The End Comes, Alpha Strike Tactics for the Last Phase of the Game

By |2017-03-09T08:00:46+00:00March 9th, 2017|Categories: Battletech, How To Tutorial|

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We’re back with our final article on the turn sequence for Alpha Strike. We’ve covered the Movement, Combat, and now we’re on to the End Phase.

Hey game fans! Today we’ll go over the steps you need to finish out a turn, and start over for the next one.  The End Phase is important for the game because it covers all the record keeping aspects you need to finish out a turn.  Let’s dig into the parts of the End Phase, and see about getting into all sorts of trouble.

The End Phase

The End Phase has two primary steps to keep track of, Damage, and Heat.  Unlike the other phases of the game, this one is completed at the same time by both players.  Primarily this is a record keeping phase where unit damage takes effect (Units that are destroyed from damage are removed from play), and heat effects are tracked.  Let’s take a look at those two things, and then see where we go.

 

Damage

Unless a special ability (like Combat Intuition) says otherwise, damage takes effect during the End Phase.  Damage and Critical hits are both applied during this step.  Units that are destroyed as a result of damage are removed from the game at this step.  Aerospace units have a special rules quirk.

  • Aerospace Units that take damage from ground units during the turn have to take a Control Roll or lost altitude (this will make more sense after we talk about the Abstract Aerospace Combat rules).

Heat

Heat is an interesting component of the Battletech Universe.  All of the systems that make a Battlemech able to move around and do things generate waste heat that degrade the combat effectiveness of the unit from moment to moment in the battle.  When a unit acquire heat, it’s tracked on the Heat Scale on the unit’s card.  This has two primary game effects.

  • Add the Unit’s current Heat rating to all weapon attack target numbers.
  • Subtract twice the current Heat rating from ground movement rating (Jump movement is not affected.)

These effects take place during the End Phase of the turn, and apply to the following turn.  This means you can risk Overheating to accomplish something critical (like murdering that Mech that must die) and suffer the next turn.  A couple of special situations apply.

  • Heat (HT#) Special ability:  Some units have the ability to raise another unit’s Heat value.  No unit can gain more than 2 levels of Heat in a turn this way.  (Remember that units that don’t track Heat take Heat levels as regular damage).
  • Shutdown:  Units that hit 4 levels of Heat (represented by an S on the Heat Scale) automatically Shut Down.  Shut Down units can not use movement or thrust, and are incapable of making any attacks the following turn.  In additional, special electronic systems (like the ECM suite) are also turned off while the unit is shut down.  Attacks targeting a Shut Down unit receive a -4 modifier to the target number, and ignore TMM.
    • Aerospace units that suffer a shutdown have their own special sort of problems, and those are covered in detail in the Abstract Aerospace Combat rules.
  • Cooling Down:  There are several ways to cool down, and several ways to hold onto excess heat
    • Any Unit that used Overheat in the current turn will not be able to cool down.  That unit’s heat is increased by the amount of Overheat used.
    • Units that are running hot (have a heat value of 1 or higher) that make a weapon attack maintain their current heat level.  Water can help mitigate this, as a unit standing in water that is 2 inches deep can use 1 point of Overheat without changing it’s heat Status.
    • A Unit that begins the End Phase as a shutdown unit automatically drops to Heat level 0 (and restarts).
    • A unit that does not make a Weapon attack this turn also reduces its Heat level to 0.
    • A Unit that enters Water of depth 2 inches or more reduces its heat level by 1, unless it uses Overheat.

Concluding the Turn Sequence

Once both players have finished the End Phase, the next turn starts all over again.  Play the game until you’ve either met your scenario goals, or you’ve completely destroyed the other guy’s stuff.  And that’s how Alpha Strike plays through it’s turn sequence.  There are other rules and ideas to get into, and we’ll cover the Abstract Aerospace Game, the Special rules, the Force building, and we might walk you folks through a game or two.

Alpha Strike releases

 

Now Alpha Strike has released a bunch of supplements and releases that are a lot of fun for AS Players.  First, they’ve released two combat manuals so far, (Mercenaries and House Kurita) with two more scheduled for release later this year (House Steiner and House Davion).  These are your traditional army books that cover the faction during two of Alpha Strike’s primary eras of play.  The other Important releases are the Lance Packs.

Lance Packs are a four mech box that contains an assortment of mechs for a specific battlefield role.  Included with each lance pack is are the cards for each mech in the box, (Two sided for different versions of the same mech) a card for a different mech from Ironwind Metals, and a Lance description card featuring that lance’s special rules.  You’ll also get a card with a unique pilot that has different special abilities and options.  There are 8 of these, with more rumored to be in the pipeline.

Now that’s our thoughts and ideas for Alpha Strike, if you have something specific you want to see us cover, let us know either here, on our twitter, or on our primary blog.  Game On, Game Fans.

Again, we’re borrowing art from the wonderful Anthony Scroggins (Shimmering Sword).

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About the Author:

Trained as a school psychologist, i look at the overlap between education, psychology and games with the direction to utilize the latter two components to improve the first