Wednesday 31 May 2017

Surveying the field. Part 1 of the battle for Hooke's World

Hooke's World has long been considered inconsequential, scarce in precious raw materials and quite inhospitable by human standards.

That was until a recent survey of the polar badlands.

Omni-corp miners, hired by New Imperial Japan (holders of the deed to the planet) found deposits of osmium, plutonium and a host of transuranic elements.

Suffice to say, Hooke's world was no longer inconsequential.

The USS, United Strike Systems was formerly the holder of the deed, and felt they were owed a certain part of the wealth discovered due to some contractual fine print. Obviously the Imperials dissagreed. While the Unity courts in the core worlds argue the merits of each side of the conflict, out on the fringe the parties were not content to wait, knowing they might stand to lose a considerable amount no matter what the courts decided.

The USS high command authorized a strike force to probe the planetary defences, while the Imperial army on Hooke's World were put on high alert..

The USS recon team had their orders; find and extract as much information about the imperial defences as they could, then disengage and join up with the main force. The site chosen was a small comms outpost in the badlands, since it is connected to the rest of the enemy comnet but less guarded than the city.

Two recon elements, three light mechs and two light cavalry elements led by a light cav CHQ makes up the USS recon force. They also have fire support from a orbiting spacecraft (counts as armored artillery, but can't deploy on the table). All the structures belonging to the NIJA can be searched for intel, each is worth 2 vp for the USS.

Guarding the site is a heavy "Katana"-class mech which is also the commander, a "Specter"-class medium mech, two light mechs, two light cav elements, one heavy cav and three elements of light infantry.

Coming out of nowhere, one of the recon elements quickly scan the defensive bunkers in the center of the battlefield.

Almost as quick, an imperial light armor has the recon in it's sight. Autocannon rounds slam into the recon unit, destroying what little offensive power they have.

One of the USS Dagger light mechs take cover behind the rock pillar..

..But is quickly targeted by some rockets from the NIJA Spectre mech.

Another Dagger moves up the left flank, it's cannon smashing pieces off the opposing NIJA Dagger mech.

Stepping out from behind the rocky hill, the Katana mech levels it's particle cannons at the USS light across from it. The staggered twin blasts blow the light mech to scrap!

Speeding around the heavy mech, the NIJA heavy tank fires it's main gun at the light cav that peeks out across from him. The armor rings like a bell when the round strikes it, damaging the tracks slightly.

The second recon element appears on the left flank, right next to the garage. Calling in a fire mission on the close-by Spectre, the kinetic strike manages to damage every system on the mech!

As soon as the recon unit turned up on sensors, the NIJA yumi-class light mech was striding towards it, cannons booming. Both the recon units firepower and locomotion is compromised by the incoming fire.

Start of the second turn. So far only one location has been scouted, and the USS have lost a mech to enemy fire.

In an attempt to take some heat off the recon unit, a USS light armor attacks the Yumi mech..

..Only to be trampled into a wreck by the warmachine. The mech doesn't escape unharmed either, receiving severe damage to it's weapon systems as well as it's armour.

Sneaking up on the NIJA light armor, the last USS Dagger mech fire into the rear of it's enemy while it keeps firing on the beleaguered recon unit.

Seeing their window of opportunity closing, the crew of the light armor on the left flank makes a break for it, braving the fire of the combined guards to scan the barracks.

A final burst from the mech's autocannon touches off the magazines of the imperial armor, blowing it sky high.

Seconds later the missile alerts goes off inside the mech, as the Spectre launches another flight of missiles at the Dagger.

As the recon element starts falling back, the second light armor is hot on his heels, blowing chunks out of his armor. At the same time, the USS CHQ manage to damage the skirts of the imperial hover armor.

Never standing a chance, the last USS light armor goes down in flames as more shells slam into it from the heavy tanks cannon.

Start of the third turn, the USS falling is back, having managed to scan the garage in the bottom right in the final parts of last turn. With 3 out of 4 objectives scanned, the commander decides they have all they will be able to get and order withdrawal.

Having effected some repairs, the second recon unit calls down more fire on the already damaged Spectre, finishing it off before the last of the sonic booms can be heard.

Finally succumbing to the enemy fire, the first recon element is destroyed.

Taking revenge on the damaged imperial light armor, the Dagger mech blow up the enemy unit with a blast of plasma.

While not completely destroyed, the second recon element is rendered ineffective by the Yumi's last attack.

At this point the rest of the USS contingent have fallen back far enough to be out of danger, and the NIJA doesn't pursue, they have aerospace assets for that.

At the end of the battle the USS have scored 12 vp; 6vp for the 3 objectives, 2vp for the Spectre mech and 4vp for the two light cav elements destroyed.

The NIJA scored 11 vp; 2vp for the objective denied the enemy, 4vp for the two light cav, another 4vp for the two recon elements and 1vp for the Dagger mech.

A close game, the USS winning by the smallest of margins!

