I would lying if I said that I haven't been looking forward to starting the Jade Falcon part of the campaign. I have been a JF fan-boy forever. This has required a lot of loyalty in the face of adversity, as they have been portrayed pretty harshly in the Battletech universe; there is a lot not to like about them that I have blissfully ignored.
The first Jade Falcon scenario is one that KuriboGoomba and I were very familiar with. The initial ambush of the Jade Falcon invasion force by Comstar is portrayed in one of my favourite books, "Falcon Guard" by Robert Thurston. In it, the defenders launched their assault from hidden positions in an orchard, striking the Clan Mechs rapidly and then fading away. One Clan Mechwarrior in a Gargoyle, Faulk, is engaged by a Bombardier and is forced to eject. As he escapes, the ejection trajectory takes him through some stray fire that amputates his leg; his screams can be heard in the cockpits of his compatriots. Obviously, we were both keen to relive this scene in a "what if" kind of way.
I chose a Gargoyle A to represent Mechwarrior Faulk (3/4) and a Stormcrow A (Mecharrior Leehma, 3/4) for its accurate close range brawling ability. In reserve I had Mechwarrior Khastis (3/4) in his Hellbringer Primary; we had a feeling that the Clanners were going to have a very hard time. The Comstar Mechs, controlled by KuriboGoomba and Wade, consisted of a Bomdardier, Thug, Hunchback and Sentinel deployed in secret. I placed my Mechs withing three hexes of the center hex and Comstar Mechs proceeded to boil out of their holes.
|The Gargoyle is represented by a Summoner model, I really need to get myself a Gargoyle figure, I seem to use them all the time.|
In the free turn of fire the Comstar Mechs were afforded by their ambush, they managed to maul Faulk's Gargoyle. The Thug opened up into its rear armour with PPCs and SRMs, whilst the Bombardier hit it with indirect LRM's. Even the Sentinel caused damage with its Ultra AC 5, punching some holes in the Gargoyle's center torso. The next turn the Gargoyle rounded on the Thug and unleashed two PPC's and a large pulse laser into it, causing heavy damage. The Stormcrow moved to intercept a newly appeared Hunchback, causing significant damage to several locations, before all four Comstar Mechs combined there firepower to destroy the Gargoyle with three engine hits.
The Stormcrow blasted away at the Hunchback, forcing it to withdraw in order to prevent any chance of me recovering a victory from the game. With the Hellbringer appearing from reserve smashing it with PPC's, there was no choice but for it to run off the board. With that the Stormcrow and Hellbringer turned their attentions to the Thug, which they flayed with heavy fire for two turns.
Like all of my games so far, the damage I dealt was spread to evenly, preventing me from taking the big Mech down. I wasn't the only one having trouble, we played out a whole turn with no hits from any Mech! Roll after roll we failed to hit easy shots (at 5+ on 2d6), failed to achieve critical hits, failed shutdown rolls on 4+, fail, fail, fail, fail, fail. The situation prompted Goomba to show us this picture on his phone, which I share now to reflect the bleak hilarity of the situation:
Eventually the Thug fell, having failed a piloting skill roll after taking more than 20 damage in one turn and a gyro hit. The rest of the Comstar Mechs ran off the board to preserve their marginal victory.
The game played out very similar to the story, thanks to Goomba and Wade's focus on taking down Faulk early on. Our consistently low rolls after that were so frustrating, all we could do was laugh and try to stack the odds in our favour. I think the dice Gods were the real winners last night.
See you across the table,