Well I set up a company sized Alpha strike game for my son this last weekend. Unfortunately a company sized game was a little more than the attention span of an 8 year old could handle so it ended up being a game between my wife and I for the most part.
I played a company of Davion Guard and my son and wife played a company of Sword of Light. I had about an 80 point disadvantage.
Early in the game I lost my Orion to concentrated fire. Alpha strike is different from Battletech in that it is usually easier to hit so concentrated fire is even more effective. There is also no spread to damage. All damage is equally bad. In Battletech you can soak damage that hits non essential areas but more basic damage model in Alpha strike is a lot less forgiving.
Terrain bonus are more important in Alpha Strike because it's easier to hit with fewer modifiers. Light mechs are particularly more vulnerable in Alpha Strike than Battletech. You really have to consider where you position a light unit. You need to hide until you have back shots where you don't expose yourself to any more enemy fire than you have to.
Assaults are a bit more useful than in regular Battletech. This is because you can use their full move without incurring a penalty unless you jump and the jump penalty is lower as well. Assault can wreck exposed lights and mediums in a single turn.
Knowing your mech's role is pretty key. It's interesting how the damage and range mechanics in Alpha strike mimic the feel of Battletech. You make one roll in Alpha strike for your mech's attacks instead of one rolls for each weapon in Battletech. It's interesting how mechs still have the same feel however based on their roll.
Here I lost a couple mediums to heavier mechs although I inflicted a lot of damage with a rear arc attack. Both my lights survived until the end of the game but I had to be pretty careful how I committed them.
The Sword of light Quick draw was one of the hardest mechs to deal with. It's ability to jump into cover combined with it's decent fire power made it very effective. Most of the game it had a +3 modifier and my rolls were pretty poor.
I had pretty much lost an entire lance by the time I finally brought down the D.C.M.S. Cyclops.
My wolfhound was my most successful mech I was able to use it to finish off two much heavier mechs that had retreated into cover.
I recovered somewhat from my initial losses but it was too little too late. Mechs that stand still in Alpha Strike get a -1 attack modifier and the D.C.M.S. Catapult really punished me. Every time I made a move to deal with it I payed for it.
The Panther was difficult to kill. It took way too many resources due to my inability to roll a 7. At one point I missed the Panther with five different mechs who all needed a 7 to hit.
Again my Wolfhould was my most effective killer. I really learned a lot from this game about how to manage lighter mechs in Alpha strike. It's more about positioning and terrain than in Battletech where you can count on your light mech's speed to make up for it's lack of armor.
By the end of the game I only had about 4 mechs left and most of them were shot to pieces while the Sword of Light had a number of fresh mechs so I conceded after about 8-10 round of play. That is really the big difference between Alpha Strike and Battletech. This company sized game took a few hours and we played over 8 rounds. We also are still not all that familiar with the rules. A similar sized game of Battletech between experienced players takes a good deal longer. Alpha strike is "dumbed down" compared to Battletech but that's it's strong point. It still feels a lot like Battletech but it takes less than half the time to play it. I'm really looking forward to playing an even bigger battle sometime in the near future with more combined arms instead of just mechs. I've done some smaller games with vehicles and mechs and those were a lot of fun.
I've started the 2nd force of our Battletech Battalion project with this company of A.F.F.S. Davion Guards. These are entirely made from the Alpha Strike lance packs. I have the two other companies base coated and a lance of Crucis Lancers finished.
We finally finished the first Battalion for our Battletech Battalions project. Our plan is to start with the major forces of the Inner Sphere then expand to other forces in the Battletech Universe as time goes on. This is our first finished Mech Battalion a Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery force. It is of course not a complete force since we plan to add more vehicles and infantry support as well as some air support but the mech battalion is done. It consist of one company of Legion of Vega, one company of Sword of Light, and one generic company in urban camo.
We have collected a Free Worlds League force and a Federated Suns force as well and I started to paint the Fed Suns mechs.