06/08/2014 battle: three nearly-equal armies

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06/08/2014 battle: three nearly-equal armies

Postby Scrape » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:26 am

06/08/2014 (edit: whooops, I listed this as 05/08/2014 but that was a dumb mistake. This was a Battle for June entry of course!)
Our camera ran out of batteries before we could grab a shot of the final setup, but we got some fun shots during the game and I took detailed notes.

We had three players here: The Defender was Pete, with 5 frames and 18 systems. Ryan started in second place with 5 frames and 19 systems, while I was primary attacker with 5 frames and 20 systems. This wasn't intentional! I was clearly bidding for Primary attacker status and had built my army for it: lots of melee and mixed DF/HtH frames, so I came prepared. Pete was hoping to take second place himself, figuring that I would bid 19 systems. But I didn't! So he was underbid for second by Ryan and wasn't prepared to play defense. These sorts of games are always interesting; there wasn't much difference between our armies but the score difference was huge:
Starting score was Pete 42, Ryan 35, Eon 28.

Here's the battlefield as seen from Ryan's main army contingent. That's Pete in the middle with his stations up for grabs- his stations are the little tiny guys in powersuits.

Pete deployed right in the middle of the field, putting his stations out for easy capture and hoping that his attackers would wear themselves out fighting over them. A classic move and Ryan and I knew it... but went for it anyway, as you'll see. Ryan and I deployed on opposite sides, basically pincering Pete... except for the one frame that Ryan deployed right in my zone, which made me nervous. And for good reason, as it later cost me the game.

The first turn started with a bang, and Pete went for a hard offense against my army. He was hoping to capture enough points to last out a siege while we whittled him down. However, the dice went against him and he did very little damage. At one point he rolled seven damage dice, and scored no hits at all. This was pretty crushing for him and totally broke the offensive momentum he was hoping for. I could've lost a frame right then! Instead, I destroyed one of Pete's defending frames and stole a station from him. A good turn for me.

By the second turn, Pete had lost both of his stations- one to Me and one to Ryan. Brutal! The score at this point had Ryan in the lead at 35, Me following with 28, and Pete all the way down to 18. Things were looking rough for him and at this point the two attacking armies (Ryan and myself) started going after each other, pretty assured that one of us was going to be the victor.

My melee frame Kamaji hides behind some much-needed cover in the center of the board, making his way toward all the stations in the middle. That gas station looks like it's in pretty good shape, huh?

Here we see the actual devastation wrought upon the gas station that Kamaji hides behind. It's a bad scene when you look at it from this side! You can also see some of my other HtH and DF/HtH frames in the background, holding Pete's station and getting ready for my final offense.

The third turn saw Ryan going after the station I had stolen from Pete, using a melee frame to get in close. But his dice were garbage and I weathered the storm, holding onto it. In retaliation, I managed to abandon one of my stations and steal one that Ryan had left undefended during his advance. This put me in the lead, with a score of 32-30-18. A slim lead, but it put me in first place. The dice were with me and I held strong throughout the round. I was feeling pretty good at this point, with a solid plan to hold this lead. I didn't think it would be a landslide, but I was confident that I'd win.

However, during the fourth and final turn things went sour for me. Ryan rolled a lucky 8 movement on a melee frame and snatched the station that I had abandoned during the previous turn. It was a risk abandoning it, I knew that, but he was a full 8 units away and I really didn't think he'd get lucky enough to take it. But he did. This was a gamechanger, right there. I was forced to turn back and re-take it, but I had bad odds: all I had in the area was a badly-damaged frame that was basically two whites and a melee system. Nonetheless, the dice were with me and I recaptured it... but Ryan still held the lead, if only barely. I crunched some numbers and realized that there was no way I could take first place; I just didn't have the opportunity this late in the final turn. The score was so close but it was impossible. I had one final chance to roll lucky and destroy a frame of Pete's to cement a second place finish, but even that failed me. We tied for second.

Final score was 25-24-24 with Ryan winning by a single point.

The Aftermath: Lessons Learned
Usually, our MFZ games have a tight point spread but this was the closest I've ever seen! The lessons learned here were mainly that in war, nothing is certain. Sometimes the dice are just against you and you can't seem to break someone down. Also, Ryan's lucky 8 movement roll was something I just didn't count on- the odds were so slim that he would make it... but he did. However, I don't regret the move. As primary offense, you just can't sit back and defend your stations. You've got to get out there and be aggressive; take calculated risks. They don't always pan out for you but you'll never know if you don't try. Secondly, the Defender can't go too hard too early. You've got to be able to capture stations but it's better to wait sometimes. He should have let Ryan and I fight for the middle before threatening me on the edges. That would have taken my attention off him early game and left him with the resources to make a comeback.

Anyway, lessons learned. Ryan got lucky this time but I'll have my revenge!
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