Saturday, February 5, 2011

Armor Grid: Mech Attack

I finally had time to build my first set of Mech Attack miniatures and try a solo game. It must be said that all the models look very good when assembled. The downside is that the models, especially the mechs, have some intrincate cuts that must be made, which means that they take some time to build properly.
For the first game, I decided to settle with two very small forces (20BP): on one side, a single heavy mech with four medium cannons; on the other, a light mech with missiles and lasers, along with a vehicle, one heavy infantry and one light infantry. I was curious about how balanced the fight would be.

I used a 90x90cm board, consisting of a piece of felt and a small paper hill that I had available and that was used as a level 2 elevation. The forces started at opposing sides as per the rules, and the first couple of rounds were spent with them moving around to enter firing range. I must note that only mid-game I remembered the option of rushing, and this could have speeded up this portion of the game.
Around the third game round, both forces began to engage. The heavy mech had used the hill as cover to avoid a barrage of shots from all enemy units; now, the light mech had moved up the hill and was able to target it, while the scout and other troops circled the hill to engage from both sides. Given its massive armor, the heavy mech was able to withstand lots of attacks without much trouble, and its cannons caused serious dents on the light mech's armor.
It's interesting to note that, during the game, the light mech and friends were able to miss the heavy mech several times, even though it is an easy target. Maybe it was my bad luck with dice, but it made the value of twin-linked guns clear to me (these give you a better chance to hit).

The heat system was also relevant in this match: the light mech was often overheating from firing all its weapons (including lasers) and had two Targeting System Reboots during the fight, which forced it to retreat to avoid being exposed to the big mech. At one of these moments, the heavy mech took the opportunity to fire at the infantry units; the cannons quickly destroyed the light infantry, while the heavy infantry took about three shots to be put out of the game.
Eventually, both mechs had been seriously damaged; a chain-reaction fuel cell explosion nearly blew up the entire light mech. On the following round, the scout's laser turret fired a lucky blast against the heavy mech's rear, hitting an exposed spot and causing it to explode.

Conclusions: I was very satisfied with the balanced game between two forces with very different compositions and unit counts, but same BP costs. The different weapon options also seem well-balanced, considering range, heat, BP cost, and damage patterns. These features point to an enjoyable game where players can customize their forces without breaking it. At this amount of units (only five total), the game moved very fast, even though it was my first time playing it (and frequently consulting the rules and tables). I'm inclined to keep future battles in the 15-30BP range to maintain this fast pace and allow tactical variations. Next steps: try other force matchups (must build more models for that, though) and include elements from the Terrain Pack.

3 comments:

Sin City Snowman said...

I've never heard of this game before but you've definitely gotten me interested in trying it out. Look forward to seeing more on this one in the future.

Chris said...

Hi,

I ran across a nifty idea recently (I can't recall where) for Armor Grid games: rather than spend the time and effort making the card models, use Mechwarrior miniatures. Simply pry them off their clicky bases, then glue them onto the bases called for in the rules. Many of the models look very nice, and require no painting. (The only thing that has to be finished is the base for the model.) Best of all, they are cheap! Prices for used figures on eBay and at conventions run as low as $0.25 (USD).

Best regards,

Chris Johnson

Ricardo said...

Hi Chris, thanks for the comment. I kind of envy the marketplace in the USA and Europe for miniatures among other things. Around here, it is hard to come by these and prices are quite higher :(