As it should be

Yesterday, we were only 2 present  at our club’s weekly gaming session (I must say, due to my being ill the last few times, I have not had an exemplary attendance as well) , so, no joy for a RPG. Fortunately, I’d brought along my new Introductory Boxed Set, so we could rig a quick game of Batletech with my friend. And I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but I’ll say it again, the new Introductory Boxed Set is an unending source of awesomeness. I didn’t have to bring all my heavy impedimenta, and the game was as enjoyable. Makes me wonder why I’m painting and keeping a hundreds strong minis collection.

We used the little set up I’d made for the Introductory Set. Build a 240 tons max lance, using only the minis available in the box (so, no two copies of a same mech ). We rolled, he won, so he had first pick at the mechs while I got to make terrain and pick my edge. So, I opted to set myself on the Battletech map, leaving the hills close to my edge, and gave him an open terrain map to start on (the one with fewer trees ). This done, he picks the Awesome, and me the Catapult. Then he takes the Jenner, and I take the Spider. Then he opts for the Quickdraw, and I get the Vindicator. That leaves him at 175 tons, and as te only 65 tonner left is the Jagermech, he opts for the Dragon. Being at 140 myself, well, you can easily guess what i picked. I know the Atlas’ rep is a bit overdone, but it’s a fun mech to play, and if you play it well, really devastating. So, as my opponent is our lead Drac, it felt like a little raid on Galtor III…

My plan was somewhat simple : sneak the Atlas within short range of his Awesome, thanks to the cover of the trees ( sticking the Opfor on a level 0 map is so sweet, as it obstructs LOS ). The Catapult sets up shop on a wooded L3, while the Vindy gets ready to jump into a heavy wood. The spider gets ready to exploit any opportunity. Predictably, the Awesome, escorted by the Quickdraw and Dragon, makes for the heavy woods near the closer edge of the open terrain map. He then rolls a 12, hitting the right arm of my Vindy… Ouch! I however score a fewLRMs on the Dragon, which backs up the following turn into the woods. The Jenner starts a flanking move. I stubbornly continue with my plan, and my big guy reachs its starting line having taken a single PPC hit in the right arm (having run up the Opfor’s THN to 9 and 10 till then ). The jenner braeks cover andruns towards my Catapult. Unfortunately, it moves 9 hexes to 7 hexes from my unmoving Cat… THN : 7 against its tinfoil armor… both launchers hit, and, quite luckily, I crit 3 actuators (except the hip ) in a leg… the Jenner alphastrikes and misses. It falls and won’t get back up, failing PSRs of 8 consistently.The Quickdraw breaks cover as well, and hits the Vindy with LRMs, but gets hit by the Atlas LRMs.

The decisive turn comes. The Atlas breaks cover at a run, ending its move 3 hexes from teh Awesome in its heavy woods. Not enough, as all 3 PPCs hit. The SL even hits… and the return fire is poor for te Atlas, scoring with a single ML. The Catapult keeps destroying the poor Jenner, taking out a leg, and all armor on side torsos. The Quickdraw makes a curious move, jumping back first behind the Atlas, but misses The Dragon stood its ground in the woods, but failed to hit the running Spider which hit teAwesome with a ML. The Vindy however made the breaking shot, hitting the Awesome head, and critting a Sensor. The Atlas failed its PSR and fell, while the Awesome stood… but there was little suspens left. The following turn, the Cat destroyed the Jenner’s other leg and a side torso, leaving the poor thing helpless and stranded on the battlefield. The Atlas stood up, and moved adjacent to the Awesome, prompting a last minute run of the Dragon towards its back… the firing phase was uneventful, nearly everyone missing, but the spider, who scored 2 hits on teh Awesome. The physical phase, however… the Atlas and Awesome kicked each other, and both hit. The Atlas passed his PSR, not the Awesome, which finioshed off the 2 remaining head IS points in the fall… that clinched it, as the surviving Dragon and Quickdraw could easily run away.

A little game, and one I enjoyed immensely. Once again, it demonstrates the awesomeness of the Boxed Set. All the things I used (well, but for my lucky CBT dice) were out of it. So, this set really captures the spirit in which CBT was first created, and gives us the chance to enjoy it as its early designer intended. If that was indeed the purpose of Catalyst, they have aimed true. If not, that’s indeed something they can build upon.