Tim the Tank-Man

Tim (Chainsaw) of Infinity fame was in town for the Rose City Raid, and so we thought it appropriate to get him a game of Heavy Gear! Since this was basically his second game of Heavy Gear ever, we decided to just play stock Heavy Gear and not worry about adding in any of the HGBTS missions. We were at Adam’s house hanging out, so we played with Adam’s armies. I took the opportunity to play Black Talons. Tim demanded that he have the largest possible tank with the largest possible gun, so Adam rolled out his Hardy Aller.

Overview

  • Mission: Stock HGB 3.0
  • Forces: Black Talons versus North

Adam handed me this Black Talons list, which I’m not a fan of.

Name TV A Weapons Traits
CG1
SK
Lambda Vulture Theta 25 2 »LFG(Precise), »MVB(Reach:1), MRP, MFC, MATM Hands, Airdrop, Vet, Stealth, Jetpack:4, Duelist, Auto:1Wpn, Agile
CG2
SK
Nu Owl 21 2 »MRL, »LVB(Precise,Reach:1), MRP Hands, Airdrop, SP:+1, ECM, ECCM, Comms, SatUp, Jetpack:6, Stealth, Vet, CO, FL
Dark Cobra Delta Xi 19 2 »HRC(Precise,AA), »MVB(Reach:1), MRP, LFG, MGM Hands, Airdrop, Stealth (Aux), Vet
Elan 3 1 »MMG(T) TD, Comms
CG3
RC
Omega Squad 5 1 »LIW(Silent), »LICW, HIS(Burst:1) Agile, Airdrop, Jetpack:4, Stealth, Vet
Omega Squad 5 1 »LIW(Silent), »LICW, HIS(Burst:1) Agile, Airdrop, Jetpack:4, Stealth, Vet
Dark Mastiff Alpha 7 1 »LRF(T), LAPGL Transport:1 Squad, Airdrop, Vet, Stealth (Aux)
Dark Mastiff Alpha 7 1 »LRF(T), LAPGL Transport:1 Squad, Airdrop, Vet, Stealth (Aux)
Jackrabbit Recon Squad Single 4 1 »LIW, »LICW Agile, TD, Comms
Jackrabbit Recon Squad Single 4 1 »LIW, »LICW Agile, TD, Comms
Total 100 13

It’s not that I don’t like what’s in there, I just don’t like the way the combat groups are constructed. By adding the Elan and Jackrabbits, I lose the ability to airdrop any of the combat groups except for the Vulture. Also, I really want more deployment options because I really don’t want to be in LoF of the HTG on the Hardy Aller. This is a very small tweak to the list, which I think opens up a lot of options:

Name TV A Weapons Traits
CG1
SK
Lambda Vulture Theta 25 2 »LFG(Precise), »MVB(Reach:1), MRP, MFC, MATM Hands, Airdrop, Vet, Stealth, Jetpack:4, Duelist, Stable:1Wpn
CG2
SK
Nu Owl 18 2 »MRL, »LVB(Precise,Reach:1), MRP Hands, Airdrop, SP:+1, ECM, ECCM, Comms, SatUp, Jetpack:6, Stealth, Vet
Dark Cobra Delta Xi 19 2 »HRC(Precise,AA), »MVB(Reach:1), MRP, LFG, MGM Hands, Airdrop, Stealth (Aux), Vet
CG3
GP
Dark Mastiff Alpha 7 1 »LRF(T), LAPGL Transport:1 Squad, Airdrop, Vet, Stealth (Aux)
Dark Mastiff Alpha 7 1 »LRF(T), LAPGL Transport:1 Squad, Airdrop, Vet, Stealth (Aux)
Omega Squad 5 1 »LIW(Silent), »LICW, HIS(Burst:1) Agile, Airdrop, Jetpack:4, Stealth, Vet
Omega Squad 5 1 »LIW(Silent), »LICW, HIS(Burst:1) Agile, Airdrop, Jetpack:4, Stealth, Vet
CG4
RC
Elan 3 1 »MMG(T) TD, Comms
Elan 3 1 »MMG(T) TD, Comms
Jackrabbit Recon Squad Single 4 1 »LIW, »LICW Agile, TD, Comms
Jackrabbit Recon Squad Single 4 1 »LIW, »LICW Agile, TD, Comms
Total 100 14

In comparison, Tim’s got this to play with. Two combat groups worth of hit above their weight Hunters, and then a freaking Hardy Aller. Greaaat.

Name TV A Weapons Traits
CG1
GP
Hunter UC 6 1 »MFC, »LVB, LRP, LPZ, LAPGL Hands
Hunter UC 6 1 »MFC, »LVB, LRP, LPZ, LAPGL Hands
Stripped-Down Assault Hunter 6 1 »MSC, »LVB, LAPGL, LHG Hands
Stripped-Down Assault Hunter 6 1 »MSC, »LVB, LAPGL, LHG Hands
CG2
SK
Destroyer Hunter 7 1 »MBZ, »LVB, LRP, LAPGL Hands
Destroyer Hunter 7 1 »MBZ, »LVB, LRP, LAPGL Hands
Tiger 9 1 »MAC, »LVB, MRP, LAPGL Hands
Lion Initiate 12 1 »HRC, »LCW, MAR, LAPGL, MSG(Link) Hands, Climber, Brawl:1
CG3
FS
Hardy Aller 35 3 »MRC(T,AA), »MAC(T), »MMG(R,Auto), »MMG(L,Auto), »LMG(T,Auto), HTG(T,Precise), HAPGL Offroad, Smoke, FieldArmor
Wild Ferret 6 1 »LSMG, »LVB Hands, Brawl:-1, ECM, ECCM, Comms, VulnH, SatUp (Aux), Sensors:36 (Aux)
Total 100 12

Deployment

Tim deployed all of his hunters behind some terrain, with the Lion left out to retaliate with its HRC. He made some terrain for his Tiger with the Hardy Aller. Yep. That’s a sentence I just typed.

