German vs. British Playtest

Hey all,

First, huge apologies for the last few weeks of silence. For those unaware, we just launched two new BattleTech websites (bg.battletech.com and battletech.com) to coincide with the announcement and launch of the MechWarrior Online site…really awesome stuff for BattleTech fans.

However, that has meant for almost 3 weeks now I’ve done nothing but eat and breath website work. The speed with which I can tear covers off of PDFs, turn them into multiple sizes of jpgs, generate a PDF preview, and then stitch it all together on a page with a half dozen different links, as appropriate, is a little crazy.

The last two days have finally gotten the site to a point I can scale back my work on it to an hourish a day and get back to a host of other projects, including my weekly blog posts.

Second, no, we still do not have a Street Date for Leviathans…if that info had come I’d have let the websites crash if need be to shout that news…. Promise…as soon as I have it, you will.

Okay, now on to the fun of playtesting German Vs. British ships (this wrapped up almost two weeks back…silly websites). I asked whether you’d be interested in seeing some games play out and I got enough “you bet” responses, so here I go.

Just as in the Core Box Set, the Germans will feature six Ship Cards for the four miniatures: a Battleship, two Light Cruisers and three Destroyers. We put all six of them against the six British ships slotted for the Core Box Set.

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For unknown reasons, I like my ships at a cant; Bryn likes deploying them straight on.British-Italian Playtest photos_3.jpg

We immediately surged forward. As I was already oriented to the left of the playing area, I took my squardon there.

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Bryn made the classic mistake (right up there with a land war in Asian and dealing with a Sicilian with death was on the line)…he split up his forces (we both were surprised, talking about it after the fact, as he’s usually far better than that).

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Despite splitting his forces, he was able to maneuver into the front and back sides of my squadron with a pincer, and the Crew Bracketing capabilities of the SMS Wiesbaden, SMS Dresden and SMS Falke flexed some fearsome muscle.

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By this time the starboard of the HML Leviathans had been hurt and knowing Bryn’s SMS Hannover was going to be in my stern, I made a broach turn, flipping the battleship around. The next turn of fire, almost fully surrounded by enemy ships, was ruthless.

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In the literally years of playing Leviathans at this point, I’d never a seen a ship so damaged. On the last fire of a previous turn, Bryn only had to roll a four or higher on 2DRed (i.e. 2D10) for that all-to-fun Breaking The Keel Roll…and he rolled snake eyes. The game stopped for a good five minutes to groans of agony and a shout of stiff-upper-lip pride. Finally the next turn he killed the ship.

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The entire time he was concentrating on the HML Leviathan I’d been concentrating on a series of ships and and by now he’d lost one of his Light Cruisers and a Destroeyr, while the rest of my fleet was still alive and moving to encircle his SMS Baden. Took three more turns and I lost a Destroyer and Light Cruiser but even the awesome armor of the pride of German engineering gave way to that many ships swarming across six different locations.

Ultimately I was left with a love for the vibe of the Germans, and despite the sheer tenacity of the British Battleship skewing things a bit, I felt it was an excellent match-up. And while I’m still a little leery of how powerful the Bracketing Crew is, I’m not as worried…plenty of testing still to go, of course. Next up, French vs. the Germans.

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Couldn’t help but end with this photo…my precocious 9-year-old daughter who always gives daddy or very loud support, much to Bryn’s chagrin.

See ya next duty shift.

Randall

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