Tonight we will finally be playing our Battletech game that we have been planning for for quite some time.
I’m starting in between Zach (submarine/helicopter/hovercraft) and Andrew (80 ton heavily armored behemoth) and I’m trying to decide who to go for when the game starts. Here are my pros and cons of each:
Zach’s big vulnerability is that he has pretty much bet all of his chips on an above water surface game. If I take both my Mechs under the surface, he can’t target me with either his VTOL or his Hovercraft and I also nullify the huge quantity of LRMs he placed on his submarine. His submarine can do a paltry 10-20 damage per round with torpedos. I can’t remember exactly how many torpedo launchers he used, but there were not a lot.
The big cons of attacking Zach is that underwater movement and combat is not easy for a Mech. There are PSRs to worry about, reduced ranges, and the fact that you have to spend 4 MP whenever you move into a Depth 2 or greater water hex, not including elevation changes. Zach can also easily outmaneuver my Mechs underwater with the submarine, and I could see him just staying behind me with the submarine and pinging away at back armor, while he just runs his other units away. We are also even on activations, so initiative will be important.
Andrew presents a big threat to my weaker Mechs, but there are some key advantages that I have over him. Most importantly, I out-activate him by two units. So long as I don’t get my units killed, I will usually move my Light or VTOL first, he’ll move his single unit, and then I will have total freedom to try to out-position him and avoid physical attacks from an 80-tonner. Both of my Mechs are faster than his. He has Hardened armor, which actually benefits me, because his PSRs will make him more likely to fall and I score one victory point for every 30 damage I do to him. Double the damage needed to tick off an armor circle means double the potential victory points.
The downsides are that if he hits me, I could be in serious trouble. He’s rocking an iATM 12 with all three ammo types. If he hits me with HE rounds, that’s 36 guaranteed damage to a unit, because iATM acts like it has Streak, split into five point groupings. So, I would have to be very careful with managing my movement modifiers to minimize the chances of those hitting. One successful hit on my Light is potentially a kill, as I engineered it with speed, not armor. The Light can rock a +4 to hit modifier, meaning a minimum of 8 to hit if he doesn’t move at short range. I may just have to plan to get within seven hexes of him, taking him to long range on the HEs, and then run in on the next round to try to flank him. He is also sporting three Medium Pulse Lasers, with a targeting computer, so he has the capability to easily put 21 damage on me with those too.
What do you think Battletech players? Which is the easier one to go for? Or, should I just play defense and go for scanning some objectives?