That Aller and my inability to airdrop basically denied me the entire right side of the table. I decided to just castle up on the left and hope for the best. Not a huge amount of tactics to my deployment, just “don’t be seen by the tank.” I did use make use of Pathfinder on the Elan/Cobra/Owl group to get the Cobra as close as possible to the enemy Hunters.

Objectives

We’re working with the new HGBTS v0.3 objectives. I choose

  • Hold
  • Clear the Way – Nominate two enemy CG’s, get a point for each one you reduce to half actions.

I nominate both Hunter groups, figuring I can pretty reliably kill 4 hunters, especially since he’s basically mixed both hunter groups across both flanks making it easy to get to parts of each group.

For his objectives, Tim chooses

  • Hold
  • Raise the Flag – Spend an action in the enemy table half to drop a token. If the token stays on the table for two turns, you get a point. I can clear a token by spending an action within 4″ and LoF of a token.

It’s a 100TV intro game, so that’s it. Tim is a fantastically experienced strategy gamer, so I definitely don’t need to hold his hand. He figured that Raise the Flag sounded pretty easy, especially since I had given him an entire table flank. Tim also decided that Hold was going to be easy–just park the Hardy Aller on it and dare me to come play.

I could’ve put my Hold objectives in a better spot, but I wanted to play a more interactive game and put one on my right, away from units. Not the best decision, but just messing about.

Fight!

My plan for the game:

  1. Do not get seen by the Aller.
  2. Kill 4 hunters, two per group
  3. Somehow get to the rightmost Hold objective.

I win initiative and start things off by activating my GP group. I get a successful FO with TD off on a cluster of hunters. I activate my Cobra and drop a LFG and a MGM onto a Stripped Down Assault Hunter, crippling it. The rest of the troops clustered behind the rocks survive unscathed. Not the best, but hey, crippling one Hunter is great!

The Mastiffs in the group put two points onto a Destroyer Hunter. Wish it was more, but only 4 points of damage to go!

The Aller activates and obliterates a Mastiff in one shot, ejecting the infantry inside. Woof. Well, there was only so much I could do on this table to hide things, something’s gotta be visible.

I know how dangerous the Lion is, so I have my Vulture focus an MATM shot on it and do three damage, suffering only one damage in return. I was hoping to cripple it before Adam reminded me that the Lion is 5/1. What nonsense!

Tim activates his hunters and takes out my poor Jackrabbit. Acceptable loss. I’m just going to drip-feed in recon bikes to get Forward Observes off.

Tim pushes my right flank, and I can’t do anything about it as I have nothing over there. Too scared of the Aller! I stay focused on the plan, get my Elan into the fight, and drop more LFG and MGM onto the Hunters clustered up on my left.

I then hack the Tank and MRL the Ferret hiding behind it.

Tim’s Hunters and Lion continue advancing on my right and set up for Raise the Flag. I’m considering potential plays with my Vulture, but Tim activates the Aller and one-shots my poor Duelist. Whelp. That’s real bad! I designate the hunters behind the rock again with my Elan, dropping stuff more arty fire from the Cobra and wiping them out (along with my poor Elan).

I lose the other Mastiff to the Lion flanking me…

but I finish off the Ferret with a Jackrabbit! Go go little motorcycle go!

I set up a hack on the Aller again…

then charge the Aller with the Cobra, mostly for fun. I do a few points of damage with two swings of a MVB but not enough to cripple the tank…

the driver of which throws it into reverse and one-shots a full-health cobra with the HTG. Beep… beep… beep… KABOOM! Ouch.

At this point we’re just going for points. The Lion shoots up my Omega squad, but they survive.

There’s one hunter skulking about in the back that if I can cripple it won’t make it back to its Hold objective. I do some damage with the HIS from the Omega squads, but can’t cripple it. Tim pushes my Hold objectives hard with his advanced Hunters, so I swoop the Owl in to try and fend off the hunters, vaporizing one but failing to hurt the other.

I’ve just barely got this hold objective if my Omega squad survives. Thanks to Agile, I evade a snub cannon shot!

There was some confusion about how the Raise the Flag objective worked, so we ended up calling it a tie. Tim could’ve won though, if he had the full picture on Raise the Flag. I had both my Clear the Way objectives and a Hold. Tim had both of his holds (the Aller wasn’t exactly about to not hold an objective) and one Raise the Flag objective.

3-3 Tie!

Post Game Analysis

Well, I can say that Black Talon list composition is very important. You really don’t want to mix in non-Talon units as it starts to muck with deployment options. Having the Owl as a CO was pretty cool–I think I used it pretty much every turn to issue orders outside the group. They also don’t suffer attrition well–losing the Vulture was huge.

I think one of the key things with Black Talons is that they hit like trucks but generally have to expose themselves to do so… which makes it hard to not lose units. I did a pretty reasonable job avoiding the Hardy Aller. I didn’t need to go after it with the Cobra in close combat, I really just wanted to. I like the idea of using bikes and other recon units to spot for things like the Cobra, and it worked pretty well this game.

As far as the objectives go, I like Clear the Way. It is not particularly easy to get and the opponent can just retreat units if there’s a risk. Raise the Flag is a bit too easy to get right now. We’ll probably tune it a little, as right now a single unit can just plant the flag twice without moving behind a rock, and if your opponent is out of position there’s nothing to be done.

Not a huge amount to really learn from this game, lots being tested, but it was a lot of fun! Thanks for reading!

WiseKensai

I primarily play Infinity and Heavy Gear nowadays, but I dabble in plenty of other game systems.

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