Drozan is one of the Capellan Confederation's vital agricultural worlds. Its large arable plains produce enough crops to provide 5% of the entire Confederation's needs. The farms are managed by large automated cultivation and processing plants that run continuously. It is this high degree of automation that makes Drozan so bountiful. These farms are supplemented by large aquaculture installations which provide more foodstuffs for the Confederation.
Given its importance and agricultural output, it's no surprise that the Confederation has established research centers devoted to food synthesis on the world. Prior to the Fourth Succession War the Strategios also stationed a battalion of Warrior House troops on the world, rotating the unit so enemy intelligence agencies couldn't get a good view of the defenders. In addition, Drozan features a large base that houses motorized and jump infantry units.
-Planetary data courtesy Sarna.net
This portion of Drozan was safe from the invaders, for now.
So how was it? Quick-strike is faster than the normal Battletech rules, to be sure. But Keith (my opponent) and I both miss the decisions that you get in the regular rules that are abstracted out by Quick-Strike - things like running out of ammo, or the decision to move all out for the defense bonus but losing weapon accuracy by doing so (or the flip side, moving slow to increase your chances of hitting, but being easier to hit yourself). I think the glory of Quick-Strike is in introducing new players, or running a big convention game in a non-ridiculous amount of time. I'm actually biting off more than I can chew and have offered to run a large Quick-Strike game at MACE, the local game convention coming up in November, and I think for something like that it'll be perfect. But Keith and I both discussed it, and for our own gaming, we both would prefer the detail of Classic Battletech.
EDIT TO ADD: as mentioned in the comments below, here's some better-quality pics from my good friend (for [REDACTED] years now) Chris Norwood, of GamerChris.com fame! WARNING: these are taken with a much better camera than my cellphone, so the brutal details of my crappy paintjob will come through if you view them full-size. You have been warned, etc
Friday, October 14, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Meanwhile, as one of the hovercars fell back towards the southern end of the valley (taking a few parting shots from the laser cannon of the surviving Hun), the Sleepwalker gear cadre was tentatively coming to grips with the strange new infantry units. Field gun fire called in by the Iguana gear seconded to the tank cadre was effective against them, fairly quickly wiping out two of the four squads in the field. Unfortunately, this only marked the field gun battery as a priority target for the remaining hovercar...
Leaderless, the SRA began to flounder, and the 'Sidewinder' heavy trooper gear of the cadre unwisely attempted to engage the FLAILs rather than retreating to buy time. The outcome was inevitable:
At the end of the engagment, both sides had accomplished part of what they had set out to do - the CEF's hover scouts continued in their push for Port Oasis (Survive, 2VPs for Brandon) but failed to eliminate their chosen targets (Wipe Them Out, 0VPs). Meanwhile, the 35th had secured some of the first useable data on the new FLAIL walkers (Recon, 2VPs for me) but had sustained unsupportable casualties in doing so (Survive, 0VPs for me). As we were both PL3, this meant a true tie, although I think the clear moral victory has to go to Brandon, for killing my Army Commander on turn 2 as well as hammering half my GP Cadre into slag, only for the cost of a few brain-in-a-jar FLAILs.
EDIT: today Brandon actually reminded me that it was a 3-3 tie, as he got one point for killing/critically damaging half or more of my GP cadre, and that I got one point for keeping at least one of them alive! A strange quirk that arises when you and your opponent's randomly determined squads for counterpoint goals like Survive and Wipe Them Out align like that!
I'm continuing to love Heavy Gear. The mission selection matrix is very simple (although we did discuss how nice a pre-game setup worksheet would be, mostly to cut down on page-flipping) and yet gives you some very interesting goals to accomplish, which can interact with the goals of the opponent in neat ways that make for, in my opinion, much more compelling gaming than simply smashing your toy soldiers into your buddy's toy soldiers making 'pew pew' noises. It was a lot of fun getting to see Brandon's list in action, which taught me a new respect both for the tough FLAILs as well as for my own Field Guns!
Sunday, October 2, 2011
27 Spring 1943
The marauding Rovers in the Eastern Desert begin to
move North, into the WFP. Still rattled from severe
losses during the war, the WFPA has difficulty protecting
the League’s far-flung rural homesteads, and many are
sacked or forced to fend for themselves.
-timeline entry from Return to Cat's Eye
In response to these encroachments, WFPA command initiated a series of training exercises, set to rotate through several areas thought to be especially prone to future raids. The hope was that these maneuvers would fulfill multiple goals simultaneously - reassuring nervous homesteaders, sabre-rattling to cow the Rovers, and familiarizing WFPA units with terrain they might be fighting over before too long.
One such exercise is presented here. Designated OPERATION: BARLEYCORN, near dusk on 14 Summer 1943 an aggressor unit from [REDACTED] simulated a raid on a small irrigation/hydroelectricity center west of Fort James. A mixed Gear/infantry detachment of the 44th Western Combined Arms Regiment ("Skyfallers") (me) was assigned to represent the kind of rapid-reaction force that might be deployed in response to such a raid. While the Skyfallers approached from the east, simulating deployment from the Gamma maglev line, [REDACTED] (Britt) units were tasked with maneuvering past them back into the open, as WFPA General Staff thought this would be the typical post-raid posture for a Rover band ('Escape' objective for Britt).
This was my second game against Britt with Heavy Gear's new 'Field Manual' rules updates, and while I got the win I feel like I kind of snaked him on my choices of objectives. We also played on a longer table than recommended, and I'm still not sure we're using enough terrain. Still, both of us had a blast, and I feel a lot more comfortable with the rules themselves. Britt and I also got a real feeling for how much the objective system changes the nature of the game; in particular, Britt said he has a totally different concept about how his planned army will actually work on the table now.
Meanwhile, although I started as a Southern player, I gotta admit I really like the Northern gears more and more every time I get them on the table, and I've developed a real soft spot in my heart for my little WFPA dudes. Now to finish up the other 500TV of the planned list, a Northern analog of the Southern MP cadres, my Fort