Saturday, February 25, 2017

Battle for Threnger: Fighting retreat

This is the fourth out of six linked games of MOTH for the 6x6 Challenge. In this battle, Platoon 24 of the League of Canlaster must make a fighting retreat out of enemy territory, after making a diversionary attack. The platoon is represented by a force of 8 soldiers, being chased by two 5-soldier squads of the League of Yordan.

The goal of the Canlaster forces is to reach the left board edge with at least half the initial troops. The Yordists want to prevent that. The Canlaster and one of the Yordan squads have Elan 6, while the other Yordan squad has Elan 5.

As the game began, Canlaster had the initiative and started to move away. At some point I thought, "hey, I could use an action to shoot at the enemy to slow them down, instead of just running." While it did allow me to take a couple of enemy soldiers down, this brilliant idea let the enemy get in close range. Close range means a bonus to hit and to damage, and suddenly five out of eight Canlaster soldiers were dead, and the game was over.

I kept playing just to try and escape with at least one soldier. But the Yordan forces kept chasing them and eventually, there was no one left.

After the game, I noticed that I forgot to use the "suppress shot" action, which does not actually hurt enemies but grants a defensive bonus for moving troops. I guess if I had use that (or maybe simply run), the Canlaster troops might have escaped...

In any case, this concludes battle #4. In the next game, Platoon 31 will try to hold the control outpost they captured.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Battle for Threnger: The control outpost

This is the third battle using the MOTH rules for the 6x6 Challenge. Now, the Canlaster forces must take control of the enemy control outpost.

Recently, as I was cleaning and sorting some old stuff, I found these Tente bits that are almost 30 years old. So I used them to make the control outpost.

In the first game, Canlaster lost many troops while invading enemy territory. Then in the second game, it was the Yordan forces which suffered heavy losses. Thus the third game should be balanced; I decided that each side would have two squads of six soldiers each. Here is the board setup.

To win, Canlaster must eliminate the opposition or stay in contact with the control outpost while no enemy forces are closer than 4 inches from the outpost. As the battle began, the Yordan defenders took cover in nearby hills and forests, while the Canlaster squads advanced. Soon, they started to exchange fire, but all Canlaster forces focused on a single enemy squad.

The attack was successful and it did not take long before both enemy squads were defeated. At this point, I considered that Canlaster had won, rather than chase the few remaining enemy soldiers.

In summary, after losing soldiers in game #1, Platoon 31 managed to take over the enemy outpost. This should help Platoon 24 on their way out in game #4.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Battle for Threnger: Drawing enemy fire

This is the second battle in a series of linked games using MOTH for the 6x6 Challenge. This time, I played on Tabletop Simulator using a virtual 6'x4' board with virtual paper figurines (I still have to find some 3D models that I can use.)

A view of the battlefield from one of the Canlaster squads.
While Platoon 31 tried to break through the enemy defenses, Platoon 24 was ordered to strike at an observation post, to draw enemy fire. Canlaster forces start on the left. Each squad consists of 10 muster troops (including two Emeritas). Meanwhile, each Yordan squad consists of 7 muster and 1 Emeritas. Squad 1 has Elan 7, squads 2 and A have Elan 6 and squad B has Elan 5. The hills and forest patches block line of sight. The Canlaster forces win if they cause 50% or more casualties to the enemy while losing less units. Alternatively, they win if they are on the hill with the observation post with no enemies.

Force setup. The observation post is the light brown structure (made of wooden blocks) near squad 2.
The Canlaster squads spread out, moving behind cover to reach the enemy. The Yordan troops just positioned themselves on the hills, waiting for an opportunity to fire. In the 10th turn, the first exchanges of fire happened.

Canlaster squad A opens fire on Yordan squad #1. The yellow and red units indicate grazed and struck status.
Canlaster squad A eventually managed to defeat Yordan squad #1, while squad B advanced through a forested area. By the end of round 15, Canlaster had sustained 40% losses (8 units), while Yordan had lost 62% of their troops (10 units), thus meeting a victory condition for Canlaster.

