Heavy Gear Battle Report

Phil (North) vs JJ Alexander (South)

100 TV

Overview

This battle report is a playthrough of a scenario from the Heavy Gear Blitz Tournament System v 0.1.  We rolled a random scenario from a set of 3 (High Ground, Incursion and Sector Control) and ended up with Incursion.  This was a 100 TV North vs South game.

Forces

North

For my Northern Force I decided to bring a couple of large gears, as I was expecting (incorrectly) that JJ would bring the large hovertank he usually fields.  Note that this is our third game of Heavy Gear 3.0 since the lockdown ended.  I’ll admit that JJ is a bit more experienced than me as well.  For this game I wanted to field a new gear that I painted over the lockdown but had not yet fielded – the Scimitar. For my 100 TV force I had two combat groups:

NameTVCG Commander
Cheetah10RC
Strike Cheetah9RC
Weasel9RC
Sniper Jaguar Thunder Seccom14RCX
Destroyer Grizzly12SK
Assault Squad Team3GP
Mortar Squad Team3GP
Hunter6GP
Assault Hunger7GP
Lightning Scimitar Command27FSX
TOTAL100

My first combat group was RC primary and SK secondary.  I ended up not using the Cheetah & Weasel to full use as I did not do any Jam/Hack actions with either – and I just did not use action points that I had available that could have been spent here.

My second combat group was GP primary and FS secondary.

South

JJ Took 3 combat groups: GP, FS, Recon:

NameTVCG Commander
Jager6SK
Jager6SK
Jager6SK
Jager Gunner7SKX
King Cobra Gunner (with drone)20FSX
Long Fang Mamba12FS
Long Fang Mamba12FS
Mortar Squad4FS
Anti-Tank Squad5FS
Black Box Iguana11RCX
Recon Squad4RC
Elan (with smoke)4RC
Elan3RC
TOTAL100

Map Setup

We set up the map terrain after we had selected the mission (We could have used clarification about the order in which this should happen, although we understand with tournaments the tables are usually set up by the organizer) We decided to place a little more terrain than we normally do.  We thought it would be good to ensure that there was terrain placed between the scenario objectives.  Both JJ and I have played infinity before – and we thought with these objectives we needed an Infinity level of terrain (We could have used clarification on the terrain density, particularly how it related to the portion of the map near the objectives).

Figure 1: Terrain

Deployment

North

I deployed both my combat groups fairly near the center of the board, in cover.  The plan was to take the center with the larger units.

Figure 2: North Deployment

South

JJ Deployed his CGs fairly evenly – although the recon unit was advanced further into cover

Figure 3: South Deployment

Objectives

North

I assumed there would be a slugfest in the center.  My objectives were:

  • Assassinate (Blackbox Iguana and Gunner Jager)
  • Hold

South

JJs objectives were:

  • Breakthrough
  • Hold

Here is the map with objectives placed.  The two objectives on either side are the hold objectives.

Figure 4: Hold Objective Placement

Turn 1

This turn was played cautiously on both sides.  Both forces send troops to cover their respective hold objectives.  The South also moved on scenario objective 1.  The North moved on scenario objective 2.  The only combats were won by my RC force – and they rolled well.  The Sniper Jaguar, Cheetah and Destroyer Grizzly manage to assassinate the Blackbox Iguana for one VP, and the Destroyer Grizzly took out an Elan with its React+ action.

Figure 5: Turn 1 End

Note that the location of the 2nd Elan is highlighted in the picture below as it’s hidden behind a stone head.

Score: 1-0 North

Turn 2

Things started swinging toward the South in this turn.  On the left side of the map, the Southern Strike squad, with 2 Long Fang Mamba and the King Cobra) destroyed a Weasel, Strike Cheetah, and crippled by Sniper Jaguar in exchange for the North destroying one of the Long Fang Mambas.  On the right side, the Southern GP squad advance in cover.  The Scimitar was only able to put light damage on one of the Jagers. 