Each side starts this campaign with 100 Presence each, and after this battle they are down to USS 91 and NIJA 94.

With the intel paid for in blood and steel, the USS will be planning a major strike against the city, one of the most important sites between them and the mining complexes.

Til next time!

Wednesday 24 May 2017

Overview of the city, stage 1 completed

You might have noticed that I recently finished the last piece of the terrain project I've been working on since last year.

Last post I didn't have time to take some photos of the finished set, something I now aim to rectify!

A few shots in line with the highest buildings, as well as one from on high. The mechs and armor on respective sides are part of the principal adversaries fighting over this city specifically, as well as the planet itself generally.

The admin center on the right, fancier residentials in the center and commercial district streching out at the top.

The rest of the commercial districts, along with the shuttle port and refinery. You can just make out the comms facility to the top far right.

A better shot of the right half, comms and refinery seen from the other side.

Sprawling slums to the south, while a small group of officials or visiting VIPs stay at the gated compound seen on the far left.

 Back where we started, but from the opposite angle.

It's been quite an undertaking, but now that it's finished, I'm glad that I convinced myself to do it.
I can't help but think of extra tiles to add now that the basics are finished, but that will probably have to wait for a while, as I also start to prepare the USS and NIJA for war. A few more mechs might show up to bolster the forces, as soon as I can decide on how many points each side gets for the entire campaign..

What do you think of the city now that it's finished? Is there anything you think should be added? Let me know!

Til next time!

Sunday 21 May 2017

The completed tile 9, some extra terrain bits and a few more mechs.

..And so it is done! My original 9 tiles are all finished!

The communications post. As close to a sacred thing as the city has, this complex with several underground levels houses the only equipment on planet capable of sub-space transmissions. While every ship and more than a few houses have local transmitters, they only send over short distances and at a glacical pace if you intend to message someone outside the current solar system, unless you can get to a space station with a sub-space array.

Most of the locals couldn't afford to send a message of course, but it's vital to the governing body in it's dealings with Unity and various factions from the fringe and beyond.

This of course makes the compound very valuable as a target if the city was ever attacked as well, as the side that holds the complex are the only ones in contact with the rest of the sector, not to mention the rest of the fringe. 

 Like the rest of the tiles, the base has nothing glued down for maximum freedom when setting up alternate designs or just using a few tiles for smaller settlements.

I recently took to making a few more pieces of rocks to fill out any wilderness that needs more cover, since most of what I have is too small to make a difference when mechs come stomping about. Some nice spires and rocky outcrops could be used for other games as well, of course!

The set in it's entirety.

I chose to make the individual pieces high enough to partly obscure any mechs or monsters, so that they still fit somewhat with infantry and tanks next to them. this way they can provide some cover whithout being too big. Or so I think anyhow.

As you might have figured, the flat tops are not for looks, but rather practicality. This allows for them to be stacked, producing something somewhat badlands-like, with rock spires high enough to cover most of even a titanic machine or monstrosity.

But it's not all piles of rocks and houses in today's post, no sir! There is also no less than two trios of new mechs. I say new, but these have been sitting waiting for some paint for a while, and on a whim I decided it was time for more CAV mechs.

Going forward I have decided to keep the original designations of the mechs when intergrated into my version of the "Fringe-verse" of NWG fame, just to make it easier for myself.

The whole group, with a hovertank for scale.

The new arrivals for SADU's mech detachment, from left to right we have: a Starhawk VI, a Voodo and finally a Katana.

The Starhawk VI is a medium class mech, armed with a set of rotary cannons loaded with APIT ammo in each arm and a pair of missile launchers on top for added anti-air/armor capabilities. 

The Heavy Katana mech is slow but packs awesome firepower. Two dual-linked fusion cannons make up the main armament, with two missile launchers as back-up if any unforseen threats should appear. 

The Vodoo is another medium mech, faster but lightly armed compared to others of it's class. Made for scouting and flank attacks, the Vodoo has a pair of double-barreled cannons sitting on each shoulder as well as a chin mounted dual laser for protection.

Their principal opponent, the USS have also gotten some re-inforcements: a Falcon, a Regent and finally an Imperator class mech.

The regent is pretty small for a medium mech, but don't let that fool you. It's speed and agility lets it outmanouver larger mechs, and from close range it's rockets and multi-barreled guns can do a lot of damage.

The Falcon is something of an odd mech, falling into the higher end of the medium weight class, but carrying a complement of weapons a fair bit heavier than most of it's size. The railguns on it's shoulders can punch out smaller mechs with ease, and even put a dent in a enemy heavy. 

Bringing the total up to two, the newly arrived Imperator will join it's brother mech in the USS ranks. A heavy mech with two particle cannons, it's thick armor and powerful weapons makes it a slugger to be feared. 

As you might have noticed, I haven't had the time to put together a shot of the entire set of tiles. I hope to rectify that soon, and have my first game of Horizon Wars, and quite possibly Mekatac, on that very same board.

Til next time!