Firefight between Canlaster squad B and Yordan squad #2. The yordists killed one enemy but lost another 2.
While the Canlaster forces suffered many losses in the breakthrough, they managed to draw the attention of their enemies to the observation post. The third battle will see both sides with weakened forces.

A quick note about playing in Tabletop Simulator: the interface has gone through noticeable improvements (I love the new top-down view to check the position of everything on the table.) Now it is possible to find a number of wargaming terrain models in the workshop. The custom figurine is still quite limited, so I had to create my own figurine model in Blender. Measuring is still cumbersome. Luckily, MOTH has simplified squad movement because measuring the movement of every single figure would have been tiresome with the current interface. I think that playing miniature games with area movement or grid-based movement will be a much smoother experience.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Battle for Threnger: Breakthrough

This battle is part of the 6x6 challenge, being game #1 of my series of six linked MOTH games. It was played in a 90cm x 60cm board with 15mm figures, halving the distances and ranges from the game. The forest patches and hills count as difficult terrain, and they block line of sight and fire across them. The rest of the board counts as normal terrain.

Setup for the battle.
The League of Canlaster troops (blue armor and gray bases) must cross the board and leave it by the right edge. They are organized into two squads of six soldiers. The one closer to the hill is led by Emeritas Adrian (elan 7) and the other is led by Emeritas Baker (elan 6). Both are equipped with standard weapons and armor.

The Yordist troops are organized into three squads of six soldiers (from top to bottom, the elan ratings are 5, 6 and 5), also with standard equipment -- some figures feature medical equipment or rocket launchers, but those are to be disregarded.

The plan for both sides was simple: the Canlaster soldiers would advance through the center, while the Yordists would try to hold the chokepoints, leaving one squad as reserve. A few rounds in, the first shots were fired, with casualties for both sides.

The first exchanges of fire, at the edge of optimum weapons range.
The squad led by Emeritas Baker was caught in a crossfire by two enemy squads. At least, this allowed Emeritas Adrian to position his squad and cause losses to the enemy.

Emeritas Adrian strikes from the hilltop.
Unfortunately, this was not enough. The reserve enemy squad moved ahead and attacked Adrian's soldiers. In the end, the Canlasterian forces were scattered, even if the Yordists suffered losses.

Emeritas Baker still managed to take out a couple of enemies, but it was not enough.
Canlaster lost 10 soldiers (out of 12) while Yordan lost 8 (out of 18). Not a bad result considering the superior numbers and defensive positioning of the Yordists, but still a failed mission in this mini-campaign.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

MOTH for the 6x6 Challenge

To get started with the 6x6 challenge, I have read the MOTH rules again and played a couple of test games. The solo system provided with the game is interesting: it gives a general plan for the enemy and allows some variation in actions. With a little work, I think it can be used for other games, too.

My plan is to have a series of six linked games. I will be using up to 12 Canlaster muster soldiers per game, while the enemy will be up to 18 Yordan muster soldiers. For both sides, figures will usually be organized in 6-soldier squads. The games are organized as a two-sided assault on Yordist defenses during a larger battle in Kendall III:

Game 1: Platoon 31 must break through the enemy perimeter, on their way to an Yordist control outpost. They must cross the battlefield with at least 1/2 of their troops.

Game 2: Meanwhile, platoon 24 must stage an attack against an observation post, to draw the enemy's attention. They must destroy some enemy targets and then withdraw to succeed.

Game 3: Now platoon 31 must take over the enemy control outpost, which is being used to coordinate enemy supply rafts. Available forces will depend on success in game 1. If platoon 24 won game 2, enemy forces will be reduced.

Game 4: Platoon 24 is making a fighting retreat after the action from game 2. They must be able to flee with at least 1/2 of their forces. If platoon 31 wins game 3, enemy forces will be reduced.

Game 5: Platoon 31 now must hold the control outpost against enemies that are trying to take it back. Available forces will depend on success in game 3. Enemy forces will depend on the success of games 2 and 4.

Game 6: Platoon 24 is assigned an ambush to destroy Yordist supply rafts that have been disabled using the control outpost. If platoon 31 lost game 5, the enemy will have more defenses.

This is the plan, and I should have the first report this week.