Saturday, May 7, 2011

War of the Mecha Campaign Begins

Since JB was so generous as to post campaign rules for War of the Mecha, I just had to try 'em out today at HRGG.
Being my first go with the new rules I'm not sure if I got things a little muddled or if the dice were just playing their usual tricks on us.  The first mission saw half-a-dozen mecha try to break through the line held by a full company.

"It'll be a slaughter!"

"That's the spirit!"

"No.  Our slaughter."
But first a chunk of time was spent statting up the forces.  Wasn't anywhere near as bad as it would have been with Battletech, of course.  Which reminds me, I should knock together some nice record cards or maybe a full sheet for each lance.  Something with little touches to remind one of critical checks every 20 points damage and the like.
Though it wasn't pretty, it still moved along at a decent pace.  18 mecha on the table and we were done in a couple hours (or near enough).

And boy were we done.  One little Locust managed to break through.  A Crimson Hawk was cut down just one more jump away from the end-zone.  And the rest were lucky if they could make it halfway.

But who said every fight has to be a fair fight?

On with the "clean-up" phase, nobody surrendered, and the war carries on.  Another battle next week.

Oh, and JB says WotM 2.0 is imminent.  I can hardly wait.


  1. Huh...I'm not sure that's exactly how I pictured it playing out, but maybe I need a little elaboration. If you have a chance:

    - how many players were involved?
    - what were the forces on each side (i.e. how many players/mechas were on the side of "assaulter," and how many were on the side of "defender?"?
    - was the 12 on 6 due to a commitment of ALL forces to a single battle? Were any mecha held "in reserve" for future battles?
    - it sounds like the "break through" side got massacred...will there be enough mecha left for another battle???

    One of the reasons I added the "retreat rule" (leave the map and save your mecha, basically) was so a unit that didn't like the odds could "live to fight another day." Sure you'd take a loss (for not "breaking through," in this case) but you save your mecha and one loss probably won't cost you the war (at least in the beginning stages of the campaign).

    It's important to note that just because a PC commands a company or a lance or a battalion, he doesn't have to commit all his forces to a single battle...for example, he can just use his lightest, swiftest mecha for a break through or raid and save his heavy hitters for engagements of a more "stand-up fight" variety. Were these things considered in the deployment?

    Thanks again for the play-testing Glenn...I'm glad you had fun!

    P.S. There sure seems to be a lot of "open" terrain on that field! Who set up the shooting gallery?!
    ; )

  2. If it's not how you imagined, then probably I did something wrong. Oh, and the dice were evil. But to answer your questions...
    - Three players. The PCs rolled were a sergeant (2 mecha), a lieutenant (4 mecha) and a colonel (108 mecha). Like I said, evil dice.
    - Lieutenant and sergeant were on the attack with their six mecha, and Colonel Sanderz got to play with a full company.
    - As I'm sure you can tell, the defender had reserves only because he couldn't bring his entire force to this fight. And I would have run out of minis :)
    - Not anywhere near enough survivors for another battle. Probably due to my misunderstanding at the time of the rules on the persistence and replacement of forces. I decided to try pushing through anyway. I wanted to see what would happen. A bit of a surprise anything made it through, really.
    - Yes, the character was named Colonel Sanderz.

    The "right tool for the job" aspect probably would have been considered had we attackers had enough variety to choose from.

    I think it'll be a good idea to surrender this campaign and hope the next has more players with more balanced forces.

    Finally, the field was generated randomly. Grab about 10-12 six-siders and roll 'em in my special dice rolling box. Where they land indicates the position on the table, while a 1 is for water, 2 for trees, 3 for hills, and so on. Some delightfully strange stuff happens this way, more than with the back and forth of "I place a feature, you place a feature". Or maybe it's just that Zak is a bad influence on me.

    Thanks again. It's a fun game, you should play it some time :)

  3. @ Glenn: No need to rub my nose in it! I was all set to run it Thursday night when I got sick as a dog! Hopefully next week...

    No, appear to be using the rules correctly. But the Campaign stuff is definitely un-play-tested. You did what was appropriate/imagined (i.e. fielding the two smaller forces against the larger), but the "one player can bring entire company rule" ended ep outnumbering 'em 2-1...which problematic considering One General often trumps Two Generals (when given equal or greater forces)...that's something I've learned from 2-on-1 WH40K matches, but something I forgot about when writing this game.

    In this particular instance, it would probably have made sense to have the larger company be the "planetary assault force" against some poorly defended, backwater border planet...who would send 6 mecha to assault a world? That and making the company the unit that needed to "break through" (because you DO have access to variety). Still, that's not the way the rules are written and EITHER side can end up being the "breaker" (we need to get to a more defensible position!). Actually attempting to play the scenario was a tactical error for the defenders.

    Another consideration for such a lopsided show of forces would have been giving the attackers (i.e. the smaller force) CLAN mecha to give them a fighting chance of extending the campaign. At least then they could have been an "expeditionary/scouting" force.

    Anyway, thanks for playing (and posting!). The campaign rules may need to be modified a bit (or house ruled) for viable long-term play. Or else, re-rolls allowed until players get forces they can live with!

    [the main idea is that the allocation and reserving of mecha is part of the "game/strategy" itself...preserving forces, achieving strategic victories, all in the name of winning a campaign. In the face of overwhelming odds, these things become a non-issue...and if "Turncoats" had been rolled for the first scenario the campaign would have been over before the first battle!]

  4. Yes, skipping out on this fight or going Clan would have been sensible responses. That's probably why they never occurred to me. Also, I wanted to play it strictly as written for a bit of a shakedown. With more players and less flukey dice, this probably wouldn't have happened.

    As for longer term play... well, that's going to need some actual long term play I expect. I'm happy to keep you posted on my misadventures.

  5. @ Glenn: Please do. War of the Mecha 2.0 is now available.
    : )