Mech Attack at Adepticon 2015

Earlier this month, Tim and I had the opportunity to run Mech Attack at Adepticon. Though we didn't have anyone sign up for the game ahead of time, we were able to acquire enough passers-by to run a good four-player game.

The scenario and objectives were nearly identical to the game we ran at last year's Little Wars convention, with the attackers on a punitive raid to earn points by destroying the defending teams' bunkers. Each bunker's type and points value was hidden from the defender until it was destroyed. The defenders' goal was to keep the attackers from reaching their objective by the end of the game time.

The main difference between this year's game and last year's game was the quality of the terrain and mechs. Last year's plastic crate buildings had all been replaced with more detailed model buildings.

Twelve new mech models made their convention debut at this game, a few of which are pictured above. Tim brought five massive Zaku, their green paint schemes fitting well with the attacking forces. I brought three Kryomek Striders, three plastic mechs and a rebased prepainted Mechwarrior die-cast Legionnaire.

The scenario background was as follows. In 2366, the occupying forces of the United Colonies were in full retreat. The tide had turned and they were being driven off the planet Melk-3 by a well-organized rebel advance. The vital hub city of Borschtegrad in St. Martin's Parish was the scene of some of the bloodiest mech vs. mech combat in the campaign. There, the retreating UC forces halted their withdrawal for two days and unleashed the Ventauran Legion in brutal punitive raids. Their aim: to cause as much damage as possible to one of the planet's most important industrial centers.

Thus explained, each player chose three mechs and the battle began. The UC forces (in green) advance from the western countryside into the city.

After the opening moves, the Melk-3 rebel forces (in gray) sent two mechs on patrol into the heart of the city.

The tan bunkers are all visible toward the defender's table edge.

The rebel forces quickly moved through the city to protect the most westward bunker.

The UC forces quickly reached the first bunker and began to fire on it.

Making use of the dense neighborhoods, the defenders rushed to trap the attackers in a crossfire.

On the north side, the rebels hunkered down...

...as three UC mechs attempt to rush the flank.

The advance is slowed, but only for a moment. The combined firepower of three heavy mechs ripped apart the defending heavy mech and shortly after destroy the bunker. It was an ammo dump! The bunker exploded and did minor damage to the green behemoths.

The advance continued.

Returning to the south side, the UC continued to pour fire into their targeted bunker.

It was eventually destroyed, and the UC attackers discovered that it was a rebel comm center! In the confusion, the attackers make an additional advance (one free move). However, the Melk rebels exact a high price.

Tactical use of crossfire and flanking destroyed the attackers' southern front completely, and the defenders turned their attention to the north side of the city.

The defenders took up positions...

…and prepared to sell their lives dearly...

But it was not to be. They slowed the UC advance and managed to protect their city long enough for reinforcements to arrive. The surviving UC mech were in full retreat and the battle is over.

The game was up and we called time. The UC had lost half their force, and the two bunkers they had destroyed had not netted them enough points to claim victory. Though they had lost two mechs of their own, it was a solid win for the defenders. And with that, it was time to pack up the mechs and see the rest of the convention.

I was very pleased with the battle. We had built the game to support eight players running two mechs each, but two players per side running three mechs worked very well.

As always, Mech Attack proved itself to be a system that gives a really fun game. It is easy to teach, with enough detail to keep the players interested but streamlined to keep play moving fast. In my previous post, I discussed my overall experience as a first-time Adepticon game master. Suffice it to say it was an excellent experience and I plan to run a game -- probably Mech Attack -- at next year's convention.

-- Karl, Chicago Skirmish Wargames


10 responses to “Mech Attack at Adepticon 2015

  1. Thanks for sharing the report

  2. Happy to do so!
    -Karl

  3. This looks like it was a lot of fun.

  4. *LOVE* seeing the Unseen Mechs in action!

    Funny, we had concurrent Battletech games going on last month.

    Hope to see you guys again sometime.

  5. xNB,
    It was Tons of fun!
    Michael S,
    I also have a soft spot for the Unseen Mechs. They were my first exposure to mecha games with the Battletech (3rd edition?) boxed set in the early 90's. They're still my barometer for what a Battlemech should be. To be honest, BT is a bit crunchy for my simple mind, but Alpha Strike is a nice set of rules that I hope to play again.
    Keep on Mech'in.

  6. I completely appreciate that! I run with the Introductory rules that came from the latest Starter Box. I have the PDF, so I've used Lulu to create coil bound versions for folks to use at the table. Those are coming soon.

    It has the basics, without getting too involved like "Total Warfare" gets. Enough to sling dice and worry about heat without getting too nuts.

    BTW, please tell Patrick (if he's still with you guys) that Michael from the old AD&D game (Chicago-Wiz) says Hello! I hope to see you guys around, now that I've gotten back into gaming.

  7. Inspiring! I'm going to have to start building more mechs!

  8. Chuckarobob,
    Glad to hear it. Bring those mechs to Adepticon next year and we'll put them in the game!

    Michael S.
    I'll let Pat know. He's still with us but has been a bit busy these last couple weeks. If you're still in Chicago, you're welcome to join us for gaming. Follow the "mailing list" link in the "about us" section at the top of the page.

    The Level 1 (aka Introductory) battletech rules are a good deal more streamlined than Total Warfare. Still, I can't recommend Mech Attack highly enough for being a game that captures much of the Battletech feel (customizable units, damage grid, heat tracking, etc) in an even more streamlined package, and it's cheap too! 4 players (3 first timers), each playing 3 mecha concluded a game in just about 2 hours of playtime.

  9. Hey! Read your tomorrow's war write ups and read on from there. Just picked up tomorrow's war myself and loved it, but was disappointed to see how little community there is for it and well… most other Sci Fi war games that are non 40k. Started a group on Facebook for it, would love tho get your input to the group and send readers your way. Hope this finds you well.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1453557211602612/
    Cheers,

    Cyrus

  10. Hey Cyrus,
    I don't have a facebook account, but hopefully some folks will find their way over to your page. As for Tomorrow's War, it's an excellent ruleset, with really nice production values. It took off fast in indie wargaming circles but slowed in recent years. I think the sometimes incomprehensible rules wording and poor layout of the rulebook itself helped to slow the game's acceptance.

    You'll still find alot of folks who enjoy the rules at TMP and Lead Adventure, but it never broke out in the way many folks hoped it would. Still a great game and worth playing, especially if you can find someone to explain the rules to you in person.

    Good Luck!
    Karl

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