Figure 6: Turn 2 End

In general, the Scimitar did not roll well and could not damage much even with high AP weapons.  In addition, the remaining Southern Elan made it into the Northern deployment zone – scoring a Break the Line objective.  The Elan was then damaged by the Northern Assault Team – which was in turn destroyed by the Jager near objective 7.  In general, I found that using infantry teams was a bad idea – they were extremely squishy.  I probably should have found a way to increase their size to squads and sacrificed TV elsewhere in my force.

Score 1-1

Turn 3

Turn 3 started off with the Southern Strike squad activating and destroying both the Cheetah and previously crippled Sniper Jaguar in the Northern RC squad. The Northern GP squad then activated and the mortar team destroyed the Elan, and the Scimitar…did not do much of anything aside from miss targets.  

Figure 7: Turn 3 Middle

By the end of the turn, the Southern GP squad continued its advance and took out the mortar squad. As the Southern player I decided at this point to give up trying to move on the center of the field and just take/protect the objectives on my half of the board – sending out the hunters to hopefully take my hold objectives.

Figure 8: Turn 3 End

Score 1-1

Turn 4

At this point, my Northern forces were down to four gears.  Unfortunately for me, the South won initiative and the Southern Strike force on the left obliterated the Grizzly and Hunter on that side of the board.  At this point I was down to my Scimitar and Assault Hunter.  They activated and tried to kill some of the Jagers, but they failed to do any real damage (none of them were crippled).

Scoring the remaining objectives:

North

  • Control Scenario Objective 2

South

  • Control Scenario Objective 1
  • Control Scenario Objective 3
  • Hold (Brown Objective 1)
  • Break The line second point

Final Score: 5-2 South

Figure 9: Turn 4 End

Total carnage at the end of the game:

  • South lost 29% of its TV
  • North lost 66% of its TV

Mission Hotwash

Even though I lost, this was my best performance against JJ this month (having been shut out in my prior two games).  

Things I did wrong:

  • Again, I did not use my EW units correctly – failing to perform any EW actions with them.  Using the Jam action to prevent the South from issuing the “Let them have it” order would have prevented some damage.  Especially when the EW units did not always use all their actions.
  • I need to spread my units out more so that AE weapons don’t have opportunities to hit secondary targets.
  • Issues with my list:
    • Infantry teams much less cost-effective than squads
    • Scimitar is too expensive for a 100 TV list. Would have been better off with my Kodiak and something else.

Thoughts on Scenario

What I liked about this scenario is that it forces both sides to engage in the middle of the table – with an eight-point game that’s half the objectives coming from the Incursion scenario.  After playing the scenario it seems like it would be very difficult to take all the objective points – a feat that’s much more doable in a game using just the standard Heavy Gear rules and standard objectives.  I do believe that this will produce a larger variety of scores than the standard rules – which is what you want from tournament rules.

The opportunities for better rules would be:

  • As mentioned earlier, some discussion of terrain density and placement with regards to the objectives
  • I thought that the three scenarios to test randomly (High Ground, Incursion, Sector Control) are all too similar and just require you trying to generally head for the center of the map.  I really did not think I needed to build two separate lists for these three scenarios – I planned to use the same list for all three.
  • I found it interesting that the scenarios are all known to the players before the tournament begins during list building – the game I play most regularly is Bolt Action, and in Bolt Action tournaments the scenarios are not revealed until the start of the tournament.  I personally wouId prefer having less knowledge about the scenarios beforehand.  I believe this produces more balanced lists to take on any scenario.  Another suggestion might be to group the scenarios into groups that require different specialties (EW-based missions, attack-based missions, mobility-based missions, etc.) and then require the tournament organizer to select at most one mission from each group.  This will require the players to produce more balanced lists and make them uncomfortable with how their lists would work in certain scenarios (which I believe is a good thing).