Tuesday, October 05, 2010

BattleTech Game Report and More TRO Art


Weeeellll, we’re back with some additional stuff. Not as much as I’d hoped for, but the payments are slowly going out.

- Daniel Cherng has reported in as having returned from Utah and working on his commission. However, I have seen nothing of this continued work. We are close to dropping him as we can’t seem to get anything but promises out of him in a reasonable amount of time. Let’s face it – he’s had months and months to produce something for the same amount of money I pay to a fellow who turns out stellar work in a matter of days. Lee Madison is worth the wait – Mr. Cherng, not so much.

- And speaking of the man, Lee Madison has already checked in requesting details and parameters on the background work. I gave them to him, along with some samples of work done by other artists along similar lines. I don’t need photo realistic – that would be a waste of effort by the artist given the final setting. You’ve seen his prototype sketches for the White Knight. Expect more goodness in about a month.

- Seth Kurbound (Chris Seymour) has submitted a first draft of the Draconis Combine’s Nemera based on my requests and preferences. I am tweaking the image tonight, but as you can see, it is shaping up nicely even for a rough.

- Stephen Huda did an astounding 50+ pieces for Catalyst Game Labs’ TRO:3085. I had not guessed it was such a large number, but that explains the speed and excellence he brings to the table. The drafting table, that is – he has finished the Capellan Guandao and has started on another piece, the Federated Commonwealth’s Pershing A-57.

This machine carries a Johnston Mk II Sniper artillery cannon and effectively follows the lead of the Star League’s original Marksman, with some improvements. The main gun is turret mounted with a hull-mounted small pulse laser – and it is available in quantity, something that cannot be said of its predecessor, which is a carefully hoarded museum piece.

- Karl Olson is working on one remaining piece. He should have a rough draft ready in a few days.

- Eric Ou has had a computer crash and is tied up with schoolwork. He will be working on the Outworlds Alliance’s Werewolf when he has time.

I have had another emergency come up in the meantime – dental work for my wife, whose previous fillings came out and which requires pulling the offending tooth and updating her partial denture.

Meanwhile she is in a lot of pain.

The other option was a root canal ($1200) and a new crown ($600), neither of which I can afford even with dental insurance. We will be hard-pressed to afford even the elected procedure, and it will set art payments back a bit. I am going to concentrate on paying for what we have ordered and hold off on new commissions for the time being. There are only a few left in any case.

- Bill is still struggling with InDesign. I hope to locate a good tutorial for him as soon as possible.


The game in Redmond was... interesting. Our opponents were a Daishi, two Thors, a Vulture and an Uller with three points of Elemental battle armor. Battle Values for both sides were identical. You have already seen what I drew up for our OpFor troops. We started with 3025 technology; short-ranged main guns, single heatsinks and slow machines.


Turn One

When the game was over (in about seven turns), we hadn’t lost a single machine and had notched our belts with the Daishi and the Uller, and had the Vulture on the ropes. Very much NOT what I was expecting.

Our opponents were the Ghost Bears and were operating under Zellbrigen Level One rules. This was a comparative disadvantage to them and in future games the OpFor will be 75% of the Clan forces. However…

Turn Two

Turn Three

Our opposing players were still thinking like Inner Sphere Mechwarriors and were quite passive. They were there specifically to earn Honor points in the pursuit of more effective machines and better combat skills. The Clan would not have won that battle in any case, but they could have gone out literally covered in glory if they had acted like haughty Clan Mechwarriors and simply gone for their targets with gusto.

Turn Four

Yes, we would have trashed them. But they would have taken several of our ‘Mechs with them and gained the Honor points in following strict Zell. Instead… we hemmed them into the corner of a single mapsheet and hammered away while they mostly stood still.

Turn Five

To be fair, the Uller got into the mix immediately, a Thor followed and the Vulture advanced to his doom. But no one accomplished their goal of destroying their opponent and the other Thor and that Daishi sat with their backs to the edge of the mapsheet nearly the entire game. I think they could have lost the battle and won Honor points, but instead they lost the battle – not having any apparent battle plan – and gained no Honor, or very little.

Close Combat

There were cries of foul from Turn Three, one directed at my choice of the four Hunchbacks. Apparently no one thought it reasonable to field a lance of these machines to act as a single unit. I believe it actually intimidated a few of the opposing players. I was right – a lance of ‘Mechs made up of a single type IS something not often seen on the gaming table. But not because the lance is an unusual formation, or because Hunchbacks are rare machines in the Draconis Combine.


Another issue was the speed with which our forces closed. The original setup called for two mapsheets, with the OpFor placing its units anywhere on the second sheet. We chose the side closest to our opponents, knowing it would put us immediately in their sights but needing to close as fast as possible. We began with a flanking run on Turn One, getting into the Clan backfield and firing on the Daishi on Turn Two, faster than even I expected and a real shock to our foes.

They insisted we start further back next time. Unless their tactics improve, the outcome may still be the same.

Thanks for stopping by.



Paint it Pink said...

Interesting AAR. Here is what I see from the game.

The disposition of the mechs on the map favoured the Inner Sphere players, as there was no room for manoeuvre for the Clan players, which they needed. Then the flanking move that became Victor flank attack appears to have restricted the Clan players thinking.

Not knowing the scenario conditions, but to me it looks like the Uller went the wrong way in turn 2, then the lack of board space bit the Clan players hard for turn 3. I see that turn 4 became the Inner Sphere players Zulu swarm happy time.

I see that luck held for the Inner Sphere on the rear shots on the Atlas and Dragon, though without me knowing the odds, you may have made your own luck there?

Turn 6, at last a Clan player gets the chance to own a Victor and apparently fails.


Units to map area was too high. I would seriously want to see 4 mapboards used for this number of units.

I would have also insisted on floating boards for this game to prevent see the edge of the board as a defense.

Finally, I think that the game was pretty much a victory through gamesmanship, due to the Clan players inexperience.

AS for the four Hunchbacks, I'm with the Clan players on this one. Yes it may be realistic, yes it may meet canon, but it is not in the spirit of Battletech where a force is made up of one of everything. Don't get me wrong, I love fielding swarms Locusts, but no one in their right mind ever lets me do it more than once.

PS: If I'd played the Clan forces I would have handed you your butts. ;-)

Steven Satak said...

Yes, the game area was too small too soon. Just right for our side, of course, but a distinct disadvantage to the Clanners. Which was the point, I thought.

Their pilots were 4/5. No, don't ask why. I asked on three separate occasions and was told each time these were green Clanners. But it explains why our big guys survived the back shots. That, and the game was called.

Same for the Victor, I think.

Actually, Pink, I think you would have done us in by a small margin, but then as the Player against the OpFor, you were supposed to. But you would have done it with style!