Battletech Tactics: Cityfight

Stay close, weapons hot, we know these Davions are here somewhere…

This week’s BATTLETECH tactics post takes a look at fighting in a city-landscape and the tactical challenges that each mechwarrior needs to adapt and control in the game.

For manuy of us our first few games of Battletech focus on the classic wood and hills hex maps. Lot’s of open space to run and gun, cover and elevation when you need it, and for the most part everything in play can be seen.

Entering a urban situation suddenly brings new danger to keep in mind- here are a few points to look out for in your next, or first citytech game.

There are LOTS of places to hide- mechs, tanks, and infantry can take cover inside, around, and behind buildings. Hidden units have their own challenges and need to be flushed out, and even units that you can see will always have the advantage of cover and perhaps even elevation if they are jump capable. Another KEY point is that vehicles and especially infantry get HUGE bonus in a city setting. Cover favors them, and mech movement is often slowed navigating all those buildings, making perfect ambush points for vehicles and infantry.

Take it slow, and be ready to level some buildings along the way to create pockets of no-cover. If you have to move into a potential ambush point- level it first before moving. High damage weapons- PPCs, AC 10/20, etc. all make quick work of even the strongest city building.

Light mechs tend to not like cities- the ability to move 10+ hexes in any direction = speed is what often keeps such light machines alive. Being restricted to where you can move and how much means your opponent can box you in quicker or catch you down an alleyway. Light mechs run out of space FAST in a city setting. Not to mention infantry bunkered up in buildings taking shots along the way. Consider jump-only light mechs.

Consider the power of indirect fire in a cityfight situation. A few quick spotters backing up some LRM mechs or missile carriers means that they confines of the city can work against your opponent- raining missiles down on the very places where they feel they are safe. Often such indirect fire mechs will take up a position and not move, which means no firing modifiers for walking or running.

Mechwarriors who have survived an urban combat situation- you advice for the rookie pilots in the comments below?