The stars aligned correctly, and Hoss and I were able to try out my scenario based around the Şoarece. Here's how it all went down:
My convoy would move as one, i.e.: all models at a walking/cruising speed, with the Stingers at 1/2 speed to keep from running away from my blob formation.
They were deployed as such, with the intent of getting the Şoarece off of the other side of the board. Straight line route to navigate, a narrow pass, what could go wrong?
Hoss's Andurien forces would be deployed anywhere he liked on the battlefield, so long as they were out of visual sight. Being 3030s/20s tech, visual sighting was the only options for detection.
As such, his force was scattered about the board, and I was later told: with hopes of encircling me, and launching his ambush from all directions on turn three.
Turn one was rather uneventful: My blob simply trundled forward whilst his Panther and Commando maneuvered unseen into closer positions. The remainder of his force held tight. Which was unfortunate for him because...
At the end of my turn 2 ambling forward movement, my right flank Stinger on point, turned its head and had a straight line view to Hoss' Dervish. Caught flat footed, my blob went into PANDA-MONIUM!!! (irony)! Urbies pivoted and blazed away with panic-fire in all directions!
The cat out of the bag, Hoss' mechs closed in and engaged my mechs, ignoring the Şoarece all together! One Stinger's arm (naturally the one with the ML in it) was shorn from it's body, reducing my scout for a free roaming MG (damnit!). My Griffin to an AC20 slug to the chest (gulp!) and fire was exchanged all around.
The most exciting part (me thinks) was when my rearmost and newest Urbie dubbed 'NOOB!' pivoted and put an AC10 slug right thru the right torso of Hoss' Commando, puncturing the ammo bin and becoming my 2nd Urbie to Kill a mech with it's 1st shot! (True, that's not as impressive as killing the King Crab like the last time, but we are talking about Urbies here...).
Turn three and the Şoarece's crew put the pedal to the metal, eking out an oh-so-unimpressive 3rd hex's worth of movement in a futile attempt to escape! My now near impotent stinger went into a full retreat, whereas NOOB! in the rear jumped up on top of the small hill that the stricken Commando had held. The last sight the injured Commando pilot was to see, was the underside of a trash can's foot as it squashed him (and quite messily too)! A most dishonorable act, and likely attributed to the mech warrior's inexperience and surge of adrenaline.
|5 hexes...I had just 5 freaking hexes to go!!|
Seeing their prize attempting to flee, the Anduriens dump all they have into the front of the massive tank, and unsurprisingly hit with most everything (except the Panther, I think that mech missed entirely...). Carving a massive amount of damage out of the front hull (by a 'normal' tank's standard, it was a mere 1/3-1/2 for the Şoarece). Unfortunately for me, Hoss has an uncanny ability to roll turret crits, and he disabled the AC-2, and locked the turret facing forward. Worse yet, 2 motive crits immobilized the beast!
The Soarece did at least manage to return the Hunchback's favor by pumping an AC-20 round into it, knocking the machine from it's feet!
|May as well be 175 tons of concrete now...|
With my hopes of an easy win quashed, I turned to killing off my attackers in hopes of wiping them out, my only remaining path to victory.
|Heavy and frighteningly accurate shooting in all directions meant most everything but the Dervish and panther got the shit kicked out of them!|
Walking past the worthless tank, the battletech slugfest began in earnest. Urbies (unsurprisingly) held their ground, intent on pointblank attrition warfare, whilst my Griffin and Stinger both moved in to engage.
|Urbies lack lower arm actuators, so they can spin their guns around and fire backwards, which is what the Urbie up by the Şoarece was doing. Consequently, by that point it also had more rear, than front torso armor as well...|
My 2nd Stinger suffers the same fate as the first (why do they always lose the laser toting arm?!?), and also flees the field. Speaking of arms, my Griffin's PPC lands in the dirt, though that minimizes the heat issues from an earlier engine hit. All in all, a shitty silver lining to his plight...
Amidst the fearsome brawl, good ol Levi takes TWO AC-20 hits over the coarse of 2-3 turns, shearing off both the left and right torsos of his little Urbie, forcing him to flee! In revenge however, both urbies on point manage to take down the Hunchback in exchange.
|Once again, poor little Levi is forced to flee the field with about 1/3 of the Urbie he started with!|
The Urbie on my right forward flank turns the up-until-that-point pristine Panther into a 'convertible' with an AC-10 headshot! Whereas NOOB! withers under multiple turns of the Dervish hammering it with LRMs (seriously, he landed 36 out of a possible 40 LRMs in the last 2 turns alone!). Predictably, the little urbie disintegrates, avenging the Commando pilot!
We had set out to play 10 turns originally, but Hoss had to work in the morning and at the bottom of turn 9, technically it was almost 'morning' at this already (and he still had to drive home). I ran up the white flag of surrender only to be immediately corrected that the game ended in a draw.
|My few remaining mechs were akin to drunken boxers by game's end...|
The Şoarece failed to escape and I likewise failed to drive off my attackers (though we did kick the shit out of them). In return, whilst he did render the Şoarece ineffective, he didn't kill it outright, and failed to wipe me out as well.
So technically yes, it was a draw. However as I was in no shape to see off his remaining mechs (indeed, one of my was fleeing whilst the rest were in various forms of dire straights), I still think that overall it slants towards Hoss as victor.
Regardless, we had a blast, and I'm looking forward to more! Especially with the Şoarece acting as a principle combat unit, rather than just a
free moving temporarily moving objective.