have to dodge all those artillery rounds coming from the emplacements I worked so hard to preserve this game. War is strange, isn’t it?

Thanks for stopping by.



Paint it Pink said...

Will they get to use your Jenner against you? Now that would be interesting to see.

Doug said...


What is the Jenner JR7-X packing????

"bloom and begin blocking the pathways" Weed whacker???

Define 'backfield'.

"Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be an Earth-shattering kaboom!"
- Marvin the Martian

Who are the 'High Rollers', and what are they packing?

Steven Satak said...

The JR7-X is packing three MRM-10 launchers with a ton of ammo - eight shots each. In addition, it carries two medium lasers, one on each arm.

This is all on a thirty-five ton chassis with 96% armor coverage and a movement profile of 7/11/0 with MASC. Very fast in the clinches, though I have not yet had the opportunity (or need) to engage MASC.

It is not as devastating to fail a MASC roll as it used to be. Now, if you fail the roll, you destroy the MASC system and take an automatic critical hit to your leg. Which sounds nasty until you consider the original - no MASC and two destroyed hip actuators (meaning no movement at all for the rest of the game).

There are four playtesters working on this. The ones giving me solid feedback will be listed in the TRO credits section.


Steven Satak said...

'Backfield' is to the rear of the majority of the opponent's active units. Most of them were clustered at the edge of the minefield, trying to get a clear shot at something, anything. A couple had made it through the buildings and were being demolished by hidden units in the buildings they were using for cover!

Very depressing, especially since they spent two turns downing a 45 tonner only to find a fifty tonner waiting in the next building - and a sixty tonner in the building after that! Most of their forces were bottled up on the other side of a minefield and a bunch of tall buildings.

The High Rollers have an assortment of machines at their disposal. I personally pilot a Falconer and a Huron Warrior, both of which yield excellent results. My son flies a modified Argus (found in the TRO:3063 and an astoundingly effective design).

We have a Nightsky, a Templar, and sundry other 'Mechs and Vees at hand. I am trying to modify a Sentry for more effective anti-battle armor work, but we'll see...

I have to say that many of our games involve making fewer tactical mistakes than our distinguished opponents. The High Rollers just happened to be caught on a slow day for this last mission.