Urban Clash in the Badlands

By Red Rick Dias (vs. Mike)

Please note: This game was played by two people who are very new to Heavy Gear Blitz!, so some rules mistakes were made. However, the report highlights how HGB’s mods/add-ons for Tabletop Simulator (‘TTS’) are a great way to play online! This report is written from the perspective of Red Rick Dias, so any personal observations and “I” language are their’s.

Check out these Tabletop Simulator mods on the Workshop:  

Overview

  • Mission: Two Towers
  • Forces: Leagueless versus CEF
  • Venue: Tabletop Simulator using a mix of assets from both existing Heavy Gear mods.
  • Numerous model proxies were used due to the current state of the TTS mods. Map was mostly set up by the mod itself, we used what it provided due to my being new to the game.
Leagueless (LDM Sublist)
CEF

Deployment

I won the Deployment roll, and had Mike set up first since since this would offer a chance to learn Mike’s plans were; they were to put a tightly packed single group down the road, which would be difficult to challenge head on.

Thus, I opted to head to the far side of the board in the hopes of chipping away at the CEF forces with TD-enhanced Guided attacks. This would also provide some cover for my more numerous but weaker models, allowing them to safely move closer and prepare for melee combat on later turns.

Mike seemed to be aware of this, and placed their forces into a tight formation that mostly stuck together until they could move toward objectives. The sheer firepower carried by CEF frames and tanks meant they controlled whatever part of the map they pushed toward!

Objective Selection

  • Leagueless (LDM sub-list) Objectives: 
  • Cripple opponent’s Tower/Outpost (+2 Points)
  • Destroy opponent’s Tower/Outpost (+2 Points)
    • Secondary Objective 1: Break the Line (SK)
    • Secondary Objective 2: Capture (SK)
    • Secondary Objective 3: Hold (GP)
  • CEF Objectives
  • Cripple opponent’s Tower/Outpost (+2 Points)
  • Destroy opponent’s Tower/Outpost (+2 Points)
    • Secondary Objective 1: Capture Wipe Them Out
    • Secondary Objective 2: Hold
    • Secondary Objective 3: Wipe Them Out (Target: Combat Group 1)

Turn 1

I barely won the initiative roll due to some good luck, and had Mike play first since I wanted to react to his movement. He moved straight down the road, threatening my Tower. This was acceptable, since I wanted room to spread out and avoid the CEF’s best weapons until I was ready to fight. Mike declared no actions, not seeing much to shoot at with all this terrain blocking LOS.

Since I needed to fan out and quickly find cover, lots of Top Speed usage was done to get out of the bottlenecks around my deployment area. I did see a chance to do a sub-optimal range LRP shot on their Tower with my Cuirassier though, and took it. My luck continued, and landed a 1 AP damage hit on the Tower.

The Cuirassier seemed likely to be overrun very soon since it moved roughly down the middle of the board, but that was okay; I wanted it to distract Mike from my Klemm, which I considered more important to my strategy than the Cuirassier.

Turn 2

Mike won initiative this time, and moved up to attack my Tower in force. The Tower gos a Reaction shot off against the MHT-72 (just barely out of optimal range), but misses; the MHT-72 applies Haywire via its HPA, failing to damage the tower but making it far more vulnerable to other CEF attackers. The MATM follow-up dealt 4 damage, leaving my Tower nearly Crippled. His F6-16s move up and hit as well, landing a Marginal Hit to finish the Crippling. The Tower at least managed to strike back for 1 Marginal Hit damage as well, though.

We paused momentarily when I realized I had placed an objective in an illegal position (Not good, but this was my very first game of Heavy Gear Blitz!). After a quick discussion, we decided to move one of the objectives to the nearest legal/sensible location that would not have impacted Mike’s movement/positioning on Turn 1. Once that was fixed, the game resumed.

After that, his F6-16s resumed their assault and finished destroying my Tower. I expected as much; they’re very fast, hard hitting, and had a clear line down the center because I was not about to pick a head-on fight with them… so giving up the tower seemed like the smart move.

My Antelope moves up at an angle where it can just barely see Mike’s tower… and narrowly succeeds at its Forward Observer roll. CG1 (Klemm, Fusilier Javelin, and Cuirassier Flechette CV) gets the benefit, with the Klemm rolling terribly; I use a Try Again order to reroll, and again for an equally poorly rolling Fusilier Javelin. This is just enough to Cripple his Tower, and the Antelope finds a safe place to park afterward. Next, my Jerboa Flash jumped to grab a capture point and get a LRP shot off on the Tower too.

His Tower’s reaction fire did much better due to my team’s lower armor and some good rolls on his part, doing 3 damage to my Fusilier. I had partially hoped for this, as I wanted to lure him out and expose some CEF units, but I didn’t do as good a job protecting my Fusilier as I should have in the attempt; this was a genuine, serious mistake and it should have cost me the hovertank.

Turn 3

Mike won initiative again (as expected, since the CEF force spent TV on a superior commander) and moved to attack my exposed Fusilier. His MHT-72 hit hard, crippling it and then applying AP1 damage (Mike forgot about the AP1, but I spoke up and let it deal damage; both players are responsible for maintaining an accurate game state) with a MATM. His BF2-25 then exposed itself to attack one of my Chasseurs rather than finish off the Fusilier, to my tremendous surprise. The Fusilier retaliated, doing major damage back to CEF frames along the way. 

