Wife and I played our first Heavy Gear Blitz game last night using the starters we ordered a while back. I was using the Peace River Defense Force (PRDF) and she was using the Black Talons.
The terrain on the board was pretty sparse from what we thought, but we obviously had no clue just how much 28mm scale terrain can affect 1/144 scale minis. A few groupings of trees, a cemetery, and a river with bridge crossing. Not overly encompassing, but they certainly did their job as blocking direct line of sight.
We rolled to see what our missions objectives were, and both my wife and I got the Offensive objectives and chose our goal for that battle. My wife was tasked to kill off my veteran Strike Squad while I had to take and hold one of the groups of trees. Of course neither of us new what our objective was, we had to go in expecting to cover all our bases. Our setup rolled should we were doing corner setups for the battle as well, so I set my force up around the cemetery while my wife was set up on the other side of the river and bridge.
The first turn was mostly Indirect Fire as the bridge was simply so large no one could draw line of sight to anyone else, so rockets were flying everywhere. One of my Warrior IVs got pegged by a rocket that deviated onto him, and my wife's Raptor Commando also got pegged by one of my Crusader IVs which was Hull Down in the Cemetery. Then the Dark Naga activated. The rockets flew straight for my wife and blew one of my strike squad members away in a massive fireball, and her next action took out the previously damaged Warrior IV.
Second turn I moved my people at top ground speed towards the bridge to get cover, I couldn't risk being in the open after losing two out of five strike squad members in a single turn. I went and hugged the bridge, which of course meant more Indirect Fire and that was fairly useless and what did hit didn't hit for enough MoS to actually get through any of the Black Talons armor. My wife moved her Raptor forward and using her jump jets, thrusted as far into the river as possible so she could try and get out next turn. Her Owl C3 and Vulture's all tried pegging my Strike Squad member with the RFB, but all the attacks either missed or hit for too little to hurt him (one Vulture botched it's attack role and went Out of Ammo for his guided mortar). The same success from my strike squad earlier at shooting was repeated by my still bunkered Fire Support squad back in the cemetery with rockets flying everywhere, but nothing hitting their marks. The Dark Naga didn't have any repeated success of it's first turn.
The third turn I activated my Fire Support Squad first, needing to get some cover fire on my Strike Squad, which I was now thinking was the goal of my wife through either assassination or squad wipeout. I managed to peg the Raptor Commando who was still stuck in the river and dealt just enough damage to bring it down to heavy damage. My wife once again activated her Operational Assistance Team and tried to get the Raptor out of the water using her jump jets. Meanwhile her Owl and Vultures continued to harass my Strike Squad who was still using the bridge as cover. No real damage done however to any of my members. I decided I needed to go to the woods now and make my final stand there since there was only one more turn. I got my strike squad members crossing the ground at walkers speed, taking shots at the Vulture's and Owl C3 as I crossed the small opening of no cover. I didn't manage to get any damage done to my wife's troops, but I got myself well locked into the forest for cover.
The final turn started with my Fire Support Squad jumping the wall of the cemetery and running forward laying off shots on the still exposed Raptor dealing minor damage. My wife came in for the kill since she also knew she didn't have any more time and needed to wipe out my Strike Squad, but the cover granted to my troops massively handicapped her ranged potential and no damage was done. My Strike Squad returned fire, but their light ranged weapons just didn't have the punch needed to take down the Black Talons. The Dark Naga activated and moved forward, but the cover once again made the rocket packs inaccurate.
So the game ended with two Strike Squad members dead from the earlier Black Talon indirect fire shots but not enough dead to count as a victory point for my wife's objectives. I got my 1 victory point for securing the forest and not having any of the Black Talons within six inches of it.
The game moves really fast, with ECM and ECCM being heavily used. My wife's Black Talons really showed why they were considered elites, as they simply outgunned me with bigger weapons and more attacks then what my guns were generally capable of. I really had to use cover and EW to keep the Black Talons from consistently hammering my Strike Squad, if I left them out in the open for any more then that first turn, I would most likely have lost the game early on.
A few things I learned about the list I was using is that I want to get some infantry with AGMs on ATVs to go help out in the field as mobile ranged support, and I need to get a Coyote for some heavier ranged support for target's like the Dark Naga. While my force was capable of making it rain rockets, against the Black Talons the rockets generally didn't hit hard enough to make much of an impact. I had to get much closer then I liked to be able to to sustained damage.