At this point, Mike remembered many CEF units have ANN and began using it more extensively. My response while looking it up in the rulebook was: “Wait. What’s ANN? …Oh. Oh dear. That looks pretty powerful.” And ANN is strong, but Mike’s dice turned cold at this point and all the BF2-25s failed to do anything meaningful to the Fusilier or the nearby Chasseur; sub-optimal weapon range penalties combined with unusually bad rolls left the CEF missing nearly every shot on what should have been an easy kill.

With Mike’s other units chasing objectives, I became the active player. The Antelope brought in more TD-guided attacks on the Tower to finish it off, then drove toward Mike’s deployment zone. Next, my Chasseur team moved in to trap the enemy tank with one right behind, the other somewhat in front of it. They did minor damage due to their AP1 weapons, but I was more interested in preventing the tank from running away. The Jerboa Flash managed to get onto a roof, and did some Forward Observing to bring more indirect fire down on one of Mike’s BF2-25s for significant damage, crippling it.

Now the Cuirassier Flechette CV had its opening. It used Top Speed, and began finishing off weakened BF2-25s with its MVB, leaving Mike in a bad spot. The Antelope is happy to hang out in Mike’s backfield to score objective points, so we move on to Turn 4.

Turn 4

Final round! Mike won initiative again, offering a chance to turn things around. Mike moved a F6-16 behind my second Chasseur Gunner, doing significant damage but not quite enough. Unable to retreat due to the Chasseur Gunner and terrain blocking its movement, Mike’s MHT-72 must instead press forward! While doing so, it also made a statement: Tanks, not Gears, are the true ‘big guns’ of Terra Nova! A mere two shots from the MHT-72 were enough to easily destroy the exposed Chasseur Gunner, to the point where we didn’t even bother with the damage calculations. It was easily agreed: “Yeah, that’s dead. Unquestionably destroyed.” We forgot to check for Overkill, but the answer to that question was almost certainly “Yes.”

Not much else is accomplished by the CEF, so the Jerboa Flash spots for more Indirect fire before jumping off the roof to get back to its Capture objective. At this point, my forces scatter to grab more objectives, and we realize my win is inevitable due to scenario victory points being slightly but unpreventably in my favor. At this point, we agree to call the game because it was getting very late. 

Final Score: 8+ points for me (we stopped counting at 8, but it could have been higher) and 7 points for Mike.
Final TV Remaining: 142 TV remaining for Leagueless (this is misleading, though; several Leagueless models were 1 damage away from being destroyed, so it was a closer game than the numbers suggest), and 58 TV remaining for CEF (Likely less if we continued play, as the MHT-72 was surrounded by units with LVBs.)

Post Game Analysis

This report is unusual, since both of us made rules mistakes (and I definitely made tactical mistakes; my Fusilier only survived due to luck) due to being new to the game. Indeed, this was my very first game against a real opponent and there was a lot of flipping through the rulebook as we played. It is fair to say we did not show off high-level play, but that isn’t why this report matters.

Instead, there are two great things to take away from this. First, Heavy Gear Blitz! is easy enough to learn that even two new players were able to mostly figure things out as they went. Second, the Tabletop Simulator mods are a fun way to play the game! They continue to receive updates, and are an excellent way to play HGB online.

That said, here are some personal observations about the match:

  • Towers/Outposts in the Two Towers mission seem easy to kill. Armor 10 and H/S 5/3 doesn’t go very far when you can drop guided artillery into them or just march a ‘murder ball’ of powerful units down the center of the map to shoot it. Mike’s force easily took mine down with a HPA plus follow-up attacks, and I took only slightly longer to finish his off. 
  • The CEF hits hard. They pay for it in higher TV costs, but it is still intimidating. Their combination of Particle Accelerators to inflict Haywire followed by several Precise + Advanced weapons really hurts. I was unwilling to engage them in a head-on fight, and spent most of the early game trying to make Mike commit to a close-quarters brawl where my MFCs and melee-oriented Duelist would be on even ground with the CEF.
  • Forward Observation and Fire Mission actions can do a lot of work. The Antelope and Jerboa Flash actually made no meaningful attacks, and mostly spent their time spotting for allies to do Indirect attacks. The Klemm and Fusilier Javelin managed to do most of the work on Mike’s Tower/Outpost due to this, and also did much of the damage to the CEF frames and tanks.
  • Weapon diversity matters, and it is okay if you pack a few that wind up unused in a specific match. My anti-infantry weapons saw no use in this game, but I can easily imagine situations where they would be more useful against light vehicles and most infantry.
  • LRPs are very satisfying. While not good at anything, they are decent at many things and this makes them a fantastic secondary weapon. Having LRPs on several Gears gave me the freedom to pick a mix of main weapons instead of loading LACs or MACs on everything.
  • Melee combat is a very effective way to deal with heavy armor. My Duelist-modified Cuirassier Flechette CV did more damage with its MVB than its MFC, and even just going in for AP1 attacks with a LVB can be worthwhile if it pins a big model down.

All in all, my first game of HGB was pretty fun and I am looking forward to playing it again soon!